Last updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 (We need geniuses with brilliance to fight fast-growing chronic problems NOW!)
BIGGEST PROBLEM: IT’S TIME TO SEE CLEARLY AND ACT, SO OUR CHILDREN WON'T SEE ALL BEAUTIFUL LIFE DIE. SOLUTION: Make greedy sociopaths HELP life on earth. Allow tax-free income (supplemented as morally necessary) and wealth up to reasonable levels, then tax excess @ up to a 90% tax-rate to fund life remediation.
Aggregated News & Opinion
Today’s posts in bigger type.
Prior 2-3 days in smaller type.
Health Care & Environment
PROBLEMS: Corporate influence enables life-threatening pollution & highest-profit health care.
The quadrennial political game of least worst, or how to scare the public to vote for presidential candidates who serve corporate power, comes this season with a new twist. Donald Trump, if he faces Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar or Michael Bloomberg, will continue to be an amalgamation of Adolf Hitler, Al Capone and the Antichrist. But should Bernie Sanders manage to evade the snares, traps and minefields laid for him by the Democratic Party elites, should he miraculously become the party’s nominee, the game of least worst will radically change. All the terrifying demons that inhabit Trump will be instantly exorcised. But unlike in the biblical story of Jesus driving the demons into a herd of swine, they will be driven into the senator from Vermont. Trump will become the establishment’s reluctant least worse option. Sanders will become a leper. The Democratic and Republican party elites, joining forces as they did in the 1972 presidential election, will do to Sanders what they did to George McGovern, who lost in 49 of the 50 states.
....Despite the hyperventilating by corporate shills such as Matthews and Friedman, Sanders’ democratic socialism is essentially that of a New Deal Democrat. His political views would be part of the mainstream in France or Germany, where democratic socialism is an accepted part of the political landscape...
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6, 2020. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images
LAST FALL, the third most powerful figure in the U.S. government, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, had a phone call with a man who is undoubtedly one of the most hated people among her base of Democratic Party supporters: the famed consumer advocate and former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader.
Their phone call took place as the Democrats were preparing to launch a narrowly focused impeachment case against Donald Trump. On the call, Nader laid out a strategy for attacking Trump that he believed could have resulted in his actual removal from office. Nader, who has spent his life working to implement a wide range of consumer and environmental protections, argued that it would be a mistake to focus solely on the Ukraine phone call. Instead, Nader suggested that Pelosi orchestrate a public prosecution of Trump’s crimes against ordinary Americans — what he called “kitchen table issues.” Nader beseeched Pelosi to go after Trump on issues far more pressing than Ukraine to millions of Americans, regardless of their political affiliation. He suggested subpoenaing witnesses who could testify to Trump’s “destruction of life-saving consumer protections, environmental protections, workplace safety protections, in his destruction of social safety net protections for children.” Pelosi, Nader says, did not take any of his advice.
....Nader joined Intercepted to discuss the failed impeachment move against Trump and the state of the Democratic primary. Nader ran for president in 2000, 2004, and 2008, and throughout his career has been one of the most important voices for justice, as well as environment and consumer protections, in U.S. history. His latest book, written with the consumer advocate Mark Green, is called “Fake President: Decoding Trump’s Gaslighting, Corruption, and General Bullsh*t.” What follows is the extended transcript of the excerpt of the conversation broadcast on Intercepted....
Five-year study of animals in Devon finds measurable benefits to wildlife and people
The Devon Wildlife Trust has released footage of three of the beavers that took part in a five-year study into the impacts of the mammals on the English countryside.
Beavers have alleviated flooding, reduced pollution and boosted populations of fish, amphibians and other wildlife, according to a five-year study of wild-living animals in Devon.
The report, which will help the government decide whether to allow wild beavers to return to England after being hunted to extinction more than 400 years ago, concludes that the species has brought measurable benefits to wildlife and people.
The study, by a team of scientists overseen by Prof Richard Brazier of the University of Exeter, concludes that beavers’ quantifiable benefits on the River Otter, including eco-tourism and “ecosystem services” such as flood alleviation, outweigh costs such as the minor flooding of some farmland....
A newly leaked document confirms how China is imprisoning Muslim minority Uighurs based solely on their religion and culture. DW spoke with relatives of Uighurs who have disappeared into Xinjiang's "re-education camps."
An image of a suspected Chinese 're-education' camp in Xinjiang
....Although DW was unable to independently verify his account, there have been other cases of Uighur groups that have trained with the FSA. Several hundred Uighurs have also reportedly joined the so-called Islamic State militant group.
German authorities do acknowledge possible "links" between Uighur separatist factions and the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida, according to a confidential report compiled by the German Foreign Ministry late last year.
However, under the guise of fighting terrorism, China's policy seems to punish an entire population, targeting the Uighur language, religion and culture and placing people under a tight-knit mesh of constant electronic surveillance.
And women like Tohti's two sisters — whose only "crime" was having too many children and applying for a passport — have been caught up in China's "anti-terrorism" fight.
"They will take you for no reason," one man told DW, whose wife's youngest brother was on the list. He spoke to DW on condition of anonymity, fearing Chinese reprisal.
But he was adamant that his brother-in-law, whom he described as a quiet student, had done nothing wrong.
"He was just normal," he said, adding that if the Chinese authorities in Xinjiang could imprison his bookish brother-in-law, no one was safe.
International & Futurism PROBLEMS: Capitalists, Islamists, Fascists and Mafias cause immorality, barbarity & war. SOLUTIONS: UN, InterPol and International Criminal Court must be fully enabled. FYI: All people are mixed-race
In an interview with DW, John Kerry has criticized Donald Trump for his inaction on climate change. He also accused the US president of "breaking apart NATO" and "insulting Angela Merkel" and other European leaders.
The West appears to be making many concessions to the Taliban to forge a peace deal. Do they also involve a compromise on fundamental human rights? DW talks to the head of Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Afghanistan.
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism PROBLEMS: Tariff & tax policies, banking/financial deregulation, monopoly/racketeering & antitrust dis-enforcement all help the Very Rich while harming The Public. [26:55 video ‘This Is Neoliberalism’]
Justice Matters PROBLEMS: Political Judges and States Attorneys, too little enforcement of anti-trust laws and white-collar crimes, over-prosecution of the poor. OPED: Commute death sentences and allow assisted suicide.
Instead of Plutocratic-Controlled Politicians owning and controlling 'their' people in "their" Nation-State, why can't people everywhere contract with UN-certified virtual nation agencies to perform fiduciary nation-level functions instead—including managing escrow for Social Security and Medicare, and smart funding of your priority governance and charities. If this were possible and replaced nations states then it would end international wars and immigration crises, as citizens of every virtual nation would be scattered worldwide—as before nation-states. Local city, county and state governments can continue largely unchanged. But at the national virtual nation level, Democracy would be professional-only and not be political. Your only vote would be to renew with same nation agency or change to another nation agency (which transfers escrows), and/or change priorities for governance and charities.