Jan 012020
 
 January 1, 2020  Posted by at 11:32 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,


Vincent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

 

‘I’m Slowly Dying Here’: Julian Assange in Christmas Eve Call (RT)
US Chief Justice Warns Of Internet Disinformation (R.)
Taiwan Anti-Infiltration Bill Passed As Opposition Lawmakers Protest (SCMP)
Taiwan Leader Rejects China’s Offer To Unify Under Hong Kong Model (R.)
Sydney House Prices Set To Top $1 Million Again (SMH)
Negative Rates, The Destruction Of Money (Lacalle)
Google Veterans: The Company Has Become ‘Unrecognizable’ (CNBC)
Should Racists Get Health Care? (Ron Paul)
Coyotes Take Up Residence At Trump’s New York City Golf Course (G.)
Earthshot: William And Kate Launch Prize To ‘Repair The Earth’ (BBC)

 

 

Happy New Year Julian! May your nightmare come to an end in 2020.

‘I’m Slowly Dying Here’: Julian Assange in Christmas Eve Call (RT)

Julian Assange sounded like a shell of the man he once was during a Christmas Eve phone call, British journalist Vaughan Smith told RT, noting the WikiLeaks founder had trouble speaking and appeared to be drugged. Assange was allowed to make just a single call from the maximum security Belmarsh prison in southeast London for the Christmas holiday, hoping for a reminder of the world beyond his drab confines of steel and concrete. “I think he simply wanted a few minutes of escape” and to revive “happy memories,” Smith told RT, adding that Assange had spent the holiday at his home in 2010. The brief conversation was far from cheerful, however, with Assange’s deteriorating condition increasingly apparent throughout the call.

He said to me that: ‘I’m slowly dying here.’ “His speech was slurred. He was speaking slowly,” the journalist continued. “Now, Julian is highly articulate, a very clear person when he speaks. And he sounded awful… it was very upsetting to hear him” Though Assange didn’t say it out loud during the call, Smith said he believes the anti-secrecy activist is being sedated, noting that “It seemed pretty obvious that he was,” and said others who visited Assange were of the same opinion. Smith isn’t the first to raise this issue, but British authorities have so far refused to divulge whether Assange has been given psychotropic drugs in prison, insisting only that they aren’t “mistreating” him. But given that he is “being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day,” with requests by numerous doctors to examine his physical condition denied, Smith said he has a hard time taking the officials at their word.


“Julian was extremely good company over Christmas in 2010,” the journalist said, but the man he talked to on the phone last week sounded like a different person. “I just don’t understand… why he’s in Belmarsh Prison in the first place. He’s a remand prisoner. He’s not a danger to the public.” [..] Going forward, Smith said it will be important to continue pressuring the British government to answer a litany of questions about Assange, his treatment in prison and his health, as well as to push for an “independent assessment” of the situation. Confined in one form or another since taking refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 and now denied the ability to defend himself in court, Assange should finally receive a fair hearing.

Read more …

Shouldn’t he be warning about the NYT, WaPo instead? Just because he reads them every day doesn’t make them any less dangerous. The opposite, really.

US Chief Justice Warns Of Internet Disinformation (R.)

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts expressed concern on Tuesday about disinformation amplified by the internet and social media as he focused his year-end report on the weakening state of civics education in the United States. “In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital,” Roberts said in his annual report on behalf of the federal judiciary. The chief justice warned that Americans “have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside.” Roberts’ comments come as U.S. legislators and officials have raised concerns about the persistence of foreign propaganda and false news aimed at sowing discord in the U.S. political system in the lead-up to the 2020 election.


U.S. intelligence agencies and an inquiry by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia engaged in a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sway the 2016 presidential race toward Republican President Donald Trump. Mueller did not establish that members of Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 election. Roberts said in his report that an independent judiciary was a “key source of national unity and stability” and called on his judicial colleagues to promote public confidence and trust by reflecting on their duty to judge without fear or favor. He has previously lamented the perception in an increasingly polarized society that lower courts and the Supreme Court are becoming politicized, and that judges are guided primarily by their partisan affiliations.

Read more …

Quite a few Taiwanese support the mainland.

Taiwan Anti-Infiltration Bill Passed As Opposition Lawmakers Protest (SCMP)

Taiwan’s independence-leaning lawmakers have pushed through a controversial bill in the final legislative session of the year that critics say could have a chilling effect on the self-ruled island and worsen ties with Beijing. The anti-infiltration bill, which criminalises political activities backed or funded by “hostile external forces” – referring to mainland China – was passed by the Democratic Progressive Party-controlled legislature after it was put to a vote on Tuesday. “The voting result shows 67 of those present in favour of passing the bill against zero opposing it,” legislative speaker Su Jia-chyuan said in an announcement afterwards.

Opposition politicians, including those from the mainland-friendly Kuomintang (KMT), had strongly criticised the bill, saying it was a move by President Tsai Ing-wen and her government to silence dissent ahead of elections on January 11. The ruling DPP said the legislation aimed to combat efforts by Beijing to influence politics and the democratic process on the island, including through illicit funding of politicians, and the media. After the vote, Tsai said in a Facebook post that “preventing Chinese infiltration is what every diplomatic country is doing”. “Chinese infiltration of Taiwan is of great concern to the society here, and the law is against infiltration but not against exchanges,” she said.


[..] Analysts said the legislation could have a chilling effect on Taiwan. “Many Taiwanese people – including academics, politicians and businesspeople – receive gifts or are entertained by mainland authorities during their visits,” said Wang Kung-yi, a political science professor at Chinese Culture University in Taipei. “This may create a chilling effect and it will only further hamper cross-strait exchanges.” Chu Chao-hsiang, a political science professor at National Taiwan Normal University, said a chilling effect caused by the legislation would potentially mean lost opportunities for the island as businesses turned away from the mainland. “Many overseas subsidiaries of mainland companies have investments in Taiwan. If they send funds to their Taiwanese executives in Taiwan to carry out certain investment projects, would this be seen as receiving funds and instructions from the mainland?” he said.

Read more …

Wonder what Hong Kong model they have in mind.

Taiwan Leader Rejects China’s Offer To Unify Under Hong Kong Model (R.)

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday the island would not accept a “one country, two systems” political formula Beijing has suggested could be used to unify the democratic island, saying such an arrangement had failed in Hong Kong. China claims Taiwan as its territory, to be brought under Beijing’s control by force if necessary. Taiwan says it is an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name. Tsai, who’s seeking re-election in a Jan. 11 vote, also vowed in a New Year’s speech to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty, saying her government would build a mechanism to safeguard freedom and democracy as Beijing ramps up pressure on the island.


Fear of China has become a major element in the campaign, boosted by months of anti-government protests in Chinese-ruled Hong Kong. “Hong Kong people have showed us that ‘one country, two systems’ is definitely not feasible,” Tsai said, referring to the political arrangement that guaranteed certain freedoms in the former British colony of Hong Kong after it was returned to China in 1997. “Under ‘one country, two systems’, the situation continues to deteriorate in Hong Kong. The credibility of ‘one country, two systems’ has been sullied by the government’s abuse of power,” Tsai said.

Read more …

A very fitting topic as 500,000 wildlife have burned to death.

Sydney House Prices Set To Top $1 Million Again (SMH)

Sydney house owners are set to become millionaires again in February, mortgages allowing. The typical Sydney free-standing home was worth $974,000 as the clock struck midnight on Tuesday, according to an exclusive preview of key home price data due to be released by CoreLogic on Thursday. The median Sydney unit was worth $746,000. The value of a typical Sydney free-standing house tumbled from peak of $1,060,000 in July 2017 to $865,000 in June 2019. But a combination of interest rate cuts and an easing of loan serviceability tests reignited Sydney’s property market in the second half of 2019.


One day before the end of 2019, preliminary figures provided to The Sydney Morning Herald by CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless, show Sydney dwelling prices rose 5.3 per cent in 2019, after an 8.9 per cent fall in 2018. “It’s been quite a turnaround,” Mr Lawless said. “Prices have rebounded much faster than anyone would have expected.” In December alone, prices gained a little over 1.5 per cent. This was a slight slowing in the pace of price growth from November’s 2.7 per cent monthly gain, which was the fastest rate of growth since records began in the 1980s. “It’s still a very strong rate of growth, but a step down from November,” Mr Lawless said. “What was probably slowing that rate of growth down a little bit was we did start seeing a bit more stock, giving buyers a bit more choice.”

Read more …

A few days old, I think, but there’s a direct link to those Sydney home prices.

Negative Rates, The Destruction Of Money (Lacalle)

Negative rates are the destruction of money, an economic aberration based on the mistakes of many central banks and some of their economists who start from a wrong diagnosis: the idea that economic agents do not take more credit or invest more because they choose to save too much and therefore saving must be penalized to stimulate the economy. Excuse the bluntness, but it is a ludicrous idea. Inflation and growth are not low due to excess savings, but because of excess debt, perpetuating overcapacity with low rates and high liquidity and zombifying the economy by subsidizing the low productivity and highly indebted sectors and penalizing high productivity with rising and confiscatory taxation.

Historical evidence of negative rates shows that they do not help reduce debt, they incentivize it, they do not strengthen the credit capacity of families, because the prices of non-replicable assets (real estate, etc.) skyrocket because of monetary excess, and the lower cost of debt does not compensate for the greater risk. Investment and credit growth are not subdued because economic agents are ignorant or saving too much, but because they don’t have amnesia. Families and businesses are more cautious in their investment and spending decisions because they perceive, correctly, that the reality of the economy they see each day does not correspond to the cost and the quantity of money. It is completely incorrect to think that families and businesses are not investing or spending.


They are only spending less than what central planners would want. However, that is not a mistake from the private sector side, but a typical case of central planners’ misguided estimates, that come from using 2001-2007 as “base case” of investment and credit demand instead of what those years really were: a bubble. The argument of the central planners is based on an inconsistency: That rates are negative because markets demand them, not because they are imposed by the central bank. If that were the case, why don’t they let rates float freely if the result was going to be the same? Because it is false. [..] Negative rates are a huge transfer of wealth from savers and real wages to the government and the indebted. A tax on caution. The destruction of the perception of risk that always benefits the most reckless. The bailout of the inefficient.

Read more …

It’s part of the CIA now.

Google Veterans: The Company Has Become ‘Unrecognizable’ (CNBC)

When Google co-founders Larry Page and President Sergey Brin stepped down from their roles as CEO and president of Google holding company Alphabet earlier this month, it marked the end of an era. While it’s unclear what prompted the two to leave their formal management positions, longtime employees, many of whom also left the company this year, described to CNBC a massive cultural shift that percolated throughout 2019. They cited changes to Google’s all-hands meetings, human resources processes and transparency from management. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in October admitted the company’s challenge in scaling the trust of its own workforce which numbers more than 100,000 people.

More recently, Lazlo Bock, former director of human resources for Google, told Bloomberg that he thinks Alphabet is “a different company than it used to be” but that “not everyone’s gotten the memo.” The change has been noticed by some on the outside, too. “What the hell is going on over there?” tweeted Andreessen Horowitz partner Martin Casado over the summer. “The brain drain at Google right now is astonishing.” Workers told CNBC that 2018 was a pivotal point in the company’s shift away from upfront communication. That was when news of Project Dragonfly, a secret Google plan to develop a censored search engine for possible rollout in China, first broke in The Intercept. Internally, the existence of the project had been kept on a need-to-know basis.


The company later canceled Project Dragonfly after employees expressed concern over the secrecy of the project. Some workers left the company altogether. “There’s no way a few years before, they would have had a secret project with these kinds of ethical concerns,” said Raph Levien, a former level 6 engineer who left Google after 11 years. “It crossed the line and felt misleading. It definitely felt like this was Google changing.”

Read more …

Must a society’s health care be measured by perceptions of big bad goverment? Do we remember how societies used to build bridges and roads et al? If your govenment doesn’t serve your society, replace it, don’t sell off all your community assets.

Should Racists Get Health Care? (Ron Paul)

Political correctness recently took a dangerous turn in the United Kingdom when the North Bristol National Health Service Trust announced that hospital patients who use offensive, racist, or sexist language will cease receiving medical care as soon as it is safe to end their treatment. The condition that treatment will not be withdrawn until doing so is safe seems to imply that no one will actually suffer from this policy. However, health-care providers have great discretion to determine when it is “safe” to withhold treatment. So, patients could be left with chronic pain or be denied certain procedures that could improve their health but are not necessary to make them “safe.” Patients accused of racism or sexism could also find themselves at the bottom of the NHS’s infamous “waiting lists,” unable to receive treatment until it truly is a matter of life and death.

Since many people define racism and sexism as “anything I disagree with,” the new policy will no doubt lead to people being denied medical care for statements that most reasonable people would consider unobjectionable. This is not the first time NHS has withheld treatment because of an individual’s behavior. A couple years ago, another local health committee announced it would withhold routine or nonemergency surgeries from smokers and the obese. Since reducing smoking and obesity benefits both individual patients and the health care system as a whole, this policy may appear defensible. But denying or delaying care violates medical ethics and sets a dangerous precedent. If treatment could be denied to smokers and the obese, then it could also be denied to those who engage in promiscuous sex, drive over the speed limit, don’t get the “proper” number of vaccinations for themselves and their children, or have “dangerous” political views.


Government bureaucrats denying care to individuals for arbitrary reasons is the inevitable result of government interference in the health-care market. Government intervention is supposed to ensure quality and affordable (or free) care for all. But, government intervention artificially lowers the costs of health care to patients while increasing costs to providers. As demand rises and supply falls, government imposes rationing to address the shortages and other problems caused by prior government interference. Rationing has been part of American health care at least since the passage of the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973. Every plan to expand government’s role in health care contains some form of rationing.

Read more …

Take any story at all and see if you can inject Trump. Because that sells. Journalism today.

Nor is this a new thing. 10 years ago off of the farm near Ottawa, there were always coyotes howling in the woods.

Coyotes Take Up Residence At Trump’s New York City Golf Course (G.)

Donald Trump has a $269m golf course in New York City that is regularly prowled by feared, largely nocturnal individuals that instinctively prey upon those they deem smaller and weaker. We are, of course, talking about coyotes. The shrewd canines have spread so far from their ranges in the western US that they are now making unlikely homes in cities on the east coast, including beside the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, a landscaped sward frequented by visor- and chino-wearing golfers in the faintly incongruous setting of the Bronx. “The staff at the golf course think the coyotes are cool,” said Chris Nagy, a wildlife biologist and co-founder of Gotham Coyote, a collaboration of researchers who study coyotes in New York. “But there’s a point where if the coyotes are getting annoying and worrying the golfers, then they’ll change their minds.”

As humanity chews through landscapes for housing, farming, roads and mining, ecologists have warned of the Earth’s sixth great extinction, with about a million species now endangered. But some creatures have proved flexible in the face of this onslaught, even blossoming in the new circumstances. Coyotes, unfussy eaters that can cover large distances in search of a suitable home, are one of the winners in this denuded age. Cities like New York and Detroit, where redevelopment or economic blight has left urban sites bereft of humans, are increasingly being colonized by coyotes, as well as other opportunists such as raccoons, opossums and even bobcats. Researchers have found a riot of non-human carnivores dwelling in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Washington DC.


[..] “We’re finding coyotes like almost everything or at least can survive on almost everything,” Nagy said as he trudged through the scrub and reeds in search of the Ferry Point camera trap. “A pack of wolves would need, like, the whole county. But not coyotes. They’ve lived kind of underfoot of both wolves and people for thousands of years. And so they’ve evolved to survive metaphorically running among the feet of the giants. “They’re my favorite animal. And I liked them before I started studying them. They’re clever. We’ve tried our best to eradicate them and they’ve thwarted us at every turn. I really admire that, I guess.”

Read more …

Between these hollow drips, Greta in Davos and Carney as the UN climate go-to finance guy, 2020 could well be the year when the entire movement dies of good but misguided intentions. If you turn to the billionaires to solve the issue, they will instead end up purchasing it and selling it off for profit.

Earthshot: William And Kate Launch Prize To ‘Repair The Earth’ (BBC)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have announced a global prize to tackle climate issues, pledging “a decade of action to repair the Earth”. Five winners will receive the Earthshot Prize every year between 2021 and 2030. The cash prize will be for individuals or organisations who come up with solutions to environmental problems. Prince William said the world faces a “stark choice” to continue “irreparably” damaging the planet or “lead, innovate and problem-solve”. The announcement was made in a video narrated by Sir David Attenborough posted on social media. The veteran broadcaster and naturalist said the prize would go to “visionaries rewarded over the next decade for responding to the great challenges of our time”.


The prize is set to launch officially later in 2020 – a year that will also see the Convention on Biodiversity in China in February and the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November. A series of challenges will be announced, aimed at finding least 50 solutions to the “world’s greatest problems” including climate change and air pollution. More than 60 organisations and experts were consulted in the development the prize. It will initially be run by The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but could become an independent organisation. Kensington Palace said it would be supported by philanthropists and organisations.

Read more …

 

 

 

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Home Forums Debt Rattle New Year’s Day 2020

This topic contains 21 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  zerosum 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #52436

    VIncent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883   • ‘I’m Slowly Dying Here’: Julian Assange in Christmas Eve Call (RT) • US Chief Justice Warns Of Internet D
    [See the full post at: Debt Rattle New Year’s Day 2020]

    #52437

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    VIncent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883
    Very interesting portrait; I need more time on this one; intriguing…

    Julian…
    Nobody gives one shit…
    If he dies in that abomination, Belmarsh, what will follow will be unhearalded in our lifetimes…

    #52438

    John Day
    Participant

    V.Arnold asked about pancreatic cancer, which is a particularly bad cancer to get.
    It does not look like it is bursting on the scene in much bigger numbers, from graphs that I find on Google Images. Steve Jobs having it, and lasting unusually long with it, probably raised reporter awareness.
    All the sites I go to bury the graphs and hit me with donation pages and pictures of family members loving on old folks with oxygen tubing. Here are the google images of graphs https://www.google.com/search?q=pancreatic+cancer+rates+by+year&sxsrf=ACYBGNQeO8WBzeFPw3qfOVjfBxSk2VBQMw:1577882526185&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjlwuG7tuLmAhUZVc0KHVWvBuIQ_AUoAnoECA0QBA&biw=1304&bih=665#imgdii=2o9djWHj5ooBaM:&imgrc=YEOuH8QVQDpLcM:
    It’s still a low incidence cancer, with peak occurrance around-our-ages.

    #52439

    Dr. D
    Participant

    We have to do that Extinction Rebellion thing: you know, where we rebel in an attempt to make humans, ourselves, our friends, extinct? To stop global warming because it’s snowing in not just in Mexico and Saudi Arabia, but in Thailand:

    https://d33wjekvz3zs1a.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Thailand-Snow.jpgThaihttps://d33wjekvz3zs1a.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Thailand-Snow.jpg

    After Biden’s lawyer left the case and fled Arkansas, the judge now too:
    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/judge-hunter-biden-paternity-case-mysteriously-recuses-hours-after-new-allegations-filed

    “Caplan’s claims are so bizarre that if one had enough tin foil, they might conclude that the recent string of filings in the case are being done to muddy the waters with absurdity.”

    But everything is a coincidence, and I do not find that suspicious at all.

    As they try for a war in Iraq, this from a few days ago:

    “Amid Kim’s “Christmas Gift” Threat, US Base Near DMZ Mistakenly Blared Air Raid Siren”

    Speaking of having to get that war going. The media’s been on this all month about how there is NOT a missile being tested in NoKo, you know, INSTEAD of the OPCW report that blows the war-state out of the slimy waters, and when that planned event doesn’t happen (um, P.S., since it DIDN’T happen, how did all these news outlets know to REPORT on this non-happening non-missile thing?) they get someone to blow the Panic horn and hopefully get some shooting going at the DMZ.

    Ah, those “beautiful bombs.”

    “U.S. intelligence agencies and an inquiry by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia engaged in a campaign of hacking and propaganda to sway the 2016 presidential race

    Yes, by a 0.0001% rate. By a Russian citizen not the Russian government. And as affirmed by Obama who said it had no effect. Do we usually say someone is engaged in, say, a bank robbery, when all they managed to accomplish was to steal the pens from the lobby? We do now, because we are so crooked, so biased, so disingenuous that nothing can save us.

    So what brings this on Mr. Roberts? 100 years after we started failing by handing schools to government, 40 years since we accelerated it under the Department of Education, 20 years since Common Core and No Child Left insured near-complete math, historical, and actual illiteracy, a year after a major city’s valedictorian can’t add, he finally popped his hairy head up like a gopher and said, “hey”? Or maybe he’s expecting the internet to get a hold of the blackmail they used to make him flip his vote on ACA, then flee to a holiday, then oversee all the transparently phony FISA warrants.

    Because, how DID he say it was laughably unconstitutional, then a week later sign on completely using pretzel logic which illegal under three different aspects of the Constitution? (Forcing contracts, taxation, and lack of mandate @ 10A) And it was such hard work he immediately took a vacation and left the country? Huh.

    A very fitting topic as 500,000 wildlife have burned to death.

    Certainly have their priorities straight: investment in houses = unlimited. Investment in nature, water, safety, prevention = zero. Number dead = incalculable. Number of your children destroyed by your actions = all of them. Mission Accomplished! Just like California. You should be so proud. Now all you need is a dozen medieval diseases and you’ll be all caught up.

    Google Veterans: The Company Has Become ‘Unrecognizable’ (CNBC)

    Who are these guys? I could see it was EvilCorp, set up by the CIA in the first year. I don’t even work there, nor do I wish to pay attention to it, yet it was too obvious to avoid. Well, they’re probably from MIT and Yale, so they ride the short bus. And here we are and no one’s noticed they’re selling your medical records and helping China’s fascism domestically, and unabashedly doing their bidding towards destroying the United States and making it a corporate, billionaire, oligarchic, police, surveillance state: all the things leftists love, pay, support, and apologize for. Well maybe another decade of daily, transparent, overwhelming evidence will wake them, but I doubt it.

    Should Racists Get Health Care? (Ron Paul)

    The sentiment is true, but let’s look at what the actual case is: If someone is spitting at the hospitals’ people, fighting them, and refusing care from the Pakistani provider they were given, what are they supposed to do? Make them? Give them any race doctor they want, and put their race-pronoun-provider-preference on their chart? …Taking that into consideration, I have no doubt they would deny healthcare to malcontents at the earliest opportunity: like 30 years ago. Or in Belmarsh. Or by erasing rural hospitals in the North, or everywhere in rural France. But as always we pretend we ABOUT to face this problem, and it isn’t already happening to us everywhere.

    This week in progressive, #AntiLogos religion, you’re not a church if you help the poor, Cleveland edition:

    City Tells Church it Will Lose Religious Designation Because it Shelters Homeless People

    #Helping! Government helping so much! Help Help Help.

    Local homeless advocates have argued that it is more dangerous to keep these people out on the streets than it is to house them in a building that may not be entirely up to code. “Six people have frozen to death over the past few years and the unsheltered homeless population continues to rise,” NEOCH executive director, Chris Knestrick told Scene.”

    Enough said. But the more people freeze, the better for the environment, right? And don’t embarrass government by showing they haven’t done their job since they got here.

    Coyotes Take Up Residence At Trump’s New York City Golf Course (G.)

    And bears come right into most(?) American cities, but naturally we’re killing everything. Except all the things that are so much more widespread than they are in a virgin forest we can’t stop hitting them with our cars. Or the skunks and raccoons that live under every porch in the city. Or the pigs who are putting us to rout down south. Or the wolves who are bankrupting ranchers out west. Or the panthers who regularly kill joggers in Colorado. Or the cities like Detroit that have returned to forest. But other than that: no nature at all! I mean, I don’t see any at my Buzzfeed office in Brooklyn, must not exist. Humans are bad, mkay. Kill more humans.

    Earthshot: William And Kate Launch Prize To ‘Repair The Earth’ (BBC)”

    I’m going to win this with a plan to have more coyotes, deer, skunks, pigs, bears, and panthers, and get them to live amongst us, even eating our cats off our porches. Why not? If Greta can win a prize for doing nothing – actually REFUSING to do her only job: go to school – why can’t I?

    #52440

    Dr. D
    Participant

    I presume they found a way to cause cancer in people who annoy and are a risk to them, and pancreatic cancer is the fastest, least curable, so a win. Am I making this up, or has it been pretty much official reality to do this since Markov in 1978? Chavez in 2011? Never? Spy agencies and rich guys like Kevin Spacey never kill anyone and hit men don’t actually exist?

    C’mon. This is like the easiest, best way on the planet. Surely someone would try it. But I am a coincidence theorist, and all sudden deaths are a coincidence which do not need to be investigated at all.

    #52441

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    @ John Day
    Thanks for that timely reply.
    Sure seems to be more common lately…
    It also seems an especially pernicious variety…

    #52443

    John Day
    Participant

    This is the decade that we must have massive change, because shit just ran low, and won’t come back.
    http://www.johndayblog.com/2020/01/truth-will-out.html

    ​George Monbiot on Christmas giving as currently practiced.
    Researching her film The Story of Stuff, Annie Leonard discovered that of the materials flowing through the consumer economy, only 1% remain in use six months after sale(1). Even the goods we might have expected to hold onto are soon condemned to destruction through either planned obsolescence (breaking quickly) or perceived obsolesence (becoming unfashionable)…
    People in eastern Congo are massacred to facilitate smart phone upgrades of ever diminishing marginal utility(3). Forests are felled to make “personalised heart-shaped wooden cheese board sets”. Rivers are poisoned to manufacture talking fish. This is pathological consumption: a world-consuming epidemic of collective madness, rendered so normal by advertising and the media that we scarcely notice what has happened to us.

    The Gift of Death

    ​Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, talks about meeting with Donald Trump as the impeachment festivities kicked off 12/20/19. Thanks Eleni.
    “I like the way Trump discusses international agenda and issues in bilateral relations. He avoids any ambiguity and tries to say what he thinks directly,” Lavrov said in an interview aired by Russia’s Channel One.
    ​ ​This “productive approach” that not many top politicians use allows parties “to better understand the opportunities, difficulties and prospects of relations.”
    ​ ​The FM met with Trump on December 10 when the House Democrats announced the articles on which they were going to vote to impeach him for what they call pressure on Ukraine to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s activities.
    ​ ​As Democrats had failed to impeach Trump previously for “collusion with Russia” because the probe found none, his meeting on that day fueled up the Resistance. But Lavrov insisted that it was just a “coincidence,” with the date of his meeting with Trump agreed a month before his arrival to Washington.
    ​ ​Lavrov described his talks at the White House as “substantial,” saying that at least “a dozen of substantial issues” were discussed including bilateral ties, strategic stability, arms control and various regional conflicts, such as those in the Middle East, Ukraine and the Korean Peninsula. “There was an extremely direct conversation on all those topics, with no attempts to cut corners or avoid contentious issues.”
    https://www.sott.net/article/426193-Lavrov-reveals-the-nature-of-foreign-policy-talks-with-Trump-He-says-what-he-thinks-directly

    Addicted to Anticipation, what goes on in the brain chemistry of a gambling addict
    ​ ​“First you get that euphoric feeling, that rush and excitement,” Townsend-Lyon says, “Once you become addicted, then you get to the point where you don’t care about anything. You’re in a zone and you don’t realize what’s going on around you.”
    The high is in expecting an outcome, desiring it, imagining it, not in its fulfillment.
    http://nautil.us/issue/40/learning/addicted-to-anticipation

    #52444

    zerosum
    Participant

    Critical thinking
    ” …. telling the truth or prosecuting felonies are the only real crimes. ….

    ….. U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts expressed concern on Tuesday about disinformation amplified by the internet and social media ….”

    Critical thinking will make you unhappy, frustrated, and lonely.
    Be happy …. Stop reading the internet

    #52445

    Doc Robinson
    Participant

    Jailing And Fining Chelsea Manning Constitutes Torture, Top U.N. Official Says

    Nils Melzer, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said in a letter that he made public this week that detaining Manning and fining her with the aim of coercing her to testify constitutes a kind of torture that runs afoul of U.S. international human rights obligations.

    Jailing And Fining Chelsea Manning Constitutes Torture, Top U.N. Official Says

    A “monument to courage” in Berlin, with Manning, Assange, Snowden, and a fourth chair which invites the public to stand with them.

    null
    “Anything to Say”, by Davide Dormino

    #52446

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Record heat wave in Moscow right now. While it snows in Thailand. Only losers argue against global climate disruption. Like, you know, most of humanity being caught up in time-wasting contention, using logic almost always void of data citations except from their favorite cherry basket.

    As the other megafauna perish, so does humanity. They came for the others first but I didn’t get involved. Now they come for me. Wait, I know. Let’s destroy the ecosystem entirely so we can depend on government/corporations to provide all our food/water needs. That’s the answer!

    I dropped out of high school when I was a teenager too, like Greta. Going to school is not my fucking job, it’s just the oppressive bullshit law in our authoritarian society. (I got a GED later on, as I’m sure she will too.

    Waiter, more Prozac!

    #52447

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    Meanwhile, in the twilight golden days of Atlantis, the more prosperous perform amazing art:

    Playing for Peanuts

    #52448

    boscohorowitz
    Participant

    The pianist has to grin, playing with a rhythm section that good. Drummer is so spot on.

    #52449

    zerosum
    Participant

    “…. using logic almost always void of data citations except from their favorite cherry basket.”
    We are all guilty, even when we think we are critical thinkers.

    #52450

    Jernau Gurgeh
    Participant

    What do you think of the comment by Chris Martenson in the Dave Collum thread about climate change at the Peak Prosperity site?

    What if… what if the power structures have known about peak oil as a reality for a long time? What if they didn’t know about shale oil (like the rest of us at the time) and that goes a long ways towards explaining the many lies and falsehoods behind attacking Iraq?

    What if their plan has always been to be “on top” of the heap that scrambles for the last dregs of oil as things wind down? What if they rightly concluded that fighting for the oil was not an option, not in this world of hypersonic missiles and the fact that China has a land route to the Middle East while the rest of the OECD has to sail there?

    What if given all that they settled on another strategy for getting that oil for themselves? What would that strategy look like?

    There really aren’t that many ways to get it “peacefully” but one of those would include “convince the rest of the world that they cannot afford it.” This is especially awesome if you can simply print up hundreds of billions of dollars per month without any seeming consequence because you and your locked-in central banker ring have got all the financial “markets” under complete control.

    Well, now you need some sort of a narrative that supports that angle. But what might do the trick? Probably has to be something really large, something existential. Preferably something that you can lock out the poor people by making it such that they can’t afford to pay the taxes and levies that are placed upon the oil to save the earth. Sorry Africa and Asia! You were just too late to participate.

    #52451

    redshift
    Participant

    Negative rates create money, it’s positive rates that destroy it – in effective terms I mean.

    Simplifying how the various forms of interest payments are made, we basically have:

    net money = money – debt = “lent”(created) money – money to be repaid (money to be destroyed plus interest)
    = sum_{i=1}^{N} (Pi) – sum_{i=1}^{N} (Pi + Ri.Pi) = – sum_{i=1}^{N} (Ri.Pi),

    where Pi and Ri are the principal and the interest rate of loan i. So, negative rates give positive net money and positive rates give negative net money.

    #52452

    zerosum
    Participant

    Take a guess!

    “[Mr. Kim] confirmed that the world will witness a new strategic weapon to be possessed by the DPRK in the near future, declaring that we cannot give up the security of our future just for the visible economic results … now that hostile acts and nuclear threat against us are increasing,” it said.

    1. Drone – paint ball delivery system to take out battle ship

    #52453

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Be happy …. Stop reading the internet…
    zerosum

    There’s more than a modicum of truth to that.
    One has to wade through massive piles of garbage to find the good stuff.
    With exceptions; we humans have the attention spans of gnats; and a propensity to be distracted by the absurd…ad infinitum…

    #52454

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Vincent van Gogh Weeping woman 1883

    That picture is so beautifully done; quite amazing really, with the masterful use of a pencil or charcoal (I think?).

    #52455

    https://www.artic.edu/artworks/59774/weeping-woman

    Black and white chalk, with brush and stumping, brush and black and grey wash, and traces of graphite, over a brush and brown ink underdrawing on ivory wove paper

    #52456

    V. Arnold
    Participant

    Black and white chalk, with brush and stumping, brush and black and grey wash, and traces of graphite, over a brush and brown ink underdrawing on ivory wove paper

    Yes, this one really grabbed me; I enlarged it and spent some time just looking…
    A very intricate process I would imagine…
    Also informs the huge amount of “work” involved.
    Thanks for the additional informtion Ilargi.

    #52468

    Dr. D
    Participant

    Careful Jernau, there are other ideas that make even more sense.

    It’s often been said we could have bought all Saddam’s oil for 1/4 the price we’ve paid blowing it up. No one’s bothered by it though. Why? Because unlike what they quipped in 2003 it’s not about stealing their oil — it WOULD have been cheaper to buy it — it’s about CONTROLLING the oil. Liquid hegemonic power. Okay, to whom? Well it’s nice to have Europe by the balls, but really: China. After opening it and modernizing it by Pappa Bush and executed by Clinton’s WTO, you then need to control them. And the two mega-trends coinciding is not a coincidence.

    So then in a Peak Oil world, they a) went into Libya and Arab Spring and got that profitable oil or b) installed the Muslim Brotherhood and PREVENTED all the world’s oil from moving by installing medieval states with medieval views. Um, b) actually. And opening Iran, the last vast untapped source that could push us out another 50+ years? No, the direct opposite. So they are PREVENTING oil, worldwide in fact. The lots and lots and lots of oil remaining. What do I mean? The U.S. is historically oil-rich yet we won’t even test-drill our left and right coasts. It bubbles up out of the ocean onto Malibu. Total lockout. What does this tell you?

    We want Iran, Russia, and MENA down, dead in the water, so the U.S. is the only producer, we can set the price, control the flow, and have China and the world under our complete control. We have oil, the world has oil. Lots of it still. THAT’S THE PROBLEM. If everyone was modernized and online, it’d be $10/bbl again and after erasing Gawar and burning everybody else’s oil for 50 years under the petrodollar, our own reserves would STILL be worthless, STILL not bailing us out of massive debt at the same time the fiat currency-clock has expired.

    We need to lock up and DENY that oil. That’s the real point, the scenario that better fits the facts.

    And that’s why we’re so mad at Iran and Russia. So long as they exist, our plan, laboriously played out for 50 years at incalculable sacrifice, is dead, and our gambit is over. …But I can’t consent to them trying to take over the world anyway. Nor will my countrymen. We voted to hope they stop wars, fail, and come home.

    #52470

    zerosum
    Participant

    @ Dr. D
    You could be right, You could be wrong.
    Its irrelevant, because you are not part of the decision process, and us knowing does not affect the future.

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