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Member since: Sun Jun 4, 2017, 04:46 PM
Number of posts: 1,660

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Oh, THAT William P. Barr...

William Barr Supported Pardons In An Earlier D.C. 'Witch Hunt': Iran-Contra

Barr ran the Justice Department once before, under President George H.W. Bush.

Back then, the all-consuming, years-long scandal was called Iran-Contra. On Dec. 24, 1992, it ended when Bush pardoned six people who had been caught up in it.

Then-Attorney General Barr supported the president's decision in the Iran-Contra case, which gave clemency to people who had been officials in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, including former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger. He had been set to go on trial to face charges about lying to Congress.

"It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office, deliberately abusing the public trust without consequences," said Lawrence Walsh, the independent prosecutor in the case, at the time of the pardons.

Well, would you look at that...
Posted by The_jackalope | Fri Feb 15, 2019, 11:03 PM (5 replies)

I never thought I could be so proud of the American half of my dual citizenship

Birthright, even!

Watching it all happen from Canada, i have to tell you - I'm so impressed by what you guys have done and are doing. You are literally (figuratively speaking) pulling back your country from the brink of the abyss, using sheer moral power. You're making the civilized world proud.

Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Jan 3, 2019, 11:06 PM (3 replies)

The pernicious secret at the heart of the Ecological Footprint

The concept of the Ecological footprint was developed in 1992 by William Rees and Mathis Wackernagel at UBC in Vancouver, Canada. Ecological footprint analysis is widely used around the Earth in support of sustainability assessments. It enables people to measure and manage the use of resources throughout the economy and explore the sustainability of individual lifestyles, goods and services, organizations, industry sectors, neighborhoods, cities, regions and nations.

The accepted global footprint situation is described like this:

The world-average ecological footprint in 2012 was 2.84 global hectares per person (22.1 billion in total). With a world-average biocapacity of 1.73 global hectares (gha) per person (9.2 billion in total), this leads to a global ecological deficit of 1.1 global hectares per person (7.8 billion in total).

However, in the Wikipedia article on Sustainability, we find this shocking little gem. I have emphasized the "pernicious secret" in bold.

The Ecological footprint measures human consumption in terms of the biologically productive land needed to provide the resources, and absorb the wastes of the average global citizen. In 2008 it required 2.7 global hectares per person, 30% more than the natural biological capacity of 2.1 global hectares (assuming no provision for other organisms). The resulting ecological deficit must be met from unsustainable extra sources and these are obtained in three ways: embedded in the goods and services of world trade; taken from the past (e.g. fossil fuels); or borrowed from the future as unsustainable resource usage (e.g. by over exploiting forests and fisheries).

This implies that if we allow any organisms not intended for human use to use this land, its biological capacity to serve human needs is reduced.

For example, if we assume that on average 25% of the biological capacity of land is used by other organisms, then the amount of land available for human use is effectively reduced by the same amount. The actual capacity used by other creatures is unknowable, but it seems to me as though 25% would be a conservative number as a global average.

Using this percentage for illustration, the per capita biocapacity of the planet is reduced from 1.73 to 1.3 global hectares. That in turn raises the deficit of the human footprint from 1.1 gha to 1.53 gha.

Because of the increased deficit, the degree of human overshoot not 52%, but a rather more worrying 73%. The more biocapacity we allow other creatures to use, the worse the human overshoot becomes.
Posted by The_jackalope | Sun Dec 30, 2018, 05:50 PM (2 replies)

Does anyone remember this suspicion about Flynn?

I wonder whatever happened to it?


Russian treason arrests stemmed from intel official helping US catch criminal hackers

Three current and former Russian intelligence agents and a Russian cybersecurity firm employee arrested on charges of treason had been feeding the U.S. information on criminal hackers, a Russian news station reported Wednesday.

Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchaev, who at the time were employed by Russia's intelligence service, the FSB, were arrested along with former FSB agent George Fomchenkov and Kaspersky Lab employee Ruslan Stoyanov in connection with data they passed along to the CIA, according to Rain TV.

The arrests, which were made public in late January, caused speculation that the four had been informants for the investigation into Russian hacking in the 2016 U.S. elections.

According to the Rain report, they had actually been tipping off the CIA about Russian criminal hackers, including accused credit card thief Roman Seleznev and alleged LinkedIn hacker Yevgeniy Nikulin.

My suspicion at the time was that they were probably shopped to the FSB by Flynn when he found out about them in one of his early security briefings. The timing was right.

This appears to have fallen off the radar. I wonder now if he gave the whole mess to Mueller, and it's in the third redaction. I guess we'll find out.
Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Dec 6, 2018, 10:18 PM (1 replies)

On this November 11

On this November 11 I would like to observe that the development of military capability appears to have been the singular event that marked the beginning of modern civilization 6,000 years ago. Before then we apparently never needed it. Afterward we were never without it.

Update on Saharasia, New Findings Since the First Printing

by Dr. James DeMeo

In 1992, I was invited to Vienna, Austria, to give lectures on my research, and while there visited the Natural History Museum, which at the time had a large collection of East European artifacts organized chronologically. The display cabinets lined a pathway, which allowed one to see recovered artifacts and scenes reconstructing daily life, starting with the most ancient downto modern times. I made my way through the earliest collections of primitive stone tools, through Neanderthal times, and into the epoch of early Homo sapiens.Simple villages were shown in the reconstructed scenes,along with agriculture and animal domestication, some early types of pottery, fabrics and copper implements formed into decorative shapes. Settlements slowly grew in size, naturalistic artwork developed along with what I call “mother-dolls” (clay figures of women, what some have interpreted — wrongly I believe — as a “mother-goddess”). Artifacts of simple clay, stone, ceramic,copper, and even woven fabrics appeared, along with simple, yet elegant architecture, and the technology associated with agriculture, animal herding and hunting progressively improved in sophistication. All in all, it basically recorded an ordinary, though certainly vital and exciting existence of hunting, farming, dancing, and peaceful human relationships.

When the collection arrived at the middle of the fourth millennium BC (c.3500 BCE, or Before the Current Era) a broad white stripe, interrupting the path,had been painted on the walls and floor of the Museum gallery, bearing bold dark letters “CIVILIZATION BEGINS”. Upon walking over that line, the display very dramatically included all kinds of war-weapons, battleaxes, shields and helmets. Artifacts related to horse-riding warriors appeared, as did crowns, coins and tombs for kings and other big-man leaders. Fortifications, palaces and temples then appeared, with all the evidence for war-making, despotic, and murderous "Homo normalis", as discussed in Wilhelm Reich’s monumental clinical discovery of human armoring, the biophysical source of neurotic behavior and impulses towards sadism and brutality, and the wellspring for virtually every authoritarian social structure which exists, or which has ever existed.

This example from the Museum depicts “civilization” in a manner quite unflattering as compared to the usual definitions, and implies that warfare and social violence is a relatively recent invention by our species,of only around 6000 years duration. It also implies that we have become so accustomed to warfare and violence as the “norm” that we have difficulty even conceptualizing there might be, or might have been in our mostancient past, another mode of social existence free of the horrors of warfare and all but the most uncommon examples of interpersonal violence. This point of view,however unrecognized or unpopular, has much evidence to support it.
Posted by The_jackalope | Sun Nov 11, 2018, 07:42 AM (0 replies)

No Fox News tweets for 54 hours now???


Posted by The_jackalope | Sat Nov 10, 2018, 05:20 PM (11 replies)

My take on the reason Trump is banging on the 14th Amendment

He knows he can't change it. But changing it isn't the point. The point is to raise the resentment level of his base. And when he can't change it, especially if his attempt is shot down, the base will take it as yet more evidence of an anti-Trump, anti-Amerika, pro-invasion conspiracy. So moar gunz!
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed Oct 31, 2018, 09:47 AM (13 replies)

San Diego Union-Tribune staff, others evacuate after suspicious package spotted

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

he San Diego Union-Tribune and other businesses were evacuated Wednesday morning after a stack of suspicious looking packages was spotted in front of the building they all share in downtown San Diego, police said.

The discovery comes the same day the Secret Service intercepted a series of suspicious packages containing potential explosives that were sent to Hillary Clinton and President Obama. CNN also reported a suspicious package was sent to its building in Manhattan.

A police lieutenant reported the boxes, which were situated on top of a trash can in front of the 600 B Street building about 8:15 a.m., San Diego police Officer Billy Hernandez said.

Reporters at the paper said they were told by Jeff Light, the editor-in-chief, about 8:35 a.m. that police were asking them to evacuate.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-suspicious-package-ut-20181024-story.html

Soros, Clinton, Obama, CNN, Wasserman Schultz, and now the Union-Tribune. I'm sensing a pattern here...
Posted by The_jackalope | Wed Oct 24, 2018, 11:20 AM (10 replies)

157 of World's 200 Richest Entities Are Now Corporations, Not Governments

This should hardly come as a surprise, modern global techno-industrial civilization is a fundamentally a resource extraction and power-concentration machine. Corporations are the mechanisms that do the work. Governments of all types simply guide the process and ensure that corporations can operate as efficiently as possible, despite the citizen-friendly noises that some of them make regarding the regulation of corporate excesses.

Given the underlying assumptions and operating principles of modern civilization, including its self-protective legal structures, I can't see how it could be otherwise. That is a deeply dispiriting realization, because it implies that effective large-scale change will not be possible until after the machine of civilization breaks down.

At the Heart of Global Woes, 157 of World's 200 Richest Entities Are Now Corporations, Not Governments

Measured by 2017 revenue, 69 of the top 100 economic entities in the world are corporations, GJN found in its report, which was released as part of an effort to pressure the U.K. government to advance a binding United Nations treaty that would hold transnational corporations to account for human rights violations.

"When it comes to the top 200 entities, the gap between corporations and governments gets even more pronounced: 157 are corporations," GJN notes. "Walmart, Apple, and Shell all accrued more wealth than even fairly rich countries like Russia, Belgium, Sweden."

In a statement accompanying the striking new figures, GJN director Nick Dearden denounced Britain's Tory government for eagerly assisting this "rise in corporate power—through tax structures, trade deals, and even aid programs that help big business."

"The vast wealth and power of corporations is at the heart of so many of the world's problems—like inequality and climate change," Dearden noted. "The drive for short-term profits today seems to trump basic human rights for millions of people on the planet. Yet there are very few ways that citizens can hold these corporations to account for their behavior. Rather, through trade and investment deals, it is corporations which are able to demand that governments do their bidding."
Posted by The_jackalope | Sat Oct 20, 2018, 01:52 AM (9 replies)

Looking out over the wider world

Global civilization appears to be going down the rabbit hole. As more countries freak out over refugees, etc, they get more fascist and xenophobic. Democracy is on the defensive in many places. It's all just in time for climate collapse and massive global refugee problems due to water and food issues. The dystopians may be right - we may be at the brink of the cliff.

America under Trump is moribund. If the Republicans hold on to congress in 2018 and 2020, that's it. America as we knew it will be dead.

The convergence amazes me, but I have to admit, it's exactly what my research over the last decade indicated would happen. Accumulating stressors cause people to turn to authoritarians for protection. It's very similar to what triggered the emergence of patrist "civilization" 5,000 years ago according to anthropologist James De Meo in his book "Saharasia".

If it's not this election, it will be in one of the next few. The global social/biophysical stressors aren't going to go away, they're going to keep on getting worse. We're probably hooped.

If there is to be any hope for the world, it starts with keeping Republicans out of government.

Posted by The_jackalope | Thu Oct 18, 2018, 04:55 PM (5 replies)
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