Towering infernos are already here in The West

42,000-foot plumes of ash. 143-mph firenadoes. 1,500-degree heat. These wildfires are a new kind of hell on earth, and scientists are racing to learn its rules...

By the time California’s 2018 fire season was over, it had burned more than 1.6 million acres to become the most destructive on record—a title it maintained for slightly less than 20 months, when it was overtaken not by the 2020 fire season but by a mere four weeks in late summer 2020, during which an estimated 3 million acres burned. But that’s not the truly worrisome part. In making sense of Western wildfires, total acres burned are far less important than the increasingly capricious violence of our most extreme blazes. It is as if we’ve crossed some threshold of climate and fire fuel into an era of uncontrollable conflagrations.

“Not only is the size and severity increasing, but the nature of fire is changing,” says David Saah, director of Pyregence, a group of fire-science labs and researchers collaborating on the problem. Still more concerning, given the trend toward fires dramatically more catastrophic than anything we’ve yet seen: The physics of large-scale wildfires remain so poorly understood that fire-modeling software is often effectively powerless to predict where they will next occur, much less how they will unfold once they do. If there is any good news, it is that, as Saah puts it, “the science for a lot of this stuff is under way.”

If you’re interested in how a large portion of this nation is being destroyed in a war between nature and nature management that hasn’t kept up with reality…better read this article. If you live out here in the West – as I do – you should read it for a better chance at survival.

Pompeo leads “ridiculous” U.S. try for more Iran sanctions


“Follow me!”

The extent of US isolation at the UN has been driven home by formal letters from 13 of the 15 security council members opposing Trump administration attempts to extend the economic embargo on Iran.

The letters by the council members were all issued in the 24 hours since the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, came to the UN’s New York headquarters to declare Iran in non-compliance with a 2015 nuclear deal.

Under that deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA), comprehensive UN sanctions on Iran would be restored 30 days after the declaration. But almost every other council member has issued letters saying that the US has no standing to trigger this sanctions “snapback” because it left the JCPOA in May 2018…

“The underlying point here is that most countries on the security council basically agree with the US that Iran is not a nice country and it having nuclear weapons and more arms is not a good thing,” the diplomat said. “But the Americans misplayed their hand so often, so aggressively, that they isolated themselves from people not on policy, but on just being unpleasant.”

It’s hard for politicians corrupt as most Trump appointees to impress anyone this side of the late Al Capone as decent world citizens.

NY Attorney General Moves For Fraud Investigation into NRA

The attorney general of New York took action Thursday to dissolve the National Rifle Association following an 18-month investigation that found evidence the powerful gun rights group is “fraught with fraud and abuse.”

Attorney General Letitia James claims…she found financial misconduct in the millions of dollars and that it contributed to a loss of more than $64 million over a three-year period.

The suit alleges that top NRA executives misused charitable funds for personal gain, awarded contracts to friends and family members, and provided contracts to former employees to ensure loyalty.

The NRA said in a statement that the legal action was political, calling it blah, blah, blah.

They used all the predictable rightwing and conservative boilerplate. As will their attorneys. More good money thrown after bad; hard-earned buck$ mostly earned by members. Though no doubt there is a surplus of corporate gifties in the kitty.

I’ve had many friends who have been members of the NRA over the years. Me, too, more than once. They used to have the best education program on gun handling and safety in the country. Dunno if that still exists in useful form, anymore.

But, corruption begets little or no benefit to members or any target demographic. As mis-leadership moved further and further to the Right, the treasury moved more often into the pockets and lifestyle of the rich and famous executives of the organization. I presume one of the options before the court as this action nears an end will be throwing the crooks out; reforming activities to something more closely resembling a historic model. Who knows?

The execs made the NRA a political organization. Now, the process of sorting out the good from the bad will be as political as anything else can be in the GOUSA.

Of course, Fake President heads backwards on nuclear weapons


Kengo Nikawa’s watch. It took him 16 days to die.

Seventy-five years ago Thursday, the U.S. became – and remains – the only country in the world to detonate a nuclear weapon against an enemy…

The Hiroshima death toll reached an estimated 200,000 by 1950 as those who survived the blast succumbed to fatal burns, radiation sickness and various cancers…

The Trump administration has withdrawn from a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran and world powers designed to limit Tehran’s nuclear capabilities.

President Donald Trump-led talks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un aimed at denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula have stalled.

The Trump administration has suspended compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Reagan administration-era initiative that slashed the number of midrange missiles held by the U.S. and Russia.

Trump has abandoned the Open Skies Treaty – negotiated by President George H.W. Bush after the collapse of the Soviet Union and designed to be a check on nuclear weapons by allowing surveillance flights over signatories’ territories.

Trump has signaled he may not renew New START, the last major U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control treaty, unless China also agrees to be bound by its constraints. Beijing has not committed either way. New START expires in February, just weeks after there’s a new, or renewed, U.S. president in the White House.

Marshall Billingslea, the top U.S. envoy for nuclear negotiations, has confirmed the Trump administration has discussed holding the first nuclear test since 1992. “I won’t shut the door on it, because why would we,” Billingslea said in late June in Vienna, Austria, although he said there is no reason to carry out a test “at this time.”

Reason has nothing to add to policymaking by the whim of an ignorant autocrat and his lackeys. Anyone think Congress has enough backbone to stand in opposition?