The appearance of the People’s Liberation Army, that is, Mainland China’s army, on the streets of Hong Kong was relatively benign: They cleared roadblocks set up by protesters. But everyone understands the implicit threat of possible intervention.
Correction: Sonoma Clean Power does not own or operate the geothermal plant at the Geysers in Sonoma County. These wells are mostly operated by Calpine. I have removed erroneous text. Also, it appears the Press Democrat story over-emphasized the prospect that Sonoma Clean Power might acquire PG&E’s transmission network in Sonoma County. My mother tells me that the Board was concerned with the possibility that PG&E might be bought out or become something else, and what the ramifications for Sonoma Clean Power, as a subsidiary power seller, would be. There may be a story forthcoming.
Fig. 1. Is this a picture to grab your attention or what? No, this isn’t a disaster about to happen. The original caption: “A helicopter uses a sprayer to wash high tension power line insulators after the Kincade Fire near Pepperwood Preserve.” This photograph is undated and uncredited but the other two in the article, also undated, are attributed to Kent Porter of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. Fair use.
There is concern that Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), a company with a criminal record, will emerge from bankruptcy under control of a hedge fund.
“Nothing I can think of says, ‘screw the public interest’ like a hedge fund-owned public utility,” [Dave] King said.
So Sonoma Clean Power may seek to acquire PG&E’s transmission network in the county. It is unclear how this would mesh with the possibility that the state will take over the utility.
While I’m no fan of PG&E, I also have to wonder to what extent public ownership will solve a problem whose causes lie not only with corporate malfeasance but also with the climate crisis. And you know how you convince me you’re serious about the latter: Go vegan. Until you’ve done that, you’re really just playing around.
It was supposed to snow here, and didn’t. It did get cold, but the streets had dried from the rain that was supposed to turn to snow, so there wasn’t even very much ice.
Fig. 1. Screenshot of comic by Bill Watterson from 1989. Actually, I’d be just fine without the snow, and especially the ice.
I’m beginning to get the picture that folks have been telling me about for months. I’d still desperately rather be doing something besides driving for Uber and Lyft in a Pittsburgh winter or anywhere in any season.
Why is he cancer? He’s not my first choice but it’s leaps and bounds from where we are now. Please let’s not eat our own. 💙
Which, come to think of it, isn’t much of an improvement on calling Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables.”
The neoliberal party does not engage on issues because its issue is neoliberalism and even it knows that that’s a loser. It claims a progressive mantle by running on identity. And some idiots still fall for it.
A few days ago, I found a couple more gratuitous guns. One is actually not very far from my apartment, just on a street I don’t drive on very often, and because my complex includes many Black residents, I can accept that this one might be metaphorically aimed at Blacks. The other is in an area I’m much less familiar with, along the Monongahela River in Washington County. I don’t know the racial make-up near the latter location but an initial impression suggests this one is not so metaphorically aimed.
Both of these additions raise an issue of how I am assessing metaphorical aims. I need to dredge up demographic maps, preferably spanning several decades. Such demographics need to cover both race and class.
Just a quick note on Brexit: The British Press is already in full horse race mode coverage of the forthcoming election. You might have already gathered that this is not the sort of coverage that interests me and that I think political surveys—now boasting a nine percent response rate—should be discounted entirely. Which is to say campaign coverage is bullshit. All of it. Every last diarrhetic drop spewed from the bulls’ asses with such a velocity and range as to cast doubt as to whether any green grass may be found.
If men are afraid or unwilling to interact with women without sexually harassing them that is a men problem, not a metoo problem. This study is simply evidence that men would rather discriminate in hiring than learn how to fucking act. https://t.co/CevoEL9fGD
All I wanted was to get my music collection onto my new iPhone. Talk about opening a can of worms.
Apple has done its level best to make it impossible to access the file structure on the iPhone through a USB connection and if there’s a way to do it via Bluetooth, I haven’t found it. And Google Drive doesn’t allow folder downloads via the web.
With Android and on Linux, I had programs or apps that got around this. They don’t seem to be available for the iPhone and those that are claimed to get around this either no longer exist or do not work.
So I tried booting into Windows to try to find out what my options are there. This was a huge mistake.
First, there didn’t seem to be any working options for downloading folders from my Google Drive to the iPhone.
But second, while I knew Windows would change the boot configuration so I’d have to go back into it at what used to be called the BIOS level and reconfigure it to get back into Linux, I wasn’t expecting it to make the Linux installations on the machine unbootable.
And when I tried going back in with a bootable USB drive, even though I’d chosen UEFI options, the Linux kernel wasn’t configured properly for UEFI.
No more. It’s time to cut the bullshit. I simply don’t have patience for this shit anymore.
So the Windows installation is blown away, the Sabayon Linux installation which had gotten increasingly problematic is blown away, the old Ubuntu installation is blown away.
I have a fresh Ubuntu installation and I’m restoring files from backup. I may go have a chat with the folks at the Apple Store about how to do what I need to do.
What all this means for this newsletter is that I won’t have up to date satellite images for a while. I still have the scripts—they’re backed up. But I don’t have them running on the new installation yet. Not only do I need to restore from backups, but I have to get scripts that had been tailored for Sabayon working under Ubuntu.
None of this is impossible. Ubuntu generally has more options than Sabayon. It’s just work.
Satellite photo of Dorian on the North Carolina coast, via the Washington Post, September 6, 2019.
Since nearly making landfall (I thought it actually had) on the southern extent of the North Carolina coast, then as a category 2 storm, Dorian basically followed the coast, weakening to category 1, but certainly retaining strength longer than it would have had it gone inland.
As to landfall, it sure looked like the eye passed over the Outer Banks to me:
As of 8:00 am.
And I guess I was right this time (you know what they say about throwing darts).
This is when I need to remember that the human rats (politicians) in Washington, D.C., are likely on high ground anyway:
While the storm could bring tropical-storm conditions to the tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island, it is not forecast to send a storm surge riding up the Potomac River toward Washington, D.C.
So apart from a self-inflicted wound about Alabama and barring a change in path, Donald Trump emerges from Dorian unscathed.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the Bahamas is now at least thirty.
Mia Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, spoke about her thoughts on Dorian’s links to the climate crisis. She did not pull her punches.
“We are on the frontline of the consequences of climate change but we don’t cause it,” she said. “And the vulnerability that attaches therefore to us is a matter we’re trying to get the international community to deal with consistently.”
She added: “People say the words and hear you, but they don’t follow through so that I have every confidence. Now that the last few years are beginning to show others that frontline states, whether it’s an island in the Caribbean or states in the US or cities, all of us who are continuously being affected, have to recognise that this doesn’t happen out of the blue.
“The warmer waters do what? They fuel the growth and the strength of hurricanes.”
Hiring in August was also boosted heavily by the U.S. government adding 25,000 temporary workers to its payrolls for the 2020 Census.
“Hiring in the U.S. is slowing, not stopping,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, although he called it “somewhat concerning” that setting aside government hiring, private sector job gains fell to 96,000.
And remember that the psychology is a major factor.
It turns out I misunderstood when I said below Dorian had made landfall. It appeared to me that the eyewall had come ashore, but apparently there’s another layer of subtlety here, and at this writing, I’m still figuring that out. They’re now saying it might make landfall over North Carolina’s Outer Banks. I have adjusted the title and the text of this post.
I was enmeshed in cell phone issues yesterday so I actually didn’t even remember to look at what Dorian was doing.
It killed at least twenty people in the Bahamas. It turned north well off the Florida coast. As of 5:00 am, it had approached the Georgia coast and was expected to graze the Carolina coasts. It was once again a category 3 storm. Charleston looked set to be a mess. Tropical storm warnings and watches had been posted for an area including Virginia and Maryland, along with another area including Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Another area I couldn’t quite tell about was Washington, D.C.; it seems to me there will be considerable risk of flooding along the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay to the extent that tides combine with winds.
As of 8:00 am. I thought we’d see weather in the Pittsburgh area from the outer reaches of Dorian in fairly short order. But it was mostly a beautiful and unusually clear day with really very little cumulus build up. I didn’t see a drop of rain.
72-hour gif, images two hours apart, as of 8:00 pm
As I was about to publish this issue, an alert from the Washington Post reported that Dorian had nearly made landfall in North Carolina. It had flooded downtown Charleston, South Carolina. It had dropped back down to being category 2.
The anti-no-deal legislation has reached the Lords. Attempts to filibuster it have failed. Let’s return to that flowchart from the Times:
Seriously, guys, thanks for this. Graphic from the Times, September 4, 2019. As of this morning, we were at “Lords passes bill” or “Lords rejects bill, bill fails,” with the Lords having agreed to take action in advance of Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament.
I’ve been inclined to think a recession is on the way for a while now for a bunch of reasons. Now Aaron Back, writing for the Wall Street Journal’s “Heard on the Street” column opines that “[s]igns of a possible recession keep stacking up. At some point it no longer makes sense to keep explaining them away.” The manufacturing index dipping below 50 is not a perfect recession signal and Back seems to think it’s less reliable than the inverted yield curve. But he concludes, “With both the yield curve and manufacturing surveys flashing red at the same time, it would be foolish to dismiss them both. No wonder investors are spooked.”
As of 8:00 am, Dorian’s eye had moved off of Grand Bahama, but the storm was still lashing the island. The storm had weakened to category 3, but appeared to be beginning to affect Florida. It killed at least five people on the Abaco islands, to the east of Grand Bahama.
The storm has weakened further since, to category 2, but looks set to graze the Atlantic Coast all the way up to Newfoundland.
72-hour gif, images 2 hours apart, as of 8:00 pm and National Hurricane Center storm track forecast as of 8:00 pm.
People who deny or minimize the #climatecrisis, who have imagined we have time to address it, including most of the political and economic elite not just in the U.S., should confront the fact that they are killing people through their gross negligence. #Dorian 1/2
Hurricane Dorian has pounded the northernmost islands of the Bahamas with winds gusting to more than 220mph (355km/h), the biggest storm to hit the Caribbean island chain in modern times.
And of course this somehow has to be about Donald Trump, his astonishing ignorance, and his raging narcissism:
The White House prolly has 6 staffers working full time to find appropriate tweets about Dorian for the President’s twitter feed so they can bury the fact that he’s obsessed with his personal grievances instead.
The storm decreased to category 4 and is expected to weaken further. I would be cautious about that: The eye was passing over land, even if only the northwestern Bahama Islands; storms have been known to regain strength when they return to open water. It now appears to be turning north, off of Grand Bahama.
72-hour gif, images two hours apart (missing two images, from 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, from yesterday), as of 8:00 pm.
I am introducing categories for the Irregular Bullshit. Right now, they aren’t terribly useful, only some of them I can apply in bulk by searching for them, and there is a lot of stuff here that might never get properly categorized. But I’m trying.
Articles can be assigned multiple categories and categories can be seen on the line with the author (always, at least for the foreseeable future, “benfell”) and date in a light grey. The idea is that you can click on a category and find other posts in that category.
Owing to cell phone issues, I have found myself with some unplanned time off. Yesterday I found a couple of significant (to me) markers at the Mount Lebanon Cemetery.
Today I went to Braddock’s Battlefield History Center. I’ve been a bit perplexed. I had thought ‘Braddock’ was the name of a British general in the Amerikkkan Revolution. This one actually met his end in a defeat at the hands of the French and their allied American Indians in battle at the site of this museum early in the French and Indian War, a contest over the Ohio River Valley which connected French Canadian holdings ultimately to Louisiana, and in which the British later captured Fort Duquesne, which then became Fort Pitt (later Pittsburgh).
Because of my mistake, I was wondering why at least three towns (Braddock, North Braddock, and Braddock Hills) bear his name in an area that goes well beyond wearing its patriotism on its sleeve. It seems I was just wrong: I checked my old history textbook (actually a more recent edition of the one I used in my undergraduate work) and found the name ‘Braddock’ only in the context of this battle.