Wednesday, August 19, 2015

SAR #15231

Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes are natural events; it takes people to turn them into disasters. 
One Day: Two Albuquerque, NM police officers will stand trial for murdering a homeless man. Keeping the video of Seneca, SC cops killing an unarmed white youth secret seems to have muted concern over the random use of deadly force. Two former Atlanta, GA police officers will stand trial for killing a handcuffed with repeated bursts from taser weapons. A Hamilton County, TN deputy has been placed on leave after video recorded the officer using “unnecessary force” on a handcuffed prisoner. A Charlotte County, FL grand jury knew that police had killed prisoner Mathew Walker in the County Jail, but declined to indict them in the murder. A cop in Virgina will face murder charges in the death of a suspect who had is hands raised when the officer killed him. An independent review of a police shooting in Stockton, CA found that firing 600 rounds (and killing a hostage and two suspects) was both “unnecessary” and “excessive.”

Unexpectedly: It seems that one way to increase the number of abortions is to make them illegal.

The Daily Donald: The Donald says he will stop those born in the US of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens – by either repealing or ignoring the 14th Amendment. He also wants to spend about half a trillion dollars rounding up, imprisoning in concentration camps and deporting (in railcars?) all 11 million illegal immigrants - and, one supposes, their US born formerly citizen children. One positive: it would create a large number of jobs over the 20 years it would take to do this.

Messing With Medicaid: One of the right's arguments against the ACA was that Medicaid expansion would lower the number of people who might be forced to pay for private health insurance they could not afford . As though this were a fault.

Abruptly: In the last 100,000 years there have been at least 23 separate abrupt changes in climate, in which the average global temperature changed by 9 to 14ºF – usually over a few decades but occasionally in only a couple of years. As they say in the prospectus, past performance is not a guarantee of future profits. Or losses.

Asked & You Know The Answer: If natural gas, fracked or not, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, why does the natural gas industry oppose regulations that would make sure that the natural gas industry reduces greenhouse gas emissions? Does it have anything to do with the gross underestimation of methane released during processing?

You Get What They Pay For: The process, working backwards: Election, Campaign, Funding, Nomination, Campaigns, Funding, Primaries, Campaigning, Funding, Exploratory meetings. Nothing happens in the political process without funding. Funding comes from the 1%. In fact, just 130 families have provided over half of the funding for the Republican field of wanabees. Guess whose interests get served once the music fades.

Opinions Vary: The FDA may approve a “female viagra” later this week. The GOP has already disapproved it.

Wrong In So Many Ways: Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, is going partnering with a “Muslim-free” gun store to sell signed and numbered prints of a Confederate flag painting by Zimmerman. It started out as a painting of the US flag, but...

Easy Does It: In 2012, the IRS sent 655 tax refunds to a single address in Lithuania, and another 343 to an address in Shanghai. Think maybe they need some decent computer techs?

On Base: The pundits all say that Donald Trump is a summer diversion and has no chance of winning this thing. Okay, but a) what if they're wrong and b) which one of the others would be all that much better?


Classof65 said...

How do you overcome the emotional depression that must set in when you digest all the things that are going wrong with the U.S.A. today? I feel overwhelmed by all the negatives -- how are we going to be able to reverse the gerrymandering and the results of Citizens United? How can we change the hiring practices of the prisons and police departments to ensure that those officers will no longer abuse the power of their authority and will actually "protect and serve?" I have no money to donate to these causes. I do sign petitions, but so far have not seen many real results.

How do you cope with this?

Steven said...

I'm not the author of this blog, but I feel the question.

I don't get depressed because analyzing these unpleasant topics helps me recognize the historical patterns they represent. By understanding the patterns, perhaps we can be better equipped to seek solutions and find a constructive path forward.

As the author of Ecclesiastes reminds us "there is nothing new under the sun."

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Well, Class, Steve is pretty much right. The patterns are all there, just the details seem new and improved. I realized about ten or twelve years ago(I'm part of a family of scientists with deeply suspicious and pessimistic views of humanity) that the combination of rapacious capitalism, fossil fuel consumption, human population growth and global warming was terminal for the current experiment.

Writing the blog gives me a way of venting - any First Reader pretty much tones down most of my animus at out collective stupidity.

So while I am very pleased at the readers, I was writing this stuff long before I was cajoled into sharing. Oddly, I'm not particularly depressed at any given moment... My biggest fear is that I will ripen and fall from the tree before the whole thing comes apart. I mean, NY and Miami under water, tens of millions of climate refugees in motion across the earth, the fall of Goldman Sachs.. I'll probably miss most of the fun.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

In the above: 'and' for any and 'our' for out in the second para. That's another thing First Reader does for the rest of you.

kwark said...

Re On Base: Presumably the pundits think either that 1) Trump will eventually talk himself out of favor, 2) that the other member of the Republican clown car will find some as yet unexploited extreme postion to wrest popularity from the Donald, or 3) both of the above. Unfortunately for the pundits #1 seems very unlikely at this point and #2 we are talking Donald here.