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This site archives Agonist.org. It contains content from June 2004 thru November 2016.

Note: Many links within posts & comments may no longer be valid, which is the nature of the ever-changing webworld.

  It is my intention to create a Best Of Agonist eBook & possibly a paperback. I intend to focus more on the “essay” type content, because while the site was a premier news aggregator, much of that content is dated by now, although some news postings did generate fine comment threads and may be included.

The What-The-Hell-Is-This-Thing-Called?

In bowl:
  1 tsp ground cumin
  1/2 tsp mustard powder
  2 tbsp oil
  1 tbsp brown sugar
  1 tsp chili powder
  1/2 tsp salt
  1/2 tsp pepper
    Mix thoroughly

5 skinless chicken breasts
  Dip into mix
  Bake 1 hour @ 350F
  Shred
Add
  12 slices cooked bacon
  1/3 cup chopped scallions
  1 chopped red onion
  3/4 cup BBQ sauce (what type?)
    Mix thoroughly

Make into pie ..
  Tortilla on bottom of round pan
  Cover 1/2 cup cheese
  Add mix
  Cover 1/2 cup cheese
  Tortilla on top of pan
    Chill 1 hour

Meanwhile make the dip..
  1 1/2 cups sour cream
  1/2 tsp onion powder
  1 tbsp chopped chives
  1 tbsp chopped parsley
  1/4 cup mayo
  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  2 tsp lemon juice
  1 tbsp chopped dill
    Mix & salt to taste

Remove “pie” from fridge
Cut to 6 slices

Dip into
  2 cups flour
  whisked eggs
  3 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
    Deep fry until golden

Put on baking tray
  Top with 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  Top with grated mozzarella
  Top with slices of pepperoni
    Grill 5 minutes

Dip & enjoy
(Have medics on speed-dial

h/t to Yashar Ali on Twitter

https://twitter.com/yashar/status/1165370248377393152?s=12

Understanding the transition to the Götterdämmerung #1

As Adele sings, Hello from the other side. I think it is no exaggeration to say that many around the world except in Mother Russia remain shell shocked. Brexit was but treading on a lego, this drumph result is far reaching.

It is good to document things and reflect on how we get to where we are going. For this first post in the Brave New World, I would recommend you, gentle reader, to peruse the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, currently dormant but actively being recommended to initiate the Moslem register.

This article is an overview of Kansas SoS, Kris Kobach and his love of registering the alien.

Personally I think that it will provide Da’ish fresh propaganda to recruit more jihadis.

Notes: Get your Götterdämmerung on here.

One Charger to Rule them All

superchargerThe move to 200-mile EVs gives us an opportunity to rethink what we are doing. A single DC fast charging standard rather than 3 would go a long way to EV dominance in the marketplace.

In my previous blog “The 200-mile Paradigm,” I discussed how the 200-mile range electric vehicle revises the charging infrastructure needs significantly downward where only around 2900 well placed quick charging sites can meet nearly all of the charging needs for the entire United States. This was important because with nearly all automakers coming out with base model electric vehicles with 200-mile range most charging would take place at home and the only need for charging away from home would be traveling across country or traveling to places where either the round trip or the destination was over the vehicle’s 200-mile range. Having slow level 2 charging stations all over the place, as would be needed with the current low range EV model, wasn’t necessary since 200 miles of range would be more than the daily average for nearly all drivers. With AAA’s finding that on average Americans only drive about 32 miles a day, the 200-mile base range of the new EVs would be over six times that average. Continue reading

DeeJay Trump & The Beat of America

The night of the election I went to bed about 9:30 PM (Eastern) after telling my son that Trump was “pulling away”. The channels I sampled were keen to say “no surprises” had yet occurred based on their predictions of who would win or lose in this city, that state. But they also broadcast the down-ballot races from time-to-time at the bottom of the screen in silent text. I began to notice the pattern of incumbents, mostly Republicans in the Rust-belt, holding on to their seats after only 5% to 15% of the votes were counted. It was clear enough to me Clinton would lose and Trump had unexpectedly long coat-tails despite the way many prominent Republican leaders had distanced themselves from him. Although I drew my conclusions intuitively, I could see Michael Moore’s outline for a Trump path to the White House was becoming a fact and the momentum was evident.

It is now 48 hrs after the election results were declared. The pollsters are still making apologies and offering convoluted defenses for how good their models were but how unconventionally Trump and the voting public behaved. They don’t say “black swan”, but that is what they hint.

Republicans who once shunned Trump are donning his puppet strings (if he will let them). Those already in his thrall are in the queue for the next installment of The Apprentice. He is the piper who calls the tune, the DJ who sets the beat.

The Democratic Party is still trying to put a good face on a candidate and a campaign that was outmaneuvered and rejected for being both artificial and smug.

Then there is the “Why do we have an Electoral College between the Oval Office and popular vote anyway?” refrain which seems to come up after every election I can remember.

Recrimination and self-recrimination have to burn themselves out. The panic and the fear promoted by this extraordinarily bitter campaign will burn out despite the demonstrations in the streets. The post mortem is already reflecting the smoother, soothing sound I heard today: “Oh, you know voters always vote against an incumbent president’s party if he has been in office for two terms–regular as clockwork! They just want change! It’s just the way Americans are.”

I predict the Democrats will eventually retrench but the result will be to become more Republican. There is no mystery in this. They have to. They are subordinate, have no imagination, have compromised their power and their principles, and are the subject of intense ridicule. They are far from home and whistling in the darkness.

On the other hand, the new President is going to age rapidly like all presidents before him because he is going to do something he hasn’t done in 50 years: on-the-job training. I expect Trump will delegate the hard work to Pence as a result and reserve any glory to himself. His Administration will test the checks-and-balances. As the Manager-in-Chief, he will have more hands on the various levers of government power, but he does not have a mandate. That will present some issues.

Our governmental architecture is capable of withstanding a lot. ‘A lot’ includes a Civil War. Whether or not our nation was great, is great, or will ever be great again I do not know, but it does have a pretty durable structure, a strong constitution so-to-speak. We may survive, but we may not thrive. The republic is about to endure one whale of a test. We are about to see if the Founding Fathers are the geniuses they are made out to be in our grade-school history books and Broadway shows.

If you think I am doing a lot of whistling in the dark myself, you’re mostly right. I am doing my best to be hopeful. Our system was designed to prevent tyrants from governing us. I think the past 20 yrs of gridlock suggest it is still pretty resilient. I don’t know if it has ever been tested against a sociopath, but I am pretty sure it can handle it.

Well you wanted Clinton

Well the editors here, and at dkos, wanted Clinton, and would tolerate no dissent concerning Sanders.

I have been absent since that decision. It was, in my opinion a poor decision for this blog, and a very poor decision for the Country.

And now we have Trump, a Republican House, Republican Senate and probably a Republican Supreme Count.

Thank you, Democratic Loyalists. Thank you very much. Especial thanks go to President Obama, for rehabilitating the Republicans when having a democratic majority, and then loosing control of congress to govern over what appears to be his preferred arrangement, and being able to achieve much of his goals, and few of ours.

Goodby also to the Democratic Baby Boomer generation of leaders. The hippies were correct, “Never Trust Anyone Over the Age of 30.”

The 200-Mile EV – This Changes Everything

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For those of you who haven’t been tuning into what has been going on in the automotive industry with respect to electric vehicles (EVs) lately, from 2008 when Tesla introduced the first viable electric vehicle to the market there have been more than 1.5 million electric vehicles sold world wide, and over 500 thousand EVs sold in the US alone. Most electric vehicles sold by the major automakers to this point have had the distances that they can travel on a single charge, also known as range, limited to between 65 to around 100 miles. Tesla Motors, on the other hand, has had its vehicle’s ranges typically set at 200 miles or above. They flirted with a 160 mile range vehicle for a while, but sold few and dropped the production of such vehicles as of March of 2013. Tesla’s vehicles so far have been marketed to upscale luxury/performance market, which inadvertently is like saying its vehicles were expensive. Tesla introduced itself to the automobile market with it’s Roadster, which sold for $109,000, and gave consumers a two seat sports car with 221 miles range. Tesla then introduced an electric full-sized luxury sports sedan called the Model S with a 265 mile range and a price tag of around $86,070. They then introduced an SUV into the market known as the Model X that started with a sale price of $80,000 and a range of around 250 miles per charge. Despite the higher price tag of Tesla vehicles Tesla has managed to sell a very large number of vehicles and its sales are increasing month over month allowing it to capture a lion’s share of the sports/luxury car market segment. When we look at the EV market from its current renaissance that began in 2008 to now we see Tesla with vehicles having ranges of 200 miles and above and the major automakers producing and selling quite a few electric vehicles with ranges of 100 miles range or less.
Continue reading

With Pope’s cardinal picks, Bernardin’s ‘seamless garment’ is back

Crux, By John L. Allen Jr., October 9

By naming Blase Cupich of Chicago, Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis and Kevin Farrell, formerly of Dallas, as cardinals, Pope Francis has moved the senior leadership of the American Catholic Church to a centrist, non-cultural warrior stance reminiscent of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin’s “seamless garment.”

Pope Francis on Sunday engineered what may prove to be a seismic shift in the Catholic hierarchy in the United States, elevating not one or two, but a full three new American cardinals seen as belonging to the centrist, non-cultural warrior wing of the country’s hierarchy.

The pontiff announced a consistory, the event in which new members are inducted into the Church’s most exclusive club, for Nov. 19, coinciding with the end of his special jubilee Holy Year of Mercy.

The list includes 13 new cardinal-electors, meaning those under 80 and eligible to vote for the next pope, and features three Americans after Francis bypassed the U.S. in both 2014 and 2015.

The three Americans are Archbishops Blase Cupich of Chicago and Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis, as well as Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, recently chosen by Francis to head his new “dicastery,” meaning a Vatican department, on Family, Laity and Life.

While none of these three figures would be seen as “liberal” by secular standards, they are perceived as belonging to the more progressive camp in the Catholic hierarchy.

China’s yuan joins elite club of IMF reserve currencies

Reuters, October 1

China’s yuan joins the International Monetary Fund’s basket of reserve currencies on Saturday in a milestone for the government’s campaign for recognition as a global economic power.

The yuan joins the U.S. dollar, the euro, the yen and British pound in the IMF’s special drawing rights (SDR) basket, which determines currencies that countries can receive as part of IMF loans. It marks the first time a new currency has been added since the euro was launched in 1999.The IMF is adding the yuan, also known as the renminbi, or “people’s money”, on the same day that the Communist Party celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.
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U.S. Military Is Building a $100 Million Drone Base in Africa

The Intercept, By Nick Turse, September 29

From high above, Agadez almost blends into the cocoa-colored wasteland that surrounds it. Only when you descend farther can you make out a city that curves around an airfield before fading into the desert. Once a nexus for camel caravans hauling tea and salt across the Sahara, Agadez is now a West African paradise for people smugglers and a way station for refugees and migrants intent on reaching Europe’s shores by any means necessary.

Africans fleeing unrest and poverty are not, however, the only foreigners making their way to this town in the center of Niger. U.S. military documents reveal new information about an American drone base under construction on the outskirts of the city. The long-planned project — considered the most important U.S. military construction effort in Africa, according to formerly secret files obtained by The Intercept through the Freedom of Information Act — is slated to cost $100 million, and is just one of a number of recent American military initiatives in the impoverished nation.

The base is the latest sign, experts say, of an ever-increasing emphasis on counterterror [?!??!] operations in the north and west of the continent. As the only country in the region willing to allow a U.S. base for MQ-9 Reapers — a newer, larger, and potentially more lethal model than the venerable Predator drone — Niger has positioned itself to be the key regional hub for U.S. military operations, with Agadez serving as the premier outpost for launching intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions against a plethora of terror groups.
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Trudeau government approves Petronas’ $36-billion LNG project in BC

Daily Hive (Vancouver), By Kenneth Chan, September 27

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has provided the $36-billion Pacific Northwest liquid natural gas (LNG) production and export facility project in Prince Rupert, BC with the green light to proceed. The announcement was made by members of the federal cabinet at a press conference held in Richmond this evening.

“The Pacific NorthWest LNG Project will deliver thousands of good middle-class jobs and will help pay for schools and roads and social programs that enrich people’s lives,” said Jim Carr, federal Minister of Natural Resources.

Coincidentally: US drives rainforest destruction by importing Amazon oil, study finds

Jill Stein’s money isn’t where her mouth is

stein

Looking at Jill Stein’s federal filing reveals a lot of capitalist investment in industries she decries.

She rails against toxic chemicals while holding over fifty thousand dollars of 3M stock, and against “Big Pharma” while holding as much in Merck. She spray paints bulldozers sitting on six figures of Home Depot. These companies alone pay her yearly dividends between $4500 and $11,500.

But the big money is in her myriad of mutual funds. I pulled up the prospectus for a random fund, the Vanguard 500 she has at least $500,000 in, up to a million.

Their fourth largest holding is Exxon shares.

It’s a robust portfolio. She’s got bonds, she’s got annuities, she’s got precious metals, IBM and Intel, Treasury notes and Johnson & Johnson. Over four million dollars in all, between her and her husband.

Very little seems geared toward socially responsible investing.

Her attacks on “corporate” opponents ring hollow.

The South Is Organizing — and There’s No One to Cover It

Workers are less scared of organizing when the press is covering them. The solution? More labor reporters in the South.

Pacific Standard, By Mike Elk, September 5

The striking thing about being a recent northern immigrant to the South is how often I walk into a bar and hear people talking about Bernie Sanders. As an outsider to the region (I’m a native of the East End of Pittsburgh), I sometimes find it incredible: Go into any bar in the South and all the young folks are feeling the Bern. While Sanders lost big in these states, he did win among southern Millennials — yet another indication that the South is changing a lot faster than some folks realize.

Yet people up North are always shocked to hear this. Too often, the only depictions of the South that we get via national news are cartoon caricatures of Confederate flag enthusiasts. As a result, we often forget about the progressives in the South. In part, the Internet has played a role in creating them, in replacing local news outlets as the place to follow national politics. People in the South read the same blogs we do; their Tinder profiles include witty references to Michelle Obama. I meet young people in the South all the time who ask me, “What was it like before Obama?” These people literally don’t remember an America that didn’t have a black president or an Occupy Wall Street movement. They aren’t yokels, and they aren’t products of the Old South — they are products of a digital South in the age of Obama.
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Secret government electronic surveillance documents must be released, judge says

Vice, By Jason Leopold, September 17

In a major victory for journalists and privacy and transparency advocates, a federal court has started the process of unsealing secret records related to the government’s use of electronic surveillance.

US District Court Judge Beryl Howell said at a hearing Friday morning that absent an objection by government attorneys, the court would post to its website next week a list of all case numbers from 2012 in which federal prosecutors in Washington, DC applied for an order to install a pen register or a trap and trace device.
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