Hot Air

What Doesn't Bend, Breaks
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The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny. The problem is not Trump. It is a political system, dominated by corporate power and the mandarins of the two major political parties, in which we don’t count.

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Even if Trump wanted to gracefully bow out of public life – an unlikely outcome – liberals would keep on flogging his dead horse, for Trump has been their greatest asset. And well the liberals need to hold on to the ghost of Trump, as being “not-Trump” is their defining character now that liberalism is dead. Their agenda consists of simply carrying forward the same basic program of neoliberalism at home (but with diversity) and imperialism abroad (but with responsibility to protect) as Trump, only with more finesse.

How unfathomable it is that a blowhard, paunchy, septuagenarian with a dyed hair combover could lead a right-wing cult movement. Far more bizarre is that person is also the president of the US, who in the 2020 election received more votes than any candidate in history except for his successful challenger. Arguably a white supremist, he garnered 58% of the white voters but also 18% of the black male voters and 36% of the Latino men. That 83% of those who felt the economy was a prime issue chose Trump is an insight into why someone so repugnant could attract so many votes.

In short, the system has not been meeting the needs of its people, its naked dysfunctionality is bare for all to see, and the ruling circles are experiencing a crisis of legitimacy.

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REPORT ALL INJURIES
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Target Practice?
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It's your open thread, now...

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magiamma's picture

Major cities across Turkey face running out of water in the next few months, with warnings Istanbul has less than 45 days of water left.

Poor rainfall has led to the country’s most severe drought in a decade and put the megacity of 17 million people close to running out of water, according to Turkey’s chamber of chemical engineers. The Ankara mayor, Mansur Yavaş, said earlier this month the capital had another 110 days’ worth in dams and reservoirs.

İzmir and Bursa, Turkey’s next two biggest cities, are also struggling, with dams that are about 36% and 24% full respectively, and farmers in wheat-producing areas such as the Konya plain and Edirne province on the border with Greece and Bulgaria are warning of crop failure.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/13/turkey-drought-istanbul-ru...

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lotlizard's picture

on the House of Representatives:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=1954+house+representatives+puerto+rican+shooting

That is what a real terrorist attack would have looked like.

Whole lotta lying and play-acting going on. No one cares, this fox hunt began four, five years ago, they set their hounds on Trump the outsider, and now, circling like sharks, the hounds smell blood.

"And are we not big enough to meet them in battle?"

"We are four men, some women, and a bear."

"I saw the time when Logres was only myself and one man and two boys, and one of those was a churl. Yet we conquered."

"It could not be done now. They have an engine called the Press whereby the people are deceived. We should die without ever being heard of."

— Merlin and Ransom in the third book of C.S. Lewis’s space trilogy, That Hideous Strength

And: “Turn off, tune out, drop subscription” is the new motto for consciousness expansion — the new battle cry against outer, inner, and internet monsters.

Cancel yourself

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Cassiodorus's picture

@lotlizard A fitting WWE end for a WWE politician. Think of it as revenge for cutting Vince McMahon's hair.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

magiamma's picture

@lotlizard
Five were wounded in the 1954 attack on the House of Representatives by Puerto Rican nationalists

he 1954 United States Capitol shooting was a terrorist attack on March 1, 1954, by four Puerto Rican nationalists wanting Puerto Rico's independence from US rule. They shot 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols from the Ladies' Gallery (a balcony for visitors) of the House of Representatives chamber in the United States Capitol.

The nationalists, identified as Lolita Lebrón, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irvin Flores Rodríguez, unfurled a Puerto Rican flag and began shooting at Representatives in the 83rd Congress, who were debating an immigration bill. Five Representatives were wounded, one seriously, but all recovered. The assailants were arrested, tried and convicted in federal court, and given long sentences, effectively life imprisonment. In 1978 and 1979, their sentences were commuted by President Jimmy Carter.[2] All four returned to Puerto Rico.

Cancel Yourself - good read

Does a majority of the population think it worthwhile to take a good deal of trouble, in order to halt and, if possible, reverse the current drift toward totalitarian control of everything?
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People who think this is about Trump for me are the most ridiculous people. I never voted for him, supported him or took him seriously. While I recognize the role he played in the greater scheme of this massive historical cycle, the best thing that can happen is for him to disappear as a political force and be understood as the spectacle and distraction he was.
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We swallowed it whole, became comfortable fat and happy, and now the facade’s about to be slowly stripped away unless we bend the knee to an ever narrowing Overton Window of speech and behavior parameters. It begins with social media purges, but it won’t end there.
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In this regard, I have a simple suggestion. Cancel Yourself. Unshackle yourself mentally from our suffocating and bland corporate culture while you still have a chance to do it voluntarily.
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Which brings us to the crux of this post. The internet in its current form is dying — it has been for some time, — yet it is far from dead. We all continue to use our Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon products even though we know we shouldn’t. We’ve all become hostages to convenience and now an omnipresent sword of cancel culture hangs over our collective heads. ...

Thanks for the links, as always. Take good care and stay safe.

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Lookout's picture

In case anyone doubts run away warming is baked in, consider the following...

US greenhouse gas emissions fell 10% in 2020 as Covid curbed travel
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/12/us-greenhouse-gas-em...
Global carbon emissions dropped a record 7% due to COVID-19. Don’t count on it to last
https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-12-10/2020-global-carbon...
and...
2020 Ties With 2016 for Warmest Year Ever Recorded
https://time.com/5927597/warmest-year-on-record-2020/

Even with massive emission reduction that we could only dream about a year ago, we see continued warming. We are past the tipping point. Plan on more acceleration. Might be worth a look at your location and sustainability. Mountains are worth considering because you can move uphill as warming accelerates. Another thing to consider is underground shelter and greenhouses.

I've got probably a couple of decades remaining. I'll manage to weather whatever comes here, but I'm warning the young folks I know to really think about what is coming and how to adapt.

The political situation is horrid, but the environmental situation is deadly. So much for my cheerful thoughts today.

On the bright side I'm digging holes today for more trees. The carbon they soak up is insignificant, but at least it is the right direction. I've ordered Elderberries, Mulberries, Raspberries, Hazelnuts and Chestnuts this year. So I'm prepping holes for next months planting. Besides I need to get the rest of my load of manure out of the truck so I can use it for other projects.

Y'all have a good one, and keep safe...4000 deaths a day in the US lately from COVID.

Anyone had a vaccine yet?

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

The other day, first one I'be ever seen in Japan. Planted one each of three different blueberry varieties a month and a half or so ago - one is blooming and blooms seem to have survived what's likely the coldest weather we'll get 30 degrees or so (F) and blasting winds, so that is hopeful.

Could all be gone tomorrow as I'm on reclaimed "tsu" (津) which is the tsu of tsunami - nami (波) meaning 'wave' and tsu being a tidal wetland. Go with the flow?

Staying sceptical on the planet burning up - after all, we are in what would otherwise be a cooling trend. Still if those arctic or continental methane clathrates start to go, people will other things than Trump to worry about.

Good luck with your fruits and nuts project.

BTW - for people having trouble distinguishing between peaceful protest and domestic terrorism, someone has created this handy identifier:

Terrorist Identifier.jpg

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lotlizard's picture

@Blue Republic  
In Dutch that’s called …
Auf niederländisch heißt das …
In het nederlands heet dat “polder”.

♫ I love you, boggy ‘tsu’ 津, with a love so rare and true,
My boggy… my boggy ‘tsu’ 津 hu hu, a hu hu
Well, I love you, gal, and I want you boggy ‘tsu’ 津 …

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Lookout Here in Oregon, 10 straight days of 100 degree high temperatures. Oh and my neighborhood burned down on September 8th and I had to evacuate for ten days. I can hear the trucks working on the rebuilding effort right now.

I know of tenured academics who are getting their shots. Me, not so much.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

@Lookout
I'm near the highest elevation in Illinois. Yet the sandy soil just West shows that once Lake Michigan was here, millions of years ago, Of course hundreds of millions of years ago it was the shore of the Kansas Sea. Mutatis Mutandi. I think that's the Latin expression.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

magiamma's picture

@Lookout

YEP! ->

The political situation is horrid, but the environmental situation is deadly.

COVID is raging. This from my friend, a nurse, who works downtown with adicts

From Marion, SC nurse---- Since we have talked about what seem like safe plans to spend time together soon, even though outdoors, I have reconsidered that decision based on the county's/state's recommendations given the huge surge in cases in CA and the 0% capacity of hospital beds, including in our county/the Bay Area. In addition, there's now the presence of the new variant of Covid, which has 50% higher transmissibility than the "regular old" Covid strain. Here's what the state website says today

Members of the same household are encouraged to maintain physical and mental health by safely going to a park, a beach, hike, walk, or bike ride with members of their own household [only].

I need to take this recommendation seriously, and frankly, until the stay-at-home order is lifted,

This from my daughter a nurse in Austin

As I sit and look at the ongoing rise of covid, in our county and around the world...I remain dismayed that those who are able to get vaccinated are waiting. I implore you both to get vaccinated as soon as possible/it is available. The benefit far outweighs the risk. Yes we are still waiting on long term data, but currently an at least 119 day 95% protection and extremely low risk profile. It would be devastating to me if either of you got a bad case of covid. I know you are being careful. But things are getting way worse. NJEM has good articles on both MRNA vaccines outlining the clinical data for review.

And this from an xray tech at Kaiser Permanente via a friend. He said that the number of people with lung problems from COVID in the beginning were one in five and now he is seeing four in five.

All this is anecdotal, but all came within two days. You do the math. Be very careful folks.

Thanks lo for all. Take good care.

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lotlizard's picture

 
And: fascists are indeed back in fashion in Washington, D.C. — just not where they want you to think.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2021/01/11/fascist-blindness/

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Cassiodorus's picture

@lotlizard Fascism was a phenomenon of an expanding capitalist system -- a reaction to the periodic crises of the boom-bust cycle as it took place during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The booms were nice, but the busts hurt, and so at some point all voices clamored to have the government step in and "fix" the economy. And they "fixed" it in the one way they knew, for the post-World-War-II Keynesian economy had not been invented yet -- as a reversion to dictatorship in a Europe that was slowly discovering democracy.

Fascism was also a response to imperialism. The primary beneficiaries of imperialism in the early 20th century, the era in which Fascism arose, were the British and the French. The wannabe countries of Europe wanted a sort of forced-march version that would allow them to catch up to the British and the French, as World War I did not satisfy their imperial ambitions. Fascism, in a pre-Keynesian era, appeared as a response.

William I. Robinson's The Global Police State offers an important analysis of the current trend in authoritarianism. Robinson uses the term "fascism" (with a small "f"), but with a caveat -- Robinson made a distinction between "20th-century fascism" and "21st-century fascism." I don't really think "21st-century fascism" deserves the name "fascism." Mostly this has to do with the fact that we here today are in a period of DECLINING capitalism. Today, authoritarianism is not a pre-Keynesian response to the instability of a growing capitalist system. Rather, authoritarianism is a political posture taken in privileged nations aiming to find scapegoats (for Trump, as indeed for the German Alternative fur Deutschland, "immigrants") for capitalism's decline. This scapegoating occurs in an era in which the scapegoaters and their authoritarian tactics have no claim upon the overall NEOLIBERAL elite consensus which rigidly guides the global economy in its current path. And they do this in an era in which global communication is dominated by the Internet, and not by easily-controlled newspapers and radio (which was what dominated the Fascist era, basically the 20th-century era between the wars.)

Perhaps the "21st-century fascists," to borrow from Robinson, want themselves to borrow from the "20th-century fascists," and adopt the costumes of low-level Hitler fanboys or whatever. In my opinion, however, there's still something relatively consumerist, puerile, and relatively powerless about them that denies them the label "fascists." So a new label for them should be found. "Pathetic wannabe fascists"?

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magiamma's picture

@Cassiodorus
Thanks for that long explanation. I would agree that the proud boys are too puerile to be called fascist. They are too busy taking selfies to be well focused and efficient. Maybe call them millennial-fascists.

Take good care.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@magiamma Hope you are also doing well.

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magiamma's picture

@Cassiodorus
So it sounds like your house was really close to the fires but survived. We have not had heavy rain yet. Good for the charred forest lands but not for the rest.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@magiamma 20210115_081354 (2).jpg

It's been a bit over four months since the fire occurred. They like to call it a "wildfire" or the "Almeda Fire," but it was probably multiple arson, caused in all likelihood by men with drug issues who lived outdoors and who were persecuted by the cops for doing so. But, people are afraid of this conversation.

In the foreground is a plot that was burned to the ground (by what I am told were very hot fires) and whose owner (whose lawnmower I borrowed back when he had one here) has been waiting for equipment to be repaired before he builds. To the left is a house just starting up. In the background is a house with the external structure nearly finished. In the far background are workers building a new house. Distant right, you have owners who have left a burned-down car for (I suppose) eventual pickup by whomever their insurance selects, if (that is) they were insured for this fire before it happened.

To the left, and not in the picture, is the foundation for a house that is just now being put in. In sum, this is what I get to see every morning -- this changing, rebuilding, or not rebuilding, landscape. In some sort of ecotopian vision of the world it would all be rebuilt using permacultural methods. In all likelihood it will mostly be rebuilt like it was; an Eighties suburban housing development.

So that's where we are, four months after the fire, with the rebuilding in my neighborhood.

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magiamma's picture

@Cassiodorus
A lot, no? The house in the far background looks huge and more like an institution. Trees are gone unlike the Paradise fire. A number of people came here to stay after that. Some of the trees survived there but not the houses and some sleeping elders. Unless we get rain here there will be a repeat this summer. Embrace chaos bc we have no choice, I guess.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@magiamma when there's nothing but cleared land and devastation around them. I think the trees were burned because the fire was so hot -- there was a fire in Talent, same day, that burned buildings but not trees. Are you sure you can't sell and move northward? One of the reasons I came to Oregon was that it does indeed rain here.

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"Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care." -- Frank Zappa

Thanks for the linked articles, maggiamma. I sent them to 3 pals up in Ohio who are fairly blind to the shortcomings of the Democratic Party.
Let's keep communications going while it is allowed.
Have a good one and stay safe, friends.

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magiamma's picture

@on the cusp

Thanks. We all need to be very full of care now. Take good care, otc.

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smiley7's picture

wonderful, cheers.

Doors and windows open, sunshine ledes the day; so, think i'll let most things be and absorb the rays and heal.

"I'll close my mouth and learn to listen." ~ Rising App. Resilience is staying at the table.

Suppose Weimar is a good comparison; actually any period in history when civilization can't distinguish, can't collectively decide the difference between good and bad will also work in furthering discussions about the shite we find ourselves.

No aspirations for for the near future, perhaps a center right government, more right than center or more of the same can be expected. Fully expect the good few in minority in DC will soon find themselves in a pariah situation. Bernie is budget chair, but can't hold the dike on his own and the good progressives can expect the wraith of K-street and 'clintonististas;' all leaving us dangling precariously while the world burns as in your morning image.

"Standing like an Oak," is the choice as never in my lifetime is speaking truth to power more imperative. Trouble is convincing a large portion that the social media they feed from is BS.

Anyways, what's left is to keep on trucking.

How are the Falcons doing?

Hoping you've a wonderful, safe and productive day, thank you.

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7
Afternoon there now, Fresh air is so best! I take gulps of it now. Listened to that yesterday as I was putting this together. Yes, "learn to close my mouth and listen."

lol

the wraith of K-street and 'clintonististas;

The crows do their best to harrass them but They are big and strong. I send them lignt. May they live long and prosper.

Take very good care.

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smiley7's picture

@magiamma

costumes and sets for stage; maybe you have or do.

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7
Should’ve added the link. Lol. Who dat wraith? Did an installation set with a costume designer and dance group many years ago. And a lighting guy. Everything was white except the lighting. Still have the write up.

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smiley7's picture

@magiamma

thought you may have. Smile

Let's do a play. Smile

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magiamma's picture

@smiley7

I’m tote in. Lol

Edit to add: The c99 players. Zoom theatre.

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lotlizard's picture

@magiamma  
And in the show’s new season, fusing several pop-culture universes and franchises, donation-bundlers and lobbyists are revealed to be Dementors.

No wonder they so quickly suck the soul out of even the most progressive-sounding first-term congress-witches and wizards.

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magiamma's picture

@lotlizard
DeFuckingPressing but not SurFuckingPrising. Obomber 2.0.

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For me it started when Johnson and Macnamara lied us into war, Nixon picked up the working class and union vote and Carter initiated republican lite. Been all downhill ever since. Now, for us, it's pretty much show up and vote for one party or the other then stfu and go away until the next election. That's democracy for ya.

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magiamma's picture

@Snode
Well then, how has it come to this? It does say it all, and it just keeps calving off. What to do? Witness. Thanks for being here. Take good care.

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enhydra lutris's picture

intro video.

Thanks especially for the perfect encapsulation of what is really going down socio-politically, a sad, sorry prediction that is almost guaranteed to be true:

Even if Trump wanted to gracefully bow out of public life – an unlikely outcome – liberals would keep on flogging his dead horse, for Trump has been their greatest asset. And well the liberals need to hold on to the ghost of Trump, as being “not-Trump” is their defining character now that liberalism is dead. Their agenda consists of simply carrying forward the same basic program of neoliberalism at home (but with diversity) and imperialism abroad (but with responsibility to protect) as Trump, only with more finesse.

Sadly, I'm not so sure I fully agree with this:

In short, the system has not been meeting the needs of its people, its naked dysfunctionality is bare for all to see, and the ruling circles are experiencing a crisis of legitimacy.

Technically it is correct, but, as they say "There are none so blind as those who will not see" and I fear that while it is there for all to see, far too many of we, the hoi polloi, won't see it clearly enough, and the ruling circles will really amp up the firehose of propaganda and deciet and their legions of hired and highly skilled psyops minions and simply keep the ball rolling with only a stutter. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems that I've seen this movie and/or read about it many, many times.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

@enhydra lutris
Good point.

hat while it is there for all to see, far too many of we, the hoi polloi, won't see it clearly enough, and the ruling circles will really amp up the firehose of propaganda and deciet and their legions of hired and highly skilled psyops minions and simply keep the ball rolling with only a stutter.

They own the message pretty much. Have to say more and more are seeing the man behind the curtain. Unfortunately the ptb are keeping us on opposite sides for now. What could happen if we the peeps united. heh.

Take good care.

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snoopydawg's picture

The GOP is dead.
Joe Biden: "Hold my...you know...the thing, fat."

So democrats in Georgia did all in their power to give the dems the senate and how does Biden repay them?

Remember when the GOP drove the car into the ditch during Bush's tenure, but then Obama gave them not only the keys back, but he gave them a brand new car. Biden is buying them a government fleet of cars. Well done.

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People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam thinks she’s a cat.

magiamma's picture

@snoopydawg
O-fuckin-bomba 2.0. meh. Probably more of the same because why would we the people get crumbs. How angry do we have to get to see the truth.

Take good care

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@snoopydawg to give him cover for the corporate and investor tax cuts he'll sign into law. Excuse will be he had to do it to make sure a few crumbs got to us rabble. Biden will take credit for an awesome bipartisan deal, Mitch McConnell will cry a few tears about unfairness, Punch will wack Judy over the head with a stick, hilarity will ensue, and the show will go on, all for our benefit.

Next up...cuts to social programs. Gotta cut the deficit.

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Istanbul running out of water in 45 days. 17 million people.

We have are own water problems and they will only get worse.
The Colorado River Basin is one example, apparently, those in charge of managing the water are late in coming to grips with permanent drought conditions. According to this article, Colorado is closing in on a 20 year drought.
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/01/drought-stricken-colorado-river-...

I finally watched the 2 videos above, Richard Wolff and the Democracy Now interview with Walden Bello. Both were good.

Thanks magi for the info and the music.
Take care.

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magiamma's picture

@randtntx
The whole southwestern US is warming and will continue to. It just may be to late to do anything. There are some great example of de-desertification however. So there’s that.

This is from the article and pretty much says it all...

“I always say climate change is water change,” says Udall, whose father was Arizona congressman Morris (Mo) Udall, an iconic environmental activist. “It means too much water, not enough water, water at the wrong time. It means reduced water quality. You get all of these things together as the earth warms up.”

Thanks for the link. Stay safe and take good care.

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