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marmar

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Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 72,176

Journal Archives

Warming Lakes Speed Up Methane Emissions


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


LONDON—US scientists report that lakes worldwide are warming by an average of more than 1 degree C every 30 years, faster than the warming rate of either the ocean or the atmosphere.

The warming is expected to increase algal blooms and to mean global emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a century, will increase by 4% over the next decade. Over a 20-year period, methane is 84 times more powerful than CO2.

The rapid warming of the lakes threatens freshwater supplies and ecosystems, the scientists report in their study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. They say their study is the largest of its kind and the first to combine satellite temperature data and long-term ground measurements.

They monitored 235 lakes, representing more than half the world’s freshwater supply, for at least 25 years and found that they are warming by an average of 0.34°C each decade. Among the profound effects they say may follow is an increase in algal blooms. ...............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/warming_lakes_speed_up_methane_emissions_20151221




IPOs Collapse, “Worst Year Since 2009,” Worst Dec. since 2008


IPOs Collapse, “Worst Year Since 2009,” Worst Dec. since 2008
by Wolf Richter • December 22, 2015

[font color="blue"]Party over: “Pent-up supply” in a world with no demand.[/font]


“We all thought that we might finally get a year where we would be able to put four quarters together,” UBS global head of equity capital markets Sam Kendall told Reuters. “If you looked at the pipeline and how people were thinking about the world, it just felt good. And then the wheels came off.”

The two measly IPOs in the US in December brought the total for the year to 170, down 38% from 2014, according to Renaissance Capital. By that measure, it was the worst year since 2012.

In terms of dollars, only $28.7 billion in IPOs were booked in the US in 2015, down 48% from 2014, and by that measure, according to Thomson Reuters, “their worst year since 2009.”

Numerous IPOs were pulled or shelved this fall due to “turbulent markets,” as it’s called. They included some LBO queens, owned by private equity firms, such as supermarket Albertson and Texas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus that had gotten hit by oil bust contagion.

.....(snip).....

No one knows. But that’s what is now called “pent-up supply.” In a world with no pent-up demand, or any kind of demand, much of this “pent-up supply” might remain pent up for a long time. And many companies will never make it over the line. ......................(more)

http://wolfstreet.com/2015/12/22/ipo-window-suddenly-closes-worst-year-since-2009-worst-december-since-2008/




Chipotle’s stock drops after another E. coli outbreak


Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. shares closed at a 19-month low on Monday after the burrito chain was linked to another E. coli outbreak, this time affecting five people in Oklahoma, Kansas and North Dakota, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The latest reported cases are being treated as a second outbreak while the CDC investigates whether it is linked to the previous illnesses first reported at the end of October.

Chipotle’s CMG, -3.52% stock has tumbled 18% in the period since. It fell 1.2% in premarket trade Tuesday, after shedding 3.5% on Monday. ...................(more)

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/chipotle-tied-to-another-e-coli-outbreak-across-three-states-says-cdc-2015-12-21?dist=beforebell




People Are Waking Up to the Darkness in American Policing, and the Police Don’t Like It One Bit


from TomDispatch:


The Logic of the Police State
People Are Waking Up to the Darkness in American Policing, and the Police Don’t Like It One Bit

By Matthew Harwood


If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming -- and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do. .................(more)

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176084/tomgram%3A_matthew_harwood%2C_welcome_to_cop_land/




Brawl breaks out between flag-waving nativists and Hispanic protesters in Phoenix Walmart lot





A confrontation between two groups of protesters — with wildly divergent points of view — broke out in a Phoenix Walmart parking lot Saturday morning as off-duty police employed by the store stood by, reports the Phoenix New Times.

According to police, one man was hauled away after pummeling independent videographer Dennis Gilman, who claims he was filming a demonstration by Hispanic activists opposing Walmart policies toward day laborers.

Management at the store recently announced that they would prosecute day laborers for trespassing in the lot located near a Home Depot, before backing off when protesters showed up. The protests have led to counter-protests by heavily-armed nativists who show up each day with American flags, telling the protesters to go home to Mexico.

Although the off-duty cops were keeping a watchful eye on the groups, a fight broke out on Saturday as they watched.

According to Gilman, a man pushed his camera, and then attacked him as he attempted to fight back. ..............(more)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/12/brawl-breaks-out-between-flag-waving-nativists-and-hispanic-protesters-in-phoenix-walmart-parking-lot/




Chris Hedges: The Algebra of Revolution






Spain’s Election Shows How Much Trouble the Establishment Is In


from In THese Times:



Sunday night, Spain’s insurgent left party Podemos (“We can”) made history, breaking the country’s two-party control for the first time since the fall of the Franco dictatorship by winning 20.7 percent of the seats in the Spanish parliament. Though Podemos finished third behind Spain’s two establishment parties, Sunday’s results are a victory for an anti-austerity party that less than two years ago was only an idea in the minds of a handful of activists and academics. Podemos supporters and its leader Pablo Iglesias were energized by the outcome. In the plaza outside of Madrid’s Reina Sofia art museum, Iglesias was greeted by thousands of excited Podemos supporters, who waved balloons in the party’s signature purple shade and chanted “Si se puede!”

Podemos has re-shaped Spanish politics, and the election results solidify the party’s role as a real force in the country’s democracy, despite uncertainty about what the new government will look like (no party won enough seats for an absolute majority). Yet beyond its importance for progressives, Sunday’s election cemented 2015 as the year of the political outsider: Spain’s insurgent centrist party Ciudadanos (“Citizens”) won 13.9 percent, meaning that two new parties with leaders under the age of 40 now control over one third of Spain’s national assembly. The results represent a huge drop in support for Spain’s two establishment parties that have controlled the country for decades—the conservative Popular Party received a third less support than it had in the 2011 elections, and the Socialist Party experienced its worst election in the party’s history. It’s news that should make the political establishment from Europe to the United States tremble in fear.

The outraged

How did such a huge earthquake come to shake up Spanish politics? The backdrop to Sunday’s election and Podemos’ meteoric rise is Spain’s 15M, or Indignados (“Outraged”) movement that occupied city squares across Spain in May of 2011, four months before the Occupy Wall Street movement exploded in the U.S. In Spain, the protests targeted corruption of the political and the financial elite, with chants like “They don’t represent us!” and “Real democracy now!” Following the burst of its massive real estate bubble, Spain was hit particularly hard by the global financial crisis, with the highest unemployment rate in Europe and youth unemployment climbing above 50 percent. The depth of its crisis, combined with Spain’s smaller size, meant that 15M changed the fabric of the country’s politics in a much deeper way than Occupy Wall Street did in the United States. After a month of occupying Madrid’s Puerta del Sol, the country’s first and largest occupation, activists decided to leave the square and continue the fight through neighborhood assemblies, immigrants rights groups, public health defense, and anti-foreclosure activism like the Platform of People Affected by Mortgages (PAH). 15M also re-energized Spain’s many autonomous social centers; occupied or rented spaces that serve as organizing hubs and meeting places for many of the Indignados efforts.

Into this post-15M moment stepped Pablo Iglesias, the ponytailed 37-year-old political science professor at Madrid’s Complutense University. In 2011, Iglesias and his collaborators were working on their DIY political talk show La Tuerka (“The Screw”). The aim of the television program was to supply people with a new language to reclaim democracy, “political ammunition for public use,” as Iglesias calls it in his book Politics in a Time of Crisis: Podemos and the Future of Democracy in Europe. While Iglesias began his show before the Indignados burst onto the scene, the country’s new political consciousness translated into a new hunger for the programming he was creating. What started as an obscure program broadcast on TV and the internet soon acquired a huge following. Iglesias became a viral media sensation across Spain, often appearing as a guest on television talk shows where he crossed enemy lines to go head-to-head with conservative hosts and pundits. .................(more)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18713/spain-2015-election-results-podemos-PSOE-PP-IU-Cs




Chris Hedges: The Creeping Villainy of American Politics


from truthdig:


The Creeping Villainy of American Politics

Posted on Dec 20, 2015
By Chris Hedges


The threefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and the acceptance of hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse signal the morbidity of our civil society. The body politic is coughing up blood. The daily amplification of this hate speech by a commercial media whose sole concern is ratings and advertising dollars rather than serving as a bulwark to protect society presages a descent into the protofascist nightmare of racism, indiscriminate violence against the marginalized, and a blind celebration of American chauvinism, militarism and bigotry.

The mounting attacks on Muslims, which will become a contagion when there is another catastrophic terrorist attack, are only the beginning. There is a long list to be targeted, including undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and artists. We are entering a new dark age, an age of idiocy and blood. These hatreds, encoded in American DNA but understood as politically toxic by the liberal wing of the capitalist class, have been embraced by an enraged and disenfranchised white underclass. Our failure to curb this hate speech will haunt us. Once a civil society tolerates the intolerant, as Karl Popper wrote, “the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

The anti-Muslim virus begins slowly. Step by step the hate talk moves from insults, stereotyping and untruths to incendiary calls for vigilantes to attack women wearing the hijab, men wearing kufis, mosques, Islamic centers and schools and Muslim-owned businesses. It makes sense to many in the white underclass—especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance—that the violent purging of a demonized group from U.S. society can cure the society’s malaise and restore safety and American “greatness.” But soon all marginalized groups will be at risk. Such a process is what happened in the Weimar Republic. It is what happened in Yugoslavia. It is what happened in Israel.

“What is dangerous about the creeping villainy is that it takes considerable imagination and considerable dialectical abilities to be able to detect it at the moment and see what it is,” the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote in his “Journals and Notebooks.” “Well, neither of these features [imagination and dialectical ability] are prominent in most people—and so the villainy creeps forward just a little bit each day, unnoticed.”

Glenn Beck’s best-selling book “It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate” posits that a quarter of American Muslims, 300,000 to 500,000 in his estimate, believe that violence should be used to overthrow the state and annul the Constitution in order to replace our judicial system with Sharia law. He says Islam keeps followers living in “the stone age.” His rant against Muslims parallels his rants against undocumented workers. He once, for example, said there are only three reasons Mexicans come to the United States: “One, they’re terrorists; two, they’re escaping the law; or three, they’re hungry. They can’t make a living in their own dirtbag country.” This extremism, expressed by Beck and many others, is moving with terrifying speed to the center of American political debate. And the mainstream press, which prizes sensationalism over news and truth, has abrogated its role as an arbiter of fact and rational discourse to peddle spectacle and sensationalism. ............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_creeping_villainy_of_american_politics_20151220




Either ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s Twitter account was hacked — or he’s gone completely off the ra


Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive facing U.S. charges of securities fraud, lost control of his Twitter account to hackers on Sunday, hours after he took to Twitter to plead his innocence, his spokesman said.

“It was hacked,” Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said in an email. “We have been working with Twitter to get it fixed.”

Shkreli, who gained notoriety this year when Turing hiked the price of an anti-infective drug often taken by people with AIDS, was arrested on fraud charges on Thursday and released on bail. He has actively defended his business practices on Twitter, tweeting as recently as Saturday that the allegations against him were “baseless.”

Stevens said he was checking whether Shkreli’s YouTube live stream, which he had been broadcasting from a day after leaving jail, had also been hacked.

A series of seven tweets at midday EST on Sunday from Shkreli’s account included: “Anyone want free money? Willing to donate hundreds of thousands to charities before I go to prison …”

Another read: “I am now a god”, while as others contained expletives. ..............(more)

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/12/either-pharma-bro-martin-shkrelis-twitter-account-was-hacked-or-hes-gone-completely-off-the-rails/




Chris Hedges: The Creeping Villainy of American Politics


from truthdig:


The Creeping Villainy of American Politics

Posted on Dec 20, 2015
By Chris Hedges


The threefold rise in hate crimes against Muslims since the Paris and San Bernardino attacks and the acceptance of hate speech as a legitimate form of political discourse signal the morbidity of our civil society. The body politic is coughing up blood. The daily amplification of this hate speech by a commercial media whose sole concern is ratings and advertising dollars rather than serving as a bulwark to protect society presages a descent into the protofascist nightmare of racism, indiscriminate violence against the marginalized, and a blind celebration of American chauvinism, militarism and bigotry.

The mounting attacks on Muslims, which will become a contagion when there is another catastrophic terrorist attack, are only the beginning. There is a long list to be targeted, including undocumented workers, African-Americans, homosexuals, liberals, feminists, intellectuals and artists. We are entering a new dark age, an age of idiocy and blood. These hatreds, encoded in American DNA but understood as politically toxic by the liberal wing of the capitalist class, have been embraced by an enraged and disenfranchised white underclass. Our failure to curb this hate speech will haunt us. Once a civil society tolerates the intolerant, as Karl Popper wrote, “the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

The anti-Muslim virus begins slowly. Step by step the hate talk moves from insults, stereotyping and untruths to incendiary calls for vigilantes to attack women wearing the hijab, men wearing kufis, mosques, Islamic centers and schools and Muslim-owned businesses. It makes sense to many in the white underclass—especially because they have been sold out by the liberals who preach tolerance—that the violent purging of a demonized group from U.S. society can cure the society’s malaise and restore safety and American “greatness.” But soon all marginalized groups will be at risk. Such a process is what happened in the Weimar Republic. It is what happened in Yugoslavia. It is what happened in Israel.

“What is dangerous about the creeping villainy is that it takes considerable imagination and considerable dialectical abilities to be able to detect it at the moment and see what it is,” the philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote in his “Journals and Notebooks.” “Well, neither of these features [imagination and dialectical ability] are prominent in most people—and so the villainy creeps forward just a little bit each day, unnoticed.”

Glenn Beck’s best-selling book “It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About ISIS, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate” posits that a quarter of American Muslims, 300,000 to 500,000 in his estimate, believe that violence should be used to overthrow the state and annul the Constitution in order to replace our judicial system with Sharia law. He says Islam keeps followers living in “the stone age.” His rant against Muslims parallels his rants against undocumented workers. He once, for example, said there are only three reasons Mexicans come to the United States: “One, they’re terrorists; two, they’re escaping the law; or three, they’re hungry. They can’t make a living in their own dirtbag country.” This extremism, expressed by Beck and many others, is moving with terrifying speed to the center of American political debate. And the mainstream press, which prizes sensationalism over news and truth, has abrogated its role as an arbiter of fact and rational discourse to peddle spectacle and sensationalism. ............(more)

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_creeping_villainy_of_american_politics_20151220




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