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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Sanders: I'm not harming the Democratic Party, I'm invigorating it

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday that he is “absolutely not” harming the party by staying in the race.

The Vermont senator was asked during an interview with ABC's "The View" if he is hurting the Democratic Party by not dropping out, given his narrowing chances of winning the nomination.

“No, absolutely not,” Sanders responded. “You know what’s going on right here in California? There is an unprecedented increase in voter registration among young people, among Latinos. Over a million people have come into the Democratic Party just in this year alone.”

“When you are bringing young people and millions of working people into the party, to demand that we have a government that represents all of us and not just the one percent, to have the United States join the rest of the industrialized world guaranteeing healthcare as a right -- no, I don’t think I’m harming the Democratic Party, I think I’m invigorating American democracy and invigorating the Democratic Party,” he said.


It's Time to Stop the Saudis

When will we admit that many of our Gulf "allies" are spreading violent extremism worldwide?

Back in 1999, the last time we had a President Clinton, the United States and NATO intervened in Kosovo to prevent the slaughter of civilians in yet another of the brutal civil wars that resulted from the dissolution of what used to be Yugoslavia. The intervention was vigorous enough to draw criticism from, among other organizations, Amnesty International, but it had the desired effect. The slaughter was of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, most of whom were Muslims, a community that, until all hell broke loose, generally lived in harmony with its Christian neighbors.

I mention all this because, as The New York Times reports, our great good friends, the Saudis, and their affiliated statelets around the Persian Gulf, are doing their best to start the bloodletting all over again.

The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism—the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia—in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression. Since then—much of that time under the watch of American officials—Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists. Kosovo now finds itself, like the rest of Europe, fending off the threat of radical Islam. Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars—including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children—who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe. They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals and government ministries.

Absent western intervention, Kosovo wouldn't exist today. That doesn't matter to the purveyors of hate and death. If someone can tell me what benefits—besides cheap oil and the feeling that it can always get worse—the world gains from the continued existence of the governments in the Gulf states, I'd be keen to know.

Any influence over them that might come from us arming these governments is clearly nil. They are authoritarian theocracies, bribing murderers to kill people all around the world so they won't kill anyone back home. These countries are a blight, and their rulers, largely plutocratic criminals. These are our allies in the fight against terror.


Bubba Smith, N.F.L. Star and Actor, Had C.T.E.

Source: NYT

Bubba Smith, the All-Pro defensive end in the N.F.L. who went on to a second career as a movie actor, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma, when he died in 2011.

The findings were confirmed by researchers affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation, and released on Tuesday morning with the permission of the executor of Smith’s estate.

Smith is the 90th former N.F.L. player found to have had C.T.E. by the researchers at the Boston University brain bank; they have examined 94 former pro players. On a scale of 1 to 4 used by the neuropathologist who examined Smith’s brain, Smith had Stage 3 C.T.E., with symptoms that included cognitive impairment and problems with judgment and planning.

Some scientists caution that much remains unknown about C.T.E., including why it afflicts some players but not others. But even the N.F.L., which for years denied there was any connection between head trauma sustained on the field and long-term cognitive impairment, has admitted that there is a link.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/25/sports/football/bubba-smith-cte-nfl-concussion.html

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest





Middle East


The Issue

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- tRump Suckers



Tuesday Bernie Group Toons

University of Oregon investigating 'disgraceful' trashing of Lake Shasta campsite

By Andrew Theen |

on May 23, 2016

Park rangers on a routine patrol Sunday discovered an "incredible amount of trash" left at a popular Lake Shasta island campsite that included a number of University of Oregon-related items.

Photos of the trash left on Slaughterhouse Island at the popular Northern California lake went viral Monday — and work crews are still cleaning up the remnants.

Phyllis Swanson, a spokeswoman for the Shasta-Trinity National Forest said about 60 houseboats were docked at the popular site this weekend. It's an annual, and unsanctioned trip for fraternity and sorority members along the West Coast. It's not out of the norm to have upwards of 1,000 college students on the lake, she said.

"What was different about this one," Swanson said, "is they left behind an incredible amount of trash."


Looks like they were copying the Bundy clan

Ancient pottery harbors 5,000-year-old beer recipe

Fermented beverages have long been a part of social and religious rituals. Now, researchers have identified a beer-making toolkit at an archaeological site in northern China with a 5,000-year-old recipe for beer.

Ancient pottery vessels, dating to 3400-2900 BC, contained a fermented mixture of barley, broomcorn millets, and other starchy plants. It is the earliest direct evidence of beer brewing in ancient China, the authors say.

“Beer was probably an important part of ritual feasting in ancient China,” says study author Jiajing Wang of Stanford University. “So it’s possible that this finding of beer is associated with increased social complexity and changing events of the time.” The discovery is described today in PNAS.

Technicians excavated the artifacts in 2004-2006 from two pits at the Mijiaya archaeological site in northern China. The pits also contained stoves, likely used to heat the grains for mashing. Stanford professor Li Liu became aware of the pottery shards while reviewing a report from the excavation, and immediately noticed a vessel shaped like a funnel, which would have been used to pour a newly made beverage into a storage container.

- See more at: http://blog.pnas.org/2016/05/journal-club-ancient-pottery-harbors-5000-year-old-beer-recipe/

Bernie Is Building an Army of Primary Challengers

By Jim Newell

Tim Canova is not Dave Brat.

Sure, Canova, who’s waging a primary challenge against Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida’s 23rd congressional district, is an underdog from the academic world taking on an entrenched opponent who raises obscene sums of cash for her party, just as Brat was in his 2014 challenge against then–House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. And yes, in both cases, it’s that very fundraising ability that made Wasserman Schultz and Cantor powerful within their own party structures but also targets for their party bases, who have viewed them as subservient to their respective donor classes.

The difference is that Canova, unlike Brat, is a fundraising powerhouse himself—and that was even true before Sen. Bernie Sanders, in an aggro move for someone trying to become leader of the Democratic Party, endorsed Canova’s bid to topple the current chair of the Democratic National Committee. Whereas Brat’s challenge to Cantor slipped under the radar, Canova’s bid against Wasserman Schultz is now assured to be one of the most closely watched primary contests of the cycle. If there is to be a concrete Sanders legacy, it will be measured by the ability of those whom we’ll uncleverly dub “Bernie Democrats” to mimic his campaign model against members of the Democratic establishment—but win. No pressure, Tim.

And Canova is a Bernie Democrat right out of central casting. When news first broke over the weekend that Sanders was endorsing him, it may have seemed like a spite play against Wasserman Schultz, who Sanders has attacked over a litany of perceived botched calls this cycle. But Canova is more than just the random name Sanders found while Googling to see if there was a vehicle through which to troll Wasserman Schultz. The two have a professional history: Canova advised Sanders on Federal Reserve reform as part of a 2011 panel organized by the senator. Canova, a law professor at Florida’s Nova Southeastern University, positions criticism of monetary policy higher than your average politician, and he lines up similarly well with Sanders on trade, campaign finance, and Wall Street regulation.


Civil Antitrust Lawsuits Reinstated Against 16 Banks in Libor Case

Sixteen of the world’s largest banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. must face antitrust lawsuits accusing them of hurting investors who bought securities tied to Libor by rigging an interest-rate benchmark, a ruling that an appeals court warned could devastate them.

The appellate judges reversed a lower-court ruling on one issue -- whether the investors had adequately claimed in their complaint to have been harmed -- while sending the case back to consider another issue: whether the plaintiffs are the proper parties to sue, in part because their claim if successful provides for triple damages that could overwhelm the banks.

"Requiring the banks to pay treble damages to every plaintiff who ended up on the wrong side of an independent Libor‐denominated derivative swap would, if appellants’ allegations were proved at trial, not only bankrupt 16 of the world’s most important financial institutions, but also vastly extend the potential scope of antitrust liability in myriad markets where derivative instruments have proliferated," the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York said in the ruling.

Bank of America Corp., HSBC Holdings Plc, Barclays Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Royal Bank of Canada and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc are also among the defendants sued in Manhattan.

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