Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

23 - 29 May 2016

by Bjinse Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:14:45 AM EST

Your take on today's news media

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by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:15:56 AM EST
European migrant crisis: Capsized boat horror caught on camera

The deadly capsizing of a migrant boat in the Mediterranean has been caught on camera by the Italian navy as it rescued 562 people.

The trawler overturned apparently as a result of people on board rushing to one side after spotting a rescue ship, and five were found dead.

People clung desperately to the deck or dropped into the sea.

Italy's Bettica patrol boat threw life rafts and jackets while another Italian ship sent rescue boats.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:00:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Le Monde (online only, of course)
En raison d'un mouvement de grève dans notre imprimerie parisienne et dans nos centres de distribution, à la suite du refus du Monde de publier un communiqué de la CGT, notre édition papier ne paraîtra pas dans la plupart de nos points de vente, ce jeudi 26 mai. C'est également le cas des autres quotidiens nationaux français, à l'exception de L'Humanité, qui a accepté de publier ce texte.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 09:15:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia derides Ukraine's hiring of ex-Nato chief | World news | The Guardian

Ukraine's president has appointed a former Nato secretary general as a special adviser, drawing a derisive reaction from Russia.

Petro Poroshenko announced the appointment of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark who was Nato secretary general from 2009 to 2014, on Friday.

MPs in Russia, which has viewed Nato's eastward expansion as a security threat, were quick to speak out against the appointment. "This is of course in large part a gesture, but it's a gesture that will be backed up by actions. And it's a hostile gesture," Leonid Kalashnikov, deputy head of the foreign affairs committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, told Interfax.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 02:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carpathian Mountains are being rapidly stripped of forest cover...
Over the past two years, the forest cover in the Carpathian Mountains of western Ukraine has been thinned drastically by human cutting of the trees. Environmentalists warn of impending disaster, but officials assure that the situation is under control.
by das monde on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:10:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From the link:
Forests in the Ukrainian Carpathians are on the verge of extinction as the country faces an ecological disaster of unprecedented proportions, environmentalists say. Ilegal loggers are illegally trafficking abroad entire trains of fir trees, earning millions of dollars. According to local residents, deforestation has dramatically intensified over the past two years.

The scale of the disaster can be seen in shocking photos of bird's eye views of cleared mountain slopes which have been were published on the Internet. One of these photos is the southern slope of the Popadia Mountain at the junction of the Zakarpattia and Ivano-Frankivsk regions of the country, where logging is strictly prohibited by law.

A sadly familiar result of neo-liberal regime change. A few Ukranian criminals make $thousands, a 'world citizen' makes millions. Ukraine gets almost nothing except a new bare mountain to replace old growth forests. Ukraine, meet Indonesia.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 10:57:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
...meet the most varied deciduous forests on the planet, in Appalachia are being reduced to pellets to keep Europeans warm.
Insane. :(

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 01:49:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 11:32:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Economists overwhelmingly reject Brexit in boost for Cameron | Politics | The Guardian

A poll commissioned for the Observer and carried out by Ipsos MORI, which drew responses from more than 600 economists, found 88% saying an exit from the EU and the single market would most likely damage Britain's growth prospects over the next five years.

A striking 82% of the economists who responded thought there would probably be a negative impact on household incomes over the next five years in the event of a Leave vote, with 61% thinking unemployment would rise.

Those surveyed were members of the profession's most respected representative bodies, the Royal Economic Society and the Society of Business Economists, and all who replied did so voluntarily.

Paul Johnson, director of the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the findings, from a survey unprecedented in its scale, showed an extraordinary level of unity. "For a profession known to agree about little, it is pretty remarkable to see this degree of consensus about anything," Johnson said. "It no doubt reflects the level of agreement among many economists about the benefits of free trade and the costs of uncertainty for economic growth."

The poll also found a majority of respondents - 57% - held the view that a vote for Brexit on 23 June would blow a hole in economic growth, cutting GDP by more than 3% over the next five years. Just 5% thought that there would probably be a positive impact.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 04:15:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although many economists utterly reject Osborne's economic policies, but somehow their opinions are worth mentioning on that topic

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:47:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In what European science chief Carlos Moedas calls a "life-changing" move, European Union member states today agreed on an ambitious new open access (OA) target. All scientific papers should be freely available by 2020, the Competitiveness Council--a gathering of ministers of science, innovation, trade, and industry--concluded after a 2-day meeting in Brussels. But some observers are warning that the goal will be difficult to achieve.

The OA goal is part of a broader set of recommendations in support of Open Science, a concept which also includes improved storage of and access to research data. The Dutch government, which currently holds the rotating E.U. presidency, had lobbied hard for Europe-wide support for Open Science, as had Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 10:45:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian view on the centenary of Verdun: lessons for us all | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

If the Somme is always the focus of British memory in this centenary, for France - and to some extent also for Germany - that role is occupied by Verdun. Verdun is to the first world war as Stalingrad was to the second. Even in a war that set new standards for slaughter, it was a battle beyond compare. Shelled night and day, mined from below and continually rocked by artillery attack, Verdun's attritional intensity and importance were unequalled. On both sides, killing as many enemy as possible was central. When it was over, there were so many unidentifiable human remains that the bones of 130,000 unknown dead of both armies were entombed together in the vast ossuary at Douaumont that commemorates Verdun. The military and psychological significance for France of Verdun cannot be overstated, and had much to do with its victor Marshal Pétain's reemergence in 1940.

Verdun's importance dictated that it was there, in 1984, that France's president and Germany's chancellor held hands in a symbolic gesture that embodied the two nation's reconciliation. On Sunday, in the same cemeteries at Verdun, François Hollande and Angela Merkel stood where François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl stood more than 30 years previously, and with the same message. As Mr Hollande put it, Verdun was where Europe lost itself 100 years ago and where it has now enabled Europe to come together for peace and friendship.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 03:42:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gränskontrollerna kan kosta Sarah jobbet | SVT Nyheter
Jag har svårt att bli arg på min arbetsgivare. De har ju rätt. Börjar jag klockan nio ska jag vara där klockan nio. Jag är arg på hela situationen med gränskontrollerna, det funkade så bra med tågen tidigare. Nu är allt förändrat - och jag förstår inte till vilken nytta, säger Sarah.

Student missar tid

I en annan del av Malmö träffar vi Jake Maczynski som är musiker, althornist, och fram tills nu student på ansedda musikkonservatoriet i Köpenhamn.

- Jag har beslutat att ta paus från utbildningen nästa år. Kursen kräver att jag övar väldigt mycket på mitt instrument och det går bara inte ihop, när man som nu tvingas sitta på tåget fyra timmar vissa dagar, säger Jake och tillägger:

As Sweden-Denmark travel is hindered by border controls, living in Sweden and working or studying in Denmark is becoming to time consuming, unraveling the Copenhagen-Malmoe region. The article presents one phone support worker and one student, among the many, many similar stories.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 at 08:18:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:15:58 AM EST
SpaceX continues ambitious launch schedule

Less than a month after their last successful mission, SpaceX is back at it. Falcon 9 is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:40pm EDT tomorrow with telecommunications satellite Thaicom 8 on board.

What's truly notable is that tomorrow's launch will be the fifth one for SpaceX this year, demonstrating an increased launch frequency compared to last year.

In 2015, SpaceX conducted a total of six successful Falcon 9 launches, putting their launch frequency at about one launch every other month. So far this year, they've doubled that frequency with nearly one launch per month.

In March, president of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell, stated that the company actually plans to launch a total of 18 times in 2016, which would triple the number of launches compared to 2015. She also said that they plan to increase that launch rate even further the following year, with 24 hopeful launches in 2017.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:22:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China finance ministry to sell offshore renminbi bonds in London

China's finance ministry will issue Rmb3bn ($458m) of bonds in London's offshore renminbi market, a test of foreign investors' appetite for Chinese assets amid concerns about the currency's depreciation and capital flight.

The UK government has aggressively courted renminbi business for the City of London as part of a broad push to promote greater economic ties with the world's largest economy in terms of purchasing power.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:26:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China's financial status looks like Wall Street before the crash:Investor Dude

BEIJING: For years, Jim Chanos, founder of Kynikos Associates, has been telling the world that the Chinese economy is a "treadmill to hell" running on debt.

Now, with a few big market scares coming from China over the last year -- a currency devaluation, a few stock market crashes and economic indicators flashing red -- he's looking pretty prescient. His view on what's happening in China right at this moment is still pretty grim.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:29:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.wsj.com/articles/pension-funds-pile-on-the-risk-just-to-get-a-reasonable-return-146471301 3
To even come close these days to what is considered a reasonably strong return of 7.5%, pension funds and other large endowments are reaching ever further into riskier investments: adding big dollops of global stocks, real estate and private-equity investments to the once-standard investment of high-grade bonds. Two decades ago, it was possible to make that kind of return just by buying and holding investment-grade bonds,
What is the chance that Playing Safe is an unsatisfactory strategy in politics as well?
by das monde on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 at 05:42:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's Official: US International Trade Commission Predicts Negligible Economic Benefits From TPP | Techdirt

Techdirt has written hundreds of stories about TPP over the years. So many of those have revealed troubling aspects of the deal that it's hard to single out the worst. But there can be no doubt that one of the most extraordinary facts is that the US and the other TPP nations were negotiating for eight years the biggest so-called trade deal in history with only the sketchiest idea about its likely benefits. Instead, politicians and supporters simply assured the public that it would all be great, honest. And yet when the rigorous econometric studies began to appear, they consistently showed that TPP would produce almost no benefits whatsoever.

Upon hearing that a planned course of action designed to bring financial gains would do nothing of the kind, most rational people in ordinary life would try something else. But not the politicians and TPP negotiators, who carried on despite these clear signs that TPP was simply not worth the effort. They either ignored these studies completely, or at most said that the only reliable predictions worth considering were the official ones, which would come from the US International Trade Commission (USITC) once TPP's text had been finalised. Last week, the USITC released its massive 792-page report (pdf). Here's a key part of the summary:  

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 at 08:51:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Change the parameters of the study and change the results. It must be the 'US' at the start of the title that is the tip-off. The study focused on the benefits of TPP to participating NATIONS and found there are none. Hardly surprising. For the negotiators the benefits were always those to their patrons - transnational corporations and the economic elites who own them - and, of course to the politicians who appointed the negotiators. To them the benefits to NATIONS are the externalities. The study must have been done by a bunch of socialists!
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 at 09:13:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
because free trade, which is free, because freedom.

Because the elites know that free trade means big profits, increased out-sourcing and off shoring. So they tell their political minions to do it and, lo 'tis done.

Wonder not the why, it's good for the elites and that surely is enough.

Today British Home Stores, a large high street chain in the UK, closed for the final time. It's current owner had extracted about a £100 million, while the previous owner had walked away with the pension fund and other chattels to the tune of approx £1 billion. That's free trade baby !! Freedom to plunder, freedom to walk away consequence free whistling a happy tune, freedom to buy a 3rd or 4th yacht.

That's who TTiP and TPP are for, that's who benefits. they're the ones who want this, and their desires outweigh all other considerations.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 2nd, 2016 at 01:13:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:16:01 AM EST
Brazil orders diplomats to rebut impeachment critics abroad

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's new foreign minister, Jose Serra, has ordered diplomats to rebut any government, media or international organization that criticizes the impeachment of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.

The nine-page document cited a dozen examples of censure of the impeachment process that removed Rousseff from office this month made by governments and other entities to which diplomats needed to respond in defense of Brazil's political process.

"The press, academics and members of civil society and also leaders of international organizations and government representatives have manifested frequently in improper and ill-informed ways about Brazil's domestic politics," the memo said.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 09:56:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, stop calling our coup a coup. Wait till Trump gets in ... see what happens to U.S. democracy then.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 05:51:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brazil's Senate votes to remove president Dilma Rousseff from power   LAT
Brazil's Senate has voted to remove leftist President Dilma Rousseff from power and subject her to an impeachment trial, effectively handing the government over to an unpopular coalition of more conservative forces that will face an economic crisis as well as accusations they have seized power illegitimately.

Rousseff, who will be tried on charges of misleading fiscal accounting, technically would be removed only for 180 days as the Senate decides on permanent removal, but former ally Vice President Michel Temer has treated his ascendance as a fait accompli, publicly assembling a new Cabinet and planning to move the world's fifth most populous country in a more market-friendly direction.

Until recently considered a model for economic growth and social progress, Latin America's largest country is now facing its worst recession in decades, a multibillion-dollar corruption scandal, a health crisis caused by the Zika virus, and the prospect of hosting the Rio Olympics in August without a stable government in place.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US nuclear force still uses floppy disks

The US nuclear weapons force still uses a 1970s-era computer system and floppy disks, a government report has revealed.

The Government Accountability Office said the Pentagon was one of several departments where "legacy systems" urgently needed to be replaced.

The report said taxpayers spent $61bn (£41bn) a year on maintaining ageing technologies.

It said that was three times more than the investment on modern IT systems.

On the one hand, this is obviously laughable. But on the other hand, it does raise a question - how much IT investment is really going to just keeping stuff workign at the same level it always did, and should we start thinking more carefully about always replacing everything with the newest and greatest?  Is there ever a point where "good enough" can be reached?

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps we should consider requiring backward comparability for any product used by the US military.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 09:50:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I came to the conclusion long ago that the raison d'etre for any IT department was to "improve" the system until it stopped working and then throw it out and replace it with something completely different.
by rifek on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 04:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
what's wrong with using a proven mature technology that works reliably ?

What do they want ? Windoze 10, that blue screen of death may need more than a reboot

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, using 6" floppies would have some advantages. The military should make their own floppies and drives. They could have much greater storage density and control of the medium. Only a large organization could afford to create a second source of floppies or readers.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 09:50:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a strong argument to be made for the miliatary controlling the entire IT supply chain, and for that supply chain to be compeltely independent of the private market - control and security matters to a whole other level for the military.
by Zwackus on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 11:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although I don't know about the US DoD, but the UK MoD Procurement Executive strongly favor useless late camels over effective and timely racehorses.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 at 06:23:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Australian lawmaker links trade dispute to asylum seekers

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Australia's deputy prime minister has come under fire for suggesting that a temporary ban on cattle exports to Indonesia five years ago hindered ties with Jakarta that contributed to an influx of asylum seekers arriving on Australian shores by boats from Indonesia.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce linked the 2011 events during a campaign debate on agricultural policies Wednesday night ahead of elections on July 2. Australia suspended its live cattle trade to Indonesia for a month in June 2011 over cruelty concerns in Indonesian slaughterhouses.

"When we closed down the live animal export industry, it was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia," Joyce said, prompting jeers at a public meeting in the rural town of Goulburn. "I think it's absolutely the case that we created extreme bad will with Indonesia when we close down the live animal export."

Joyce is the first Australian official to suggest the suspension undermined Indonesian efforts to prevent people smugglers trafficking asylum seekers from the Middle East, Africa and Asia to Australia.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:06:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China to send nuclear-armed submarines into Pacific amid tensions with US  Guardian
The Chinese military is poised to send submarines armed with nuclear missiles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time, arguing that new US weapons systems have so undermined Beijing's existing deterrent force that it has been left with no alternative.

Chinese military officials are not commenting on the timing of a maiden patrol, but insist the move is inevitable.

They point to plans unveiled in March to station the US Thaad anti-ballistic system in South Korea, and the development of hypersonic glide missiles potentially capable of hitting China less than an hour after launch, as huge threats to the effectiveness of its land-based deterrent force.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:15:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Military TINA, i.e. "Our domestic situation is unraveling, so we need something to distract the masses and coerce foreign funding."
by rifek on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:20:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, it works for N Korea

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian
In 2014, the year Hairup died at age 38, one-third of adults in Utah had a prescription for opioid painkillers, most notably a powerful opiate at the heart of the crisis, OxyContin. Many of them were among the 65% of state residents who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. Sometimes, opioids take hold of several members of the same family. Hairup's father is dependent on prescription painkillers and her brother's addiction to prescription opioids set him on the path to heroin.


Carol Moss, a Mormon and Democratic state legislator, also said religion is a factor in the spread of opioid addiction. "What's unique about Utah is that the LDS church forbids alcohol and tobacco. People around the world have a drink to relax or drink socially," she said. "When those things are not part of the cultural acceptance for people, they look for an acceptable palliative for aches and pains and depression and that's become pills."

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 01:06:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"People around the world have a drink to relax or drink socially," she said."

Doesn't that sound wonderfully harmless? Let's rephrase that?  

  People around the world have to sedate themselves because their lives suck in various ways, and the commercial media promotes this behavior by making alcohol consumption appear the be the thing that "winners" do, just like old cigarette ads.

Whenever I remember my alcohol consumption days I think of the deceased father of my ex. Fred was an IBM typewriter salesman and an alcoholic for decades. Every day, got home from work, it's "happy hour". I remember the first time I met him with my wife-to-be, Julie, in the Ramada Inn in Schenectady, N.Y. near Union College. He and his wife Pat were in town specifically to meet me. I knock on their room door, Fred answers, and the first words out of his mouth were,"Hi ... I'm Fred ... that's my wife Pat ... would you like a drink?" One run-on sentence. For my generation at the time, do you go to the door to greet a total stranger with the words, "Hi ... I'm The Twank ... want a hit off my bong?" And at the time it all seemed so "normal".  😱

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 06:18:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Every day, got home from work, it's "happy hour".

A reaction to IBM's strict no-alcohol rule? I remember my amazement when ex-colleagues told me that not only had the rule been abolished, but they even had a TGIF at work with beer.....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 06:42:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wasn't familiar with IBM alcohol policy. What I did know is that my in-laws drank every day, started at breakfast on weekends, and they produced 2 FAS daughters, one of whom I married. I'm not complaining ... only an idiot would take up with a poor ($) bastard like me, someone not going to medical school like a lot of the rich assholes attending Union.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 10:24:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
IBM was notorious for that. Being caught with alcohol on IBM premises was ground for immediate dismissal. And they wouldn't pay for alcohol on any business trip. Furthermore, your in-laws may have been in IBM in the days that they sang company songs such as
I. B. M., Happy men, smiling all the way.
Oh what fun it is to sell our products night and day.
 I. B. M., Watson men, partners of T. J.
 In his service to mankind-that's why we are so gay.
That could drive anybody to drink.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 11:10:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow !!  Fred was hard-core but nothing like that. I remember visiting one Christmas in Alexandria, VA where he/they lived. Pat showed me this HUGE blowup of Fred's business card with his photo on it; apparently there was a IBM party and Fred was a big-shot successful salesman.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 11:19:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just thought of something. Alcohol (most drugs?) are paradox substances. The people who use them the most (may I call them losers?) shouldn't waste money on them at all. But the people who are genuinely "living the good life" don't use alcohol; they're too busy enjoying life. Does that make sense?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri May 27th, 2016 at 11:32:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not always.  I've known more than a few children of the ultra-rich, and quite a few of them hit the bottle pretty hard, among other things.
by Zwackus on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 01:53:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you shouldn't extrapolate from your own experience.

Most people drink; many use, some abuse. If all you've known is abuse, then that means your experience was unhappy, not typical.

It's useful to be able to blow off steam from time to time, as I explained in this diary, but it doesn't mean it's a problem

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:30:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you shouldn't extrapolate from your own experience.


And what do we extrapolate from?

Here are some "facts" :

  1. Alcohol is a drug and a sedative, unlike caffeine which is a drug and a stimulant. Notice when you go to the dentist and you need a tooth drilled, you get novocain, a sedative not a stimulant. If you need an operation they don't give you a cup of coffee before they start cutting, they knock you out.

  2. My own personal experiences. MANY !!! Through my own experiences with alcohol and my observations of others. All lead to the same conclusions: People who drink alcohol want to temporarily escape from reality. One big problem: ALCOHOL IS ADDICTIVE !!  A person has to be very vigilant not to fall into the trap of every-other-day turning into every day, one drink turning into the whole bottle. Alcohol fucks with your brain, with your perceptions. If you want to make "good driving decisions" do you drive sober or have a few beers for the road?

You want to defend your own alcohol use? Go for it. It's your body ... it's your brain ... it's your pocketbook, unless you're getting the booze for free.

Me? I don't live in an ideal environment ... I'm temporarily stuck on planet Earth with a dominant species of mostly fuckheads. How do I get by? How do I not devolve into depression? I walk twice every day. I prepare all my own food. I avoid getting entangled with other peoples' bullshit. And I don't drink! I'm stuck on this planet till this body I tool around in, terminally malfunctions and I am the fuck out of here.

So drink away!  Drinking for anyone is a slippery slope. All I can do is warn. 😱

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 07:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Drinking for anyone is a slippery slope. All I can do is warn."

Well, I drink every day - yet have never been drunk.

A glass of wine is a component of the traditional French meal. But for us a glass is 12.5cl. Apparently having 2 or 3 per day for a man is optimal.

How is that a slippery slope?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 02:46:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My, that's quite the Victorian moral prohibitionist hiding in there. You and Nancy Reagan, who'da thunk it?

As I said, your experience is of abuse, but it's not the general behavior.

And that slippery slope nonsense, oh dear where did you find those ideas. From an old FBI anti-drugs handout?

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 03:30:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Victorian? In Victorian England you could go into your local chemist's shop and buy cocaine or opium (laudanum). Are you confusing Victorian with Californian?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 03:39:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was for the rentier class. Among the poor and working classes the Methodist prohibitionist culture was very strong throughout the 19th century. Just as in the US, abolition became a political force, but it failed here, I suspect, because the trauma of the first world war had a different impact.

In the US, the brewing industry was dominated by german and german traditions (the annals and minutes of the US brewing industry association were even written in german). So that, post WW1, the US turned away from beer as being "unpatriotic" and became a spirits drinking nation, with catastrophic results. Public drunkenness swiftly became much more of an issue and led to a tide of revulsion against booze. Legislation followed.

In the UK, wartime restrictions on alcohol such as weaker beer and restricted opening times for pubs, meant that there was never such a problem. So legislation was never likely.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 05:42:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then there's Iceland, where beer was only made legal in 1989 (other forms of alcohol were already allowed....)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 05:58:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you seen how those guys drink??????

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 06:22:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK folks, drink away!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 05:01:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is a significant genetic component to alcoholism. Those possessing it are much more susceptible and less able to metabolize alcohol. In the version common amongst Native Americans this same variation also seems to provide an enhanced ability for the blood to transport oxygen, thus conferring greater ability for long distance running. Native Americans in the Sonoran Desert of the US and Mexico used to hunt deer and antelope by chasing them. The animals could outrun the pursuer but could not outlast them. Sorry, no links. I read reports of this decades ago.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 10:02:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
European Tribune - 23 - 29 May 2016
The animals could outrun the pursuer but could not outlast them.

Read similar about people living in and around Serengeti.

by fjallstrom on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 10:18:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There a great movie of this, real footage of hunter still able to to do it - The Great Dance, or something like that.

Being able to outlast animals in the heat of the day is one of the few strong physical adaptations that humans still have full command of.

by Zwackus on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 11:07:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I've seen it, or at least something similar.

A guy wounds a deer with a weapon incapable of a direct kill and then spends 7 or 8 hours tracking it down.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 at 06:27:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Utah has a long history of "stoning them into the bombed age."  Sedate the women with 6-8 kids in the house by diagnosing them with anxiety and doping them.  Sedate the kids, especially the boys, by diagnosing them as hyperactive and doping them.  Hand out opioids for every ouchy.   Whatever ails you, one of Utah's Dr. Feelgoods has a pill to fix it, or at least make you feel better about it.  This was a hot spot for the phen-fen diet drug craze, too.
by rifek on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 02:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Girl Who Ran Away to Fight ISIS | Broadly
Most of the women and girls who have travelled to the battle have done so at the grooming of ISIS recruiters. Joanna Palani, a 23-year-old politics and philosophy student from Copenhagen, went to fight for the Kurds; first for the People's Protection Unit in Syria (the YPG) and then the Peshmerga, the Western-trained and backed army of the Kurdish Regional Government. The Peshmerga (Kurdish for "one who stands in front of death") are credited with playing a role in both the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the capture of Osama Bin Laden, and are gaining significant if slow victories over ISIS in Iraq.

The YPG has also assisted in the tortuous work of helping Yazidi families smuggle out their loved ones from Islamic State territory. Palani described receiving detailed correspondence from girls in captivity attempting to organize their own escape or plead for rescue.

"Even though I am a fighter it is difficult for me to read about how a ten-year-old girl is going to die because she is bleeding from a rape," she says. The letters and creditable testimony of sexual torture began as early as October 2014. Palani was assigned to a new role at the start of 2015--she was part of a battalion that liberated a village near Mosul, she says, and found a large group of children being held for sexual abuse by ISIS militants. It was a 'holding house,' where young girls were locked up, raped, and loaned out to lower ranking fighters on the front lines

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 02:25:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Peshmerga (Kurdish for "one who stands in front of death") are credited with playing a role in both the toppling of Saddam Hussein and the capture of Osama Bin Laden

Did they defeat Hitler too? And wasn't the YPG also western backed at some point? At least when everyone decided Kobane is the one town worth saving.

by generic on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 10:47:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Western Coalition have been dropping bombs on ISIS for almost 2 years now.  Obama has put military advisers on the ground in Syria, partially for training and partially as Close Air Support controllers for the YPG/J drive on Raqqa in Syria.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 04:20:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 11:38:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silencing America as It Prepares for War   John Pilger  Counterpoint
"We lost 58,000 young soldiers in Vietnam, and they died defending your freedom. Now don't you forget it."  So said a National Parks Service guide as I filmed last week at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. He was addressing a school party of young teenagers in bright orange T-shirts. As if by rote, he inverted the truth about Vietnam into an unchallenged lie.
The 2016 election campaign is remarkable not only for the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders but also for the resilience of an enduring silence about a murderous self-bestowed divinity. A third of the members of the United Nations have felt Washington's boot, overturning governments, subverting democracy, imposing blockades and boycotts. Most of the presidents responsible have been liberal - Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Obama.

The breathtaking record of perfidy is so mutated in the public mind, wrote the late Harold Pinter, that it "never happened ...Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn't happening. It didn't matter. It was of no interest. It didn't matter ... ". Pinter expressed a mock admiration for what he called "a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It's a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis."

How bitter then to discover after having paid that price in blood, scars on the soul, maiming of the body, and life itself that the freedom purchased was counterfeit. But never forget that the wounds are real, the wounded have to be cared for and that this was done in our name.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 06:15:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Donald Trump exposes the GOP's dirty secret: They build everything by nurturing white rage - Salon.com

Paul Ryan is angry with Donald Trump, not so much for failing to espouse conservative values, as for exposing America's dirty little secret -- white rage: that deep-seated determination to block black progress in this country. For years, conservative politicians have relied upon the cover of high-minded principles and slogans - "protecting the integrity of the ballot box," or waging a "war on drugs" -- in order to cloak their determination to restrict African Americans' citizenship rights. The racism fueling Trump's campaign and his followers, however, is so overt, that it is undoing decades of hard covert work by the GOP.

When Trump didn't immediately disavow an endorsement from Klansman David Duke; when the GOP front-runner condoned the beatings African Americans endured at his campaign rallies; and when 20 percent of his followers insisted that the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery, was bad policy, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan's carefully stitched plan of "racism with plausible deniability" began to unravel.

Shortly before he died, Reagan's strategist Lee Atwater explained the game plan of the Southern Strategy in a matter-of-fact clinical policy. "By 1968 you can't say `n***r' -- that hurts you, backfires," Atwater emphasized. "So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states' rights, and all that stuff. And you're getting so abstract now, you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites." But Donald Trump doesn't do abstract and that is what has sent the GOP into a tizzy

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 03:46:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An entire class of Americans misunderstood and rejected: Dismissing white workers is profoundly reactionary - Salon.com
Facing bleak economic prospects and opioid overdose, wage-labor rage is alternatively credited and blamed for propelling the Sanders and Trump insurgencies. But a growing number of dissident analyses contend that this new conventional wisdom rests on lazy assumptions: Trump supporters are well to do, Sanders' advantage is based on age rather than income [...]

As for affluent white liberals, they are obliged to profess their affection for poor black people even as they organize their entire lives around avoiding sending their children to school with them. Hating poorer whites, of course, isn't just about class but about race as well: classy, well-educated white people need to create a white racial identity purged of the trash.

by das monde on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 04:49:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Careful demographic analysis clarifies a fuzzy picture of the 'white working class' and illustrates the grotesque stereotypes of it that abound.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 11:17:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NK News
A North Korean editorial on Tuesday said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can bring about North Korea's "Yankee Go Home" slogan and ultimately help unify the Korean Peninsula.

The article published in state media outlet DPRK Today also referred to Trump's proposal to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un, praising the likely Republican nominee as a "wise politician" and "far-sighted presidential candidate."

"In my personal opinion, there are many positive aspects to the Trump's `inflammatory policies'," wrote Han Yong Mook, who introduced himself as a Chinese North Korean scholar.

"Trump said `he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North,' isn't this fortunate from North Koreans' perspective?"

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue May 31st, 2016 at 08:35:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
German Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide, Angering Turkey -- NY Times
The German Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a symbolic but fraught resolution on Thursday declaring the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 a genocide, escalating tensions with Turkey at a diplomatically delicate juncture.

The Turkish government angrily denounced the vote as "null and void," and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his ambassador in Germany back to Ankara for consultations.

by das monde on Fri Jun 3rd, 2016 at 12:27:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bargaining chip, you forgive Bohmermann, we forget Armenia

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 09:44:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The one No vote was from the CDU.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Jun 4th, 2016 at 10:16:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:16:52 AM EST
Release the Kraken!

Every winter in Spencer Gulf, a large inlet intruding into Australia's south coast, hundreds of thousands of giant cuttlefish gather to breed. They're about the size and weight of a corgi, with ever-changing displays of shadow and colour rippling across their dynamic skins. At the height of the breeding season, these amorous, multi-armed, living rainbows can get so numerous that there's one of them in every square meter of water.

But lately, these mating swarms have dwindled to a small fraction of their former glory, and no one knows why. Pollution, warming waters, and a dearth of prey are all possibilities. But Bronwyn Gillanders from the University of Adelaide suspected that the decline might just be part of a natural cycle, a downward trend stuck between upward ones. She couldn't test that idea, since no one had any long-term data on giant cuttlefish numbers. But such data did exist for other cephalopods--octopuses, squid, and other species of cuttlefish. Gillanders's team member Zoe Doubleday pulled it all together, by scouring earlier studies and contacting other scientists.

To her surprise, she didn't find evidence of either cycles or declines. Instead, she found that since the 1960s, cephalopods numbers have been increasing.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
$4 billion wind far for Scotland

Scotland is set to strengthen its credentials as a world leader in wind energy after a £2.6 billion ($3.8 billion) offshore wind farm got the okay, it was announced on Monday.

SSE, the FTSE 100 energy company behind the wind farm, forecast it would power 450,000 homes and described the project as "one of the largest private investments ever made in Scottish infrastructure."

The Beatrice Offshore Windfarm will consist of 84 turbines, provide 588 megawatts (MW) of power and hopefully go online in 2019, SSE said in a news release.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:16:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Industry takes stand against energy plans

The German wind and renewables sector is up in arms over the German federal government's restrictive outlook for wind and renewables expansion in the draft revision of the renewable energy act EEG 2016 due to be passed later in 2016.

The draft legislation relegates onshore wind to a supporting role, dependent on developments by all other renewables.

More than 170 wind and renewables organisations across Germany are participating in a "one-minute warning" action today (25 May) with the joint support of industry trade union IG Metall and the German farmers federation Deutschen Bauernverband.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:18:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:16:55 AM EST
Could online gambling kingpins be ruining Eve Online?

A year ago the Imperium was seen as an absolute--a kind of immutable law of the universe in EVE Online [official site]. They were the biggest coalition backed by the richest players armed with the most cunning diplomatic team. Around their central alliance, the Goonswarm Federation (`goons'), were staunch allies who would hold the line if anyone dared invade. Their capital in the region of Deklein was thought to be an impregnable fortress from which flags with little bees waved in the solar wind. That's not what Deklein looks like today. Their home system, YA0-XJ, now has a new flag flying above it, and the Imperium's list of allies seems to be growing shorter by the month.

Bizarre story which is hard to jump right into - but basically, a bunch of people running an off-game casino where people can bet their in-game money have used their profits from this casino to fund a giant mercenary army to destroy the game's biggest empire.  Since their economic base is outside the game, nobody can really do anything about the fact that the casino's owner has a pocket deep enough to buy the loyalty of enough players to do anything.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:33:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US reports first case of bacteria resistant to antibiotic of last resort Guardian
For the first time, a US patient has been infected with bacteria resistant to an antibiotic used as a last resort, scientists said Thursday.

The patient, a 49-year-old woman in Pennsylvania, has recovered but health officials fear that if the resistance spreads to other bacteria, the country may soon see supergerms impervious to all known antibiotics.

"It is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently," Dr Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in Washington.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 09:48:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cue the Meat Board lobby... 5, 4, 3...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 10:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The bugs are unlikely to be resistant to ScopeTM and that is what is now used on chicken carcasses. Beef and pork could also be sprayed with ScopeTM. Most e coli is from fecal contamination which would be due to poor butchering processes.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:07:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Portland schools tried to change how they teach climate change -- and ignited a firestorm  LAT

This winter, a small group of advocates, teachers, parents and students began meeting each week at a church in Portland, Ore., to figure out how their schools could do a better job of preparing the next generation to fight climate change. Together, they wrote a resolution that, with some changes, was unanimously adopted by the Portland Public School Board on May 17. The district, the board resolved, "will abandon the use of any adopted text material that is found to express doubt about the severity of the climate crisis or its root in human activities."

But a few days after the vote, the story took on a life of its own, mostly outside Portland: Some websites called the move a "ban" on specific books, while another claimed that the district would scan its libraries and remove all books that weren't up to snuff. One of the advocates fielded emails calling him an "idiot" and a "d-bag."

The Heartland Institute, a conservative group, posted on its blog that the school district was "demanding that their unshakable faith in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming be the only thing taught in school." In an email, Heartland's director of communications, Jim Lakely, said the resolution was harmful because "it teaches kids in Portland public schools the falsehood that the science is settled." He said he's concerned that kids will be "indoctrinated instead of taught how the scientific method works."

Now the school system could expand the program by team teaching with social science curriculum. The controversy could become the basis for a discussion of the role of science, the scientific method, commercial interests and religious beliefs in public education.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:54:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Black man is washed whiter in China's racist detergent advert | World news | The Guardian

The company behind a Chinese advert for detergent that has been dubbed the most racist ever has defended the bizarre content, saying any discrimination is in the eye of the viewer.

In the advert a pouch of Qiaobi cleaning liquid is applied to a black man, who is then bundled into a washing machine by a smiling woman. After a cycle of muffled screams, she opens the lid and a grinning Asian man climbs out. He winks at the viewer before the slogan flashes up on screen: Change begins with Qiaobi.

China's lack of diversity - it does not encourage long-term immigration, and the UN says it hosts only 150 refugees in a population of over 1.3 billion - can spill over into overt discrimination, particularly for people of colour. In 2009 the vicious response to a contestant on an TV talent show who had mixed Chinese and African-American heritage highlighted some of China's problems.

One African-American who spent several years in China recalled being fired as an English teacher, despite his excellent professional skills, because students were obsessed with his skin colour. Marketus Presswood wrote: "I overheard students talking in Chinese about how they were paying so much money and wanted a white instructor. One went so far as to say, `I don't want to look at his black face all night'." Presswood added that he hoped attitudes were changing as Chinese engagement with the world increased.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 02:34:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I live with this kind of stuff every day.  As a white dude, I mostly get the "good" side of it, but I see the crap my colleagues of greater melanin content have to take from racist parents in particular.  Co-workers and management aren't nearly as bad, many of them being a lot more internationally-minded in general.  But it's totally real.
by Zwackus on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 09:34:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My mother in law, a Laotian (so very close to China) married a Moroccan, and thus an African.

Before they met him (things are fine now), her family thought that he ate humans. Because of course that is what Africans do.

I kid you not...

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Jun 1st, 2016 at 01:47:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:16:58 AM EST
by Bjinse on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 07:17:33 AM EST
How to sound charismatic

At a February 23 rally in Sparks, Nevada, Donald Trump pandered, as politicians are wont to do. He mentioned how "nobody loves the Bible more than I do," and that "we have to change our system, folks," and other things he believes to be pleasing to the median caucus-goer's ear.

But if you listen closely, you can detect how he panders not just with his words, but with how he says them:

"By the way I think I'm going to win the Hispanic vote," Trump says, and then a little more loudly and emphatically, "Do you know in the state of Nevada I win with Hispanics?!" Then, softly again: "They know I'm going to bring jobs in. They know I'm going to take jobs away from Mexico and China and all these places."

It's this variation of pitch and volume, deployed strategically by politicians, that interests Rosario Signorello, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine.

by Zwackus on Wed May 25th, 2016 at 10:08:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amber Heard files for divorce from Johnny Depp | Film | The Guardian

Johnny Depp's wife has filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences after just over a year of marriage.

Court records show that Amber Heard filed for divorce on Monday and is seeking spousal support from the Oscar-nominated actor.

I know, not particularly enlightening news, but through it I learned of this, which struck me as another perfect example of arrogant glitz tomfoolery, and one can't help but wonder whether there is a relation:

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's video is a terrifying insight into state mind control | Film | The Guardian

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard have taught us all a valuable lesson - declare everything when you enter Australia. Failure to notify the authorities that you're bringing dogs into the country means there's a good chance the government will kidnap your family and force you to record a grovelling apology while you watch a live-streamed video of them crying and begging for their lives.

I've seen the Depp and Heard apology video five times now, and that can be the only possible explanation. There is no universe, theoretical or otherwise, in which Depp and Heard are saying any of this stuff willingly. Something, clearly, must have happened to them.

by Bjinse on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 04:54:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel admits to bankrolling Hulk Hogan's Gawker lawsuit
Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, has admitted that he is the secret funder of Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against online news site Gawker.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued for invasion of privacy after Gawker published an excerpt of a leaked sex tape in 2012. In March this year, a Florida jury awarded Bollea $140m (£95.1m) in damages against the media organisation.

Unknown to the jury or public, Thiel had secretly bankrolled Bollea's legal case to the tune of about $10m. In 2007 Gawker had published a story revealing Thiel was gay. Publicly confirming his funding of the Bollea case after a report by Forbes, Thiel told the New York Times "it's less about revenge and more about specific deterrence".

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu May 26th, 2016 at 11:22:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 I alternate between a sense that Trump is so absurd that he will be massively defeated by any respectable Democrat and my fear that he is a new phenomenon in US Politics that will utterly transform our political process and win the presidency in the process. But The Bill Maher Show Friday night gave me pause.

After his opening monologue Bill had as his first special guest Berne Sanders. That was great. Then he went to his panel, which included Journalist Michael Moynihan, professor Melissa Harris-Perry and businessman Wayne Allyn Root. Root is a Trump wannabe. So it was three to one against Root - until Scott Adams arrived. Adams was the only one who had a clue about Trump or Root. Then it was four to one. It was a rout - by Root.

I also am conflicted about Maher. At times he is great - as with the Sanders interview. Other times he is an arrogant asshole - as he proved to be by re-inviting Root. Root just walked all over Maher and the others. Every time he opened his mouth he dropped a steaming pile of stinking shit - much faster than it could be cleaned up - and he never stopped talking. Maher is a comedian and is much more adept at dealing with outrage than most and the rest of the panel were hardly slouches, but they were just overrun. It didn't matter for the most part with Maher's audience. Most are predisposed to hate Trump anyway. But that performance made me shudder at the thought of Hillary in a debate against Trump.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 10:52:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But that performance made me shudder at the thought of Hillary in a debate against Trump.

Not normally a big fan of debate bullshit/boredom. For the classic Trump/Hillary debates (as they will be known) I'm stocking up the popcorn. The Dems put forward an asshole like Clinton (she deserves to be humbled) and what can you say about Trump ... a gem.  😁

As I said elsewhere, wait till Emperor Trump fucks with the California water supply ... agriculture gets screwed up (goodbye food supply) ... poisoned towns ala Flint, Michigan ... just wait.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat May 28th, 2016 at 05:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely, Trump has leaks in his alpha posture. Go through the Republican debates and find those ticks, from which you can start pressuring timely. But I would not trust Hilary to get into that.
by das monde on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 12:21:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
One of Trump's "strategies" is "divide and win". He demonstrated that in Fresno, CA recently, red-neck Repub agriculture area, with claims that "there is no California drought", that the real problem is created by those environmentalists who are wasting water sending it to the ocean in order to preserve a few fish !!  Just what the world/country needs ... a psycho turning people on each other in order to meet his personal goals .

He could destroy what little cohesiveness there still is in the U.S. Empire and I look forward to that, so bring it on! End this USA farce before the cancer spreads to California. Poisoned water supplies, voter restrictions, on and on ... REPUBLICAN CANCER!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 06:23:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As there will be no one better than Emp. Trump...
by das monde on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 07:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Donald Trump Tells Drought-Plagued Californians: 'There Is No Drought'

Donald Trump told voters in drought-plagued California on Friday that he had a solution to the water crisis: Open up the water for farmers, because "there is no drought."

"We're going to solve your water problem. You have a water problem that is so insane," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told a crowd filled with farmers in Fresno. "It is so ridiculous where they're taking the water and shoving it out to sea."

California is now in its fifth year of drought, which has taken a heavy toll on agriculture in particular. Despite an El Niño event that saw an increase last year in snowpacks that supply about one-third of California's water, 86 percent of the state is still considered to be in drought.

Trump insinuated that state officials are mismanaging water policy, at the cost of farmers and their crops. Farmers have sharply criticized the state's irrigation policies, after cuts to water allotments forced them to leave more than a million acres of farmland uncultivated last year.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 10:25:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"They don't understand it," Trump said. "There is no drought, they turn the water out into the ocean."

This is called 'a river', Donald.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 10:26:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Last I looked - admittedly a while ago - the was a strong feeling among the people who study such things that TV debates were more about riling-up the base than attracting/convincing Don't Know voters.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 04:27:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that could well be for Maher. Perhaps he just wanted to rub his audience's nose in the repugnance of Trump or perhaps he intended it as a wake up call for his audience to the dangers of Trump. I don't watch the overtime programs, though I thought about it that time. Wondered if Bernie had anything to say about or to Root. Root is well named. He exemplifies the root of the problem with Trump.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 29th, 2016 at 06:10:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maher imagines himself as a liberal, but in reality his entirely un-examined sense of juvenile frat-boy privilege leads him into murky libertarian shallows at times.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon May 30th, 2016 at 05:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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