HomeUncategorized7/9 TGIF Open Thread

Leave a Reply

Photo and Image Files
Audio and Video Files
Other File Types
28 Comment threads
60 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
Bennypolarbear4orlbucfanpolarbear4jcitybone Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Don midwest
Don midwest

live event yesterday now posted on youtube

“Sentient: The Sensory World of Animals”: Jackie Higgins in conversation with Anthony Morgan

We’re often described as “sentient” beings, but what does that word mean? Is it our ability to feel and experience the world? In other words, is it interchangeable with “consciousness”? Or does sentience more simply describe sensitivity, the ability of our eyes, nose, tongue, skin to sense our surroundings? This latter definition would make sentience the foundation on which the more elusive notions of experience and consciousness waver. Scientists debate whether animals experience consciousness but they readily ascribe sentience to them. So we can turn to the natural world to explore what we mean by human sentience.

In this event, documentary maker and writer Jackie Higgins takes us on a journey through the sensory world of humans and other animals in which the stories of a menagerie of animals reveal how we humans sense and make sense of the world. In this way, the sensory powers that lie dormant within us are revealed.

Jackie Higgins grew up by the sea in Cornwall and has always been fascinated by the natural world. She is a television documentary director and writer. She read zoology at Oxford University, as a student of Richard Dawkins. Across her career, she has directed numerous wildlife films and written three books on photography. Her new book “Sentient: A Journey Through the Sensory Worlds of Humans and Other Animals” was published in June by Picador.

Anthony Morgan is editor of The Philosopher and a coordinator for Café Culture North East. twitter.com/cafeculturene / twitter.com/philosopher1923

Don midwest
Don midwest

event today, 2 PM EST, free

9 July 2021café climatique

Life in the Post-Human Landscape
Cal Flyn in conversation with Adam Weymouth

In Chernobyl, following the nuclear disaster, only a handful of people returned to their dangerously irradiated homes. On an uninhabited Scottish island, feral cattle live entirely wild. In Detroit, once America’s fourth-largest city, entire streets of houses are falling in on themselves, looters slipping through otherwise silent neighbourhoods. In this conversation with writer Adam Weymouth, author and journalist Cal Flyn will explore the extraordinary places where humans no longer live – or survive in tiny, precarious numbers – to give us a possible glimpse of what happens when mankind’s impact on nature is forced to stop. What happens after we’re gone, and how far can our damage to nature be undone?

Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, which explored questions of colonialism and intergenerational guilt, was a Times book of the year. Her new book, Islands of Abandonment – about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places – was published in January by HarperCollins. calflyn.com / twitter.com/calflyn

Adam Weymouth is a winner of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and the Lonely Planet Adventure Travel Book of the Year. His first book, Kings of the Yukon: An Alaskan River Journey, was published in 2018 by Penguin. adamweymouth.com / twitter.com/adamweymouth

Time: 7pm to 8pm (UK time)
Event registration link: http://bit.ly/2MYdXkD

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Slavery in Africa is alive and allowed by our supreme court.
This segment starts at about 5 min mark.


if they profit off it, they should be accountable.


Texas 🤪🤪🤪


People across the country may soon be able to sue abortion clinics, doctors and anyone helping a woman get an abortion in Texas, under a new state law that contains a legal innovation with broad implications for the American court system.

The provision passed the Texas State Legislature this spring as part of a bill that bans abortion after a doctor detects a fetal heartbeat, usually at about six weeks of pregnancy. Many states have passed such bans, but the law in Texas is different.

Ordinarily, enforcement would be up to government officials, and if clinics wanted to challenge the law’s constitutionality, they would sue those officials in making their case. But the law in Texas prohibits officials from enforcing it. Instead, it takes the opposite approach, effectively deputizing ordinary citizens — including from outside Texas — to sue clinics and others who violate the law. It awards them at least $10,000 per illegal abortion if they are successful.

“It’s completely inverting the legal system,” said Stephen Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “It says the state is not going to be the one to enforce this law. Your neighbors are.”



Education Department officials are recommending that the White House once again extend the pause on federal student loan payments, according to people familiar with the internal discussions, putting more pressure on the Biden administration ahead of a fall deadline.

Those administration voices join a growing chorus of top congressional Democrats and advocacy groups pushing the White House to continue pandemic benefits for more than 40 million student loan borrowers.

The White House has not yet made a final decision on how and when to restart federal student loan payments, which have been frozen since March 2020. But Education Department officials have suggested to the White House that the administration extend loan relief one final time, through the end of January 2022, the sources said.

Some White House advisers support further extending the relief to give the Education Department, which is charged with managing the $1.6 trillion federal student loan portfolio, more time to come up with a plan to ease borrowers back into repayment, according to people familiar with the discussions. But other advisers worry that continuing an emergency pandemic relief program into 2022 could undercut the administration’s messaging about the strength of the economic recovery.



And don’t worry about the message, worry about the reality.



When President Biden recently announced a deal with 130 countries to combat tax avoidance by multinational corporations, you probably didn’t connect the news to the poisonous impact that Donald Trump continues to wield over our politics.

But if Biden can pull this off, it could deal a big blow to one of the worst aspects of that Trumpian toxicity — the lingering lure of the former president’s right-wing nationalism.

It has largely gone unnoticed, but there is a nontrivial chance that the “reconciliation” part of the infrastructure bill will contain provisions implementing the United States portion of the tax deal, which is called the Global Minimum Tax.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is in discussions with Senate Democrats about including those provisions. Yellen must negotiate the final details of the international deal and sell it in Congress.

That will be tough to pull off. But the deal is itself already a victory. In an unappreciated way, it points to a meaningful answer to Trumpian nationalist demagoguery by rehabilitating a sense of the possibilities of multilateralism as a response to many problems unleashed by globalization.

You see this right-wing nationalism when J.D. Vance, who’s running for Senate in Ohio, calls for higher taxes on multinationals, while declaring that global capitalism has been very good to the “elites and the ruling class” who “have plundered this country.”

International tax avoidance does typify many degradations associated with globalization. As Gabriel Zucman and his colleagues note, “international capital mobility and profit shifting” has turned multinationals into some of “the biggest winners of globalization.”

It also starves countries of revenue to spend on the public good. And it weakens national sovereignty by thwarting the ability of national polities to set corporate tax rates via democratic means.

The Global Minimum Tax answers these problems — but not in the way populist nationalists like. Its key feature is that countries agree to “top up” to 15 percent the tax rates paid by multinationals that have used various tricks to pay less on profits parked elsewhere.


Countries like this one coin their own currency. What taxation does is control human greed which is way out of control now.


TGIF, and T and R back at ya, Ms. Benny!! ☮️😊👍 This poor country has been in a Depression for the past 4 decades! The media yahoos are scared to call it so cos their $$paymasters$$ will shoot them or worse! On a lighter note, what breed is Ruby? She is a pretty pup!🤎🐶


Well it’s a start.


The Biden administration is canceling $55.6 million in student loan debt for victims who were defrauded by three for-profit institutions.

The Education Department said in a Friday statement that it has canceled the debts of 1,800 borrowers who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute.



A newly-released video catches GOP lawmakers praising Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) for effectively blocking President Biden’s agenda by refusing to abolish the filibuster, even going so far as to ask conservative activists to “flood” the Democratic centrists with “messages of gratitude,” Insider reported on Friday.

The video, taken by Democratic activist Lauren Windsor at a June 29 Patriot Voices event, per Insider, includes appearances from former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), among others.

For his part, Biggs concedes that without the filibuster, which has proven itself a huge barrier to much of Biden’s agenda, “we would be dead meat. … But thank goodness for Sinema and Joe Manchin.”

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) is shown telling “all of you in this room, people at home on Zoom … if you want to do one thing to keep the republic afloat, call Joe Manchin’s office, call Kyrsten Sinema’s office.” The Florida lawmaker also admits to using Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) as a pawn in appealing to Manchin, saying “it makes my job easier as a conservative” when AOC goes after the West Virginia senator.

Santorum later echoes Donalds’ charge, imploring all attendees to “call Joe Manchin and say thank you. Seriously. Call Kyrsten Sinema and say thank you.” He added earlier: “Our constitution was set up to protect who? Minority rights, not the majority rights.”



It’s not every day that the senate majority leader weighs in on a local fossil fuel infrastructure fight. It’s also not every day that—flanked by democratic socialists—he comes out against fossil fuel infrastructure more generally.

“There is an imperative, not just an option, to stop this plant and to stop all of the expansion of coal, oil, and gas throughout our country and, frankly, throughout our world,” Chuck Schumer said in a press conference Friday outside ConEd’s Astoria Yard generating facility in Queens. Schumer was there to announce his opposition to a controversial gas peaker plant being proposed as an expansion to the same site by energy giant NRG, and opposed for several years by the Democratic Socialists of America and its eco-socialist working group. Schumer was joined by DSA members and several politicians they have helped to elect over more conservative incumbents and establishment picks. The congressman, it seems, isn’t eager to join the ranks of prominent New York Democrats the city’s growing left has defeated.

Schumer repeatedly said, at Friday’s presser, that he would oppose counting gas as clean energy in forthcoming clean electricity standard proposals.

Schumer also weighed in on his priorities for the infrastructure fight now roiling Congress, including the clean electricity standard, or CES, that several White House officials have recently portrayed as a must-have in a budget reconciliation package. Environmentalists worry that fossil fuel companies may lobby to include gas in such a standard, qualifying it as “clean” alongside wind and solar.

Schumer repeatedly said, at Friday’s presser, that he would oppose counting gas as clean energy in forthcoming CES proposals. Asked by The New Republic whether he would consider including gas a red line, Schumer said he would. “You’ve gotta get to the 80 percent,” he said, reiterating his and the White House’s goal of reaching 80 percent clean power by 2035. “Gas doesn’t help us get there.… I don’t want gas to be in it. Now we have to go to the parliamentarian and get it all worked out, but the number one goal is to get to the 80 percent, period.” He also called for the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies.


yay. interal poling must be bad.