New discovery in space? Michelle Starr (SCIENCE ALERT) explains:
The Solar System may be an even soggier place than we suspected.
New analysis of one of Saturn's moons suggests that it may harbor a liquid ocean. No, not the usual suspects – the new culprit is Mimas, the little moon with a big crater, which gives it more than a passing resemblance to the 'Death Star' from Star Wars.
So Saturn, known for its rings and moons, could have a liquid ocean in its orbit. MASHABLE notes:
Mimas, Saturn's cryptic-looking moon, is awfully deceptive.
The small moon is dominated by an 80-mile-wide crater, giving it the appearance of the grim Star Wars Death Star — a space station equipped with a planet-destroying weapon. But otherwise, Mimas appears as a frozen chunk of ice.
Other moons, like Saturn's Enceladus and Jupiter's Europa, have cracked surfaces or telltale plumes shooting from the ground, which are compelling evidence for sub-surface oceans. Mimas doesn't outwardly offer hints of an ocean.
"When you look at Enceladus and Europa, there's clearly an engine in these moons that is running," Alyssa Rhoden, a planetary scientist who researches ocean worlds, told Mashable. "When you look at Mimas it's the opposite — it can't possibly be an ocean world."
Or so Rhoden thought. Looks are deceiving.
In new research published in the planetary science journal Icarus, Rhoden and her coauthor describe how they unexpectedly found evidence for an ocean beneath Mimas' icy shell. The moon may not be a frozen chunk of ice, after all.
Minas is one of Saturn's 82 moons. William Herschel discovered Mimas back in 1789 and named it after the son of the Greek mythological god Gais.
Here's a video report from BUSINESS INSIDER.
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Friday, January 21, 2022. Joe Biden's report card is an embarrassment and a major attack is carried out by ISIS in Iraq.
Oh, look, Nate Silver thinks he's people. The statistician Tweeted:
Stick to numbers, robot, it's really all you can deal with -- not understand, mind you. You can't understand numbers and your whole career has proven that -- though others did prop you and pretend when you were with THE NEW YORK TIMES. But after you predictions -- passsed off as facts -- for 2016 were so wrong, you really should stick to just adding and subtracting, maybe a little multiplication.
Peter Daou replies to Human Calculator Nate:
Basic reality like that leaves Nate highly confused.
In fact, we do have footage of Nate reacting to Peter's Tweet.
Reed Zeta Tweets to correct Nate:
And that's an accurate descritpion. Although it could be argued that there were issues that even Joe Lieberman wa more progressive on than Joe Biden was.
Yesterday, we noted Margaret Kimberley's latest column at BLACK AGENDA REPORT where she evaluated year one of Joe Biden's presidency. In the video below, she's addressing the same topic on FAULT LINES RADIO.
Margaret also addresses Biden and his presidency on BAM NECESSARY in the video below.
Also calling out Joe's first year as president is Howie Hawkins who, at COUNTERPUNCH, offers:
It is time for progressives to stop being passive spectators of the inside game that progressive members of Congress are playing, which has only led to negotiating concessions with conservative Democrats who hold the balance of power in a closely divided Congress. It is time for independent political action that focuses on organizing and mobilizing the majority support that already exists for many progressive reforms like the Green New Deal (63%), Medicare for All (72%), Medicare drug price negotiations (83%), tuition-free public college (63%), student debt forgiveness (66%), $15 minimum wage (64%), paid family leave (75%), and tax the rich (71%).
Independent political action means raising progressive demands in the streets and every public forum available without compromise or equivocation. It also means running Green Party candidates on these demands outside the two-party system of corporate rule. Without Green Party challengers from their left, progressive demands will continue to be dismissed by the Democratic leadership because progressive voters pose no threat of taking their votes elsewhere.
Progressives trapped inside the Democratic Party are powerless because the corporate Democrats who dominate the party take their votes for granted since the Republican Party is not an option for progressives. It is time for progressives to build the Green Party and give the voters a real alternative and leverage in the political system.
There is no time to waste. Climate breakdown is accelerating. Inequality is killing us – U.S. life expectancy has been declining since 2015, well before the covid pandemic. Military bloat and the new nuclear arms race are growing without challenge from within the two parties of corporate militarism. We need the Green Party now more than ever.
In the 2020 election, Freen Party member Howie ran against Joe. On Joe's watch, things are getting a lot worse. We'll again note that Veterans for Peace has issued its "Nuclear Posture Review" which concludes:
The world is a much more dangerous place with nuclear weapons, particularly given the current confrontations among nuclear-armed nations. The United States military seeks “Full Spectrum Dominance” and the government appears determined to be the preeminent global power, even in the face of diminishing economic power relative to a rising China. It is hard to imagine the US taking serious steps toward nuclear disarmament without a sea change in the thinking among its political elites and real change in its posture toward the rest of the world.
Activist efforts to restrain US militarism and intervention around the globe, to cut the military budget, and to encourage mutual respect and diplomacy among nations must therefore go hand-in-hand with efforts to reduce and eliminate all nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which went into effect January 22, 2021, is an historic and extremely important event. It expresses the clear desire of the peoples of the world to be free from nuclear weapons and the threat of a nuclear war that could end human civilization.
The Nuclear Ban Treaty is a valuable tool for education and organizing. Even though the US and other nuclear-armed states have yet to sign on to the TPNW, many cities in the USxxx have passed resolutions in support of signing. New York City is the latest to sign on to the ICAN Cities Appeal. The US states of California, Oregon, New Jersey and Maine have also passed resolutions in support of the TPNW. Veterans For Peace encourages all of our chapters, members, friends and allies to pursue similar support for the TPNW in their cities.
It is important to build an intersectional movement for peace at home and peace abroad. We are engaged in struggles for racial justice, for non-intervention in the affairs of other nations, and for redirecting funds from the military – and nuclear weapons – to healthcare, education and other human rights. We are making common cause with the burgeoning Climate Justice Movement, proclaiming that climate catastrophe and nuclear war are the twin threats to all life on earth.
Our VFP Nuclear Posture Review provides a stark contrast to the Nuclear Posture Review being prepared for President Biden by the Pentagon, which will continue to justify the discredited idea of nuclear deterrence, while feeding billions more dollars to nuclear weapons manufacturers. We are providing a well-researched and credible alternative that reflects the global desire for nuclear disarmament and peace. We hope that the VFP Nuclear Posture Review will be a guide, a useful tool and an inspiration for all who wish a peaceful future for our children, our grandchildren and generations to come.
At DISSIDENT VOICE, John Rachel speaks with former US House Rep and 2008 Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney:
John Rachel: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has recently put the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds before midnight. Midnight means all out war, probably nuclear holocaust. This is the closest it has ever been. Do you agree with this dire assessment?
Cynthia McKinney: While I don’t always agree with the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, I have to acknowledge that for many people on the planet, it is already Doomsday; the U.S. is bombing or sanctioning dozens of countries around the world. U.S. bombs and U.S. sanctions have real consequences. As usual, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has a very Eurocentric view of Doomsday: Iraq was pummeled with depleted uranium munitions. On a trip to that country three years ago, every member of my delegation arrived home sick after having been in Iraq just over one week. Depleted uranium used there has resulted in incalculable premature deaths, cancers, deformed babies, and untold general illnesses. Depleted uranium has been used in Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, as well as in Iraq. I introduced legislation to prohibit the use of these munitions and was visited by the Pentagon; my Congressional office was event infiltrated by a young, hip-looking intern who was later found rifling through my office files and fired on the spot. I did not, however, hear a peep from Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
JR: The U.S. always portrays itself as the greatest force on the planet for peace, justice, human rights, racial equality, etc. Polls tell us that most other nations actually regard the U.S. as the greatest threat to stability. What in your view is the truth here?
CM: The so-called Spanish Flu actually originated on a military base in Kansas; so, too, the situation with SARS-CoV-2, the so-called China virus, whose bioweapon spike protein originated in the U.S., created with U.S. tax dollars. No one who has lived inside the U.S. would ever seriously declare the U.S. “as the greatest force on the planet for peace, justice, human rights, racial equality, etc.” Instead, those who know the U.S., know that the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. still ring true today: that the U.S. is the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet. Only Israel and apartheid South Africa could rival the U.S. in modern times. U.S. allies, the colonizing countries, are also responsible for unspeakable horrors in pre-modern times. Now, certain elements of the U.S. Deep State have declared war against the people of Russia, China, and the bloodstreams of the current global population. After all, it was the Project for a New American Century that wrote in Rebuilding America’s Defenses on page 60 the following: “[A]dvanced forms of biological warfare that can ‘target’ specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.” Every one of the signatories to this document put him- or herself in a position to make this statement become official U.S. policy. Hence, official circumvention of the moratorium on gain-of-function research in order to create the bioweapon spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 and the mRNA concoctions that are being portrayed as “vaccines.” In fact, the Spanish Flu became a global phenomenon helped along by a mass inoculation project of the Rockefeller Foundation. Parallels to today are staggering.
JR: Here’s a chicken-or-egg question: The U.S. accuses both Russia and China of rapidly expanding their military capabilities, claiming its own posturing and increase in weaponry is a response to its hostile adversaries, Russia and China. Both Russia and China claim they are merely responding to intimidation and military threats posed by the U.S. What’s your view? Do Russia and China have imperial ambitions or are they just trying to defend themselves against what they see as an increasingly aggressive U.S. military?
CM: Interesting. I have visited Malaysia many times; it has a vibrant population of people from India and China. Yet, I was in the audience when Tun Dr. Mahathir stated that Malaysians had less to fear from the Chinese than they did from the British. In fact, the U.S. and their cousin English colonizers are responsible for the trafficking of individual Indians and Chinese all over the world. Add to that, the annihilations by French conquerors and Spanish Conquistadores—and you’re talking about the murders and subjugation of untold millions of individuals. The U.S. allies were not the victims of the colonial atrocities of Spain, Britain, France, Belgium, Holland. U.S. allies are the perpetrators of incalculable physical and psychological pain in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Interestingly, the friends to the colonized peoples were the Soviet Union and Mao’s China, which was divided as a result of U.S. hegemony over Taiwan and Britain’s sovereignty over Hong Kong. Neither Russia nor China, at their worst, can count the globally pervasive international crimes against humanity that are owned by the so-called West. Even worse, the U.S. has turned those reprehensible international behaviors onto the people of the U.S. Even going so far as testing potential bioweapons on the U.S. domestic population.
Joe's failures, of course, include his being unable/unwilling to address climate change in any real manner. The Green Party issued the following:
WASHINGTON, DC — The EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States (Green Party US) condemns President Biden’s year of climate negligence and renews the call to pressure the president to declare a climate emergency and issue a comprehensive series of related Executive Orders, as described on ClimatePresident.org.
EcoAction Committee of Green Party of the United States
January 18, 2022
Biden and Congressional Democrats must also replace the ever-shrinking “Build Back Better” (BBB) social and climate spending bill with a public vote on robust Green New Deal legislation, without delay. The Green New Deal needs to be implemented immediately to address:
- social and economic suffering
- healthcare apartheid
- existential threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation, erosion of democracy, the nuclear threat and gross inequality
In the 2020 election, Green presidential nominee Howie Hawkins called for an annual $2.7 trillion investment in climate initiatives to reduce emissions to zero within a decade. Greens also sought an annual $1.4 trillion investment in an Economic Bill of Rights and COVID relief, focused on guaranteed living wage jobs, guaranteed income above poverty, expanded and improved Medicare-For-All, housing, and education.
The Green Party advocates for a Just Transition, ensuring good jobs and compensation for workers and others dependent on the present fossil fuel industry. Greens support directing a majority of this funding to low-income and communities of color, which face the worst consequences of climate change.
Quote From Green Party US EcoAction Committee Co-Chair Mark Dunlea:
“Biden and the Democrats have squandered the first year of what is likely to be only a two-year window where they have the majority votes in both Houses of Congress. Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a ‘Code Red for the planet,’ saying the pledges made by elected officials since the Paris accords were far too little to avoid a climate collapse. It is long past time for Senator Schumer to make Senators take a public vote on whether they will sacrifice the well-being of their constituents and future generations in order to maintain the campaign donations and profits of fossil fuel companies.”
The Democrats’ failure to strip Senator Manchin, with his infamous coal investments, from his position as chair of the Senate Energy Committee is unconscionable. Legislators must find a way to halt the existing, excessive use and misuse of fossil fuels, including natural gas. And yet, while Biden promised to halt new fossil fuel permits on federal land if elected, he has done the opposite.
While the Democrats argue over the size of the ever-smaller (BBB) plan, they recently enacted the world’s largest military budget; the Green Party supports redirecting at least half of Pentagon spending to invest in a Green New Deal. A carbon fee-and-dividend program could make polluters pay for the massive damage they cause while raising revenues for climate action.
Quote From Green Party US EcoAction Committee Co-chair DawnMarie Cronen:
“During WWII, President Roosevelt took control of the American economy to respond to the emergency. He redirected the productive power of the country to build what was needed to protect the American people. I believe Biden needs to take a similar approach, redirecting our productive capacity today from building weapons for oil wars to defeating the urgent existential threat of climate change. We need public ownership and democratic control of our energy and economic systems to ensure that we build renewable energy not only quickly but in the locations that best meet the public needs to find ways to continue to provide heat, electricity and basic needs to our nation and for the sake of our planet.”
The Democrats’ plan to increase energy subsidies for private enterprises is both more expensive and far less effective at cutting greenhouse emissions than employing public works projects and democratic planning. The Green Party opposes Congressional support for false solutions such as nuclear, biomass, garbage incineration, and “carbon capture” technology designed to allow the continued burning of fossil fuels.
We urge Biden and Congress to invest instead in nature-based, climate solutions such as protecting forests, restoring wetlands, and promoting regenerative agriculture. We also support requiring homes to be more energy-efficient and carbon-free, reduce overconsumption and overproduction, and to promote mass transit and other greener transit approaches, such as bicycles and walkable communities.
Green Party of the United States
Green Party Platform
Green New Deal
Green candidate database and campaign information
Green Pages: The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
Turning to Iraq where the vioence and the war never end, AP reports:
Gunmen from the Islamic State extremist group attacked an army barracks in a mountainous area north of Baghdad early Friday, killing 11 soldiers as they slept, the Iraqi military and security officials said.
The officials said the attack occurred in the Al-Azim district, an open area north of Baqouba in Diyala province. The circumstances of the attack were not immediately clear, but two officials who spoke to The Associated Press said Islamic State group militants broke into the barracks at 3 a.m. local time and shot dead the soldiers.
No doubt, DW is prepping another one of tehir articles where they misrepresent actual events and try to pass this off as a "political" divide involving the "losers" of the October 10th elections. But, in the real world, Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:
The attack was one of the deadliest carried out by the extremist group against Iraqi security forces in recent months.
The army's Diyala Operations Command sent reinforcements to the headquarters in Hawi Al Azim district and opened an investigation.
“The attack was carried out against members of the First Division in the Al Azim area that lies on the borders between Diyala and Salaheddin governorate,” Diyala Governor Muthanna Al Tamimi said in a statement.
Mr Al Tamimi said the army were unprepared for the attack.
So ISIS raided Iraqi military headquarters in the dead of night and killed 11 Iraqi service members. Besides "deadliest," I think the adjective "brazen" can also be used.
And this doesn't speak well of the Iraqi miliary. Equally true, this sort of result tends to really embolden ISIS.
And the attack in Iraq took place while ISIS was also carrying out a large-scale prsion break in Syria.
The following sites updated: