Links September 2017

September 1, 2017

As Harvey devastated Texas, catastrophic floods unfolded in South Asia, mostly unnoticed in Western media. Monsoon rains have caused deluges and landslides affecting 41 million people in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, resulting in the death of more than 1,400 people.

Frequent floods in South Asia are common in the monsoon season between June and September. But this is “one of the most serious humanitarian crises” the region has seen in many years, according to Martin Faller, deputy regional director for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Aid organizations try to provide food and shelter for stranded victims, while the risk of water born diseases like Cholera, Hepatitis A, Leptospirosis, Typhoid, Malaria, Dengue fever grows.

The crisis has been going on since mid-August and the downpours have most recently come for India’s megacity Mumbai. Since one week the city’s roads are flooded, schools have closed early, and flights have been canceled. Life has come to a standstill.

Feline news:

Environmental news:
http://e360.yale.edu/features/thirty-years-after-the-montreal-protocol-solving-the-ozone-problem-remains-elusive It’s not only the Antarctica ozone hole, the ozone layer has become thinner everywhere, with UV radiation increasing on every place on the earth.
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41564-fukushima-plant-is-releasing-tons-of-radioactive-water-into-the-pacific-ocean Sharing the burden with all of humanity. Just pour the radioactive tritium water into the ocean. Where else should it go?
http://www.postandcourier.com/business/early-signs-of-incompetence-at-every-level-went-unheeded-as/article_b47acd2c-89a5-11e7-830a-9364c7e7b71b.html Good! Make it hurt.
http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/flame+retardant+couches+seats+mats+linked+98lower+reproductive/14353012/story.html Another way to solve the problem of overpopulation.
https://news.mongabay.com/2017/08/these-3-companies-owe-indonesia-millions-of-dollars-for-damaging-the-environment-why-havent-they-paid/ When insufficient environmental laws, underfunded government agencies, and armies of defense lawyers make it nearly impossible to punish environmental crimes.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/08/26/windscreen-phenomenon-car-no-longer-covered-dead-insects/ This was reported before and is evident to everyone who has a sense for nature. Amphibians, birds, insects — who will be next? Maybe we ourselves?
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/mass-extinction-life-on-earth-farming-industrial-agriculture-professor-raj-patel-a7914616.html Re-imagining a world with less stuff but more joy.
When you turn the management over to the tree-huggers, the bird and bunny lovers and the rock lickers, you turn your heritage over.”
Mike Noel, a Republican state representative in Utah who wants to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument and reopen the area for mining and drilling.

Media and technology news:
http://www.dw.com/en/interior-ministry-shuts-down-raids-left-wing-german-indymedia-site/a-40232965 Acts of censorship will be more frequent and open. Get used to it — this is the new normal.

Imperial news:
There are moments when US President Donald Trump seems to be in full meltdown mode, but he keeps going. Spokesman on national security matters Sebastian Gorka, a Bannon ally, has been pushed out.
Army and Marine officials in Trump’s cabinet — retired General John Kelly, retired General James Mattis and active duty General H.R. McMaster — have used the crisis surrounding Trump’s ambiguity over the far-right disturbances in Charlottesville and elsewhere, to strengthen the grip of the military over the government.

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/30/pers-a30.html How can one be that negative? Hurricane Harvey will be a boon for the economy, because hundred thousand homes need to be rebuilt, half a million cars and other vehicles be replaced, roads and all other infrastructure in a third of Houston have to be repaired or replaced. Think about how that will push up profits and GDP! (win-win-win)
https://newrepublic.com/article/144606/harveys-hidden-side-effect ExxonMobil disclosed that hurricane damage at two of its Houston-area refineries may have released 12,000 pounds of contaminants into the air. Chevron Phillips Chemical reported that the shut down of its Cedar Bayou Plant may have released more than 745,000 pounds of contaminants. 300.000 people have no safe drinking water.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/28/pers-a28.html Correct observations about Houston floods, but one ideological issue: Ecological problems will not automatically be solved if capitalism ends. Socialism may have answers to some of the problems humanity faces, but it has no remedy against overpopulation, resource depletion, and the poisoning of the biosphere by human industrial activity.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ladawn-jones-jason-spencer-race_us_59a6e0dee4b00795c2a33a51 A white lawmaker in Georgia warns a black attorney she may “go missing” if Confederate statues are threatened.

Imperial conquest news:

Uncategorized news:
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/08/lifes-a-pitch.html One can surely describe a competitive capitalist society in this way, but there are more variables than “competition versus cooperation” in play, “private versus public” for instance or “central versus local.” Networking is not necessarily a bad thing, even “pitching” is not necessarily bad. Promoting, advertising, pushing ones ideas, ideals, visions may be necessary to draw attention and ignite a discussion. And in a more humane society pitching by downcast people will get them the help and care which they desperately need.
http://theduran.com/pakistan-karachi-school-drops-john-lennon-song-student-performance-blasphemous-lyrics/ Religious bigots reign in the Greater Middle East (and in the USA as well).

News from cat land:

Heavy rain pouring down here just like almost everywhere else in the world, but no flooding, because our home is on the gentle slope of a hill. 

Wendy was missing for nearly one day. The horror! In the morning, when usually all cats report for duty (and for food), I thought she will come later, but when she still had not arrived for lunch I got a lump in my throat, my puls increased, and I began to sweat. I went out into the rain, running through the forest dripping wet, calling: “Wendy, Wendy.” Gandhi Jr. accompanied me, also dripping wet and meowing as loud as he could.

Wendy didn’t respond and so Gandhi Jr. and I ended the search and went home. I started to write this blog post in order to distract me from painful concerns and worry.

Suddenly, at 5 PM Wendy unceremoniously reappeared and now everything is good again. She was not even wet and I wonder where she did hide. At the moment she sleeps on one of my used T-shirts (always a favorite cat resting place). She got special food and special attention, which is of course counter productive because it could prompt her to occasionally stay away longer in order to get the special treatment.

I found Wendy as a tiny kitten on an abandoned farm. She is nine years old and, together with the other members of the cat family, has become a part of my life. Nine years, that is a long time for a cat, it is even a long time for me.

Time doesn’t stand still and the cats get older. Miss Marple is now 19 years old, still in good health and not frail at all, Aunt Rosy is 13, Princess Min Ki 12. Its crazy how the days, month, and years rush by, as the seasons change and flowers grow just to wither away and die when it gets cold again.

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