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Gender: Female
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Member since: Mon Dec 13, 2004, 01:55 AM
Number of posts: 10,978

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The earth hums and sings, just as the poets always knew.


The world hums. It shivers endlessly.

It's a low, ceaseless droning of unclear origin that rolls imperceptibly beneath our feet, impossible to hear with human ears. A researcher once described it to HuffPost as the sound of static on an old TV, slowed down 10,000 times.

It's comforting to think of Earth as solid and immovable, but that's false. The world is vibrating, stretching and compressing. We're shaking right along with it.

“The earth is ringing like a bell all the time,” said Spahr Webb, a seismologist at Columbia University.

Hmm, so the poets were right about the music of the spheres:

'Tis the deep music of the rolling world
Kindling within the strings of the waved air
Aeolian modulations.

Listen too,
How every pause is filled with under-notes,
Clear, silver, icy, keen awakening tones,
Which pierce the sense, and live within the soul,
As the sharp stars pierce winter's crystal air
And gaze upon themselves within the sea.

Prometheus Unbound, Percy Bysshe Shelley

The Uneven Playing Field


Al Franken, many argue, should now resign. He should resign immediately because there are credible accusers (another emerged Wednesday), and because the behavior alleged is sufficiently abhorrent that there is simply no basis to defend him. In this parade of unilateral disarmament, Trump stays, Conyers goes, Moore stays, Franken goes.


You can talk about gradations of harm—what Franken is accused of still pales next to child predation—but even that is a trap. The point is, as Jennifer Rubin notes Tuesday, that “one party has adopted a zero-tolerance position (with Sen. Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, set to go before the ethics committee) and another party opens its arms to people it believes are miscreants.” Rubin feels confident that becoming the party of alleged sexual abusers will harm the GOP in upcoming elections (did she live through last November?). My own larger concern is that becoming the party of high morality will allow Democrats to live with themselves but that the party is also self-neutering in the face of unprecedented threats, in part to do the right thing and in part to take ammunition away from the right—a maneuver that never seems to work out these days. When Al Franken, who has been a champion for women’s rights in his tenure in the Senate, leaves, what rushes in to fill the space may well be a true feminist. But it may also be another Roy Moore. And there is something deeply naïve, in a game of asymmetrical warfare, and in a moment of unparalleled public misogyny, in assuming that the feminist gets the seat before it happens.

This isn’t a call to become tolerant of awful behavior. It is a call for understanding that Democrats honored the blue slip, and Republicans didn’t. Democrats had hearings over the Affordable Care Act; Republicans had none over the tax bill. Democrats decry predators in the media; Republicans give them their own networks. And what do Democrats have to show for it? There is something almost eerily self-regarding in the notion that the only thing that matters is what Democrats do, without considering what the systemic consequences are for everyone.

We are at a moment in this country in which entire institutions that existed to protect women—from the courts, to our criminal statutes, to our workplace protections—have proved not only incapable of protecting us but also to be tools used to shame and silence us. The question we now face is really about which institutions need to be blown apart altogether and recreated to promote justice, and which institutions do not or cannot. The Senate, I would submit, is not about to be blown up and created anew, with greater institutional solicitude for women. Not now. And that means that when it comes to the Senate, we play by the institutional rules and norms as they exist, even as those rules and norms devolve into empty shells. The alternative is a game of righteous ball, in which the object is pride and purity, and Dems are the only ones playing.

Shirley Sherrod, Maxine Waters, ACORN, Planned Parenthood. When will we learn how far they will go

to smear and take down effective leaders and organizations?

Paddock reminds me of William Krar, especially in having such large caches of weapons, ammo,

and explosives/ bio weapons.

And in the similar surprise that someone amassing such would be planning to commit atrocities.


William Krar and Judith Bruey appeared a perfectly normal couple. Certainly Teresa Staples thought so. She remembered a polite, sociable couple who always paid their rent on time for the three garages they rented from her.

She was right. Among a terrifying arsenal of guns, bullets and bombs, the FBI found a chemical cyanide bomb. Used in a shopping mall, a stadium or a subway, it could have killed thousands. 'I was terrified. I live here with my children and they had that terrible stuff in there,' Staples said.

But FBI agents uncovered the cache of weapons hidden behind them. More weapons were found at Krar and Bruey's secluded home in the pine woods that surround Tyler. Eventually the haul totalled 500,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 60 pipe bombs, other remote-controlled bombs disguised as brief cases, and dozens of machineguns, silencers, pistols, mines and explosives.

And, inside an ammunition cannister, was the sodium cyanide, next to quantities of acid that would act as a trigger for the device, reacting with the cyanide to release a cloud of lethal gas.


(CNN)Stephen Paddock, who sent bullets and terror down on thousands attending a Jason Aldean concert in Las Vegas, had an arsenal in his 32nd-floor hotel room and at his home 80 miles away, officials said.

Police recovered 23 guns from his Las Vegas hotel room and another 19 guns from Paddock's home in Mesquite, Nevada, Clark County Assistant Sheriff Todd Fasulo said.

Authorities said Paddock killed 59 people and injured another 527 early Monday in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

But what they couldn't explain is why the man who had never faced any notable criminal charges did it. There was no known motive late Monday.

Flooded chemical plant near Houston now has "black plume of smoke."


One of the world's largest chemical companies warned Wednesday that its flooded plant near Houston will likely catch fire and explode in the next few days — and there's nothing the company can do about it.

Arkema Group's plant in Crosby, Texas — about 20 miles northeast of Houston — was inundated by more than 40 inches of rain by Hurricane Harvey and has been without electricity since Sunday, the French-based company said in a statement.

The firm said it made extensive preparations for Harvey, but "the plant has never experienced flooding of this magnitude before."

Julia Bagg, a reporter for Miami's NBC 6 who is on assignment in Texas, reported early Thursday that a "black plume of smoke" had been spotted over the factory. Firefighters subsequently moved journalists about two miles away from the facility.

"Hurricane Harvey Probably Isnt a 500-Year Event Anymore"


Once in 500 years? Hmmm. Here are a couple of relevant illustrations from the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which was recently made public:

Down on the Gulf Coast, the number of “precipitation events” that exceed the largest amount expected over five years has already gone up 40 percent since 1901. By about 2030, what used to be a 5-year event around Houston will occur every two months. This means that Hurricane Harvey used to be a 500-year event, but maybe not anymore. Maybe it’s now a 20 or 30-year event.

Pitch perfect


"Trump attacks 15,000 Boston counter-protesters as 'anti-police agitators'"

Donald Trump described anti-Nazi demonstrators who converged on Boston to repudiate white nationalism as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-fascists in Charlottesville last weekend.

“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

What a distorted lens he views life through.

"The Summer of Hate" - Charlottesville was not an isolated event

As reports detail the actions that occurred in Charlottesville and there is a new announcement that another far right rally will take place in Texas on 9/11, it is becoming clearer that this is a planned national series of events to foment hatred and violence.

Across the nation, the far right has been organizing these rallies purposefully to revel in their hatred and to unleash violence on any who oppose them. They are designed to terrorize.


The clashes began in February after a mob of antifa activists showed up outside a scheduled event that was to feature former Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos and began lighting objects on fire and attacking his supporters. The violent disruptions prompted the University of California to nix the speech. The cancellation of the event became national news after President Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy, casting the blame on the university but not the demonstrators:

If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017

Trump supporters further escalated the situation by scheduling a second rally for March 4, which featured more violence as members of the extreme alt-right movement began mingling with regular Republicans. After even bigger fights broke out at March 25 rallies in Southern California and in Philadelphia, far-right groups decided to descend upon Berkeley to “protect” Trump supporters.

“This is just the beginning,” wrote a member of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer. “This is a sign that we have moved into a new era in the Nazification of America. Normie Trump supporters are becoming racially aware and Jew wise. They are willing to stick up for themselves side by side with Nazis without being adverse to violence.”


Hate Watch (SPLC) is live blogging the March Against Sharia. These people are insane.

In 28 cities around the country, Act for America, an anti-Muslim hate group is organizing a series of events called “March Against Sharia.”

I posted in the thread above about some of the far right stating how they were going from rally to rally to beat up counter demonstrators.



Then came Charlottesville.


White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city's plans to take down a statue of Confederal Gen. Robert E. Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition. A few hours after violent encounters between the two groups, a car drove into a crowd of people peacefully protesting the rally. The driver was later taken into custody.

Alt-right leader Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke attended the demonstrations. Duke told reporters that the white nationalists were working to "fulfill the promises of Donald Trump."

Trump's speech also drew praise from the neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, which wrote: "Trump comments were good. He didn't attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us. ... No condemnation at all.

The website had been promoting the Charlottesville demonstration as part of its "Summer of Hate" edition.


Hundreds of Alt-Right activists and white nationalist extremists are set to descend on the small community of Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday in what’s shaping up to be the largest hate-gathering of its kind in decades in the United States.

“Unite the Right” is expected to draw a broad spectrum of far-right extremist groups – from immigration foes to anti-Semitic bigots, neo-Confederates, Proud Boys, Patriot and militia types, outlaw bikers, swastika-wearing neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Ku Klux Klan members – all of whom seem emboldened by the Trump presidency.

The “summer of hate” gathering of racist extremists from all corners of the country will face counter-demonstrations pledged by hundreds of anti-racist, antifa activists, including so-called anarchists, civil-rights community organizers and Black Lives Matter members.

The targeting of colleges by many of these demonstrations is purposeful. SPLC has noted the pattern and the intentions behind it.


College campuses are clearly on the frontline of the alt-right’s battle against multiculturalism. They are targeted for a simple reason: They embrace diversity, tolerance and social justice. They strive for equality and have created safe spaces for students of every gender and identity. College campuses are home to the highest ideals of human rights.

This is being coordinated from pushing visual propaganda to showing up in the uniform outfits visible in Charlottesville.


For much of the 20th century, racists have waged their wars in the shadows, spewing pro-white agendas quietly, often anonymously. But when Trump promised to “make America great again,” which some heard as “make America white again,” the sheets came off. Taylor’s scheme—co-opting iconic liberal posters to convince bright, young minds that white Americans are under attack—feels more like a PR stunt than a legitimate attempt at recruitment. But as Ryan Lenz, senior investigative reporter for the Southern Poverty Law Center ’s Intelligence Project, points out, “ For Taylor to tap into cultural touchstones that have been unifying moments of American culture, and use them to divide groups of people, it’s quite a strategic move on his part.”Taylor may be depending on an analog form of communication—the poster—but he’s doing so at a time when memes have come to define movements and anything can go viral. So that pro-white poster tacked onto a bulletin board at some college may get ripped down immediately, but a photo of the poster can spread online instantaneously, worming its way into our Facebook and Twitter feeds, our news sources and our social media universes, proving that Taylor’s approach may not be so dated after all.

The next planned action at Texas A&M is part of the continuation of this pattern of planned hate events.


Wiginton, who briefly attended A&M and has organized several white nationalist events at the school, said in his press release that he has invited Spencer back to College Station for the September event. There will be other speakers and a DJ, too, he said. The focus, he said, will be to protest “the liberal agenda of White Guilt and white genocide that is taught at most all universities in America.” There will also protests against specific A&M professors.

“Various groups throughout the country concerned with the political status of whites in America will be attending as well,” he wrote.

"The Long Seattle Haze Shows How Climate Change Will Hit the Poor"

For the last week and a half, Seattle has been dealing with a combination of higher than normal temperatures and wildfire smoke from Canada blanketing the sky. Thankfully, relief should be arriving tomorrow with cooler breezes and maybe some cleansing rain.

Saw this article in The Stranger, which aptly describes how this combination of conditions will be more likely with climate change and how it will hit those who are poor more harshly.


As I wrote last week, extreme weather events demonstrate what we all have to lose. Even for someone swimming in this stuff, this last week has taught me, an Earth scientist, some things about climate impacts. Climate disruptions, to our homes and lives, emerge through a cascade of multiplying factors (temperature, smoke, health, mobility), rather than one weather event alone. And wealth can isolate you from these impacts substantially. Imagine, for example, that instead of a triplex, I lived in my car with my kid through this weather event.


Again, this is why climate change is not really about weather—it is about public health, the safety of infrastructure and communities, and the livability of our city. This is also why scientists get so mad at climate denialism—because it risks the lives of those that are the most vulnerable already. Sure, deny the data. Deny the models results. Deny the future projections. But how can you deny the irrevocable connection between human suffering and climate change? And how could you ever make the argument that a rise in temperature might bring “some benefits” for low-income people? Human suffering is not a zero-sum game, and only those blindly buffered by their own privilege could make this argument with a straight face and a cool calculation.
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