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Messages - AGelbert

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 566
1
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: January 16, 2018, 07:10:37 pm »
January 16, 2018

Fire and Fury: The Extreme-Right in the White House (Pt. 2/2)

The extreme right has a solid hold on the White House for the first time in decades and replacing Trump with another Clinton-type Democrat will only reinforce the forces that got Trump elected. Part 2 of our "Fire and Fury" book discussion with Doug Henwood


http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20908

2
Fossil Fuel Folly / Re: Fossil Fuel Propaganda Modus Operandi
« on: January 16, 2018, 07:00:16 pm »
 




Quote
Connecting the Koch’s Puzzling Press Donations and Daily Callers Fact Check Fuss

Last Tuesday, the Daily Caller ran a story that accidentally admits that the site--and all the others like it--is fake news. The piece’s title alleges that Google’s fact check “Almost Exclusively Targets Conservative Sites.” But of course, as Salon’s Matthew Sheffield points out in his debunking of this attempt to paint Google as partisan, that’s because fake news leans hard to the right. As Sheffield explains, Google fact-checks many right-wing blogs because they’re full of fake news. That doesn’t mean Google’s fact-check is biased--it means it’s accurate.

Why are so many alt-right outlets so full of alt-facts? It might that have something to do with right-wing media being funded by overt partisans like the Kochs and Mercers. But what if those same forces are recognizing that their own echo chamber is only effective for those who have already bought in to their worldview, and that they must expand their influence beyond the bubble? If that were the case, then one would expect to see these funders working with more legitimate, mainstream journalism groups to find new audiences for their agendas. 

And that’s exactly what they’re doing. Last Thursday, Christopher Cook of the Columbia Journalism Review wrote a piece on the controversy around the Koch Foundation’s 2017 grant to the American Society of News Editors (ANSE) for its journalist protection hotline and its support for a Poynter Institute project supporting college journalists.

Cook reports that many consider the grants an attempt by the Kochs to whitewash their image. He also focuses on the incredible irony of the Kochs supporting ANSE’s program dedicated to “protecting journalists from attacks” while employing strong-arm tactics against journalists who cover their shady practices. Jane Mayer, who wrote a book last year on  the Koch’s weaponized philanthropy, told Cook that after her expose the Kochs so far as to hire “a private eye” whose “firm spent months and months trying to dig up dirt on [Mayer].”

That irony is rich, but Cook misses the Koch’s larger strategy. The Poynter Institute’s program funded by the Koch Foundation works to “provide training to student journalists,” who are given $3,000 “to spend on a reporting project or event that advances civil discourse on campus” in addition to an in-person training session and online courses.

This is the real game. The Kochs are not just using these grants as public relations fodder, as per Mayer and others’ criticisms described in Cook’s piece. What’s more likely is that this is part of Koch’s overarching strategy to just flat out buy the press. With this program, which started on 300 campuses across the country last semester, the Kochs are seeding a generation of reporters who see them as the philanthropists who helped start their career, not the creeps who hire private eyes to dig through a reporter’s garbage.

For a student reporter $3,000 is a lot of money at a very early stage in one’s career. The Kochs are making a bold attempt to buy a lifetime of goodwill for a month’s salary. What’s more, these grants are provided to fund stories that, as a Koch Foundation flack told Cook, explore “civic and economic liberties that allow people to prosper.” This money, then, is specifically earmarked in hopes of starting young reporters on a free-market-friendly career path.

Those who embrace the libertarian framing are likely encouraged to enter the Koch journalism pipeline, where they can intern at a Koch-funded group like Heritage, get trained further by Koch-funded “investigative news” producing Franklin Center, then move into one of the Koch’s own media properties, like Charles Koch Institute partner The Daily Caller.

Once at the Daily Caller, after a few years of Koch-brand fake news training, they’ll be ready to start writing about how fake news-busting fact checks are a big conspiracy. ;)

3
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: January 16, 2018, 05:30:01 pm »
 

Australia offers money to scientists to save the Great Barrier Reef  ::)

LAST UPDATED ON JANUARY 16TH, 2018 AT 1:14 PM BY ELENA MOTIVANS 

Coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef. Image credits: Acropora.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism in the world at 2,300 kilometers (1,400 miles) long. Coral reefs are important because they house about 25% of marine life. However, coral bleaching and other stressors, such as pollution and a very hungry starfish, have left the reef battered and at risk of dying completely. Consecutive bleaching events in the past two years haven’t given it any chance to recover.

Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm; the corals then expel their symbiotic algae, known as zooxanthellae. These algae supply the coral with food via photosynthesis and give them their color — so when they’re kicked out the coral turns white, or bleaches. The algae can return when the waters cool and the corals can then rebuild and recover in 15 to 25 years. Unfortunately, they haven’t had any chance to do so. The situation is so grim that the reefs and tourism associated with it could die by 2050.

The Australian government is trying a last-ditch effort to save its underwater monument. It is offering money to scientists with solutions. AUS$2.0 million (US$1.6 million) are on the table.

“The scale of the problem is big and big thinking is needed, but it’s important to remember that solutions can come from anywhere,” said Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. “Solutions could focus on anything from reducing the exposure of corals to physical stressors, to boosting coral regeneration rates by cultivating reef-building coral larvae that attract other important marine species.”

Several proposals will be chosen for an initial testing round; it can last up to 6 months and use AUS$250,000. A further AUS$1 million will be made available to the best solutions, so applicants can develop and test their prototypes for up to 12 months.

Last year, researchers from Southern Cross University collected coral spawn and eggs. They grew them into larvae and then transplanted them into a damaged reef. Eight months later, the coral had survived and grown, suggesting that this approach could be viable in other reefs.

However, the truth of the matter is that global warming is the main problem that is threatening the reefs. There can perhaps be short-term solutions to bide time but the only long-term solution is to reduce  CO2 emissions and curb the global temperature increases.

https://www.zmescience.com/ecology/environmental-issues/australia-offers-money-scientists-save-great-barrier-reef/

Agelbert NOTE: I do not think there is enough money in the entire world to slow, never mind stop or reverse, the biosphere damage that is already baked in for about a century.

Only a Capitalist (i.e. a Mammon worshipping fool) would entertain the wishful thinking that money can save the Great Barrier Reef. It's over; the fossil fuel industry killed it. Capitalism helped A LOT!


4
Climate Change / Re: Pollution
« on: January 16, 2018, 04:49:55 pm »
40% of India’s Thermal Power Plants Are in Water-Scarce Areas, Threatening Shutdowns

by Tianyi Luo - January 16, 2018
         
New WRI research finds that 40 percent of the country’s thermal power plants are located in areas facing high water stress, a problem since these plants use water for cooling. Scarce water is already hampering electricity generation in these regions—14 of India’s 20 largest thermal utilities experienced at least one shutdown due to water shortages between 2013-2016, costing the companies $1.4 billion.

It’s an issue that’s only poised to worsen unless the country takes action—70 percent of India’s thermal power plants will face high water stress by 2030 thanks to climate change and increased demands from other sectors.

Billions of Tons of Freshwater, Consumed

Thermal power—power that relies on fuels like coal, natural gas and nuclear energy—provides India with 83 percent of its total electricity. While these power plants fail to disclose how much water they’re using in their operations, WRI developed a new methodology using satellite images and other data to calculate their water use.

What's the Difference Between Water Withdrawal and Consumption?
Water withdrawal: The total amount of water that is diverted from a water source (e.g. surface water, groundwater) for use.

Water consumption: The portion of water that is not returned to the original source after being withdrawn.

Much of the water withdrawn by plants is returned to the lakes and ponds from which it came, but a lot is also consumed, and not returned to its original source. We found that almost 90 percent of India’s thermal power generation depends on freshwater for cooling, and the industry is only growing thirstier. Thanks to increased energy demand and the growing popularity of freshwater-recirculating plants, which consume the most water of any thermal plant, freshwater consumption from Indian thermal utilities grew by 43 percent from 2011-2016, from 1.5 to 2.1 billion cubic meters a year.

To put this in perspective, India’s total domestic water consumption in 2010 was about 7.5 billion cubic meters, according to the Aqueduct Global Water Risk Atlas. That means power plants drank about 20 percent as much water as India’s 1.3 billion citizens use for washing dishes, bathing, drinking and more.


40 Percent of Thirsty Plants Are in Water-Stressed Areas

More than a third of India’s freshwater-dependent plants are located in areas of high or extremely high water stress. These plants have, on average, a 21 percent lower utilization rate than their counterparts located in low or medium water-stress regions—lack of water simply prevents them from running at full capacity. Even when controlling the comparison analysis by unit age, fuel type and plant capacity, the observation was always the same: Plants in low- and medium-stress areas are more able to realize their power output potential than those in high water-stress areas.

Scarce Water Dries Up Revenue

There are practical and financial implications of power plants’ thirst. Between 2013 and 2016, India’s thermal plants failed to meet their daily electricity generation targets 61 percent of the time due to forced power plant outages. The reasons ranged from equipment failure to fuel shortages. Water shortages were the fifth-largest reason for all forced outages—the largest environmental reason.

In 2016 alone, water shortages cost India about 14 terawatt-hours of potential thermal power generation, canceling out more than 20 percent of the growth in the country’s total electricity generation from 2015.

The Way Forward

Quote
As India develops, water competition will continue to grow and climate change will likely disrupt predictable water supply. Thermal utilities will become even more vulnerable to water shortages, power outages and lost revenue.

But there’s a better path forward: Upgrading cooling systems, improving plant efficiency, and ultimately shifting toward water-free renewables like solar photovoltaics and wind can all curb water risks to power generation.

It’s worth noting that the government of India already has plans in place that give reason for hope, such as the notification on power plant water withdrawal limits and the “40/60” renewable energy development plan. If these ambitious policies are enacted and enforced, our estimates show that India will save 12.4 billion cubic meters of freshwater from being withdrawn by power plants. That’s a year’s worth of showers for 120 million people – more than live in the Philippines.

But change won’t happen overnight. Even with proactive policies in place, the key lies in their implementation. In the coming years, the Indian government, utility companies and international investors all have a role to play in making the power sector more resilient to water risks.

LEARN MORE:
Read the full paper, Parched Power: Water Demands, Risks and Opportunities for India's Power Plants

http://www.wri.org/blog/2018/01/40-indias-thermal-power-plants-are-water-scarce-areas-threatening-shutdowns

Agelbert NOTE: Thermal power plants are a ruinously polluting, as well as wasteful, way to generate electricity. The totally inexcusable massive waste of fresh water is just one more COST the fossil fuelers refuse to compute in their happy talk Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) baloney formulas. I'm glad that India is finally starting to realize that Renewable Energy sourced power (see below for water demand of Renewable versus Thermal) is the only sane way to generate electricity.


5
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: January 16, 2018, 02:44:19 pm »

What MARIA Left Behind

SNIPPET 1:

By Scott Latta Staff writer

Across the heart of Puerto Rico runs the Cordillera Central, a staggering mountain range that bore the force of Hurricane Maria.

In small mountain towns like Las Marias and Maricao, many people rode out the storm with friends or relatives, and it took days to cut through fallen trees and dig through the mud to see what was left of their homes. There was no way to know what they would return home to: Some houses were missing a few roof panels; others were swallowed by eight feet of mud, strewn across the mountain, gone.

It is a tedious, twisting drive up these mountains, made longer by the bulldozers and army trucks struggling to clear the way. It has been months since Maria hit, long enough to answer the question that always follows devastation like this, which isn’t when life “will return to normal,” but instead what normal has become. Power and water will not return here for months, if not longer. In the meantime, many people are living with friends or relatives, drinking from streams, and struggling to repair the things Maria took.

But while it’s easy to be overwhelmed by what has been lost, the story of these communities is in what Maria left behind: the proud, determined people who are pulling together to rebuild their lives. Communities that are tighter. Families that are stronger. There are things in these mountains Maria could not take, and that’s why Mercy Corps is there—to help Puerto Rico’s people recover, and to build better, stronger lives.

SNIPPET 2:

Watch Carmen's story


Full article with added graphics:

https://www.mercycorps.org/gallery/maria/what-maria-left-behind

6
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:44:10 pm »
Agelbert NOTE: Several pictures included in the article can be viewed at the link.



William Penn Jones Jr. was an American journalist, the editor of the Midlothian Mirror and author. He was also one of the earliest John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists. Jones attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a classmate of Henry Wade and John Connally. Wade later become the District Attorney in Dallas while Connolly would later become the 39th Governor of Texas. Both men were figures in the assassination of JFK.
In 1946, Jones purchased the Midlothian Mirror for $4,000; he eventually sold the newspaper in 1974. In 1963, Penn received the Elijah Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism. Jones was also known for being an early critic of the Warren Commission‘s report on the assassination of JFK. In 1967, he self-published Forgive My Grief, a four-volume work on the assassination of President Kennedy. In the 1980s, Jones co-edited The Continuing Inquiry newsletter with Gary Mack of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

On January 25, 1998, Jones died of Alzheimer’s disease in a Alvarado, Texas nursing home at the age of 83.

In January 1983 Rebel Magazine published an article written by Jones, which is republished in full, with no editing below (except images). The JFK assassination was one of the biggest events to have ever hit America and Jones assumes that the reader of the time would have known quite a bit about it. This article makes for fascinating reading whether you believe the official state narrative or alternative theories. Last October, Statista concluded from surveys that 61 percent of Americans believe JFK was not killed by Oswald alone and that others were involved.

Over 100 murders, suicides, mysterious deaths – the strange fate of those who saw Kennedy shot.

By W. Penn Jones Jr.

Shortly after dark on Sunday night November 24, 1963, after Ruby had killed Lee Harvey Oswald, a meeting took place in Jack Ruby’s apartment in Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Five persons were present. George Senator and Attorney Tom Howard were present and having a drink in the apartment when two newsmen arrived. The newsmen were Bill Hunter of the Long Beach California Press Telegram, and Jim Koethe of the Dallas Times Herald. Attorney C.A. Droby of Dallas arranged the meeting for the two newsmen. Jim Martin, a close friend of George Senator’s, was also present at the apartment meeting.

This writer asked Martin if he thought it was unusual for Senator to forget the meeting while testifying in Washington on April 22, 1964, since Bill Hunter, who was a newsman present at the meeting, was shot to death that very night. Martin grinned and said: “Oh, you’re looking for a conspiracy.”
I nodded yes and he grinned and said, “You will never find it.”
I asked soberly, “Never find it, or not there?”
He added soberly, “Not there.”

Bill Hunter, a native of Dallas and an award winning newsman in Long Beach, was on duty and reading a book in the police station called “Public Safety Building.” Two policemen going off duty came into the press room, and one policeman shot Hunter through the heart at a range officially ruled to be “no more than three feet.” The policeman said he dropped his gun, and it fired as he picked it up, but the angle of the bullet caused him to change his story. He finally said he was playing a game of quick draw with his fellow officer. The other officer testified he had his back turned when the shooting took place.

Hunter, who covered the assassination for his paper, the Long Beach Press Telegram, had written:
“Within minutes of Ruby’s execution of Oswald, before the eyes of millions watching television, at least two Dallas attorneys appeared to talk with him.”

Hunter was quoting Tom Howard who died of a heart attack in Dallas a few months after Hunter’s own death. Lawyer Tom Howard was observed acting strangely to his friends two days before his death. Howard was taken to the hospital by a “friend” according to the newspapers. No autopsy was performed.

Dallas Times Herald reporter Jim Koethe was killed by a karate chop to the throat just as he emerged from a shower in his apartment on September 21, 1964. His murderer was not indicted.

What went on in that significant meeting in Ruby’s and Senator’s apartment?

Few are left to tell. There is no one in authority to ask the question, since the Warren Commission has made its final report, and The House Select Committee has closed its investigation.

Journalist Dorothy Kallagan’s mobster tell-all article may have got her killed – read the NY Post article HERE

Dorothy Kilgallen was another reporter who died strangely and suddenly after her involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Miss Kilgallen is the only journalist who was granted a private interview with Jack Ruby after he killed Lee Harvey Oswald. Judge Joe B. Brown granted the interview during the course of the Ruby trial in Dallas–to the intense anger of the hundreds of other newspeople present.

We will not divulge exactly what Miss Kilgallen did to obtain the interview with Ruby. But Judge Brown bragged about the price paid. Only that was not the real price Miss Kilgallen paid. She gave her life for the interview. Miss Kilgallen stated that she was “going to break this case wide open.”

She died on November 8, 1965. Her autopsy report took eight days. She was 52 years old. Two days later Mrs. Earl T. Smith, a close friend of Miss Kilgallen’s died of undetermined causes.

Tom Howard, who died of a heart attack, was a good friend of District Attorney Henry Wade, although they often opposed each other in court. Howard was close to Ruby and other fringes of the Dallas underworld.

Like Ruby, Howard’s life revolved around the police station, and it was not surprising when he and Ruby (toting his gun) showed up at the station on the evening of the assassination of President Kennedy. Nor was it unusual when Howard arrived at the jail shortly after Ruby shot Oswald, asking to see his old friend.

Howard was shown into a meeting room to see a bewildered Ruby who had not asked for a lawyer. For the next two days–until Ruby’s brother, Earl, soured on him, and had Howard relieved–he was Jack Ruby’s chief attorney and public spokesman.

Howard took to the publicity with alacrity, called a press conference, wheeled and dealed. He told newsmen the case was a “once-in-a-lifetime chance,” and that “speaking as a private citizen,” he thought Ruby deserved a Congressional medal. He told the Houston Post that Ruby had been in the police station Friday night (November 22, 1963) with a gun. Howard dickered with a national magazine for an Oswald murder story. He got hold of a picture showing the President’s brains flying out of the car, and tried to sell it to Life magazine. Ruby’s sister, Eva Grant, even accused Howard of leaking information to the DA. It was never quite clear whether Howard was working for Ruby or against him.

On March 27, 1965, Howard was taken to a hospital by an unidentified person and died there. He was 48. The doctor, without benefit of an autopsy, said he had suffered a heart attack. Some reporters and friends of Howard’s were not so certain. Some said he was “bumped off.”

Earlene Roberts was the plump widow who managed the rooming house where Lee Harvey Oswald was living under the name O. H. Lee. She testified before the Warren Commission that she saw Oswald come home around one o’clock, go to his room for three or four minutes and walk out zipping his light weight jacket. A few minutes later, a mile away, officer J. D. Tippit was shot dead.

Mrs. Roberts testified that while Oswald was in his room, two uniformed cops pulled up in front of the rooming house and honked twice–“Just tit tit,” she said.

The police department issued a report saying all patrol cars in the area, except Tippit’s, were accounted for. The Warren Commission let it go at that.

After testifying in Dallas in April 1964, Mrs. Roberts was subjected to intensive police harassment. They visited her at all hours of the day and night. Earlene complained of being “worried to death” by the police. She died on January 9, 1966 in Parkland Hospital (the hospital where President Kennedy was taken). Police said she suffered a heart attack in her home. No autopsy was performed.


Warren Reynolds being interviewed about the scene of a killing but was not sure about the FBI story he was given – to his cost
Warren Reynolds was minding his used car lot on East Jefferson Street in Oak Cliff in Dallas, when he heard shots two blocks away. He thought it was a marital quarrel. Then he saw a man having a great difficulty tucking “a pistol or an automatic” in his belt, and running at the same time. Reynolds gave chase for a short piece being careful to keep his distance, then lost the fleeing man. He didn’t know it then, but he had apparently witnessed the flight of the killer (or one of the killers) of patrolman Jefferson David Tippit. Feeling helpful, he gave his name to a passing policeman and offered his cooperation. Television cameras zeroed in on him, got his story, and made him well known. Warren Reynolds, the amiable used car man, was making history.

Reynolds was not questioned until two months after the event. The FBI finally talked to him in January 1964. The FBI interview report said, ” . . . he was hesitant to definitely identify Oswald as the individual.” Then it added, “He advised he is of the opinion Oswald is the person.”

Two days after Reynolds talked to the FBI, he was shot in the head. He was closing up his used car lot for the night at the time. Nothing was stolen. Later after consulting retired General Edwin Walker (the man Oswald allegedly shot at before he assassinated President Kennedy), he told the Warren Commission Counsel that Oswald was definitely the man he saw fleeing the Tippit murder scene.

A young hood was arrested for the murder attempt. Darrell Wayne Garner had called a relative bragging that he shot Reynolds. But Garner had an alibi, Nancy Jane Mooney, alias Betty McDonald, who said Garner was in bed with her at the time he was supposed to have shot Reynolds. Nancy Jane had worked at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club. Garner was freed.

Nancy Jane was picked up a week later for fighting with a girlfriend. She was arrested for disturbing the peace. The girlfriend was not arrested. Within hours after her arrest, Nancy Jane was dead. Police reports said she hanged herself with her toreador pants.

Reynolds and his family were harassed and threatened. But upon giving the Warren Commission a firm identification of Oswald as being the Tippit murder fugitive, he said, “I don’t think they are going to bother me any more.”


A preponderance of "H"'s Killam’s jugular vein was cut and bled to death attempting to get to hospital
A preponderance of "H"'s Killam was a house painter who lived at Mrs. A.C. Johnson’s rooming house at the same time Lee Harvey Oswald lived there. His wife, Wanda, once pushed cigarettes and drinks at Jack Ruby’s club.

A preponderance of "H"'s was a big man, over six feet and weighing over 200 pounds. After the assassination, federal agents visited him repeatedly causing him to lose one job after another.

Killam was absorbed by the assassination, even obsessed. Hours after the event, he came home, “white as a sheet.” Wanda said he stayed up all night watching the television accounts of the assassination. Later he bought all the papers and clipped the stories about Kennedy’s death.

Before Christmas, Killam left for Florida. Wanda confessed where he was. Federal agents hounded him in Tampa, Florida where he was working selling cars at his brother-in-law’s car lot. He lost his job.

Killam wrote Wanda that he would be sending for her soon. He received a phone call on St. Patrick’s day. He left the house immediately. He was found later on a sidewalk in front of a broken window. His jugular vein was cut. He bled to death en route to the hospital.

There is no mention of Killam by the Warren Commission. A number of FBI documents on Killam relating to the assassination were withheld, along with documents prepared by the CIA. What is clear is that SOMEBODY considered A preponderance of "H"'s Killam a very important guy.

William Whaley was known as the “Oswald Cabbie.” He was one of the few who had the opportunity to talk alone with the accused killer of President Kennedy. He testified that Oswald hailed him at the Dallas Greyhound bus station. Whaley said he drove Oswald to the intersection of Beckley and Neches–half a block from the rooming house–and collected a dollar. Later he identified Oswald as his fare in a questionable police line-up.

Whaley was killed in a head-on collision on a bridge over the Trinity River, December 18, 1965; his passenger was critically injured. The 83 year old driver of the other car was also killed. Whaley had been with the City Transportation Company since 1936 and had a perfect driving record. He was the first Dallas cabbie to be killed on duty since 1937. When I went to interview the manager of the cab company about Whaley’s death, he literally pushed me out of the office, “If you’re smart, you won’t be coming around here asking questions.”

Domingo Benavides, an auto mechanic, was witness to the murder of Officer Tippit. Benavides testified he got a “really good view of the slayer.”

Benavides said the killer resembled newspaper pictures of Oswald, but he described him differently, “I remember the back of his head seemed like his hairline went square instead of tapered off . . .”

Benavides reported he was repeatedly threatened by the police who advised him not to talk about what he saw.

In mid-February 1964, his brother Eddy, who resembled him, was fatally shot in the back of the head at a beer joint on Second Avenue in Dallas. The case was marked “unsolved.”

Benavides’s father-in-law J. W. Jackson was not impressed by the investigation. He began his own inquiry. Two weeks later, J.W. Jackson was shot at his home. As the gunman escaped, a police car came around the block. It made no attempt to follow the speeding car with the gunman.

The police advised that Jackson should “lay off this business.” “Don’t go around asking questions; that’s our job.” Jackson and Benavides are both convinced that Eddy’s murder was a case of mistaken identity and that Domingo Benavides, the Tippit witness was the intended victim.

Lee Bowers’s testimony is perhaps as explosive as any recorded by the Warren Commission. He was one of the 65 witnesses who saw the President’s assassination, and who thought shots were fired from the area of the Grassy Knoll. (The Knoll is west of the Texas School Book Depository Building.) But more than that, he was in a unique position to observe some pretty strange behavior in the Knoll area before and during the assassination.

Bowers, then a towerman for the Union Terminal Co., was stationed in his 14 foot tower directly behind the Grassy Knoll. He faced the scene of the assassination. He could see the railroad overpass to his right. Directly in front of him was a parking lot and a wooden stockade fence, and a row of trees running along the top of the Grassy Knoll. The Knoll sloped down to the spot on Elm Street where the President was killed. Police had “cut off” traffic into the parking lot, Bowers said, “so that anyone moving around could actually be observed.”

Bowers made two significant observations which he revealed to the Warren Commission. First, he saw three unfamiliar cars slowly cruising around the parking area in the 35 minutes before the assassination; the first two left after a few minutes. The driver of the second car appeared to be talking into a “mic or telephone”; “he was holding something up to his mouth with one hand and he was driving with the other.” A third car with out-of-state license plates and mud up to the windows, probed all around the parking area. Bowers last remembered seeing it about eight minutes before the shooting, pausing “just above the assassination site.”

Bowers also observed two unfamiliar men standing on the top of the Knoll at the edge of the parking lot, within 10 or 15 feet of each other. “One man, middle aged or slightly older, fairly heavy set, in a white shirt, fairly dark trousers. Another man, younger, about mid-twenties, in either a plaid shirt or plaid coat or jacket.” Both were facing toward Elm and Houston in anticipation of the motorcade. The two were the only strangers he remembered seeing. His description shows a remarkable similarity to Julia Ann Mercer’s description of two unidentified men climbing the Knoll.

When the shots rang out, Bowers’s attention was drawn to the area where he had seen the two men; he could still make out the one in the white shirt: “The darker dressed man was too hard to distinguish from the trees.”

Bowers observed “some commotion” at that spot . . .,” ” . . . something out of the ordinary, a sort of milling around . . . which attracted my eye for some reason which I could not identify.” At that moment, a motorcycle policeman left the Presidential motorcade and roared up the Grassy Knoll, straight to where the two mysterious gentlemen were standing. Later, Bowers testified that the “commotion” that caught his eye may have been a “flash of light or smoke.”

On the morning of August 9, 1966, Lee Bowers, vice president of a construction firm, was driving south of Dallas on business. He was two miles south of Midlothian, Texas when his brand new company car veered from the road and hit a bridge abutment. A farmer who saw it, said the car was going about 50 miles an hour, a slow speed for that road.

Bowers died in a Dallas hospital. He was 41. There was no autopsy and he was cremated. A doctor from Midlothian who rode to Dallas in the ambulance with Bowers, noticed something peculiar about the victim. “He was in some strange sort of shock.” The doctor said, “A different kind of shock than an accident victim experiences. I can’t explain it. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

When I questioned his widow, she insisted there was nothing suspicious, but then became flustered and said, “They told him not to talk.”

Harold Russell was with Warren Reynolds when the Tippit shooting took place. Both men saw the Tippit killer escape. Russel was interviewed in January 1964, and signed a statement that the fleeing man was Oswald.

A few months after the assassination, Russell went back to his home near David, Oklahoma. In July of 1965, Russell went to a party with a female friend. He seemingly went out of his mind at the party and started telling everyone he was going to be killed. He begged friends to hide him. Someone called the police. When the policemen arrived, one of them hit Russell on the head with his pistol. Russell was then taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a few hours later: cause of death was listed as “heart failure.”

Among others who died strangely were James Worrell, who died in a motorcycle accident on November 9, 1966. He saw a strange man run from the back door of the Texas School Book Depository shortly after the assassination.

Gary Underhill was shot. This death was ruled suicide on May 8, 1964. Underhill was a former CIA agent and claimed he knew who was responsible for killing President Kennedy.

Delilah Walle was a worker at Ruby’s club. She was married only 24 days when her new husband shot her. She had been working on a book of what she supposedly knew about the assassination.

William “Bill” Waters died May 20, 1967. Police said he died of a drug overdose (demerol). No autopsy was performed. His mother said Oswald and Killam came to her home before the assassination and her son tried to talk Oswald and Killam out of being involved. Waters called FBI agents after the assassination. The FBI told him he knew too much and to keep his mouth shut. He was arrested and kept in Memphis in a county jail for eight months on a misdemeanor charge.

Albert Guy Bogard, an automobile salesman who worked for Downtown Lincoln Mercury, showed a new Mercury to a man using the name “Lee Oswald.”

Shortly after Bogard gave his testimony to a Commission attorney in Dallas, he was badly beaten and had to be hospitalized. Upon his release, he was fearful for his safety. Bogard was from Hallsville, La. He was found dead in his car at the Hallsville Cemetery on St. Valentine’s day in 1966. A rubber hose was attached to the exhaust and the other end extending into the car. The ruling was suicide. He was just 41 years old.

Jack Ruby died of cancer. He was taken into the hospital with Pneumonia. Twenty eight days later, he was dead from cancer.

David Ferrie of New Orleans, before he could be brought to trial for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination, died of brain hemorrhage. Just what caused his brain hemorrhage has not been established. Ferrie was to testify in the famous Jim Garrison trial, but death prevented him.

Dr. Mary Stults Sherman, age 51, was found stabbed and burned in her apartment in New Orleans. Dr. Sherman had been working on a cancer experiment with Ferrie.

Another Ferrie associate, Eladio Cerefine de Valle, 43, died on the same day as Ferrie. His skull was split open; he was then shot. DeValle had used Ferrie as a pilot. DeValle had been identifying some men in a photo taken in New Orleans for Jim Garrison. One of the men in the photo was Lee Harvey Oswald.

Paul Dyer, of the New Orleans Police force died of cancer. He was the first police officer to interview Ferrie. Martin got sick on the job and died a month later of cancer. He had just interviewed David Ferrie.

News reporters were not exempt either. Two lady reporters died strangely. Lisa Howard supposedly committed suicide. She knew a great deal about the “understanding” which was in the making after the Bay of Pigs, between President Kennedy and the Cubans.

Marguerite Higgins bluntly accused the American authorities of the November 2nd, 1963 killing of Premier Diem and his brother Nhu. A few months after her accusation, she died in a landmine explosion in Vietnam.

On Saturday November 23, 1963, Jack Zangetty, the manager of a $150,000 modular motel complex near Lake Lugert, Oklahoma, remarked to some friends that “Three other men–not Oswald–killed the President.” He also stated that “A man named Ruby will kill Oswald tomorrow and in a few days a member of the Frank Sinatra family will be kidnapped just to take some of the attention away from the assassination.”

Two weeks later, Jack Zangetty was found floating in Lake Lugert with bullet holes in his chest. It appeared to witnesses he had been in the water one to two weeks.

Lou Staples, a radio announcer who was doing a good many of his radio shows on the Kennedy assassination, lost his life sometime on Friday night May 13, 1977. This was near Yukon, Oklahoma. He had been having radio shows on the assassination since 1973 and the response to his programs was overwhelming.

Lou’s death was termed suicide, but the bullet ending his life entered behind his right temple and Lou was left handed. He joined Gary Underhill, William Pitzer and Joe Cooper whose “suicides” were all done with the “wrong hand” shots to the head.

Lou had been stating that he wanted to purchase some property to build a home. He was lured out to a wheat field and his life ended there. I have been to the spot where Lou died.

Karyn Kupcinet, daughter of Irv Kupcinet, was trying to make a long distance call from Los Angeles. According to reports, the operator heard Miss Kupcinet scream into the phone that President Kennedy was going to be killed.

Two days after the assassination, she was found murdered in her apartment. The case is unsolved. She was 23.

Rose Cherami, 40, was an employee of Jack Ruby’s club. She was riding with two men on a return trip from Florida carrying a load of narcotics. She was thrown from the car when an argument began between her and one of the men. She was hospitalized for injuries and drug withdrawal. She told authorities that President Kennedy was going to be killed in Dallas. After her release from the hospital, she was a victim of a hit and run accident on September 4, 1965 near Big Sandy, Texas.

Robert L. Perrin was a gun runner for Jack Ruby. His wife, Nancy testified before the Warren Commission that Robert took a dose of arsenic in August 1962.

Guy Bannister was a private detective who was closely involved in the Jim Garrison trial. Guy and his partner, Hugh Ward, died within a 10 day period as the Warren Commission was closing its hearings. Guy supposedly died of a heart attack, but witnesses said he had a bullet hole in his body.

George deMohrenschildt was another man who was to give testimony but never made it. DeMohrenschildt, in his final days, became suspicious of everyone around him, even his wife, and was nearing a nervous breakdown some thought. He died of gun shot wounds. The verdict was suicide. But deMohrenschildt was a member of the White Russian society and very wealthy. He visited Lee Harvey Oswald and Marina Oswald when they lived on Neely Street. Marina visited the deMohrenschildts when she and Lee Harvey Oswald were having some of their disagreements.

Cliff Carter, LBJ’s aide who rode in the Vice President’s follow up car in the motorcade in Dealey Plaza where President Kennedy was gunned down, was LBJ’s top aide during his first administration. Carter died of mysterious circumstances. Carter died of pneumonia when no penicillin could be located in Washington, D.C. in September 1971. This was supposedly the cause of death.

Buddy Walthers, Deputy Sheriff, was at the kill sight of President Kennedy He picked up a bullet in a hunk of brain matter blown from the President’s head. Walthers never produced the bullet for evidence.

Walthers was also at the Texas Theater when Oswald was arrested. In a January 10th, 1969 shooting, Walthers was shot through the heart. In a shootout Walthers and his companion Deputy Alvin Maddox, were fired upon by Cherry, an escaped prisoner. Walthers and Maddox were trying to capture Cherry when Walthers was shot through the heart. Walthers’s widow received $10,000.00 for her husband dying in the line of duty.

Clay Shaw, age 60, died five years after he was charged by Jim Garrison for his involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Some reports have it that he had been ill for months after surgery for removing a blood clot. Other newspaper reports of his death stated he had cancer. It was revealed that Shaw was a paid contact for the CIA. A neighbor reported that an ambulance was seen pulling up to the Shaw home. Then a body was carried in and an empty stretcher brought out. A few hours later, Shaw was reportedly found dead in his home. Then he was given a quick embalming before a Coroner could be notified. It was then impossible to determine the cause of death.



Roger Dean Craig

On May 15, 1975, Roger Dean Craig died of a massive gun shot wound to the chest. Supposedly, it was his second try at suicide and a success. Craig was a witness to the slaughter of President Kennedy. Only Craig’s story was different from the one the police told.

Craig testified in the Jim Garrison trial. Before this, Craig had lost his job with the Dallas Police Dept. In 1961, he had been “Man of the Year.” Because he would not change his story of the assassination, he was harassed and threatened, stabbed, shot at, and his wife left him.

Craig wrote two manuscripts of what he witnessed. “When They Kill A President” and “The Patient Is Dying.”

Craig’s father was out mowing the lawn when Craig supposedly shot himself. Considering the hardships, Craig very well could have committed suicide. But no one will ever know.

John M. Crawford, 46, died in a mysterious plane crash near Huntsville, Texas on April 15, 1969. It appeared from witnesses that Crawford had left in a rush.

Crawford was a homosexual and a close friend of Jack Ruby’s. Ruby supposedly carried Crawford’s phone number in his pocket at all times. Crawford was also a friend of Buell Wesley Frazier’s, the neighbor who took Lee Harvey Oswald to work on that fatal morning of November 22, 1963.

Hale Boggs was the only member of the Warren Commission who disagreed with the conclusions. Hale Boggs did not follow Earl Warren and his disciples. He totally disagreed. Hale Boggs was in a plane crash lost over frozen Alaska.

Nicholas J. Chetta, M.D. age 50, Orleans Parish coroner since 1950, died at Mercy Hospital on May 25, 1968. Newspaper reports were sketchy. It was said he suffered a heart attack.

Dr. Chetta was the coroner who served at the death of David Ferrie.

Dr. Chetta was the key witness regarding Perry Russo against Clay Shaw. Shaw’s attorney went into federal court only after Dr. Chetta was dead.

Dr. Martin Luther King was murdered, then his assassin not captured until over a year later. Dr. King was the only hope this country had for bringing about equality.

The death of Robert Kennedy, only shortly after Dr. King’s death on June 5th, 1968, was a brazen act which gave notice to this entire nation. It became imperative, when Senator Kennedy became a threat as a Presidential candidate, that he had to be killed.

There is evidence that two persons, a man, and a woman were with the accused killer, but authorities have found no trace of them. Coroner, Dr. Thomas Noguchi told the Grand Jury the powder burns indicated the murder gun was fired not more than two to three inches from Kennedy’s right ear. Witnesses testified that Sirhan was never closer than four or five feet to the Senator.

I have not, by any means, listed “all” of the strange deaths. I have a complete list in my books. I have listed the most significant ones that occurred after the assassination. The strange deaths after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, in my estimate, numbered over 100, but I am certain I know of only a fraction.

Many strange deaths occurred after the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, and Senator Robert F. Kennedy. No one knows the exact number.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 William Penn Jones Jr. was an American journalist, the editor of the Midlothian Mirror and author. He was also one of the earliest John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists. Jones attended the University of Texas at Austin and was a classmate of Henry Wade and John Connally. Wade later become the District Attorney in Dallas while Connolly would later become the 39th Governor of Texas. Both men were figures in the assassination of JFK.


And so the Bush Dynasty consolidated their power and enabled the Fascist takeover of the United States of America.  It's been all down Orwell's hill since then.  :(  :'(

P.S. I just want to add that I am certain JFK's son John was eventually told the truth. John was a "loose end" for the Bush Fascists. They took care of that in 1999. The fact that Jeb didn't make the big time and Trump did does NOT, in any way, make a case for denying that the Bush dynasty is extremely powerful. They are part of a coterie of oligarchs that run this Fascist Sh ithole. As always, with fascist sh ithole countries, there is constant dog eat dog sniping activity by the elite bastards at the top. But, the fascist rot eventually destroys a country. We are almost there. 

7
Geopolitics / Re: Money
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:26:19 pm »
China Downgrades US Credit Rating From A- To BBB+, Warns US Insolvency Would "Detonate Next Crisis"
Tyler Durden

01/16/2018

In its latest reminder that China is a (for now) happy holder of some $1.2 trillion in US Treasurys, Chinese credit rating agency Dagong downgraded US sovereign ratings from A- to BBB+ overnight, citing "deficiencies in US political ecology" and tax cuts that "directly reduce the federal government's sources of debt repayment" weakening the base of the government's debt repayment.

Oh, and just to make sure the message is heard loud and clear, the ratings, which are now level with those of Peru, Colombia and Turkmenistan on the Beijing-based agency’s scale of creditworthiness, have also been put on a negative outlook.

In a statement on Tuesday, Dagong warned that the United States’ increasing reliance on debt to drive development would erode its solvency. Quoted by Reuters, Dagong made specific reference to President Donald Trump’s tax package, which is estimated to add $1.4 trillion over a decade to the $20 trillion national debt burden.

“Deficiencies in the current U.S. political ecology make it difficult for the efficient administration of the federal government, so the national economic development derails from the right track,” Dagong said adding that "Massive tax cuts directly reduce the federal government’s sources of debt repayment, therefore further weaken the base of government’s debt repayment."

Projecting US funding needs in the coming years, Dagong said a deterioration in the government’s fiscal revenue-to-debt ratio to 12.1% in 2022 from 14.9% and 14.2% in 2018 and 2019, respectively, would demand frequent increases in the government’s debt ceiling.

“The virtual solvency of the federal government would be likely to become the detonator of the next financial crisis,” the Chinese ratings firm said.

* * *

In a preemptive shot across the bow in the coming trade wars, last week Bloomberg reported that Beijing officials reviewing China’s vast foreign exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of U.S. Treasury bonds. That warning spooked investors worried that sharp swings in China’s massive holdings of U.S. Treasuries would trigger a selloff in bond and equity markets globally. The report sent U.S. Treasury yields to 10-month highs and the dollar lower, although China’s foreign exchange regulator has since dismissed the report as "fake news."

Still, Dagong was quick to point out that not much would be needed to crush the public's confidence in the value of US Treasurys:

“The market’s reversing recognition of the value of U.S. Treasury bonds and U.S. dollar will be a powerful force in destroying the fragile debt chain of the federal government,” Dagong said.

* * *

To be sure, China's move is far more political than objectively economic, and is meant to send another shot across the bow as the Trump administration prepares to launch a trade war with Beijing in the coming weeks. Still, while both Fitch and Moody’s give the United States their top AAA ratings (and the S&P is the only agency to infamously downgrade the US to AA+ in 2011), US raters have also expressed concerns similar to Dagong‘s. From Reuters:

S&P Global said last month’s proposed U.S. tax cuts would increase the federal deficit and looser fiscal policy could prompt negative action on U.S. credit ratings if Washington failed to address long-term fiscal issues.

In November, Fitch said the tax cuts would give a short-lived boost to the economy, but add significantly to the federal debt burden. It warned that the United States was the most indebted AAA-rated country and ran the loosest fiscal policies.

Moody’s said in September any missed debt payment as a result of disagreement over lifting the debt ceiling, a perennial point of partisan contention in Washington, would result in the United States losing its top-notch rating.

China is rated A+ by S&P Global and Fitch and A1 by Moody‘s, with the three agencies citing risks mainly related to corporate debt, which is estimated at 1.6 times the size of the economy and mostly attributed to state-owned firms.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-16/china-downgrades-us-credit-rating-bbb-warns-us-insolvency-would-detonate-next

8
Renewables / Re: The Big Picture of Renewable Energy Growth
« on: January 16, 2018, 01:08:42 pm »
Australia Poised For Renewable Energy Breakout 

January 16th, 2018 by Steve Hanley

High electricity costs make renewable energy more attractive. That’s why Bloomberg thinks Australia is poised to have a renewable energy bonanza. “The payback period for residential solar is now as low as it was in 2012, when super-generous feed-in tariffs and subsidies drove a massive boom in installations,” says Annabel Wilton, an analysts for Bloomberg New Energy Finance in Sydney.

Solar Growth In Australia

By 2040, up to 45% of Australia’s electrical power is predicted to come from “behind the meter” systems consisting of solar panels and battery storage located on private property. If that prediction comes true, Australia will lead all other countries in renewable energy production.”We will see I think a boom over the next decade in battery storage and also solar thermal, we’re starting to see that play out now in South Australia,” says Andrew Stock of Australia’s Climate Council.

renewable energy forecast BNEF

Warren Hogan, an independent economist, says the forces behind the trend toward more renewable power include the highly publicized failures of the electrical grid in the southeastern part of the country last year together with the high cost of electricity brought on by higher prices for coal and natural gas. “The key is probably the price of electricity and energy in the domestic market, is elevated and has remained that way for a couple of years,” Hogan says, according to a report by MSN. “So that’s made the economics of these big capital investments more favorable and they are big initial capital outlays.”

Shifting Political Winds

The political winds have shifted in favor of renewables as well, Hogan says. “There is a strong support for traditional energy sources, such as coal and gas in the current Federal Government — but even in some parts of the government you’re seeing support when renewables come through. It’s being backed up by policy and support, particularly from state governments. It’s a big shift in the domestic energy scene.”

French company Neoen was the developer for the Tesla 100 MW battery storage project in South Australia last year. It is now considering a much larger storage project capable of supplying the energy needs of 57,000 homes in Queensland near its Kaban Green Power Hub southwest of Cairns. Garth Heron, Neoen’s head of wind development for Australia, tells Bloomberg that Queensland has “a lot of need for electricity storage.”

The project with Tesla “opened up [Neoen’s] thinking with respect to large-scale storage,” he says, according to a report by Forbes. Although Tesla has not yet become involved in the Queensland project, the fact that it worked well with Neoen in South Australia suggests both companies would be willing to work together again if the opportunity arises.

The Largest Solar Power Plant In Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reports this week that the University of New South Wales has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with Maoneng Australia, whose Sunraysia solar power plant near Balranald will provide 530,000 MWh of electricity annually — more than any other solar installation in the country. The university has contracted to buy about a quarter of that supply — 124,000 MWh — which is enough to meet virtually all of its electrical energy needs. “We are seeing a strong trend amongst corporate energy users turning to PPAs as a way to hedge against future pricing movements and to meet their green energy objectives,” says a spokesperson for Australia’s Energy Action. People in Australia use words like “amongst” and “whilst” frequently.

“Over the past six months, UNSW has collaborated with our contract partners Maoneng and Origin to develop a Solar PPA model that leads the way in renewable energy procurement and reflects our commitment to global impact outlined in our 2025 strategy,” says Ian Jacobs, vice chancellor for the university. The PPA will be a major part of its commitment to become energy carbon neutral by 2020.

“This agreement reflects the thought leadership coming from UNSW on climate change,” Jacobs told Fairfax says. “It’s a highly competitive agreement financially [that will] allow UNSW to secure carbon emission free electricity supplies at a cost which is economically and environmentally attractive when compared to fossil fuel-sourced supplies.”

Business Is Business

There are plenty of politicians around the world who are in thrall to fossil fuel companies. But business is business, so they say, and nothing gets the attention of business people like the opportunity to slash costs. The trend toward renewables in Australia proves once again that if the people will lead, their leaders will follow — eventually.

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/01/16/australia-poised-renewable-energy-breakout/

9
Renewables / Re: Wind Power
« on: January 15, 2018, 11:06:22 pm »


North Sea wind power up 47% higher than in 2016

15 Jan 2018 | Julian Wettengel

Quote
... a record of 15.97 terawatt hours (TWh)  :o ;D, North Sea wind made up a total of 15.9 percent of all …



https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/north-sea-wind-power-47-record-renewables-support-expenses


10
General Discussion / Re: Non-routine News
« on: January 15, 2018, 10:01:37 pm »
Research into Anglo-Saxon burials uncover new insights

JANUARY 10, 2018 BY NATALIE ANDERSON

SNIPPET:


An archaeologist from the Australian National University (ANU) is set to redefine what we know about elderly people in cultures throughout history, and dispel the myth that most people didn’t live much past 40 prior to modern medicine.

Christine Cave, a PhD candidate in the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology, has developed a new method for determining the age-of-death for skeletal remains based on how worn the teeth are.

Using her method, which she developed by analysing the wear on teeth and comparing with living populations of comparable cultures, she examined the skeletal remains of three Anglo-Saxon English cemeteries for people buried between the years 475 and 625 CE.

Her research determined that it was not uncommon for people to live to old age.

“People sometimes think that in those days if you lived to 40 that was about as good as it got. But that’s not true.

“For people living traditional lives without modern medicine or markets the most common age of death is about 70, and that is remarkably similar across all different cultures.”

Cave said the myth has been built up due to deficiencies in the way older people are categorised in archaeological studies.

“Older people have been very much ignored in archaeological studies and part of the reason for that has been the inability to identify them,” she said.

“When you are determining the age of children you use developmental points like tooth eruption or the fusion of bones that all happen at a certain age.

Read more:

http://www.medievalists.net/2018/01/research-anglo-saxon-burials-uncover-new-insights/


11
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: January 15, 2018, 09:29:13 pm »
The Death Cult of Trumpism
 


Through racism and nationalism, Trump leverages tribal resentment against an emerging manifest common destiny.

By Greg Grandin

JANUARY 11, 2018

Why now? in trying to make sense of Trump’s effective use of racism to win the presidency, many have pointed to a long tradition of dog-whistling, reaching back decades. Trump is the nationalization of Nixon’s Southern strategy, the shadow cast forward by Reagan’s welfare queens and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton. Writing before the general election, Slate’s Jamelle Bouie linked Trump’s politicized racism to his predecessor’s upending of the racial hierarchy. After the vote, Ta-Nehisi Coates described Trump as the country’s first white president, in that whiteness is a negation of blackness, and Trump’s driving passion seems to be a desire to negate the legitimacy and legacy of Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.

Coates’s point is profound, especially when read against those moral philosophers who say the right to political sovereignty can be claimed only by those who possess emotional sovereignty. “Self-command, self-possession,” Woodrow Wilson wrote in 1889, are the pillars of America’s exceptionalism. Setting Trump aside for the moment, Wilson—the man who segregated the federal civil service, celebrated the Ku Klux Klan, and launched a racist counterinsurgency in Haiti—must be considered among the whitest of white presidents. He believed that individuals qualified for political self-rule through personal self-rule, demonstrating that they could use virtue and reason to regulate passion and impulse. “Government as ours is a form of conduct,” he said, “and its only stable foundation is character.” Along with his predecessors and contemporaries, Wilson associated the virtue of self-regulation with white skin, contrasting property-possessing, self-commanding sovereigns with their opposites: unself-governable people of color. They imagined—in fantasies that fishtailed wildly between nostalgia and wrath—that African Americans, Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and Mexicans were immature, childlike in their emotions and unable to distinguish between true liberty and licentiousness, between the pursuit of happiness and lust.

In a way, then, according to America’s color-coded guide to political virtue and vice, Barack Obama might be considered the country’s only white president, in the sense that he served almost as a Platonic ideal of ancient moral philosophy. In office, he was preternaturally self-governed and self-regulated—Vulcan-like, as some said, and in control of his emotions, especially his anger. This self-regulation is a burden of race, which must have weighed heavily on Obama, being not just the first African-American president in US history but also one who took the office during a moment of extraordinary economic and military crisis.

Trump, by contrast, is all id and pure appetite, unspooling raw, insatiable, childish hunger every night on Twitter. He’s the most unregulated, unself-governed president this country has ever had, an example of what happens to the psyche of rich white people after four decades of economic deregulation. But white folks—at least powerful ones—get to decide the exception to the rule. (“Some of the virtues of a freeman would be the vices of slaves,” as one 1837 defense of slavery explained.) And that’s what makes Trump the whitest of white presidents: He can openly tweet-mock moral conventions that hold that only those who demonstrate self-sovereignty are worthy of political sovereignty and still be the sovereign.

But to get back to Trump’s psychic deregulation and Obama’s overregulation: Both are responses to what came before. Why now? Because the frontier is closed, the safety valve shut. Whatever metaphor one wants to use, the ongoing effects of the ruinous 2003 war in Iraq and the 2007–08 financial meltdown are just two indicators that the promise of endless growth can no longer help organize people’s aspirations, satisfy their demands, dilute the passions, contain the factions, or repress the extremes at the margins. We are entering the second “lost decade” of what Larry Summers calls “secular stagnation,” and soon we’ll be in the third decade of a war that Senator Lindsey Graham, among others, says will never end. Beyond these compounded catastrophes, there is a realization that the world is fragile and that we are trapped in an economic system that is well past sustainable or justifiable. As vast stretches of the West burn, as millions of trees die from global-warming-induced blight, as Houston and Puerto Rico flood, the oceans acidify, and bats and flying insects disappear in uncountable numbers, any given sentence from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road could be plucked and used as a newspaper headline. (“A Vast Landscape Charred, and a Sky Full of Soot” ran the headline for a New York Times report on California’s wildfires.)

In a nation like the United States, founded on a mythical belief in a kind of species immunity—less an American exceptionalism than exemptionism, an insistence that the nation was exempt from nature, society, history, even death—the realization that it can’t go on forever is traumatic. “You forget what you want to remember,” McCarthy wrote in The Road, to capture the torment of living in the postapocalypse, “and you remember what you want to forget.” It’s a good description of how those steeped in a definition of freedom as freedom from restraint must have felt living in Obama’s America, when they rejected with a racist fury even conservative, corporate-friendly policy solutions to the multiple crises of health care, climate change, inequality, and immigration.

This ideal of freedom as infinity was only made possible through the domination of African Americans, Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Native Americans, and Chinese, as slave and cheap labor transformed stolen land into capital, cutting the tethers and launching the US economy into the stratosphere. And now, as we are all falling back to a wasted earth, the very existence of people of color functions as an unwanted memento mori, a reminder of limits, evidence that history imposes burdens and life contracts social obligations. That many Latino migrants come from countries where democracy means social democracy—and that, once here, they revitalize cities and join unions—only inflames the right-wing backlash. Social rights, within the libertarian framework of American freedom, symbolize much more than mere economic restraint. They invoke the ultimate restraint: death. An implied conflation of social rights, race, and mortality was what made, for some, the “death panel” line of attack on Obamacare effective.

Maybe, then, Obama’s personal overregulation served as an intolerable aide-mémoire for the social destruction wreaked by years of financial and trade deregulation presided over by his white predecessors. The collective response (by a minority of voters) was to transmute the fear of death into a drive unto death, electing a president whose psyche is decomposing before our eyes to finish the job of deregulation. The tax bill is Trump’s Enabling Act—or, better, Disabling Act—ensuring that whoever comes next can’t reverse course.

Trumpism is a death cult. It counts among its priests a sheriff who tortured the poorest among us. Its saints are the victims of colored crime, and its sinners are African Americans (living reminders that American freedom was made possible only by American slavery), Latino migrants (themselves the victims of decades of trade deregulation, who come bearing a political tradition that says health care, education, and human dignity are human rights), and refugees from regions devastated by US militarism. But the cult has proved so confounding—which partly explains why those who dismiss it as immoral buffoonery find it hard to come up with an effective alternative—because what came before was also a death cult.

Trump’s national chauvinism is often presented as the opposite of postwar internationalism, which it is. But US-led internationalism during its golden age was profoundly skewed. It held up an ideal of formal universal equality among nations even as, according to the Sierra Club’s calculations, the United States, “with less than 5 percent of world population,” consumed “one-third of the world’s paper, a quarter of the world’s oil, 23 percent of the coal, 27 percent of the aluminum, and 19 percent of the copper.” Our “per capita use of energy, metals, minerals, forest products, fish, grains, meat, and even fresh water,” which all increased by a factor of 17 between 1900 and 1989, “dwarfs that of people living in the developing world.” It took an enormous amount of violence—in Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America—to maintain those numbers, and the pretense of calling this arrangement “universalism” could only be maintained so long as the promise of endless economic growth remained credible.

Trump won by running against the entire legacy of the postwar order: endless war, austerity, “free trade,” unfettered corporate power, and inequality. A year into his tenure, the war has expanded, the Pentagon’s budget has increased, and deregulation has accelerated. Tax cuts will continue the class war against the poor, and judicial and executive-agency appointments will increase monopoly rule.

Unable to offer an alternative other than driving the existing agenda forward at breakneck speed, Trumpism’s only chance at political survival is to handicap Earth’s odds of survival. Trump leverages tribal resentment against an emerging manifest common destiny, a true universalism that recognizes that we all share the same vulnerable planet. He stokes an enraged refusal of limits, even as those limits are recognized. “We’re going to see the end of the world in our generation,” a coal-country voter said in a recent Politico profile, explaining what he knows is his dead-end support for Trump.

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-death-cult-of-trumpism/


AND RACISM!


12
15 Reasons African Countries Aren't 'Shitholes'

The African continent boasts several of the world's fastest growing economies.

By Zoe Kelland

 JAN. 12, 2018

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump reportedly referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and several African countries as “shithole” countries in a meeting with politicians, the Washington Post reported.

The president had been discussing immigration policy with the lawmakers and suggested that the US focus on bringing in people from countries like Norway over those from African countries.

“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said, comments which the UN condemned as racist on Friday.

This is not the first time the president has allegedly made such comments. In a meeting with cabinet members and administration aides last year, Trump reportedly advocated against more open immigration policies, saying that all Haitians have AIDS and that people from Nigeria would refuse to go back to their “huts” if allowed into the US, according to the New York Times.

But the idea that the entire continent of Africa is a disease-ridden land of “huts” is a myth, and a dangerous one at that.

Here are 15 other debunked myths about African countries.

1. Africa is poor, and always will be.
DJ Paco (Papis), a DJ and rap artist from Mauritania. Photo by Philippe Sibelly, The Other Africa.

Yes, 47% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1.25 a day, and this is a scandal. However, this number is falling, and things are getting better. One in three Africans are defined as ‘middle class’, and whilst many Western economies are in crisis, Africa’s economy continues to grow. Did you know that 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are African?

2. Africa is all savannah and wild animals.
Image credit: BBC

In 2014, Delta airline, a major US carrier, made a huge mistake on social media. Whilst congratulating the US World Cup team on a victory over Ghana, they used a photo of a giraffe to represent the African nation. Unfortunately for Delta there are in fact no wild giraffes in Ghana, and the Twitter community was quick to alert them to this.

Oh dear, @delta. There isn't even a single wild giraffes in Ghana. pic.twitter.com/oDsA1mA2RJ

— Messi Minutes (@MessiMinutes) June 17, 2014
That Delta giraffe pic is from Getty Images and it's from the Masai Mara National Reserve. In KENYA http://t.co/XV9t8Ig8mk via @YAppelbaum

— Solange U (@dcGisenyi) June 17, 2014
If you're gonna talk about something at least take 10 seconds to study it a little. @Delta Africa is not a big bush full of wild Animals.

— InnÖcent ÖkÖye (@CentyClaus) June 17, 2014
This is the boolsheet us Africans gotta deal with. There are no giraffes in Ghana, you narrow-minded nincompoops! @Delta FAIL!

— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) June 17, 2014

Slammed by accusations of racism and stereotyping, Delta have since apologised for the image used. However, this highlights how widely such stereotypes are still accepted and perpetuated in Western media. Yes, there are a whole host of exciting wild animals, and gorgeous savannahs, in some regions of Africa. However, there are also huge cities, rolling beaches, historic ancient monuments and more. One region of Africa is not identical to another, and we shouldn’t stereotype a whole continent in this way.

3. It’s hot, dry and sunny all the time
Photo credit: Kyle Taylor (Flickr)

Band Aid may be a classic festive hit, but next time you find yourself singing ‘there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time’ remember that Africa is a diverse continent with a huge variety of landscapes and temperatures. Take a look, for example, at this stunning snowy landscape on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania!

4. Africans have no access to modern technology.

Technology in Africa is actually an incredibly fast growing market, with many global technology giants making big investments in the continent. Did you know that people in Kenya are 4 times more likely to own a mobile phone than to have access to a toilet or latrine? As of 2013, 80% of African people had access to a mobile.

Mobile technology is also being used in very innovative and exciting ways to help end extreme poverty across Africa. Check out this story of mobile insurance creating financial stability for people in Ghana!

5. In order to develop, Africa should become like the West
Tana River, in Kenya, is one source of the country’s hydroelectric power. Image credit: Bedford Biofuels

There are so many arguments against this presumption. Let me focus on one - many African countries are far ahead of Western countries in terms of sustainable energy use. Both the UK and the US source only 11% of their energy from renewable sources, less than Kenya sources from geothermal activities alone (13% of Kenya’s energy consumption). Meanwhile, a staggering 50% of Kenya’s energy comes from hydroelectricity. In terms of long-term sustainability, shouldn’t we be looking to Kenya for some answers?

6. There’s no arts industry in Africa
Nigerian actress Taiwo Ajayi-Lycette gets makeup applied before performing a scene. Photo by Akintunde Akinleye/Reuters

Every year, more films are made in Nigeria’s Nollywood than in the US’s Hollywood. FACT.

7. Africans do nothing to help themselves
Dr. Hawa Abdi and her daughters. Together they have helped over 90,000 women & children in Somalia. Photo from the Dr Hawa Abdi Foundation.

The stereotype of African people as helpless and dependent on Western help is one that has been built by decades of well meaning but arguably dangerous charity advertisements in the West. Bombarded by images of sad, dirty children with eyes that call you to urgently donate money, it’s no surprise that this is a common belief. The debate around how development charities should advertise is a complex one, but these photos often ignore the fact that African people can and do help themselves.

In 2010, Africans who lived outside the continent sent $51.8 billion back to Africa. Meanwhile, $43 billion was sent in aid from Western countries, known as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Yes, you read that right - African people who now live outside the continent send more money back to their families than the whole Western world sends in aid.

There are also countless examples of grassroot projects established by African people, for African people. One is Hawa Abdi, an incredible Somalian woman who established a health clinic in the 1980s. It’s now grown to encompass a school, refugee camp and hospital for over 90,000 women and children made homeless in the war. Incredible, huh?

8. ‘African’ is a language (and African people don’t speak English)
A student at Cambridge University challenges African stereotypes. Photo from Tumblr (We Too Are Cambridge)

There are over 2000 languages spoken across the African continent, and ‘African’ is not one of them. This is the equivalent of presuming that people who live in Europe speak ‘European’. English is also an official language in 24 African nations and taught to a high level in schools across the continent.

9. Africa’s not that big
This is the real size of Africa. Pretty big, right?


10. African men always carry machine guns


This brilliant video by Mama Hope is made by African men, dispelling myths about themselves. Pretty cool, huh?


11. Everyone in Africa has AIDS

At the end of 2013, Justine Sacco, a PR director from InterActiveCorp, posted this tweet just before boarding a flight to South Africa. Understandably, the world’s reaction escalated quickly from disbelief...

Yes, but you're also clearly stupid. “@JustineSacco: Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!”

— Whydya Tweetthat (@TwitOvershare) December 20, 2013
...to strong accusations of racism.

Oh. Hell. No. Did this Justine Sacco person just say that? Did she really fix her keyboard to type that mess? Whyyyyyyyy? You racist bit ch!

— Amish Donut (@Lilikins8) December 21, 2013

After a worldwide twitter storm hit Justine, she did apologise for her remark. However, this appallingly insensitive tweet represents a terrible stereotype that is all too common. Not everybody in Africa is sick. Furthermore, we should treat those who do suffer from HIV, or any other illness, the way we would want to be treated - with dignity and respect.

12. All governance in Africa is bad.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf speaking at the opening of Libera’s first tuition-free girls’ school, the More Than Me Academy. Photo from More Than Me.

Let me dispel this myth with an example of one leader who is making incredible progress for her country. The current President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is an inspirational woman who is leading Liberia out of the devastating damage caused by civil war, and kicking ass at it. President Sirleaf was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her “non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights”, and listed by Time as one of the top 10 female leaders in the world.

13. Everyone in Africa lives in a mud house in the middle of nowhere.
Embed from Getty Images

Where would you guess this city is? The US? Europe? Asia? Nope - this is Lagos, in Nigeria, and it has a population of 21 million - more than double that of urban London! In 2008, 39% of the African population lived in urban areas, and this is rapidly increasing.

14. There’s no partying in Africa

Before I first visited the continent, I never thought about Africa having parties, bars or clubs. I presumed they just didn’t exist, but boy was I wrong! Having spent nine years of my life working with  Nakuru Children's Project in Kenya, let me tell you that most of my Kenyan friends know how to party hard. And by partying I don’t just mean pubs and clubs - I mean finding a reason to sing, dance and celebrate at any time of day!

15. It’s all doom and gloom

This satirical meme reminds us of the common humanity that we all share, no matter where we’re born. Every 60 seconds bad things happen all over the world, not just in Africa. But an awful lot of good things happen too!

Above article with graphics at link below:
https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/africans-are-all-poor-and-15-other-myths/

13
Who CAN you trust? / Re: Corruption in Government
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:14:04 pm »

Surly, when I was young I read too much science fiction. I think you will be interested to know that an all too common thread in science fiction author future scenarios for humanity was the elimination of nation states by for profit corporations. I thought it was ridiculous baloney at the time. //

I say all this because I really believe the issue here is not Russia; it's MONEY by corporations. This is not just about "Citizens United" empowering corporations to make fascism great again in the USA; it is a worldwide morally depraved profit over people and planet cancer by corporations.

And that is why I really think the word "treason" means exactly nothing to any of the Republicans (and most of the Democrats too!).

The bright line connecting Russian oligarchs, Putin and American politics is money. The Trump criminal conspiracy is aslosh in it, but they are not unique. Oleg Derapaska has far more in common with Charles and David than with any of us.

I used to be big into science fiction, too. What SF writers do well is imagine new future circumstances based on current trends. It would be interesting to analyze how many once improbably future scenarios are now commonplaces, as we've driven past mores and convention.

Yes, it would be interesting.

Unfortunately, it appears to me that instead of moving more towards Utopia, as many Science Fiction writers hoped, we are moving more towards Dystopia (see below).  :P

 



14
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: January 15, 2018, 07:01:29 pm »
Global Warming and Extreme Cold: How One Leads to the Other


TheRealNews

Published on Jan 10, 2018

Research on the connection between extreme weather - such as the severe cold snap that hit the US Northeast - and global warming, shows that these are intimately connected, despite what climate deniers such as President Trump say.


15
Climate Change / Re: Global Warming is WITH US
« on: January 15, 2018, 05:35:03 pm »
Wild Gyrations in Winter Temperatures. Why?


Paul Beckwith

Published on Jan 14, 2018

Winter temperatures seem to gyrate from extreme cold to extreme warmth, and back again, in an endless repeating cycle. When this gyration passes through the freezing point there is frost, snow, melt, rain cycling repeatedly, wreaking havoc on roads, rail lines, bridges, buildings, water pipes, animals and plants. Infrastructure and wildlife suffer greatly, and there are huge temperature contrasts greatly increasing the frequency, severity, and duration of extreme weather events. Why?

Please donate to support my videos and work at http://paulbeckwith.net


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