The Evening Blues - 6-14-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Chet "Poison" Ivey

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features singer, songwriter and sax player Chet "Poison" Ivey. Enjoy!

Chet 'Poison' Ivey - The Slop

"Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch
Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead
Wake up, you sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed
Wake up, the wicked witch is dead!"

-- Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg

News and Opinion

Israeli coalition ousts Netanyahu as prime minister after 12 years

Israel’s longest-serving leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been ousted from office by a loose coalition of rivals from across the political spectrum, united by their wish to end his 12-year run in power. The opposition leader, Yair Lapid, a centrist former TV news anchor, won a confidence vote in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, by a razor-thin advantage of 60-59 seats on Sunday evening.

Lapid will not initially become prime minister. Instead, under a power-sharing agreement, his former foe and far-right advocate for the settler movement in the Palestinian territories, Naftali Bennett, was sworn in as the country’s leader. Bennett, who has ruled out a Palestinian state and wants Israel to maintain ultimate control over all the lands it occupies, will be prime minister for the first two years of a four-year term before handing over to Lapid.

The self-described “government of change” is a mix of ideologically opposed politicians from hardline Jewish religious nationalists to a small Arab Islamist party. Ahead of the Knesset vote, Bennett attempted to give a conciliatory speech, even as Netanyahu’s allies heckled him from their seats. The 49-year-old prime minister-designate thanked the outgoing leader for his “lengthy and achievement filled service”.

Speaking after Bennett, Netanyahu struck a different tone, first boasting that he had transformed Israel “from a marginal country to a rising force” and then slamming Bennett as weak in comparison. Netanyahu said he would work in the opposition to “topple this dangerous government” and return to power.

Israel parliament votes in Naftali Bennett as PM, ending Netanyahu's long rule

Israeli Nuclear Engineer Confirms: The Mossad Sabotaged Iraqi Nuclear Equipment on French Soil

On June 7, 1981, 40 years ago last week, Israel destroyed the Osirak (aka Tammuz) nuclear reactor near Baghdad. The decision to use the air force to launch the surprise attack on the unfinished facility was made by the government headed by Menachem Begin, in consultation with all the country’s defense and intelligence bodies, after other options to thwart Saddam Hussein’s nuclear weapons program had failed.

A recently published memoir sheds light on the contribution by Israel Atomic Energy Commission scientists to code-named Operation Opera, and for the first time confirms that Mossad operatives had two years earlier, in 1979, sabotaged an essential shipment of materials in France destined for the Iraqi facility. Until now the information about Israel violating French sovereignty was based on “foreign reports.” However, the author of the new book, Michael (“Micky”) Ron, claims that the Israeli operation did not actually achieve its goal – because the Mossad did not listen to the advice of the experts from the IAEC.

The Lie That A Kinder, Gentler US Empire Is Possible

Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar has once again been the center of an artificial controversy launched in bad faith, this time over a tweet where she mentioned the United States and Israel in the same breath as Hamas and the Taliban as perpetrators of “unthinkable atrocities”.

“We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity. We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” Omar said while sharing a video of her wildly unsuccessful effort to get a straight answer from Secretary of State Tony Blinken on accountability for US and Israeli war crimes.

This provoked a bunch of ridiculous garment-rending histrionics from Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats, not because it is absurd to compare murderous warmongering regimes like the US and Israel with vastly less destructive regional forces like Hamas and the Taliban, but because it is considered unacceptable in mainstream politics to suggest that the US and Israel are anything other that beneficent powers who at worst make the occasional innocent oopsie.

This pathetically mild criticism of a power structure which has killed millions and displaced tens of millions just in the last two decades, during a pathetically unsuccessful attempt to get any kind of concession about war crimes and crimes against humanity from a prominent US official, drew so much outrage and vitriol from the US political/media class that Omar was once again forced to issue another pathetic walkback of her comments.

“On Monday, I asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken about ongoing International Criminal Court investigations,” Omar said in a statement on her congressional website. “To be clear: the conversation was about accountability for specific incidents regarding those ICC cases, not a moral comparison between Hamas and the Taliban and the U.S. and Israel.  I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

And that is it, ladies and gentlemen. That is as far as you are allowed to take criticism of the empire in mainstream American politics. Even that level of feeble, impotent criticism is far outside the boundaries for anyone in the mainstream political/media class.

So, in case it wasn’t already clear to you, progressive Democrats are a joke. They’re not a real thing. If they are literally barred from even meaningfully criticizing the US empire, let alone actually working to dismantle it, they’re a joke. They will never succeed in advancing any kind of real progressive agenda.

There’s this unspoken and unquestioned assumption among progressive Democrats that it is possible to advance progressive agendas without actually ending the US empire. That you don’t need to actually dismantle the US empire and strip down its military to the bare bones in order to get nice things like universal healthcare, a living wage, and more ethical behavior on the world stage.

This is pure fantasy. It will never happen.

As long as the US is the center of a globe-spanning empire, it will be necessary to keep Americans too poor, too busy and too confused to interfere with the operation of the machine. You cannot allow a critical mass of Americans to have enough money to spend on political campaign donations, to have enough free time to research what’s actually happening in their world, to be sufficiently stress-free to look up and realize that your government is murdering children in their name, and also keep the empire running smoothly. You cannot have an imperialist oligarchy who runs things and also have income and wealth equality.

The empire feeds on oppression, exploitation, ignorance, and blood. It is impossible to dominate the planet with a unipolar world order if you don’t use violent force, and the threat of violent force, to uphold that world order. If you’re not strangling people at home and bombing people abroad, then you cannot have an oligarchic empire. Period.

The main rift you see on the leftmost end of the American political spectrum is between people who seek an end to the imperialist murder machine, and people who just want the imperialist murder machine to give them healthcare. The first group faces a very difficult uphill battle to get what it wants. The second group is just masturbating an impossible fantasy.

This is how you can tell who is for real and who is not: do they want to dismantle the oligarchic empire, or don’t they? If they do, they’re fighting for something real, but the oligarch-owned political/media class will not give them a platform. If they don’t, they may get a punditry job or a seat in congress, but they won’t ever actually give you anything besides feel-good empty narrative fluff.

The solution, as I always point out, is to work together to destroy and discredit the oligarchic propaganda apparatus which enables the empire to determine who gets a platform and who doesn’t. As long as they are able to uplift vapid fauxgressives who pretend it’s possible to have a kinder, gentler US empire and marginalize people who actually want to dismantle the status quo, there will never be enough public awareness to force real change. All positive changes in human behavior are always the direct result of an expansion of awareness, so spreading awareness of the fact that there is an oligarchic empire which is exploiting and deceiving everyone should be the foremost priority of anyone who wants real change.

Biden says US-Russia relations at low point but ‘we’re not looking for conflict’

Joe Biden agreed on Sunday with Vladimir Putin’s latest assessment that US-Russia relations are at their lowest point in years but insisted that while the two countries may have fundamental disagreements, “we are not looking for conflict”.

The US president also addressed the issues of autocracy versus democracy, the climate crisis, future pandemics and problems caused by his predecessor Donald Trump, while holding a press conference to mark the end of the G7 summit in the English county of Cornwall. Overall, Biden said, the summit had been “extraordinarily collaborative and productive” and – in contrast to Trump’s divisive, hyper-nationalist approach – he declared: “America is back at the table.”

Biden had tea with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle on Sunday, then flew to Brussels ready for a Nato summit. He will attend a bilateral summit with the Russian president on Wednesday, in Switzerland.

Putin said in an interview on Friday that the US and Russia currently had “a bilateral relationship that has deteriorated to its lowest point in recent years”. On Sunday, Biden agreed that relations were at a low point but indicated this was because of Russia’s conduct on matters ranging from human rights violations to election interference to tolerating criminal cybergangs in its region that have been holding US commercial and government entities to ransom by hacking their computer systems.

Peru’s Electoral Earthquake

Although the official vote count may have been smooth, the atmosphere around it was anything but. Some of Fujimori’s supporters called for a military intervention this week, prompting an official statement from the military that it will respect the election results. Journalists from the country’s leading television channel, América Televisión, resigned Tuesday in a scandal over their boss’s pressure on the newsroom to favor Fujimori.

If Fujimori’s challenges fail—and that may not be clear for several days—Peruvians will discover which of the contrasting versions of Castillo will govern. His party, Perú Libre, describes itself as Marxist-Leninist. And during the campaign, Castillo called for nationalizing mining and gas companies, closing the federal public defender’s office, and overhauling the constitution.

But in the final stretch of the election, he also named a former World Bank economist as a top advisor, who said Wednesday that deficit reduction and central bank autonomy would be key in a Castillo government. Castillo’s victory declaration on Tuesday promised to be “respectful of democracy, the current constitution, and govern with financial and economic stability.”

Castillo’s party will hold only 28 percent of the 130 seats in Peru’s unicameral legislature. Its ally, the Juntos por el Perú party (whose own presidential candidate, Verónika Mendoza, helped recruit part of Castillo’s technical team), will hold only five seats. Around 53 percent of seats are held by parties like Fujimori’s that could be considered right wing.

If the tenor of the campaign is any guide, congressional opposition will be bolstered by opposition from the media and the country’s business class. That means Castillo will face immense governability challenges.

Bolsonaro Ramps Up Crackdown on Dissent With Tough Brazil Election Looming

Bolsonaro, who faces record disapproval, has ratcheted up his pressure on opponents in various ways, attempting to fortify himself ahead of presidential elections next October. He has worked to build a solid base among local police rank and file (although that support may be fading) and replaced wavering allies with loyal shock troops in key military, intelligence, and law enforcement positions. All the while, Bolsonaro has repeatedly signaled his desire to rewrite the rules to give himself more power, even if it requires a coup to do so.

In recent months, Bolsonaro has increasingly taken to the courts to stifle dissent among prominent adversaries. Critics of the president — including journalists, politicians, Indigenous leaders, YouTubers, professors, and activists — have been investigated under the dictatorship-era National Security Law, which is widely considered unconstitutional. ... The administration has largely closed its doors to news media that publish anything critical, making it harder to verify even basic facts. It also greatly increased advertising spending but radically shifted its tens of millions of dollars in ad buys to favor politically aligned outlets. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro’s supporters have repeatedly accosted journalists in the streets, preventing them from doing their job. ...

Much could change before the election. Congress has clearly shown no interest in impeaching the president, which gives Bolsonaro 16 months — an eternity in fast-paced Brazilian politics — to pray for an economic recovery and successful vaccination campaign that would win voters’ confidence. He likely won’t be relying on improved conditions alone. Bolsonaro could attempt to use partisan allies in the executive branch, media, judiciary, and law enforcement to manipulate the election in his favor. Current polling shows that Lula would win handily, but Bolsonaro, like former U.S. President Donald Trump, has clearly signaled that he does not intend to accept a loss at the polls.

Bolsonaro has been on a campaign to delegitimize Brazil’s electronic voting system, saying he will only accept the results of an election with paper ballots. “This is just a smokescreen that creates the environment for them to discredit the results of the polls,” said João Amoedo, an opposition politician, last month.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, meanwhile, appears to have thought through coup strategies. The younger Bolsonaro was on hand in Washington, D.C., and met with members of the Trump family and inner circle before, during, and after the Capitol insurrection on January 6. In an interview with the Estadão newspaper in January, Eduardo Bolsonaro suggested the problem was not that the far-right insurrection took place but that it was poorly executed.

Spanish right rallies against plans to pardon Catalan separatists

Tens of thousands of people, including the leaders of the three parties on Spain’s right, have rallied in Madrid to protest against the government’s deeply divisive moves to pardon the 12 Catalan independence leaders convicted over their parts in the failed secession attempt almost four years ago.

The event on Sunday, held beneath the enormous Spanish flag in the capital’s Plaza de Colón, came almost two and a half years after a similar demonstration against the Socialist government’s handling of the Catalan independence crisis. The national police force said 25,000 people had attended the rally, while local police put the figure at 126,000. ...

A recent national poll for El Mundo found that 61% did not agree with the pardons, while 29.5% backed them.

The Socialist-led coalition government of Pedro Sánchez will have the final say, but Spain’s supreme court issued a non-binding report opposing the pardons last month, saying the jail sentences of between nine and 13 years handed to nine of the 12 independence leaders were appropriate and noting those convicted had not shown “the slightest evidence or faintest hint of contrition”.

Sánchez has acknowledged the pardons are unpopular with voters but says they are the best way to end the political standoff and re-establish coexistence. “Spanish society needs to move from a bad past to a better future – and that will require magnanimity,” the prime minister said earlier this week.

Ohio Sues Google, Are Social Media Companies Utilities?

Chris Hedges gave a speech at a recent event in support of Julian Assange. Here are some excerpts. The whole thing is worth a read at the link.

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law

A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice. ... Tyrannies invert the rule of law. They turn the law into an instrument of injustice. They cloak their crimes in a faux legality. They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.  Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence. The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.

I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison. There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration.

The U.S. government directed, as Craig Murray so eloquently documented, the London prosecutor James Lewis. Lewis presented these directives to Baraitser. Baraitser adopted them as her legal decision. It was judicial pantomime. Lewis and the judge insisted they were not attempting to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press while they busily set up the legal framework to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press. And that is why the court worked so hard to mask the proceedings from the public, limiting access to the courtroom to a handful of observers and making it hard and at times impossible to access the trial online. It was a tawdry show trial, not an example of the best of English jurisprudence but the Lubyanka. ...

The architects of imperialism, the masters of war, the corporate-controlled legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and their obsequious courtiers in the media, are illegitimate. Say this simple truth and you are banished, as many of us have been, to the margins of the media landscape. Prove this truth, as Julian, Chelsea Manning, Jeremy Hammond and Edward Snowden have by allowing us to peer into the inner workings of power, and you are hunted down and persecuted.

Covid cases fall across US but experts warn of dangers of vaccine hesitancy

New cases of Covid-19 are declining across most of the US, even in some states with vaccine-hesitant populations. But almost all states where cases are rising have lower-than-average vaccination rates and experts warned on Sunday that relief from the coronavirus pandemic could be fleeting in regions where few people get inoculated.

Case totals nationally have declined in a week from a seven-day average of nearly 21,000 on May 29 to 14,315 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

For weeks, states and cities have been ending virus restrictions and mask mandates, even indoors. Experts said some states were seeing increased immunity because there were high rates of natural spread of the disease, which is on the verge of having killed 600,000 people in the US. ...

Just eight states – Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Wyoming – have seen their seven-day rolling averages for infection rates rise from two weeks earlier, according to Johns Hopkins data. All of them except Hawaii have recorded vaccination rates that are lower than the US average, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 10 states with the fewest new cases per capita over that time frame all have fully vaccinated rates above the national average. That includes the nation’s three most vaccinated states: Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Rep. Jayapal To Dems: DITCH Bipartisanship, Go It ALONE On Infrastructure

'Climate Denial Masquerading as Bipartisanship': Progressives Reject Latest Infrastructure Compromise

The progressive rallying cry of "no climate, no deal" continued to gain steam Friday in response to the emerging details of a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that calls for just $580 billion in new spending, a sum that climate leaders in Congress and at the grassroots rejected as woefully inadequate.

While the bipartisan group of senators led by Mitt Romney (R-Utah.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), and others has yet to fully flesh out its plan, early indications suggest the proposal will fall well short on green energy investments and other climate initiatives that progressive lawmakers view as essential priorities amid soaring temperatures and record levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a member of the bipartisan group, told the Washington Post on Thursday that the tentative new framework will include proposals to combat the climate crisis but predicted that some lawmakers will view the plan as "not adequate."

As news of the bipartisan plan began to trickle out Thursday evening, progressive lawmakers made clear that they were not impressed.

"It sounds like, to me, that they have a package which is climate denial masquerading as bipartisanship," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), the lead Senate sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution, said in an appearance on MSNBC. "We can't have an infrastructure bill in 2021 that doesn't have climate at its center... No climate, no deal."

Markey's "no climate, no deal" mantra was soon echoed by progressive advocacy organizations and other members of Congress, who said they would not be willing to vote for any infrastructure package that skimps on climate action. With razor-thin margins in the House and Senate, Democrats can ill afford any defections.

"No way that I'm supporting an infrastructure package that doesn’t invest in fighting the climate crisis," tweeted Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the nearly 100-member Congressional Progressive Caucus. "Who's with me?" ...

As the Washington Post reported, Biden's original $2.2 trillion American Jobs Plan "proposed roughly $1 trillion in clean energy tax credits, support for electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure, research into breakthrough green technologies, and a new jobs program to restore public lands and plug abandoned oil and gas wells, among other climate-related measures."

But as infrastructure negotiations with Senate Republicans and conservative Democrats have dragged on in recent weeks, Biden administration officials have signaled that some of the climate provisions in the president's opening offer could be abandoned in an effort to win support from GOP lawmakers, many of whom continue to deny the reality of human-caused climate change.

With the legislative filibuster in place, Senate Democrats would need the support of at least 10 Republicans to pass a bill through regular order.

Alternatively, Democrats could use the arcane budget reconciliation process—which requires just a simple-majority vote—to pass an infrastructure package on their own. But Manchin, whose vote is necessary if Democrats opt to proceed unilaterally, has voiced opposition to pursuing a reconciliation package without Republican backing.

Bezos's Billionaire Bailout REVEALS Bipartisan DC Corruption

the horse race

The Squad: What Happened?

Heh, apparently the media thinks that Joe Manchin is being heavily pressured. It seems to be all that they can write about him these days. I don't think that they have seen real pressure exerted on a politician in so long that they have forgotten what it looks like. AOC's mewling certainly doesn't count as pressure.

Manchin faces growing pressure from Democrats over Biden agenda

Joe Manchin, the conservative Democratic West Virginia senator whose defiance over the filibuster rule threatens to stall Joe Biden’s domestic legislative agenda, found himself under pressure from both wings of his party on Sunday.

Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, adopted a conciliatory approach on CNN’s State of the Union show, offering a novel interpretation of Manchin’s assertion a week earlier that he would refuse to support Biden’s flagship For the People voting rights act, or vote to end the filibuster that would allow it to pass. “I don’t give up on Joe Manchin. I think he left the door open, I think it’s ajar [and] I’m not giving up,” she said, offering an olive branch following harsh criticism from other Democrats. ...

Later in the same show, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive congresswoman from New York, assailed Manchin for clinging to what she said he saw as “the romanticism of bipartisanship” and an era of Republicanism “that simply does not exist any more”. ...

“You have the Koch brothers and associated organizations really doing victory laps about Joe Manchin’s opposition to [ending the] the filibuster.”

Kyle Kulinski REVEALS Why Justice Democrats Failed To Push Biden

the evening greens

G7 reaffirmed climate goals but failed to provide funds needed to reach them, experts say

The G7 summit ended with rich nations reaffirming their goal to limit global heating to 1.5C, and agreeing to protect and restore 30% of the natural world by the end of this decade, but failing to provide the funds experts say will be needed to reach such goals.

Boris Johnson badly needed a successful G7 deal on climate finance to pave the way for vital UN climate talks, called Cop26, to be held in Glasgow this November. Climate finance is provided by rich countries to developing nations, to help them cut greenhouse gas emissions and cope with the impacts of climate breakdown, and was supposed to reach $100bn a year by 2020, but has fallen far short.

Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace, said: “The G7 have failed to set us up for a successful Cop26, as trust is sorely lacking between rich and developing countries.”

Without stronger commitments on climate finance, Johnson will face an uphill struggle in getting support for any Cop26 deal from the developing world, who make up the majority of countries at the UN climate talks and who will make or break any deal there.

The prime minister was left to re-announce previously allocated cash, in the form of a £500m blue planet fund for marine conservation, already set out last year, while the other G7 members refused to stump up funds. About $2bn is to be provided to help countries phase out coal-fired power generation, but it is not clear whether this is new money.

Why the world’s most fertile fishing ground is facing a ‘unique and dire’ threat

The Pacific region exported 530,000 metric tonnes of seafood products in 2019, netting US$1.2bn. The biggest exporters were Papua New Guinea ($470m), Fiji ($182m), the Federated States of Micronesia ($130m), Vanuatu ($108m) and Solomon Islands ($101m). The biggest importers of Pacific fish in 2019 were Thailand, with seafood imports from the Pacific worth $300m, the Philippines ($195m), Japan ($130m), China ($100m) and the US ($100m).

But the Pacific – the world’s most fertile fishing ground, which supplies well over half of the world’s tuna – also falls victim to illegal fishing, with up to one in every five wild-caught fish illegally caught. The small Pacific countries in whose waters these illegal fishing operations take place lose out on the profit, suffer depletion of stocks and, without the capacity to fully police their waters, are often also penalised by fishing importers for not being able to guarantee the sustainable provenance of the catch. ...

Industrial-scale fishing began in the South Pacific after the second world war. It was dominated by the US and Japan but in the past two decades China has dispatched wave after wave of fishing boats, mainly longliners and purse seiners. ... Having grossly overfished its own regional waters, notably the China seas, China’s fleets are now taking huge quantities of tuna from the world’s most fertile fishing ground. Since 2012 the Chinese Pacific fishing fleet has grown by more than 500%.

Miren Gutierrez, a research associate at the London-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI), co-wrote a study on Chinese deep-water fishing. Various estimates of the Chinese fleet range between 1,600 and 3,400 vessels but the ODI study says this figure is likely to be five to eight times higher. The authors identified 12,490 vessels observed outside internationally recognised Chinese waters between 2017 and 2018. “China is a fisheries superpower,” the study says. “It has the largest fishing fleet and the largest DWF [distant water fishing] fleet in the world.”

Chinese vessels have been extensively documented engaging in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. In January the Washington-based Brookings Institute published a study, quoting industry, regulatory and media outlets, that said: “Chinese fishing practices present a truly unique and dire IUU threat.” Written by the Brookings fellow Michael Sinclair, a former US Coast Guard captain, it said China used the world’s largest fishing fleet to “devastating effect” to meet its population’s huge demand for protein. “When working together in fleets, these vessels are rapacious,” Sinclair wrote.

The Line 3 Pipeline Protests

Silicon Valley cracks down on water use as California drought worsens

Santa Clara county, the home of Silicon Valley, issued mandatory water restrictions this week during a severe drought that has already reached historic levels. The move was championed by analysts and researchers who have pushed for more conservation efforts across California amid concerns that the state will fall deeper into a drought disaster through the hot, dry summer and autumn.

“We are indeed in a dire situation,” said Rick Callender, the CEO of the water district serving Santa Clara county, during a public hearing Wednesday. “When you see a storm about to hit your community, the responsibility of government is not to wait until the storm hits to call for emergency action. The responsibility of government, as we all know, is to act before the storm can actually cause the devastation.”

Across California, drought conditions are intensifying as climbing temperatures obliterate the diminished snowpack and reservoirs see record-low inflows. Spurred by the climate crisis, the state’s dry years are becoming drier and the parched landscape is setting the stage for another season of devastating fires. Fields will have to be fallowed, freshwater ecosystems are facing catastrophe, and some communities are bracing for water shortages that will further reduce already limited water supplies for drinking and sanitation.

Nearly 95% of the state is now experiencing “severe drought”, as classified by the US drought monitor, but some areas are bearing the brunt more than others, and responses have varied.

Chevron Imprisons Lawyer Who Exposed Their Crimes Against Humanity

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Trump DOJ Obtained Data on Schiff and Swalwell, Two Long-Time Champions of Domestic Spying

As Salvadoran Leaders Tout a Safer Country, More People Are Going Missing

Will right-wing Peruvian demagogue Keiko Fujimori burn the country down before accepting defeat?

The Difference Between Totalitarian Regimes And Free Democracies

Soviet collapse taught Russians the danger of being a messianic superpower. Biden makes it clear America hasn’t learnt the lesson

McCarthyite meltdown shows how Russiagate, Syria propaganda captured 'left' media

Baltimore Businesses Request Police Crackdown on Low-Level Crimes

US essential workers struggle as restrictions lifted

There Is No Labor Shortage, Only Labor Exploitation

“Definition of Cypherpunk”: Technologist, Privacy Activist Kevin Gallagher Passes Away

Democracy Now: 50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals US Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan

Democracy Now: Pentagon Papers at 50: Daniel Ellsberg on Risking Life in Jail to Expose U.S. Lies About Vietnam War

Krystal Ball: WORKER OWNED WEED is the Revolution We Need!

Saagar Enjeti: Media, Biden REGRET Kamala Pick After DISASTROUS Trip Abroad

Jimmy Dore: Slave Labor Encouraged By The Biden Administration

Portland police union has to relocate to stop riots in the neighborhood

Jimmy Dore: The New Housing Crisis Is Stealing Homeowners Future

Zaid Jilani: Netanyahu OUSTED, What’s Next?

Rising: Did The Government WEAPONIZE Apple?

A Little Night Music

Chet 'Poison' Ivey - Mata Hari

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Keep On Keeping On

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Shake A Poo Poo

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - The Poo Poo Man

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Soul Is My Game

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - In A Little While

Chet 'Poison' Ivey - Wash Your Feet

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Let's Do The Pony & Just A Little Bit Of Love

Chet Poison Ivey - Handle With Care

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Something Else

Chet "Poison" Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers - Don't Ever Change

Chet Poison Ivey - Chit Chat

16 users have voted.


The Liberal Moonbat's picture

11 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

enhydra lutris's picture

9 users have voted.

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 --

joe shikspack's picture

4 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

I've got the capitalist blues!


8 users have voted.

I never knew that the term "Never Again" only pertained to
those born Jewish

"Antisemite used to be someone who didn't like Jews
now it's someone who Jews don't like"

Heard from Margaret Kimberley

joe shikspack's picture


excellent tune, thanks!

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.

He was flying from Greece to Lithuania on May 23 when a Belarusian fighter jet forced his Ryanair flight, which had about 170 passengers on board, to land in the capital of Minsk. Protasevich was then detained.

Since then, Belarusian officials have held press conferences featuring Protasevich recanting past criticisms of Lukashenko and praising the authoritarian leader.

The blogger’s father and others have said that he has clearly been mistreated and coerced into making those statements.

Journalists at Monday’s press conference were there to get more information on the diversion of the airliner Protasevich was on and were surprised when Belarusian officials brought him out.

Two BBC correspondents walked out of a Belarusian press conference Monday after officials produced detained journalist Roman Protasevich to discuss last month's forced landing of the commercial airliner he was on.

“We have just walked out,” tweeted BBC Ukrainian correspondent Jonah Fisher. “Not taking part when he is clearly there under duress.”

I don't have the translation but he could be using Biden's teleprompter. /S

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, why sit through a presser when you already have the story that you are going to write all nailed down?

9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Kulinski made a good point, though not necessarily a relevant or meaningful one, AOC et. al. aren't corrupt (per se), they're just unwilling to take on the party in any meaningful way or fight for the people *if* it pisses off the party brass. Ah well,sigh, so is that doubly lesser evil? One way or another, this ain't going nowhere.

be well and have a good one

7 users have voted.

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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

kulinski's point is fair as far as it goes. the members of the squad are not corrupt in the traditional sense, but then again they are now inarguably part of a corrupt system. they are seated at the table when the corrupt deals are made and they participate in the making.

what do you want to call it, corrupt adjacent? elbow to elbow with mr. corruption?

dancing with mr. d?

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I’ve read that many people who have been vaxxed are contracting Covid, but we are doing any contract tracing anymore so no one knows what is actually happening nor who is actually getting sick. That seems as weird as the cdc saying no masks for the jabbed. It’s more likely big business asked them to do it so they don’t have to keep their employees safe anymore. I’m betting that before Biden leaves office the Covid immunity bill will be on its way to being passed. Nursing homes, meat factories, etc.

Questioning minds want to know if the filibuster could have been used to block the Bezos bill. Was that an option just to get more people aware of the theft for Bezos and possibly held it up for enough people to make noise? He didn’t do it for the cares bill either. Glad Jayapal is finally going it alone. Needs no help from the squid.

Hmm…will California crack down on the Saudis who grow alfalfa with their water to send back to Saudi Arabia? I’m betting that is a big no. Nor will they tell nastleys to take a f’cking hike and leave the water. You can almost be damn sure that if a drought hit New Zealand where the billionaires have bought lots of property they’d find a way to fix it pdq. Is there really no plan for half the country to die from lack of water? When one is sitting next to an ocean?


Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag you’re it. Tag….

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joe shikspack's picture


here's some info on vaccine breakthrough cases from the cdc. here's a recent article from the nyt about it.

if dems in the senate wanted to stop the bezos bonanza, they could have raised a stink and probably gotten it killed. chances are that no senator really wants to be associated with servicing bezos in that way if it's going to be all over the news. the key to a lot of corrupt deals is that they need to be sneaked into legislation and only discovered after it is too late.

i doubt that california will crack down on the saudis. there is a way that they can do it legally. they would have to condemn the saudi-owned land (5th amendment taking) and compensate the saudis for it, but they are unlikely to do it. similarly they are unlikely to do it to nestle since they don't even have the guts to stop nestle from stealing their water.

heh, nice to see project veritas going after fox news.

8 users have voted.

opposition. (terrorists)

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yeah, they might have killed some folks, but hey, let's not bicker and argue about who killed who ...

6 users have voted.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the toons, especially the first one. Smile

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

lots of grids are still offline because of the freeze last winter. How long have they known that summer was coming and they weren’t prepared?


My little air conditioners are running as fast as they can and barely keeping up. I got a spare tv I should put in the back bedroom that is dark and cool cuz it faces East and the patio awning keeps it dark. Tiny but it works.

This tells the story.

To put the 103°F at SLC in historical context, this is the earliest 103°F on record dating back to 1874. The previous earliest was 06/17/1940. In addition, most years in our record never see a temperature of 103°F, below is a plot of number of 103+ days each year. #utwx

Sustained 4% humidity is pretty impressive, too.

No fires going through Weber canyon and it’s still lushly green in many areas. And just over the hill was on fire last week.But echo dam is barely there. It used to extend way back but it’s not looking very healthy for the middle of June. And 3 tiny spots of snow on the ski hills.

I watched the young f’cks spiel with Aaron all weekend and the fcks got toasted big time. Ana blocked lots of people…coward. Great line.

McCarthyism falls squarely in line with the chauvinist, militaristic Russiagate-driven worldview that has virally laid waste to intellects throughout left-liberal media in recent years.

Id add minds too. Sadly. And it goes beyond Russia Russia. Caitlin nailed it when she said she had seen everything now that someone called her a conspiracy theorist because she doesn’t believe that UFO s are real.

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joe shikspack's picture


that's hot!

i just saw a story that said parts of the south-west will hit 120F over the next week.

take care and try to stay cool!

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

and on top of the drought. Areas like Phoenix and Vegas are going to be in serious trouble if the drought doesn’t break. But projections are a possible 2nd dust bowl.

Speaking of this if anyone is looking for a fun fantasy fiction series I highly recommend Hard Magic.

Jake Sullivan is a licensed private eye with a seriously hardboiled attitude. He also possesses raw magical talent and the ability to make objects in his vicinity light as a feather or as heavy as depleted uranium, all with a magical thought. It's no wonder the G-men turn to Jake when they need someone to go after a suspected killer who has been knocking off banks in a magic-enhanced crime spree.

Problems arise when Jake discovers the bad girl behind the robberies is an old friend, and he happens to know her magic is just as powerful as his. And the Feds have plunged Jake into a secret battle between powerful cartels of magic-users - a cartel whose ruthless leaders have decided that Jake is far too dangerous to live.

This is so much more than just Jake in this story. It’s set during the dust bowl and Great Depression with lots of people who are real but they have changed because they can do magic. Things like Jake can sorta. But you will fall in love with Faye who can travel with her mind. Spunky teenager who was sold by her dad to a Portuguese farmer who could also travel. It’s full of mystery, intrigue and humor. Bronson Pinchot reads it and he’s quite good with different voices. If you’re into this. John Browning is also in the book. He made the Browning colt and was born and raised in Ogden. He’s got a cool story to tell in it.

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snoopydawg's picture

Before it was Phoenix, the Hohokam Indigenous people lived on the land for centuries. "They had a wonderful irrigation network system, and they subsisted in the desert with their canal network for more than a 1,000 years," Ross said, but severe drought forced them to abandon the site. Phoenix is built atop the ruins of the Hohokam people's city, and the canal system that brings water to Phoenix was built on the path first used by the Hohokam.

Worst drought in 1,200 years. I’d say the west is in dire straits. It starts off with Utah’s guv asked people to pray for rain. Guess what? All counties bordering the great salt lake had a weird storm pop up with wind and rain. Not a lot but it was rain.

Not too sure about the ending.

"If push comes to shove, they might need to go out and buy water rights from farmers, and those farms might go out of business," he said. That's not an idea to take lightly, and also not one to disregard. "We can have thriving communities, growing communities, diverse communities in the West. We just have to do it in a different way."


Ask and you shall receive.

Lots of people chiming in from western states saying how bad things are there. Also read how people are flocking to Montana and in Bozeman it takes $130,000 for a down payment on a house and $3,000 a month. Renters are fleeing from areas where housing prices have skyrocketed because they can’t afford to live there which is causing worker shortages and in a few weeks millions will lose unemployment. There isn’t a city in the country where someone getting minimum wage can afford to rent. But let’s blame them for being lazy. 3 jobs ain’t enough?

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