Saturday, 4 February 2017

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Doomsday Clock corrected (finally)

My suggestion from November 9th 2016 that the Doomsday Clock was running slow and needed correcting now seems to have been agreed upon by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and the clock has moved 30 seconds closer to doomsday. Full story here.

Unfortunately, there can't be much satisfaction in predicting the apocalypse.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The US Endarkenment - Day 4


Well, day four of the US Endarkenment Project and if the above story is even remotely true, then the president's new thought police are to be commended on the speed of their assault on, and appropriation of, the state apparatus of knowledge, science and environmental protection (an incredibly impressive epistemic "blitzkrieg"). I suspect that by day ten all references to climate science, global warming, ecological degradation, the environment, pollution etc. will have been expunged from government institutions; while other sources of knowledge production and dissemination (universities and academia, for example) may take a few weeks longer. But don't worry, soon you will be told what to say and think. The new government is clearly committed to unburdening its citizenry of the troublesome complexities and distractions of experts, scientists and whinging liberals. For every inconvenient truth/fact, the new government seems to have a nice alternative fact to make the transition easier.

More here, here and probably in many other places over the next few weeks, before the US goes completely dark.


Tuesday, 24 January 2017

"This ... is what patriarchy looks like"

‘This photograph is what patriarchy looks like.’ Reince Priebus, Peter Navarro, Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon watch as Donald Trump signs the executive orders in the Oval Office, 23 January 2017. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

The assault on women's reproductive rights begins, full report by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett in the Guardian.

Monday, 23 January 2017

2016 - A Doom-laden Retrospective

Lest I become too positive and complacent following Saturday's marches and protests, Desdemona Despair has usefully delivered its fifty doomiest stories of 2016.
22 January 2017 (Desdemona Despair) – For a long time, Desdemona has feared that when the effects of global warming become obvious to everyone, governments will shut down our Earth observation science, so that collectively, the human species can bury its head in the sand.
The year 2016 saw huge strides toward this goal of dismantling science and blinding us all. The May government in the UK and the Turnbull government in Australia defunded their climate science research programs. In the U.S., the Trump team declared that they are seeking quick ways of withdrawing from the Paris agreement on climate change, and that NASA Earth science will be defunded. Scientists undertook a desperate effort to copy public climate data from government servers, in the event that Trump’s climate denialists order its destruction.
The most ominous threat to science rose in the advanced economies, as ultra-nationalist populism captured the governments of the U.S. and the Philippines, and threatened the social democracies of Europe. Surely, the doomiest story of 2016 was the ascension of Donald Trump’s antiscience forces. Trump leads the vanguard of reactionary politics that rejects the expertise of thousands of scientists globally, substituting random opinions from blogs and “alt-right” propaganda mills.
With murderous force, reactionary parties oppose efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to preserve indigenous lands: 2016 saw the assassination of numerous defenders of the natural world, including Honduran activists Berta Cáceres and Nelson García. The government of Cambodia banned a film about murdered rainforest activist, Chut Wutty, and the UN declared that governments globally are undertaking an extraordinary war on freedom of expression.
For the fifty top stories of environmental and eco-political doom and despair, read on here.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Resistance is fertile! (not futile)

Well I've shed a few tears today, following the Women's Marches in Washington and around the world, listening to the speeches. This is one of the few times in the past year that I haven't felt completely despondent about the whole human project. No need for analysis here, I can deconstruct my liberalism, ambiguous hopes, and own need to get active quite adequately later. But, for the moment, I'll take this resurgent women's movement and the anti-Trump sentiment as something that I value immensely.

[Photo from the Leeds solidarity march against Darth Trump]

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

The Pain of Trump*

I don't have much to say. I predicted this one too (although it was far less close than I expected), but I still hoped and I now feel sick to the pit of my stomach. I'll be avoiding the mainstream media for some time, as the narrative is too predictable and nauseating. I'm at present filtering and processing this through the thoughts of others whose expertise and analyses I respect; although this might be read as retreating to my own echo chamber on the internet. But, hey, it's some small comfort to me.

Anyway, Adam Kotsko has a heartfelt piece here that I like.

R.S. Baker has an insightful analysis that I'm still digesting here.

And I came across this one via another blog that I follow. It's this one that is probably far closer to my mood this morning and throughout today (even as a non-US citizen), so I'm re-blogging Rebecca Schoenkopf's post in full below.

GO FUCK YOURSELF AMERICA

No. Really. Just go fuck yourself, you racist piggy white power pieces of shit. You wear shirts that laugh about lynching reporters. (That smarts!) You scream “nigger” at men who turn out to be goddamn saints while you’re whitesplaining them the fucking Boondocks. You teach your kids to tell their classmates how great life will be once they’re deported. You beat up homeless people, for Jesus and America too.
And you think it’s fucking adorable.
Did you #rig it? Fuck! Maybe! I’ve always been a little partial to the Alex Jones side of the sanity spectrum, but forgive me if I wonder: I didn’t see Anonymous riding to Hillary Clinton’s rescue, when four years ago they taunted Karl Rove that they’d trapped his little vote rats in the internet tubes. (Yeah, “citation needed,” Anonymous.) And we all know Trump loves to accuse people of every thing he’s doing himself. Besides, you’ll never convince me John Kerry lost Ohio in 2004. Oh, should I not say that in polite wonky company, if I want to keep my cool pundit card? WELL FUCK POLITE WONKY COMPANY, THAT WAS ‘WONKY’ AS SHIT.
Let’s talk about all the things that will be terrible now! BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE EVIL AND EVERYONE SUCKS.
Are you a black person? I’m sorry, everyone hates you, like, personally :(
Are you Latina? Chica, lo siento!
Do you like doing things in #butts with your husband, who is a man? The next four justices just deported your adopted baby back to Cambodia, too bad, it was nice while it lasted.
Are you just a regular straight old boring ass white person, and the cops don’t roust you none, but you also like eating food and having shelter? WELL DONALD TRUMP JUST BREXITED YOUR STOCK MARKET, and he’ll do for the country what he did for his casinos.
And his airline.
And his steak.
And his magazine.
He lost fucking money on LIQUOR.
And he doesn’t know jack shit about ANYTHING, and say goodbye to that last white-knuckled grasp on the middle class. Oh, you care about “the debt”? He just blew it up by FIVE. TRILLION. DOLLARS. He promised to treat the country’s bondholders like he treated the people who paid off his bankruptcies: by not paying them shit. Hello, Greece! Is life fun there under Nazis?
But sure, “economic anxiety,” you sister-raping neanderthals. Enjoy your brother-in-law’s meth trailer.
Did you like that 4.5 percent unemployment rate? Did you like being able to buy yourself a treat when you went to stock up on toothpaste at Walgreens, and saying to yourself, HEY LOOK, I BOUGHT ME A TREAT? Yeah, fuck a treat, you don’t get your retirement fund, and no mortgage payment, and no job.
Women? Lol, honey, don’t make that face. It’s so ugly on you, that persona. Also: you don’t matter, and you never will.
Muslims? It’s Tuesday. Prepare for your beating.
Media? Oh, yours is coming. Mighta thought about that when you were playing footsie with James Comey.
Oh shit, I almost forgot about Obamacare! Now, if you’re like us, you won’t be able to buy insurance for your family! Instead we’ll get repealed and replaced with “the lines around the states!”
This dumb fucking fuck.
I deny that a woman like Hillary Clinton lost to that monstrous Horror Klown for any reason besides THIS COUNTRY IS HORRIBLE. Fuck your bullshit emails, fuck your bullshit FBI, fuck your bullshit “she ran a bad campaign; she was a dud and he was exciting.” The man is a rambling, boring toddler. If they “loved him,” it wasn’t for his charisma, it was for his flat-out fascism, BECAUSE THEY ARE LIZARD-BRAINED PEOPLE WHO LOVE TORTURING OTHERS.
They get off on it. It fucking gets them off.
Oh man and do they haaaaate us women. Oh man, a bossy old bitch wasn’t going to tell them what to do! And that glass ceiling at the Javits Center. Oh, haw haw haw.
This is where I fake some Pollyanna bullshit to leave you on some uplift, and it’ll make you share this post.
NOPE. THIS POST IS RAZOR BLADES AND HUMAN SHIT AND KILLING EACH OTHER SID & NANCY STYLE.
Come back tomorrow for some pony bullshit, I might be able to fake it for you by then.
You stupid fucking dicks.
* = From my childhood and home region of the UK, trump has always been a euphemism for fart or passing wind. So the comedic value of Donald Trump has been ever present. The pain today has only been lessened by my dear children reminding me of the reality of President Fart.