Friday, December 02, 2016

Wheels Off Climate Change Wagon. "Never mind", Trump says, "we'll take my jet" ... by gimleteye

Climate Changer Deniers...Here is more for you to think about. By Geniusofdespair

Speaking of the Arctic Ice:

For those who happen to be standing, please sit down to handle a knuckle sandwich:

“It is polar night in the Arctic—a darkness that lasts from early October to early March. Temperatures rarely escape freezing in that darkness, averaging -30° F until the light begins to return in spring. Right now, however, temperatures across much of the Arctic are 36 degrees F above normal. Large areas are well above freezing. And instead of rapidly expanding, sea ice extent is in decline. Taken together, this is not unusual. It’s unheard of.”

(Source: Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Global Warming in the Arctic: A Sensitive Climate Gone Off the Rails, Union of Concerned Scientists, November 21, 2016).


20 degrees Celsius is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (so 68 degrees milder than normal)

From the Siberian Times 11/21:

The Arctic district of Verkhoyansk, one of the coldest inhabited places in the world, recorded a temperature of 19.2C on 18 November, some 19C above average.

The district is in Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic, and in parts of the Arctic north of this region temperatures are even more surprising.

In the village of Olenek on the same day weathermen recorded minus 5.1C, a record warm. In the remote port of Tiksi, it was only minus 3C.

In Chukotka, on the Arctic shore, a November record was registered of a remarkable 4C, with a daily average of 20C milder than usual.

Verkhoyansk on Google Maps

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Democrat State Rep Nick Duran is a big disappointment because Lobbyists Rule. By Geniusofdespair

Nick Duran, I mean Mike Abrams.
My problem with Democrats,  in a new trend, has a bevy of candidates who are Lobbyist's Spawns (i.e. State Senator Lauren Book, Andrew Korge - who was vying for State Senate) or Relatives.

Nick Duran,  Newly elected State Rep. is Son-in-Law to longtime Lobbyist Mike Abrams who is a partner in Ballard Partners (a disgusting lobbying firm in my view). Duran has as his State Rep. Secretary Yolanda Abrams. Wow, if related - that is one for the books. The Yolanda on your Facebook page looks like a teenager.

Nick Duran was supported by evil entities such as Fla Chamber and AIF, FPL (through Florida Standing United PC), TECO, a number of sugar growers, and U.S. Sugar through its affiliate Southern Gardens Grove Corp., which he identifies as being a "garden services" company on his filing.

So lets see how lobbyist connected Nick Duran is doing:

For the first time in eons, Democrats control the majority of the Miami-Dade Delegation in the Florida Legislature.

Democratic Senator José Javier Rodríguez was running against Republican Jose Felix Diaz to Chair the delegation.

Republican Diaz was elected Chair. Democrats Campbell, Hardemon, Duran and Geller voted for Diaz. Truth is Republicans still dominate in Tallahassee and hold all the Committee Chairmanships. Kionne McGhee was elected Vice Chair and Daphne Campbell was elected Secretary.

So, our great State Rep. Nick Duran in his first vote -- held back the Democrats in a win they could have used. I wrote him a love letter:

Nick Duran:
Thanks for screwing my State Senator, Jose Javier Rodriguez. Why did I vote for you, to vote with Daphne Campbell? I think not. Better get it together... really! Very disappointed in you.

I thought it rather nice considering what I am feeling towards him. Geller and Hardemon are assholes as well but they are not my Representative. And, Daphne, well she is a Republican cloaked as a Democrat --- thank you Michael Gongora for giving us Daphne Campbell. You idiot.

And Nick, no relatives in your office --- PLEASE!

Mike Abrams Nick Duran and Wife Abrams

Climate Chaos, the GOP and President-elect Donald J. Trump ... by gimleteye

PEOTUS Donald J. Trump says, climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. Tell that to the people of Tennessee who just lost property and the lives of friends and families to freak November fire or the people of red state Georgia devastated by freak November tornadoes.

The following graph from "Peak of Tornado Season Shifting Earlier in Tornado Alley" is based on historical data and shows the improbability of this week's devastating tornado outbreak in Georgia.

Climate Central Sept. 24, 2014
The tornadoes did little to mitigate the severe drought afflicting the red-state Southeast, including Tennessee where massive fire fires just destroyed thousands of acres, destroying homes and property. From the United States Drought Monitor before the deadly fires:
As reported by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC), hundreds (at least 212) new fires have started in the Southeast, with 30 of them classified as large wildfires (100 acres or more), and burn bans were widespread across the region. Streams were at record and near-record low levels. Severe agricultural impacts (stock ponds drying up, winter feed being used to keep cattle alive since fall started) were widespread across the South and Southeast. Significant expansion of D0-D4 occurred across the southeastern States. In the Lower Mississippi Valley, D1-D3 expanded across Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, and D0-D2 expanded in Missouri. In Alabama, ponds were drying up in and around Lowndes County, and cattlemen were hauling water and using winter hay to feed cattle since late summer. As of November 22, Oneonta, Alabama, in the northeast part of the state, has gone 94 consecutive days without measurable precipitation. In Mississippi, the USDA has received reports of ponds drying up and cattle producers having to feed hay, in some cases already using up their entire hay supply for the winter months. Rye grass that was planted in the beginning of October has yet to emerge. As described by the Georgia State Climatologist, agricultural impacts due to dry soils in Turner/Tift/Irwin/Worth/Ben Hill/Wicox/Dodge county areas have been just detrimental for peanut and cattle farmers. In Decatur County, dryland winter forage is not being attempted at this time. If there is no irrigation, the small grains have emerged and died. In Coffee County, unless irrigated, small grains for grazing are naught. In Coweta County, hay is becoming harder to find and even irrigated areas are now suffering due to low water levels in ponds and creeks. The USDA has received reports of wells going bad and stock ponds drying up in Holmes County, Florida. According to November 20 USDA reports, 100% of the topsoil moisture and 98% of the subsoil moisture in Alabama was rated short or very short (dry or very dry).
In public, GOP leaders are climate change deniers. In private, they understand climate change perfectly well. The difference between what they say and what they know is that disclosure, reaction and policy changes to reverse climate change impacts don't serve the GOP's political or economic purposes.

Since his election Donald J. Trump has flip-flopped on core positions of his campaign. Climate change denial was one of the red state, raw meat issues candidate Trump flogged mercilessly. Since his victory he has conceded “there is some connectivity” between human activity and climate change.

But speaking to Fox News, his chief of staff Reince Priebus -- who went to law school in Miami, one of the US cities with the most to lose from sea level rise -- dialed back what Trump now says: “As far as this issue on climate change – the only thing he was saying after being asked a few questions about it is, look, he'll have an open mind about it but he has his default position, which most of it is a bunch of bunk, but he'll have an open mind and listen to people."

To be clear: the GOP's Ten Commandments of climate change are:
1) Climate change is like the weather: there is nothing we can do about it.
2) We are top predator. Other species will adapt or die.
3) If some part of climate change is man-made, whatever happens is God's will.
4) We know what is best for you. More golf courses, less public lands.
5) As the party of limited government, environmental regulations are self-defeating.
6) As the party of capitalism, we oppose climate-driven policies unless in our donors' interests.
7) If one size does not fit all, this size fits perfectly well: existing energy subsidies will be protected before any additional subsidies are adopted.
8) Dissenters will be isolated from decision-making on climate change.
9) If there is a dispute on climate change, the leadership will side with jobs.
10) We will adapt economic behavior to climate change as it happens, not before.
What President-elect Trump and red state GOP leaders ought to do is take a short course on logarithmic change because the massive accumulation of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere is now forcing climate change impacts in chaotic, non-linear ways. The evidence is piling up around us. The wheels are off the climate change wagon.

To dissenters, the implication of climate change denialism is clear: if the GOP Ten Commandments prove wrong, the resulting social and economic chaos will require military intervention on civilian populations. This isn't alarmism. It follows directly from the threat assessment of climate change by the U.S. Department of Defense.

There is more. "Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”. ("Climate change will stir 'unimaginable' refugee crisis, says military", Dec 1, 2016, UK Guardian)

Right now, Creation needs more than prayers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lost my IPhone. By Geniusofdespair

Text me all you want.


Big Sugar's Toxic Mercury Connection ... by gimleteye

It is not a secret that toxic mercury is pervasive in South Florida nor its causes, including the conversion of a non-toxic form of mercury into the lethal form through the introduction of fertilizer and sulfur laden runoff from sugar fields into the Everglades.

Toxic mercury makes people stupid. It can cause cancer, and is especially dangerous for fetuses and early childhood development.

Nor is it a secret that the State of Florida, defending billionaires, has taken extraordinary steps over decades to assure its ass is covered so that liability issues never exactly rise to the surface with respect to mercury and its link to water management practices that primarily serve Big Sugar.

Recently, FIU ventured the following: "FIU scientists examined dolphins from the lower Florida Keys, Everglades National Park and Florida Bay, looking for mercury and organic pollutants in their skin and blubber. Not only did they find high mercury levels in the coastal Everglades dolphins, but they found the highest levels of concentration ever recorded. Potential sources of mercury are both natural and from man-made sources. The finding raises concerns about potential impacts on the health of local populations."

Not a word, anywhere, about Big Sugar. Just "man-made sources". Like the bumper sticker says, if you are not outraged you are not paying attention.

For Big Sugar, it is always someone else’s fault: dairy and cattle ranches upstream or municipalities and coastal sprawl spreading inland from the coasts. Except for Big Sugar’s intransigence, there would be land enough to cleanse and store the millions of acre feet of water that are periodically pulsing into the Everglades and estuaries; fouling both. Florida’s waters are such a mess one wonders if God hasn’t reached down in exasperation of paradise lost and with His Thumb smudged out the value of homes and real estate values because of water pollution. As though that weren’t enough, toxic algae blooms — even flesh-eating bacteria — are proliferating in waterways contaminated by agricultural runoff. Sugar’s response; you can’t prove it has anything to do with us. The entire governmental investment for Everglades restoration, spending billions of taxpayer moneys and hundreds of thousands of agency hours in the multi-decadal effort, is a work-around of Big Sugar. ("The Lethal Costs of Big Sugar: Sweet Poison", Alan Farago, Counterpunch, August 22, 2014)

Let's see if a Republican state legislature, led by Senate President Joe Negron, can set Florida on a path away from the lies and misdirection of the sugar industry all designed to one purpose; to protect their profits.

A fair and equitable democracy would evaluate a threat like toxic mercury in concentrations measured as the highest in the world and act to protect its citizens. So would communities of faith and moral righteousness that make protection of the unborn their highest priority. How about this: we really save the children from mercury in Florida.

For Republican voters in Florida and Donald Trump supporters: is it too much for you to ask your legislators: why haven't you acted to support tough, numeric standards on sulfur/ sulfates used in farming practices to prevent mercury build-up in organisms? If it is not to much to ask, why has the GOP been silent for the past thirty years?

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who is deplorable now? ... by gimleteye

Sentient America has spent the last two weeks reading, listening, talking; trying to sort out the inexcusable election of Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.

For Haaretz, writer Chemi Shalev asks the right question, "Who in his right mind hands over the keys to the world to an impulsive, narcissistic know-nothing show-off, just to teach everyone else a lesson?"

Diane Hessen writes in the Boston Globe, "Understanding the undecided voters". A consultant to the Clinton campaign, Hessen's task was to interview undecided voters and communicate back her assessments.
"Last week, I reread all of my notes. There was one moment when I saw more undecided voters shift to Trump than any other, when it all changed, when voters began to speak differently about their choice. It wasn’t FBI Director James Comey, Part One or Part Two; it wasn’t Benghazi or the e-mails or Bill Clinton’s visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac. No, the conversation shifted the most during the weekend of Sept. 9, after Clinton said, “You can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables.” All hell broke loose."
When I heard Hillary's jab, it seemed a throwaway line in an otherwise, carefully calibrated campaign. When compared to the litany of insults that flowed like cheap Trump wine, Hillary's seemed innocuous.

In retrospect, I understand how the word "deplorable" registered with Trump voters. She called them a name; and that name called attention to conditions leaving them behind. They are not deplorable. Circumstances beyond their control are deplorable.

For misreading the misfortune and grievances felt by so many Americans, the election made Hillary Clinton wear a scarlet letter on her forehead.

Donald Trump lacks any quality of leadership one would objectively value in a president of the United States. Moreover, since his election, the only unifying theme of his transition is treating the public to a choreographed selection of a Cabinet and top officials that looks exactly like auditions for Celebrity Apprentice.

Trump supporters don't seem to mind: they want a bull in the china shop and they don't care what gets wrecked because everything is already wrecked.

From outside U.S. borders, the national spasm that pushed Trump over all challengers is shocking. Terrifying. As a proud American citizen, I only offer: we have not all lost our minds. By a margin of nearly two and a half million votes, Hillary Clinton won the popular election. More than half the electorate in the United States is disconsolate by the result and profound changes it portends for the future.

Haaretz - Israel News
The Unbearable Stupidity of Donald Trump's Election
Monday, November 28, 2016
By Chemi Shalev

Who in his right mind hands over the keys to the world to an impulsive, narcissistic know-nothing show-off, just to teach everyone else a lesson?

Hillary Clinton was a bad candidate with tons of excess baggage; Barack Obama ignored white middle class America; coastal liberal elites lost touch with America’s heartland; the media ignored white men’s rage; the Obama coalition didn’t show up at the polls; Americans are tired of being pushed around; Donald Trump is a populist genius; Clinton never recovered from the 9/11 memorial ceremony; the Russians hacked, the FBI intervened, Wikileaks never let go; social media; reality show culture; Bernie Sanders.

These and many other reasons have been posited in the three weeks since Trump’s to explain his astounding victory, and they’re all probably valid to one degree or another. But there is one overarching factor that everyone knows contributed most of all to the Trump sensation. There is one sine qua non without which none of this would have been possible. There is one standalone reason that, like a big dodo in the room, no one dares mention, ironically, because of political correctness. You know what I’m talking about: Stupidity. Dumbness. Idiocy. Whatever you want to call it: Dufusness Supreme.

It’s the principle of Occam’s Razor, which, freely put, means that the simplest answer is usually correct. So, yes, there are a lot of economic, sociological and psychological elements in play, but if it sounds stupid, looks stupid and seems stupid any way you look at it, that’s probably what it is: stupid. It’s the thought that goes through the minds of all the Americans who didn’t vote for Trump when they look at themselves nowadays in the mirror: How could we be so stupid?

Many readers are up in arms now: how dare you. How arrogant. How condescending. How can you call so many millions of voters stupid? If it was the other way around you’d be outraged, etc. etc. But if you ignore the insult for a moment and don’t mention voters and only relate to the bottom line itself, which is that in seven weeks Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President and Commander in Chief and Holder of the Nuclear Codes, most people would agree that it’s just about one of the dumbest, and therefore most dangerous things America has done. Ever.

Of course, Trump might surprise us, though thus far he hasn’t given any indication that he intends to do so. And of course he didn’t get to where he got by being stupid. Far from it. I’m not even claiming that everyone who voted for Trump is stupid, though it’s tempting. But even if you acknowledge the hurt, the grievances, the neglect, the legitimate conservative ideology and the less legitimate hatred for Barack Obama, you have to ask yourself what kind of people choose to cut off their own noses to spite their faces. How can one explain the fact that so many people ignored Trump’s lies, his ignorance, his insults, his incitement, his shady business practices, his refusal to release tax returns, his perverse and unexplained relationship with Vladimir Putin? Who in his right mind hands over the keys to the world to an impulsive narcissistic misogynist know-nothing show-off just for the hell of it, to teach everyone else a lesson? What is the logic of getting back at snobby elitists by burning down the house they live in, but so do you?

“Vox Populi vox Dei” you will say: The voice of the people is like the voice of God, and should always be respected. This may be the contemporary reading of the saying, but go back to the original, and it sounds completely different. As the learned cleric Alcuin of York wrote to Emperor Charlemagne in 798 “And those people should not be listened to who keep saying the voice of the people is the voice of God, since the riotousness of the crowd is always very close to madness.” Meaning, as a quote probably misattributed to HL Mencken notes: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”

Similar sentiments were voiced by one of Israel’s socialist founding fathers, Yitzhak Ben Aharon, who supposedly said after Menachem Begin’s victory in 1977 that “if this is the people’s decision, we should replace the people” and has been held up by the right wing as an example of intolerable Ashkenazi haughtiness ever since.

What Ben Aharon actually said was “With all the respect that we are supposed to accord the people’s decision, if this is the people’s decision, I am not willing to respect it.” Even this authentic version of Ben Aharon’s words may be deemed inappropriate, but don’t forget that he and many other historic Labor leaders viewed Begin and his Herut party, precursor to the Likud, as illegitimate fascists who would change the country’s values and undo Israeli democracy. As kibbutz leader Avishai Grossman said in June 1977, “the good old Land of Israel that we represent is going to hell.” He may have been condescending and elitist as many have since alleged, but one can’t deny that he was entirely accurate.

And let’s not get carried away with the infinite wisdom of the masses, even without mentioning you-know-who, who received a plurality of German votes in 1932 and legitimately rose to power. How about Abdalá Jaime Bucaram Ortiz, aptly known as “El Loco” who won 20 of 21 provinces in the Ecuadorian elections of 1996? After celebrating his victory by singing Jailhouse Rock with a group of scantily clad dancers, he appointed his business friends to high positions in government and packed his cabinet with family members, including his 18-year-old son who was put in charge of taxes? Sound familiar?

What about Ferdinand Marcos, freely elected in 1965, who, together with his shoe-fetishist wife stole close to $10 billion from the Philippine people? What do you think of Francisco Macías Nguema, democratically elected in 1968, who murdered or exiled a third of Equatorial Guinea’s population before he was deposed in 1979? Silvio Berlusconi? Valdimir Putin? Tayip Erdogan? Richard Nixon, who gave us Watergate? James Buchanan, whose ineptness spurred the Civil War? Warren Harding, whose corruption defied imagination? Andrew Johnson who botched up Reconstruction and, as one historian wrote, “suffered from serious defects of mind and character”? Dare we mention George W Bush?

Whatever one thinks of Hillary Clinton, of abandoned Rust Belt counties, of culture wars and liberal elitism, putting Donald Trump in charge of everything is a reckless gamble, until proven otherwise. One can hope against hope to be proven wrong, but judging from what we know, Trump doesn’t have the minimal experience, knowledge, temperament, judgment, or values to carry out his job of President. Of course we all pray for his success, because the alternative is too unthinkable, but in the meantime, despite the risk that one will be accused of exhibiting the same kind of arrogant condescension that got us here in the first place, there is no other choice but to describe Trump’s election for what it is: stupid. Just plain stupid.

Chemi Shalev
Haaretz Correspondent

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Next County Commission Chair Choice will be Dec. 6th. By Geniusofdespair

Miami Dade County Commissioner Xavier Suarez

It is that time again when the County Commission chooses its new Chair.  December 6th at the beginning of the regular meeting is D-day for the Chair choice. Our current Chair is Jean Monestime and he did a great job as did Becky (Rebeca Sosa) before him, except for her choice of Lynda Bell for Vice Chair who tried to take over the Chair position.

First, if a Commissioner endorsed or did a robo-call (Pepe Diaz) for the Mayor, I think they should not be considered for the County Commission Chair position. Like any Commissioner would be stupid enough to choose Pepe. We do not need a sycophant in this position. We need an independent voice, for the checks and balances part of our local government. The Chair appoints all the Committee members and the Committee Chairs. The Chair sets the Agenda.

Vying for the spot, according to County gossipers, are Commissioners Xavier Suarez, Joe Martinez and Steve Bovo. Long shots, Sosa again and Pepe Diaz (OMG no no no).

I would go with the X Man - Xavier Suarez. I think he would be fair. I think he would be good. He is smart (that would be a blessing don't you think?).  District 7 deserves a term as Chair. When is the last time District 7 has had the Chairmanship position?

Commissioner Suarez has done some very good, and unique projects:

County Commissioner Suarez reached out and established a winning community partnership. The Coconut Grove Collaborative, Home Depot, and TENUSA Inc. answered the call. With the Zika outbreak in many communities, the commission staff researched plants that repel mosquitoes and identified 11 plants to place with the flowers in the planters throughout the community. Plants include: Citronella, Lemon Balm or Horsemint, Catnip, Marigolds, Basil (lemon or cinnamon), Lavender, Peppermint, Garlic, Pennyroyal, Rosemary and Geranium.

Home Depot donated materials, tools, mosquito repellant plants, and manpower. TENUSA Inc. donated flowers and manpower. The Collaborative got Coconut Grove youth involved and assisted with getting members of the community to adopt planters for maintaining. Comm. Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell (City of Miami) provided manpower. Side by side the partners worked under the hot and grueling summer sun mixing cement, mixing paint, and setting the planters. Then the deed was done: Repairing and replacing the planters for nature’s beauty. Now mosquito repellant plants are being added for natural mosquito prevention.
I love this project. It is positive for the youth, the environment and proactive for Zika prevention (Zika shrinks testicles according to the Daily Mail...not sure if the Daily Mail is a credible news source but it is an intriguing to ponder the possibility and I checked: Michael Diamond is an MD and PhD. in infectious diseases at Washington University School of Medicine -- I am checking out news now so I don't print crap I find online and misinform you).

Anyway, what is your opinion?

Joseph Lassiter asks: Why does U.S. significantly lag in deployment of new nuclear energy technologies ... by gimleteye

Click here, to watch a short and informative video clip by Joe Lassiter, on new nuclear energy technologies and the clear failure of the United States to launch the kind of ambitious industrial/ technology programs that could quickly deploy new, safe nuclear to replace fossil fuel combustion that is destroying the sustainability of the planet's climate.

We have literally zero time to spare, given the massive disruption to the climate through global warming. Clear here, for just one recent example.

Under Trump -- unless the president-elect reverses course on his dismissive attitude toward global warming -- the United States will not only become an outlier and pariah nation on climate change, we will also surrender economic opportunity and jobs through new energy technologies to the Chinese who are surging ahead of us in deployment of new nuclear. Is that what Trump voters and Republicans want?

Sunday, November 27, 2016

My Dilemma on this Blog. By Geniusofdespair

I just can't couple the two words together for our new president. Somehow I believe if I don't type those two words, it won't be true for me. Or maybe it is because I don't want to puke. Yes, I know it is denial. But for years Josiah Bartlet  of the "West Wing" provided me with a president I could admire during the Bush years.

I have been thinking about this a lot. I can hack The Donald.  I suppose I could write: President The Donald.  Any other suggestions?