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Expert Says Indians Will Soon Become Water Refugees Heading for Water-Rich Europe

Rajendra Singh, also known as the “Waterman of India”, says over 70 percent of the country has dried up, and this may lead to climatic migration to other countries.


18 September 2019, 8:19am
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PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

As various reports show India approaching ‘Day Zero’ (the day when a place’s taps dry out and people have to stand in line to collect a daily quota of water), a top Indian expert has warned that Indians may soon become “water refugees” who’ll migrate to water-rich European countries. Rajendra Singh, a Magsaysay-winning conservationist and environmentalist, and popularly known as the “Waterman of India”, made this statement at the recently-concluded Stockholm International Water Institute.

India is one of the most water-stressed countries in the world, with almost 50 percent of the country facing drought-like situation. In fact, 21 major Indian cities will start running out of groundwater by next year, affecting millions. But Singh adds that as more than 70 percent of aquifers in India dry up, people are going to start migrating westwards unless we fix it. He compared the situation to parched regions in Africa and Asia, from where people have migrated to European states and precipitated political crisisamong and within the EU states. He also added that this may disturb the harmony of the world.

“In India, such migration is taking place from villages to cities. However, the current water crisis may lead to such climatic migration in the future to other countries,” he told The Press Trust of India. In fact, in India, a March 2019 report by the World Resources Institute has warned that the climate change impact will be considerable because of its large population—at 1.37 billion as of September 18—depending heavily on environment-sensitive sectors such as agriculture. “These factors make adaptation critical,” says the report.

Reports have also shown India is facing horrible droughts and floods, both at the same time. “This deadly combination of floods and droughts cannot be tackled by providing piped water but only through community-driven water management,” said Singh. “The responsibility of providing water to everyone can only be fulfilled if the government collaborates with people at the ground level rather than handing over the work to contractors, whose only interest is to earn benefits or profits.”

However, even though it seems like much is lost, Singh says things can still be fixed. One could be to discontinue the use of mechanised herbicides and pesticides, which are messing with the water aquifer system. Other ways to salvage the crisis, he said, would be to develop water harvesting systems to protect our reservoirs from drying up in the sun. This way, the country can develop reserve banks of water even when there’s a drought-like situation. He also stressed on indigenous methods of water management, designed by the local people.

But with the statistics suggesting much is lost, it’s safe to say that India is running out of time. “In fact, we have lost all the time to act,” said Singh. "A country whose 70 percent aquifers are dry has no time left.”

Follow Pallavi Pundir on Twitter.


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History / Mass Graves in Russia Tell the Grim Story of Mongol Invasion
« on: September 14, 2019, 06:51:39 AM »
Mass Graves in Russia Tell the Grim Story of Mongol Invasion
After years of digging, archaeologists discover nine medieval graves holding the remains of at least 300 people.



a skull
PHOTOGRAPH: INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Archaeologists excavated part of the old city center of Yaroslavl, Russia, between 2005 and 2010 as part of an effort to restore its cathedral. During the digs, they discovered nine medieval mass graves holding the remains of at least 300 people, dating from the sack of the city by Mongols. It took another several years for their bones, the ancient DNA preserved within them, and some centuries-old blowfly larvae to reveal a family tragedy set against the wider backdrop of Mongol expansion.

a pile of buried bones
PHOTOGRAPH: INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY, RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

Fire and Bodies Lying in the Snow

In the first half of the 1200s, Mongol leader Batu Khan (the grandson of Genghis Khan) conquered parts of modern-day Russia, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus, adding them to what became known as the Golden Horde. He swept westward with an army of 130,000 soldiers, and for the cities in his path, the only options were surrender or slaughter. Smolensk opted to surrender and pay tribute to the Khanate, but 18 other cities—including Moscow and the capital of the principality that, at the time, ruled Yaroslavl—fell to fire and the sword.

The Mongol army reached Yaroslavl in February 1238. Many of the people buried in the mass graves afterward had clearly died violently; their bones carried the marks of stabbing, cutting, and blunt trauma. Some of the bones also showed signs of having been burned, probably in the fire that accompanied the attack, according to historical documents and archaeological evidence. Several of the graves had been the basements of houses and outbuildings; after the buildings burned down in the fire, the survivors or the conquerors found the exposed basements convenient places to dispose of the dead.

On the grounds of a medieval estate in the center of town, near the cathedral, someone went to the trouble to dig a pit for the dead. But the 15 people buried in the shallow pit lay in a variety of poses, suggesting that they had been dumped there unceremoniously. The blowfly larvae found mingled with the bones might explain that hasty treatment: the bodies would have been in the smelliest stages of decomposition when burial finally happened.

The larvae remained in remarkably good condition, even after 800 years of burial. Entomologists identified the exact blowfly species—and calculated that around Yaroslavl, the average daily temperatures the larvae would need came in late May or early June.

“These people were killed, and their bodies remained lying in the snow for a fairly long time. In April or May, flies started to multiply on the remains, and in late May or early June they were buried in a pit on the homestead, which is where they probably had lived,” said archaeologist Asya Engovatova of the Russian Academy of Sciences. By then, Batu Khan and his army were already marching through Crimea.

A Family Tragedy Worthy of Dostoyevsky

Several of the people buried in the pit had much more tooth decay than the rest of the Yaroslavl dead, which actually suggests that they were pretty well-off. Tooth decay usually suggests a diet rich in sugar (or at least soft, high-carbohydrate foods). In the Middle Ages, only the wealthy would have had access to that much sugar. And artifacts found where the house once stood suggest that the estate had been relatively wealthy until it burned down during the Mongol attack. Engovatova says it’s reasonable to think that the people buried in the middle of the estate lived—and died—there.

Some clues in the bones suggested that a number of the people in the mass grave may have been related. Several of the skeletons shared traits that could have been hereditary, such as spina bifida and a cranial suture (one of the joints between bones in the skull) that stayed open long after the age when it usually fuses shut.

To test that idea, geneticists Kharis Mustafin and Irina Alborova of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology sampled ancient DNA material from eight skeletons. Three of them shared the same mitochondrial genome, which is passed down from mother to child. Anthropologists say the three relatives were a woman, probably at least 55 years old when she died; a woman somewhere between 30 and 40 years old; and a young man about 20 years old.

The DNA analysis also helped calculate how closely the people were related; Engovatova and her colleagues say the most likely scenario is that the three people represent a grandmother, her daughter, and her grandson. Another person, buried in a nearby grave, came from the same maternal lineage. Engovatova and her colleagues presented their findings at a recent international anthropology conference in Moscow.

“In addition to re-creating the overall picture of the fall of the city in 1238, we now see the tragedy of one family,” Engovatova said. "What’s not known, of course, is who buried them: a relative, a neighbor, or a conqueror?"

Yaroslavl rebuilt after the fire, as it had done after numerous other fires in its history; it was a city made mostly of wood in a time when people relied on fire for cooking and heating. The principality to which the town belonged would spend the next 250 years as a vassal state to the Golden Horde, but not without more conflict and death. Batu Khan’s cousin, Mongke Khan, swept through the region again in 1257, followed by the Black Death in 1278, more Mongol attacks in 1293 and 1322, and another wave of Black Death in 1364.

This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.


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Energy / This Week In Doom Sept. 1, 2019: Rat Bastards
« on: September 01, 2019, 04:33:26 PM »




That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964gc2smFrom the keyboard of Surly1

Follow us on Twitter @doomstead666

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                                                            Anthony Freda



Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on September 1, 2019



“This country was born on violenceViolence is as American as cherry pie."  –H. Rap Brown





I awoke this morning to see what news had broken and found this:



10 injured in shooting after high school football game in Alabama




At least 10 teenagers were injured when a shooting broke out after a high school football game in Mobile, Alabama, on Friday night, authorities said. Nine of the victims suffered gunshot wounds.




Well, it's Alabama, and it's FOOTBAW, so thus perhaps reason enough. But I'm old enough to remember going to high school football games without fearing for my life.




"Why are the young people bringing this type of violence to public events?" Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste asked in a news conference Friday. "They're bringing their beefs that they have with each other in their neighborhoods and they're putting other people in harm's way."




Let's not forget the exortations by Trump to do that very thing.




GOP front-runner Donald Trump encouraged a crowd of supporters Monday to "knock the hell" out of anyone who looked like they might throw fruits and vegetables at him, and promised to pay the legal fees for anyone who took him up on his suggestion.




Even though Trump bade his supporters to practice rough justice, some will find it hard to lay the pervasive strain of American violence at his feet. Aside from giving aid and succor to violent white nationalists, and voice to the prion disease that afflicts his most rabid supporters, that is. Back to the news:



At least 5 dead after more than 20 shot as gunman targets random victims in Odessa area







At least five people died after more than 20 people were shot Saturday when a gunman hijacked a postal truck and began shooting randomly in the Odessa area of West Texas, authorities say.



At least three law enforcement officers — a state trooper, an Odessa police officer and a Midland police officer — were among those shot. They were in stable condition Saturday night, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.




Another weekend, another shooting. Or two. Sandy Hook, Charleston, Orlando, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Dayton, Virginia Beach, and now in Texas. Again.



American history is written in blood. American violence has its roots in the wars of extermination fought against native peoples, chattel  slavery that built the wealth of a planter class (the enforcement for which was enshrined in the Second Amendment), wars against one another expanding the "frontier" (who doesn't love a good western?) and now the endless economic competition of all against all. We have normalized the mass slaughter of our fellow citizens to the extent that weekend mass shootings barely raise an eyebrow. Even though 90 per cent of our fellow citizens (and gun owners) welcome mandatory background checks for gun purchases, the NRA and its hireling legislators (aslosh in laundered rubles) won't allow such a bill to come to a vote.  



Meanwhile, out here in flyover country, where tariffs bite, where soybeans molder in silos, where Joe Sixpack and his wife both work two jobs to make ends meet, where minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the country, the stresses mount.





“No small part of this ugly barbarization has been due to sheer physical congestion: a diagnosis now partly confirmed with scientific experiments with rats – for when they are placed in equally congested quarters, they exhibit the same symptoms of stress, alienation, hostility, sexual perversion, parental incompetence, and rabid violence that we now find in the Megalopolis.”



 â€• Lewis Mumford,  The City in History





Rats in a box. We all know that under enough stress, rodents turn on one another. We know this because scientists tested and measured this phenomenon, back in the day when the earth was still a sphere and science counted for something. Ethologist John B. Calhoun studied population density and its effects on behavior, and coined the term "behavioral sink" to describe the collapse in behavior which resulted from overcrowding. Over a number of years, Calhoun conducted over-population experiments on Norway rats and mice.



In his 1962 study, Calhoun described the behavior of the rodents:




Many [female rats] were unable to carry pregnancy to full term or to survive delivery of their litters if they did… Among the males the behavior disturbances ranged from sexual deviation to cannibalism and from frenetic overactivity to a pathological withdrawal from which individuals would emerge to eat, drink and move about only when other members of the community were asleep. The social organization of the animals showed equal disruption. …



The common source of these disturbances became most dramatically apparent in the populations of our first series of three experiments, in which we observed the development of what we called a behavioral sink. The animals would crowd together in greatest number in one of the four interconnecting pens in which the colony was maintained…as a result extreme population densities developed in the pen adopted for eating, leaving the others with sparse populations.



… In the experiments in which the behavioral sink developed, infant mortality ran as high as 96 percent among the most disoriented groups in the population.




As the rat population grew to 2200 rodents in what was described as a "rat utopia," they subsequently exhibited abnormal, often destructive behaviors. By the 600th day, the population was on its way to extinction. Calhoun himself saw the fate of the rodent population as a metaphor for the potential fate of man. Now rats aren't people, although as we will see, some people are rats. 









Greta Thunberg, Climate Activist, Arrives in N.Y. With a Message for Trump



Greta Thunberg’s Slow Boat to New York



Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, arrived in New York City via an emission-free sailboat trip to dramatize her message for the urgency for state actors to take climate change seriously. She gives a speech next month at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. This at a time when




the Amazon rain forest was on fire; glaciers were calving into the sea; Tropical Storm Dorian was gathering strength in the Caribbean; scientists were trying to artificially inseminate the last two northern white rhinos on earth; there was lead in the water in Newark. The Endangered Species Act had been gutted, and the E.P.A. had announced new protections not for air or water but for marine diesel engines.




Thunberg arrived without the benefit of any official delegation or ceremony. She stepped off her boat and onto a floating dock, climbed a ramp to a stage, and faced rows of news cameras and handheld phones transmitting the arrival of the symbol of global climate resistance. She has been cheered by supporters, fellow climate activists, and mocked by critics. I promised you rats.





Misogyny, meet hypocrisy: Climate deniers go after AOC, Greta Thunberg with sexist attacks






Even though officialdom may have greeted Thunberg with a yawn, the alt-right was certainly paying attention. Climate change does not seem to present as a gendered issue, but leave it to conservatives to inject sexism into their generalized contempt for anything not "blood and soil." This week the right-wing Media Research Center tweeted out a video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., addressing the need for rapid decarbonization to prevent catastrophic environmental changes. The video, labeled "Shallow Thoughts" and backed by treacly music, is supposed to be read as an indictment of Ocasio-Cortez's intelligence.



Fail. It's clear the Media Research Center doesn't expect its conservative audience to actually listen to what AOC is saying (which is actually cogent, despite the treacle), and instead write her off as an airhead. But AOC is a social media adept, and in a bit of social media jujitsu, tweeted out the video herself, stealing a march on the MRC. And in a nice bit of trolling, thanked MRC for helping spread her message. 



Slate had it thus:




Earlier this week, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted out a warm welcome to Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, who arrived in New York Wednesday for a speech at the United Nations.



Unfortunately, Thunberg was also greeted by a wave of misogynist nastiness, largely coming from allegedly grown men in both Europe and the United States. The attacks on Thunberg were in the same vein as those on Ocasio-Cortez, accusing her of being too stupid to know what she's talking about and denying that her voice is one worth honoring. A writer for the conservative Washington Examiner claimed that Thunberg is a victim of "child abuse" and that her mother "pimps their kid out," explicitly drawing a line between forced sex work and climate activism. 




As usual with the alt-right gaggle of Goebbels cosplayers, it's all about "owning the libs." Uh-huh. AOC and Thunberg both appear to be energized by opposition. But the main reason that climate-change deniers so readily turn to misogyny is that otherwise, they got nuthin'. The scientific evidence is in, and it's black and white: the climate crisis is real, and mostly caused by human activity. Their moral position is even more tenuous, since their options–doing nothing, or increasing greenhouse gas output — will harm not just future generations, but innocents around the world currently enduring extreme weather events like Hurricane Dorian or a burning Amazon.



So right wing trollboys have to rely on personal attacks aimed at environmental activists, dragging the debate away from evidence and into a rat's nest of culture war resentments.





Yet for all of the above, the article that spurred the direction of this week's rats-under-stress rant was this one, just in time for back-to-school.



Instead of school supplies, this year I’m shopping for a bulletproof backpack 






Judi Zirin speaks for an entire generation of American parents, who have to deal with issues that frankly never occurred to previous generations of parents planning back-to-school:




I have always loved the end of summer’s lazy promise of infinite possibility, the late August back to school buzz of limitless potential. Instead of shopping for school supplies and first day of school outfits, though, I’m online looking at Kevlar hoodies and bulletproof backpacks. This year, I’m not worried my kid won’t fit in – I’m praying he won’t be carried out.



After so many school shootings, I’m scared. Scared of what happens when that student who seems a little off or angry or cruel, whose parents don’t notice or take it seriously, whose issues the school is “dealing with”, finds access to a gun. Terrified because I know I can’t protect my child – and the government won’t. Confused because these students need help and not stigma, and it’s oddly the guns who have the stronger lobby.







Perhaps the greatest indictment future generations will level at our own is our unwillingness to protect our own children in the face of an intransigent NRA and its Russian money-trough. Nearly every American industry and product is subject to civil liability as a check on the irresponsibility of manufacturers and sellers—but not the gun industry. Congress made sure of that: when it passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005, they exempted the gun industry from nearly all lawsuits, leaving families of gun violence victims without recourse.



Thus do the NRA and their hirelings insure a steady supply of child human sacrifices to Moloch each year. And Moloch remains hungry.



And we have the nerve to call the human sacrifice of the Mayans and Aztecs barbaric.



 





Short takes:



Here's a summary of doom-related news that moved this week.



Take the land’: President Trump wants a border wall. He wants it black. And he wants it by Election Day.




Trump is so eager to complete hundreds of miles of border fence ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules, according to current and former officials involved with the project.



He also has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly, those officials said.




The world in flames



Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm



Who they Are; they have names, faces, addresses, families…



Steve Schwarzman, a Top Financier of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, Is a Driving Force Behind Amazon Deforestation




TWO BRAZILIAN FIRMS owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention. 




Brazil Says It Will Reject $22 Million in Amazon Aid Pledged at G7



Because Boisonaro.



2019 to be ‘worst-ever year’ for wildfires in Siberia and ‘only rain can now extinguish flames’



The New Trail of Tears: How climate change is forcing the relocation of species, including our own




In 1830 Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, designed to appropriate to the United States lands occupied by aboriginal Americans… the result of this land grab and ethnic cleansing was the Trail of Tears, a highway of the dispossessed, en route from their homelands to less favorable situations away from the population centers of the European-Americans and their recently created nation. Those with the means self-deported; those who moved late moved in large numbers and suffered terrible losses.



Nearly two centuries later, we face the prospect of forced relocations on a scale that is difficult to fathom. This New Trail of Tears will involve humans on every inhabited continent, and it will impact countless other species as well. This time, the driving force is all humanity, agents of climate change through our greenhouse gas emissions.




Author Brian Stewart notes that sea level rise, coupled with more violent storms powered by the warmer atmosphere, will have a profound impact on coastal areas. The dispossessed will place great stress on the remaining livable space, competition for such livable space will be fierce, and may become extinction traps for some. Note this with certainty:




Barriers to movement, both inadvertent and intentional, can be death sentences to those migrating.




It will be a piquant irony if those who are among the most ardent warriors against the dispossessed today find themselves on the other side of a razor wire fence tomorrow.



World’s largest permafrost river dries to a record low



Indonesia picks site for new capital as Jakarta sinks



Purdue Pharma in talks over multibillion-dollar deal to settle more than 2,000 opioid lawsuits



What sounds equitable at first blush may prove to be a multi-billion dollar dodge on the part of the Sacklers:




The Sackler family, which grew into one of the nation’s wealthiest dynasties through sales of the widely abused painkiller OxyContin, could emerge from a legal settlement under negotiation with its personal fortunes largely intact, according to an analysis reviewed by The Washington Post and people familiar with the discussions.




All the Sacklers want is what any of us would want: to be left alone in our Fortress of Insolence counting our billions.





banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.



4
Lon g before there was a Diner, long before 9-11, there was Milton William Cooper. His book was an underground sensation. The Hour of the Time radio program was also circulated and downloaded long before podcasts existed; I have them all. He was right about so many things, including 9-11, and the fact that he knew that by telling the truth, they would come for him and kill him. Which they did.


The Granddaddy of American Conspiracy Theorists
Decades before QAnon, false flags, “crisis actors” and Alex Jones, there was Milton William Cooper. An exclusive excerpt from ‘Pale Horse Rider’


By MARK JACOBSON   



Even a broken clock is right twice a day; that’s what they say about people who are supposed to be crackpots. It’s the idea that there is a moment in time when even the most outlandish contention, the most eccentric point of view, the most unlikely person, somehow lines up with shifting reality to produce, however fleetingly, what many perceive to be the truth.

But to accept the notion of the “broken clock” is to embrace the established, rationalist parameters of time, 24 hours a day, day after day, years arranged in ascending numerical order, decade after decade, eon upon eon, a forever forward march to an undetermined future, world without end, amen.

For some people, people like the late Milton William (Bill) Cooper, collector of clocks, time did not work that way. American shortwave talk‐show host, author, and lecturer during the millennial period of the late 1980s onward to the advent of the current century, Bill Cooper chose not to adhere to the mandated linear passage of existence. For Cooper, the entire span of time — the beginning, the middle, and the end — was all equally important, but there could be no doubt where the clock had stopped. A minute to midnight, that was Bill Cooper’s time.

This wasn’t because Cooper, a voracious reader and self‐schooled savant, was anti‐science or anti‐intellectual. He believed in evolution and, like his philosophical hero Aristotle, Cooper treasured the supremacy of knowledge and its acquisition. He had a massive collection of jazz records. But somewhere along the way, dating at least back to his service as river-boat captain in a hot zone during the Vietnam War, Cooper came to believe that something wasn’t right. What he’d always accepted as truth, what he was willing to give his life to protect, wasn’t true at all. It was part of a vast web of lies that stretched back through the centuries, contrived to rob the common man of his unalienable right to know the reality of his place on the planet. It was a deep-seated conviction that became an obsession — and a potent bridge to the current environment, where no one seems to believe anything they’re told, where long-respected bastions of truth are thought to be so corrupt as to be what Donald Trump calls “the enemy of the people.” The idea of “fake news,” along with personages like Alex Jones and QAnon (notably influenced by Cooper) are not unprecedented in American life. But none of them would have manifested as they have without Bill Cooper as an immediate predecessor.  

Cooper sought to dramatize the compounding urgency of the moment on The Hour of the Time, the radio program he broadcast from 1992 until November 2001, his resonant, sometimes folksy, sometimes fulminating voice filling the airwaves via satellite hookups and shortwave frequencies. Nearly every episode of The Hour of the Time began the same way, with the show’s singular opening, one of the most arresting sign‐ons in radio history. It starts with a blaring air‐raid siren, a blast in the night. This is followed by a loud, distorted electronic voice: Lights out!” comes the command, as if issued from a penitentiary guard tower. “Lights out for The Hour of the Time!…Lights out for the curfew of your body, soul, and mind.” Dogs bark, people shriek, the bleat of the still half‐sleeping multitudes. There is the sound of tramping jackbooted feet, growing louder, closing in.

Now is the time, a minute to midnight, 60 seconds before enslavement, one last chance. Some citizens will rise, if only from not-quite‐yet‐atrophied muscle memory. They will shake themselves awake as their forebears once did at Lexington and Concord, heeding Paul Revere’s immortal call. They will defend their homes, families, and the last shreds of the tattered Constitution, the most close‐to‐perfect political document ever produced.

The vast majority, however, won’t even get out of bed. Some will cower under the covers, but most will simply roll over and go back to sleep. They slept through life, so why not sleep through death?

This is how it will be at a minute to midnight, according to Bill Cooper. At the End of Time, a broken clock is always right.

Reputed instances of Cooper’s prescience are legion. An early roundup of these forecasts can be found in the August 15th, 1990, edition of the newsletter of the Citizens Agency for Joint Intelligence (CAJI), an organization Cooper created, billing it as “the largest private intelligence‐gathering agency in the world.” Published on a dot-matrix printer, carrying the tagline “Information, not money, will be the power of the nineties,” Cooper ran an article entitled “Every Prediction Has Come True.” He listed 16 of his most recent prognostications that had come to pass “or will soon be fulfilled.”

These included the disclosure that “the CIA and the military are bringing drugs into the United States to finance their black projects.” Cooper also predicted that “the rape of the Savings and Loans by the CIA is only the tip of the iceberg. At least 600 banks will go under in the next two years.” The current monetary structure, Cooper said, “will be replaced by a cashless system that will allow the government to monitor our every action by computer. If you attempt to stay out of the system you will not be allowed to buy, sell, work, get medical care, or anything else we all take for granted.”

Cooper continued to make predictions in his watershed book, Behold a Pale Horse. Published in 1991 by Light Technology, a small New Age–oriented house then located in Sedona, Arizona, Behold a Pale Horse is something of a publishing miracle. With an initial press run of 3,500 (500 hardcover, 3,000 paperback), by the end of 2017, the book was closing in on 300,000 copies sold.

Behold a Pale Horse is the biggest‐selling underground book of all time,” Cooper often told his audience. Yet sales figures represent only a fraction of the book’s true reach. For one thing, as its author often bragged, Behold a Pale Horse routinely topped lists of the most‐shoplifted books in the country. To this day, Barnes & Noble stores keep BAPH, as it is sometimes called, behind the cashier’s counter to reduce pilferage. This was because, as one clerk at the Barnes & Noble near my house in Brooklyn told me, “that book has a habit of walking out all by itself.”

There is also the captive audience. Since its release, Behold a Pale Horse has been among the most popular “prison books” (in that prisoners read them), a distinction it shares with Robert Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power. During the crack epidemic of the 1990s, it was not unusual for a single copy of Behold a Pale Horse to go through enough hands in the cellblocks of places such as Attica to break the book’s spine.

The cover of ‘Behold a Pale Horse’

Some of Cooper’s best‐known predictions appear in Behold a Pale Horse, which runs a densely typed 500 pages. Eight years before the Trench Coat Mafia murders at Columbine High School, Cooper wrote: “The sharp increase of prescriptions of psychoactive drugs like Prozac and Ritalin to younger and younger children will inevitably lead to a rash of horrific school shootings.” These incidents, he said, “will be used by elements of the federal government as an excuse to infringe upon the citizenry’s Second Amendment rights.”

For many, including those who would later claim that the seemingly endless series of school shootings were part of a plot by gun‐control advocates to take away America’s weapons, Cooper’s words took on the air of prophesy.

But Bill Cooper never claimed to be a prophet. He never imagined himself in the line of Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel, the ancient Hebrew seers carried off by King Nebuchadnezzar II to a 70‐year captivity in Babylon. Neither did Cooper compare himself to John, an exile on the island of Patmos, author of the Book of Revelation, which is where the title Behold a Pale Horse comes from. The phrase appears in chapter 6, verse 8, in which John is witness to the opening of the Seven Seals, the preview of God’s secret plan to once again destroy the world prior to its rebirth as the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

When the Fourth Seal was revealed, John wrote, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”

“I am no Prophet, I am no Nostradamus, I have no crystal ball,” Cooper proclaimed. He was “just an ordinary guy.” There was nothing supernatural about his predictions. Anyone could do it. It was all in the methodology, summed up in what he called his “standard admonition,” the one rule every prospective Hour of the Time listener had to obey, “no matter what.”

“You must not believe anything you hear on this show,” Cooper declared. Nor was the listener to believe anything they heard from any other shortwave host, “or Larry King Live, Dan Rather, George Bush, Bill Clinton, or anyone else in this entire world, whether you hear it on radio, on television, or from the lips of someone standing right in front of you.

“Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing until you, yourself, can prove it with your own research,” Cooper told the audience. “Only free‐thinking, intelligent people who are prepared to root through all the crap and get at the truth should be listening to this show. Everyone else should just turn off their radio. We don’t even want you to listen.

Listen to everyone. Read everything, believe nothing . . . until you can prove to yourself whether it is true or false or lies between the many shades of gray. If you don’t do this, if you cannot do this, or are just plain too lazy to do this, then I can assure you that you will march into the New World Order as a docile slave.”

Then Cooper made the sound of a sheep. “Baaa! Baaa! Baaaing all the way.”

Cooper’s most famous prediction was made during the June 28th, 2001, broadcast of The Hour of the Time. A little past his 58th birthday and drinking heavily, Cooper was doing his program from a studio he’d built in the den of his house at 96 North Clearview Circle, atop a hill in the small White Mountains town of Eagar, Arizona, 15 miles from the New Mexico line.

“Can you believe what you have been seeing on CNN today, ladies and gentlemen?” Cooper asked the Hour of the Time audience that evening.

“Supposedly, a CNN reporter found Osama bin Laden, took a television camera crew with him, and interviewed him and his top leadership, lieutenants, and his colonels, and generals…in their hideout!

“Now don’t you think that’s kind of strange, folks?” Cooper asked with his signature chuckle. “Because the largest intelligence apparatus in the world, with the biggest budget in the history of world, has been looking for Osama bin Laden for years, and years, and years, and can’t find him!

“But some doofus jerk‐off reporter with his little camera crew waltzes right into his secret hideout and interviews him!”

This meant one of two things, Cooper told the audience. Either “everyone in the intelligence community and all the intelligence agencies of the United States government are blithering idiots and incompetent fools, or they’re lying to us.”

The fact was, Cooper told the audience, no one in the U.S. intelligence services was really looking for Osama bin Laden. They knew where he was. They had since the beginning of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Bin Laden, along with his entire family, was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Central Intelligence Agency.

“They created him. They’re the ones funding him. They supported him to make their new utopian worlds…and he has served them well.” There were rumors floating around the mass media that bin Laden was planning attacks on the United States and Israel, but this was just subterfuge, Cooper said. “If Osama bin Laden is an enemy of Israel, don’t you think the Mossad would have taken care of that a long time ago?” Cooper asked.

Something else was in the wind. There was no other reason for the government to allow the CNN report but to further stamp bin Laden’s bearded, pointy face upon the collective American mind‐set. Bogeyman of the moment, the Saudi prince was being readied for his close‐up.

“I’m telling you to be prepared for a major attack!” Cooper declared. The target would be a large American city.

“Something terrible is going to happen in this country. And whatever is going to happen they’re going to blame on Osama bin Laden. Don’t you even believe it.”

Two and a half months later, on September 11th, 2001, after two commercial airliners flew into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in a cataclysm that killed 2,996 people, including 343 New York City Fire Department personnel, Cooper’s prediction came to pass.

By the time Cooper got on the air that morning, the towers had already fallen. Several hours passed before the name Osama bin Laden surfaced on the BBC feed Cooper was monitoring. The British station, which Cooper regarded as marginally more reliable than the American networks, was doing an interview with the former Israeli Prime Minister General Ehud Barak and Richard Perle, chairman of George W. Bush’s Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee.

Widely known as the Prince of Darkness, in part for his Reagan‐era support of Edward Teller’s $100 billion Strategic Defense Initiative, known as Star Wars, Perle said the attacks on New York and Washington were “clearly an act of war.”

“All our Western civilization is under attack,” Barak put in. The interviewer asked Perle if he thought the United States would be justified in firing cruise missiles at Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Perle, who along with fellow neocons Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld would soon push hard for the reinvasion of Iraq, answered in the affirmative.

The Afghani authorities had “allowed Osama bin Laden to operate in their territory,” Perle said. That alone was reason enough for a military strike. Bin Laden was involved, no doubt about it. Yes, Barak agreed, there was “every reason to believe” bin Laden was behind the attack.

It was then Cooper interrupted the transmission, shouting, “How do they know who did it?

“If the United States government had no warning like they say, if they didn’t know who was going to mount these attacks, and there are no survivors from the people in these planes, how do they know Osama bin Laden is behind it?

So, yet again, Cooper was right. Events were transpiring exactly as his research had indicated. Osama bin Laden, the Saudi mama’s‐boy prince, was about to be officially blamed for the most spectacular foreign attack on America since Pearl Harbor.

Not that Cooper was gloating about his latest successful prediction. What had happened in New York City — thousands dead, their bodies crushed beneath tons of twisted rubble, a toxic cloud rising over the metropolis — was just the beginning of a new torrent of death. On the radio feed, Perle and Barak were discussing logistics; Afghanistan would be a target, possibly, Iraq as well.

“How can they determine that they should bomb Afghanistan?” Cooper shouted with alarm. “Who are we going to be bombing? The terrorists, or the innocent people of Kabul?”

Cooper made another prediction. “Folks, I can assure you that 72 hours from now we will be at war. We will be bombing two or maybe three countries….Because that’s how it works. When governments are attacked, they lash out. Thousands of people who had nothing whatsoever to do with what is happening at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are going to die.

“Nothing will be the same after today,” Cooper said grimly.

“Get ready for it, folks, because that’s what you’re going to be hearing in the next weeks and months on radio and television: Nothing will be the same after today….Because I’ll tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that’s what the people who really did this want you to think, that nothing, nothing, will be the same after today.

“And you know what? They’re right. They’re telling the truth about that. Within weeks the Congress will pass draconian legislation aimed at restricting the rights of American citizens. You’re going to have surveillance cameras on every street corner. You think your phones are being tapped now, just wait.

“No one is going to gain from this except a very small group of people. Everyone else will lose. No one will lose more than the American people.” This would be the most grievous casualty of the 9/11 attacks, Cooper told the audience, the nation itself, the America that could have been.

Freedom, the most elusive of qualities, best distilled in the inspired documents of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, had been dealt a fatal blow: “From now on, freedom will be whatever the law allows you to do.”

That wasn’t going to stop him, Cooper told listeners. He’d stay behind his microphone up in his hilltop studio. He’d keep sending out The Hour of the Time, speaking truth to the ultimate power, if it was the last thing he did.

It was soon after that Cooper’s final prediction came true.

“They’re going to kill me, ladies and gentlemen,” he told the audience. “They’re going to come up here in the middle of the night, and shoot me dead, right on my doorstep.”

And, around midnight on November 5th, 2001, less than two months after the 9/11 attacks, that’s exactly what happened.

Adapted from Pale Horse Rider: William Cooper, the Rise of Conspiracy, and the Fall of Trust in America (Blue Rider Press) by Mark Jacobson, to be published September 4th, 2018. All rights reserved. 


5
Surly Newz / Zillow, but for the Apocalypse
« on: July 27, 2019, 06:09:37 AM »
I came across this on r/collapse. the site is https://bunker.land/# -- it purports to show where to live/not live, explorable in-browser map (risks for nuclear war, sea level, earthquakes so far.)

the creator says the following:

Quote
been working on over the past couple weeks on a bit of a visualization of where is and isn't a great place to live, with regard to nuclear war and (to a lesser degree so far) natural disasters. I've only lurked here, but figured you all might be interested, so figured I'd post.
The site is available here: https://bunker.land. I have a more detailed description of the motivation and datasets, and methods used here: https://bpodgursky.com/2019/07/25/bunker-land-the-best-and-worst-places-to-wait-out-a-nuclear-war/, but the brief version is:
Mapped out potential targets in a nuclear war (link to sources):
- Ports, military bases: https://maps.bts.dot.gov/services/rest/services/NTAD
- Railroads: https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/tiger-line-shapefile-2015-nation-u-s-rails-national-shapefile
- Cities: https://simplemaps.com/data/us-cities
- Power infrastructure: https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=b7d20f91a412490782178ee60f994361
Few potential natural disasters mapped out:
- Elevation data, for sea level: https://nationalmap.gov/small_scale/atlasftp.html#elev48i
- Seismic risk: https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/sim3325

Let me know if you have any other ideas, want more details, or have feedback. I'm a software developer so I'm not really an expert in any of what I'm mapping out. Hoping to add more content over time, when I have the chance.

Here's the info page:

Zillow, but for the Apocalypse

This map visualizes where you definitely, absolutely, don't want to live during a nuclear war, runaway global warming, or other un/natural disaster.

For more details and the motivation behind this site, see my blog post here.

Zillow (and similar services) provide useful info about neighborhoods like "Walk Score" and "Transit Score". Nobody, however, provides a "Doom Score" which summaries your chance of dying during a nuclear war. This map fixes that oversight.

Nuclear War

Nuclear war is always bad news. But that doesn't mean everyone is equally doomed. There are especially terrible places to live during a nuclear war — namely, next to any important targets. This map tries to identify for any location in the US whether there are any potential nearby bomb targets in a nuclear strike scenario:

This map plots potential nuclear targets, sourced from public datasets. Right now that includes:

  • Military bases
  • Ports
  • Major cities
  • Rail yards
  • ICBM missile silos
  • State capitals
  • Power plants
All nuclear blast radii on this map are modeled on a 5 Mt nuclear airburst. Damage radii use estimates from Alex Wellerstein's NUKEMAP; for more info, check out his site. Displayed radii:

2km: Fireball radius
12km: Air blast radius (5 psi)
25km: Thermal radiation radius
34km: Air blast radius (1 psi)

Nuclear fallout is not modeled here, and depends on airburst height and wind conditions.

HUGE DISCLAIMER

These lists are not exhaustive or carefully curated:

  • Several categories of high-risk targets are not included yet, including but not limited to airports, refineries, shipyards, factories, and communication facilities
  • The list of included targets is not filtered for importance; many minor military bases, railyards, etc are included

I am not an expert on much of anything, and especially not on nuclear war. The maps here should be taken exactly for what they are — publicly available datasets plotted against naiive nuclear blast radii. Use your own judgment when interpreting them I'd love to incorporate feedback from actual experts, if possible — please let me know if you'd like to help.

Uncontrolled Sea Level Rise

Unlike nuclear war, sea level rise won't sneak up and vaporize you while you sleep. But it will make a house a really poor investment .

Most realistic global warming worst-case scenarios model a 5-10 foot sea level rise by 2100, which is, to be clear, Very Bad News, but is unlikely to sink you unless you live in the everglades.

This map goes further and asks "How far from the ocean would you want to be if all the ice melted — around 220 feet of it.

There are a lot of other ways global warming could make a place uninhabitable — starting with, for example, the heat. But this map currently only captures sea level rise.

Earthquakes

Earthquakes are usually bad news. Earthquake prediction is challenging, but we do know which areas of the country are most prone to earthquakes. This map attempts to display areas with especially high earthquake risks.

Want to help?

I'm not an expert in anything presented on this map. There's certainly a lot that could be improved:

  • This is by no means an exhaustive list of the things that can kill you. More hazards will (probably) be added to this map over time. Reach out if you have any specific interests.
  • Contributions appreciated from actual experts about ways to judge which targets are actuallyimportant.
  • Feature requests and bug reports welcome. Best way to leave feedback is to email me directly: bpodgursky@gmail.com

There are plenty of quibbles to be made about the likelihood and/or survivability after a nuclear war. I count myself among those with little interest in the prospect. But this seemed like a pretty audacious hobby project and I post it for your amusement.

https://bunker.land/#

6
Surly Newz / Years and Years on HBO
« on: July 06, 2019, 02:49:04 AM »
I posted something about this the other day and have started watching it. Years and Years is gripping AF. It addresses all of the things we post about in this forum as harbingers of some future dystopia, but sees them through the lens of a family in the UK. Emma Thompson stars as Vivienne Rook, a businesswoman turned pol who comes across as a UK version of Marine La Pen.

The premise: An ordinary British family contends with the hopes, anxieties and joys of an uncertain future in this six-part limited series that begins in 2019 and propels the characters 15 years forward into an unstable world. The story begins as members of the Lyons clan converge for the birth of the newest family member, baby Lincoln, and an outspoken celebrity begins her transformation into a political figure whose controversial opinions will divide the nation. As the Britain of this imaginary drama is rocked by political, economic and technological advances, the family experiences everything hoped for in the future, and everything that is feared.

It's better than this description.

Spoiler alert: in Episode 2, the banks collapse.

https://www.hbo.com/years-and-years

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/SY41jhIP_xI" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/SY41jhIP_xI</a>


7
What a terrific idea.

This House Is Made from 600,000 Recycled Plastic Water Bottles
But you'd never know by looking at it.





JD COMPOSITES
  • Canadian builders have built a home out of more than 600,000 plastic water bottles.
  • The builders broke down bottles and turned into foam that hardens when cooled. This foam was used to create the walls.
  • The home is the first of its kind to ever be built.

Canadian builders have created a new way to turn plastic waste into environmentally friendly housing. JD Composites, a construction company led by Joel German and David Saulnier, built a three-bedroom home along the Meteghan River in Nova Scotia from more than 600,000 plastic water bottles—but you'd never guess it from just looking at the home.

image
JD COMPOSITES

German and Saulnier shredded and heated the water bottles to form plastic pellets and placed them into a hopper, where they were treated with gases that melted them into a foam. When cooled, the foam becomes solid and is rot- and mildew-resistant. The builders then used the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) panels to create the 5.9-inch-thick walls of the green home.

Besides the fact that the panels utilize plastic that might've otherwise ended up in a landfill or the ocean, they're able to withstand tough weather conditions, too.

German and Saulnier sent a sample panel for endurance testing to Mississauga, Ontario and discovered it could stand firm against against 326-mph winds—two times as strong as a category 5 hurricane. The results are especially impressive considering the panels are lightweight and the wind tunnel reached its max force without being able to cause damage to the test panel.

The hardened foam is covered by a fiberglass skin along both the interior and exterior of the home, and UV paint was used to protect the material from sunlight.

The company plans to list the home for sale, but will rent it on Airbnb if it can't find a buyer.

“If it doesn’t sell, it’s fine,” German told the Hants Journal. “It’s our first one. We’re sort of attached to it.”


8
Surly Newz / Snapping the Spine of Uncle Cracker
« on: May 16, 2019, 06:04:58 AM »
The furious white nationalism of the Trumpist right in this country is the attempt to forestall demographic destiny, which is unlikely, as the article demonstrates. Various schemes for voter suppression, census intimidation, near-random execution. of nonwhites by uniformed police (as a matter of state-sponsored terror sanctioned by a nod, a wink and almost never any consequences for killer cops), will shore up white dominance for a generation, but won't do it forever.

If the Republiconfederates thought about it, they would be attempting to insure that this was a nation of laws rather than men so that their descendants would be treated equitably. But no one in this country engages in thinking about anything except making the quarter, so it is probably unfair to single outright wingers for being guilty of short-term thinking. Instead, they line up in unthinking support of El Jefe, because they are terrified of opposing him, the getting primaried from the right.

The US white majority will soon disappear forever



The non-Hispanic white population is not growing as quickly as other groups in the U.S. Lightfield Studios/shutterstock.com

Since the settlement of Jamestown in 1607 and the start of the Colonial period, the U.S. has been predominantly white.

But the white share of the U.S. population has been dropping, from a little under 90% in 1950 to 60% in 2018. It will likely drop below 50% in another 25 years.

White nationalists want America to be white again. But this will never happen. America is on its way to becoming predominantly nonwhite.

Who is white?

The U.S. federal government uses two questions to measure a person’s race and ethnicity. One asks if the person is of Hispanic origin, and the other asks about the person’s race.

A person is defined as white if he or she identifies as being only white and non-Hispanic. A minority, or nonwhite, person is anyone who is not solely non-Hispanic white.

A planned question for the 2020 census. U.S. Census Bureau

Whites were not the first people to settle in what is now the U.S. The first immigrants were a people known today as American Indians and Alaskan natives, also commonly referred to as Native Americans. They arrived in North America around 14,000 years ago.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in America in 1492, there were around 10 million American Indians living in the lands north of Mexico. But by the 1800s their numbers had dwindled to about 1 million. They are now the smallest race group in the U.S.

The first sizable stream of immigrants to what is now the U.S. were whites from England. Their arrival at Plymouth in 1620 in search of religious freedom marked the start of large waves of whites coming to this land.

When the U.S. was established as a country in 1776, whites comprised roughly 80% of the population. The white share rose to 90% in 1920, where it stayed until 1950.

Declining numbers

The proportion of whites in the U.S. population started to decline in 1950. It fell to gradually over the years, eventually reaching just over 60% in 2018 – the lowest percentage ever recorded.

Although the majority of the U.S. population today is still white, nonwhites account for more than half of the populations of Hawaii, the District of Columbia, California, New Mexico, Texas and Nevada. And, in the next 10 to 15 years, these half dozen “majority-minority” states will likely be joined by as many as eight other states where whites now make up less than 60% of the population.

Census Bureau projections show that the U.S. population will be “majority-minority”sometime between 2040 and 2050. Our research suggests that this will happen around 2044. Indeed, in 2020, there are projected to be more nonwhite children than white children in the U.S.

The nonwhite population is growing more rapidly than the white population. Minorities accounted for 92% of the U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2018, with Latinos comprising just under half of the nation’s overall growth.

Behind the trends

Why are the numbers of white people declining, and why are nonwhite numbers increasing? The answer is basic demography: births, deaths and immigration.

White women have an average of 1.7 children over their lifetimes, while Latina women average 2.2. The total fertility rates of blacks, Asians and American Indians are in between. So whites have fewer births than all nonwhite groups.

There are also big differences in age structure. Sixty-two percent of Latinas 15 years of age or older are of childbearing age. Only 42% of white women fall into this group. Latinos also have lower mortality rates than whites. Demographers call this the “epidemiological paradox.”

In 2015, for the first time, there were more white deaths in the U.S. than white births. Indeed, as of 2016, in 26 states, whites were dying faster than they were being born. The states with more white deaths than white births include California, Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

How about immigration to the U.S.? Of the more than 43 million foreign-born people living in the U.S. in 2015, 82% originated in Latin America and Asia. Only 11% were born in Europe. So whites don’t increase their representation in the U.S. via immigration.

The future of whiteness

The aging white population, alongside a more youthful minority population, especially in the case of Latinos, will result in the U.S. becoming a majority-minority country in around 2044.

The demographic shift in the U.S. has resulted in many whites proclaiming that they are losing their country, and that they already are or will soon become a minority group.

In her research on working-class whites in rural Louisiana, sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild observes that many whites feel frustrated and betrayed, like they are now strangers in their own land. In Trump, they saw a white man who brought them together to take their country back. Hochschild points out that at a Trump campaign rally, whites held signs with slogans such as “TRUMP: MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” and “SILENT MAJORITY STANDS WITH TRUMP.”

The decline of the white share of the U.S. population could result in the shifting of racial boundaries to assign whiteness to some people of color so as to bolster the white numbers.

This has happened before. Groups that were initially seen as very different from whites, such as the Irish and Italians, once sought to distance themselves from blacks, and eventually were accepted as white.

In addition, although persons of Mexican origin largely identified racially as white, in the 1930 census “Mexican” was used as a racial category, at a time when there was heightened hostility against Mexicans due to their growing population size and the Great Depression.

But any future changes cannot override demography. The U.S. will never be a white country again.


9
Geopolitics / Wag the Guaido
« on: April 30, 2019, 11:57:14 AM »
Well, the headlines are full of how Pud is fighting the House subpoenas of his banking documents, which the banks are required to provide by law. So Pud has changed the subject by green lighting Guaido in Venezuela. Nothing changes the subject more than a war. And he has one without committing US troops, courtesy of John Bolton and his Fox State TV cabinet.

Cable TV has gone right along. Nice.

Clashes in Venezuela as Guaidó announces ‘final phase’ to remove Maduro
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Caracas as opposition leader Juan Guaidó asked supporters to assemble. They were met with tear gas as forces loyal to President Nicolás Maduro appeared to violently respond to the demonstrations.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelan-opposition-leader-juan-guaido-appears-to-stage-military-backed-challenge-to-president-maduro/2019/04/30/c7028eee-6b35-11e9-8f44-e8d8bb1df986_story.html

10
The Kitchen Sink / The Doomstead Diner Daily April 30
« on: April 30, 2019, 03:28:36 AM »


News digest brought to you by the Doomstead Diner.




 



Trump tightens asylum rules, will make immigrants pay fees to seek humanitarian refuge



 



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Documents Detail ICE Campaign to Prosecute Migrant Parents as Smugglers



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Japan’s popular emperor abdicates in short ceremony at Imperial Palace



www.washingtonpost.comBy Simon Denyer Simon Denyer Tokyo bureau chief covering Japan, North Korea and South Korea. Email Bio Follow April 30 at 4:56 AM TOKYO — Japan’s Emperor Akihito formally abdicated on Tuesday in a sh…



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The Single-Payer Test – The Bulwark






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Of Two Minds – The Erosion of Everyday Life






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Roy Cohn White House: The Mueller Report Special, Part II | Gaslit Nation on Patreon






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Analysis | Most Americans say they won’t vote for Trump next year — but will they vote at all?






www.washingtonpost.comSupporters wait for President Trump at a rally in Green Bay, Wis., on April 27, 2019. (Lauren Justice/Bloomberg News) By Philip Bump Philip Bump National correspondent focused largely on the numbers …



26 billionaires own as much wealth as half the world






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The New Silk Roads reach the next level






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Comment: Trump Admin Finds Back Door For Tobacco Industry’s Plan to Censor Science






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Why Trump Gets a 'C' on the Economy | DCReport.org






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Rejecting Trump Spin, 62% of Americans Believe US Economy Primarily Benefits Rich and Powerful






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Canada: extreme floods show climate threat as experts warn of further tumult






www.theguardian.comNews footage showed people boating where they once walked, homes and cars filled with muddy water, volunteers searching for lost pets. Thousands of people in eastern Canada have been forced from thei…



Here's what happens to 'biodegradable' bags after 3 years in the sea or soil



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Jeff Bezos reportedly had bulletproof panels installed in his office as part of his $1.6 million Amazon security operation



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Book review: the stranger in the woods. The extraordinary story of the last true hermit



energyskeptic.comPreface. This has nothing to do with peak everything, but it was an interesting and profound book, and those of you who are survivalists may find yourself in a similar situation… Alice Friedemann www…



 





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Editor's note



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.


11
The Kitchen Sink / The Doomstead Diner Daily April 29
« on: April 29, 2019, 03:06:30 AM »


News digest brought to you by the Doomstead Diner.




Comcast-Owned MSNBC in the Tank for Joe Biden’s Presidential Run







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GOP judges launch bizarre attack on Black Lives Matter and the First Amendment






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How The New Movements, Not The Old Media, Are Driving Politics






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www.itcouldhappenherepod.comIn this nine-part series Robert Evans will walk listeners through exactly how a second American Civil War could happen. Using hard facts, historical anecdotes and his own experiences reporting from t…



How breaking news got panelized: On cable, journalists and pundits increasingly share space.






www.washingtonpost.comClockwise from top left: Andrea Mitchell of NBC, Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.), Jim Acosta of CNN, political commentator Donna Brazile, Shepard Smith of Fox News, counterterrorism analyst Philip Mudd. (Wil…



Boeing Might Represent the Greatest Indictment of 21st-Century Capitalism | naked capitalism



www.nakedcapitalism.comBy Marshall Auerback, a market analyst and commentator. Produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute. A veteran commercial pilot and software engineer with over three dec…



Colorado Dems Took On the Oil and Gas Industry. Now the Recalls are Starting.






theintercept.comAfter seizing unified control of the Colorado state government in November’s wave election, Democrats there did something unusual: They governed. For decades, the oil and gas industry has had a stran…



The Bloody History of Border Militias Runs Deep — and Law Enforcement Is Part of It






theintercept.comCustoms and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol, provided The Intercept and several other news organizations with the same statement when asked about the militia’s operation…



Lies, Damn Lies, and Abortion






theintercept.comFor a long time, when people would ask me what subjects I covered as a journalist, I would jokingly say, “Criminal justice and reproductive rights — and hoping the two never intersect.” It’s not funn…



The Day the Dinosaurs Died






www.newyorker.comIf, on a certain evening about sixty-six million years ago, you had stood somewhere in North America and looked up at the sky, you would have soon made out what appeared to be a star. If you watched …



The world is doomed, according to Paul Ehrlich






independentaustralia.netIA's Sue Arnold interviews Paul and Anne Ehrlich, authors of The Population Bomb, discussing the fate of the planet. Paul Ehrlich is a charming, charismatic, controversial, globally recognised scient…



Why one of the world's largest emperor penguin colonies is collapsing






www.mnn.comThe once cacophonous squabbles and calls between thousands of Emperor penguins and their chicks at the edge of the Brunt Ice Shelf on the northwest coast of Antarctic has gone silent. Researchers fro…



Inside the EPA’s ‘resistance room,’ where Trump was never president and climate change is real



news.yahoo.comWASHINGTON—No such thing. That was the verdict delivered by the security guard inside the Ronald Reagan Building on the question of whether there existed a museum of the Environmental Protection Agen…



Homes Are Unaffordable for Wage Workers in 71% of U.S. Counties



us.politsturm.comA recent release from ATTOM Data solutions, a property data provider, shows that the median home prices are unaffordable to wage workers in 71% of U.S counties. This startling conclusion was reached …



The case for green realism | Bruegel



bruegel.orgThis opinion was also published on Project Syndicate The Green New Deal promoted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a fast-rising star in the US Congress, and others among her fellow Democrats, may trigger…



Start planning for catastrophes, new EPA document says



www.pressherald.comThe Environmental Protection Agency published a 150-page document this past week with a straightforward message for coping with the fallout from natural disasters across the country: Start planning f…




 



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Editor's note



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.


12
The Kitchen Sink / The Doomstead Diner Daily April 28
« on: April 28, 2019, 04:21:22 AM »


The Doomstead Diner Daily




News digest brought to you by the Doomstead Diner.





 



Authorities identify suspect in ‘hate crime’ synagogue shooting that left 1 dead, 3 injured



 






www.washingtonpost.comBy Deanna Paul and Deanna Paul Reporter covering national and breaking news Email Bio Follow Katie Mettler Katie Mettler Reporter covering breaking news and features Email Bio Follow April 28 at 6:13…



Four killed in Seattle after crane collapses from new Google building






www.theguardian.comFour people were killed and three injured when a construction crane fell from a building on Google’s new Seattle campus on to one of the city’s busiest streets during a storm. The four people – one f…



The N.R.A. Ousts Oliver North and Stifles Debate on Financial Wrongdoing






www.newyorker.comNorth’s announcement was followed by a raucous debate among members over a resolution calling for the resignation of LaPierre, the N.R.A.’s longtime executive vice-president and public face. The reso…



“Americans of European Heritage Exclusively”: Identity Evropa Front Group Meetings Leaked






unicornriot.ninjaWashington, DC – Identity Evropa, the largest neo-Nazi organization in the United States, recently renamed itself the American Identity Movement. The name change came after reporting by Unicorn Riot …



Unvaccinated Visitor Brought Measles to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)






www.patheos.comAn unvaccinated traveler who had the measles came in and out of the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) while infectious, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday. Th…



Opinion | Donald Trump Shows a New Level of Contempt for Congress






www.nytimes.comThis distinction could prove of some interest to Mr. Trump as the current conflict rages. While executive privilege is a common presidential tool, historians note that Mr. Trump’s usage is decidedly …



The highlights of the "debate of the century" between Žižek and Peterson








arstechnica.comA joint intelligence bulletin (JIB) has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation to state and local authorities regarding Russian hacking activities duri…



Trump policies hobble fight against white supremacist terror threat






www.usatoday.com“Charlottesville, Virginia.” Those were the first two words of former Vice President Joe Biden’s video announcement that he is running for president. “We saw Klansmen and white supremacists and neo-N…



How Boeing might represent the greatest indictment of 21st-century capitalism






www.alternet.orgA veteran commercial pilot and software engineer with over three decades of experience has just written the most damning account of the recent Boeing 737 fiasco. At one level, author Gregory Travis h…



Trump’s Stonewalling Pushes House Democrats Towards Impeachment






www.thedailybeast.comDonald Trump’s declaration this week that his administration will stonewall “all the subpoenas” from Congress has pushed House Democrats to rethink their impeachment calculus. Top Democrats, includin…



“Toxic” behaviors that society has normalized, according to Reddit






qz.comIn 2017, researchers at Yale University published a paper in the journal Cognition demonstrating that what people consider normal behavior appears to be a mix of what’s common and what they see as id…



'People Are Listening Now' — Extinction Rebellion's 10 Days in the Spotlight






www.desmog.co.ukHigh above Parliament Square, a small group of people swing from hammocks between the trees. They won't stay elevated for long. Police brought the members of campaign group Extinction Rebellion back …



Why the loss of amphibians matters






www.mnn.comAmphibians matter to humans more than we tend to realize. The number of amphibian species around the world has been plummeting at an incredibly rapid rate in recent decades, and this decline poses a …



Border agency builds migrant tent city in Texas as Trump policies sow chaos






www.theguardian.comAt the foothills of the Franklin Mountains that provide a rugged backdrop to the border city of El Paso, the slow pace of life in the Sunrise Acres neighborhood has been rudely disrupted in the last …



Investors have rarely been this scared of a stock-market crash over the past 50 years — and that’s flashing some scary parallels to the 1987 meltdown



www.businessinsider.comDon't let the stock market's fresh record highs fool you. Investor fear is elevated, and has been for most of the last few years. In fact, traders have rarely been this worried over the past 50 years…




Mueller Prosecutors: Trump Did Obstruct Justice



www.nybooks.comChip Somodevilla/Getty Images Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded last year that they had sufficient evidence to seek criminal charges against President Donald Trump for …



ISIS Relaunches as a Global Platform



www.theatlantic.comTo be sure, dissenters in the organization were unconvinced of this claim, arguing that the loss of its lands, prompted by its oppression and extremism, had turned ISIS into a farce. Some have even u…



How One of America’s Biggest Pastors Became a Drug Runner for a Mexican Cartel



www.vanityfair.comA little after five A.M. on December 11, 2017, a gray Volkswagen Passat inched through the darkness of Tijuana toward the brightly lit Customs and Border Protection port of entry at San Ysidro, Calif…



DNA as you've never seen it before, thanks to a new nanotechnology imaging method



theconversation.comFor biologists everywhere, April 25 is auspicious. It is DNA Day and commemorates the date in 1953 when scientists Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins published seminal…


 





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Editor's note



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.




13
The Kitchen Sink / Doomstead Diner Daily April 27
« on: April 27, 2019, 04:54:40 AM »


News digest brought to you by the Doomstead Diner.




 



Dozens Condemned by Media as ‘Gang Members’ Not Actually Gang Members, Study Confirms






fair.org– In the immediate wake of the now infamous “Bronx 120 gang raid,” carried out by the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and the NYPD on the Eastchester Gardens and Edenwald House housing project…



For NYT, Israel Is Always Nearing ‘Apartheid,’ but Never Quite Gets There






fair.org– The New York Times‘ warning (4/11/19) that Israel/Palestine is “on a trajectory to become what critics say will be an apartheid state” echoed predictions that the Times has been making since the firs…



U.S. Measles Outbreak Becomes the Largest in Two Decades






undark.org– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Wednesday afternoon that growing measles outbreaks have helped the United States break a troubling record. The agency now reports the…



In N.R.A. Power Struggle, Insurgents Seek to Oust Wayne LaPierre






www.nytimes.com– But Mr. LaPierre, in a stinging letter sent on Thursday night to the N.R.A.’s board, accused Mr. North of threatening to leak damaging information about him and other N.R.A. executives unless he step…



PhRMA Is Funding a Democratic Think Tank Trying to Derail Medicare for All






theintercept.com– Since 2009, Big Pharma has given a decent amount of money each year to the Third Way Foundation, the parent of the Progressive Policy Institute, a center-left think tank with ties to Democratic Party…



‘The War on Drugs Is Just One of Several Being Waged in the Philippines’






fair.org– Janine Jackson interviewed Amee Chew about the Philippines under Duterte for the April 19, 2019 episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Janine Jackson: Welcome to CounterSpin, yo…



How California’s faltering high-speed rail project was ‘captured’ by costly consultants






www.latimes.com– But significant portions of this work have been flawed or mismanaged, according to records reviewed by The Times and interviews with dozens of people involved in the project. Despite repeated warning…



The GOP Tax Law Screwed Survivors' Benefits for Military Families






splinternews.com– In 2017, the GOP passed its sweeping tax reform law, which did all of the things that you would expect a GOP tax reform bill to do: took a chunk out of people’s returns, gave massive breaks to health…



Of Two Minds – This Is the End of the Cycle






www.oftwominds.com– Both new households and new businesses are in secular decline. Goosing the stock market and GDP doesn't change this reality. Everyone wants every cycle of expansion to last forever, but alas every cy…



Recalls of medical devices and drugs are up – can anyone predict when it will happen next?






theconversation.com– From the valsartan blood pressure drug contamination that exposed thousands of patients to cancer-causing impurities, to a massive pacemaker recall undertaken to fix a hazardous software bug in half-…



The Extinction Rebellion: How Sustainable Finance Can Help Save The Planet






www.forbes.com– An Extinction Rebellion climate change protester (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) ASSOCIATED PRESS Parts of London were brought to a standstill by the Extinction Rebellion last week. The protesters seek to bri…



The tipping point where the planet becomes a 'Hothouse Earth' is terrifyingly real






bigthink.com– We are, suggest scientists publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, just one degree (C) away from hitting a “tipping point” beyond which the planet has never experienced. Wh…



Extinction Rebellion rushes activists' handbook This Is Not a Drill into print






www.theguardian.com– Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Green Party MP Caroline Lucas are among the contributors to a forthcoming handbook about how to become an Extinction Rebellion activist, which will …



Normalcy Bias: The Biggest Threat you your Survival During Disasters






offgridsurvival.com– Whenever a natural disaster hits the survivors can usually be divided into two groups: Those who prepared ahead of time, and those that didn’t. The people who don’t prepare usually operate under the …



Half of all land in England owned by less than one percent of the population



www.wsws.org– The UK is one of the most unequal societies on the planet. The scale of this is effectively documented in new research revealing that one half of all the land in England is the private property of le…



An Empire Built on Beer – WhoWhatWhy



whowhatwhy.org– Archeologists have been researching how an ancient Peruvian empire was so successful that it lasted for centuries — and it turns out the answer is… beer. With his team at the Field Museum in Chicago,…



Eco-Anxiety: Navigating The Doom And Denial Of Climate Crisis, By Jack Adam Weber



carolynbaker.net– An excerpt from Jack’s forthcoming book, Weathering Climate Change When we look to the future, the unknown stares back, unnerving us. Our brains abhor gaps in knowledge as much as we dislike stepping…



'You Did Not Act in Time': Greta Thunberg's Full Speech to MPs – Resilience



www.resilience.org– My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations. I know many of you don’t want to listen to us – you say we are just children. But we’re …



 




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Editor's note



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
Futurology / Is DNA Left on Envelopes Fair Game for Testing?
« on: March 02, 2019, 10:17:38 AM »
Is DNA Left on Envelopes Fair Game for Testing?
The genealogist’s dream of testing old, spit-laced artifacts is coming true—but raising questions about who controls dead people’s DNA.


SARAH ZHANG
PAVILA / SHUTTERSTOCK

Last fall, Gilad Japhet, the founder of a DNA-testing company, got up at an industry conference to talk about his grandmother Rosa’s love letters.

Japhet’s company, MyHeritage, sells cheek swabs to people interested in their family history. It now has 2.4 million people in its DNA database, making it the third largest behind 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But Japhet wasn’t satisfied with only testing the living; he wanted to test the dead. Which brings us to the love letters—or really, the envelopes they came in.

The envelopes were sealed by his grandmother, and the stamps on them presumably licked by her. “Maybe our ancestors did not realize it,” Japhet said, a smile growing on his face, “when they were licking those stamps and the envelope flats, they were sealing their precious DNA for you forever.” Then he made the big announcement: MyHeritage would soon begin offering DNA testing on old stamps and envelopes.

He didn’t stop there. If you can test the letters of your grandmother, why not those of historical figures? Japhet is a prodigious collector of autographs, and he revealed that he possessed handwritten letters from Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill. In an intriguing if provocative PR move, he promised that “their DNA is coming to MyHeritage very, very soon.”

In the past year, genealogists have been abuzz about the possibility of getting DNA out of old stamps and envelopes. In addition to MyHeritage, a British company called Living DNA began informally offering the service for $400 to $600 last year, and a small Australian start-up called Totheletter DNA, which specializes in DNA from envelopes and stamps, launched a similarly priced service in July. MyHeritage says its own service should debut later this year. (A spokesperson declined to comment on when Einstein and Churchill’s DNA profiles will be uploaded to the company’s site.)

Among genealogists, demand for this service has been pent up for years. “At every conference I do, every seminar I do, I always get questions about artifact DNA. I think there is enormous potential,” says Blaine Bettinger, a professional genealogist. Getting the DNA of an ancestor can be tremendously helpful for finding new relatives. For example, your great-great-grandmother passes about 6.25 percent of her DNA to you. But she may have plenty of other relatives who only share DNA from the 93.75 percent that you did not inherit. One way to genetically match those relatives is to test her directly.

Ask genealogists, and you will hear a story about a grandmother’s letter or a father’s tissue biopsy or a great-aunt’s hairbrush, full of DNA that could unlock a family mystery. While 23andMe and Ancestry require large vials of saliva for DNA analysis, which are hard to obtain without a person’s cooperation, artifacts are much easier to come by. But extracting DNA from these sources opens up so many new possibilities—some unsavory, some simply uncomfortable. Should you be able to test a parent who refused to play along by digging up an old letter? Or do a secret paternity test on your child, using a cup discarded by the man suspected of having an affair with your wife? Or trace anonymous letters? Or obtain the DNA of celebrities?

Read: When a DNA test shatters your identity

In Vallejo, California, police have also sent envelopes from the Zodiac Killerfor DNA extraction, in hopes of applying the same genetic genealogy tools that caught the Golden State Killer suspect. (Investigators in the Golden State Killer case had the advantage of well-preserved DNA from a rape kit, though.) Criminal-forensics labs have long analyzed DNA from objects, but they rely on a technique that looks at only 20 sites, called short tandem repeats (STR). To find their suspect in the Golden State Killer case, investigators used a technique from commercial at-home DNA tests, called genotyping, which looks at hundreds of thousands of sites in the human genome. Genotyping yields far more details than STR, revealing distant family relationships as well as genetic variants that can affect a person’s health and appearance. That’s a lot of information, potentially hidden in an envelope.

For these reasons, the companies offering DNA services for envelopes are drawing a line: These tests are not for living people. The only reason, after all, to resort to getting a living person’s DNA from a letter is if the person is not cooperating with a cheek swab or vial of spit—in which case they probably are not consenting.

This means saying no to potential customers. Joscelyn McBain, the founder of Totheletter DNA, told me that several people have contacted her about testing anonymous poison-pen letters. She’s sympathetic, but she says, “It just opens up a big can of worms.” To avoid testing living people, Totheletter asks customers to explicitly state that the envelope comes from a dead relative. McBain is not against using DNA and genealogy to find violent criminals like the alleged Golden State Killer—she’s actually interested in working with police in Australia—but she’s uncomfortable with using it to track down just anyone.

Read: Should you take a DNA test?

To limit the possibility for abuse in this, MyHeritage does not plan to test items such as toothbrushes, dentures, and old clothing. Since envelopes are usually postmarked and have a sender’s name written on them, it’s easier to validate that the item is what the customer says it is and not some secretly obtained sample. MyHeritage told me it plans to update its terms and services to prohibit uploading DNA profiles of living people that have been obtained through stamps or envelopes. But DNA from dead people, including dead celebrities like Einstein and Churchill, will be allowed.

The ethics of testing a deceased person’s DNA are more ambiguous, says Bettinger. Dead people usually don’t have privacy rights. Dead celebrities, having been public figures, have even less of an expectation of privacy. But dead people still often have living descendants, who share some portion of their ancestors’ DNA and who do have privacy rights. What if Einstein’s living descendants aren’t thrilled about a company uploading his DNA, just so random people online can find out if they’re distantly related to a genius?

On the other hand, says Bettinger, we don’t ask all our living relatives and future unborn descendants for consent when we ourselves mail in a DNA test—even though it affects them all. The alleged Golden State Killer, for example, was identified through third and fourth cousins who took DNA tests. Right now, any one individual has relatively little control over his or her own genetic privacy.

Living DNA’s terms of service would allow testing envelopes for the DNA only when the target person is deceased and the customer has obtained the envelope legally. Of course, these terms of service rely on the honesty of the customer. A lab technician reviews materials to make sure they are what customers claim they are, but cost might be the most practical deterrence. Living DNA’s co-founder, David Nicholson, brought up the example of paternity tests. They’re available in drugstores for around a hundred dollars, while Living DNA’s service costs $400 to $600. “It’s a very expensive way to do that,” says Nicholson.

Read: What happens when you’re convinced you have bad genes

The cost of testing envelopes for DNA is unlikely to come down soon. 23andMe, AncestryDNA, and MyHeritage are able to offer ordinary ancestry tests for less than $100 because they use standardized vials and swabs. That process is easy to automate with robots. In contrast, every envelope is different. A human hand needs to carefully cut out the envelope flap or stamp, dissolve the glue, and extract the DNA. Nicholson says different types of glue might require different extraction techniques. DNA also degrades over time, so the success rate of testing old letters hovers around 50-50.

So for now, the commercial viability of envelope DNA testing is still uncertain. “At the moment, we’re doing it as a token to help people,” Nicholson says. It’s not really making the company any money. He’s considered offering a two-tiered service, where customers pay a smaller free upfront and only pay for the full genetic analysis after it looks like it will work. McBain has been open about similar challenges for Totheletter. She’s currently refunding customers whose samples are not successful. “We have to improve our results if it’s something we can commercially sustain,” she says. The entrance of MyHeritage, a big player in the consumer DNA industry, will be an important test case.

Genealogists are, by disposition, people who enjoy thinking about ways of the past. It is not lost on them that we have stopped writing letters and licking stamps. “There’s kind of this golden period from the late 1800s to maybe the past decade or so,” Bettinger says. Then he adds, “Maybe DNA testing is picking up that slack.” In other words, now we have a generation of people who are voluntarily testing themselves and sharing their DNA—what more could you ask for?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.


15
Surly Newz / For Sale...Doomsday preppers pipe dream
« on: January 29, 2019, 05:13:51 AM »
Comes with your own gold mine.

Doomsday preppers pipe dream: Off-the-grid fortress in the middle of the Nevada desert, three hours away from Las Vegas, goes on sale for $950,000 - and comes with TWO vintage organs
The Hard Luck Castle combines elements of the Wild West with a modern-day castle
Encompassing 40 acres of land and 8,000 square feet of living space in the private Nevada wilderness
The four-story, 22-room, property is self-sustainable and completely off the power grid


By JAMES GORDON FOR DAILYMAIL.COM

PUBLISHED: 01:42 EST, 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:38 EST, 26 January 2019

An huge fortress spread over 8,000-square-feet and set on 40 acres of land in the Nevada desert some three hours drive away from Las Vegas could be yours for $950,000.

The home, which has been nicknamed, the Hard Luck Castle has four-bedrooms and three bathrooms.

The fortress is most unusual with a design that is more akin to a science-fiction film set than a secluded hideaway. 

Its walls along are 16 inches thick and are built around the home in a perfect circle with a spiral staircase allowing residents to access all four floors. 

'It's absolutely amazing,' says listing agent Jake Rasmuson of Bishop Real Estate. 'You have to picture the middle of Nevada...your views are completely uninterrupted. 

This four-story, 22-room, 8,000-square-foot castle for sale for $900,000 in the Nevada desert is the perfect retreat
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This four-story, 22-room, 8,000-square-foot castle for sale for $900,000 in the Nevada desert is the perfect retreat

+22
+22

The property is an enormous, privately owned fortress with 16-inch-thick concrete walls and self-sustained energy systems using solar and wind, and with a 4,000-gallon water storage/rain catchment system

The owner has added two enormous, vintage pipe organs which resonate through the halls when played
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The owner has added two enormous, vintage pipe organs which resonate through the halls when played

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The castle is owned by Randy Johnson, a former builder and craftsman who lived in Southern California and Lake Tahoe

The main house is made up from 22 rooms that include a theater, wine cellar and games room. There is even a pipe organ build in the 1920s that blasts notes throughout the home when played according to SFGate

The former owner was a builder from Southern California who decided to settle down in the tiny town of Gold Point in Esmeralda County.

Just six people live in was is essentially a ghost town. Naturally the home comes with privacy and very few laws for the private land. 

It took $3 million and more than a decade for the homeowner to complete his plan - and now he feels that it is time to move on.

'He built it all himself with help from friends ,' says listing agent. He's a guy who can fix or do anything. He's an amazing craftsman, but he's ready to give up the property. Purchase a boat and start a new chapter in his life.'

The castle is completely self sustaining and off the grid. Power comes from batteries charged by solar and wind energy to power the home theater and Vegas-style slot machine
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The castle is completely self sustaining and off the grid. Power comes from batteries charged by solar and wind energy to power the home theater and Vegas-style slot machine

The main home includes two 1920s pipe organs and comes partially furnished with antiques
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The main home includes two 1920s pipe organs and comes partially furnished with antiques

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The pipes of the organ dominate the decor in the home, while the bathroom looks distinctly ordinary 

Hard Luck Mine Castle is surrounded by nothing but the Nevada desert for miles. The home is located at 6,000 feet atop Gold Mountain 35 miles south of Goldfield, Nevada
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Hard Luck Mine Castle is surrounded by nothing but the Nevada desert for miles. The home is located at 6,000 feet atop Gold Mountain 35 miles south of Goldfield, Nevada

The Hard Luck Castle was constructed between 2000 and 2012 with engineering that is designed to last 400 to 500 years, according to the property listing
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The Hard Luck Castle was constructed between 2000 and 2012 with engineering that is designed to last 400 to 500 years, according to the property listing

The property also comes with a gold mine, which was closed at the end of WWII but is “still high in gold content”
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The property also comes with a gold mine, which was closed at the end of WWII but is 'still high in gold content'

From the outside it is possible to see just how truly remote the property is with nothing in the area for miles around
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From the outside it is possible to see just how truly remote the property is with nothing in the area for miles around

The Hard Luck Castle was constructed between 2000 and 2012 with engineering that is designed to last 400 to 500 years according to the listing. 

It's made from steel, concrete, cinder block and glass. More than seven tons of rebar and 24,000 bricks were used to build the castle.

The property is completely off-the-grid with electricity generated using solar and wind power. Water comes from a 4,000 gallon storage tank that collects rainwater. 

In front of the Hard Luck Castle, there is a tall, white compass. Each of the presidents names are listed in descending order
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In front of the Hard Luck Castle, there is a tall, white compass. Each of the presidents names are listed in descending order

Although it is miles away from anywhere, interested people can view the home for a $10 fee and receive a guided tour 
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Although it is miles away from anywhere, interested people can view the home for a $10 fee and receive a guided tour 

The Hard Luck Mine is a unique property that can provide for an escape, retreat, or remote compound for any individual or group desiring the ultimate in remote privacy and looking to disappear from society
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The Hard Luck Mine is a unique property that can provide for an escape, retreat, or remote compound for any individual or group desiring the ultimate in remote privacy and looking to disappear from society

The central living space in the Hard Luck Mine Castle is dominated by the enormous pipes of the organ
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The central living space in the Hard Luck Mine Castle is dominated by the enormous pipes of the organ

A 600-square-foot workshop is also included on site allowing for the homeowner to get to grips with their DIY skills
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A 600-square-foot workshop is also included on site allowing for the homeowner to get to grips with their DIY skills

Also included in the residence is a 600-square-foot workshop complete with tools. There is even a dormant gold mine close by which, according to legend, still contains gold.

'In a lot of ways, it's a 'doomsday prepper' dream home...extremely self-sustaining and secure.'

Rasmusson told SFGate that he could see 'an astrologist, an artists, a writer, a musician, a poet, someone who really wants peace and quiet and wants two pipe organs in their home' taking up residence in the future. 

Round and round: The four-story and 8,000-square-foot home features an awe-inspiring spiral staircase through the center of the building 
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Round and round: The four-story and 8,000-square-foot home features an awe-inspiring spiral staircase through the center of the building 

Accepting offers: Johnston continues to list the home for sale on his website, but says he hasn't received many phone calls from interested buyers lately 
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Accepting offers: Johnston continues to list the home for sale on his website, but says he hasn't received many phone calls from interested buyers lately 

The view: Rusty Johnston, 69, named the home Hard Luck Mine Castle, after the 19th century mine on the property 
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The view: Rusty Johnston, 69, named the home Hard Luck Mine Castle, after the 19th century mine on the property 


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