Tapered off to Zero

The beginning of 2016 seems a good time to to put this blog into a prolonged slumber.  I’ve been tapering off for some months now, after posting news, current events, high-lights and low-lights for over a decade.  Time to let it go.  Not to stop thinking out loud and writing but to do it less while riding the daily news cycle.

Come over and see me at All In One Boat dot Org.  Much more cultural stuff, book and film reviews, original and translated poems and stories.  I still link from time to time to the weeks news but getting long in life now I seem to want to take the longer view of this wonderful, unsettling, promise-filled world of ours.

Who knows?  I might be forced back to these pages.  It’s immensely hard to disengage from what’s going on, even though I’ve got plenty of other engagements to keep the whole heart pumping….

Will Kirkland

The News Cycle as a Fear Machine.

Reading Tom Englehardt’s TomDispatch is always a sane few moments in which to contemplate the insane.  Take today’s post, for example:

…the 24/7, all-hands-on-deck news story obliterates context, or rather becomes the only context of the moment. To offer the most obvious recent example: in the days in which the San Bernardino shootings ate the screen, most Americans would not have noticed that the fate of the planet was being seriously discussed and negotiated in Paris by representatives of just about every country.  There was next to nothing but those shootings available — the exploration of the backgrounds of the two killers, their marriage, their arsenal of weaponry, apledge of allegiance by the wife to ISIS, the contents of their house, what relatives and friends in Pakistan had to say, their bank account, heart-rending tales of those killed, testimony from survivors, and on and on.  Even more than a week after the event, it was still the lead story on NBC Nightly News evening after evening.  (“San Bernardino ShootersDiscussed Jihad in 2013 Before Engagement,” “FBI Divers Search Lake Near San Bernardino Massacre for Clues.”)  Viewers might be pardoned for thinking that Islamic terrorism was indeed an apocalyptic threat for most Americans rather than the distinctly minor one it is.

Here you go, read, and subscribe….

Trump Getting Dumped Around the World

Let’s see, today it was announced that Trump’s Turnberry golf course in Scotland is no longer being considered as a host for the 2020 Open.  In July the PGA pulled the Grand Slam tournament from his National Golf Club in LA. See Fortune.

Earlier in December he lost distribution of his Trump branded products from a major international distributor:

Lifestyle, a home decor chain based in Dubai, is removing all Trump-branded products from the shelves of its 195 outlets across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Tanzania.

Along with that, one of Dubai’s biggest property developers will no longer work with Trump.

“I think he damaged all his brand in all the Muslim countries … nobody will accept him,” said Al-Habtoor, who initially had supported Trump.

And he’s getting into a pissing match with a Saudi Prince who once snapped up some Trump distressed properties.

This is after, in July, Macy’s joined a growing list of big corporations not wanting their name to be sullied by association with Trumbigotry.

Hit ‘im again, harder! harder!

Not much I can find that a low net worth individual could join in not buying…basically anything with his name on it…fragrances, foods.. the list goes on.  Here’s a couple of them, here and here.

Trump Calls for 1882 All Over Again

It was only a matter of time that Donald Trump would do this:

<a class=”_Dk” href=”https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwifgOe07MrJAhUTqoMKHTekCoIQqQIIHTAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Ffortune.com%2F2015%2F12%2F07%2Fdonald-trump-proposes-stopping-all-muslim-immigration%2F&amp;usg=AFQjCNFaPzxlFExdxFExvqw4kRBxhrmXhg” data-href=”http://fortune.com/2015/12/07/donald-trump-proposes-stopping-all-muslim-immigration/”>Donald Trump Wants to Stop All Muslim Immigration</a>

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<a href=”https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&amp;source=imgres&amp;cd=&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwiWgIiq7crJAhUPqYMKHdcSCw4QjxwIBTAA&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJOgIjSI0FrM&amp;psig=AFQjCNHqkUQwGebzQx1INsfEWv2OPYSuug&amp;ust=1449615670608156″><img class=”aligncenter wp-image-14341″ src=”http://www.allinoneboat.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Immigration-2-1024×576.jpg” alt=”Immigration 2″ width=”597″ height=”336″ /></a>

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Substitute Muslim for Chinese Laborer and change the dates; just what he wants.<a href=”http://library.uwb.edu/static/USimmigration/22%20stat%2058.pdf”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-14340″ src=”http://www.allinoneboat.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Immigration.jpg” alt=”Immigration” width=”615″ height=”840″ /></a>

Lakes expanding ‘dangerously’ in Everest glacier

It’s perhaps no surprise, once you read it.  The sad surprise is that so many, even though all the leaves are falling, still proclaim “there is no autumn!  It’s nothing but a hoax.”

“A decade or so ago, there were individual ponds on the Khumbu glacier but in the past five years or so they have begun to get larger and join up,” said Ann Rowan, who led the field study team from the universities of Sheffield and Leeds.

Climate Glacier Melt

Dr Rowan’s team has been studying the behaviour of debris-covered glaciers, focusing on Khumbu.

“Particularly, on the left hand side of the lower reaches of the glacier, there is a series of about seven or eight large ponds that are now starting to link and form a big chain,” she told the BBC.

“There is water flowing from the upper part of the glacier through the series of these ponds and that is going to encourage them to join up.

“At present, the glacier appears to be disintegrating, and may form a few large and potentially hazardous lakes on the glacier surface.”

Not only are the lakes dangerous because of what they signal, but because of what they are becoming — soon large enough to blow through natural and artificial water controls and cause catastrophe to the human communities in the way.

BBC Science and Environment

Why? Because:

 Average levels of carbon dioxide exceeded 400 parts per million in the early months of 2015, a rise of 43 percent over pre-industrial levels. according to The World Meteorological Organization, in an annual accounting of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere… WaPo

And besides the glaciers, what is going on?

The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for September 2015 was the highest for September in the 136-year period of record, at 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 15.0°C (59.0°F), surpassing the previous record set last year in 2014 by 0.12°C (0.19°F). This marks the fifth consecutive month a monthly high temperature record has been set and is the highest departure from average for any month among all 1629 months in the record that began in January 1880. NOAA

Temperatures Going Up, and Up and Up

Climate temps-jan-oct-2015

“Earth’s surface temperature has surged high into uncharted territory, thanks to a record-strength El Niño event combined with the long-term rise in temperatures due to human-caused global warming: October 2015 was Earth’s warmest month on record by a huge margin, according to data released by NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Wednesday. October 2015 was the second consecutive month with a new all-time warmest month record: September 2015 previously held the record for the largest positive departure of temperature from average of any month among all 1630 months in the historical record that began in January 1880″

From Jeff Masters at Wunderground...

Thought you’d like to know….

Who is Funding the Killers?

Charles P. Pierce, at Esquire, lays it out:

It’s time to be pitiless against the bankers and against the people who invest in murder to assure their own survival in power. Assets from these states [ Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates] should be frozen, all over the west. Money trails should be followed, wherever they lead. People should go to jail, in every country in the world. It should be done state-to-state. Stop funding the murder of our citizens and you can have your money back. Maybe. If we’re satisfied that you’ll stop doing it. And, it goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway – not another bullet will be sold to you, let alone advanced warplanes, until this act gets cleaned up to our satisfaction. If that endangers your political position back home, that’s your problem, not ours. You are no longer trusted allies. Complain, and your diplomats will be going home. Complain more loudly, and your diplomats will be investigated and, if necessary, detained. Retaliate, and you do not want to know what will happen, but it will done with cold, reasoned and, yes, pitiless calculation. It will not be a blind punch. You will not see it coming. It will not be an attack on your faith. It will be an attack on how you conduct your business as sovereign states in a world full of sovereign states.

much more, read all, here.

 

The Blob — Brewing up Neurotoxins

Headlines all over this week about the warming ocean and the postponement of west coast crab season. A toxin in algae –domoic acid– has grown so fast, and deep that traces are being found in crab, shellfish, sardines and anchovies — and the critters that eat them, including humans.

The poisonous algae, multiplying since April, is now estimated to be 40 miles wide, in some places reaching down as far as two football fields, marine biologists say. It is the biggest and most toxic bloom researchers have ever seen.  SF Chronicle

As the NY Times put it the Pacific Ocean has become a caldron.  A 4 to 6 degree rise in seawater temperatures in large areas, some have dubbed “the blob,’ is having effects not seen in human history.

“The Blob” has been associated, among other effects, with the unusually dry and warm weather in the western United States. Out in the ocean, the nutrient-poor warmer waters of the Blob — about four degrees Fahrenheit higher than average — are disrupting the food web of marine life. Some species of fish are showing up where they are not expected, including tropical sunfish off the Alaska coast, and an unusual number of emaciated sea lion pups and Guadalupe fur seals are being found stranded on California shores.

Climate The Blob

Of course the Atlantic ocean has problems as well — and much the same. The cod populations off the coast of Maine are in serious decline — because of rising ocean temperatures.

Cod populations off New England are collapsing because waters [temperatures] of the Gulf of Maine have been rising 99 percent faster than anywhere else in the world since 2004, researchers say. Earthweek and National Geographic.

We could also go to the Indian Ocean / Gulf of Aden, where Tropical Cyclone Chapala hit Yemen, dumping ten years worth of rain during its passage, and bringing a storm surge into the coastal city, Mukalla, laying waste to large parts of the waterfront. First time in recorded history such a storm has landed here.  Earthweek.

 

Redistributing the Wealth — Higher and to Fewer

Robert Reich reminds us that all the talk about taxing the wealthy to redistribute downward masks a vital point — the wealthy got that way, in part, by the rigged distribution upward.

Much of the national debate about widening inequality focuses on whether and how much to tax the rich and redistribute their income downward.

But this debate ignores the upward redistributions going on every day, from the rest of us to the rich. These redistributions are hidden inside the market.

… the extra money we’re paying for pharmaceuticals, Internet communications, home mortgages, student loans, airline tickets, food, and health insurance – and you get a hefty portion of the average family’s budget.

Or, in other words, the markets are far from being ‘free,’ as is widely and loudly claimed.  The ideal state for big business is to have captive markets, or shall we call them slave markets, controlled by themselves. Until the conglomerates are broken up, and the purchasing public understands that saving 2% at the big box stores costs 4% in time, transportation and hassle, redistribution up will continue to be the norm.

The Big Melt is Getting Bigger

Several big news dailies featured top-of-the-fold photographs of the most recent evidence of greater than expected ice melt in the arctic, which will lead inexorably to rising oceans and population dislocation of massive proportions.

One story is about new discoveries in the east antarctic.  A major glacier, characterized as the bath plug for much of the continental snow and ice is melting faster than previously known, from below.

Climate Change totten-infographic

Read all in Washington Post

The other story was at the opposite end of the globe, in Greenland where a team of scientists has been dropped in to take measurements of the size and flow of an enormous snow-river

in the  the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fastest-melting chunks of ice on Earth, [which] will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. The full melting of Greenland’s ice sheet could increase sea levels by about 20 feet.

Very good graphic display of what is happening and why knowing more about it is so important.