REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

In the garden, and RAIN!!!!

POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Saturday, December 14, 2019 03:09
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 12:40 PM

BRENDA


No worries anybody. It's life and I can't do much about it or people.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 6:51 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Pretty safe to say that the porch is watertight for the season.

I re-built the screen door by removing the damaged bottom and replacing it with a piece of plywood, recovered it with the existing vinyl on the outside and sealed everything nice and tight with aluminum tape. Best damn door I've had back there since I moved in. :)


I found out why it took on water and the MDF got soaked and ruined as well. The screen door was installed after the settling had occurred because the bottom of the door had been cut to fit the same 1/2" discrepancy that exists today. I guess they figured out that they don't make doors for a rough opening that small too and took another idiot shortcut instead of doing things the right way.



Good news?

The settling occurred before I moved in.

Bad news?

The reason that door broke and all that water got in the porch from there was because the dumbasses broke the factory seal on a cheap door to saw into MDF. Because they're dumbasses.

Seriously... WTF is wrong with the previous owners of this house?


Anyhow... got all the siding back up, went nuts with the great stuff and caulk and visqueen and everything should be good for the winter. I'll be monitoring everything of course, but I don't expect there to be any issues until I can get real windows and a real door installed along with finally getting gutters up next spring.



Winter is here... :(

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 8:11 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


MDF, OSB, particle board ... anyone who has anything but PLYWOOD (no matter how cheap it is) as a roof underlayment is in for a heap of hurt.

All the roof has to do is leak - just a little - and the /non-plywood/ roof underlayment loses all structural integrity. Nails come out like they were put into sawdust, and the slightest breeze will rip the entire roof to shreds. This is NOT from personal experience; just seeing failure analyses of houses in hurricane zones.

But from personal experience, I can say that cheap cabinetry made from particle board (the previous owners installed it) will NOT stand up to floor-washing using actual - yanno - water. And that's because the raw edges of the particle board (MDF, OSB) that sit on the floor will suck up water like the sponge it is, swell, and crumble apart from the bottom up.

There was a similar experience at work in the coffee / copy room, where the particleboard / laminate countertop failed when the top-mounted sink seal leaked.

I don't understand how anybody nowadays thinks that those three things are legitimate building materials. And how they're still allowed to be sold.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:01 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Yeah... It's junk.

I mentioned before that I'd like to make arcade cabinets when I get everything squared away and into a more managable house with more free time. They were all built with MDF too. Mine won't be.


I didn't mean the roof was MDF though. That's all plywood.

The bottom section of the screen door under the windows was (as well as the borders around the screen/glass panels). All but the most expensive screen doors these days are built that way, unfortunatley.

Still though, it probably would have held up just fine over the years with the factory seal.

These geniuses ruined the integrity of the factory seal by taking the bottom casing off, ripping the bottom part of the screen door to fit the smaller opening, then put the bottom casing back on.

All it would have taken is one snowstorm that they weren't immediately out there shoveling the snow away and when it melted it got in and started ruining the bottom of the door.



Idiots... :0

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:28 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Yeah they were idiots - but still. Anything made of any of those materials is made to fail.

For instance - the door. Even if it hadn't been damaged by the previous owns, sheer life would have caused it to fail. So you're going in the door but your arms are just LOADED with stuff. You go up to it sideways to get a hand on the knob, and you just crack it open, then you kick it all the way open your foot so you can get through. And unbeknown to you, you flexed a tiny separation between the door's face casing and the bottom edge casing ... and before you know it, the whole door is ruined. Or like the top-mounted sink at work - sooner or later, after ordinary wiping and cleaning, some of the caulking finally rubbed off, water got into the raw cut edge put into the countertop for the sink, and literally the next day that area was swollen up to easily 5x it's normal thickness.

Failure with moisture for that kind of material is a given. And imo moisture is a fact of life for any building, inside or out. imo materials need to be able to resist at least occasional exposure, instead of instantly failing.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:32 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Oh... I agree.

That's why I was getting pretty pissed off when I saw that screen doors over $300 still had an MDF core. I don't get it.

Makes sense when you're buying a bottom of the barrel $80 door, but I think anything above $250 should have at least plywood. Once you start getting to $300 and $400 and beyond it should be solid wood, IMO.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:37 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
No worries anybody. It's life and I can't do much about it or people.

Hmmm... but I get the feeling that things bother you. You shouldn't have to live your life in quiet resentment. Not only is it bad for you, it poisons your relationships. So somewhere between staying quiet and being an aggressive a-hole is a happy medium where you stick up for yourself without being a jerk. It's a hard line to find and most people spend their whole lives not finding that balance, but it's definitely something positive to work towards.

Just a thought.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019 11:45 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Oh... I agree.

That's why I was getting pretty pissed off when I saw that screen doors over $300 still had an MDF core. I don't get it.

Makes sense when you're buying a bottom of the barrel $80 door, but I think anything above $250 should have at least plywood. Once you start getting to $300 and $400 and beyond it should be solid wood, IMO.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

Yeah, I haven't delved into that kind of door - yet. I may at some point. The security screen door I had put in (so my cat wouldn't rip his way out through the screen, like he did with the window) is metal-framed with heavy-duty stainless steel screening. The inner door is a solid wood door I got MANY years ago for really cheap because the bottom panel had a crack in it. And as they say - putty and paint are what a carpenter ain't. But maybe when I get around to doing some more of that kind of work, I'll run into the same kind of frustration with the same kind of built-to-be-shoddy - and yet expensive! - products.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 10:53 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Oh... I agree.

That's why I was getting pretty pissed off when I saw that screen doors over $300 still had an MDF core. I don't get it.

Makes sense when you're buying a bottom of the barrel $80 door, but I think anything above $250 should have at least plywood. Once you start getting to $300 and $400 and beyond it should be solid wood, IMO.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

Yeah, I haven't delved into that kind of door - yet. I may at some point. The security screen door I had put in (so my cat wouldn't rip his way out through the screen, like he did with the window) is metal-framed with heavy-duty stainless steel screening. The inner door is a solid wood door I got MANY years ago for really cheap because the bottom panel had a crack in it. And as they say - putty and paint are what a carpenter ain't. But maybe when I get around to doing some more of that kind of work, I'll run into the same kind of frustration with the same kind of built-to-be-shoddy - and yet expensive! - products.




We used to have a big hardware store nearby that sold solid fir multi-light doors that Home Depot drove out of business. Tried to get the same kind of door at Home Depot, all they had was the MDF crap. We would have to get custom-made doors to find the equivalent.

Even the plywood is crap. Hubby delegated me to buy 2x4s and plywood for the bed platforms (twinned together support a king-sized mattress, I have to say it turned out FABULOUS, and he built them in three days!) so I got the best 2x4s I could find (prime, dried ... have you ever touched the other construction lumber? It's literally wet!) ... but even in the "prime" stack it was hard to find two pieces that didn't have big knots, or bark still attached, or big cracks or huge twist/cupping/bowing or other serious flaws. I'm thinking that the "good wood" accounted for something like 5% of the stack cause we looked thru about 50 pieces to find two good ones, and we had to do that several times to get six pieces, and sometimes we didn't get any at all it was just so crappy.

Took a look at the 3/4 plywood which was just awful - full of voids - and got the "furniture grade" plywood. It looks better than construction material, but it's not even 3/4" its 19/32, and when we went to cut it the wood was so soft it broke out on cutting and sanding and was just plain furry. It could have been grown for paper-making for all I know, it was the softest wood I've even seen.

Just for kicks I looked at the 2X10s (16'), and saw only one good piece out of maybe ten, the rest had giant cracks in them that were maybe 1/8" wide at the widest and that ran at least 3'.

I dunno SIX, does the west coast have crappier lumber because we're in the middle of a housing/ renovation boom, and demand is outstripping supply? Or is this just a Home Depot problem? Or is this a nationwide phenomenon? Or am I just being picky?

Next time I go to Home Depot I'll count up the number of voids in the 3/4 plywood, and you tell me ... what's going on here?

I think I'm going to learn furniture-building like hubby did. And sewing. That way I won't be hostage to the crap that's out there.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:06 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
No worries anybody. It's life and I can't do much about it or people.

Hmmm... but I get the feeling that things bother you. You shouldn't have to live your life in quiet resentment. Not only is it bad for you, it poisons your relationships. So somewhere between staying quiet and being an aggressive a-hole is a happy medium where you stick up for yourself without being a jerk. It's a hard line to find and most people spend their whole lives not finding that balance, but it's definitely something positive to work towards.

Just a thought.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY



True enough. But I have one thing looming on the horizon for tomorrow. How to get to my hearing aide appointment in another city with a possible bus strike.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:19 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Oh... I agree.

That's why I was getting pretty pissed off when I saw that screen doors over $300 still had an MDF core. I don't get it.

Makes sense when you're buying a bottom of the barrel $80 door, but I think anything above $250 should have at least plywood. Once you start getting to $300 and $400 and beyond it should be solid wood, IMO.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

Yeah, I haven't delved into that kind of door - yet. I may at some point. The security screen door I had put in (so my cat wouldn't rip his way out through the screen, like he did with the window) is metal-framed with heavy-duty stainless steel screening. The inner door is a solid wood door I got MANY years ago for really cheap because the bottom panel had a crack in it. And as they say - putty and paint are what a carpenter ain't. But maybe when I get around to doing some more of that kind of work, I'll run into the same kind of frustration with the same kind of built-to-be-shoddy - and yet expensive! - products.



Well I've got until spring to figure out what I'm going to do now. I obviously can't buy it at Menards since none of them will fit, and as far as I know the only Big Box store to carry them in a size that will is Home Depot. Those doors don't seem any better than what Menards had.


It may be the same case here as it is with buying gutters. The gutters at Big Box stores aren't only crappy because you have to join all the seams, but they're smaller, of lousier construction, and they actually cost more than having a place that specializes in aluminum coming out to your house and running the exact lengths you need of high quality larger ones.

I'm going to get another quote together for the gutters soon, and when I'm talking to them I'm going to ask if they sell doors or know anybody they would recommend.

If I find a better option, I'll be sure to let you know.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:53 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
We used to have a big hardware store nearby that sold solid fir multi-light doors that Home Depot drove out of business. Tried to get the same kind of door at Home Depot, all they had was the MDF crap. We would have to get custom-made doors to find the equivalent.



Yeah... Like I said to Kiki above, I'm going to see what my options are outside of Big Box stores... if there even are any. I probably better get those gutters up before they put the little guy with the far better product out of business too.

Quote:

Even the plywood is crap. Hubby delegated me to buy 2x4s and plywood for the bed platforms (twinned together support a king-sized mattress, I have to say it turned out FABULOUS, and he built them in three days!) so I got the best 2x4s I could find (prime, dried ... have you ever touched the other construction lumber? It's literally wet!) ...


Yes. The lumber can be quite wet. Usually the regular stuff isn't, but the green stuff always was. In fact, we were going to use construction glue when we did the work, but it wasn't sticking. We thought at first it might be a VOC issue and they just didn't make it good like they used to. It turns out that you can't glue green wood. There are supposedly glues out there by companies like Gorilla that are designed for this task, but the reviews are mixed and I wasn't willing to pay 6 times as much per tube for something that likely wasn't going to do anything over the long haul.

If you're finding the non-treated lumber to be wet though, I'd look to other places to buy it, or at least try to contact a professional to see if that's normal in your climate. None of our non-treated lumber was wet to the touch.

Quote:

but even in the "prime" stack it was hard to find two pieces that didn't have big knots, or bark still attached, or big cracks or huge twist/cupping/bowing or other serious flaws. I'm thinking that the "good wood" accounted for something like 5% of the stack cause we looked thru about 50 pieces to find two good ones, and we had to do that several times to get six pieces, and sometimes we didn't get any at all it was just so crappy.

Took a look at the 3/4 plywood which was just awful - full of voids - and got the "furniture grade" plywood. It looks better than construction material, but it's not even 3/4" its 19/32, and when we went to cut it the wood was so soft it broke out on cutting and sanding and was just plain furry. It could have been grown for paper-making for all I know, it was the softest wood I've even seen.

Just for kicks I looked at the 2X10s (16'), and saw only one good piece out of maybe ten, the rest had giant cracks in them that were maybe 1/8" wide at the widest and that ran at least 3'.

I dunno SIX, does the west coast have crappier lumber because we're in the middle of a housing/ renovation boom, and demand is outstripping supply? Or is this just a Home Depot problem? Or is this a nationwide phenomenon? Or am I just being picky?

Next time I go to Home Depot I'll count up the number of voids in the 3/4 plywood, and you tell me ... what's going on here?



Our plywood had a lot of voids. My friend wasn't too happy when he saw it, but I told him that my brother and I were getting the stuff while it was raining heavily outside and even though we threw at least a dozen or two boards to the side to get the ones we got, those were the best ones we were going to find.

For sub flooring, it doesn't really matter. We just needed to be careful that we picked suitable pieces for the ones we were going to cut and that we weren't going to put any of the voids directly on a cut where they'd join to another piece.

As for counting, which I didn't, I'd guess the worst one had something like 16 to 20 of them. They are usually very uniform when you get them, almost in a grid. At least that was my experience with the ones we were working with. But a few of the pieces were damn near perfect too.



As for the lumber itself, we did good. No cracks. You can't avoid knots completely unless you want to spend all day digging under a huge pile of stuff and then re-stacking everything when you're done (because we're not animals).

Some of them were really, really straight. A few were not. That's just the nature of the beast when working with rough lumber.



I couldn't tell you if it was because of the California renovation boom or not. It's possible. Maybe the demand for quality lumber out there is so high that local contractors are just getting the primo picks for new construction while the big box stores are getting the chaff? It's also possible you're being picky too. I think a lot of things are at play here.

Right now you know your local Home Depot and the quality you're working with there. I would suggest trying out Lowes, Menards and possibly any local lumber yards in your area and comparing the quality and the price. Why wait until you need more wood? If you've got a free day, just make yourself a little spreadsheet on a notebook with the lumber you bought that has a spot for prices per piece and some sort of rating system for how you and hubbs grade the quality of the wood (1 through 10, 0 to 5 stars, etc.)

Personally, I can't speak to the quality of Home Depot lumber. The stuff I got at Menards suited my purposes and from the light online shopping I did the price wasn't lower anywhere else to warrant driving a lot further to get it. Since I don't have a vehicle of my own to get any of the larger stuff, I couldn't exactly put people out and make them drive a long distance to get things either. The Menards is much closer than the other places by at least 5 or 6 miles.



Quote:

I think I'm going to learn furniture-building like hubby did. And sewing. That way I won't be hostage to the crap that's out there.



I'm lucky that my brother learned to sew while he was in the army. I've had him do a few things for me over the years. Only problem is waiting for him to actually getting around to doing it. I've got no interest in learning that myself, so I have no room to complain.

For building furniture, or really anything with wood, you should look no further than YouTube for tutorials. Find a good channel and they'll teach you everything you need to know. And if you know how to build at least some rudimentary furniture you'd be surprised how many other things you can do with those skills after you've become comfortable with them.

It's not rocket science. If you have the time and desire to learn, and you've got money for the proper tools, you shouldn't have any problems figuring it out. You might also find it quite enjoyable too.


I really enjoyed re-building that door yesterday. I had no idea what I was going to do with it going into the day, but it turned out fabulously. I even put the hanging spring mechanism back on the top late last night that I forgot I had bagged up in the garage after my friend took it down and said "always save your hardware".

I'm pretty confident that if I really wanted to I could not only salvage the door for temporary use like I did yesterday, but I could rebuild it and not have to buy a new one. But that would be a lot of work and a decent buck to get it all finished and I just don't think it would be worth the effort. Just got to find the right solution to my problem for spring time. Hoping I can find a legit door system to go along with the screen door so I can have a real door on the back porch too. If they make a full door kit for my size that I don't have to spend $400 extra making custom, it will be a hell of a lot easier to install everything too.


Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 2:29 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
No worries anybody. It's life and I can't do much about it or people.

Hmmm... but I get the feeling that things bother you. You shouldn't have to live your life in quiet resentment. Not only is it bad for you, it poisons your relationships. So somewhere between staying quiet and being an aggressive a-hole is a happy medium where you stick up for yourself without being a jerk. It's a hard line to find and most people spend their whole lives not finding that balance, but it's definitely something positive to work towards.

Just a thought.



True enough. But I have one thing looming on the horizon for tomorrow. How to get to my hearing aide appointment in another city with a possible bus strike.

Well, bon chance on your trek thru the other city. I hope you get thru the trip ok without too many hassles and that your hearing aids are all properly adjusted and that they work great!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 2:31 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Hey Signy (and Jack)

FWIW here's my take on "Big Box stores".

To me, of the 2 big box stores I have experience with, Lowe's is FAR superior to Home Depot. But as stores to buy from, they have their plusses and minuses. (I don't think of Ace as a big box store, and though it's expensive, I tend to go there for my home building / repair materials because they really are helpful and have the oddest things one might want, like horse-troughs. So I'm an Ace customer unless I'm in need of hard-core supplies, like sheets of drywall or lengths of crown molding.) Anyway, when I see the local contractors zip into Lowe's or Home Depot I understand why those stores carry what they do at the prices they are. AFAIK, contractors in general don't order their entire framing supply, or sill-plate anchors, or bricks, or re-roofing materials, or (...), from Lowe's or Home Depot. They'll either order them directly from the manufacturer (Weyerhaeuser plywood, Owens Corning COOL roof shingles) or from a licensed intermediary.

I think local contractors go to big box stores when they're short, or have a change order, or have a small project, or have some other need where they have to get something NOW - or their entire schedule, or job, goes off-track.

So big box stores are in between the mom-and-pop sundry stores and the larger construction suppliers. So they carry a lot of different kinds of things you won't find at a more strictly consumer-oriented mom-and-pop place, or Ace --- whole shelves of drywall, bins of Simpson strong-tie products, stacks of framing lumber, pre-hung doors and windows, PVC pipe and connectors, and you-do gutters. But that convenience comes at a cost for contractors and us consumer-type customers. Because those stores understand they have the contractors in a bind - buy here now, or wait days or weeks for a commercial supplier to come through. And I think that lends itself to carrying low-quality products. Buy this, or go without.

I THINK it might be especially true for things like framing lumber and plywood (and even doors and windows). A genuine lumber mill might have better, cheaper, and more. At least, when it was open, that was true of the lumber mill near me.

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Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:45 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Quote:

Originally posted by SIGNYM:
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:

Well, bon chance on your trek thru the other city. I hope you get thru the trip ok without too many hassles and that your hearing aids are all properly adjusted and that they work great!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY



Thanks SIG. I gotta little help on my trek Friday. Someone who knows where I have to go to take me part way there which will be a BIG help.

I am so hoping that something can be done. I have to take them off because of a buzzing with the left one. Makes me not want to use them and I know I have to. Will let you know what happens.

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Friday, November 8, 2019 12:22 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Hey Signy (and Jack)

FWIW here's my take on "Big Box stores".

To me, of the 2 big box stores I have experience with, Lowe's is FAR superior to Home Depot. But as stores to buy from, they have their plusses and minuses. (I don't think of Ace as a big box store, and though it's expensive, I tend to go there for my home building / repair materials because they really are helpful and have the oddest things one might want, like horse-troughs. So I'm an Ace customer unless I'm in need of hard-core supplies, like sheets of drywall or lengths of crown molding.) Anyway, when I see the local contractors zip into Lowe's or Home Depot I understand why those stores carry what they do at the prices they are. AFAIK, contractors in general don't order their entire framing supply, or sill-plate anchors, or bricks, or re-roofing materials, or (...), from Lowe's or Home Depot. They'll either order them directly from the manufacturer (Weyerhaeuser plywood, Owens Corning COOL roof shingles) or from a licensed intermediary.

I think local contractors go to big box stores when they're short, or have a change order, or have a small project, or have some other need where they have to get something NOW - or their entire schedule, or job, goes off-track.

So big box stores are in between the mom-and-pop sundry stores and the larger construction suppliers. So they carry a lot of different kinds of things you won't find at a more strictly consumer-oriented mom-and-pop place, or Ace --- whole shelves of drywall, bins of Simpson strong-tie products, stacks of framing lumber, pre-hung doors and windows, PVC pipe and connectors, and you-do gutters. But that convenience comes at a cost for contractors and us consumer-type customers. Because those stores understand they have the contractors in a bind - buy here now, or wait days or weeks for a commercial supplier to come through. And I think that lends itself to carrying low-quality products. Buy this, or go without.

I THINK it might be especially true for things like framing lumber and plywood (and even doors and windows). A genuine lumber mill might have better, cheaper, and more. At least, when it was open, that was true of the lumber mill near me.




They don't have any ACE Hardware by me. I'll bet they used to, but just like where I grew up all of them are gone. I only know of one left that I grew up with in the south suburbs by my grams house. Too far to drive when I need little things. And yeah, they are quite a bit more expensive.

I do miss ACE when I need cheap keys cut though. The locksmith by me is really expensive, and those key cutting kiosks the big box stores have simply don't work at all. The technology isn't there yet.



Recently I had to drive to a Menards that was further away from my house for one of the jacks we used. That store is monstrous. Two full stories with escalators and and elevator. I'd never seen a big box store that big by quite a margin. If I wasn't in a hurry that day I could have spent all day in heaven.



But yeah... my guess is that contractors generally get the higher quality stuff first at discount prices for buying in bulk and then the big box stores in the area get the refuse. There is quality control though, so it's not as if the lumber is shit or anything. You might have to do a bit of digging on occasion, but everything we got was fine. My friend was being nitpicky about the plywood. You're not finishing stuff with that material. It's meant for underlayment.



The door situation kind of annoys me though. Even though I now know that the door was destroyed by the elements because the idiots broke the seal and sawed off the bottom of the MDF and cobbled it back together, I don't think anything 100% free of wood core is going to hold up for decades, let alone MDF or even plywood. Honestly, I'd be much more inclined to buy something that was straight aluminum or steel frame with a mold injected core of a foam based material that wouldn't retain water or promote mold growth.



Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Friday, November 8, 2019 12:29 PM

BRENDA


Off soon to hopefully get my hearing aides straightened out.

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Friday, November 8, 2019 8:37 PM

BRENDA


Well, problem with hearing aides is some me and some my ears. My ears there isn't much that can be done. With me, I have to be more careful when I am putting them into my ears and make sure that they are in secure.

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Friday, November 8, 2019 8:39 PM

BRENDA


Been watching vids using scenes from the Netflix, I think show "Good Omens". It is based on a book and my library has a copy of the book. After seeing the vids, I have to read this.

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Friday, November 8, 2019 8:48 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


I hope that fixes the problem considerably, Brenda! And if you find the book, maybe you could let us know some more about it!
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Well, problem with hearing aides is some me and some my ears. My ears there isn't much that can be done. With me, I have to be more careful when I am putting them into my ears and make sure that they are in secure.


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Friday, November 8, 2019 11:50 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by 1kiki:
I hope that fixes the problem considerably, Brenda! And if you find the book, maybe you could let us know some more about it!
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Well, problem with hearing aides is some me and some my ears. My ears there isn't much that can be done. With me, I have to be more careful when I am putting them into my ears and make sure that they are in secure.




I think so. I just have to pay more attention to what I am doing when I put them in because once they are in properly it does get rid of the feedback problem.

My library says that all copies of "Good Omens" are in use. So will have to put a hold on it.

What I know of the book is that it was written by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman. And it is about an angel named Aziraphale and a demon named Crowely who have become friends. They met in the Garden of Eden and have taken a liking to earthly things. Also they are suppose to be looking for the Antichrist to make sure that he doesn't destroy the world.

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Friday, November 8, 2019 11:52 PM

BRENDA


My library has also gotten request for the DVDs. But I know it is on YouTube.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019 2:08 PM

BRENDA


Ah, the joys of laundry day and the errands which follow.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019 6:02 PM

BRENDA


Got rain.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019 6:41 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Got the window in the attic blocked off with some visqueen. It's a crappy old wooden window, so that should keep the house warmer this winter assuming it holds. Not too concerned since I've never done this before and I'm not worried about it taking in any water if it doesn't hold up.

Also got the leaves out to the curb for pickup two weeks in a row. I've never done that before either. Lawn looks great and almost all of my leaves are down. Hopefully the short grass aids the wind blowing off any leaves that I get from any neighbors who's haven't fallen yet if we don't get another warm weekend to do it again before the snow is here to stay.


Off to my friend's birthday party. Not sure how long I'm going to stay there since it's at a bar, but should be interesting catching up with a lot of other people I haven't seen in years.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Saturday, November 9, 2019 10:16 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Guests have come and guests have gone, so it's back to fixing things up at a more reasonable pace. They thought the bed was comfortable and the bedroom/bathroom convenient, which was my biggest worry, so all is well.

Aside from the various daily chores I just signed up myself and dear daughter for the various insurances we will need for the next year. Am working with dear daughter to have her set up a spreadsheet of our various medications so I can line up all of the refills to one day, and have a heads up on when we need a new Rx. Tomorrow will be cooler (we had a two-day hot spell @ 90F) so I can do some outdoor work but need to talk to hubby about next on the agenda so we're working in the same direction. There's still plenty around here to do!!

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY

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Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:54 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


I'm really glad I went. Caught up with a lot of old friends and acquaintances. Looks like I might have a few job leads after tonight too. One or two of them could be some serious life changing money if one of them were to work out. I'd have to work full time for the first time in a dozen or so years, so working on the house like I want to would be out of the question pretty much with all the time it takes just to do regular maintenance around here, but if I was still in a big hurry to move I could just pay somebody else to do it.

I was there for 5 1/2 hours and wasn't even tempted by the booze. Even had no problems out in the beer garden while the bowl was passed around and had to turn down a few people who were practically trying to force some edibles on me after I mentioned that I've never tried them before.


Good to know. I can trust myself in a scenario that I was fairly uncomfortable walking into, and I didn't feel the need to make up an excuse to leave early either.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:35 PM

THG


Here you go kiki. I told you if you troll my link I'll post it here.
Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Re home remodeling / reorganizing ... everything I've read said ... think about what you do day to day ...

BUT - what if, for example, you don't have a kitchen that lends itself to cooking. So you don't cook, day to day. But you would cook, if you could.

Why remodel and reproduce all the same limitations of your current space by reproducing what you now do day to day?

I've read a few really good organizing tips however and come up with a few myself:

a place for everything
store it where you used it
keep everything you use daily out in plain sight
pull-out drawers below waist level, cupboards above
wide drawers to avoid having to open a lot of them to find something
open shelves are freaking dust-catchers

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/t-magazine/kitchen-organization.htm
l

kitchens "Bennett believes that all cookware falls under the four pillars of “prep, cook, serve, store” “PREP” includes tools like mixing bowls, her mortar and pestle, a scale and a measuring glass, while the “COOK” drawer is full of pots and pans. Items for serving — plates, bowls and glasses — are in the cupboard, her resealable containers are all stacked in a drawer of their own, and never shall the four ever meet.

keep bedrooms spare






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Impeachment Investigation Is Underway, Judiciary Committee Says

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Original post:

1KIKI


No, you spouted some sort of gibberish about non-existent 'allies' about stupid extortion threats (with everyone listening in!), about Russia something or other, and so on.

You failed to answer the question - HOW IS IS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATENED?


The Less Americans Know About Ukraine, The More They Support Intervening There

Here's a map of Europe and western Russia, with the countries labeled.




I know that most people couldn't find Ukraine without those labels, even more, they probably couldn't find Europe.

But looking at this map, which countries do YOU see are on Ukraine's border that might reasonably be 'threatened'? Because I strain to see the Hungarian-US border anywhere. In fact, there's 4,864 mi between Washington DC, and Kiev.

Even more, I find no US allies on Ukraine's border. I see Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Belarus. They're NATO members, but not US allies.

EVEN IF - and I see no reason to imagine that would happen - Russia were to take over Ukraine, I fail to see how that could pose a security risk TO THE US.

So, you STILL haven't answered the question! You know, it's an important question. Everyone says the reason why what Trump did with Zelensky was bad was because it jeopardized US national security. They weren't talking about Belarus's national security, or Moldova's national security. They claimed to be talking about the US's national security. Yanno, MY country - a country whose interests I take seriously. (I don't know which country has YOUR loyalties, but it's clearly NOT the US. The US is a tool to you. You're hoping WE will sacrifice some part of ourselves for YOUR interests.)

So here is my question again, in gold ... just so you don't miss it: - explain to me EXACTLY how US national security is threatened by anything that happens in Ukraine.

IN DETAIL.


A billion flies eat shit.


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Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:35 PM

THG


Here you go kiki. I told you if you troll my link I'll post it here.
Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Re home remodeling / reorganizing ... everything I've read said ... think about what you do day to day ...

BUT - what if, for example, you don't have a kitchen that lends itself to cooking. So you don't cook, day to day. But you would cook, if you could.

Why remodel and reproduce all the same limitations of your current space by reproducing what you now do day to day?

I've read a few really good organizing tips however and come up with a few myself:

a place for everything
store it where you used it
keep everything you use daily out in plain sight
pull-out drawers below waist level, cupboards above
wide drawers to avoid having to open a lot of them to find something
open shelves are freaking dust-catchers

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/t-magazine/kitchen-organization.htm
l

kitchens "Bennett believes that all cookware falls under the four pillars of “prep, cook, serve, store” “PREP” includes tools like mixing bowls, her mortar and pestle, a scale and a measuring glass, while the “COOK” drawer is full of pots and pans. Items for serving — plates, bowls and glasses — are in the cupboard, her resealable containers are all stacked in a drawer of their own, and never shall the four ever meet.

keep bedrooms spare






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Impeachment Investigation Is Underway, Judiciary Committee Says

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Original post:

1KIKI


No, you spouted some sort of gibberish about non-existent 'allies' about stupid extortion threats (with everyone listening in!), about Russia something or other, and so on.

You failed to answer the question - HOW IS IS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATENED?


The Less Americans Know About Ukraine, The More They Support Intervening There

Here's a map of Europe and western Russia, with the countries labeled.




I know that most people couldn't find Ukraine without those labels, even more, they probably couldn't find Europe.

But looking at this map, which countries do YOU see are on Ukraine's border that might reasonably be 'threatened'? Because I strain to see the Hungarian-US border anywhere. In fact, there's 4,864 mi between Washington DC, and Kiev.

Even more, I find no US allies on Ukraine's border. I see Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Belarus. They're NATO members, but not US allies.

EVEN IF - and I see no reason to imagine that would happen - Russia were to take over Ukraine, I fail to see how that could pose a security risk TO THE US.

So, you STILL haven't answered the question! You know, it's an important question. Everyone says the reason why what Trump did with Zelensky was bad was because it jeopardized US national security. They weren't talking about Belarus's national security, or Moldova's national security. They claimed to be talking about the US's national security. Yanno, MY country - a country whose interests I take seriously. (I don't know which country has YOUR loyalties, but it's clearly NOT the US. The US is a tool to you. You're hoping WE will sacrifice some part of ourselves for YOUR interests.)

So here is my question again, in gold ... just so you don't miss it: - explain to me EXACTLY how US national security is threatened by anything that happens in Ukraine.

IN DETAIL.


A billion flies eat shit.


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HOME >> COMMUNITY >> REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS >> IMPEACHMENT INVESTIGATION IS UNDERWAY, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SAYS
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Impeachment Investigation Is Underway, Judiciary Committee Says

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Original post:

1KIKI


No, you spouted some sort of gibberish about non-existent 'allies' about stupid extortion threats (with everyone listening in!), about Russia something or other, and so on.

You failed to answer the question - HOW IS IS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATENED?


The Less Americans Know About Ukraine, The More They Support Intervening There

Here's a map of Europe and western Russia, with the countries labeled.




I know that most people couldn't find Ukraine without those labels, even more, they probably couldn't find Europe.

But looking at this map, which countries do YOU see are on Ukraine's border that might reasonably be 'threatened'? Because I strain to see the Hungarian-US border anywhere. In fact, there's 4,864 mi between Washington DC, and Kiev.

Even more, I find no US allies on Ukraine's border. I see Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Belarus. They're NATO members, but not US allies.

EVEN IF - and I see no reason to imagine that would happen - Russia were to take over Ukraine, I fail to see how that could pose a security risk TO THE US.

So, you STILL haven't answered the question! You know, it's an important question. Everyone says the reason why what Trump did with Zelensky was bad was because it jeopardized US national security. They weren't talking about Belarus's national security, or Moldova's national security. They claimed to be talking about the US's national security. Yanno, MY country - a country whose interests I take seriously. (I don't know which country has YOUR loyalties, but it's clearly NOT the US. The US is a tool to you. You're hoping WE will sacrifice some part of ourselves for YOUR interests.)

So here is my question again, in gold ... just so you don't miss it: - explain to me EXACTLY how US national security is threatened by anything that happens in Ukraine.

IN DETAIL.


A billion flies eat shit.


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Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:36 PM

BRENDA


Lazy Sunday and also a dry one.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019 2:38 PM

BRENDA


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
I'm really glad I went. Caught up with a lot of old friends and acquaintances. Looks like I might have a few job leads after tonight too. One or two of them could be some serious life changing money if one of them were to work out. I'd have to work full time for the first time in a dozen or so years, so working on the house like I want to would be out of the question pretty much with all the time it takes just to do regular maintenance around here, but if I was still in a big hurry to move I could just pay somebody else to do it.

I was there for 5 1/2 hours and wasn't even tempted by the booze. Even had no problems out in the beer garden while the bowl was passed around and had to turn down a few people who were practically trying to force some edibles on me after I mentioned that I've never tried them before.


Good to know. I can trust myself in a scenario that I was fairly uncomfortable walking into, and I didn't feel the need to make up an excuse to leave early either.

Do Right, Be Right. :)



That's wonderful on all counts Jack.

So glad that things are starting to look more up for you.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019 3:17 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Thanks Brenda.

It's really kind of interesting being around a bunch of folk who are drinking and cutting loose while being the sober one. I'm thinking with the fact that so many of them have families at this point that they wouldn't have drank as much even at a 40th B-day party if nobody had invented Uber yet.

When I was the last of the party to leave except for my friend and his fiancee, he followed me out and we had a smoke and he said "well I made it". I asked him what that meant, and he said "Well... I'm still standing. I didn't embarrass [his fiancee]." It was true. Actually, he seemed to be quite a bit better off than some of the other people I knew by the end of the night. I let him know I can't wait until he gets that rental property fixed up and that bullshit stress out of his life.



One of my old friends who I hadn't seen in maybe eight years was there and said "we're neighbors". It turns out that at some point he moved one town over from me. He want to go shoot pool like we always did back in the day and even offered to pay for it. None of his friends live very close and everyone's so busy. I told him that I'm probably not good anymore and I hope I don't bore him, since apparently he's really good now and never quit playing. His oldest kid just graduated high school. That was with an ex of mine that he kind of stole away from me while he was unemployed and I was working a lot of overtime, just around 20 years ago. It had led into a fist fight and a huge falling out for years. We'd since made up and hung out on a few occasions in between my times cutting everyone out of my life. He asked me if I hated him, for yanno, what happened between us all back then. I said, nah man... we're past that. No worries.

That relationship didn't work out for him either, and even though the kid is out of high school he's still paying child support probably until the kid is out of college. I kind of feel like it was just another in a very long line of bullets I dodged over the years.

Anyhow... he's one of the guys who says he wants to get me a job. He's been a salesman all his life. He was talking about the job and said "It's not much... $25/hr." I said, dude, in the last 10 years I was working overnights for $8.25 an $11.50 an hour. I think I can make it work".


One of the other guys was a dude I only met once in my life at a friend's wedding around 12 years ago. He married the sister of a friend I hadn't seen in 10 or so years (who was also there). Not only did this guy remember meeting me too, but he asked "don't you live in Wisconsin". He remembered I worked up there all the way back then after just that one night. Sharp guy.

He wants my resume. He wants my google photos link of the work I've done on the house. He says whether I want back into the tech industry or I want to work with my hands that he's got connections and he can either get me in where he's located or with somebody doing something that I want to do, whether I want to work a solid gig or just some moonlighting stuff. He mentioned tech security, and that if I wanted to get certified knowing what I already know about the stuff, I could be looking at six figures.

It all sounds pretty exciting. Not going to get my hopes up on anything just yet, but I can add the "networking" opportunity last night to the things I'm really thankful to my friend for. Maybe... just maybe, I can get my foot in the door at a place that pays a real livable wage and really turn things around finally instead of just kind of skating by and piecing things together with duct tape. It's not like I'd have to do it for very long if I didn't want to. 5 to 10 years with legit pay is really all I'd need.

Fingers crossed.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Sunday, November 10, 2019 3:59 PM

BRENDA


Sounds like you and had good time with your friends. And made some good contacts as well.

Finger crossing is good but hopefully one of these will turn up something for you.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 1:07 PM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Meeting up with old school mates and friends from long ago can be stressful, so I'm very happy for you that you had a nice time! Congrats as well on testing your sobriety successfully! Not going to say too much about that beyond that; don't want to tempt the gods and bring bad luck down on you. But like BRENDA, I hope that this turns up some opportunities for you. Maybe next time, if at a party or something, you can take your guitar: I think music means a lot to you and I'll bet you're pretty good at it.

-----------
Pity would be no more,
If we did not MAKE men poor - William Blake

You idiots have been oppressing the entire sexual spectrum as long as you have existed. I can't wait for the day your kind is dead - WISHIMAY

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Monday, November 11, 2019 1:22 PM

BRENDA


Dry here this Remembrance Day.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:33 PM

THG


And again after a warning, kiki reposted the same ridiculously long post again and again. Here you go kiki.





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HOME >> COMMUNITY >> REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS >> ASSANGE ARRESTED
REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Assange arrested
POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Monday, November 11, 2019 21:05
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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:24 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/



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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:30 PM

THG


Quote:

Originally posted by THG:

Kiki, none of your links suggests anything other than, based on what the flies you've listed eat, shit would be on the menu.





Oh no, kiki's upset again. One of her tells is that she starts reposting a post she put a lot of work into, and somebody shows it to be nonsense in a sentence or two response. At times like now, her post grows expediently and in size.

T


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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:40 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

Ok - here's my response. I believe it's short enough, and simple enough, for even you to understand. YOU WERE WRONG. There are many kinds of fly that DON'T EVER eat shit, only only certain kinds of fly that specifically DO.

You can ignore the links and the quotes I posted twice, if it makes you feel better.

I will point out though, that other people who have a little more going on upstairs than you do, will have CLEARLY understood both the fact that you were wrong, AND the fact that you kept stupidly insisting you weren't.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:40 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/




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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:53 PM

THG


Yep, kiki's upset. One more repost and I'll be forced to move it all over to the garden thread.

T


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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:05 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

Threats AGAIN, THUGGER?

Are you so out of ideas, out of intelligence, and out of sanity that you have to resort to threats, trolling, LIBEL, and lies?

Are those the only tools in your toolkit?

And - BTW - you were wrong.

A billion flies eat shit.

But not all flies eat shit.

And also btw - THIS IS NOT 'YOUR' THREAD. And I'm not trolling by posting ON TOPIC.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:05 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/





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Assange arrested
POSTED BY: SIGNYM
UPDATED: Monday, November 11, 2019 21:05
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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:24 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/



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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:30 PM

THG


Quote:

Originally posted by THG:

Kiki, none of your links suggests anything other than, based on what the flies you've listed eat, shit would be on the menu.





Oh no, kiki's upset again. One of her tells is that she starts reposting a post she put a lot of work into, and somebody shows it to be nonsense in a sentence or two response. At times like now, her post grows expediently and in size.

T


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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:40 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

Ok - here's my response. I believe it's short enough, and simple enough, for even you to understand. YOU WERE WRONG. There are many kinds of fly that DON'T EVER eat shit, only only certain kinds of fly that specifically DO.

You can ignore the links and the quotes I posted twice, if it makes you feel better.

I will point out though, that other people who have a little more going on upstairs than you do, will have CLEARLY understood both the fact that you were wrong, AND the fact that you kept stupidly insisting you weren't.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:40 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/




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Monday, November 11, 2019 8:53 PM

THG


Yep, kiki's upset. One more repost and I'll be forced to move it all over to the garden thread.

T


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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:05 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.

Threats AGAIN, THUGGER?

Are you so out of ideas, out of intelligence, and out of sanity that you have to resort to threats, trolling, LIBEL, and lies?

Are those the only tools in your toolkit?

And - BTW - you were wrong.

A billion flies eat shit.

But not all flies eat shit.

And also btw - THIS IS NOT 'YOUR' THREAD. And I'm not trolling by posting ON TOPIC.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:05 PM

1KIKI
Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



In the meantime, while I appreciate the bump, I hope to keep the thread ON TOPIC.


Assange in Court 841
22 Oct, 2019 in Uncategorized by craig

UPDATE I have received scores of requests to republish and/or translate this article. It is absolutely free to use and reproduce and I should be delighted if everybody does; the world should know what is being done to Julian. So far, over 200,000 people have read it on this blogsite alone and it has already been reproduced on myriad other sites, some with much bigger readerships than my own. I have seen translations into German, Spanish and French and at least extracts in Catalan and Turkish. I only ask that you reproduce it complete or, if edits are made, plainly indicate them. Many thanks.

BEGINS

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated ageing. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly sceptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and sceptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness.

I had been even more sceptical of those who claimed, as a senior member of his legal team did to me on Sunday night, that they were worried that Julian might not live to the end of the extradition process. I now find myself not only believing it, but haunted by the thought. Everybody in that court yesterday saw that one of the greatest journalists and most important dissidents of our times is being tortured to death by the state, before our eyes. To see my friend, the most articulate man, the fastest thinker, I have ever known, reduced to that shambling and incoherent wreck, was unbearable. Yet the agents of the state, particularly the callous magistrate Vanessa Baraitser, were not just prepared but eager to be a part of this bloodsport. She actually told him that if he were incapable of following proceedings, then his lawyers could explain what had happened to him later. The question of why a man who, by the very charges against him, was acknowledged to be highly intelligent and competent, had been reduced by the state to somebody incapable of following court proceedings, gave her not a millisecond of concern.

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The purpose of yesterday’s hearing was case management; to determine the timetable for the extradition proceedings. The key points at issue were that Julian’s defence was requesting more time to prepare their evidence; and arguing that political offences were specifically excluded from the extradition treaty. There should, they argued, therefore be a preliminary hearing to determine whether the extradition treaty applied at all.

The reasons given by Assange’s defence team for more time to prepare were both compelling and startling. They had very limited access to their client in jail and had not been permitted to hand him any documents about the case until one week ago. He had also only just been given limited computer access, and all his relevant records and materials had been seized from the Ecuadorean Embassy by the US Government; he had no access to his own materials for the purpose of preparing his defence.

Furthermore, the defence argued, they were in touch with the Spanish courts about a very important and relevant legal case in Madrid which would provide vital evidence. It showed that the CIA had been directly ordering spying on Julian in the Embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide security there. Crucially this included spying on privileged conversations between Assange and his lawyers discussing his defence against these extradition proceedings, which had been in train in the USA since 2010. In any normal process, that fact would in itself be sufficient to have the extradition proceedings dismissed. Incidentally I learnt on Sunday that the Spanish material produced in court, which had been commissioned by the CIA, specifically includes high resolution video coverage of Julian and I discussing various matters.

The evidence to the Spanish court also included a CIA plot to kidnap Assange, which went to the US authorities’ attitude to lawfulness in his case and the treatment he might expect in the United States. Julian’s team explained that the Spanish legal process was happening now and the evidence from it would be extremely important, but it might not be finished and thus the evidence not fully validated and available in time for the current proposed timetable for the Assange extradition hearings.

For the prosecution, James Lewis QC stated that the government strongly opposed any delay being given for the defence to prepare, and strongly opposed any separate consideration of the question of whether the charge was a political offence excluded by the extradition treaty. Baraitser took her cue from Lewis and stated categorically that the date for the extradition hearing, 25 February, could not be changed. She was open to changes in dates for submission of evidence and responses before this, and called a ten minute recess for the prosecution and defence to agree these steps.

What happened next was very instructive. There were five representatives of the US government present (initially three, and two more arrived in the course of the hearing), seated at desks behind the lawyers in court. The prosecution lawyers immediately went into huddle with the US representatives, then went outside the courtroom with them, to decide how to respond on the dates.

After the recess the defence team stated they could not, in their professional opinion, adequately prepare if the hearing date were kept to February, but within Baraitser’s instruction to do so they nevertheless outlined a proposed timetable on delivery of evidence. In responding to (the defense), Lewis’ junior counsel scurried to the back of the court to consult the Americans again while Lewis actually told the judge he was “taking instructions from those behind”. It is important to note that as he said this, it was not the UK Attorney-General’s office who were being consulted but the US Embassy. Lewis received his American instructions and agreed that the defence might have two months to prepare their evidence (they had said they needed an absolute minimum of three) but the February hearing date may not be moved. Baraitser gave a ruling agreeing everything Lewis had said.

At this stage it was unclear why we were sitting through this farce. The US government was dictating its instructions to Lewis, who was relaying those instructions to Baraitser, who was ruling them as her legal decision. The charade might as well have been cut and the US government simply sat on the bench to control the whole process. Nobody could sit there and believe they were in any part of a genuine legal process or that Baraitser was giving a moment’s consideration to the arguments of the defence. Her facial expressions on the few occasions she looked at the defence ranged from contempt through boredom to sarcasm. When she looked at Lewis she was attentive, open and warm.

The extradition is plainly being rushed through in accordance with a Washington dictated timetable. Apart from a desire to pre-empt the Spanish court providing evidence on CIA activity in sabotaging the defence, what makes the February date so important to the USA? I would welcome any thoughts.

Baraitser dismissed the defence’s request for a separate prior hearing to consider whether the extradition treaty applied at all, without bothering to give any reason why (possibly she had not properly memorised what Lewis had been instructing her to agree with). Yet this is Article 4 of the UK/US Extradition Treaty 2007 in full:



On the face of it, what Assange is accused of is the very definition of a political offence – if this is not, then what is? It is not covered by any of the exceptions from that listed. There is every reason to consider whether this charge is excluded by the extradition treaty, and to do so before the long and very costly process of considering all the evidence should the treaty apply. But Baraitser simply dismissed the argument out of hand.

Just in case anybody was left in any doubt as to what was happening here, Lewis then stood up and suggested that the defence should not be allowed to waste the court’s time with a lot of arguments. All arguments for the substantive hearing should be given in writing in advance and a “guillotine should be applied” (his exact words) to (defense) arguments and witnesses in court, perhaps of five hours for the defence. The defence had suggested they would need more than the scheduled five days to present their case. Lewis countered that the entire hearing should be over in two days. Baraitser said this was not procedurally the correct moment to agree this but she will consider it once she had received the evidence bundles.

(SPOILER: Baraitser is going to do as Lewis instructs and cut the substantive hearing short).

Baraitser then capped it all by saying the February hearing will be held, not at the comparatively open and accessible Westminster Magistrates Court where we were, but at Belmarsh Magistrates Court, the grim high security facility used for preliminary legal processing of terrorists, attached to the maximum security prison where Assange is being held. There are only six seats for the public in even the largest court at Belmarsh, and the object is plainly to evade public scrutiny and make sure that Baraitser is not exposed in public again to a genuine account of her proceedings, like this one you are reading. I will probably be unable to get in to the substantive hearing at Belmarsh.

Plainly the authorities were disconcerted by the hundreds of good people who had turned up to support Julian. They hope that far fewer will get to the much less accessible Belmarsh. I am fairly certain (and recall I had a long career as a diplomat) that the two extra American government officials who arrived halfway through proceedings were armed security personnel, brought in because of alarm at the number of protestors around a hearing in which were present senior US officials. The move to Belmarsh may be an American initiative.

Assange’s defence team objected strenuously to the move to Belmarsh, in particular on the grounds that there are no conference rooms available there to consult their client and they have very inadequate access to him in the jail. Baraitser dismissed their objection offhand and with a very definite smirk.

Finally, Baraitser turned to Julian and ordered him to stand, and asked him if he had understood the proceedings. He replied in the negative, said that he could not think, and gave every appearance of disorientation. Then he seemed to find an inner strength, drew himself up a little, and said:

I do not understand how this process is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t even access my writings. It is very difficult, where I am, to do anything. These people have unlimited resources.

The effort then seemed to become too much, his voice dropped and he became increasingly confused and incoherent. He spoke of whistleblowers and publishers being labeled enemies of the people, then spoke about his children’s DNA being stolen and of being spied on in his meetings with his psychologist. I am not suggesting at all that Julian was wrong about these points, but he could not properly frame nor articulate them. He was plainly not himself, very ill and it was just horribly painful to watch. Baraitser showed neither sympathy nor the least concern. She tartly observed that if he could not understand what had happened, his lawyers could explain it to him, and she swept out of court.

The whole experience was profoundly upsetting. It was very plain that there was no genuine process of legal consideration happening here. What we had was a naked demonstration of the power of the state, and a naked dictation of proceedings by the Americans. Julian was in a box behind bulletproof glass, and I and the thirty odd other members of the public who had squeezed in were in a different box behind more bulletproof glass. I do not know if he could see me or his other friends in the court, or if he was capable of recognising anybody. He gave no indication that he did.

In Belmarsh he is kept in complete isolation for 23 hours a day. He is permitted 45 minutes exercise. If he has to be moved, they clear the corridors before he walks down them and they lock all cell doors to ensure he has no contact with any other prisoner outside the short and strictly supervised exercise period. There is no possible justification for this inhuman regime, used on major terrorists, being imposed on a publisher who is a remand prisoner.

I have been both cataloguing and protesting for years the increasingly authoritarian powers of the UK state, but that the most gross abuse could be so open and undisguised is still a shock. The campaign of demonisation and dehumanisation against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?


Can you say railroaded? Sure you can.




https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/





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Quote:

Originally posted by THG:
Here you go kiki. I told you if you troll my link I'll post it here.
Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
Re home remodeling / reorganizing ... everything I've read said ... think about what you do day to day ...

BUT - what if, for example, you don't have a kitchen that lends itself to cooking. So you don't cook, day to day. But you would cook, if you could.

Why remodel and reproduce all the same limitations of your current space by reproducing what you now do day to day?

I've read a few really good organizing tips however and come up with a few myself:

a place for everything
store it where you used it
keep everything you use daily out in plain sight
pull-out drawers below waist level, cupboards above
wide drawers to avoid having to open a lot of them to find something
open shelves are freaking dust-catchers

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/03/t-magazine/kitchen-organization.htm
l

kitchens "Bennett believes that all cookware falls under the four pillars of “prep, cook, serve, store” “PREP” includes tools like mixing bowls, her mortar and pestle, a scale and a measuring glass, while the “COOK” drawer is full of pots and pans. Items for serving — plates, bowls and glasses — are in the cupboard, her resealable containers are all stacked in a drawer of their own, and never shall the four ever meet.

keep bedrooms spare






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Impeachment Investigation Is Underway, Judiciary Committee Says

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1KIKI


No, you spouted some sort of gibberish about non-existent 'allies' about stupid extortion threats (with everyone listening in!), about Russia something or other, and so on.

You failed to answer the question - HOW IS IS NATIONAL SECURITY THREATENED?


The Less Americans Know About Ukraine, The More They Support Intervening There

Here's a map of Europe and western Russia, with the countries labeled.




I know that most people couldn't find Ukraine without those labels, even more, they probably couldn't find Europe.

But looking at this map, which countries do YOU see are on Ukraine's border that might reasonably be 'threatened'? Because I strain to see the Hungarian-US border anywhere. In fact, there's 4,864 mi between Washington DC, and Kiev.

Even more, I find no US allies on Ukraine's border. I see Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Poland, and Belarus. They're NATO members, but not US allies.

EVEN IF - and I see no reason to imagine that would happen - Russia were to take over Ukraine, I fail to see how that could pose a security risk TO THE US.

So, you STILL haven't answered the question! You know, it's an important question. Everyone says the reason why what Trump did with Zelensky was bad was because it jeopardized US national security. They weren't talking about Belarus's national security, or Moldova's national security. They claimed to be talking about the US's national security. Yanno, MY country - a country whose interests I take seriously. (I don't know which country has YOUR loyalties, but it's clearly NOT the US. The US is a tool to you. You're hoping WE will sacrifice some part of ourselves for YOUR interests.)

So here is my question again, in gold ... just so you don't miss it: - explain to me EXACTLY how US national security is threatened by anything that happens in Ukraine.

IN DETAIL.


A billion flies eat shit.


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T





T


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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:36 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


YOUR link? What a lying sack of shit you are!

A billion flies eat shit.

Some even shit here.

And some ARE shit!

Hey there THUGGER, that means you!

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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:38 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


back to our regularly scheduled chit chat

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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:49 PM

THG


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
back to our regularly scheduled chit chat



I think you're beginning to catch on. I'll accept a certain amount of trolling from you because you're a troll. I think you are beginning to learn there is a limit to what I'll tolerate.

T



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Monday, November 11, 2019 9:50 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



YOUR link? What a lying sack of shit you are!

A billion flies eat shit.

Some even shit here.

And some ARE shit!

Hey there THUGGER, that means you!


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Monday, November 11, 2019 10:29 PM

BRENDA


All the Remembrance Day services across Canada were held on a dry and clear day.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 10:31 PM

BRENDA


Have "Good bye, Farewell and Amen" on in the background on mute. I can't watch it or listen to it. I've been wanting to cry off and on all day. I can catch bits of it out of the corner of my eye and that is enough.

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Monday, November 11, 2019 11:26 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Don't feed the faggot, Kiki.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Monday, November 11, 2019 11:31 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Freakin' cold around here. 20 degrees right now. Low of 8 tomorrow night, with a windchill below zero. What the shit? That's not supposed to happen for at least another month. It's going to be 50 degrees again next Monday.


Ton of snow today. More than I would have cared for this early in the season, but a great test of the waterproofing that was done. Unlike Halloween when I took in a decent amount of water, everything inside the porch was bone dry all day long. We easily had 10 times as much snow today too. Everything is holding up nicely even with the wind howling all day long.

The plastic covering the window in the attic where I have the blower is holding up nicely as well, and I'm actually really surprised how much heat the attic is retaining now just from that simple little step. I'll probably save $100 or more this season just by taking a few minutes to put that up. Will be doing it again next year.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 9:36 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK

[/i]


Too... cold...

I failed to prepare with the food situation before the cold spell... I still have a huge pail of brown rice and a few pounds of vegetables.

I think I'm going to be a vegan for the next 48 hours.

Wake me up when it's 40 degrees again.

Do Right, Be Right. :)

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 11:50 AM

BRENDA


Rain here.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:06 PM

THG


Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:

Don't feed the faggot, Kiki.

Do Right, Be Right. :)



Is there anybody or anything besides whites you aren't bigoted against? First you exposed yourself as being a racist when Rep. Elijah Cummings died. Now it's anti-gay.

Good grief


T

Deep state describes dedicated, educated professionals.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 2:22 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


Jack,

WAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYyyyyy back - from when I was a kid mumble mumble decades ago in NYS ... the Thanksgiving song ... Over the river and thru the woods, to grandmother's house we go ... the part about bright and drifted snow made sense. Then over the years the snow came later and later, got skimpier and skimpier, until there were a few Christmases that weren't really white. So your snow and cold isn't that out of line, depending on your reference point!

Hey, let us know how your water-proofing holds up, OK?

And YAY for the plastic on the attic window!

Quote:

Originally posted by 6IXSTRINGJACK:
Freakin' cold around here. 20 degrees right now. Low of 8 tomorrow night, with a windchill below zero. What the shit? That's not supposed to happen for at least another month. It's going to be 50 degrees again next Monday.


Ton of snow today. More than I would have cared for this early in the season, but a great test of the waterproofing that was done. Unlike Halloween when I took in a decent amount of water, everything inside the porch was bone dry all day long. We easily had 10 times as much snow today too. Everything is holding up nicely even with the wind howling all day long.

The plastic covering the window in the attic where I have the blower is holding up nicely as well, and I'm actually really surprised how much heat the attic is retaining now just from that simple little step. I'll probably save $100 or more this season just by taking a few minutes to put that up. Will be doing it again next year.

Do Right, Be Right. :)


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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 2:29 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


How are you holding up otherwise, Brenda? I read your posts in your Veteran's Day thread, and here. There are songs I strongly associate with people who've passed on, people who I still deeply mourn even though it's been many years. One song is "The Scottish Soldier". But I tend to cry only when my mood starts to dip starting in fall through winter, like now.

So I hope the rain isn't too bothersome at this point.

Chin up Brenda. Winter will pass. Now is the time for quiet, rest, home. Hugs.
Quote:

Originally posted by Brenda:
Rain here.


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Tuesday, November 12, 2019 2:35 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.


As for here ...


As you know, I was on edge because of the multi-week 'red flag warning' for my area, which in the news was associated with a lot of hot, fast-moving, wildland fires, even in urban areas. So even though those red flag warnings expired, along with my feelings of being unsettled and on alert, fire season isn't over! I check both the weather forecast and the AQMD air quality forecast every day. If I want to know which way the wind is blowing - literally - the AQMD forecast is the best shortcut. If the air quality is better in the deserts, and worse closer to the coast, it means that the air is overall blowing from inland to seaward. And that's a Santa Ana, no matter how mild. And that means low humidity, and increased fire danger, even if there's no red flag warnings up.

About a week ago there was an earthquake swarm in Ventura County, north of here. And now there's a swarm near the Mexico border, south of here. Well, that bookends my area nicely!

If I had more time I'd look them up. I'd want to know how tightly grouped they are, and how shallow, and if they're associated with any known or newly-revealed faults.

Last time I looked into a swarm in spring, it was in San Bernardino County east of here. It was EXTREMELY shallow! They were individually easily half the depth of a typical very shallow earthquake. So I speculated they might have something to do with our abundant rains last winter, and replenished ground water.

But now - for these swarms - I have other fish to fry.

Ciao Signy, Brenda and Jack! Good wishes. TTUL!

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