Visit this anti-Trump site? 1.3 million people did. Now, the US government wants your IP address

❝ In an unprecedented and dangerous move, Donald Trump’s justice department is threatening to violate the first and fourth amendment rights of over a million people by issuing an overboard surveillance request aimed at identifying alleged anti-Trump protesters.

The justice department is demanding that web hosting provider DreamHost hand over, among many other things, 1.3m IP addresses – essentially everyone who has ever visited an anti-Trump protest site called disruptj20.org that was organizing protests surrounding Trump inauguration in January.

❝ Dream Host revealed the surveillance demand on Monday on their blog, also saying they were going to court to challenge the order. Dream Host called it “a strong example of investigatory overreach and a clear abuse of government authority” and explained that the “information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution”.

Looks like our fake president admires Nazi tactics as well as some “very fine people” who chose to stand with Nazis and other white supremacists while they rioted in Charlottesville.

1989 Ozone Treaty Proven to Reduce US Greenhouse Gas Emissions

❝ The Montreal Protocol, the international treaty adopted to restore Earth’s protective ozone layer in 1989, has significantly reduced emissions of ozone-depleting chemicals from the United States. In a twist, a new study shows the 30-year old treaty has had a major side benefit of reducing climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions from the U.S.

That’s because the ozone-depleting substances controlled by the treaty are also potent greenhouse gases, with heat-trapping abilities up to 10,000 times greater than carbon dioxide over 100 years.

❝ The new study is the first to quantify the impact of the Montreal Protocol on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions with atmospheric observations. The study’s results show that reducing the use of ozone-depleting substances from 2008 to 2014 eliminated the equivalent of 170 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. That’s roughly the equivalent of 50 percent of the reductions achieved by the U.S. for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the same period…

❝ Previous studies have demonstrated that the Montreal Protocol has been more effective at curtailing global greenhouse gas emissions than any other international effort – even though climate change was not a consideration during the initial treaty negotiations in the late 1980s.

You know as well as I or anyone else that – as soon as our Fake President finds out about this – he’s going to make up some ridiculous excuse to try to abrogate the Montreal Treaty. Bad enough it demonstrates that political measures can positively affect some of the damage done to our biosphere by profit-pimps and greed. The treaty was signed into existence by a moderate Republican who understands the value of science..

The World Doesn’t Trust Putin – But, They Trust Trump Even Less

❝ Russian President Vladimir Putin inspires little confidence when it comes to handling world affairs, a Pew Research Center survey showed. But he still outshines his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.

“Although confidence in Putin’s handling of foreign affairs is generally low, in many countries he is more trusted than American President Donald Trump,” Pew wrote in a survey focused on Russia’s power and influence. Pew is a Washington-based non-partisan research group.

❝ A median 60 percent of people in 37 countries, including the U.S., said they lack confidence in the Russian leader’s actions in world affairs, versus 26 percent who said he’s doing a good job. Pew didn’t provide matching statistics for Trump in a survey focused on Russia, but of the 36 countries canvassed on who they trust more, 22, including Germany, France and Japan, trust Putin more than Trump, according to the pollster’s 2017 spring survey.

❝ The survey was conducted Feb. 16 to May 8, before Trump set global markets on edge in August by tweeting threats to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea should the hermit regime threaten U.S. territory with any of its intercontinental ballistic missiles. It also preceded Trump’s decision to sign a bill deepening sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. The Kremlin retaliated by ordering the U.S. to slash staff at its diplomatic missions.

Now that Trump voters have had time to watch their 1-percenter superhero in action I’m forced to continue to rely on the Mencken analysis of decision-making by American consumers, e.g., “You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of Americans.”

Believing Trump’s blatant lies, ignorance and bigotry would somehow change things for the better for folks who work for a living in America requires a qualitative leap in gullibility. Even in a land brainwashed by decades of advertising about, say, cigarettes “without a cough in a carload”.

Trump returns to cowardice – blames opposition to Nazis and Klan for clash


Trump speaking at his NYC Berghof

President Trump on Tuesday condemned the counter-protesters who showed up at Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, stating that they had attacked the other group and were partially responsible for the violence that ensued. His comments drew swift criticism from those who believed the president was attempting to justify the initial rally, which was meant to protest the removal of a Confederate monument and unite white supremacists and Nazi-sympathizers behind a common cause…

Trump then claimed that the counter-protesters initiated the clashes by “violently attacking the other group.” He did not present evidence to support the claim.

Those poor little racists and nazis need Trump to defend them, I guess.

He’s already gathering in the fruits of his sophistry getting congratulations from the Klan leader David Duke:

Sorry, folks. I have no sympathy for folks who were gullible enough to believe Trump’s campaign lies. All he did was imitate the worst of the politicians he said he condemned. That’s flattery, not an alternative.

Now, the whole nation must suffer under a morally bankrupt, profiteering thug. The United States is a laughingstock to the rest of the world. We are ruled by a man without the courage to stand up to racism and bigotry, a man who condemns ordinary citizens whose home town is invaded by criminals and push back to let them know they are not wanted.

Mafioso love the free market


Photo/AFP

❝ Democracy and free markets are intimately connected to organised crime, notes Federico Varese in this new book, Mafia Life, his wide-ranging exploration of global mafias. Authoritarian regimes don’t scruple to stamp out their power, he explains, while democracies often come up short.

Powerful mafias emerged in Sicily, Japan and Russia as their societies underwent a sudden transition to the market economy, abetted by weak legal structures. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Varese suggests, the West was focused on the rush to privatisation, when it should have been helping to strengthen legal institutions. It was a costly error.

❝ Varese has been studying organised crime for more than two decades and has worked as an adviser on the Russian mafia to John le Carré on his 2010 novel Our Kind of Traitor. In Mafia Life, he digs deep into the culture and practices of Japanese Yakuza, Hong Kong Triads, the Sicilian Mafia and their Italian-American counterparts, as well as post-Soviet criminal gangs.

❝ The last have their roots in the vory-v-zakone – men who follow the code – a Russian criminal class that the French-Russian spy Maximilien de Santerre encountered in the gulags in the late Forties, noting their elaborate religious tattoos and private language.

RTFA for more on the sub-culture that so many politicians are willing to join in bed and elections.