Wednesday, December 7, 2016

More on the Climate Change Apocalypse

I would like to bring your attention to an unusually forthright piece of reporting from CNN, regarding something I have been talking about- the real possibility that, in a few decades, unchecked climate change is going to render large parts of the Middle East and North Africa uninhabitable.  This piece focuses on the Sudan, and includes some nice maps showing the likely extent of the problem in Africa; as I have reported before, a large part of the Southern Middle East is also at threat.

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"Climate change could render Sudan 'uninhabitable'

Experts say that without quick intervention, parts of the African country -- already one of the most vulnerable in the world -- could become uninhabitable as a result of climate change."North Africa is already hot and is strongly increasing in temperature. At some point in this century, part of the region will become uninhabitable," Jos Lelieveld, a climate scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, told CNN.

"That will string from Morocco all the way through to Saudi Arabia," he said."

It is definitely worth clicking on the link, if only to see the map of projected impact in Africa.  The population in this region and the adjacent area in the Middle East is somewhere between 200 and 400 million people.  You need only reflect on the massive destabilization in Europe, and the awakening of xenophobic hatred there and in the United States, that has resulted from the displacement of five million people in Syria, to imagine the catastrophic effect such a thing would represent- I do not think I am exaggerating a bit to suggest that it could precipitate the end of civilization in Europe, India, China and God knows where else, as these countries were subject to by far the largest mass migration in Human history.


And more on this issue, from a post today by Gaius Publius at Hullabaloo.


"What if not just 2.5% of world population, but 10% or 20% of world population fell into environmental refugee status? We're now looking at 700 million to 1.5 billion people, not just fleeing, but starving, fighting and dying as well. In other words, utter world chaos of every type imaginable."

And lots more along these lines.  This is real, people, and the selection of a new leader in the United States makes it absolutely sure that we will do nothing for the next four years to deal with it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Best Headline of the Day

From Daily Kos.  You can't disagree with this:

"McConnell wants Democratic 'cooperation' on repealing Obamacare. Oh yeah? Get f*cked, buddy"

And Everybody Wins!

Particularly the people of Indiana, who end up winning the grand sum of minus $7 million dollars!

Here's Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, being interviewed by Jim Cramer, explaining how it all works:

"GREG HAYES: Right. Well, and again, if you think about what we talked about last week, we're going to make a $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive. Now is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost of labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we'll make the capital investments there.

JIM CRAMER: Right.

GREG HAYES: But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs."

Hooray, American workers, we're not going to move your jobs to Mexico!  No, we are going to automate them out of existence entirely!  Misery loves company, I've heard, so you will have the satisfaction, as you sink into poverty of knowing that there are 700 Mexicans who are just as destitute as you are!

The United States of America, the Greatest Country on Earth, yeah!  We're on the way to being great again!

Impeachable Offense

" he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"-Constitution of the United States, Article II, section 3

This is the most fundamental duty of the President of the United States.  It was my opinion that Ronald Reagan should have been impeached a year into his term of office, for deliberately appointing Cabinet Secretaries who were committed to frustrating the laws the President was required to uphold, but of course the cowardly Democrats would not even speak that heresy aloud; and thus the situation we have today, where a Republican leader is apparently entitled to openly violate this Constitutional requirement without the slightest opposition.

Of course, we know that the Democrats in Washington are as craven as ever, so none of them will dare mention the fact that Donald Trump has kicked this criminal practice up to a new level, appointing Cabinet personnel almost solely based on their opposition, and their commitment to destroy, the laws of this land.

This should, in anyone's mind, constitute the most basic violation of a President's duties, and forms, in fact, legitimate grounds for immediate impeachment.  It is not the right of the President to frustrate the application of laws he disagrees with; it is his duty to uphold them.  If he fails to do this, he has no right to hold his office.


_____________________________________________________________________

I think a further note is needed here.  The problem with all this is that the Republicans, through their outrageous misuse of power in impeaching Bill Clinton over nothing, and their eight years spent howling in rage for the impeachment of Barack Obama for daring to do anything as President, have pretty well succeeded in what is clearly a major goal of theirs: they have made a very large part of the American people see impeachment as nothing but a cynical partisan political maneuver, so that it would be almost impossible for Democrats, even if they controlled Congress, to impeach a Republican President, even for the most blatant violations of his Constitutional duty.  And of course, we have the mainstream press, which not that long ago gave endless serious coverage to Clinton's impeachment, utterly ignoring its outrageous nature, but would be screaming that Democrats are abusing their place, which is to follow along with any Republican abuse.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Things I Never Knew

"Populist" is a synonym for "Nazi."

Friday, December 2, 2016

What's the Point?

I mean really, what's the point?  We are about to lose Social Security, any government involvement in medical care, along with the insurance of 20 million people, the minimum wage, environmental protection, equality for all Americans, even in theory, the rest of the middle class, free speech and even the notion that there is a difference between true and false.  And what difference did the four thousand posts I have written make? What difference did the tens of thousands of people like me make?  Nothing.  No difference at all.  The Koch Brothers and their rich psycho killer friends have won.

Every time I sit down to try to write a meaningful post, I just give up after a couple of paragraphs, because, why waste my time?  Let the whole damned United States go down the drain that it has been circling for the last few decades.  Let the bad guys win.  Because, what can we do about it?

Face it; we have been lying to ourselves when we told ourselves that there were enough people in this  God-forsaken, hate and greed filled country who cared about right and wrong, true and false, to stop the juggernaut which is now about to submerge us all in a miserable existence not one scrap better than the worst third world countries.  The rich of this country have determined that they want to live as the overlords of a nation in which everyone else is a starving peon, and the white, ignorant dumb fucks have decided that hating on black people and Muslims and Hispanics and Jews really offers them a more pleasant life than a decent job and hope for the future.  So they went along with it, and now we will find out how far it is possible for an industrial, first world country to devolve before it degenerates into an anarchic, violent failed state.  Any bets?  Twenty years?  Ten?  Two?  Well, we will see, because it's coming, ready or not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Electors' Duties

Well, as it is getting closer to the time when the Electoral College will, in overwhelming likelihood, put its seal of approval on the travesty of Trump's accession to the White House, I thought it would do well to see what the founding fathers really thought about this institution.  For that purpose, I'll turn to Federalist Paper no. 68, where the musical man of the hour, Alexander Hamilton, explains on behalf of himself and his fellow authors of the Constitution, what it actually means, as opposed to the ludicrous nonsense that is peddled far and wide, in largely successful attempts to bend the Constitution to whatever suits the right's purpose at the moment.

I want to say before getting to the point, that I continue to be surprised at the contortions that people will engage in to justify finding whatever they want in the intent of the founding fathers (as if that were so important anyway) while their actual words lay close at hand, and are available instantaneously online these days in any event.

Anyway,on we go.  First, a word about the general purpose of the Electoral College:

"It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations."

Note that this speaks about analyzing the qualities of the candidates, and about "complicated investigations."  This is absolutely contrary to the notion that the electors are required to cast their ballots one way or another.  It is their job to make distinctions. As for what those distinctions involve, we now enter an area where the founding fathers were dead wrong about things:

"The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue."

"Talents for low intrigue and the little arts of popularity..."  Remind you of anyone you can think of?  Well, the electoral college may have worked for the purpose of preventing people like that from reaching the White House in earlier times, but it has failed us this time around.  In fact, the electoral college is about to put just such a person in the White House, even though he lost the popular vote by a wide margin, in a classic example of the supposed letter of the law destroying any hope of fulfilling its intent.  In fact, it is actually the duty of the Electoral College, using its responsibility to analyze the candidates' "qualities adapted to the station," to keep people like Trump out of the White House.  And let's have one more excerpt from this document:

"Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. These most deadly adversaries of republican government might naturally have been expected to make their approaches from more than one quarter, but chiefly from the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."

"the desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils."  Well there you go.  Add that to  the comment about low intrigue, and you have, in Donald Trump, an absolutely classic example of exactly what the Electoral College was created to prevent.  It is as I stated above,the clear duty of the electors to refuse to allow Trump to be President, but of course, they won't dare carry out their duty, and so there we are.


By the way, if you want to read the text of this Federalist Paper, here it is.



Monday, November 28, 2016

Another Sovereign Citizen Acts as Expected

From the Tampa Bay Times, this edifying story:

"A man was arrested in Pasco County on charges he held a woman against her will for more than three months after she came from Texas to study a group he founded that purports to help reunite children with their parents...

Davis, 48, is a sovereign citizen"

But of course he is.  In case you were wondering, here he is:
 As you know, I like to keep an eye on Sovereign Citizens, as their many acts of violence in the last couple of decades marks them as a pool of very dangerous right wing maniacs.  Well, I've kept my eye on this one long enough.  Judging from his picture, he is just about as short of a functional brain as most of these people are.  Well, at least this one will be in prison for the duration of the Trump administration.

A spokesman for the group had this to say:  "(Group member Thomas) Nelson said members of the group don't call themselves sovereign citizens because they disagree with the term, believing a person can't be both sovereign and a citizen at the same time.

"What we reject are statutes, codes and ordinances," Nelson said."

Statutes, codes and ordinances.  That's all they reject.  You got a problem with that?  After all, they are still fine with orders given at the point of a gun- as long as they have the guns and are giving the orders.

And a Good Time Will Be Had by All

This news in the New York Times this morning:

"A federal judge ruled on Monday that Dylann S. Roof, who was charged in the massacre of nine black worshipers at a Charleston, S.C., church in 2015, can represent himself in his federal death-penalty trial.

The judge, Richard M. Gergel of Federal District Court in Charleston, called the request by Mr. Roof, 22, “strategically unwise,” but allowed him to have a lawyer present as backup.

“I do find defendant has the personal capacity to self-representation,” Judge Gergel said, according to The Post & Courier. He added, “It is a decision you have the right to make.

In other news, a judge has ruled that it is perfectly legal to perform brain surgery on yourself, probably citing the excellent results of such conduct in the case of one Dr. Ben Carson.

Anyway, we are going to be looking for any sort of entertainment in the coming year or two, and this holds the potential to provide plenty.  I mean, who wouldn't want a 22 year old ignorant racist with no legal training defending them when their life was on the line?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

You stupid sons of bitches:

"President-elect Donald Trump's proposals would modestly cut income taxes for most middle-class Americans. But for nearly 8 million families — including a majority of single-parent households — the opposite would occur: They'd pay more.

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they'd be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America's richest 1 percent."

You will be lucky to get $200 a year out of that two percent cut.  A wonderful reward for selling the country out to a Russian spy.  I hope you will be happy with the results of giving into your hatred and greed.

Election? Not What I Would Call It

Let me bring your attention to this piece in the Washington Post, outlining the massive effect that lyinog propaganda, channeled through Russia, and willingly circulated by both the Trump campaign, and (far more dangerously) the mainstream press in our country, and abetted by openly subversive behavior by the head of the FBI, were responsible for Donald Trump's victory.  Please take a moment to read it.

Republicans, after Obama's election, have refused to recognize him as their President, despite the fact that there was not a single reason to say that, except that he was black and they were racists.  Now, however, it is being portrayed as a sin to fail to capitulate and accept Trump as our leader, despite the clear fact that he would have never have been elected without his collaboration with the spy service and propaganda apparatus of a hostile, dictator-led foreign country; i.e. his treason.  There is no reason why any decent American should recognize Trump as President, and every reason not to, if we care about living in a democratic country.

Not my President; never will be.  The evil tool of a foreign government that has stolen our electoral process, and who is okay with their project to destroy us.  No decent American will ever willingly accept that.

And let me just add that the Washington Post, for decades one of the worst practitioners of what has been little more than enabling the Republican party to do its worst, has, since its acquisition by Jeff Bezos, become the major media outlet most likely to allow the truth to sneak through onto its pages.  I suggest you keep an eye on its coverage.  After years of being horrified at what it has perpetrated in the name of journalism, my wife and I just purchased an online subscription.  The Post, and Bezos personally, are already being savaged for what they are doing.  I hope they are able to stand up to the pressure.

And I hope none of us will ever weaken and allow ourselves to forget exactly why it is that Donald Trump is about to move into the White House.

A Brief Comment on the Transistion

I'm still bored to death with Donald Trump and his crooked circus, but I do want to comment on one thing that I am sort of half watching:  Does it turn out that Trump really is the crazy neo-Nazi right wing hater that he appeared during the campaign, or will it turn out that he is just one more Republican tool of the rich, who succeeded once again into conning the rubes into putting him in a position where he could savage their lives once again?

Look at his appointments:  an EPA administrator who is a tool of the Kochs who has consistently denied the existence of global warming; a Secretary of Education who has made it her lifelong task to destroy public education and turn schools into profit centers for large corporations, a National Security Advisor who hates Muslims with every fiber of his being and is constantly agitating for wars against them, and on and on.  And look what signature campaign issues he is backing away from: the wall, prosecuting Hillary, mass deportation.  Or look at his proposals for (surprise) less taxes and regulations on the really rich people.

Right now, I'd say that is the sign of a Paul Ryan in a clown costume; i.e. just one more rich crook bent on robbing the country into a state of total economic collapse.  It's too early to tell for sure, but I'm betting we've just seen the biggest con played on the American people since Ronald Reagan pulled the same trick in 1980.

And they never learn, do they?