Dystopian horror for the weekend (1)

Dystopia does not do a lot for us. It does not inspire people to change the world; only the right utopian dream will do that. But for some reason dystopia has become the "default narrative" for this global space and historical time. Only by examining dystopia will we be able to understand its prevalence as a trend. I suppose the resultant literary genre for the prolonged investigation into dystopia would be called "horror."

The coming crash - Is it stupidity, arrogance, or another unwritten, deniable "final solution"?

Its time for me to discuss my pessimism for the future. In various threads, people respond to my pessimism with the classic "so what's your solution?". My answer is that there is no solution that preserves anything like a decent life for the vast majority of Americans. When I am called a "Debbie Downer" for this attitude, its very hard to resist shooting back with "Pollyanna". But I do resist that impulse.

All I'm asking of respondents to this essay is to engage with the pessimism, to follow the big picture logic.

Six impossible things before breakfast

How does a sane person deal with the insanity that is America today? The party line on just about every topic one might mention is the wrong side of stupid. The media zeitgeist is to ignore our falling apart ecology, economy, infrastructure, educational system, political system, and foreign policy. Our duty is to worship the crooks on Wall St. and the warmongers in the Pentagon, both of whom are robbing the citizenry blind while providing negative value to the 99% with their "services".

(UPDATE) Another thing to fight; I'm so tired

(UPDATE: They've already begun tearing down the trees; someone posted photos earlier today on FB. The public hearing wasn't scheduled until Feb. 12. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY. I still intend to write angry letters to the city council and mayor. I can still make noise, be a PITA and waste their time!)

Declining Sperm Counts in the West

According to this July 25, 2017,Scientific American article, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sperm-count-dropping-in-weste... ,

Sperm counts in men from America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand have dropped by more than 50 percent in less than 40 years, researchers said on Tuesday.

Repair Cafes and the return of the Repair ethos

When I was young most towns, villages, suburbs and such had "the repair guy"; a little shop with gaskets and parts for most household appliances and gadgets, vacuum tubes and a tube checker, refurbished small appliances for sale, and a Mr. Fixit type guy. When soemthing broke you took it to him to have it fixed unless you could fix it yourself. Even if you could, you might wind up at his place to get the parts that you couldn't get from the dealer, depatment store or hardware sore.

The Svalbard seed bank started flooding

We built a seed bank to preserve food crop seeds against all disasters and catastrophes and buried it in the the world's biggest deep freeze, the Arctic permafrost. It is buried inside a mountain on Spitsbergen, and global warming has produced such unimaginable temperatures there that meltwater flooded into the entrance tunnel.


Selectivity in Trashing Trump


Investigative reporter Robert Parry, the author of this article, broke many of the Iran-Contra stories. He says there's good reason to denounce Trump's crude language, position on climate change, and if he follows Reagan and Bush's failed economic policies. However, he also mentions moving among protesters at the inauguration, and seeing signs denouncing Trump's interest in working peacefully with Putin. In other words, the warmongers were part of the crowd protesting him, too. And now Silicon Valley is up in arms and funding immigration protests (over H1B visas - they want to keep bringing in cheaper foreign IT workers).

But the current danger for Democrats and progressives is that – by bashing everything that Trump says and does – they will further alienate the white working-class voters who became his base and will push away anti-war activists.

The pipelines will RAISE gasoline prices - best argument to use?

Turns out the pipelines will actually raise gasoline prices 10 to 20 cents per gallon in the Midwest and Rockies, according to both Bloomberg and CNN - maybe that's the best argument to make to Trump? It would give him political cover to do the right thing, plus save us another expense in the short run.

Great Environmental News - I think

I received an e-mail from Point Blue Conservation Science (formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory) announcing a conservation agreement concerning the Ross Sea. The gist of it is that

the 24-nation Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) unanimously agreed to establish the Ross Sea as the world's largest marine protected area.