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Messages - NevB

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The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 12, 2018, 02:32:14 PM »
I wasn't intending to post anything else here, as I don't have the time or inclination for replies.

But then this tempted me:

“Oh, well that’s not altered, that’s sped up,” said Conway of the altered video, somehow managing to keep a straight face. The dictionary definition of the word “altered” is to be “made different in some way.”

“They do it all the time in sports to see if there’s actually a first down or a touchdown,” she told Wallace. “I have to disagree with the overwrought description of this video being doctored as if we put somebody else’s arm in there.”

Obviously the "bad" journalism was created by the administration but it's their use of this "bad" journalism and the attacks on "good" journalism (especially the incitement of violence and the outright support of the politician that assaulted a journalist) that I see as a gravely dangerous.

IMHO: If this is to continue and Trump managers another term (which is not at all impossible) then there is a decent chance that the media will no longer be free to criticise the administration and the incitement to violence along with more violent acts will begin to have the desired effect.
Then without any kind of restraint this could become a permanent situation.

Also as a final note:

The two paragraphs above are just my observation and the quote below was I guess just bait for Russian apologists while although true doesn't help this discussion proceed. This comes from deep frustration with the way Russia's behaviour is dismissed, denied, excused or even held as equivalent to US actions here and the what I see as a need to warn of the consequences.

However as I said above I don't have the time, attitude, firsthand knowledge or inclination to get involved in this debate as there are others far more capable. I don't intend to post any more here as this will only degenerate into useless distracting flame wars (which would suit anyone wanting to see this place disrupted).

Trump would like the US to become more like Putin's Russia where journalist who ask difficult questions are murdered.

(which BTW is not

President Trump would like journalists who ask difficult questions murdered.

Have at it, I'll will be watching silently.

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 09, 2018, 03:40:08 PM »
Trump would like the US to become more like Putin's Russia where journalist who ask difficult questions are murdered.

Oh really?
President Trump would like journalists who ask difficult questions murdered.
How nice of you to say so.

I sure do hope the NSA has 'your number' and are keeping an eye on you ..... and I do hope Neven didn't 'cull' my little comment on Paranoia. Such basic education to raise awareness really is needed imo.

Noted: You can't quote me without subtly changing my words

Also noted is that a comparison of Trumps direction and Putin's reality is what lights your fire.

As for your subtle threat about the NSA I think I'm OK as long as I don't mention Bomb, President, IED, attack, plane, Jihad, Allah, Plutonium or detonator especially in one sentence and post that online. And as for paranoia I use my real name and my profile has my E-Mail address with my domain that is easily traceable. I have nothing to hide do you?   

What's your real name Lurk?, what are your hiding from from?

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 09, 2018, 01:24:07 PM »

It's pretty clear the WH doctored the video.
One more time- it wasn't the WH. And Acosta was being an ass.

It wasn't the Whitehouse but they still haven't apologised for peddling a lie or admitted their mistake. Yet here you are defending them.

What you are defending is a would be tyrant who is trying to overpower one of the fundamental pillars of democracy. Until now the executive was answerable to the people in some way, Trump would like the US to become more like Putin's Russia where journalist who ask difficult questions are murdered. If people don't stand up to him this is what will happen and those that enable him in any way must be opposed.

PS Don't bother with a reply to me, I have had my say and just don't have time to waste on you.

The rest / Re: GOP Losing Ground for the 2018 Mid-Term Election
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:53:06 PM »
Nice graphic.

There is much more detail here:

and a summary:

So how big was the blue wave?
Over all, 2018’s shift to the left was smaller than the one in 2006, the last time the Democrats flipped the House. And it was half the size of the most recent Republican wave in 2010 when districts shifted more than 19 points to the right.

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: November 08, 2018, 01:25:41 PM »
Bad Journalism, does that include when the administration releases a doctored video ?

The intern's reach for the mic is slowed down, and the "chop" motion is accelerated. Here's an annotated side by side comparison:

Here's the video released by Sarah Sanders:

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: October 29, 2018, 10:07:49 AM »
Turkey, Assad, and Russia would all bitterly oppose any kind of autonomy for the Kurds.  No guarantees short of autonomy would likely hold once the last US troops leave Syria.  I have trouble seeing how delaying the painful end would make it any less awful.

We might agree that there's no good solution here.  Just awful and less awful choices.

There is a good solution : All the parties in Syria could stop shooting and start talking.

Yes but not a realistic one, Robert McNamara although loathed by the left for his role in Vietnam was quiet right and I think misunderstood, often there are no good options only bad ones the only choice then is to choose the least worst, then I would add to pretend this isn't true is denial which is irresponsible.

Lesson #11: You can’t change human nature.

McNamara explains that ‘the fog of war’ refers to how complex war is and the inability of the human mind to fully comprehend all of those complexities at one time. He believes that human nature will make it impossible to end war any time soon, and though we are rational creatures that rationality has limits.

Syria is exactly that, pretending there are good options is unrealistic and dishonest (and this is used endlessly by Russian, Syrian and Iranian supporters).

I've no idea what the least worst option is but we are likely to agree that Trump's regime is not at all likely to find this unless it happens to align with their corrupt and immoral agenda.

Pity the Kurds, I think they would have had a greater chance but no guarantee under a Clinton Presidency and this is the difference.

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 29, 2018, 01:09:39 AM »

When the US wakes up, they will understand that the three biggest problems they face are in large part because you have a media company masquerading as a news company, that has been promoting HORRIBLE policies for the US.


There it is a good example of what I just said:

"If both sides are to blame for the state of political discourse, then neither side can be said to be truly responsible. "

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 27, 2018, 01:20:02 PM »
This is the tactic I see too often:

Fox News Is the Tarp on the MAGA Van

If both sides are to blame for the state of political discourse, then neither side can be said to be truly responsible. “We’re at a point where these two parties, these two warring factions inside our polity, owe each other an apology,” Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt told Dana Perino.

When your a thief, liar, sponsor of international assassination,  pussy grabbing president or murderous dictator making people believe others are no better seems to be working.

Today Goebbels would be just an ordinary political operative.

The politics / Re: The Media: Examples of Good AND Bad Journalism
« on: October 25, 2018, 01:45:54 PM »
Really are we now just one step away from having people here that support Alex Jones ?

Promoter of hate, fear, despicable conspiracy theories and intolerance.

If Paul Craig Roberts's opinion is that Alex Jones is some kind of heroic defender of the truth then Paul Craig Robert's is also a good part of the reason the US is so dangerously divided as we see today.

The politics / Re: Russia, Russia, Russia
« on: September 28, 2018, 05:55:32 AM »
Bellingcat is on a roll these days.

After first pointing out irregularities in the passports of the Salisbury Novichok suspects which links them to the GRU
they tracked down the border crossings of these supposed tourists :
which shows these two guys globe trotting through western Europe and traveling from Kazachstan to Israel overland.

Maybe they were looking for more cathedrals ?

This has now made it to the Guardian

The story now is that one of the two Russian Cathedral tourists that just happened to be walking by the Skripal's flat when they were poisoned also has an identical twin that works for the GRU?

Isn't it time to admit that Putin's Russia shot down MH17, poisoned Alexander Litvinenko and the Skripals and runs propaganda operations to deny responsibility for these operations.

Policy and solutions / Re: UN Climate Agreement - Paris 2015 and beyond
« on: September 08, 2018, 02:54:19 AM »
There is news this morning (so far only on a Murdoch publication which I refuse to read or link) that Australia's new PM plans to renege on our pathetically weak Paris agreement.

The present PM is a dim witted Hillsong member that has asked us to pray for the present drought to end and was installed by far right Christians and the coal lobby.

In a practical sense this will make little difference as we will most likely meet our shamefully week target from the renewable projects already being constructed. This government is also highly likely to be annihilated in the election due early next year.

Australia's influence once was remarkably strong for such a small population but now we are nothing but outcasts and obstructionists I suspect one day a price will be paid.     

What this does do to our great shame is help legitimise Trump's action. I hope this won't encourage other nations to follow.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: August 26, 2018, 04:42:41 PM »
From the NY Times:

The Full-Spectrum Corruption of Donald Trump
Everyone and everything he touches rots.

Peter Wehner
By Peter Wehner
Mr. Wehner served in the previous three Republican administrations and is a contributing opinion writer.

Most Republicans, having thrown their MAGA hats over the Trump wall, will stay with him until the end. Was a tax cut, deregulation and court appointments really worth all this?

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: August 21, 2018, 04:01:02 PM »
"Truth isn't truth." Rudy Guilianni

What WILL they come up with next?

Up is really down?  Fast is really slow?  Good is really bad?  ;)

The logical next step can only be "War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength" they're not really that far away.

The politics / Re: Russia, Russia, Russia
« on: August 20, 2018, 01:26:33 PM »
This Papadopoulos sentencing memo is well worth reading especially the FBI's comments about his lying after being warned.

Papadopoulos is probably going to jail for repeatedly lying about his meetings with Russian's.

The third to be jailed, the first to be convicted and the first to be convicted for "colluding" with Russian's but probably not the last. 

The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: June 30, 2018, 02:21:42 PM »

What ever happened to those Russian Corporations that unexpectedly decided to defend themselves from Mueller's charges?
IIRC Mueller didn't want to go ahead with those prosecutions, and now he's balking at sentencing Flynn on a charge that Flynn's already plead guilty to.

You'd think that after $17M and over a year getting his ducks in a row he'd be prepared for court.

Could just be that until Flynn is sentenced Muller has leverage.

The rest / Re: A must read
« on: June 25, 2018, 01:26:56 PM »
A Pulitzer prize winner.

Charlie LeDuff anticipated all the problems that Trump’s election made plain to the rest of us—then he fell into the Hole himself.

Thanks Jim. I don't have time to read all the links but I'm glad I read this one.

The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: June 05, 2018, 11:35:42 AM »

The big con: how neoliberals convinced us there wasn't enough to go around

Australia just experienced one of the biggest mining booms in world history. But even at the peak of that boom, there was no talk of the wonderful opportunity we finally had to invest in world-class mental health or domestic violence crisis services.

Nor was there much talk from either major party about how the wealth of the mining boom gave us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in remote Indigenous communities. Nope, the peak of the mining boom was not the time to help those who had missed out in decades past, but the Howard government thought it was a great time to introduce permanent tax cuts for high-income earners. These, of course, are the tax cuts that caused the budget deficits we have today.

In Susan's video above Bill Clinton asks the people to choose an economic model to follow. Around this time Australia chose the Neoliberal agenda. This article does a great job of exposing the cost and deceit of this mistake.

BTW The Australian conservative party call themselves "Liberal" but are liberal in name only and the nationals are the party of the wealthy farmers.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: May 28, 2018, 03:17:53 AM »
Good job.

Having the Recent posts full of replies to the "others" threads made it hard to refer people to this site when discussing AGW. Now I will be able to do this again without giving the impression that the site is full of politics.

This now restores the focus back to the Ice and still allows me to enjoy the "others" discussions.

Thanks Neven.

The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: May 23, 2018, 03:23:11 PM »,6182

Throughout his three-hour ordeal in the witness box at the Cole inquiry yesterday, Alexander Downer defended the professionalism of his department but said more than 20 times that he had "no specific recollection" of cables, key conversations or events surrounding the scandal.

By Marian Wilkinson
April 12, 2006

Downer's memory lapses about AWB bribing Iraq and violating UN sanctions should have resulted in criminal charges for AWB and he should have been sacked for negligence. But this was years ago and hasn't any relevance to the Cohen investigation.

He is a pompous lying buffoon but he has absolutely no reason at all to be lying about George Papadopoulos. 

Is this what a message from non corporate Democrat sounds like ?

"Their pro-gun policies have resulted in dead children, dead mothers and dead fathers," says Democratic congressional candidate Pat Davis.

Science / Re: 2018 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: May 07, 2018, 03:18:31 PM »
Something is clearly wrong with products at ESRL during the last month. Is there other co2 stations that produce recent 2018 data for CO2 readings for their stations with archived historical records for comparison like at  Mauna Loa on ESRL? I have searched already with no luck so far. thanks

There was cape grim in Tasmania Australia though the latest I see stops abruptly in 2016 as I believe we in Aus decided that this is of no particular importance (or could be an embarrassment to the people that direct funding) and it's better to focus our research on commercial opportunities. Please leave any replies in the swearing thread where I may reply after I have finished banging my head on the table.

Earth is not flat

Black Boxes were not recovered at "ground zero"  :o

Incineration will do that to a black box.  Flight 93's was recovered.

I thought black boxes were virtually indestructible.

Watch September Clues if you care about the truth.

911 conspiracy theries belong right here in this thread.
These are good examples of bad journalism where all sorts of nonsence is reported.
As reprehensible as the Bush regime was any involvement at any level in murdering thousands of US citizens could never be covered up. The US justice system is not yet that broken that the people capable of this would expect never to be held to account.

When posting this this morning (Perth Aus. Time) I was dissatisfied that I don't know of any way to quantify good or bad journalism. Just posting an opinion as I did doesn't add anything at all and mostly is simply going to lead to conflict. I spent some time during the day mulling over if this is even possible and what I could do. 

One metric that I thought might be useful is the number of search results:

Googling  "Black Boxes were not recovered at "ground zero"" results in "About 482,000 results
 (0.50 seconds)" - Disappointing as there's certainly no way to determine the relevance and quality of each result.

DuskDuckGo allows filtering for results from the last week and returns five results. Of these only one appears to be relevant. This is

Perhaps a simple search result can indicate how widely a topic is discussed?
Could we then rate how many views each of these items have ?

(In this case the one result is from an Astrology blog and I'll allow my bias to dismiss this as complete nonsense.)

The next obvious step would be to check primary sources and then the official government reports. This would be an arduous and time consuming process. Rob Dekker has been promoting open sources as an answer, this seems a logical step forward though not for this case in particular as it doesn't seem to require any further analysis but in general.

What are people's thoughts, is there any consensus that we can build on how to judge what is good and bad journalism?

Earth is not flat

Black Boxes were not recovered at "ground zero"  :o

Incineration will do that to a black box.  Flight 93's was recovered.

I thought black boxes were virtually indestructible.

Watch September Clues if you care about the truth.

911 conspiracy theries belong right here in this thread.
These are good examples of bad journalism where all sorts of nonsence is reported.
As reprehensible as the Bush regime was any involvement at any level in murdering thousands of US citizens could never be covered up. The US justice system is not yet that broken that the people capable of this would expect never to be held to account.

The rest / Re: Mueller Investigation & Cohen Investigation
« on: May 04, 2018, 04:26:10 PM »
We shouldn't be arming Ukraine, and we should not have believed any of their tales about their avowed enemy Russia.

Without Obama's Victoria, Fu*k the EU Numan, there would be no western leaning Ukraine. In fact Crimeans would still be bristling under their Ukrainian yoke. That they would turn on their erstwhile supporters comes as no great surprise. Nazi's have never been seen as reliable partners.

How many times did their national hero Stepan Bandera switch sides?

Classic. Russian. Propaganda.

F-ing time for a "dislike" button!

Yes I added a like because Russian propaganda is even more worse than Western propaganda.

I would also like to add a 3/4 like to Sidd's Reply 123 above.

Because Sidd Your certainly not deplorable and in this case I think your reply was misinterpreted.


The rest / Re: Arctic Café
« on: April 21, 2018, 03:29:02 PM »
Michael Mann, tweets that it's 20 years since the hockey stick.

Show him your support I'm sure he appreciates it.

Consequences / Re: Wildfires
« on: April 16, 2018, 05:24:22 AM »
Sydney bushfire: Blaze remains out of control as authorities talk extra funding out of fire season

Although fires like this are a new phenomenon in late Autumn in Eastern Australia, climate change rarely gets a mention. 

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: April 14, 2018, 04:38:53 AM »
Here it is:

Trump the peacemaker

Trump Orders Strikes on Syria Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

WASHINGTON — The United States and European allies launched strikes on Friday against Syrian targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Now we wait for Russia's reaction, then the worlds future is in Trumps hands.

How many people now feel safer than they would if Hillary was in the WH?

Consequences / Re: Global Surface Air Temperatures
« on: March 18, 2018, 01:48:36 AM »
Does that trend go anywhere near zero by 2016?  No.  That is why most scientists claim that it will be at least 40 years before we become ice-free.  That is if you use the overly pessimistic linear trend.  The most recent trend has leveled off over the past decade to a negligibly positive trend.  The Arctic has lost that ice which melted most easily.  The rest resides in colder water and closer to land.  It will not melt so easily.  Hence, 40 years is probably too soon.

I don't have qualifications to comment in any detail but It looks to me the bolded quote above doesn't fit with this curve as the linear trend (over a period longer than a decade) would be overly optimistic rather than pessimistic. Is there any good reason to exclude the known history and limit this to the last decade?

Policy and solutions / Re: Wind Turbines
« on: March 16, 2018, 01:52:39 PM »
These magnificent birds obviously haven't heard the anti wind lobby's exaggerations about bird deaths.

Peregrine falcons have used a nest box attached to an Enercon turbine at a wind farm in Germany to raise three young birds.

Enercon said the unnamed project owner had mounted the nest box to an E-70 machine at Gutersloh in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The company said the birds had not been disturbed by the turbine's rotors.

It added that kestrels had successfully raised young at the site in previous years.

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: March 05, 2018, 03:50:56 PM »

I also believe Colin Powell was sincere in his UN presentation.

From Colin Powell's autobiography the impression I had was that the sate department were frustrated in their efforts to prevent the war by reporting that Iraq was in fact compliant. The Bush/Cheney team were determined to ignore and misrepresent the intelligence that they had. (The CIA had also failed to realise their prime source from Iraq (Chalibi) was not to be trusted. But that's getting even further away).

At this time though in Australia we had Andrew Wilkie resign from the Office of National Intelligence (Who's job it was to asses the intelligence gathered from all the other agencies and foreign sources being part of the US alliance he was privy to most of the secrets) in protest at the way the intelligence was being used by the Government. This got minimal media coverage and was swamped by the mass hysteria being pumped from Rupert's propaganda outlets.

The relevance of this is that at the time of Powell's presentation to the UN we had already been warned by Andrew Wilkie that we were being lied to, however most people seemed to be ignorant as most of the media didn't or wouldn't do their jobs.

Colin Powell spent his life serving the military with honour and when he was ordered by the President to present what evidence they had to the UN he chose to follow the order from his President. He then did the best he could despite probably knowing or suspecting what he was presenting was at least unverified if not outright lies.

Sorry for the long O/T
But the Iraq war to me is a tipping point where the US and those that followed them in the West lost so much credibility that these debates here that are being had now about the very integrity of western democracy would not have been taking place. 


The politics / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: March 04, 2018, 11:59:57 AM »
I'm going to ask one more time, as it is the central question of this thread (that was part of an argument in the Russiagate thread, namely that Russiagate shouldn't be about the Mueller investigation/Trump impeachment exclusively, but also about other things, like US meddling in other countries):

Is it okay when the US meddles/interferes in other countries?

If no one is willing to say 'yes' to this question and explain why (maybe Rob Dekker and Martin Gisser would like to), I would consider the matter resolved.

Sorry for the late reply, Neven, but I had to think about that question.

What I came up with is probably not surprising :

It depends.

There are different shades of gray here, and the US, as a super-power, has a LOT of programs.

For example, the US has humanitarian programs all over the world.
In my opinion, that's good, so if you consider that 'interference' the answer is YES.

Then there are humanitarian programs funded by the DoD.
Like building hospitals, and renovating schools and such. Here again, in my opinion the answer is YES.

Then there is promoting freedom of speech, and training independent journalists.
In my opinion that is also a good thing. So YES.

Then there is military training. The DoD trains almost every military on the planet, as long as the country they come from is not hostile to the US or has a record of gross human rights violations.
I believe that is a good thing, since a well-trained military is less likely to commit atrocities. So YES again.

Then there are open, UN approved military interventions, where we all (the UN) decide that some force committed a crime or poses a gross threat to world peace.
Here, I'd generally approve, but we need to make sure that the threat is based on real evidence.
So that's a general YES, with a 'be careful' notion.

Then there are covert operations, without UN approval. Could be anything from covert meddling in elections to covert support (like Nicaragua contras) to obtain a political objective.
These I disapprove of big-time. So the answer there is NO.

Any international 'interference' should be in the open, preferably approved by the UN, before it is acted upon.

So that's my opinion.
Would it now be worth comparing this to Russia's international interventions and motives?

The politics / Re: US intervention in foreign lands
« on: March 02, 2018, 12:07:51 PM »
Quote from: Human Habitat Index link=topic=2204.msg144217#msg144217

Gough Whitlam was "sacked" 11 November 1975

The CIA certainly welcomed Gough Whitlam's dismissal and probably played some role in making it happen. Gough was our Bernie Sanders a true progressive that terrified the conservatives by implementing policy that helped the people, Medicare, free University, no fault divorce and many more. Then there was a raid by the Federal police on ASIO a challenge to the establishment that probably still to this day shapes the response of the so called "deep state" to any perceived progressive threat. This is what possibly enabled the involvement of the CIA.     

The conservatives fought back with all means fouls or fair eventually removing him after ignoring convention on the replacement of a senator, then blocking supply (same as US gov shutdown) and manipulating the governor general into deposing the government. Then with no legitimate reason appointing the opposition as caretaker government until the election. Where the conservative media completed the coup.

This kind of fits in this thread as in this case a military intervention didn't happen but the motivations and result was the same.


The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: February 16, 2018, 04:30:44 AM »
Is it possible that the greatly self lauded FBI was so distracted by looking under every Washington bed for a Russian conspirator, that they couldn't identify our Florida shooter, even though he signed his note with his own name?

Still following in the mincing steps of Little Johnny Hoover by chasing the Rooskies while ignoring real threats.



I think the FBI in Florida would find this very offensive.
Do you really think the FBI agents in Florida are too busy chasing Russians to do their job? 

Isn't this is just a repeat of the Trumpist's mindless FBI attacks without any basis on fact that have immediately sprung up after this tragic event, you and this blog are far better than this.

I don't feel comfortable about jumping in like this but I thought this should be said.

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: February 01, 2018, 03:00:24 PM »
The Russians are condemned by their own lies.

Their first instinct was to blame a Ukrainian fighter, then double down with a propaganda campaign of lies when this failed which still continuous.

If Russia hadn't persisted with their lies and admitted that the Jet was shot down by a BUK then perhaps they would have some credibility but their lying instincts are just too strong.

Rob is absolutely correct that the MH17 incident is good as an indicator of who is telling the truth as in this case the truth has become crystal clear. 

The rest / Re: But, but, but PUTIN...
« on: January 18, 2018, 05:31:40 AM »
Having Putin declared innocent in the Russia Gate thread prompts me to update this Putin thread rather than further divert that thread. 

I'm surprised and concerned that I have to point out here that this is how Putin has an 85% approval rating. I would have thought the oppression of any dissenting voice in Russia was rather obvious. I also fear that declaring Putin innocent while ignoring this can only encourage those in the US that are now attempting to assist Trump suppress any dissenting media.

Efforts to prove there was Russian meddling behind the deaths of Vladimir Putin critics have not amounted to much either.
They end up dead and Putin's calls the accusations "absurd." I guess Trump would call it fake news.
It doesn't mean that it is not true.

Denis Voronenkov in Kiev, Ukraine 2017
Boris Nemtsov, Feb. 28, 2015
Boris Berezovsky, 2013
Sergei Magnitsky, 2009 who uncovered evidence of corruption, fraud and a cover up.
Natalya Estemirova, 2009 was a journalist who investigated abductions and murders that had become commonplace in Chechnya.
Stanislav Markelov and Anastasia Baburova, 2009
Anna Politkovskaya, 2006
Alexander Litvinenko, 2006 a former KGB agent who died three weeks after drinking a cup of tea laced with deadly polonium-210 at a London hotel.
Sergei Yushenkov, 2003
Yuri Shchekochikhin, 2003 a journalist and author who wrote about crime and corruption in the former Soviet Union when it was still very difficult to do so

This list I came across someplace and I no longer have a link but these details are easily found. Free and fair media is long dead in Russia and President Putin is 7 foot tall. 

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 23, 2017, 10:37:43 AM »
on MH17 I have only a very weak opinion.
I think it was the Russians who supplied the BUK, and that it was operated by separatists. They thought they were shooting at some military plane, so made a mistake.

FWIW This is what I believe the available evidence supports.

The first response of the Russian propaganda machine was to insist it was a Ukrainian fighter, then only when this deliberate lie became untenable did they move on to attempting to blame a Ukrainian BUK. Now there are photographs proving that a Russian BUK was in the launch area.

All this to prop up the bigger lie that Russia is not directly involved in Ukraine.

What's worth learning from this is which agencies and outlets supported this lie and why


The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: December 12, 2017, 03:13:25 PM »
If Democrats can not take the house in 2018, we'd better make plans for a decade and more of having Republicans in control of everything.

A decade or more of environmental destruction, voter suppression, complete deregulation of financial markets and the possible consequences from this, the destruction of any affordable medical care for anyone except the most wealthy, the removal of all welfare for the less fortunate, the loss of a free media, suppression of internet neutrality, the corruption of the judiciary and so much more.

Just how do we plan for this future?

Science / Re: Trump Administration Assaults on Science and the Environment
« on: December 12, 2017, 02:35:16 AM »
How much will this transfer of knowledge to France affect US climate science?
Eighteen climate scientists from the US and elsewhere have hit the jackpot as France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, awarded them millions of euros in grants to relocate to France for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidential term.

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 11, 2017, 03:47:20 AM »
As RussiaGate continues to pick up momentum in the coming days/weeks/ may want to spend some time following Seth Abramson in Twitter @SethAbramson.

It's time to tell the biggest untold story of the 2016 election: how a cadre of pro-Trump FBI agents and intel officers—some active, some retired—conspired to swing the election to Trump. The story involves Flynn, Prince, Giuliani, and others. Hope you'll read and share.

More nothing for the nothing burger, for those that haven't followed Buddy's Tip on Seth Abramson

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:34:38 AM »
Flynn pushed trillion-dollar Russian-Saudi nuclear energy scheme while at White House.

Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn kept pushing a massive nuclear power deal involving Saudi Arabia and Russia even after he (briefly) became president Donald Trump’s national security advisor, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released letters from executives confirming that Flynn traveled to the Mideast in 2015 “to meet with foreign leaders about a proposal to partner with Russia in a scheme to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia.” Flynn was advising the executives on the deal.

I haven't seen this covered in this thread as it involves Flynn dealing with Russia I think it's relevant.

Flynn's deal with the Russians to build reactors in the middle east required the sanctions to be dropped, this was strong motivation for "collusion" with the Russians.

Where specifically the collusion would be the agreement to lift sanctions to allow this deal to proceed while Flynn was to be paid millions. I would guess making this type of deal before the inauguration would have to be highly illegal?

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: November 06, 2017, 10:34:12 AM »
Saudi prince killed in helicopter crash near Yemen border

Does anyone think there is a connection to the current purge or simply a coincidence?

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: October 12, 2017, 03:08:53 AM »
The making of a Russian disinformation campaign: What it takes

What Alexander Herzen, the great 19th-century Russian liberal, said he feared most for the future was "Genghis Khan with the telegraph."

This doesn't contain any new evidence however I thought there is some relevance in the history, reasoning and mechanics of Russian disinformation campaigns.

Yes I know the US does the same in different ways. The difference though is that the media is and has been far more open and free in the west which makes these operations more effective for Russia.

The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:27:04 AM »

Who would have thought just a few years ago that the US Presidency could have dropped to this level.

Can you have forgotten Bush the Younger so soon? Does torture trouble you so little?
Do you not remember Madam Albright opining that 300K dead children was an acceptable price to pay to be rid of Saddam?
How about Daddy Bush's "Highway of Death", sometimes referred to as "one of the most heinous war crimes in history".

Trump is a lousy president. At this point he's still a long-long way from the worst.


Hi Terry

Bush Juniors Torture was unacceptable as for Bush Snr's Iraq war there was at least some justification for this although the highway massacre was unnecessary and barbaric. The end resulted in some stability that could have been maintained had Junior and the US War machine not started the second war based on their WMD lies.

There is no doubt Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator, the Iraqi's and the world are better off without him (well eventually after they stop killing each other). However Bush Junior's WMD war I think was a turning point where the US finally lost any credibility they once had as the leaders of a free democratic world order.

Yes it's true Trump is not yet the worst on the scale of murderous wars which I agree is important. But he is definitely worse at being presidential. This requires behavior that brings respect to the office, having the rest of the world's leaders see him behave the way he does is not helpful and even dangerous.

What makes him the worst though is his complete unsuitability to the office as far as world knowledge, temperament, ethics, maturity, mental stability and probably IQ. He hasn't yet killed a lot of people but I can't recall a president that has ever made the world more nervous about the prospect of a nuclear catastrophe.



The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency (was "Presidential Poll")
« on: October 10, 2017, 02:54:05 PM »
I'm trying to believe that he says these things as a diversion not because he is an insecure moron that has the nuclear football.

It's not usually worth commenting on each of these tweets but seems to me that he's becoming more unstable and provocative.

Who would have thought just a few years ago that the US Presidency could have dropped to this level. I just hope Muller can find enough to have him removed before it's too late.

The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: August 21, 2017, 10:51:14 AM »
This raises the question of how we assess their true characters.

I admit I was in part swayed by watching the behavior of Trump while my wife was watching the apprentice and of listening to Obama whenever he spoke. To me this gave some sense of their true nature. I find it hard to believe that Obama could fake his apparent spontaneous warmth and intelligence while Trump appeared to me to be exactly the sort of narcissistic, pussy grabbing pee watching creep that he is accused of being.   

Yes the glimpses we get to see are mostly highly choreographed but this is what we have without delving deeply into the broader complexities of how policy is made and executed.

To respond directly to your post, this personal opinion of mine doesn't go anywhere near excusing Obama for this critique of yours below and it's not meant to, it's more an discussion of how opinions are made and what it is that influences our opinion.   

No, not even if it was true. I mean, he received the Nobel Peace Prize, even though he expanded the drone program and waged war in seven countries. He also kept Gitmo open, bailed out the banks and set up a Republican health care programme. Not to mention increasing surveillance and diminishing privacy rights.

I don't have the depth of knowledge or time required to respond meaningfully to this.

I guess then the remaining questions I have are:

1) Is there any value in judging these politicians on what we have seen of them in the media ?
2) If so is it then safe to believe Trump could be a pee porn star and that it's not conceivable that Obama could be ?

Are you more inclined to believe that what we have seen and heard is of no value at all in assessing character and then that Obama is comfortable to bomb and kill just to enjoy the experience of being the most powerful person on the plant ?

I hope this isn't too tiresome for you, I don't write much here partly because I find it hard to succinctly express what I have to say about what can be a complex issue.


The politics / Re: Russiagate
« on: August 21, 2017, 08:23:36 AM »
Wasn't it a Republican that commissioned the Steele investigation ?

In 2011, Glenn Simpson, along with two other former Journal reporters, launched Fusion GPS, in Washington, D.C. The firm’s activities, according to the terse, purposefully oblique statement on its Web site, centered on “premium research, strategic intelligence, and due diligence.”

In September 2015, as the Republican primary campaign was heating up, he was hired to compile an opposition-research dossier on Donald Trump. Who wrote the check? Simpson, always secretive, won’t reveal his client’s identity. However, according to a friend who had spoken with Simpson at the time, the funding came from a “Never Trump” Republican and not directly from the campaign war chests of any of Trump’s primary opponents.

Simpson, as fellow journalists remembered, smelled fresh red meat. And anyway, after all he had discovered, he’d grown deeply concerned by the prospect of a Trump presidency. So he found Democratic donors whose checks would keep his oppo research going strong. And he made a call to London, to a partner at Orbis he had worked with in the past, an ex-spy who knew where all the bodies were buried in Russia, and who, as the wags liked to joke, had even buried some of them.

This is what was initially reported at the time, how reliable this is we just don't know and may never know.

If this was in fact instigated by a "Never Trump Republican" it seems rather unfair to blame the Democrats for picking this up. Why wouldn't they and if this is what was presented to them they would in fact be negligent not to pursue it to the end. (Negligent both to their own cause and also to US democracy).

Also from what we have seen of Trumps character would it be hard to believe that this could be true? I don't know what others think but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised, yet without having the tapes a healthy skepticism is of coarse warranted.

I hope that adds a little light, now it's back to popcorn an obscurity for me.

Also I can't help adding just one last comment. Would anyone believe this for a moment if this accusation was aimed at Obama ? 

Why the Scariest Nuclear Threat May Be Coming from Inside the White House

Donald Trump’s secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once campaigned to abolish the $30 billion agency that he now runs, which oversees everything from our nuclear arsenal to the electrical grid. The department’s budget is now on the chopping block. But does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities?

This is a good example of the damage to science and the danger that could result from the Trump regime's lethal combination of blind ideology, arrogance, incompetence and ignorance.

Policy and solutions / Re: Renewable Energy
« on: July 11, 2017, 03:26:17 AM »
*Musk's guarantee is completion within 100 days from the grid interconnect agreement signing, not from the recently announced contract signing.

BTW To clarify your point about the timing

From the linked article

When will it be finished?

The government wants it finished by December 1 and Tesla and Neoen have committed to doing that. Ironically, the 100-day-or-it’s-free offer will not start until the connection agreement is sealed with the Australian Energy Market Operator. That will likely take a couple of months, so the December 1 deadline will fall before the 100-day deadline.

The interesting point is that the government plans on having this completed "before the 100-day deadline".

We are all very much looking forward to see what impact this has next summer on pricing and grid stability. If this performs as expected over summer this will no doubt be a game changer in the debate on renewables at least in Australia.

Policy and solutions / Re: Batteries: Today's Energy Solution
« on: July 10, 2017, 03:10:24 AM »
Here's a great summary of the south Australia's Telsla Battery project by Giles Parkinson of RenewEnergy.

But what exactly is it? And what can it do? And how much will it cost? We try to answer some of the main questions, and dispel some of the myths.

The rest / Re: But, but, but PUTIN...
« on: June 30, 2017, 02:51:15 PM »
I came across this from the Guardian. This is the Arctic Sea Ice forum and ideally not the place for political debate, however as US politics is an important part of humanity's response to the climate crisis and now Putin's Russia has become entangled with US politics these side topics do have some relevance.

Besides this I do get a lot from the insights posted here from all the those who contribute but in this discussion I have had an uneasy feeling that the true nature of Putin as not been exposed even in this thread dedicated in his honor.

This particular article struck me as a vivid illustration of the type of Russia Putin has created that is described by Garry Kasparov in his books. Perhaps this could encourage people to look closer at the nature of the threat that Putin poses to liberal democracies.

It takes a lot to shock me in Russia, after 45 years of studying it. But this month my blood ran cold. Not because I watched innocent kids being hauled off the street by thuggish riot forces, and not because I was myself arrested and questioned by police for seven hours – though those incidents played a part – but because of what I witnessed in a Russian state television studio. But let’s start at the beginning

This is the reality on the ground now, to understand how this came about and who and what Putin is I recommend Garry Kasparov's "Winter is Cominig". This should be read by those that are inclined to believe Putin is benign or even that Russia is the victim of western aggression.

As far as the ICIF goes I have been obsessively reading since near the beginning and much appreciate those who generously contribute their time and knowledge. 


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