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Member since: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 04:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,104

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More 'Trump Doctrine Explained' by State Department Official


It's getting harder to say Russian meddling didn't actually help lead to Trump's victory...

and Clinton's loss

Source: CNN, by Z. Byron Wolf

Before we get to James Comey, fake Russian intelligence and the fact that it's getting very hard to say the Russians didn't affect the outcome of the election, let's start this with the obvious caveat that there were a great many factors that led to Hillary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump.


Here's an argument explaining how the Russians' fake memo works its way to influencing American politics:

The Washington Post report suggests it was the flawed memo "faked" by Russians that led Comey to announce in July of 2016 that there was not enough evidence to bring charges against Clinton or her staffers for their treatment of classified information during her time as secretary of state.

The fake information was apparently within a Russian intelligence document obtained by the FBI. It was supposed to describe -- and remember this is now believed to be disinformation -- an email between then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the leader of a group funded by Democratic mega-donor George Soros in which she expressed an understanding that the Justice Department would slow-walk its investigation into Clinton's email.


The horrendous optics created by the former president meeting with the attorney general and the knowledge that the fake intelligence existed are what combined to spur Comey forward. He was worried, apparently, that if the memo leaked, it would further conspiracy theories.

So he went public not with the whole truth, but a sort of political chess move to protect his agency.


"I think one of the lessons that the Russians may have drawn from this is: this works," Comey said.

Read it all at: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/27/politics/russian-memo-2016-election-schultz-comey-clinton/index.html

A 'World of Death' for horror fans!

Bloody Disgusting!

If you like it "short and sweet but any which way will do" this is now 82 episodes in and growing!

This trailer will give you a taste. Punchline after punchline without the boring hour and a half of movie-making setup!

Link to 'World of Death EP1'

When Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg sound the same dire warning about jobs, it's time to listen

Source: MarketWatch, by Quentin Fottrell


At his Harvard University commencement speech on Thursday, Facebook chief executive Zuckerberg, had some tough words for the Class of 2017. “Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks,” he said, adding, “When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community,. But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void.”

Gates, the founder of Microsoft earlier this month, sounded the same warning. Gates said he didn’t want to sound like the guy from “The Graduate,” which celebrates 50 years this year. In that movie, old Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) was given this very famous piece of advice: “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word…Plastics,” And today? That word would likely be “robots.” Gates took his 34.8 million Twitter followers by the virtual shoulder and said “artificial intelligence” would have a huge impact. In other words, why not join the revolution? After all, that’s exactly what Zuckerberg and Gates did with social media and computer software.

But that’s not the only response to the robot revolution. Last February, Gates also told Quartz that robots should free up labor “and give graduates an opportunity to focus on jobs that only let us do a better job of reaching out to the elderly, having smaller class sizes, helping kids with special needs. You know, all of those are things where human empathy and understanding are still very, very unique.” Gates said there is a counter-intuitive way of approaching the rise of robots. “So if you can take the labor that used to do the thing automation replaces ...then you’re net ahead.”

Zuckerberg too spoke about finding meaningful jobs and purpose in this new automated economy. “Class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose. It’s up to you to create it,” he said, adding, “Taking on big meaningful projects is the first thing we can do to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. The second is redefining equality to give everyone the freedom they need to pursue purpose. Many of our parents had stable jobs throughout their careers.” Today’s graduates, he said, will need to carve their own path, but have the freedom to fail and to try again.


Read it all at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bill-gates-updates-the-plastics-advice-from-the-graduate-for-2017-2017-05-16

Don't Forget: Trump Is Brazenly Lying about NATO

Source: TPM, by Josh Marshall

There are two funding issues with NATO. A few years ago, NATO decided to require all member states to spend 2% of GDP on defense spending. The great majority of member states currently spend less than 2%. The ones who do meet that number are the US and a handful of states mainly on NATO’s eastern periphery. But they have until 2024 to reach that goal. So even on the terms of the agreement itself, they’re not behind.

But the key point is that these are not payments owed to the US. They are spending on each country’s own military. There are lots of reasons for that, not least of which is keeping the alliance a real alliance and not one superpower military along with other armies which are either so small or have such low readiness that they don’t add to the force the US can bring to bear on its own.


There’s also the obvious but sometimes not openly stated point: the US is the Great Power! You usually have to chip in at least a little money for your Great Power status, or your empire, to put it more archly. The US is a North America state. It’s not in Europe. Maybe we shouldn’t be involved in Europe at all. That is what Trump seems to think and it’s a central strategic goal of Russia. But as long as we have decided to be the major power in Europe, with all that goes with that, the payment arrangements make sense. The NATO goal is 2% of GDP. Some NATO member states are down at 1%. The US is over 3.6%. But that’s not because we’re picking up the slack for major European powers. It is because the US has made a longstanding strategic decision to be the dominant, indeed, overwhelmingly dominant military power literally everywhere in the world.

In any case, these are pretty piddling amounts in the big picture: the US direct cash contribution to NATO is 2 or 3 hundred million dollars a year. Trump himself should hit that number with Mar-a-Lago visits soon.

The idea that Europe is somehow behind on its payments is simply false, whether you’re talking about the 2% goal or the NATO budget contributions. The President got up there at a ceremony for the opening of the new NATO headquarters and let off with an aggressive barrage of straight up lies.

Read it all at: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/dont-forget-trump-is-brazenly-lying-about-nato

Trump Says NATO Allies Don't Pay Their Share. Is That True?

Source: New York Times, by Peter Baker


Are NATO members violating a rule?

No. The 2 percent standard is just a guideline, not a legally binding requirement. In 2006, even as the United States was increasing military spending because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, European allies were shrinking their military spending. NATO defense ministers that year adopted a guideline suggesting that each spend the equivalent of 2 percent of its annual economic output on its military — but it was a target, not a rule, and not endorsed by heads of state.

Only in 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea and intervened militarily in eastern Ukraine, did NATO leaders meeting in Wales agree to the 2 percent standard, and even then they urged members to “move toward” that goal by 2024, still seven years away.

Do NATO allies owe the United States money?

No. This is not a matter of members failing to pay dues. The allies arguably may have less capable militaries than they should have, but none of them owe anyone anything. “Europe may owe itself; it certainly owes nothing to the U.S.,” said Ivo Daalder, a former ambassador to NATO under Mr. Obama.


Has this cost the United States money?

Debatable. American experts have argued for years that Europeans can afford to have broader social programs that produce comfortable lives for their citizens partly because they spend so much less on militaries knowing they live under the security blanket of the United States. Overall, American military spending is 72 percent of the total spent by all 28 allies.

But the vast bulk of increased American military spending since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks stemmed from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which were instigated by the United States, not NATO. There is little indication that the United States would have spent less money in those wars if Belgium, Spain and Slovakia, for example, had spent more on their militaries.


Read it all at: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/world/europe/nato-trump-spending.html

'Universal Basic Income' w/ Robert Reich

Alabama-Florida State game time set, TV announced

Two teams enter, one team leaves!

Source: al.com, by Michael Casagrande


The first college game in Atlanta's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium will begin at 7 p.m. CT. on Sept. 2 It will air live on ABC. This is the third straight primetime season opener for the Crimson Tide after playing Wisconsin (2015) and USC (2016) in Arlington, Texas.

The two teams enter the season with projected top-5 rankings and another level of hype for the game.

ESPN's College GameDay will be in Atlanta for the Labor Day Weekend showdown.

Florida State is coming off an Orange Bowl win over Michigan while Alabama fell just short of a second straight national title in a loss to Clemson. 


Confederate monuments offend, but there is something much worse in Alabama

Source: al.com, by Joseph Goodman

In New Orleans, they are finally removing statues of Confederate leaders in public places. In Montgomery, they send students to public schools named after those same white supremacists.


Children, most of them black, walk past a statue of Robert E. Lee every day at Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery. Across town, another predominately black student body attends Jefferson Davis High School. In 2017, in Alabama, there are public high schools named after men who thought people with darker skin than themselves were subhuman and needed to be slaves forever.

Removing the names of Confederate leaders from public schools is the correct and moral thing to do, and of that there is no doubt. Public statues and memorials commemorating soldiers who fought or died in the Civil War are offensive to many people, but schools named after leaders who believed people of color were inferior, and then sent thousands to their deaths to protect the immoral institution of slavery, are just downright malevolent and wicked.

On Wednesday, with the eloquent and powerful words of New Orleans' mayor still making national headlines, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill protecting the state's Confederate statues and memorials. They cannot be removed.

It's a ridiculous law to score political points and nothing more. Ivey even added an amendment to the bill protecting the names of schools. Let's be clear, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis should be stripped from any public school in the state that bears their names.


Some people, like present-day elected officials in Alabama, choose proudly to be on the wrong side of history. Then some elected officials, when judged by history, are treasonous war criminals. For example: Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America. That the name of Jefferson Davis remains on a high school more than 150 years after the Civil War doesn't remind us of anything other than how grinding institutional racism has held back a state.

Much, much more at: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2017/05/confederate_monuments_offend_b.html#incart_river_home_pop

'True Detective's' Cary Fukunaga TNT Series 'The Alienist'

Caleb Carr's fantastic book! Finally!

Source: http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/cary-fukunaga-the-alienist-tnt-first-trailer-1202430422/

"Fukunaga, who also executive produced Season 1 of HBO’s “True Detective,” again delves into the twisted world of serial killers, this time replacing modern day Texas with New York at the dawn of the 20th century. It follows the hunt for a serial killer responsible for the gruesome murders of multiple boy prostitutes. Daniel Brühl, Luke Evans, Dakota Fanning and Brian Geraghty star in the series."

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