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babylonsister

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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 169,603

Journal Archives

Russia Kidnaps Over One Million Ukrainians, Sends Them To 'Filtration Camps'

https://crooksandliars.com/2022/04/russia-kidnaps-over-one-million-ukrainians

Russia Kidnaps Over One Million Ukrainians, Sends Them To 'Filtration Camps'
In a scene eerily similar to Nazi Germany, Russia claims to have “evacuated” a total of 1 million Ukrainians so far in forced resettlement.
By Ed Scarce — April 30, 2022


Russia seems particularly proud of their ethnic cleansing efforts in Ukraine so far, with one military expert on Kremlin TV yesterday speaking glowingly of a single "filtration camp" (the Nazis called them concentration camps) designed to house upwards of 100,000 "POWs." Except most of those people, probably 99% of them are ordinary Ukrainians, not soldiers. Even official Russian news agency TASS is reporting on what are, in effect, war crimes. They aren't ashamed of what they're doing in the slightest.

In what is shaping up to be the largest mass kidnapping in recent history, the Russian media has reported that their troops and government have “evacuated” a total of 1 million Ukrainians, or exactly 1,021,871 Ukrainian civilians to Russia, including 187,636 children, since the start of the invasion. While Russian media uses the word “evacuation,” there is evidence that the majority of these Ukrainians were “forcibly deported” or, as we would say, “kidnapped” and forced to reside in Russia for reasons currently unknown.

In a report dated April 29th, the Russian news agency TASS reported that a total of 1,021,871 people crossed the Russian border, according to the Head of Russia’s National Defense Management Center, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev. According to the report, 19,442 people were “evacuated” from dangerous areas in Ukraine and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine just within the past day.

“Despite the obstacles that are being created by Kiev [Kyiv], 19,442 people, including 4,468 children, were evacuated to Russia from dangerous areas in Ukraine, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, in the past day without any assistance from the Ukrainian authorities,” the Colonel said.

If confirmed (and there is large evidence to believe that this is true), it would be another war crime that violates Article 49 of the Geneva Convention. We’ll get to these legalities later on.

Military expert on state TV talks about "filtration camps" for POWs, with just one facility "set up to accept 100,000." With such large numbers, they're obviously talking not just about POWs, but Ukrainians at large who don't welcome Putin's invasion. How many camps are there? pic.twitter.com/X8IE7ob2oD

— Julia Davis (@JuliaDavisNews) April 30, 2022

https://twitter.com/i/status/1520213048149123072
Posted by babylonsister | Sun May 1, 2022, 08:33 AM (5 replies)

Trevor Noah Holds Nothing Back in Brutally Funny White House Correspondents' Dinner Roast


Trevor Noah Holds Nothing Back in Brutally Funny White House Correspondents’ Dinner Roast
SHOTS FIRED
The “Daily Show” host went hard after Republicans, Democrats and all sides of the political media at “the nation’s most distinguished superspreader event.”
Matt Wilstein
Senior Writer
Updated May. 01, 2022 2:18AM ET / Published Apr. 30, 2022 11:11PM ET

snip//

No one was left unscathed during Noah’s no-holds-barred set, from Democrats like Kyrsten Sinema (“openly bisexual but closeted Republican”) and Republicans like Ron DeSantis (“He won’t even tell people if he got the booster. Or as they say in Florida, ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’”).

There were also plenty of jokes at the expense of beleaguered media figures like Chris Cuomo and Jeffrey Toobin, who he said could still win the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album after “whipping it out” in front of his colleagues.

“This is an exclusive event,” he added. “In fact, coming in, I heard Meghan McCain telling the bouncer, ‘Do you know who my father was?!’ They were like, you have a ticket, you can come in, but she insisted on telling them who her father was anyway.”

To Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, Noah asked, “How are you doing? I’d ask a follow-up, but I know you don’t know what those are.” When the crowd groaned, he added, “Don’t boo him, he’s trying!”

The host then compared Fox News to a Waffle House, explaining, “It’s relatively normal in the afternoon, but as soon as the sun goes down there is a drunk lady named Jeanine threatening to fight every Mexican who comes in.” He said the network’s primetime lineup is so “impactful” that their “segments about vaccines moved their viewers… into the ICU.”

Spotting Fox’s Laura Ingraham in the crowd, Noah said, “Wow, what can you say about her that hasn't already been said by the Anti-Defamation League?”

more...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trevor-noah-holds-nothing-back-in-brutal-white-house-correspondents-dinner-roast?ref=home
Posted by babylonsister | Sun May 1, 2022, 08:25 AM (28 replies)

Bugs Across Globe Are Evolving to Eat Plastic, Study Finds


Bugs Across Globe Are Evolving to Eat Plastic, Study Finds
Surprising discovery shows scale of plastic pollution and reveals enzymes that could boost recycling.
The Guardian
Damian Carrington


Microbes in oceans and soils across the globe are evolving to eat plastic, according to a study.

The research scanned more than 200m genes found in DNA samples taken from the environment and found 30,000 different enzymes that could degrade 10 different types of plastic.

The study is the first large-scale global assessment of the plastic-degrading potential of bacteria and found that one in four of the organisms analysed carried a suitable enzyme. The researchers found that the number and type of enzymes they discovered matched the amount and type of plastic pollution in different locations.

The results “provide evidence of a measurable effect of plastic pollution on the global microbial ecology”, the scientists said.

more...

https://getpocket.com/explore/item/bugs-across-globe-are-evolving-to-eat-plastic-study-finds?utm_source=pocket-newtab
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 30, 2022, 09:26 PM (6 replies)

Brutal Sect of Putin's Army Accused of Murdering Their Own Comrades

Brutal Sect of Putin’s Army Accused of Murdering Their Own Comrades
Serving under “Putin’s soldier” Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen troops have been linked to vile war crimes against civilians in Bucha—and their own severely injured brothers-in-arms.
Michal Kranz
Updated Apr. 30, 2022 3:03AM ET / Published Apr. 29, 2022 10:01PM ET


BUCHA, Ukraine—Ihor Yuschenko, 61, a former colonel in the Ukrainian Armed Forces who once served as the deputy chief of staff of ground forces in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, watched in horror as a war crime took place right outside his window in broad daylight.

According to Yuschenko, a column of Russian troops advancing through the town stopped and opened fire on his street in central Bucha on Feb. 27, killing two pedestrians. This column had included Chechen fighters known as Kadyrovtsy, members of various military groupings who are loyal to Chechnya’s local strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, known as “Putin’s soldier.” Yuschenko said he was able to identify them by their black garb, their use of Islamic slogans, and Kadyrov’s name on their body armor.

snip//

Yuschenko’s mother, Zina Yehorovna, his friend Pavel Kondratyev, and his neighbor Bogdan each confirmed these events to The Daily Beast. According to Bogdan, however, the Chechens then hit a civilian who had been trying to flee the scene with the car, leaving him hanging off the hood of the car before he slid off onto the street.

“It’s simply a war crime what they have done here,” Yuschenko said, standing next to the bench that the car had crashed into after the Kadyrovtsy allegedly attacked it. “This is not war.”

more...

https://www.thedailybeast.com/chechen-soldiers-in-bucha-civilian-massacre-accused-of-killing-russian-comrades?ref=home
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 30, 2022, 10:39 AM (1 replies)

Trump Officials Blocked CDC from Briefing the Public

https://politicalwire.com/2022/04/29/trump-officials-blocked-cdc-from-briefing-public/

Trump Officials Blocked CDC from Briefing the Public
April 29, 2022 at 4:17 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard


Dr. Bob Redfield, former head of the CDC, told House investigators that throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Trump appointees repeatedly blocked his public health experts from briefing the American public, ABC News reports.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 29, 2022, 07:18 PM (3 replies)

Deborah Birx's First Meeting with Trump Lasted 30 Seconds

What virus?


https://politicalwire.com/2022/04/28/deborah-birxs-first-meeting-with-trump-lasted-30-seconds/

Deborah Birx’s First Meeting with Trump Lasted 30 Seconds
April 28, 2022 at 4:10 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard


“Dr. Deborah Birx’s first meeting with President Donald Trump about COVID-19 lasted only 30 seconds before he lost interest and turned the channel to Fox News, Birx writes in her new memoir,” Insider reports.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 28, 2022, 10:51 PM (18 replies)

A Wave of Lawsuits Aims to Halt Louis DeJoy's Gas-Guzzling Postal Fleet


9 hours ago
A Wave of Lawsuits Aims to Halt Louis DeJoy’s Gas-Guzzling Postal Fleet
USPS is “doubling down on outdated technologies that are bad for our environment and bad for our communities.”
Abigail Weinberg


The saga of the United States Postal Service’s planned gas-guzzling fleet continues.

Sixteen states and two environmental activist groups—Earthjustice and the National Resources Defense Council—are suing USPS to halt its purchase of a fleet of of gas-guzzling mail trucks. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has come under fire in recent months for his decision to move forward with a contract for 165,000 new postal trucks—90 percent of which would run on gas and earn 8.6 miles per gallon.

In their suit, the environmental groups point out that DeJoy did not begin an environmental review of the contract until after the Postal Service had already issued a $483 million initial payment to to Oshkosh Defense, the manufacturer of the new trucks. The Environmental Protection Agency has contended that the review itself was flawed.

“Electrifying the Postal Service fleet would reduce smog and particulate matter pollution in nearly every neighborhood in America,” the plaintiffs write. “Postal delivery routes are stop-and-go by nature, which means that gas-powered delivery vehicles idle just outside people’s homes for much of the day. This daily pollution impacts nearly every single resident in the country, but the harmful effects of this pollution are felt most significantly by low-income communities of color, which are often forced to breathe compounding sources of pollution.”


Sixteen state attorneys general filed a separate suit arguing that the USPS’s plan would hinder their own environmental goals. “The Postal Service has a historic opportunity to invest in our planet and in our future,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is leading the states’ suit, said in a statement. “Instead, it is doubling down on outdated technologies that are bad for our environment and bad for our communities.”

more...

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2022/04/usps-louis-dejoy-gas-guzzling-trucks-postal-service-lawsuits-earthjustice/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 28, 2022, 09:47 PM (3 replies)

The Trumpian right keeps pushing rule of law to the brink. But the law is winning

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/28/the-trumpian-right-keeps-pushing-rule-of-law-to-the-brink-but-the-law-is-winning


The Trumpian right keeps pushing rule of law to the brink. But the law is winning
Norman L Eisen and Dennis Aftergut
Some Republicans in Congress allegedly considered using martial law to keep Trump in office. Thankfully our institutions have held the line
‘At stake is whether we are a society ruled by law or not.’
Thu 28 Apr 2022 08.49 EDT
Last modified on Thu 28 Apr 2022 09.04 EDT


This week has seen developments in two important legal battles. At stake is whether we are a society ruled by law or not. Without law, we face not survival of the fittest but survival of the fiercest – those most willing to use intimidation, force and violence to get their way.

snip//

For those on the American right who profess to believe in liberty, imposing martial law to put a strongman atop American government a la Putin should be unthinkable.

But do not hold your breath waiting for outrage from the right over texts such as the one Greene was just revealed to have sent Meadows. Greene is a charter member of the anything-goes-for-Trump club. For its members, the end justifies any means.

From ancient Greek democracy to the Roman republic to the French Revolution, history tells us again and again that gravitating to autocracy comes back to haunt a nation. As John Adams, signer of the declaration of independence and second president of the United States, wrote in 1775 to his wife, Abigail, “[A] Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever.”

This week, we were reminded again how close we came to a coup here in the US. Fortunately, a New York judge also showed us that the institutions of law remain strong and the impulse to autocracy is being held at bay.



Norman L Eisen served as President Barack Obama’s ethics czar, was special impeachment counsel to the House judiciary committee in 2019–20 and is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. His latest book is Overcoming Trumpery

Dennis Aftergut is a former federal prosecutor, currently of counsel to Lawyers Defending American Democracy
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 28, 2022, 01:40 PM (1 replies)

To cut gas costs, Democrats to focus on oil company 'price gouging'


To cut gas costs, Democrats to focus on oil company ‘price gouging’
by Mike Lillis - 04/28/22 11:52 AM ET


Democratic leaders in both chambers on Thursday took aim at the nation’s largest oil companies, accusing the industry of adopting “price gouging” tactics that have led directly to the spike in gas prices around the country.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowed to move swiftly in the coming weeks to vote on legislation empowering the government, at both the state and federal level, to put new curbs on the industry for the purpose of reducing costs at the pump.

Since oil companies are reporting enormous profits, the Democrats argue, they can easily afford to pass the gains on to consumers instead of shareholders — particularly amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has only exacerbated the volatility of global fuel markets.

“They are hoarding the windfall while keeping prices high for people at the pump,” Pelosi said during a press briefing in the Capitol. “In this time of war — in any time — there is no excuse for big oil companies to profiteer, to price-gouge or exploit families.”


The Democrats’ legislation would grant new authority to both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general to scrutinize the methods by which fuel prices are set, at both the wholesale and retail level. The new authority would include powers to slap civil penalties on those companies found in violation.

more...

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/3470227-to-cut-gas-costs-democrats-to-focus-on-oil-company-price-gouging/
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 28, 2022, 12:30 PM (5 replies)

digby: Nobody Cares about Jared: How Long Can Kushner Get Away with It?


Nobody Cares about Jared: How Long Can Kushner Get Away with It?
by Heather Digby Parton | April 27, 2022 - 7:50am
— from Salon


There's a lot going on in the world these days, but I have to say that I'm disappointed that there isn't more attention being paid to the revelation that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner made a deal with the Saudi Arabian government for what looks very much like a straight-up payoff for services rendered during the Trump administration.

I'm hardpressed to think of another example of alleged corruption more serious or more threatening to the stability of the world. After all, right now the U.S. government is trying very hard to get the Saudis to cooperate with the rest of the world to keep oil prices in check during this crisis in Ukraine but it's pretty obvious that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salmon (MBS), Kushner's bosom buddy during Trump's four years in office, is instead banking on Trump's return and refusing to help.

The New York Times reported the story of Kushner's big deal a couple of weeks ago. A major wealth fund backed by the Saudi government invested $2 billion in Kushner's new "venture-capital" company called Affinity Partners. Now you may recall that Jared Kushner's experience before going to the White House consisted of some bad real estate deals and running a small newspaper in New York City. The rest of the financial world recognizes this and has not jumped at the chance to partner with Kushner on the project and it's reasonable to assume that many investors are reluctant to sign on with both the man who had a famous journalist dismembered in the Saudi embassy and the corrupt Trump family. That's a lot to swallow even for cynical, self-interested greedheads, especially since there is every reason to believe they will lose money in the process. Where's the upside? It's hard to imagine that the Saudi Crown Prince is any more naive about Kushner's business acumen, which leads to a lot of speculation that this is payment for services rendered and an investment in a future Trump presidency. Nobody was a better friend to MBS than Jared Kushner and there's evidence that Jared delivered handsomely. He would almost certainly come through again.

First of all, recall that the very first trip Trump took overseas was that very weird, over-the-top adventure to the Middle East in early 2017 where they did the sword dance and all put their hands on a white orb for inexplicable reasons. It was pretty clear that Trump had his eye on that big pile of Saudi money from the very beginning. But it was Kushner who made it into his own special project. From the beginning there was lots of talk about the two young Turks, Kush and MBS, chewing the fat late into the night, exchanging private mash notes on WhatsApp and basically spending a lot of quality bro time together. In 2018, the Intercept reported that MBS touted his close relationship with Kushner, revealing that Jared had shared classified information with him about Saudis who were disloyal to him. He was quoted as saying that Kushner was "in his pocket."

more...

http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/heather-digby-parton/101349/nobody-cares-about-jared-how-long-can-kushner-get-away-with-it
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Apr 27, 2022, 11:18 AM (3 replies)
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