7.5 [Upgraded: M7.9] Magnitude Quake Hits Nepal

AP, By Binaj Gurubacharya, April 25

A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake has hit near Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu and the U.S. Geological Survey says it expects heavy damage.

Early reports from Kathmandu say some houses have been damaged and walls toppled.

There is no immediate word on casualties.

The quake hit around noon Saturday and was also felt in neighboring India as well as in Pakistan.

M7.5 – 35km E of Lamjung, Nepal
Read More

Armenian Church to canonize 1.5 million genocide victims

AFP, By Irakli Metreveli, April 23

Yerevan – The Armenian Church prepared Thursday to canonise up to 1.5 million Armenians massacred by Ottoman forces as tensions over Turkey’s refusal to recognize the killings as genocide reached boiling point.

The ceremony, which is believed to become the biggest canonisation service in history, comes ahead of commemorations expected to see millions of people including heads of state Friday mark 100 years since the start of the killings. The Armenian Apostolic Church announced the canonisation service for the “martyrs of the Armenian Genocide,” calling for a “prayerful participation in this historic event.”

The service will be held in Armenia’s main church, Echmiadzin, an austere fourth-century edifice believed to be the Christian world’s oldest cathedral. The ceremony will run from 1300 GMT and end at 1515 GMT to symbolize the year when the massacres started during World War I.

“Today’s canonisation unites all Armenians living around the globe,” Huri Avetikian, an ethnic Armenian librarian from Lebanon who arrived in her ancestral homeland to attend the service, told AFP.

The Independent: System Of A Down perform in Armenia for the first time to mark genocide’s 100th anniversary
NPR: System Of A Down, Armenia’s Favorite Sons, On Facing History

Storm of the century batters Sydney and the Hunter, leaving three dead and homes destroyed

Sydney Morning-Herald, By Nick Ralston, Peter Hannam, Lucy Cormack & Ella Rubeli, April 21

The biggest storm to hit Sydney and the Hunter region this century swept along the coast, leaving at least three people dead, dozens of others needing rescue and entire homes washed away in floodwaters.

Heavy rain and cyclonic winds saw power cut to hundreds of thousands of homes, as well as three hospitals, and the closure of 100 schools.

It also caused chaos on the roads and public transport, with felled trees, blown over power lines and slippery conditions making it a nightmare commute in the morning and afternoon peaks.

The destructive winds, which topped 130km/h, dumped blankets of sand from Sydney’s beaches onto nearby streets and carparks. The storm also forced the closure of the Sydney Harbour port, leaving passengers on board the Carnival Spirit cruise ship stranded in swells of up to nine metres outside Sydney Heads.
RT: 3 killed, 200,000 homes without power as ‘worst in decade’ storm rages in Australia
RT: Aftermath video.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Toward Absolutist Capitalism

Naked Capitalism, By Lambert Strether, April 20

There are many excellent arguments against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), two of which — local zoning over-rides, and loss of national sovereignty — I’ll briefly review as stepping stones to the main topic of the post: Absolutist Capitalism, for which I make two claims:

1) The TPP implies a form of absolute rule, a tyranny as James Madison would have understood the term, and

2) The TPP enshrines capitalization as a principle of jurisprudence.

Zoning over-rides and lost of national sovereignty may seem controversial to the political class, but these two last points may seem controversial even to NC readers. However, I hope to show both points follow easily from the arguments with which we are already familiar. Both flow from the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism, of which I will now give two examples. more

MoJo Explicator: Here’s What You Need to Know About the Trade Deal Dividing the Left

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Reminds Us

I found this little clip today at Buzzflash. It is short and it features Sen. Warren making a serious point in a simple and direct fashion which, I am afraid, escapes most other pundits and politicians.

There was a time when radio and television stations ended their broadcast day with the Star Spangled Banner and the grainy black-and-white footage of an American flag waving in the breeze. Sometimes there would be an inspirational poem or even a prayer of sorts.

Media rituals don’t exist anymore, at least not like that. If they did, I would nominate the daily rebroadcast of these embedded clips of Senator Warren.

http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/videos/video/a-recap-as-to-why-we-are-in-trouble#14294587701001&action=collapse_widget&id=0&data=

I read somewhere Senator Warren has no interest in running for president and said something to the effect of “hear Hillary out”. I don’t blame her for not wanting to run for president.  I think she is mostly being civil toward Hillary and other Democrats when she says “hear them out”.  It is unfortunate that the Dems or the Greens or even Moderate Republicans (the one or two locked up in a zoo somewhere) cannot speak as plainly and truthfully to Americans as Warren can.

Oops! Dup Weekend Jukebox: Songs that got us through this winter

Editor snafu/
gives Agonists two to post to.:-)

It’s all good. No need to agonize. If it makes you all feel too schizoid, I can take it away until the end of the weekend.

There’s Steeleweed’s Jukebox thread to vent our rage at useless wars.

“guilty pleasures” encouraged in this second thread.
I survived with songs that got me up in the morning- ballads not so much
What about you?

1. Mott the Hoople: All the Way from Memphis

2. Courtney Barnett: Avant Gardener
3. Paul Simon: So Beautiful or So what?
4. anything by the Decembrists: Wrong Year
5. The Chieftains- with the Rolling Stones: The Rocky Road to Dublin”

Clinton-Bush: Now and Forever

first published April 14

The stars are aligning for another Clinton – Bush presidential election campaign.  I’m not referring to Hillary vs. Jeb (or “Heb” as some are now calling him, since it was revealed he identified himself as Hispanic when registering to vote in 2009).  No, I’m thinking ahead to the 2028 campaign, when Chelsea Clinton will be primed to battle George Prescott Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, for the privilege of exercising their family’s timeshare rights to the White House.  Chelsea is the inheritor of the Bill & Hillary political franchise, and George P. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush, nephew of George Walker Bush, grandson of George Herbert Walker Bush, and great-grandson of Senator and Hitler enabler (it’s a long story) Prescott Bush, is the most prominent of the possible Bush dynasty President-electables.  Chelsea vs. George P. – I can feel the non-excitement building already!

The grooming process for the 2028 race for the White House is already underway.  Chelsea is playing an integral role in her mother’s campaign for president, formally announced this week.  Chelsea is now described by insiders (always nameless people when it comes to the Clintons) as a full and equal member in the family business, which has the public philanthropy part through the Clinton Foundation, and the not-so-public part involved in maintaining ties to the high and mighty who have access to a lot of money necessary to run a modern political campaign.  It’s this second part that is really important.  In 1996, when Bill Clinton was running for reelection, his campaign costs were $196 million.  Hillary’s campaign, according to unnamed sources, is expected to raise $2.5 billion in order to reclaim the White House.

Read More

Jon Stewart Should Retire More Often

The chains of restraint have been loosed just a bit since his announcement that he’ll be leaving the show soon, and the quality of the show has increased. Last night’s take-down of the former VP was both entertaining and vitriolic – but perhaps I repeat myself.

Have a look:


Bonus: The ‘Murican Awards

Speaking Truth to the Supreme Court

Linda Greenhouse- NYT Op-Ed
Next Monday, retired Justice John Paul Stevens turns 95. still speaking truth to the powerful institution on which his tenure was the third longest in history…In his final term on the court, Justice Stevens was a vigorous dissenter from the Citizens United decision, which opened the door to unlimited corporate campaign spending

Justice Stevens offered this single sentence: “Neither the First Amendment nor any provision of this Constitution shall be construed to prohibit the Congress or any state from imposing reasonable limits on the amount of money that candidates for public office, or their supporters, may spend in election campaigns.”

The proposed campaign finance amendment is one of the “Six Amendments” in the book by that name that Justice Stevens published last year. Another would ban capital punishment by adding to the Eighth Amendment the five words highlighted here:

“Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments such as the death penalty inflicted.”
Read More

Now, drones to be used to disperse mobs in Lucknow

PTI, April 3

LUCKNOW – Drones will soon perform a special task in the state capital apart from functioning as eyes in the sky with the Lucknow Police planning to use them for dispersing mobs.

These little unmanned mini-choppers are already in use in various sensitive parts of Uttar Pradesh for taking aerial snaps, but for the first time the hi-tech gadget will be used to control unruly crowds.

“We have purchased five drone cameras with capacity of lifting two kg weight. They can be used to shower pepper powder on an unruly mob in case of any trouble,” Senior Superintendent of Police Yashasvi Yadav told PTI here today. […]

Lucknow Police will probably be the first in the country to have such hi-tech surveillance gadget, he said, adding drones will assist not only in checking crimes but also in keeping a track of criminals.
Read More

Everybody knows

Originally published April 9

We are told that the economy is in recovery. Things are getting better. Facts and figures bolster the argument: Lower unemployment figures. Higher GDP numbers. Affordable health care for all.

I look at my personal world and it doesn’t reconcile with the narrative.

Is it just me?

Read More

3bb1012ca7881a903f6bb688401857a5453d3be4