What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 22, 2018

Meanwhile Outside...

From the scientists at NOAA:
The May temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.44°F above the 20th century average of 58.6°F and the fourth highest for May in the 1880-2018 record. The years 2014-2018 rank among the five warmest Mays on record, with 2016 the warmest May at 1.58°F above average. May 2018 also marks the 42nd consecutive May and the 401st consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th century average.
The May average Arctic sea ice extent was the second smallest in the 40-year record at 420,000 square miles (8.1 percent) below the 1981-2010 average, according to an analysis by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (link is external) using data from NOAA and NASA. Only the May Arctic sea ice extent in 2016 was smaller. The near-record low Arctic sea ice extent was mostly due to much-below-average sea ice in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
Antarctic sea ice extent during May was 330,000 square miles (8.6 percent) below the 1981-2010 average, the third smallest May extent on record. Antarctic sea ice expanded at a rate faster than average during May, with below-average ice coverage continuing for parts of the Weddell Sea.
Meanwhile in GOPland:
Four Republican senators are calling for an investigation of the National Science Foundation over a program that educates meteorologists on climate change, saying it “is not science — it is propagandizing.”
Ah, the GOP. Where scientific fact (climate science, evolution and so on) is propaganda and outright BS (Pizzagate, Obama's "fake" birth certificate - and of course Climate Science denial) is taken seriously.

And they're the folks in charge.

Meanwhile, it's getting warmer out there.

June 21, 2018



Springsteen, Last Night

First, he said this:
I never believed that people come to my shows, or rock shows to be told anything.

But I do believe that they come to be reminded of things. To be reminded of who they are, at their most joyous, at their deepest, when life feels full. It’s a good place to get in touch with your heart and your spirit, to be amongst the crowd. And to be reminded of who we are and who we can be collectively. Music does those things pretty well sometimes, particularly these days when some reminding of who we are and who we can be isn’t such a bad thing.

That weekend of the March for our Lives, we saw those young people in Washington, and citizens all around the world, remind us of what faith in America and real faith in American democracy looks and feels like. It was just encouraging to see all those people out on the street and all that righteous passion in the service of something good. And to see that passion was alive and well and still there at the center of the beating heart of our country.

It was a good day, and a necessary day because we are seeing things right now on our American borders that are so shockingly and disgracefully inhumane and un-American that it is simply enraging. And we have heard people in high position in the American government blaspheme in the name of God and country that it is a moral thing to assault the children amongst us. May God save our souls.

There’s the beautiful quote by Dr. King that says the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. Now, there have been many, many days of recent when you could certainly have an argument over that. But I’ve lived long enough to see that in action and to put some faith in it. But I’ve also lived long enough to know that arc doesn’t bend on its own. It needs all of us leaning on it, nudging it in the right direction day after day. You gotta keep, keep leaning.

I think it’s important to believe in those words, and to carry yourself, and to act accordingly. It’s the only way that we keep faith and keep our sanity.

I’ve played this show 146 nights with basically the same setlist, but tonight calls for something different.
Then he sang this:

May God save our souls.

June 20, 2018

Too Brutal To Face

From George Orwell:
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.
And now there's a new political euphemism - Tender-Age Shelters.

From the AP:
Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas, The Associated Press has learned.

Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the Rio Grande Valley shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis.
This is being done, let's remember, to Make America Great Again.
This is being done, let's remember, in our name.
This is what the Trump Administration is doing for all of us to make America great again.

Any citizen who does not denounce this today is complicit in its cruelty.

June 19, 2018

My SIXTY-SIXTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

We need to talk about the crying children at the border. This Trump administration policy (and yes it is a new policy enacted by the Trump administration and not, as Trump dishonestly stated, a holdover from the previous administration that only the Democrats can fix) is so reprehensible and indefensible that you're either against it or you're complicit in its cruelty.

Some recent poll data suggest that about 2/3 of American voters oppose Trump's immigration cruelty while a little over half of members of your party are OK with it. I thought your party was the "pro-family" party.

Simple question this week. Where, exactly, do you stand on this, Senator Toomey? Are you OK with it, as 55% of the members of your party seem to be, or are you against it? When will you stand up to denounce Donald Trump's cruel policy separating children from their parents?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.


June 18, 2018

We are torturing children over misdemeanors committed by their parents

The media needs to ask every Republican who repeats the line 'when people commit crimes, they are put in jail and separated from their children,' if they walked out of the room right now and jaywalked across the street if they would be thrown into jail and their children would be taken away?

They need to ask that because fully ***91%*** of parents being prosecuted at the border and forcibly separated from their children are being prosecuted for a *misdemeanor.*

A gotdamn misdemeanor!

June 15, 2018

Just stop lying

1) There is no 'law' that says we must separate children from their parents at the border.

2) Not only is it not a 'Democrat law,' it's not even a Democratic policy.

3) Nor are the Democrats 'the only ones who can fix this.' Republicans control Congress and the White House.

4) Every time Trump and Huckabee Sanders repeatedly say any of this, they are lying.

5) I have to stop literally screaming 'liar' at my TV screen when they do as I'm scaring my cat.

June 12, 2018

My SIXTY-FIFTH Open Letter To Senator Pat Toomey

I'll be dropping this letter to Senator Pat Toomey in the mail today:
Dear Senator Toomey:

It's me, again - the constituent who writes for the local Pittsburgh-based political blog, "2 Political Junkies."

We have to talk about this week's G7 meeting and the summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

In the space of a couple of days this week, Donald Trump, the man whose administration and policies you support (and the man, let's all remember, you voted for) picked an unnecessary fight with Canada (a country that's been among our closest allies politically as well as geographically) and yet took time out to say it was "an honor" to meet Kim Jong Un, the North Korean dictator, a man who is guilty of committing some of the most horrific crimes against humanity.

Simple question for you this week: If this isn't enough for you to finally turn your back on the leader of your own party and say, "Enough!" what then, is?

By remaining silent, Senator, you are complicit in all of Trump's indecencies. You do know that, don't you? You could be among those doing something to stop him from committing more damage to the country. If you choose not to, then part of the responsibility for that damage will be yours. You do know that, don't you?

When can we expect to hear you speaking out?

Thank you and I await your response.
And I will be posting whatever response I get from him or his office.