AuthorTopic: The Surlynewz Channel  (Read 521974 times)

Offline Surly1

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Expect Fully Legal Weed Within 5 Years
« Reply #3240 on: June 11, 2018, 05:56:47 AM »
Expect Fully Legal Weed Within 5 Years

Under US Federal Law, cannabis is classified as a Schedule I drug, the most restrictive level in the Controlled Substances Act, whereas extremely addictive opiates like hydrocodone, morphine and fentanyl and other dangerous drugs like amphetamines and barbiturates are less restricted, as a Schedule II drugs.

There's been a massive movement over the past five years by most US states to legalize medical marijuana (cannabidiol or CBD) and/or to decriminalize possession of small amounts of psychoactive cannabis (containing tetrahydrocannabinol or THC).

The eight states that have legalized the recreational use of psychoactive cannabis are California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and Maine. The three states where no laws have been enacted to legalize cannabis of any kind are Idaho, South Dakota and Kansas. All other states have legalized the use of CBD.

Last Friday, Donald Trump told reporters that he will likely support legislation cointroduced by US Senator Elizabeth Warren that would allow states to set their own marijuana policies and to exempt from Federal prosecution anyone acting in compliance with their state's marijuana laws. This legal measure would enable banks to work more freely with marijuana-related businesses, set the legal age for marijuana purchases at 21 and legalize industrial hemp.

Several attempts to alter the Federal legal status of cannabis by amending the 1970 Controlled Substances Act have failed. Last February, the case of Washington v. Sessions, which challenged the Federal Government’s scheduling of cannabis was dismissed by US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein on procedural grounds known as the "exhaustion rule." This requires that parties petition the Government before taking their claims to Federal Court.

Notably, Hellerstein stated that his ruling "Should not be understood as a factual finding that marijuana lacks any medical use in the United States."

ReasonTV attended the Cannabis World Congress and Business Exposition and caught up with the keynote speaker, former Big Pharma lobbyist and conservative congressman, Billy Tauzin (R-LA), who is also a cancer survivor.

Now working for a medical cannabis company founded by Montel Williams, Tauzin says he sees patients today availing themselves of harmless, non-psychoactive CBD to alleviate pain and other symptoms and he wishes not only that he'd had personal access to these when he was battling cancer 15 years ago. Tauzin says, "This tide has turned. We're past the tipping point. There's no coming back. I think [Federal legalization] is going to happen within five years."

Also last Friday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and governors of 11 other states cosigned a letter to congressional leaders asking them to support Warren's proposed legislation. "Our citizens have spoken, we are responding. We ask that Congress recognize and respect our states' efforts by supporting and passing" the proposal.

Running Time: 6 min
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/2lT4irn0Fuk" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/2lT4irn0Fuk</a>
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Hiding the real number of unemployed
« Reply #3241 on: June 12, 2018, 05:25:04 AM »
Hiding the real number of unemployed

Your government believes that exhausting your unemployment benefits is a cause for celebration — because you are no longer unemployed!

Huh? Well, there is a slight of hand here. Only working people who are receiving unemployment benefits are counted as “unemployed” in official statistics issued by countries around the world. Thus the actual unemployment rates are much higher than the “official” rates, generally about twice as high. Most governments make it difficult to find the actual rate, and the corporate media does its part by reporting the official rate as if that includes everybody.

Then there is the matter of how much of a given national population is actually engaged in paid employment, another useful number difficult to discover. Finally, we can consider wages, both how fast they might be rising as compared to inflation and whether they are increasing in concert with increases in productivity.

To cut to the chase, things ain’t so hot. But you already knew that, didn’t you?

The Blue Mountains from the lookout in Blackheath, Australia (photo by Gemm347)

Let’s start our global survey with the United States, where, contrary to expectations, the real unemployment figure is easier to discover than most other places. Perhaps the Trump régime hasn’t gotten around to suppressing it, busy as it is hiding scientific evidence about global warming, pollution and other inconvenient facts. The official U.S. unemployment rate for May wasreported as 3.8 percent, the lowest it has been in several years, and less than half of what it was during the post-2008 economic collapse. Predictably, the Trump administration was quick to take credit, although the trend of falling employment has carried on for eight years now.

Nonetheless, you might have noticed that happy days aren’t exactly here again. The real U.S. unemployment figure — all who are counted as unemployed in the “official” rate, plus discouraged workers, the total of those employed part time but not able to secure full-time work and all persons marginally attached to the labor force (those who wish to work but have given up) —is 7.6 percent. (This is the “U-6” rate.) That total, too, is less than half of its 2010 peak and is the lowest in several years. But this still doesn’t mean the number of people actually working is increasing.

Fewer people at work and they are making less

A better indication of how many people have found work is the “civilian labor force participation rate.” By this measure, which includes all people age 16 or older who are not in prison or a mental institution, only62.7 percent of the potential U.S. workforcewas actually in the workforce in May, and that was slightly lower than the previous month. This is just about equal to the lowest this statistic has been since thebreakdown of Keynesianismin the 1970s, and down significantly from the peak of 67.3 percent in May 2000. You have to go back to the mid-1970s to find a time when U.S. labor participation was lower. This number was consistently lower in the 1950s and 1960s, but in those days one income was sufficient to support a family. Now everybody works and still can’t make ends meet.

And that brings us to the topic of wages. After reaching a peak of 52 percent in 1969, the percentage of the U.S. gross domestic product going to wages hasfallen to 43 percent, according to research by the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve. The amount of GDP going to wages during the past five years has been thelowest it has been since 1929, according to aNew York Timesreport. And within the inequality of wages that don’t keep up with inflation or productivity gains, the worse-off are doing worse.

The Economic Policy Institutenoted, “From 2000 to 2017, wage growth was strongest for the highest-wage workers, continuing the trend in rising wage inequality over the last four decades.” The strongest wage growth was for those in the top 10 percent of earnings, which skewed the results sufficiently that the median wage increase for 2017 was a paltry 0.2 percent, the EPI reports. Inflation may have been low, but it wasn’t as low as that — the typical U.S. worker thus suffered a de facto wage decrease last year.

What this sobering news tells us is that good-paying jobs are hard to come by. An EPI researcher, Elise Gould,wrote:

“Slow wage growth tells us that employers continue to hold the cards, and don’t have to offer higher wages to attract workers. In other words, workers have very little leverage to bid up their wages. Slow wage growth is evidence that employers and workers both know there are still workers waiting in the wings ready to take a job, even if they aren’t actively looking for one.”

The true unemployment rates in Canada and Europe

We find similar patterns elsewhere. In Canada, the official unemployment rate held at5.8 percent in April, the lowest it has been since 1976, although there was a slight decrease in the number of people working in March, mainly due to job losses in wholesale and retail trade and construction. What is the actual unemployment rate? According toStatistics Canada’s R8 figure, it is 8.6 percent. The R8 counts counts people in part-time work, including those wanting full-time work, as “full-time equivalents,” thus underestimating the number of under-employed.

At the end of 2012, the R8 figure was9.4 percent, but an analysis published byThe Globe and Mailanalyzing unemployment estimated thetrue unemployment ratefor that year to be 14.2 percent. If the current statistical miscalculation is proportionate, then the true Canadian unemployment rate currently must be north of 13 percent. “[T]he narrow scope of the Canadian measure significantly understates labour underutilization,” theGlobe and Mailanalysis concludes.

Similar to its southern neighbor, Canada’slabor force participation ratehas steadily declined, falling to 65.4 percent in April 2018 from a high of 67.7 percent in 2003.

Mount Meager volcanic complex, British Columbia (photo by Dave Steers)

The most recent official unemployment figure in Britain is 4.2 percent. The true figure is rather higher. How much higher is difficult to determine, but aSeptember 2012 reportby Sheffield Hallam University found that the total number of unemployed in Britain was more than 3.4 million in April of that year although the Labour Force Survey, from which official unemployment statistics are derived, reported only 2.5 million. So if we assume a similar ratio, then the true rate of unemployment across the United Kingdom is about 5.7 percent.

The European Union reported an official unemployment rate of7.1 percent(with Greece having the highest total at 20.8 percent). The EU’s Eurostat service doesn’t provide an equivalent of a U.S. U-6 or a Canadian R8, but does separatelyprovide totalsfor under-employed part-time workers and “potential additional labour force”; adding these two would effectively double the true EU rate of unemployed and so the actual figure must be about 14 percent.

Australia’s official seasonally adjusted unemployment rateis 5.6 percent, according to the country’s Bureau of Statistics. The statistic that would provide a more realistic measure, the “extended labour force under-utilisation” figure, seems to be well hidden. The most recent figure that could be found was for February 2017, when the rate was given as 15.4 percent. As the “official” unemployment rate at the time was 5.8 percent, it is reasonable to conclude that the real Australian unemployment rate is currently above 15 percent.

Mirroring the pattern in North America, global employment is on the decline. The International Labour Organization estimated theworld labor force participationrate as 61.9 percent for 2017, a steadily decline from the 65.7 percent estimated for 1990.

Stagnant wages despite productivity growth around the world

Concomitant with the high numbers of people worldwide who don’t have proper employment is the stagnation of wages. Across North America and Europe, productivity is rising much faster than wages. A 2017 study found that across those regions median real wage growth since the mid-1980shas not kept pacewith labor productivity growth.

Not surprisingly, the United States had the largest gap between wages and productivity. Germany was second in this category, perhaps not surprising, either, because German workers have suffered along period of wage cuts(adjusted for inflation) since the Social Democratic Party codified austerity by instituting Gerhard Schröder’s “Agenda 2010” legislation. Despite this disparity, the U.S. Federal Reserve issued a report in 2015 declaring the problem of economic weakness is due towages not falling enough. Yes, the Fed believes your wages are too high.

The lag of wages as compared to rising productivity is an ongoing global phenomenon. A separate statistical analysis from earlier this decade alsodemonstrated this patternfor working people in Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan. Workers in both Canada and the United States take homehundreds of dollars less per weekthan they would if wages had kept up with productivity gains.

In an era of runaway corporate globalization, there is ever more precarity. On a global scale, having regular employment is actually unusual. Using International Labour Organization figures as a starting point, John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney calculate that the “global reserve army of labor” — workers who are underemployed, unemployed or “vulnerably employed” (including informal workers) — totals 2.4 billion. In contrast, the world’s wage workers total 1.4 billion. Writing in their bookThe Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China, they write:

“It is the existence of a reserve army that in its maximum extent is more than 70 percent larger than the active labor army that serves to restrain wages globally, and particularly in poorer countries. Indeed, most of this reserve army is located in the underdeveloped countries of the world, though its growth can be seen today in the rich countries as well.” [page 145]

Having conquered virtually every corner of the globe and with nowhere left to expand into nor new markets to take, capitalists will continue to cut costs — in the first place, wages and benefits — in their ceaseless scrambles to sustain their accustomed profits. There is no reform that can permanently alter this relentless internal logic of capitalism. Although she was premature, Rosa Luxemburg’s forecast of socialism or barbarism draws nearer.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC
« Reply #3242 on: June 22, 2018, 06:23:49 PM »
Dickless and desperate. Boo fucking hoo.

In a related story, WH advisor Stephen Miller was seen at a tony Georgetown cafe in the company of his left hand.

Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC because everyone hates them

5h
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino, left, and President Donald Trump's personal secretary Madeleine Westerhout at the White House.
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino and President Donald Trump's personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout.
Andrew Harnik/AP

  • Young Trump administration staffers are having a hard time dating in Washington, one of the most Democratic cities in the country.
  • Even after leaving their administration jobs, former staffers are finding themselves on something of a social blacklist.
  • One match on an online dating app told an administration official, "Thanks but no thanks. Just Googled you and it said you were a mouthpiece for the Trump administration. Go f--- yourself."

Young Trump administration staffers are having a hard time dating in Washington — one of the most Democratic cities in the country — according to a new Politico feature.

Both current and former staffers say they're often berated by prospective dates online, or simply denied when someone finds out where they work or that they voted for the president.

"You do the small-talk thing, and you have a very good conversation, and then they might say, 'You didn't vote for Trump, right?'" one 31-year-old female administration official told Politico. "As soon as I say, 'Of course I did,' it just devolves into all-caps 'HOW COULD YOU BE SUCH A RACIST AND A BIGOT?' And 'You're going to take away your own birth control.'"

In one recent online exchange, a potential date asked her, "Do you rip babies from their mothers and then send them to Mexico?"

Another match on an dating app told her, "Thanks but no thanks. Just Googled you and it said you were a mouthpiece for the Trump administration. Go f--- yourself."

Many young staffers have turned inward — dating exclusively within the administration.

And some go on intra-administration double dates with staffers like Madeleine Westerhout, President Donald Trump's executive assistant, and her boyfriend, Ben Schramm, who works at the Pentagon. Another popular double-dating couple is Giovanna Coia, a White House press assistant and cousin of Kellyanne Conway, and her boyfriend, John Pence, Vice President Mike Pence's nephew who is also the deputy executive director for Trump's campaign committee.

Ultimately, staffers say the allure of a White House or administration gig — and the power and access that come with it — means they retain some social appeal.

One Trump staffer told Politico, "At the end of the day, if they are part of the establishment and living in D.C., they usually want or need something from the White House, which can be kind of nice."


"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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The Duke St. Rollins Comedy Manifesto
« Reply #3243 on: June 23, 2018, 09:34:47 AM »
Duke St. Rollins is a noted Facebook troll that I follow.

From time to time, poster s complain about the near-invisible moderation on the Diner Forum. To those worthies I say, you should meet the Duke.

The Duke St. Rollins Comedy Manifesto

The Duke St. Rollins Comedy Manifesto

Due to a sudden influx of overly sensitive pussies being offended by my recent posts, I felt it important to share the Duke St Rollins Comedy Manifesto again.

Fellow patriots, this page is constantly under attack. Not only by ‘Baggers, Paulbots, Palinistas and Republicunts of every stripe, but by whiny, humorless liberals as well. This is a disturbing trend. Political correctness is threatening to tear the heart out of our ability to successfully troll the assholes  who will take away our right to abort our children, suckle at the government teat and smugly proclaim our superiority while driving our Prius’ to pick up our welfare checks. So in order to set the record straight, I present to you the “Duke St. Rollins” comedy manifesto.

  • I don’t care about your feelings. If something that I say personally offends you because it brings back sad memories of one of the many great failures in your life you should go complain about it to someone who cares. If you think that I am attacking a person or group that you feel some sympathy towards, I probably am and you should go fuck off rather than complain about it. I really don’t give a shit. I think what I said is funny and I stand by it. Like this page and go sing Kumbaya with the other liberal pussies. [url=https://www.facebook.com/]https://www.facebook.com/[/url]sensitivehearts2011/
  • I swing a mighty ban hammer. Piss me off and you will meet it in person. I have no reason to give people who I disagree with a forum to spout off. There are millions of pages and groups on Facebook, so find one that agrees with your stupid opinion, because I don’t. Free speech means the government cannot restrict your right to express yourself; it does not guarantee an audience for your stupidity.
  • This page has no political purpose. I do not care about your cause. I do not exist to further the liberal or progressive viewpoints. I hate all stupid people. It just so happens that there are a lot more stupid people amongst the conservatives. If you tell me that by being crude I am “making us all look bad” I will ban the shit out of you. I am not like you. You are a pussy and I am a warrior. [url=https://www.facebook.com/]https://www.facebook.com/[/url]juststopityoufgt/
  • This page exists to be funny. A sense of humor is not something that everyone enjoys the benefit of having. Fortunately for you, I have one and it is fucking brilliant. If you don’t think that something is funny, bitching about it will not do you a damn bit of good. I have never retracted a single thing that I have posted and I am not going to start with you. Go fuck yourself.
  • So you’ve read this far and you find that you hate me and want to punish me for being such an asshole. Good! Click the unlike this page button and go away. Announcing your intention to leave the page because I have offended you makes you sound like a self-important asshole. I really don’t care if you unlike the page or go smoke the barrel of a .45. Just go the fuck away. There are still lots of people who appreciate the effort that goes into maintaining this page.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline azozeo

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3244 on: June 23, 2018, 09:48:19 AM »
1st I'd heard of a "St. Rollins"....

How'd this cat earn his wings, Surly ?

I guess potty-mouth has its place in the 9th D realm. Hmmmm.....

Kind of a ecumenical Ron White. Does he have drinks n' smokes like ronnie baby ?
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline K-Dog

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Re: Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC
« Reply #3245 on: June 23, 2018, 11:02:42 AM »
Dickless and desperate. Boo fucking hoo.

In a related story, WH advisor Stephen Miller was seen at a tony Georgetown cafe in the company of his left hand.

Young Trump staffers are complaining they can't date in DC because everyone hates them

5h
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino, left, and President Donald Trump's personal secretary Madeleine Westerhout at the White House.
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino and President Donald Trump's personal secretary, Madeleine Westerhout.
Andrew Harnik/AP

  • Young Trump administration staffers are having a hard time dating in Washington, one of the most Democratic cities in the country.
  • Even after leaving their administration jobs, former staffers are finding themselves on something of a social blacklist.
  • One match on an online dating app told an administration official, "Thanks but no thanks. Just Googled you and it said you were a mouthpiece for the Trump administration. Go f--- yourself."

Young Trump administration staffers are having a hard time dating in Washington — one of the most Democratic cities in the country — according to a new Politico feature.

Both current and former staffers say they're often berated by prospective dates online, or simply denied when someone finds out where they work or that they voted for the president.

"You do the small-talk thing, and you have a very good conversation, and then they might say, 'You didn't vote for Trump, right?'" one 31-year-old female administration official told Politico. "As soon as I say, 'Of course I did,' it just devolves into all-caps 'HOW COULD YOU BE SUCH A RACIST AND A BIGOT?' And 'You're going to take away your own birth control.'"

In one recent online exchange, a potential date asked her, "Do you rip babies from their mothers and then send them to Mexico?"

Another match on an dating app told her, "Thanks but no thanks. Just Googled you and it said you were a mouthpiece for the Trump administration. Go f--- yourself."

Many young staffers have turned inward — dating exclusively within the administration.

And some go on intra-administration double dates with staffers like Madeleine Westerhout, President Donald Trump's executive assistant, and her boyfriend, Ben Schramm, who works at the Pentagon. Another popular double-dating couple is Giovanna Coia, a White House press assistant and cousin of Kellyanne Conway, and her boyfriend, John Pence, Vice President Mike Pence's nephew who is also the deputy executive director for Trump's campaign committee.

Ultimately, staffers say the allure of a White House or administration gig — and the power and access that come with it — means they retain some social appeal.

One Trump staffer told Politico, "At the end of the day, if they are part of the establishment and living in D.C., they usually want or need something from the White House, which can be kind of nice."


Don't believe a word of it.  They are having no trouble getting dates.


In fact their are most likely legions of white knights wanting to save them. and don't forget about this guy.





But since they don't pay taxes like their boss you don't get to see their tax returns so getting them to change their ways may be a hard row to hoe.


Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Online Eddie

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3246 on: June 23, 2018, 11:25:37 AM »
Political whores deserve real whores for girlfriends. And with all the money they make sucking political dick, they can afford it.

What's the problem?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Surly1

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Just Desserts
« Reply #3247 on: June 24, 2018, 04:19:29 AM »
This occurred a couple of hours from me, but Contrary and I have decided to add a road trip to Lexington and The Red Hen to our weekend itinerary soon.
Barkeep, send the Fuckleberry-Slanders table a round of Prestones, and I'll have the schadenfreude appetizer, please. As as to the execrable tweet by Fuckleberry pere, he'll just have to find sautée of strangled dog on someone else's menu.

Why a Virginia restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave – and would do it again

Why a Virginia restaurant owner asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave – and would do it again

    • Updated
Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders arrives to speak during a news briefing at the White House on Monday, June 18, 2018.

Stephanie Wilkinson was at home Friday evening - nearly 200 miles from the White House - when the choice presented itself.

Her phone rang about 8 p.m. It was the chef at the Red Hen, the tiny farm-to-table restaurant that she co-owned just off Main Street in Lexington, Virginia.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders had just walked in and sat down, the chef informed her.

"He said the staff is a little concerned. What should we do?" Wilkinson told The Washington Post. "I said I'd be down to see if it's true."

It seemed unlikely to her that President Donald Trump's press secretary should be dining at a 26-seat restaurant in rural Virginia. But then, it was unlikely that her entire staff would have misidentified the woman, who had arrived last to be seated at a table of eight booked under Sanders' husband's name.

As she made the short drive to the Red Hen, Wilkinson knew only this:

She knew Lexington, population 7,000, had voted overwhelmingly against Trump in a county that voted overwhelmingly for him. She knew the community was deeply divided over such issues as Confederate flags. She knew, she said, that her restaurant and its half-dozen servers and cooks had managed to stay in business for 10 years by keeping politics off the menu.

And she knew - she believed - that Sarah Huckabee Sanders worked in the service of an "inhumane and unethical" administration. That she publicly defended the president's cruelest policies, and that that could not stand.

"I'm not a huge fan of confrontation," Wilkinson said. "I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals."

As soon as she walked into the restaurant, Wilkinson saw that there had been no mistake. The Red Hen is no bigger than some apartments, and the group table was impossible to miss: Sanders in a black dress, her husband, three or four men and women of roughly similar ages, and an older couple.

"They had cheese boards in front of them," Wilkinson said. Like any other family.

The kitchen was already preparing the party's main course. Wilkinson interrupted to huddle with her workers.

Several Red Hen employees were gay, she said. They knew Sanders had defended Trump's desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.

"Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave," Wilkinson told her staff, she said. "They said yes."

It was important to Wilkinson, she said, that Sanders had already been served - that her staff had not simply refused her on sight. And it was important to her that Sanders was a public official, not just a customer with whom she disagreed, many of whom were included in her regular clientele.

All the same, she was tense as she walked up to the press secretary's chair.

"I said, 'I'm the owner,' " she recalled, " 'I'd like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.' "

They stepped outside, into another small enclosure, but at least out of the crowded restaurant.

"I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion," Wilkinson said. "I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation.

"I said, 'I'd like to ask you to leave.' "

Wilkinson didn't know how Sanders would react. She said she didn't know whether Trump's chief spokeswoman had been called out in a restaurant before, as the president's homeland security secretary had been days earlier.

Sanders' response was immediate, Wilkinson said: " ' That's fine. I'll go.' "

Sanders went back to the table, picked up her things and walked out. The others at her table had been welcome to stay, Wilkinson said. But they didn't, so the servers cleared away the cheese boards.

"They offered to pay," Wilkinson said. "I said, 'No. It's on the house.' "

At the end of the shift, Wilkinson said, staff members left the usual overnight note in the kitchen for the morning manager: a problem with the credit card machine. Restock vodka and tequila.

If you've ever heard the term "to 86 someone," it comes from the restaurant industry - code for a table eviction.

"86 - Sara Huckabee Sanders," read the note, below the reminder to buy more Pellegrino.

One of the servers photographed the whiteboard before going home Friday. He had posted it to his public Facebook wall by the time Wilkinson woke up Saturday.

For all the angst that evening, Wilkinson said, everything had taken place with decorum. She had been polite; Sanders had been polite; the press secretary's family had been polite as they followed her out the door.

Not so much the rest of the world, as it discovered Red Hen waiter Jaike Foley-Schultz's post: "I just served Sarah huckabee sanders for a total of 2 minutes before my owner asked her to leave."

A fountain of alternately celebratory and outraged comments gushed from Foley-Schultz's Facebook wall into the Red Hen's social media accounts, then its Yelp review page.

Five stars: "Thank you for refusing to serve a person who lies to the American people for a living."

One star: "They made some snide remark about a 'spit souffle' for the Florida nazi.'"

Between the fury and fawning of 2,000 people who almost certainly had not eaten at the restaurant, the Red Hen's Yelp reviews almost instantly averaged out to two-and-a-half stars. Another Red Hen in Washington was at pains to make clear that it had no affiliation with Wilkinson's restaurant.

And that was before Sanders confirmed the story in a late morning tweet.

"I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so," the press secretary wrote. "Her actions say far more about her than about me."

Added Sanders' father, forkmer Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, on Twitter:

"Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington VA. Or you can ask for the 'Hate Plate'. And appetizers are 'small plates for small minds' "

Wilkinson doesn't know where all this will leave the Red Hen when the news coverage dies down - or even when it opens again for dinner Saturday, for that matter. In a quick Facebook scan in the morning, she learned that people are already calling for protests outside the Red Hen, hashtag #MAGA.

As she spoke to The Washington Post, Wilkinson was on her way to a Main Street festival, which she helped organize under one of the other hats she wears around town, besides politically conscious restaurateur.

She didn't know what the reception would be like among her neighbors.

"This is a small enough town, and we're known," she said optimistically. "This is not going to be a giant surprise to anyone."

Meanwhile, "Red Hen" was trending toward the top of Twitter - 75,000 mentions within a couple hours of the first news stories.

"Whatever happens, we will soldier on," Wilkinson said. "Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again.

"We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one."

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Surly1

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Sargon and the Sea Peoples | Albert Bates
« Reply #3248 on: June 24, 2018, 10:15:47 AM »
Sargon and the Sea Peoples | Albert Bates

Sargon and the Sea Peoples | Albert Bates

For hundreds of years, stories of marauding Sea Peoples were told to frightened children.

Back in 4300 BCE, Sargon of Akkad found the grain farming good in the broad, flat alluvial valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Being an accomplished bully and not fond of toiling in the heat of the sun himself, he assembled a gang of thugs and enslaved weaker people to work for him. They built vast irrigation systems, knocked down forests and opened up much of the fertile Mesopotamian Plain to oxen and wooden plows. With good soil, good seed and adequate rain, his tribe prospered and applied their surplus to erect a number of market cities that were considered quite grand for the period.

You can’t just knock down forests and dig long irrigation ditches and expect Nature to let you off scott-free, however. The plowing opened the soil to the sun and killed the rich microbial life built by those erstwhile forests. Irrigation made the fields salted and addicted. Major lakes silted. Without the trees and their fungal network, the weather changed. It stopped raining.

After a mere 130 years of prosperity, the Akkadian empire collapsed abruptly in 4170 BCE. There was general abandonment of agriculture, dramatic influxes of refugees, and widespread famine. The same calamity befell much of the rest of the region. Poorer tribes flocked to wealthy Akkad seeking help.

Faced with the rising tide of hungry people, Sargon’s successor thought a good solution would be a 112-mile-long wall, roughly the distance by patrol car between Brownsville TX and Rio Grande City, which Akkadians dubbed the “Repeller of the Amorites.” They may even have claimed they were going to get the Amorites to build it, but those clay tablets haven’t been located yet.

Fast forward a few decades and we find Akkadian cities in ruins, the plains desertifying, and smaller sedentary populations farther north around the shores of Lake Van trying to eke out a frugal living eating grasshoppers and frogs. It was a rough come-down from former glory.

Of course, the Akkadians were not entirely to blame. Their changing climate was also influenced by 1 to 2 degree cooler sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic that changed rainfall in the higher elevations. In their haste to develop, they had not left themselves any safety margin.

A few thousand years later another serious drought struck that part of the world — much of it within what is now Syria and Palestine — and by this time the population was much larger than back in Sargon’s day. The first wave of these “Sea Peoples” washed over Egypt in the second year of Ramesses II, 1276 BCE, but rather than build tent cities to house them, the Pharaoh simply trapped and slaughtered some 6000 people arriving in boats with all their goods, and then sent his chariots to drive stragglers back into the sea. A bit of a blowhard, Ramesses claimed a great victory and had the story inscribed in stone and read on ceremonial days.

Ramesses II

The Syrian drought continued, however, and Ramesses son, Merenptah, writes how, in the fifth year of his reign (1209 BCE), Libyans allied with the Sea Peoples to invade Egypt and were repulsed with 6000 casualties. Six thousand seems to be a popular number when you are killing Sea Peoples.

Then Merenptah’s son, Ramesses III, in c. 1200 BCE was informed they were coming again. The populations fleeing drought-stricken Syria had already destroyed the Hittite state and Ramesses III wrote, “they were coming forward toward Egypt.” Ramesses also makes the first recorded mention of the Israelites as one of those groups trying to illegally migrate into Egypt.

“If they would just report to processing centers they could apply for asylum,” Ramesses III might have said. But secretly he set ambushes all along the border and made especially effective use of his archers, positioning them along the shoreline to rain down arrows on approaching ships. Once the ships’ passengers were dead or drowning the vessels were set on fire with flaming arrows so that not even children could escape. Then Ramesses III turned his archers toward any survivors who made it to land. Egyptian records again detail a glorious victory in which many of the Sea Peoples were slain and others taken captive or pressed into the Egyptian army and navy or sold as slaves. For hundreds of years, stories of marauding Sea Peoples were told to frightened children.

Ramesses’s border defenses were so expensive they drained the Royal Treasury. This led to the first labor strike in recorded history.

Century-long droughts can be found at many points in the historic record. California experienced a 240-year-long drought that started in 850 CE and, 50 years after the conclusion of that one, another that stretched at least 180 years. Mexico experienced an abrupt climate shift between 800 to 1000 CE that brought dry conditions to the central Yucatan for 200 years, curtailing the era of monumental Mayan architecture. Lowland population densities plunged from 200 persons/km2 at the peak of the Late Classic period to less than half that by 900 CE. City complexes of more than 50,000 people, like Tikal, were abandoned to the rats and weeds.

Houston and Miami take heed.

Challenged by unprecedented environmental stresses, cultures can shift to lower subsistence levels by reducing social complexity, abandoning urban centers, and reorganizing systems of supply and production, as the Maya, Akkadians, Romans, Tiwanaku, Mochica, Athenians and many others have done, but more often — and even in those cases — they failed to recognize what was happening until it was too late to escape unscathed. They waved their arms, followed militant leaders, found convenient scapegoats, increased debt, took to the streets in protest, overtaxed their most vital resources, and kept trying to grow their way out as if growth was the only solution they could imagine.

It never works. Sometimes civilizations go the way of the Easter Islanders. Other times they are conquered and destroyed by an even more desperate and militant neighbor they foolishly made into an enemy.

George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” but he was peddling his Harvard theory of cyclic history and really could have done a better job of thinking that through. His actual theory was that both those who do not learn history and those who do learn history are doomed to repeat it.

Samuel Clemens added greater depth to Santayana’s theory, fifty years earlier, when he said “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”

Last week, speaking at Wells College, I concluded by saying, “As a global culture, we can create social norms that would permit us to sustain healthy economies and ecologies into the turbulent climate future we cannot now avoid. There are neither technological nor resource barriers to prevent that outcome.” There are, however, biological limits, including the psychology of sunk investments.

Sad to say, even if the 45th President of the United States had not cheated and bullied his way through his education and actually studied history, it would not have made any difference. We are just in that part of the cycle now where stupidity trumps the obvious. The queues of refugees may not be quite the same as the Sea Peoples, but they rhyme.


"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline agelbert

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Giant Hogweed 🐽
« Reply #3249 on: June 24, 2018, 01:36:20 PM »
Hey Surly, I ran into this news item and wonder if you had seen this bad assed weed near your home. It looks somewhat like Queen Anne's lace but MUCH BIGGER!

Giant Hogweed 👹     

EcoWatch

Health  Olivia Rosane

Jun. 19, 2018 06:45AM EST

70023venus2009 / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Invasive, Blinding Weed Spreads to Virginia

An invasive plant species whose sap can cause burns and blindness has spread to Virginia, CBS News reported Monday.

Giant hogweed looks similar to common, harmless summer wildflowers like cow parsnip and Queen Anne's lace. But it can grow to be 14 feet tall and its sap contains photosensitizing furanocoumarins that make any skin they comes in contact with more sensitive to sunburn, sometimes on a long-term basis. The sap can also cause severe blisters on the skin and blindness if it enters the eye.

The first plants spotted in Virginia were identified by scientists at Virginia Tech's Massey Herbarium in Clarke County last week.

"Today I helped ID VA's first giant hogweed population! Its sap causes severe burns. One plant was found in Clarke County. Report sightings to your extension agent!" a researcher posted on Facebook.

Researchers have identified 30 plants in the area.

Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus mountains and southwest Asia. It was first brought to the U.S. as an ornamental plant in 1917, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to harming any human unlucky enough to interact with it, it also crowds out native species and has been categorized as a Noxious Weed under the Plant Protection Act.

In addition to Virginia, it also grows in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont  :P, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Oregon and Washington, according to CBS.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) advises anyone who comes in contact with the plant to move out of the sun and wash off the impacted area with cold water. If you cannot get indoors, apply sunscreen. The reaction usually begins 15 minutes after contact. A compress soaked in aluminum acetate can also soothe the burns.

If the sap gets in your eyes, you should rinse them with cold water, wear sunglasses and seek medical attention.

Giant hogweed is also very difficult to get rid of, but you have to be careful of how you dispose of it because of the dangers posed by its sap.

"Do not mow, cut or weed whack the plant, as it will just send up new growth and put you at risk for being exposed to sap—the same kind of thing that would happen with poison ivy or sumac," the New York State DOH advises.

To effectively remove it, you have to cut plant roots, remove seed heads, mow the plants when small or use extensive amounts of herbicide, but you must wear protective gear while doing so, according to Science Alert. The New York State DOH recommends getting professional help.

Giant hogweed can be distinguished from similar-looking cow parsnip by its overall size and the size and steep incline of its leaves, which can be five feet across. In addition, its flowers are umbrella-shaped, not flat, and its stems have purple splotches, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation explains.

https://www.ecowatch.com/giant-hogweed-virginia-2579413227.html
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 01:39:44 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
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if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline Surly1

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Re: Giant Hogweed 🐽
« Reply #3250 on: June 24, 2018, 07:57:12 PM »
Hey Surly, I ran into this news item and wonder if you had seen this bad assed weed near your home. It looks somewhat like Queen Anne's lace but MUCH BIGGER!


Giant Hogweed 👹     

Invasive, Blinding Weed Spreads to Virginia

Not yet, but I've read about it.

Thanks for the heads-up!
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline agelbert

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3251 on: June 24, 2018, 08:13:15 PM »
Hey Surly, I ran into this news item and wonder if you had seen this bad assed weed near your home. It looks somewhat like Queen Anne's lace but MUCH BIGGER!


Giant Hogweed 👹     

Invasive, Blinding Weed Spreads to Virginia

Not yet, but I've read about it.

Thanks for the heads-up!


You're welcome. I briefed my wife to be on the lookout for those giant plants. She hasn't spotted any here yet either.  8)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 08:15:00 PM by agelbert »
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Offline Surly1

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China’s Plastic Ban Will Flood Us With Trash
« Reply #3252 on: June 26, 2018, 03:00:13 AM »
China’s Plastic Ban Will Flood Us With Trash
New study reports China’s ban on importing foreign plastic could cripple global recycling programs and lead to 111 million tons of homeless plastic


Bottlecaps
(Wikimedia Commons)
SMITHSONIAN.COM

One of the only redeeming virtues of single-use plastic—besides its convenience—is the idea that all those used yogurt cups, water bottles and coffee lids can be tossed into the recycling bin to live another day as a park bench or even a T-shirt. But that whole feel-good system has hinged on one factor: China’s willingness to import and deal with the developed world’s massive mountains of plastic. But China banned the import of most plastic waste on December 31, 2017. Now, reports Brian Kahn at Earther, a new study shows that because of the ban, plastic is piling up, and by 2030 111 million metric tons of plastic will be “displaced,” a euphemism for going into landfills, ditches, the ocean and anywhere but a recycled park bench. The United States alone will have 37 million extra metric tons of plastic waste to contend with.

According to a press release announcing the new research, several factors caused China to give up on its plastic importing. “Plastic waste was once a fairly profitable business for China, because they could use or resell the recycled plastic waste,” says Amy Brooks of the University of Georgia and lead author of the study in Science Advances. “But a lot of the plastic China received in recent years was poor quality, and it became difficult to turn a profit. China is also producing more plastic waste domestically, so it doesn’t have to rely on other nations for waste.”

The result is that nations around the world that relied on China to take their plastic trash are now stuck with the stuff and do not have the infrastructure to recycle it. Darryl Fears and Kate Furby at The Washington Post report that the change has already had impacts on the United States, with states including Massachusetts and Oregon lifting restrictions on plastic waste in landfills to deal with the problem. In the coming years, many more Americans may see recycling programs screech to a halt. “It will impact recycling programs across the country,” Ben Harvey, owner and president of E.L. Harvey & Sons Recycling Services in Westborough, Massachussets, tells WaPo. “If there’s no place for this stuff to go, what’s the sense of collecting it? We’re going to look at the programs and say why are we collecting it, it’s not a commodity anymore. It’s a big thing. It’s a scary thing.”

There are some loopholes in the Chinese ban, reports Ellen Airhart at Wired. China’s ban covers potentially contaminated plastic, like mayonnaise jars that weren’t washed out or water bottles with chewed gum in them. However, China still allows bales of plastic with less than 0.5 percent contamination in for recycling. The company that deals with San Francisco’s plastic waste, for instance, has slowed down its sorting line to drop its contamination level from roughly 5 percent to under 1 percent, which allows the city to keep sending its Fiji bottles back overseas. But, Airhart points out, not all domestic waste handlers have the ability or money to reduce their contamination levels.

And there are no reasonable alternative destinations for the trash, either. “There’s not really another huge main hub where this material has to go,” Jenna Jambeck, a study co-author also from the University of Georgia, tells WaPo. Some nations like Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia do recycle plastic, but they don’t have the infrastructure to shoulder China’s previous load. “There isn’t another individual country that has the capacity that China had to take the material.”

The ban is causing ripples in the U.S. recycling industry, reports the Associated Press. The National Recycling Coalition realeased a statement saying the industry needs to fundamentally shift how it communicates with the public and how it collects and processes recyclables. “We need to look at new uses for these materials,” coalition executive director Marjorie Griek says. “And how do you get manufacturers to design a product that is more easily recyclable.”

Brooks tells Airhart that she hopes the international community pays attention to the study. “My dream would be that this is a big enough wake up call to drive international agreements” to regulate disposable plastics, she says.

There are some signs that nations around the world are starting to confront single-use plastics. India recently announced a plan to ban single-use plastics by 2022 and a recent United Nations report shows 50 nations around the world are making efforts to ban plastic bags, Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable items. Britain, too, has recently announced a ban on single-use plastic, and will likely eliminate things like plastic straws and cotton swabs next year.

In the U.S., the federal government is not taking the lead on the plastics issue, but several cities have implemented plastic bag bans or taxes and several are considering straw bans. Companies are taking up the issue too, with McDonald’s set to test alternatives to plastic straws later this year, though the company’s shareholders aren’t too keen on the idea.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« Reply #3253 on: June 26, 2018, 03:51:27 AM »
Star Wars Redux: Trump’s Space Force

Photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center | CC BY 2.0

If Donald Trump gets his way on formation of a Space Force, the heavens would become a war zone. Inevitably, there would be military conflict in space.

The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 which designates space as the global commons to be used for peaceful purposes—and of which Russia and China, as well as the United States, are parties—and the years of work facilitating the treaty since would be wasted.

If the U.S. goes up into space with weapons, Russia and China, and then India and Pakistan and other countries, will follow.

Moreover space weaponry, as I have detailed through the years in my writings and TV programs, would be nuclear-powered—as Reagan’s Star Wars scheme was to be with nuclear reactors and plutonium systems on orbiting battle platforms providing the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

This is what would be above our heads.

Amid the many horrible things being done by the Trump administration, this would be the most terribly destructive.

“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space,” Trump said at a meeting of the National Space Council this week.

“Very importantly, I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon,” he went on Monday, “to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces; that is a big statement. We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force, separate but equal, it is going to be something.”

The notion of the U.S. moving into space with weaponry isn’t new.

It goes back to the post-World War II years when the U.S. government brought former Nazi rocket scientists from Germany to the U.S.—mainly to the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama—to use “their technological expertise to help create the U.S. space and weapons program,” writes Jack Manno, who retired last year as a professor at the State University of New York/Environmental Science and Forestry College, in his book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995.

“Many of the early space war schemes were dreamt up by scientists working for the German military, scientists who brought their rockets and their ideas to America after the war,” he relates. “It was like a professional sports draft.”

Nearly 1,000 of these scientists were brought to the U.S., “many of whom later rose to positions of power in the U.S. military, NASA, and the aerospace industry.” Among them were “Wernher von Braun and his V-2 colleagues” who began “working on rockets for the U.S. Army,” and at the Redstone Arsenal “were given the task of producing an intermediate range ballistic range missile to carry battlefield atomic weapons up to 200 miles. The Germans produced a modified V-2 renamed the Redstone….Huntsville became a major center of U.S. space military activities.”

Manno writes about former German Major General Walter Dornberger, who had been in charge of the entire Nazi rocket program who, “in 1947, as a consultant to the U.S Air Force and adviser to the Department of Defense…wrote a planning paper for his new employers. He proposed a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable or reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger’s idea under the acronym NABS (Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites).”

For my 2001 book, Weapons in Space, Manno told me that “control over the Earth” was what those who have wanted to weaponize space seek. He said the Nazi scientists are an important “historical and technical link, and also an ideological link….The aim is to…have the capacity to carry out global warfare, including weapons systems that reside in space.”

But then came the Outer Space Treaty put together by the U.S., Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. In the 2001 TV documentary I wrote and narrate, “Star Wars Returns.”

Craig Eisendrath, who had been a U.S. State Department officer involved in its creation, notes that the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik, in 1957 and “we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized…to keep war out of space.”

Adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966, it entered into force in 1967. It has been ratified or signed by 123 nations.

It provides that nations “undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in space in any other manner.”

Atomic physicist Edward Teller, the main figure in developing the hydrogen bomb and instrumental in founding Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, pitched to Ronald Reagan, when he was governor of California visiting the lab, a plan of orbiting hydrogen bombs which became the initial basis for Reagan’s “Star Wars.” The bombs were to energize X-ray lasers. “As the bomb at the core of an X-ray battle station exploded, multiple beams would flash out to strike multiple targets before the entire station consumed itself in in a ball of nuclear fire,” explained New York Times journalist William Broad in his 1986 book Star Warriors.

Subsequently there was a shift in “Star Wars” to orbiting battle platforms with nuclear reactors or “super” plutonium-fueled radioisotope thermoelectric generators on board that would provide the power for hypervelocity guns, particle beams and laser weapons.

The rapid boil of “Star Wars” under Reagan picked up again under the administrations George H. W. Bush and son George W. Bush. And all along the U.S. military has been gung-ho on space warfare.

A U.S. Space Command was formed in 1982.

“US Space Command—dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict,” it trumpeted in its 1998 report Vision for 2020. It laid out these words to resemble the crawl at the start of the Star Warsmovies. The U.S. Space Command was set up by the Pentagon to “help institutionalize the use of space.” Or, as the motto of one of its units declares, to be “Master of Space.”

Vision for 2020states, “Historically, military forces have evolved to protect national interests and investments-both military and economic.” Nations built navies “to protect and enhance their commercial interests” and during “the westward expansion of the United States, military outposts and the cavalry emerged to protect our wagon trains, settlements and railroads. The emergence of space power follows both of these models. During the early portion of the 2lst Century, space power will also evolve into a separate and equal medium of warfare.”

“It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen,” remarked U.S. Space Command Commander-in-Chief Joseph W. Ashy in Aviation Week and Space Technology (8/9/96):

“Some people don’t want to hear this, and it sure isn’t in vogue, but—absolutely—we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight fromspace and we’re going to fight intospace…. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space.”

Or as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Keith R. Hall told the National Space Club in 1997: “With regard to space dominance, we have it, we like it and we’re going to keep it.”

The basic concept of the Pentagon’s approach to space is contained in The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century. Written by “arms experts” George and Meredith Friedman, the 1996 book concludes: “Just as by the year 1500 it was apparent that the European experience of power would be its domination of the global seas, it does not take much to see that the American experience of power will rest on the domination of space. Just as Europe expanded war and its power to the global oceans, the United States is expanding war and its power into space and to the planets. Just as Europe shaped the world for a half a millennium [by dominating the oceans with fleets], so too the United States will shape the world for at least that length of time.”

Or as a 2001 report of the U.S. Space Commission led by then U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld asserted: “In the coming period the U.S. will conduct operations to, from, in and through space in support of its national interests both on the earth and in space.”

Nuclear power and space weaponry are intimately linked.

“In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict,” stated New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 21st Century, a 1996 US Air Force board report. “These advances will enable lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills.” However, “power limitations impose restrictions” on such space weaponry making them “relatively unfeasible,” but “a natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space.” Says the report: “Setting the emotional issues of nuclear power aside, this technology offers a viable alternative for large amounts of power in space.”

Or as General James Abrahamson, director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, put it at a Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion, “without reactors in orbit [there is] going to be a long, long light [extension] cord that goes down to the surface of the Earth” to power space weaponry.

Thus nuclear power would be needed for weapons in space.

Since 1985 there have been attempts at the UN to expand the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 to prohibit not only nuclear weapons but all weapons from space. This is called the Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) treaty and leading in urging its passage have been Canada, Russia and China. There has been virtually universal backing from nations around the world for it. But by balking, U.S. administration after administration has prevented its passage.

Although waging war in space was hotly promoted by the Reagan and Bush administrations and ostensibly discouraged by the Obama administration and Clinton administration, all U.S. administrations have refused to sign on to the PAROS treaty.

In my book Weapons in Space, I relate a presentation I gave at a conference at the UN in Geneva in 1999 on the eve of a vote the next day on PAROS. I spoke about the “military use of space being planned by the U.S.” being “in total contradiction of the principles of peaceful international cooperation that the U.S. likes to espouse” and “pushes us—all of us—to war in the heavens.”

I was followed by Wang Xiaoyu, first secretary of the Delegation of China, who declared: “Outer space is he common heritage of human beings. It should be used for peaceful purposes…It must not be weaponized and become another arena of the arms race.”

The next day, on my way to observe the vote, I saw a U.S. diplomat who had been at my presentation. We approached each other and he said he would like to talk to me, anonymously. He said, on the street in front of the UN buildings, that the U.S has trouble with its citizenry in fielding a large number of troops on the ground. But the U.S military believes “we can project power from space” and that was why the military was moving in this direction. I questioned him on whether, if the U.S. moved ahead with weapons in space, other nations would meet the U.S. in kind, igniting an arms race in space. He replied that the U.S. military had done analyses and determined that China was “30 years behind” in competing with the U.S. militarily in space and Russia “doesn’t have the money.” Then he went to vote and I watched as again there was overwhelming international support for the PAROS treaty—but the U.S. balked. And because a consensus was needed for the passage of the treaty, it was blocked once more.

And this was during the Clinton administration.

With the Trump administration, there is more than non-support of the PAROS treaty but now a drive by the U.S. to weaponize space.

It could be seen—and read about—coming.

“Under Trump, GOP to Give Space Weapons Close Look,” was the headline of an article in 2016 in Washington-based Roll Call. It said “Trump’s thinking on missile defense and military space programs have gotten next to no attention, as compared to the president-elect’s other defense proposals….But experts expect such programs to account for a significant share of what is likely to be a defense budget boost, potentially amounting to $500 billion or more in the coming decade.”

Intense support for the plan was anticipated from the GOP-dominated Congress. Roll Call mentionedthat Representative Trent Franks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and an Arizona Republican, “said the GOP’s newly strengthened hand in Washington means a big payday is coming for programs aimed at developing weapons that can be deployed in space.”

In a speech in March at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station near San Diego, Trump declared: “My new national strategy for space recognizes that space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea. We may even have a Space Force—develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force; we’ll have the Space Force.”

Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, notes that Trump cannot establish a Space Force on his own—that Congressional authorization and approval is needed. And last year, Gagnon points out, an attempt to establish what was called a Space Corps within the Air Force passed in the House but “stalled in the Senate.”

“Thus at this point it is only a suggestion,” said Gagnon of the Maine-based Global Network.

“I think though,” Gagnon went on, “his proposal indicates that the aerospace industry has taken full control of the White House and we can be sure that Trump will use all his ‘Twitter powers’ to push this hard in the coming months.”

Meanwhile, relates Gagnon, there is the “steadily mounting” U.S. “fiscal crisis…Some years ago one aerospace industry publication editorialized that they needed a ‘dedicated funding source’ to pay for space plans and indicated that it had come up with it—the entitlement programs. That means the industry is now working to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and what little is left of the welfare program. You want to help stop Star Wars and Trump’s new Space Force. Fight for Social Security and social progress in America. Trump and the aerospace industry can’t have it both ways—it’s going to be social progress or war in space.”

As Robert Anderson of New Mexico, a board member of the Global Network, puts it: “There is no money for water in Flint, Michigan or a power grid in Puerto Rico, but there is money to wage war in space.”

Or as another Global Network director, J. Narayana Rao of India, comments: “President Donald Trump has formally inaugurated weaponization of space in announcing that the U.S. should establish a Space Force which will lead to an arms race in outer space.”

Russian officials are protesting the Trump Space Force plan, “Militarization of space is a way to disaster,”Viktor Bondarev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee, told the RIA news agency the day after the announcement. This Space Force would be operating in “forbidden skies.” He said Moscow is ready to “strongly retaliate” if the US violates the Outer Space Treaty by putting weapons of mass destruction in space.

And opposition among legislators in Washington has begun. “Thankfully the president cannot do it without Congress because now is NOT the time to rip the Air Force apart,” tweeted Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

“Space as a warfighting domain is the latest obscenity in a long list of vile actions by a vile administration,” writes Linda Pentz Gunter, who specializes in international nuclear issues for the organization Beyond Nuclear, this week. “Space is for wonder. It’s where we live. We are a small dot in the midst of enormity, floating in a dark vastness about which we know a surprising amount, and yet with so much more still mysteriously unknown.”

“A Space Force is not an aspiration unique to the Trump administration, of course,” she continued on the Beyond Nuclear International website of the Takoma Park, Maryland group, “but it feels worse in his reckless hands.”

More articles by:KARL GROSSMAN

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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This Performance Is a Uniquely American Brand of Authoritarianism
« Reply #3254 on: June 26, 2018, 10:01:58 AM »
This Performance Is a Uniquely American Brand of Authoritarianism
Some Trump supporters know it's a shtick. That doesn't make the consequences any less real.


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Like it or not, this country that has for so long called itself Exceptional can now take some cues from other nations—specifically, those that slid into authoritarianism.

We have a president who attacks and seeks to undermine all institutions of democracy that provide a check on his power, from an independent judiciary and the rule of law to the free press. (The Republican Congress no longer merits a mention.) He combines that with dehumanizing attacks on vulnerable social minorities, whom he blames for the country's problems—real and imagined. He has cultivated a base of support whose members have incorporated support for The Leader into their basic identities.

And, as Filipino author Rin Chupeco put it so well in a series of tweets early Tuesday morning, all this has been met by a chattering class of predominantly white elites who deny efforts to resist the slide into autocracy on the basis they are "uncivil."

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

Speaking as someone born in the last years of a dictatorship, you Americans are already several steps in one.

Ferdinand Marcos' greatest trick was convincing people all protesters were communist animals, so when they went missing, few cared. Even after bodies were discovered.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

Speaking as someone born in the last years of a dictatorship, you Americans are already several steps in one.

Ferdinand Marcos' greatest trick was convincing people all protesters were communist animals, so when they went missing, few cared. Even after bodies were discovered.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

These white people & journalists talking about being civil? These were the rich people, the Fil-Chinese, the mestizos in the Philippines who knew they won't be affected by many of Marcos' policies, and therefore could ignore them even as the killings started.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

But Filipinos have always been susceptible to strongman personality cults, just like your Republicans.

(Yeah don't @ me on this one, Repubs still singing Reagan's praises despite the fact he was FRIENDS with Marcos and helped him retain power, making it 1000x worse for us.)

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

White people, journalists who insist on civility- you seem to think civility is a common ground you share with opponents like Trump et al. Here's a clue - whenever you offer these assholes middle ground, they will invade that space & then claim you never gave them ground at all.

This was in evidence at President Trump's rally in South Carolina Monday night, which was nominally on behalf of South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. In reality, it could only ever be about Trump. This was a full exhibition of the Trumpianid, as herated late-night hostsandtalked up his verification-free nuclear deal with Kim Jong-unand explained thatif Melania Trump had gotten a facelift, he would let you know.

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But one moment in particular spoke to Chupeco's point:

Aaron Rupar @atrupar

Trump detours into telling the crowd about a backhanded compliment filmmaker David Lynch gave him, then tells his audience that they are "the super elites."

"Look, everybody here makes money, works hard, pays taxes. Does a great job." pic.twitter.com/pECbx0uF1K

Aaron Rupar @atrupar

Trump calls the media "the enemy of the people," then brags about a woman who was recently interviewed and said there was nothing Trump could possibly do to lose her support. pic.twitter.com/pHuDcFM4XW

Here Trump called the free press "the enemy of the people," a suggestion it spreads false information to the detriment of Trump and, in his extended view, the country. Except he then told the story of a supporter who said she would never abandon him, which the president learned about because ... members of "the media" interviewed her. This is part of a long-running performance from Trump,who has openly admitted he attacks the media as "fake" to defend himself against legitimate negative reporting, and that when he says "fake news," he really means negative coverage:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?

Of course, the most troubling thing about Trump's account a fan is that she has completely abdicated her responsibility as a citizen to hold her elected representative accountable, instead pledging undying fealty to a politician. (You don't really have to trust Trump on this—accounts like this are common among Trump supporters.) But both sides of this point to the irrelevance of facts, and even intention.

It doesn't matter that Trump openly admits he derides legitimate coverage as fake. It doesn't matter that this entire thing is delivered in bad faith, just like all the calls for "civility." What matters is the performance: Trump, the strongman leader, bashing the Enemies. That includes undocumented immigrants, but it also includes the free press, Democrats, late-night hosts, and anyone else who might stand in the way of The Movement. The details aren't important.

This has filtered down to the fanbase, which had a fascinating encounter with CNN's Jim Acosta last night at the rally.

Chuck@Hyduch

This is just....wow. Trumpers scream at CNN, then ask for autographs, then ask for on air shout outs. Attention seeking morons
https://twitter.com/i/moments/1011402213401358336 

Embedded image permalink

CNN and Jim Acosta weren't exactly welcomed at Trump's South Carolina rally

Politics

The network, which President Trump has often branded as "fake news," was a target at his Monday rally. White House reporter Jim Acosta took the brunt of the backlash as chants of "go home, Jim"...

Moments

At least some of Trump's supporters understand his shtick as a performance, and they engage in it, too. That's why they're ready with "Build the Wall" and "Lock Her Up!" chants, even when they're only tangentially related to whatever he's ranting about. All the world's a stage, and even Acosta got in on the act, signing autographs for people who just assaulted his integrity and suggested he did not belong there. And yet the performance, at its root, is a primal scream from White America in defense of a social order fast eroding under strain from monumental forces of change.

And of course, Trump's performance has real consequences:

therealkenidrawoods @KenidraRWoods_

A friend, Esteban Guzman sent me this video of a racist white woman harassing him while out working with his mom.

"Why do you hate us?"
"Because you're Mexicans."
"We are honest people right here!"
"Haha..yeah.. rapists & animals."

Trump supporters always reveal themselves 1/2

This reality show presidency is a uniquely American flavor of authoritarianism. Citizens from the national home ofThe Bachelorrequire only a thin veneer of reality to paper over the obvious money-grabbing deceit of the production in order to be taken in. This is our version of the authoritarian slide, in which The Leaderrants about Jimmy Fallonand whether his wife got a facelift as he attacks the institutions of democracy that safeguard a free society. The entire production is carried out in complete bad faith, just like when Sarah Huckabee Sanders—who works for a man whoinvents demeaning nicknames for opponents, bragged aboutgrabbing women "by the pussy,"andcalls predominantly black and brown countries "shitholes"—insists we need civil discourse.

It is a way of waging the trench war against any and all constraints on the range of acceptable discourse, the range of acceptable behavior, and The Leader's power. It's just our American version of the same impulses Chupeco highlighted:

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

So you shift the goalposts, and you enable the gaslighting, even if inadvertently. "Maybe if YOU hadn't been so rude they wouldn't have done that."

Bullshit. You KNOW they'll do it anyway because again, your goddamn status quo.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

People invested in putting kids in cages don't want your civility. They don't want you to extend them the same courtesy they never had - and never wanted - from you. What they want is for you to retreat.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

People invested in putting kids in cages don't want your civility. They don't want you to extend them the same courtesy they never had - and never wanted - from you. What they want is for you to retreat.

Rin Chupeco@RinChupeco

And every ground you grudgingly give, hoping that they'll construe that as some good faith on your part, is only an incentive for them to push harder until you have no ground left.

Then they're going to tell you they've owned the land all along.

Chupeco's whole thread is worth reading.

The president again suggested we should suspend due process for people captured at the border last night. He is creeping up the field, seizing first the shallow ground allotted to the most vulnerable among us. No amount of civil discourse is going to convince him to turn back, or persuade any of his supporters they have chosen the wrong path. It might be reality TV, but the supporters don't want to know. They're enjoying the show. The tax cuts might be reserved for the rich, but the attacks on the Other are all theirs to savor. Where will the next attack be, the next ground seized?

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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