The John James Newsletter 216

posted Feb 16, 2018, 4:00 PM by Clement Clarke
The John James Newsletter 216

17 February 2018 

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America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days

Due to a deep and bitter divide - fueled, in part, by: the president's inflammatory tweets; the harsh rhetoric from pundits; and the media's penchant to create feeding frenzies - Washington has turned decidedly inward and become disturbingly dysfunctional
James Zogby

2017 was the first time no-one has been appointed to the position of presidential science adviser, so the White House office of science policy is essentially not staffed and the mechanisms to tie public policy to reality are absent
Lawrence Krauss

The budget agreement provides the military with $1.4 trillion over the next two years, a 13% increase from 2017 and 7% more than what the White House requested: the size of the increase alone is larger than the combined annual military spending of every other country in the world except China
Eric London

It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy have been entirely unnecessary, as Sweden wanted to drop the case but Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend to continue
Binu Mathew

We are not the customer any more, we are the product
Tucker Carlson on Google-prying

We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and to defend our rights and liberties 
The oath taken at the Eureka Stockade, 1853

What is my crime?
But today, she had been mortally wounded and had fallen and lay dying. The herd, her children and family are also mortally wounded like her, also fall, one by one. The only ones’ left are the calves. Nurslings, whose tusks have not grown yet. The tiny ones who are still nursing, dependent on their mother’s milk. All their aunts, cousins, older siblings, are dying and have died in one manic morning of blood and death. The calves cry out; literally weep. Crying for their mothers and weeping with terror and grief because for the first time in their short lives, she doesn’t answer.

India Coal Power Is About To Crash: 65% Of Existing Coal Costs More Than New Wind And Solar
Renewable energy costs have fallen 50% in two years, and are forecast to continue dropping apace. New wind and solar is now 20% cheaper than existing coal-fired generation’s average wholesale power price, and 65% of India’s coal power generation is being sold at higher rates than new renewable energy bids in competitive power auctions. The tipping point may have been 2016-2017, when renewable energy installations surpassed coal for the first time, adding twice the capacity. 

'It Knows When I Got Out of the Car!'
Tucker's Special Report on How Google's Tracking You. Google uses information like that for "surveillance capitalism" - selling advertisements for stuff based on your activities, locations and characteristics.

Mounting Nuclear Portents While Rome Burns
It has been said that in the nuclear age war is obsolete, but around the world tribalism and with it the drums of war are on the rise, including talk of “usable” nuclear weapons. The atmosphere is reminiscent of pre-WWII suppression of the press the judiciary and academia, extreme nationalism leads to persecution of minorities and ultimately genocide

Surely we all understand that acceleration is like compound interest – each year the increase feeds on itself, relying less on outside factors and more on what previous increases have already built into the system. This is feedback at work, and usually reaches a "tipping point" beyond which the action continues under its own momentum and there is nothing we can do to affect that.
Global sea level rise rate speeding up, 25 years of satellite data confirms
Analysis of first 25 years of satellite data shows rate going up by 3mm a year, plus 0.08mm a year, every year.Acceleration largely being driven by melting of Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets and likely to increase in future, say scientists

"Amplified Warming" Has Ended the Era of Stable Climate 
The National Climate Assessment showed that with the current "higher emissions" scenario, the US will experience a stunning 8°F to 10°F by 2100. The Arctic will rise to a shocking 18°F of warming around 2070 and global sea levels increase by eight feet or more, swamping every major coastal city on Earth. Meanwhile, a 2009 study from MIT showed that there is the far worse possibility of more than 7°C warming by 2100.

Projected drought conditions in the 2060s. 
Conditions of -4 (dark red) or worse represent dust-bowl creation. "Climate models project increased aridity in the 21st century over most of Africa, southern Europe and the Middle East, most of the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Regions like the US have avoided prolonged droughts during the last 50 years due to natural climate variations, but might see persistent droughts in the next 20-50 years."

What other country sees the armament of its rivals as a pretext for attack? 
Israel will soon launch a military operation in Lebanon. Not a targeted attack on a weapons convoy or factory, but a simultaneous attack on Hezbollah’s missile production and launch sites. The operation will take place at the same time as, or immediately after, a series of assassinations of known Hezbollah operatives. Israel has a long history of fabricating “grounds for war.” 

This can only get worse as Australia dries out with further global heating. The prognosis is not good for our meat, our cereals nor our water supplies. As long as the government is in denial there can be no long-term planning for what is now becoming inevitable.
’Horrendous': Hot spell is turning a normally verdant part of NSW dry 
"There's not a blade of grass in the paddock," Kean says, forcing him to fork out about $4000 a month in feed to keep his 20 horses - a mix of thoroughbreds and broodmares - in fine fettle. "You talk to all the old fellas, and they can't remember it being this bad,"

Watch here to see the scale of plastic contamination: 
Plastic pollution is reaching record levels in the once pristine Arctic. 

If you want a reason for stealing from the poor, begin by cutting taxes to the rich….. The is the now blatant hypocrisy of the greedy rich. All the evidence shows the the "trickle-down" does not work. What the rich take they keep. 
Trump war budget calls for sweeping cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps
The priorities laid down in the massive budget document indicate the outlook and intentions of the financial oligarchy in regard to fiscal and social policy. It wants virtually unlimited increases in military spending combined with dramatic cuts in domestic spending, particularly on the so-called entitlement programs, for which spending is driven by the number of people enrolled and qualified for benefits,

The UK’s Hidden Hand In Julian Assange’s Detention
It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy have been entirely unnecessary. In fact, they depended on a legal charade. Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case.

‘Please Don’t Bring Her Back. Too Much Shooting On Our Street’
Dispatches from Haiti: Health care, visas, hope and desperation.

Greenhouse Gamble 
The Greenhouse Gamble wheels to convey uncertainty in climate change prediction. The roulette-style spinning wheels show the estimated probability of potential change in global average surface temperature over the next 100 years. Each wheel represents a different set of greenhouse gas policies, and each coloured slice shows the likelihood of temperature change in that range by the year 2100.
The "With Policy" wheel assumes that policies are enacted to limit cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases over the century to 3.4 trillion metric tons (measured in CO2-equivalent). The median warming level of the "With Policy" wheel is just 2.3 °C, with the most likely result falling in the 2–2.5°C range.
The "No Policy" wheel assumes no attempt is made to curb emissions. The median warming level is 5.2 °C, which means there are even odds of a result falling either above or below that level. The tiny blue slice is a one-in-100 chance of constraining change under 3°C.

Ants rescue fallen comrades from the battlefield for emergency treatment
Upon noticing this chemical signal, other ants rush to assist their comrades, and carry them back to the colony's nest. "We observed that they lick and groom the wound, and that they were able to reduce the mortality it causes,

Catholic Inc. - What the Church is really worth 
The Catholic Church in Victoria is worth more than $9 billion, making it the biggest non-government property owner in the state and much wealthier than it has admitted in evidence to major inquiries into child sexual abuse. Based on these figures, the church is clearly the largest non-government property owner, by value, in the state, and close to the largest in Australia, They raise serious new questions about the church’s decades-long bid to avoid or minimise compensation payments to abuse survivors. 

New pills kills the flu virus in 24 hours
The Japanese company built upon its anti-HIV medicine to produce a drug that’s different to other flu medications. The virus works by hijacking human cells and forcing them to produce viral material rather than proteins, which would normally spread the virus across the body. While currently available treatments stop the virus from exiting the infected cell and spreading, Shionogi’s method prevents the viral material from being produced in the first place.
Fourth Court of Appeal Declares Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban 3.0’ Unconstitutional
A panel of 13 judges on the US Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. declared Trump’s Muslim ban illegal and unconstitutional. The appeals court in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump stayed its decision pending resolution of a related case that is already at the Supreme Court. That case, Trump v. Hawaii, will be argued in April.

Olympic Games Make US Regime Paranoid and Unpredictable
Despite all the efforts of a paranoid and unpredictable US regime, the Koreans are making peace not war during the 2018 Winter Olympics. The US is furious and pulling out all the stops to tarnish the Games, and it is trying to put South Korea back on the US colonial leash. South Korea’s democratically elected peace-president Moon Jae-in is showing signs that he is not an America poodle on a short leash. Even during the Olympics, the US feels threatened by peace, unity and cooperation. 

Cleaning products a big source of urban air pollution
Paints, perfumes, sprays and other synthetic items contribute to high levels of ‘volatile organic compounds’ in air. The compounds are an important contributor to air pollution because when they waft into the atmosphere, they react with other chemicals to produce harmful ozone or fine particulate matter known as PM2.5. Ground level ozone can trigger breathing problems by making the airways constrict, while fine airborne particles drive heart and lung disease. For every kilogram of fuel that is burned by your car, only about one gram ends up in the air. For these household and personal products, some compounds evaporate almost completely.

The match is lit: Israel Preps for Syrian War with Golan’s Oil and Water in its Sights 
Israeli plan’s for a broader war to secure water and oil reserves in the resource-rich Golan Heights are just getting underway. Any escalation that would lead to a state of open conflict between Syria and Israel would surely spread, quickly involving Syrian allies including Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and, potentially, more powerful nations like the United States and Russia.

A Nearly Invisible Oil Spill Threatens Some of Asia’s Richest Fisheries
The area produced five million tons of seafood of up to four dozen species for China alone last year, including crab, squid, yellow croaker, mackerel and a local favorite, hairtail. The toxins could soon make their way into equally abundant Japanese fisheries. The spill began on the evening of Jan. 6, when the Sanchi, a Panamanian-flagged, Iranian-owned tanker, collided with a cargo ship in waters roughly 160 nautical miles east of Shanghai. The Sanchi exploded and burned for more than a week before sinking. All 32 crew members are presumed dead. The lack of visible devastation has almost certainly dampened public reaction that might have galvanized a more vigorous response. China’s fishing industry employs 14 million people. 

Wombats, sharks, possums, frogs: Australia's animals at risk of extinction
Australia has lost more than 50 animal and 60 plant species in the past 200 years and records the highest rate of mammalian extinction in the world over that period. Guardian Australia interviewed scientists, researchers, conservationists and policy analysts whose work across threatened species research and protection spans decades. They described the situation confronting Australia’s threatened plants and animals as a “national disgrace” and the systems that are supposed to protect them as “broken”.