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Messages - AGelbert

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1
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: May 25, 2018, 11:01:07 pm »
Democracy in Chains: The Radical Right’s Stealth Attack on American Democracy

May 23, 2018

In part one, Nancy Maclean reveals Nobel prize-winning economist James M. Buchanan as the architect of the Koch Brothers’ secret campaign to undermine public education, unions, and to reshape America



Story Transcript

JAISAL NOOR: 2018 has been the year of the teacher, as waves of protest in mostly Republican-dominated states starting in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Arizona, and most recently North Carolina have challenged not only low pay, but tax cuts and the privatization that have crippled public education.

STRIKING NORTH CAROLINA TEACHER: The state keeps asking more of us every year, but giving us less resources. So that’s one of the big reasons we’re here to fight today.

JAISAL NOOR: These states have all adopted policies backed by right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers, whose network of dark money funders has poured untold sums into transforming the American political landscape by shackling the government’s ability to fund social services and enforce regulations while cutting taxes on the wealthy and increasing protections for corporations, all while passing a slew of restrictive voter laws, in the name of advancing so-called liberty.

A number of reporters and scholars have written works that have shed light on the workings of the shadowy networks of the right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers. But until now there has been little understanding of the origins of the ideology behind this assault on democratic institutions. That led our next guest, Nancy MacLean, the William Chafee Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University, to look into the ideological foundations of this movement. And what she uncovered is deeply shocking and troubling; the subject her explosive book, “Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.” Really happy to have you on.

NANCY MACLEAN: Great to be with you.

JAISAL NOOR: So For the first part of this discussion, let’s start at George Mason University, where you stumbled upon a remarkably unguarded trove of documents belonging to the late Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan, and what you were able to piece together about his role in the Koch brothers’ plans to reshape America and its democratic institutions. Talk about how you came across this, and what you started to piece together.

NANCY MACLEAN: Well, James Buchanan had been on my radar from some historical research that I had done on the state of Virginia’s massive resistance to Brown vs. Board of Education in the late 1950s, and I became intrigued with him. And when I finally was able to get into his private archive at George Mason in 2013, I found all of my suspicions confirmed about the ways that his ideas were being weaponized by the Koch donor network in order to effectively disable our democracy, and to do things like privatizing public education, inflicting these radical cuts in necessary social services in the country, changing constitutional law. All kinds of things I was able to find in that archive.

And ironically, I got into the archive in September of 2013, just as Buchanan’s ideas were guiding a government shutdown in Washington, D.C. led by Ted Cruz, a figure deeply steeped in both this thinking and rooted in the Koch network. So very, very, I would say, unsettling experience to be in the archives during the day while watching the damage being inflicted on Americans who needed the federal government’s services, and needed the government open during the time I was at the archives for the first time.

JAISAL NOOR: So, limiting democratic participation and empowering the wealthy is nothing new in American history. What’s different about Buchanan’s work? What makes his ideas so radical and so dangerous to democracy?

NANCY MACLEAN: Yeah, Buchanan was playing on that same team as the wider right, with people like Milton Friedman and others who believed in a kind of free market fundamentalism, believed that government was the problem, believed that the solution was to turn decision making over to the market for just about everything. But what was different about Buchanan is that he came up with a theory of how government grew over the 20th century, and particularly the domestic part of government, what is sometimes called the liberal state. So things like Social Security and Medicare, worker’s rights, environmental protection, antidiscrimination, and so forth. He produced a theory that was aimed really to discredit government so that people would not automatically look to government in cases of market failure, and that turned out to be a much more insidious, and in the long run effective, approach to to undermining the popular achievements of the 20th century.

So Buchanan’s approach was complementary to that of Friedman and the Chicago school and others, but again, much more devastating. And we see it today in all the language about the swamp, the notion that all public figures are corrupt and misleading the public. All of those ideas really stem from a school of thought that Buchanan developed called ‘public choice economics’ most broadly, and his particular variant was often called the Virginia school of political economy.

JAISAL NOOR: So a historic figure sort of plays big in this, in your book. James C. Calhoun , who was a slave owner, a former vice president, a statesman from South Carolina who had a lot of influence in the first half of the 19th century in the United States. What role-. So, talk about who he is and his significance, and what role he had on the thinking of Buchanan and other influential figures in this libertarian arch-right movement. .

NANCY MACLEAN: Yes. Before James Buchanan, John C. Calhoun was the most significant antidemocratic thinker in America. He was a Southern slaveholder from South Carolina, onetime vice president, South Carolina member of the U.S. Senate. And he produced two big treatises reinterpreting the constitution and the purpose of American government in a way that would protect slaveholders’ interests. He did this a generation after the founders, and he did it because he could see that national majorities were developing that would challenge slavery and he wanted to protect what had become the most profitable capitalist institution in the mid-19th century when he was writing, or I should say the early 19th century, the first third of it, and the 1820s and ’30s in particular.

And basically he was a theorist of what I’ve come to think about as property supremacy, a kind of property supremacy that reinterprets the constitution in a, in order to protect the absolute prerogatives of property holders, the most dramatic being slaveholders, in order to keep democratic government at bay. And what’s really interesting about Calhoun is that Buchanan’s own colleagues at George Mason University have called John C. Calhoun a precursor to modern public choice theory, in particular to the ideas of this figure James McGill Buchanan , their former colleague. And they actually said that the two systems of ideas had the same purpose and effect. And I could not agree more with that because I think the purpose is to protect the rights of property holders, particularly the wealthiest among them, from the reach of majoritarian democracy. I think that, that kind of sums it up.

JAISAL NOOR: And can you talk about the response from George Mason University before and after they were recently forced to admit that this tremendous amount of money they were getting from the Koch brothers came with strings attached which actually compromise their entire department? Because the Koch brothers had veto power over who served, you know, who, who could work at George Mason? You talk about that, and their evolving response in this case.

NANCY MACLEAN: Yeah, it’s a really chilling story. I will say that I have direct personal experience of how poisonous a presence this Koch donor network is in our public life, because after my book came out, you know, the initial review attention and media attention was universally positive and favorable from professional reviewers from historians and others. And about two or so weeks in, two to three weeks in, there was this kind of libertarian pile on. And much of it came from faculty at George Mason University, who had been funded by the Koch network, who were working with the Koch implant on the campus at George Mason in the economics department, the law school. And something called the Mercatus Center, which, interestingly, is housed on the campus of this public university but in no way accountable to it, and Charles Koch has sat on its board for years.

So, what we saw there is how the Charles Koch Foundation 🦕🦖 and the operatives that it funds basically are weaponizing their implants 😈 👹 on our public university campuses in order to come after anyone who is critical of this operation. And there were a few researchers from Greenpeace, and a wonderful group of young people who have built a group called UnKoch My Campus that researched the people who were attacking me and my book, and found that in 90 cases these were people who were, received-. Faculty members who received direct funding from Charles Koch, or operatives in his various operations, who in most cases never declared their conflicts of interest, basically violating ethics 101 in these attacks.

And the important thing about this is not the personal thing, the attacks on me, but what it tells us about how our higher education system is being used for this larger political project. And as you say, the recent revelations over the last few weeks of what has happened over the years at George Mason 🐉 are quite breathtaking. In one case a faculty member was chosen, hand selected by a donor for a tenured position at this public university. And ironically, he was also the first out of the gate to attack me, this individual. So it is really stunning. The other thing that has come out in these revelations from George Mason is the extent of donor influence over faculty hiring and assessments of faculty performance. They were actually able to have a voice in getting rid of faculty if they didn’t adequately advance the Koch donor project.

And especially chilling was revelations from the law school, I should say all made possible by FOIA inquiries associated with UnKoch My Campus, and a group called Transparent GMU, FOIA inquiries that found that the Federalist Society, the body that has been vetting and recommending federal judges to Republican administrations since Ronald Reagan, the Federalist Society had actually set up a front group, a front group of the kind usually used, in legal terms, for money laundering, to funnel money to the now-named Scalia School of Law at George Mason, in order to use that law school as a base of operations for moving our judiciary to the right in terms of faculty appointments, setting up programs that could assist in this political project, and placing students in clerkships with judges on the right.

So it is really mind blowing for scholars to see what is being done to our universities. And although George Mason’s administration at first denied this for years to their faculty senate and to the students who were concerned on campus, they have had to admit, now that these FOIA requests have become public, that in fact the donors had grossly undue influence on the campus that has corrupted academic integrity at this public institution.

JAISAL NOOR: Well, that’s really tremendous. And you know, it sort of demonstrates the ideological conviction over the academic, academic conviction of this group. So this wraps up the first part of this discussion about Democracy in Chains, by Nancy MacLean. In our next part we’ll focus on public education and why this assault on democracy has been so closely focused on it. Thanks so much for joining us.

https://therealnews.com/stories/democracy-in-chains-the-radical-rights-stealth-attack-on-american-democracy

2
Climate Change / Re: Pollution
« on: May 25, 2018, 10:23:40 pm »


Sharp Exchanges    Highlight BP Fears of Climate Legal Jeopardy

May 22, 2018 by Bloomberg

SNIPPET:
The Deepwater Enterprise conducts operations to mitigate the effects of the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill, May 23, 2010. U.S. Coast Guard Photo


By Kelly Gilblom (Bloomberg) — After paying more than $65 billion in legal costs for the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, BP Plc is wary of the risk of lawsuits related to climate change.

Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley raised the topic of class-action lawsuits twice during the company’s annual general meeting in Manchester, England on Monday, saying he wouldn’t disclose certain climate targets, or even answer some questions from activist investors, because the risk of legal action in the U.S. was too high.

“You want to get us to make statements here in front of you that you can document that will lead to a class action,” Dudley said in response to one question from the Union of Concerned Scientists about pending U.S. litigation against energy companies. Such legal actions are “a business model in the United States,” he said.

The sharp exchange between BP and two advocacy groups — Amnesty International  and the Union of Concerned Scientists  — shows the growing pressure on major oil companies to acknowledge their responsibility for emissions of greenhouse gases. It also reflects the burgeoning efforts to hold them legally responsible for the potentially disastrous consequences of rising global temperatures.

Lawsuit Fodder

“BP could be on the hook for millions, if not billions of dollars,” Kathy Mulvey, accountability campaign director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement. “Why wouldn’t shareholders want to know about the risk of legal liability, a risk that’s growing rapidly as climate costs multiply.”

In response to another questioner who suggested that selling oil and gas should be considered a violation of human rights, Dudley warned shareholders this could be another attempt to mire BP in a class-action suit. An open letter from shareholders including Aviva Plc last week urging more transparency could also end up providing lawsuit fodder, he said.

BP 😈 absolutely believes in being transparent. Transparency is beneficial to all,” Dudley said. “But we don’t want climate disclosures to be a tool for class-action lawyers.”


Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/sharp-exchanges-highlight-bp-fears-of-climate-legal-jeopardy/


3
For AG. Just A Reminder of Days Gone By

My youngest brother, the rich(er) one, is now partners in a King Air. My other brother, the one who has the auto shop, has now decided he wants a plane too. Part of this is the decadent wish they both have to fly to Alabama on Fridays now to tailgate before my nephew's college games. I know, I know. But they're from Texas, and Alabama is the Numero Uno college team in the US.

The mechanic brother is very technically competent and is thinking about building some fast four-seater experimental from a kit. But since he's been looking at planes, I've been looking too, not that I ever plan to fly anything. The missus has a very low opinion of general aviation aircraft, and she talked me out of it many years ago now. (We once knew somebody who crashed and killed himself and one of his kids.)

But I saw this the other day and thought of you.


I also wanted to tell you that when we landed at Beef Island last month I counted an even dozen boats still derelict on the beach over near the ferry dock. Seven months later.

Thanks for the info about Beef island. 
 

Yep, that's a Piper Colt (flying brick) with the 108 horsepower engine. You know, some of them were modified to use flaps. They originally did not have them. The purpose of flaps is not what the non-pilot thinks they are for. Most people think flaps are on a plane to help it fly slower for landing. That is true for fast jet aircraft. BUT, for general aviation aircraft, the purpose of flaps is to steepen the glide path without increasing the airspeed. On a Piper Colt, which has the glide path of a rock  ;D, flaps are not needed.

As to your agreement with your wife not to learn to fly because of the death of a person you knew and his kid, the Wright Brothers once said that the properly designed aircraft would "glide gently to the ground in the event of a power failure".

It didn't quite work out that way but light aircraft are really much safer than cars, especially in Texas!

Consider that in Texas, where you and/or your brother will do most of their flying, ANY power failure will result in a a power off glide at about 75 mph and 700 feet per minute rate of descent. That is what you do every time you land one of those babies.

Unlike Vermont, Texas is pretty flat and has miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles with LOTS of roads. As long as you don't hit a cow, a power transmission tower or a wind turbine, you should walk away from any forced landing.

What gets people killed in light aircraft is mostly an inadvertent stall near the ground (I am talking about an aerodynamic condition called a stall, not an engine failure type stall). What happens is that they are near the ground and they make a skidding turn (pushing he rudder too hard because they don't want to bank the wings steeply in a coordinated, rudder plus aileron - like you are supposed to ALWAYS do, way). The inside wing loses its abilty to fly (stalls) while the oustide (of the turn) wing keeps flying.

This results in the inside wing dropping hard down (remember this pilot is near the ground and is standing on the rudder (toward the inside wing, making the drop more severe) too much already in that turn.

The plane enters a spin at about 500 feet above the ground (You cannot recover from a spin in less than 1000 feet above the ground). The aircraft strikes the ground at a high angle and usually the pilot is killed the same way a person is killed if they drive into a wall above 50 mph.

I understand your reticence and caution. Just tell your bro that if he has to make a forced landing, DON'T try to keep from dinging he aircraft by turning to reach a road when all the terrain is mostly flat or rolling hills. Just set up a normal glide STRAIGHT AHEAD (into the wind if possible).

When he is almost at ground level, round out (pull back slightly on the stick) to stop the descent and then flair out (pull back on the stick all the way when the plane no longer wants to fly). This ensures that he will make ground contact with the bushes or whatever at the slowest possible speed (about 50 to 60 mph).

If he is going into a forest, put the plane between two trees. The wings get ripped off and you slow quite quickly. I've flown over Texas. Yeah, you've got all kinds of terrain and East Texas is quite different from West Texas. BUT, trees are not an issue there 99% of the time.  ;D n

One more thing: The Beechcraft King Air is an unforgiving (due to the high performance type wing) aircraft. You stay in the proper aircaft envelope or you are toast.

4
Nuke Puke / Re: Nuclear Insecurity Today
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:55:38 pm »



Russia’s First Floating Nuclear Power Plant Arrives in the Arctic 

May 21, 2018 by Reuters

SNIPPET:

The Russian “Academy Lomonosov”, the world’s first floating nuclear power plant  :P >:(, passes Langeland island, while heading for Murmansk in northwestern Russia, in Denmark, May 4, 2018. Ritzau Scanpix/Tim Kildeborg Jensen/via REUTERS

reuters logoBy Vladimir Soldatkin MOSCOW, May 21 (Reuters) – Russia’s first-floating nuclear power plant arrived in the Arctic port of Murmansk over the weekend in preparation for its maiden mission, providing electricity to an isolated Russian town across the Bering Strait from Alaska.

The state company behind the plant, called the “Akademik Lomonosov,” says it could pioneer a new power source for remote regions of the planet, but green campaigners have expressed concern about the risk of nuclear accidents. Greenpeace has called it the “nuclear Titanic.” 😱

Full article:

http://gcaptain.com/russias-first-floating-nuclear-power-plant-arrives-in-the-arctic/

5
Geopolitics / Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« on: May 25, 2018, 08:43:03 pm »
Trump-Jong Un Meeting Cancelled, But Can the Talks Survive?

 



May 24, 2018

Denuclearization, Libyan model, military exercises, and criticism in South Korea, we discuss it all with columnist James Dorsey, in Singapore


https://therealnews.com/stories/trump-jong-un-meeting-cancelled-but-can-the-talks-survive

6
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: May 25, 2018, 03:03:19 pm »


This Climate Visualization Belongs in a Damn Museum

Brian Kahn

May 25, 2018  8:40am Filed to: EARTHER IS AN ART BLOG NOW

1850-2017

Our warming world in stripe form.Image: Ed Hawkins

There’s a new global warming illustration that’s fit for the Museum of Modern Art or the Getty. Seriously, just look at that stunner up there.

Ed Hawkins  , the climate scientist who made the viral temperature spirals, is back at it again with another striking view of our warming planet. His latest visualization strips out all unnecessary information save color to communicate how we’re changing the temperature of the Earth.

Plot the global average temperature on a line graph and it goes up over time. Easy enough to read, sure, but not a format that really conveys how weirdly warm we’re making the planet.

In an effort to demonstrate that more clearly, Hawkins decided to represent each year of U.K. Met Office data from 1850-2017 as a bold stripes of color ranging from blue (cold) to red (hot). The resulting graphic leaves little doubt about what’s going on, with blue dropping out of the equation and the red hot nature of global warming emerging clearly by the time your gaze sweeps to the right of the image.

“I wanted to communicate temperature changes in a way that was simple and intuitive, removing all the distractions of standard climate graphics so that the long-term trends and variations in temperature are crystal clear,” Hawkins told Earther. “Our visual system will do the interpretation of the stripes without us even thinking about it.”

The illustration evokes a style of painting known as color field painting that rose to prominence in the middle of the 20th century. The theory underlying the movement was the same as Hawkins’ goal: to strip out all outside information and distractions and use color alone to immediately convey meaning. Barnett Newman, one of the artists who pioneered the field, explained his work this way (emphasis added):

“We are creating images whose reality is self-evident and which are devoid of the props and crutches that evoke associations with outmoded images, both sublime and beautiful...The image we produce is the self-evident one of revelation, real and concrete, that can be understood by anyone who will look at it without the nostalgic glasses of history.”

Hawkins’ work takes this ethos and applies it to the most pressing problem of our time. And if you can’t see what the hell is happening to the planet after looking at it, then I’m not sure what will convey it to you.

Check out more of Hawkins’ “warming stripes” for a view of local global warming in Toronto, the U.S. and central England.

https://earther.com/this-climate-visualization-belongs-in-a-damn-museum-1826307536

7
Geopolitics / Re: War Provocations and Peace Actions
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:38:09 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Russia sends Trump a message (while Trump plays finger pointing games in the US).



Russian Defence Ministry

Watch: Russian Nuclear Submarine Rapid-Fires Four Ballistic Missiles

May 23, 2018 by gCaptain


The Russian Defense Ministry has released video of nuclear-powered Borei-class submarine test firing a barrage of four Bulava missiles from below the surface.

The test was conducted on Tuesday from a submerged location in a designated area of the White Sea, located off the northwest coast of Russia. The Ministry said the missiles were launched against targets at the Kura shooting range on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The test, which was conducted using the nuclear submarine Yuri Dolgorukiy, marked the first-ever salvo fire from this type of submarine, the Ministry said.



The footage published on Wednesday shows some pre-launch activities on board the submarine before it is shown firing four missiles in quick succession.

“The test confirmed combat readiness of the Project-955 Borei SSBN and the Bulava missile system,” the Defence Ministry stated.

The full-length version of the test is below:




http://gcaptain.com/watch-russian-nuclear-submarine-rapid-fires-four-ballistic-missiles/



8
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« on: May 25, 2018, 02:04:40 pm »
Well YEAH. And they are broke because, instead of the Fed using the printing press to pay off student loans and fund a nationwide infrastructure building program to bring the USA into a clean energy economy with jobs for everyone, they 😈 handed 16 trillion or so to their bankrupt bankster crook PALS!

The USA is STILL in a Depression (going 10 years now). There has never been any "recovery" whatsoever.

BUT, as long as the media just talks about the stock market that a tiny percentage of the American public actually benefits from, the LIES that there is "no inflation" and that there is "low unemployment" FEED the cognitive dissonance mindfork which continues to totally screw the most vulnerable and an entire generation of people who just wanted to live a normal life with a normal job.

You are correct. Which is worth a cookie, or at least a pallet's worth of "thoughts n' prayers" left over from the Texas school shooting.

And don't forget the missing $21 trillion gone missing from the Pentagon. Posted here by me, RE and others. If you mixed it, worth a Google.

The days of "a normal life with a normal job" are gone, to be replaced with round after round of extraction and immiseration until we're broke and gone.


True. Yes, I had read about the 21 trillion (see: Disguised MILITARY dictatorship).  :(

9
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:49:15 pm »
Auto Sales Collapse Ford To Stop All Production of Cars - Economic Collapse News

208,663 views
 

Silver Report Uncut

Published on Apr 27, 2018

Economic collapse news.  Ford has announced its plan to scale back it's business.  That plan includes ending the production of all cars.  For over a years sales have continued to decline so the Major auto manufacturer is going to focus it's efforts on what works trucks and suvs.  When numbers are massaged to display strong sales this is the end result....pop!

10
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:11:21 pm »
Quote
Why is Karl Marx so revered in academia? They think of capitalism as evil.

Justin Schwartz, works at Law Office of Justin Schwartz

Answered May 11, 2018

As somebody who has been fired from two academic jobs, one in philosophy, one in law, at least in part because I’m a Marxist, I think your impression of the reverence for Marx in academia is mistaken. In general, you will not find a lot of Marxists in prestigious or even other departments. After I lost one job and was looking for another, I heard from a reliable source that an academic department looking at my credentials decided not to consider me because “we already have a Marxist.” Needless to say, no one would say that about a liberal or a conservative.

Marx is none the less widely respected as a thinker because he is an important thinker, someone who is acknowledged to have brought the importance of economics to society and of conflict to society and politics to the forefront of social thought.

Your second sentence suggest that hating capitalism or thinking that it is evil is a disqualification for somebody being or deserving reference or even respect. You don’t say why that is, although, since I’ve been around the block, I can fill in the blanks. I would just like to call to your attention the fact that this is an undefended assumption. Evil is not necessarily a word that Marxists would use it, but bad, definitely. It wasn’t always bad, all things considered, given the alternatives, but today, there is no justification for a system where a tiny minority owns almost all the property and everyone else has virtually nothing and must scramble to survive. We can do better.

https://www.quora.com/Why-is-Karl-Marx-so-revered-in-academia-They-think-of-capitalism-as-evil

11
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« on: May 24, 2018, 08:48:26 pm »


Eighties Babies Are Officially the Brokest Generation, Federal Reserve Study Concludes

By JORDAN WEISSMANN

MAY 23, 201810:40 AM

Right after the Great Recession, it was a little hard to tell who had it worse: Millennials or Gen X. On the one hand, those of us in our twenties and early thirties faced the dire prospect of starting our careers amid the worst economy in modern memory. Graduating back then felt a bit like leaping off a high dive only to realize someone had drained the water out of the pool. But at least most of us hadn’t gotten caught up in the housing bubble. Gen Xers, in contrast, had just watched their home equity get demolished and had children to worry about, making the prospect of unemployment all the more terrifying.

A decade later, though, it appears Millennials are in the much deeper financial hole. In a new study this month, economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis examined whether Americans are now wealthier or poorer than previous generations were at their age. It turns out that older households (those headed by someone born before 1960) are a bit better off than those their age had been in the past, while younger households (those headed by someone born after 1960) are generally worse off. And 1980s babies are in the most dire shape of all: As of 2016, the median net worth of those born around the Reagan years was 34 percent lower than what past trends would predict for their age group. Those born in the 1970s, the GenXers, were just 18 percent behind.

The brokest generation
 
Jordan Weissmann/Slate
Why are younger families so far behind the curve? According to the Fed report, the problem is not what they’re earning, nor their savings habits (the researchers find that, contrary to popular belief, Americans born in the ‘80s actually put away money at higher rates than Boomers or Gen Xers did at their age). Instead, the problem boils down to “houses and debt.” Americans born in the 1960s and ‘70s were up to their necks in mortgage debt when the housing bust hit, and their net worths plummeted with housing prices. But now that home values have recovered, their finances are healing. “Families whose heads were born in the 1980s are different,” the report states. Loaded down with student debt, auto loans, and credit card balances, less than half own homes and relatively few hold assets like stocks, meaning they’ve missed out on the runup in asset prices of the last few years, and it’s possible they’ll never be able to build wealth fast enough to match previous generations.

 
Technically, ‘80s babies don’t have the heaviest debt burden ever; they’re still behind the standard set by those born in the ‘70s. But the difference, again, is that Gen X levered up to buy actual assets. Millennials are paying for their diplomas. The Fed staffers hold out a sliver of hope that, as the most educated generation yet, those born in the ‘80s will earn enough to dig themselves out of the pit they’re currently in. But otherwise, it’s possible they’ll “become members of a lost generation for wealth accumulation.”

Here, I’d just like to end on a personal mea culpa. A few years ago, I co-wrote an article for the Atlantic that asked whether Millennials would ever buy houses or cars quite the way their parents did, and spent a bit too much time focusing on cultural explanations for their changing consumer habits rather than focusing on the obvious financial challenges my cohorts were facing. It was titled “The Cheapest Generation.” In retrospect, a more appropriate title would have obviously been the “The Brokest Generation.”1


https://slate.com/business/2018/05/millennials-are-in-a-deep-financial-hole-compared-to-past-generations.html

Well YEAH. And they are broke because, instead of the Fed using the printing press to pay off student loans and fund a nationwide infrastructure building program to bring the USA into a clean energy economy with jobs for everyone, they 😈 handed 16 trillion 💵or so to their bankrupt bankster crook PALS!

The USA is STILL in a Depression (going 10 years now). There has never been any "recovery" whatsoever.

BUT, as long as the media just talks about the stock market that a tiny percentage of the American public actually benefits from, the LIES that there is "no inflation" and that there is "low unemployment" FEED the cognitive dissonance mindfork which continues to totally screw the most vulnerable and an entire generation of people who just wanted to live a normal life with a normal job.

The FED DID THIS! May they REAP what they have sown!



12
Fossil Fuel Folly / Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« on: May 24, 2018, 08:16:39 pm »
 
Make Nexus Hot News part of your morning: click here to subscribe.

May 24, 2018



Climate Change Versus the Volcano

Fissures have been opening in Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano this month, forcing hundreds from their homes, spewing lava 300 feet into the air, and generating images straight out of a late-90s action movie. A few days ago, the Big Island’s most active volcano was the subject of a NBC MACH video entitled “What the Mt. Kilauea eruptions mean for climate change”.

Volcanic eruptions can have an impact on the global climate. For example, Mt. Pinatubo’s massive eruption in 2001, referenced in the NBC video, cooled average global temperatures by 1°F over 15 months. The eruption spewed 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere, which blocked solar radiation.

So what’s the issue with this video? ??? Well, as multiple scientists helpfully pointed out on Twitter, the science  ;) in the video is less solid than hot, molten lava. Though NBC quotes one volcanologist, the relationship between the volcanic impacts he cites and climate science are a bit fissured. ;D


First, the video says that volcanoes emit CFCs, which deplete the ozone layer and cause warming. It also claims that rapid global warming since 2014 could have been caused by the eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland (with no real explanation for this conclusion).

There are a bunch of issues here, which Gavin Schmidt breaks down in one tweet:

֍ - Neither Kilauea nor Bardarbunga are/were emitting any SO2 or HCl into the stratosphere

֍ - There are no CFCs involved at all

֍ - Neither had any impact on stratospheric ozone

֍ - Even if they had, the resulting ozone depletion would cause a slight *cooling*! 👀

Andrew Dessler puts it even more simply: “So much in that video piece was wrong. It would have been great if they'd done some basic fact checking before producing it.”

But since they didn’t, perhaps this video is best left unwatched, and instead flushed down the lava-tory.  ;D

13
Renewables / Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:54:25 pm »

Grist

We know what the Kochs 🦕 want. What about major foundations?

By Nathanael Johnson on May 23, 2018

SNIPPET:
 
Big charitable foundations that shape the climate movement dole out cash for renewables and energy efficiency. 

But where’s the love for nuclear power, carbon capture, and geoengineering? 

It’s nonexistent. That’s the finding of a new paper published this week by Matthew Nisbet, a professor at Northeastern University who studies climate change communication.

Full article:

https://grist.org/article/foundations-pour-money-into-tackling-climate-change-but-not-curbing-carbon/


14
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:43:04 pm »
May 24, 2018

How Warmer Temps Will Impact World Food Staple (rice)

Climate change could make rice less nutritious, according to new research. A study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances finds that growing rice in high atmospheric levels of CO2--including levels expected by 2100 under some emissions scenarios--resulted in a decline of levels of various key vitamins and iron, zinc and protein.

 "About two billion people rely on rice as a primary food source and among those that are the poorest, often the consumption of rice in terms of their daily calories is over 50%," study coauthor and USDA scientist Lewis Ziska told The Guardian. "Anything that impacts rice in terms of its nutritional quality is going to have an impact."


15
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: May 24, 2018, 07:31:36 pm »
Can we get 100% of our energy from renewable sources? 

By Michelle Froese | May 18, 2018

This article comes from Science Daily, with materials provided by Lappeenranta University of Technology.


Scientists have demonstrated that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future.

֍ Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs?

֍ What happens when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow? 🤔

֍ Won’t renewables destabilize the grid and cause blackouts?    

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard 🐉 and colleagues 🦕 🦖 presented their case  against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues. The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer each of the apparent issues.

They demonstrate that there are no roadblocks on the way to a 100% renewable future.

“While several of the issues raised by the Heard paper are important, you have to realise that there are technical solutions to all the points they raised, using today’s technology,” says the lead author of the response, Dr. Tom Brown of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.

Quote
“Furthermore, these solutions are absolutely affordable, especially given the sinking costs of wind and solar power,” adds Professor Christian Breyer of Lappeenranta University of Technology, who co-authored the response.

Brown cites the worst-case solution of hydrogen or synthetic gas produced with renewable electricity for times when imports, hydroelectricity, batteries, and other storage fail to bridge the gap during low wind and solar periods during the winter. For maintaining stability there is a series of technical solutions, from rotating grid stabilisers to newer electronics-based solutions.

The scientists have collected examples of best practice by grid operators from across the world, from Denmark to Tasmania.

Furthermore, these solutions are absolutely affordable, especially given the sinking costs of wind and solar power.

The response by the scientists has now appeared in the same journal as the original article by Heard and colleagues.

There are some persistent myths that 100% renewable systems are not possible,” says Professor Brian Vad Mathiesen of Aalborg University, who is a co-author of the response. “Our contribution deals with these myths one-by-one, using all the latest research. Now let’s get back to the business of modeling low-cost scenarios to eliminate fossil fuels from our energy system, so we can tackle the climate and health challenges they pose.”   


https://www.windpowerengineering.com/business-news-projects/can-we-get-100-of-our-energy-from-renewable-sources/


📢 And of the rest planet needs that INDEPENDENCE too!

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