November 17, 2018 ... Morocco ; Africa's first high-speed train seen at a station in Rabat, Morocco. The new train exceeded a speed of 220 miles (352 km) per hour in the tests, but it will travel at a speed of 320 km per hour (200 mph) during normal operation. More photos at China.org via Xinhua/Aissa
November 15, 2018 ... View from Russia ; US ‘Empire of Debt’ will go to war to stop emergence of petro-yuan – Max Keiser financial report
The imminent introduction of oil trading in yuan is a very bold move by the Chinese, because the US will not give up the basis of its hegemony – the dollar as the world’s reserve currency – without a fight, Max Keiser, host of RT’s financial program ‘Keiser Report' has said.
The Chinese plan to roll out a yuan-denominated oil contract before the end of this year is a very brave move, since countries who “tried to exit the oil-dollar matrix have met terrible ends,” Keiser pointed out.
“Saddam Hussein wanted to trade oil in Euros and he was killed, Muammar Gaddafi wanted to trade his energy in something other than the US dollar – he was killed,” Keiser said.
Countries worldwide are tired of funding the America’s “military adventurism by being a party to the ‘Empire of Debt,’ as it’s known around the world – the US dollar,” and therefore, will likely join the de-dollarization movement, Keiser said.
The US financial sector and its military-industrial complex are unlikely to give up the dollar hegemony without a fight, though, as the dollar is both the basis and the main product of America. And the US will use its other favorite tool for it – war, Keiser believes. read complete Keiser Report on RT
Union of Concerned Scientists Cartoon of the Month
November 5, 2018 ... Cell transplant restores vision in rats ; Study represents step forward in combating age and disease related vision loss in human adults. Society for Neuroscience. This news appeared as a news release in Eureka Alert citing an article that detailed visual cortical responses generated by retinal sheet transplants in rats with severe retinal degeneration in the respected neuroscience journal JNeurosci
Sheets of fetal cells integrate into the retina and generate nearly normal visual activity in the brains of blind rats, reports new research published in JNeurosci.
November 1, 2018 ... Editor's note ; Evolution is accelerating at an accelerating rate in the form of knowledge. Focus of distributed intelligence using distributed intelligence to self consciously devise the means to do so is the evolutionary step our mature species is about to attempt. The riddle, once again, is figuring out a manner of living that heals Earth.
Regarding what is too much. The statistic that best indicates using too much is elimination of wildlife on land and in the sea. Today, one can drive across the US and not need to wash off blinding windshield bug splats. What is too much is part of the riddle. We will know we are together solving the riddle of our lives when wildlife begins to rebound.
I believe a new form of democracy beyond representative democracy is the tool we will invent together.
October 30, 2018 ... Syria : The day after peace is secured; A visitor takes a photo in the National Museum of Damascus, Syria, on Oct. 28, 2018. The National Museum of Damascus re-opened its gate to visitors for the first time in several years on Sunday. (Xinhua/Ammar Safarjalani)
China helped Russia, Germany, Turkey, Iran and France accomplish peace in Syria. The above photo is an understated self congratulatory pat on the back; See more photos at China News
Editorial note; Contrast this with destruction and looting of the museum of antiquities in Iraq. Treasures from the garden of Eden were destroyed and looted while barbarian invaders guarded offices of the oil ministry just across the street.
October 30, 2018 ... United States : US science and the citizens who support scientific analysis of real world social relations still promote peace and justice through good works. Such people are focused by high moral ambitions. This PNAS report is a feast of food for thought compliments of the US government science department. The title is; Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene It is very good work. Living scientists and all citizens looking at cultural relationships with Earth health using applied entropy, chemistry and evolution spiced by astro and quantum physics will find this PNAS analytical report particularly useful; it is ready for in the field application.
Above is a schematic illustration of possible future pathways of the climate against the background of the typical glacial–interglacial cycles (Lower Left). The interglacial state of the Earth System is at the top of the glacial–interglacial cycle, while the glacial state is at the bottom. Sea level follows temperature change relatively slowly through thermal expansion and the melting of glaciers and ice caps. The horizontal line in the middle of the figure represents the preindustrial temperature level, and the current position of the Earth System is shown by the small sphere on the red line close to the divergence between the Stabilized Earth and Hothouse Earth pathways. The proposed planetary threshold at ∼2 °C above the preindustrial level is also shown. The letters along the Stabilized Earth/Hothouse Earth pathways represent four time periods in Earth’s recent past that may give insights into positions along these pathways (SI Appendix): A, Mid-Holocene; B, Eemian; C, Mid-Pliocene; and D, Mid-Miocene. Their positions on the pathway are approximate only. Temperature ranges relative to preindustrial are given in in great detail in SI Appendix, Table S1 of the complete Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America; PNAS
October 28, 2018 ... India ; You are eating plastic in salt, finds Indian Institute of Technology Bombay study. The study revealed that Indians are consuming about 117 micrograms (0.117 milligrams) of microplastic annually if the average person has a daily salt intake of 5 grams. Read more at: India Times
More recent studies reveal microplastics are found in 90 percent of the table salt brands sampled worldwide. See latest report at National Geographic
Editor's note ; Corporate capitalism is a simple monopoly game that started when thieving pirates with no morals drove people from the land and made them into slaves. Capitalism began with armed gangs back when the world was relatively empty of humans. Today's old-fashioned capitalists think they are better people because they or their parents and grandparents have stolen more from Earth and society than others have.
The result was and still is entirely predictable. Now there are billions of people and every living cell on Earth is stuffed full of capitalist chemical poisons that are put there in living bodies for profits to immortal beings designed to grow to infinity on a small and increasingly polluted Earth floating in Cosmos.
October 27, 2018 ... Europe ; European Parliament Bans Single-Use Plastics in Historic Vote
The European Parliament has just approved, by a huge margin of 571 to 53, a complete ban on a range of single use plastics across the union in a bid to stop pollution of the oceans. The parliament backed a ban on plastic cutlery and plates, cotton buds, straws, drink stirrers and balloons sticks. The proposal also calls for a reduction in single use plastic for food and drink containers like plastic cups. Cigarette makers will have to reduce the plastic in filters by 50 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030. Another ambitious target is to ensure 90 percent of all plastic drink bottles are collected for recycling by 2025.
Excerpts are from Dimitri Lascaris, reporting for The Real News; Dr. Jonathan Latham says 95% of table salt contains plastic due to plastics pollution in the oceans and there are significant health impacts from plastics in the diet. Read full article at the Real News
October 26, 2018 ... Austria ; Microplastics Have Been Found in People's Poop—What Does It Mean?
Scientific American has the full story here.
October 25, 2018 ... Black Agenda Report ; The two largest US political parties support wage theft
Black Agenda Report
October 19, 2018 ... China ; Chinese science predicts global climate collapse from carbon dioxide will destroy life and be sooner than later. "To avoid the collective death, the emission of carbon dioxide should be reduced by 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030 and should be brought to zero by 2050, according to experts."
The cap on emissions will help to keep the temperature growth below 1.5 degree C and enable us to live with relative peace and prosperity. A failure to do so would change everything and might lead to the extinction of human life on planet earth. Read more advanced Chinese science on this subject at China.org
October 18, 2018 ... United States ; Greens work for peace and justice with nature. Greens have candidates on the November ballot. Think Green. Live Green. Vote Green.
Write in None of the Above if you don’t have a virtual green or real green candidate listed for an elected position. Be brave. Vote green or write in None of the Above.
October 10, 2018 ... China ; The expanding high-speed rail economy of China is a catalyst for continued economic growth. It has a wide variety of primary and secondary benefits that include peaceful relations with surrounding nations.
China's high-speed railway network has resulted in the creation of business opportunities. It is an extensive eco-system that is generating profits not merely through the sale of tickets but through its overall economy-boosting capacity which is driving China forward despite international financial turmoil like the recession of the 2000s and protectionist moves of this year. At the same time, it is redistributing economic activities across the country and revising traditional business models.Read more at China.org
October 9, 2018 ... Ireland ; Danielle Ryan an Irish freelance writer based in Dublin suggests a United Ireland may not be as far off as most people think.
Britain’s haphazard attempt at withdrawal from the European Union has reopened the debate on the prospect of a united Ireland — and despite loud protests from some quarters, the cat can’t be put back in the bag. Read more of Danielle Ryan's article at Russian Times
October 5, 2018 ... Ecological Society of America ; Image explained: Crumbling blocks of permafrost release methane gas along the Beaufort coast, Alaska. Right photo of methane gas bubbles trapped in aurface ice during freeze thaw cycles.
Recent studies show that Alaska is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the country. Complete recent studies and articles at Eurekalert
October 5, 2018 ... Iran ; The recent rise in oil prices has offset the impact of the U.S. sanctions on Iran, a senior Iranian official said on Thursday. Iran's oil revenues were up 16 percent in the past six months, Mohammad Baqer Nobakht, head of Iran's Planning and Budget Organization, was quoted as saying by Press TV.
U.S. President Donald Trump "thought he could shrink our country's oil revenues by imposing sanctions on Iran's oil sector and cutting its exports, but the rise in oil prices did not let that happen," said Nobakht.
Trump has vowed to squeeze Iran's oil exports down to a trickle, pushing oil prices to historical high since 2014.
Iran has officially announced that among its oil customers, only South Korea has stopped the purchase of crude from Iran. full article at China.org
October 3, 2018 ... Indonesia ; School run. A keeper brings a wheelbarrow full of baby orangutans to ‘forest school’ in Ketapang, Indonesia. International Animal Rescue recovered the orangutans from residents who were keeping them as pets. The animals will be taught to fend for themselves before being released back into their natural habitat. More from Nature
October 1, 2018 ... California ; Net neutrality has become the law in the world's fifth largest economy. Capitalists in Washington DC have been thwarted in their desire for total control of information. Freedom to think and speak truth to corporate wealth operating in secret back rooms remains with informed people communicating via the open internet. This freedom has been secured by hard working Californians for the world. Eternal war and concentration of wealth have been dealt a major setback by Californians today.
September 25, 2018 ... Propaganda 101 ; "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all." - Paul Simon
Was Donald Duck always such a crass agent of cultural imperialism?
Indeed he was, say Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart. Their 1971 book How to Read Donald Duck (published in Chile as Para Leer al Pato Donald) examined the myriad ways Disney cartoons did the dirty work of their capitalist creators.
The book was an instant success, and when a CIA-backed coup overthrew the democratically-elected Socialist President Salvador Allende in 1973, installing Augusto Pinochet in a military dictatorship, it posed an instant threat to the regime.
In Chile, copies were burned and dumped en masse into the ocean; in the United States, books were impounded at the border. No publisher has dared face down Disney, and How to Read Donald Duck has been effectively banned in the U.S. ever since.
Now, all these years later, available for the first time through an American publisher, one of the most influential works of cultural criticism of all time. How to Read Donald Duck Imperialist Ideology in the Disney Comic, by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart
Find out more at O/R Books
September 23, 2018 ... Arizona ; A public initiative supporting education with a modest tax on high incomes had passed all hurdles and was ready for the ballot when the state supreme court said, no.
Teacher pay and investment in education has languished for years in Arizona. After long teacher strikes the Arizona government raised taxes on the poor to finance a pay increase for teachers. Raise taxes on the poor? Leaving aside discussion of perverse cruelty, the state could not squeeze blood out of a dried turnip.
Teachers, being smart, organized a state election initiative to raise income taxes on individual incomes above $250,000 or households earning more than $500,000, to support education. Next the Arizona supreme court said no to the citizen's initiative. The "AZ Supreme Court just saved the 1% from the horror of having to pay their fair share for the education of our children.” Read complete story at TalkPoverty.org
September 23, 2018 ... from the editor ;
Representative democracies mostly represent capital. Even so; elections are an important tool humanity uses to focus distributed intelligence.
Citizen initiatives to eliminate single-use plastic, create public banks and require the wealthy to pay their fair share are excellent fulcrums to lever cultural evolution away from corporate capitalism and practice autonomous democracy at the same time.
zerowastenews.org ; Garrett Connelly, editor
September 21, 2018 ... Jamaica bans single-use plastics;
Starting January 1, 2019, Jamaica will continue the anti-pollution movement promoted by over 60 nations around the world, the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, said during a press conference Monday.
Jamaica joins other culturally and environmentally sensitive nations recognizing that plastic is a nuisance that damages tourism as well as breaks down to smaller and smaller pieces that enter the food chain and eventually become endocrine disruptors that damage the human body. Complete Jamaica article
Dominica is also set to ban single-use plastics January 1, 2019. Plastic straws, styrofoam and other single-use plastics will be banned from Dominica as of January 2019, the Caribbean nation announced. Read more on Dominica's single-use plastic ban here
India Pledges to Eliminate Single-Use Plastic by 2022 Read complete article
An inclusive single-use plastic regulation was first researched and placed into political process in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The mayor there changed the election rules and even then barely stopped a successful citizen's initiative to regulate all single-use plastic at the point of public sales. That single-use plastic regulation is presented as a research example on this website; Clearwater Biodegradable Packaging and Litter Reduction Law
September 16, 2018 ... United States ; Where the political class believes private jet owners deserve a tax break!
This is not a Bob Dylan song... These words are penned after a US visit by Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights...
“The United States is one of the world’s richest, most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth, nor its power, nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty,”
“I met with many people barely surviving on Skid Row in Los Angeles,
I witnessed a San Francisco police officer telling a group of homeless people to move on but having no answer when asked where they could move to,
I heard how thousands of poor people get minor infraction notices which seem to be intentionally designed to quickly explode into unpayable debt,
and replenishment of municipal coffers.
I saw sewage-filled yards in states where governments don’t consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility,
I saw people who had lost all of their teeth because adult dental care is not covered by the vast majority of programs available to the very poor,
I heard about soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by opioids,
and I met with people in Puerto Rico living next to a mountain of completely unprotected coal ash which rains down upon them, bringing illness, disability and death.”
Read full expose in Russian Times
September 15, 2018 ... Brazil ; Brazilian election is a class struggle
The Landless Worker’s Movement (Movimento Sem Terra/MST), is the largest social movement in Latin America, with around 1.6 million members in all 26 states of Brazil. Under the rallying cry of “occupy, resist, produce”, it’s members have legally squatted on and gained deeds for approximately 400,000 family farms in its ongoing fight for agrarian reform.
“Our weapon is our vote…. We will elect people who are committed to the working class, instead of their own individual interests or mediocre vanity,” says MST leader João Pedro Stedile.
The US has helped destroy Brazil's still healing democracy for the second time. Read Eduardo Miranda's full article at Brazil Wire
September 14, 2018 ... Washington State University ; BPA substitute plastic ingredients BPS and diphenyl sulfone cause chromosomal abnormalities, and the effects can last for generations.
In this latest work, Patricia Hunt of Washington State University and her colleagues exposed pregnant mice to BPA, BPS, diphenyl sulfone, or a placebo, finding that BPA and BPS led to a higher rate of chromosomal abnormalities in female fetuses. They also exposed male baby mice to a variety of plastic ingredients, including BPS and diphenyl sulfone, and found more chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm than in sperm from control animals. Subsequent generations had similar abnormalities.
It’s not clear what this means for humans. As for lab animals, the report serves as a cautionary tale about housing conditions. Both the latest study and one Hunt led 20 years ago that first signaled the hazards of BPA came about by accident, when she discovered that mice’s reproductive systems were affected by plastic compounds leaching out of damaged cages. Read full article in The Scientist
Editor's note; Life on Earth evolved organically until untested chemicals were introduced into products and pollution. Plain plastic looks like an old-fashioned black, dial telephone. Additives make it soft and pliable; such additives are also endocrine disruptors, pollute the gene pool and cause cancer. These same additives fix scents in things like dish soap. Do you like boysenberry shampoo and lemon scented dish soap? Think twice before using it on your baby's head or dishes.
9/11, 2018 ... Syria ; US threatens to attack Syria for Pentagon scheme:
Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton indicated during a speech on Monday that the United States, Britain, and France have agreed that another use of chemical weapons by Syria would be taken “very seriously” and will require a much “stronger” and harsher response.
Russia has been warning the world for weeks about this fake attack with poison gas supplied be the English government. Russian and Chinese fleets are both in the area to defend Syria from Nato war mongers. Defend Democracy Press
September 8, 2018 ... USA ; Science academies urge paper ballots for all US elections
No Internet technology is safe, secure or reliable for voting, find the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Paper ballots that can be tallied by hand are the most secure way to conduct an election, according to a report from the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Read analysis at Nature online
Editor's note; Evolution is accelerating at an accelerating rate. Focus of distributed intelligence by humanity without government involvement is already here and now. Paper ballots are excellent for official election to fill functional government positions. Focus of distributed human intelligence includes some form of vote tabulation in an open source form other than paper ballots. Yes on paper ballots to fill formal government slots. Inventions are still forming to help cosmic powered biology manifest as human focus its own distributed intelligence and arrive at proposals and plans to heal Earth.
September 7, 2018 ... Syria ; Border @ Golan Heights:
Syrian troops are once again fully deployed on the provisional truce line border with Israel.
Russian military police have been positioned along the Golan Heights border with UN Peacekeepers in order to prevent an escalation between the two enemy countries.
Defend Democracy Press for more information
September 5, 2018 ... São Paulo, Brazil : "Beam me up, Scotty."
Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961), one of the giants of contemporary science, considered "entanglement" the most interesting property in quantum mechanics. In his view, it was this phenomenon that truly distinguished the quantum world from the classical world.
Experiments performed at the University of São Paulo's Physics Institute (IF-USP) in Brazil have succeeded in entangling six light waves generated by a simple laser light source known as an optical parametric oscillator. Read Eurekalert! for the full story.
Your site editor here is glad to see science still exists in Brazil and wonders if they will soon be able to tell us how much entanglement is required to build a transporter. "Beam me up. Scotty."
September 3, 2018 ... Real World Economics : from Asad Zaman Introduction
How does it happen that we have given our quiet assent to a situation where the richest 85 individuals have more money than the bottom 3.5 billion? Where vultures wait for starving children to die, while others eat luxurious meals on private resort islands? Where horrendous military and commercial crimes leading to deaths, misery, and deprivations of millions are routinely committed by highly educated men with multimillion dollar salaries in luxury corporate and government suites? A core component of the answer to these critical questions is that we have been educated to believe that this is a normal state of affairs, which comes about through the operation of iron laws of economics. Economic theories currently being taught in universities all over the world are an essential pillar which sustains the economic system currently in operation. These theories state that we (human beings) are cold, callous, and calculating. Microeconomic theory says rational individuals are concerned only with their own consumption. They are callous; completely indifferent to the needs of others. They maximize, calculating personal benefits to the last penny. They are cold – their decisions are not swayed by emotions of any kind.
Read Asad Zaman's full perspective at Real World Economics
August 30, 2018 ... Grenada : Soon to halt use of All Styrofoam Products
Grenada's environment minister praised restaurants and stores that “already transitioned to alternative products.” Grenada joins many Caribbean nations with this act.
A mayor of Honolulu once described the question succinctly; Who wants to vacation on an island paradise littered with plastic trash? Read full story on Telesur
August 28, 2018 ... China : Alashankou railway station a gateway to China
The gateway of the People's Republic of China, located in the Alashankou City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The photo is taken on Aug. 16, 2018. [Photo by Li Peigang/China.org.cn]
The direct freight train service connecting China and Europe, officially known as the "China Railway Express," has been welcomed by the market for expanding the range of solutions for logistics. Alashankou, a border city located in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, is an example.
Built in June 1990, nearly 70 percent of all "China Railway Express" freight trains now pass through the station heading for European countries every year, playing a significant role in promoting the country's "Belt and Road" Initiative in recent years. More photos and complete article at China.org
Editor's note; This profitable container transport venture has probably cost less than the US deficit-funded, money-losing, military-containment of China policy.
A world-wide deposit on plastic bottles and jars would help clean beaches.
August 27, 2018 ... Byblos, Lebanon : Mayor Wissam Zaarour has made the ambitious decision to end single-use plastic bags by the end of 2018. Full article published by Middle East Eye.
© Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters
August 26, 2018 ... Venezuela : Paper money has become worthless in Venezuela. More photo examples published online by Russian Times.
The cure may be found with a social experiment; Print bills as blanks with varying number values, start with one kilocalorie equal one eco monetary unit and make 100 a maximum. Distribute blanks and artist's painting supplies mid-morning, in public parks. Collect artist's supplies in late afternoon. Each blank bill becomes original art by painters who meet at the park. They spread the money they made by spending it.
Individual artists take their finished bills to the store or cafe and buy a cup of coffee or maybe a good meal. Depends on what the business person thinks the art might be worth. The population eventually spawns a few very successful money painters who sell their bills in art galleries. Soon foreign museums enter the bidding for hand painted bills. Venezuela stands tall financially on the shoulders of artists and sends Golden Sacks back to the swamp of illicit finance. All countries then follow Venezuela and throw off the corporate yoke that enriches money grubbing war mongers.
Is Climate the Worst Casualty?
August 25, 2018 ... US eternal War : Black Agenda Report; If we don’t get serious about stopping the U.S. war machine, we could lose the biggest battle of our lives.
“With few exceptions, the topic of America’s literal war on the world is still off the table.”
How do you clear a room of climate activists? Start talking about war. It’s not just environmentalists that leave. It’s pretty much everyone. Mission accomplished by the Bush administration, which sent the military and their families to war and the rest of the country to an amusement park. "Go shopping," the president said.
“We haven’t counted the massive carbon footprint of America’s endless wars because military emissions abroad have a blanket exemption from reporting requirements.” Read complete Black Agenda Report
August 22, 2018 ... Luna : Data from the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft show frost on the lunar north and south poles. Read original article from The Scientist
Editor's note; India, Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are building rockets to supply scientific colonies on the moon. Water is the key. Dwellings and laboratories will be in already existing lava tubes requiring only an inner lining to hold air pressure. Water mines will be dug in icy strata. Plentiful solar power will make electricity to separate lunar water into oxygen and hydrogen, for air supply and rocket fuel. Low gravity lunar launch pads are a great attraction for slinging space probes off the moon as it whizzes around Earth.
Luna will turn out to be richer than the California gold rush. Inventions are unlimited; Gigantic telescopes in low gravity with no atmosphere will be built on Luna. The first inter stellar space ship will be built in lunar orbit. The big telescopes will have seen where to go. Tuition free universities will rise in this place like no other. Pronto. South Korea and Japan will not want to miss the coming construction boom in artfully lined lava tube living spaces. Panoramic crater or canyon views opening to Heavenly Cosmos will fetch a premium.
Meanwhile, war fixated north Americans appear destined to sink further into post modern capitalist feudalism. This is doubly odd as North America and Europe are already impotent before the defenses of rapidly evolving cosmic powered biology manifest as human beings reaching for the stars.
August 22, 2018 ... Sweden : Links between conservatism, xenophobia and climate change denial exhibit how the growth of right-wing nationalism in Europe has contributed to an increase in climate change denial. Read original article in Eurekalert Science News
August 8, 2018 ... Derbyshire, UK : Plastic factory fire grows into sky high tornado of fire surrounded by outwardly spreading flaming plastic lava.
Plastic tornado movie Euronews.com
August 4, 2018 ... Italy : China opens new freight train service to Milan. Costly geopolitical containment plans easily neuterered by containers traveling profitable new train routes.
As of end of June, China-Europe freight trains have made over 9,000 trips since the service began in 2011. The trains are currently operated between 48 Chinese cities and 42 cities in 14 European countries. Announcement from China
August 3, 2018 ... United States : Greenfield Recorder : Franklin County, Massachusetts
July 30, 2018 ... China : Intriguing Chinese indications of officially recognizing democracy as a tool to focus distributed human intelligence. China may be the first country to put cosmic powered biology in charge with advanced tools of autonomous democracy.
Here is a snippet from a fairly long article. Li is part of a high level capitol governing branch of government.
"As the organs of state power, people's congresses and their standing committees are at the forefront in developing democracy and the rule of law, playing a major role in advancing law-based governance in all fields," Li said. Full story from China
Editor; As the US and Canada slide deeper into endless imperial war against democracy and nature, China breaks away into accelerating evolution. China? Juggling with justice and law evolving at an accelerating rate? Cosmic powered biology creating a garden for democracy with leadership via autonomous peoples congresses? Irony? Science? Ironic science?
July 29, 2018 ... Bitcoin and Yap stone money, Real World Economics : contributing writer merijntknibbe alerts us. "In October 2015 I wrote a post in which I compared Bitcoin with Yap island stone money. Farfetched? No. Today, Sciencenews published an article by Bruce Bower. He states that archeologists nowadays argue the same thing. An excerpt:"
Archaeologist Scott Fitzpatrick and finance professor Stephen McKeon, both of the University of Oregon in Eugene, see parallels between the public, decentralized way in which rai limestone money on the island of Yap was valued and distributed and the modern-day blockchain technology used for Bitcoin and other digital currency transactions.
Rai: Yap residents traveled to nearby islands where limestone was mined and carved into circular rai. At home, the miners described each item’s manufacturing history to the community so that everyone knew a rai’s worth.
Bitcoin: A Bitcoin miner solves a complex mathematical puzzle to release units of the cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology verifies the transaction for all those in the network to see.
Read the full interesting list at Real World Economics or Science News, with Photo
July 26, 2018 ... Plastic in Compost : Science News reissues a report about microplastics in compost.
Composting waste is heralded as being good for the environment. But it turns out that compost collected from homes and grocery stores is a previously unknown source of microplastic pollution, an April 4 study in Science Advances reports.
This plastic gets spread over fields, where it may be eaten by worms and enter the food web, make its way into waterways or perhaps break down further and become airborne, says Christian Laforsch, an ecologist at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Once the plastic is spread across fields, “we don’t know its fate,” he says.
That fate and the effects of plastic pollution on land and in freshwater has received little research attention compared with marine plastic pollution, says ecologist Chelsea Rochman of the University of Toronto. Ocean microplastics have gained notoriety thanks in part to coverage of the floating hulk of debris called the great Pacific garbage patch.
Current evidence suggests that plastic pollution is as prevalent in land and freshwater ecosystems as it is in the oceans, where it’s found “from the equator to the poles,” says Rochman, author of a separate commentary on the state of plastic pollution research published in the April 6 Science. Plastic “is seen in the high Arctic, where we suspect it comes down in rain. We know it’s in drinking water, in our seafood and spread on our agricultural fields,” she says. Read full Science News article here
Editor's note; Sunlight on a bit of plastic creates new endocrine disruptors while freshly excreted plastic is clean and charged to accept pollution ions. Remove all of those little plastic labels before composting.
July 25, 2018 ... Mars : Mars was warmer and wetter billions of years ago than it is today. Credit: NASA
A large saltwater lake seems to lurk under ice near Mars’s south pole. If confirmed, it would be the first body of liquid water ever detected on the red planet and a significant milestone in the quest to determine whether life exists there.
“It’s a very promising place to look for life on Mars,” says Roberto Orosei, a planetary scientist at the National Institute of Astrophysics in Bologna, Italy. “But we do not know for sure if it is inhabited.” On Earth, similar ‘subglacial’ lakes are home to microbial life.
A team of Italian researchers, led by Orosei, reported the discovery on 25 July in Science1. They spotted evidence of the buried lake in radar data from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft. Read complete Nature article here Fascinating."
July 24, 2018 ... Arctic ocean plastic : Kugluktuk, Nunavut, northern Canada, in a lee safe from winter ice, occupied since the last ice age. Up there toward the north pole. Far, far north of the Idaho and Montana border.
“It was surprising how many tiny pieces of plastic were on the shoreline,” says researcher Rhiannon Moore, who studies microplastics in marine mammals through the Vancouver-based marine education and research organization Ocean Wise.
Myles Aggark, a 23 year old from Kugluktuk, was among the participants, and intends to continue working with the researchers on future projects. He says he’s noticed an increase in the plastic pollution along the shore. “It’s growing a lot now,” he says. “All sorts of garbage and plastics and cigarette butts.”
From Narwhal: There isn’t an ocean beach in the world that has been tested and not found to contain tiny plastic fibers, beads or other plastic fragments of the industrial world. read complete Narwhal Report (editor) When I was young, we called something like this "radicalamundo."
July 17, 2018 ... Eurasia : Chinese president eyes closer China-EU partnership
Chinese President Xi Jinping met with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Monday, calling for closer partnership between China and the European Union (EU). Complete article
July 13, 2018 ... California : Ballot initiative will create a public banking industry to counter capitalist banking cartels.
The only thing most Trump supporters hate nearly as much as their non-white fellows, is bankers. But, unless you are among the overwhelmingly white and rural residents of North Dakota, home to the only state public bank in the nation, you are not familiar with any public banking model and have never experienced a situation in which private bankers did not have the first and last word.
As a serendipitous consequence of the newly legalized cannabis industry, California is awash in reefer cash that cannot be deposited in federally-sanctioned banks -- a problem begging for an immediate socialistic solution. As crusading anti-banker Ellen Brown reports in a recent article, the majority of cannabis “businesses are operating on the black market without paying taxes.” The state and cash-strapped municipalities want to tap these reefer-gotten gains, with Los Angeles “Mayor Eric Garcetti estimating it would bring in $30 million in taxes for the city.”
Sincere reformers, having watched as private banks leached billions in profits from bond-financed public development and affordable housing efforts -- often adding 50 percent or more to the cost of the project -- got the Los Angeles City Council to agree last month to put on the November ballot a bill that would establish a public bank for the city, the largest cannabis market in the state. City Council president Herb Wesson says the lure of marijuana money has been a boon to public banking advocates, but the cannabis windfall is not “what’s driving it.” Anti-bankers from across the state have formed a California Public Banking Alliance to push for state-chartered banks that could handle the financing of a whole range of governmental functions and projects, saving municipalities and agencies billions in private banking fees and usurious interest rates.
read more at Black Agenda Report
July 12, 2018 ... Ireland : Irish senate approves ban on products from Israeli settlements
Ireland’s senate has voted in favour of a bill banning the importation of products from Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories, paving the way for the country to become the first EU nation to enforce a boycott.
The bill, which has faced angry Israeli opposition, prohibits “trade with and economic support for illegal settlements in territories deemed occupied under international law”.
Alert in Defend Democracy Press, Read full article at the Guardian
July 12, 2018 ... Ireland : Irish people may soon live in the first country with no investments in fossil fuels
The lower house of the Irish legislature passed a divestment bill with support from all parties, effectively ensuring that Ireland will become the first nation in the world to fully divest public money from the fossil fuel industry. Read full article on Common dreams
July 11, 2018 ... Scientific American : More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution
It’s a lie that wasteful consumers cause the problem and that changing our individual habits can fix it
The only thing worse than being lied to is not knowing you’re being lied to. It’s true that plastic pollution is a huge problem, of planetary proportions. And it’s true we could all do more to reduce our plastic footprint. The lie is that blame for the plastic problem is wasteful consumers and that changing our individual habits will fix it.
Complete Scientific American article
Clearwater Plastic Litter Reduction Law is a good place to start
July 6, 2018 ... China : Fruitful gains; Growing rich from apples in rural Shanxi
Despite previously studying clothing and fashion in Beijing, Wu Zhuqin moved back to her hometown in Shanxi province to pursue her apple dream in 2012, and in 2014 established the Niu Village Qing Qing Apple Plantation Professional Cooperative, with 150 members based in Niu Village, Yuci district. The cooperative brought together two villages, 615 households and 2,487 rural villagers, currently covering an area of 4,200 mu (about 692 acres) to produce mainly organic apples and related products.
The cooperative also includes a youth entrepreneurship service platform, which is engaged in apple tree planting, storage, e-commerce, marketing and related technology. The cooperative adopts a model of direct production and marketing, or as they call it, "field to dining table."
The orchard uses solar powered insect traps to capture insects at night, so that the apples can be grown without the use of pesticides. "Most of the nutrients are in the skin of the apple, so you don't have to worry about eating the skin," explained Wu.
Wu said she employs over 20 full time workers and over 90 seasonal workers. People can sponsor a tree for 1580 yuan (about US$236) a year and receive 50 kilograms of apples. complete article from China
July 4, 1840 ± ... England : Since the general introduction of soulless machines into British factories, men have been treated as secondary and subordinate machines. Much more attention has been given to the perfecting of raw materials made of wood and metal than that made of bodies and minds. [Robert Owen, Essays on the Formation of the Human Character, London, 1840, p. 33.]
July 2, 1860 ± ... Karl Marx : Analyzing the transformation of labor into fixed capital;
"Once absorbed into the production process of capital, the means of labor undergoes various metamorphoses, of which the last is the machine, or rather an automatic system of machinery ... the machinery and production process transform into an automatic system seeking perfection of the system.
"This is set in motion by an automaton, a motive force that moves of its own accord. The automaton consists of a number of mechanical and intellectual organs, so that the workers themselves can be no more than the conscious limbs of the automaton. In the machine, and still more in machinery as an automatic system, the means of labor is transformed as regards its use value, i.e. as regards its material existence, into an existence suitable for fixed capital and capital in general; and the form in which it was assimilated as a direct means of labor into the production process of capital is transformed into one imposed by capital itself and in accordance with it. In no respect is the machine the means of labor of the individual worker. The machine's distinctive character is not at all, as with the means of labor, that of transmitting the activity of the worker to its object; rather, this activity is so arranged that it now only transmits and supervises and protects from damage the work of the machine and its action on the raw material.
"With the tool it was quite the contrary. The worker animated it with skill and activity..." p.373, Karl Marx selected writing compiled byDavid McLellan
July 1, 2018 ... Massachusetts : Harvard causing 'brain drain' through discrimination against Asians
Of all of the baffling but predictable news of the last few weeks, Harvard's discrimination against Asians stands out. According to a new report that has created a significant stir, Harvard admissions officers have consistently rated Asian-American applicants on personal qualities, compared to students of other ethnic backgrounds. A study conducted by a Duke University economics professor, citing 20 years of data, clarified this finding. The study found that from 2000 to the current year, Asians had the lowest admission rate of all racial groups. Put simply, Asian students scoring high on admission tests and intelligence were discriminated against arbitrarily for qualities such as shyness and social awkwardness.
Surprisingly, this was discovered not long ago by Harvard's own internal process, which then tried to cover it up. A group of Asian-American students filed a lawsuit against the institution for its discrimination, and the Students for Fair Admissions organization joined in. Harvard wanted to keep the records hidden, but was court-ordered to publish everything. This is incredible to believe, but is a symptom of the sort of discrimination against hardworking male Asian students that is becoming increasingly common in the United States. complete article from China
July 1, 2018 ... Editorial perspective, Mechanized intelligence : There may someday be an artificial intelligence that designs a bridge across a gorge while seeing an arching span that instantly adjusts to a bridge foundation located by exploration. And if a real intelligence slips through state worship of abstract reduction and pulls it off, builds such an airy light beautiful bridge, then, that intelligence, Robert Mailart, will eventually be demoted to a genius artist who comes along every mellenia or so.
If the huge investment required to develop a mechanical intelligence device is successful, then robust modern capitalism will have devised a labor saving gizmo all humans posses by instinct. The logical step for capitalism after such a stupid investment is a gradual reduction of humans in order to employ already invested capital productively. Robot consumers will easily buy three percent more single-use disposable plastic consumption units per year. They will recycle, everything will be fine.
Another likely vector is that of evolution accelerating at an accelerating rate. Start when the first two quarks mated. One thing led to another, the world went 'round and 'round, and thirteen plus billion years later, here we are; Nine billion of us are zooming through Life along with Cosmos and at the same time watching Cosmos do its thing. We use real intelligence, human eyes, and amazing machines to see cosmic expansion. Evolution and Cosmos are both accelerating at an accelerating rate while desperate capitalists may wipe out life itself seeking to own and profit from it. Even so pirate capitalists can never control cosmic powered biology expressed as human. Especially now. Capitalist attempts to control distributed intelligence of cosmic powered biology concentrating on survival at an existential time such as today are committing Nuremberg class crimes against both humanity and peace.
June 25, 2018 ... Hollywood : editorial report; Heard on the street, Pacific Boulevard,
A stromatolite is a shmoo. Untold billions of them made the atmosphere we breath today. It's published in Earth's fossil record; life began evolving as extremely slow shmoos 3.7 billion years ago. First there was Earth. Then there was water. Not long after water came shmoos. Many of today's stars were not born yet when shmoos were Earth's biological pinnacle. Shmoos are far more complex than their great grand parent quarks. Shmoos made it to be 3.7 billion year-old stromatolite fossils.
June 22, 2018 ... Beijing : Wanshou Dialogue on Global Security held in Beijing
The first session of the Wanshou Dialogue on Global Security with the theme "Asia-Pacific Security" was held in Beijing from June 20 to 21.
Equality, mutual respect and trust are key to consolidating the political basis of Asia-Pacific security, Song Tao, minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, noted. He also emphasized the mutual learning of different civilizations, settling problems through dialogue and negotiations, and achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in pursuing Asia-Pacific security. Read complete article at China.org
June 18, 2018 ... NASA : They may look like rocks, but they are alive - modern versions of one of the oldest forms of life, stromatolites under Milky Way; ancients of sea and sky.
Fossils indicate that stromatolites appeared on Earth about 3.7 billion years ago -- even before many familiar stars in the modern night sky were formed. In this image taken in Western Australia, only the ancient central arch of our Milky Way Galaxy formed earlier. Even the two small satellite galaxies of our Milky Way didn't exist in their current form when stromatolites first grew on Earth, right of center, below the Milky Way's arch.
Stromatolites are accreting biofilms of billions of microorganisms that can slowly move toward light. Using this light to liberate oxygen into the air, ancient stromatolites helped make Earth hospitable to other life forms including, eventually, humans. NASA Source with links for further inquiry. Image Credit & Copyright: Jingyi Zhang
June 10,2018 ... Jobs with Justice reports : Wage Theft is Pervasive in Corporate America; Big Banks, Insurers are Among Most-Penalized Firms.
New research finds that a wide range of big corporations have been shortchanging the people who work for them... many large corporations operating in the United States have boosted their profits by forcing employees to work off the clock, cheating them out of required overtime pay and engaging in similar practices that together are known as wage theft. complete Jobs with Justice press release
The Wall Street Journal, June 5, reported "Banks and insurance companies paid out some of the largest settlements in the past decade in lawsuits alleging inadequate worker compensation..."
Corporate capitalism and representative democracy have become isolated from cultural evolution and are thus adrift in the sea of change with no compass and a broken rudder.
May 19, 2018 ... EU & Iran : United Europe and Iran will do their best to keep the nuclear treaty functioning. Russia and China also support the treaty. The world sees the US as unreliable; "America's actions...show that it is not a trustworthy country in international dealings."
Link to Common Dreams summary article. Garrett's story starts below.
Unless autonomous democracy can focus human species intelligence and the seed of global union, I’m visualizing the US as at least 50 separate countries without any sort of confederation at all.
Be more positive? Imagine a new six branch government with no supreme court judges appointed for life. None of the Above is included on every ballot choice in every vote tally, public or private.
Branch #4 operates the fairness doctrine and trust busts the media in coordination with the sixth branch. It also assists local communication centers, networks and libraries. The fourth branch of government makes sure textbooks are free of propaganda or outright lies about history and economics. The fourth branch encourages philosophy and the arts and seeks public good accounting for that effort from the sixth branch.
Branch #5 accepts all legislation and inspects it for justice content. Proposed laws without justice are not sent on to the executive branch; notification is sent to all branches of government.
Branch #6 maintains a portal to autonomous democracy operating outside of government. It uses that portal to support an independent ranking of world currencies as a factor of closeness to perfectly functioning energy based transaction accounting, real money that actually measures. Dynamic tension develops between formal government branches and autonomous democracy accounting with energy based monetary units and measuring the actual costs of all products and services as well as public goods contributed by social efforts and artifacts. Autonomous democracy is used to focus distributed intelligence of the human species and create dynamic tension between governed and a government that can be replaced in part or entirely by the people via deliberative focus expressed practicing autonomous democracy.
The above is a story. Ursula Le Guin requested we all write stories about a more fun future and a healing Earth. My story here is a response to the common dreams article, Garrett Connelly, web editor and caretaker.
May 16, 2018 ... US Dollar News : US sanctions on Iran blow back is well documented and provides great photo opportunities for the Russian Times. Click on the photos to escape US propaganda and read all about it.
China’s petro-yuan grows as Iran stops using US dollar for oil trades
Europe to ditch US dollar in payments for Iranian oil
Editor's note; Iran no longer accepts US dollars and this same act is what caused the US attack on Libya and Syria. Military empires alway collapse 100% and the US is no exception.
May 7, 2018 ... Science News : Globetrotting tourists are leaving a giant carbon footprint on the Earth
Global tourism, including air travel (commercial routes as of June 2009, shown), is responsible for about 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s not just the getting there. Shopping, dining, hotel hopping all add to the tally... read complete article at Science News
Editor's note; Eight percent of greenhouse gasses are generated by a minuscule part of nine billion wonderful and mostly healthy human beings who don't pollute Earth by riding around in airplanes.
Original Scripps Institute of Oceanography graph description is here.
May 2, 2018 ... Buenos Aires, Argentina : Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Lula “is an idea,” the very “symbol of Brazil... ‘Free or Jailed,’ former president Lula Will Be Elected President”
Whether “free or imprisoned,” Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “will be elected president” of Brazil following October’s general election according to former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Speaking during a visit to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Workers’ Day she said Lula had become more than an individual, “he is an idea” that has “converted into the symbol of Brazil, of opportunities of which the people can grow.” Complete Defend Democracy Press article.
April 27, 2018 ... Universal Jurisdiction : The time is ripe to revive the concept of “universal jurisdiction” — the idea that a person, whatever their nationality, can be called to account before the court of any civilized country for grave international crimes, argues Inder Comar.
This is not a new idea and already happened in 1998, when Judge Baltasar Garzon, of Spain, issued an arrest warrant for the former dictator of Chile, Augusto Pinochet, while Pinochet was in the United Kingdom seeking medical treatment.
Britain’s House of Lords deciding in 1999 that the arrest of Pinochet could proceed on the basis that his alleged international crimes violated human rights norms. British Home Secretary Jack Straw, eventually decided that Pinochet was too ill to stand trial, Pinochet was permitted to go back to Chile. Read complete Consortium News article here
Pinochet: Torturer, murderer and privatizer backed by U.S.
April 19, 2018 ... Washington DC : Rural farm opioid exhibit illustrates 22,000 deaths among rural farmers squeezed by financials Read National Farm Union article here
Austerity fells family farmers in the US with opioid epidemic. Rising costs of corporate agribusiness monopolies are a form of debt funded Wall street taxation. The US is losing valuable members of an old and dying trade at an increasing rate.
Opioid memorial for 22,000 farm family opioid overdose deaths in 2015
April 18, 2018 ... Opinion from China : Trump strikes Syria ... Chemical charges a hoax
This view from China is accompanied by a calming call from president Xi Jinping to upgrade military policies that provide safety for the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation. China is still recovering from the aggressive dope dealing Euro/American wars to push opium dens and break up the country. The US and Europe are goading China into becoming a military behemoth astride a surging economy.
As Peter Ford, Britain's former ambassador to Syria, put it in statements to Sputnik Radio Loud & Clear, it needs only "half of a brain" to know that Bashar al-Assad would derive no benefit from such an attack, as his forces have been sealing a major victory of controlling Eastern Ghouta, the capital's long-standing weak flank, where thousands of militants and their families are being evacuated.
It would be, of course, bad news for the advocates of Syrian aggression if investigations were to put the blame on the defeated jihadi militants, as they are the ones to benefit from the aftermath of a gas attack to invoke aid from Western backers in the "favorable" form of military intervention.
The fact that the strike took place on the very same day as when Damascus and Moscow-invited OPCW probe mission was to start work shows an intention to disrupt investigations for fear they might confirm Russian specialists' findings that no traces of chemical agents were found at the site, nor alleged victims were admitted at nearby hospitals. Complete article here
April 14, 2017 ... Atascadero News Opinion Section, A-4 : SLO County, California
April 15, 2018 ... Beijing : Air quality in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region worsened in March
The ratio of average days with good air quality in March for the 13 cities in the region stood at 50.5 percent, down by 15.8 percentage points year on year, according to the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. Even so, the region saw more good air-quality days in the first three months thanks to better-than-expected air quality in January and February. Complete article here
Editor's note: China has done much to alleviate poverty and now struggles to focus national efforts on pollution that harms health and is even more debilitating than poverty in the long run. Capitalism has become the model in China and the same price of reduced human and environmental health suffered in other capitalist societies is proving to be the result, in China, regardless of original intentions and motives.
April 13, 2018 ... Russia : Moscow has “irrefutable” data that the incident in Douma, Syria was staged by the intelligence services of a foreign state pushing a “Russophobic campaign,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated.
Russia’s top diplomat warned against following the Libyan and Iraqi scenarios amid the intensifying bellicose rhetoric.
“God forbid something adventurous will be undertaken in Syria similar to the Libyan or Iraqi experience… I hope nobody dares to,” Lavrov told reporters.
Otherwise, a new wave of refugees will surge into Europe and in other directions, the foreign minister warned. However, this scenario does not bother those “who are protected by an ocean” and can rip apart the region for the sake of geopolitical interests, he said. read full Russian article
Editor's note: It is easy to claim evidence but nobody shows their irrefutable evidence. England, France and the US have just bombed the same country that they claim used poison gas. Congressional Rep Tulsi Gabbard asked Mad Dog Mattis how bombing Syria related to national interest of the US. Ol' Mad Dog said he couldn't answer that question because it was predecisional and therefor speculation. Cowardly evasion of truth by Mad Dog Matis came just a few hours before missiles flew. He implies that everything pentogonian generals do is predecisional until the actual launch of an attack on any country a mad dog general decides to attack next.
April 9, 2018 ... University of Washington, Seattle : Scientists playing peekaboo with dark matter have entered a new stage of the game. “There’ll be a lot of excitement in the next few years. A discovery could come at any time.”
complete Science News article
April 6, 2018 ... Oregon : Gov. Kate Brown tweeted; "If @realDonaldTrump asks me to deploy Oregon Guard troops to the Mexico border, I'll say no. As Commander of Oregon's Guard, I'm deeply troubled by Trump's plan to militarize our border,"
complete original CNN article
Bird update, Happy Valley, Connecticut river watershed; Quite a few people probably sympathize with the Oregon governor, even so; Robins and other birds arrived today, absorbing much attention throughout the valley. Although the birds are healthy and sporting fresh spring feathers, they are not yet numerous enough to contribute to the general din of a continental background birdsong alliance between the Happy Valley states and the Pacific states. Maybe tomorrow.
April 5, 2018 ... Russia : Party like a Russian: Friends saw off massive chunk of ice & sail down a river (with video)
Is this a secret test for an invasion route across the North Pole and then south through the Canadian tar sands straight for the US capitol? This route seems much easier than a surge through Mexico from Nicaragua. Trump's wall might become a more beautiful two walls! see video here
April 4, 2018 ... Germany : Converting biowaste to plant food is an overlooked source of tiny plastic pollutants, researchers say. read complete article
April 1, 2018 ... Europe : US grows more isolated and militarized as Europe and China unite.
China-Europe freight trains have made 1,000 trips in the first three months, up 75 percent compared with the same period last year, according to China Railway Corporation.
Chinese freight trains now regularly visit England, Spain, Poland, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. read complete article
Editor's April Fool's Day note; Military empires fail 100%. This has been true for all human history. Thousands of years. Same story. Today the US military empire is going broke exactly as military empires always do when austerity can squeeze no more from the people. Russia understands this fact and cut its military budget this year, 2018. Notice for flavor of reality, Mexicans are now traveling south as much as north, maybe more.
March 31, 2018 ... China : Worlds first automobile vending machine.
RT article; Alibaba opens China's first 'car' vending machine
March 29, 2018 ... Crimea, Russia : Election for president, Vladimir Putin
The bare facts are that voter turnout in Crimea was similar to turnout in Russia at large, coming to about 67 percent while ballots for Putin exceeded by far the Russian average: about 92 percent for Putin versus the national average of approximately 77 percent for Putin. read complete analysis by Gilbert Doctorow
March 28, 2018 ... China and Korea : It was late February when South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the North Korean delegation at the Olympics said that they were willing to hold direct negotiations with the US.
Following historic talks between South Korea and North Korea in early March, South Korea said that the North would halt its nuclear and missile tests for the time in negotiations with the US, and the North is ready to abandon its nuclear and missile program altogether if its security concerns are met.
“The North clearly affirmed its commitment to denuclearization in the Korean Peninsula and said it would have no reason to possess nuclear weapons if the safety of its regime [was] guaranteed and [the] military threat against North Korea no longer exists,” Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s Director of the National Security Office, said at the time.
After his talks with Kim, Xi said the China-North Korea relations are “a strategic choice and the only right choice both sides have made based on history and reality,” and praised Kim’s record of improving the economy and well-being of ordinary North Koreans. Read complete Defend Democracy article here
March 27, 2018 ... Silent Spring : Editor
Robins have pooped red privet poop onto white snow since the dawn of bird life on Earth. Until the silent spring of 2018. There is no snow. There are no Robins. Privet berry seeds dry and shrivel in place on bare branches with no birds. A few lonely crows flap on by and an occasional goose, but no Robins. Where have all the songbirds gone?
The last lonely eagles watch and listen forlornly. Eagles hear as good as they see; 2018 is an alert eagle's silent spring. The last lonely eagles don't know what to think. Try it for yourself. Go outside and listen. Mornings of wild bird song din are no more, this year is silent spring 2018.
Update; 31st; some people say there are birds around. Not many, yet.
Update; April 6; Robins and other birds arrived today.
March 26, 2018 ... Moscow : Russian special protector of Nature says
Chain stores should be offering paper bags instead of plastic. Read full article from Russia
March 23, 2018 ... Real Economics : Traditional societies value more than wealth
Traditional societies organize their economies on principles of redistribution and reciprocity, cooperatively taking care of all members. Furthermore, traditional societies value many characteristics like heroism, generosity, knowledge, spirituality, literature, arts, sports, etc. over and above the possession of wealth. In contrast, wealth becomes the primary marker of status in market societies, and becomes the main object of personal and collective endeavor. Studying the evolution of economic system and the co-evolution of economic theories adapted to the study of these systems in historical context yield deep insights not available using the currently dominant ‘scientific’ methodology. Complete article by Asad Zaman
March 8, 2018 ... Obesity Epidemic : OECD Obesity Update; United States hit hardest by obesity epidemic. Japanese are at the top with a lean population.
Full report by the organization for economic development and cooperation
March 7, 2018 ... Moscow : Living wage set as minimum wage
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law on raising the minimum monthly wage to the minimum subsistence income from May 1, 2018. The law was adopted by the State Duma on February 16 and approved by the Federation Council on February 28. The minimum subsistence income is the cost of a minimal set of foods, goods and services required to maintain health and support vital activities of an individual. Read original Tass article
March 6, 2018 ... United States : Real World Economics
Entered into record by David Ruccio Real World Economics
February 26, 2018 ... Global Research : Tire wear excerpt
In the USA as early as 1974, ‘tire industry scientists estimated that 600,000 metric tonnes of tire dust were released by tire wear in the U.S., or about 3 kilograms of dust released from each tire each year’. In 1994, careful measurement of air near roadways with moderate traffic ‘revealed the presence of 3800 to 6900 individual tire fragments in each cubic meter of air’ with more than 58.5% of them in the fully-breathable size range and shown to produce allergic reactions. See ‘Tire Dust’.
A study in Japan reported similar adverse environmental and health impacts. See ‘Dust Resulting from Tire Wear and the Risk of Health Hazards’.
Even worse, a study conducted in Moscow reported that the core pollutant of city air (up to 60% of hazardous matter) was the rubber of automobile tyres worn off and emitted as a small dust. The study found that the average car tyre discarded 1.6 kilograms of fine tyre dust as an aerosol during its service life while the tyre from a commercial vehicle discarded about 15 kilograms. Interestingly, passenger tyre dust emissions during the tyre’s service life significantly exceeded (by 6-7 times) emissions of particulate matters with vehicle exhaust gases. The research also determined that ‘tyre wear dust contains more than 140 different chemicals with different toxicity but the biggest threat to human health is poly-aromatic hydrocarbons and volatile carcinogens’. The study concluded that, in the European Union: ‘Despite tightening the requirements for vehicle tyres in terms of noise emission, wet grip and rolling resistance stipulated by the UN Regulation No. 117, the problem of reduction of tyre dust and its carcinogenic substance emissions due to tyre wear remains unaddressed.’ See ‘Particulate Matter Emissions by Tyres’.
As one toxicologist has concluded: ‘Tire rubber pollution is just one of many environmental problems in which the research is lagging far behind the damage we may have done.’ See ‘Road Rubber’.
Read the full Robert J. Burrowes article with active source links at GlobalResearch
February 26, 2018 ... United States : Economic sanctions are US war crimes
The first pathetic pieces of wreckage from North Korean fishing boats known as “ghost ships” to be found this year are washing up on the coast of northern Japan. These are the storm-battered remains of fragile wooden boats with unreliable engines in which North Korean fishermen go far out to sea in the middle of winter in a desperate search for fish.
It is time that the imposition of economic sanctions should be seen as a war crime, since it involves the collective punishment of millions of innocent civilians who die, sicken or are reduced to living off scraps from the garbage dumps.
Economic sanctions have been seen as acts of war by people who can think for many years. read full article at Defend Democracy Press
February 22, 2018 ... China : UN agency praises ecological protection
China has taken great strides since 2013 in environmental protection, with effective air pollution and other controls put in place, and it is working to bring its best practices to the world, the regional head of a UN development agency said.
During the past five years, China has made a powerful push from the central and local levels to improve air quality, "and the achievement in the (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) area has not gone unnoticed, as we are now experiencing many more blue skies in Beijing", said Nicholas Rosellini, the United Nations Development Program resident representative for China.
The short-term negative impacts of stricter pollution regulations may largely be reflected in terms of unemployment due to the displacement of workers at companies that have been shut down due to their pollution emissions, and an increase of energy bills from companies facing a restriction in their use of fossil fuels, he said.
"However, these short-term effects are a trade-off for cleaner skies and reduced health-care costs from the population," Rosellini said. Read more; China Daily.
February 21, 2018 ... Ireland : "As a consequence of decades of marine litter entering our seas, microplastics have been found in coastal and open sea environments around the globe with an ever increasing distribution. Considering the prevalence of microplastics, there is now a substantial amount of research effort investigating their abundance in the gastrointestinal tracts of various organisms... Open ocean fish samples were collected during a Northern Atlantic crossing from Galway, Ireland to St. John's, Newfoundland aboard the RV Celtic Explorer between the 20th of April and the 5th of May 2015... A total of 280 fish was captured of which 233 were examined for the presence of microplastics in their gut contents... Overall 73% of fish contained plastics in their stomachs..."
Complete plastic frequency in fish gut study; Frontiers in Marine Science.
Fish eat plastic burdened with an electrostatic load of pollution molecules. The plastic bits are then excreted as mostly clean by the fish. Freshly cleaned and pooped plastic is ready to pick up another load of molecular pollutants and be eaten again. Frequency indicates how much pollution is passing through the fish. Young scientists needed! The Clearwater plastic pollution control law is a summary of wide experience blended and a good place to start for the survival of all jurisdictions. Clearwater plastic bag/bottle/trash law
February 20, 2018 ... Common Dreams, Portland, Maine : Bottled water and plastic pollution relies on heavy propaganda against perfectly safe municipal water. Government special water rates supporting corporatism also helps confuse the issue by undercutting the people's public water supply. There was a time when Nestle propaganda was against human mothers nursing babies with their breasts instead of using scientific Nestle's baby formula. Now Nestle has convinced millions of people that safe municipal water is unsafe. Read Julia Conley's complete article on Common Dreams.
February 14, 2018 ... Iran : China completes US$1M refugee aid project in Iran
The Chinese people are helping sooth the pain, suffering and anguish of US barbarism via eternal war.
Negar Gerami, the WFP representative in Iran, expressed gratitude to Chinese Ambassador to Iran Pang Sen, who attended the ceremony on behalf of the Chinese government. After receiving the Chinese donation, the WFP bought 1,200 tons of emergency food to feed about 30,000 refugees, Gerami said. The food aid was presumably delivered by chinese freight trains traveling the world as far as London and the rest of Europe. read more
February 12, 2018 ... Defend Democracy : Opium & manufactured street drug epidemic
Read more articles at drug watch and defend democracy press
February 9, 2018 ... United States : Opium & manufactured street drug epidemic
…”In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.
My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.” (2018 presidential State of the Union speech)”
Unmentioned : Afghanistan under US military occupation produces approximately 90% of the World’s illegal supply of opium which is used to produce heroin. The production of opium in Afghanistan registered a 49 fold increase since United States started the middle east war.
Local efforts to stop the drug epidemic are futile when heroin addiction in America can be attributed to the US-led War on Afghanistan. Before that it was cocaine during the US war on democracy in Central America. And before that it was heroin again during the US war that killed three million Vietnamese to keep them from becoming communist dominos.
And before that it was the opium war in China to force open the street markets for globalized opium den profits. China is barely recovering still. Whisky and guns were the main deal during genocide of the indigenous first nations and theft of their wealth by American oligarchs who now use representative democracy to squeeze the current residents with austerity and drugs. The disease must be accurately named before it can be diagnosed and cured.
read article at Global Research
February 5, 2018 ... Mynmar : Spiders with Long Tails Found in Ancient Amber
Read more including sources at the Scientist
February 4, 2018 ... Egypt : 4,400 year old tomb found. People first settled Egypt when humans began moving north out of tropical Africa and encountered the Nile river, before finding the Garden of Eden in Iraq. Egypt was first unified as a nation about 5100 years ago. Industrialized countries used military and economic might to stunt the Egyptian cotton industry and keep it out of the global market; after the industrial age saw invention of weaving machines and the theft of the linen industry from Bangladesh at gun point by England, before England and other western countries sent their armies and navies of drafted soldiers and fought China to open her borders so they could sell drugs to innocent Chinese openly on the street.
A woman named Het Pat was buried here 4,400 years ago±
Original article Egyptian Daily News. Chinese news has More photos
January 25, 2018 ... US/Mex border : Net migration flows between the US and Mexico dropped to zero in the recession's immediate aftermath, because as many Mexicans left the country as entered. But since then, these flows have reversed from their recent historic norms; More Mexicans now leaving the United States than coming in.
Read more online; Reason
January 24, 2018 ... Greece : The EU has demonstrated that it has no sense of solidarity towards fellow member countries, and therefore is not really a ‘union’, but rather a predatory association of corporate-finance dominated nations. Such a ‘union’ is by definition not sustainable – and less so its common currency the euro.
A similar story can be drawn for the US and its impending dollar collapse… As Alan Greenspan, former chief of the FED once answered a journalist’s question on how the US was ever ever be able to repay their debts – Greenspan said, ‘we will never need to pay our debt, since we can just print new money’. This confirms the pyramid principle of the dollar based monetary system: You create dollars as debt which bears interest which you pay by new debt. Defend Democracy complete article here
January 23, 2018 ... Xinhua, China : The number of China-Europe freight train trips reached a new high of more than 3,000 last year, and is expected to reach 4,000 this year, China Railway Corporation said. An additional 1,400 freight trains will travel a new rail and container ship route through Kazakstan. Read original article here
January 22, 2018 ... Mexico : Zapatistas gird themselves for continued genocide of poor people by rich capitalists world-wide.
"... those who destroy nature are the good guys and those who resist, defending life, are persecuted, murdered, and imprisoned like criminals. Despite this, or precisely because of it, one word is sufficient to describe the struggle of the Mapuche people and all of the originary peoples of this continent: Marichiweu — we will win, ten, a thousand times over and always."
This article is an example of Zapatista insight. It is written this year by one of Humanity's most intelligent, skillful and best ever writers, read full article here.
January 21, 2018 ... US Pentagon Budget : increase needed for direct military confrontation with Russia and China.
US defense secretary, former Gen. James Mattis said the strategy represents an historic shift from the current US justification for global militarism: the so-called war on terrorism.
“Great power competition—not terrorism—is now the primary focus of US national security,” Mattis said in his speech, which accompanied the release of an 11-page declassified document outlining the National Defense Strategy in broad terms. A lengthier classified version includes the Pentagon’s detailed proposals for a massive increase in military spending.
Mattis insists that the US is facing a “growing threat from China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models.” His budget pleas ignore the US as a text-book model of a propagandized totalitarian military empire harnesed to the standard military ambition of world domination. Read the original article at Defend Democracy
January 16, 2018 ... Korea : North Korean orchestra will play at Olympic Games
The head of South Korean delegation Lee Woo-sung (right) and his North Korean counterpart Kwon Hook-bong shake hands before their meeting about their mutual participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. They met on the north side of Panmunjom village in North Korea. Photo: VCG
A 140-member North Korean orchestra will perform in South Korea during next month's Winter Olympic Games, the two sides announced Monday, amid a tentative rapprochement after months of tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear program.
Northern Korea agreed last week to send athletes, high-level officials and others to the Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
Both Northern and Southern Korea have already agreed an artistic troupe would be part of the Olympic delegation. Four officials from each country met Monday at the border truce village of Panmunjom to thrash out details for that historic event. Full Global Times article here
January 15, 2018 ... United States : Looming Ecological Collapse
Anecdotal evidence starts the alert; It wasn’t too many decades ago, 1950s-70s, that cross-country trips in the family car hit bugs, lots of ‘em, squashed on windshields and lodged within front bumper grills. No more. And, kids no longer frolic about chasing fireflies in back yards at night.
A recent landmark study that investigated alarming loss of insects is leaving scientists dumbfounded, deeply troubled, potentially the biggest-ever existential threat, risking ecosystem collapse too soon for comfort. In contrast to global warming, this may be much more imminently dangerous across-the-board to terrestrial life. An enormous loss of insect population, almost decimation in some parts of the world, threatens the life-giving structure of the ecosystem. This is a deadly serious problem, read more at Defend Democracy
Accelerating Climate change is a serious fever indicating Earth's sickness
December 31, 2017 ... China : A great step toward reducing elephant poaching went into effect on December 31 when it became illegal to process or sell ivory and its products in China, once the world's largest market. Japan is the last modern country where elephant killing is encouraged via legal ivory imports and sales from criminal elephant hunters.
"We can start 2018 hopeful that elephants will be safer now that China has banned commercial ivory sales. Prices are down and law enforcement efforts in many parts of Africa and Asia are much improved," said WildAid CEO Peter Knights.
"The UN has unanimously called for domestic ivory sales bans, and many other countries are responding with action. Japan alone remains unwilling to join the global community on this issue," Knights said. Almost all countries have outlawed sales of ivory. The current partial ban has already led to an 80 percent decline in seizures of ivory entering China, as well as a 65 percent decline in raw ivory prices.
"China's ban is crucial for elephants," Knights said. "As the U.S. steps back from international environmental commitments, Chinese leadership is essential."
Since 2012, China has made building an "ecological civilization" a development priority, with the protection of its fauna and flora, including wildlife, a crucial element, according to Steve Blake, WildAid's Beijing Office representative. Read full story at China.org
December 29, 2017 ... Xinhua, China : A new hydrogen fuel cell bus was unveiled in central Chinese city of Wuhan on Thursday.
The 8.5-meter vehicle, which can carry 56 passengers, can run more than 450 kilometers on single refuel of hydrogen, which takes three to five minutes, said its developer, Wuhan Tiger Fuel Cell Vehicle Co Ltd. The vehicle is able to start at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius and intelligently detect malfunctions, according to the company.
This is an example of breakthrough economic thinking beyond the limited reach of efficiency definitions used in corporatist economic calculations that avoid pollution costs in the fuel price. Hydrogen combustion in a standard internal combustion engine produces few pollutants other than nitrous oxides from combustion heated air. Solar production of hydrogen and oxygen produce pollution free combustion when they are burned to produce electricity in a generator. The fuel cell uses hydrogen to produce electrical energy. Read more at China Daily
December 25, 2017 ... Geneva : Jeremy Corbyn and Noam Chomsky win peace prize amid media silence in US and UK
“As a member of parliament in the UK for 34 years, Jeremy Corbyn has continually worked for justice, peace and disarmament in the political arena both in and outside of Parliament,” the International Peace Bureau said. “He has ceaselessly stood by the principles, which he has held for so long, to ensure true security and well-being for all – for his constituents, for the citizens of the UK and for the people of the world.”
“As leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition he continues to carry his personal principles into his political life – stating openly that he could not press the nuclear button and arguing strongly for a re-orientation of priorities – to cut military spending and spend instead on health, welfare and education.”
Corbyn, along with renowned scholar Noam Chomsky and the All Okinawa Council Against Henoko New Base, were deemed this year’s recipients. Corbyn received his award in Geneva Friday.
Jeremy Corbin was recognized for his “sustained and powerful political work for disarmament and peace.” His longtime work with the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK and the Stop the War Campaign was commended, as was his efforts for peace as a politician. Read full report at Russian Times
December 21, 2017 ... Winter Solstice : Capitalists live for the benefit of immortal corporations.
Individuals afflicted with insatiable want are paid big bucks to wage war on Earth and Life. Will fourteen billion years of evolution throw in the towel so foolish wealth infused idiots can eat cake while they terminate life on Earth?
When Will Co-opted Figures and Board Members of Companies Like Monsanto and Bayer Be Hauled into Court? Global research has the full article by Colin Todhunter brief excerpts follow;
"The public is being poisoned, disease rates are spiraling, waterways are contaminated, soil is being degraded, insects, birds, invertebrates and plant diversity are in dramatic decline. Humanity and the planet are being poisoned for profit.
"We are experiencing an assault on life by the agrotoxins industry, which is in fact contributing to a sixth mass extinction. Armed with a harmful chemical cocktail of highly profitable agrotoxins, ranging from disease-causing glyphosate to bee-killing neonicotinoid insecticides, biocide manufactures are waging biological and chemical warfare on us all under the guise that they are serving humanity by helping to feed the world.
"They promote the message that their products are essential to our survival. They promote a fundamentally ecologically, socially and economically damaging model of agriculture facilitated by Washington, the World Trade Organization, World Bank and International Monetary Fund."
The children of Earth's mothers and fathers are being poisoned for profit by high class men and women wearing fancy clothes. Rapid sustained and controlled evolution by a mature human species is the only possible answer to the end of life on Earth. People driven insane by insatiable want are in charge and they will go down grabbing everything they can get their hands on.
November 28, 2017 ... Russia : plans to start building a launch pad for the environmentally friendly Angara rockets in 2018. United States, saddled with endless war and unable to squeeze much more from the poor, lags further and further behind the rapid pace of both Russian and Chinese progress toward national moon colonies.
Angara is a family of Russian space rockets of various classes, from light to heavy, created as a substitute for the Proton-M and Rokot rockets. In contrast to the previous generation, Angara rockets use ecologically friendly fuel components. So far there have been only two launches, both from the northern site Plesetsk. A light Angara-1 2PP rocket blasted off in July 2014 and a heavy Angara-A5, in December 2014.
The Vostochny spaceport in the Amur region has been under construction since 2010. Last year the first space launch from the spaceport was carried out. The spaceport’s second unit is due to be completed in 2018. The original contractor - federal agency for special construction - was abolished.
November 18, 2017 ... China : Futuristic space exploration plan aims high. Visionary goals indicate future leadership. The first rocket was invented about nine hundred years ago in China. Rockets in those days used solid fuel and were often used as weapons or fireworks displays.
According to a development plan from the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the major developer of Chinese carrier rockets, the Long March 8 will conduct its first flight in 2020 and will start to offer low-cost launch service to clients. The Long March 9, the heaviest and most sophisticated model that is under development, will first be used around 2030 to enable China to carry out manned lunar explorations and robotic round trips to Mars to bring samples back.
Designers at the academy said the superheavy Long March 9 will have a liftoff weight of 3,000 tons and can thrust a 140-ton payload to a low Earth orbit, which means the nation will be able to transport its astronauts to the moon. China Daily has the story by Zhao Lei
November 12, 2017 ... Tax evasion - Earth : Conspicuous tax evasion, from David Ruccio, Real World Economics
The release of the so-called Paradise Papers confirms, with additional names and more salacious details, what we already knew from the Panama Papers and other sources: the world’s wealthy increasingly use offshore tax havens to engage in conspicuous tax evasion.
That’s on top of their participation in conspicuous consumption, conspicuous philanthropy, and conspicuous productivity.
According to Annette Alstadsæter, Niels Johannesen, and Gabriel Zucman, in a study published before the release of the Paradise Papers, the equivalent of 10 percent of world GDP is held in tax havens globally—and that’s only counting bank deposits, not the portfolios of equities, bonds, and mutual fund shares that wealthy individuals entrust to offshore banks.
And, as it turns out, offshore wealth is extremely concentrated: the top 0.1 percent of richest households own about 80 percent of it, while the top 0.01 percent own about 50 percent of offshore wealth.
So, how does it work? Real World Economics explains it here
November 12, 2017 ... United States : Russian Times has been branded a foreign agent
A United States report outlined the political reasons for moving against the broadcaster in the January 6, 2017 report by the US Director of National Intelligence on “Russian intervention” in the 2016 elections.
The report alleged, “Russian Times broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham.’” Read full report at Defend Democracy Press