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July 8, 2024 Readings

July 8, 2024 Readings

Flooding Across the Midwest May Have Wiped Out Up to 1 Million Acres of Crops, New Estimates Now Show | AgWeb

Let’s Stop Arguing About An Imaginary Energy Transition | Art Berman

The Normalization of Madness – by Geoffrey Deihl

“Overlapping Emergencies” Pushes Countries To Bolster Food Supply Stocks | ZeroHedge

A Revolutionary Library–Justin McAfee

The Meme That Is Destroying The World, Part IV–Steve Keen

Have We Been in Recession for Years?–Money Metals

GM To Pay $146 Million In Penalties For Emission Violations On 5.9 Million Older Vehicles | ZeroHedge

Impending System Failure

Impending System Failure

Readying the war machine for what’s to come

Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne, Kuwaiti desert, March 20, 2003.
Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade of the 101st Airborne, Kuwaiti desert, March 20, 2003. (AP Photo/Jean-Marc Bouju/National Journal)

H.R. 8070, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2025 features the usual increase in “defense” spending to a record $883.7 billion. It takes money to be by far the biggest arms supplier to the world at 41.7 percent and provide the munitions necessary to murder Palestinian women and children. We also, most sadly, have to think about the future, as droughts, floods and temperature extremes destroy economies and create resource wars. This is not to say that I approve.

$883.7 billion works out to about $2600, for each one of us Americans spreading corporatocracy far and wide, shell by shell, proxy war by proxy war.

I just read a post by Dennis Kucinich, remember him, the man who ran for president and had the “radical” idea of creating a Department of Peace? He lost, of course. In his article, he mentioned there’s an amendment to the latest Pentagon budget to reinstate the draft. I double-checked.

Sure enough, section 531 addresses automatic registration in the Selective Service System, stating:

Except as otherwise provided in this title, every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, shall be automatically registered under this Act by the Director of the Selective Service System.”

Huh. I guess we still need living, breathing bodies to operate remote AI enhanced weapons hovering about. I responded to Dennis, knowing one of our fine public servants would be eager to get back to me.

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Will the Revolution Be Televised?

Will the Revolution Be Televised?

That depends. Will we have water? Electricity? Who will revolt and over what?

Helmeted cop with automatic weapon in the air stands in the middle of an intersection as smoke from arson fills the sky.
The Detroit Rebellion of 1967. In the course of five days, 43 were killed, 33 black and 10 white. 1,189 were injured and 7,200 people arrested. National Guardsmen fired over 150,000 bullets during the riot.

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You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

In 1971, Gil Scott-Heron released the song The Revolution Will Not Be Televised from his album Pieces of Man. It was a ground-breaking song, a precursor to rap backed by the great jazz bassist Ron Carter, but more importantly it was a politically charged protest with relevance today, a cry against oppression, and an expression of anger against the mass media which was co-opting the civil rights movement while the Vietnam War raged on.

Gil’s sarcastic indictment of commercial culture at a time when the oppression of systemic racism blew up, rings true today, in the age of 24/7 brainwashing. The commercial-industrial entertainment complex races on, if anything more pernicious than 53 years ago, with journalism weaker than ever, and a proliferation of malevolent outlets of outright lies and propaganda, pioneered by FOX “news.” AM radio is filled with fringe lunatics. I occasionally turn it on during long car drives to get a pulse on crazy, and the internet is littered with similarly unhinged outlets.

Aerial view of four blocks of destroyed Detroit, one block roofless rubble, the rest smoldering.
Aftermath of Detroit riots.

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Noxious Disinformation. Climate: The Movie

Noxious Disinformation. Climate: The Movie

Refuting lies takes far more time and energy than making them

Brightly colored graphic illustration of two faces in profile, one shouting at the other. A black ribbon comes out of the shouter's mouth, wrapping itself over the eyes of the other.
Spitting oil? An excellent illustration by Jim Cooke perfectly illustrates this article. We are enveloped by disinformation every day.

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A few weeks ago, I read an article talking about the potential for the slowing Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to eventually tip Europe into an ice age. I’ve been aware of this scenario for a long while. On an intuitive level, it’s bewildering to consider as global temperatures inexorably rise. In fact, currently the European continent is warming faster than the world as a whole at 2.3° C above pre-industrial levels compared to 1.3° C globally. Another reader of the article who apparently didn’t understand the importance of AMOC’s role in regulating global temperature (or likely the basics of climate science) jumped on this possibility to share a movie promoting the lie that CO2 as a driver of climate change is a hoax, and posted a link to Climate: The Movie, a slick piece of disinformation posted on YouTube produced by Martin Durkin, a notorious climate change denier. Durkin sees the environmental movement as a threat to personal freedom and in favor of crippling economic development.

Many of you likely know such a denier in your life. The most important thing I can do as a writer is give you the facts needed to persuade others of the dilemma we face. You are my ambassadors. I watched this film as a necessary exercise to understand what this person believes…

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The Great Experiment

The Great Experiment

Is stratospheric aerosol injection inevitable now?

The retired aircraft carrier Hornet juts into the frame against a bright blue sky.
A government test of solar radiation management (SRM) was conducted from the deck of the retired aircraft carrier, Hornet, the first of its kind, on April 2.

“Desperate times breed desperate measures.”

~ William Shakespeare

Democracy has been referred to as the Great Experiment. As it teeters from the threat of Trump and “righteous” Christian Fascism, we must not forget that climate change is also an experiment that can topple democracy. Frighteningly, the two could easily work hand in hand as the realities of global warming create ever-increasing disasters from droughts and floods, force migration, create shortages, and drive systemic inflation. These conditions unchecked can lead to social unrest, military law, resource wars and dictatorship.

The Paris Agreement under heat

In 2015, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 was held in Paris. Because of indisputable evidence of global warming from ice core sampling, ocean probes and satellite data, 196 nations signed a legally binding international treaty on climate change. That treaty went into effect in 2016 with the agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C. To achieve that goal, greenhouse gas emissions must decline 43 percent by 2030.

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Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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