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1
Marathon Man Newz / Re: Harvard To Hold Black Graduation
« Last post by Eddie on Today at 11:26:05 AM »
The famous black SAIC artist who introduced the fashion designer who got her 3rd honorary doctorate?

He bought two pieces my kid made for his MFA show. My son's very first income as a working artist, nearly $3000. It will help him out a lot this  month as he transitions to working adulthood. I'm impressed. It was a huge student show, with many, many decent pieces of art.

I wasn't blown away by my son's work. I'm very glad someone with a broad artistic experience found it worth buying.
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Economics / Re: The Unemployed & Underemployed
« Last post by RE on Today at 11:16:37 AM »

What I think, based on my own experience, is that people who can find something in life worth pursuing with passion, generally accomplish more, and lead lives that are more personally fulfilling, than other people. Sometimes that comes with the job, but it might come from some other worthwhile pursuit.

Doom has been a very worthwhile pursuit for me for a decade.  :icon_sunny:  Pays like shit though.

RE
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Medicine & Health / Re: The Grim Reaper Comes Knocking
« Last post by RE on Today at 11:14:23 AM »
OK, I have developed a Plan A & Plan B for the End Game here.  One way or the other, I will be out of Alaska by September of 2017.  It's just waiting in LDs PMs for approval.

In Plan A, I make it through my hearing and August still above ground.  Then it is pack up and move out time to the Lower 48.

In Plan B, the metabolic system gives out before then, in which case I leave Alaska by leaving corporeal existence altogether.

I don't expect a sudden death in my sleep or while sitting on the throne, those usually only come from heart attacks, and my ticker appears to be in reasonably good shape.  That and my brain are the only organs I have left still in reasonably good working order, everything else is shot to hell.  So I expect to have at least a few days of warning.

RE
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Economics / Re: The Unemployed & Underemployed
« Last post by Eddie on Today at 11:14:07 AM »
One of the things I did during my period of unemployment was to volunteer for a charity. Whilst I did do this for many reasons most of which were not altruistic a big reason was the desire to give something back to the local community. It is ironic but when I look back at that unpaid job I feel I actually made more of a difference to society than the current job I have today which I am paid for.

When you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, you usually don't get penalized. Sometimes you get rewarded.

What I think, based on my own experience, is that people who can find something in life worth pursuing with passion, generally accomplish more, and lead lives that are more personally fulfilling, than other people. Sometimes that comes with the job, but it might come from some other worthwhile pursuit.
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Economics / Re: The Unemployed & Underemployed
« Last post by Eddie on Today at 11:03:22 AM »
I don't think the current generation of males is exceptionally lazy or exceptionally entitled.

No, and I didn't say that. But it's always been easy, in recent history, to get a job. Even if you had no particular skill set, and even if you weren't highly motivated. Now that's changed, and attitudes about work and education have to change.

That change could be manifested by males engaging in more cut-throat competition in school and on the job, but instead it's being manifested by something else in many cases...like shooting heroin.

It's largely an Anglo problem too. Nobody else expects to get a bird's nest on the ground. Parents are clueless, and do nothing to prepare their kids for a life where only the strong and motivated make it.

That won't be a problem for my boys.  I got the message loud and clear.  I often say that what I needed was a father to keep my head out of the idealism balloon.  Several times in my life I needed that.  I dropped out of college on a full paid academic scholarship and with a 4.0 because I got bored, started writing a book, my girlfriend broke up with me (who later turned out to be gay), and my mother wanted to move back to California and was just waiting on me to finish college.  I needed a father to say "you will not drop out, get your degree and then you can be a roustabout idealist if that's what you want, but get your degree first."  That is exactly what I will tell my sons.  Then when I got kicked out of the navy, I needed a father to say "no, finish your time, I know it is miserable, and you hate your life, but when you finish you will be able to make good money working in Nuclear power, or some other profession where you can use your military experience.  I know what our government is doing is horrible, but it's going to happen whether you participate or not.  If you get kicked out you will only be hurting yourself and all of those innocent people will still die." 

These are all my mistakes.  I'm not trying to lay blame on anyone.  I'm just saying that I believe if I had a father whom I loved and respected, that I might have listened to him.  I only had my mother, and she did the best she could, but a mother can't be a father and visa versa. 

I've managed to find a way so far, but that's come at a cost.  I live with my wife's aunt.  I have struggled with this every since we have been here.  I have struggled with the inability to be a "provider" and provide my family with a roof of our own.  I have struggled with feeling insecure as a man because of this, even though I willingly decided to resign from EMS to pursue permaculture and a more collapse proof life...or so I thought.  I was probably correct in the decision to do what I did.  I had burned out from EMS and was close to a mental crack up...very close actually.  I tried fukitol and it just made shit worse...literally, by constipating me.  I had to quit that line of work, and I would have had little options to do anything meaningful as a career. 

These days about the only thing I figure I could stomach would be to get a cdl and drive a truck.  That's what my biological father did before the system spit him out.  I figure I can do that because at least I won't have to deal with other people much.  I'd likely get fat as fuck though, just like my father did, and I'd shorten my life and die from an MI at a motel six while on the road trucking just like my truck driving grandpa did.  Besides truck driving days are numbered as we all know so well here on the Diner.  Still, in the event my business doesn't make it, which will just take a downturn in the economy, driving a truck is what I'll end up doing. 

My business is doing really well.  I have really good clients.  But it's just landscaping and anyone with a push mower, weed eater, blower, jerry can, and truck can do it, and they do, and they do it for a fraction of what I have to get.  I bill at $50 an hour, and the only reason I can even run this business successfully is because I don't have to pay rent or a mortgage.  Which was by design...part of the logic behind trying to get my life to be more "collapse proof."  If I had to pay $800 a month for rent somewhere it would be next to impossible.  We'd be eating Ramen noodles three times a day and drinking nothing but water.  To top it all off my credit is fucked due to too many credit cards.  I'm really ashamed that I allowed myself into that trap, but I did, and now my near perfect credit is in the toilet.  This will make it very difficult for me to get a job in the event my business doesn't pan out. 

I've had a 4.0 in college, been a nuclear engineer, and a medic, and I dropped out of all of those things.  I should have been a fucking doctor and not be worried about money, but that's not what I did.  I have the brains, and I'm even pretty fortunate in life, but I've struggled with abandonment issues all of my life due to a father that was not equipped to be a family man.  He's just a weak person in the end.  Even now he doesn't want to have anything to do with me or my kids.  He spends his days on his fat ass on his couch staring at the tube all day long...eating.  I've already mourned his death. 

My son's will have a father.  No matter how bad it gets.  Even if I have no job and no money.  Even if I end up 40 years old working at McD's.  God I hope that doesn't happen.  Actually, it wouldn't.  Can't.  I'd end up living in the woods before I'd do that.  Because working in fast food, or some other pointless service job that doesn't pay even enough to have your own place to live, would result in severe depression.  I think I'd be able to live in the woods as a wild man to stay alive and not depressed before I'd go down that road.  I'd still be in my son's life though.  If for no other reason then to help prepare them for the fucked up world they will receive upon becoming adults. 

Recently I had the epiphany that what makes an adult is to be self motivated.  That ain't everything, but it's a big part of it.

When I was young I never thought that the greatest contribution I'd make in life would be to act as an example for and to be an influence on my own children. But looking back that's exactly what I think. If you'd asked me at age 25 though, those things wouldn't have even been on my list.

The best things I managed to get across:

Each of us is responsible for his/her own life. You can blame others or circumstances, or collapse, or anything you want, for making life hard. But only right action can overcome whatever your obstacles are in your way.

Perseverance is usually necessary to reach any worthwhile goal. Failure is not the end, but giving up on oneself usually is.

Never accept public opinion or whatever authority hands down for you to believe. Think for yourself. If it walks like a duck and looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.....it's most likely a duck. Use your own common sense.

Your boys will do fine. You're a good dad, but more importantly, you found a good woman, and you two stand together.
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Dear Anthony,

This isn’t a ‘worst-case scenario’ anymore: Trump has made his proposed budget public.1 As expected, the cuts are reckless.

Trump wants to cut a whopping $57 billion from critical domestic programs — starving communities of resources needed to thrive and slashing critical environmental protections — all in order to spend even more on defense contractors and military buildup abroad.

The good news: Trump's proposal is far from final. It's up to Congress to pass a final budget — and that's still months away. We MUST react quickly to show how outrageous Trump's plan really is: Tell your members of Congress to reject Trump's anti-American agenda.

Trump's proposed budget is hundreds of pages long, and there's a lot of bad stuff in there. Here are five of the very worst components:

1 - Trump wants to gut the EPA protections. The Environmental Protection Agency was created to enforce laws like the Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Air Act that save countless lives every year — but Trump is doing everything he can to cripple the agency's ability to do its job. He wants to cut staff (including career scientists), dismantle key programs like the Environmental Justice enforcement program, end grants to states for issues like lead poisoning, eliminate regional water cleanup efforts and slash funding for enforcement activities.

2 - Trump wants to cut renewable energy.
Jobs in renewable energy are outpacing fossil fuels by nearly 4 to 1 — yet Trump wants to cut renewable energy and energy efficiency by 70% in the federal budget.2 Investing in renewable energy is not just cost effective, it will create jobs, improve public health and help us prevent the unpredictable and dangerous impacts of climate change. We absolutely cannot let Trump grant the fossil fuel industry their number one wish. Our planet is out of time — we must move America OFF fossil fuels immediately.

3 - Trump wants to put Wall Street in charge of our nation's water systems. While infrastructure investment is desperately needed in our country, Trump’s budget would rely on private financing, which has a nasty track record of costing taxpayers more money than publicly run infrastructure. What we actually need is dedicated, national funding for our infrastructure – like the WATER Act.

4 - Trump wants to cut food stamps by $193 billion and cut food safety staff. Almost 44 million people received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance in 2016, meaning that cuts to this program would affect tens of millions of people and make it harder for them to get the food they need.3 Trump's budget would also cut funding for the Food and Drug Administration's food safety program, including reducing staff levels, and would cut funding for the Centers for Disease Control, which tracks and responds to foodborne illness outbreaks.

5 - Trump wants to end reporting on carbon emissions and cut climate programs. In doing so, Trump would devastate progress we’ve made on limiting climate change pollution. And his plans to end programs designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions is a nod to the oil and gas industry — an industry to which his cabinet has disturbingly close ties.4

It's up to us — people across the country with a direct line to our members of Congress — to demand they REJECT Trump's plans.

We still have time, but you need to act now: Send a strong message today to oppose Trump's dangerous budget!

Thanks for taking action,

Miranda Carter
 Online Organizing Director
 Food & Water Watch
 act@fwwatch.org


1. Trump proposes dramatic changes to federal government, slashing safety net programs that affect up to a fifth of Americans, Washington Post, May 23, 2017.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/23/trump-proposes-dramatic-changes-to-federal-government-slashing-safety-net-programs-that-affect-up-to-a-fifth-of-americans/

2. Solar Employs More People In U.S. Electricity Generation Than Oil, Coal And Gas Combined
, Forbes, January 25, 2017.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/25/u-s-solar-energy-employs-more-people-than-oil-coal-and-gas-combined-infographic/#32d7ba5a2800

3. Trump to propose big cuts to safety net in new budget, slashing Medicaid and opening door to other limits, Washington Post, May 21, 2017.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-to-propose-big-cuts-to-safety-net-in-new-budget-this-week/

4. Trump's Budget Slashes Climate Change Funding, NPR,
March 16, 2017.
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/16/520399205/trumps-budget-slashes-climate-change-funding
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Geopolitics / Re:19 Dead at Brit Concert
« Last post by RE on Today at 11:00:45 AM »
22 dead they say now. And the perp was a 22 (or maybe 23 depending on who you read) year old UK citizen born to Libyan parents. He might or might not have recently visited Libya. The radio says he probably didn't make the bomb himself, because it was too sophisticated and they don't think he had the skills.

Poor kids. Pretty harsh punishment for having poor taste in music. It probably won't do much for the concert promotion business. I wouldn't let my kids out in that kind of venue if I had young children and lived in Europe or Britain.

One wonders how long it will be before such bombings take place here in the FSoA?

One also wonders where he got the explosives, and what they were?  It had to be a pretty powerful device to take out that many people.

RE
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Agelbert Newz / Update on the Swamp II: Zinke is busy, busy, busy
« Last post by agelbert on Today at 10:47:48 AM »
 


SOLUTIONS:
Stop hoping we can fix climate change by pulling carbon out of the air, scientists warn (Washington Post $), Al Gore at Cannes: 'Trump cannot stop the solutions to the climate crisis' (The Guardian, AP, Reuters)   
 

NEWS
 


•Climate Cowards — and Heroes (New York Times, David Leonhardt column $)

•Mountain Valley Pipeline disrespects our landscape, our opinions (Roanoake Times, Andrew Downs op-ed)

•A Momentous Month for Tackling Climate Change (Forbes, Mindy Lubber op-ed)

•Why Scientific Consensus Is Worth Taking Seriously (Bloomberg View, Faye Flam column)

•EPA transition leader says the agency is ‘an impending disaster for Trump’ (ThinkProgress, Joe Romm column)

•How inaction on climate change puts America's economy at risk (The Hill, Valerie Klarpus op-ed)

 
DENIER ROUNDUP


Update on the Swamp II: Zinke Hides from Greens & Trump Hides Lobbyists, but There’s No Hiding Industry Influence at EPA

While the president is overseas (definitely NOT performing Satanic rituals), scrutiny of his cabinet of deniers continues apace. Let’s take a look at what broke over the weekend.

At the Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin takes a closer look at the company Interior Secretary Zinke has been keeping since his appointment. “Company” is the right word: according to the Post,
Zinke's been meeting almost exclusively with oil and gas industry executives or representatives   , while the Native American and environment stakeholders traditionally involved with managing public lands have gotten the cold shoulder.

Meanwhile over at the New York Times, Eric Lipton reports on just how serious Trump was about draining the swamp (spoiler: not very).


Not only is Trump hiring lobbyists despite his own ban on doing so, but now the administration is trying to keep those decisions secret so the public doesn’t even know what swamp creatures have been hired. The Office of Government Ethics requested the information (something Obama made public automatically) and the Trump administration responded with a letter that says, in so many words, "nah."

Fortunately, there are always other ways to suss out industry influence, and this administration is not subtle. A Saturday NYT story by Hiroko Tabuchi and (again) Eric Lipton highlights the unabashed industrial influence in Trump's DC by examining the tight relationship between Devon Energy and Scott Pruitt. Less than a week after Pruitt officially took his new gig, Devon sent the EPA a letter saying that it was reconsidering settling a case to pay a six-figure fine and install pollution reduction equipment. Instead, it wanted to reopen negotiations, pay a measly $25,000 and scrap plans to clean up its act.

While this reversal is hardly surprising, it’s enough to trigger some Congressional interest. In response to the NYT story, Senator Carper (D-DE) sent a letter to the EPA Saturday requesting information on what the agency’s been up to during Pruitt’s tenure, compared to what it did in terms of enforcement under Obama.

Good luck to Senator Carper though, because so far the Trump administration doesn’t seem to be taking transparency seriously. While the right loved to trash Obama’s promise to be the most transparent administration in history (their criticism to a limited extent warranted), Trump’s certainly not going to claim that mantle. He won’t end up as the third or fourth most transparent administration of the last thirty years.

At this rate, he’d be lucky to take the fifth.  ;D

Trump "Transparency"
9
Geopolitics / Re:19 Dead at Brit Concert
« Last post by Eddie on Today at 10:40:00 AM »
22 dead they say now. And the perp was a 22 (or maybe 23 depending on who you read) year old UK citizen born to Libyan parents. He might or might not have recently visited Libya. The radio says he probably didn't make the bomb himself, because it was too sophisticated and they don't think he had the skills.

Poor kids. Pretty harsh punishment for having poor taste in music. It probably won't do much for the concert promotion business. I wouldn't let my kids out in that kind of venue if I had young children and lived in Europe or Britain.
10
Economics / Re: The Unemployed & Underemployed
« Last post by monsta666 on Today at 09:43:01 AM »
It took me two years to find my first job. It was a nightmare so I understand the frustrations other people my age have with the current economy. I know people who continue to struggle to find meaningful employment i.e. full time employment not part-time or worse zero hour contracts. These difficulties and worsening conditions in multiple facets of life do anger a lot of people and I would not limit this to the young frustrated males but general society. At least in England if you look beyond London and especially to the north people are struggling and not seeing any of the benefits of this economic growth. What we have is yet another debt bubble and when that bubble bursts the anger that is slowly brewing will reach a crescendo. How that anger gets unleashed is the big question...

Taking a step back there is one thing I wanted to highlight, and this relates to LD's talk of dreaming. One of the things I did during my period of unemployment was to volunteer for a charity. Whilst I did do this for many reasons most of which were not altruistic a big reason was the desire to give something back to the local community. It is ironic but when I look back at that unpaid job I feel I actually made more of a difference to society than the current job I have today which I am paid for. In this world, especially in this collapse world were people are so heavily indebted I do wonder about the merits of selling credit cards and loans to people who don't need more debt. But such is society that these things (selling debt) is valued and thus paid for despite the damage it does to people in the long run. And this, to me, highlights what is wrong with society. You can tie yourself in knots with the obvious dissonance that comes with living that life but then dreams don't pay the bills and give you a roof over your head so you must deal with the devil so to speak. I think what is required is balance; you cannot live in dream land and expect a life of any comfort and this becomes even more implausible if you have a family. At the same time I do think there is merit in remaining grounded, humble, not materialistic and most important have some kind of plan B. On this plan B the first and biggest question is how to prepare for post-collapse if you are of limited means. On that count I think your landscaping business has its benefits.
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