“Not global warming, not mother nature, it is the prophesy that near the end disasters will increase before the return of Christ and there is more to come and will intensify.”
– ‘Sinner-Saved-From-Grace’, posting on Weather Underground in response to a lengthy and scholarly disquisition from Dr Jeff Masters on the physics behind the formation of powerful hurricanes.
See, how simple it all is when you put the apple back on the tree?
As we know, the greatest threat to the USA is its pandemic of frogbox-crazy Bible ‘truthers’. The ones who believe Trump has been sent by God to restore Christian morality in America! The ones who own the Republican Congress.
“So then I put my hand up her skirt…”
“…one wonders what Trump would do if Iran offered to pay his $340 million debt to Deutsche Bank?”
Calumny makes the world go around
The US ambassadress to the United Nations, “Dark Lady” Nikki Haley announced her resignation on 09 Oct., the sixty-somethingth senior Trump administration official to quit or be fired in less than two years.
No clear reason has been given, although Trump has lied that she told him several months ago, which is presumably why he doesn’t have a replacement lined up. Some betting is on Ivanka Trump to succeed her – he told reporters, she’d be “dynamite” in the job.
Less destructive than plutonium, I suppose.
The unexpected announcement triggered a storm of media speculation, with the strong theme running through it that she may be preparing a bid for the White House in 2020. Mrs Haley has denied it, saying she fully supports the increasingly confused and disputacious President for a second term. Frankly, the likelihood of the Republicans adopting a candidate to run against Trump in the primaries is preposterous. They’re so mired in his shit, not even the blood of Christ could wash the stink off.
Others have suggested she’s got too many foreign policy differences with the White House, or she’s being investigated over taking freebie flights and grossly understating their value on her emoluments confessionals; or she’s increasingly feeling irrelevant to US policymaking, in which she had more of a say when the largely hands-off Rex Tillerson was Secretary of State. Or she’s pissed off because Pompeo got the State Department and she felt she was better qualified. No-one knows. Maybe she even wrote that NYT op-ed blasting Trump as a vicious and incompetent infant?
Whatever, reports are that she’s courting the extreme Christian Right, exciting them with tales that she threatened China with an invasion of North Korea, and other juicy morsels for the End Times.
The preposterous triumvirate of the bloviating fraudster, Trump; his overbearing Secretary of State, the well-named Mike Pompeo and “Mr Pastry meets Dangermouse”, John Bolton, he of the volcanic Irish temperament and frosty upper lip, is pulling out of more and more international treaty agreements and institutions they perceive as cheekily imposing limits on unbridled American global hegemony. That’s also said to be pissing Nikki off.
“During meetings at the United Nations last week, Trump, Pompeo and Bolton railed against Iran and berated various other member states and U.N. bodies for not bending to American interests.” (writes Open Democracy) “…at a White House briefing, national security adviser Bolton announced that the administration was reviewing all agreements that could subject the United States to future rulings by the (UN International Court of Justice in The Hague).” While today’s (11 Oct) Washington Post raises concerns linking yesterday’s death-defying plunge on the markets with Bolton’s increasingly hawkish rhetoric against… China.
Because if the Chinese economy goes belly-up, as Trump seems to want, that’s it for the rest, making 2008 look like you went a dollar over your overdraft and the manager called you in.
So it’s fine for other countries, including America’s fast retrenching “allies”, to have to put up with bullying, teenage insults, sanctions, barked orders, huge fines penalizing only taxpayers, gross injustices and the high & mighty jurisdiction of commercially motivated, publicity-seeking, common-or-garden US District Court judges over our own institutions and legislatures, to be told who we can trade with and on what terms; but the American Empire will not accept what these three like to smear as “politically motivated interference” with its often underhand and dirty machinations in return.
“Give him a week, Trump will forget what a great guy Brett Kavanaugh was….”
The constant harping, especially by this degenerate and cavalier President, on the idea that critics of his dangerous caprices are invariably sponsored in the background by the Deep State and other malevolent forces of what are in fact perfectly legitimate opposition parties and media commentators in a polyvalent democracy, is a precise encapsulation of the Trumpian doctrine of autocracy.
Everything that upsets Childe Donald and flouts his wishes or threatens his interests is the fault of his many political and media critics, wearisomely portrayed time and again out of the “Fascist Dictating For Dummies…” playbook as the forces of evil plotting violent overthrow of the nation state – which is to say, him.
He is perhaps not cunning or ruthless or, indeed, young enough; not sufficiently well informed or focussed on the goal, since he has no clue about the workings of government and displays the intelligence and attention-span of a fruit fly with ADHD, to ever actually become the dictator he obviously so longs to be.
Give him a week, Trump will forget what a great guy Brett Kavanaugh was. The first balanced and rational decision the Supreme Court comes out with, Trump will decide that his inside man is weak and a traitor, tweeting out the old terms of abuse in the sleepless hours.
But can one say the same of the evil armchair warmonger, the Bolton Baddie, for instance? Or the “college vampire”, the ambitious, nativist psychopath, Stephen Miller, a dead-eyed Trump policy “advisor” and speechwriter still young enough to destroy the world?
This is a form of transactional global dictatorship that makes it easier to understand, for instance, the motivation behind Putin’s assault on democratic institutions.
It may become necessary for Western nations too, to adopt a similar program of nonviolent resistance to an increasingly authoritarian United States; as Trump’s foreign policy is mostly about demanding Danegeld – a protection racket; a shakedown. If you don’t want to be hit with sanctions and trade tariffs, or threatened with annihilation, you better remember poor bankrupt Jared Kushner, the son-in-law, could do with another $500 million.
A head of steam is already building around relations with Iran, which were on a reasonable footing until Trump announced he was unilaterally abrogating a vital nuclear non-proliferation treaty it had taken the West twenty years to negotiate, because, he said, it was a “terrible deal”; although it is doubtful if he has read it. It hasn’t yet been published in comic strip form.
There is no mystery why he did that: a simple soul, Trump has been easily bamboozled by the hardline prime minister of Israel, Netanyahu, who has been agitating for some time for regime change in Tehran; ever since, in fact, the scruffy little oik in the waiter’s jacket, President Ahmadinejad, aiming to cement his power internally, called for Israel to be pushed into the sea.
Of course he wasn’t serious; it’s not a policy objective. He knew perfectly well, Israel has an even bigger brother armed with more than 70 thousand nuclear warheads. It was standard Islamist rhetoric to please the Ayatollahs.
“Remember when you couldn’t even manage to defeat a few peasants in flip-flop sandals?”
But Israel has always adopted a robustly paranoid view of its neighbours, and has been anxious to finagle the USA with Levantine cunning into crushing Iran before Iran could obtain its own nuclear arsenal and do a lot of damage commercially to the burgeoning Israeli offshore gas industry with its own vast reserves.
One wonders idly, what Trump would do if Iran offered to pay his $340 million debt to Deutsche Bank?
No-one seriously thinks reimposing economic sanctions leading to the collapse of the Iranian economy will result in anything other than even more hardline clerics taking over, now with the support of the people. But that’s all to the good, providing as it would, greater stimulus to the Americans to start another war in which many civilians can be killed without too much comeback from the libtards.
It wouldn’t be the first time. People forget, if they ever knew about, the sneaky invasion of Iran in 1980 by one Saddam Hussein, egged-on by the Americans, and the two million casualties that resulted before the Ayatollahs pushed him back out in a savage war of attrition. They forget, if they ever knew about, the hundreds of schoolchildren used as human minesweepers, ordered to march fearlessly through the fields to their deaths, singing patriotic songs, clearing the way for the troops to advance.
You’re going to fight that, in 50 degree heat, with your overweight, drug-addled GIs? Remember when you couldn’t even manage to defeat a few peasants in flip-flop sandals? Oh, why was that? Is it because you can’t defeat an ideology with bombs?
With hard-assed, gung-ho armchair warriors like the lunatic Bolton inside the White House, the real military sidelined, and with total ferment in Washington politics, anything could happen in the next half-hour.
And probably will.
Khashing in his chips
Here’s one for you conspiracy theorists to get your milk teeth into.
Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post contributor who the Turks have got on tape being tortured and murdered and cut up with a chainsaw by a hit-squad consisting of a doctor and 14 military intel goons inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, likely on the orders of the autocratic Saudi heir with terrifying eyes, Prince Mohammad bin-Salam, was the younger cousin (some say nephew) of the late Adnan Khashoggi, a billionaire arms dealer and spectacular bon viveur, who died “peacefully” in London last year, aged 81, of complications from Parkinson’s disease.
It’s not strictly accurate to describe Jamal as “a journalist”. While in exile in the US, on a residential visa, he wrote guest articles in the WaPo mildly critical of bin-Salman, whose much touted liberal reforms have been less than a layer of skin deep compared with his crackdown on businessmen, journalists, social activists and political opponents.
He was also a diplomat and businessman, with extensive contacts among the vast horde of House of Saud princelings who jockey for power in the brutal desert kingdom, where civil rights and the system of jurisprudence have barely improved since the time of Abraham.
It’s more likely he was killed for something more serious; a plot, possibly, some act of corruption, a bad business deal or a tribal feud. He was known, for instance, to have at some time or other been a supporter if not a member of the hated Muslim Brotherhood, in fact a relatively religiously liberal Islamic movement but one that Arab dictators don’t want meddling in their politics.
The family seems ill-fated: Adnan’s sister was the mother of Dodi Al-Fayed, the son of the Egyptian businessman and former owner of Harrod’s store for the very rich, in London. Dodi was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1996, along with his soon-to-be-ex-lover, Diana, “Princess of Wales, Countess of Chester, Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay, Countess of Carrick, Baroness of Renfrew, Lady of the Isles, Princess of Scotland...”. You certainly got your money’s worth with our Di.
Almost as many interesting theories surround that tragic event as emerged after the Kennedy assassination.
In his prime, Adnan was worth around $40 billion, supposedly, and scraped a living as an agent facilitating the sale of American arms – particularly Lockheed-Martin aircraft – to Saudi Arabia, earning fat commissions. He acted as the go-between for Oliver North in the notorious Iran-Contra affair, when lovely old Ronald Reagan secretly promised to sell arms to Iran if they kept the seige by radical students of the US Embassy in Tehran going long enough to discredit his Democrat opponent, incumbent President Jimmy Carter.
Perhaps his most famous deal was the one known as al-Yamamah, where he was allegedly paid $65 million by the Thatcher government, using her son Mark as the go-between (he has strenuously denied it), not to hand the $20 billion warplanes contract to the French Dassault company, but to favor British Aerospace. The subsequent bribery investigation by the UK Serious Fraud unit was quashed by Tony Blair, who had a thing about not upsetting murderous Arab dictators.
Arms sales to Saudi Arabia are indeed the reason Donald Trump admits he is refusing to say bad things about the pragmatic bin-Salam, who was suddenly promoted over his cousin to become heir to the throne of the demented King Salmaan just a fortnight after Trump visited Riyadh in 2017, at the urging no doubt of “Friend of Israel” Jared Kushner, and continues to prosecute a genocidal war in Yemen with the help of US weapons and special forces.
Trump lies that US sales orders to SA are worth $110 billion, and so cannot be sacrificed for just one man, but that isn’t exactly true. Wikipedia has: ‘On June 5, it was reported that the arms deal consists of ‘a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.’ On June 13, 2017, the United States Senate narrowly rejected an effort to block part of the deal and approved the sale of $500 million worth of American weapons.”
So it was half-a-percent true!
Trump’s business connections with Saudi Arabia go way back to the 1990s, when his Taj Mahal casino was going bust and he owed $900 million.
The astonishing story of how the Trumps, father and daughter, bankrupted the casino for a second time in 2009 after Trump’s friend, whom he would later appoint to a cabinet post, Carl Icahn had blown $100 million trying to rescue the business is told on http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-trump-bankrupted-the-taj-mahal-2017-5.
Trump had conned the judge at the first bankruptcy hearing into awarding him the business over Icahn, on a rescue plan that included licensing his valuable name to the casino, and then loaded the company with massive debts in the form of lucrative payments to himself and Ivanka for selling their own-branded products via “third-parties”.
Icahn would subsequently leave the Trump administration in 2018 after an illegal insider trade netted him $23 million. But he had the last laugh: “The Trump Taj Mahal eventually ended up in Icahn’s hands after the 2015 bankruptcy process, and the Trumps lost their 10% stake.”
(This is the Great Businessman the dumbfucks believe in so fervently, they’ve made a film hailing him as the new Messiah who’s going to restore morality to America. You could not make this up!)
In 1987, Adnan Khashoggi too was in a bit of financial bother – believe it or not – and had to sell his superyacht, the Nebila – at 87 meters, the biggest one in the world at that time – to the Sultan of Brunei, then the richest man in the world and a close friend of UK heir to the throne, Prince Charles, who was, of course, notoriously, married to…. Princess Diana. Adnan got nothing for it, the Sultan merely covered his debts.
The Sultan then flipped the yacht to…. one Donald J Trump, for $29 million, and Trump later sold it on to a Saudi business contact, Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, for $19 million.
A better deal was to follow. Rechristening the Nebila the Trump Princess, the Golden Wonder (despite his enormous debts) commissioned an even bigger yacht, at 125 meters to be named Trump Princess 11. Then, once work had started, he cancelled the order, forcing the builder into administration, and bought the yard cheaply. Which two months later he sold at a profit.
Never do business with Donald Trump, is my advice.
So when Trump told an impromptu press gathering in the Oval Office yesterday that he didn’t know about Khashoggi, he wasn’t being exactly honest. Why, he was practically a shipmate of the seafaring family. Ship ahoy!
An obituary in the New York Times (I’ve linked the Sydney Morning Herald‘s version) paints Adnan Khashoggi as just the kind of guy Trump would love to have been, if he had ever made any real money: brash, vulgar, insecure (a good Muslim, born in Mecca, he organized a continuous stream of prostitutes for himself and his guests) and astonishingly expensive. http://www.smh.com.au/national/adnan-khashoggi-saudi-arms-dealer-sold-superyacht-to-trump-20170607-gwm6pm.html
And if you think James Bond is fantasy, Adnan even employed as a bodyguard, a Korean martial arts master called Mr Kill.
So, reeling from all that – and there’s more, so much more – you might by now be thinking, perhaps Jamal Khashoggi wasn’t murdered just for writing a couple of brusque op-eds.
It seems unlikely.
Postscriptum: Oh God, I just stupidly wondered if the Blair business led anywhere else in this story, and Googled “Khashoggi; Murdoch”…. Don’t, whatever you do, go there, or two large men in sunglasses with a fondness for cocaine and George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States, will turn up on your doorstep, I warn you!
Roll up, rolls down
By my calculation, from US cable TV reports, Republican states have successfully “voter suppressed” – disenfranchised – well over a million black and Latino voters, basically on obscure technicalities, with three weeks to go until the midterm elections. They haven’t necessarily told them, so thousands will turn up at the polls only to discover they’re not eligible to vote, or that the votes they cast won’t count.
Individual cases show the extent of Republican gerrymandering.
- In Georgia, AP reports, sitting Republican candidate, State Secretary Brian Kemp has refused to relinquish control of the voter registration office, as required by law, that is holding up 53 thousand applications for new registrations, over 70% of them from black applicants. They’re now time-expired. 107 thousand more have been arbitrarily removed from the roll for failing to vote in a previous election.
- In North Dakota, there are two wards that have Native American majorities. Because of the way elections work in the US, those wards can help to swing the state for the Democrat candidate. So the Republican State department is insisting Native Americans have to re-register, proving their ethnic status. That requires submitting a street address and zipcode, that most of them don’t have because they’re living in trailers on a reservation.
- While in Waller County, Texas, the field director for the Democrats, Jacob Aaronowitz, was arrested and his phone confiscated after police quizzed him on his party affiliation when he turned up at the courthouse to deliver a letter requesting that judges uphold the voting rights of black students at a local university, following a long history of intimidation by the Republican administration.
- And in Dodge City, Kansas – a town with 60% Latino population – State Secretary Kris Kobach (he of the notorious and now disbanded Trump commission on voter fraud, that couldn’t find any) has moved the only voting station that Latino citizens were previously directed to use to a location a mile outside town, and not on a bus route.
The reason being, it’s thought probable that ethnic minority, immigrant, poorer and younger voters tend to vote Democrat.
Often, it seems like Orson Welles’ Southern racialism suspense fim, ‘A Touch of Evil’, has come to life. Especially when Attorney-General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions 111 has been caught warning circuit court judges not to dare rule in suits against Daddy Trump, or parties affiliated to him, if they value their careers. It’s expected Trump will fire him after the elections. The sad little creep.
In the meantime, asked about a fresh round of Russian internet activity, that has resulted in a detailed 28-page NSA indictment of a Russian woman who is apparently in charge of the operation in St Petersburg, Trump shrugged and replied that it didn’t bother him: “It’s nothing to do with my campaign” – and suggested the Russians might be interfering on behalf of Hillary Clinton – whom he defeated in the election he won two years ago, and who is not even running for office, any more than he is.
Is the persistent refusal to engage with an enemy power in defense of the State not treason?
Lock him up!
Georgia on my mind
Further mindboggling evidence of election-rigging in Georgia has emerged from a number of articles about the curious behavior of State officials led by the Secretary of State, Brian Kemp.
Before the 2016 election, State police raided a number of properties in Brooks County, where a high proportion of black people live, and charged 11 with the crime of carrying absentee ballots to the mailbox, on behalf of disabled relatives. Together, they faced a possible 1,100 years in jail. By a strange coincidence, they were all active campaigners for the Democrats. None of the cases resulted in a conviction, after the Attorney General admitted, there was no such crime.
As if blatant intimidation of whole Democrat districts by the State police were not enough, Kemp appears to have been the one holdout State Secretary in the whole of the US, who refused to accept multiple warnings from the FBI and independent cyber security agencies in 2016, that his State’s voting machines were wide open to Russian interference and security needed beefing-up. 100 per cent of Georgia’s voter data was accessible on-line, including Social Security numbers, and was being hacked at that moment.
Kemp hit back with the now-familiar line that it was all a Democrat scare story; there were no Russians.
Following the election, investigators established that a known GRU agent, recalled Washington diplomat Dmitri Kovalev had visited a small number of states in 2016 to gain information about their voting machines, Georgia among them. Huge anomalies were found: in one county, two and a half times the number of votes were cast than there were registered voters. When the FBI requested access to investigate the database, they found it had been wiped clean.
Georgia declared for Trump by a 5-point majority that was totally unexpected in the light of polling. Kemp is running again in the midterms. He is being taken to court (again) for suppressing tens of thousands of legitimate voters, but it looks like there won’t be a verdict before the elections. (Reporting: Rachel Maddow, MSNBC)
The Republicans are blatantly stealing the election, while Trump makes valiant attempts to delegitimize any opposition to his increasingly bizarre and autocratic rule, describing ordinary Democrats – practically half the electorate – as dangerous Socialists, an “angry mob” planning to overthrow the government and take away people’s guns. (It’s called an election, Donald!)
Let’s hope those “3 to 5 million illegals” of his, that Kobach couldn’t find, turn out again and vote.
Have your cake and stuff it
Living in a small provincial town, I can’t say I’d ever taken note of the existence of a chain of rather scrumptious-looking cake shops-cum-cafes called, winsomely, Patisserie Valerie, before now. We certainly haven’t got one here, which seems a shame as the overpriced, pre-sliced, dried-out cakes and muffins you get in coffee shops are pretty dreary and unimaginative. Carrot cake, anyone? Salted caramel flavor?
Sadly for Britain’s cake fiends, the chain of 206 cafes – some with different names – appears to have gone bust after a period in which its finance director was allegedly fudging the figures to keep investors happy, following their listing on the AIM market for small companies, so that no-one noticed, for instance, that they owed the tax people a million quid.
The bullet-point timeline on the BBC website tells an all-too familiar story:
- The first Patisserie Valerie café was opened on Frith Street in London’s Soho district in 1926.
- In 1987 the Scalzo family bought the Old Compton Street store and ran the business.
- In 2006, Luke Johnson’s Risk Capital Partners bought a majority stake when it had eight stores.
- And in 2018, it’s in receivership.
(This article has been truncated following the announcement of the arrest of Finance Director Chris Marsh following the discovery of a £20 million “hole” in the accounts. It was to have gone on to observe that all too often, business owners fall into the trap – perhaps they have no other option, or are steered by accountants – of selling-out to investment trusts that have little interest in, or knowledge of how to run, their businesses, and no loyalty to the remaining stakeholders, but are only interested in extracting value. In this case I may be being unfair.)
The biter bit
Owing to a slump in ratings for his grotesque and repetitive, rambling and abusive speeches, and the reactions of his followers justifying the term ‘base’, Fox News has announced a decision not to air all of Trump’s weekly Nuremberg rallies in full; and some not at all.
Trump is reportedly so furious, he has called for an inquiry.
GW: Wandering around in circles
Call me stupid, but I’m totally baffled by the completely different pictures being created by different weather services.
Take Hurricane Leslie. This weird beast has been wandering around in the mid-Atlantic for three weeks, set fair for a record fourth week, and no-one seemed to know where it was headed. A few days ago it looked to be tracking northeastward away from the Canary Islands towards the Azores, thence to Portugal and onward possibly to the British Isles.
A huge cyclonic storm then appeared off the coast of Ireland, with a central pressure of just 952 mb, that was expected by an official website called Severe-weather.eu to drop 30 mb in an act of ‘bombogenesis’ that would bring 35-foot waves and 110 mph winds with much rain to the Emerald Isle and on into northern Britain by Friday night.
Was this Leslie, or was it not? Because as a post-Tropical Storm in the region of the British Isles, it had been christened Callum. At one time, Severe-weather.eu was calling it both Callum and Leslie.
However, the Wunderground website, part of the US Weather Channel company, has a map showing that Leslie was on 10 October still in the region of the Canary Islands, still as a Cat 1 hurricane, weakening gradually to a Tropical Storm and turning south by Friday, back into the lonely Atlantic, and not expected to make landfall anywhere.
Both the Irish Met Office and BBC Weather service seem to have a more leisurely view of the ‘weather bomb’ that is frighteningly visible on satellite imagery off the coast of Ireland, portraying it as just a normal Atlantic front, with a forecast of ‘stormy weather’, rain and wind gusts of 65 mph in the north. (This has altered slightly with the issue of an Amber flood and wind warning for Wales, Friday.)
Meanwhile there’s a heatwave in the Arctic, torrential rainfall persisting in the eastern Mediterranean, a new Tropical Storm coming out of the Cape Verde islands, the strongest hurricane, Michael, ever recorded in the Florida panhandle, bookmatched Tropical Cyclones in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean (one headed to Oman, the other to the Ganges delta) and Hurricane Garcia in the east Pacific, expected to head inland over Baja California in the wake of last week’s Hurricane Rosa.
Oh, and: “Heatwaves and bushfires are predicted in southern Australia thanks to a 70% chance of El Niño weather conditions, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned. Although cyclones may ease up in the north by the end of the year, the outlook for drought-hit areas is not good, according to the bureau. New South Wales is declared 100 per cent droughted.” – Guardian
But don’t worry, chaps, it’s all quite normal.
Carry on burning.
India and Bangladesh: being ignored by Western media in the excitement over Hurricane Michael, are two intense storms – one in the Arabian Sea, Typhoon Luban – the other, Tropical Cylone Titli, just south of the Ganges Delta, an especially sensitive low-lying area with a very large population lacking any resilience to tidal surges. Both are packing sustained winds over 85 mph. There’s no word as yet on the key developments to watch for, the storm surges. (Wunderground)
“Rain from the storm started to reach the eastern coasts of India on Wednesday, and will become increasingly heavy ahead of landfall on Thursday. Conditions in general will worsen through Thursday as the potent tropical cyclone unleashes torrential rainfall and increasing winds on far northeast Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The strongest winds will likely be confined to the coasts of northeastern Andhra Pradesh and southern Odisha. Ahead of landfall, Titli is expected to strengthen to a very severe tropical cyclone, bringing sustained winds of at least 120 km/h (75 mph). This is equivalent to a Category 2 hurricane.” (1, actually. Ed.)
Already however Times of India reports 300,000 residents of Odisha state are being evacuated as windspeeds have increased to 125 km/h with gusts over 165 km/h. Given the population living in poor quality housing along the shoreline, this could be a much more serious event even than Michael.
Update: CEWN #140 has 8 dead from Titli, remarkable, given its severity. Luban’s track has veered leftwards and the bulk of the storm is expected over Yemen, Friday. Upper date: Titli total: 52.
Sri Lanka: Rain stopped play for a day in the cricket Test Match against the England tourists, frightfully inconvenient. What the BBC didn’t report: “At least 9 people have died and around 5,000 displaced after a period of heavy rain and storms which have caused flooding, landslides and wind damage. Around 1,700 homes and buildings have been severely damaged, with around 35 totally destroyed.” (Floodlist)
Oman: Luban’s track is still a little uncertain, it may affect Yemen, but more likely Oman, with 5 to 8 inches of rain: “By Friday evening, Dhofar and Al Wusta governorates are expected to be affected by heavy rain, and high winds, with sea waves reaching maximum heights of 6 to 8 metres.”
Italy: Major flash-flooding reported from Sardinia as weather system bearing intense rainfall moves westwards through the Med. (Floodlist) The Local reports, the island had an entire year’s worth of rainfall in 4 hours. 1 dead.
UK: Heavy rain from Storm Callum has caused floods across much of the southwest of England and south Wales, and is now moving up into Cumbria. The west of Ireland took a battering as the storm moved more slowly than expected up the coast.
I was just on an old Post and came across a reference to Japan, and Typhoon Talim, a Cat 4 that struck with devastating effect a little over a year ago. Many people had to be evacuated. Looking back over this year and the powerful typhoons that have battered Japan, with millions displaced, it occurred to me to write to Mr Abe to suggest that the entire population might be permanently rehoused in evacuation centres, above the tideline, to save the bother of having to move them in and out of their homes.
Seriously, these natural disasters keep happening in Japan. It must be having an effect on the economy, but no-one ever mentions it. Just as no-one ever wonders if several years of drought interrupted by typhoons and floods aren’t in any way responsible for Mr Kim’s overtures to his southern Korean neighbour. We hear little these days of the activities of al-Shabaab Islamic militias in Northern Nigeria. Could that be because vast tracts have been underwater for months, making movement difficult?
An alley between the Gulf coastal states – Texas, Louisiana, Alabama – through the midwest up to the Great Lakes, eastward to the Atlantic coast and up into Maine has been successively battered by severe storms all year, at the rate of about two a month; extreme hail and tornadoes punctuated by extreme heat fluctuating across the continent. Record winter snowfall gave way after months to record flooding, some “1-in-1000-years” floods occurring for the second time in two years. Are we to assume this and hurricanes like Maria and Michael have had no effect at all on the US economy?
For a nation whose number one topic of conversation famously used to be the weather, here in Britain we’ve become remarkably reticent about it lately. No-one looks up anymore, only down at their cellphones; where we are told nothing that might frighten us.
The IPCCress File
For the independent scientists’ reaction to the big report on climate change, go to: Arctic-news.blogspot.com. It won’t come as any surprise to BogPo readers that it includes a cogent 12-point demolition of the IPCC’s heavily downplayed conclusions. Most seriously, they accuse the committee of ignoring NASA’s data: “Records show that, in February 2016, it was on average 1.67ºC warmer than in 1900, while the higher latitudes North had anomalies up to 10.8ºC.”
Yellowstone News: Water and ground temperatures still rising, trees dying, earthquakes going unrecorded by USGS, the Steamboat geyser went off last Monday for the 22nd time this year (normally 1 or 2 in a whole year) equalling the previous record full year ever. Although the good news is the eruptions are getting less frequent, now every 6 days.