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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 40,043

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Sanders blasts ‘disastrous’ Obama trade deal

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) labeled a new trade deal finalized by the Obama administration on Monday as “disastrous,” and said he would work to defeat it.

Sanders, the Vermont senator leading Hillary Clinton in polls of the early-voting state New Hampshire, said the Trans-Pacific Partnership will lead to the loss of U.S. jobs, adding he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the decision to complete it.

“Wall Street and other big corporations have won again,” Sanders said.

“It is time for the rest of us to stop letting multinational corporations rig the system to pad their profits at our expense.”


New Yorker Article- The Populist Prophet

Sanders’s young fans combine admiration for his progressive conviction with a slightly condescending fondness for cranky old people.

If you attended a Bernie Sanders rally this summer, when his seemingly quixotic Presidential campaign began gathering force, you might have noticed a few surprising things about the crowd. One was the scarcity of nonwhite faces—a problem that the campaign would soon be confronted by, very publicly. Another was how many young people were turning out to see an irascible seventy-four-year-old senator from Vermont. But that’s a little like being surprised that some millennials appreciate Neil Young or Joni Mitchell at a time when it’s easy to find songs from different decades in a promiscuous jumble online. Young people who like Bernie Sanders like him because he sounds like an old record. He’s been talking about the injustices done to working people by unequal income distribution for more than forty years. His voice, often hoarse from his habitually loud and impassioned speeches, even has the crackle of worn vinyl.

In Portland, Maine, on an evening in July, the line to see Sanders looped around the Cross Insurance Arena. Sanders’s popularity had clearly been exceeding his own expectations. In a conversation this summer, he recalled an event in Minneapolis: “I was blown away. We were driving in, we saw these lines of people snaking down the sidewalk. ‘Jesus, what is that? There’s a ballgame going on?’ ”

At the Portland rally, I met a group of five friends who were drawn to Sanders because of his commitment to banish money from politics: he has sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision, in Citizens United, to permit unlimited campaign spending by corporations, and has lamented the outsize influence exerted by billionaires. Several of the friends praised Sanders’s pledge to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. One member of the group, Erin Kiley, a millennial who owns Portland Flea-for-All, a marketplace of vintage and artisanal goods, said that she developed “a huge political crush on Bernie” in 2010, after Sanders delivered an eight-and-a-half-hour speech on the Senate floor to protest the extension of tax cuts instituted during the Presidency of George W. Bush. Sanders’s gruffness, didacticism, and indifference to appearances—both he and his wife, Jane, told me how much he loathes shopping—are central to his appeal. All the friends described Sanders as “authentic,” a word that many people would be hesitant to apply to Hillary Clinton. Kiley acknowledged that Sanders’s unvarnished qualities might turn off some voters, but noted that in the current election cycle “the whole spectrum of candidates is less schmoozy, polished, and warm.” She went on, “Everyone seems a little off the wall. Howard Dean was thrown off the national stage for being angry. But people like Trump because he’s an asshole and says whatever he wants.” Kiley’s friend Dawn York, who runs a vintage-clothing shop, said, “Most candidates are robotic and rehearsed.” She saw “a real person in Bernie.”

Sanders has been known as a democratic socialist for decades. This didn’t matter much to Kiley or York, or to most other Sanders supporters I met during the next few weeks; mainly, they were impressed that he hadn’t shed the term. York thought that, because of Sanders and his “social-media-driven fans,” socialism was “getting a bit of a P.R. makeover.” She noted that sites like Reddit and Twitter were circulating videos of “Bernie explaining why he identifies as a socialist, and what it means to him, in a really positive light.” She added, “The word had a retro connection to Communism and was originally thrown at him as a damning label by his opponents. But for his supporters it isn’t a deterrent.”

much more

Krugman- Enemies of the Sun

by Paul Krugman
Does anyone remember the Cheney energy task force? Early in the George W. Bush administration, Vice President Dick Cheney released a report that was widely derided as a document written by and for Big Energy — because it was. The administration fought tooth and nail to keep the process by which the report was produced secret, but the list of people the task force met was eventually leaked, and it was exactly what you’d expect: a who’s who of energy industry executives, with environmental groups getting a chance to make their case only after the work was essentially done.

But here’s the thing: by the standards of today’s Republican Party, the Cheney report was enlightened, even left-leaning. One whole chapter was devoted to conservation, another to renewable energy. By contrast, recent speeches by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — still the most likely Republican presidential nominees — barely address either topic. When it comes to energy policy, the G.O.P. has become fossilized. That is, it’s fossil fuels, and only fossil fuels, all the way.

And that’s a remarkable development, because while it’s true that fracking has led to a boom in U.S. gas and oil production, we’re also living in an era of spectacular progress in wind and solar energy. Why has the right become so hostile to technologies that look more and more like the wave of the future?

Before I try to answer that question, a few facts about renewable energy.

Wind and solar used to have a reputation as hippie-dippy stuff, not part of any serious approach to our energy future, and many people still have that perception. But it’s way out of date. The cost of wind power has dropped sharply – 30 percent in just the past five years, according to the International Energy Agency.



Monday Toon Roundup 2- The Rest

Monday Toon Roundup 1- Terrorized

Prison Debate Team Beats Harvard Debate Team in National Competition

Three members of the Harvard University debate team competed against three inmates who were convicted of violent crimes. The inmates won the debate, proof that prison isn’t always the end of the line for some people.

The inmates, who are held at the Eastern New York Correctional Facility in the Catskills, are part of the Bard Prison Initiative, which offers higher learning to inmates. The three men are serving prison terms for manslaughter.

Inmates are prohibited from using the internet for research in preparation for such debates, and the Harvard team was stunned by how well-prepared the inmate team was. Judge Mary Nugent took special note of the inmate team’s performance. She said it might seem tempting to favor the prisoners’ team, but the three judges have to justify their votes to each other based on specific rules and standards. “We’re all human,” Nugent said. “I don’t think we can ever judge devoid of context or where we are, but the idea they would win out of sympathy is playing into pretty misguided ideas about inmates. Their academic ability is impressive.”

The prison team had its first debate in spring 2014, beating the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Then, it won against a nationally ranked team from the University of Vermont, and in April lost a rematch against West Point.

Doctors Without Borders Says It Is Leaving Kunduz After Strike on Hospital

KABUL, Afghanistan — Doctors Without Borders said Sunday that it was withdrawing from Kunduz, a day after its hospital there was hit by what appeared to be an American airstrike, leaving the remaining residents in the embattled northern Afghan city even more vulnerable.

The aid organization also raised the death toll in Saturday’s airstrike on the hospital, saying that three more patients had died, raising the total fatalities to 22 — 10 patients and 12 staff members. The charity has said that at least three of the dead patients were children, and that 37 people were wounded in the attack.

“No medical activities are possible now in the M.S.F. hospital in Kunduz, at a time when the medical needs are immense,” said Tim Shenk, a spokesman for the organization in New York.

The charity, known internationally as Médecins Sans Frontières, or M.S.F., called on its Twitter feed for an independent investigation, “under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed.”



Seizure-Plagued Grantville Woman’s Health Dramatically Improves With CBD

Stacy Wilson has suffered from severe seizures since she was 4 years old.

All those years of tonic-clonic (formerly known as “grand mal”) seizures have taken their toll on the 45-year-old Grantville resident’s body. She now has chronic arthritis in her shoulders, and disc problems in her back.

“I’ve beat my body to death over the years,” Wilson said. When she has a seizure, there is normally no warning, and she often falls into furniture.

She wears a medical alert button around her neck. “Since I fell and broke my teeth, and I had a couple of seizures where I quit breathing, my husband decided that since I’m by myself, I need it. I’ve had to use it twice.”

The seizures have also taken a toll on her brain. “I’m really bad about repeating myself – I’ll tell you the same story 50 times,” she said. “I’m very forgetful.”

Last year, Wilson got involved in the push to make cannabidiol, a component of marijuana, legal for those with seizure disorders and other illnesses. While THC is the component of marijuana that is responsible for the high, cannabidiol, or CBD, has been found to have numerous medical benefits.



Toons- Numb Yet?

Mike Luckovich Toon

Feel The Bern
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