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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: October 09, 2019, 04:25:52 pm »



Watch: Tug Has Trouble with Cruise Ship in San Francisco

October 8, 2019 by Mike Schuler

Check out this incident video showing a tugboat being trapped between the cruise ship Star Princess and a pier in San Francisco. The incident took place on October 2 at San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27.

Not many details are available, including whether or not the tug or pier were damaged in the incident.

One thing is certain, however… that crunching sound was hard to listen to :P


https://gcaptain.com/watch-tug-has-trouble-with-cruise-ship-in-san-francisco/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: September 28, 2019, 07:25:12 pm »



At one point the Bourbon Rhode was reported as being just 60 nautical miles from the eye of Hurricane Lorenzo, a major Category 4 hurricane, according to Bourbon. The vessel is experiencing water ingress in the rear part of the vessel.

By gCaptain on Sep 27, 2019 03:22 pm

Bourbon Offshore Tug Missing After Getting Caught in 🌊 Hurricane Lorenzo

Bourbon Rhode

A rescue operation is underway for a Bourbon tug with fourteen crew members on board after the vessel found itself caught near the eye of Hurricane Lorenzo in the Atlantic Ocean. 

France-based Bourbon Offshore said its offshore tug Bourbon Rhode was in transit approximately 1,200 nautical miles off Martinique island, located in the Caribbean Sea, […]  Read full story...

September 28, 2019 by Mike Schuler

Update: Bourbon Rhode Sinks in the Atlantic Ocean; Three Rescued

Bourbon Offshore has reported that three crew members from the offshore tug Bourbon Rhode have been rescued from a liferaft in the Atlantic Ocean.

The company confirms that the vessel has sunk.

A search for eleven missing crew members continues.

Weather in the search zone has improved since the vessel was initially reported in distress on Thursday.

“In the context of search operations of tug supply vessel Bourbon Rhode started on September 26, the mobilized rescue teams have recovered a lifeboat with 3 crew members on board, the lifeboat having been identified by a Falcon 50 especially equipped for this type of mission and sent by the French Navy,” Bourbon Offshore said in an update on Saturday. “The 3 crew members are currently taken in charge by the medical support team onboard the commercial vessel, which provided assistance, and are currently placed under medical observation.”

Bourbon Rhode lifeboat Photo courtesy Marine Nationale

Bourbon’s statement continues:

“It has been confirmed that the vessel has sunk. The search continues to be carried out in weather conditions that are improving. All necessary means are implemented by the Cross AG and the French Navy, under the authority of the Prefect representing the State’s maritime authority, namely numerous flyovers carried out by the Falcon 50 over the search zone. Numerous commercial vessels have had their course changed in order to bring assistance, as well as a plane of the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

“The crisis cell put into place by BOURBON works in very close collaboration with the Cross AG and the French Navy. BOURBON’s teams are mobilized to keep the families of the crew members informed and bring them full support in this difficult time.”

The French Navy deployed a Falcon 50 from Dakar, as well the surveillance frigate Ventôse to assist in the search. Multiple commercial vessels are also involved in the search.

France-based Bourbon Offshore reported previously its offshore tug Bourbon Rhode, with a crew of fourteen, was in transit approximately 1,200 nautical miles off Martinique island, located in the Caribbean Sea, when it sent a distress signal that was picked up by French authorities on Thursday morning after the became caught in Hurricane Lorenzo.

At one point the Bourbon Rhode was reported as being just 60 nautical miles from the eye of Lorenzo, which at the time was a major Category 4 hurricane, according to Bourbon.

The vessel was initally reported to be experiencing water ingress in the rear part of the vessel.

The rescue is being coordinated by the Regional Operational Center of Surveillance and Rescue (Cross) of West Indies-Guyana.

Bourbon Rhode is part of Bourbon’s fleet of terminal tugs which provide assistance operations, standby, and support of offshore oil and gas terminals, and is specialized in assisting FPSOs.
https://gcaptain.com/bourbon-rhode-sinks-in-the-atlantic-ocean-three-rescued/

Agelbert NOTE: A time of Catastrophic Climate Change is fast approaching when these storms with giant waves will no longer be non-routine.


Posted by: Surly1
« on: September 19, 2019, 06:39:45 am »

Baby boomers are going to face another problem: The baby bust
As Maine goes, so goes the the rest of the country.


LLOYD ALTER
August 27, 2019, 6:42 a.m.
Maine, lobster industry, aging population
With an aging population, who's going to pull in all the lobsters in Maine? (Photo: Christine Norton Photo/Shutterstock)

Maine has the oldest population in the USA, with a median age of 44.6 years, significantly older than the 38.1 median age for the country. According to Jeff Stein in The Washington Post, the state is being "hammered by two slow-moving demographic forces — the growth of the retirement population and a simultaneous decline in young workers."

The disconnect between Maine's aging population and its need for young workers to care for that population is expected to be mirrored in states throughout the country over the coming decade, demographic experts say. And that’s especially true in states with populations with fewer immigrants, who are disproportionately represented in many occupations serving the elderly, statistics show.

Maine recently became the first state to reach the "super-aged" threshold where 20 percent of the population is over 65; the whole country will reach that point in 2030. Health care is in crisis; finding in-home caregivers is almost impossible. Baby boomer kids are run off their feet taking care of their elderly parents. Nursing homes are closing due to lack of staff.

"The U.S. is just starting this journey, and Maine is at the leading edge," said Jess Maurer, executive director of the Maine Council on Aging. "As we are living longer, all the systems that have always worked for us may have to be changed."

No kidding. Bruce Chernof, who wrote a report about this for Congress, says "left unaddressed, this will be catastrophic. We as a country have not wrapped our heads around what it's going to take to pay for long-term care."

The other problem is what we see in Maine, writ large: no young people. Who's going to provide that care? According to The Week,

By 2025, U.S. health-care providers believe they will face a collective shortage of about 500,000 home health aides, 100,000 nursing assistants, and 29,000 nurse practitioners. Some are also bracing for a shortage of up to 122,000 doctors by 2032.

Here comes the Baby Bust

falling fertility rateThose millennial kids aren't having any kids! (Photo: Pew Research Center)

All of this wouldn't be so bad if people still had lots of kids to take care of their parents like they used to, but the birth rate has been declining since the Great Recession in 2008, in what is called the "baby bust." According to the Economist,

Many people lost their jobs or their homes, which hardly put them in a procreative mood. But in the past few years the economy has bounced back—and births continue to drop. America's total fertility rate, which can be thought of as the number of children the average woman will bear, has fallen from 2.12 to 1.77.

The Economist notes that young people like to move to cities where the good jobs are (part of the problem in Maine) and where housing is very expensive and raising kids is very costly. Church attendance is also declining, and "churches tend to be in favour of children — more so than the other places where people hang out on the weekend, such as gyms and bars."

The Wall Street Journal blames spendy, self-centered millennials for not having enough kids. "Americans now expect annual vacations or entertainment that not long ago were available only to the affluent ... The uncomfortable truth may be that the 'two-income trap' is more about maintaining a certain high living standard than it is access to a decent life in America." Or maybe it's all that avocado toast.

The baby bust is, in fact, a huge contributor to the problem of dealing with the baby boom; a shrinking population means a shrinking tax base, at a time when health care costs will be going through the roof. According to the Week, "American spending on health care is expected to rise from about $4 trillion a year to $6 trillion, or 19.4 percent of GDP, by 2027."

mom and caregiverMy late mom and her caregiver at our house for a party. (Photo: Lloyd Alter)

This is a problem in developed countries all over the world, and countries are taking different approaches to the problem. Japan is developing robots to take care of older people; my late mom and all her rich friends in Toronto had flying squads of Filipino caregivers, thanks to a special focused immigration program set up by the Canadian government that lets the caregivers eventually get citizenship once they have worked for a number of years.

Bruce Chernof was right; nobody is wrapping their heads around this problem. We have the baby boomers getting older; we have a baby bust, so nobody will be around to take care of them or generate revenue to pay for their care. We have governments that hate raising taxes and admitting immigrants, when two things we're going to need are lots of money and people, not something anyone wants to talk about these days.

Posted by: Surly1
« on: September 02, 2019, 01:42:44 pm »

Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 31, 2019, 12:12:01 pm »

Not sure this is news, but...

Minimum wage doesn't cover the rent anywhere in the U.S.



A minimum-wage worker would have to put in lots of overtime to be able to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country. And downsizing to a one-bedroom pad barely helps.

Even with some states hiking pay for those earning the least, there is still nowhere in the country where a person working a full-time minimum wage job can afford to rent a decent two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Even the $15 hourly wage touted by labor activists would not be enough to make housing affordable in the overwhelming majority of states, the coalition found. Nationally, someone would need to make $17.90 an hour to rent a modest one-bedroom or $22.10 an hour to cover a two-bedroom place.

Renters across the country earn an average hourly rate of $16.88, the report estimated, a finding that illustrates how even folks earning more than the minimum wage scramble to pay for housing.

The findings are based on the standard budgeting concept of not spending more than 30 percent of one's income on housing.

The nation's costliest housing is in Hawaii, where one would need to earn $36.13, or roughly $75,000 a year, to be able to rent a modest two-bedroom. The state's minimum wage increased to $10.10 an hour this year.

The cheapest housing in the U.S. can be found in Arkansas, where the minimum wage is $8.50 an hour. Yet one would have to make $13.84 an hour, or roughly $29,000 a year, to afford a two-bedroom apartment.

A one-bedroom is affordable for minimum-wage employees in all of 22 counties in just five states -- Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. Each has a higher minimum wage than the $7.25 federal minimum.

The study bases its definition of "modest" rental housing on a weighted average of fair market rent estimates developed annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to calculate the agency's housing assistance to poor people around the country.

The cost of housing has steadily risen along with increased demand for rentals, yet new construction has trended toward the high-end market due to lofty development expenses, the findings said.

"While the housing market may have recovered for many, we are nonetheless experiencing an affordable housing crisis, especially for very low-income families," Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote in the report's preface. "In America today, nearly 11 million families pay more than half of their limited incomes toward rent and utilities. That leaves precious little for other essentials."
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 07, 2019, 12:57:01 pm »

Declassified CIA Document Reveals Iraq War Had Little Justification

Excellent post. I wish some of those bastards would go to jail for that, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for prison sentences for these elite scum any time soon. >:( The fact is that they planned and executed the 9/11 False Flag Operation, AND the subsequent continuing coverup, for the purpose of grabbing that murderously profitable MIC "bonanza" of war(s) AND obtaining a huge "war shock" price spike in oil along the way.

I have not forgotten 👹 Cheney's meeting in the spring of 2001 with a bunch of 🦕🦖 Big Oil partners in crime. Congress tried to get the info on that meeting but Cheney refused to give them the details OR his nice Iraq chart showing how the oil sources were going to be "partitioned" among his 🦕🦖 pals (after our "New Pearl Harbor" took place in early September, the month Ad agencies always roll out new products).

You have it correct.

Memory: the superpower of liberals.

Yep, we remember how we got here and, more importantly, WHY we got here.

The thing is, that just about anybody that works in the media knows what I just wrote about. They know the ugly truth but do not have the courage to publlsh it. It is true that they risk being ostracized, losing their jobs AND their lives if they write the truth.

So, they choose a materially comfortable (and spiritually bankrupt) life as liars for hire rather than a shorter lifespan as beacons of truth. 🙃👎

This quote from a long time ago explains WHY we got here:

Quote
"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."

John Swinton,
preeminent New York journalist, at a press banquet,
1880

Those of us who have studied American History during that period are painfully aware of how the THE ROBBER BARONS WORKED TOGETHER TO KILL FREE PRESS IN THE USA. Their despicable corrupting influence is even more pervasive today.

Beacons of truth in different epochs, William Lloyd Garrison and Milton William Cooper, have been the voices crying out in the desert.

Quote
When William Lloyd Garrison launched his crusading abolitionist newspaper The Liberator in 1831—at a time when Congress refused even to debate the issue of slavery, and three long decades before America would finally confront the sin of human bondage—he acknowledged that his call for the “immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves” was going to upset the polite politics and empty calculations of the elites.

“I am aware that many object to the severity of my language; but is there not cause for severity?” Garrison wrote. “I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or to speak, or write, with moderation. No! No! Tell a man whose house is on fire to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch—AND I WILL BE HEARD.”

There is a way out of this miasma, but I do not see any evidence that those exerting the most influence on human society will take it.

You have taken that path.👍 I have taken that path. BUT, those of us taking that path are in the extreme minority.





Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 07, 2019, 05:56:55 am »

Declassified CIA Document Reveals Iraq War Had Little Justification

Excellent post. I wish some of those bastards would go to jail for that, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for prison sentences for these elite scum any time soon. >:( The fact is that they planned and executed the 9/11 False Flag Operation, AND the subsequent continuing coverup, for the purpose of grabbing that murderously profitable MIC "bonanza" of war(s) AND obtaining a huge "war shock" price spike in oil along the way.

I have not forgotten 👹 Cheney's meeting in the spring of 2001 with a bunch of 🦕🦖 Big Oil partners in crime. Congress tried to get the info on that meeting but Cheney refused to give them the details OR his nice Iraq chart showing how the oil sources were going to be "partitioned" among his 🦕🦖 pals (after our "New Pearl Harbor" took place in early September, the month Ad agencies always roll out new products).

You have it correct.

Memory: the superpower of liberals.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 06, 2019, 10:20:44 pm »

Declassified CIA Document Reveals Iraq War Had Little Justification

Excellent post. I wish some of those bastards would go to jail for that, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for prison sentences for these elite scum any time soon. >:( The fact is that they planned and executed the 9/11 False Flag Operation, AND the subsequent continuing coverup, for the purpose of grabbing that murderously profitable MIC "bonanza" of war(s) AND obtaining a huge "war shock" price spike in oil along the way.

I have not forgotten 👹 Cheney's meeting in the spring of 2001 with a bunch of 🦕🦖 Big Oil partners in crime. Congress tried to get the info on that meeting but Cheney refused to give them the details OR his nice Iraq chart showing how the oil sources were going to be "partitioned" among his 🦕🦖 pals (after our "New Pearl Harbor" took place in early September, the month Ad agencies always roll out new products). The Hydrocarbon Hellspawn always plan ahead. They define MENS REA as "prudent planning".

Those documents, if properly followed up on, lead DIRECTLY to the names of those who did the planning of the 9/11 WTC and Pentagon false flag operations right down to the last detail. So, they probably will stop investigating after they come to the conclusion, that everybody else has reached for well over a decade now, that there was NEVER a Casus belli for the War Crime that 🐵 Bush, 👹 Cheney and 🦍Rumsfeld committed in Iraq.
Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 06, 2019, 08:27:57 pm »

Declassified CIA Document Reveals Iraq War Had Little Justification
 Recently declassified documents reveal what we all felt was true at the time: that there was little justification for the Iraq war.

https://newspunch.com/declassified-cia-document-reveals-iraq-war-had-zero-justification/?fbclid=IwAR3DdjPyG_jkzUAyjxgXrSySXAvzGO8fnZuTxJWSOWMC2f2plb99Jgi67LE



The justification for going to war in Iraq thirteen years ago, was based on a 93-page classified document that allegedly contained “specific information” on former Iraqi leader President Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs he was apparently running.

Now that document has been declassified and it reveals that there was little justification for the Iraq war. 

Vice.com reports:

The CIA released a copy of the NIE in 2004 in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, but redacted virtually all of it, citing a threat to national security. Then last year, John Greenewald, who operates The Black Vault, a clearinghouse for declassified government documents, asked the CIA to take another look at the October 2002 NIE to determine whether any additional portions of it could be declassified.

The agency responded to Greenewald this past January and provided him with a new version of the NIE, which he shared exclusively with VICE News, that restores the majority of the prewar Iraq intelligence that has eluded historians, journalists, and war critics for more than a decade. (Some previously redacted portions of the NIE had previously been disclosed in congressional reports.)

For the first time, the public can now read the hastily drafted CIA document [pdf below] that led Congress to pass a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, a costly war launched March 20, 2003 that was predicated on “disarming” Iraq of its (non-existent) WMD, overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and “freeing” the Iraqi people.

A report issued by the RAND Corporation last December titled “Blinders, Blunders and Wars” said the NIE “contained several qualifiers that were dropped…. As the draft NIE went up the intelligence chain of command, the conclusions were treated increasingly definitively.”

An example of that: According to the newly declassified NIE, the intelligence community concluded that Iraq “probably has renovated a [vaccine] production plant” to manufacture biological weapons “but we are unable to determine whether [biological weapons] agent research has resumed.” The NIE also said Hussein did not have “sufficient material” to manufacture any nuclear weapons. But in an October 7, 2002 speech in Cincinnati, Ohio, then-President George W. Bush simply said Iraq, “possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons” and “the evidence indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.”

One of the most significant parts of the NIE revealed for the first time is the section pertaining to Iraq’s alleged links to al Qaeda. In September 2002, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claimed the US had “bulletproof” evidence linking Hussein’s regime to the terrorist group.

“We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad,” Rumsfeld said. “We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior-level contacts going back a decade, and of possible chemical- and biological-agent training.”

But the NIE said its information about a working relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq was based on “sources of varying reliability” — like Iraqi defectors — and it was not at all clear that Hussein had even been aware of a relationship, if in fact there were one.

“As with much of the information on the overall relationship, details on training and support are second-hand,” the NIE said. “The presence of al-Qa’ida militants in Iraq poses many questions. We do not know to what extent Baghdad may be actively complicit in this use of its territory for safehaven and transit.”

The declassified NIE provides details about the sources of some of the suspect intelligence concerning allegations Iraq trained al Qaeda operatives on chemical and biological weapons deployment — sources like War on Terror detainees who were rendered to secret CIA black site prisons, and others who were turned over to foreign intelligence services and tortured. Congress’s later investigation into prewar Iraq intelligence concluded that the intelligence community based its claims about Iraq’s chemical and biological training provided to al Qaeda on a single source.

“Detainee Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi — who had significant responsibility for training — has told us that Iraq provided unspecified chemical or biological weapons training for two al-Qai’ida members beginning in December 2000,” the NIE says. “He has claimed, however, that Iraq never sent any chemical, biological, or nuclear substances — or any trainers — to al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan.”

Al-Libi was the emir of the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan, which the Taliban closed prior to 9/11 because al-Libi refused to turn over control to Osama bin Laden.

Last December, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified summary of its so-called Torture Report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program. A footnote stated that al-Libi, a Libyan national, “reported while in [redacted] custody that Iraq was supporting al-Qa’ida and providing assistance with chemical and biological weapons.”

“Some of this information was cited by Secretary [of State Colin] Powell in his speech to the United Nations, and was used as a justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq,” the Senate torture report said. “Ibn Shaykh al-Libi recanted the claim after he was rendered to CIA custody on February [redacted] 2003, claiming that he had been tortured by the [redacted], and only told them what he assessed they wanted to hear.”

Al-Libi reportedly committed suicide in a Libyan prison in 2009, about a month after human rights investigators met with him.

The NIE goes on to say that “none of the [redacted] al-Qa’ida members captured during [the Afghanistan war] report having been trained in Iraq or by Iraqi trainers elsewhere, but given al-Qa’ida’s interest over the years in training and expertise from outside sources, we cannot discount reports of such training entirely.”

All told, this is the most damning language in the NIE about Hussein’s links to al Qaeda: “While the Iraqi president “has not endorsed al-Qa’ida’s overall agenda and has been suspicious of Islamist movements in general, apparently he has not been averse to some contacts with the organization.”

The NIE suggests that the CIA had sources within the media to substantiate details about meetings between al Qaeda and top Iraqi government officials held during the 1990s and 2002 — but some were not very reliable. “Several dozen additional direct or indirect meetings are attested to by less reliable clandestine and press sources over the same period,” the NIE says.

The RAND report noted, “The fact that the NIE concluded that there was no operational tie between Saddam and al Qaeda did not offset this alarming assessment.”

The NIE also restores another previously unknown piece of “intelligence”: a suggestion that Iraq was possibly behind the letters laced with anthrax sent to news organizations and senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy a week after the 9/11 attacks. The attacks killed five people and sickened 17 others.

“We have no intelligence information linking Iraq to the fall 2001 attacks in the United States, but Iraq has the capability to produce spores of Bacillus anthracis — the causative agent of anthrax — similar to the dry spores used in the letters,” the NIE said. “The spores found in the Daschle and Leahy letters are highly purified, probably requiring a high level of skill and expertise in working with bacterial spores. Iraqi scientists could have such expertise,” although samples of a biological agent Iraq was known to have used as an anthrax simulant “were not as pure as the anthrax spores in the letters.”

Paul Pillar, a former veteran CIA analyst for the Middle East who was in charge of coordinating the intelligence community’s assessments on Iraq, told VICE news that “the NIE’s bio weapons claims” was based on unreliable sources such as Ahmad Chalabi, the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, an opposition group supported by the US.

“There was an insufficient critical skepticism about some of the source material,” he now says about the unredacted NIE. “I think there should have been agnosticism expressed in the main judgments. It would have been a better paper if it were more carefully drafted in that sort of direction.”

But Pillar, now a visiting professor at Georgetown University, added that the Bush administration had already made the decision to go to war in Iraq, so the NIE “didn’t influence [their] decision.” Pillar added that he was told by congressional aides that only a half-dozen senators and a few House members read past the NIE’s five-page summary.

David Kay, a former Iraq weapons inspector who also headed the Iraq Survey Group, told Frontline that the intelligence community did a “poor job” on the NIE, “probably the worst of the modern NIE’s, partly explained by the pressure, but more importantly explained by the lack of information they had. And it was trying to drive towards a policy conclusion where the information just simply didn’t support it.”

The most controversial part of the NIE, which has been picked apart hundreds of times over the past decade and has been thoroughly debunked, pertained to a section about Iraq’s attempts to acquire aluminum tubes. The Bush administration claimed that this was evidence that Iraq was pursuing a nuclear weapon.

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice stated at the time on CNN that the tubes “are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs,” and that “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

The version of the NIE released in 2004 redacted the aluminum tubes section in its entirety. But the newly declassified assessment unredacts a majority of it and shows that the intelligence community was unsure why “Saddam is personally interested in the procurement of aluminum tubes.” The US Department of Energy concluded that the dimensions of the aluminum tubes were “consistent with applications to rocket motors” and “this is the more likely end use.”

The CIA’s unclassified summary of the NIE did not contain the Energy Department’s dissent.

“Apart from being influenced by policymakers’ desires, there were several other reasons that the NIE was flawed,” the RAND study concluded. “Evidence on mobile biological labs, uranium ore purchases from Niger, and unmanned-aerial-vehicle delivery systems for WMDs all proved to be false. It was produced in a hurry. Human intelligence was scarce and unreliable. While many pieces of evidence were questionable, the magnitude of the questionable evidence had the effect of making the NIE more convincing and ominous. The basic case that Saddam had WMDs seemed more plausible to analysts than the alternative case that he had destroyed them. And analysts knew that Saddam had a history of deception, so evidence against Saddam’s possession of WMDs was often seen as deception.”

According to the latest figures compiled by Iraq Body Count, to date more than 200,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, although other sources say the casualties are twice as high. More than 4,000 US soldiers have been killed in Iraq, and tens of thousands more have been injured and maimed. The war has cost US taxpayers more than $800 billion.

In an interview with VICE founder Shane Smith, Obama said the rise of the Islamic State was a direct result of the disastrous invasion.

“ISIL is a direct outgrowth of al Qaeda in Iraq that grew out of our invasion,” Obama said. “Which is an example of unintended consequences. Which is why we should generally aim before we shoot.”

Iraq October 2002 NIE on WMDs (unedacted version)

This article was originally published in 2015 and is frequently updated

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: August 04, 2019, 02:40:22 pm »

Quote
8chan isn’t only a place where people find community in their hate, but it is where they go when they want to announce mass murder to an online army that can help spread their message. Even when 8chan’s owners do feel compelled to step in—in a rarity, the suspected El Paso shooter’s original thread appears to have been removed—that army will have already gotten to work. The manifesto has been reposted again and again and again. The playbook worked.

Full Surly postedd article:
http://renewablerevolution.createaforum.com/general-discussion/non-routine-news/msg13103/#msg13103

Yes, shooter games and "social" (i.e. anti-social) media cesspools contribute to mass ☠️ murders. However, that has been true since the year 2000 or so. Shutting them all down and banning shooter video games and passing all kinds of laws might slow the frequency of these horrific events down, but would not stop these atrocities.

WHY? Because the root of this problem is an embrace of Social Darwinism by our FASCIST leadership! Trump is the hate normalizing trigger person that has fueled the increase in frequency of these mass killings. Trump didn't pull the trigger, but while Trump is, as POTUS, deliberately, methodically and repeatedly fostering EVIL HATRED, he is as guilty of these murders as those that actually did, along with those that will.

Expect a Republican Party TOOL , true to the Orwellian MO that Republicans are totally into now, to publish an article claiming there is a "positive" side to mass murders. Yes, they are THAT BRAZENLY MENDACIOUS. After some "prayers" for those killed, the Republican BULLSHIT ARTIST will calmly explain how "good for society mass murders actually are" because they select out those with the poorest survival skills. Darwin and Hitler would agree. Trump would immediately tweet a link to the article (that he had surreptitiously ordered to be written). This would, of course, provide more "evidence" that Trump is helping, not hurting, America.

Furthermore, anyone claiming that Trump's leadership "style" contributed to the increase in frequencies of mass murders would be considered a "conspiracy theory peddling potential homeland terrorist". All patriotic Americans should report these potential terrorists to Homeland Security. Heil Trump. 



Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:48:01 am »

8chan Is a Normal Part of Mass Shootings Now
Three white-nationalist shooters appear to have posted manifestos on the same troll forum. Here’s how 8chan became a meme-filled refuge for hate.



Law enforcement agencies respond to the shooting at a Walmart near Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.
JOEL ANGEL JUAREZ/Getty Images


By APRIL GLASER


Late Saturday morning, a young white man entered a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, and opened fire with an AK-47-style rifle, killing 20 people and injuring 26 more. Police apprehended the suspected shooter, a 21-year-old man from Allen, Texas. It didn’t take long for internet researchers to find a four-page manifesto posted less than hour before the violence, a document that El Paso’s police chief appeared to later confirm was being examined by officials. The document had been uploaded to the notorious, unmoderated message board 8chan at 10:15 a.m. local time, and it included a request: “Do your part and spread this brothers!”

In the anti-immigrant screed, the author describes plans to perpetrate a mass shooting against the Latino people he believes are invading the United States, the weapons he will use to do it, and his white-nationalist beliefs. Soon after it was first posted on 8chan, the manifesto could be found On 4chan, another message board with scant rules about what people can or cannot share. And not long after that, it was circulating as images on Twitter and Facebook and easily findable in a Google image search. Clearly someone got the author’s message.

The writer of the manifesto said he was inspired by the Mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand—before which the gunman, another young white man, posted a sprawling essayon 8chan as well as a link to a Facebook Live broadcast of the massacre and instructions to share. That video was removed about 45 minutes after the broadcast began, giving his audience ample time to copy the footage. It was posted to Facebook 1.5 million times in the first 24 hours after the shooting.

The involvement of 8chan is becoming a familiar detail in cases of white-supremacist violence. The El Paso shooting appears to be the second one since the Christchurch massacre to draw from that killer’s playbook. About five weeks later, two hours before another young man murdered someone at a synagogue in Poway, California, the suspected shooter also posted a manifesto to 8chan. In it, he detailed his ideological rationale for mass murder and gave instructions to spread his words far and wide. Each of these shootings appeared to have been designed to go viral—a horrific act would catch the world’s attention, and a manifesto would deliver the hate-filled payload.

An anonymous, meme-filled internet backwater, 8chan has long been a place for white supremacists to indoctrinate others—mostly young white men—into bigoted ideologies. It’s difficult to put an exact timestamp on when 8chan and 4chan became prime hangouts for white nationalists and neo-Nazis, but the connections to other online venues of hate are clear.

Before 8chan and 4chan, there was Stormfront, a message board created by Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Don Black in 1996. For more than a decade Stormfront was the most popular white supremacist website on the web. 4chan, founded in 2003, had become fashionable among the generally left-leaning online activists Anonymous, who were known for launching online trolling campaigns against those they politically disagreed with. There, the /pol/ message board (short for “politically incorrect”) attracted users who enjoyed trolling people with jokes about Nazis and racist tropes. Around 2012, Stormfront users reportedly noticed an opportunity to make 4channers “racially aware,” and that year, a “Redpill instruction pamphlet” to indoctrinate 4chan trolls began circulating on 4chan, according to a report in Rolling Stone. Andrew Anglin, who founded the influential neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer, once said that 4chan is where he “got into Hitler.”  Anglin later teamed up with Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, an infamous neo-Nazi troll who led vicious doxing campaigns against women, and the two helped to pioneer a meme-ified style of spreading hate that remains popular on 4chan and 8chan and across the fringe-right web today: make lots of jokes about the Holocaust and other genocides, desensitizing people to extreme hate-based violence.

If 4chan’s /pol/ could get pretty bad, 8chan became a destination for the very worst. The board was founded in the U.S. by Fredrick Brennan after 4chan’s owners decided to ban threads about the online harassment campaign Gamergate. While 4chan has a virtually nonexistent moderation policy, it does have rulesagainst posting anyone’s personal information, like home addresses and phone numbers. 8chan doesn’t even have that. Whatever is too gruesome for 4chan finds a home on 8chan. That now includes enthusiasm for a white ethnostate. 8chan, now based in the Philippines, has “less restrictive moderation policies” than almost anywhere else on the internet, which has led it to become a “naturally more transgressional space,” than anywhere else on the internet, according to Benjamin T. Decker, the founder of Memetica, a digital investigations consultancy.

Many people come to the politically incorrect boards of 4chan and 8chan from video-game communities, where players looking to laugh at an abasing joke or chat about violent games without offending anyone can find friends. The forums are rife with in-jokes in which users routinely blur the lines between actually believing in Nazism and laughing about it. After the Poway shooter’s manifesto appeared, posters on 8chan wrote that the killer should try to
“get the high score” and kill a larger number of people than the Chistchurch shooter did.

8chan isn’t only a place where people find community in their hate, but it is where they go when they want to announce mass murder to an online army that can help spread their message. Even when 8chan’s owners do feel compelled to step in—in a rarity, the suspected El Paso shooter’s original thread appears to have been removed—that army will have already gotten to work. The manifesto has been reposted again and again and again. The playbook worked.

Posted by: Surly1
« on: August 04, 2019, 06:44:04 am »

Minutes Before El Paso Killing, Hate-Filled Manifesto Appears Online
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/03/us/patrick-crusius-el-paso-shooter-manifesto.html



By Tim Arango, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Katie Benner
Aug. 3, 2019

Nineteen minutes before the first 911 call alerted the authorities to a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Tex., a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online.

It spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race. It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners.

The authorities were scrutinizing the 2,300-word screed on Saturday and attempting to determine whether it was written by the same man who killed 20 people and injured more than two dozen others near the Mexican border.

Police officers were interviewing the suspect, Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old white man from Allen, Tex., a roughly 10-hour drive to the Walmart. What brought him to a crowded shopping center in El Paso is one of the many questions on the minds of investigators.

The manifesto that may be linked to Mr. Crusius described an imminent attack and railed against immigrants, saying, “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.”

From New Zealand to Pittsburgh to a synagogue in Poway, Calif., aggrieved white men over the last several months have turned to mass murder in service of hatred against immigrants, Jews and others they perceive as threats to the white race.

The unsigned manifesto, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” draws direct inspiration from the mass murder of Muslims at two mosques in New Zealand in March that left 51 people dead. In that attack, the alleged killer published a manifesto online promoting a white supremacist theory called “the great replacement.” The theory has been promoted by a French writer named Renaud Camus, and argues that elites in Europe have been working to replace white Europeans with immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

Christchurch has become a rallying cry for extremists the world over. The manifesto potentially linked to the El Paso killings begins, “In general, I support the Christchurch shooter and his manifesto. This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”

The gunman who opened fire in April at a synagogue in Poway, Calif., near San Diego, posted an anti-Semitic diatribe on 8chan, the same online message board where the El Paso document surfaced. The Poway manifesto echoed the words of the Christchurch suspect, and also drew inspiration from a massacre at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last October. In that mass shooting, the suspect railed against immigrants, Jews and other groups.

The El Paso shooting, if the manifesto is linked to the gunman, potentially underscored the global spread of white supremacist ideology in the age of social media and at a time when immigration in America and elsewhere has become a divisive political topic.

Shortly after the mass shooting Saturday, Mr. Crusius’ LinkedIn and Facebook accounts were shut down. A LinkedIn page that circulated online after the account was closed down appeared to be several years old, and Mr. Crusius seemed to be a lost young man.

He wrote on LinkedIn while in high school, “I’m not really motivated to do anything more than what’s necessary to get by. Working in general sucks, but I guess a career in Software Development suits me well. I spend about 8 hours every day on the computer so that counts toward technology experience I guess.”

The posting concluded: “Pretty much just gonna see what technology careers present themselves to me; go with the wind.”

If the manifesto is conclusively linked to Mr. Crusius, the federal authorities may treat Saturday’s attack as a hate crime or an incident of domestic terrorism.

The F.B.I. has said that more Americans have died in domestic terrorist attacks than international ones since Sept. 11, and that domestic terrorism is increasingly motivated by white supremacist ideology.

Christopher Wray, the director of the F.B.I., told Congress last month that the bureau had made about 100 domestic terrorism arrests in the first three quarters of the year, roughly the same number of international arrests over that time period.
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No United States government agency is responsible for designating domestic terrorism organizations, and there is no criminal charge of domestic terrorism. Individuals who are considered domestic terrorists are charged under other existing laws, such as hate crime, gun and conspiracy statutes.

Officials have said that domestic terrorists continue to be radicalized online, where individuals are able to align with other extremists, become inspired and find the resources they need to act.

The investigation is currently being led by the state of Texas, with assistance from the local sheriff’s department, the F.B.I., Border Patrol and others. During a news conference Saturday afternoon, law enforcement officials said that they were exploring potential capital murder charges.

“Not speaking about this particular instance, which is still under investigation, the manifesto narrative is fueled by hate, and it is fueled by racism and bigotry and division,” said Veronica Escobar, the congresswoman who represents El Paso. “El Paso has historically been a very safe community. We’ve been safe for decades. We will continue to be safe.”

She added, “This is someone who came from outside of our community to do us harm.”

Once again on Saturday, America’s epidemic of mass shootings intersected with the divisive issues of race and immigration.

The words of the manifesto, in citing the “great replacement” theory, echo the slogan that was chanted during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017: “Jews will not replace us.”

The writer of the manifesto also suggested that Democrats in the United States have a strategy to gain a permanent majority by embracing the growing Hispanic population, a notion that has gained currency on right-wing radio shows for years.

The manifesto said the gunman planned to use an AK-47-style rifle, which has been frequently used in mass shootings. The four-page document said politicians of both parties were to blame for the United States “rotting from the inside out,” and that “the heavy Hispanic population in Texas will make us a Democrat stronghold.”

The manifesto also railed against automation and embraced an argument familiar in anti-immigrant circles: that immigrants are taking jobs from “natives.”

“My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president,” the document says.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 26, 2019, 05:17:13 pm »

Ryzhik the Siberian 🐈 cat who refuses to be defeated by frostbite

By The Siberian Times reporter 09 June 2019

The pet lost all four paws in January in -40C cold in Tomsk but video shows him walking again with artificial titanium limbs.



Ryzhik 🐈 (meaning Redhead or Ginger) was found with all paws so badly frostbitten and with gangrene developing so fast, that there was no other option but amputation.

Not long ago this was a common cause of pets being put down in the harsh winters. :(

Luckily Ryzhik got himself a new owner who had other plans. 

The cat was taken to a clinic in Novosibirsk, which specialises in implanting artificial limbs.

Computer tomography and 3D modelling were used to manufacture the most comfortable and suitable artificial limbs for the cat.  Pictures: Vesti Rossiya

Now Ryzhik is believed to be the only cat in Russia with four functioning artificial paws.

Indeed surgeon Sergey Gorshkov said: ‘He is definitely the first cat in the world who experienced such surgeries.

‘The limbs have fully connected with the skin and bone. The part of the limb that goes inside the body is spongy, the bone tissue grows inside it.

‘We achieved a good result.

‘We have secured the function of the limb, although part of it has been removed.’

https://siberiantimes.com/other/others/features/ryzhik-the-siberian-cat-who-refuses-to-be-defeated-by-frostbite/

Agelbert COMMENT: Brave Kitty Ryzhik, may you live long and prosper!
Posted by: Surly1
« on: July 25, 2019, 03:36:18 pm »


I have seen that look every now and then here in Vermont. It was directed at me. It was from complete strangers I had never conversed with and never met before. It is possible that it is because I am ugly and my momma dresses me funny, but I rather doubt it. I do what I can to avoid violence. So, in these situations, I take on a puzzled look, then look away and walk away.

The only thing about unreconstructed racists is that they easily self-identify, as you illustrate. The best way to win a fight is to avoid it.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 25, 2019, 01:37:23 pm »

No, he's not "antifa" either. Just another example of home-grown white supremacist hate mongers the permanent right-wing victim lobby ardently denies. Which is way they so furiously attempt to change the subject.

Iowa Neo-Nazi Arrested for Threats to ‘Slaughter’ Jews: Prosecutors
An Iowa neo-Nazi threatened a Jewish group with disturbing violence over a YouTube video he disliked, prosecutors say.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/iowa-neo-nazi-arrested-for-threats-to-slaughter-jews-prosecutorse

Calling anti-fascists “terrorists” and appealing on the government to criminalize anti-fascism is a popular meme on the far right. Earlier this month, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy introduced a bill aimed at designating anti-fascists a “domestic terrorist organization,” despite anti-fascism not constituting an official organization.

Kelsey also maintained presences on extremist-friendly social media sites Gab, Minds, and Bitchute. His profile picture on Gab and Minds was a Sonnenrad, a symbol popular with neo-Nazis. On Minds he encouraged people to join openly Nazi communities, and made repeated attacks on immigrants, Jews, and Muslims.



I have seen that look every now and then here in Vermont. It was directed at me. It was from complete strangers I had never conversed with and never met before. It is possible that it is because I am ugly and my momma dresses me funny, but I rather doubt it. I do what I can to avoid violence. So, in these situations, I take on a puzzled (i.e. ) look, then look away and walk away.
Posted by: Surly1
« on: July 25, 2019, 10:24:52 am »

No, he's not "antifa" either. Just another example of home-grown white supremacist hate mongers the the permanent right-wing victim lobby ardently denies. Which is way they so furiously attempt to change the subject.

Iowa Neo-Nazi Arrested for Threats to ‘Slaughter’ Jews: Prosecutors
An Iowa neo-Nazi threatened a Jewish group with disturbing violence over a YouTube video he disliked, prosecutors say.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/iowa-neo-nazi-arrested-for-threats-to-slaughter-jews-prosecutors?ref=home

Kelly Weill
Reporter
An Iowa neo-Nazi has been arrested for allegedly threatening to “slaughter” Jews in messages to a Jewish organization, prosecutors say.


Garrett Kelsey, 31, allegedly left phone and email messages with a New York-based Jewish organization, sometimes threatening violence if they did not remove a YouTube video he disliked. Kelsey’s social media was filled with neo-Nazi references, as well as racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim memes.

Kelsey’s alleged campaign against the Jewish organization began with a video about neo-Nazis. The Jewish organization had made a video about a Scandinavian fascist movement, likely the Nordic Resistance Movement, which has been involved in violent attacks for years.

Kelsey took offense at the video, prosecutors say. He practiced Asatru, a pagan faith that is not inherently hateful, but which has a documented following among white supremacists. On May 23, he allegedly used an email with an Asatru reference to threaten violence against the Jewish group if they did not “remove this video and offer an apology to the Asatru community.”

Asatru draws on some Scandinavian roots, but a video about Scandinavian neo-Nazis is not an attack on Asatru. Nevertheless, Kelsey allegedly made more graphic threats over the phone. He called the organization, spoke to an employee, then called back and left a threatening message with the employee’s name, according to a criminal complaint.

“My people have **** slaughtered your **** people and we will do it again,” he allegedly said. “And right now, you are giving us an incentive to do that.”

Kelsey also allegedly made threats against local anti-fascists.

“I think you better second guess opening your little queer club here in Iowa,” he allegedly wrote on an Iowa anti-fascist Facebook page in May, according to the complaint. “If I ever see any of you **** sucking commie fascist snowflakes, I’m gonna bash your skulls in without warning! White is might!! 1488!! Hail Odin! Hail Asatru!!” (“1488” is shorthand for a white supremacist slogan and “heil Hitler.”)

The anti-fascist group said he left other threats on their page. “The day is coming where these scumbags are finally going to be recognized by our government as the lousy terrorists they are!” read one post, which the group shared with The Daily Beast. “We will kill Antifa for fun! Antifa are just a bunch of degenerates!”

Calling anti-fascists “terrorists” and appealing on the government to criminalize anti-fascism is a popular meme on the far right. Earlier this month, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Bill Cassidy introduced a bill aimed at designating anti-fascists a “domestic terrorist organization,” despite anti-fascism not constituting an official organization.

Though he accused anti-Nazis of being terrorists, Kelsey’s internet presence was heavy with content that glorified violence. At the time of the criminal complaint, Kelsey’s Facebook header image was a picture of Jews being transferred to a Nazi concentration camp. His profile picture was a meme of a cartoon frog in a clown costume called Honkler (a play on “Hitler”).

Kelsey also maintained presences on extremist-friendly social media sites Gab, Minds, and Bitchute. His profile picture on Gab and Minds was a Sonnenrad, a symbol popular with neo-Nazis. On Minds he encouraged people to join openly Nazi communities, and made repeated attacks on immigrants, Jews, and Muslims.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 21, 2019, 04:59:20 pm »


Do Many Shipping Containers Get Lost at Sea? ???

Anyone who's ever gone on an ocean cruise has probably seen some amazing things, like breaching whales and incredible sunsets. Cruise passengers probably won't have seen any lost shipping containers -- but it's not for a lack of them. According to the World Shipping Council, international shipping companies accidentally drop hundreds of containers into the ocean every year. As a percentage of all maritime cargo, though, the number of lost containers is very small, considering that cargo ships transport approximately 130 million containers worth around $4 trillion USD each year. The World Shipping Council estimated that between 2014 and 2016, the average number of containers lost at sea every year was 1,390, with a majority of the losses due to catastrophic events, such as structural failures and collisions.

Shipping on the high seas:

•  Of the approximately 1.5 million employees in ocean shipping, less than 2 percent are women.

•  On average, pirates commandeer two ocean freighters every day.  :o

•  The largest container ship ever built is the OOCL Hong Kong, which can transport more than 21,000 containers.

https://www.wisegeek.com/do-many-shipping-containers-get-lost-at-sea.htm

Agelbert NOTE: Catastrophic events at sea are mostly a function of 🌊 rough seas. It will get worse.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: July 19, 2019, 12:50:14 pm »


Quote
The only question is when they will come for you, too.

Yep. Those weaponized ticks the Pentagon let loose come to mind. I've never met a tick that cared what color or ethnicity you are. 8)
Posted by: Surly1
« on: July 19, 2019, 07:51:22 am »

There are Three Phases of Fascist Collapse. America’s Way Past One. It’s Entering Phase Three.

umair haque

Here’s a tiny question: what stage of collapse is America in? Do you think — like many Americans — that “things aren’t that bad”? Or are you ashamed, furious, and disgusted? How should one feel, anyways — what’s the objective reality of collapse?

First, extremists like fascists capture institutions — they gain power over them. That’s phase one of any proper collapse. Then, they subvert them — they pack them with cronies, flunkies, admirers, and sycophants. That’s phase two. But in phase three, the institutions of a democracy are perverted. They are turned from instruments of freedom, justice, and equality, to weapons of subjugation, repression, fear, and violence.

(Think of how the Nazis used the law itself to oppress and then exterminate Jews. Phase three. But that was after phase two — stacking the branches of government with good Nazis. And phase one — seizing power. That is how social collapses tend to go.)

So where is America on my little scale, or sequence, of collapse? Should we be relieved things aren’t worse — or horrified at how bad they really are? American collapse is further along than you probably think, my friends. It is well past phase one. Even phase two. In fact, phase three — the last one — is beginning. The basic institutions of democracy, having been captured, and then subverted, are now being reshaped and restructured, as weapons of mass subjugation, repression, and violence.

Consider three events that happened just in the last week.

This morning, the Prez told several members of Congress to “go back” to their countries. Now, of course, they’re as American as…the Prez. This tirade was described in the press as “racist.” But the truth is that it is much more than just racist. Racist would be the President demeaning minorities in general. But to attack members of the opposition in this way isn’t just racist. So what is it?

Well, let’s specify the nature of the attack. It says this: Impostors walk among us. The opposition members aren’t “real” Americans. Someone that isn’t real is an impostor, pretending to be a thing they are not. It’s a slur that every minority’s heard countless times. But that very slur is very different when it comes from the head of a state — against members of an opposition. In that case, it isn’t merely obnoxious, foolish, or vulgar.

It is institutional dehumanization. “You aren’t really one of us! You are alive, foreign, other. You are something lesser, beneath us. The true and real volk of the homeland. You are subhuman.” None of that is said explicitly, of course. It doesn’t need to be. “Go back home!”, to another citizen, in a democracy of equals, is a violation of personhood, its negation, absence, removal. It says that some of us are superior, because we are real, and others of us are inferior, because we are not.

But that is the very logic of supremacy. Why is it that some of us are real people, and others of us only impostors? The only answer is that it is in the blood. The real ones among us are authentic by virtue of our bloodlines, our genetic inheritance. Impostors walk among us — the ones pretending to be real, just like us, but they are not. Their blood says so.

So. What do we call people — especially in an official capacity — who institutionally dehumanize others as impostors? They are called fascists, my friends. But these fascists apparently run the country now. They are using the office of the Presidency itself to institutionally dehumanize the opposition. That’s not just the textbook definition of fascist-authoritarianism: it’s phase three, the perversion of democracy, using the institutions of governance as instruments of violence, as weapons.

Let me come to my second event. This one barely seems to have made the news. Did you know that “agents” were checking IDs on the…NYC subway? Does that chill you a little? It should. But if it doesn’t, let me put it another way, so that it does. Papers were being checked on public transport.

Get the context now? What does it say when papers are being checked on public transport? Well, the “agents” must be looking for a specific kind of person. Because in the absence of war or some kind of genuine emergency, the only point to checking papers can be to identify members of an unwanted group. Not, for example, to manhunt individuals.

What kinds of societies check papers on public transport? Certainly not constitutional democracies. Because doing so violates basic constitutional principles. Freedom of assembly, expression, movement, privacy. Checking papers in any public space isn’t just a “violation of civil liberties”, as America’s anodyne public discourse might put it: it’s a violation of the most basic principles of democracy.

That is because if I imagine my papers are going to be checked, I will alter everything about my life, probably. I will avoid those places. I will avoid associating with certain people. I will watch what I say. I will limit what I think. Society will soon come to be defined by an atmosphere of fear, of grim and stone-eyed complicity, of looking the other way.

The “chilling effects” — another American phrase — of paper-checking are vast. Why, though? Because people are not just numbers and categories and files, my friends. In a democracy, people, first, are human beings, with inalienable rights. They are equals in regards to those rights. But when a society begins to check papers, in broad daylight — and it barely even makes the news — it tells us something crucial, vital, and bleak. That society is dehumanizing itself. It is reducing people to objects, numbers, things to control and subjugate and prey upon.

Checking papers, of course, demands the creation of new government agencies who can do the “job.” Later, they will say things like: “we were just following orders!” Of course, of course. But that doesn’t change the point. When a society begins checking papers in broad daylight, it tells us something very, very important, and very, very bleak. It takes Gestapos to check papers, my friends. And that is precisely what America is building now.

That brings me to my third event. The VP recently did something very much like a victory tour of America’s concentration camps. A press junket. He showed them off and flaunted them. “Tough!”, he said, as if to show off just how manly and strong the regime is. Of course, that’s a celebration of violence and cruelty — but that’s so normal in America it’s almost besides the point.

What does it say when a VP is giving tours of concentration camps? Let me remind you that once, not so long ago, concentration camp tours were given to eager journalists. They were shown canteens and cafeterias and gymnasiums and schools. “Why, see”, cried the Nazis. “Look how well we are treating the Jews! Like honored guests!” The world was foolish enough to fall for it. But even that is not the point.

When heads of state are giving tours of concentration camps, it’s even more stark evidence of the answer to my question. The institutions of governance haven’t just been captured. Now they are being perverted, commandeered, rebuilt.

Let me make all that crystal clear. What institutions am I talking about? The Presidency is now an office that institutionally dehumanizes the opposition, speaking the language of supremacy openly in public. The Vice-Presidency, meanwhile, is an office that…gives tours of concentration camps. Needless to say, both of these are offices that build networks of such camps. Meanwhile, new “enforcement agencies” have arisen to fill the camps — the Gestapos of American collapse. They check papers in broad daylight — and nobody much notices.

What kind of a society does all these things? I think the answer to that is very clear. One that is turning fascist-authoritarian at light-speed.

Americans are in a kind of deep, stark, denial. They have been for very long, about very many things. The wars they made on the world, they damage they did, and so on. But the denial they are in now is the most dangerous of all. The way that they treated the world — with contempt, with hate, with scorn — has come home. The fascists are treating Americans just the way they treated the world. But Americans deny — enough of them — that there is a fascist collapse happening in America at all.

Even if they worry, even if they’re concerned — they are unable to use the lexicon of history to describe what is happening to America now. Wait — what is it that we say about people who can’t learn from history?

America’s not just in danger of having a fascist collapse. It’s having one. It’s bang in the middle of one. It’s not in the early phases — but in fact, beginning the later ones. The ones where concentration camps rise, and hatred spews from the head of a state, and papers are checked on public transport. How much more obvious could it get? How many more data points do you need? If this isn’t enough…what could be?

Denial, in the face of fascist collapse this obvious? It’s the bad guys’ best friend. It’s up to you to judge for yourself where you stand on that scale. But don’t kid yourself anymore. When the President is openly dehumanizing the opposition, when the VP’s giving happy tours of the concentration camps, when the NYC subway is a place where papers are checked…my friends, your country is ruled by fascists. The only question is when they will come for you, too.

Umair
July 2019

Posted by: Surly1
« on: July 19, 2019, 07:18:28 am »

PENTAGON MAY HAVE RELEASED WEAPONIZED TICKS THAT HELPED SPREAD OF LYME DISEASE: INVESTIGATION ORDERED
https://www.newsweek.com/pentagon-weaponized-ticks-lyme-disease-investigation-1449737

BY ARISTOS GEORGIOU ON 7/17/19 AT 11:39 AM EDT

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a bill requiring the Inspector General of the Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct a review into whether the Pentagon experimented with ticks and other blood-sucking insects for use as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975.

If the Inspector General finds that such experiments occurred, then, according to the bill, they must provide the House and Senate Armed Services committees with a report on the scope of the research and "whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design," potentially leading to the spread of diseases such as Lyme.

The amendment was put forward by Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey, who was "inspired" by several books and articles claiming that the U.S. government had conducted research at facilities such as Fort Detrick, Maryland, and Plum Island, New York, for this purpose....

more
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 28, 2019, 01:19:31 pm »

I have had a couple of instances in my life to put that to the test. For example, during hurricane Isabel, an otherwise inconsequential storm that passed right over Hampton Roads and uprooted many trees. We lived without power for several weeks. What I found was that neighbors pooled their resources together and shared what they had with one another to get by. Those were days when you could imagine reverting to a 16th-century lifestyle. When the sun went down, it got dark, unless you lit a candle. Entertainments consisted of playing musical instruments, singing, or cards by candlelight. or an early bedtime (my favorite.)

Perhaps people were sharing, kind, and civil because they knew the power would eventually come back on. Somehow I doubt it. But I could be wrong; I often am. But I do believe the communitarian spirit is hardwired into all of us, and only the sociopaths (read: capitalists) make it go awry.

You are right.

I have observed that even humans who are mentally deficient have a God given knowledge of the difference between right and wrong. Although mentally retarded people have engaged in acts of brutality, they are extemporaneous acts similar to that of a two year old unreasonably lashing out. Treating the mentally deficient with kindness and firm supervison prevents these children in an adult body from harming themselves or others. They are not evil in any way, shape, or form. God's love of children is unconditional.

Mens rea mental activity is exclusively the unethical habit of those with above average intelligence. While it is true that being smart does not necessarily breed unethical behavior, being dumb as a post rarely does. Sure, low to average intelligence people are used as soldiers to fight wars on behalf of the highly intelligent sociopaths among us. But, that is the mens rea result of the clever, and truly evil, twisting of the communitarian spirit in these soldiers, who are lied into killing people "for God and Country".

The Lord Jesus Christ was not whistling Dixie when he referred to humans as sheep lacking a shepherd. IMHO, there is some very important nuance in that statement. That is, the sheep know what doing the right thing is because the knowledge of what is right and what is wrong is already written in their spirit. If we sheep have leaders in our community that guide us improperly, we will embrace doing the wrong thing. In order for we sheep to choose evil as a daily habit, our communitarian spirit must be corrupted in Orwellian fashion.

The communitarian spirit is the firm spiritual knowledge that constant concern and action on behalf of our neighbor's health and well being is the right way to live.

The corollary to that, which is also part of the God given knowledge hardwired in all of us, is that constant concern and action on behalf of the self is detrimental to the self, both in this life and in the next. The utilitarian "greed is good" types, who studiously deny any inconvenient belief in the hereafter or the knowledge that our spirit and consciousness goes on to a reckoning after our body dies, know that, but they choose evil over good because they worship the prince of this world, even if they claim to be "atheists".

The greatest con ever perpetrated on humanity is the Satanic ploy that worship of the self is not worship of the prince of this world. Today, it takes the form of CAPITALISM, but it's been around since the prince of this world has been around.

When the lights go out, I will share what I have until there ain't no more. If no one will help me and my wife out in the event that we lack transportation, food and water, we will not attempt to take anything from anybody. We will fast and hope. I have read that after the first three days of fasting, the hunger goes.

The important thing is to always do the right thing, no matter how difficult that is to do. May the Lord give us the strength to do the right thing until the end, AMEN.
Posted by: Surly1
« on: June 28, 2019, 08:12:55 am »

I have been listening to a podcast series on the History of Byzantium, which traces the continuation of the Roman Empire from the fall of Rome through the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Armenia plays a huge role in the stability of the Empire and contributes some Emperors, in fact.

I am convinced that George R.R. Martin was influenced in his writing of A Song of Fire and ice vey the history of the Eastern Empire.

I wasn't aware of that. Thank you for sharing. It seems things didn't work out for Armenia the way the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus hoped. But then again, the prince of this world always keeps doing what he does everywhere.

Excellent video about the preppers. 👍 Preparing for short term lack of civilization is prudent. However, I agree with the lady that prepping for total collapse is futile.

Hobbes was an atheist. He basically thought all humans operate under "situational" ethics. IOW, he thought altruistic, caring behavior within a society vanishes under lack of resources collapse. Any, even brief, study of allegedly "uncivilized" indigenous tribes proves that this so-called "war of all against all", which alllegedly ensues when there are not eough resources to go around AND no big dog central authority to keep everyone "civilized", is baloney.

Hobbes' world view was exactly like that of a pirate in those days (and Wall Streeters now). He just added a lot of intellectual doubletalk verbiage to it.

Hobbes erroneously believed, like too many in the USA do today, that carrying capacity is all that matters and CARING capacity is a function of carrying capacity.

Actually, the reverse is the true. Hobbes had it exactly backwards. Carrying Capacity is a function of Caring Capacity. Without sufficient Caring Capacity, we all become pirates in a war of all against all.
 
Quote
"Technical knowledge of Carrying Capacity will not save us; only a massive increase in Caring Capacity will." -- A. G. Gelbert

You will not be surprised to know the I agree with you.

I have had a couple of instances in my life to put that to the test. For example, during hurricane Isabel, an otherwise inconsequential storm that passed right over Hampton Roads and uprooted many trees. We lived without power for several weeks. What I found was that neighbors pooled their resources together and shared what they had with one another to get by. Those were days when you could imagine reverting to a 16th-century lifestyle. When the sun went down, it got dark, unless you lit a candle. Entertainments consisted of playing musical instruments, singing, or cards by candlelight. or an early bedtime (my favorite.)

Perhaps people were sharing, kind, and civil because they knew the power would eventually come back on. Somehow I doubt it. But I could be wrong; I often am. But I do believe the communitarian spirit is hardwired into all of us, and only the sociopaths (read: capitalists) make it go awry.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 27, 2019, 12:31:04 pm »

I have been listening to a podcast series on the History of Byzantium, which traces the continuation of the Roman Empire from the fall of Rome through the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Armenia plays a huge role in the stability of the Empire and contributes some Emperors, in fact.

I am convinced that George R.R. Martin was influenced in his writing of A Song of Fire and ice vey the history of the Eastern Empire.

I wasn't aware of that. Thank you for sharing. It seems things didn't work out for Armenia the way the Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus hoped. But then again, the prince of this world always keeps doing what he does everywhere.

Excellent video about the preppers. 👍 Preparing for short term lack of civilization is prudent. However, I agree with the lady that prepping for total collapse is futile.

Hobbes was an atheist. He basically thought all humans operate under "situational" ethics. IOW, he thought altruistic, caring behavior within a society vanishes under lack of resources collapse. Any, even brief, study of allegedly "uncivilized" indigenous tribes proves that this so-called "war of all against all", which alllegedly ensues when there are not eough resources to go around AND no big dog central authority to keep everyone "civilized", is baloney.

Hobbes' world view was exactly like that of a pirate in those days (and Wall Streeters now). He just added a lot of intellectual doubletalk verbiage to it.

Hobbes erroneously believed, like too many in the USA do today, that carrying capacity is all that matters and CARING capacity is a function of carrying capacity.

Actually, the reverse is the true. Hobbes had it exactly backwards. Carrying Capacity is a function of Caring Capacity. Without sufficient Caring Capacity, we all become pirates in a war of all against all.
 
Quote
"Technical knowledge of Carrying Capacity will not save us; only a massive increase in Caring Capacity will." -- A. G. Gelbert
Posted by: Surly1
« on: June 27, 2019, 06:05:09 am »

Europeans Discover Prepping.

We spoke to survivalists prepping for disaster: here’s what we learned about the end of the world



We spoke to survivalists prepping for disaster: here’s what we learned about the end of the world

We are all ****. A crude though oft-uttered sigh which tries to encapsulate an intense, but vague anxiety we experience on many fronts. What’s causing it? The possibility of climate-induced population extinction, the development of so-called NBIC (nano-bio-info-cogno-) technologies, global financial collapse and the exponential development of potentially malevolent machine intelligence, to name but a few. The Doomsday Clock, a symbolic gauge of our risk of obliterating humanity, has never been closer to “midnight”.

Of course, the end of humanity is as old as humanity itself – astrologists and religious orders have predicted that the world will end for millenia. But the types of risks we’re concerned by today really are quite distinctive to our era: they are irreversible, they have planetary (and in some cases extra-planetary) reach, and they have new technological textures. These risks have been described as “existential” because they threaten to cause, as the philosopher Nick Bostrom has written: “The extinction of Earth-originating intelligent life or to otherwise permanently and drastically destroy its potential for future desirable development.”

As a result, the phenomenon of “prepping” – a predominantly American phenomenon of storing food, water and weapons, and developing self-sufficiency skills for independently surviving disasters – is on the rise. This can be seen in the increasing amount of literature, podcasts, movies and TV shows on the subject, fictional and “real”, along with the inevitable growth in related consumer markets (such as camping equipment and bushcraft courses) that speak to the anxiety of existential risk. Growing prominence in Europe brought us to research this area.

Beyond tin foil hats

Media accounts tend to focus on the peculiarities of prepping through extreme examples: reports of the Silicon Valley elite buying up bolt holes in remote New Zealand or the tin-foil hat wearing, forest-inhabiting eccentric. But prepping is not a marginal subculture, but a precautionary response people have to permanent crisis, as our research reveals. By analysing and engaging with online forums and speaking at length with a series of self-identified preppers, it became clear that most preppers aren’t so out of the ordinary.

Listening to preppers, you can begin to understand their reasoning. They often talk about their prepper lives as originating from some trigger or turning point – such as an insider seeing financial collapse firsthand and the house of cards it reveals, or the difficulties that come with illness or unemployment. After these realisations, our interviewees explained that they transition from being a woefully under-prepared to a prepared individual.

Our research concentrated on European preppers, who are somewhat differentiated from the American stereotype. We found that the European prepper views the culture of their American counterparts as political, religious, weaponised and misogynistic. They feel that the media attention this receives delegitimises the emphasis on rationality and practicality that is embedded into their practices.

The grid: far from trustworthy. Naufal MQ/Shutterstock.com

Instead, common sense is the most valued currency in European prepper culture. They are profoundly distrustful of the ability of institutions to face crises. And in comparison to some popular accounts, we found that preppers are often more concerned with mundane failures of the system (electricity cuts or pension losses) than the more spectacular apocalyptic aesthetics associated with prepping culture (such as environmental collapse or nuclear fallout).

They know they are ridiculed and stigmatised – a consequence of the American stereotype. Their online forums are filled with warnings: if you are a journalist, keep out. They are concerned with “op-sec” (operational security): concerns about personal privacy and the strategic advantage of withholding information about the location of resources in the eventuality that any “prep” may be put into practice. Again, such practices are framed within the narrative of common sense. Common sense is claimed in order to reject its opposite: paranoia.

Bin bags and radios

Preppers consider people who don’t prepare – the rest of society – as shockingly ignorant of the world around them. It is “we” who are abnormal. The dependent civilian is variously viewed as oblivious, dilettantish, complacent and trusting, while the prepper is watchful. Preparation is seen as a type of foresight that is missing in ordinary consumers.

A prepper looks at the world differently: far from a smart, interconnected and highly functioning infrastructure subject to the rule of law, the city is a jungle where the lone prepper negotiates manifold dangers. This is why they carry “preps” with them at all times – from fire-making equipment to bin bags to radios – in their pantries, in their cars, on their person. One prepper told us:

I always carry two or three bin bags so I can make shelter no matter where I go. One of the bin bags can be used to make a roof and I could fill the others with leaves to create comfort and heat.

Commercial heaven or chaotic hell? TierneyMJ/Shutterstock.com

Preppers pour scorn on consumer-centric technological interfaces such as social media and invest their time in pre-digital technologies like primitive fire and farming. Again, common sense is the most valued currency.

So what will happen to the rest of us? The prepper has trained for a world without a market system and considered what will happen when the dependent civilian comes calling. In common scenarios (such as electricity cuts, council water repairs) preppers tend to depict themselves as generous, helping out dependant neighbours despite the mocking it still often brings.

But in the ashes of a more serious consumer collapse, our conversations revealed an implicit subtext that when the **** does hit the fan, it will be everyone for themselves. And ultimately, it will be your neighbour that presents the biggest threat. Again, this is the common sense reality for preppers living in a world where the majority of people are seen as under-prepared, for whatever disaster we may befall.

Prepper lessons

When we think about escaping the constraints of the capitalistic dominant economy we are often met with utopian connotations of a “sustainable society” that places emphasis on community, cooperation, sharing and caring. The preppers offer a different take on what a “sustainable” world looks like, one grounded in ideologies of protectionism and self-preservation.

This echoes the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes’s famous suggestion that in the absence of institutions humans would become trapped in a cycle of violence – “a warre of all against all”. In other words, community is dangerous and consumption requires bunkering down.

Such individualistic “prepper” modes of thinking are likely to germinate further within society, particularly in the face of the current climate crisis. And this must be considered when we think of the practicalities of alternative systems to the neoliberal marketplace.

Posted by: Surly1
« on: June 27, 2019, 06:02:59 am »

I have been listening to a podcast series on the History of Byzantium, which traces the continuation of the Roman Empire from the fall of Rome through the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Armenia plays a huge role in the stability of the Empire and contributes some Emperors, in fact.

I am convinced that George R.R. Martin was influenced in his writing of A Song of Fire and ice vey the history of the Eastern Empire.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 26, 2019, 01:12:01 pm »


How Important Is Christianity in Armenia?

Christianity is the largest religious faith in the world , with approximately 2.2 billion adherents across the globe. But while the faith is widespread, it could be argued that Armenians are among its most devout followers, considering the fact that approximately 94 percent of the population belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church. Christianity has been an important part of Armenia's identity for centuries.

In fact, Armenia was the first nation to make Christianity the state religion, in 301 A.D. The faith's influence can be seen everywhere, from the many ancient monasteries to the carved stone crosses known as khachkars that dot the landscape. The Armenian Apostolic Church was named for the apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus, who are considered to have been the main impetus for the Christian conversions that started in Armenia in the 1st century A.D.

Inside Armenia:

► Armenia's capital, Yerevan, is nicknamed the "pink city" because many of its buildings were made from pink volcanic rock.

► Armenia boasts a 100 percent literacy rate and includes chess as a mandatory class in public schools.

► A cave in Armenia contains the oldest known winery, which dates back more than 6,000 years.

https://www.wisegeek.com/how-important-is-christianity-in-armenia.htm


Agelbert COMMENT: The largest religion in the world is certainly not Christianity. The largest religion in the world is Capitalism, who's god is the prince of this world. If you are a Capitalist, you are not now, or ever have been, a Christian, PERIOD.

Quote
And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. -- John 14:29-30

Posted by: Surly1
« on: June 04, 2019, 04:54:51 am »

Follow the link for embedded tweets. This "Led by Donkeys " group is very resourceful. Projections on buildings-- brilliant. Here's one from the article that doesn't embed:

Hey @realDonaldTrump, we read the story about the sailors on a US warship being ordered to hide from you because you’re triggered by the name on their hats. So we turned Madame Tussaud's into a giant USS John McCain baseball cap. Welcome to London!


Of course if they tried that here, they'd likely get beaten by cops with truncheons busy "keeping the peace."


Video of Boris Johnson saying Trump showed 'stupefying ignorance' over past comments about London was broadcast onto Big Ben during the president’s visit


Video of Boris Johnson calling out Trump's "stupefying ignorance" was broadcast on Big Ben during his state visit on June 3, 2019. Screenshot/Led By Donkeys

  • An anti-Brexit protest group launched a series of new campaigns on Monday, broadcasting controversial messages on famous London landmarks during President Donald Trump's first state visit to the United Kingdom.
  • On Monday, Led by Donkeys utilized some of London's most prominent buildings to broadcast messages of opposition, including broadcasting video of former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson making disparaging comments about the US president onto the Big Ben.
  • The Trump administration has yet to comment on the protests, among many that the president encountered when he touched down in the UK on Monday.

An anti-Brexit protest group launched a series of new campaigns on Monday, broadcasting controversial messages on famous London landmarks during President Donald Trump's first state visit to the United Kingdom.

The stunts were organized by Led by Donkeys, a group known for its use of signs and billboards to undermine politicians who appear to backtrack on previous policy statements.

On Monday, the group utilized some of London's most prominent buildings to broadcast messages of opposition against the US president.

In one public display, the group broadcast video of former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson making disparaging comments about Trump onto the Big Ben. The video features a clip from a 2015 interview Johnson gave to the media while he was mayor of London, in which he called out Trump for a "quite stupefying ignorance" and deemed him "unfit" to be president.

The quotes from Johnson came after then-candidate Trump made comments about London in late 2015, as he tried to justify campaign comments about banning Muslims from entering the US. (As president, he instituted a travel ban, the third iteration of which was upheld by the US Supreme Court. It barred travel for several Muslim-majority countries — Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya — along with North Korea and certain travelers from Venezuela.)

Trump recently expressed support for Johnson, who is seeking to replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, saying the politician would make an "excellent" prime minister.

"I like him," Trump told The Sun last week of Johnson. "I have always liked him. I don't know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person."

He also praised Nigel Farage, another pro-Brexit politician vying for May's position.

Read more: Trump appeared to touch the queen's back during dinner, which is a major violation of royal protocol

"Hey @realDonaldTrump, you just endorsed your Brexit buddy @BorisJohnson but he said some VERY NASTY things about you and he doesn't want you to know," the Led By Donkeys group said in a tweet of their latest installation. "So we projected his words onto Big Ben."

The group also broadcast side-by-side UK approval ratings of President Trump versus former President Barack Obama onto the Tower of London, showing Obama more popular among UK citizens with a 50 percent lead over Trump according to a recent YouGov poll

In another display, the group turned the facade of Madam Tussaud's Wax Museum into a projection of a giant red baseball cap featuring a logo of the USS John McCain, a ship which the White House reportedly requested be hidden from sight during Trump's recent visit to Y okosuka Naval Base in Japan, given Trump's fraught relationship with the late Sen. John McCain.

The Trump administration has yet to comment on the protests, among many that the president encountered when he touched down in the UK on Monday.

Trump is currently in London for a three-day visit, which will include visits with members of the British royal family and top British lawmakers. So far, the president has met with Queen Elizabeth II and visited Westminster Abbey, and attended a state banquet that some senior members of Theresa May's government have boycotted.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 03, 2019, 03:46:16 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Visual USS TRUMP metaphor. :P



Incident Video :o: MSC Cruise Ship Crashes Into Pier in Venice

June 2, 2019 by Mike Schuler

MSC Opera cruise ship is seen after a crash in San Basilio dock in Venice, Italy June 2, 2019. REUTERS/Manuel Silvestri

A large cruise ship allided with pier and smaller passenger vessel in Venice, Italy on Sunday, injuring four people, local officials said.

MSC Cruises said the 2,679-passenger Opera was approaching a terminal on the Giudecca canal when it struck the dock and a nearby ferry due to a technical problem.

Pino Musolino, chairman of the northern Adriatic Sea port authority, said four people had suffered minor injuries in the crash, as reported by Reuters. Emergency workers said the cruise ship appeared to have lost control after a steel cable that tied it to a tugboat snapped, the Reuters report said.

Photos show damage to the ship and concrete pier.

The accident was caught on video from multiple angles:




https://gcaptain.com/incident-video-msc-cruise-ship-crashes-into-pier-in-venice/
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: June 01, 2019, 06:33:12 pm »


How to Make the Perfect Milkshake for Throwing at Fascists
Combining the public humiliation of racists and one of nature’s most delicious frosty treats is pure poetry in motion.

That fascist, racist bigot Nigel Farage, who absurdly poses as a "champion of democracy", was lucky it was just a milkshake.
Posted by: Surly1
« on: June 01, 2019, 09:19:52 am »

How to Make the Perfect Milkshake for Throwing at Fascists
Combining the public humiliation of racists and one of nature’s most delicious frosty treats is pure poetry in motion.




A good milkshake is a terrible thing to waste. It truly is a most perfect dessert: a drinkable marriage of cream, milk, and sugar, served whipped and cold and just dense enough for a straw to stand at attention within. Its primary ingredients and preparation are accessible enough that even the most overworked and underpaid members of the laboring classes could, conceivably, grab one after work, or whip one up as a weekend treat between shifts of capitalist wage slavery.

The best milkshakes involve chocolate and peanut butter (this is an immutable fact, and not debatable, sorry), but many other flavors are acceptable, and experimentation is encouraged. For example, the banana and salted caramel milkshake is an unorthodox but inspired flavor choice, one that made its international debut via a guest appearance on British political hack Nigel Farage’s face.

1559059198812-GettyImages-1150500796
Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images

“Milkshaking”—quite literally, the practice of chucking milkshakes at and, ideally, on famous far-right figures when they slither into public places—is the latest trend that’s swept the young anti-fascist players of the British left. It started with Stephen “Tommy Robinson” Yaxley-Lennon, the former leader of the English Defense League, who has had milkshakes thrown on him by anti-racist protestors on multiple occasions. Alt-right UKIP politician Carl Benjamin—best known for disgusting comments he made about raping a female member of Parliament—has been milkshaked four times this month. Now, Nigel Faragehas joined the rogue’s gallery of milky (and eggy) far-right knobheads who have been utterly and completely owned by people willing to give up their precious cups of blended ice cream for the cause.

Of course, there’s nothing wasteful about fighting fascism.

Milkshaking’s power lies in the sheer ridiculousness of the situation. Someone’s thrown a milkshake at you! A milkshake! That’s silly as hell! As a direct action—an instance in which political activists or regular-ass people who are fed up with the state of things takes matters into their own hands, through either violent or nonviolent means—milkshaking is both effective and sophisticated, robbing its target of any dignity while emphasizing the illegitimacy of their noxious views. No one’s getting injured (though the New Republic has noted that throwing milkshakes qualifies as assault in some jurisdictions). Its very absurdity is the joke, and the fascist jagoffs who find themselves subjected to this creamy deluge are rendered powerless; if they react aggressively, they’ve been successfully “triggered,” that beloved byword of the worst kinds of people. If they sit there and take it, they look like a weakling. If, like Farage did, they call the cops (or retreat to the safety of a double-decker bus), they look even worse—the big strong “man of the people” who couldn’t handle getting a little egg on his face.

As much as the Piers Morgans and Ricky Gervaises and other assorted useless commentators of the world enjoy hand-wringing and bloviating over how nasty the left is being and how rude and terrible it is to temporarily inconvenience powerful men, there should be no debate over the importance of eradicating fascism, and of confronting its agents when they poke their ugly heads out into the commons. That the latest means of doing so involves both the public humiliation of racists and one of nature’s most delicious frosty treats is pure poetry in motion.

It’s time to live deliciously, comrades.

1559058171050-milk4

To make a milkshake, you'll need:

½ pint vanilla ice cream
¼ cup milk
About 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup

Set a glass in the freezer to chill while you make the rest of the milkshake. Warm an ice cream scoop slightly in a tall glass of hot water. Neither of these steps is strictly necessary, but will keep your drink frostier and will make scooping much easier, respectively.

1559057989040-milk1

Scoop the ice cream into the base of a blender jar, and top with milk. Pulse the blender a couple times to incorporate, then add the chocolate syrup and pulse until combined, pushing the ice cream down the sides if necessary. If you blend for too long, the blender heats up and melts the ice cream, making the shake unideal for drinking but perfect for throwing.

Adjust the texture as needed with more milk or ice cream, pulsing after each addition.

Remove the chilled glass from the freezer and pour the milkshake in. Serve (or throw, if legal in your jurisdiction and at your own risk) immediately.


Editor's Note: VICE condones only the drinking of milkshakes.

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