Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Scarier Than 'The Exorcist', Michael Myers And A Zombie Herd: Brominated Flame Retardants

Some of the many products in our homes bearing brominated flame retardants.

According to two chemists (Arlene Blum and Bruce Ames) based at the University of  California - Berkeley, and published in Science:

"The main flame retardant in children's pajamas is a mutgen and should not be used."

To be specific, the culprit ingredient is known as tris (2,3 -dibromopropyl) phosphate, or Tris-BP for short, a frontline flame retardant. It's main claim to infamy is not only as a likely carcinogen, but a factor for sterility in animal studies. It also features a chemical composition alarmingly similar to ethyl dibromide (EDB) the lead scavenger and also used as a fumigant for crops.

As with the notable work of Devra Davis ('The Secret History of the War On Cancer') who exposed the multiple ways chemicals in the environment are the primary cancer agents, so also Blume and Ames have exposed the danger of chemicals in flame retardants - which are now ubiquitous in all manner of products.

Since the 1970s, when the use of brominated flame retardants exploded,  Tris -BP has found ways to enter the ecosystem.   The ramping up of brominated flame retardants occurred largely owing to a misjudgment of California state regulators in dealing with increased house fires caused by cigarettes. Prior to the 70s it had been known that cigarette makers had been adding chemicals to make cigs last longer, up to ten minutes. This led to many house fires, as people smoking in bed would inevitably nod off before they knew the bedroom was in flames.  State regulators and legislators then called on manufacturers to develop cigs less likely to start fires.

But the tobacco industry cleverly shifted the blame from its products to common household furniture and wares that were too "flammable" .  (In one case describing a foam couch as laden with "solid gasoline") Then, in 1975, a California state agency enacted a regulation that was a godsend for chemical manufacturers.  It mandated a rule that all furniture offered for sale was required to withstand 12 seconds of exposure to an open candle flame.  The Ethyl Corporation then rushed to produce products to satisfy the reg - the rest as they say, is history.  Brominated flame retardants since have found their way into a dizzying array of household items - not just furniture, but carpeting and flooring materials, bedding, baby products, computers, televisions and other electronic equipment, as well as cars, boats and aircraft.

Worried about your kid  ingesting too much candy, or watching too many zombie flicks e.g.

Then you're perhaps targeting the wrong culprits, and maybe ought to look at his or her bedding, PJs,  Ipad, iPhone, or even backpacks - for brominated flame retardants.

What's the fuss about? Blum and Ames in their research discovered that  Tris-BP inevitably turned up in the ecosystem via wastewater from laundry. They found that six bedsheets treated with Tris- BP and washed in 30 gallons of water resulted in 6 parts per million of the toxin in the wash water- this despite only 1 ppm needed to kill goldfish.

They also found that, like many other flame retardant chemicals, Tris-BP leached readily into the bodies of people who treated fabrics.  As they were quoted in The NATION investigatory piece ('Worse Than Lead?)  from which the bulk of this information was gathered (Sept. 2018, pp. 15-20):

"We found a child who'd never worn Tris-treated pajamas. We had the child wear Tris-treated pajamas for one night and later found Tris-breakdown products in her urine."

Blum added (ibid.) "It was easily picked up and screamingly mutagenic."

No surprise perhaps that three months after the Blum and Ames paper was published, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned brominated Tris in children's clothing. How did the manufacturers respond? Well,  they just substituted a new product: chlorinated Tris - still carcinogenic but doesn't show up in the urine quite so fast.

Needless to say the PR mills of the flame retardant makers have been working overtime to cast Blum and Ames as too fussy scientific provocateurs and merely stirrin

Flame Retardants: Debate Still Being Driven By Outdated Science and …

The ACSH's  arguments might carry much more ballast had Devra Davis not already exposed the chicanery of the American Chemical Industry in spreading its toxins all over tarnation. Also, it might help if they weren't an industry-friendly  PR front outfit,  Seg up a storm in a teacup. See .e.g
e, e.g. 

See also a recent lecture by Devra Davis on why chemical, tobacco companies etc. can't be trusted  here:

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Crave Unity If You Must - But Not At The Expense of Conscience and Moral Clarity

Image may contain: text that says 'ANALYSIS Many fed up, craving unity Mailed pipe bombs, deadly shooting amid political hostility'

Look, I get the sentiments and angst of "middle of the road" voters like Elisa Parker, described in a Denver Post front page story as terrified at the nation's polarization and desperately searching for it to end.  But for god's sake, that doesn't mean - or shouldn't - sacrificing clarity and conscience at any cost - just to get peace. It can't or we are all for the high jump.

There is ONE side, one source, at fault and it is up to even the "moderates" to figure that out before election day next Tuesday. It is simply not good enough to wring hands and bleat repeatedly about being caught "between both extremes" while you shift from "liberal to conservative" media to find answers.  The answers are there, in front of citizens' eyes- they just have to look- and not very far.  Then the source of all our travails and political division exposed as Donald J. Trump, as former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt put it last night on 'All In':

"What Trump is doing is stoking and inciting for the purposes of political power the worst amongst us to take action in his name..... This man (Robert Bowers), a fanatic  was radicalized by FOX News, by talk radio and a right wing propaganda machine that is as sophisticated as it is deadly."


I advise all readers to watch Schmidt's explanation of how and why Trump has waged a cold Civil War that has now become hot on the margins. And will get even hotter unless people come to their senses and put a check on his authoritarian narcissism.

We know, for example, that the White Nationalists marching last year in Charlottesville, e.g.
Far-right activists marched through the University of Virginia campus with torches on Friday night.
grew even more fond of Dotard after Trump said there were some “very fine people on both sides.  They took that as a cue to get even bolder.   We also know that Robert Bowers believed the caravan was caused by Jews and supported by HIAS. That's when he then tweeted, "Screw your optics, I'm going in!"   Would he have been that energized if Trump hadn't been pounding the "caravan" as an existential threat at every damned rally he had? I say, doubtful. So it merely took his already virulent anti-Semitism in conjunction to what he interpreted - from Trump's rhetoric - to be an immediate threat, to act.

See e.g.

Trump's phony 'caravan' hysteria led to the Synagogue murders: Adam Serwer for The Atlantic

Trump is the source of our current tribalism and "cold Civil War" to use Steve Schmidt's term. Trump, aka Dotard, even had the shameless audacity to blame Jews for their slaughter by saying they ought to have had armed guards at the synagogue. The same idiocy he had proposed (with his crank NRA lackeys) for schools after the Parkland massacre.

According to Stanford Sociology professor Robb Willer, quoted in the Denver Post piece, "the violent tribalism currently so ingrained in American life will eventually right itself". However, this will not be until the public decides it's had enough and stops rewarding politicians who use incendiary language and demonize the other side."

Newsflash! That is exactly Donald Trump!  Don't use excuses to deflect by saying (as WSJ's Holman Jenkins often has ) that "it's just his style",  or as some media pundits insist "he likes to punch back". (Hey, let this mutt punch back at a tackling dummy or whatever.)

At least, let's call a spade a spade and outright just say he loves to foment hate. It's in his DNA.

As Prof. Willer explained:

"That is the question of our time. Are we going to continue the war or are we going to choose peace? We don't yet know what the answer to that will be because while a majority are fed up with the political divisions it does feel we're stuck here."

Well, we're stuck until the message to cease and desist is sent. That opportunity arrives next week and as former Republican commenter Max Boot put it, the only way to send a clear message is to vote Democratic because now that is the only way to put a check and balance on Trump - wich the GOP congress chooses not to do.

As reported in The Guardian, it is Trump who has fueled a climate of hatred in general and antisemitism in particular, with the GOP congress acting as his enabler, several experts warned on Monday. Trump's  tone has justifiably received renewed scrutiny after Saturday’s massacre of 11 worshippers at The Tree of Life Synagogue, the deadliest attack on Jewish people in American history.  David N Myers, a professor of Jewish history at the University of California, Los Angeles put it bluntly:

He has dramatically elevated the level of rhetorical tension in ways that do not discourage people from acting out their terrifying views,"
Trump renewed the offensive on Monday with a tweet that warned of an “invasion” of immigrants, echoing the hate-filled writings of accused synagogue gunman Robert Bowers.
Trump wrote thatsome very bad people” were mixed into the caravan of several thousand people, mainly from Honduras, currently travelling through Mexico. “This is an invasion of our Country and our Military is waiting for you!” Trump added.
Citing official sources, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Trump administration was preparing to send 5,000 more troops to the border to help with security, angering immigrants’ rights activists and others who say the move militarizes the issue unnecessarily for political gain ahead of crucial midterm elections next week.

But Trump’s choice of words also caused further outrage.
Again he tried to shift blame to the media on Monday, arguing that “fraudulent” reporting was contributing to anger in the country and - in yet more homage to Hitler - again declaring that the press was the “true Enemy of the People”.  Like a true fascist or proto-Nazi Trump has consistently  decried criticism of his corrosive rhetoric and fears over its consequences.  All of which are entirely valid, given only a confirmed tyrant would be at home with an obsequious press.
A survey by the Public Religion Research Institute found a majority (54%) of Americans feel Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups, compared with 39% who say they had had no effect and 5% who say he has discouraged these groups.
Critics say he has a history of using Jewish stereotypes.

In 2015, he told the Republican Jewish Coalition “I’m a negotiator like you folks” but suggested they would not support him “because I don’t want your money”. The following year, he tweeted an image of Clinton set against a background of US currency with a six-pointed star (reminiscent of the star of David) and the words, “Most corrupt candidate ever!”  E.g.
Image may contain: 1 person, text
His closing campaign ad further railed against “global special interests” and featured images of George Soros, a billionaire investor and philanthropist, and the Federal Reserve chairwoman, Janet Yellen, both of whom are Jewish. Let's not mince words here, though "the Donald" may have thought he was cleverly disguising his anti-Semitic hostility most of us saw right through it.
Subsequently, the Trump White House issued a statement to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day that made no mention of Jews or antisemitism. Then the press secretary, Sean Spicer, was forced to apologize after asserting that Adolf Hitler, who gassed millions of Jews during the Holocaust, did not use chemical weapons.

Myers went on to say: “There is a toxic culture of vilification and demonization that has pervaded American political culture in recent years. Donald Trump did not invent that toxic culture but he has certainly stirred the pot considerably.”

As I've written about before, Trump has also made derogatory comments about women, Mexicans, Muslims and others. Myers added: “He’s an equal opportunity and equal opportunistic vilifier. My surmise is that he doesn’t dislike Jews more than other people but I am stupefied by his unwillingness to call it out when it occurs, especially given his own family background with his son-in-law and daughter.”

Want to sent a message to stop this insanity? Vote all Dem, down the ballot, next week on Tuesday. Dithering about and unable to decide so you plan to stay home? Then you award Trump and deliver a de facto vote for more polarization and hate speech - also the destruction of vital social insurance programs if the GOP retains the House as well as Senate.

Not bothered by Trump's rhetoric and like his economic moves  (tax cuts, dergulation etc.) instead?  Then you are merely an accomplice after the fact to enable his hate speech further, under the misguided belief the economy will keep working in your favor. 

Here's the single takeaway or bottom line in this pivotal election: We are in the midst of a moral crisis and the leader of the political coalition that controls all levers of  the federal government is continuing to stoke the fires of fear, resentment and hatred that have led us to this moment. If you seriously believe not voting Dem  -and hence putting a check on Trump - is not in your self interest, there is nothing more I can write or say. You clearly believe the nation's welfare is of lower priority. 'Nuff  said.

See also:

We Can't Deny the Connections Between the Pittsburgh Shooting Suspect's Apparent Motivation and Trump's Bigotry

Monday, October 29, 2018

Special Relativity Revisited (4)

The Lorentz Contraction:

Having dealt with time dilation in the context of special relativity, we now consider what happens to length. We return to the diagram of systems S and S' moving relative to each other ('Special Relativity Revisited 2, Oct. 11, Fig. 1) and consider a meter stick of length L (= 1 m) pointed in the +x direction and moving in that direction with velocity v.

We can also think of it as being at rest in the S' system with one end at x' = 0 and another end at x' = L', initially.

    Its length in the system S' is therefore L'. At time t = 0 we take a photograph of the meter stick with a camera located in the S system. We inquire: What are the positions of the two ends of the meter stick in the S system? We can answer this by using the first of the Lorentz-Einstein transformations:

x = x' + vt'/(1 - v2/c2)½


x' = x - vt/ (1 - - v2/c2)½

    We opt to use the lower form rather than the upper, having already specified an instant at t = 0 and hence looking for simplification. Then:

x' = x / (1 - v2/c2)½

    Now, the end of the meter stick that is at x' = 0 in S' is found to be at x = 0 in S. The other end in S is seen to be at:

x = L' (1 - v2/c2)½

This informs us the length of the moving meter stick in  coordinate  system S so we can say that the length of the moving meter stick as seen by the camera is:

L = L' (1 - v2/c2)½

    As can readily be seen, this implies length contraction. For example, say the rod is moving at v = 0.6c, then the length L is (given L' = 1m):

L = (1 m) (1 - (0.6c)2/c2)½ = 1m [(1 - 0.36c2/c2)½

L = (1m) (0.64)½ = 1m (0.8) = 0.8 m (or 80 cm)

(Remember that by symmetry arguments of relativity, the observer in the other system will argue that L' = L (1 -v2/c2)½  so that from his viewpoint a meter stick will be similarly foreshortened.)
    Readers may recall that something similar occurred in the time transformation, i.e. each of two relatively moving clocks ran slower with respect to the other than to itself.

    This brings us back to the solution of the Michelson-Morley experiment discussed in an earlier chapter.  It is the curious, symmetric relativity in time and length (in  
direction of motion) which solves the paradox of the "missing ether wind" quite simply and logically. Moreover it is solved more fundamentally and satisfactorily than either Fitzgerald or Lorentz could manage. 

    Let's derive the new law for addition of velocities. Assume an object in the S' system starts at the point x' = 0 at time t' = 0. It moves with constant velocity u' (relative to S') and in the time t' it travels a distance x'.

By definition, u' = x'/ t'

    We ask:  'How fast does this object travel according to the observer at rest in System S?'

    This observer will see a velocity given by the formula:

u = x/t = (x' + vt')'/ t' + x'v/c2  or

u= (t' + v)/(1 + x'v/t' c2 )

u = (u' + v)/ 1 + u'v/ c2 

This is the relativistic formula for addition of velocities. If u' and v = c then the formula yields:

u = (c + c)/ 1 + c2/c2

u = 2c/ 1 + 1 = 2c/2 = c

If u' and v are less than c then u must always be less than c.

Example Problem:

Say two objects are moving at 3c/4 towards each other, then what is their relative velocity as recorded in a system S observing their approach?

We have: u' = 3c/4 and v = 3c/4


u = (u' + v)/ 1 + u'v/c2 = (3c/4 + 3c/4)/1 + u'v/c2

where: (3c/4 + 3c/4) = 3c/2


u' v = (3c/4) (3c/4) = 9c2/16


u = (3c/2)/ [1 + 9c2/16/c2]

u = (3c/2)/ (1 + 9/16) = (3c/2)/ (25/16)

u = (3c/2)  (16/25) = 24c/25

Problems for ambitious readers:

1) Assume that the lifetime of quasar 3c-9 is 1 million years as measured in its own rest frame. Over what total time span (in Earth-measured time) would its radiation be received at the Earth? (Assume 3c-9's velocity relative to the Earth remains constant)

2) Suppose that you happen to be moving at a velocity of 3c/4 past a remote observer who picks up a stopwatch and then sets it down. Using a high power telescope you observe he held the watch for 9 seconds. How long would HE think that he held it?

3) An astronaut orbits the Earth at a distance of 7 x 106 m from its center for a week. How much younger than his twin on Earth is he when he lands? Assume standard orbital speed of 18,000 mph and neglect the rotation of the Earth.

4) Consider 3 galaxies: A, B and C. An observer in A measures the velocities of B and C and finds they are moving in opposite directions - each with a speed of 0.7c relative to him., i.e.

(0.7c) <-----------(B)-----(A)-----(C)--------->(0.7c)

What is the speed of A observed by someone in B?

What is the speed of C observed by someone in B?

The observer in A thinks that the two other galaxies are receding from him at a rate 1.4c. Show him how this is wrong, by providing the correct result.

It's No Secret The Synagogue Shooter Is Another Reich Wing Hater Who Got Marching Orders From Trump

Robert Bowers.

No automatic alt text available.

Robert Bowers, the Alt-Right slime who slaughtered 11 Jews Saturday, and his favored social media mascot, Pepe the Frog.

"This isn’t complicated. It’s not a conspiracy plot hidden in pizza ingredients. It doesn’t need to be interpreted by a mystery character hiding behind a Sesame Street name.  Republicans have spent years building up the idea that immigration is an existential threat to America. Republicans have also spent years alleging that Jews are secretly funding both immigrants and protesters. What Bowers did on Saturday morning is the direct result of that one plus one = 10 dead and counting. Bowers’ finger may have been on the trigger. But a lot of Republicans encouraged him to pull it. Including Donald Trump."  Mark Sumner, Daily Kos, Oct. 27,  Synagogue Shooter Explained Exactly Why He Killed - Republican Conspiracy Theories'

"To hear the Republicans you'd believe all these violent acts are just spontaneous events like some weird meteorological event. All of a sudden strange things happen, sun changes  positions with the Moon, floods appear, tornadoes if there is no coherent explanation for the mass killings, the hate crimes. It's incredible!"  - Julia Ioffe, today on 'Morning Joe'.

"During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly used imagery and tropes known to be associated with anti-Semites and propaganda against Jews. On July 2, 2016, he tweeted an image of Hillary Clinton next to a Star of David against a background of cash. When this was criticized, he deleted the tweet. The image originated on a neo-Nazi forum, according to Mic. (Trump also retweeted other neo-Nazis during the campaign, including an account called @whitegenocideTM" -  Cody Fenwick, 'Is Trump Anti-Semitic? Here's What The Evidence Shows', on

Eleven people were killed and six wounded in the worst ever massacre of Jews in U.S. History. The slaughter  - at a synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Saturday-   was the work of yet another brain-poisoned crazy of the extreme Right who likely got infected by Trump's own hate rhetoric.  Dotard Trump called the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue “a wicked act of mass murder” and decried "antisemitism in all forms", but once again it was all posturing for the benefit of his acolytes, zombies and especially Right media.  This filth is no more sincere than Devin Nunes and the other traitors that continue to provide him cover.

Indeed, Trump's contribution to anti-Semitic hate memes, and rhetoric was reported last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center in its Spring, 2017 issue, e.g.
Image may contain: one or more people and text

A good summary of Trump's rhetoric, in speeches and ties to Neo-Nazis, appeals to White Nationalists can be found here.

Look not only at what Trump says but what he does, and what he did was stage another  campaign rally in Illinois as scheduled, despite the massacre.. Can't have his Reepo lackeys losing "momentum" just because 11 people were blown away by another hate -driven psycho:  That would be Robert Bowers, a truck driver and Pittsburgh resident who is reportedly 46 years old.

There was no doubt Bowers held far-right views.   After all he was a committed poster on "Gab"  now the haven for Nazis, White Nationalists, Aryans and other extremists - oh, and plenty of Trump supporters too. In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the local CBS affiliate KDJA reported that a “white male [with] a beard …walked in yelling ‘All Jews must die’.” Social media accounts in the name of Robert Bowers contained antisemitic rants, and most notably for me - on the NBC newscast of Saturday  evening - when social media posts were displayed, I froze the screen and spotted images of "Pepe the Frog" attached to his Gab posts. 

 Yes, folks, Pepe the Frog - a onetime innocent cartoon creature - had mutated into the realm of venomous racial hate as first reported by the SPLC in September, 2016. This was some 5 months after being adopted  by the vermin of the Alt -Right White Nationalists of Trumpdom. Pepe memes subsequently became ubiquitous across 4chan, Reddit, Imgur, Tumblr, and other social media and image-sharing sites, and most often became adopted by the  Nazis, KKK, generic Alt Right and others.

No surprise then in late September,  2016, Pepe's green visage was designated a hate symbol by the  Jewish Anti-Defamation League.  The ADL's online hate symbol database is designed to help law enforcement, educators, and members of the general public identify potentially hateful images.  Thus explained Oren Segal, the director of the organization's Center on Extremism. He said that in recent years, hate symbols have proliferated online.  To be exact here, ever since 2016 - the year of Trump's  Russkie-assisted win- hate incidents against synagogues have proliferated. According to the ADL they increased by 57 % this year over 2016,  before Trump's election. So it was no surprise vile graffiti like this surfaced all over after the dumpster fire of an election:
Image may contain: outdoor
Basically, Trump with his campaign hate speech and other expulsions afterward, had given permission for the crazies to come out of the woodwork.
Now, with things like the co-option of Pepe the Frog by Reich wing lunatics, anti-Semitic images are originating and circulating primarily on social media., Reddit's enclaves and 4chan provide a welcome haven for many of these losers  - like Robert Bowers.  

How did what was once an innocuous cartoon frog go so perverse? The Daily Beast spoke to a white supremacist in May, 2016 to try to find out.  As Dotard's hate campaign was really revving up -  the Daily Beast source said there had been a concerted effort on the site 4chan to "reclaim Pepe" from normal people in late 2015.  The image was clearly considered a useful vehicle to disseminate certain memes.  No surprise it has also been part of  many of the 4.2 million anti-Semitic tweets in the past year, many coincidental with one of other Trump words, actions.

"Nazi Pepe" then made its way to Twitter, where people who regularly tweeted messages supporting white nationalism and anti-immigrant views quickly absorbed it into their Internet repertoire. People who identify with those extreme movements (like Bower did) added the frog emoji to their Twitter handles. 

Unnerved by the insidious spread  of this hate meme, by August, 2016, Hillary Clinton gave her now-infamous speech denouncing some of Donald Trump's supporters, particularly the segment known as the alt-right, as a "basket of deplorables. A couple weeks later, Donald Trump Jr. posted a photo on Instagram that depicted him and other supporters as "The Deplorables" -- a play on the poster from the movie "The Expendables." In the lineup? Pepe.

Two weeks after that, the ADL made its official designation. Oren  Segal, the ADL representative, said that while the ADL was researching harassment of journalists on Twitter -- particularly the use of the triple-parenthetical (((echo))) around names to designate Jewish people -- they began to notice Pepe's face coming up more frequently. Segal said people on his staff were aware of Pepe's original, inoffensive incarnation, but it was clear that the frog had since become associated with anti-Semitic opinions online.

As usual Trump has sought to disavow any remote connection of his hate speeches, including calling the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville last year,  "Some very fine people",  e.g.
Far-right activists marched through the University of Virginia campus with torches on Friday night.White Nationalists marched last  August with Tiki torches in Charlottesville, screaming "Jews will not replace us!"  They then gathered the next day where they killed Heather Heyer, and mercilessly beat protesters (below right)
Image may contain: one or more peopleImage may contain: one or more people, tree, outdoor and nature
I mean, good grief, it shouldn't take a Mensa level IQ to grasp that if a guy is pandering to hate symbols like these Neo-Nazis and Alt -Right Trump lovers, and attaching them to his "Gab"  social media refuse, he is one with them - whether in fact he formally belongs. "If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck" etc.

We now also know when Bowers took to Gab, he had shared a stream of anti-Jewish slurs and conspiracy theories, including repeating one long held trope of Right wing loons:

"Jews are the children of Satan"

Basically dehumanizing Jews just like Hitler and the Nazis did, turning them into an alien "Other" and hence fit for attacks.  Bowers didn't invent all this hideous brain poison, but he did imbibe it and it drove his actions like it has millions of others who even now are just waiting for the right words from their Fuhrer Trump to act.

 Bowers also frequently reposted anti-Semitic content that alleged Jews control the nation. On a doctored image of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he altered the words "Arbeit Macht Frei" to  read: “Lies Make Money.” Another post said: “Open you Eyes! It’s the filthy EVIL jews Bringing the Filthy EVIL Muslims into the Country!!”

Bowers was also fixated on the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) which helps immigrants settle in the U.S. In his last post before the shooting, this slime ball wrote: "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered."

Note this insane jabber was scribbled despite zero evidence of any such "invaders" doing anything of the like. It is evident that by this time, the brain poison had an analogous effect on Bowers' mind to what Jim Jones' cyanide-laced purple kool aid had on his followers.  Note also the analogy of Bowers' words ("invasion", "invaders") to how the Right media depicts the migrant caravan moving north from Mexico. Coincidence? Nope, this is how they - and Trump- roll.  Stoke fear into the denizens. Hope that this fear triggers a mass turnout on Nov. 6th, but also view any chaos or mass violence as perhaps, collateral damage.

For example, we now know (CBS Early Show, today) that Bowers believed the caravan was caused by Jews and supported by HIAS. That's when he then tweeted, "Screw your optics, I'm going in!"   Would he have been that energized if Trump hadn't been pounding the "caravan" as an existential threat at every damned rally he had? I say, doubtful. So it merely took his already virulent anti-Semitism in conjunction to what he interpreted - from Trump's rhetoric - to be an immediate threat, to act.

Interestingly, this nut was disaffected with Trump for not pushing hard enough.  But as Julia Ioffe has noted, it is evident that having worked his unhinged mutts up into a fevered frenzy with his toxic trash talk, many - like Bowers- have been left frothing at the mouth with perceived promises unmet. The slime Bowers actually accused Trump of not going far enough to achieve the political goals Bowers wanted.  Days before the shooting, he wrote: “Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist. There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation"  he asserted.

Who would ever have believed one of Trump's deplorables would at some point out -Trump Trump? Well, Janice has warned of the possibility for some time. "Just wait", she said two weeks ago, "at some point one of these vermin is going to take Trump's words so much to heart he even wants to do more harm, and go further!"  Yeppers, and we've seen it now in two cases in the past week, his lunatic violent fringe wanting to one up the Donald the Thumper - one by actually dispatching bombs, the other by dispatching Jews.

Lest anyone buy into the notion that Bowers was a lone nut extremist  who simply went too far but unconnected to Trump's vile rhetoric, think again.   From a report in The Guardian Saturday, residual anti-Semitism had been a long standing virus in the Pittsburgh suburb. Locally, the epithet “Squirrel Hill Jew” had long been used to describe people from this tight-knit liberal enclave, blocks away from Carnegie Mellon University.  This according to The Guardian.  That Bowers was one of those who regularly used the term but whose anger bubbled up over the top into murderous action, spurred by Trump's rhetoric is therefore more than credible.
As the above link to the SPLC report noted, with Trump's ascension into power, hate and extremism had found a voice in the White House. White Nationalists, Aryans, Neo -Nazis and KKK finally had their man in control and they were liberated to do whatever they wanted, thus the unthinkable increase in attacks on Jewish synagogues this year and the spread of hate graffiti.

No surprise one resident of the Squirrel Hill community, quoted in The Guardian, said:

I’m sure everybody in the community feels like it’s an attack on them,” adding that he "had feared such an attack for years".  Another woman said she had struggled to understand how the national epidemic of violent hate — so vivid and relentless on the media but in many ways still distant — had arrived at her doorstep.

“I can’t believe it has spread out this far,” she said.

But so long as Trump is rallying his crazies, it will.   The fact this pissant could "condemn the attack on the synagogue' but at the same time turn around and heap attacks on his critics, shows his words are empty as far as any condolences. They're merely a pause before he launches the next hate screed on the media, the caravan, the Dems, you name it.

See also:

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Selected Questions-Answers From ALL Experts Astronomy Forum (Dark Matter Planets?)

Question: Scientists know that there must be more mass than what is visible in galaxies as they manage to hold themselves together despite not being enough ordinary matter, so they call it dark matter as it doesn't emit anything but is observable through its gravity. Then if this dark matter can generate gravity similar to ordinary matter then can it not interact with itself and make dark matter clumps that are gravitationally detectable. Like a dark matter planet? If this was true i imagine a dark matter planet would be detectable as it would skew the orbits of ordinary matter planets? - Puzzled


The conception of dark matter planets or solar systems for that matter is dependent on how well we can distinguish exotic forms from ordinary forms. In the latter case one might reference Fritz Zwicky's measurements of galaxy clusters which  highlighted a ‘missing mass’. He found that the mass needed to bind a cluster of galaxies together gravitationally was at least ten times the apparent mass visible.  Around the same time there were observations of stellar motions in the galactic plane by Dutch astronomer Jan Oort. He found there had to be at least three times the mass visibly presenting in order for stars not to escape the galaxy and fly off into space.

What exactly constituted this 'missing mass'.? The short answer is we don't know but there a number of candidates. By the late 1970s (with Cygnus X-1), astronomers realized there were other forms of dark matter. Among the most discussed candidates were black holes, marking the end stage of evolution for very massive stars. In the black hole, the gravity is so strong that no light escapes and the mass typically is much greater than that of the Sun.

Currently, we are aware of a super black hole at the center of our galaxy with 9.7 billion times the mass of the Sun.  Can such an entity form planets? Hardly! It would more likely 'devour' them.

Dark matter generally occurs in either baryonic or non-baryonic forms, depending on whether the matter reacts with radiation or not. If it doesn’t, it’s non-baryonic. Baryons include protons and neutrons, while non-baryons include electrons and neutrinos.

Non-baryonic dark matter further breaks down into cold dark matter and hot dark matter. The terms hot and cold are not so much indicative of current temperatures, as the phase of the early universe at which the particular dark matter ‘decoupled’ from the hot radiation background. An early decoupling implies a higher ambient background radiation temperature of the primeval cosmos. A later decoupling correlates to a cooler temperature. Perhaps the most widely studied candidate of hot dark matter is the neutrino.

By contrast, cold dark matter candidates tend to have larger mass and amongst the most likely suspects are: gravitinos, magnetic monopoles, and primordial black holes. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this, which include: WIMPs and Axions.

How any of these entities could leave specific gravity signatures that distinguish any one from their dark counterparts is a matter of continued inquiry.  Until such signatures are identified and clarified there is little chance of even remotely confirming on the existence of  "dark matter planets". Especially if it is proposed that such a planet could orbit an ordinary matter (e.g. hot plasma) star.

It is certainly plausible that a dark matter object (like a small black hole) could "skew the orbit" of an ordinary matter planet - or star. But that a dark matter planet could exist within the confines of an ordinary matter solar system is another matter. And if such a solar system was entirely of dark matter, how would one detect it at all?

Your conjecture of dark matter clumps  spinning off from a much larger dark matter mass (e.g. proto- star)  evokes a takeoff on the nebular hypothesis of origin for our own solar system.  The problem is that while such an entity (dark matter proto-planet) might be possible, there is no evidence whatsoever it exists. For example, all of the hundreds of exoplanets found thus far have all been ordinary matter objects - no 'dark matter'.

This is not to say such planets will never be found, but rather the investment of time, technology an resources may be much more than current cost-benefit analyses allow.

Friday, October 26, 2018

"MAGA Bomber" Terrorist Busted For Mail Bombs: Will The Right's Degenerates Now Crawl Out Of The Land of Denial?

The Trumper mutt - Cesar Sayoc- in MAGA cap at Trump rally. Now known as the "MAGA Bomber" after his mass assassination threat.

The jig was up today at about 1:00 p.m. MT when the FBI and DOJ released details of the mail ("MAGA") bomber: a confirmed Trumpie by the name of Cesar Sayoc. Investigators found Sayoc after finding a latent fingerprint on the envelope sent to California Rep. Maxine Waters, which has been confirmed to belong to him,  FBI chief Chris Wray said. They also believe there is DNA on other packages.

Sayoc has been charged with five federal crimes, including interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of an explosive, threats against former presidents, threatening interstate commerce, and assaulting current and former federal officers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a press conference.. He faces up to 58 years in prison.

We also now know this domestic terrorist is no "leftist". He's a 56-year old registered Republican, has Trump designs festooned all over his van (including one with a Hillary Clinton image and a sniper's cross hairs overlaid). An image of the van is shown below:
No automatic alt text available.

His Twitter account is also loaded with pro-Trump B.S. and hate for Trump's political opponents, almost fully reflecting the hate displayed on his van..

In fact, Sayoc is an open and outspoken Trump supporter with a long trail on social media. He posted memes attacking some of the targets of the bombs, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and promoting conspiracy theories about them. And he posted fervent support for Trump, including images of himself at a Trump rally and in a Make America Great Again hat. Authorities also seized a white van covered in political decals.He also has an extensive criminal record, with at least 8 arrests. One was for threatening to bomb a utility company. 

 The busted perp has been arrested nearly a dozen times in Florida, including a 2002 arrest for making a bomb threat. His criminal record in the state extends to the early 1990s, starting with his arrest for larceny at the age of 29, according to state records. Other charges of larceny, grand theft and fraud would soon follow across the southern part of the state.
In the 2002 bomb threat case, Sayoc pleaded guilty to the felony without a trial and was sentenced to probation, the records show.
Of course, there will now be reams of deflections in the wake to try and make this asshole seem as innocuous as Saint Francis of Assissi. Even his lawyer, Daniel Aaronson,  gushed:
"None of my clients were as polite and as courteous and as respectful to me."
Ever heard of putting on an act, bub?   But see, in the end it doesn't matter one whit how "courteous" this slime ball was to a lawyer, but rather the amount of harm he might have potentially inflicted on his targets. And, no,I do not buy the codswallop he peddled that "all of those were harmless" referring to the mail bombs.  As FBI Director Chris Wray made clear: "None of these were hoax bombs".   
The reason is that NY and federal  investigators all made it clear they were damned dangerous, even equating them to IEDs. The one that ended up at Robert DeNiro's place, for example, could have blown his eyes out or fatally injured him had the mail not been intercepted by a former NYPD detective.  (Give that guy an extra raise, Robert!)
According to a Washington Post account:
"Social media profiles that apparently belonged to Sayoc were filled with conspiracy theories and antipathy toward liberals. "
Let's correct that: His assorted twaddle did not have conspiracy theories but rather paranoid conspiracy ideations. (See my previous post).
We will wait now to see if the Right's liars and fomenters finally admit their guy is one of them and not a "leftist plant" or "secret FBI agent".  I am not sanguine about any of them becoming mental changelings because they have already taken the Trump kool aid - as disastrous for their brains as Jim Jones' cyanide-laced purple mix was for his followers at Jonestown, Guyana in  August, 1978.
Besides, even Trump is more concerned with the effects of the arrest on "GOP momentum" according to a tweet this morning, not the lives that could have been snuffed out or bodies permanently maimed. He also still spouts hollow bollocks about stopping political violence but don't believe it for a second.  The words are empty,  totally detached from any heart felt investment.  The man possessed the moral capacity of a slug before and that hasn't changed.  The toxins destroying this nation will not and cannot be diluted or removed until Trump is out. As in gone. 
I can fully understand the Right's millions of Reddit, 4Chan, Gateway Pundit, FOX and other trolls wanting to bolt from this character, but eventually they will have to suck up reality- especially after the midterm elections and voters finally declare with their ballots they've had about enough of Donald J. Trump running amuck and Trumpie lunatics providing cover for his crimes.

Enough? You bet after a rally last night, where his shrieking cultists kept on with "CNN sucks!" while the maggot-in-chief did nothing to tone it down though he yapped through his ass again about "civility".  Meanwhile invoking the tired false equivalence trope that "when a Bernie Sanders supporter tried to murder congressional Republicans and a great man named Steve Scalise and others we did not use that heinous attempt at mass murder for political gain."

Except there's a world of difference, you fucktard!  Bernie Sanders, unlike fucktard Dotard has NEVER incited or called for violence at ANY rallies he's ever held.  By contrast, fucktard Dotard has regularly called reporters "enemies of the people" and encouraged his zombies to "knock the crap out of protesters" and recently praised a congressman (Greg Gianforte) for body slamming a Guardian reporter.  So don't even go near any such false equivalence.

Trump is a blight and cancer on this nation and the sooner he's removed from office, the more quickly we have a chance of regaining some semblance of sanity.

Update:  10/ 27

Of course, realizing ordinary false equivalence might not work, the WSJ's editors decided to try a different ploy today ('After The Mail Bombs', p. A12), insisting:

"We cite the Hodgkinson (Scalise) shooting not for the purpose of establishing moral equivalence  between these two events, but to make clear both came from the country's extreme lunatic fringe."

Nice try, but you'd have done better to admit the Right's lunatic fringe is 100 times the size of the Left's with its "Q" Anon conspiracy bunkum, and massive online enclaves of dregs like 4Chan, Reddit, Gateway Pundit etc. where Trumper zombies gather and trade lies and hate by the millions. There is no comparable social media wasteland on the Left, hate to break it to you.

See also:

Broad-Daylight Fascism and the Bombs of October


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