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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,624

Journal Archives

I'm dreaming of ...... cutting the grass on Christmas?

Warmest Christmas in Living Memory Possible as 'Blowtorch' Weather Pattern Likely in the East, Midwest

There is growing confidence that the widespread warmth we've seen so far this December will also dominate much of Christmas week in the eastern half of the United States. Depending on how long the mild weather pattern holds on, next Friday could be the warmest Christmas Day of your lifetime, particularly if you live in one of the East Coast states.

This mild forecast means the prospect for a white Christmas is highly unlikely for many of those states.

Meteorologists sometimes jokingly refer to the type of warm weather pattern we have seen recently, and the one coming next week, as a "blowtorch" in social media. The term may be a reference to weather maps showing temperatures compared to normal; these patterns tend to resemble a large red or white scorch mark surrounded by shades of orange and yellow, as if a giant blowtorch had been pointed at the Earth.

Of course, the actual cause is not a blowtorch but a weather pattern that keeps typical winter chill at bay and holds air from the Pacific or the tropics over the mainland United States. ................(more)



(Bloomberg) Frosty didn’t stand a chance.

This has been by far the hottest year on record, and it’s ending with an exclamation point. Holiday shoppers in New York’s Rockefeller Center have been checking off their lists in weather that’s an eerie 20 degrees warmer than normal. Meanwhile, another stack of global temperature records has fallen.

Last month was the hottest November in 136 years of data, according to U.S. figures released on Thursday, making it the ninth record-breaking month of 2015. This year has been so far off the charts, it’s certain to go down as the hottest year on record even if December turns out to be unusually cool (it won’t).

El Niño is largely responsible for this year’s extremes, but make no mistake: This is what global warming looks like. Before this year, 13 of the 14 hottest years fell in the 21st century. The thermometer creep is relentless. The animation below shows the earth’s warming climate, recorded in monthly measurements from land and sea dating back to 1880. Temperatures are displayed in degrees above or below the 20th century average. ..................(more)


Another 'Evil Moozlims Celebrating Terror Attack' story is exposed as Bullsh*t

from the Detroit Metro Times:

About those protesting ISIS supporters marching in Dearborn? Yeah, it was all bullshit.

[font size="1"]Photograph of alleged protest by Muslim supporters of terrorism. Turns out it's likely a photo of an anti-terror protest by Muslims. Oops ...[/font]

We've learned that a certain photo has been making the rounds, with the urgent claim that it depicts pro-terrorist Muslim protesters in Dearborn: "This is Dearborn Michigan after the radical Islamic attack in California! These are Isis flags and Isis supporters folks but the media has not reported because of politically correctness.”

This stuff is nothing new. Dearborn, with its high percentage of Arabic and Muslim residents, has been a frequent target of truth-lite Islamophobe bloggers, whose outrageous claims have even included that Sharia Law prevails there. Of course, it's hard to take the people making such claims seriously, or believe they've ever set foot in Dearborn. But these people do have their audience, and this is their red meat: Wild tales about a flood of foreign refugees coming to America with a strange religion and a history of radicalism and unrest. (You know, the same things 100 percent Americans said about Roman Catholics a century ago.)

Well, those of us more familiar with the situation on the ground should have done what an astute blogger did at New York magazine: Jesse Singall researched the claims about these pro-terror Muslims and found evidence all but proving it was a march against terrorism.

He backs it up with plenty of research, not that it will matter to people who are convinced by a blurry photo showing some flags in the distance. We used to have a name for those sorts of people: nuts. But in today's environment, the ugly and absurd are fair game for those on the side of fear and loathing.

Or, as Singall more politely puts it: "This is what happens when the conversation about a minority group flies completely off the rails."


Florida Man is at it again.

Florida Man Arrested For Attempting To Break Into Jail
The suspect was allegedly high on flakka.

The holidays are a time to reconnect with old friends, but breaking into jail may not be the best way to do that.

Authorities in Indian River County, Florida, arrested a man Monday night after he allegedly tried to break into the county jail by ramming his car into the front door and then trying to climb a fence.

The suspect, 24-year-old Patrick Rempe, was arrested when he got tangled in the fence's razor wire, according to WFTV.com.

Rempe was taken into custody and treated for minor injuries.

Police said he told them he was high on the synthetic drug flakka and just wanted to "visit friends who were in the jail," according to WPBF TV. ...................(more)


Police Use Stun Gun to Subdue Naked, Armed Man on Kansas City Bus

A naked man observed masturbating in a city bus in Kansas City Monday night has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Kansas City police used a Taser to subdue Roscoe D. Teagues III during the incident Monday night at 75th Street and Prospect Avenue, according to the charges filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City.

Teagues, 38, was sitting in the back of the bus when the driver finished her shift. She told him he had to leave, according to court documents.

He refused, pulled down his pants and began masturbating while making a lewd demand of her, she said. ..............(more)


Burn the TPP

Burn the TPP

Leo W. Gerard
International President, United Steelworkers

Middle America is smoldering. For too long, average citizens worked harder and produced more, yet corporations cut pay and benefits, off-shored community-sustaining factories, killed family-supporting jobs and crushed opportunity.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stokes that fire by urging Americans to blame anyone but corporations and corporate honchos like himself. One-percenter Trump and his fellow GOP candidates exhort average Americans to hate and fear Muslims, Syrian refugees, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants.

This is a divisionary tactic. The intent is to split workers into small sub-groups so they lose strength in numbers. And it’s a diversionary tactic. The ungodly wealthy like Trump, who have taken for themselves all the economic gains from increased worker productivity, finger someone other than one-percenters as the culprit for middle-class wage stagnation and provoke workers to fight among themselves.

Division and diversion help the one percent capture government, securing policies that further enrich the rich, like trickle-down economics under which no benefits ever actually descend, bailouts for Wall Street but not Main Street and job-destroying trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a real democracy, one where government serves the 99 percent, the smoldering in America would be piles of discarded TPP texts. ...............(more)


Decolonizing Our Minds and Our Lands: Reviving Seeds, Culture and African Strength

Decolonizing Our Minds and Our Lands: Reviving Seeds, Culture and African Strength

Wednesday, 16 December 2015 00:00
By Gathuru Mburu, Other Worlds | Op-Ed

Gathuru Mburu is an ecologist and activist from Kenya. He is cofounder of the Institute for Culture and Ecology and part of the African Biodiversity Network, which is a member of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa.

Recolonization is happening. There is a second scramble, not just in Africa, but across the global South. Corporations started it. We need to name and shame these corporations - Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, and the program promoting them, AGRA (A Green Revolution for Africa) - to take this battle to the next level.

The wars [of conquest of Africa] have not actually ended - the artillery has just transformed into a different type against us farmers today. All of us are fighting.

Organizing From the Grassroots, to the National, to the International

The problems we're facing today can't be solved by individuals. The way to fight the war is through a collective approach.

The African Biodiversity Network is working to bring communities across Africa together and connect them to strengthen the grassroots. Communities are reviving their culture and their seeds, and forming local alliance which we call "communities of practice." Then we connect these communities of practice at the local, national, and regional level, and they form active coalitions.

This is why the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa formed, which consists of 13 networks collectively covering 40 of the 54 countries. We have huge strength. We can actually change farming, seeds, and culture en masse in Africa. ...............(more)


‘Days of Revolt’ With Chris Hedges: The Militarism of U.S. Diplomacy

In Tuesday’s episode of “Days of Revolt,” host and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and author Vijay Prashad trace the acceleration of U.S. militarism since the collapse of the Soviet Union and discuss the nature and consequences of U.S. domination over global affairs.


40 Years On, the Vietnam War Continues for Victims of Agent Orange

from truthdig:

40 Years On, the Vietnam War Continues for Victims of Agent Orange

Posted on Dec 16, 2015
By Marjorie Cohn

[font size="1"]Tran Thi Le Huyen, 23, in a wheelchair at her family home in Danang, Vietnam, in 2007. Her family once lived near the highly contaminated Danang Airbase; her father was a driver for the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government during the war. (David Guttenfelder / AP)[/font]

The war in Vietnam resulted in the deaths of more than 58,000 Americans and more than 3 million Vietnamese. Twenty years ago, the United States and Vietnam normalized diplomatic relations in an effort to put the terrible legacy of the war behind them. But for the survivors—both Vietnamese and American—the war continues. About 5 million Vietnamese and many U.S. and allied soldiers were exposed to the toxic chemical dioxin from the spraying of Agent Orange. Many of them and their progeny continue to suffer its poisonous effects.

Agent Orange was a chemical, herbicidal weapon sprayed over 12 percent of Vietnam by the U.S. military from 1961 to 1971. The dioxin present in Agent Orange is one of the most toxic chemicals known to humanity.

Those exposed to Agent Orange during the war often have children and grandchildren with serious illnesses and disabilities. The international scientific community has identified an association between exposure to Agent Orange and some forms of cancers, reproductive abnormalities, immune and endocrine deficiencies and nervous system damage. Second- and third-generation victims continue to be born in Vietnam as well as to U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans in this country.

There are 28 “hot spots” in Vietnam still contaminated by dioxin. These hot spots still affect the people who live there and eat the crops, land animals and fish.

On April 29, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee introduced HR 2114, the Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2015. This bill would go a long way toward remedying the humanitarian crisis among both the Vietnamese and U.S. victims of Agent Orange. .............(more)


Rising Seas Slow the Planet’s Yearly Journey

This Creative Commons-licensed piece first appeared at Climate News Network.

LONDON—Scientists may be about to resolve one of the trickiest – and least obvious – questions of climate change: its effect on the rotation of the planet, and therefore on the length of the day.

That doesn’t mean scientists have an answer, and if they get one, it is likely to be measured in units of time that are vanishingly small. But even if the answer is insignificant, the attempt to resolve the question is a measure of the intricacy, impact and reach of global warming as a consequence of the human combustion of fossil fuels: it even affects the axis of the planet, and it changes our days.

Jerry Mitrovica, a planetary scientist at Harvard University, and colleagues report in the journal Science Advances that they have managed to make a connection between global sea level rises of the past and the rotation of the Earth on its year-long journey around the Sun.

More precisely, they have addressed a 13-year-old puzzle known as Munk’s enigma. This study raised a simple question that cannot be answered simply: if changes on the Earth’s surface slow its rotation, surely it should be possible to detect the contribution of sea level rise?

Almost anything can affect the rotation of the planet: the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami shortened the day by 1.8 millionths of a second, but the advance and retreat of the ice ages would also have altered the clocks, had there been any clocks at the time, and the daily ocean tides have for billions of years been making the day drag on. ................(more)


I'm an American, but I swear sometimes I just don't "get" America.....

Americans’ support for banning assault weapons, once near-universal, is now at a record low, a new survey shows.

President Barack Obama renewed his call for such a ban earlier this month, saying in a speech that the U.S. needs “to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino.”

But in a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Wednesday morning, just 45 percent want to ban the weapons, down from 80 percent in 1994.

Support for such a ban has decreased in the past two decades, though a majority still backed one as recently as two years ago.

“The increase in opposition to banning assault weapons since 2013 peaks in some groups -- up 18 points among strong conservatives, 17 points among higher-income earners and 16 points in the generally more liberal Northeast. But it’s a broadly based trend,” pollster Gary Langer noted. ..................(more)


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