Still alive

Sep 14th, 2020 12:02 pm | By

Today in disgusting: #RIPJKRowling is what they call “trending” on Twitter. That’s nice; that’s progressive; that’s humane; that’s decent.

I’m pretty sure Twitter could tweak something so that it would no longer be “trending” but Twitter of course has chosen not to do that, instead adding a smirky “no JKRowling is not dead.” No, she’s just being bullied and abused on social media for not agreeing that men who say they are women are literally women.

Perhaps this is what set it off:

Meanwhile –



He sees shadows

Sep 14th, 2020 10:08 am | By

The NY Times reports:

The top communications official at the powerful cabinet department in charge of combating the coronavirus accused career government scientists on Sunday of “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election.

Michael Caputo, 58, the assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, said without evidence that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was harboring a “resistance unit” determined to undermine President Trump.

That is astounding. It’s Nazi-level manipulation and lying and provocation.

This is the guy who’s been trying to force the CDC people to change their reports to match Trump’s stupid lies.

“You understand that they’re going to have to kill me, and unfortunately, I think that’s where this is going,” Mr. Caputo, a Trump loyalist installed by the White House in April, told followers in a video he hosted live on his personal Facebook page.

Very sane, very normal.

Mr. Caputo delivered his broadside against scientists, the media and Democrats after a spate of news reports over the weekend that detailed his team’s systematic interference in the C.D.C.’s official reports on the pandemic and other disease outbreaks. Former and current C.D.C. officials described to PoliticoThe New York Times and other outlets how Mr. Caputo and a top aide routinely demanded the agency revise, delay and even scuttle the C.D.C.’s core public health updates, called Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports, that they believed undercut Mr. Trump’s message that the pandemic is under control.

The PR guy is fiddling the professional medical reports by the scientists to help his boss the warped murderous dictator. He’s apparently also lost his marbles.

Despite the criticism of his team’s interference with C.D.C., Mr. Caputo said he expected to remain in his post because Mr. Trump supported him. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I swear to God, as God is my witness, I am not stopping.”

He’s a hero! He’s Scarlett O’Hara!

His Facebook presentation comes as Mr. Trump has increasingly singled out federal government scientists as targets, complaining without evidence that they were deliberately trying to subvert his administration’s efforts to fight the pandemic for their own political reasons.

The government scientists are trying to do their jobs despite Trump’s efforts to contradict and silence them for his own political reasons.

Mr. Caputo echoed those sentiments, saying scientists “deep in the bowels of the C.D.C. have given up science and become political animals.”

No dude. That’s projection.

Then he babbled about a Trump fan who was killed in Portland, and said it was “a drill.”

The man suspected of the shooting, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was later shot dead by officers from a federally led fugitive task force in Washington State. He “went down fighting,” Mr. Caputo said. “Why? Because he couldn’t say what he had inside him.” He then spoke of “squads being trained all over this country” — a conspiracy theory unsupported by evidence.

No, no, it’s true, I’ve got 700 of them right here next to me.

Mr. Caputo continued his social media effort after the Facebook event, retweeting a conspiratorial post that hinted with no evidence that armed camps were being established in Washington, D.C.: “Occupants don’t look like vagrants. Looks like forward basing for militant street ops,” J. Michael Waller, a conservative provocateur, posted.

Nah, the forward basing for militant street ops is all at the Marriott.

Mr. Caputo has no background in health care. He worked on Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign for a time but was passed over for a job early in the administration. He remained friendly with Dan Scavino, who oversees the White House’s social media and is among the few of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign aides still on the administration’s staff. Mr. Scavino played a role in reconnecting Mr. Trump and Mr. Caputo. Some of Mr. Trump’s allies heralded Mr. Caputo’s appointment at Health and Human Services, describing him as both media savvy and intensely loyal to the president.

They might as well have given the job to a circus clown.

[Caputo] accused officials at the C.D.C. and other government agencies — including the Department of Health and Human Services — of deliberately subverting the president’s efforts to contain the pandemic. The C.D.C., he said, was riddled with anti-Trump researchers who “walk around like they are monks” and “holy men” but engage in “rotten science.”

Which he knows how? Given the fact that he’s a PR guy not a scientist?

But he singled out Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the agency, for praise. He “is one of my closest friends in Washington,” he said. “He’s such a good man.”

Former and current agency officials have asserted that Dr. Redfield has allowed so much political interference with the agency’s work that some career scientists are on the verge of resigning.

Right; as he said, such a good man.

Mr. Caputo’s scientific adviser, Dr. Paul Alexander, was heavily involved in the effort to reshape the C.D.C.’s weekly reports on morbidity and mortality. The reports are widely read by the nation’s health professionals, who depend upon them for medical guidance.

Mr. Caputo acknowledged in a brief interview this weekend that it was unusual for a public affairs officer to hire his own scientific adviser. But he described Dr. Alexander, an assistant professor at McMaster University in Canada, as “a genius” to his Facebook audience, saying the public criticism had only served to make his position “permanent” as a watchdog over politically motivated scientists.

“To allow people to die so that you can replace the president is a grievous venial sin, venial sin,” he said. “And these people are all going to hell.”

Meanwhile Trump continues to do things that cause thousands of people to die.



What happens if you challenge the gender narrative

Sep 14th, 2020 9:32 am | By

The abuse continues.

This is not normal. It doesn’t happen in other intra-left disagreements. Why is this so different? I can only conclude that it’s because misogyny is the most deeply rooted hatred of all. We’re watching lefty men fall all over themselves in their ecstatic eagerness to rip lefty women to pieces because these lefty women refuse to agree that men – men – magically turn into women by saying they are women. If we did agree with that claim we would instantly lose the right and the ability to resist male hatred of women and its attendant injustices, because the men wouldn’t be men any more, they would be women. Our words would fall to the floor, useless.

Men like Adrian Harrop and Owen Jones are already making it ever more difficult for women to resist male hatred of women and its attendant injustices, and if we gave in it would be game over.

Not going to happen.



ANY topic you OPPOSE

Sep 13th, 2020 5:03 pm | By

Ooh a rally in Vancouver. Too bad they too are having a hazardous air day, but when it’s for a good cause…

Join A Celebration of Freedoms and Rights, No New Normal, The Line, Hugs Over Masks, CLEAR, Liberty Talk Canada and Unify the People in this event for all of BC to attend!!!!!

This is where we put our feet down and declare “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”

It’s a rally for DO NOTHING ABOUT THE PANDEMIC FREEDOM FREEDOM.

ANY topic you OPPOSE such as MANDATORY masks / vaccines, contact tracing, 5G, communism, social distancing, media lies, child trafficking, lockdown measures, curfews, etc.

Any “topic” I oppose? Anything at all? What if I oppose stupid people who refuse to follow medical guidance during a pandemic? What if I oppose conservatism? What if I oppose anti-vaxxers?

ANY topic you DEMAND such as informed consent, my body my choice, privacy rights, exposing child traffickers, democracy, freedoms and rights etc.

I DEMAND my body my choice so my body gets to live in your house and you have to go live somewhere else.

We will also be supporting Berlin’s efforts, Montréal’s efforts, Dublin’s efforts, the citizens of Melbourne as well as ANY other country where draconian lockdown measures are being implemented.

Yayyyyyy! Sounds like a partay!

Sure enough.



Blame it on Karen

Sep 13th, 2020 4:26 pm | By

There are eleven thousand comments on Amy Hamm’s public Facebook post about the Rowling billboard. One particularly deep thinker says it’s about white women (wot no Karen?):

Imagine having this amount of money to actually help people in need and instead using it on a billboard to promote a hateful person. White women findings ways to make feminism exclusive to them and theirs is a tale as old as time though.

Yup yup yup that’s it, it’s nothing to do with men trying to take over being women from women, it’s all about white women taking over everything from everyone, the way we always have.



About fire

Sep 13th, 2020 2:54 pm | By

Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano wrote a book about the Paradise Fire. They tell us some things:

Prior to European settlement in the West, fire flowed freely, sparked by lightning or intentionally by Native Americans to encourage the growth of favored plants or clear areas for easier hunting. As much as 4.5m acres of California’s 105m acres might burn every year. These low-intensity fires did not kill large trees, and some plants even came to depend on fire to regenerate themselves. A shrub called chamise appears to encourage fire by releasing combustible gases in the presence of flames.

The shift to a different approach occurred after several instances in which wildfires became appalling urban fires. In October 1871, railway workers sparked a brush fire in northern Wisconsin, which swept into the city of Peshtigo and killed 1,500 people there and elsewhere across a gargantuan footprint of 1.2 million acres. And in the great fires of 1910, fires burning across several Western states killed hundreds and razed a number of towns. People escaped by train as the fires virtually licked at their heels.

So the US decided no more out of control fires.

Fire activity decreased, it is true, but with scouring flames removed from the environment, forests grew far denser and brushier than they had been before. In one Arizona forest, 20 trees per acre became 800 trees per acre. These forests can and will burn more severely. In addition the climate crisis is rendering vegetation ever drier, and by 2050 up to three times more acreage in Western forests will burn as a result of global warming. Meanwhile 60m homes can now be found in or close to high-risk areas where wildfires have previously burned.

Cue urban fires. The fire that obliterated Paradise on the morning of November 8, 2018 was sparked in a rural river canyon several miles to the east of town. As we describe in our new book, Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy, it approached the community at speeds previously thought impossible, chewing through almost 400 American football fields’ worth of vegetation per minute. It hit like a hurricane. Strikingly, many of the hundreds of thousands of trees in the town were spared – it was the homes that became matches setting fire to the next. The fire was so quick, so hot, that people died seeking shelter under their cars, in the driveways of their homes while holding a hose, or huddled in their bathtub.

They go on to say it could happen anywhere, including in big cities.



Telling

Sep 13th, 2020 2:14 pm | By

This is a flattering photo.

Donald Trump addresses a rally in Freeland, Michigan on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Seen at the Guardian.



Another rake conversation

Sep 13th, 2020 11:43 am | By

About those fires

The death toll from wildfires choking the west coast of the US continued to rise on Sunday as authorities feared more bodies were likely to be found in the charred ruins of towns across several states, and politicians lambasted Donald Trump for his response to the escalating crisis.

It’s what he does so as not to panic us.

The White House announced that Trump would visit California on Monday for “a briefing”, a move that drew strong criticism from Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles.

“He’s going to come out here and probably tell us ‘I’m going to send you rakes’ instead of more help,” Garcetti told CNN’s State of the Union, referring to the president’s claims that wildfires in the state are caused by poor forestry management and not fuelled by the climate crisis.

Not even send us more rakes but just shout at us for not raking.

Trump issued a disaster declaration in August but has been largely quiet about the wildfires since. At a rally in Nevada on Saturday night, he said: “I spoke to the folks in Oregon, Washington … they’ve never had anything like this. But, you know, it is about forest management … and other things, but forest management.”

That part is true, but the problem is not failure to “rake the forest floor.” The problem is failure to allow controlled burns, with the result that there’s way too much fuel.

I can hear the fog horns from ferries out on the Sound right now, because the smoke mixed with fog is so thick visibility is a few yards/metres.



When caught lying lie harder

Sep 13th, 2020 11:32 am | By

It’s fine that Trump lied to us about the virus and that thousands of unnecessary deaths are the result. Totally fine.

Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, and Jason Miller, a campaign senior adviser, tried to mitigate the damage caused by Trump’s taped confessions to Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, for his book Rage, by playing up the president’s handling of a crisis that has killed more than 190,000 in America.

“The president was calm and steady in a time of unrest and uncertainty,” McDaniel insisted on NBC’s Meet the Press.

That’s not the Trump we know. He’s very volatile and he has the attention span of a gnat.

“What would it mean if the president came out and said, ‘The sky is falling and everybody should be panicked’? He presented calm and a steady hand and a plan. And that is what a president should do.”

False choice dingdingding! That’s not what he should have said. What he should have said is that everybody should follow the medical advice of people who understand the subject because the virus is a serious thing. That’s all. Nothing about the sky falling, nothing about everybody please panic starting NOW.

On ABC’s This Week, Miller said Trump had always taken the coronavirus “very seriously” and claimed: “We encourage people very strongly to wear the masks.”

And that’s why we’ve seen Trump in a mask only twice. That’s why we’ve seen him sneer at journalists wearing masks several times. Much encourage strongly, very seriously.

The majority of attendees at a Trump rally in Nevada on Saturday were neither distanced nor wearing masks. At another rally in North Carolina earlier in the week, the president mocked social distancing as a tool to prevent the spread of infection.

That’s Trump taking it very seriously.

McDaniel was asked if Trump’s downplaying of the threat was a political gambit, suggesting his dire warnings of anarchy and lawlessness in the wake of recent protests against racism and police brutality showed “this isn’t a president who shies away from trying to incite panic or trying to fire folks up”.

“Think what would have happened if he’d have gone out and said, ‘This is awful, we should all be afraid, we don’t have a plan’,” McDaniel said.

Again – that is not the suggestion.

Another Trump loyalist, trade adviser Peter Navarro, was challenged on CNN’s State of the Union over the administration’s assertions it had acted swiftly in response to the pandemic, specifically in shutting down travel from China.

“[On] 31 January [he] pulls down the flights, saves probably hundreds of thousands of American lives,” Navarro claimed, even though the “ban” was only a partial restriction that still allowed tens of thousands to travel, while travel from Europe was not shut down till later, allowing the virus in that way.

Navarro also attempted to claim Trump had been “straightforward” with the American people, even though the president’s own words on tape confirm he was purposefully withholding information. The Trump adviser also attacked CNN, saying without apparent irony it was “not honest with the American people”, before being cut off.

“The United States has less than 5% of the world’s population,” host Jake Tapper said, “and the United States has more than 20% of the world’s coronavirus deaths. That is a fact. It does not matter how many times he insults CNN.”

Yes but CNN has cooties.



A devious way to push a message

Sep 13th, 2020 9:26 am | By

The CBC reports – not honestly – on the Rowling billboard matter.

A billboard on a busy part of Hastings Street in Vancouver supporting author J.K. Rowling’s controversial views about gender identity was hastily covered over the day after it was put up.

That’s why I say “not honestly.” The headline is more honest:

I Love J.K. Rowling sign makes brief, controversial appearance in Vancouver

That’s fair, but the first sentence is shamefully dishonest. The billboard does not “support J.K. Rowling’s controversial views about gender identity.” All the billboard does is express love for Rowling. That’s it. “I heart [love] JK Rowling”; the end. Most people who see the billboard aren’t going to know that trans activists consider Rowling an Evil TERF, or that Rowling has views on what “trans” means and what it implies for women’s rights. That means that most people are not going to see a hidden message about the tension between women’s rights and the current version of trans activism. That means it’s just dishonest to claim that the hidden meaning is actually not hidden at all but explicitly printed out on the billboard. The hidden meaning is hidden.

It was a test, you know. They failed it, you know.

The test was “will they even suppress a message expressing love for Rowling, a message that doesn’t say a word about her views?” And in mere hours the answer was yes we will. FAIL.

Amy Hamm, who lives in New Westminster and Chris Elston, a South Surrey resident, paid Pattison Outdoor, an arm of the Jim Pattison Group to put up the sign on Friday around 6:30 a.m. PT.

They copied a similar sign that was erected in Edinburgh over the summer to support the famous author’s claims that having individuals self-identify their gender could pose a threat to women and children who are not transgender.

The Edinburgh sign was Posie Parker’s work.

Posts Elston and Hamm put on social media about the billboard attracted criticism including Vancouver City Coun. Sarah Kirby-Yung who tweeted that it was “meant to to stoke hate, exclusion and division.”

Vancouver City Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung should take a look at the hate and abuse that was vomited out about Rowling over the summer.

Morgane Oger, a transgender advocate and a former B.C. NDP provincial candidate, said the sign is a devious way to push a message of hate about gender identity although many people would not understand what it means.

Actually it’s the other way around – the buzzwords around trans activism are a devious way to push a message that men can literally be women if they think they are say they are feel as if they are imagine they are fantasize they are. The devious pushing is from the trans “community,” not from feminists.

“The purpose of this sign was to harass the community, targeting them because of who they are and trying to get them to react through a message only they recognize.”

Says the misogynist guy who has been bullying a Vancouver rape crisis shelter for years.



Less medical info, more optimism

Sep 13th, 2020 8:10 am | By

The political hacks Trump hired have been forcing the CDC to water down its reports to make Trump look less like a mass murderer.

The health department’s politically appointed communications aides have demanded the right to review and seek changes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly scientific reports charting the progress of the coronavirus pandemic, in what officials characterized as an attempt to intimidate the reports’ authors and water down their communications to health professionals.

By “health department” they mean HHS.

In some cases, emails from communications aides to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other senior officials openly complained that the agency’s reports would undermine President Donald Trump’s optimistic messages about the outbreak, according to emails reviewed by POLITICO and three people familiar with the situation.

That’s like the PR people for the fire department telling the fire trucks to slow down because all this rushing about with sirens going will undermine the mayor’s optimistic messages about the house fires.

Optimistic messages are all very well (unless they’re just lies, as Trump’s generally are), but they’re not the goal of HHS or the fire department. Use the right tools for the job. When there’s a catastrophe happening the goal is to mitigate or halt it, rather than cheering people up about it at the expense of mitigating or halting it.

The people at the CDC have tried to resist but they’ve given way a few times. That is not good news.

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports are authored by career scientists and serve as the main vehicle for the agency to inform doctors, researchers and the general public about how Covid-19 is spreading and who is at risk. Such reports have historically been published with little fanfare and no political interference, said several longtime health department officials, and have been viewed as a cornerstone of the nation’s public health work for decades.

But now the hoodlums in the employ of the biggest hoodlum are messing with that. Never mind the public health, it’s all about perpetuating Donald Trump’s reign of destruction.

[S]ince Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign official with no medical or scientific background, was installed in April as the Health and Human Services department’s new spokesperson, there have been substantial efforts to align the reports with Trump’s statements, including the president’s claims that fears about the outbreak are overstated, or stop the reports altogether.

Nothing must be allowed to remain independent of the political needs of the criminal Donald Trump. The survival of 331 million people is worth nothing compared to the continued dictatorship of the criminal Trump.

Caputo’s team also has tried to halt the release of some CDC reports, including delaying a report that addressed how doctors were prescribing hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug favored by Trump as a coronavirus treatment despite scant evidence. The report, which was held for about a month after Caputo’s team raised questions about its authors’ political leanings, was finally published last week. It said that “the potential benefits of these drugs do not outweigh their risks.”

So the CDC was prevented from saying that for a month. One wonders how many people took hydroxychloroquine as a result.

In one clash, an aide to Caputo berated CDC scientists for attempting to use the reports to “hurt the President” in an Aug. 8 email sent to CDC Director Robert Redfield and other officials that was widely circulated inside the department and obtained by POLITICO.

“CDC to me appears to be writing hit pieces on the administration,” appointee Paul Alexander wrote, calling on Redfield to modify two already published reports that Alexander claimed wrongly inflated the risks of coronavirus to children and undermined Trump’s push to reopen schools. “CDC tried to report as if once kids get together, there will be spread and this will impact school re-opening . . . Very misleading by CDC and shame on them. Their aim is clear.”

Well, yes, their aim is clear: to control disease. Trump’s aim is to boost Trump. We the people are more interested in avoiding COVID than making Trump dictator for life.



We can’t have that

Sep 12th, 2020 5:09 pm | By

This crap again.

There’s a new billboard in Vancouver that says “I heart JK Rowling.” You can write the rest yourself.

A billboard in East Vancouver championing author J.K. Rowling, who has been widely accused of transphobia, was removed Saturday after drawing outrage and condemnation.

The billboard didn’t “draw” outrage and condemnation, people decided to direct outrage and condemnation at it.

Let’s remember that Rowling has never said she hates trans people, or wished bad things on them. Let’s remember that she doesn’t advocate violence or repression or revenge or anything of that kind. Let’s remember that her point is that women have rights too.

The billboard, which was visible from busy Hastings Street, was black with white text that read, “I (heart) JK Rowling.”

Not “I heart Hitler” or “I heart Stalin” or “I heart Mugabe.” Just “I heart JK Rowling” – the woman who wrote that popular series of kids’ books.

Vancouver city councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung said she was discouraged to see the billboard put up in her city, given Rowling’s controversial statements criticizing the trans rights movement. 

Rowling’s statements are only “controversial” because people like Kirby-Yung have accepted the propaganda.

Photos of the untarnished billboard were shared on social media on Sep. 11. But when CTV News Vancouver visited the billboard on Sep. 12, it had been marked up with blue paint splatter. About an hour later, a Twitter user posted a video of a person hoisted up in a cherry picker and covering over the billboard.

All because Rowling thinks women’s rights matter too.

Nicola Spurling, a trans YouTube personality and LGBTQ2+ advocate in Metro Vancouver, tweeted out her disapproval of the billboard before it was covered up. She asked for it to be taken down and questioned why the billboard company allowed it in the first place.

Probably because all it says is “I heart JK Rowling.” She’s not Stalin, she’s not Trump, she’s not Kim. She’s not evil and she’s not harming anyone.

The people claiming responsibility for the billboard issued a statement on Twitter Saturday insisting they aren’t transphobic, while also openly denying the identities of trans women. They described womanhood as “a biological reality, not a feeling,” which is a common refrain among opponents of transgender rights.

However common it is, is it true? Of course it’s true. Women are adult human females. We’re not fantasies or dysphoria or cosplay. We have a right to “exclude” men from claiming to be women, just as black people have a right to “exclude” a Jessica Krug from claiming to be black.



Threats and conspiracies

Sep 12th, 2020 4:08 pm | By

What Trump is planning.

And Roger Stone is in there.

More on that:

Roger Stone is making baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election and is urging Donald Trump to consider several draconian measures to stay in power, including having federal authorities seize ballots in Nevada, having FBI agents and Republican state officials “physically” block voting under the pretext of preventing voter fraud, using martial law or the Insurrection Act to carry out widespread arrests, and nationalizing state police forces.

Stone, a longtime confidant of the president, made the comments during a September 10 appearance on far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars network.

Stone argued that “the ballots in Nevada on election night should be seized by federal marshalls and taken from the state” because “they are completely corrupted” and falsely said that “we can prove voter fraud in the absentees right now.” He specifically called for Trump to have absentee ballots seized in Clark County, Nevada, an area that leans Democratic. Stone went on to claim that “the votes from Nevada should not be counted; they are already flooded with illegals” and baselessly suggested that former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) should be arrested and that Trump should consider nationalizing Nevada’s state police force.

On the one hand this is just crazy shit, on the other hand crazy shit is what Trump does.



Thoughtful

Sep 12th, 2020 3:28 pm | By

Skeptical Liberalism:

Image may contain: outdoor, text that says 'your lamp was off I didn't want you to panic'


It all gets thrown out

Sep 12th, 2020 2:25 pm | By

Recyling plastic? It’s a con job. Has been all along.

The US used to send most of its used plastic to China for recycling, but two years ago China said that’s enough now, and no one else wants it.

But when Leebrick tried to tell people the truth about burying all the other plastic, she says people didn’t want to hear it.

“I remember the first meeting where I actually told a city council that it was costing more to recycle than it was to dispose of the same material as garbage,” she says, “and it was like heresy had been spoken in the room: You’re lying. This is gold. We take the time to clean it, take the labels off, separate it and put it here. It’s gold. This is valuable.”

I never thought it was valuable, but I did think it could be re-used. Maybe a break-even thing, maybe an added expense thing, but still worth doing. But nah.

But it’s not valuable, and it never has been. And what’s more, the makers of plastic — the nation’s largest oil and gas companies — have known this all along, even as they spent millions of dollars telling the American public the opposite.

Now why the hell would they do that? Oh I know – so that we would keep buying plastic. So that we would not look at all those yogurt tubs and juice bottles and cringe at the waste and the toxic materials added to the brew.

Yep, that’s why.

The industry’s awareness that recycling wouldn’t keep plastic out of landfills and the environment dates to the program’s earliest days, we found. “There is serious doubt that [recycling plastic] can ever be made viable on an economic basis,” one industry insider wrote in a 1974 speech.

Yet the industry spent millions telling people to recycle, because, as one former top industry insider told NPR, selling recycling sold plastic, even if it wasn’t true.

“If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment,” Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry, known today as the Plastics Industry Association and one of the industry’s most powerful trade groups in Washington, D.C., told NPR.

Here’s the basic problem: All used plastic can be turned into new things, but picking it up, sorting it out and melting it down is expensive. Plastic also degrades each time it is reused, meaning it can’t be reused more than once or twice.

In short it’s not worth doing in cash terms so forget it. Forget recycling that is, don’t forget making more and more plastic. Plastic forevaaaaaa!

Starting in the 1990s, the public saw an increasing number of commercials and messaging about recycling plastic.

Messaging that said it’s great, do lots of it.

It may have sounded like an environmentalist’s message, but the ads were paid for by the plastics industry, made up of companies like Exxon, Chevron, Dow, DuPont and their lobbying and trade organizations in Washington.

Industry companies spent tens of millions of dollars on these ads and ran them for years, promoting the benefits of a product that, for the most part, was buried, was burned or, in some cases, wound up in the ocean.

“This advertising was motivated first and foremost by legislation and other initiatives that were being introduced in state legislatures and sometimes in Congress,” Freeman says, “to ban or curb the use of plastics because of its performance in the waste stream.”

It’s almost funny, in a way. They got the blue plastic bins going, they got us all using the blue plastic bins, and it was all so that plastic could go right on being dumped in landfills and oceans but we wouldn’t mind any more.

Analysts now expect plastic production to triple by 2050.

Boom-tish.



In a way that cis people don’t

Sep 12th, 2020 10:15 am | By

Another one of those wait we need to tease out the meaning here items.

At the moment, the GRA requires people to justify their gender identity to a panel of people in a way that cis people don’t. No one should have other people stand in judgment over their gender identity, deciding whether their gender is ‘good enough’ to count as a man or woman.

Why not? Why should no one have other people being aware of what sex they are?

That’s what the question boils down to. The non-explicit but central to the meaning claim is that “gender identity” is both more real (or “authentic”) than sex and more private than sex. So a man may look like a man to the untutored onlooker, but his “gender identity” is A Woman, and everyone has to take that as absolute truth, and refrain from questioning aka “standing in judgement over” it.

But that’s a hell of a tall order, and the offered reasons for it are getting less and less compelling as more people take a second look at them. We’re being told that we don’t actually know what sex anyone is, that we can’t tell, that it’s not an open, apparent, detectable thing, but a deeply personal feeling or belief or decision which for greater credibility is labeled an “identity.” The root of “identity” is “same” so this is all very ironic. “My identity is the opposite of what I in fact am; you are forbidden to ask questions.”

And the issue isn’t whether Princess Jenny (born Jim) has a “gender” that is “good enough”; the issue is whether PJ has a male body or not. It’s not about quality, it’s not about competition, it’s not about arbitrary cruel sorting, it’s about the most basic human difference, which is also the one that has kept my half of it subordinate all these millennia.



TLTL

Sep 12th, 2020 9:37 am | By

More in News from Scumbag:

That’s it. That’s all he’s said about these fires. Nothing all this time and then thank you to the firefighters but nothing to the millions of people affected.

CNN comments:

The President hasn’t tweeted about the devastating wildfires over the past few weeks, despite regularly posting to his Twitter feed. His relative silence adds to his history of offering little empathy in the face of natural disasters, and tendency to attack Democratic leaders for their handling of crises.

Little or no empathy, usually no.



Trump to nation: commit this crime

Sep 12th, 2020 9:15 am | By

Trump is still using Twitter to tell his fans to commit a crime.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein reminded people they cannot vote twice, again refuting President Donald Trump’s instruction for North Carolinians to vote by mail and try again in person. It is illegal.

Trump’s “instruction” told his people to commit a crime.

Always breaking new ground, this guy.

Twitter added a disclaimer above Trump’s tweet on Saturday morning: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about civic and election integrity. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Trump tweeted: “NORTH CAROLINA: To make sure your Ballot COUNTS, sign & send it in EARLY. When Polls open, go to your Polling Place to see if it was COUNTED. IF NOT, VOTE! Your signed Ballot will not count because your vote has been posted. Don’t let them illegally take your vote away from you!”

If you’re going to your “Polling Place” on election day there’s no need to mail your vote, is there. Only Donald Nobrain would think it makes sense to go to your polling place to check on your mailed vote. (But, I know, he doesn’t really think that, he doesn’t really think anything, he’s just creating havoc.)

President of the US literally instructing people to commit a felony. Openly, shamelessly, despite having been told it’s a felony.

Failed state.



Let them eat ashes

Sep 11th, 2020 5:48 pm | By

Oregon needs federal help.

Sen. Jeff Merkley said he expects Pres. Donald Trump to approve Oregon’s request for emergency federal assistance for the wildfires e soon, perhaps as early as Thursday afternoon or Friday.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown made the formal request for support Wednesday, and Oregon’s congressional delegation issued a letter of support the same afternoon.

On Thursday, as fires continued to ravage the state, Brown told reporters she was still waiting on a response to the request from the White House. About 900,000 acres of Oregon have burned, she said.

We hate to rush him and everything but…

Brown and state officials said they are working to get more firefighters on the ground. A strike team is coming in from Utah, Brown said, and she requested a battalion of active duty military members from the U.S. Department of Defense and has asked Oregon colleges and universities to be flexible with students who are fighting the wildfires.

It’s not on Trump’s radar though.

Over the past 24 hours on his Twitter feed, President Trump has attacked Democrats and racial injustice protesters nearly a dozen times, mentioned law and order, and made false claims about mail voting.

But on the increasingly deadly, catastrophic wildfires in California and Oregon that have displaced 500,000 people, caused fire tornadoes, killed a 1-year-old in Washington state, and blotted out the sun in one of America’s largest metropolitan areas, he has been silent.

A search of the president’s Twitter feed and his public comments from Factba.se, plus a search of recent White House news briefings, finds no mention by him or his press secretary of one of the worst natural disasters to hit the West in modern times.

Can you imagine any other president doing this? Even the worst of them? Bush was woefully inadequate on Katrina but at least he didn’t ignore it entirely.

These two states are running out of money and manpower to fight the blazes eating millions of acres and neighborhoods. One of the only times the president has talked about this was in late August at a news briefing on the coronavirus, where he announced that he had approved an emergency declaration to open up federal funding for California to fight the wildfires. As the crisis escalated, he approved similar funding for Oregon on Thursday — but the public heard about it from a Democratic congressman, not the president.

The president’s relative silence on the West’s wildfire crisis matches up with his relative silence on three other issues: the struggles of Democratic-led states, climate change, and crises that require empathy.

They’re “blue” states so fuck’em, let’em burn and choke. Plus who cares anyway.



West coast on fire

Sep 11th, 2020 5:07 pm | By

The air in Seattle blew past unhealthy this morning, then past very unhealthy this afternoon; it’s now at hazardous and still climbing; after hazardous it’s just we can’t count it any more.

But as for Oregon

Hundreds of firefighters battled two large wildfires Friday that threatened to merge near the most populated part of Oregon, including the suburbs of Portland, and the governor said dozens of people are missing in other parts of the state.

The state’s emergency management director, Andrew Phelps, said officials are “preparing for a mass fatality event” and that thousands of structures have been destroyed.

Gov. Kate Brown said more than 40,000 Oregonians have been evacuated and about 500,000 are in different levels of evacuation zones, either having been told [either] to leave or to prepare to do so. She was dialing back on a statement late Thursday issued by the state Office of Emergency Management that said a half-million people had been ordered to evacuate statewide.

The Oregon Convention Center in Portland was among the buildings being transformed into shelters for evacuees. Portland, shrouded in smoke from the fires, on Friday had the worst air quality of the world’s major cities, according to IQAir.

From that air quality story:

Smoke pollution from wildfires raging in California and across the Pacific Northwest worsened in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, on Friday, giving those cities and others in the region some of the world’s worst air quality.

The sky turned a hazy, grayish white across the Northwest as winds that had previously pushed much of the smoke offshore shifted, bringing unhealthy levels of near-microscopic dust, soot and ash particles to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia. San Francisco also continued to suffer from smoke pollution; those four cities topped the list of major cities with the worst air quality Friday, according to IQAir.com, which tracks air quality around the world.

The smoke was expected to linger through the weekend, another reminder of the vast and severe effects of climate change. In a news conference Friday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee insisted on calling the blazes “climate fires” rather than wildfires.

“This is not an act of God,” Inslee said. “This has happened because we have changed the climate of the state of Washington in dramatic ways.”

It’s apocalyptic around here.