Democrats Threaten to Skip Next Week’s Debate Over Union Dispute

https://www.yahoo.com/news/warren-sanders-yang-threaten-skip-191620412.html

Democrats Threaten to Skip Next Week’s Debate Over Union Dispute

December 13, 2019

All of the Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified for next week’s debate say they will skip the event rather than cross a planned picket line at the venue.

The seven candidates — Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang — all said Friday that they would not show up for the debate at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles next Thursday if the Unite Here Local 11 goes forward with its protest of food service contractor Sodexo SA.

The union, which represents about 150 Sodexo employees at the LMU campus, reached out to the campaigns on Friday to inform them they planned to demonstrate. The union and the food-services company have been negotiating for months but their talks stalled this week.

This is the second labor issue to complicate plans for the December debate. It had been set to be held at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Luskin School of Public Affairs. But the Democratic National Committee asked the debate’s media sponsors to find a new location because the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees demanded that the candidates to boycott it over a contract dispute involving patient care workers at the university’s hospital system.

“The DNC should find a solution that lives up to our party’s commitment to fight for working people,” Warren wrote on Twitter. “I will not cross the union’s picket line even if it means missing the debate.”

Biden said he would not cross a picket line and had to stand with the union’s members “for affordable health care and fair wages.”

Xochitl Hinjosa, the DNC’s communications director, said late Friday that the group’s chairman, Tom Perez, “would absolutely not cross a picket line and would never expect our candidates to either.” She added that the DNC was trying to find a solution that “will enable us to proceed as scheduled with next week’s debate.”

(Michael Bloomberg is also seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)

December 16, 2019. Tags: , , , . Unions. Leave a comment.

Wrongly-convicted man who spent 5 years on death row graduates from Texas college

https://abc7.com/society/man-who-spent-5-years-on-death-row-graduates-from-college/5755247/

Wrongly-convicted man who spent 5 years on death row graduates from Texas college

December 14, 2019

DENTON, Texas — At 17 years old, Ryan Matthews was wrongly accused of killing a man. Two years later, he was sentenced to death. Now, at age 39, he’s graduating from college.

In April 1997, a man in a ski mask shot and killed the 43-year-old owner of Comeaux’s Market in Bridge City, Louisiana, right across the river from New Orleans.

Investigators thought Matthews, a black teenager, killed the white business owner, and he was later found guilty by one black juror and 11 white jurors, WFAA in Dallas reported.

Activists rallied, and his family fought. DNA evidence eventually proved their case, and the real killer confessed.

After five years on death row, Matthews was exonerated, set free, and moved to Texas.

“All these years ago when I first came home, a reporter asked me what I wanted to do, and I told them I wanted to go to school,” he said.

And he followed through on that promise to himself. On Saturday, Matthews graduated from Texas Woman’s University in Denton with a bachelor’s degree in applied arts and sciences.

Moved by Matthews’ story, his sister and 71-year-old mother also enrolled in the university.

“So I decided to go back and pursue my Ph.D. because hopefully, I’ll be able to do some legislative work and get some of that wrongful conviction and reintegration legislation changed,” said Monique Coleman, Matthews’ sister.

His mother, Pauline, said she’s “proud, proud, proud” as she could be.

Matthews said he can feel bitter about his experience, though his feelings are nuanced.

“I am because of what happened, but I can’t because it would stop me from moving forward … I’m trying to be the best I can be,” he said.

 

December 15, 2019. Tags: , . Education. Leave a comment.

Save the World with Nuclear Power – Leslie Dewan – TEDxUniversityofRochester

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoAcntoAVXE

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Science, Technology. Leave a comment.

Global warming hypocrite Al Gore says he supports the Green New Deal, but his actions are the exact opposite

Al Gore just spoke out in favor of the Green New Deal.

However, his actions are the exact opposite.

This video is called, “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify the statements that are made in the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

December 14, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Environmentalism, Humor. Leave a comment.

So Obama knew all along about the FBI bid to spy on his rival

https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/12/so_obama_knew_all_along_about_the_fbi_bid_to_spy_on_his_rival.html

So Obama knew all along about the FBI bid to spy on his rival

December 10, 2019

Up until now, President Obama has said he knew nothing about the FBI bid to destroy his political rival, Donald J.Trump, as evidenced in the newly released and mighty critical Inspector General, report.

Back in August 2016, Obama said:

“I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations,” he insisted.

“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI — not just in this case, but in any case. FULL STOP. PERIOD. Guaranteed. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department,” he said.

Today, Obama’s claim is in tatters. Julie Kelly of the Federalist, found references within the new IG report that Obama was briefed on the gamy investigation, and knew all about it all along.

Former FBI Director James Comey briefed President Barack Obama about the investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2016 election, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

When we asked Comey about meetings with the White House concerning Crossfire Hurricane, he said that although he did not brief the White House about the investigation, he did mention to President Obama and others at a meeting in the Situation Room that the FBI was trying to determine whether any U.S. person had worked with the Russians in their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election. Comey said he thought it was important that the President know the nature of the FBI’s efforts without providing any specifics. Comey said although he did not recall exactly what he said, he may have said there were four individuals with ‘some association or connection to the Trump campaign.’ Comey stated that after he provided this information, no one at the meeting responded or followed up with any questions. Comey did not recall specifically when this meeting took place, but believed it may have been in August 2016.

The White House meeting also included then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and then-CIA Director John Brennan, the inspector general found.

So Obama knew, quite contrary to his claims, that this now-criticized rat-king of an investigation on his rival, was happening as he watched.

It’s not a big surprise, actually. As Kelly notes, FBI officials Peter Strzok’s and Lisa Page’s emails suggested that that was going on:

One text causing raised eyebrows today seems to implicate the president: “potus wants to know everything we’re doing,” former FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted to her paramour, then-FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, on Sept. 2, 2016.  She said that she had just been in a meeting to discuss “TPs for D” (talking points for the director, i.e. FBI Director James Comey) to brief the president on their investigation.

Yet President Trump, who tried to resolve this matter by asking the Ukrainians to cooperate with investigators over the Obama-linked Biden tentacle of this octopus, is now being impeached today for taking actions “against his rivals.”

Obama did it earlier, and he sure as heck wasn’t impeached. Yet his string of crimes against his political rival was incredibly long, and there seems to have been a groupthink element to it, the way a group of crooks gets together and commits crimes together, except that their presence of one another seems to propel them along to do much worse than they would be capable of alone.

It wasn’t just the FBI investigation he knew about – it was also the ‘unmaskings’ that followed from the FBI bid to pin something on Trump – the timelines show that around the time of that Coomey briefing, the “unmaskings” of Americans caught up in intelligence dragnets, looking to see if any of them were Trump officials, were stepped up, ending only when Obama administration officials packed up and left the White House.

It’s apparently a whole slew of things he did to spy on and undercut his rivals. Had he used that formidable energy on America’s actual enemies, he might not have been such a failure as president. For now, Obama stands exposed.

December 10, 2019. Tags: , , . Barack Obama, Donald Trump. 2 comments.

San Francisco’s 24-hour public toilets cost the city nearly $30 per flush. Officials want to add more.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/san-franciscos-24-hour-public-131200141.html

San Francisco’s 24-hour public toilets cost the city nearly $30 per flush. Officials want to add more.

* Since 2014, San Francisco has operated a program called “Pit Stop” that delivers mobile public restrooms to neighborhoods with dirty streets.

* In August, the city began offering 24-hour service at three of these stations.

* The cost of operating the stations overnight amounts to $30 per flush.

December 6, 2019

Even toilets are expensive in San Francisco.

Operating three 24-hour public toilets adds $300,000 to the city’s sanitation budget, according to recent city data reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Since 2014, a San Francisco program called “Pit Stop” has been delivering mobile public restrooms to areas where many of the city’s homeless residents live and congregate. In these locations, especially the Tenderloin neighborhood, sidewalks can wind up scattered with human feces.

The Pit Stop program started with restroom stations in just three locations, and it has since grown to include 24 stations across 13 neighborhoods. In addition to giving homeless residents a place to use the restroom, the stations come with used-needle receptacles and dog-waste disposal bins.

But only three locations are open 24 hours. They’re part of a pilot program that began in August and will last until July 2020. The other 21 stations have varying hours: Some are open from 9 a.m to 8 p.m., while others have more limited service.

Most of the additional operating costs for the pilot program goes toward paying staff attendants who help ensure that stalls aren’t misappropriated for drug use or prostitution.

The math works out like this: Thus far, the 24-hour toilets have been used around 10,500 times during the hours between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when all other Pit Stop stations are closed. About a quarter of all flushes at the 24-hour stations took place at night, which means the overnight toilets cost the city about $30 per flush.

City officials are now considering expanding the pilot to other locations.

Matt Haney, who represents the city’s sixth district (which includes the Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods) on the Board of Supervisors, has advocated for keeping all of his district’s stations open 24 hours.

Changing every Pit Stop station in the city to stay open overnight would require more than $8 million, according to the city’s estimate. The city’s annual budget for street cleaning was roughly $72 million in 2019.

So far, however, the three overnight stations haven’t led to a significant reduction in the number of complaints about San Francisco’s dirty streets. The Chronicle reports that the Tenderloin saw just 12 fewer complaints in the last three months compared to the three months before the pilot started. (Complaints in the neighborhood dropped from 188 to 176.)

But Haney told the Chronicle that there’s still a need for the toilets in his district — and probably in nearby districts as well. The Tenderloin and SoMa neighborhoods currently have around 3,700 homeless residents. The total across the city has risen to nearly 10,000.

December 6, 2019. Tags: , . Government waste. Leave a comment.

Matt Ridley on How Fossil Fuels are Greening the Planet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-nsU_DaIZE

December 4, 2019. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Rise Of The Climate Crazies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufZz39GVsao

December 2, 2019. Tags: , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

Media bias at its worst: Reuters removes story, instead of correcting it, after realizing they had falsely blamed Trump for something that Obama did

Reuters recently reported the following. And please keep in mind that I am quoting the article in its entirety:

Story on U.N. study on child detentions withdrawn

November 18, 2019

GENEVA (Reuters) – A Nov. 18 story headlined “U.S. has world’s highest rate of children in detention -U.N. study” is withdrawn. The United Nations issued a statement on Nov. 19 saying the number was not current but was for the year 2015. No replacement story will be issued.

Why did Reuters withdraw the original online article, instead of adding a correction to it?

Why isn’t Reuters publishing a replacement article?

November 20, 2019. Tags: , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Warren’s ‘Billionaire Tears’ Mug Is Sold Through A Billionaire-Run Company

https://dailycaller.com/2019/11/14/warren-billionaire-tears-mug/

Warren’s ‘Billionaire Tears’ Mug Is Sold Through A Billionaire-Run Company

November 14, 2019

A billionaire stands to benefit financially from the sales of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s new “Billionaire Tears” mug.

The $25 mug, which Warren’s presidential campaign introduced Wednesday, is sold through Shopify, a Canadian e-commerce company whose founder and CEO, Tobias Lütke, is worth an estimated $2.8 billion.

“Savor a warm, slightly salty beverage of your choice in this union-made mug as you contemplate all the good a wealth tax could do: universal healthcare, student debt cancellation, universal free college, and more,” the mug’s product page states.

Warren’s presidential campaign began utilizing Shopify’s services shortly after the Massachusetts senator declared her candidacy in February. Her campaign has disbursed nearly $105,000 to Shopify for credit card processing fees so far in 2019, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records.

The Warren campaign did not return a request for comment.

Warren’s senatorial campaign also utilized Shopify’s services, disbursing $16,500 to the company between 2017 and 2019, FEC records show.

Warren’s proposed annual 2% wealth tax on net worth over $50 million and an annual 6% wealth tax on net worth over $1 billion has become a focal point of her campaign. She says the increased tax revenues from the proposal can fund her “Medicare for all” plan without raising taxes on the middle class.

But opponents of Warren’s proposed wealth tax say it’s fundamentally flawed. Of the 12 European countries that had a wealth tax in place in 1990, nine had rescinded the measure by 2019.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the wealth tax was too expensive to administer, drastically altered investment decisions and drove wealthy citizens out of their homelands, NPR reported.

France’s wealth tax, initiated in 2000, led to an exodus of some 42,000 millionaires from the country in 12 years, according to NPR. French President Emmanuel Macron rescinded the measure in 2018.

November 16, 2019. Tags: , , , . Politics. Leave a comment.

NM Officer Resigns After Being Caught on Camera Slamming 11-Year-Old Girl to Ground – NBC New York

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z84pNRJjifs

November 6, 2019. Tags: . Police brutality. Leave a comment.

A Century of Fire Suppression Is Why California Is in Flames

https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2017/12/a-century-of-fire-suppression-is-why-california-is-in-flames/

A Century of Fire Suppression Is Why California Is in Flames

“The wake-up call has already happened.”

December 12, 2017

The acrid smell of charred wood still permeates the air as Sasha Berleman, a fire ecologist, and I walk along a dirt path up through the middle of a canyon in the Bouverie nature preserve in Sonoma Valley. On the left side, the earth is black as tar, and scorch marks as tall as a person scar the trunks of the mature oak trees scattered throughout the field. But on the right side, the ground is tan and brown, and you have to look hard at the still-green oaks to see any evidence of the fire that raged through here just a few weeks before. It’s no mystery to Berleman why the fire behaved so differently on the two sides of the trail at Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Bouverie Preserve. When flames hit the field on the left of the path, they met a dense wall of thigh-high grass that hadn’t been mowed, grazed or burned for 20 years. The flames must have been 5 or 6 feet tall. On the right side, however, Berleman had set a prescribed burn just this spring. So when the October wildfire hit, patches of fire blazed, but with so little fuel, the flames remained only inches high.

For more than a century, people have been snuffing out fire across the West. As a result, forests, grasslands and shrub lands like those in the Bouverie reserve are overgrown. That means that, when fire escapes suppression, it’s more destructive. It kills more trees, torches more homes and sends far more carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.

The devastating fires that hit Bouverie and a large swath of Northern California’s wine country in October killed 42 people and destroyed nearly 7,000 buildings. In California’s Sierra Nevada in recent years, megafires have burned at much greater severity than those forests ever saw in the past, killing trees across large landscapes and unleashing enormous quantities of carbon. The remedy, Berleman and many other scientists say, is to reintroduce fire to the landscape by allowing more natural fires to burn and setting controlled burns when weather conditions minimize the risk of a catastrophic blaze.

“We have 100 years of fire suppression that has led to this huge accumulation of fuel loads, just dead and downed debris from trees and plant material in our forests, and in our woodlands,” says Berleman. “As a result of that, our forests and woodlands are not healthy, and we’re getting more catastrophic fire behavior than we would otherwise.”

Addressing the problem will require a revolution in land management and in people’s relationship with fire — and there are signs both may be beginning.

As a child in Southern California, Berleman was deeply afraid of wildfire. But at community college, she learned that Native Americans used fire for thousands of years to manage forests and grasslands and protect their villages. Tribes regularly burned California’s oak woodlands, for instance, to remove underbrush and fight pests. It helped them spot prey more easily, keep weevils out of the acorns they gathered for food, and safeguard their homes from wildfire. In 2009, Berleman transferred to the University of California, Berkeley to study fire ecology. There, she worked on her first prescribed burn. “I instantly fell in love with the ability to use fire in a positive way to accomplish objectives,” she says. She trained as a firefighter so she could put fire to use as a land-management tool.

Two years ago, while she was finishing her doctoral dissertation, she began working part-time at Bouverie. Last fall, she presented her boss with suggestions for using fire to restore overgrown landscapes, both at Bouverie and across the North Bay Area region. He approved, and Berleman, 28, started as a full-time fire ecologist in January, set her first burn in May and began organizing a taskforce to conduct burns and train local crews.

She knew how fire-prone the region is. Still, the big blazes in October caught her by surprise. “I thought I had more time to get work done,” she says.

High winds played a big role in spreading the California wine country’s deadly fires. But Berleman and other fire ecologists believe overgrown grasslands, forests and woodlands contributed as well. “I’m more certain than ever that there’s a lot we can do between now and the next time this happens to make it so that the negative consequences to people are nowhere near as dramatic.”

When fire hits overgrown wildlands, it burns hotter and is much more likely to kill stands of trees and threaten property and people’s lives.

But it also unleashes the carbon held by trees, other plants and soil. Forests store enormous amounts of carbon—more than double the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere—and continuously soak up more, blunting the impact of all the greenhouse gases released by burning fossil fuels in power plants and cars. In recent decades, the size of fires, their intensity and the length of the fire season have all grown dramatically. The more destructive a fire, the more carbon it releases. In fact, largely because of fires, California’s forests emitted more carbon than they soaked up between 2001 and 2010, according to a 2015 analysis by National Park Service and UC Berkeley scientists. “After 100-plus years of fire suppression in forests, we’re seeing a lot more tree-killing wildfire,” says Matthew Hurteau, University of New Mexico fire ecologist and associate professor. “That has substantial implications for the carbon put back into the atmosphere.”

Further complicating the picture is climate change—the major factor behind the longer fire seasons and bigger fires. This creates a feedback loop, where megafires exacerbate climate change, which then encourages even bigger wildfires. One study found that from 1984 to 2015, climate change doubled the area burned by wildfires across the West, compared to what would have burned without climate change. As the globe keeps warming, scientists expect forests to continue getting warmer, drier and more flammable. Unless people reduce greenhouse gas emissions, climate change will significantly increase the frequency of wildfires. One study projected that if fossil fuels remain the dominant source of global energy and greenhouse gas emissions keep rising, by 2085 the acreage burned by fire in California will increase one-third to three-fourths. Elsewhere in the West, the size and frequency of fire is expected to increase even more dramatically. Until recently, intense fires were rare in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. But one study predicted that with climate change, fire likely would become so common and widespread there that by the middle of this century, the region’s forests as we know them will vanish, replaced by other types of vegetation that may store far less carbon.

In California’s Sierra Nevada, the combustible combination of climate change and overgrown forests already is transforming landscapes and unleashing massive amounts of carbon.

A four-hour drive east of wine country, gray trunks of dead incense cedar and white fir cover the steep slopes of the Eldorado National Forest. Deep into a canyon and up to a ridge in the distance, the trees are so close together that their branches touch. UC Berkeley fire ecologist Brandon Collins brought me here to show me the consequence of decades of fire suppression combined with climate change. This forest would usually burn nine times over the course of 100 years, but no fire had blazed here since at least 1908. “Without fire, you’re going to have these dense stands no matter what,” Collins says.

In 2014, the King Fire hit this unnaturally overgrown forest, leaping into the canopy and racing across a vast landscape. Limited patches of high-intensity fire would be natural in these forests. But in 47 percent of the 97,717 acres burned in the King Fire, the blaze was so hot that it killed nearly all of the trees. This included 14 areas where rare California spotted owls were known to nest. Before people started suppressing fires, this kind of all-consuming blaze did not happen in this type of forest, according to tree-ring studies. “We have seen no evidence you could ever have gotten a mortality patch this big,” Collins says.

The amount of carbon sent to the atmosphere from such an enormous fire is staggering. “It’s ugly,” says Collins. “It’s not only a huge initial loss just from the direct emissions, but it’s slow emission over time as these trees break and then fall to the ground and the decomposition process really gets underway. We’re looking at 30 years or 40 years of pure emissions coming from this area with very little on the uptake side,” Collins says.

Just the initial blaze released 5.2 million metric tons, roughly as much greenhouse gas emissions as 1.1 million passenger cars emit in a year, according to an estimate by Forest Service ecologist Leland Tarnay. It’s too soon to analyze the fire’s total carbon footprint.

It could take a long time for this landscape to start packing on carbon again. Though some trees’ cones require fire to reseed, these particular types of conifers won’t grow back because the fire burned their seeds. The silver lining is the native oaks, which are fire resilient and can resprout from roots or stumps, even after a trunk is killed by fire. Already, their seedlings are emerging from the sea of dead trunks.

Nearby, some strips of trees are still green. Their trunks are also more broadly spaced. In these areas, the Forest Service had set prescribed burns or thinned the forests by logging some trees. Forest Service surveys show the King Fire burned much less intensely in these areas. Flames were lower, staying on the forest floor rather than surging into the canopy of the trees. Firefighters used these areas to slow and stop the fire. More trees survived.

Just a few minutes’ drive from where the King Fire raged, Collins shows me where he and other scientists have been studying how people can help restore forests to more natural conditions. Thanks to firefighters’ efforts, UC Berkeley’s Blodgett Research Forest narrowly escaped the King Fire. Blodgett was clear-cut in the early 1900s, before the university took it over. After 100 years, it’s grown into a lush forest of incense cedar, ponderosa pine, white fir and oak trees.

The first patch of forest Collins shows me is the control forest, from which fire has long been banned. The understory is so thick with small trees and shrubs that it’s difficult to walk; we have to step over tangles of dead trees and branches. If a fire were to strike this area, it would easily climb from the ground to the lower branches and up into the canopy. “And then it can really spread,” Collins adds.

In the next patch of forest we visit, loggers cut down and sold some of the medium-sized trees in 2002. Then they shredded the small trees and underbrush using a big machine called a masticator, and spread the remnants on the forest floor. Now, the trees are widely spaced; sunlight shines through the canopy. The High Sierras are visible in the distance. If a fire were to come through here, Collins says, it likely would stay on the ground, and wouldn’t harm the trees or emit much carbon.

In another plot, crews set prescribed burns in 2002 and 2009. Scorch marks blacken the thick bark of some trees, but they’re still healthy. The forest is open, but more variable than the thinned forest. In one patch of tall ponderosa pines, the fire blazed hotter than in the rest of the forest. Several big trees were killed, leaving the kind of snags that woodpeckers love. This plot would also be likely to do well in a fire, Collins says.

A fourth plot shows some of the pitfalls of combining thinning and burning. Crews cut down some trees, shredded the noncommercial wood and scattered it on the forest floor. Shortly afterwards, they burned the forest. The fire burned so hot from all the wood on the ground that the remaining trees were injured. They haven’t grown or soaked up much carbon since.

Overall, the experiments at Blodgett suggest that prescribed burns and thinning can have long-term carbon benefits. But in the short term, carbon emissions will increase. Neither the burned nor the thinned plot has caught up with the carbon stored in the forest that was left alone. But with less competition, the trees are growing faster in the thinned and burned plots, and Collins predicts that eventually they will store more carbon than the denser stand.

Scientists have seen a similar pattern in another experimental forest in the Sierra Nevada—Teakettle, an old-growth forest with giant sugar pines. As in Blodgett, the forests initially stored less carbon after being burned or thinned. But the forests at Teakettle recovered their carbon stocks more quickly than Blodgett did, in about seven years. “If you restore forests, you do knock down the total amount of carbon, but you prevent very large tree-killing fires. Over time, the carbon stored in the forest is much more stable because you’ve taken steps to prevent big hot fires from occurring,” says Hurteau.

The old-growth trees in Teakettle soaked up carbon faster than Blodgett’s younger trees. But in both types of forests, carbon should accumulate faster in fewer big trees. And the thinned and fire-opened stands make big trees healthier by reducing competition for water and nutrients. That improves their odds in both fire and drought. Big trees are generally more fire resistant, meaning they’re more likely to survive a fire and continue to soak up carbon afterward. “If we want to maintain this ecosystem service of removing carbon from the atmosphere that trees provide, we need to make investments in doing what we can to protect the big trees, because they’re doing a disproportionate amount of the work,” says Hurteau.

A single tree that is 6 feet in diameter, like one of the big sugar pines in Teakettle, holds as much carbon as 60 small trees, 8 to 10 inches in diameter, says Malcolm North, a leading Forest Service fire ecologist and Hurteau’s colleague and former teacher. That’s a much more reliable way to store carbon. “The carbon in the big trees is a secure investment like gold,” North said, whereas the carbon stored in overgrown forests is more like “junk bonds.”

Despite the science, however, forest managers continue to snuff out most fires. For the decade ending 2008, the most recent data collected, only 0.4 percent of ignitions were allowed to burn as managed wildfires, North, Collins and other fire ecologists wrote in 2015 in the journal Science. “Changing climate and decades of fuel accumulation make efforts to suppress every fire dangerous, expensive, and ill-advised,” they wrote.

North was reprimanded for the article and forbidden to talk with the media for a year. But he’s speaking out again, because the dire consequences of overgrown forests are becoming so clear.

North says thinning is not a solution for much of the Sierra Nevada. Only 28 percent of the landscape can be mechanically thinned, he calculated; the rest is too steep or remote. “You cannot think your way out of the problem,” he says. “You’ve got to use fire.”

Official Forest Service policy has acknowledged this. The 2014 interagency National Cohesive Wildland Fire Management Strategy calls for expanding the use of prescribed burns and letting more wildfires burn. “It’s just not being followed; that’s the real problem,” North says. “Everyone knows what we’ve got to do. But it’s not being done.”

Sasha Berlemen encountered that stubborn resistance to letting fires burn this summer, when she was on a Forest Service hotshot crew. She fought fires in Plumas, Six Rivers, Modoc and Klamath national forests. Fire managers were aggressive, often sending her crew to the fire’s edge to try to prevent it from spreading. That contradicted what she learned in her fire ecology classes about letting wildfires burn larger areas. “There’s this disconnect that I didn’t know about until summer — between what everyone is saying in academia and what’s actually happening on the ground,” she says.

Some forest managers have begun to accept more fire, however, as have national parks. The 2013 Rim Fire, the biggest fire in Sierra Nevada history, burned at lower intensity in parts of Yosemite and Sequoia national parks than it did in national forests, killing fewer trees and producing less air pollution. The parks had previously allowed wildfires to burn when weather conditions, such as light winds, minimized risks.

The Forest Service has been more reluctant to let natural fires burn, in part because of checkerboard land ownership and because houses have been built in many forests on private property inholdings. “Ecological benefits don’t have a huge voice,” Collin says. “No one will sue for not letting fire burn. If you let a fire burn and something bad happens, someone will sue you.”

Air-quality regulations play a role, too. Both North and Collins tried for weeks to schedule burns this fall. Air quality concerns and a lack of available personnel — the wine country fires were still raging — delayed their burns. Both finally were able to burn at the end of October. “The Forest Service is cursed with lands with houses in middle of them, wildland-urban interface where people don’t want to breathe smoke,” North says. “Almost everything works against trying to work with fire. The only way it’s going to change is to get public support.”

Craig Thomas, conservation director of Sierra Forest Legacy, has been calling for more natural and prescribed fire in the Sierra for two decades. He believes that after the Rim, Rough and King fires, the public and policymakers better understand the threat of unnaturally overgrown forests. “They jarred California society in a big way,” Thomas says. “This disaster is a human creation; climate change is making it even tougher.”

In 2015, the Sierra Forest Legacy, the Forest Service, CAL FIRE, the state fire agency, and other agencies and groups signed an agreement to use more fire in wildlands management and increase training for fire managers and crews. Since then, the Forest Service has increased the total acreage where it has allowed natural fires to burn from an annual average of about 10,000 acres to 247,000 in 2016 and 130,000 this year. “That was a big jump,” says Rob Griffith, assistant director of the Forest Service Pacific Southwest region’s fire and aviation program.

Prescribed burns are up, too, from 20,000 acres on average before the agreement to about double that in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Some 96,000 acres of prescribed burns are scheduled for the next fiscal year, Griffith adds.

California’s commitment to tackling climate change is giving extra oomph to efforts to bring back fire. For instance, funding for the research at Teakettle and Blodgett comes from revenue from the state’s cap-and-trade program. The state auctions allowances, which big polluters buy to receive the right to pollute. California doesn’t want the progress it’s making from switching to electric vehicles and renewable energy to be nullified by giant pulses of carbon released by wildfires.

Still, Berleman thinks it will take a revolution to get people to overcome their primal fear of fire. She knows how hard it is. She grew up in Temecula, an inland city between Los Angeles and San Diego, in a valley surrounded by chaparral-covered hills that burned nearly every year. When she was 4, she stood in her yard and caught ash in her hand and watched ash cover her lawn like snow. “I was afraid of fire,” she says. “I remember having night terrors that I’d have to try to save my family from wildfire.”

But her view has changed since then, and she hopes others can change their minds, too. She thinks the October fires will be a catalyst for policymakers and the public to accept that fire is the best protection against megafires and all the carbon they emit. They already have emboldened her to move quickly than she had planned to introduce fire to parts of the North Bay Area that escaped the October fires.

“Now that this has happened, we’ve decided the wake-up call has already happened,” she says. “We need to scale up if we’re going to get though this; it’s going to take all hands and all lands.”

She now plans to apply fire in five counties instead of just two. And instead of burning just grasslands, which produce far less smoke, she’ll burn forests and woodlands as well. If people push back, she knows what she’ll say: “By being afraid, we’re making our problem worse. There’s another option. That fear can actually inform a positive movement; you can take a fear of fire and decide, ‘OK, we don’t want megafires; we’re afraid of them.’ Let’s take action instead. Fire could be our favorite tool on our landscape, and we could have more beautiful and healthy landscapes. And people wouldn’t have to live in as much fear.”

October 31, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. 1 comment.

President Obama Criticizes Woke Culture At Colleges

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMwvL6rhpuo

October 30, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Barack Obama, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

White liberals ‘patronize’ minorities while talking – but conservatives don’t, study says

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article222424675.html

White liberals ‘patronize’ minorities while talking – but conservatives don’t, study says

November 30, 2018

White liberals tend to present themselves as less competent when speaking to minorities — while conservatives do not, according to a new study from Yale University scheduled to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

“Most Whites, particularly socio-political liberals, now endorse racial equality. Archival and experimental research reveals a subtle but reliable ironic consequence: White liberals self-present less competence to minorities than to other Whites — that is, they patronize minorities stereotyped as lower status and less competent,” says the study, written by Yale professor Cydney Dupree.

Dupree analyzed the speech patterns of liberal and conservative presidential campaign speeches to pinpoint how often they used words that signified “warmth” and “competence.”

Words that emphasized warmth were things like “supportive” or “compassionate,” while words that emphasized competence were things like “assertive” or “competitive.” Dupree found that Democratic candidates used fewer “competence” words when speaking to primarily minority audiences, and they have been doing so for many years.

“It was really surprising to see that for nearly three decades, Democratic presidential candidates have been engaging in this predicted behavior,” she said in a news release.

There was not a similar pattern with Republicans, though it was harder to find examples of Republicans giving speeches to primarily minority audiences, Dupree said in the release.

But then the researchers took another step. They recruited people to participate in a study where they were told to email a partner using a list of words. Sometimes the email would be about some theoretical task, or it could just be a friendly introduction.

The catch? The person they were emailing either had a stereotypical “white” name like “Emily’ or a stereotypically “black” name like “Lakisha.”

The researchers found that liberals were less likely to use words that signified competence and more likely to use words signifying warmth when speaking with people they thought were black. There was no such connection for conservatives.

So why does this happen?

Dupree says it might be a sign that white liberals “may unwittingly draw on negative stereotypes, dumbing themselves down in a likely well-meaning, “folksy” but ultimately patronizing, attempt to connect” with minorities, according to the study.

“It was kind of an unpleasant surprise to see this subtle but persistent effect,” Dupree said in a news release. “Even if it’s ultimately well-intentioned, it could be seen as patronizing.”

She calls this a “competence downshift” and said people could either be doing it to try to “get along” because they want to seem likeable or, more insidiously, because of stereotypes.

“It’s somewhat counterintuitive,” said Dupree, according to The Washington Post. “The idea that people who are most well-intentioned toward racial minorities, the people actually showing up and wanting to forge these connections, they’re the ones who seem to be drawing on stereotypes to do so.”

Dupree told The Washington Post there were still a lot of questions up in the air: How do people change their speech when talking to other minorities, like Asian-Americans? Do the people pick up on the shift? Is the change in speech pattern actually effective in bringing people closer together?

“My hope is that this work will help include well-intentioned people who see themselves as allies but who may be unwittingly contributing to group divides. There is a broader need to include them in the conversation,” she wrote in the news release.

October 28, 2019. Tags: , , . Dumbing down, Racism. Leave a comment.

Where is the father of Andrella Jackson’s five children?

One of the more recent news stories to get national attention is about how a police officer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, stopped a woman whose young children were not in car seats, and instead of giving her a ticket, he went to Wal-Mart and bought car sets for her children.

The woman’s name is Andrella Jackson, and according to this article from CNN, she is a single mother of five children.

CNN quoted her as saying the following:

“With bills coming up and winter coming up, I have to get coats and boots and shoes for my kids.”

Of course it’s expensive to raise five children.

What I want to know is, where is the father of Andrella Jackson’s five children?

October 23, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Parenting. 1 comment.

2 white UConn students arrested after video showed them shouting racial slurs

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/2-white-uconn-students-arrested-after-video-showed-them-shouting-n1069891?cid=referral_taboolafeed

2 white UConn students arrested after video showed them shouting racial slurs

Students on campus demanded action after video of the incident surfaced, saying it is indicative of broader issues of racism at the school.

October 22, 2019

Two white students at the University of Connecticut were arrested Monday after video that showed them shouting racial slurs prompted campus protests, university police told NBC News.

Jarred Mitchell Karal, 21, and Ryan Gilman Mucaj, 21, face charges of ridicule on account of race, color, or creed. They were released with a court date set for Oct. 30 at Rockville Superior Court in Vernon, Connecticut.

Karal and Mucaj’s charges could result in a $50 fine or up to 30 days in jail.

NBC sent emails to the two men Tuesday morning requesting comment but did not immediately hear back.

Campus police learned of the incident from social media footage showing Karal and Mucaj shouting epithets in an apartment complex parking lot, a university spokesperson told NBC News. The men were playing a game that involved yelling vulgar words, university police said, and then started shouting epithets. Karal and Mucaj were walking with a third man, whom police said did not shout epithets and was not charged.

The Oct. 11 incident sparked an outcry on campus, particularly from some black students who said it was indicative of broader issues of racism at the university.

“To just experience that on a daily basis and then having something that gets out to the public that everybody can see and understand, it’s really impactful for the rest of us,” freshman Mason Holland told NBC Connecticut.

The university last week organized a meeting at the apartment complex where the slurs were heard to discuss the incident.

On campus Monday, students marched to demand further action from the university, and they met at a gathering hosted by the campus NAACP chapter to discuss the climate for students of color on campus.

In a letter published in the student paper Monday, the NAACP also demanded that the university take action after the parking lot incident and another that allegedly occurred at a fraternity.

“If the university does not adequately address and handle these occurrences of racism appropriately, it will create a culture in which racism is tolerated and normalized,” the organization wrote, adding a list of demands aimed at making the campus safer and more welcoming to black students.

In a statement, University President Thomas C. Katsouleas said it was important to hold Karal and Mucaj accountable for their actions.

“It is supportive of our core values to pursue accountability, through due process, for an egregious assault on our community that has caused considerable harm,” he said. “I’m grateful for the university’s collective effort in responding to this incident, especially the hard work of the UConn Police Department, which has been investigating the case since it was reported.”

October 23, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Police state, Political correctness, Racism, Social justice warriors. 2 comments.

Law abiding political candidate Marie Newman returns illegal campaign contribution that criminal Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had illegally given to her

Marie Newman is a law abiding political candidate who is running for office in Illinois.

The largest campaign contribution that anyone is allowed to legally give to her campaign is $2,000.

However, this report from the Federal Election Commission shows that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez donated $5,000 to Newman’s campaign.

Here’s a screenshot which proves that Ocasio-Cortez broke federal campaign finance law. Source: https://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00639591/1357189/sb/21

Fortunately, Newman is a law abiding citizen, and returned the excess $3,000.

On the other hand, Ocasio-Cortez is a criminal who violated federal campaign finance law.

Democrats are always going on and on and on about how much we need to reform the current campaign finance laws. Well, here’s a chance for those very same Democrats to publicly speak out in favor of prosecuting one of their own for breaking the campaign finance laws which are already on the books.

October 18, 2019. Tags: , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Leave a comment.

Video: Antifa mob chokes and beats pro-Trump man in Minneapolis

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpfrGE_UIfs

October 18, 2019. Tags: , , , , . Antifa. Leave a comment.

Environmental hypocrite Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez flies to Denmark to tell everyone else to reduce their use of fossil fuels

https://nypost.com/2019/10/08/aoc-takes-first-international-trip-as-lawmaker/

AOC takes first international trip as lawmaker

October 8, 2019

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is taking the Green New Deal global.

The New York Democrat posted an Instagram story Tuesday afternoon showing herself walking through the airport as she headed for her first trip abroad as a freshman lawmaker.

She’s off to Copenhagen, Denmark, for the C40 World Mayors Summit.

“After a very busy week in district, I’m headed to Copenhagen for a global C40 conference where mayors and a lot of other public servants are going to be convening to discuss what we’ll be – what actions we need to take for the climate crisis,” she told her followers.

Mayors from Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, among others, will all be in attendance. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not attend, The Post confirmed.

October 16, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

ABC News’ ‘slaughter in Syria’ footage is really from a Kentucky gun range

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuO6yJrRAYw

October 16, 2019. Tags: , , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Maria Ana Carrola Flores, the UC San Diego student who got hit by a car at 1:30 a.m. during an anti-Trump protest, actually sued her college because it “failed to warn students of the danger of walking onto the freeway”

You may remember this video, which I have posted before. It shows an anti-Trump protest near UC San Diego that took place at 1:30 a.m. a few days after Trump was elected President. One of the protestors, a UC San Diego student named Maria Ana Carrola Flores, gets hit by a car:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GtM-debHD8

Maria Ana Carrola Flores chose to stand in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m.

And after she got hit by a car, she actually sued the driver who hit her.

She also sued the city and county of San Diego, UC San Diego, and the UC Board of Regents.

The Washington Free Beacon explained the reason for her lawsuit with the following: (the bolding is mine)

Flores’s attorney, Jerold Sullivan, argued that while his client accepted her responsibility for the accident, others shared blame as well. Sullivan claimed that according to Flores, campus officials had encouraged the protest, did not control it, and failed to warn students of the danger of walking onto the freeway.

So she sued her college because it didn’t teach her that it was dangerous to stand in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m.

That’s insane.

Fortunately, a judge dismissed her lawsuit.

And besides, since she did insist on filing a lawsuit because someone didn’t teach her that standing in the middle of a busy highway at 1:30 a.m. was dangerous, then she should have filed the lawsuit against her parents, not her college.

October 11, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Donald Trump, Dumb lawsuits, Idiots blocking traffic. 1 comment.

Greta Thunberg is an environmental hypocrite

Greta Thunberg wants the whole world to think that she cares about the environment because she traveled across the Atlantic ocean by boat instead of by airplane.

However, in the real world, multiple yacht crew members flew on an airplane from Europe to New York in order to bring the yacht back to Europe.

Furthermore, the yacht itself was made from propane and petroleum – the very same things that Thunberg was protesting against.

Of course, this whole environmental movement is far more about virtue signaling than it is about actually protecting the environment, which is why pretty much every single environmental celebrity and environmental politician is, in reality, an environmental hypocrite.

This video, which I wrote the dialogue for, is called “Hitler gets mad at Al Gore’s global warming hypocrisy.” The video’s description includes links to sources to verify each and every claim:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfr37Xn9IL8

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I never trust anyone who doesn’t live by the rules that they expect everyone else to live by.

October 9, 2019. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

The only way that rich people could pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax would be by selling enough stock to get the money to pay the tax. This would drive down stock prices, and would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

Billionaires don’t just have billions of dollars in cash just sitting around, waiting to pay Bernie Sanders’s proposed annual 8% wealth tax.

For example, the richest person in the world is Jeff Bezos, the guy who created amazon. 99.9% of his wealth is in the form of stock in the company that he himself created. In the beginning, that company was worth zero. The only reason that it has value today is because he created that value. The stock in any company is worth only as much as what people are willing to pay for it.

If Sanders forced Bezos to pay an 8% annual wealth tax, Bezos would have to sell enough of his amazon stock to get the money to pay the tax.

That would drive the price of the stock down.

And that would hurt every single middle class person who has a pension, a 401K, or an IRA.

And it gets even worse than that.

Sanders tried to justify his annual 8% wealth tax by saying

“Billionaires should not exist.”

But if billionaires don’t exist, then the companies that those billionaires created would not exist either.

And the goods and services that are provided by those companies would not exist either.

Which is why Sanders also said that people in the U.S. have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes, and that it’s a “good thing” when people have to wait in line to buy food.

Sanders said that Americans have too many choices when it comes to deodorant and shoes. These are his exact words:

“You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.”

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro have caused a shortage of both deodorant and shoes in Venezuela.

Sanders also said that it was a “good thing” when people have to wait in line for food.

These are Sanders’s exact words:

“It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, cause people are lining up for food. That’s a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.”

You can see and hear Sanders saying those words in this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJBjjP8WSbc

Well, as it turns out, the policies of Chavez and Maduro have caused shortages of food in Venezuela.

For example, in May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

Then in February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Here’s a photograph from 2014 of people in Venezuela waiting in line for food: (posted here under fair use from http://www.businessinsider.com/long-food-lines-are-in-venezuela-2014-2 )

You can read all about how Venezuela ended up like this at this link.

All of this happened in Venezuela because Chavez and Maduro decided to wage war against the rich.

What is exactly what Sanders is trying to do.

In fact, I have never, ever heard Sanders criticize any of the specific economic policies of Chavez or Maduro.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for setting price controls on food.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for nationalizing farmland.

Sanders hasn’t criticized Chavez or Maduro for nationalizing the electric, steel, cement, and construction industries.

On the contrary, every single economic policy that Sanders has ever expressed support for adopting in the U.S. is completely in line with the economic policies that were enacted by Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela.

You cannot help the poor and the middle class by hurting the rich people who provide the goods and services, as well as the jobs, that the poor and the middle class need.

Bernie Sanders’s hatred for the rich exceeds any concern for the poor and the middle class that he claims to have.

Sanders would rather hurt the middle class and the poor, as long as it also meant that he got to hurt the rich.

A falling tide lowers all ships.

Sanders has repeatedly criticized the existence of “millionaires and billionaires.” (Although he stopped doing so after the New York Times reported that he was one of them.)

Sanders defended his own millionaire status by saying the following:

“I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too.”

I agree with Sanders.

But here’s the difference between what I believe and what Sanders believes: I believe that it’s a good thing when any person becomes a millionaire or billionaire by providing their customers with the goods and services that their customers choose to buy. By comparison, the only person whose millionaire or billionaire status Sanders has ever defended is his own.

And I never trust anyone who doesn’t hold themselves to the same standards that they expect everyone else to follow.

October 9, 2019. Tags: , , , . Bernie Sanders, Economics. 1 comment.

Rebecca Watson: Facebook Deletes Science Fact Check at Ted Cruz’s Request

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gwinZO8J0I

October 7, 2019. Tags: , , , , , , . Abortion, Health care, Media bias, Science. Leave a comment.

Candace Owens gives speech at White House, explaining how Democrats hurt black people

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LObY49p3MDQ

October 6, 2019. Tags: , , . Donald Trump. Leave a comment.

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