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KY_EnviroGuy's Journal
KY_EnviroGuy's Journal
March 23, 2019

How the media let malicious idiots take over

A good summary article in The Guardian that explains one of many reasons we're in the mess we're in today:

How the media let malicious idiots take over
George Monbiot @GeorgeMonbiot
Fri 22 Mar 2019 15.57 GMT
Be it Jacob Rees-Mogg or Nigel Farage, blusterers and braggarts are rewarded with platforms that distort our political debate


If our politics is becoming less rational, crueller and more divisive, this rule of public life is partly to blame: the more disgracefully you behave, the bigger the platform the media will give you. If you are caught lying, cheating, boasting or behaving like an idiot, you’ll be flooded with invitations to appear on current affairs programmes. If you play straight, don’t expect the phone to ring.
In the US, the phenomenon is more advanced. G Gordon Liddy served 51 months in prison as a result of his role in the Watergate conspiracy, organising the burglary of the Democratic National committee headquarters. When he was released, he used his notoriety to launch a lucrative career. He became the host of a radio show syndicated to 160 stations, and a regular guest on current affairs programmes. Oliver North, who came to public attention for his leading role in the Iran-Contra scandal, also landed a syndicated radio programme, as well as a newspaper column, and was employed by Fox as a television show host and regular commentator. Similarly, Darren Grimes, in the UK, is widely known only for the £20,000 fine he received for his activities during the Brexit campaign. Now he’s being used by Sky as a pundit.

The most revolting bigots, such as Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump, built their public profiles on the media platforms they were given by attacking women, people of colour and vulnerable minorities. Trump leveraged his notoriety all the way to the White House. Boris Johnson is taking the same track, using carefully calibrated outrage to keep himself in the public eye.

On both sides of the Atlantic, the unscrupulous, duplicitous and preposterous are brought to the fore, as programme-makers seek to generate noise. Malicious clowns are invited to discuss issues of the utmost complexity. Ludicrous twerps are sought out and lionised. The BBC used its current affairs programmes to turn Nigel Farage and Jacob Rees-Mogg into reality TV stars, and now they have the nation in their hands.

Very depressing world we live in today, one of entertainment and sensationalism and bright shiny objects.....

March 17, 2019

Info and history on the Spencer Dam

From the posted article:

Despite its age, the Spencer Dam was still functional, and valuable.

Built in the late 1920s and owned by the Nebraska Public Power District since the early 1970s, it could still generate electricity when the utility needed it.

And it was in transition. NPPD was in the process of selling the dam, and its easements and water rights, to several northern Nebraska natural resources districts for $9 million, said utility spokesman Mark Becker.

He wasn't sure where the deal stood after its failure, he said. And NPPD didn't yet know why Spencer Dam failed, though a helicopter carried a crew to the site Friday to examine what remained.

It was a flow-through hydroelectric dam, with garage-type doors that let water through, and Becker said it wasn't known whether the doors had been open or closed at the time. They disappeared downstream, he said.

A little history here:

Niobrara River
Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niobrara_River
(includes a photo of the dam during normal times)
Spencer Dam, about 50 miles (80 km) from the mouth of the Niobrara, was the last operational hydroelectric plant on the river. The dam was built in 1927 and was operated by the Nebraska Public Power District. It includes two Westinghouse generators, with a combined capacity of 3,000 KW. In a 2015 agreement with Nebraska local and state government entities, NPPD agreed to decommission the dam in 2017. The dam was breached by flooding caused by a March 2019 storm.

Don't know how that reservoir was used, but beyond the horrible immediate damage downstream, one would think this failure may affect farm irrigation water supply as well as the public water supply to many towns on the river. Considering its age, the dam is probably a total loss.
March 17, 2019

The human species is on a self-destructive path that will self-limit...

but only after many millions die. Because of our relatively short life span, self-interest and short-sightedness, few people really care. Political climates around the globe are heading in the exact opposite direction of what's needed to even slow this process.

We have been warned for decades. Biologist Prof Paul Ehrlich, a wonderful scientist at Stanford, has summarized this far better than I can and I would point those interested to this frightening interview from 2018:

Paul Ehrlich: 'Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades'
Damian Carrington 22 Mar 2018

Red more here: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/mar/22/collapse-civilisation-near-certain-decades-population-bomb-paul-ehrlich

(snips - emphases mine)

The world’s optimum population is less than two billion people – 5.6 billion fewer than on the planet today, he argues, and there is an increasing toxification of the entire planet by synthetic chemicals that may be more dangerous to people and wildlife than climate change.

Ehrlich also says an unprecedented redistribution of wealth is needed to end the over-consumption of resources, but “the rich who now run the global system – that hold the annual ‘world destroyer’ meetings in Davos – are unlikely to let it happen”.
“Population growth, along with over-consumption per capita, is driving civilisation over the edge: billions of people are now hungry or micronutrient malnourished, and climate disruption is killing people.”
“It is a near certainty in the next few decades, and the risk is increasing continually as long as perpetual growth of the human enterprise remains the goal of economic and political systems,” he says. “As I’ve said many times, ‘perpetual growth is the creed of the cancer cell’.”

It is the combination of high population and high consumption by the rich that is destroying the natural world, he says. Research published by Ehrlich and colleagues in 2017 concluded that this is driving a sixth mass extinction of biodiversity, upon which civilisation depends for clean air, water and food.

The solutions are tough, he says. “To start, make modern contraception and back-up abortion available to all and give women full equal rights, pay and opportunities with men. “I hope that would lead to a low enough total fertility rate that the needed shrinkage of population would follow. [But] it will take a very long time to humanely reduce total population to a size that is sustainable.”

He estimates an optimum global population size at roughly 1.5 to two billion, “But the longer humanity pursues business as usual, the smaller the sustainable society is likely to prove to be. We’re continuously harvesting the low-hanging fruit, for example by driving fisheries stocks to extinction.”
He treats this risk with characteristic dark humour: “The first empirical evidence we are dumbing down Homo sapiens were the Republican debates in the US 2016 presidential elections – and the resultant kakistocracy. On the other hand, toxification may solve the population problem, since sperm counts are plunging.”

Paul's original book from the 60s may have missed the mark with some of his predictions, but his overall thesis on where we're headed is spot-on. I haven't read all of his old book, but intend to investigate his more recent publications.

The stats cited in that HuffPo article should shake the world into reality today, but this will just be another Sunday as usual on earth......
March 15, 2019

Live reports from two sources say shootings at two mosques.

Live updated stream on the Guardian UK:

Christchurch shooting: police search for gunman after mass shooting at mosque – live updates
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2019/mar/15/christchurch-shooting-injuries-reported-as-police-respond-to-critical-incident-live


Multiple fatalities at two locations and situation ongoing, with one suspect in custody, police confirm

New Zealand police confirm that there have been multiple fatalities at two locations – one mosque on Dean’s Road and one on Linwood Avenue. The police say one suspect is in custody, but that the situation is still ongoing and it is an active shooter situation.


Live: Massacre at the mosques - gunmen kill multiple people, Christchurch under siege
Link: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12213039


• Dozens feared killed as at least two gunmen open fire at two central Christchurch mosques

• City in lockdown, with reports of a third shooting scene and a car bomb in Strickland St

• One gunman, believed to be Australian, filmed as he shot victims in the mosque - and wrote a manifesto declaring his intentions

Sad day for what normally is a peaceful nation.......
March 14, 2019

Just curious....

You seem to know the industry and I'm curious if the labs available around the world with this capability have to be certified in some fashion, perhaps by some international agency.

The data extracted is extremely important and could be involved for many years in litigation spanning several nations after a typical crash. Therefore, it would seem that the credibility of any lab that undertakes is this work should be unquestionable and their personnel would need frequent training updates.

March 14, 2019

I posted that because I've overheard them many times during my travels...

Some around her in KY and some in my travels around the country, perhaps more out West than any. A lot of builders and construction people and many farmers listen part of the day.

I don't have stats on the extent and distribution of it, but the Rethugs have kept this dirty little secret hidden for many years and it's helped to maintain a sizable chunk of their red state base. It's one of their highly-protected little "sectors".

One very disturbing aspect of this programming is that some of it is also distributed into our military media networks such as American Forces Network (AFN). They claim to provide bipartisan programming, although the stuff from the right is extreme (typical right-wing dogma, lies and deceptions).

The DUer named Certainot keeps track of this issue in the U.S. and posts often on the subject......

March 14, 2019

I'm very grateful he was truthful to us and I miss that terribly.

I think all politicians embellish the truth at times for impact, and they all make mistakes and sometimes their judgments are based on false information. I can live with that reality.

My personal favorite news source during the 2015/2016 campaign was The Guardian (UK) because they did see through Trump's BS and didn't hesitate to call out his lies and deceptions. They documented the worst of them and published a weekly summary to help us keep track.

Although no surprise to those of us that knew of Trump's history, it was shocking to see it published because no major media outlet in America was doing that. We know darn well our media knew he was lying and not calling him out was a calculated choice.

I've said for a long time that if there's a single good thing that will come out of his time as president, it's that he has exposed the dark underbelly of that invisible separate world of the wealthy for all the world to see. We're only seeing a small portion of it and more comes each week (sex trafficking, buying college entry, etc.) but I hope many more Americans will bother to look.

Unfortunately, our nation is sharply divided and fortified into two big bubbles, and I fear the other side will not see......

March 13, 2019

Fox News Contributor Salaries Revealed in Financial Disclosures

WARNING: In-your-face photos of several nasty Repugs at link below - put grift-resistant safety goggles on.

Fox News Contributor Salaries Revealed in Financial Disclosures
10:46 AM PDT 3/13/2019 by Jeremy Barr

At least 10 members of the Trump administration have served as on-air contributors for the network.

Read here: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fox-news-contributor-salaries-revealed-financial-disclosures-1193630

Across cable news, the salaries paid to on-air contributors remain shrouded in mystery, ranging by network and by market demand for the contributor's expertise. But, because at least 10 former Fox News contributors have served in Donald Trump's administration and been forced to file financial disclosure forms, a window into the network's payroll has been opened.

Among the eight Trump staffers who were forced to disclose what Fox News paid them to contribute, salaries averaged about $141,000 and ranged from a low of $31,336 for New York socialite Georgette Mosbacher (who serves as ambassador to Poland) to a high of $569,423 for John Bolton, who now serves as Donald Trump's national security adviser.
A Fox News spokesperson would not comment on how the network decides contributor salaries, but a person with knowledge of the process said that many non-famous contributors start with a per-appearance fee agreement that provides them with a small guaranteed retainer for agreeing to be exclusive to Fox News. If the person resonates with Fox's audience and delivers ratings, the network would likely offer them an annual, flat-fee contract, firming up their contributor status.

Should anyone ever doubt how these miscreants can lie and deceive and spew GOP dogma without remorse, just come back and look at what they're paid on Fox. Far too many Americans would hold their noses and do the same to earn far more than in any regular job and never get a hand dirty.

....... ...........
March 13, 2019

I would challenge Shirley's pretzel logic...

* First, state to him that there no proof within his Tweet that he's ever read a high school English Grammar book.

* Because he has made a statement claiming knowledge of another person's shortcomings without showing any proof, the burden of proof is on his shoulders or else he should delete his Tweets. In order to have the right to say "she would not know Reagan blah, blah, blah...", then you would need to know every single thing she does know about Reagan, which is an impossible task.

* We could just as logically claim that AOC has read every book written about Raygun and he has no way to refute it. Until then, we can refute his statement by saying there's no evidence she has NOT picked up a book about Reagan.

* Shirley needs to tell us what resources he has access to that tells him what books anyone has or has not read.

Give him the full Christopher Hitchens treatment!.......

I don't do Twitter and he probably would not read anything I wrote, but it feels good to blast him on DU......

March 12, 2019

Chickens 'teamed up to kill fox' at farming school

Chickens 'teamed up to kill fox' at Brittany farming school
‘There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks,’ says head of farming

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/12/chickens-teamed-up-to-kill-fox-at-brittany-farming-school

Chickens in a poultry farm in northeast France are suspected of killing a fox that tried to sneak into their coop.

The fox is thought to have entered the henhouse at an agricultural school at dusk last week and become trapped inside by light-controlled automatic hatch doors that close when the sun goes down.

Students at Le Gros Chêne school in Brittany discovered the fox’s body the following morning when making their rounds to check on the chickens.

Fox in the henhouse. Revenge time!..... ......Poor fox trapped by automated farming.

Feel free to connect this in any way you please to U.S. politics......

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Gender: Male
Hometown: TN, KY
Home country: USA
Current location: KY
Member since: Thu Jul 6, 2017, 06:43 PM
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