Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 28, 2019

Keep in mind that somethings can be toxic after a fire.

Three Myths About Contents Restoration

Rich Californians Shell Out $30,000 to Avoid Blackout Pain

Lawsuit alleges retaliation by Georgia’s indicted insurance chief

• Written contracts are required for repair work (roof, gutter, downspout and siding).
• Contractors are forbidden to offer rebates or to pay policy deductibles.
• Contractors must disclose their liability coverage and policy limits.

Storm chaser reforms enacted in New York

Insurance Companies Sue Government Over Gatlinburg Fire

The German state of Saxony, the owner of the Green Vault museum in the eastern city of Dresden, carried no insurance on the jewels, standard practice because the premiums typically exceed potential damages in the long-term ….

Germany’s Green Vault Museum Finds It’s Uninsured for $1 Billion Theft of Jewels

A new, agave-based agroforestry and livestock feeding model developed in Guanajuato, Mexico, promises to revitalize small farmer livestock production while storing massive amounts of atmospheric carbon above and below ground

This Revolutionary System Can Help Stop Global Warming

Thou Must Not Till.

Turning over the ground with a plow every year exposes soil to wind and water erosion and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that was previously stored safely in the soil. Plowing can also destroy critical microbe networks and result in bare or compacted soil that creates a hostile environment for all sorts of life.

How to Save the World: Turning a Big Negative into a Big Positive

Bellingcat is the neocons’ favorite go-to guy(s) for spin.

Before we begin I should highlight that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which according to its own cofounder was set up to do overtly what the CIA had previously been doing covertly, namely orchestrating narrative management geared toward the elimination of governments which refuse to comply with US interests. NED is funded directly by the US government, which means that Bellingcat is funded by the US government via an organization set up to promote imperialist regime change agendas. …

Google has helpfully made sure to place Bellingcat’s assertive-sounding gibberish at the very top of news results which come up if you do a search for “OPCW” today …

“The main point is that Chlorine gas degrades rapidly in the air,” Steele said. “So coming in two weeks later, you wouldn’t find anything. What you would find is that the gas contaminates or affects other chemicals in the natural environment. So-called ‘chlorinated organic chemicals.’ The difficulty is they exist anyway in the natural environment and water. So the crucial thing is the levels, were there higher levels of chlorinated organic chemicals found after the alleged gas attack than there would have been in the normal environment?”

“When they got back to the Netherlands, to The Hague where the OPCW has its headquarters, samples were sent off to designated laboratories, then there was a weird silence developed,” Steele continued. “Nobody told the inspectors what the results of the analysis was. It was only by chance that the inspector found out through accident earlier the results would come in and there were no differences at all. There were no higher levels of Chlorinated organic chemicals in the areas where the alleged attack had happened where there is some suspicious cylinders had been found by opposition activists. So it didn’t seem possible that there could have been a gas attack because the levels were just the same as in the natural environment.”

Bellingcat simply ignores this absolutely central aspect of the email, as well as the whistleblower’s point about the symptoms of victims not matching chlorine gas poisoning.

Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job

My sentiments for years now too:

Yes, boys and girls, it’s election time, and all is fair in love and war and elections. But please pay at least some attention, don’t let these idiots frame your opinions or shape your emotions. They’re doing it for their own gains, not yours. They don’t represent you, they’re using you and will spit you out at the first occasion they see as profitable.

OffGuardian had this nice graph on how big the Labour antisemitism problem really is:

That’s right, the problem doesn’t exist. At 0.08%, nothing is a problem, it’s a rounding error. Stop listening to these people. I know, I know, too late now, and Corbyn must take the blame for that. You can’t win in 2019 with only the tools and worldview of 1969.

Jeremy Corbyn Hates All Jews

Jeremy Corbyn should have held a rally with Jews for Jeremy and another one and another one and another one …. Those Jews should have stood right up and denounced and denounced and denounced the smears and should have turned the topic right back to Zionists stealing land in Palestine, stealing it via terrorism and war crimes, which is all fully documented in the historical record for all to see, which is exactly why there remain Jews for Jeremy even though Jeremy has been so pathetically weak in standing up against the Netanyahu excusers who are mostly exactly the same ones whining that Jeremy hasn’t gone into a fetal position and quit the Party. However, he can’t figure out that he won’t lose but win by standing up instead.

There were 16,738 newly-disclosed vulnerabilities during the first three quarters of 2019.

Close to 17,000 New Computer Vulnerabilities Disclosed During 2019

Even if you never read “computer security” posts, you should read this one.

Microsoft says new Dexphot malware infected more than 80,000 computers

Almost 60% Of Malicious Ads Come from Three Ad Providers

So, I’ve been saying for well over a decade that Wikipedia is usually good for things other than what some would call controversial politics and history. I don’t think some of it should be controversial at all, but Wikipedia has an agenda not only to claim certain facts actually aren’t but also to make falsehoods so believed that there is no controversy around the falsehoods being taken as facts.

Must watch for those who don’t know how Wikipedia “works”:

Dirk Pohlmann on Wikipedia Smears & Wiki’s Staunch pro-Israel/America Line

In Prague, I speak with Dirk Pohlmann, who has done considerable research into the workings of Wikipedia, including why certain smear edits cannot be reversed, no matter who tries.

Pohlmann also mentions a German former conscientious objector who later went on to volunteer in the Israeli army, changing his name from Jörg Egerer to Jörg Mathias Claudius Grünewald, and his involvement in editing numerous Wikipedia entries.

Having a smear entry myself, I was quite curious to hear what Dirk Pohlmann had to say on Wikipedia.

Between Rational and Irrational

Economists have generally understood human behavior as either rational (the classical model) or irrational (the behavioral model). Robb argues instead for a third framework, the type of decisions that we do for their own sake—behavior “for-itself.” INET President Rob Johnson talks to Columbia University’s Richard Robb about his new book, Willful: How We Choose What We Do (Yale University Press, 2019).


The Duncan-Irwin House, 1906. A jewel in the crown of the Crown City, this seminal Craftsman masterwork by Charles and Henry Greene …

Unique Historic Home in Pasadena, California

Music break (been following Molly since her really early days):

Molly Tuttle – Cold Rain and Snow (Live on eTown)

Molly Tuttle and her band perform the traditional classic “Cold Rain and Snow” during a recent taping of eTown.

Dancing break (excellent camera work):

Chloe Barbera – Porcelain

Age 12

It’s funny to see Netanyahu echoing my statements concerning Russiagate. The first person I heard or read saying “Investigate the investigators” was when I said it and wrote it. The same applies concerning calling Russiagate an attempted coup. The same thoughts and statements may have (probably did) also originated with others. Not all memes start with the “source” cited by the mainstream. The mainstream doesn’t want to credit those they feel are the most dangerous to their establishment.

After years of investigations, Netanyahu charged with bribery, fraud, breach of trust

That’s the guy much of the US legislature, which is overwhelmingly Zionist no matter the totally unsupportable horrors done by Zionists and which horrors most Zionists facilitate, gave standing ovations.

Another from Mondoweiss:

92% of House Democrats condemned BDS, but new poll shows many Dem voters support movement

Here’s another from Mondoweiss to drive home the point:

Why do so many Americans, including many Jews, support BDS?

Palestinian shot in back amid laughter in shocking video comes forward

Interesting & Important News & Analysis, November 26, 2019

Read the whole article. It’s good reporting.

Medeiros bristles at comparisons to Paradise, where residents were caught in gridlock on mountain roads. For Centennnial, the state is considering plans to widen two-lane sections of Highway 138, and residents will have five routes to access it during an emergency escape, he said.

Medeiros sees the city as a model of resilience, no matter what the climate throws at it. To prepare for longer—and more intense—droughts ahead, the site will be able to store enough water to function for 12 years without needing to pipe it in from elsewhere. A weather station will measure conditions that could affect the spread of fires. The power lines will be buried, and homes will have fire-resistant doors, windows and roofs.

“We hear a lot about why it’s not appropriate for growth,” Medeiros said. “But, honestly, I don’t hear the reasons why it shouldn’t be developed.”

Hanson, the forest ecologist, acknowledges that modern homes are safer than they used to be. But even if 5% burn, thousands of lives would be at risk, he said. The development’s three or more fire stations won’t be enough to stop a big blaze, which will require help from outside, he said.

The aqueduct won’t protect the community from embers that can rain down by the thousands, and travel two miles or more, Hanson said. And an escape route—no matter how much it’s widened—is of no use if it’s closed or blocked by 30-foot high flames, he added.

“It’s an area that naturally burns,” Hanson said. “It’s going to burn again.”

California’s Housing Crunch is Pushing Developers Deeper into Dangerous Fire Zones

Insurance Claims from Tornado in Missouri’s Jefferson City Exceed $170M reports that the testing found high levels of radon in apartments owned by the Huntsville Housing Authority.

Tests Reveal High Level of Radioactive Gas in Alabama Public Housing

• Tsunami of disaffection washes over city as pro-Beijing camp left reeling by record turnout and overwhelming defeat
• Result set to give pan-democrats increase in seats on committee that chooses city’s chief executive

Hong Kong elections: pro-democracy camp wins 17 out of 18 districts while city leader says she will reflect on the result

John Solomon Goes Off, After Facing Scrutiny in Hearings: They ‘Smeared Me, Just Like Joe McCarthy Smeared People’

As yet, the U.S. Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the Fifth Amendment’s application to an order to decrypt, provide a password for or provide plain text copies of files on an electronic device. Until then, we can expect that the law will remain murky.

PA Supreme Court Rules Defendant Need Not Decrypt Drive

According to HIPPA Journal, almost half of all ransomware attacks in 2018 involved health-care companies, and those attacks are projected to quadruple by 2020.

Campbell County Memorial Hospital hit with cyber crime

Convenience can quickly become a nightmare.

As manufacturers race to compete on price for “smart home” products, security is an invisible cost they can easily shave if they choose to.

Why Smart Home Devices Need Enterprise-Level IT Networks

AI may open dangerous new frontiers in geopolitics

Andrew Yang Calls Out MSNBC For Lack Of Coverage

Andrew Yang’s #BoycottMSNBC shows how the network lost the left

This is definitely an insurance issue everyone should be made aware of. We need to know exactly what information has been shared. Aggregate, anonymous information is one thing; but, if individuals can be connected with their specific health records without their express consent, it sure sounds like a violation.

Google Building New AI Using Private Patient Info on 50 Million Americans?

Google’s deal with Ascension strikes a nerve with Feds now making it subject to a probe. Rick Sanchez and Myles Edwards take us through this deal and what it means for big tech to get involved in the healthcare industry.

New technology developed to improve forecasting of earthquakes, tsunamis


Clinton’s pony was a metaphor for the big-ticket items on Sanders’ agenda. Namely, tuition-free college and Medicare for all. Putting a fiscal twist on Nancy Reagan’s famous catchphrase, Clinton scoffed at the price tag and warned voters to Just Say Neigh. But Americans still like Sanders’ ideas: 63% support free tuition and 66% support Medicare for all. To make these policies work, all we have to do is produce enough hospitals, doctors, nurses, universities and teachers. Just imagine how high those poll numbers would climb if everyone understood how easy it would be for Congress to pony up.

Op-Ed: Congress can give every American a pony (if it breeds enough ponies)

Cooperation is the better path.

“This was a country of ‘success’ before; we tried hard, and success came accordingly… At the same time, Korea has become a society that values only success and economic achievement and became [too] competitive,” says Lee Jae-yeol, a sociologist at Seoul National University who published a book this year titled If You Were Born Again, Would You Live in Korea, which explores the reasons behind Korea’s widespread unhappiness and high suicide rate.

South Korea’s success-obsessed culture is finally reckoning with its dark side

Our fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion has been going on for a couple of years, and it took on even greater momentum when I arrived in this job. We attracted, for example, a lot of attention when we created our own blacklist for countries that have a tax rate that are lower than nine percent. You can call them tax paradises—we just call them countries with a tax rate lower than nine percent. The Netherlands draws up that list once a year, and once a company does business with this country, it has consequences. For example, when a company wants to pay dividends or royalties to a country with low tax rates, we will put a withholding tax on these kind of capital flows. This same tax does not apply on capital flows to countries with a tax rate higher than nine percent.

The Netherlands is an open economy with an internationally oriented tax system. We know that a lot of capital flows through the Netherlands to countries with low tax rates. If you want to participate in this activity, you are free to do so, but from next year on, as I mentioned, we will collect this withholding tax of more than 20 percent on these kinds of streams. This makes it very unlikely that companies will route capital through the Netherlands.

This is quite important because when you’re seen as a “conduit country” for tax evasion, stopping it is quite a big step. People were surprised that we did it, but I think it was time to put an end to it.

Menno Snel on Tackling Tax Avoidance

This surprised certain people.

… Americans who’d given up looking for work after the financial crisis -– and who weren’t therefore counted among the unemployed –- were pouring back into the job market.

Inequality Fight Gets In Ally At The Fed

It didn’t surprise me. I wrote openly that people will come back and that there’s still plenty of labor slack. That was when the “experts” were saying that they won’t come back and there’s little to no slack. They called for raising rates. Well, they had to lower them again and not just because of Trump’s tariff war with Xi and Trump’s counter-productive tax cuts.


Progressives, trust your gut: Elizabeth Warren is not one of us

It was obvious when, among other things, she didn’t come out for Bernie Sanders against Hillary Clinton.

The US used to put R&D at the top of its list of priorities. Then the anti-government types took over.

U.S. Trails In Government Funding For University Research

Public ownership of rail, water, energy, buses, Royal Mail, broadband and the NHS would save the UK nearly £13billion every year, a study has found.

And the money saved could be ploughed into improving public services, creating jobs, boosting local economies and delivering green policies, according the anti-privatisation group We Own It.

Nationalisation of public services could save £13billion every year

Why an Overseas Bank Account Isn’t a Good Idea