Thursday, January 23, 2020

An animal pandemic

impeach me if you can

That's Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Impeach Me If You Can" from last night.

Martha Rosenberg has a very important article at In These Times.  Here's the opening:

There’s a lot the industrial factory farm industry prefers to keep consumers in the dark about, including what happens when millions of confined, stressed out animals with weakened immune systems are exposed to disease.
What’s the latest food animal pandemic Big Meat has been trying to keep out of the news? African swine fever (ASF), caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV), a disease that just this year has killed one-fourth of the world’s pigs, including half of all China’s factory farm pigs.
So far, mainstream media’s coverage of ASF has focused almost exclusively on economic issues, including the disease’s potential impact on global trade. Questions about the pandemic disease potentials of intensive animal agriculture are skirted.
ASF originated in East Africa and reached Eastern Europe in 2007, where it has remained. Since ASF's outbreak in China last year, in which half of the country’s pigs died and another 1 million were culled, ASF has spread to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, the Philippines, more of eastern Europe and even Belgium.
"It's not a question of whether ASF reaches American shores, but when," write Thomas Parsons, professor at the School of Veterinary Medicine, and Scott Michael Moore, China Program Director at the University of Pennsylvania, in the Hill.
"Should the virus enter the U.S., your future as a pork producer would radically change," warns Pork Business.

This is a very important and a very important topic.  Sarah Mikesell (The Pig Site) reports the virus is now in over 50 countries.  She notes:

A few weeks ago, the NPB Board of Directors got a behind the scenes look at US Customs and Border Protection at Miami International Airport. The airport has more than 190,000 international flights and 21.9 million international passengers moving through the port annually.
The NPB group got to see the Beagle Brigade in action. While the Customs and Border Protection team was working a flight, they caught three suspicious bags while the NPB group watched. The Board also was able to speak to inspectors.
“The most telling thing for me from that visit was afterwards, one of the members of our Board, who can be sceptical at times, came to me and said ‘Going in - I would say on a scale of one to 10 - I was about at a two or three as far as confidence in Customs and Border Protection in finding this material. I'm coming away a seven or eight after this interview’," said Dr. Pyburn.
Despite the confidence in US Customs and Border Protection, Dr Pyburn stressed that is only one part of biosecurity in the US. Producers need to be especially vigilant on-farm.
“As producers in the industry, we all have a job to do, and we've got to take care of our own biosecurity at home,” he concluded.

BBC NEWS notes, "Although it's harmless to humans, the disease can kill pigs within a few days, and the fatality rate can be up to 100%, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)."  Hopefully, that's true.  It doesn't change the reality that the pigs are dying around the world because of this virus.

I'm breaking away from the topic of entertainment because (a) I need a break and (b) I don't see this issue getting highlighted enough.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, January 23, 2020.   War Hawk Joe Biden starts showing the stress as he continues trying to run from his own record, protests continue in Iraq, another protester has been killed, and much more.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.  As Elaine noted in "It cries" last night, when not sobbing on TV, War Hawk Joe Biden can be found these days attacking the press.  Yesterday, he got 'handsy' with CBS NEWS' Ed O'Keefe.

“Yesterday you... accepted Bernie’s apology. Now you’re attacking him... Why wasn’t his apology enough?” CBS’ Ed O’Keefe asked Joe Biden. “Why, why, why, why, why, why? You’re getting nervous, man. Calm down!” ~ is losing it. 🙄

‘What in the hot mess was that?’ Joe Biden gets ‘very close to fully freaking out on’ CBS News’ Ed O’Keefe over question about Bernie Sanders [video] 

Joe Biden is out here attacking reporters like a "rabid dog". Why?

Guess North Korea was correct in its diagnosis when it said, "Rabid dogs like Biden can hurt lots of people if they are allowed to run about."

Looks like CBS News' Ed O'Keefe found out.

WATCH: After a campaign event in Mason City, Iowa, reacts to 's question about his ongoing feud with : "Calm down, it's okay."



It's not a good time to be Joe Biden.  Even with all the efforts on the part of the media to spin things Joe's way, the wheels are coming off the cart.  Joshua Cho (COMMON DREAMS) notes:

Here’s something many Americans would be very interested to know: Is a leading candidate in the Democratic primary a liar? And since a strong majority of Americans have consistently opposed cuts to Social Security, the country’s most successful anti-poverty program, Democratic voters in particular might be interested to know if a President Joe Biden would try to cut Social Security.
Former Vice President Biden has supported cuts to Social Security for 40 years, and is on the record for saying things like:

When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time, and I tried it a fourth time.
When Biden was running for president in 2007, he declared his willingness to oppose the US public when he boasted that he would ignore his advisers’ advice not to “touch that third rail,” and even released a plan to cut Social Security under the guise of raising the retirement age.

So when Bernie Sanders’ campaign released a video of Joe Biden’s statements reiterating his desire to cut Social Security, a program that benefited 64 million Americans in 2019, and is the major source of income for most elderly Americans, shouldn’t media headlines reflect this? And if many of these outlets openly acknowledge that Biden’s claim that the video was “doctored” isn’t true, don’t they have a journalistic obligation not to launder the Biden campaign’s false talking points?

Surveying Joe's long history regarding Social Security, Max B. Sawicky (IN THESE TIMES) concludes, "In summary, there should be no doubt that Joe Biden has long advocated cuts to Social Security."  It's a tough time for Joe as his supporters in the media appear unable to carry him across the finish line.  The truth is hurting Joe's chances at (a) fooling the American people and (b) locking down the party's presidential nomination.  Jon Queally (COMMON DREAMS) explains:

After Joe Biden's campaign Tuesday night released an online video accusing the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of unleashing a "barrage of negative attacks" and "not telling the truth"  about the former vice president's record on Social Security, the hashtag #TelltheTruthJoe began trending on social media and Sanders himself shot back by saying: "Let's be honest, Joe. One of us fought for decades to cut Social Security, and one of us didn't. But don’t take it from me. Take it from you."
Characterizing the Biden campaign video as "the first negative ad of the 2020 Democratic primary," Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir, in a statement, said it was important for people to understand why it was being released now.
Biden, said Shakir, is "trying to distort his decades-long record of proposing and voting for cuts to Social Security benefits for millions of people." According to Shakir, the well-documented history shows that "Biden is no defender of Social Security, and a negative ad won't help him outrun his record."

To again bolster their case, the Sanders campaign released detailed fact sheet (pdf) as well as a new video of their own detailing Biden's long history of calling for Social Security cuts and espousing his willingness—across numerous decades in Congress and during his time in the White House with President Barack Obama—to work with Republicans on the effort. While Briahna Joy Gray, national press secretary for the campaign, noted early Wednesday morning the video had received over 1 million views in a matter of hours since it was released, as of this writing the figure was much closer to 2 million[.]

Joe can't run from his record and it's a very, very sad record.

In 2010, Joe Biden's brother's construction firm received a $1.5 billion dollar government contract to build homes in Iraq while Joe was overseeing the US led occupation of the country.

This is corruption and war profiteering. Plain and simple.

Replying to 

Biden's brother received 1.5 Billion to build homes in Iraq during the time Joe Biden was Vice President and placed in charge of the reconstruction of destroyed housing, buildings and utilities. The Brother had no experience in these field.

Joe "Hair Sniffing" Biden has the nerve to call videogamers "Little Creeps?" and says "games teach people to kill."

You know what ? No one ever died from  Mortal Kombat. 100,000 civilians died from your Iraq War vote.

Spare us the lecture.

Joe Biden's campaign is based on lies...

Lies that he hasn't been fighting to cut Social Security for 4 decades.

Lies that he wasn't an enthusiastic proponent of the Iraq War.

Lies that he marched in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • NEW: I did a deep dived into  Biden's comments on the Iraq War –  how he defended his vote after the war began.

    In a speech in 2004, Biden defended his vote saying U.S. had to go into Iraq even though there were no WMDs, terror ties, or imminent threat.

    Here for the CNN's look at Joe Biden's record on Iraq.

    Meanwhile, THE ANCHORAGE DAILY NEWS has a column by US Senator Lisa Murkowsski which notes:

    As the United States is entering its 19th year of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the presence of our troops in the respective regions can be out of sight and out of mind. All it takes is some attention, such as a breaking news story, for eyes and hearts to turn back to remembering the dangers our men and women in uniform continue to face. The attacks on U.S. military bases this month reminded the nation we still have troops on the ground and their lives were in imminent danger. 
    In the last couple of weeks, our U.S. Embassy in Iraq was under attack, Iran-backed militias were responsible for the death of an American contractor, and most recently, more than a dozen missiles attacked Iraqi-U.S. bases housing our troops. Out of the roughly 5,000 U.S. troops deployed in Iraq, more than 2,000 are from Alaska. Between the Stryker Brigade out of Fort Wainwright and the Alaska Guard Rescue Squadron from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, our Alaska troops have a large presence in the region and are key contributors in supporting Operation Inherent Resolve in an effort to eliminate the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

     Alaska soldiers were in charge of fence and base exterior security at Al-Asad. The night before the missile attacks, the base commander ordered troops to bunker and lock down the bases. Some units were able to evacuate with their aircraft while others sought shelter in hardened buildings or bunkers. However, many of the Alaska soldiers were to remain on the fence to ensure base security during the attack and sheltered in their vehicles.

    After the attacks, commanders sought accountability of their troops and checked for casualties. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal, or EOD, teams conducted sweeps to ensure no units remained unexploded. Afterward, they began the clean-up process to remove rubble, destroyed buildings and equipment.

    Steve DeVane (FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER) reports:

    Paratroopers from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division will be protecting the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, officials said.
    The 82nd soldiers will take over security at the embassy in Baghdad from the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said. An element from the division's Immediate Response Force brigade will be assigned to the embassy, according to a statement released Tuesday by the spokesman.

    The statement did not give details of when the paratroopers will go to the embassy or how many of them will go.

    AFP reports on the continuing protests in Iraq:

    An Iraqi demonstrator was shot dead in the southern city of Basra overnight, a security source and the human rights commission said Thursday, the latest in a string of protester deaths. 
    [. . .] 
    It was the second straight night a protester was gunned down in Basra. Female activist and paramedic Janat Madhi, 49, was killed the same way late on Tuesday.
    The deaths bring this week's toll to 12 demonstrators killed, according to the Iraqi Human Rights Commission, a state-funded monitor which reports on protest violence.

    An Iraqi boy cries during the funeral for a  female paramedic and activist,  Janat Madhi Hussein, who was shot dead in

    The young demonstrator was shot dead by unidentified assailants after he left the main protest camp in Basra, a security source said.

    The protests continue in , the security forces are reacting very hard on the people. The number of those who died in demonstrations is increasing.

    Images of the security forces who brutalized the demonstrators on the way to "Mohammed Al Kasım":


    1. More than three months after they began, protests in Iraq have escalated and taken a new turn this week. 

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Impeach Me If You Can" went up last night.  The following sites updated:

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