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Judi Lynn

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 135,341

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Team Trump Gleeful That Shutdown Will Hijack Pelosi's Big Moment


The president’s aides see a debate being waged on his issues, not hers, and they couldn’t be happier.

Sam Stein,
Asawin Suebsaeng
12.28.18 4:40 AM ET

Days into a partial government shutdown that has left tens of thousands of federal workers furloughed, President Donald Trump and his close allies have begun feeling more confident about the political perch they occupy.

In their eyes, a prolonged stalemate will likely fracture voters along traditional partisan lines, and the ultimate outcome will be a debate waged largely on the president’s terms. Increasingly, they see an upside in forcing likely incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi to have to spend the first days, if not weeks, of the next Congress engaged in an argument over border wall funding rather than her preferred agenda: a mix of sweeping ethics and election reforms and congressional oversight. And they continue to believe that a conversation around immigration and border security is in the president’s best political interests.

“The more the focus is on the wall, the more Pelosi is forced to focus on this fight instead of the investigations,” said one source close to the White House, expressing a sentiment shared with The Daily Beast by three other individuals allied with Trump. “It’s a situation where [Trump] has no choice but to shut it down. It’s the best of the worst choices. It’s really the only choice [because] I think there are people who would vote for him today who might not if he gave in too quickly."

The White House press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But two people who’ve spoken with Trump about the shutdown—one during and the other just before it began—said the president believes the politics have been a boon for him and a potential humiliation for the Democrats. One of these sources said Trump has privately predicted that Democratic politicians are “screwing themselves” with voters by resisting his hard-line, restrictionist immigration policies, and not signing on to his wall.

More:
https://www.thedailybeast.com/team-trump-gleeful-that-shutdown-will-hijack-pelosis-big-moment?ref=home

Man arrested for kicking toddler, yelling racial slurs at E. Wichita store

Source: KWCH TV

Man arrested for kicking toddler, yelling racial slurs at E. Wichita store



Posted: Wed 3:35 PM, Dec 26, 2018 | Updated: Wed 8:33 PM, Dec 26, 2018

WICHITA, Kan. The Wichita Police Department says it arrested a 31-year-old man and is investigating an incident at an east Wichita Dillons store it describes as a "racially motivated bias crime."

Police arrested 31-year-old Riff Trace for "battery that was bias and racially motivated" and for resisting arrest.

Police say at about 7:20 a.m. Sunday, officers responded to an assault call at the Dillons store in the 3000 block of East Douglas.

"Through the investigation, it was learned Trace walked into the Dillons store and kicked a 1-year-old victim in the back, causing the child to fall on the floor," police say.

Police say Trace did this while yelling obscenities and racial slurs. Police say when officers arrived, Riff "was being held on (the) ground by citizens."

Read more: https://www.kwch.com/content/news/Man-arrested-for-kicking-toddler-yelling-racial-slurs-at-E-Wichita-store-503515131.html

Bolsonaro's Brazil: Chicago Boy-style Neoliberalism

DECEMBER 26, 2018
by WOUTER HOENDERDAAL

On January 1, 2019, Jair Bolsonaro will begin his four-year term as Brazil’s president. Everyone expects his government to follow a neoliberal path. The only question that seems to remain is how far they can actually go.

When it comes to neoliberal reforms, all eyes are on Paulo Guedes, Brazil’s next minister of the economy, who will head a ‘super-ministry’ that combines finance, industry, trade and planning.

Guedes is a committed neoliberal. He not only earned his PhD at the University of Chicago where he was taught by the extreme right-wing economist Milton Friedman, but he is also a well-known fan of the Chicago boy economists who managed Chile’s economy during the Pinochet dictatorship, turning Chile into the first experiment in neoliberalism in Latin America.

During that time Guedes taught economics at the University of Chile, demonstrating he has no moral objections serving under a right-wing authoritarian, be it General Pinochet of Chile or Brazil’s incoming president Jair Bolsonaro. And when it comes to Brazil, Guedes is set on a “Pinochet-style” fix of the economy: “The Chicago boys saved Chile, fixed Chile, fixed the mess”, he stated in a Financial Times interview. Guedes now has set his sights on ‘fixing’ the Brazilian economy in a similar way.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/26/bolsonaros-brazil-chicago-boy-style-neoliberalism/

'Immoral': groups fight National Trust's wild boar cull

Animal activists say Stourhead cull is misguided, with only one recent boar injury in the UK

Steven Morris
@stevenmorris20
Thu 22 Nov 2018 12.00 EST Last modified on Thu 22 Nov 2018 18.14 EST

Six animal rights groups have strongly criticised plans by the National Trust to cull wild boar on one of its most renowned estates as “misguided and immoral”.

The groups, which include Animal Aid and Born Free, have written to the chair of the National Trust, Tim Parker, asking him to halt the cull at Stourhead in Wiltshire.

They say the trust’s argument – that the boar needed to be removed because people felt intimidated by them – is absurd, pointing out they had found only one recent example of a person in the UK being actually injured by a boar.

. . .

“To wipe out sentient beings because they apparently make a few feel uncomfortable is absurd. Wild boar are notoriously shy, making it difficult for even wildlife photographers to capture photos of them in the UK.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/22/immoral-groups-fight-national-trusts-wild-boar-cull

Researchers find a "fossil" cloud made up of the original star stuff

25 December 2018



In this simulation of galaxies and gas in the universe, rare pockets of pristine gas lurk in
filaments (blue) connecting galaxies (orange). The pockets have somehow remained pristine,
not “polluted” by heavy elements created during supernova blasts, depicted here as circular
shock waves around some of the orange points. Image: TNG Collaboration


A rare fossil relic of the Big Bang, a vast, pristine cloud of gas made up of material generated during the sudden birth of the cosmos, has been detected, the third such relic discovered to date. The discovery may shed new light on how the first galaxies formed and evolved.

“Everywhere we look, the gas in the universe is polluted by waste heavy elements from exploding stars,” said doctoral student Fred Robert at Swinburne University of Technology. “But this particular cloud seems pristine, unpolluted by stars even 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang.

“If it has any heavy elements at all, it must be less than ten-thousandth of the proportion we see in our Sun. This is extremely low. The most compelling explanation is that it’s a true relic of the Big Bang.”

Robert, Swinburne astronomy professor Michael Murphy and a team of researchers outline their findings in a paper to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

More:
https://astronomynow.com/2018/12/25/researchers-find-a-fossil-cloud-made-up-of-the-original-star-stuff/

How Cuba helped defeat apartheid in South Africa

JOHN HAYLETT spotlights Cuba’s leLater in the US, during the Ted Koppel show in front of a live TV audience, Mandela was questioned by neocon diplomat and political analyst Ken Adelman, asking whether Fidel Castro — and for good measure — Muammar Gadaffi and Yasser Arafat, the Libyan and Palestinian leaders, were “your models of leaders of human rights.”

Mandela responded: “One of the mistakes that political analysts make is to think that their enemies should be our enemies. That we can and we will never do.”gendary spirit of internationalism

AFTER Nelson Mandela was released from 1991 in preparation for the formal interment of the apartheid system, he embarked on a world tour to thank governments and peoples who had supported the South African freedom struggle.

In Havana he extolled Fidel Castro as a “source of inspiration to all freedom-loving people.”

. . .

Mandela told a rally in the Cuban city of Matanzas that Africans were “used to being victims of countries that want to take from us our territory or overthrow our sovereignty. In African history there is not another instance where another people has stood up for one of ours.”

More:
https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/how-cuba-helped-defeat-apartheid-south-africa

'Like a cancer:' Rio militias grow, control swaths of city

Peter Prengaman and Sergio Ramalho, Associated Press
Updated 4:01 pm CST, Monday, December 24, 2018



Photo: Leo Correa, AP
IMAGE 1 OF 25
In this Aug. 24, 2018 photo, packs of illegal cigarettes stand for sale at a market in the Realengo neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Militias buy boxes of cigarettes in Paraguay for 14 cents a pack and then smuggle them home and sell them for up to $2.15, giving the groups the lion's share of an estimated $330 million in profits and add to a portfolio of illicit operations the groups have honed over two decades.


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The latest scheme works like this: Brazilian paramilitary groups buy boxes of cigarettes in neighboring Paraguay for 14 cents a pack and then smuggle them back home, where prices and taxes are much higher, and sell them for up to $2.15.

The cigarettes offer the militias the lion's share of an estimated $330 million in profits and add to a portfolio of illicit operations the groups have honed over two decades, including imposing surcharges on cable service, electricity and transportation. The groups are also known to conduct extortion and summary executions.

But while investigating the smuggled smokes, authorities found other evidence they deemed more troubling: cameras, online monitoring systems and signs of possible connections between militias and members of Red Command, Rio de Janeiro's most powerful drug gang.

. . .

Beginning in earnest in the 1990s, the militias were mainly made up of former police officers, firefighters and military men who wanted to combat lawlessness in their neighborhoods. For years, they were even lauded by politicians, including President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain who as a congressman called for their legalization in 2008.

More:
https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Like-a-cancer-Rio-militias-grow-control-13488130.php

Trump portrait: you couldn't create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried

Jonathan Jones
Fri 21 Dec 2018 15.42 EST Last modified on Fri 21 Dec 2018 17.32 EST

The absence of intimacy in the Trumps’ official Christmas portrait freezes the heart. Can it be that hard to create a cosy image of the presidential couple, perhaps in front of a roaring hearth, maybe in seasonal knitwear? Or is this quasi-dictatorial image exactly what the president wants to project? Look on my Christmas trees, ye mighty, and despair! If so, it fuels suspicions that it is only the checks and balances of a 230-year-old constitution that are keeping America from the darkest of political fates.

You couldn’t create a creepier Yuletide scene if you tried. Multiple Christmas trees are currently a status symbol for the wealthy, but this picture shows the risks. Instead of a homely symbol of midwinter cheer, these disciplined arboreal ranks with their uniform decorations are arrayed like massed soldiers or colossal columns designed by Albert Speer. The setting is the Cross Hall in the White House and, while the incumbent president cannot be held responsible for its architecture, why heighten its severity with such rigid, heartless seasonal trappings?

Everything here communicates cold, empty magnificence. Tree lights that are as frigid as icicles are mirrored in a cold polished floor. Equally frosty illuminations are projected on the ceiling. Instead of twinkling fairy magic, this lifeless lighting creates a sterile, inhuman atmosphere. You can’t imagine kids playing among these trees or any conceivable fun being had by anyone. It suggests the micromanaged, corporate Christmas of a Citizen Kane who has long since lost touch with the ordinary, warm pleasures of real life.

In the centre of this disturbing piece of conceptual art stand Donald and Melania Trump. He’s in a tuxedo, she’s wearing white – and not a woolly hat in sight. Their formal smartness adds to the emotional numbness of the scene.

More:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/dec/21/trump-portrait-you-couldnt-create-a-creepier-yuletide-scene-if-you-tried

Lake Titicaca: Underwater museum brings hope to shores

By Mónica García Zea
Lake Titicaca
13 December 2018

Ever since Reddy Guaygua was a boy, he dreamt of discovering hidden ruins.

Born in Mapiri, 130km (80 miles) north of La Paz in Bolivia, he was the only person from his small town to study archaeology. "My goal was to work in the villages, visit their archaeological sites and work in them," he says.

Now, years later, his dream has become reality. Mr Guaygua is in charge of tourism and culture in the town of Tiquina.

Tiquina lies on the shore of Lake Titicaca, which covers more than 8,500 sq km (3,300 sq miles) and creates a natural border between Peru and Bolivia. It was just five minutes from here that the submerged remains of an ancient civilisation was found 10 years ago.

More:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-46374651









Archaeologists Virtually Recreate Pumapunku

Tuesday, December 18, 2018



Bolivia Tiwanaku Pumapunku(Dr. Alexei Vranich, 2018)


BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA—According to a Gizmodo report, archaeologist Alexei Vranich of the University of California, Berkeley, employed historical data, 3-D printed pieces, and architectural software to create a virtual reconstruction of Pumapunku, a ruined 1,500-year-old temple in western Bolivia. Built by the Tiwanaku culture between A.D. 500 and 1000, the temple was restored and reused by the Inca between A.D. 1300 and 1570, and described by Spanish conquistadors as a “wondrous” structure with “gateways and windows carved from single blocks.” Vranich and his team manipulated architectural fragments of the structure, re-created with a 3-D printer at four percent of their actual size, to build a hypothetical model, and then fed that information into architectural software. “What we found out is that it appears they were making prototypes for each type of stone type, and then would have copied one after the other,” he said. “It’s almost like it was a pre-Columbian version of Ikea.” Vranich’s reconstruction also suggests the temple’s gateways were built in graduated sizes to produce a mirror effect. “It would create an effect as if you were looking into infinity in the confines of a single room,” he said. For more, go to “The Water Temple of Inca-Caranqui.”

https://www.archaeology.org/news/7254-181218-bolivia-tiwanaku-pumapunku

~ ~ ~

Images available at google for "The Water Temple of Inca-Caranqui.”

https://tinyurl.com/yd3c2z89







ETC.
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