Sunday, December 20, 2015

from ignorant aggression to aggressive ignorance

The latest political joke is that 30 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats in a recent survey by Public Policy Polling agreed that they would like to see Agrabah bombed. Agrabah, it turns out, is the capital city in Disney’s Aladdin. Nicely done, PPP – what better way to show how blind is the American imperial use of power, and how easily accepted. Dems are making mock of Republicans, but I’m sure that if the question had asked if they supported Obama droning Jafar of Agrabah, there would have been close to thirty percent, maybe more. Jafar was Aladdin’s nemesis in the movie.
There is the politics of ignorant aggression, and then there is the politics of aggressive ignorance. The latter is being pursued by the Governor and Legislator of Florida. Having staked out positions that climate change is a fraud, the governing principles of Florida are having a hard time coping with the fact that the sea level is indeed rising and South Florida has every chance of being the 21st century Atlantis, as Elizabeth Kolbert reports in the current New Yorker. Florida, unlikely Louisiana, can’t really turn to the traditional levee and dike system, because under the swamps and cities and beaches of Southern Florida, there is limestone. Limestone is porous. You can put a levee on top of it, but the water will just flow under the levee, through the limestone. Kolbert reports that Miami Beach is becoming more and more like Venice, Italy, save for the fact that the inhabitants have cars, and wait for the periodic flood waters to abate to get around.
As for what the press laughingly calls the “adults”, the political elite in Florida”
“Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior senator, who has been running third in Republican primary polls, grew up not far from Shorecrest, in West Miami, which sounds like it’s a neighborhood but is actually its own city. For several years, he served in Florida’s House of Representatives, and his district included Miami’s flood-vulnerable airport. Appearing this past spring on “Face the Nation,” Rubio was asked to explain a statement he had made about climate change. He offered the following: “What I said is, humans are not responsible for climate change in the way some of these people out there are trying to make us believe, for the following reason: I believe that climate is changing because there’s never been a moment where the climate is not changing.”
Around the same time, it was revealed that aides to Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, also a Republican, had instructed state workers not to discuss climate change, or even to use the term. The Scott administration, according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, also tried to ban talk of sea-level rise; state employees were supposed to speak, instead, of “nuisance flooding.” Scott denied having imposed any such Orwellian restrictions, but I met several people who told me they’d bumped up against them. One was Hammer [Kolbert’s interviewee, an environmental-studies researcher who works for the Union of Concerned Scientists]who, a few years ago, worked on a report to the state about threats to Florida’s transportation system. She said that she was instructed to remove all climate-change references from it. “In some places, it was impossible,” she recalled. “Like when we talked about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has ‘climate change’ in the title.”
We are in the hands of the kind of bozos who used to populate the cartoon The Far Side. It isn’t pretty.

Southern California Death Trip

    “He was kind but he changed and I killed him,” reads the caption of the photo of a woman in an old tabloid. She was headed to ...