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Messages - Surly1

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1
The Kitchen Sink / Re: I don't want to put Emojii's in my newz titles
« on: January 20, 2018, 07:05:37 PM »
Whether you use emojis or not is entirely up to you.  Creative Thinking Interesting Cool 😎 individuals like myself and AG like to use them; Conventional Thinking Boring Uncool 🤤 people like Surly & Eddie do not.
RE


Well said.  ;D ✨  🎋 🎍

I might add that resistance to change is one of those Maslow recogniized traits that, though always present among those lacking flexibility and creativity, increasingly manifest themseves as old age dementia sets in. 🙉
NOTE: If that doesn't pull their chain good and proper, nothing will!

Fuck all y'all.


2
Surly Newz / Re: The Surlynewz Channel
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:18:59 PM »
Quote from: AG
But, IMHO, the main issue here is the willful lack of critical thinking in American society. The big picture involving the ideal this country was founded on is, and always has been, a target for those that see through the soaring rhetoric of the Founding Fathers to the oligarchic seeds they consciously and deliberately planted.

Accounting in large measure for the thirty-year-and continuing war on public education. The standardization and stupefying of curriculum, teaching to standardized tests, the crushing institutionalization, all make for several generation of people who despise learning, and who prefer to get their few sustaining ideas from the corn filched out of Sean Hannity's turds.

Man, I'm getting old.

3
The Diner Pantry / Re: 🐷 Doomstead Diner Breakfast Special: 1/20/2018
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:12:11 PM »
This is a dish I never eat myself.  It's basically your standard bacon/eggs/cheese/potatoes breakfast, but all smushed together in one pan.  I prefer to take bites of each food type separately and enjoy the distinct flavor and texture of each.  This dish is for PIGS 🐷 who like to shovel as much food in their mouth as they can with every bite.

Country Breakfast



I'm with you. could never understand those "breakfast bowl" things. Eeesh. Just bring a feedbag, motherfucker...

4
Surly Newz / Re: Bring on the Asteroid
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:09:49 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3x1zcnKtDHg?rel=0&amp;amp;controls=0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3x1zcnKtDHg?rel=0&amp;amp;controls=0</a>

That one is just TOO funny! 🤣

RE

Perfect for the room, too. Or so I thought!

5
The Kitchen Sink / Re: I don't want to put Emojii's in my newz titles
« on: January 20, 2018, 12:06:19 PM »
It's completely optional because there is abso-fuckin-lutely no way I'm doin' it.

What Eddie said.

6
With the availability of the new ASCII Emojis, I am issuing a new style directive on the Diner.

In the titles on the Subject Line of your post, stick to ONE Emoji, either at the beginning or the end of the title.  Let's not overkill here.

RE

I don't now how to find all these new emojiiii's aND ALSO DON'T KNOW HOW TO PLACE THEM IN THE TITLE?

You can find them here:
http://emojipedia.org

Like you, I have no idea how to get them from the web page to a Diner post. Except like this.



Bah.

7
Surly Newz / Re: The Daily Meme
« on: January 20, 2018, 05:45:11 AM »

8
Geopolitics / Is Money-Laundering the Real Trump Kompromat?
« on: January 20, 2018, 05:12:12 AM »
Is Money-Laundering the Real Trump Kompromat?
In November testimony, Fusion GPSís Glenn Simpson outlined a potential scheme to the House Intelligence Committee, but it hasnít pursued the line of investigation.


Richard Drew / AP
 
 

So far, the release of transcripts of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s interviews with the House Intelligence and Senate Judiciary committees have provided rich detail to obsessives but few major headlines for the average reader. The interviews give some more clarity on how Fusion came to investigate Donald Trump, who was paying the company, and how it gathered information, but they offer much help in assessing the Trump dossier.

Perhaps the most interesting thread is Simpson’s suggestion that the Trump Organization could have been used by Russians to launder money—an arrangement that would have both allowed Kremlin-linked figures to scrub cash and would have created possible blackmail material over the now-president, since the Russian government would be aware that a crime had been committed.

“I've felt all along in the Russia investigation that the most important issues were those that had the potential of exerting a continuing influence over the administration and over U.S. policy,” Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told me Friday. “And if the Russians were laundering money through the Trump Organization, the Russians would know it, the president would know it, and that could be very powerful leverage.”

In the interviews, Simpson is cagey about some of his business practices, and professes ignorance about the sources used by Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who assembled the reports in the dossier. (Since lying to the committee would be a crime, it’s reasonable to assume his testimony is not deliberately false.) What’s most interesting is all the threads Simpsons mentions about possible Trump connections he’d reviewed with various Russians, with mobsters, and with others. For the most part, they’re just allegations: If Simpson has proof, it’s not disclosed in the transcripts. More often, they seem like tantalizing possibilities worth exploring more, but which Simpson was unable to nail down.

In the House Intelligence Committee transcript, released Thursday, Schiff quizzes Simpson on the idea that the Trump Organization served as a forum for money-laundering.

The theory is that both sides would have something to gain. For Russian oligarchs and mobsters, there’s a need to launder money. “Generally speaking, the patterns of activity that we thought might be suggestive of money laundering were, you know, fast turnover deals and deals where there seemed to have been efforts to disguise the identity of the buyer,” Simpson told the committee in November. Trump, meanwhile, was in need of liquidity, because many banks were unwilling to do business with him after a corporate bankruptcy, and Russian buyers could provide quick infusions of cash. In other cases, the Trump Organization has appeared to have gone out of its way to avoid doing due diligence on business partners.

But while Simpson saw disturbing patterns, he was unable to nail anything down, because he couldn’t get the relevant records from banks and other financial institutions. Schiff posed an interesting question: Simpson didn’t have subpoena power, but the committee did. Who should it subpoena if it wanted to learn more? Simpson laid out a roadmap for Schiff:

So the first thing that I would do would be to subpoena the brokers and the people, the other people that were involved in the transactions, and the title companies and the other intermediaries that would have that kind of information. Then I would go to the banks next. But I actually think some of the intermediary entities in a lot of these transactions are going to be where a lot of the information is….

I'm trying to think of the creative way to do this. I mean, as you may know, you know, most of these transactions are cleared through New York. And the other sort of central place for information is SWIFT in Brussels. But I would go for the clearing banks in New York that cleared the transactions, you know. And there's—again, it's these sort of intermediary entities that have no real interest in protecting the information, and all you have to do is ask for it and they just sort of produced by rote. So we've done a lot of money laundering investigations where we go to the trust companies and the clearing entities. And so, you know, all dollar transactions are generally cleared through New York. So, you know, the main thing you have to do is identify the banks that were used.

Simpson also named a series of people and companies from which he’d seek information.

But Schiff told me Friday that the committee had been unable to follow this roadmap, because Republican members are not interested. He noted that the committee had gone to court to force Fusion GPS to turn over its own bank records. “They're only interested in financial transactions that involve Fusion GPS, apparently,” Schiff said.

Of all the questions surrounding Trump and Russia, the question of whether the Kremlin could have laundered money through the Trump Organization in order to blackmail Trump has not often held the spotlight, obscured behind more direct connections, like discussions between Russian officials and Trump campaign officials like Donald Trump Jr. or George Papadapoulos, or more lurid ones from the Trump dossier.

Schiff, however, has long been interested in the idea. “The allegation that concerns me most is ... the issue of money laundering, and not money laundering alone by Mr. Manafort but whether the Russians also laundered money through the Trump Organization,” he told me in October. “I mention that because when most people think of kompromat, they think of the salacious video. But if the Russians were laundering money... that would be a very powerful lever the Russians would have over the president of the United States.”

Schiff noted that Steve Bannon told Michael Wolff in Fire and Fury that he believed money-laundering investigations were a real threat to the Trump administration.

“Before we looked into the allegations that Trump campaign people were surreptitiously meeting with the Russians it was only an allegation, but it proved to be all too true,” Schiff said. “Before we looked into allegations that Mike Flynn was having secret communications with the Russians and that the Trump transition might be seeking to undermine the sanctions imposed on Russia over its interference to help the Trump campaign, that was only an allegation, but that proved to be true. There's simply no way to either verify or be able to dismiss these serious allegations without looking into them.”

Schiff said his first priority would be to obtain records from Deutsche Bank, which did business with Trump when most banks would not. Last year, New York state fined Deutsche Bank $425 million over a scheme that laundered $10 billion out of Russia, one of several hefty fines levied on the bank by regulators worldwide in recent years.

Though relations between the Republican and Democratic members of the intelligence committee remain contentious, they seem to have improved since Chairman Devin Nunes stepped aside from the investigation amidst a bizarre escapade, in which the White House appeared to be feeding Nunes claims of ethical lapses by the Obama administration in handling intelligence information.

But the partisan tensions bubbled over again Friday, with a skirmish over a report apparently produced by a splinter faction of Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee led by Nunes. The GOP majority voted Thursday night to share the report with colleagues, but not to release it to the general public. By Friday morning, however, Republican members of Congress were demanding the memo be made public—with their calls being amplified by Russian-linked Twitter accounts.

The exact contents of the report are unclear, but it appears to allege wrongdoing on the part of the Justice Department and FBI in handling surveillance. Representative Steve King of Iowa described it as “worse than Watergate.”

But given his recent history of making splashy but unsupported claims, it’s difficult to grant Nunes the benefit of the doubt. In the spring, he made a series of extremely serious allegations against the Obama administration, including improper surveillance of Trump aides. No proof of those allegations emerged, and the Justice Department has since said there was no surveillance. It soon became clear that Nunes was receiving information from White House staffers (who have since been pushed out of the White House), even as he was overseeing an ostensibly independent investigation into the president.

One source told Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand that the present memo represented “a level of irresponsible stupidity that I cannot fathom” and “purposefully misconstrues facts and leaves out important details.”

Schiff accused Republicans who have circulated the memo of carrying water for the White House. “It’s a bit of a hodgepodge of false statements and misleading representations,” he said, and argued that the report sought to mislead the public, relying on the expectation that the classified information that underpins and contextualizes it would never be made public.

“Most of the majority members have not read the underlying materials and have acknowledged as much, so they are voting to release information that they have not read the underlying materials,” Schiff said.

Republican Mike Conaway, a Republican who replaced Nunes as the chief of the Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, told Politico he did not expect the report to become public, but his office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why.


9
Diner Newz & Multimedia / Re: Doomstead Diner Comic Strip
« on: January 20, 2018, 05:05:54 AM »

10
Surly Newz / A Year of Donald Trump in the White House
« on: January 20, 2018, 05:04:36 AM »
A Year of Donald Trump in the White House

By

 

January 19, 2018

What has happened is worse than we want to pretend. But it happened for highly specific and contingent causes, and the means of remedying them have not yet passed.

Photograph by Daniel Acker / Bloomberg / Getty

Living as we do, on what is—as hard as it may be to believe—the first anniversary of Donald Trump in power, we find ourselves caught in a quarrel between Trump optimists and Trump pessimists, and one proof of how right the Trump pessimists have been is that the kind of thing that the Trump optimists are now saying ought to make you optimistic. Basically, their argument amounts to the claim that the stock market remains up, the government isn’t suspended, and the President’s critics aren’t in internment camps. In the pages of The Economist, as in the columns of the Times, one frequently reads some form of this not-very-calming reassurance: Trump may be an enemy of republican government, and a friend to tyrants, while alienating our oldest friends in fellow-democracies, but while he may want to be a tyrant, he isn’t very good at being one. This is the Ralph Kramden account of Trumpism: he blusters and threatens and shakes and rages, but Alice, like the American people, just stands there and shrugs him off sardonically.

Those in the Trump-pessimist camp are inclined to point out not only that the final score is not in yet but that the game has only just started. In real life, as opposed to fifties sitcoms, the Ralph Kramdens tend to act on their instincts. Trump’s Justice Department has already reopened an investigation of his political opponent, after he loudly demanded it—itself a chilling abuse of power. And if, as seems probable, Trump tries to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel on the Russia investigation, we will be in the midst of a crisis of extreme dimensions.

But, even in the absence of overt criminality, Trump pessimists may also point to how degraded our discourse has already become—how the processes variously called “normalization” or “acceptance” or just “silent stunned disbelief” go on. We know that Trump fired James Comey, the F.B.I. director, because he wanted him to stop investigating contacts between members of Trump’s campaign and Russia—and Trump announced this fact in public, despite having had subordinates come up with more plausible-sounding rationales for him to cling to. And surely no one can doubt that, had Hillary Clinton become President and, say, a meeting had then been discovered to have taken place between members of her campaign and a mysterious visitor from an autocratic foreign power offering information designed to subvert democracy, with an accompanying e-mail from Chelsea Clinton saying “Love it!,” we would now be in the midst of Clinton’s impeachment hearings, with the supposedly liberal press defending her faintly, if at all.

Meanwhile, the insults to democratic practice continue. In any previous Administration, reports that the resident of the White House had paid off a porn star to be silent about an alleged affair would be a defining—and, probably, Presidency-ending—scandal. With Trump, Stormy Daniels hardly registers at all as a figure, so dense and thick on the ground are the outrages and the indignities, so already bizarre is the cast of characters. (It’s as if we have been watching some newly discovered season of “The Sopranos,” what with the Mooch and Sloppy Steve. Who now can even quite recall poor Sean Spicer?)

Worse still, in a sense, is the degradation of memory that this circus enforces. Not long ago, Bret Stephens, who left the Wall Street Journal for the Times and has been an admirable mainstay of the anti-Trumpist movement among conservatives, wrote a touching piece about his father, and the decency of the values that he exemplified, especially when it came to the treatment of women, in the workplace and outside it. “Our culture could sorely use a common set of ideas about male decorum and restraint in the 21st century, along with role models for those ideas,” Stephens wrote. “Who, in the age of Trump, is teaching boys why not to grope—even when they can, even when ‘you can do anything’?” But nowhere did Stephens acknowledge that, less than a year ago, America didhave, in President Barack Obama, a near-perfect model of male decorum and restraint, who in his own behavior and words taught boys how to be men who honored and respected women.

The point is not that what Obama did was necessarily always admirable, but that amnesia about even the very recent past has become essential to the most decent conservative politics; only by making the national emergency general and cross-party can it be fully shared rather than, as it should be, localized to the crisis of one party and its ideology. In plain English, it becomes necessary to spread the smell around so that everyone gets some of the stink on them. This is why we have to read so much undue hand-wringing about our national crisis in civic values and family piety rather than recognize the abandonment of republican values that began when the mainstays of the conservative party decided to embrace Trump instead of—as their French equivalents had done, when confronted with the same choice between an authoritarian nationalist and a moderate centrist —reject him. It is always appealing rhetorically to insist that all of us are at fault. We’re not. The attempts to pretend that the Trump era is part of some national, or even planetary, crisis, stretching out from one end of the political spectrum to the other, obscures the more potent reality. Had Mitt Romney and the Bushes not merely protested, or grumbled in private, about Trump but openly endorsed Hillary Clinton as the necessary alternative to the unacceptable, we might be living in a different country. For that matter, if, during the past year, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell had summoned patriotism in the face of multiple threats to the norms of democratic conduct, then we might not be in this mess. They didn’t, and we are.

Needless to say, the degradation of public discourse, the acceleration of grotesque lying, the legitimization of hatred and name-calling, are hard to imagine vanishing like the winter snows that Trump thinks climate change is supposed to prevent. The belief that somehow all these things will somehow just go away in a few years’ time does seem not merely unduly optimistic but crazily so. In any case, the trouble isn’t just what the Trumpists may yet do; it is what they are doing now. American history has already been altered by their actions—institutions emptied out, historical continuities destroyed, traditions of decency savaged—in ways that will not be easy to rehabilitate.

And yet there are grounds for optimism. Institutions may crumble, but more might yet be saved. Restoration may be no more than two good elections and a few steady leaders away, as long as the foundational institutions of democracy—really, no more than fair voting and counting, but no less than those, either—remain in place. Political results are far more often contingent than overdetermined, much more to do with accident and personality than with irresistible tides of history. This is what makes them controllable. After all, not long ago a rational woman won the popular vote for President, rather easily, and only a bad electoral system prevented her from taking office. Part of the power of tyrants and would-be tyrants is to paralyze our self-confidence. The famous underground societies of the Eastern European countries, built under Soviet tyranny, were exercises not in heroism but in normalcy: we like this music, this food, these books, and no one can tell us what to think about them. What has happened is worse than we want to pretend. But it happened for highly specific and contingent causes, and the means of remedying them have not yet passed.

Meanwhile, our primary obligation may be simply not to blind ourselves to the facts, or to compromise our values in a desperate desire to embrace our fellow-citizens. Any anti-Trumpist movement must consist of the broadest imaginable coalition, but it cannot pretend that what we are having is a normal national debate. The reason people object, for instance, to the Times running a full page of Trump-defending letters is not that they want to cut off or stifle that debate; it is because the implication that Trumpism is a controversial but acceptable expression of American values within that debate is in itself a betrayal of those values. Liberal democracy is good. Authoritarian nationalism is bad. That’s the premise of the country. It’s the principle that a lot of people died for. Americans never need to apologize for the continuing absolutism of their belief in it.


11
Surly Newz / Bring on the Asteroid
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:56:27 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3x1zcnKtDHg?rel=0&amp;amp;controls=0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3x1zcnKtDHg?rel=0&amp;amp;controls=0</a>

12
Amerikans use 100 gallons of water/day? ???  Unless they are averaging in the water used by Ag over the whole population, I don't see how that is possible.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see if the rains arrive JIT or how long it takes Cape Town to depopulate.

RE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cape-town-drought-water-shortage-south-africa/

Now THIS article is the shit. Also supports Irv Mills' thesis of slow, step down contractions on. the way to Doom.

Low-Flow toilets use in the neighborhood of 1 1/4 gallons, usually 3.5 gallons for an older model. If you have two people in a household who flush a dozen times a day, there's 30 gallons right there with a low flow. And then add kids. And mama's Hollywood showers. Toss in cooking, cleaning and coffee, and 100 gal/day doesn't seem THAT unreasonable, at least per household.

Who flushes a dozen times a day?  :o  That would be some serious diareah problem!

RE

People with digestive issues. People with enlarged prostates.

Old fuckers.

And women. You have obviously forgotten what it's like to live with a woman.

13
Surly Newz / Doomstead Diner Daily 1/20
« on: January 20, 2018, 03:38:20 AM »



Doomstead Diner Daily 1/20

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The Doomstead Diner is a hub for discussion and information pertaining to the ongoing Economic Collapse of the Industrial Economy. The Diner is the result of many years of discussion and debate on many other forums.
At Doomstead Diner, our goal is to collate much of the information we can to assist in planning for the world to come
 

 


14
Amerikans use 100 gallons of water/day? ???  Unless they are averaging in the water used by Ag over the whole population, I don't see how that is possible.

At any rate, it will be interesting to see if the rains arrive JIT or how long it takes Cape Town to depopulate.

RE

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cape-town-drought-water-shortage-south-africa/

Now THIS article is the shit. Also supports Irv Mills' thesis of slow, step down contractions on. the way to Doom.

Low-Flow toilets use in the neighborhood of 1 1/4 gallons, usually 3.5 gallons for an older model. If you have two people in a household who flush a dozen times a day, there's 30 gallons right there with a low flow. And then add kids. And mama's Hollywood showers. Toss in cooking, cleaning and coffee, and 100 gal/day doesn't seem THAT unreasonable, at least per household.

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