Recent comments by azurite

BBC News - China's loans to Latin America 'rose to $22bn in 2014'

"The figure is the second largest on record for Chinese lending in Latin America, according to the report.

The Chinese loans exceed the combined worth of those by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the authors say.

Brazil alone received $8.6bn, they say.

It was followed by Argentina with $7bn, Venezuela with $5.7bn and Ecuador with $821m, according to the report by US think-tank Inter-American Dialogue and Boston University's Global Economic Government Initiative."

Toddler dies of measles in Berlin, 1st death in outbreak -
"The German measles outbreak coincides with smaller ones in the United States tied to Disneyland in California and an Illinois day care center, which in total make up less than 150 cases. Officials say at least two of the measles cases in Berlin have been linked to the U.S. — one person who developed symptoms there before traveling to Germany, and another who developed the infection after returning from the U.S."

NASA Briefing to Highlight Early Results from New Earth Science Missions | NASA
Nice to see the feds spending tax payer funds on something interesting for a change (instead of weapons).

RE quoted:

In their eyes, British technology barriers were a pseudo-colonial ploy to force the United States to serve as a ready source of raw materials and as a captive market for low-end manufactures.

That's one of the purposes of colonies--provide un to minimally processed resources and consumers of finished products. US has definitely done (or tried to do) its share of colony-creation. Until the elites decided national boundaries weren't needed for protection anymore--except in the case of bigPharma and a few other areas that "need" patent/copywright, et al protection--and NAFTA was passed. Now it seems Obama's trying to persuade people the TPP is a good thing for them. White House targets Dems in trade blitz | TheHill

josap wrote:

Prisons make money for private enterprises.

In several ways, while he was governor, J. Bush pushed privatization of FL prisons and the public school system. But never bothered to fund any reports on whether or not privatization saved the state money or if the private entities did a better job then the state or public school districts had/did. The High Price of For-Profit Education and Jeb Bush | Donald Cohen

"As the Center for Media and Democracy/PRWatch previously noted: "The New York Times recently studied one K-12, Inc., school which was failing to educate kids 'by almost every educational measure' but 'by Wall Street standards, Agora is a remarkable success,' profiting off of federal and state taxpayer dollars. A recent study of virtual schools in Pennsylvania conducted by Stanford University showed that online students performed significantly worse than their traditional counterparts. The University of Colorado conducted a study that found only 27 percent of virtual schools met minimum federal standards."

These shortcomings have not stopped FEE's founder, Jeb Bush, from putting his name on the preface to the 16th Edition of the ALEC's Report Card on Education, asserting: "ALEC's Report Card on American Education is a helpful guide for anyone who wants to achieve a quality education for all students."
- See more at: News Articles By | PR Watch

Real savings needed for private prisons |

- NY Times

Man in KS dies from new (to the US) virus. Thought to have gotten the virus via a tick bite.

sdtfs wrote:

but we are both exceptionally afraid of the drivers around here.

A friend in Boise has walked to work (1 mile each way) for years. He's had problems w/both motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists, problems meaning been almost hit by both. When we were in school, he rode his bicycle almost everywhere (different town).

I've felt more at risk in OR (the town I live in) bicycling then I did cycling around the town I lived in on LI. As a pedestrian where I live, I have the luxury of being able to walk "into town" via the beach for much of the way--but getting to the beach and after I leave the beach, well, I've almost been hit while in a marked crosswalk w/the walk signal on --on a sunny day--(someone making a left hand turn who apparently didn't see me until I was about 6' away), in a cross walk at a 4 way stop, etc. I especially appreciate the drivers who arrive at a stop sign, see me in the crosswalk and speed away from the stop sign so they don't have to wait for me to get to the other side of the street--if I'm in the middle of the crosswalk--about to walk in front of them--that just causes them to speed up. They just can't wait.

Rob Dawg wrote:

Because not everyone can be coddled in the bosom of mother transit.

Using a bicycle for transport for some trips part of the year isn't using mass transit. It's true that many towns/cities have buses that have bicycle racks (that sometimes can carry a max of 2 bicycles) and that Amtrak Cascades accepts a certain number of bicycles (w/no requirement that the bicycles have their pedals removed/put into bike boxes), but . . no requirement that bicyclists use mass transit to get around.

Walking to do errands, etc., some of the year also doesn't require use of mass transit. Or skateboarding.

‘Awakenings’ author Oliver Sacks has terminal cancer - Celebrities and Entertainment News

Sad I remember reading "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat" & knew a woman who diagnosed (correctly) her own brain tumor as a result of reading that book. Took her awhile to get a MD to take her seriously, do the necessary tests, but she was right.

robj wrote:

If you had charging plugs in city meters, for instance or solar on parking lots, you'd be there very quickly.

Oregon has installed a fair number of charging sites. Office of Innovative Partnerships and Alternative Funding Electric Vehicles and Infrastructure Program There's one in my (small) town--there's one at least every 100 miles from Astoria to Port Orford, OR. (highway 101 in OR)--or that's what it looks like from the map at the link. There seem to be many in the PDX metro area as well. Don't think they're drawing their energy from solar panels or a solar source, but don't know. OR coast hasn't seemed that interested in solar. Definitely enjoyed/vyed for the wave energy subsidies though.

Saw another one (at least one) in the St. Louis (MO) Botanical Gardens parking lot.

I think I saw a solar charger in the Palm Springs airport parking lot at least 7 years ago.

And look: "NRG Energy Inc. has begun a $10 million project in Houston to add 100 to 150 charging stations, 50 high-speed and 50-100 slower-speed.

TI, a semiconductor company, recently added 46 charging stations to its 12 work sites in Texas to encourage the use of electric vehicles. " Texas Electric Vehicle Charging Stations | ElectricityTexas Seems that Austin plans on having 100.

Sirus wrote:

When people who organize and efficiently confiscate land to their whim could care less about gold

It can be useful in bribing/paying your way into other nations where the rule of law hasn't collapsed though, and to help you become established in a new land. Sure helped some people escape from Germany, Austria (after Anschluss), France, Holland, after the Nazis had successfully invaded the latter two. Although I suppose you could say that the rule of law hadn't completely collapsed in 3rd Reich territories except w/regards to specific categories of people.

Rickkk wrote:

But our Mediterranean friend—which is strained extensively to remove much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar

I thought that bacteria that are used in making yogurt use up/digest most of the lactose. From Milk to Yogurt-an Electron Microscope Story

Since lactose is a "sugar" writing "lactose AND sugar" doesn't make sense. Lactose and other sugars present in cow's milk does make sense (as there are other sugars/oligosaccharides present in cow's milk). I don't know if the fermenting bacteria also digests the other sugars (seems as though the bacteria might: Milk fermenters in yogurt, buttermilk and sour cream. Seems the author of the articles doesn't either.

Rob Dawg wrote:

Put another band-aid on that failure.

I know what system I would like to have seen in its place, but what's your alternative proposal? What existed before wasn't much good except for a dwindling number of people.

Rob Dawg wrote:

Currently listening to Brian Eno "Thursday Afternoon." More subversive than "Airports."

I live near the ocean, I'm lucky if I get to hear the surf at night. Used to be no problem. I'm tired of all the jerks w/their loud pipe vehicles, the small aircraft pilots flying around, endless use of power saws, etc.

In January, I went to a beautiful, small state refuge. A small island (connected to the mainland by a short bridge), one of the first purchases OR state parks made w/lottery funds. purchase was to protect an estuary. From one area of the island you can look west to where the estuary flows between two spits or whatever they were into the ocean. Treed area across another estuary to the north. Island has a nice selection of native species, could hear some birds and frogs--kind of.

Only kind of because not far away but far enough that I never saw them, were people racing their very loud exhaust ATVs, dune buggies, all that crap. Endlessly. I could not get away from the noise, even when I was on the other side of the island.

The county and I think the BLM own the sand dunes--they're the ones who open them to the noise makers, the people who cannot enjoy themselves w/out using combustion engines and high decibel exhaust systems.

People think Oregon's "green." It's not. The FS decided to close some roads in public lands in northwestern OR, leaving hundreds of miles of trails for the ATVers, and the ATVers were hysterical, you can't do that. Their right to "enjoy" the outdoors trumps everyone else's and they refuse to do it w/out making a huge amount of noise.

adornosghost wrote:

Most of our wounded humans have a Nature Deficiency Disorder:
Noise pollution is making us oblivious to the sound of nature, says researcher | Science | The Guardian

Noise makers almost always win in the US. Few towns enforce noise ordinances if they have them.

Rob Dawg wrote:

Framingham State?


Cinco-X wrote:

Ya'...that's really what it's like. Fortunately for me, we have space out in the country to put it

Was going to school in eastern MA when blizzard of 1978 arrived. My grad dorm kept power, undergrad dorms lost power and some kind of virus swept through a few of the undergrad dorms--lots of misery on the undergrad side of campus.

Only 4 wheel & emergency transport allowed on streets in town I was living in (suburb of Boston). I walked to the town line, friend picked me up (streets open to all traffic in adjacent town), we went to a stable, helped get out (exercise) all the horses that needed it, fed, etc. Horses & large ponies tire fast when breaking trail through 2-3' of snow. For me, it wasn't a bad storm, I lived in MI for awhile as a child, so a few feet of snow wasn't that big a deal, my home didn't lose power, and I was physically fit. Had a snow shovel in the trunk of my car.

What I've never forgotten is how quickly the local (family owned at the time) "best" supermarket in town ran out of food.

I was young & had never had to think about supply chains of necessities before.

yuan wrote:

Debt default is as traditional as apple pie in 'merkin capitalism.

It used to apply more to individuals, i.e, US bankruptcy laws and prohibition against debtor's prison.

Framers' intent (supposedly sacred to the cons on the S.Ct) being circumvented/close to repealed (or US Constitution unofficially/illegally "amended") by changes in the bankruptcy law and state govs & courts enabling collection agency & local gov. effective jailing for debt. The U.S. Is Locking People Up For Being Poor

Still Locking People Up for Being Poor? Really?! It's 2014. | American Civil Liberties Union
The Town That Turned Poverty Into a Prison Sentence | The Nation

Debtors' Prison Legal In More Than One-Third Of U.S. States

Outsider wrote:

Your debt stinks. My debt smells like roses.

Seems to be part of the current philosophy of the global elite, w/strong preference for debt incurred to fund military invasions, occupations, and buildup of the MIC. All federally funded weapons/military equipment research is tax dollars well spent. No waste there.

Outsider wrote:

It's kind of funny how we raspberry the Greeks when if it weren't for a few factors like this one, we'd be in the same shoes.

Nope, sorry, couldn't happen to the US, because the US is exceptional, and because it's the reserve currency, at the moment anyway. But it's mostly because the US is just well, exceptional. Just how it is. Snark

edit to add: except for those shirkers/layabout/parasites who refuse to use their bootstraps.

sdtfs wrote:

Again I ask, why not just accept the principal? What purpose does it serve to force Greece to pay interest, except to force them deeper into debt?

Self-righteousness, profits for the banksters.

Remember the Versailles treaty?

Citizen AllenM wrote:

It will be a seashore property by 2100.

So Arizona will have Port Yuma. Might as well start the Army Corp of Engineers on building a big ship basin, and convincing Mexico to go joint on it.

The crony GOP folks governing Idaho already have one: Port of Lewiston | Idaho's Only Seaport

No source of federal subsidy left untapped.

aleister perdurabo wrote:

abolish its environmental protection, and make its industry “attractive” to foreign investors to buy Ukraine’s land, natural resources, monopolies and other assets, presumably at distress prices in view of the country’s recent devastation.

Such an intelligent, long sighted policy.

Mike_PNW wrote:

**more study is needed..please send grant money


Climate Scientologists

more worthwhile & less expensive then F-35s, et al MIC stuff.

ndk wrote:

The big variable in the intermediate term will be how much more groundwater can be sucked out without causing a massive earthquake somewhere.


I think a commenter (RD?) pointed out not long ago that some parts of TX have subsided as groundwater has been extracted at far higher rates then replenishment occurs. Groundwater depletion, USGS water science Not as dramatic as an earthquake, but definitely capable of creating problems/hazards.

Jeb Bush raises $$, spreads wealth in key primary states | National | McClatchy DC

Habitat for Humanity and similar organizations could do alot w/the $$$ Jeb's tossing around.

robj wrote:

The cabin areais semi-arid, however, so it's always a risk.

Supposed to be temperate rain forest here--little to no rain for 3 months in summer. Took me years to get used to the lack of rain, I was used to rain (sometimes snow) all year 'round.

robj wrote:

And I would add that 2014 was, only barely, the warmest year in the measured history.
It does get miserably cold up by the Outsider, with snow. And --big surprise--it also gets miserably hot here on the Gulf Coast and Southwest.

Even if the current drought is relatively short lived in western OR, long term damage can be done. The Suislaw National Forest hasn't had a major fire since I moved to OR (long time ago) -- but if western OR remains as low on water & snow pack as it is now (despite rain last week, still haven't reached "average" monthly precipitation for February, got about 1/2 for January, didn't get average in December, etc), a really bad fire season--destroying old growth (or what qualifies as "old growth") including a big fire in the Suislaw is a definite possibility.

If only because more people are going into it and some of them are really stupid/careless. There's also been more lightning from central coast to coast range in the last 3 years, then in the 15-20 years prior. Many of the fires in eastern OR are started by lightning strikes (some from sparks from logging equipment, some from idiots w/their illegal campfires, shooting at exploding targets on public lands, etc.)--maybe that's going to happen in western OR too now.

adornosghost wrote:


Forecast for OR coast indicated more high temp records for February may be broken.

"And while some have envisioned that millennials would be caring for their ill and aging parents with the help of robots and wearable tech and apps, I took my cue from my mom, whose no questions asked, drop everything and go kind of hands-on care was modeled early for me, when I was a child and my grandfather suffered a debilitating series of strokes. In our family, being there is what we do.

I finally had a proper sleeper couch and we all squeezed into my one-bedroom apartment: my mother, my boyfriend, our two dogs and myself. I folded her needs into mine, and we quickly settled into a daily routine."

. . . ." Me? I’ve only wanted to unplug from social media. Scrolling through my Facebook feed only reminds me of the life milestones — weddings, babies, vacations — I may never get to share with my mother.

Instead, I lurk around online support groups and message boards for cancer patients and caregivers. I save inspirational entries into a Google Doc, reading through them when I need a boost."
A Millennial Caregiver -

Amazing, no? An adult child who says she'll actually miss her mother.

"Republicans are going after food stamps (again), with more than 20 states moving to reinstate time limits on aid that had been waived in the recession. Other states are experimenting with drug testing for public assistance applicants, despite research showing that economically vulnerable people are less likely than the general population to use drugs. Case in point: Tennessee’s recent drug tests caught a grand total of 37 users out of 16,000 welfare applicants. The state, meanwhile, has an overall drug use of 8 percent. What We're Reading Now -

Industrial agriculture dumps more than 200 million pounds of toxic chemicals into U.S. waterways every year, and the cost of cleaning it up and protecting public health is borne by local and state governments. Some officials are starting to push back."
What We're Reading Now -

Wonder what the % would be if all the elected state representatives had to undergo mandatory drug testing? Including oxycodone.

aleister perdurabo wrote:

“It's very different," he said, asked how the experiences compared. "Here I’m fighting for a people and for a faith, and the enemy is much bigger and more brutal."

Knights Templar Redux? Similar thinking in some ways.

Haralambos wrote:

My take is that the counter-parties do not know what to do about a real economist, and the political elite cannot understand that these folks gave up or reduced their security, their official BMWs and Mercedes, the chauffeurs and seem to represent who they said they would.
Could it be because they don't like what Varoufakis et al, are saying (or what their economic demands or goals are) that they're seeking to discredit them? So they call them ignorant amateurs (more or less) because Syriza's saying there's a different way to go about solving Greece's problems then the solution Euroland supports? (austerity, more austerity . . .)

Corporate press/journalism in the US hasn't seemed particularly credible to me after watching the US media become hysterical over the elections of Chavez, President Bachelet (first time she was elected), and Lula of Brazil. They were so scarily "leftist"--the world was going to come to an end . . . I suppose because it was the end of South America's acceptance of the "Washington Consensus."

Could this be the Euroland equivalent?

sm_landlord wrote:

This is the link you want:

Joni Mitchell - In France They Kiss On Main Street - YouTube

Got the album, haven't listened to it in awhile.

I like the Twisted lyrics--"couldn't understand the idiomatic logic that went on in my head .. . ."

'Unemployment can drive people to suicide. Numerous studies have demonstrated that there is a relationship between unemployment and poor health and that (the threat of) losing a job and prolonged unemployment can constitute a serious situation for those affected as well as their relatives. The debate on this fateful association was reignited by the 2008 economic crisis and the subsequent austerity policies in many countries." One in five suicides is associated with unemployment

Hung by their bootstraps?

Citizen AllenM wrote:

The corporate types will get what they deserve, once labor wakes up enough to really shrug.

Carnegie & Frick were behaved pretty viciously towards their workforce (I understand one of the jokes among the peons re: Carnegie's libraries was that they were never open during the few free hours his workers had), did they get what they deserved (wealth, power, beautiful homes, Frick collected some great art)?

it's mostly sunny, very little wind & unseasonably warm (supposed to reach 60 today) here at the OR coast, so time to me to join the hordes on the beaches, take a walk w/luck not see any dogs or people harassing shore birds.

Paradigm Lost wrote:

Game over. New game begins.

The Afghanis have been mostly pawns in the "Great Game" since what, the 1850s? You think maybe the rest of the world could give them a break? Particularly Afghani women. I hear what you're saying but I'm really tired of thinking about all the individual lives being blighted and cut short, without thought, by the major "players" of the "Game." And that it's a luxury for me to be just "really tired"-- for example tired of it being true that it's such a big deal for young women to bicycle competitively. Afghan Female Cyclists: Breaking Away, And Breaking Taboos : Parallels : NPR Or ride a bicycle AT ALL in public.

I got hassled occasionally (when I was younger) riding a bicycle, but not anywhere even close to the degree these young women are or may be.

And I remember Laura Bush bragging about what great and positive changes for women/girls the US was bringing to Afghanistan . . . Right Laura, I see you and your family are right there in person making sure those women have lots of opportunities. Angry Rant

Samuel Barber - Adagio for Strings, op.11. Uncut - YouTube

Yoringe wrote:

Churchill wasnt sober when they drew Frontiers..... Snark

Michael Pearce, who grew up in what was (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan writes an interesting "mystery" series set in pre-WWI Egypt. The main character spends most of his time in Cairo, is the Mamur Zapt. The series continues to at least the start of WWI (not sure how much further in time it'll go). There's a time overlap w/these imaginary characters & Churchill, although I think the author's opinion of Haig might be different then Churchill's was.

Paradigm Lost wrote:

I don't think we're as good at it as they were.

You don't think that WWI & WWII seem to have demonstrated they weren't so good at it either? (also, the Indian Mutiny).

TE Lawrence was extremely upset w/how the British broke their promises to the Arabs (including what became the KSA, iirc) after WWI. Seven Pillars of Wisdom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

sdtfs wrote:

Yeah, but flu shots aren't mandated

I think people performing some kind of jobs do have to get flu shots. But you're right, they're not required for children--just recommended.

Too bad the current "debate"regarding vaccines (which is also an argument about what is ok to do/not do for public health/protecting the overall health of the "community") hasn't extended to the need for better funding overall for public health agencies. What people seem to forget is that at one time, some physicians believed TB would be "eradicated" (at least in the US). Instead, w/decreased public health agency funding at both federal and state/county levels, TB, particularly drug-resistant TB is making a comeback. Infectious disease: TB's revenge : Nature News & Comment

Some homeless communities, in addition to the US's current (last 25 years) shortsighted, stupid and calvinistic thinking re: poor people/"socialist" health care systems, maybe creating a favorable environment for evolution of drug-resistant TB. The high rates of incarceration (and often poor health care provided to prisoners) may be as well.

Maybe blaming less, funding some of the projects that seem to have rehoused people successfully (or decreasing the cost of housing) might protect public health but that seems philosophically impossible for most of our "leaders."

Paradigm Lost wrote:

You will notice I used the word "Allies", not U.S. Without the Battle of Britain, or Stalingrad, or the Enigma machine (Bletchley), the war might've been lost. The Allies had a lot of luck on their side.

I agree, thus the use of " "s. It's been a shock for me to read posts/essays expressing the opinion that the US "won" WWII--what seems to me to be an insular, naive, and very poorly informed analysis of WWII--why I wrote what I did.

sdtfs wrote:

lack of effectiveness,

Lack of effectiveness or even making one more likely to contract flu are the reasons I've heard for not getting a flu shot/vaccine.

Paradigm Lost wrote:

The invasion of Iraq changed that.

As did the military actions in Vietnam and Laos.

I'm not sure what effect the Korean war had.

Citizen AllenM wrote:

Right now it is kids, but when the Kurdish state firms up the lines in Iraq and Syria into real borders, all those varieties of Peshmerga will move into Turkey and grab what they can for the rest of their state.

which is why Turkey opposed the US invasion of Iraq.