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Daily Digest 8/1 - CT Lawmakers Approve Pension Concessions, Bitcoin ATMs invade Philly

Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 10:55 AM

Economy

Connecticut lawmakers approve labor pact with pension concessions (Adam)

The labor pact is "a key piece toward adopting a budget for our state," Malloy said in a statement after the vote. "I am urging legislative leaders on both sides of the aisle to work with our administration on finding a solution on this as possible so that the most vulnerable populations do not suffer long-term consequences."

Pension and healthcare provisions were also extended until 2027 in the deal, which Malloy said would ultimately save $24 billion over 20 years.

Bitcoin ATMs invade Philly, taking cryptocurrency to the masses (thc0655)

The world’s dominant digital currency (there are more than 700), bitcoin operates independently of any government or bank. Transactions are recorded and verified on the blockchain database that is instantly shared on a worldwide network of computers. Industry analysts say that the technology underlying those transactions makes bitcoin more secure than using a credit card.

Is The World Really Better Than Ever? (tmn)

Yet one group of increasingly prominent commentators has seemed uniquely immune to the gloom. In December, in an article headlined “Never forget that we live in the best of times”, the Times columnist Philip Collins provided an end-of-year summary of reasons to be cheerful: during 2016, he noted, the proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty had fallen below 10% for the first time; global carbon emissions from fossil fuels had failed to rise for the third year running; the death penalty had been ruled illegal in more than half of all countries – and giant pandas had been removed from the endangered species list.

I Won’t Get Chipped … and Neither Should You (Tiffany D.)

The company claims it’s doing this to make life easier for those employees. They won’t have to use cash or cards to pay for snacks, enter a password in their computer, or use a key or card to unlock doors.

All they must do is consent to a rice-sized radio-frequency ID (RFID) microchip in their hand.

DARPA Wants To Build A BS Detector For Science (tmn)

The people who are supposed to figure out those knotty issues out have their own problems. You might have heard about the “reproducibility crisis,” the concern that many scientific findings, particularly in psychology and sociology, don’t pass a fundamental test of validity—that subsequent researchers can do the same experiment and get the same results as the first ones. Or you might be familiar with “P-hacking” and other ways some researchers, under pressure to publish and get grants, cherry-pick their experimental results to ensure the appearance of statistical significance.

Shale Drillers Aren’t As Safe As You May Think (Michael K.)

These warnings are not new. In May this year, S&P Platts analyst Nicole Leonard warned that shale drillers with heavy debt loads won’t be able to survive another price crash. Leonard forecast that prices will rebound to US$60 a barrel as OPEC extends its cut agreement and driving season prompts hefty inventory draws. Both these things did happen, but prices have just now ticked above US$50 a barrel after OPEC announced yet another meeting to try to improve compliance rates, and after Washington indicated further sanctions against Venezuela are becoming increasingly certain.

Border Agency Set to Jumpstart Trump’s Wall in a Texas Wildlife Refuge (jdargis)

For the past six months, CBP has been quietly preparing a site to build a nearly 3-mile border barrier through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, according to The Texas Observer. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also has reportedly begun drilling and soil testing in California and New Mexico.

But construction on the wall was not expected to begin until January because Congress has yet to approve CBP’s budget. On Thursday, the House approved a spending bill that contained $1.6 billion to build segments of the wall in Texas and California. Its fate in the Senate is uncertain.

The Killing Fields (jdargis)

First-world renal disorders typically accompany obesity, diabetes, or high blood pressure, all rare risk factors in rural Southeast Asia. Baffled epidemiologists refer to the illness ravaging Sri Lanka as “chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology,” or CKDu, which results in a slow, torturous death. Sufferers are unable to pass urine, so their limbs swell with toxic fluid, causing constant pain.

Gold & Silver

Click to read the PM Daily Market Commentary: 7/31/17

Provided daily by the Peak Prosperity Gold & Silver Group

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3 Comments

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1623
Anna Baltzar's Journey

Anna Baltzer starts her website with the following summary:

Like many Americans and many Jews, I grew up with a positive view of Israel as a peace-seeking democracy. Israel symbolized to me the one protection that Jews had against the type of persecution that had plagued families like mine throughout history. I saw the Jewish state as a tiny and victimized country that simply wanted to live in peace but couldn’t because of its aggressive, Jew-hating Arab neighbors. 



In 2003, during a backpacking trip through the Middle East, I began to meet Palestinian refugees from 1948. I didn’t know who the Palestinians were, or where Palestine was, and through my new acquaintances I began to hear a narrative about the history and present of Israel/Palestine that was entirely different from the one I had learned growing up in the United States. 



My first reaction was disbelief, and anger. Families told me stories of past and present military attacks, house demolitions, land confiscation, imprisonment without trial, and torture. It seemed that these actions were not carried out for the protection of Jewish people, but rather for the creation and expansion of a Jewish state at the expense of the rights, lives, and dignity of the non-Jewish people living in the region. It was hard for me to believe that Israel could act so unjustly.



Not believing what I heard, I decided to do some research to prove myself right. Immediately, I was shocked to find how much I didn’t know about the situation on the ground. Not knowing who or what to believe anymore, I decided to go to see the situation with my own eyes. Since I returned, I’ve dedicated my life to informing fellow Americans and others about what I found, and what they can do to support a just peace for all peoples in Israel/Palestine.

Though Israel projects a public image of itself as a liberal democracy, this is not true.  It is a segregated apartheid state with two classes of citizens:  the Jewish and the Non-Jewish. (With "Jewish" most accurately referring to tribal identification, not a religion or ethnic division).

Separation of church and state issue--Israel is formally a Jewish State.  Immigration is restricted to Jewish persons.  A Jew may immigrate to Israel but a non-Jewish spouse may not.  Arab persons, whose families have lived in Israel for generations, are not granted immigration visas.

Movement is restricted based on tribal identification.

Roads in the West Bank and Gaza are designated for Palestinians or Jews.  License plates are different.  Traffic stops and check  points are used to harass movement of Palestinians WITHIN Palestinian areas.

 

It is not just the government.  A large percentage of the citizenry is BLUE Meme and seems to feel comfortable destroying the lives of the "out group."

An Apartheid social structure is abhorrent to most GREEN Meme westerners (including most American Jews).  Control of the US media permits the Jewish community to project a GREEN image while actually being a strongly BLUE Meme society.  Ms Baltzer points out the differing versions of Newsweek, one for the European and one for the US markets.

Aid to Israel, and the outpouring of donations from the American GREEN Meme Jewish community, would be endangered of the apartheid aspects of Israel were better known.

Today, I am reading about a movement to ostracize Jewish people who criticize the practice of racial segregation in Israel.  Travel visas to Israel will be denied to Jewish persons who support the BDS movement.  This is the BLUE faction waging war on the GREEN (and higher).  

[As an aside, all of the first-tier Memes in Spiral Dynamics despise each other.  So it is not too shocking to have the BLUE and GREEN at each others throats, each claiming "the Truth" and the moral high ground.]

Oliveoilguy's picture
Oliveoilguy
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 29 2012
Posts: 578
Anna baltzer

Just watched Jon Stewart clip (google Anna Baltzer) and had two takeaways. One: Mustafa would never allow Anna to talk or finish a sentence. Why? I was interested in hearing her point of view. And second: He dismissed the fact that Iran has stated clearly that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. He said that Israel needs to "get over it".  This was so ludicrous that it fit perfectly on Comedy Central. Again ....wish I could have heard her express her own beliefs. 

I don't claim to understand the nuances of this conflict, and am not taking sides, but I am saddened by people who oversimplify the issue, and ultimately add to the chaos. 

mememonkey's picture
mememonkey
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2009
Posts: 211
When a fact is not always a fact
Oliveoilguy wrote:

Just watched Jon Stewart clip (google Anna Baltzer) and had two takeaways. One: Mustafa would never allow Anna to talk or finish a sentence. Why? I was interested in hearing her point of view. And second: He dismissed the fact that Iran has stated clearly that they want to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth. He said that Israel needs to "get over it".  This was so ludicrous that it fit perfectly on Comedy Central. Again ....wish I could have heard her express her own beliefs. 

I don't claim to understand the nuances of this conflict, and am not taking sides, but I am saddened by people who oversimplify the issue, and ultimately add to the chaos. 

 

I don't blame your assumption of 'fact' here given that the Oft quoted "wipe Israel off the face of the map" is a mistranslation,  given legs by a concerted propaganda effort of pro Israeli media/politician repetition.   Consider this debunking from of all places  the "Washington Post fact checker blog albeit a slightly less rabid pre Bezo's era

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/did-ahmadinejad-r...

Glen Kessler Washington Post wrote:

SNIP...

In other words, Iran continues to oppose the two-state solution. But does this mean that Iran wants to destroy Israel — “wipe it off the map” — as is commonly cited?  This is certainly the conventional wisdom, as seen in the statements above. But a colleague at The Washington Post, spotting the Bachmann and Obama statements during the U.N. festivities last month, suggested that this widely cited statement by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was actually a mistranslation.

 The Facts

The firestorm started when Nazila Fathi, then the Tehran correspondent of The New York Times, reported a story almost six years ago that was headlined: “Wipe Israel ‘off the map’ Iranian says.” The article attributed newly elected Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks to a report by the ISNA press agency.

The article sparked outrage around the globe, with then-President George W. Bush and other world leaders condemning Ahmadinejad’s statement. The original New York Times article noted that Ahmadinejad said he was quoting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic revolution, but that aspect was largely overlooked.

Then, specialists such as Juan Cole of the University of Michigan and  Arash Norouzi of the Mossadegh Project pointed out that the original statement in Persian did not say that Israel should be wiped from the map, but instead that it would collapse.

Cole said this week that in the 1980s Khomeini gave a speech in which he said in Persian “Een rezhim-i eshghalgar-i Quds bayad az sahneh-i ruzgar mahv shaved.” This means, “This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time.” But then anonymous wire service translators rendered Khomeini as saying that Israel “must be wiped off the face of the map,” which Cole and Nourouzi say is inaccurate.   {bold emphasis added }

Ahmadinejad slightly misquoted Khomeini, substituting “safheh-i ruzgar,” or “page of time" for "sahneh-i ruzgar" or “arena of time.” But in any case, the old translation was dug up and used again by the Iranian news agency, Cole says. In fact, that’s how it was presented for years on Ahmadinejad’s English-language Web site, as the Times noted in a somewhat defensive article on the translation debate.

 

SNIP

 Sadjadpour, who has closely studied the statements of Khamenei, said that the supreme leader has spoken more on the question of Israel than any other issue, which is remarkable given that Iran shares no border with Israel and that the Jewish state has virtually no impact on the daily lives of Iranians. Sadjadpour said Khamenei has been consistent, stating repeatedly that the goal is not the military destruction of the Jewish state but “the defeat of Zionist ideology and the dissolution of Israel through a ‘popular referendum.’”

I would add that almost any thing written or spoken about Iran in the mainstream media is more than likely false or slanted and deserves serious scrutiny given the pro Israeli agenda driven control of those organs of propaganda.  

 

Mememonkey

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