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Member since: Fri Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
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I think Massachusetts might very well split up over the effects of rising sea levels

From the Environment and Energy Group:


Climate breakdown to trigger debate over which cities to protect from rising sea levels

"You realise we’re just not going to protect a lot of these places"
The Independent
Christopher Flavelle
June 20,2019

As disaster costs keep rising across the United States, a troubling new debate has become urgent: if there’s not enough money to protect every coastal community from the effects of human-caused global warming, how should we decide which ones to save first?

After three years of brutal flooding and hurricanes, there is growing consensus among policymakers and scientists that coastal areas will require significant spending to ride out future storms and rising sea levels — not in decades but now and in the very near future.

By 2040, simply providing basic storm-surge protection in the form of sea walls for all coastal cities with more than 25,000 residents will require at least $42bn (£33.1bn), according to new estimates from the Centre for Climate Integrity, an environmental advocacy group.“Once you get into it, you realise we’re just not going to protect a lot of these places,” said Richard Wiles, the centre’s executive director. “This is the next wave of climate denial — denying the costs that we’re all facing.”

More here


I can easily imagine my own state of Massachusetts splitting up over this

The central and western counties (Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Worcester, and Middlesex) already
think they're getting screwed over financially by the richer eastern/coastal ones.

They'll not want to fork over more in an attempt to 'harden' the coastal cities:

Boston Built a New Waterfront Just in Time for the Apocalypse


Designing a neighborhood from scratch: The stakes are high at Suffolk Downs


TL;DR version: The Suffolk Downs site is, at best, 20-25 feet above high tide as it is. A developer wants to plant
a ca. $1.5 billion edge city on the site.

Middlesex is already the most populous county. Picture this:

2030: The Commonwealth: "We need more money to protect the Boston/Quincy area"

Western Mass: "Fuck off, we've got our own problems to take care of"
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jun 20, 2019, 12:32 PM (8 replies)

The Revenge of the Poverty-Stricken College Professors Is Underway in Florida. And It's Big.


“Two half-time adjunct jobs do not make a full-time income. Far from it,” Ximena Barrientos says. “I’m lucky that I have my own apartment. I have no idea how people make it work if they have to pay rent.”

We are not sitting on a street corner, or in a welfare office, or in the break room of a fast food restaurant. We are sitting inside a brightly lit science classroom on the third floor of an MC Escher-esque concrete building, with an open breezeway letting in the muggy South Florida air, on the campus of Miami Dade College, one of the largest institutions of higher learning in the United States of America. Barrientos has been teaching here for 15 years. But this is not “her” classroom. She has a PhD, but she does not have a designated classroom. Nor does she have an office. Nor does she have a set schedule, nor tenure, nor healthcare benefits, nor anything that could be described as a decent living wage. She is a full-time adjunct professor: one of thousands of members of the extremely well-educated academic underclass, whose largely unknown sufferings have played just as big a role as student debt in enabling the entire swollen College Industrial Complex to exist.

As Barrientos chatted with another adjunct in the empty classroom, the conversation turned to horror stories: the adjuncts forced to sleep in their cars; the adjunct who was sleeping in classrooms at night; the adjunct who had a full mental breakdown from the stress of not being able to earn a living after all of the time he had put in getting his PhD. Such stories are common, from campus to campus, whispered by adjuncts who know deep down that they themselves are living constantly on the edge of personal, professional, and financial disaster. Other than academic credentials, most adjunct professors don’t have much. But recently, Ximena Barrientos, and her 2,800 colleagues at Miami Dade College, and thousands of others just like them throughout the state of Florida, have acquired, at shocking speed and on a grand scale, something of great value—a union. And they want nothing less than dignity...

About fucking time- colleges everywhere have *always* relied on cheap labor, both faculty and staff


Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Wed Jun 19, 2019, 04:02 PM (23 replies)

Wayne Jenkins was on a mission to find big dealers and steal their drugs and cash. Then the feds...

...found him.


Successful plainclothes policing is dependent on an officer being taken at his word. After the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 and the U.S. Justice Department report that found widespread civil rights abuses by Baltimore police, trust in the police department seemed at an all-time low.

But an investigation by The Baltimore Sun found that the officers of the Gun Trace Task Force still had trust where it mattered most: within the police department, among the prosecutors who took their cases and with the judges who presided over the outcomes.

Jenkins had arrested Stevenson just before he was made head of the Gun Trace Task Force in the summer of 2016. Under Jenkins’ leadership, he and six members of his squad of Baltimore police officers operated as a criminal enterprise raking in tens of thousands of dollars from the monster dealers they targeted.

It was the perfect crime. No one would believe a suspect who said he’d been robbed by the cops. And there was no gain in admitting that you had possessed drugs and cash — a lot more, in fact, before the officers took some.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 16, 2019, 12:24 AM (1 replies)

Corrupt squad scoured Baltimore streets in pursuit of black men to search, arrest -- and steal from


The car came screaming through the rain-slicked intersection in downtown Baltimore that August night, slamming into Serigne Gueye’s Hyundai Sonata and spinning it nearly 360 degrees...

...A couple of blocks away, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins’ squad of corrupt plainclothes police officers lingered, debating whether to help clean up their latest mess or slip away without anyone ever knowing they were there.

They had been chasing the first car just prior to the crash — planning to stop it on a pretext, hoping they might find a gun or drugs when they did. The fleeing driver had blown through a red light, struck Gueye’s vehicle and hit a building near the University of Maryland Shock Trauma center...

...“That’s the thing with Wayne. He’s a little too much with this s---,” Detective Daniel Hersl observed as the officers watched from afar, his comments captured on a secret microphone placed in the car by federal agents. “These car chases — this is what happens.”
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 16, 2019, 12:19 AM (0 replies)

Ignoring warning signs of misconduct, Baltimore Police praised -- and promoted -- Gun Trace Task Force


Wayne Jenkins was living a double life.

Then 34, he was already an admired leader of aggressive street squads and would go on to head the elite Gun Trace Task Force, one of the Baltimore Police Department’s go-to assets in the fight against violent crime.

He was also the ringleader of a criminal enterprise of police officers who were robbing people and dealing drugs.

The indictment of Jenkins and six of his gun task force officers on federal racketeering charges rocked Baltimore when the announcement came in March 2017. A squad of veteran police officers stood accused of committing numerous robberies, as well as extortion and overtime fraud. Many Baltimore residents had long distrusted the police, and more so after the death of Freddie Gray. But the scope and breadth of these allegations were staggering.
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 16, 2019, 12:15 AM (1 replies)

NZ Herald: "Only 530 semi-automatic guns handed over, police say"


Figures released to Newstalk ZB by the New Zealand Police showed that, as of Sunday night, only 530 guns had been handed in since the ban on semi-automatic guns was finalised in early April.

There are around 250,000 licenced firearm holders in New Zealand and it's estimated as many as 300,000 guns could now be illegal...

... McKee expected most people would comply with the laws, but she said that there was no trust in the system whatsoever among firearms owners, and that people felt blindsided and blamed.

"We are effectively being punished for the acts of a foreign terrorist, and we want to make sure that our personal and private property is adequately compensated when it is confiscated."

The nerve of those heartless bastards! When will they step up and accept their share of collective guilt for something they didn't do?

<SARC MODE> switched to <OFF>
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Thu Jun 6, 2019, 03:08 PM (11 replies)

A subpoena or six might be on the way for Shannon Troughton Watts:

H/t to DUer Judi Lynn


How Monsanto manipulates journalists and academics

Carey Gillam

Sun 2 Jun 2019 00.00 EDT Last modified on Sun 2 Jun 2019 00.28 EDT

Monsanto’s own emails and documents reveal a disinformation campaign to hide its weedkiller’s possible links to cancer

But these once-confidential Monsanto documents demonstrate that the deception has gone much deeper. In addition to the manipulation of science and of regulators, the company’s most insidious deceit may be its strategic manipulation of the media, according to the records.

We recently learned that a young woman falsely posing as a freelance BBC reporter at one of the Roundup cancer trials was in fact a “reputation management” consultant for FTI Consulting, whose clients include Monsanto. The woman spent time with journalists who were covering the Hardeman v Monsanto trial in San Francisco, pretending to do reporting while also suggesting to the real reporters certain storylines or points that favored Monsanto.

Over the past year, evidence of Monsanto’s deceptive efforts to defend the safety of its top-selling Roundup herbicide have been laid bare for all to see. Through three civil trials, the public release of internal corporate communications has revealed conduct that all three juries have found so unethical as to warrant punishing punitive damage awards.

Much attention has been paid to Monsanto conversations in which company scientists casually discuss ghostwriting scientific papers and suppressing science that conflicts with corporate assertions of Roundup’s safety. There has also been public outrage over internal records illustrating cozy relationships with friendly regulators which border on – and possibly cross into – collusion.




Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (www.momsdemandaction.org) was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. We are a non-partisan grassroots movement of American mothers demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws, loopholes and policies that for too long have jeopardized the safety of our children and families.


Shannon Watts's Overview

Founder at Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Freelance Senior Consultant/Counselor at Fleishman-Hillard
Founder and President at VoxPop Public Relations
Vice President, Corporate Communications at WellPoint

And not exactly run by a progressive, either:


...At WellPoint, Troughton led a team of 40 public relations professionals responsible for implementing communications programs for the 14 states in which the company operates, as well as the company's business units.

Previously, Ms. Troughton served as director of Global Communications for GE Healthcare, a $15 billion medical diagnostics and device business within General Electric.

Troughton also served as director of Public and Corporate Affairs for Monsanto Company in St. Louis where she led external initiatives designed to generate positive, proactive media coverage of the company's agriculture biotechnology products.

In addition, Troughton was vice president of Corporate and Public Affairs at Fleishman-Hillard public relations agency in Kansas City, Missouri, where she developed strategic issues and crisis management programs to help protect and enhance the reputation of public and private organizations and corporations.

None dare call it causewashing...
Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Sun Jun 2, 2019, 03:34 PM (4 replies)

"(Y)ou will not smear them or Waldman." My my, aren't *we* full of ourselves!

I especially like how Waldman advocates a political strategy identical to the one the gestation slavers are
using against Roe v Wade, only directed in a different direction.

Improbably, the gun movement’s triumph has become a template for progressives, many of whom are appalled by the substance of the victories. Keene was joined by Evan Wolfson, the organizer of Freedom to Marry, whose movement has begun to win startling victories for marriage equality in courts. Once, conservatives fumed about activist courts enforcing newly articulated rights—a woman’s right to reproductive choice, equal protection for all races. But just as they learned from the left’s legal victories in those fields, today progressives are trying to re-learn from their conservative counterparts.

One lesson: patience. The fight for gun rights took decades. Another lesson, perhaps obvious: There is no substitute for political organizing. A century ago the satirical character Mr. Dooley famously said in an Irish brogue, “No matter whether th' Constitution follows th' flag or not, the Supreme Coort follows th' iliction returns.” Before social movements can win at the court they must win at the ballot box. The five justices in the Heller majority were all nominated by presidents who themselves were NRA members.

But even more important is this: Activists turned their fight over gun control into a constitutional crusade. Modern political consultants may tell clients that constitutional law and the role of the Supreme Court is too arcane for discussion at the proverbial “kitchen table.” Nonsense. Americans always have been engaged, and at times enraged, by constitutional doctrine. Deep notions of freedom and rights have retained totemic power. Today’s “Second Amendment supporters” recognize that claiming the constitutional high ground goes far toward winning an argument.

Liberal lawyers might once have rushed to court at the slightest provocation. Now, they are starting to realize that a long, full jurisprudential campaign is needed to achieve major goals. Since 2011, activists have waged a widespread public education campaign to persuade citizens that new state laws were illegitimate attempts to curb voting rights, all as a precursor to winning court victories. Now many democracy activists, mortified by recent Supreme Court rulings in campaign finance cases (all with Heller’s same 5-4 split), have begun to map out a path to overturn Citizens United and other recent cases. Years of scholarship, theorizing, amicus briefs, test cases and minority dissents await before a new majority can refashion recent constitutional doctrine.




An attendee at the Chamber of Commerce event put an admirably unvarnished query to McConnell that created an exact parallel to 2016, when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away: “Should a Supreme Court justice die next year, what will your position be on filling that spot?”

“Oh, we’d fill it,” McConnell said quickly, with that small smile of his. Court-packing — excuse me, loading the court with your ideological friends — is the one way you can set the nation’s political course no matter what voters decide year to year. “You want to have a long-lasting positive impact,” he explained. “Everything else changes. … What can’t be undone is a lifetime appointment to a young man or woman who believes in the quaint notion that the job of a judge is to follow the law.”

Posted by friendly_iconoclast | Fri May 31, 2019, 11:35 PM (1 replies)
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