The Evening Blues - 1-20-21
Hey! Good Evening!
This evening's music features Texas blues guitarist Roy Gaines. Enjoy!
Roy Gaines - Loud Mouth Lucy
After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?"
-- Bertolt Brecht
News and Opinion
Glenn Greenwald, worth a full read:
The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting “terrorism” that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This trend shows no sign of receding as we move farther from the January 6 Capitol riot. The opposite is true: it is intensifying.
We have witnessed an orgy of censorship from Silicon Valley monopolies with calls for far more aggressive speech policing, a visibly militarized Washington, D.C. featuring a non-ironically named “Green Zone,” vows from the incoming president and his key allies for a new anti-domestic terrorism bill, and frequent accusations of “sedition,” “treason,” and “terrorism” against members of Congress and citizens. This is all driven by a radical expansion of the meaning of “incitement to violence.” It is accompanied by viral-on-social-media pleas that one work with the FBI to turn in one’s fellow citizens (See Something, Say Something!) and demands for a new system of domestic surveillance. ...
The more honest proponents of this new domestic War on Terror are explicitly admitting that they want to model it on the first one. A New York Times reporter noted on Monday that a “former intelligence official on PBS NewsHour” said “that the US should think about a ‘9/11 Commission’ for domestic extremism and consider applying some of the lessons from the fight against Al Qaeda here at home.” More amazingly, Gen. Stanley McChrystal — for years head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of the war in Afghanistan — explicitly compared that war to this new one, speaking to Yahoo News:
I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America….I think we’re much further along in this radicalization process, and facing a much deeper problem as a country, than most Americans realize.”
Anyone who, despite all this, still harbors lingering doubts that the Capitol riot is and will be the neoliberal 9/11, and that a new War on Terror is being implemented in its name, need only watch the two short video clips below, which will clear their doubts for good. It is like being catapulted by an unholy time machine back to Paul Wolfowitz’s 2002 messaging lab. ...
Calls for a War on Terror sequel — a domestic version complete with surveillance and censorship — are not confined to ratings-deprived cable hosts and ghouls from the security state. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Mr. Biden has said he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism, and he has been urged to create a White House post overseeing the fight against ideologically inspired violent extremists and increasing funding to combat them.”
Meanwhile, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) — not just one of the most dishonest members of Congress but also one of the most militaristic and authoritarian — has had a bill proposed since 2019 to simply amend the existing foreign anti-terrorism bill to allow the U.S. Government to invoke exactly the same powers at home against “domestic terrorists.” ...
That a new War on Terror is coming is not a question of speculation and it is not in doubt. Those who now wield power are saying it explicitly. The only thing that is in doubt is how much opposition they will encounter from those who value basic civic rights more than the fears of one another being deliberately cultivated within us.
Cold War Berlin called, they want their aesthetic back. https://t.co/KJorVIOAaG
— Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) January 18, 2021
One dozen members of the US national guard have been removed from their duties helping to secure Joe Biden’s inauguration after vetting – which included screening for potential ties to rightwing extremism, Pentagon officials said on Tuesday.
A Pentagon spokesman said the vetting went beyond ties to extremist groups. One guard member was removed from duty after troubling text messages and another had been reported to a tip line, the chief of the National Guard Bureau, Gen Daniel Hokanson, told reporters.
Earlier it was reported that two army national guard members were being removed from the mission. That figure grew on Tuesday afternoon and could expand further as vetting continues by the defense department and FBI. ...
A US army official and a senior US intelligence official, speaking anonymously, had initially told the Associated Press the first two guard members removed had been found to have ties to fringe rightwing militias. No plot against Biden was found, the officials said. ...
The mood in the capital remained tense as the Washington Post reported that the FBI had privately warned law enforcement agencies that far-right extremists had “discussed posing as national guard members in Washington and others had reviewed maps of vulnerable spots in the city”.
A new viral video calling on liberals to form “an army of citizen detectives” to gather information on Trump supporters and report their activities to the authorities has racked up thousands of shares and millions of views in just a few hours.
The hashtag #TrumpsNewArmy is trending on Twitter as of this writing due to the release of a horrifying video with that title from successful author and virulent Russiagater Don Winslow. As of this writing it has some 20 thousand shares and 2.6 million views, and the comments and quote-retweets are predominantly supportive.
NEW VIDEO #TrumpsNewArmy VOLUME UP
On January 20th Donald Trump will no longer be The Commander in Chief.
He will lose control of the U.S. Armed Forces and take control of a NEW ARMY. pic.twitter.com/59MHHaIegP
— Don Winslow (@donwinslow) January 19, 2021
“On or before January 20th, Donald Trump will no longer be the Commander-in-Chief: he will lose control of the Army, Navy, Airforce, Marines, Special Forces and America’s nuclear arsenal,” Winslow’s voice begins ominously. “On January 20th Donald Trump will become Commander-in-Chief of a different army: this army.”
Viewers are then shown footage from Trump rallies while being told that they are looking at “radical extreme conservatives, also known as domestic terrorists”.
“They are hidden among us, disguised behind regular jobs,” Winslow warns. “They are your children’s teachers. They work at supermarkets, malls, doctor’s offices, and many are police officers and soldiers.”
Winslow talks about white supremacists and the Capitol riot, warning that Trump will continue escalating violence and fomenting a civil war in America.
“We have to fight back,” Winslow declares. “In this new war, the battlefield has changes. Computers can be more valuable than guns. And this is what we need now more than ever: an army of citizen detectives. I’m proposing we form a citizen army. Our weapons will be computers and cellphones. We, who are monitoring extremists on the internet and reporting our findings to authorities. Remember, before the Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden, he had to be found. He was found by a CIA analyst working on a computer thousands of miles away. It’s up to you.”
The viral video is being loudly amplified by popular #Resistance accounts like Majid M Padellan (better known as Brooklyn Dad Defiant) with frighteningly paranoid and HUAC-like rhetoric.
“#TrumpsNewArmy is VILE,” one of Padellan’s Twitter shares of the video reads. “And we KNOW who they are. They are our teachers. They are our neighbors. They are our police officers. They are EVERYWHERE. EXPOSE THEIR TREASON.”
“Donald trump is on his way out,” reads another. “Good riddance. But his ‘army’ is still here, hiding amongst us. They are traitors. They are evil. And they MUST be rooted OUT.”
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,” reads yet another. “But SOME people… they pledged their allegiance ONLY to trump. These are dangerous traitors.”
“After 9/11, we were told: If you see something, say something,” reads still another. “We have TERRORISTS in our midst. Some of us KNOW these people. It is our patriotic DUTY to expose them.”
So if you were hoping that maybe liberals would chill out and get a little less crazy with Trump out of the White House, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
This is as insane and scary as I have ever seen these people get, and I was in the thick of peak Russiagate hysteria. An aggressively manufactured push to get an army of citizens spying on each other calls to mind the Stasi informants of East Germany, the patriotism-fueled digital “digging” of the QAnon psyop, and the NatSec LARPing of Louise Mensch Twitter, all rolled into one great big ball of crazy.
Veteran CIA officer and former deputy DNI Sue Gordon calls for a "9/11 Commission kind of activity" to apply "lessons that we learned in the fight against foreign terrorism" to battle domestic extremism https://t.co/Dor0GMZmfm pic.twitter.com/MGmdNoMZ1f
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) January 19, 2021
This comes out as we are being bombarded with mass media punditry from literal CIA veterans like Sue Gordon and Elissa Slotkin forcefully hammering home the message that domestic terror is the new frontier for combating violent extremism, meaning of course that new Patriot Act-like solutions will be needed. Winslow himself spent six years traveling and doing research for a novel about a former CIA operative, and if some government agency didn’t recruit him during that period they clearly should have.
This will get frightening if it keeps up. Just as a relatively low-profile lefty blogger I routinely get liberals online falsely claiming I’m a Russian agent and saying they’ll report me to the FBI, and that’s without an aggressive campaign urging them to join a powerful digital army. The fact that Winslow stays very vague about what he means by “Trump’s new army” and constantly conflates rank-and-file Trump supporters with white supremacist terrorists means people are effectively being pointed at all Trump supporters, especially when normal Trump rallies are what he points to in the video. If this takes off it can very quickly lead to a volunteer army of power-worshipping snitches against literally anyone who is critical of US foreign policy or the Democratic Party, whether they actually support Trump or not.
In fact just following the trending hashtag I’m noticing Twitter users saying this means targeting all Trump supporters, so clearly that is the message that’s being absorbed.
“Trumpers are pushing back so hard against this video because so many of them live in the dark, cloaked behind normal jobs and seemingly normal lives,” Winslow tweeted in promotion of his project.
Well maybe that’s because they are half the voting public, Don?
Winslow mixes in these generic comments about “Trumpers” with comments about “white supremacists”, about whom he tweets “1. We expose them. 2. We identify them. 3. We notify law enforcement. 4. We notify their employers.”
This is just liberals being pushed toward targeting anyone who isn’t ideologically aligned with them for destruction. I really, really hope it doesn’t take off, because it is profoundly ugly. Please don’t let the manipulators trick you into ripping each other to pieces, America. They’re only pointing you at each other so you don’t look at them.
The United States has filed an appeal of Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s Jan. 4 decision to block WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States because of an extreme risk of suicide.
Washington’s British lawyers’ filed papers with the High Court in London on Friday, a spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed to Britain’s Press Association.
The PA reported that the U.S. has been granted an additional fortnight to file details to back up its appeal.
An administrative decision by the High Court is expected on whether to allow the appeal before any hearings could be heard.
— Don't Extradite Assange (@DEAcampaign) January 19, 2021
Although several long shot campaigns were mounted, President Donald Trump did not pardon any whistleblowers who were indicted or prosecuted under the United States Espionage Act. He also declined to pardon the only journalist ever to be indicted under the World War I-era law.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden were not offered clemency because Trump "did not want to anger Senate Republicans who will soon determine whether he's convicted during his Senate trial."
"Multiple GOP lawmakers had sent messages through aides that they felt strongly about not granting clemency to Assange or Snowden," according to CNN.
'Smartest Thing We Can Do Is Act Big': Yellen Bolsters Demand for Biden to Enact Bold FDR-Style Agenda
During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen endorsed progressives' demand for President-elect Joe Biden to pursue a bold and egalitarian relief, recovery, and reform program capable of tackling the intertwined public health and economic catastrophe triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big," said Yellen, an economist and former chair of the Federal Reserve between 2014 and 2018. "In the long run, I believe the benefits will far outweigh the costs, especially if we care about helping people who have been struggling for a very long time."
"Economists don't always agree, but I think there is a consensus now: Without further action, we risk a longer, more painful recession now—and longer-term scarring of the economy later," she added. "People worry about a K-shaped recovery, but well before Covid-19 infected a single American, we were living in a K-shaped economy, one where wealth built upon wealth while working families fell farther and farther behind."
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, backed the Treasury Secretary nominee's call for the incoming Biden administration to disregard fear-mongering about the national debt in order to focus on improving the well-being of struggling working-class households that are grappling with unemployment, hunger, housing insecurity, and other pressing problems.
"The crises that face us are enormous, and we need solutions that match the scale of these crises," Jayapal said, adding that the CPC will support Yellen's efforts to invest in the American people.
Yellen was given a glowing review by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who will soon chair the Senate Finance Committee once Democrats assume control of the chamber. "This is the worst economic crisis in 100 years," said Wyden, "and nobody is better qualified... to lead an economic recovery."
In addition to helping to design and manage the Biden administration's response to current hardships felt by large swaths of the U.S. population—particularly low-income individuals living in resource-deprived communities, a category in which workers of color are overrepresented—Yellen will also influence the federal government's approach to financial regulation and taxation. As Wyden explained during Yellen's hearing, such decisions shape other arenas, including energy policy.
Despite Biden's extensive record of pushing for bipartisan neoliberalism, multiple progressive commentators have pointed to the devastating effects of the coronavirus crisis, the climate emergency, worsening inequality, and a weakened democracy in an attempt to persuade the president-elect to rebuild the economy on a more just and sustainable basis, especially now that Democrats control both chambers of Congress in addition to the White House.
The magnitude of America’s water affordability crisis has been laid bare by shocking new data from California where debt owed on water bills has hit $1bn and one in every eight households is currently in arrears. A survey by the state water board found at least 1.6m households are behind on water bill payments. The average debt is $500, but 155,000 or so households are in real trouble, owing more than $1,000 each and accounting for half the total debt.
California is America’s most populous state and even before the pandemic, a third of residents, about 13 million people, lived in poverty. Water debt – like other poverty indicators – is not evenly distributed.
Households in predominantly Black and Latino neighborhoods are more likely to be in arrears, and have disproportionately larger debts. Racial inequalities in California’s water debt persist even after adjusting for income and housing, the survey found. The highest concentration of arrears is in southern California, particularly in Los Angeles – one of the cities hardest hit by Covid-19 deaths and the economic fallout.
The pandemic did not create California’s water affordability crisis, but the debt has ballooned since the governor, Gavin Newsom, ordered a moratorium on water shutoffs for unpaid bills last April, as part of the state’s public health measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19, which is highly contagious. ... The moratorium will continue until Newsom declares an end to the Covid emergency, but there’s currently no provision for how or when the accumulating debts will be paid.
'Subsidizing the Spread of Covid': Report Shows Corporate Landlords Received Public Funding Yet Still Kicked Out Tenants
Nearly 200 corporate landlords received $320 million in federal pandemic-related assistance only to turn around and file more than 5,380 evictions between mid-March and mid-October of last year, recklessly displacing thousands of impoverished Americans in the midst of a public health and economic emergency.
That's according to Taxpayer Subsidized Evictions: Corporate Landlords Pocket Federal Sweetheart Deals, Subsidies, and Tax Breaks While Evicting Struggling Families, a new report (pdf) published Tuesday by the Jobs With Justice Education Fund and the Private Equity Stakeholder Project.
Although corporate landlords have benefited from public subsidies and favorable tax laws for years, the report details how these actors—under crisis conditions—were able to capitalize on a novel form of financial aid, specifically loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the $2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress in late March 2020.
Even as they received millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded support, corporate landlords continued to kick thousands of tenants to the curb despite the recommendations of public health officials who urged people to shelter-in-place to slow the spread of the virus.
The report's data were drawn from public records in 25 counties across Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, meaning that the number of renters evicted by corporate landlords throughout the U.S. is almost certainly higher.
Previous studies have shown that corporate landlords are more likely than "mom-n-pop" landlords to evict tenants, and yet that did not prompt legislators to make allocation of public aid dependent on commitments to halt displacement.
While corporate landlords took advantage of no-strings-attached coronavirus relief that did not mandate a corresponding pause in eviction filings, the report notes how much more effectively housing security, and thus public health, could have been improved had the government provided rental assistance directly to tenants instead of routing the subsidies through private, profit-maximizing housing entities.
Hours Before Biden Inauguration, GOP Backers of Tax Cuts for the Rich Resume Cynical Deficit-Mongering
Just 24 hours before the inauguration of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, Republican senators who did not hesitate to approve unpaid-for tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and bloated Pentagon budgets over the past four years suddenly rediscovered their concern for the rising deficit and national debt Tuesday as Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen made the case for a robust coronavirus relief package.
Republican lawmakers have been signaling a return to their hypocritical deficit-mongering for months, leading some to warn of a conscious GOP effort to impose crippling austerity on the incoming Biden administration in the name of "fiscal responsibility."
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) hinted in that direction during Yellen's confirmation hearing Tuesday, using his time to lament the "massive amount of debt that we continue to rack up" and complain that Congress appears "to have no concern" about the problem. In 2017, Thune was one of 51 Republican senators to vote yes on the $1.5 trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), which blew a massive hole in the deficit and disproportionately benefited the rich and large corporations.
As Yellen stressed the need for the federal government to "act big" in the face of twin public health and economic crises—pointing to historically low interest rates as further reason to spend without hesitation—Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said "the ink is barely dry" on the previous $900 billion coronavirus relief measure and warned against another large stimulus package, specifically rejecting Biden's $1.9 trillion proposal.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told Yellen, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, that "we shouldn't get too comfortable" with low interest rates and called rising deficits "frightening," attributing them to the "mandatory spending side of the ledger"—an oblique reference to Medicare and Social Security.
Without acknowledging the connection between the 2017 GOP tax cuts and soaring deficits, Portman went on to defend the TCJA and claim it was a boon to the economy, a characterization not borne out by the data.
President-elect Joe Biden’s new COVID relief plan does not adopt existing Democratic legislation to expand government sponsored medical coverage nor does it propose a promised public health insurance option. Instead, it adopts proposals from health insurance lobbying groups’ recent letter to lawmakers demanding lucrative new subsidies for insurance companies, at a moment when those corporations have recorded record profits as millions lose coverage and many face claims denials.
Biden’s plan would shovel billions of dollars to private health insurers by providing subsidies for Americans to buy coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces, which are far more expensive than government health care programs and have at times been plagued by high rates of claim denials. The plan would also subsidize COBRA continuation coverage through September, allowing workers to keep their employer health insurance plans when they’re laid off.
Those initiatives — which could further boost insurers’ skyrocketing profits — were recently recommended in a letter to lawmakers from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, two insurance lobby groups in Washington that have opposed the expansion of government-sponsored health care programs. ...
Biden’s inaugural committee has received donations from at least two major health insurers, Anthem and Centene, which both offer plans on state marketplace exchanges. Centene’s CEO bundled donations for Biden’s presidential campaign, and Biden’s first major campaign fundraiser was headlined by Independence Blue Cross’s CEO. ...
While Medicare for All could actually save the country up to $650 billion annually, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Biden is now proposing some of the most costly and inefficient ways to expand health insurance coverage. The moves could still leave people exposed to substantial out-of-pocket costs — from deductibles, copays, and coinsurance — that act as barriers to care.
More than 400,000 Americans have now been killed by the coronavirus, a horrific marker of the misery the virus has spread across the country, as the rate of deaths from Covid-19 increases.
The latest death toll comes as thousands more deaths are expected in a bleak American winter with widespread Covid transmission, as a more transmissible strain spreads across the country and a mass vaccination campaign gets off to a slow start.
The Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center reported 400,022 people had died. The burden is disproportionately borne by people of color.
Months of death are still ahead for the US, as people recently infected by the virus become ill and perish. A forecast assembled by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that the death toll could be 477,000 by 6 February.
That prediction also represents the clear acceleration of deaths in the US. It took more than 16 weeks for the US to reach 100,000 deaths, but less than five for the toll to leap from 300,000 to 400,000. Many experts expect the US will reach 500,000 deaths in February.
Israel’s coronavirus tsar has warned that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may be providing less protection than originally hoped, as the country reported a record 10,000 new Covid infections on Monday.
In remarks reported by Army Radio, Nachman Ash said a single dose appeared “less effective than we had thought”, and also lower than Pfizer had suggested.
By contrast, those who had received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine had a six- to 12-fold increase in antibodies, according to data released by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer on Monday.
The issue of some vaccines being less effective after a single dose rather than two is well known, as well as the fact that protection is not immediate. While the first dose can take several weeks to promote an effective antibody response, the second dose can trigger different responses, supercharging the protection. Pfizer itself says a single dose of its vaccine is about 52% effective. Some countries such as the UK have delayed administering their second doses to try to maximise the number of people given a first dose.
The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has declared that China is committing “ongoing” genocide against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province, less than 24 hours before leaving office.
The incoming Biden team termed the persecution of Uighurs a genocide in August, and Anthony Blinken, nominated to succeed Pompeo, told a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that he agreed with the new designation.
Despite intense political pressure, the Trump administration did not make a formal declaration earlier because of concerns of its impact on trade talks.
In the closing weeks of an administration it is customary for major policy moves to be left to its successor. Pompeo, who has widely reported aspirations to run for president in 2024, broke with that norm when he made the announcement on Tuesday, his last full day as secretary of state.
The Biden administration will declassify an intelligence report into the murder by the Saudi government of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Avril Haines, who has been nominated to serve as director of national intelligence.
The decision means that the US is likely to officially assign blame for Khashoggi’s brutal murder to the kingdom’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and US resident who wrote critical columns about the Saudi crown prince, was murdered by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October 2018.
While media reports have said that the US intelligence community determined with a medium to high degree of confidence that Prince Mohammed ordered the killing, that assessment has never officially been stated. The crown prince has denied he ordered the murder.
Joe Biden is set for a flurry of action to combat the climate crisis on his first day as US president by immediately rejoining the Paris climate agreement and blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, although experts have warned lengthier, and harder, environmental battles lie ahead in his presidency. ...
The Democrat, who will be sworn in on Wednesday, is also set to revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial cross-border project that would bring 830,000 barrels of crude oil each day from Alberta, Canada, to a pipeline that runs to oil refineries on the US’s Gulf of Mexico coast. The president-elect is also expected to reverse Trump’s undoing of rules that limited the emission of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from oil and gas drilling operations.
“Day one, Biden will rejoin Paris, regulate methane emissions and continue taking many other aggressive executive climate actions in the opening days and weeks of his presidency,” said Paul Bledsoe, who was a climate adviser to Bill Clinton’s White House, now with the Progressive Policy Institute. Bledsoe said Biden’s nominees to tackle the climate crisis, spearheaded by the former secretary of state John Kerry, who will act as a climate “envoy” to the world, is “by far the most experienced, high-level climate team US history. They intend to hit the ground running.”
The aggressive opening salvo to help address the climate crisis, which Biden has called “the existential threat of our time”, is set to include various executive orders to resurrect a host of pollution rules either knocked down or weakened by the Trump administration. The US will convene an international climate summit in Biden’s first few months in the White House and is set to join a global effort to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which are used in refrigeration and air conditioning and contribute to the heating of the planet.
Batteries capable of fully charging in five minutes have been produced in a factory for the first time, marking a significant step towards electric cars becoming as fast to charge as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles. Electric vehicles are a vital part of action to tackle the climate crisis but running out of charge during a journey is a worry for drivers. The new lithium-ion batteries were developed by the Israeli company StoreDot and manufactured by Eve Energy in China on standard production lines.
StoreDot has already demonstrated its “extreme fast-charging” battery in phones, drones and scooters and the 1,000 batteries it has now produced are to showcase its technology to carmakers and other companies. Daimler, BP, Samsung and TDK have all invested in StoreDot, which has raised $130m to date and was named a Bloomberg New Energy Finance Pioneer in 2020.
The batteries can be fully charged in five minutes but this would require much higher-powered chargers than used today. Using available charging infrastructure, StoreDot is aiming to deliver 100 miles of charge to a car battery in five minutes in 2025.
Makes you wonder if perhaps somebody in Califerno will think it wise to start burying power lines below ground:
Unusually warm and dry conditions coupled with powerful wind gusts have ignited a spate of winter wildfires that call into question the idea that California has a “fire season” at all any more.
Residents of several communities in the Santa Cruz mountains were ordered to evacuate by the local sheriff’s office Tuesday morning as California’s fire agency, Cal Fire, responded to more than a dozen new vegetation fires across the area. Some of the fires were ignited when power lines were toppled by high winds; others were wind-driven reignitions of areas that burned in 2020, Cal Fire said. By midday Tuesday, six fires in the area were still burning.
The evacuations came as Californians grappled with the latest example of the reality of climate crisis: red flag warnings – the National Weather Service’s highest level of caution for wildfire activity – across much of the state in January. The early start to 2021’s fires follows 2020’s record-breaking year, which saw wildfires that burned approximately 4.26m acres and killed 33 people.
“We’re not seeing ‘fire season’ any more,” said Issac Sanchez, battalion chief of communications for Cal Fire Sacramento. “It’s just one big fire year, where we can be prepared for and expect a large destructive fire at any point.”
Also of Interest
Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.
A Little Night Music
Roy Gaines - Worried ´Bout You Baby
Roy Gaines - Night Beat
Roy Gaines - Jump In My Cadillac
Roy Gaines - De Dat De Dum Dum
Roy Gaines - Alabama Sue
Roy Gaines - Annabelle
Roy Gaines - Superman
Roy Gaines - Gainesville
Roy Gaines - Sweet Pig Porker & Bluesman For Life
Roy Gaines - You're Right, I'm Left