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During This Economic Crisis, Capitalism’s Three Point Political Program: Austerity, Scapegoat Blacks, Minorities, and ‘Illegal’ Immigrants for Unemployment, and The Iron Heel.
Democracy?: As the Capitalist Robber Barons Steal from the 99%: Only the 1% Voted For Austerity — The 99% Should Decide On Austerity — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From Austerity! Under Austerity, All of the World Will Eventually Be Pauperized, Humbled, and Desecrated Like Greece and Puerto Rico.
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As the World Warms: Methane Increases:
Permafrost thaw exposes previously frozen soil organic matter to microbial decomposition. This process generates methane and carbon dioxide, and thereby fuels a positive feedback process that leads to further warming and thaw1. Despite widespread permafrost degradation during the past ∼40 years2,3,4, the degree to which permafrost thaw may be contributing to a feedback between warming and thaw in recent decades is not well understood. Radiocarbon evidence of modern emissions of ancient permafrost carbon is also sparse5. Here we combine radiocarbon dating of lake bubble trace-gas methane (113 measurements) and soil organic carbon (289 measurements) for lakes in Alaska, Canada, Sweden and Siberia with numerical modelling of thaw and remote sensing of thermokarst shore expansion. Methane emissions from thermokarst areas of lakes that have expanded over the past 60 years were directly proportional to the mass of soil carbon inputs to the lakes from the erosion of thawing permafrost. Radiocarbon dating indicates that methane age from lakes is nearly identical to the age of permafrost soil carbon thawing around them. Based on this evidence of landscape-scale permafrost carbon feedback, we estimate that 0.2 to 2.5 Pg permafrost carbon was released as methane and carbon dioxide in thermokarst expansion zones of pan-Arctic lakes during the past 60 years. — Methane emissions proportional to permafrost carbon thawed in Arctic lakes since the 1950s
While carbon dioxide is typically painted as the bad boy of greenhouse gases, methane is roughly 30 times more potent as a heat-trapping gas. New research in the journal Nature indicates that for each degree that the Earth’s temperature rises, the amount of methane entering the atmosphere from microorganisms dwelling in lake sediment and freshwater wetlands — the primary sources of the gas — will increase several times. As temperatures rise, the relative increase of methane emissions will outpace that of carbon dioxide from these sources, the researchers report. — A more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, methane emissions will leap as Earth warms (Nature)
The United States is not a Democracy (A government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly)! Only the 1%, through their ownership of the Republicrats and who profit from war and the war budget, vote for War and the war budget — A policy, which Gore Vidal called a Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.— The 99% Should Decide On War — Not Just The 1% Who Profit From War! Under a Democracy, The 99% would have the right to vote on the policy of Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace!
Has Freedom of the Press Become an Illusion?“How can you have a free press if you don’t have free sources?” asks Edward Wasserman, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, in the latest installment of “Scheer Intelligence.” The question strikes directly at the heart of journalism ethics during an era in which sources and—in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange—publishers are being persecuted or prosecuted for speaking truth to power. Wasserman’s April op-ed for The New York Times, “Julian Assange and the Woeful State of Whistle-Blowers,” makes a strong case for enshrining the rights of media sources in the Constitution, alongside freedom of the press. His powerful defense of Assange is based on his belief that “the First Amendment is no better than the willingness of people to come forward.” By Robert Scheer Saudi Arabia Couldn’t Ask for Better Coverage From Corporate MediaBy EEsha Krishnaswamy Saudi Arabia executed 37 men on April 23, as it announced in a press release in its official gazette. The first line of the release read, “Saudi Arabia said it executed 37 citizens last Tuesday after they were convicted of terrorism.”A cursory Google search would have shown that this assertion was completely false. But many in the US press dutifully stenographed this claim into a headline:
“37 Saudis Executed for Terrorism-Related Crimes”: Time (4/23/19)
“Saudi Arabia Executes 37 in One Day for Terrorism”: New York Times (4/23/19)
“Saudi Arabia Beheads 37 Prisoners for Terrorism Crimes”: PBS NewsHour (4/23/19)
Amid Murky Intel, Experts Say Time to Be Clear: Threat of War With Iran“Solely and Unequivocally” Trump’s Fault “Trump action provokes Iran reaction provokes U.S. reaction and suddenly march to another quagmire catastrophic war. By Jake Johnson
Trump and the Middle East: a Long Record of Personal Failure Many American presidents have blundered in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, but Donald Trump’s personal involvement in the region has been particularly disastrous. President Eisenhower introduced the CIA to the world of covert action, when he ordered the overthrow of the legitimate government of Iran in 1953. President Reagan endorsed a U.S. troop presence in Lebanon in 1982 in order to pull Israeli chestnuts out of the fire there due to their war crimes in Beirut, offering proof to the Arab nations of Washington’s one-sided support for Israel. President George H.W. Bush went ahead with Desert Storm in 1991 although Soviet President Gorbachev had gained a commitment from Saddam Hussein to withdraw his forces from Kuwait. Worst of all, President George W. Bush used phony intelligence to justify an invasion of Iraq in 2003 that has created sixteen years of disarray throughout the region. By Melvin Giidwin
“Get Your Endangered Species Off My Bombing Range!” “The Department of Defense’s ability to conduct realistic live-fire training, weapons system testing, and essential operations is vital to preparing a more lethal and resilient force for combat. . . . Starting in the late 1990s, the Department became increasingly concerned about “encroachment” pressures adversely affecting the military’s use of training and testing lands. Specifically, military installations saw two main threats to their ability to test, train, and operate: nearby incompatible land uses and environmental restrictions to protect imperiled species and their habitats By Joan RoelofsIt’s Even More Terrible Than You Thought Liberal journalist and author David Cay Johnston, a frequent cable news commentator, was right to title his 2018 book on the Trump presidency “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.” Trump is a creeping fascist train-wreck – an authoritarian disaster whose lawyer recently arguedin federal court that Congress has no right to investigate wrongdoing by the President of the United States (take that, Watergate heroes and Whitewater fans!). By Paul Street
The Interlocking Crises: War and Climate Chaos“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin Climate change is the apex crisis of all time and the US military is the prime crisis multiplier. As we approach the horizon of climate disaster it certainly looks like the predatory phase of human history — of which war is just the most glaring example — is related to our predatory relationship with nature. At the center of the storm is the interlocking crisis of militarism and climate destruction. By Richard MoserThe 1% Knew Long Ago: Climate Change was No Accident Years ago, tobacco companies discovered the link between their products and lung cancer. Did they warn their customers? No — they denied the link entirely, misleading the public for decades while killing their customers. Similarly, ExxonMobil scientists made startlingly accurate predictionsabout climate change as early as 1982 — and then spent millions of dollars on a misinformation campaign to sow public doubt about climate change. By Jill Richardson
Black Liberaation/Civil Rights:
For Black Americans, “Jury of Your Peers” Is a Hollow PhraseIf you are accused of a crime in the U.S., you are guaranteed the right to a jury of your peers. This promise dates to the signing of the Magna Carta, when people were assured that their peers — not the king or someone from a different class — would determine suitable punishment for misdeeds. By Darlene Harris
Here’s Why You Can’t Trust the Federal Reserve’s Financial Stability ReportWhat the United States desperately needs is less Financial Stability Reports and actual financial stability – rather than the Wall Street Casino in drag as Federally-insured banks. The Office of Financial Research (OFR), created under the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation of 2010, publishes a Financial Stability Report; the Financial Stability Oversight Council (F-SOC), also created under Dodd-Frank legislation, publishes an annual report to call attention to any emerging threats to financial stability; and, not to be left out, the Federal Reserve has decided it needs to have its own say in its own Financial Stability Report – ostensibly to make it appear that it’s on top of the threats emanating from its charges on Wall Street – which it decidedly is not. By Pam Martens and Russ Martens
Health, Education, and Welfare:
The government of the United States can pass laws in a few days to spend tens of trillions of dollars for war and the bailout of Wall Street and the bankers. Yet, those who ‘govern’, pass universal healthcare for themselves, but they cannot spend even one trillion dollars for universal health for those who are ‘governed’! This is what is considered, by the powers the to be, a democracy and part of the democratic way. — Roland Sheppard, Let The People Vote on Healthcare!
Bernie Sanders’ Bold Plan for Education Senator Bernie Sanders has produced an excellent plan for education . Thus far, he is the only candidate to address K-12. His first principle is crucial: Every human being has the fundamental right to a good education. Read the plan. Sanders’ commitment to funding education is breathtaking. He intends to triple the funding of Title 1 for the neediest children. He proposes a national floor for per-pupil spending. He wants to reduce class sizes. He promises that the federal government will pay 50% of the cost of special education. By Diane Ravitch