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Anti-consumerist ‘Reverend’: Black Friday boosts global warming

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In an interview with MSNBC host Alex Witt, Reverend Billy Talen of the Church of Stop Shopping linked the journey of millions to storefronts on Black Friday to the global warming that ultimately fueled Superstorm Sandy.

“We have a 1,000-mile hurricane, Sandy, that — you know, you’ve been talking about little else for three weeks, haven’t you?” Talen said. “There’s a message there from Sandy, and that’s, we have to change our lives.”

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Talen, who has toured the country in a parody of religious revivals aimed at getting people to stop being such voracious consumers, also alluded to a 2009 study by Mindclick SGM saying that carbon emissions from shopping on Black Friday were 50 times higher than for the increasingly-popular “Cyber Monday,” where many online retailers spotlight their own bargains.

“The shift toward online commerce is part of the overall trend of IT leading to dematerialization, or virtual goods and services replacing physical goods,” Gigaom reported after the study’s release, adding that an increasing emphasis on virtual conferencing as opposed to physical meetings could reduce global carbon emissions by 500 million tons by 2020.

However, Witt said, the reality is that it’s not just shoppers out on the road in the holiday crush, but also people either looking for jobs or taking what hours they can get in retail positions to support their families.

“There’s all sorts of things that come into a family, whether it be a Hurricane Sandy event, or a losing their job event, that hits a house hard,” Witt said.

Talen responded by saying that people can’t afford to look at the world via a macro-vs-micro lens.

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“We have to be macro now,” he said. “We finally got the politicians to say the phrase, ‘climate change.’ We have to finally make a change. And that change is taking place. There’s a quiet revolution in this country. People are going to sustainable local economies, ma and pa stores, farmer’s markets, swap and thrift and repair it, don’t necessarily throw it away as quickly. We are doing that and it’s not getting reported very [often].”

Watch Witt’s interview with Talen, aired Friday on MSNBC, below.

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Defense secretary throws Trump under the bus: ‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday seemed to be at odds with President Donald Trump when it comes to invoking the Insurrection Act to quell protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Esper explained at a press conference that members of the National Guard had been deployed to keep order "in support of local law enforcement."

"The option to use active duty forces should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," he explained. "We are not in one of those situations now."

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," Esper insisted, referencing Trump's threat to use the law against protesters.

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Trump claims he was rushed to White House bunker only for ‘inspection’ — not fear of protesters

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday insisted that fear of protesters did not prompt him to be ushered into a White House bunker. Instead, the president said that he visited the facility for an "inspection."

During a Fox News radio interview with host Brian Kilmeade, Trump again threatened to use military forces against protesters.

“If they don’t get their act straightened out I will solve it. I’ll solve it fast,” he said.

The president also pushed back against the narrative that he was "hiding in a White House bunker" as protesters demonstrated outside.

"They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it," the president said, adding that the visit was more of an "inspection."

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William Barr personally gave order to disperse protesters ahead of Trump photo op, DOJ confirms

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The Attorney General of the United States personally issued an order for peaceful protesters to be moved ahead of President Donald Trump's recent walk outside the White House grounds, a report said on Tuesday.

A Justice Department official confirmed to The Washington Post that Attorney General William Barr gave the order when he was seen outside the White House prior to the president's walk to St. John's Episcopal Church.

But on Monday, a White House spokesperson had denied that the protesters were moved to accommodate the president.

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