What’s BUGGING ME TODAY, July 6.

Republican candidates back Trump’s election lies across the 2021 and 2022 maps. You’ve heard about that, probably. The ones who hope to flip Dem to GOP in 2022 are surfing on the tidal wave of Trump’s lies. They’re hanging ten, they’re shooting the curl on the gurgling surge of those lies. Hoping to ride them right to office. (Many of them are Qanon idiots too–and it turns out Qanon suckers can get elected by this ignorance-haunted electorate.) Also, polling shows 60% of Republicans profess to believe Trump’s lies about the 2020 election, despite those lies being disproven over and over and over in court. And here’s the deal with these people surfing on Trumps Tidal Wave O’ Lies: Most of them know it’s a lie. But they don’t care what damage is done to democracy as long as they and their side comes out the winner. “Sure, that Hitler’s a jerk but if I tie myself to him he’ll pull me into power with him!” Some of them are evangelicals of the sort who think, weirdly, “God wants us to lie about this for the greater good”. Never mind the Ten Commandments’ “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” As for Trump:

On July third, speaking in Sarasota, Florida he said: “If you say it enough and keep saying it, they’ll start to believe you.” And in his book, years ago, The Art of the Deal, he said: “I play to people’s fantasies. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.” And since according to his ex-wife he used to read MEIN KAMPF, by ol’ Adolph H, in bed…and since according to the historic record his father was prominent in the KKK…Trump probably knows this famous line from Nazi Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” He’s been paraphrasing that line himself for years. Probably he learned about Herr Goebbels at his daddy’s knee. “Son, let me tell you what ol’ Joe Goebbels used to say…” A new book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost, quoting John Kelly, reports that Trump told Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things…”

Meanwhile, I’m bugged by residential area use of major fireworks on this past–on every— July 4 weekend. (I live in benighted Southern Washington State, where rules aren’t rules.) The noise terrifies my dogs, robs me and my wife of sleep–it really does sound like a war is going on around here–and on a record-hot summer it risks starting a fire. Here’s just a sample of this last weekend’s fireworks delights across the USA:

Sadly, young Matiss Kivlenieks, a 24 year old goalie for the Columbus Blue Jackets died July 4 from a fireworks mortar blast and chest trauma…Someone accidentally (probably drunkenly) shot the fireworks the wrong way.

Two Chicago police officers were shot and injured while trying to break up a crowd during a Fourth of July celebration in the city, authorities said Monday. The injured officers included a female commander, who was shot in the foot, and a male sergeant, who received a bullet wound in the leg while trying to disperse a large crowd shooting off fireworks. Some in the crowd stupidly felt that their “need” to detonate illegal fireworks was more important than human life.

Police in Cincinnati, Ohio, said two males, ages 16 and 19, were killed and three others injured at a holiday celebration at a park late Sunday night. The two males were “engaged in a verbal altercation that resulted in the two exchanging gunfire” and the other victims were caught in the crossfire, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said at a news briefing on Monday. So–July 4 celebration.

Across the country, fireworks displays got out of hand. . .In Chicago, a 19-year-old lost their hand and was critically injured as a result of a fireworks injury, according to the city’s fire department. In Austin, fireworks were blamed for burning multiple homes to the ground early Monday...In Houston, a 29-year-old woman suffered severe facial injuries due to fireworks in a Kroger parking lot. The woman’s injuries were so severe that she had to be flown to a hospital downtown. Meanwhile, a pregnant mom and her 3-year-old son were severely burned by fireworks at a neighborhood block party in Spring Hill, Tennessee.

What’s BUGGING ME today

Experimenting with emblazoning my feelings, my first responses, on semi-regular basis; barraging innocent, unsuspecting readers of my blog with a fusillade of opinions fired from the rusty artillery emplacement of my point of view.

“FRAUGHT!” The word, an old one, is suddenly everywhere; it crops up, early in, in nearly every piece of journalism I read. Someone used it a year or two ago and suddenly every journalist decided it made them seem more educated, more eye-brow archingly astute, to be able to use it. And now FRAUGHT is maddeningly, stupidly over-used. Stop with the FRAUGHT all the time!

Speaking of contemporary reportage, am I the only one disturbed by the sudden installation of advertisements in the form of news articles, across internet journalism? Sections that have hints that they are paid endorsements pretending to be articles–the small print, somewhere, sheepishly mentions it. It’s everywhere now. CNN was an early offender. They’re being imitated by every formerly-legit news site.

Boy Scouts of America settles for $850 million with more than 84,000 sexual abuse victims. 84,000 is a lot–it must have been epidemic and endemic to the Scouts. Did it happen when I was a kid? I was in the Scouts for a minute. Not to me, no. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. Or …did it start to happen later? How could an epidemic of institutional child molestation just start one day? I do accept the reality of it, yes. But what brought it about in the BSA? I’m glad the Scouts administration, who were obviously careless of the safety of the boys are paying the price. If it destroys the BSA then it’s a deserved destruction. But how did the phenomenon of 84,000 (known!) molestations arise? And how, at the same time, are we allowing ourselves to release the egregious Bill Cosby from prison? Cosby– a serial molester of another sort.

The decision by the conservative block in the Supreme Court to allow voter suppression in Arizona is a horrifying precedent and it will have corrosive repercussions on our democracy. It may be the straw that broke the camel’s back of American democracy. Apparently–from what I’m reading–Congress can’t undo this ethical error. What they’ve done is empower the Big Lie. It can only get worse from here.

And what about people too stupid to see the simple connection between NOT getting sick and having had the vaccine? Local officials are sounding the alarm over an increase in Covid-19 infections just as the nation prepares to celebrate a Fourth of July holiday… In Arkansas, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the nation, cases are surging… “We are now going in the wrong direction yet again with Covid-19 infections here in the state of Arkansas,” said Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. “With July 4th holiday coming up and eventually kids going back to school, we have to be concerned that this would be a trend that could continue. And if it does, it would appear that we may be in the beginning of the third surge of Covid-19 here in the state of Arkansas”….The Delta variant has now been detected in all 50 states and Washington, DC…More than 98% of those hospitalized with Covid-19 were not vaccinated!….THE VACCINES WORK, PEOPLE. THEY’RE EVEN FREE! Don’t believe the misinformation. The vaccines are safe. More than 600,000 thousand people in the USA have died from covid and hundreds of thousands others who survived have been crippled by its spread to lungs, heart, kidneys and the brain…Don’t be stupid. GET VACCINATED.

They’re Endangering Lives With Ludicrous Falsehoods

Here’s a headline for you: Models predict U.S. coronavirus infections could surge this fall if vaccination rates lag, former FDA chief says.

There are dangerous, highly infectious variants of covid out there. Despite some progress, we’re not out of the epidemiological woods yet. People who refuse the covid vaccination because of their willingness to believe absurd anti-vax fairy tales–vaccines will “change your DNA”, vaccines will “interfere with your pregnancy”, vaccines will “make you ill”, vaccines will “magnetize” (!) you–are endangering lives. People will die as a result of these lies.

But there are those who are essentially too lazy, too uninformed to get the vaccine. Youngest adults are least likely to be vaccinated, and their interest in shots is declining, CDC finds. Yet the danger of covid is still quite alive! …It’s very simple. Whatever native, innate intelligence these kids have is woefully eroded by the mind-numbing of social media, by the hypnosis of Instagram and Facebook and SnapChat et al, and of course young people, on average, were never known for doing extensive research (yes I know about the exceptions), nor for thinking deeply about consequences. If they were doing their due diligence on this health crisis they would know that serious covid is on the rise among young people and they would know that NO, the pandemic is not over, we’re just making SOME gains–we’re making those gains because of…that’s rightVACCINATIONS. You know, the vaccinations the young people are stupidly not getting.

Anyone not bothering or refusing the vaccine is endangering lives. Not just their own.

The chemtrails-type conspiracy nuts probably seethe about this: But something like it might save our asses.

https://www.cnn.com/2015/04/24/tech/laser-cloud-seeding-mci/index.html
Using lasers for weather control. Might work to some extent. “Professor Wolf reckons lasers could be used to “repair” the weather, reducing the occurrence of hurricanes, thunderstorms, flooding, and drought….How does laser actually affect the weather?…It can create new clouds where there are none, by inducing condensation: naturally occurring water vapor is condensed into droplets, and ice crystals form, mimicking the natural process that creates clouds.” – that’s just one example. It can induce lightning and other effects.

The above article is from 2015, but the general idea is very relevant to 2021. Consider the “heat dome” which is now cranking up temperatures west of the Rockies, and in the Southwest, to crazy heights.

You’ll be feeling it, alright. It’s going to get ugly. Elderly or health-compromised without air conditioning may die, in this situation. Doctors are warning of serious burns from concrete and asphalt heat. The terrible drought in the west will be aggravated, making out of control wildfires an inevitability. Don’t leave your dog outside very long, in this weather, it’s liable to die.

The Washington Post tells us, in How a heat dome is pushing extreme temperatures to new heights in the West, that “Hot air masses expand vertically into the atmosphere, creating a dome of high pressure that diverts weather systems around them.”

The nature of the dome suggests the need for weather control of some kind. (Cue frightened shrieks from Qanon and other fringe paranoia-spawners). Note the part about the dome being held in place by high pressure systems above. Could some orbital or high altitude use of particle beams or lasers “puncture” such a high-pressure cap? Could they cause it to become unstable through heating or other effects and make it shift away? It’d be like puncturing a blister. If I do a sequel to my novel Stormland, it’ll be in there. . .

“Australian region covered in cobwebs as spiders flee floods” [THE REAL STORY!]

A still image from a video shows spiders' gossamer near wetlands in Gippsland on June 14.

The spiders, it was later realized, were not reacting to flooding, they were warning of the invasion coming on the subspace webs…Recently, in real life, it was discovered that, like bees, spiders in colonies can communicate in simple ways. So, they’ve been talking and talking and showing…but we don’t listen. “Oh certainly, we are sometimes adversaries, but we have no wish to see our planet fall to an invasive species. These invaders, as we well remember from 65 million years ago, can spread amongst us quite quickly. Only the willingness of the dinosaurs to sacrifice themselves to the fight kept the things in check. We had some of the surviving invaders wrapped in webs–for in those days we were each bigger than kangaroos–and they went dormant, deep underground. But now they stir, sensing their fellows arriving…Hey, Seven-Leg, dude, they’re not listening…perhaps we should just spread out and eat them, at least that way…oh, okay, private council…”

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/16/australia/spider-webs-australia-floods-scli-intl/index.html

“Living in a World in Which Nature Has Already Lost”

I am going to hope I’m forgiven by the New York Times for just flat-out pasting in their review, here, of a very significant book by Nathaniel Rich which ‘presents humanity’s war against nature in vivid detail, with nature nearly defeated. “It was a costly victory, however,” he writes. “The prize was civilizational collapse.”’

(reviewed by) Dahr Jamail

  • SECOND NATURE
  • Scenes From a World Remade
  • By Nathaniel Rich

On average, an American man puts 85 man-made chemicals into his body every day, while an American woman takes in nearly twice that amount.

Rich tourists pay top dollar for disaster tours to gawk at New Orleans’s Katrina-devastated Lower Ninth Ward, where the people who have remained struggle to survive.

In Aspen, Colo., dogs fly in private jets to “Billionaire Mountain” to join their owners in multimillion-dollar homes for two weeks of the year.

Cattle exposed to DuPont’s toxic chemicals drool uncontrollably and birth stillborn calves. Their teeth turn black, and blood gushes from their noses, mouths and rectums. When they are cut open, they are found to be filled with giant tumors, collapsed veins and green muscles.

A genetically engineered rabbit in France glows green. Meat made from cells harvested from an unborn sheep is being grown in a lab. There is an artist who has undergone multiple surgeries to grow a human ear on his forearm, and a life-size human ear grown from cow cartilage cells has been implanted on the back of a lab mouse.

Biotech is being used to bring back extinct species, despite the fact it is unable to achieve perfect replication, setting the stage for mutated versions of passenger pigeons or woolly mammoths. “We would go exactly as far as the technology allowed, and strain to go further,” Nathaniel Rich proclaims in “Second Nature,” a book chock-full of scenes such as these, an unwavering look at our increasingly dystopian world.

Rich presents humanity’s war against nature in vivid detail, with nature nearly defeated. “It was a costly victory, however,” he writes. “The prize was civilizational collapse.”

Flowing and deeply researched prose paints scene after scene of the ubiquitous entropy that is gaining momentum.

As devastating as the darkness is, however, Rich illuminates those acting on behalf of life itself. The lawyer representing the cattle farmer against DuPont revealed how many of those same chemicals are in all of us, and in 2018 filed a class-action lawsuit against DuPont and two other companies on behalf of every person in the country who had been exposed.

Uninhabited areas of the Lower Ninth Ward are now populated with rabbits, egrets, pelicans, hawks, possum, coyotes, owls, falcons and alligators as nature wastes no time reasserting itself.

A Japanese scientist studying a strange species known as the “immortal jellyfish,” whose life cycle reverses just as it seems to near its end, reminds us that learning to love nature is mandatory for our evolution as humans.

Rich offers all this while also never taking his gaze off the accelerating climate crisis. NASA has warned, as my own research has shown, that Arctic permafrost soil contains 1,400 to 1,850 gigatons of organic carbon, most of it located in the top 10 feet of quickly thawing soil. This layer is melting at least 70 years ahead of what were thought to be worst-case scenarios, rapidly releasing this carbon to join the 850 gigatons already in the atmosphere.

Humans living in our industrial age tend to resist information deleterious to their continued “progress,” yet Rich manages to fluently and empathetically depict in a digestible way the predicament in which we now find ourselves. The weight of the book is carried by deeply humanistic and nuanced stories of those whose lives have been devastated and those fighting for justice on their behalf, alongside those playing God with nature via biotechnology and chemistry.

In “Second Nature,” Rich articulately, sometimes even brutally, evinces how the onus is upon all of us to respond morally while simultaneously living with a reality that Dr. Frankenstein knew quite well: A monster set loose becomes a threat to our own existence.

Dahr Jamail is the author of “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption,” a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award in 2020.

SECOND NATURE
Scenes From a World Remade
By Nathaniel Rich
288 pp. MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $27.

A SHORT RANT ABOUT LIBERTARIANISM

I just cannot bear libertarianism. I could tolerate it better if we weren’t in an ecological emergency, on several levels–not just climate change–and libertarians are anti-regulatory weasels. And they use “statist” as an insult. As if a libertarian society would not be a state. A “state” as applied to a nation does not imply any particular governmental style, you ignorant putz. The society could be communist, libertarian, anarcho-syndicalist, as laissez faire as you like and as long as you have borders and any government whatsoever it’s still a state.

Libertarians are amazingly unaware of the inherent irony of libertarianism: they’re against people controlling them but if they don’t regulate industry and big biz and etc then power devolves to whoever has the money and they USE that power and they become “centrist” with them at the center: government by oligarchy. A monarchy of money.

Conservatives more likely to believe false news, new study finds

‘Political conservatives are more likely to believe untrue news reports than liberals are, researchers reported Wednesday.It’s the latest in a series of studies that show people on the political right tend to not only be targeted by fake news, but to believe it’s correct...

Conservatives were a little less likely to believe stories that were actually true, the researchers found. “It’s tempting to try and read this as evidence that conservatives are more biased or somehow psychologically predisposed to misperceptions. We can’t say that,” Garrett said.It might be that conservatives are being targeted more. “We have evidence the media environment is shaping peoples’ misperceptions,” he added. “Our data suggests that the composition of the media environment is playing a great role now.”‘

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/02/health/conservatives-false-news-study/index.html

A CONVERSATION WITH MY DOG ABOUT A DEAD BABY

“You canines sure are a mixed bag,” I told my dog. “Here it is in the news today: Ten month old baby killed by the family dogs. That was in North Carolina. Their Rottweilers mauled the poor kid to death! Some of you canines are grossly savage, bro. Domesticated dogs too. What the hell, man. And don’t tell me the people should have been watching over the baby closer, of course they should, but the family dogs, a couple of Rottweilers, shouldn’t be savaging any babies anytime, dammit.”

“First of all,” my dog said, rolling his big brown eyes, “those of us who are more peaceful breeds, or in my case mixed breed, cannot be responsible for what some asshole Rottweilers do. They’re Rottweilers. I wouldn’t trust them near my dinner or my puppies or human slaves.”

“Wait–‘human slaves’?”

“Er, I misspoke. I meant my human owners. That’s the ticket. That’s what I meant. Anyway, some Rottweilers are lunatics, unstable, because originally they were bred for violence. They’re attack dogs. Now who bred them that way? Let’s see. Do we know? Oh that’s right, humans did! Also they were evidently not well trained enough. Who failed to train them right? Oh that’s right–their humans!”

“Okay, fine, so you’ve got a point. But–“

“And by the way, which species is the most violent, human or canine? Who carries out world wars? The most we do is fight over territory now and then with our teeth. Closest we have to wars. Do we make nuclear bombs, man? Machine guns and nerve gas and shit? Hell no. Also do we keep human beings in cages in China and then kill you in horrible ways and eat you? Nooooo–that’s human beings in China who do that to dogs! Now let’s talk abour your cage fighting and your child murderers and your child rapists and–“

“Okay okay! You win, you made your point! We suck!”

“And don’t forget it. Now–you going to get my dinner, or what?”

PUBLIC SERVICE WARNING: AYN RAND POISONING

The Department of Meme Toxicology has issued a new report warning of AYN RAND POISONING. Causes of Ayn Rand poisoning include reading Ayn Rand’s novels & the rants of Austrian School of economics fanatics, & the rhetorical drippings of Ron Paul. Indications: hypertrophic selfishness, radical lack of empathy, indifference to poverty and human suffering, a willingness to elevate the law of Survival of the Fittest over all humanitarian concerns, an inability to perceive the consequences of environmental pollution, an extreme reaction to the presence of unions, blindness to social benefits of taxation, eg their own use of tax-supported programs. Prognosis, the death of civilization.