11,000 scientists warn: climate change isn’t just about temperature

❝ Exactly 40 years ago, a small group of scientists met at the world’s first climate conference in Geneva. They raised the alarm about unnerving climate trends.

Today, more than 11,000 scientists have co-signed a letter in the journal BioScience, calling for urgently necessary action on climate.

❝ This is the largest number of scientists to explicitly support a publication calling for climate action. They come from many different fields, reflecting the harm our changing climate is doing to every part of the natural world.

You don’t need me to quote chapter and verse to illustrate the danger to life and culture. Please, just RTFA and get on board with activism. Support the fight for a healthier lifetime in coming generations – and maybe this one, too.

Our government shutdowns are the GOP’s ‘Car 54 Where Are You?’

❝ You’re almost certainly too young to remember (or more likely have never heard of) a madcap television sitcom from the very early 1960s called Car 54 Where Are You? This wasn’t high-brow humor. Think Abbott and Costello in a police car and you’ll get the picture.

The most memorable part of the show by far was its opening theme song which talked about all of the things happening at the same time that were causing chaos for the New York City police: a holdup in the Bronx, Brooklyn broken out in fights, a traffic jam in Harlem, a scout troop missing a child and USSR leader Khrushchev about to to arrive at the airport…

❝ For the House and Senate GOP majorities and the Trump White House, the federal government shutdown situation that will occur this week with the fourth continuing resolution of fiscal 2018 set to expire at midnight on Thursday is the equivalent of that Car 54 theme song.

After four CRs, it should be safe to assume that Congress and President Trump has narrowed what needs to be decided to just a very few items. Instead, think about this sitcom-like chaos of everything that’s happening at the same time.

Click the link and view not only the bad news, but, the even worse handling of everything by this clown show that used to be a sort-of substantial portion of government decorum and accomplishment. As bad as the politics often were.

Dumb crook of the day

Authorities say an 18-year-old man drove a stolen car to police headquarters to pick up court papers about a previous auto theft he was involved in — documents that were found in yet another stolen car.

Carnell Eugene Butler now faces charges in three stolen car cases.

St. Petersburg police say officers found a stolen Infiniti on Sunday. Inside, they found Butler’s documents related to a June auto theft arrest.

Detectives contacted Butler, who arranged to pick them up. When he arrived at police headquarters, a detective arrested Butler and found keys to a Hyundai Sonata in his pocket. The car was located a block away.

It, too, had been reported stolen.

Butler is being held without bond

Cripes! They got the kid on a three-fer.

Jacob Williams — driving drunk — kills a motorcyclist, again!


Danny Sanchez and his daughter Megan

A New Mexico man sent to prison six years ago for killing a motorcyclist while driving drunk is back in jail on the same charges, this time for a crash that killed the brother of the judge who sentenced him.

The accident Saturday happened after a witness told KOB-TV that she called 911 twice to report seeing Jacob Williams, 27, driving erratically around her neighborhood near the town of Belen, about 30 miles south of Albuquerque.

But deputies failed to respond before a pickup that authorities said was driven by Williams veered over a center line, killing Daniel Sanchez, 51, and seriously injuring his 11-year-old daughter, Megan.

According to the criminal complaint, breath tests found Williams’ blood-alcohol level at 0.16 percent, or twice the legal limit of 0.08.

State police said Daniel Sanchez died instantly. Megan, a passenger on her father’s motorcycle, has undergone at least two surgeries for injuries to her leg, a family member told the Albuquerque Journal.

Sanchez’s brother, state District Court Judge William Sanchez, of Los Lunas, presided over the 2008 case in which Williams pleaded guilty to felony charges of vehicular homicide, great bodily harm by vehicle and aggravated driving while intoxicated.

William Sanchez sentenced Williams to the maximum six years in prison allowed under the plea agreement.

In that case, authorities said Williams, then 21, failed to stop at an in August 2006 intersection in the town of Rio Communities and struck a motorcycle. That crash killed the motorcycle driver, Quin Sanchez, 42, of Belen, who was no relation to Daniel and William Sanchez.

Tragedy compounded by coincidence. By all accounts Daniel Sanchez was a hard-working dude, an electrician at the University of New Mexico. He’d stay after work a couple times a week to play basketball with other university employees. They played a memorial game, today, one player short. Reminiscing about just another good guy they worked and played with, how much he talked about his wife and kids.

Williams got a 6-year sentence the first time he killed someone, drunk and driving. With good behavior, he was out and on the streets, again after 3 years. He was returned to the slammer for parole violation after a few months and served the rest of his term. Every couple of years we get a case like this. A drunk killing innocents, outrage and a public call for severe penalties, laws that will keep killers off NM roads. Little or nothing happens.

Being drunk and dangerous is culturally acceptable. Booze distributors are powerful enough here that folks don’t even try to get a bill passed requiring a deposit on beer bottles, anymore. And New Mexico politicians are not among the most diligent of hacks – to begin with.

Williams pleaded Not Guilty – this time – today.

Thanks, Mike

English riots blamed on feral underclass of hardcore offenders


Remembering three young men murdered by rioting thugs
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

The justice secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has blamed the riots that swept across England last month on a “broken penal system” that has failed to rehabilitate a group of hardcore offenders he describes as the “criminal classes”…

Writing in the Guardian, Clarke dismisses criticism of the severity of sentences handed down to rioters and said judges had been “getting it about right”. However, he adds that punishment alone was “not enough”.

“It’s not yet been widely recognised, but the hardcore of the rioters were in fact known criminals. Close to three quarters of those aged 18 or over charged with riot offences already had a prior conviction. That is the legacy of a broken penal system – one whose record in preventing reoffending has been straightforwardly dreadful.”

He says: “In my view, the riots can be seen in part as an outburst of outrageous behaviour by the criminal classes – individuals and families familiar with the justice system, who haven’t been changed by their past punishments.”

Clarke uses his intervention to call for the coalition government to adopt a “renewed mission” in response to the riots that addressed an “appalling social deficit”.

His comments will reignite the debate on the causes of the disturbances, which the prime minister, David Cameron, has said “were not about poverty”…I agree.

“There is an urgent need for some rigorous social research which will look, without prejudice, at the causes and the consequences of the recent riots,” Professor Tim Newburn said. “Crucially, it is vital that we speak with those involved in the disturbances and those affected by them to try to understand any lessons for public policy…”

Clarke writes: “The general recipe for a productive member of society is no secret. It has not changed since I was inner-cities minister 25 years ago. It’s about having a job, a strong family, a decent education and beneath it all, an attitude that shares in the values of mainstream society. What is different now is that a growing minority of people in our nation lack all of those things and indeed, have substituted an inflated sense of expectations for a commitment to hard graft.”

Not especially different from what we witness, case by case, incident by separate incident on the nightly news here in New Mexico. The culture of repeat offenders let loose on society time after time – until that day when one or a few commit commit some crime horrific enough to get the attention of politicians and pundits.

When the furor dies down the courts/jails/police revert to being a revolving door.

Gullible enough to fund the next End of Days campaign?


 
The evangelical Christian broadcaster whose much-ballyhooed Judgment Day prophecy went conspicuously unfulfilled on Saturday has a simple explanation for what went wrong — he miscalculated.

Instead of the world physically coming to an end on May 21 with a great, cataclysmic earthquake, as he had predicted, Harold Camping, 89, said he now believes his forecast is playing out “spiritually,” with the actual apocalypse set to occur five months later, on October 21.

Camping, who launched a doomsday countdown in which some followers spent their life’s savings in anticipation of being swept into heaven, issued his correction during an appearance on his “Open Forum” radio show from Oakland, California…

Reflecting on scripture afterward, Camping said it “dawned” on him that a “merciful and compassionate God” would spare humanity from “hell on Earth for five months” by compressing the physical apocalypse into a shorter time frame.

But he insisted that October 21 has always been the end-point of his own End Times chronology, or at least, his latest chronology…

Asked what advice he would give to followers who gave up much or all of their worldly possessions in the belief that his Judgment Day forecast would come true, Camping drew a comparison to the nation’s recent economic slump.

“We just had a great recession. There’s lots of people who lost their jobs, lots of people who lost their houses … and somehow they all survived,” he said.

“People cope, he added. “We’re not in the business of giving any financial advice. We’re in the business of telling people maybe there is someone you can talk to, and that’s God.”

A good bartender will achieve the same effect – for the cost of a couple of beers.

Sex slave gets ‘groundbreaking’ settlement from UK Home Office

A woman who was a repeated victim of sex trafficking and suffered severe sexual degradation is to be paid substantial damages by the Home Office after it returned her to Moldova, where she faced grave dangers.

The “groundbreaking” settlement was reached on the eve of a high court hearing of her claim against the Home Office for failing to take steps to protect her and for sending her back to Moldova despite substantial grounds to believe she was at risk from her traffickers.

The woman, who cannot be named because she and her family are still at risk of retribution by her traffickers, was kidnapped at the age of 14 and then continually trafficked and re-trafficked for forced prostitution in Italy, Turkey, Hungary, Romania, Israel and Britain until she was 21…

She was arrested by police and immigration officers in a brothel in London in 2003, but instead of rescuing her they charged her with possessing false documents, which had been provided by her traffickers.

She was imprisoned for three months before being sent back to Moldova through a fast-track immigration process. Her trafficker was neither investigated nor arrested but was allowed to visit her in Holloway prison and Oakington detention centre, where he posed as her boyfriend, in order to intimidate her.

Her solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, said the woman was found by her trafficker when she got back to Moldova and was savagely ill-treated before being trafficked back into prostitution for a further two years.

In 2007 she was arrested again in Britain and held at Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre, but was eventually referred to the Poppy project, which identified her as a victim of sex trafficking and provided her with the necessary support to make an asylum claim…

Wistrich said the undisclosed “substantial damages” followed the “groundbreaking” attempt to sue the Home Office for its failure to protect her. She said she hoped immigration authorities would learn from the experience so that other trafficked women would be treated as victims instead of criminals and rescued rather than handed back to their traffickers to be raped and ill-treated.

I don’t believe there is any genetic predilection that forces bureaucrats to behave like an absolute iron-headed ass. Going “by the book” resulting in predictable abusive treatment like this should be halted at the source.

World’s 10 best engines

VW Jetta TDI, 2.0L 140-hp turbodiesel, 3rd consecutive award winner

The auto industry is embracing the age of electrification, and so too is the Ward’s 10 Best Engines list.

Both the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV earn their way onto the 2011 list, as selected by Ward’s editors after evaluating 38 vehicles with new or significantly improved engines for the ’11 model year.

But fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness are not the most important criteria for eligibility this year, as seen by recognition of the new 5.0L V-8 in the Ford Mustang GT, 5.0L V-8 in the Hyundai Genesis and the 3.0L supercharged V-6 in the Audi S4.

“We have something for everybody on this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Engines list,” says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward’s AutoWorld magazine. “It’s the most diverse mix we’ve ever had, as well as the most technologically advanced.”

This year’s winners and the applications tested:

3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S4)
3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i)
1.6L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper S)
3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Dodge Avenger)
5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang GT)
1.4L DOHC I-4/111kW Drive Motor (Chevrolet Volt)
5.0L Tau DOHC V-8 (Hyundai Genesis)
80kW AC Synchronous Electric Motor (Nissan Leaf)
2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbodiesel (Volkswagen Jetta TDI)
3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (Volvo S60)

Now in its 17th year, the Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition is designed to recognize powertrains that set new benchmarks in their respective vehicle segments.

The one thing they have in common is they all are stand-out performers in their own way and sell the value proposition of the vehicles they power,” Winter says.

RTFA. The editors delve into each award and why. Just a paragraph or two; but, gives you a taste of the breadth of modern prize-winning design coming from auto engineers around the world.

Detailed analysis of each is in the upcoming issue of Ward’s Autoworld magazine and will be online, next week.

Dumb crook of the day

A German robber held up the same bank in Hamburg twice within 24 hours just a week after being released from jail — for the same crime.

A police spokesman said on Friday the 50-year-old man went into a savings bank in the center of the northern port city and flashed a pistol, saying: “I was here yesterday, and I want money again today!”

The repeat offender made off with 450 euros but with the help of video surveillance cameras, police were able to detain him three hours later. They said he had been in jail for robbing banks in Hamburg in 2002 and 2004.

Next time, he walks into the bank, the tellers will probably greet him by name. But, hopefully, not for several years.

Would you marry the same person again?

It’s said that human beings have restless hearts, but our latest global survey suggests otherwise. On average, 68 percent of respondents in 15 countries would again say “I do” to their spouse. In the United States, Brazil, and Great Britain, respondents over 45 are more likely than younger people to feel satisfied with their choices. But in Canada, France, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Spain, it’s the 45-and-unders who feel more happily matched.

Read all the poll results.