…literally as well as figuratively, and as the Disposable Underclass and ‘the Woke’ might more clearly see it:
Wildfires consumed 9.7 million acres in the United States in 2017, almost a record, according to wildfiretoday.com, although not al data is in yet. Sure, a heating planet and drought conditions were the key reasons, but wildfire today also mentioned decades of fire suppression (a political decision), fires too large to fight safely, slow attacks on new fires due to lack of personnel, and a (my words) broken fleet of contracted air tankers that has been slowly being repaired as of 2014.
The Hanford Nuclear Reservation on the Columbia River in Washington State is still leaking radioactive contaminants into the watershed, then into the ocean, radioactive airborne plumes galore, (cost for clean-up at $114 billon in 2014). But hey, after the many recent disasters, failures to prevent worker safety, WA state just passed a bill to ‘help more ill Hanford nuclear reservation workers qualify for state worker compensation may soon be headed to the governor’s desk to be signed into law’ (Note: not a federal bill, including respiratory, neurological and chronic beryllium disease, beryllium sensitization and multiple cancers.
A citizen effort is afoot in Cancer Alley, specifically St. John the Baptist Parish, to force petrochemical companies to clean up their air after reading that a 2011 EPA report showed that residents of six parishes were 800 times more likely to get cancer.
Global air temps in 2017 were the highest ever recorded, even with no El Niño effects, and carbon ppm have already exceeded 408, resulting in increased weather disasters and fires. Methane gas releases are packing a huge punch as well, indicating as I understand the experts: at the accelerating rate, in eleven years carbon will hit 450 ppm, game over. Then the ‘unless…’ pies in the skies come in….say from the Kings of Davos private/public partnership ‘fixers’.
And yet the climate destruction was pretty much locked in before Donald F.U. Trump came to power and denied climate science, although his policies on drilling, fracking, military build up will surely hasten the planet’s demise. The COP agreements were strictly aspirational and unenforceable, just as the Ruling Class would prefer it, of course.
In the US, wealth inequality is worse now than in the former Gilded Age, and ranks 4th highest on the GINI coefficient (income disparity) charts, below Chile, Mexico, and Turkey. The Bidness Buddhas at Davos were keenly concerned, a mean to train the Rabble to serve the Masters of Capital post-robot takeovers of menial jobs, like…nursing, virtual docs, and other servo-bots..
Tens of millions of Amerikans are living at or below the poverty level, although numbers are hard to come by, given the many ‘experts’ disagreeing on the definition. Who would lie about their finances on a Census Report? But even among those who are employed, a high percentage live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings for emergencies, and many are without access to health care, and are dying of it. More and more are hungry, or ‘food insecure’ in technocrat-speak. Homeless numbers are also hard to come by, but at least many hundreds of thousands, and they are increasingly stigmatized, preyed upon, and criminalized.
But speaking of Bidness Buddhas and health care, how does this CNBC headline grab you? ‘UnitedHealth, CVS plunge on Bezos, Buffett and Dimon plan to improve US health care’; The three companies, led by Jeff Bezos, Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett plan to develop ways to improve the health of their employees.
But not to worry, Sergeant Dow Jones opened today at 26,121; it’s all right, ma: we’re only dyin’!
Congress has a current approval rating of 16% (Gallup), but duopoly heroes will emerge, and the money will likely flow into the midterm candidates. Speaking of which, it’s hard not to eat this reasoning with a spoon (triple grin):
‘Russia is aiming to interfere in US midterm elections, warns CIA chief’, Mike Pompeo says ‘I have every expectation that they will continue to try’ to meddle in House and Senate races in November.
“In the BBC interview at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Pompeo said he believes that, despite cooperation in counter-terrorism, Russia is primarily an adversary and there has been no significant reduction in Russian attempts at subversion in Europe and the US.
However, Pompeo also said Chinese efforts to exert covert influence over the west were as much of a concern as Russian subversion. He told the BBC the Chinese “have a much bigger footprint” to do this.
“Think about the scale of the two economies,” he said. “The Chinese have a much bigger footprint upon which to execute that mission than the Russians do.”
Indubitably, my dear Watson; the game’s afoot!
Steven Rosenfeld at Alteret reminds us to “pay close attention to his [Herr Trump’s] next big priority—an infrastructure plan—which, over time, could eclipse the trillion-dollar giveaway to the rich in the GOP’s just-passed tax plan.
And track the response from Democrats, who will have to decide if they will back a plan drafted by privatization proponents, or if Democrats will represent the public and say no to years of paying off infrastructure bonds sold by Wall Street—tax free to investors—but eating up future tax revenues while imposing new user fees like highway tolls.”
He also notes that the Rand Corp. is very bullish on the plan; garsh, small wonder…
Billionaires-for-charter-schools seem to be having their way with a different sort of partnership: our tax dollars fund their charters, while billionaire-class puppets sit on the boards and make decisions. I’m certain that Calvnist Ed. Secty. Betsy Davos, (pardon, I mean ‘DeVos’ and her hubbie are thrilled! As a major proponent of school vouchers, she’s on record as saying she want to use schools to ‘Build God’s Kingdom!’
As far as the current manager of the Imperium, Herr F.U.Trump is following in Barack F.U. Oboma’s footsteps as far as the criminal level of the unitary executive goes, and is doubling down on O’s wars and visibly fomenting for moar wars. Threats of war and military might seem to be this administration’s form of diplomacy, as in: ‘Do this or that, we’re gonna fuck you up!’…and he seems to see more troops as a jobs program. But then, an all-volunteer military with such enormous signing bonuses…actually has been such.
Meanwhile, what the D team has to offer in the way of pushback to His Nibs is the McArthyite #MeToo movement, and the D-team voting signups at the J20 Women’ Marches, not his actual policies, especially in the Power of the Purse to wage war, I mean: ‘Protect the Homeland!™. As far as Schumer trading funding for T’s ‘wall on the border’ for maintaining Obomba’s DACA, I dunno where all that is now, given I’d seen a headline to the effect that “Schumer’s changed his mind.” From my place in the cheap and cynical seats in the bleachers, ‘saving DACA’ wasn’t really simple virtue-signaling by the’Party of the People’, but had elements of the burgeoning demographics of Latinos, said to surpass Boss Man Whitey in 2045. But that’s just me, see?
And of course: the totality of Russia-gate, with so many moving parts my head spins, an all the key player’s (or alleged players) names just don’t stick in my mind.
Meanwhile, with alley-oops from the D Team, FISA 702 is still the rule of the land, as other acronym agencies (DHS, FBI, DEA, FUK, etc.) swap what their spies find out and about concerning dissidents, Putin lovers, peace lovers, Muslim rights activists, and tra la la. This of course includes the execs of Twitter, Facebook, Google and Youtube hiring armies to root out and delete anything that doesn’t fit within the hegemon’s ‘faith promoting’ war, Empire, and US nationalism and jingoism.
Ach, I’d forgotten that PropOrNot was a WaPo/Bezos program:
‘Oliver Stone leads tributes to Robert Parry as shady US lobbyists PropOrNot dance on his grave’, via RT. Now I have no idea how or why ‘Oliver Stone leads’ comes in, but there was no way I could possibly click in, either. Fuck them, if they did, though; prolly on Twitter.
Side Note: the List seems to have short forms and long forms, but clicking into the Wiki, I was musing as to why the fearless investigative journalism of The Intercept hadn’t made the list. The sole reference in the Wiki I found was that Glen Greenwald had griped about Naked Capitalism having been on the list, lol. (Yves Smith threatened a lawsuit, the site was…removed, as was Counterpunch.)
Now some Ds did offer some resistance by letter to this penis-measuring button news: ‘US ground invasion of North Korea needed to secure nuclear sites, says Pentagon’ Pyongyang could use chemical weapons in event of conflict, warns defence department, UK Independent.
As is often said, Empires in their death throes are at their most dangerous and erratic, sensing they’re about to be toppled with new alliances, both financial and geo-strategic.
Meanwhile, according to Nick Pemberton at Counterpunch, the 2020 campaigns for Prez have already begun, at least he reckons so: in his ‘Sanders and the Empire’ After wandering around old Dobbin’s barn for a bit, noting he’d worked for him, etc., he gets down to it; this is the pithiest graph, and I agree wholeheartedly:
“Freedom is not an existential question. Anyone who calls out Bernie for what he really is—an apologist for American Empire is framed as a purist. But that’s far from the truth. Bernie, on a global scale, is an extremist on foreign policy. Compare him to other leaders around the world and he is right wing, plain and simple. He would continue to violate international law. When he does question the American military his tears are for the American middle class and our tax dollars. What really separates Bernie from his political competition is that he has a realistic plan to save this Empire. Mainstream Democrats will continue to split the gap between rich and poor, and Republicans will do this without blinking. What Bernie offers us is a chance to save our Empire. He will restore the American middle class. And when he saves the American middle class, revolution is an impossibility.”
But what slayed me is that at the top of his essay he’d touted St. Tulsi Gabbard for 2020, with no analysis of how or why she’d be different. Oh well, so it goes…
And of course there are those who maintain that it really doesn’t matter who occupies the White House, as the shadow government/deep state really runs it all anyway. Me, I still wonder how many shadow governments exist and compete at certain points in time.
Andre Vltchek ask some good questions, offers some great observations in his U.S.: War Dog Wants to Bite, but What and How? a few outtakes:
“It snaps left and right, and periodically it is even trying to bite a piece of Moon off. But the Moon is far, too far, even for the best armed and the most aggressive country on Earth.
Iran is much closer, and so are North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Russia, China, Pakistan and other nations that have managed to land themselves on that proverbial shit list of the neo-colonialist World Order, manufactured by the West.”
“He is also offending and intimidating millions of Latin Americans; people of the Western Hemisphere who have been, for ages, falling under the infamous ‘Monroe Doctrine’ of U.S. foreign policy. The summary of that Doctrine has been basically this: do as we say and what is in the interests of the West, or we’ll overthrow your governments, murder your leaders or even directly invade your shores. Now ‘illegal immigrants’ from these countries are most likely going to have to leave the United States. Because they are poor (logically they are, after centuries of oppression and terror from the North), because they are not white, and because they are ‘uneducated’, or in summary, because they are not ‘Norwegians’ (the Manager would prefer Norwegian migrants).
Insulting people and nations is one thing, but bringing the world near a nuclear war is something quite different.”
“The dog of war is searching for some weak point, where its fangs can begin tearing flesh apart. But suddenly, it seems that there is none. All points are hardened, tough.
Russia and China are standing firm and tall, their diplomats literally humiliating their counterparts from Western Empire by composed, powerfully sophisticated and refined behavior. But the militaries of both peaceful but mighty nations have recently been on constant alert: ready to defend their own people, and humanity.
Iran and North Korea are not yielding either. Syria is beginning to rebuild, despite the fact that the subversion, armed and supported from abroad, has not yet been fully defeated. Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia are still there, standing upright, definitely not on their knees.
Suddenly, no one is ready to surrender. This is the first time in history that the Empire has faced such scorn from the rest of the world.”
“In the West, he is not the first Manager of this sort, and he is not the worst. He is part of that long tradition of tyrants. And this tradition has to stop, very soon, in order for our Planet to survive.
These are brutal, dangerous and testing times. The ill, aggressive monster should not be allowed to totally destroy the world. Those who are already standing, should never surrender. Others should join. The survival of our civilization is at stake!”
Amen, brother Andre, although I admit I’m agnostic on ‘the survival of our civilization’ thing…(h/t Mahatma Gandhi) Also, I reckon he’d forgive me for (ahem) borrowing so much of his essay.
Meanwhile, the militarization of police departments is increasing, killedbypolice.net reports that 113 US citizens have already been killed, Herr T now owns close to ‘Don’t be too kind loading prisoners in cars’ (a reference to Freddie Gray’s grisly death by a ‘rough ride; in a po-po van, I assume?), the Rabble Classes still labor for the Man for pennies a day in the mass incarceration cradle-to-grave complex, and T’s ceded his foreign policy to his generals and special ops/mercenary teams around the planet.
Yeah, this House is on Fire; but not all are aware of it yet. What might be the spark that lights a revolutionary movement globally? A modern day slave rebellion as occurred in Haiti in 1791? It’s hard to se it beginning in Amerika; the worst trend I see is that all of this hideous war/no peace/capitalist class ugliness has become normalized, reified to an extent, like the slowly increasing the flame to boiling pot that never flips out the frogs.
Soon come, soon come the day
This tinderbox is gonna blow in your face
I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be
I don’t have the gift of the prophecy
Telling everybody how it’s gonna be
There’s a wild fire catching in the whip of the wind
That could start a conflagration
Like there has never been
This house is on fire
(cross-posted at caucus99precent.com)