Quote of the Day: 2nd Sunday of 2022

  • With few exceptions, the men who are running the government are of a mentality that you and I cannot understand. Some of them are psychopathic cases and would ordinarily be receiving treatment somewhere. — Berlin US Consul General George Messersmith, describing Hitler to a colleague at the White House in 1933

Drumbeats of alarm. Don’t let it happen here.

Quote of the Day: Salon Magazine Interview with Harvard Prof Steven Levitsky

Dean Obeidallah conducted this interview for Salon (published 13 October 2021)

We did have elections as an escape hatch, and we used them. And it’s a damn good thing we did. We would be much, much worse off had Trump managed to retain the presidency and stay in power for four years. The fact that we sent him to Mar-a-Lago is very important, and shouldn’t be understated. Now that said, I don’t predict things accurately very well. One thing I did predict, I knew would happen.

I knew that Donald Trump would not accept the results of the election. What I did not anticipate is that the vast bulk of the Republican Party would go along with it. And of course, I didn’t anticipate anything remotely like Jan. 6. So yes, things have gotten much worse, because not only has the Big Lie taken hold among the vast bulk of the Republican Party, to the point where you can’t be a member of the Republican Party in good standing if you don’t adhere to the Big Lie.

And they’re acting upon that, right? They are now taking steps in various important states — Texas, Arizona, Georgia — to make it easier to overturn an election. So I think there’s a good chance that the Republican Party, not just Donald Trump but the Republican Party, tries to overturn the results of the 2024 election. And that is, again, a worse place than we were a few years ago. But we would be even worse off had Trump remained in power.

You can read the full interview here.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

THE UNINHABITABLE EARTH: LIFE AFTER WARMING, by David Wallace-Wells

p. 12

. . . if we take action on emissions soon, instituting immediately all of the commitments made in the Paris accords but nowhere yet actually implemented, we are likely to get about 3.2 degrees of warming, or about three times as much warming as the planet has seen since the beginning of industrialization — bringing the unthinkable collapse of the planet’s ice sheets not just into the realm of the real but into the present. That would eventually flood not just Miami and Dhaka but Shanghai and Hong Kong and a hundred other cities around the world. The tipping point for that collapse is two degrees . . .


p. 16

The upper end of the probability curve put forward by the U.N. to estimate the end-of-the-century, high-emissions scenario — the worst-case outcome of a worst-case path — puts us at eight degrees. At that temperature, humans at the equator and in the tropics would not be able to move around outside without dying.

Book # 7: Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

A hard-bound book titled, simply, Annaghmakerrig. It has excerpts from work by past residents:

DSCN1283

Photograph of Pat Donlon at Work in the Main House

The poem:

Black is the raven
Black is the rook
But, blacker the child
Who steals this book.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

California’s Drought, 2014

From the San Francisco Chronicle, Aug. 25, 2014:

California is pumping itself dry.  As the drought deepens, desperate farmers are turning to groundwater, using the supply at nearly double the normal rate. It’s a short-sighted practice that needs thought and planning, not the open-tap treatment groundwater now gets.

*     *     *

In ever-watchful California, groundwater is an oddity, unmetered and uncontrolled, with landowners free to pump without limit.  This is the only state to take such a laissez-faire attitude, a vestige of the Gold Rush era.

As the drought heads into its third year, the policy is a disaster. Groundwater now accounts for 60 percent of the water usage, up from 40 percent. Well drillers are among the busiest workers in farm country, as agriculture pushes ever deeper to supplemental supplies.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

The Heat (August 2014)

Seven-hundred dead in Chicago in 1995.  Fifty-thousand across Europe in 2003. Eleven thousand in Russia in 2010. Heat waves have become hotter, longer and more frequent in recent decades, and scientists predict that climate change and the growth of cities — which trap heat — will boost body counts.

But what if we could see the heat coming ahead of time?

From “Red Alert”, by Ariel Sabar, Smithsonian Magazine, September 2014

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