Xmas present I absolutely don’t want – but, find fascinating

❝ Designed for home or office, the new Ember Mug does more than simply keep your coffee hot. Our smart mug allows you to set an exact drinking temperature, so your coffee is never too hot, or too cold. Depending on the size, your beverage will maintain its chosen warmth for 80 to 90 minutes.

I can think of several fixated folks I worked with over the years who probably own one of these. After a number of years as retiree, I pretty much know just how long to nuke my coffee to bring it back to proper temperature. No batteries needed for any of my favorite coffee mugs. Just walk to the kitchen and back.

More than half of the climate tipping points are now “active”,


Trump Towers

❝ More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”, a group of leading scientists have warned.

This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect…

❝ Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, said: “It is not only human pressures on Earth that continue rising to unprecedented levels.

“It is also that as science advances, we must admit that we have underestimated the risks of unleashing irreversible changes, where the planet self-amplifies global warming.

“This is what we now start seeing, already at 1°C global warming…”

RTFA and reflect, folks. Pretty good odds that half – or more than half – of the politicians we currently get to choose from for political office will not not do even that much.

Prevent 1/3 of young gun deaths without taking away a single gun

❝ In 2015, more than 1,100 young people died by suicide or by accident because of a gun. New research suggests that almost one-third of those deaths could be prevented by simply locking up guns in the home.

“The take-home message from the findings of the study is that even a relatively modest increase in the practice of safe storage by parents could result in substantial reductions in firearm suicides and unintentional fatalities among youth,” says Michael Monuteaux, a Harvard Medical School professor of pediatrics and epidemiologist who is the first author of the new study…

❝ To make that estimate, the researchers designed a model based on the only existing American case study to specifically look at the effect gun storage has on young people, which is from 2005. Using that study’s conclusions on how effective gun storage can be, they estimated how many fewer injuries and deaths by suicide or accident in youths would have occurred in 2015, had more parents followed safe gun storage procedures.

They ran the simulation more than a thousand times in order to get a sense of the range of protectiveness that would be offered by different levels of buy-in from parents…

They had to hunt carefully for data on gun violence that didn’t violate the 1996 Dickey Dickhead Amendment, which states that no government funding for injury prevention can be used to “advocate for gun control.”

Thanksgiving, the Myth

❝ Generations of Americans have told themselves a patriotic story of the supposed first Thanksgiving that misrepresents colonization as consensual and bloodless…

The Wampanoags, who are the Indians in this tale, have long contended that the Thanksgiving myth sugarcoats the viciousness of colonial history for Native people. It does. The Pilgrims did not enter an empty wilderness ripe for the taking. Human civilization in the Americas was every bit as ancient and rich as in Europe. That is why Wampanoag country was full of villages, roads, cornfields, monuments, cemeteries and forests cleared of underbrush. Generations of Native people had made it that way with the expectation of passing along their land to their descendants.

❝ …the Pilgrim-Wampanoag encounter was no first-contact meeting. Rather, it followed a string of bloody episodes since 1524 in which European explorers seized coastal Wampanoags to be sold into overseas slavery or to be trained as interpreters and guides. The Wampanoags reached out to the Pilgrims not only despite this violent history, but also partly because of it.

❝ If Americans continue to insist on associating Thanksgiving with Pilgrims and Indians, the least we can do is try to get the story straight. We should put Wampanoags at its center and acknowledge the remarkable fact of their survival to this very day.

RTFA and get it straight. Hit your library and read about Metacomet…if they have anything.

Have a mellow, thoughtful holiday

Remembering the folks I lived and worked with in the Navajo Nation. Especially – this morning – the brothers I used to shuck and jive with hanging out in front of Basha’s. And most especially a hard-working freedom fighter I was fortunate enough to engage when he and his wife were living in the Chinle neck of the prairie – Russell Means. We miss your thoughts as well as your deeds.

Who-smiles-like-a-bear

Texans fight to stop Feds taking their land to build Trump’s Wall


Border wall started by Bush – additions by Trump

❝ When David Acevedo attended a meeting with officials from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Webb County last month, he thought he would come away with more information about the Trump administration’s border security plans…

The only thing he knew for sure was the administration wanted access to his land to conduct surveys and site samples for border security purposes. And in a letter dated Oct. 15, the government asked him to grant access for 18 months.

❝ It’s a familiar fight for people in the Rio Grande Valley, said Ricky Garza, an attorney with the Texas Civil Rights Project who is urging his clients not to allow the government access to their land. He represents five Valley landowners and is in talks with another, he said last week.

“A landowner is under no obligation to sign that right of entry to allow them free access to the property, but it’s in the government’s interest [to have them sign],” he said. “They don’t want the landowners to ever see the inside of a courtroom.”

❝ …the Trump administration is likely to seize the land it wants, said David Bier, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.

“I think he’s not going to mess around trying to negotiate beforehand,” Bier said. “He doesn’t have to, according to the courts and according to the statute. He can get away with just taking the land and putting a $100 price tag on everything. He can do that and leave it to the courts to figure out what’s just compensation somewhere down the line.”

This crap legalism relies on law enacted 80 years ago in the Great Depression. Primarily to put folks to work on Public Works projects, provide income and mostly useful civil projects. This is what conservative bureaucrats have turned the concept into.