May 162019
 


AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY Jeff Koons – Stainless steel casting of inflatable rabbit (41″) sold for $91.1 million

 

Tulsi Gabbard Would Drop Julian Assange Charges, Pardon Edward Snowden (NW)
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Can’t Win Against Trump – Cuban (SC)
Russiagate’s Monstrous Offspring (Lazare)
The REAL Story Behind The Russian Hoax (Graham Noble)
The Disinformationists (Hopkins)
No “Do-Over” On Russia Probe: White House Tells Nadler To Pound Sand (ZH)
Barr’s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller in a Shocking Case (S. Noble)
Trump Declares National Emergency Over IT Threats (BBC)
US Blacklists Huawei (R.)
UK Labour To Renationalize Energy Network End Consumer ‘Rip-Off’ (G.)
Majority Of Europeans Expect End Of EU Within 20 Years (G.)
Pilots ‘Raised Boeing Safety Fears’ Months Before Ethiopia Crash (BBC)
Single-Use Plastics A Serious Climate Change Hazard (G.)
Zimbabwe Sells 100 Elephants To China, Dubai (AFP)

 

 

Her own party will make sure that never happens.

Tulsi Gabbard Would Drop Julian Assange Charges, Pardon Edward Snowden (NW)

(start video 1.40.00 in)

Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Democratic presidential candidate, said the U.S. should drop criminal charges against Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. The military veteran said during a lengthy interview on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast this week that WikiLeaks founder Assange and national security whistleblower Snowden should not be prosecuted for disclosing information. “What would you do about Julian Assange, what would you do about Edward Snowden?” Rogan asked. Gabbard said, if elected, she would drop the Assange charges and pardon Snowden. “We have got to address why [Snowden] did things the way that he did them,” she said.

“You hear the same thing from Chelsea Manning, how there is not an actual channel for whistleblowers like them to bring forward information that exposes egregious abuses of our constitutional rights and liberties, period. There was not a channel for that to happen in a real way, and that’s why they ended up taking the path that they did, and suffering the consequences.” In June 2013, Snowden handed over to journalists a trove of National Security Agency documents detailing a sprawling surveillance apparatus used by global intelligence agencies. The leak showed how the systems could be used to spy on U.S. citizens through their phone calls, text messages and internet use.

After fleeing the country to Hong Kong, a warrant was issued for Snowden’s arrest. Snowden was left stranded in Russia, where he was provided asylum. Gabbard told the podcast host that she could still remember the day she first read the details about mass surveillance in the American press. “I was shocked,” she said. “That was something that Snowden uncovered and released, something that I don’t know that even as members of Congress we would have been aware of,” Gabbard continued. “So now that we are aware of it, we can take action to close those loopholes, to change those policies, to protect our civil liberties… Was the NSA going to disclose that information voluntarily? Absolutely not.”

Assange, whose organization helped facilitate Snowden’s escape, was dramatically arrested last month and has been charged with conspiracy to commit computer hacking for “agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer,” the Justice Department said. On Monday, Sweden reopened its investigation into a rape allegation against Assange, who is now serving 50 weeks in a high-security U.K. prison relating to a 2010 bail violation. As a result, the WikiLeaks founder, who denies the assault allegation, is now facing two extradition charges.

“What happened with his arrest and all this stuff that just went down I think poses a great threat to our freedom of the press and to our freedom of speech,” Gabbard said. “The fact that the Trump administration has chosen to ignore how important it is that we uphold our freedoms…and go after him, it has a very chilling effect on both journalists and publishers…and also on every one of us as Americans. It was a warning call…saying ‘look what happened to this guy.’ It could happen to you. It could happen to any one of us.”

Read more …

I think he’s right.

2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Can’t Win Against Trump – Cuban (SC)

Mark Cuban was interviewed by Scott Wapner on CNBC on Tuesday. When asked about 2020 race and whether he’d consider running, he left open the possibility saying: “We’ll see.” “We’ll see what happens. It would take the perfect storm for me to do it,” the owner of Dallas Mavericks said. “There’s some things that could open the door, but I’m not projecting or predicting it right now.” “I still think there’s a real opportunity for somebody who is in the middle but has some charisma, has the ability to relate to both sides but is not a politician. The reality is people don’t trust politicians,” Cuban said. When asked who on the Democratic side has the best chance of winning, Cuban said “nobody right now.” “If you look at why people voted for Donald Trump, in my opinion, first and foremost it was because he wasn’t a politician…Politicians are the least trusted of every profession,” said Cuban.

Read more …

“The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.”

Russiagate’s Monstrous Offspring (Lazare)

Assange is guiltier than ever. If Washington gets its hands on him, he’ll no doubt be hauled before some sort of Star Chamber and then clapped in a dungeon somewhere until he confesses that Russian intelligence made him do it, even though a careful reading of the Mueller report strongly suggests the opposite. Assange languishing behind bars, war breaking out in Latin America or the Persian Gulf, Trump in the Oval Office for four years more – it’s the worst of all possible worlds, and the Democratic Party’s bizarre fixation with Vladimir Putin is what’s pushing it.


Ultimately, Russia-gate is yet a variation on the tired old theme of American innocence. If something goes wrong, it can’t be the fault of decent Americans who, as we all know, are too good for our deeply flawed world. Rather, it must be the fault of dastardly foreigners trying to hack our democracy. It’s a deep-rooted form of xenophobia that has fueled everything from the criminalization of marijuana (smuggled in by evil Mexicans) to the 1950s Red Scare (a reaction to Communism smuggled in by evil Russians), and the war on terrorism (the work of evil Muslims). The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.

Read more …

What will be the reactions when Brennan, Clapper, Comey are indicted?

The REAL Story Behind The Russian Hoax (Graham Noble)

If there is any issue that cries out for a special counsel investigation, it is the evolution of the Trump-Russia collusion theory. Attorney General William Barr may well have decided that the nation does not need to go through such an ordeal again, but he did the next best thing by tapping John H. Durham to investigate what could well be the most nefarious political conspiracy in American history. Durham is Connecticut’s top federal prosecutor, an attorney with a reputation for toughness and a resume that includes investigations into high-level government corruption cases. Reports suggest that he has been on the job for some weeks already, and that is an indication of how seriously the matter is being taken by the attorney general.


[..] If Barr did not anticipate the possibility of criminal indictments or the need to subpoena former government officials – people like former FBI Director James Comey – he could have handed off the probe to Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general. Horowitz, who is currently looking into the FBI’s application for a FISA warrant in 2016 and three subsequent extensions of that warrant, does not have the scope of authority to investigate the affair conclusively. Essentially, inspectors general could be described more as auditors than investigators. The Justice Department’s IG is expected to deliver his report sometime in June, and Durham may well use Horowitz’s findings in his own investigation. Unlike Horowitz, Durham can subpoena private citizens – including former government officials – as well as utilize the full range of prosecutorial tools.

Read more …

2 years wasted on fiction. And still not over.

The Disinformationists (Hopkins)

So, the election-meddling Putin-Nazi disinformationists are at it again! Oh yes, while Americans have been distracted by Russiagate, Obstructiongate, Redactiongate, or whatever it’s being called at this point, here in Europe, we are purportedly being bombarded with Russian “disinformation” aimed at fomenting confusion and chaos in advance of the upcoming EU elections, which are due to take place in less than two weeks. The New York Times reports that an entire “constellation” of social media accounts “linked to Russia and far-right groups” is disseminating extremist “disinformation,” “encouraging discord,” and “amplifying distrust in the centrist parties that have governed for decades.”

These accounts share some of the same “digital fingerprints,” and are engaging in “tactics” similar to the “tactics used in previous Russian attacks,” notably the Kremlin’s notorious mass-brainwashing of millions of defenseless African Americans with those deceptive anti-masturbation memes during the 2016 elections. Now, this is not just a bunch of nonsense dressed up with authoritative-sounding lingo. No, The Times spoke to “analysts” and “advocacy groups,” which informed them that certain websites in Italy “share the same signatures” as certain other websites sharing certain “pro-Kremlin views.” Moreover, two “political groups” in Germany used the same Internet service providers as those “Russian hackers” who attacked our democracy by stealing those Democratic Party emails that transformed Americans overnight into a nation of Trump-loving white supremacists!


That hasn’t happened here in Europe yet, but I’m not sure how much longer we can hold out against this relentless onslaught. According to an “analysis” concocted by some cloud-based cybersecurity firm and authoritatively cited by Politico, at this point, “more than half of Europeans might have seen some form of disinformation” spread by “Russians” on social media. They might have been exposed to “extremist views” and “amplified content” possibly produced by the far-right Alternative for Germany party, and even (God help them!) supporters of Brexit.

Read more …

Step by step we’re finding out just how enormously the Democrats have failed.

No “Do-Over” On Russia Probe: White House Tells Nadler To Pound Sand (ZH)

White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a Wednesday letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that Congress doesn’t get a “do over” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and others conducted by the Justice Department. Nadler has led recent efforts in the Democratic-controlled House to continue, which are set to include hearings with Mueller himself, along with key witnesses in his investigation. “Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice,” reads the 12-page letter laying out a legal argument for why Nadler is overstepping his bounds.


The letter goes on to say “As presently framed, the Committee’s inquiries transparently amount to little more than an attempt to duplicate – and supplant – law enforcement inquiries, and apparently to do so simply because the actual law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice did not reach a conclusion favored by some members of the Committee.” “This is not a proper legislative purpose,” writes Cipollone. “While the letter does not invoke executive privilege over any of the documents requested — and leaves the door open to a more narrow request from House Democrats — White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said last week that President Trump “has no other option than to make a protective assertion of executive privilege” over the full, unredacted Mueller report itself.”-Axios

Read more …

Oh, we’re going to find out who Robert Swan Mueller III is. I got a lot of flack for calling him a coward and a liar, but in reality he’s much worse than that. “Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger..”

Barr’s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller in a Shocking Case (S. Noble)

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia-Trump probe. Apparently, he has been on the job for weeks. Durham is the perfect investigator for the job by all accounts and he had experience with Robert Mueller in the Whitey Bulger case. He did not side with Mueller and Mueller’s agents suffered the consequences of Mueller’s, some would say, corrupt leadership. Back in the late 1990s, there were “allegations that FBI informants James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and Stephen ‘The Rifleman’ Flemmi had corrupted their handlers. So, in 1999, Janet Reno appointed John Durham as Special Prosecutor and charged him with investigating FBI corruption in Boston.

As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes. Bulger was a protected informant. Durham sent one agent involved to prison for 10 years. Then-US Attorney, Robert Mueller is probably the one who should have landed in the pen. He allowed four innocent men to be sent to prison for a murder he knew they didn’t commit. He did it to protect Bulger. One of the four men was in Florida at the time of the murder and could not have committed the murder. When Durham went through the documents. He found that the four men had actually been framed. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

The Boston Globe wrote: “[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two F.B.I. agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset…”

[..] Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time. Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger, a mass-murdering Boston mobster who ended up dying in California, and it ended up costing the government $100 million plus in civil judgments.

Read more …

Two separate issues: the emergency, and naming Huawei an “entity”, meaning it can’t buy US tech without government approval.

Trump Declares National Emergency Over IT Threats (BBC)

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency to protect US computer networks from “foreign adversaries”. He signed an executive order which effectively bars US companies from using foreign telecoms believed to pose national security risks. The order does not name any company, but is believed to target Huawei. The Chinese tech giant said restricting its business in the US would only hurt American consumers and companies. Several countries, led by the US, have raised concerns in recent months that Huawei products could be used by China for surveillance, allegations the company has vehemently denied.

The US has been pressuring allies to shun Huawei in their next generation 5G mobile networks. In a separate development, the US commerce department added Huawei to its “entity list”, a move that bans the company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval. The moves are likely to worsen tensions between the US and China, which had already escalated this week with tariff hikes in a trade war. Huawei has been at the epicentre of the US-China power struggle that has dominated global politics over the past year.


[..] Huawei consistently says that if the US bans Huawei from its networks, they are the ones to lose out, not Huawei. That is true. Even without the US market, Huawei is likely to control 40-60% of the networks around the world, industry analysts say. But what may hurt Huawei more is the US decision to put them on the “entity list” – effectively banning American suppliers from selling to the firm. Huawei may not need the US market, but it certainly needs the key components that it gets from the US.

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But Europe doesn’t.

US Blacklists Huawei (R.)

The Trump administration hit Chinese telecoms giant Huawei with severe sanctions on Wednesday, adding another incendiary element to the U.S.-China trade dispute just as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he would visit China soon for more talks. The Commerce Department said it was adding Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List” – a move that bans the company from acquiring components and technology from U.S. firms without government approval.


Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that President Donald Trump backed the decision to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.” Trump earlier in the day signed an executive order barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk. While the order did not specifically name any country or company, U.S. officials have previously labeled Huawei a “threat” and lobbied allies not to use Huawei network equipment in next-generation 5G networks.

Read more …

Privatization gone wild.

UK Labour To Renationalize Energy Network End Consumer ‘Rip-Off’ (G.)

Labour will announce plans on Thursday to seize back control of Britain’s energy network from private shareholders in an effort to fight climate change and end fuel poverty. Jeremy Corbyn and the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, are expected to say that heat and electricity should be a human right for all and nationalisation of the network is key to decarbonising the economy. Under Labour’s plan, companies that control the UK’s £62bn energy infrastructure – the pipes and cables that supply homes and businesses with gas and electricity – would be taken back into state control soon after a Labour election win. This would include National Grid, and the network arms of Scottish Power and SSE, with the existing investors in those companies to be reimbursed with government bonds at a price determined by parliament.


Nationalisation of the energy networks forms a central part of Labour’s plans to address climate change, with the party arguing that the profits generated from the infrastructure should be invested in the green economy rather than given to shareholders in the form of dividends. Long-Bailey will say energy customers have been “ripped off” by the privatisation of the UK’s energy grid, with shareholders paid £13bn in dividends over the past five years. “It’s an insult and an injustice to our people and our planet for companies operating the grid to rip customers off, line the pockets of the rich and not invest properly in renewable energy,” she will say.

Read more …

Well well.

Majority Of Europeans Expect End Of EU Within 20 Years (G.)

More than half of Europeans believe the EU is likely to collapse within a generation, despite support for the bloc hitting heights not recorded in more than a quarter of a century. In France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic and Poland, a majority of people surveyed thought EU disintegration was a “realistic possibility” in the next 10 to 20 years. The figures are particularly stark in France, where President Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche party is trailing behind Marine Le Pen’s Brussels-bashing Rassemblement National (RN) in the polls for next week’s European elections.


According to the survey, commissioned by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) thinktank, 58% of people in France believe the EU is very likely or fairly likely to fall apart within 20 years, second only to Slovakia (66%). Of the 14 countries polled by YouGov – constituting 80% of the seats of the European parliament – it was only in Sweden (44%), Denmark (41%) and Spain (40%) that the proportion predicting implosion dipped below a majority. Nearly seven decades after the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, bringing together France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in a pact designed to stave off further war, three in 10 people polled said conflict among countries within the EU was a realistic possibility. As many as a third of voters in France and Poland said they believed a war could be possible.

Read more …

Probably the worst thing I’ve read on the 727 MAX disasters.

If no Boeing executive goes to jail for this, you know something’s terribly wrong. And the media, in this case the BBC, helps them, but how do you “inadvertently” make an alarm feature “optional”?

Pilots ‘Raised Boeing Safety Fears’ Months Before Ethiopia Crash (BBC)

American Airlines pilots confronted Boeing about potential safety issues in its 737 Max planes in a meeting last November, US media are reporting. They urged swift action after the first deadly 737 Max crash off Indonesia in October, according to audio obtained by CBS and the New York Times. Boeing reportedly resisted their calls but promised a software fix. But this had not been rolled out when an Ethiopian Airlines’ 737 Max crashed four months later, killing 157 people. Currently 737 Max planes are grounded worldwide amid concerns that an anti-stall system may have contributed to both crashes. Boeing is in the process of updating the system, known as MCAS, but denies it was solely to blame for the disasters.

In a closed door meeting with Boeing executives last November, which was secretly recorded, American Airlines’ pilots can be heard expressing concerns about the safety of MCAS. Boeing vice-president Mike Sinnett told the pilots: “No one has yet to conclude that the sole cause of this was this function on the airplane.” Later in the meeting, he added: “The worst thing that can ever happen is a tragedy like this, and the even worse thing would be another one.” The pilots also complained they had not been told about MCAS, which was new to the 737 Max, until after the Lion Air crash off Indonesia, which killed 189. “These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else,” said Mike Michaelis, head of safety for the pilots’ union.


Earlier this month Boeing admitted that it knew about another problem with its 737 Max jets a year before the fatal accidents, but took no action. The firm said it had inadvertently made an alarm feature optional instead of standard, but insisted that this did not jeopardise flight safety. The feature – an Angle of Attack (AOA) Disagree alert – was designed to let pilots know when two different sensors were reporting conflicting data. The US Federal Aviation Administration said the issue was “low risk”, but said Boeing could have helped to “eliminate possible confusion” by letting it know earlier.

Read more …

I don’t think we’re going to help anyone by trying to turn everything into a climate change issue. Plastics are bad, period. Ban them in all but absolutely necessary cases. The carbon footprint of plastic is 0.5 Gt-CO2 per year, or about 1/80th (1.25%) of total emissions. Electricity is 25%, food is 24%.

I do like the link to US shale boosting plastics production, though, that helps people understand.

Single-Use Plastics A Serious Climate Change Hazard (G.)

The proliferation of single-use plastic around the world is accelerating climate change and should be urgently halted, a report warns. Plastic production is expanding worldwide, fuelled in part by the fracking boom in the US. The report says plastic contributes to greenhouse gas emissions at every stage of its lifecycle, from its production to its refining and the way it is managed as a waste product. This plastic binge threatens attempts to meet the Paris climate agreement. It means that by 2050 plastic will be responsible for up to 13% of the total “carbon budget” – equivalent to 615 coal-fired power plants – says the research published on Thursday.

The contribution of plastic production and disposal to climate change has been largely hidden, say the authors of the report by the Center for International Environmental Law, which estimates the greenhouse gas footprint of plastic from the cradle to the grave for the first time. While plastic pollution in the oceans has become a high-profile concern, the effect on climate change of the ubiquitous use of plastic has not been a focus. “After the extraction of fossil fuels to produce plastic, the carbon footprint of a material which has become ubiquitous across the globe continues through the refining process, and on well past its useful life as a drinks bottle or plastic bag, through the way it is disposed of and the plastic afterlife,” the report says. The authors say disposable plastic found in packaging and fast-moving consumer goods forms the largest and fastest-growing segment of the plastic economy.


Forty per cent of plastic packaging waste is disposed of at sanitary landfills, 14% goes to incineration facilities and 14% is collected for recycling. Incineration creates the most CO2 emissions among the plastic waste management methods. Nearly all plastic – 99% – is made from fossil fuels. Refining the material is the most greenhouse gas intensive part of the plastic lifecycle, and major expansions in the US and elsewhere will accelerate climate change, the report says. A Shell ethane cracker being constructed in Pennsylvania could emit up to 2.25m tonnes of CO2 each year and a new ethylene plant at ExxonMobil’s refinery in Baytown, Texas, could release up to 1.4m tonnes. The annual emissions from just these two new facilities would be equal to adding almost 800,000 cars to the road, the report says.

Read more …

Too many elephants, or too much land taken away from them? We should be paying Africans (not their governments) to take care of the wildlife. Stop dragging them around the world. This is not the 19th century.

Zimbabwe Sells 100 Elephants To China, Dubai (AFP)

Zimbabwe has sold nearly 100 elephants to China and Dubai for a total price of $2.7 million over six years, the country’s wildlife agency said Wednesday, citing overpopulation. Parks and Wildlife Management Authority spokesman Tinashe Farawo told AFP Zimbabwe’s elephants were overcrowding national parks, encroaching into human settlements, destroying crops and posing a risk to human life. “We have 84,000 elephants against a carrying capacity of 50,000,” he said, justifying the sales. “We believe in sustainable use of resources, so we sell a few elephants to take care of the rest. Farawo said 200 people have died in “human-and-animal conflict” in the past five years, “and at least 7,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed by elephants”.


The animals’ natural habitat has been depleted by climate change, he added, while recurrent droughts have added to strain on the overburdened national parks, forcing the pachyderms to seek food and water further afield. Farawo said money from the legal sales was allocated to anti-poaching projects, conservation work, research and welfare. According to the Zimbabwe Chronicle newspaper, 93 elephants were safely airlifted to parks in China and four to Dubai between 2012 and 2018, They were sold in a price range of between $13,500 and $41,500 each. Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe have called for a global ban on elephant ivory trade to be relaxed due to the growing number of elephants in some regions. But over the past decade, the population of elephants across Africa has fallen by about 111,000 to 415,000, largely due to poaching for ivory, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Home Forums Debt Rattle May 16 2019

This topic contains 10 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  V. Arnold 1 month ago.

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  • #47401

    AFP Photo/TIMOTHY A. CLARY Jeff Koons – Stainless steel casting of inflatable rabbit (41″) sold for $91.1 million   • Tulsi Gabbard Would Drop Ju
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle May 16 2019]

    #47402

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Step by step we’re finding out just how enormously the Democrats have failed.

    No! The entire system has failed.

    Oh, we’re going to find out who Robert Swan Mueller III is. I got a lot of flack for calling him a coward and a liar, but in reality he’s much worse than that. “Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger..”

    Just one piece of the corrupt machine…

    • US Blacklists Huawei (R.)

    Just one more example of the U.S. failure to stay ahead of the international players.
    When exposed for all to see; being an inferior, enrages the deep state, …

    Boeing should be finished after its egregious failure to secure passenger safety…
    (I’ll never set foot in an airplane again; no matter who is the builder)

    Safety regulations across the globe, are failing at an alarming rate concerning all forms of public transportation…
    Buyer beware…

    #47403

    zerosum
    Participant

    Okay, let’s get rid of plastic bags and go with paper bags.
    Questions, will we be able to plant enough trees to keep up with the demand for paper bags?

    #47404

    Dr. D
    Participant

    “The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.”

    Hilarious and true. I mean, when you’re practically perfect in every way, the Indispensible Nation…

    ““Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger…”

    Yes, and all public record, wide open, everybody knows. And he did the same thing against the innocent anthrax scientist, where their literal claim was that he build weapons-grade materials underwater, in a scuba suit, in a public pond. – Our version of Skripal park. And a couple other, totally open, totally public, totally false cases he used to protect his other people. This Boy Scout and the J Edgar’s lily-white FBI. Totally know, no one in trouble, nobody went to jail, Mueller straight to the top with this on his record. Why? Well duh, if you’re these Presidents, do you want to make the FBI director someone who prosecutes the law? My GOD, no. Thus Mueller. How is it I can convict him, on public documents, without subpoena power, and they can’t?

    Oh, and…the media, who reported all this on him 4-10 times before now? Didn’t read their own news stories and reported he was perfect, beyond reproach?

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost 40 years……It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years.”

    But I was told there is no fake news! CNN and NYT are also beyond reproach! Just like Mueller. Each one cleared the other of all wrongdoing.

    Speaking of media, however, the U.S. declines to enshrine Facebook into official monopoly status, lets them collapse as the garbage company they are. Only nation of 18 that supports freedom of speech. At this rate, we’ll be the only one on the planet that does. My god! Someone is finally following the law which is the Constitution! Call 911 and report them!

    “heat and electricity should be a human right for all and nationalisation of the network is key to decarbonising”

    Wow, total Soviet socialism, where they own the means of production. Okay, it’s a human right. Do the utility employees have human rights? Or like slaves, do they have to provide this free heat and light for nothing?

    …That’s why rights are passive quantities, not universal things, like “I have the right to a pony.” You have a right to speak, NOT to make people listen. You have a right to your opinions, NOT to force your opinions on others. You have a right to defend yourself, NOT to be risk-free. You have a right to work for yourself, NOT to demand somebody else work for you. This is also why there is no “Right” to health care, even though that may be a social good, because then you must FORCE the doctor to work for you, or else. You can provide funds for it, legally (although we only can at the State level here, without an Amendment), but it’s still not a “Right.” If Corbyn does this, he’ll re-understand why Thatcher un-did that – all of British industry was abominable, barely functioning, their products like cars and motorcycles were the worst in the world.

    Problem is, of course, the opposite of a bad idea is another bad idea. They took national industry and handed it to their friends for a song. Then, once they ruin it, they re-nationalize, have the taxpayers refill the kitty, then privatize again. Rinse repeat. Because unlike capitalism, there is no bankruptcy. No risk, no loss, no innovation. It’s a rip-off alright, but not like they say. Left foot, Right foot, both sides are needed to mine the taxpayers into total poverty.

    “Pilots ‘Raised Boeing Safety Fears’ Months Before Ethiopia Crash (BBC)”

    They’re saying “Was anything wrong?” They are self-regulating. Say no more. So when your actions unintentionally kill someone, Man 1? Or Murder 3? Reckless Endangerment, at least. 7 Year Class D felony. Compound 300 times? Hey, you want no regulation? Then under that Libertarian premise, you serve the consequences of your actions. That’s what the regulators, the SEC, FAA, and 1,000 other letter agencies were protecting you from. Look at Monsanto! They’re your paid cops on the take, and all you have to do is pretend it’s legit. . If instead you WANT the regulators, then you have to report to and obey them. Can’t have it both ways, sucker.

    And because social spending and social democracy #helping,

    French Incomes Are Below America’s Poorest States… And The Protesters Know It

    Thank God for that 50% tax rate, or the people would REALLY be poor.

    #47405

    John Day
    Participant

    http://www.johndayblog.com/2019/05/something-completely-different.html
    Finian Cunningham noticed the same thing yesterday as I did. Thanks Eleni.
    ​ ​After dramatic and patently scripted warnings of “Iranian aggression” by bellicose US officials, there then follows – conveniently enough – an alleged sabotage incident in the Persian Gulf region implicating Iran.
    ​ ​Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo poses with a straight face that his country doesn’t want war with Iran. His comments warp credulity given that American forces have suddenly escalated firepower in the Persian Gulf for the purpose of “responding” to alleged Iranian infractions.
    ​ ​Typically, Western news media are “reporting” (or rather, “echoing”) the purported sabotage incident as if it were fact, basing their source of information on Saudi and Emirati officials, sources which have a vested interest in creating a war pretext against Iran.

    Who Really Gains from the Gulf Ship ‘Sabotage’

    ​And so on…
    ​ Saudi Arabia on Thursday blamed Iran for ordering an attack early this week on two Aramco pipeline booster stations, a strike that was intended as part of a broader sabotage campaign to disrupt world oil supplies, according to Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih.
    The drone attacks came one day after a string of attacks on two Saudi oil tankers and two other vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, and caused the temporary closure of a vital east-west pipeline traversing the kingdom, since reopened.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-16/drone-attacks-aramco-pipeline-ordered-iran-says-saudi-arabia

    ​Iran: In Preparation of the Battle Space, former UK Diplomat Allistar Crooke. More thanks, Eleni.
    (Same old subdivision map hasn’t worked-out yet.”Greater Jordan” mainly means “Greater Israel”.)
    Map ME revision
    ​https://www.sott.net/article/413065-Iran-In-preparation-of-the-battle-space

    Moon of Alabama:
    The scare mongering about an attack on Iran continues. Bolton must be laughing his ass off how easy he can play the issue based on nothing. He simply counters any debunking of the alleged ‘thread from Iran’ by upping the ante. Yesterday a British general denied that any such threat exists in the area of his responsibility:
    “No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika, deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the coalition responsible for counter-terrorist operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, said in a video briefing, according to the Guardian.
    Today Bolton countered that by again raising the noise level around the imaginary threat:
    The U.S. Embassy in Iraq says the State Department has ordered all non-essential, non-emergency government staff to leave the country right away amid escalating tensions with Iran.
    The alert, published on the embassy’s website on Wednesday, comes after Washington last week said it had detected new and urgent threats from Iran and its proxy forces in the region targeting Americans and American interests.
    Bolton is for now achieving the results he wants. He systematically fills the public space with talk about the non-existing ‘threat from Iran’. If that threat is established in the public mind by its constant repetition, it will be used for the usual false flag incident to justify to launch a war on Iran.
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/the-lunacy-of-waging-a-war-on-iran-which-china-and-russia-would-win.html#more

    So that British General spoke out of turn against the position that the “Iranian threat” had increased, and the Spanish navy pulled it’s destroyer out of the USS Abraham Lincoln task force for “mission creep”, and Germany and Czech Republic are pulling trainers/advisers out of Iraq for “rising tensions”? Does that leave a coalition-of-the-trapped to help out? Who’s on-board?
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/14/no-iran-threat-in-syria-or-iraq-says-top-british-officer-in-defiance-of-us

    Iraqi government announces it won’t permit US forces to use Iraq launch attacks on neighboring Iran.
    (Yeah, how do they think they can prevent it? Short memories?)
    https://www.rt.com/news/459416-iraq-ambassador-us-iran-territory/

    Iraq announces agreement to purchase Russian S-400 antiaircraft missile defense systems (which is ridiculous because the US Air Force is there to defend Iraqi skies, right?)
    http://tass.com/defense/1058382
    ​Still Waiting​

    #47406

    PlanetaryCitizen
    Participant

    From the Unz Report (where you got The Disinformationists). By Andrew Napolitano (of Fox News fame)

    http://www.unz.com/anapolitano/did-the-attorney-general-deceive-congress/

    “What’s going on here? It is clear that Barr’s four-page letter, about which Mueller complained to Barr and some of Mueller’s team complained to the media, was a foolish attempt to sanitize the Mueller report. It was misleading, disingenuous and deceptive. Also, because Barr knew that all or nearly all of the Mueller report would soon enter the public domain, it was dumb and insulting.

    Barr knows the DOJ is not in the business of exonerating the people it investigates. Yet he proclaimed in his letter that Trump had been exonerated. When the report revealed 127 communications between Russian agents and Trump campaign officials in a 16-month period, and the expectations of those officials of the release of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails, that is hardly an exoneration.

    Was Barr’s testimony before Congress deceptive? In a word: Yes.

    In a bit of bitter irony, the statute that the House Democrats now claim Barr violated is the same obstruction of justice statute that Mueller says the president violated — engaging in deceptive or diversionary behavior for a corrupt purpose in order to impede a government investigation or inquiry. This is a gravely serious charge against the attorney general. Barr’s prosecutors regularly prosecute defendants for doing what it now appears Barr has done. And the president last weekend added fuel to this fire by changing his mind on whether he will allow Mueller to testify publicly about his report. He now won’t permit it.”

    In my opinion Barr did it because he knew that for Trump acolyte’s that would be enough. Case closed! Nothing to see here. Move along. These are not the crimes you’re looking for.

    #47407

    PlanetaryCitizen
    Participant

    OH! And once again. It has nothing to do with whether Mueller is a good guy or a nefarious scoundrel. It has nothing to do with whether the report is even accurate or not. It’s the misrepresentation for corrupt purposes and the lie to congress that is the crime.

    #47408

    Chris M
    Participant

    Teachers that are mostly concerned about their power will teach in a way in order to keep their power.

    It may be wise to listen to those who could care less about their power.

    #47409

    zerosum
    Participant

    Iran is not lead by fools.
    Iran would not do first strike on the USA

    The USA military leaders are not fools.

    Meanwhile …. abortion is the main topic on the news.

    #47410

    VietnamVet
    Participant

    Daniel Elwell, the Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at hearing yesterday together with Republican Congressmen blame foreign pilots for the two Boeing 737 Max crashes. American Exceptionalism is for real. “That America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable”. The “Ancien Régime” lives on. “Let them eat cake.” Completely ignoring the risks of being hung from a lamppost or the bright flash of light of a nuclear bomb.

    #47411

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Tulsi Gabbard
    Her own party will make sure that never happens.

    There you go; smack on!
    And Usian’s think they still have a vote in the running of their Oligarchy, Ha!
    Incredulous, just bloody incredulous…

    Vietnam Vet

    The “Ancien Régime” lives on. “Let them eat cake.”

    Love it; “Ancien Régime”…

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