Rest In Piss (Update #2)

Updates

  1. Originally published, February 18, 2021, 3:32 pm.

  2. February 19, 2021, 12:48 am:

    • In one the very regrettable jokes of my childhood, Gomer Pyle, a goofy private in the Marine Corps in a very old television series, asks his girl friend for permission to put his finger in her belly button.

      After a pause, she says, “That’s not my belly button!”

      The punch line begins with Pyle using his signature line, “Surprise! Surprise!” He continues, “That isn’t my finger either!”

      Okay, so you probably saw that one coming a mile away and it shouldn’t be considered funny because we’re talking about nonconsensual sex.

      And how Pyle’s girl friend would feel, at least in the modern world when such behavior would constitute rape, is probably about how a lot of California Uber and Lyft drivers feel about California’s Proposition 22: They were screwed.[1] Even as other employers have been looking at the proposition and thinking to themselves what a wonderful idea this is so they, too, can get rid of employees, minimum wage, and benefits.[2]

      How about you all just admit you’d really like to get slavery back?

      I’m in Pennsylvania now, but at least so far this year, with the costs I’m facing, I’m not making any money at all.


Rush Limbaugh

Just so we know where Binyamin Netanyahu stands:


Seriously, this is right up there with that vegan restaurant, Fortuitea, in North Strabane, run by a Jewish family whose patriarch, I learned with his reaction to COVID-19 mitigation orders, gets his information from the same sources as blatantly anti-Semitic white supremacists. It had been my favorite restaurant, albeit a long ways out, in the Pittsburgh area, but some stuff you just can’t excuse.

Look, I know that not all Jews are like this. Consider, for example, Michael Lerner and many others I follow on Twitter, who criticize Israeli policies in the occupied territories. But just as whites need to reckon with white supremacy, Jews need to reckon with apartheid. And, frankly, white Jews need to reckon with both.

It’s not enough to quietly oppose racism, misogyny, and other forms of oppression with friends and colleagues. Silence is complicity. These attitudes cannot be excused, cannot be dismissed. They must be loudly repudiated. And we all must repudiate them.


I have a lot of reverence for my maternal grandfather. In a life full of trauma, being with him was the one place where I felt safe. It’s a factor that even now draws me back to Dormont, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

When I went to visit in my twenties, I remember my grandfather sitting at the dining room table, listening to talk radio. My mother tells me he became even more conservative as he aged, that he was racist. I know my grandmother was racist. She embarassed me by using the word colored on a trip to Pittsburgh’s Point State Park, explaining that “we” used to call them—she used the n-word. So I have little reason to doubt my mother’s account.

I don’t know if my grandfather ever heard Rush Limbaugh. But Limbaugh was certainly a part of the ecosystem from which the “Fox News Bubble” developed.[3] He was genuinely and inexcusably awful,[4] and he had an understanding of the authoritarian populist victimhood[5] that seems to drive the “Fuck Your Feelings” and “Make a Liberal Cry” Trumpster ethos.[6]


Texas

When the power came on amid rolling blackouts, Andrew Exum’s “wife—a tough woman, and a water and sanitation engineer by training—climbed under the house and thawed out a pipe with a blow-dryer.”[7]

Andrew Exum, “I’m Freezing Cold and Burning Mad in Texas,” Atlantic, February 17, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/freezing-cold-and-burning-mad-texas/618048/

Will Englund, Steven Mufson, and Dino Grandoni, “Texas, the go-it-alone state, is rattled by the failure to keep the lights on,” Washington Post, February 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2021/02/18/texas-electric-grid-failure/

Greg Sargent, “The latest GOP nonsense on Texas shows us the future Republicans want,” Washington Post, February 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/18/texas-republicans-abbott-power-shortages/


Genetics

In the category of how I’m weird, it turns out that my intolerance for physical exercise might be related to my relative tolerance for cold.[8]

Karolinska Institutet, “20% of People Have a Genetic Mutation That Provides Superior Resilience to Cold,” SciTechDaily, February 17, 2021, https://scitechdaily.com/20-of-people-have-a-genetic-mutation-that-provides-superior-resilience-to-cold/


Gig work

José Rodríguez, Jr., “The Aftermath Of Prop 22 Is Not As Happy As Big Tech Promised,” Jalopnik, February 18, 2021, https://jalopnik.com/the-aftermath-of-prop-22-is-not-as-happy-as-big-tech-pr-1846299686


  1. [1]José Rodríguez, Jr., “The Aftermath Of Prop 22 Is Not As Happy As Big Tech Promised,” Jalopnik, February 18, 2021, https://jalopnik.com/the-aftermath-of-prop-22-is-not-as-happy-as-big-tech-pr-1846299686
  2. [2]Alexander Sammon, “Prop 22 Is Here, and It’s Already Worse Than Expected,” American Prospect, January 15, 2021, https://prospect.org/labor/prop-22-is-here-already-worse-than-expected-california-gig-workers/
  3. [3]Matt Gertz, “Rush Limbaugh’s bigotry set the stage for Trump’s takeover of the Republican Party,” Media Matters for America, February 17, 2021, https://www.mediamatters.org/rush-limbaugh/rush-limbaughs-bigotry-set-stage-trumps-takeover-republican-party; Jeffrey P Jones, [tweet], February 17, 2021, https://twitter.com/DrJeffreyPJones/status/1362097963934302210
  4. [4]Bob Baker, “What’s the Rush?: Radio Loudmouth Rush Limbaugh Harangues Feminazis, Environmental Wackos and Commie-Libs While His Ratings Soar,” Los Angeles Times, January 20, 1991, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1991-01-20-tm-836-story.html
  5. [5]Thomas Frank, What’s the Matter With Kansas? (New York: Holt, 2004); Thomas Frank, Pity the Billionaire (New York: Holt, 2012); Rush Limbaugh, “What Palin’s Trump Speech Says About the State of the Conservative Movement,” Rush Limbaugh Show, January 20, 2016, https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2016/01/20/what_palin_s_trump_speech_says_about_the_state_of_the_conservative_movement/
  6. [6]David Benfell, “The Donald Trump supporters’ campaign message: Fuck Your Feelings,” Not Housebroken, December 11, 2020, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/08/26/the-donald-trump-supporters-campaign-message-fuck-your-feelings/
  7. [7]Andrew Exum, “I’m Freezing Cold and Burning Mad in Texas,” Atlantic, February 17, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/02/freezing-cold-and-burning-mad-texas/618048/
  8. [8]Karolinska Institutet, “20% of People Have a Genetic Mutation That Provides Superior Resilience to Cold,” SciTechDaily, February 17, 2021, https://scitechdaily.com/20-of-people-have-a-genetic-mutation-that-provides-superior-resilience-to-cold/

So y’all voted for complicity and look what we got (Update #6)

Updates

  1. Originally published, November 30, 2020, 1:58 pm.
  2. December 1, 1:15 am:
    • It seems that Republicans hate Neera Tanden.[1] Perhaps even more than do progressives.[2] That could make it difficult for her nomination to direct the Office of Management and Budget to pass the Senate.[3]
  3. December 1, 8:36 am:
    • Politico has the story on progressive outrage about the neoliberal Neera Tanden.[4] I have added citations to the previous (December 1, 1:15 am) update.
    • I was down all day yesterday due to maintenance work on the car and will be again today due to interior detailing. I have snow tires on just in time for the snow which began accumulating early this morning and there’s a opaque but still thin layer of snow on the ground.
  4. December 1, 10:49 am:
    • I think if I were a Republican in Georgia—never mind that this is implausible, to say the least, on both counts—I would be dismayed that Donald Trump and the Republicans can’t get their message straight. But apparently the problem is that Trumpsters think Republicans aren’t doing enough to “defend Trump,” that is, overturn the election results.[5] Which I guess makes it all the more implausible that I would be a Republican in Georgia.
  5. December 1, 12:50 pm:
    • I’m tempted to say Strike Six and Donald Trump’s out. But of course there are actually more strikes than that and we still aren’t quite there yet as Trump continues to allege fraud, so far, utterly without evidence, but nonetheless continues to pursue these bogus claims in court. That said, the last of six states where Trump had contested the results has now certified those results.[6]
  6. December 1, 5:52 pm:
    • So how many strikes does Donald Trump get, anyway? Even his attorney general now says there’s insufficient evidence that fraud altered the election outcome. But you know, Trump battles on regardless.[7]

Transition

I’m really not into personnel. When it comes to power, who will do it does not matter nearly so much to me as what they will do. But Joe Biden very much appears to be retreading Barack Obama’s path[8] in his appointments, appointments that embrace the bipartisan neoconservative and neoliberal consensus that dates to the fall of the Berlin Wall.[9]

Neoliberalism consistently favors the rich over workers and the poor, money over human beings, and the “budget” over human need. Neoconservatism, of course, never saw a war it didn’t like, and embraces neoliberalism as a moral imperative. And guess what y’all voted for?

Kate Aronoff, “The Obama Reunion Isn’t Nearly Enough to Stave Off Catastrophe,” New Republic, November 23, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/160358/obama-reunion-isnt-nearly-enough-stave-off-catastrophe

Jake Johnson, “Progressives Spurn Tanden’s Nomination to Office of Management and Budget,” Truthout, November 30, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/progressives-spurn-tandens-nomination-to-office-of-management-and-budget/

Holly Otterbein, “Bernieworld seethes over Tanden as OMB nominee,” Politico, November 30, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/30/bernie-supporters-seethes-neera-tanden-441603

Jeff Stein, Annie Linskey, and Seung Min Kim, “Biden’s pick to lead White House budget office emerges as lightning rod for GOP,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/11/30/biden-omb-neera-tanden/

Sophia Tesfaye, “Has consummate insider Tony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for State, learned from his mistakes?” Salon, November 30, 2020, https://www.salon.com/2020/11/30/has-consummate-insider-tony-blinken-bidens-nominee-for-state-learned-from-his-mistakes/


Donald Trump

Amy Gardner, Emma Brown, and Rosalind S. Helderman, “Wisconsin and Arizona make it official as Trump fails to stop vote certification in all six states where he contested his defeat,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/arizona-wisconsin-certify-election/2020/11/30/ec161756-3338-11eb-b59c-adb7153d10c2_story.html

Sadie Gurman and Jacob Gershman, “Barr Says No Evidence Voter Fraud Changed Election Outcome,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-campaign-files-more-election-challenges-in-wisconsin-michigan-11606849219

Greg Sargent, “Georgia Republicans beg Trump to release them from his prison of lies,” Washington Post, December 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/01/georgia-republicans-beg-trump-release-them-his-prison-lies/


  1. [1]Jeff Stein, Annie Linskey, and Seung Min Kim, “Biden’s pick to lead White House budget office emerges as lightning rod for GOP,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/11/30/biden-omb-neera-tanden/
  2. [2]Jake Johnson, “Progressives Spurn Tanden’s Nomination to Office of Management and Budget,” Truthout, November 30, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/progressives-spurn-tandens-nomination-to-office-of-management-and-budget/; Holly Otterbein, “Bernieworld seethes over Tanden as OMB nominee,” Politico, November 30, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/30/bernie-supporters-seethes-neera-tanden-441603
  3. [3]Jeff Stein, Annie Linskey, and Seung Min Kim, “Biden’s pick to lead White House budget office emerges as lightning rod for GOP,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/11/30/biden-omb-neera-tanden/
  4. [4]Holly Otterbein, “Bernieworld seethes over Tanden as OMB nominee,” Politico, November 30, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/30/bernie-supporters-seethes-neera-tanden-441603
  5. [5]Greg Sargent, “Georgia Republicans beg Trump to release them from his prison of lies,” Washington Post, December 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/01/georgia-republicans-beg-trump-release-them-his-prison-lies/
  6. [6]Amy Gardner, Emma Brown, and Rosalind S. Helderman, “Wisconsin and Arizona make it official as Trump fails to stop vote certification in all six states where he contested his defeat,” Washington Post, November 30, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/arizona-wisconsin-certify-election/2020/11/30/ec161756-3338-11eb-b59c-adb7153d10c2_story.html
  7. [7]Sadie Gurman and Jacob Gershman, “Barr Says No Evidence Voter Fraud Changed Election Outcome,” Wall Street Journal, December 1, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-campaign-files-more-election-challenges-in-wisconsin-michigan-11606849219
  8. [8]David Benfell, “I told you so,” Not Housebroken, March 16, 2009, https://disunitedstates.org/2009/03/16/i-told-you-so/
  9. [9]Melvyn P. Leffler, “The Free Market Did Not Bring Down the Berlin Wall,” Foreign Policy, November 7, 2014, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2014/11/07/berlin_wall_fall_25_anniversary_reagan_bush_germany_merkel_cold_war_free_market_capitalism

On the Green New Deal

Climate crisis

I’m not fond of interviews and have been, perhaps inexcusably, slow to get to this interview with Naomi Klein.[1] But we hear a lot about a “Green New Deal” without seeing how that fleshes out.

Sometimes said explicitly, sometimes sort of sotto voce, which is like, “Look, let’s just save the planet first and then we’ll deal with, you know, racism and inequality and gender exclusion and sort of just wait your turn.” And that doesn’t go over very well because for people who are on the front lines of all of those other crises, they’re all existential. I mean, if you can’t feed your kids, if you’re losing your house, if you are facing violence, all of it is existential.[2]

What’s still missing here,[3] possibly because it’s just an interview, is an actual plan that coherently brings all the pieces together and shows how they save our species and our environment. All I can say is that it is the right idea.

Laura Flanders, “Naomi Klein: Climate Solutions That Neglect Inequality Are Doomed to Fail,” Truthout, January 6, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/naomi-klein-climate-solutions-that-neglect-inequality-are-doomed-to-fail/


Bernie Sanders

There is a new blog post entitled, “All of us.”

Martin Pengelly, “Bernie Sanders ‘must reconsider’ Joe Rogan endorsement, says LGBTQ group,” Guardian, January 24, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/24/bernie-sanders-joe-rogan-human-rights-campaign


  1. [1]Laura Flanders, “Naomi Klein: Climate Solutions That Neglect Inequality Are Doomed to Fail,” Truthout, January 6, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/naomi-klein-climate-solutions-that-neglect-inequality-are-doomed-to-fail/
  2. [2]Laura Flanders, “Naomi Klein: Climate Solutions That Neglect Inequality Are Doomed to Fail,” Truthout, January 6, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/naomi-klein-climate-solutions-that-neglect-inequality-are-doomed-to-fail/
  3. [3]Laura Flanders, “Naomi Klein: Climate Solutions That Neglect Inequality Are Doomed to Fail,” Truthout, January 6, 2020, https://truthout.org/articles/naomi-klein-climate-solutions-that-neglect-inequality-are-doomed-to-fail/

Winter? What winter? What’s a ‘winter?’

Climate crisis

When I woke up and looked at the weather report this morning, it was 59° F. As I was driving home—I quit around sunset—the thermometer reading in my dashboard told me it was 72-73° F. As I was fixing dinner, I received repeated warnings of impending thunderstorms—it might be quite a night. There is, of course, no snow on the ground.

I’ve been remembering, from my time here 50 years ago, walking door-to-door with a snow shovel, realizing that as I walked up people’s walks through freshly-fallen snow, I was compacting it beneath my footsteps such that it would adhere to the concrete below, making my own job harder. I had no idea what to do about that.

It’s certainly not a problem this year. The maintenance folks at my apartment complex usually (they missed one day) douse the walks and parking lots heavily with salt whenever snow or ice threatens.

Don’t get me wrong. There have been cold days and even snowy days. But the snow melts within a few days and I’m still not wearing winter clothing—I wear a Gore Tex windbreaker I bought for San Francisco Bay Area rain, not my heavy winter coat, and I’m still wearing sandals—because the effort required to don winter clothing seems wildly disproportionate to any fleeting discomfort I might feel in my brief exposures to the cold.
RAYGRAPHIC
Fig. 1. Pittsburgh snowfall by decade. Graphic by Ray Petelin, January 9, 2020.[1] Fair use.

But if a local meteorologist is to be believed, it actually turns out that this has not been an exceptionally low-snow decade.[2] I honestly don’t know how to reconcile his chart (figure 1) with, for examples, my mother’s ongoing terror of a Pittsburgh winter (she grew up here in the 1940s and 1950s) or what I hear from just about everyone. Something’s clearly off kilter there because contrary to what he says, what I hear even from younger folks is that there is less snow than there used to be. Those who were here for it recall an exceptional blizzard in the late 1990s, a much lower-snow decade than the 2010s, let alone the 1960s (I was here for a couple years in the 1960s).

I have to think that total snowfall in each decade is somehow—this would actually be a good human science question—the wrong measure for people’s experience of snow and cold.

Robinson Meyer, “Australia Will Lose to Climate Change,” Atlantic, January 4, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/01/australia-caught-climate-spiral/604423/

Ray Petelin, “Pittsburgh Weather: Did You Really See More Snow When You Were A Kid?” KDKA, January 9, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/01/09/did-you-really-see-more-snow-when-you-were-a-kid/


Ireland

Kate Devlin and Oliver Wright, “DUP and Sinn Fein agree deal to revive Stormont assembly,” Times, January 11, 2020, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/northern-ireland-s-power-sharing-government-is-expected-to-be-restored-within-days-after-sinn-fein-and-the-democratic-unionist-party-signed-up-to-a-draft-deal-brokered-by-the-british-and-irish-governments-three-years-after-sinn-fein-walked-out-gsk0sph39


Israel

Times of Israel, “In blow to Netanyahu, Knesset legal adviser said set to okay immunity debate,” January 10, 2020, https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-blow-to-netanyahu-knesset-legal-adviser-said-set-to-okay-immunity-debate/


  1. [1]Ray Petelin, “Pittsburgh Weather: Did You Really See More Snow When You Were A Kid?” KDKA, January 9, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/01/09/did-you-really-see-more-snow-when-you-were-a-kid/
  2. [2]Ray Petelin, “Pittsburgh Weather: Did You Really See More Snow When You Were A Kid?” KDKA, January 9, 2020, https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/01/09/did-you-really-see-more-snow-when-you-were-a-kid/

It isn’t California anymore

Updates

  1. Originally published October 31, 7:31 pm.
  2. October 31, 9:34 pm:
    • The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has published a map (figure 1) of nearby (to Santa Rosa) fires since 2015.[1] Try, just try, to imagine living near this.

California

FireShot Capture 035 - Map of Kincade and nearby recent fires - www.pressdemocrat.com
Fig. 1. Screenshot of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat‘s map of fires since 2015.[2]

Firefighters are getting the Kincade fire under control but other fires are ravaging California.[3] But Ronald Reagan’s daughter shares the sense that California has changed.[4]

Patti Davis, “My father’s library will likely survive the fires, but the California of my youth is gone,” Washington Post, October 30, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/30/my-fathers-library-will-likely-survive-fires-california-my-youth-is-gone/

Dale Kasler, “PG&E says its equipment may have caused a fourth California fire in the past week,” Sacramento Bee, October 30, 2019, https://www.sacbee.com/news/california/fires/article236841498.html

Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, “Map of Kincade and nearby recent fires,” n.d., https://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedia/10246412-181/map-of-kincade-and-nearby


Redlining

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.
[googlemaps https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1K1CjgWPOH71L1UsUSHs00ubbu-jYnWux&w=640&h=480]
Pictures are here.

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.


Brexit

Just a quick note on Brexit: The British Press is already in full horse race mode coverage of the forthcoming election.[5] 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[6]—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.


  1. [1]Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, “Map of Kincade and nearby recent fires,” n.d., https://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedia/10246412-181/map-of-kincade-and-nearby
  2. [2]Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, “Map of Kincade and nearby recent fires,” n.d., https://www.pressdemocrat.com/multimedia/10246412-181/map-of-kincade-and-nearby
  3. [3]California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, “Active Incidents,” October 30, 2019, https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/
  4. [4]Patti Davis, “My father’s library will likely survive the fires, but the California of my youth is gone,” Washington Post, October 30, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/30/my-fathers-library-will-likely-survive-fires-california-my-youth-is-gone/
  5. [5]Karla Adam and William Booth, “Britain sets December date for an election in which Brexit will dominate,” Washington Post, October 29, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/with-labour-partys-backing-britains-boris-johnson-looks-set-to-get-his-snap-election/2019/10/29/778ed246-f9c9-11e9-9e02-1d45cb3dfa8f_story.html
  6. [6]Steven Shepard, “Report: Phone polls aren’t dead yet,” Politico, May 15, 2017, https://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/15/pollsters-phone-polls-238409

Reboot and reinstall

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.


Dorian

KRBAMS5E5FE3HA2OOQAAARGROA
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[1]) on the southern extent of the North Carolina coast, then as a category 2 storm,[2] Dorian basically followed the coast, weakening to category 1,[3] 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:
Continental US - Clean Longwave Window - IR
As of 8:00 am.

And I guess I was right this time (you know what they say about throwing darts).[4]

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.[5]

So apart from a self-inflicted wound about Alabama[6] and barring a change in path, Donald Trump emerges from Dorian unscathed.

Meanwhile, the death toll in the Bahamas is now at least thirty.[7]

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.”[8]

Valerie Bauerlein and Jon Kamp, “Weakened Hurricane Dorian Makes Landfall on North Carolina Coast,” Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-makes-landfall-over-cape-hatteras-n-c-11567775699
210138_5day_cone_no_line_and_win
Matthew Cappucci and Andrew Freedman, “President Trump showed a doctored hurricane chart. Was it to cover up for ‘Alabama’ Twitter flub?” Washington Post, September 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/04/president-trump-shows-doctored-hurricane-chart-was-it-cover-up-alabama-twitter-flub/

Oliver Laughland and Adam Gabbatt, “’Everything is destroyed’: 30 dead in Bahamas as Dorian lashes North Carolina,” Guardian, September 6, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/05/hurricane-dorian-latest-us-strength-path

Jamie Pietruska, “Why President Trump’s Sharpied weather map was likely a crime — and should be,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/06/why-president-trumps-sharpied-weather-map-was-likely-crime-should-be/

Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman, “Dorian slams N.C. Outer Banks with 95 mph winds, charges toward southeast Va., southeast New England,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/06/dorian-lash-eastern-north-carolina-southeast-virginia-southeast-new-england-before-finally-zipping-away/


Recession

Add this[9] to the pile of reasons for worry:[10]

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.[11]

And remember that the psychology is a major factor.[12]

Heather Long, “U.S. economy adds just 130,000 jobs in August amid worries that trade war has sunk its teeth into hiring,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/06/us-economy-adds-just-jobs-august-amid-worries-that-trade-war-has-sunk-its-teeth-into-hiring/


Gig economy

Aaron Gordon, “The Bill That Would Make Uber And Lyft Drivers Employees Isn’t Just Making Uber And Lyft Nervous,” Jalopnik, September 6, 2019, https://jalopnik.com/the-bill-that-would-make-uber-and-lyft-drivers-employee-1837909962


Brexit

There is a new blog post entitled, “Voters still need to decide on Brexit.”

Deutschewelle, “Brexit: House of Lords approves bill to block no deal,” September 6, 2019, https://www.dw.com/en/brexit-house-of-lords-approves-bill-to-block-no-deal/a-50331382


  1. [1]David Benfell, “Dorian (sort of) comes ashore in North Carolina,” Irregular Bullshit, September 6, 2019, https://disunitedstates.com/2019/09/06/dorian-comes-ashore-in-north-carolina/
  2. [2]Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “‘Life-threatening’ storm surge, torrential rains and hurricane force winds pound the Carolinas as Hurricane Dorian grinds north,” Washington Post, September 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/05/life-threatening-storm-surge-torrential-rains-hurricane-force-winds-pound-carolinas-hurricane-dorian-grinds-north/
  3. [3]Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman, “Dorian slams N.C. Outer Banks with 95 mph winds, charges toward southeast Va., southeast New England,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/06/dorian-lash-eastern-north-carolina-southeast-virginia-southeast-new-england-before-finally-zipping-away/
  4. [4]Valerie Bauerlein and Jon Kamp, “Weakened Hurricane Dorian Makes Landfall on North Carolina Coast,” Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-makes-landfall-over-cape-hatteras-n-c-11567775699
  5. [5]Jason Samenow and Andrew Freedman, “Dorian slams N.C. Outer Banks with 95 mph winds, charges toward southeast Va., southeast New England,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/06/dorian-lash-eastern-north-carolina-southeast-virginia-southeast-new-england-before-finally-zipping-away/
  6. [6]Nancy Benac, “Trump clings to idea Alabama faced big threat from Dorian,” Associated Press, September 4, 2019, https://www.apnews.com/416144d854fb4302a9f34cccae81b0e0; Matthew Cappucci and Andrew Freedman, “President Trump showed a doctored hurricane chart. Was it to cover up for ‘Alabama’ Twitter flub?” Washington Post, September 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/04/president-trump-shows-doctored-hurricane-chart-was-it-cover-up-alabama-twitter-flub/; Jamie Pietruska, “Why President Trump’s Sharpied weather map was likely a crime — and should be,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/09/06/why-president-trumps-sharpied-weather-map-was-likely-crime-should-be/
  7. [7]Oliver Laughland and Adam Gabbatt, “’Everything is destroyed’: 30 dead in Bahamas as Dorian lashes North Carolina,” Guardian, September 6, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/05/hurricane-dorian-latest-us-strength-path
  8. [8]Oliver Laughland and Adam Gabbatt, “’Everything is destroyed’: 30 dead in Bahamas as Dorian lashes North Carolina,” Guardian, September 6, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/sep/05/hurricane-dorian-latest-us-strength-path
  9. [9]Heather Long, “U.S. economy adds just 130,000 jobs in August amid worries that trade war has sunk its teeth into hiring,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/06/us-economy-adds-just-jobs-august-amid-worries-that-trade-war-has-sunk-its-teeth-into-hiring/
  10. [10]Jon Hilsenrath, “After Record-Long Expansion, Here’s What Could Knock the Economy Off Course,” Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-record-long-expansion-heres-what-could-knock-the-economy-off-course-11559591043; John Kemp, “Global economy is probably in recession,” Reuters, August 7, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-economy-kemp/column-global-economy-is-probably-in-recession-idUKKCN1UX1OF; Colin Kruger, “‘Insane levels’: Can a world where profitless companies are flying last?” Sydney Morning Herald, August 10, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/insane-levels-can-a-world-where-profitless-companies-are-flying-last-20190808-p52f3d.html; Damian Paletta, Thomas Heath, and Taylor Telford, “Stocks tank as another recession warning surfaces,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/14/stocks-tank-another-recession-warning-surfaces/; Tim Wallace, “‘Very real’ recession risk as economy contracts for first time in seven years,” Telegraph, August 9, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/08/09/recession-risk-now-real-economy-contracts-first-time-seven-years/; Tim Wallace, “World economy faces a risk that’s far bigger than Trump’s trade war,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 9, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/world-economy-faces-a-risk-that-s-far-bigger-than-trump-s-trade-war-20190809-p52ffs.html
  11. [11]Heather Long, “U.S. economy adds just 130,000 jobs in August amid worries that trade war has sunk its teeth into hiring,” Washington Post, September 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/06/us-economy-adds-just-jobs-august-amid-worries-that-trade-war-has-sunk-its-teeth-into-hiring/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “As a possible or probable recession looms, neoliberalism evades challenge. Yet again,” Not Housebroken, August 14, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/14/as-a-possible-or-probable-recession-looms-neoliberalism-evades-challenge-yet-again/

The world’s worst poker player

Brexit

Boris Johnson keeps raising the ante. There is a new blog entry entitled, “The world’s worst poker player, on a jet-powered bicycle at full throttle toward a brick wall.” He might be strapping on a rocket next.

Kevin Sullivan and Karla Adam, “Britain may face snap elections after Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffers major loss in Parliament,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/showdown-set-for-the-british-parliament-as-legislators-return-from-summer-recess/2019/09/03/105ecca6-cb6c-11e9-9615-8f1a32962e04_story.html

Peter Walker and Jessica Elgot, “Boris Johnson’s ultimatum: back me or face 14 October election,” Guardian, September 2, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/02/boris-johnson-threatens-to-ignore-mps-on-no-deal-brexit

Esther Webber and Kate Devlin, “Try and stop me rebelling, Philip Hammond tells No 10,” Times, September 3, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/try-and-stop-me-rebelling-philip-hammond-tells-no-10-kbdzj8nwf


Recession

I’ve been inclined to think a recession is on the way for a while now[1] for a bunch of reasons.[2] 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.”[3]

Ruth Simon, Megumi Fujikawa, and Paul Hannon, “U.S.-China Trade War’s Global Impact Grows,” Wall Street Journal, September 2, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-china-trade-wars-global-impact-grows-11567466809

Aaron Back, “Another Recession Sign to Ignore at Your Peril,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-recession-sign-to-ignore-at-your-peril-11567530230


Hong Kong

Natasha Khan and Eva Dou, “Beijing Asserts Power to Declare Emergency to Quell Hong Kong Unrest,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/beijing-asserts-power-to-declare-emergency-to-quell-hong-kong-unrest-11567509276


Dorian

Continental US - Clean Longwave Window - IR
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,[4] but appeared to be beginning to affect Florida. It killed at least five people on the Abaco islands, to the east of Grand Bahama.[5]

The storm has weakened further since, to category 2, but looks set to graze the Atlantic Coast all the way up to Newfoundland.[6]
eusgm-2019-09-03-20FireShot Capture 083 - HURRICANE DORIAN - www.nhc.noaa.gov
72-hour gif, images 2 hours apart, as of 8:00 pm and National Hurricane Center storm track forecast as of 8:00 pm.

Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “Dorian expands in size as tropical storm conditions hit Florida and the hurricane risk increases in the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/03/hurricane-dorian-is-set-creep-north-closer-florida-georgia-carolinas-after-pounding-bahamas/

Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839


  1. [1]David Benfell, “About that recession timing and the 2020 election,” Not Housebroken, August 25, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/08/25/about-that-recession-timing-and-the-2020-election/
  2. [2]Jon Hilsenrath, “After Record-Long Expansion, Here’s What Could Knock the Economy Off Course,” Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-record-long-expansion-heres-what-could-knock-the-economy-off-course-11559591043; John Kemp, “Global economy is probably in recession,” Reuters, August 7, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-global-economy-kemp/column-global-economy-is-probably-in-recession-idUKKCN1UX1OF; Colin Kruger, “‘Insane levels’: Can a world where profitless companies are flying last?” Sydney Morning Herald, August 10, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/insane-levels-can-a-world-where-profitless-companies-are-flying-last-20190808-p52f3d.html; Damian Paletta, Thomas Heath, and Taylor Telford, “Stocks tank as another recession warning surfaces,” Washington Post, August 14, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/08/14/stocks-tank-another-recession-warning-surfaces/; Tim Wallace, “‘Very real’ recession risk as economy contracts for first time in seven years,” Telegraph, August 9, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2019/08/09/recession-risk-now-real-economy-contracts-first-time-seven-years/; Tim Wallace, “World economy faces a risk that’s far bigger than Trump’s trade war,” Sydney Morning Herald, August 9, 2019, https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/world-economy-faces-a-risk-that-s-far-bigger-than-trump-s-trade-war-20190809-p52ffs.html
  3. [3]Aaron Back, “Another Recession Sign to Ignore at Your Peril,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/another-recession-sign-to-ignore-at-your-peril-11567530230
  4. [4]Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839
  5. [5]Arian Campo-Flores and Erin Ailworth, “Hurricane Dorian Death Toll at Five in Bahamas as Storm Is Headed for U.S.,” Wall Street Journal, September 3, 2019, https://www.wsj.com/articles/hurricane-dorian-batters-bahamas-drives-toward-u-s-11567429839
  6. [6]Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow, “Dorian expands in size as tropical storm conditions hit Florida and the hurricane risk increases in the Carolinas,” Washington Post, September 3, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/09/03/hurricane-dorian-is-set-creep-north-closer-florida-georgia-carolinas-after-pounding-bahamas/

Climate crisis

Updates

  1. Originally published, August 31, 5:03 pm.
  2. August 31, 6:46 pm:
    • Updated the 72-hour gif. Dorian is really getting close to those northwestern Bahama Islands now.
  3. August 31, 7:37 pm:
    • I’m having real trouble visualizing that there’s much of anywhere on the northwestern Bahama Islands to evacuate to, but I guess that’s what they’re doing.[1]
  4. August 31, 8:18 pm:
    • Updated the National Hurricane Center forecast storm track map for Dorian. They appear not to have a revised tropical storm wind forecast map.
    • Updated the 72-hour gif. Dorian still looks like it is headed straight for the northwestern Bahama Islands.
    • Updated commentary on Dorian.
  5. August 31, 10:15 pm:
    • Updated the 72-hour gif. If you’re in the northwest Bahamas, this must be terrifying.

The Amazon

There is a new blog post entitled, “A hurricane, a burning rainforest, and economic survival: Why we cannot view these problems separately.”

Max Fisher, “‘It’s Really Close’: How the Amazon Rainforest Could Self-Destruct,” New York Times, August 30, 2019, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/30/world/americas/amazon-rainforest-fires-climate.html

Gabriel Stargardter, “Why is Bolsonaro wary of foreign Amazon aid? Ask Brazil’s military,” Reuters, August 30, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-environment-military/why-is-bolsonaro-wary-of-foreign-amazon-aid-ask-brazils-military-idUSKCN1VK2HQ


Dorian

I have to say that the Bermuda High, previously thought likely to steer Dorian directly into Florida,[2] just doesn’t look very convincing to me at all.

In all fairness, I’m used to looking at the Pacific High, which shields much of the U.S. west coast from storms during the summer. And this Bermuda High thing just isn’t anywhere near as persuasive. Seriously, this is pathetic by comparison. And they really thought this was gonna stop Dorian from going north?

eusgm-2019-08-31-22
72-hour gif, images two hours apart, as of 10:00 pm.

I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Dorian turn north well before the forecast in the Washington Post story, in which Dorian would have skirted much of the east coast right up through North Carolina’s Cape Hatteras.[3] The more recent forecast storm track puts the storm a little further off shore and seems much more reasonable to me.

234045_5day_cone_no_line_and_win
205408
National Hurricane Center maps, August 31, 2019.

Leila Macor, “Bahamas braces as monster Hurricane Dorian heads for US mainland,” Yahoo! News, August 31, 2019, https://news.yahoo.com/puerto-rico-braces-hit-tropical-storm-dorian-133659477.html

Jason Samenow, “‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Southeast U.S. as likelihood of direct hit on Florida decreases,” Washington Post, August 31, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/31/extremely-dangerous-hurricane-dorian-churns-toward-southeast-us-florida-forecast-is-highly-uncertain/


  1. [1]Leila Macor, “Bahamas braces as monster Hurricane Dorian heads for US mainland,” Yahoo! News, August 31, 2019, https://news.yahoo.com/puerto-rico-braces-hit-tropical-storm-dorian-133659477.html
  2. [2]Jason Samenow, Matthew Cappucci, and Andrew Freedman, “Potentially disastrous Hurricane Dorian strengthens to Category 4 as it targets Florida and Southeast U.S.,” Washington Post, August 30, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/30/potentially-disastrous-hurricane-dorian-looms-closer-stronger-targeting-florida-southeast-us/
  3. [3]Jason Samenow, “‘Extremely dangerous’ Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Southeast U.S. as likelihood of direct hit on Florida decreases,” Washington Post, August 31, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2019/08/31/extremely-dangerous-hurricane-dorian-churns-toward-southeast-us-florida-forecast-is-highly-uncertain/