Tuesday, September 29, 2020

WaPo: Trump sets the tone for the worst presidential debate in living memory

Trump sets the tone for the worst presidential debate in living memory

Insults, interruptions and disrespect mark the first encounter between Trump and Biden.

By Dan Balz


Fascist President Wouldn't Condemn White Supremacists

Oh my god, in tonight's Trump told the racist, anti-Muslim, anti-immigration, misogynistic Proud Boys to "stand by."

President Donald Trump hesitated when asked to condemn white supremacists during the first presidential debate on Tuesday evening.

During a segment dedicated to race, Chris Wallace, the moderator, asked Trump, "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down?"

Trump tiptoed around the question and instead doubled down that "almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing."

Wallace pushed back on Trump, along with former Vice President Joe Biden, and again asked him to address right-wing violence.

"What do you want to call them?" Trump asked. "Give me a name, give me a name."

"Proud Boys," Biden said, referring to a far-right group.

"Proud Boys, stand back and stand by," Trump responded.

Stand by for what? Trump is again lying about Antifa being a major threat. (The other day he grouped them with the Klu Klux Klan as terrorist threats.)

And the Proud Boys clicked their heels together and tonight said, like good brownshirts, “Standing down and standing by sir.”

A Disaster of a Debate

Update afterward: From what I'm seeing, it seems the line of the night was "Will you shut up, man?" 

Trump will not stop interrupting Biden when it's not his time and Chris Wallace won't control him. Wallace is failing in his role as moderator and this isn't a debate, it's more like a barroom argument. I'm turning it off as I have work to do, and will read about it in tomorrow's papers. Trump can't help acting like a child. He's hyperactive. Or maybe he's on something.

Election 2020

The Bidens Paid $288,000 in Federal Income Tax in 2019

They released their 2019 income tax forms today. Taxable income was $945 K. It's all laid out in their tax forms.

I wonder how much the Trumps paid. Anybody happen to hear?

Monday, September 28, 2020

Arctic Sea Ice Comparison

(Now I forget where I got this. Sorry.)

$161,950 vs $0


Friday, September 25, 2020

Stock Market: Trump Brags, But Obama Was Better

Thomas Friedman Also Expects Trump Delegitimizing the Election and Civil War

Thomas Friedman also has some serious concerns about a second civil war in America and Trump delegitimizing the election. He says he's never been more afraid in his life. Click the picture for the video.

Breaking: Americans Say, 57-38%, Next Prez Should Choose SCOTUS Seat

 Via WaPo

The Post-ABC poll, conducted Monday to Thursday, finds 38 percent of Americans say the replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died last week, should be nominated by Trump and confirmed by the current Senate, while 57 percent say it should be left to the winner of the presidential election and a Senate vote next year.

That there's a right mighty gap.

Three Protests, Five Miles, Rainy Day

The Proud Boys (not men, I guess) are protesting in Portland tomorrow, despite being denied a permit on the grounds of the coronavirus. They announced plans to hold their protest the outskirts of town in Delta Park, a complex of athletic fields. I've been there many times watching my nephew play lacrosse, but alas this year there are no lacrosse, soccer or softball players. The left-wing is demonstrating, also permitless, in a park about three miles away, and BLM about two miles further beyond.

Why do I feel those distances are going to evaporate, even with the forecast calling for the day to be cloudy with showers, winds 5-10 mph, high 67 Fahrenheit. Because there have to be confrontations for the iPhones, the Androids and the evening news. This is Oregon, so everyone has pretty good rain gear, so everyone will come ready to protest for the entire day. 

The Oregon State Police and the County's Sheriff's Office have refused to help with crowd control because of the city's ban on the use of tear gas. If they can't use their toys -- toys banned in warfare by the Geneva Protocol of 1925 -- they ain't gonna play.

With the way protests are going around the country this summer and this past week in Louisville, it won't surprise me if guns get drawn and someone gets shot, or three. Or someday not far off, twenty or thirty. That's where things are headed, it seems to me. There are 400M guns in America and lots of open carry laws, even for assault guns, and the idiot legislators with their gun ideologies probably weren't smart enough to foresee the day when things turned like this. (Or, even more frightening, they were.) Once this starts -- and it seems to me this summer was a fair to middling shove off -- it's hard to stop it, especially if this election is a mess, as it seems it will be, thanks to Commander Chaos. A lot of people, especially the clowns on the extreme right wing, are just itching to dress up in their Walmart commando gear and play Red Dawn in real life that they've all been playing some version of virtually since they were kids. 

I don't like where things seem to be heading. Worse, a good friend of mine, a retired Presbyterian minister, agrees with me that something like a civil war is coming and America is slowly but surely circling the drain. She's the last person I would have expected to hear that from.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Cure

"The only cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

— Dorothy Parker, American writer (1893-1967)

No Peaceful Transfer of Power

Wow. Trump is again declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. In light of RBG's death and another coming stolen Supreme Court justice, this takes on a whole new meaning. Has a US president ever said such a thing before, let alone this many times, let alone this close to the election? AP
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Wednesday again declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens,” Trump said at a news conference, responding to a question about whether he’d commit to a peaceful transfer of power. “You know that I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster.”
Last month Trump told Sean Hannity
This year, with a judge no longer watching, the Republicans are recruiting 50,000 volunteers in 15 contested states to monitor polling places and challenge voters they deem suspicious-looking. Trump called in to Fox News on August 20 to tell Sean Hannity, “We’re going to have sheriffs and we’re going to have law enforcement and we’re going to have, hopefully, U.S. attorneys” to keep close watch on the polls. For the first time in decades, according to Clark, Republicans are free to combat voter fraud in “places that are run by Democrats.”
which sounds exactly like something a fascist would do, does it not? 

And The Atlantic goes on about what you've all heard, the doubt Trump has sown about mail-in voting, about votes counted after Election Day, about foreign interference (the nerve), and more. It's worth reading.

There's no way there isn't going to be a big mess after the day of the election, unless Biden wins very big. And probably not even then. Probably not even then.  

Added: The Majority Leader from the Great State of Hypocrisy twote

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Trump Just Admitted He's Trying to Steal the Election

 From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Wednesday that he wants to ensure confirmation of a replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg by the Nov. 3 election because he expects disputes over who won the White House to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

“I think this will end up in the Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a White House event on social media, adopting an argument for quick action made by his ally, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. “And I think it’s very important that we have nine justices,” instead of the eight seats currently filled.

The president again asserted without evidence that Democrats were trying to rig the election and said he wants a high court that will agree with him. “This scam that the Democrats are pulling — it’s a scam — the scam will be before the United States Supreme Court,” Mr. Trump said.

Five of the eight current court members were appointed by Republican presidents, including two by Mr. Trump. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has on a few occasions sided with the liberals, which could potentially mean a 4-4 split.

Mr. Trump made clear he is counting on whomever he appoints for Justice Ginsburg’s seat to support him and that he wants to be declared the winner by an overwhelming majority if the results go to the Supreme Court.

“And I think having a four-four situation is not a good situation, if you get that. I don’t know that you’d get that. I think it should be eight-nothing or nine-nothing. But just in case it would be more political than it should be, I think it’s very important to have a ninth justice.”

— Peter Baker

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

An Interview While Working From Home

Last week Gretchen Goldman, a scientist from the Union of Concerned Scientists, went on CNN to discuss NOAA's atrocious hiring of the notorious climate denier David Legates. Anyway, on left is how she appeared on camera. At right is how it looked as she was on camera, a photo taken by her husband. She swears she's wearing shorts, not underpants, as she told Slate in a (funny, insightful, parental) interview.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Oregon Party Registrations

Just for fun, here are the Oregon party registration numbers as of April 2020: There's an "Independent Party" by name, so if you want not to be a member of any party, you have to register as unaffiliated.

Good Question About RBG Replacement:

Conversation at the NY Times:

Bret Stephens: ...which just reminds me of another way in which Trump is not conservative. After all, if he’s so confident he’s going to beat Sleepy Joe, why not wait till January?

Gail Collins: Hahahahaha.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Why Trump is a Sociopath, Latest Evidence

 Jonathan Chait, today, in New York magazine:

There’s a term for a person who views other humans purely as instruments for his own advancement, and is unable to conceive of the idea of caring about them independent of his own self-interest: “sociopath.” The United States has had some terrible presidents before, but probably never a sociopathic one. When his own aides warn the public that he does not care if the people he is tasked with helping live or die, we should take their warnings with the utmost seriousness.

This comes via today's Daily Howler. But it also comes from an aide to VP Mike Pence, which I've been meaning to get to. This is from Olivia Troye, a former senior aide to Vice President Mike Pence and member of the administration's Coronavirus Task Force. She spoke on Friday, saying she will vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and encouraged other Republicans to do the same.

To recap the most striking part: She calls it 

“...shocking to see the president saying that the virus was a hoax, saying that everything’s okay when we know that it’s not. The truth is, he doesn’t actually care about anyone else but himself. He made a statement once that was very striking. I never forgot it because it pretty much defined who he was, when we were in a taskforce meeting the president said, ‘maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people, I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.'”

Can you imagine saying such a thing!? Robert Lewis Stevenson [is said to have] written, "All men have secret thoughts that would shame hell," but to say this out loud!! As President of the United States, in an important meeting?!?!

Of course there is more evidence, from Trump's niece, a trained clinical psychologist, that he is a sociopath. As the Daily Howler notes, the best-selling book by Yale psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee. And all the weird and disturbing things we've seen Trump do and tweet for years now. The constant lying. Constant and obvious. His strange denial of facemasks. The strange, anti-productive tweets like "LIBERATE MICHIGAN." The admission to Woodward that he intentionally lied to America about COVID-19. The book by Bolton. They all portray him as a lying dummy who understands nothing, and lies to cover up his ignorance. His lies that he has a health care plan just ready to go, two weeks away, which he's been saying since 2016. How f--king stupid does he think Americans are? It shows how stupid he is to think this is how stupid Americans are. 

He simply doesn't care. About, apparently, anything. Except himself. Whatever's good for him. And that's exactly why he's a sociopath.

"...maybe this COVID thing is a good thing. I don’t like
shaking hands with people, I don’t
have to shake hands with
these disgusting people."

Friday, September 18, 2020

Talking Referees

No other sport I know of has this kind of ref-player relationships:

COVID-19 Cases on the Rise Again

After two months of a decline in COVID-19 cases -- thought never getting back to the level of the first peak -- it looks like cases are increasing again. Who to blame? One obvious group are the idiots who won't wear masks, like the Idiot-in-Chief, the idiots who go to his rallies and cram in together without wearing masks, the Target store idiots (fined), North Dakota maskless idiots, and the entire crowd of ignorant Americans who are ruining this country and bringing about its downfall. From the NY Times:

When is it time to get out?

Talk on Fire and the Warming Climate

Some of you might enjoy this talk.

You have to register: move your pointy thing over there and clicky click

Wednesday, September 23, 2020 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

On Fire: The Escalating Consequences of a Warming Climate, with Park Williams, PhD, and questions from Alex Halliday, Director

Join us online for a lecture by Park Williams about how climate change is fueling dangerous wildfires--and what we can expect in the future.

The Speaker:

Park Williams, PhD is a Lamont Associate Research Professor of Biology and Paleo Environment at Columbia University’s Earth Institute - Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He is a bioclimatologist focused on the impact of climate variability and climate change on the living world. His work seeks to improve understanding of drought and its effects on terrestrial systems, including ecosystems, the carbon cycle, agriculture and humanity

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Comparing GISS and NOAA for August Temperatures

I said I might compare the GISS and NOAA global surface temperatures by bringing them to a common baseline period, and I really thought I would be too lazy to do that, but low-and-behold I had already done this on my spreadsheets and forgotten.

Both datasets start in 1880, and the common baseline period I had calculated with is the 30-year period 1880-1909. 

So with that the GISS anomaly for August 2020 is 1.08°C and the NOAA anomaly is 1.17°C. 

People, we are in the range of 1.1°C of total global warming and quickly heading into the 1.2°C range. (And that's not even comparing to the true pre-industrial period, pre-1850 period, or maybe pre-1750, depending.)

Warming is stacking up fast. Easily 0.2°C/decade now. And accelerating. 

GISS's 30-yr slope for the global surface temperature is now 0.23°C/decade. Ten years ago it was 0.18°C/decade; ten years before that, 0.17°C/decade. In July 1990, 0.14°C/decade. July 1880, 0.05°C/dec.

Should have put that in a table or graph, sorry.

But there's no doubt warming is accelerating. Someone tell Trump. I'm sure it will make all the difference to the scientific heathen, to the climate arsonist.

Scientific American Endorses Biden

They elaborate here. First paragraph: 
The evidence and the science show that Donald Trump has badly damaged the U.S. and its people—because he rejects evidence and science. The most devastating example is his dishonest and inept response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which cost more than 190,000 Americans their lives by the middle of September. He has also attacked environmental protections, medical care, and the researchers and public science agencies that help this country prepare for its greatest challenges. That is why we urge you to vote for Joe Biden, who is offering fact-based plans to protect our health, our economy and the environment. These and other proposals he has put forth can set the country back on course for a safer, more prosperous and more equitable future.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Biden Calls Trump a "Climate Arsonist"

Big bonus for whoever on Biden's staff came up with that label!

...later in the briefing, the president was directly challenged to accept the reality of climate change by California's secretary for natural resources, Wade Crawfoot.

"If we ignore that science and sort of put our head in the sand and think it's all about vegetation management, we're not going to succeed together protecting Californians," Crawfoot told the president.

"It'll start getting cooler, you just watch," Trump replied.

"I wish science agreed with you," Crawfoot said.

"I don't think science knows, actually," Trump shot back.

What a stooge.

Some White House reporter, please please please ask Trump to explain why it will start getting cooler.

While you're at it, ask him to explain the theory of manmade global warming in one minute or less. Please.

NASA GISS: 4th-warmest August

NASA GISS says August was the fourth-warmest August since the data begins in 1880, +0.85 C relative to 1951-1980.

Maybe I'll do the calculations to compare that to NOAA. Maybe I won't. 

Warmer Augusts were, in order, 2016, 2019 and 2017.

In his Monthly Temperature Update (sent by email; subscribe here), James Hansen says

2020 thus stumbled in its horserace with 2016 for record warm year (upper right figure), perhaps dragged down by the developing La Nina (upper left), as we cautioned in our April Temperature Update.  It’s still possible for 2020 to catch 2016, though, as the late months in 2016 were also cooled by a La Nina.

The important question concerns the acceleration in global warming in recent years, as global temperature in the past five years has been well above the nearly linear trend of warming in the past 50 years.  We will discuss the relation between the accelerated warming and climate forcings in a future communication.

It was extremely hot in the large portion of Central Europe and the Southwest United States in August.  Death Valley, California reached a record high 130⁰F (54.4⁰C).  This heat wave continued into September and is contributing to the severity and spread of wildfires in the western states.

and gives these graph:

2016's La Nina was mild, and this year's year-to-date temperature is already below 2016's, with a deeper La Nina forecast for the rest of the year, so if I had to guess I'd say a record high temperature 2020 looks unlikely. We'll see.

Globe Had 2nd Warmest August, 3rd Warmest Summer

Just in from NOAA: globally August ranked as second-highest (after only 2016), with an anomaly of +0.94°C above the 20th century average.

North America had the warmest August on record (records start in 1880), with a whopping anomaly of +1.52°C. as did the Northern Hemisphere (+1.19 C).

The meteorological summer ranked third-highest (after 2016 and 2019), with an anomaly of 0.92°C above 1901-2000.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fire Situation Update

The novelty of all this has worn off and now it's just getting sad and depressing. 

This afternoon the AQI (Air Quality Index) here was 553, "Hazardous." That's the highest I've seen for here, or for Portland. They say the west coast has the worst air in the world. I'm not even letting my cats go outside.

This image in the NY Times shows the western fires and, in Oregon, those in the Cascade Mountains sending their smoke west, dumping it straight into the Williamette Valley. 

About 1 M acres have burned in Oregon, or 1,500 sq-miles. That's about 120% of Rhode Island's area, or 1.5% of Oregon. That last number really surprises me. Oregon is vast -- the 9th largest state in the country. 

There are reports of 7 dead and dozens missing. This story is utterly heartbreaking, and it's just from down where I just to live a year and a half ago.

Ordinary COVID masks don't keep smoke particles out, they say, only N-95 masks. I'm trying not to go anywhere -- the smell and taste of smoke in the air is really strong. After a few hours of it you get a headache and dry throat. My sister works in Oregon City, a suburb of Portland, and though her company gave her and N-95 mask yesterday she decided not to go there (she does home PT care). OC was only under Level 2, "Get Set" order, but she said many people were leaving anyway, and her colleagues who live there took several hours to get out and somewhere safe, like Gresham on the eastside of Portland, what would normally be an hour drive at worst. 

While there was very little humidity here Tuesday and Wednesday, it picked up and Thursday was 71% yesterday (relative humidity). It's supposed to stay high, and rain some Monday and Tuesday. That would be great. The smoke is also blocking the sun. The high here today was only 63; the normal high is 78. I had to turn my heat on for the first time this season. 

Trump approved emergency aid for Oregon yesterday, despite all the contretemps about the protesting and rioting in Portland. The governor said they had a good conversation.

Here is a really good article about Oregon in Slate by Oregon resident Rebecca Schuman, "There Are Two Oregons, and They’re Both on Fire."

I'm not doing anything to help, which I feel kind of guilty about.

That's enough.

Comment About Trump

 ...on this article by Maureen Dowd:

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Ha - Not Surprising - Ha ha - Not Surprising At All

And isn't THIS typical of our fubar situation??

Gallup - Bias in Others' News a Greater Concern Than Bias in Own News


  • About 7 in 10 Americans are concerned about bias in media other people consume
  • Fewer than one in three worry more about bias in their own news media
  • Younger, more educated Americans are more concerned with bias in others' sources
"WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Six in seven Americans think there is at least a fair amount of political bias in news coverage in general, and over half say the same of the news source they rely on most, according to a recent Gallup/Knight Foundation study. Yet 69% of Americans say they are more concerned about bias in the news other people consume than its presence in their own news (29%)."

The inability to think critically is American's greatest fault.

A Bit of a Fire Update

It continues to be another bad day here. The sky isn't as orange, but definitely smokier. I'm sneezing every half-hour, far worse than any allergies I've ever had, and it's 3 pm and I've got a headache. 

The Air Quality Index (PM 2.5) here is 407, "Hazardous." 

Oregon Governor Kate Brown: Wildfires here could be the "the greatest loss of human life and property" due to wildfires in Oregon history. 

More suburbs of Portland are being told to evacuate -- Canby, Molalla, Oregon City -- which is almost unthinkable. I think of those places as largely suburbs surrounded by agricultural fields. 

My sister is a physical therapist who does home visits in Oregon City. Today her boss gave her an N-95 mask to wear all day just because of the smoke there. 

There are small towns that have been decimated in eastern Washington as well. [Well, far worse, really. "Decimated," comes from the Romans -- "deci," meaning a-tenth.]  

I'm sorry, I'm not very up-to-date on the situation in California.

Lots of people are noting the role of climate change in these fires, but I think that's a little premature. Yes, we're had a drought, and high temperatures. But we're also had high winds (though not today, at least here deep in the (Williamette) Valley), which don't follow from climate change. So I think we need to let the scientists do their attribution studies and give their results in a few months. I doubt that's a popular opinion.

Here's the view from a main thoroughfare in my town, Keizer, Oregon, when I was out earlier today:

"The best political ad ever made"

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Update on the Situation in Oregon

It seems like there are fires everywhere now. Here is ashe on my car's roof, noticeable but not too bad:
My sister said a couple of her colleagues in Oregon City have been told to evacuate. Oregon City is a suburb of Portland! It's really hard to imagine fires coming in that close.

Southern Oregon is getting it the worst. The town of Medford (pop 82k) is threatened and nearly everyone has been told to evacuate, and the small towns of Phoenix (pop 4,600) and Talent (pop 6,500) a few miles south are reported to be "pretty well devastated."

There are lots of personal videos on the Twitter hashtag #Oregonfires, if you're interested. The Washington Post just came out with another article, quoting the governor as saying the towns of Detroit, Blue River, Vida have also suffered significant damage. Blue River (pop 202) is in my county, but about 40 miles east where one enters the Cascade Mountains.

Gov. Brown said more than 300,000 acres are burning across Oregon, and that this could be the deadliest wildfire disaster in state history.
WaPo says:
"The wildfires come after a record-shattering heat wave and amid human-caused climate change that is heightening fire risks, along with temperatures, in the West. These blazes are being driven by strong, dry, offshore winds that are causing extreme fire behavior, which can produce everything from mushroom cloud-like plumes of smoke that reach 40,000 feet in height, to vortexes that make it impossible for firefighters to contain an advancing fire."
But the governor is also saying these are "once in a generation events," so perhaps we should wait on attribution until scientists get to studying this in detail in the coming months. For example, also from WaPo:
“This event is unprecedented. I’ve talked to people who have been in fire for 20, 30, 40+ years and they’ve never seen anything like this before. Not this many large, rapidly spreading wildfires across such a broad region,” tweeted Nick Nausler, a fire weather specialist with the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.
At least here the skies aren't quite as gray as yesterday, or quite as pink. And there is almost no wind.

BLM Beatdown Here Last Weekend

This was here in Salem last weekend. I don't know what transpired before it, but I doubt it was nothing. Did it require this response? The increasing standoffs between leftist groups and right-wing groups is worrying and clearly ramping up lately.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Eerie Skies Here in Salem This Afternoon

 Today was one of the strangest days I've ever experienced. I thought the sky was odd at 8 am, but by mid-afternoon, when I had an appointment across town, it was really strange, with a little ashe falling from the sky:

The governor has declared a state of emergency, and the highway through the mountains is closed just 12 miles east of Salem. I heard there was ashe falling from the sky further south in Eugene.

After my appointment I had to run an errand across the (Williamette) valley, and it wasn't until 4:30 pm that I came out of the building. The view was stunning; it looked like it was at 8 pm. My eyes stung, and the smell of smoke was noticeable in the air. Here's a picture from my iPhone, which like my pictures from this morning, came out much lighter than it appeared to my eyes. I'm not sure why.

The sky looked much darker, almost like a heavy partial eclipse, maybe 60% (comparing it to 2017 total eclipse here). [Can't believe it's been 3 years already!]

When I turned on the [radio] news, the national media is putting all of their attention on the fires in California. OK. They've had a 10-year drought. Their fires seem to be getting worse every year. Whole towns have been burning down. Of course, Trump doesn't give a shit, or even notice -- he thinks people should just rake harder. Someday I hope trees get to vote.

Feynman Anecdote

"When physicist Richard Feynman was asked which now-deceased person from history he would most like to speak with, and what he would say, he said: “'My father. I would tell him that I won the Nobel Prize.'” 

Weird Skies Here from Fires to the East

 It looks very strange here this morning. What would ordinarily be a beautiful blue sky morning is instead a reddish-gray, almost like dusk. We had a big wind storm last evening and night, and it blew in a lot of smoke from fires in the Cascade Mountains east of here. We're also in a severe drought, so a lot of dust got blown up as well. People just 25 miles east of Salem have been ordered to evacuate, and those 16 miles east have been told to get ready in case they have to evacuate. It's stunning to think the fires could come this far west. 

Here's my view to the northeast, taken at about 7:45 am:

To the southeast, towards the sun, it looks a little better:

The situation doesn't look good here, or for much of the West:

I'm not going to look up the statistics right now, but, especially for California, which now seems to be getting serious fires yearly, this does not bode well. 

8:30 am update - skies still look the same here; the sun isn't visible at all, and the street lights are still on.

Monday, September 07, 2020

The Daily Howler

Recently David in Cal recommended the blog The Daily Howler, written by Bob Somerby, which I've been reading since. It's interesting and well written, and usually has an interesting perspective on what's happening. It's not usually predictable, either. For example, the other day it published this:

All the lying on its own by itself tells you there's something seriously wrong with Trump. (Now at least 20,055 false claims in 1,267 days, as of July 9, 2020 -- an average of almost 16 per day.) Now we can't believe a single thing Trump says, which is a real shame for a President of the United States. 

Of course there's clearly much more wrong with Trump, and even his defenders know he's an asshole. His niece, trained in psychology, wrote a whole book about it. Look at the country now compared to what it was four years ago -- it's seriously damaged politically, economically, in public health, in public trust, in racial justice, in economic equality, in peaceful streets. Trump is the difference, and his incompetence, especially with respect to the pandemic, is the difference. His racism and arrogance and incompetence are the difference, not Democratic mayors, who were there before Trump but without all the protesting and rioting. 

Anyway, The Daily Howler is worth reading, in my opinion too.

Arctic Sea Ice Update

 It's September and I was going to write about Arctic sea ice, but this tweet does the job:

Vonnegut Quote

"The British mathematician Stephen Hawking, in his 1988 bestseller A Brief History of Time, found it tantalizing that we could not remember the future. But remembering the future is child's play for me now. I know what will become of my helpless, trusting babies because they are grown-ups now. I know how my closest friends will end up because so many of them are retired or dead now . . .

"To Stephen Hawking and all others younger than myself I say, 'Be patient. Your future will soon come to you and lie down at your feet like a dog who knows and loves you no matter what you are.' "

-- Kurt Vonnegut, preface to 25th-anniversary edition of Slaughterhouse-Five