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Fri, 06 Dec 2019
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Antinatalism: Outside Magazine writer got a vasectomy because of climate change

Climate change giving up children
© Petra Stefankova
Wes Siler is Outside magazine's Indefinitely Wild columnist. He writes about "adventure-travel in the outdoors, the vehicles and gear that get us there, and the people we meet along the way." His bio says he lives in Montana with his partner Virginia McQueen, and their dogs, Wiley, Bowie, and Teddy. But one thing he, Virginia, and their trio of canines won't be sharing their residence with anytime soon is children. Why? As Siler notes in his recent piece for Outside magazine, he "got a vasectomy because of climate change." He shared that a couple of months before he and Virginia got engaged in June 2018, "a wildfire destroyed an entire town in California and another one wiped out sections of Malibu. Shortly after that, most of the Mississippi River basin flooded, something that might be the new normal, virtually eliminating the future for industrial agriculture throughout a region that produces much of this nation's food. And, of course, the whole Donald Trump thing has been going on."More from Siler's piece:

Comment: Not every body is convinced of the having fewer children as a solution to climate change.
Want to Help Fight Climate Change? Have More Children

Look at it this way: If progress on climate change is at all possible, someone will need to contribute to it. Aren't your potential children among the most likely people to do that? If nothing else, they have an above-average chance of voting for political remedies for the problem, given how you will raise and instruct them.

Alternatively, you might think that climate change is such a huge and terrible problem that even marginal improvements are unlikely, never mind a comprehensive solution. If that's the case, then you should just do what you want right now and forget about future considerations altogether — whatever you decide, it won't matter.

Then there is the matter of historical perspective. Parents had children in medieval times, or for that matter before antibiotics and vaccines. Of all the children who have ever existed, the vast majority have been born into pretty tough circumstances. It is part of the human condition — even as we struggle to improve our lot. Let's not give up by ceasing to have children.

Finally, leave aside the implausibility of these arguments and consider their assumptions. What you'll find is zero-sum thinking, negative value judgments about large families, and an attempt to use guilt and shame to steer social and environmental policy. I suspect that is why these arguments are finding some traction, not because they are the result of any careful cost-benefit calculations.


West Virginia corrections officer facing over 600 counts of child sex charges

James Cain
A West Virginia correctional officer is facing more than 600 counts of various sex charges after West Virginia State Police said he assaulted a young girl over a four year period.

James Cain, 48 of Salem, began sexually assaulting the girl when she was nine and continued until she was 13, state troopers said. Troopers collected several pieces of physical evidence at a home where the crimes are alleged to have occurred, according to court documents.

While being interviewed by investigators, Cain also admitted to sexually assaulting the victim, according to his criminal complaints. Cain also took photos of the victim while she was naked, troopers allege.

Cain is charged with 104 counts of first degree sexual assault; 208 counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian, custodian or person in a position of trust to a child; 104 counts of third-degree sexual assault; 208 counts of incest; and charges of use of minors in filming sexually explicit conduct and sending, distributing, exhibiting, possessing, displaying or transporting material by a parent, guardian or custodian depicting a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Take 2

Just think of the US' endless wars as a constant string of increasingly derivative Hollywood sequels

US Air Force in Syria
© Global Look Press/zumapress.com/US Air Force
The US has reprised its crowd-pleasing anti-Islamic State campaign in Syria, the latest installment of the blockbuster War on Terror series of wars, which has convinced many Americans to back their country's overseas adventures.
SCENE: Mud-spattered beige MRAPs flying dust-stained American flags crest majestically over a hill in the middle of the Syrian desert, surrounded on all sides by sand and a bombed-out ruin here and there. Ominous music plays faintly in the background, but the mood is a triumphant one - no disaffected Kurds throwing rotten veggies at these proud sons of Uncle Sam! That's right - the US is back in Syria, and they're gonna get ISIS - again - and win back the hearts and minds of those Kurds. [end SCENE]
US CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie did his best to build up excitement for the latest episode in the long-running US vs ISIS series, encouraging Americans not to give up hope of a quality war even if the action in this particular installment starts out slow: "Over the next days and weeks, the pace will pick back up against remnants of ISIS," he told reporters last week from the middle of a security conference in Bahrain.


Democrats' new strategy to defeat Trump: Liberal media project adopts local journalism to sway voters

hand news
© Unknown
A handful of Obama-era advisers and former journalists have launched a multi-million dollar 'media' platform mimicking real local news, to push a liberal agenda and spread anti-Trump content ahead of the 2020 vote.

For the Democrats, making sense of their loss to Donald Trump in 2016 has not been a straightforward issue. While hysterically laying blame on external actors, such as Russia, has been a convenient narrative, it has likely begun to dawn on these same Democrats that, at the end of the day, constantly blaming someone else is never going to win you an election.

Not to worry. Tara McGowan, the Democrats' "most dangerous digital strategist," has come up with a plan to counter Trump. However, in McGowan's eyes, addressing the problem posed by Trump requires the same shady tactics allegedly employed by Trump, which Democrats have spent years decrying.

Creating local newspapers to further political agenda

McGowan is the founder of a non-profit called Acronym, which launched in 2017 to assist Democratic candidates to better access digital marketing tools for their campaign. Acronym has launched various projects since then, the newest of which is called Courier Newsroom. With $25 million-worth of funding, Courier Newsroom has a plan to swing key voter states against Donald Trump in the upcoming election.

Comment: Will this work? There is potential. Americans who rely on MSM are not the ones who dig for truth in news, nor will they be any better at discernment in this political charade.


Bomb scare: Paris' Gare Du Nord railway station evacuation

Gare du Nord station
© RT.com
Paris Gare du Nord Station
The Gare Du Nord train station in Paris was briefly evacuated after an alleged explosive device was discovered hidden inside an unattended bag, amid a heightened terrorism alert following stabbing attacks across Europe.

Scores of commuters were ordered to leave the station due to the suspicious unattended bag, following several false alarms earlier on Friday, the railway company SNCF said. Police provided few details, but have since given the all-clear.

Star of David

'I felt like I was about to die': A Palestinian journalist shares trauma of being blinded by 'Israeli sniper fire'

© RT
Muath Amarneh, Journalist
Palestinian journalist Muath Amarneh lost his eye covering a protest near the West Bank town of Surif. Israel denies shooting Amarneh, but the freelance cameraman told RT Arabic that his colleagues are being deliberately targeted.

Amarneh was covering a rally near Surif two weeks ago. He said the demonstrations were non-violent, and were a show of dissent against Israeli occupation of the region. Surif is located near the Israeli border, between Hebron and Jerusalem, and lies on the edge of 'Area C,' or the portion of the West Bank fully under Israeli control and home to the vast majority of Jewish settlements.

The protests descended into scuffles between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers. Dressed in his press uniform - the blue body armor and helmet worn by conflict reporters worldwide - Amarneh was taking photographs, when he was struck in the eye by what he says was a bullet banned under international humanitarian law. He maintains the hit was a result of "Israeli sniper fire."

Comment: The above mentioned report from MEMO, 9/11/2019, stated:
Israeli occupation forces committed 600 violations against Palestinian journalists between October 2018 and October 2019, the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate (PJS) announced on Friday. According to the report, which covered the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the most dangerous violations were the direct shootings of journalists.

The report stated that 60 journalists were shot and suffered serious wounds; some of them still suffering at the time of the report. It also disclosed that 43 journalists had sustained light wounds as they were hit by sound grenades directly thrown at them by the Israeli occupation forces.

"More than 170 journalists were beaten, detained or banned from coverage," the PJS' Freedom Committee revealed. It also exposed that more than 180 violations were committed by Facebook in coordination with the Israeli occupation authorities.

During the period covered by the report, Israel detained 10 journalists, raising the number of journalists inside Israeli jails to 18.

The violations, according to the PJS, included raids of homes, offices, fines and bans of movement inside the country and traveling abroad.
See also:

Palestinian journalist loses eye after being shot with Israeli rubber bullet at West Bank land seizure protest


Sheer delusion: Meet the Extinction Rebellion protesters on hunger strike to force party leaders to support climate emergency bill

extinction rebellion hunger strike
© Graeme Robertson/The Guardian
Peter Cole, 76, and Marko Stepanov, 67, during their hunger strike outside the Conservative party headquarters.
It's lunchtime at the Conservative party headquarters, and people come and go clutching bags of Pret a Manger and Greggs food. Most barely cast a glance at the man stood just outside the gates, 76-year-old Peter Cole, who hasn't eaten in 10 days.

He's one of seven Extinction Rebellion members who have vowed to remain on hunger strike until all political party leaders agree to meet them and pledge support for their climate and ecological emergency bill. Known as the "three demands bill", it would require the future prime minister to declare a climate emergency, commit to net zero emissions by 2025 and establish a citizens' assembly.

"The first three days are quite hard because of the hunger pangs," says Cole, an emeritus professor of respiratory medicine at Imperial College London. "Now I'm just a little bit slower than normal." He says his main regret about taking part is being unable to keep up his hobby of Argentinian tango dancing.

While the strikers remain upbeat, XR is not downplaying the risks or severity of the action. Trained first aiders, doctors and wellbeing coaches are on hand to support the strikers, who take it it turns to man their protest sites - outside Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat party headquarters - while others rest.

Comment: Some additional hunger strike-related tweets:

See also:


Troopers rush donor heart to hospital after transplant team gets stranded

Police officersIllinois State Police Illinois State Police posted photos on Facebook of two ISP Troopers who helped deliver a heart to University of Chicago Medicine's Hyde Park campus.
© Illinois State Police
Illinois State Police posted photos on Facebook of two ISP Troopers who helped deliver a heart to University of Chicago Medicine's Hyde Park campus
When a surgical transplant team -- carrying a donor heart -- was stranded with a flat tire, two Illinois troopers stepped in to help get the organ to surgery in time.

A surgeon, transplant coordinator and medical student were on their way from Chicago's Midway International Airport back to the University of Chicago Medicine's Hyde Park campus when the transplant vehicle got a flat tire, said the Illinois State Police.

A heart is viable for surgery for about four to six hours -- and this team had already been traveling for approximately three hours, said Ashley Heher, spokeswoman for UChicago Medicine.

Time was "of the essence," Heher said in a statement.

Russian Flag

Moscow wins 'tourism Oscar,' overtaking Paris, London, NYC & others as world's top city destination

Moscow, Russia
© Pixabay.com
The Russian capital has beaten stiff competition to emerge as this year's 'World's Leading City Destination.' Moscow triumphed over the British and French capitals, as well as 16 other cities, including St. Petersburg.

The World Travel Awards (WTA) red carpet ceremony took place in Muscat (Oman), awarding leaders in the tourism, airline, hotel and hospitality sectors.

Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin expressed gratitude to all those who voted for Moscow in the nomination.

"Moscow is in fact #thebestcityonearth! We have won one of the main awards in the field of tourism... Thank you for your recognition! This is a high assessment of our work and of all Muscovites," Sobyanin wrote on his Instagram account.

Arrow Down

Puritan gatekeepers' wish to censor Paul Gauguin paintings demeans art

The Birth (Te tamari no atua)
© Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images
The Birth (Te tamari no atua), 1896. Found in the Collection of Neue Pinakothek, Munich.
Paul Gauguin is under attack from supporters of post-colonialism and feminism because of his erotic paintings of Polynesian girls and women. Is censoring art of long-dead artists for moral reasons constructive?

Curators of the current display of Gauguin portraits at the National Gallery in London have not included any of his famous nudes, even though they could be described as portraits. Gauguin is in the firing line because of his erotic paintings of Polynesian women and his life, while living in Polynesia from 1891 until his death in 1903. The attacks come from supporters of post-colonialism and feminism. Academic post-colonial studies treat colonialism and all its products as irredeemably unjust; feminism is deeply hostile to any sexualised depictions of women by men.

Some criticism of Gauguin has been vicious: "He was, in almost every way, an absolute prick." "Exquisite art by the Harvey Weinstein of the 19th century," adds another review. The exhibition seems part artistic assessment and part historical trial.