“…they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.” – (The Guardian, 23 July)
– Technologist, Dr Douglas Rushkoff, describing a bizarre “conference” he was very well paid to speak at, that consisted of just half a dozen worried billionaires sitting around a table seeking answers to profound questions concerning their own survival as the new master race.
Readers of this, muh bogl, might kindly recall that we Posted some time ago a Long Essay about the survivalist ambitions of the money-breathers. Made most of the same points, I think. Can’t remember when, doesn’t matter. Here’s the link: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/jul/23/tech-industry-wealth-futurism-transhumanism-singularity
“you must surely realize in the still of the night that you have no qualification whatsoever to make policy on anything other than your own cheapjack fashion empire?”
Dear Ivanka Trump
Just who the hell are you?
With your preposterous sense of overentitlement, your absurd, deluded “first family” arrogance, you have announced that, in view of the failure of your fashion brands owing to your dad’s unpopularity, you have decided to shut them down (at the expense of many poor Chinese workers’ jobs) and concentrate instead on making long-term policy for the government of the United States of America.
The insouciance is simply breathtaking. You were never elected to anything!
The trophy wife of a slimy, chronically overgeared property developer – himself the teenage son of a criminal fraudster and convicted blackmailer, a squalid, rack-rent corporate landlord desperate for money – as pretty as you once were, you must surely realize in the still of the night that you have no qualification whatsoever to make policy on anything other than your own cheapjack fashion empire!
With the greatest of respect, Ivanka dear, you know fuck-all about running the world, let alone your local precinct, whose name you don’t know. You have never run for office, or hosted a town hall, or counseled a homeless mother of two trapped on opioids!
You may have been there, Davos and places, met world leaders who are running rings around your sad old dad, be best budz with Wendi Deng; but you haven’t yet earned the T-shirt. And if you imagine your demented ignoramus of a father who wants more than anything to fuck you has any greater depth of knowledge of anything other than borderline criminal activity, hatred of America and the most stunted and brutal, self-defeating, outdated economic theories since before Mr Glass met Mr Steagal, well, then you know even less than I imagine.
As the daughter of America’s most catastrophic President in history, the total phonus-balonus, a bullying, blundering incompetent elected by fraud on a minority vote, another bankrupt business failure with a history of murky dealings involving organized crime, an elderly bloviate clearly suffering in the advanced stages of dementia, who needs medical help more than constant praise, you have lost all sense of proportion.
This is surely the apotheosis of the celebrity culture, when the population, so brainwashed by the vapid outpourings of the little social media devices babbling in their ears and on their screens, devices whose aggressive marketing has created an elite claque of slave-owning “tech billionaires” living in a bubble of their own paranoid reality and shareholder greed, that they no longer have any sense of what’s relevant or material, permanently enslaves itself to total mediocracy.
Government by fourth-rate nonentity TV ‘stars’. it had to happen, I suppose, since the common people have little else to compare them with and are not educated to know that there are no easy answers to the most complex problems of our age.
Just check-out the latest Trump speech, in which he fervently urges his dumbfuck supporters not to believe anything they hear or see, other than what he tells them is happening: his nightly re-imaginings of reality in 280 characters or less…. It’s terrifying; the self-contradictory outpourings of a drowning man, the King Over the Water so far out of his depth in the job it has rendered him insensible to all externalities; his personal mythology a kind of mental prolapse, a turning inside-out of the theory of how to do stuff without shitting out your own bowels.
What we are facing is a world in which the “survivors” of Big Brother and Love Island, Trump’s Apprentice; the Kanyes and Kims and other “whodey?s” of popular fantasy, are accorded exactly the same status as the patiently trained politicians and diplomats, the ingenious industry leaders and studious philosophers, the Nobel prizewinning scientists and rectitudinous University deans, when it comes to understanding and managing evermore complex world events: trade, manufacturing, diplomacy, agriculture, technology, climate change, war… unless they are available to your superficial nostrums entirely divorced from context and complexity.
I mean, like, Palestine, Syria, Facebook, the markets – how hard can they be? You just say what you want to happen, and hey presto!
Merely because they have been made into celebrities through sophisticated marketing to produce fully exploitable robotic figures who now – what – by virtue of their ubiquity have a claim to rule in the political, industrial, academic and scientific spheres, the intellectual space, because – what – knowledge, experience, wisdom, intelligence, maturity and deep education count for nothing anymore, so divorced are they from the median student of life and her Twitter feed?
It’s the political victory of the liberal arts over the empirical sciences, in the CP Snow analysis.
Are we now saying that Kim Kardashian would also be an ideal President of the USA, merely because she has been promoted by astute and cynical showbusiness mavens to cult status through emphasizing the prodigious size of her buttocks? Is that even a serious thing? Do you know, women are dying from having stuff injected in their asses to make them look like this fabulous confection, this useless and pitiable drain on our shrinking resources – this cultural prostitute?
Kardashian appears to have no other talents, apart from being the daughter of one of the celebrity advocates of the wife-beater and probable murderer, OJ “The Juice” Simpson, having married an inexplicably popular and unreliable “rap” artist whose philosophical gibberings rival those of the footballer, Eric Cantona, for sheer banality. (And that, of course, is the whole point of her appeal to millions of aspirant teens – you don’t need anything more to succeed beyond your own wildest dreams, provided you keep your ass in shape and buy the product. To hell with the suicides.)
Are we being asked from now on to accept that some permatanned genius like one of the indistinguishable Kardashian sisterhood couldn’t possibly do a worse job of fucking up the planet than Trump, given an adequate marketing push? While trashing classical culture with the other hand? the made-for-TV Taliban?
Is he the benchmark for future Presidents whose executive powers will be limited to deciding what to call their latest range of vacuum-packaged, mail-order steaks? (And then languidly reach out an arm to blackmail another small state before returning to the matters in tiny hand, the construction of a policy tweet, the guzzling of a cheeseburger.) Whose Twitter followers outnumber the stars in the galaxy? Whose YouTube makeup videos suck in millions of dollars in advertising to desperate kids with normal adolescent blemishes?
Fortunately, this whole horror show is winding up as the planet heats beyond human endurance. We have eight years left.
Ivanka Trump’s latest commercial venture, concentrating on making policy for the future of the Free World, in which incidentally you and I will struggle to live, even if she survives for a while longer in the Presidential bunker (yes, a golfing metaphor too!), is going to have to cope with some pretty difficult conditions in the next few years.
The BogPo only hopes she’s vain and stupid enough to lead us out of the wilderness into the sunlit uplands of vacuous commerce and superficial expertry, if only by accident.
But maybe all is not lost!
“Facebook shares tumbled on Wednesday after the social media network’s revenue and user growth fell short of investor expectations …. 2.23 billion monthly active users at the end of June … was up 11% compared to 2017 – the slowest growth in more than two years.” – BBC Business
The biggest ever single-day drop in a company’s market value, Facebook lost another $119 billion Thursday. The Zuck is personally $16 billion lighter tonight. He won’t be going out!
Hold on. You mean, 11% more suckers are still signing up to Zuck’s college scam, regardless of being told repeatedly what Facebook really is and how it exploits them?
Okay, maybe all is lost.
“…what are we talking, ‘Poison, by Dior’? ‘Collusion, by Trump’?”
The Amesbury Horror
So, Russian nerve-agent victim Charlie Rowley recovered consciousness, and has explained to police and subsequently the media what happened. It isn’t as the BogPo speculated last week, an extended conspiracy: Rowley and poor Dawn Sturgess turn out to have been almost exceptionally ordinary people, two recovering addicts caught in the social care system, it was incredibly bad luck they found the package, but it’s equally intriguing.
The Guardian writes:
“The man poisoned with the nerve agent novichok has claimed the substance that killed his girlfriend and left him critically ill came in a perfume bottle that was sealed and wrapped up.”
So, the police have cleverly concluded, it can’t have been from the same batch as was used to try to assassinate the double-agent, Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last March. Really? Why not?
The obvious inference is surely that the same batch was split across two or more similarly disguised containers; it would not be an over-imaginative ploy, to smuggle the agent in a perfume bottle of the kind you might bring into the country, say as a duty-free purchase on a commercial flight; and to ensure that if one attacker failed, the other would get through.
There’s more than one!
Now, clearly, if (as the Russian disinformation campaign has tried to pretend) the poison had come from an illicit batch on a shelf at Porton Down, retained in defiance of the international rules on chemical weapons by the devious British for spies presumably with romantic inclinations, it wouldn’t have been in a wrapped and sealed perfume bottle.
Unless it’s kept on a shelf of pre-mixed 1980s compound nerve agents heavily disguised as duty-free goods for handy use in any circumstances. (One certainly hopes Ryanair or whoever weren’t pushing it to passengers by accident.)
But if the assassin/s arrived on a flight, probably via somewhere else, from Moscow, surely it was the perfect method of getting the poison into the country. And if it was convincingly sealed and wrapped, then the most likely explanation is that some agency with the sophisticated ability to refill, seal and cellophane-wrap a perfume bottle in such a way as to make it undetectable and not suspicious to Customs could be responsible.
And, a thought – why split the batch? Well, any container of liquid over 100 ml would be confiscated at Security.
So the Guardian expert’s weird speculation suggests that the media don’t have a clue:
“…if Rowley is correct about the perfume bottle being boxed and sealed (why would he not be? Ed.), it may undermine the line of inquiry that the novichok that he and Sturgess came into contact with had been discarded by the attackers of the Skripals.”
Oh, really? So there was more than one team of Russian knockoff-artists blundering about the Wiltshire countryside looking for former agents to eliminate, all using sealed perfume bottles, and no connection between them?
How do these dimwits get employed on apparently serious news organs, when your Uncle Bogler struggles to get by on his pension because you bastards won’t pay to read his illuminating insights?
The most obvious inference, my dears, is that the attackers had A SPARE BOTTLE which they discarded when they got the message, “job done”.
The question now being, are there more discarded perfume bottles littering Wiltshire – what are we talking, “Poison, by Dior”? “Collusion, by Trump”?
“Charlie”, by Revlon? No, that would be too….
Actually, the question is, what was in the package Yulia Skripal reportedly brought into Heathrow through Customs when she visited her father? Would she have known what she was carrying, or might it have been a plant? And if we have heard Charlie’s version of events, why haven’t we heard hers?
Surely, even if Sergei is still a cauliflower, she could shed light on the whole affair?
Poor Charlie doesn’t now remember where he found the bottle, and there’s no confirmation the police have it, although we must assume they do. He says he gave it to his girlfriend as a gift: Dawn sprayed it on herself, but he only got some on his hand and washed it off.
One lived, the other died. It’s an arbitrary journey, life.
He says it was oily and odourless. This correlates to what my defense-industry-orientated son tells me about the nature of novichok and how it works – faster when inhaled; almost instantly replacing your proteins, or some such, with nerve-blockers, than when in contact with the skin.
So the spray action would have been useful, both to coat a door-handle, and as a sniffer.
Meanwhile we have heard nothing more of reports that the police have a number of suspects in view, Russians who came and went around the time.
Nor of the BogPo’s innocent question: why was Skripal ensconced by his MI6 handlers (who are based in London) in a supposedly safe house in Salisbury, right in the southern heartland of the British defence industry, and furnished with a vivid red BMW car?
Was he some sort of tethered goat?
We have heard nothing more, either, from Det Sgt Bailey, who was also inadvertently poisoned; in what sense was he a ‘first responder’, detectives aren’t usually; and how did he know to go straight to the Skripal house if they were unconscious when found a few miles away, unless he already knew who they were and where they lived?
And what of the coincidence, that both couples spent time in the same park in Salisbury, visited by hundreds of people every week, on the days they were poisoned? What separate action then ties them together across four months in time?
It’s one heck of a mystery, ain’t it.
Scorched Earth: turning America into the shithole of the world
Before being dragged from his $43 thousand private phone booth, his manicured and expensively lotioned fingernails squealing on the whiteboard, the profoundly corrupt and borderline insane administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who “very much did not want to leave office” (for details of his bizarre crimes, see Posts passim) tried to push through one more incomprehensible piece of environmental vandalism.
So-called ‘glider trucks’ are new truck cabs that are sold without engines and gearboxes, allowing the haulage company to retrofit their own engines after purchase. Such engines may have been recovered from crashed or dumped trucks, or are recons from decommissioned rigs.
They are naturally older, more polluting units that don’t meet Clean Air Act stipulations, but because they predate the rules, don’t have to.
Either stupid or desperate, persuaded by the manufacturers’ marketing bullshit, US hauliers see only the immediate cost saving and not the long-term extra costs of the maintenance cycle and breakdown issues.
Or the hideous environmental and human health consequences of NOx pollution.
But there you go, or not.
According to the Vox website:
“…the EPA’s (own) tests showed that even shiny new glider trucks can spew upward of 55 times the amount of pollution of modern trucks.”
The Obama administration – them again – had moved to issue an order under the Clean Air Act limiting the numbers of these child-killing monsters to 300 a year, still 300 too many in the BogPo’s view. Pruitt’s last venal sin was to try to overturn the order.
To quote Michelle Obama, what is the matter with these people?
Happily, there’s been an 11th hour intervention by the courts.
In an update to its 18 July story, Vox reports:
“The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by a 2-1 decision issued an emergency stay on Wednesday in response to a lawsuit by the Environmental Defense Fund and other environmental groups. The order forces the EPA to enforce stricter rules on “super polluting” glider trucks as the court considers permanently overriding Scott Pruitt’s final decision as the EPA’s leader.”
The BogPo notes that this is only one of a very large number of unutterably stupid, evil and callous moves by the filthy Trump administration, shilling for its energy bidness donors, to turn the United States, still in parts a beautiful country, into the shithole of the world, the Mines of fucking Mordor, before Americans throw the bastards out on their ears, and has only one uncomprehending question:
To which a faint echo calls back:
PS: Mr Pruitt has been replaced at the EPA by Andrew Wheeler, a former lobbyist for the coal industry.
No doubt his nickname will now be Andrew “sixteen” Wheeler. (Insert wry orange trucker face.)
For the rest of this horror story – basically, FitzGerald, beetle-browed CEO of the leading glider truck manufacturer in America, happens to fund the very same university engineering department that helpfully produces a report for Pruitt, against the findings of his own agency, claiming the trucks are just as clean as new ones.
See him shaking hairy knuckles with a beaming Donald Trump, who just loves real Americans and big shiny trucks – go to:
GW: gettin’ sick of weather “experts” and their feeble excuses
Greece: 24 July, the death toll in wildfires mostly now out in places along a wide front east of the capital, Athens now exceeds 70, including (it’s reported) a group of 26 people found huddled together in a field 50 metres from the sea, overcome by thick smoke in the coastal resort of Mati. Details are still emerging but it’s thought many children are among the dead. Emergency workers have been evacuating locals and tourists by boat.
“Italy, Germany, Poland and France have all sent help in the form of planes, vehicles and firefighters, and Spain and Cyprus have offered Greece assistance, but with temperatures set to soar again they are in a race against time to get the fires under control.
“Help is also needed in Sweden where at least one person has been killed and dozens injured by forest fires there as soaring temperatures continue across much of Europe.” – BBC News, 24 July
Norway, too, has around 100 wildfires burning. In Latvia: a state of emergency has been declared in the farming sector, as there has been no rain since 03 May. In Poland, agricultural production has fallen by 33%. (Climate & Extreme Weather News #130)
Italy: a flash flood raced through the town of Canosa in Puglia, 23 July after a torrential rainstorm. (CEWN)
Japan: The national weather agency has declared a natural disaster, with at least 80 deaths recorded in the past week. A spokesman warned that “unprecedented levels of heat” were being seen in some areas. Around 35,000 people have been admitted to hospital with heat stroke. The heatwave shows no sign of abating, forecasters say. On Monday (23 July), the city of Kumagaya reported a temperature of 41.1C (106F), the highest ever recorded in Japan. (from BBC News) The 37C heatwave is continuing in nearby Korea, and on the Chinese mainland
Laos: “Hundreds” of people are missing and an unknown number dead after a dam collapsed in the south-east of the country. The collapse at the hydroelectric dam in Attapu province late on Monday sent flash floods through six villages, Laos News Agency said. More than 6,600 people have been made homeless. – BBC News. It’s reported the dam was still under construction when heavy rain caused a landslide further upstream.
Pakistan: a damburst in Ghizer district caused by heavy rain swept away a village on 17 July, isolating three more villages. No reports of casualties, but 2 people died and another was injured in flash flooding in nearby Diamer district on 18 July, bringing the death toll in monsoon floods and landslides to 42 since the end of June. (from Floodlist, 24 July) More deadly floods have hit northern India, and the Philippines’ Luzon island as a result of record monsoon rains. (CEWN)
West Africa: parts of Liberia, including the capital Monrovia, experienced flooding on 18 July after days of heavy rain. Flooding caused “significant material damage and severe transport problems” and … also affected parts of neighbouring Margibi County. As of 19 July, a total of 31,186 people were affected, including thousands of children. (from Floodlist, 24 July)
USA: “At 3 a.m., it was 98 degrees in Gaviota on the Santa Barbara coast about 125 miles west of Los Angeles, the weather service said. Maximum temperatures were predicted to be 20 to 25 degrees above normal virtually everywhere.” – CBS News
As the heatwave in the west shows no sign of letting up (49C, 120 deg. F recorded outside LA) , a wildfire near Yosemite National Park has consumed more than 30,000 acres. “More than 2,900 firefighters from as far away as Virginia are fighting the blaze. As of Friday evening 20 July, the fire was only 6 percent contained.”
Meanwhile, “a fire near Portland has consumed 79,000 acres and forced 75 households to evacuate. It’s just one of 160 wildfires scorching southern Oregon. In Colorado, wildfires have already ripped through 175,000 acres, and the ensuing rains have brought mudslides along the freshly denuded landscape.” – edited from Vox website, 23 July.
Last year’s fire season affected more than 10 million acres, making it the second-worst on record behind 2015.
The wholesale price of Californian lemons has risen by 40%. In Canada, British Columbia is again bearing the brunt of an extended wildfire season, with a huge blaze reported at Mt Eneas.
Over in the east, however, what The Weather Channel is calling an “extremely odd” weather pattern is developing, with heavy rainstorms and more flash floods expected.
Russia: Siberian Times reports:
“People from remote Eveno-Bytantaisky and Zhigansky districts turned to newspapers, begging local media to explain ‘the devilry’ of what happened. Their remote communities were plunged into darkness – even though they should have 24 hour light at this time of year. ‘The sun went out around 11am, and didn’t come back until about 2pm. I couldn’t see a thing without switching lights on. We took torches to walk outside, but actually no-one wanted to be on the street because the feeling was as if something heavy in the air was pressing on your chest’, said one resident.
“After the sun returned, locals found a thick layer of dust covering everything outside.”
UK: Forecasters warn that temperatures in the south later in the week could hit 36C, 96F. The National Farmers’ Union has warned of crops “parched to the bone” and livestock farmers resorting to using winter rations, as grass has stopped growing. Several places in England have gone without significant rainfall for 54 consecutive days. – BBC News
Here out in the west today, 24 July, we have cool, cloudy conditions for the second day running, with occasional rain.
Lucky us, eh?
Oh, right. The sun just came out again.
Lies on a Summer Night
The BBC website has a disgraceful feature: the “5 places that have just broken weather records”, each entry accompanied by a ridiculous excuse from a tame weather “expert” explaining the specific reasons why it should have happened in that particular location.
But for the absolute worst in climate change denial on the BBC, what I would consider to be a sackable offence on the part of David Shukman and his producer, go to:
And take a sick bag.
Of course, you can’t put individual events down to a general trend of runaway warming, can you, can’t join the dots without panicking the populace. These are all just local anomalies that can be easily explained as funny things happening out of the blue because of technical stuff like the jetstream winds, that have unaccountably gone a bit loopy! Whoops! Why, we had worse during the war!
We’re fine, honest.
(The BBC has never, so far as I know, reported the faintly disturbing news that in July 2016 for the first time ever recorded, the northern circumpolar jetstream became so unstable that it broke apart and crossed over into the southern hemisphere. It might also be worth pointing out that 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were the hottest years on record (not in that order), and without an El Niño yet this year is rapidly gaining on them.)
Responding to the setting of what may be a new record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Africa, the 51.3C (124.3F) at Ouargla, northern Algeria, on 5 July, for instance, “Environment Correspondent” Matt McGrath writes:
“Algeria could see a sweltering 8C rise by the end of this century. The extreme temperatures of recent weeks may be a foretaste of the norm in decades to come.”
No they won’t, because a jolly-old 8C “sweltering” average rise over pre-industrial temperatures is not survivable by humans or most other animal and plant species because it implies a midday maximum increase of 16C. And on present trend will in any case have occurred long before the “end of the century”, a birthday party nobody now alive will see out.
Can we have the bill, please?
Earth Overshoot day – the day in the year when we pass the limit of sustainability in our consumption of food and natural resources, has moved forward again, by two days, to 1 August. As of next week we’re living on borrowed time until after Christmas, when we start living on borrowed money.
“To maintain our current appetite for resources, we need the equivalent of 1.7 Earths, according to Global Footprint Network, an international research organisation that makes an annual assessment of how far humankind is falling into ecological debt.
“While ever-greater food production, mineral extraction, forest clearance and fossil-fuel burning bring short-term (and unequally distributed) lifestyle gains, the long-term consequences are increasingly apparent in terms of soil erosion, water shortages and climate disruption.”
“‘The day of reckoning is moving nearer'”. – Guardian “Green Light”, 23 July
The giant Steamboat geyser in the park has gone off for the 12th time this year, according to the Blessed Mary Greeley’s reading of the USGS runes. The most it’s ever managed before is three times in the whole of 2003.
Mental Health News
As the end times and planet Nibiru approach ever nearer, scattering dust and unknown types of UV light, Americans just get crazier. Here’s a typical exchange from the MrMBB333 weather phenomena website:
“Its really weird mars has a planet wide dust storm and we have sand off the Sahara going crazy too…I wonder if something from space like gravity waves is to blame?or the planet’s all being on one side of the sun?.”
Mars is sonoluminescent and not a solid object.
Jason Hand exactly! Planets are wandering stars as it says in the Bible, earth is flat, space is the waters of the firmament. We cant get past the firmament which is why we will never go to space, they faked Moon landings because the Moon is in the firmament and is also a light (a cooling light, seperate light source from the Sun, we can prove thise by measuring the temp of light, moon light is cooler than the night shade). God bless.