Links June 2018

June 14, 2018

Raccoon news (felines are temporarily out of favor):

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/racoon-skyscraper-minnesota-building-video-climbing-caught-freed-wild-a8397831.html A true ambassador for nature and its fellow animals. This will give a lot of people food for thought.

Environmental news:

New Jersey approved a bailout of its struggling nuclear power plants. Ratepayers will essentially subsidize the nuclear plants, operated by Exelon Corporation, with about 300 million US$ a year. The support for nuclear comes after New York and Illinois previously passed similar measures to rescue their nuclear power plants.

Trump Orders a Lifeline for Struggling Coal and Nuclear Plants. The president instructed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to “prepare immediate steps” in order to stop the closing of unprofitable plants around the country. The USA just had its warmest May in history, blowing past 1934 Dust Bowl record.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2018/06/05/commentary/japan-commentary/tritiated-water-will-decide/#.WxwI4COB0UQ Tritium in Fukushima. In the end they will pour the radioactive water into the ocean.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/25/tuti-m25.html Police kills 13 who protest against copper smelter.
https://e360.yale.edu/features/coyote-carnage-the-gruesome-truth-about-wildlife-killing-contests Born to kill.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/26/tree-sitters-appalachian-oil-pipeline-virginia-west Brave souls.
http://news.trust.org/item/20180531105811-yf0zn/ Heatwaves in Pakistan.
http://news.trust.org//item/20180607213832-g7lm0/ US Congress tries to bully the WHO.
https://www.afp.com/en/news/23/global-warming-will-make-veggies-harder-find-study-doc-15u6ok1 Food will become scarce.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/africa-trees-dying-climate-change-baobabs-dead-rat-scientist-study-a8393741.html Warming means higher vaporization, so everything dries out.

Economic news:

7.5 billion people compete for the 75 trillion in global annual GDP, which translates to 10,000 US$ per person per year. USA and EU combined maintain about 47 percent of global GDP and own 57 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, while USA plus EU inhabitants are only 11.1 percent of the global population.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/06/in-the-beginning-was-the-word/ Abandoning capitalism — a tough task.
https://www.localfutures.org/bulldoze-the-business-school/ This is a courageous article. But “greed is good” is only one tenet to be challenged. Private property, competition, passive income (rental, dividends, royalties, interest), limitless growth, human hubris (speciesism) are others.
A few aspects to be added to the curriculum: Intellectual property rights hinder the disbursement and use of human knowledge. Passive income is parasitic, is usury. The “survival of the fittest” became the “survival of the meanest.”
And what about a non-profit economy?

Media and technology news:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/05/23/more-about-wikipedia-corruption.html Carefully controlled, selected, and amended human knowledge.
https://thesaker.is/sitrep-germany-they-just-dont-buy-into-the-propaganda/ Luegenpresse. Propaganda doesn’t always work, especially not in a nation who had the sobering experience of Goebbels and Hitler.
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/05/31/tria-m31.html Silencing“Assad apologists.”

Imperial news:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/05/30/the-culture-behind-school-shootings/ An epic rant about US culture written by a student. Great!
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/poor-people-often-dont-survive-to-become-seniors-who-vote.html Survival of the fittest (richest).
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/07/health/suicide-report-cdc/index.html Suicides increase.
https://www.cjr.org/special_report/seymour-hersh-monday-interview.php/ Strange stories about the deep state from Seymour Hersh.

Imperial conquest news:

If you believe in it, everything is possible.

The USA’s capacity for war- and trouble-making is not bound by any limits. No limits on finances, as there would be with responsible taxation and spending. And no limits from public pressure about bodybags coming back, because they use mercenaries from home, men who would have no jobs otherwise and, increasingly, use mercenary rabble gathered internationally for dirty projects, as we see in Syria and as we saw in other countries of the great US rampage through the Middle East.

While those two unbounded capacities are dangerous at any time, they are particularly so now that the US establishment has gone into hyper-aggressiveness over its relative decline in world competitiveness and influence.

The US establishment consists of spoiled and dangerous people who feel their future role as international leaders is threatened by a now rapidly evolving world economy and political order.

They are spoiled by having lived through a unique period of time — post-World War II — which saw almost everything literally fall into their laps. It really is difficult to give up the resulting sense of entitlement as well as the feeling of being “uniquely blessed.”

Wealth, power, influence, all with heavenly blessings thrown in. Giving up all that, or even some portion of it, is about as agreeable a prospect as that of an addict facing withdrawal from drugs.

They are determined to use their still-existing great power to influence developments in their favor as much as they can. They are not restrained by budgets or public pressures over dead soldiers. And the US public, angry, confused, desperately looking for scapegoats, will cheer them for doing dangerous things.

That is a very explosive combination.

President Trump has, despite the establishment’s early doubts, proven himself overall an ally, albeit a rather crude one. He brings with him to the establishment’s agenda the support of a good portion of US’ underclass, certainly not support they would normally receive or care about. But Trump’s “bringing it home to America” and telling-off foreigners and being hostile to international organizations and migrants and his affection for guns have them in the palm of his hand.

He has no limits on careless rhetoric or on making threats, and he is busy ripping up international cooperation and trade everywhere in the name of “I want it all for America,” which is, of course, not only greedy and obnoxious but impossible, and when you pursue the impossible, you are soon getting into dangerous territory.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/06/05/102634/ Another well-worded rant. We know this all of course. So, what is holding us back to defy, resist, obstruct, and put an end to this tragedy?
http://theduran.com/how-the-west-continues-to-fatally-misunderstand-russia-vladimir-putin/ Must read.
https://www.eurasiafuture.com/2018/05/23/why-did-the-us-sabotage-president-putins-peace-plan-for-syria/ The importance of Israel testing the F-35 is maybe overstated but otherwise analysis and conclusion seem plausible.
https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/syria-raqqa-in-ruins-and-civilians-devastated-after-us-led-war-of-annihilation/ If even AI acknowledges the devastation, it must be serious.

In a comment section, an unknown reader wrote: Normally, one would say nationalism is a stupid concept. After all, none of us had any input into where we were born, it wasn’t our own decision, it was the hand of fate so to speak. However, there are two notable exceptions. The Palestinians and the Syrians. Even though victory is still a long way from either of them, they can be truly proud of their tenacious, against all odds fight for survival. I can’t think of any people who have withstood such sustained and brutal attacks.

Armageddon news:


Uncategorized news:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-06-iq-scores-1970s.html IQ test scores drop. TV, video games, computers, smartphones, environmental poisons, less exercise, more noise, more distraction. Any additional or alternative explanations?

News from cat land:

Finally it has rained extensively, not just a few seconds drizzle with a few hundred raindrops falling down. It could have been a little bit more, two of the 24 rain barrels are still empty. But the drought has ended and I will not have to water for a few days. The humus layer, which I try to increase as fast as possible, the compost containers and heaps, the plants themselves are soaked and have stored a lot of water, surely far more than the rain barrels.

The forest has overcome the dry period remarkably well, while the lawns of two neighbors are completely brown. There will be no noisy lawn mowing for a long time. The adjacent field north of the garden is brown as well, most plants lay on the ground. This cannot be harvested, except maybe as hay. Or the farmer just will plough it in.

Life if full of contradictions and unsolvable problems.

My beloved cats have slaughtered another little frog. There were two siblings in one of the small garden ponds. I watched them for weeks with pleasure and hope. Frogs, like any other amphibians, are endangered and rare, precious.

They are a bit clumsy on land, but very elegant in the water. 

Then the cats got one. I was profoundly sad, but my hope rested on the survivor. Now this one is dead too. What shall I say? I will not abandon my cat friends, they don’t understand.

Still some frogs, toads, lizards, newts left in the other ponds. When I see one of them it makes my day.

There are tadpoles in two of the small ponds. So many tadpoles and only a few survive.

This morning the garden was full of mouse carcasses, the cats have been busy the whole night. They came in soaking wet, looking like they just had taken a shower. After feeding the cats I walked around in the garden and killed a hundred snails. “We are all mass murderers,” I thought.

Who am I to condemn my feline friends.