Archive for July, 2017

Monsoon Season

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

We moved to Tucson in January. The weather was cold at the time and I have seen it snow in downtown Tucson in January. I used to come over here to play golf in past years, one reason I eventually decided to move here permanently. The weather 9 months of the year is delightful. Even January warms up in the day to around 70 and I have been here to play golf when we had to wait for early tee times for the frost to melt on the greens.

Summer is hot but I told Jill it never got over 105 in my experience with Tucson. This year made me look bad as we had a couple of weeks of 115 in mid day. Finally, Monsoon Season got here and the heat is well down. Humidity is up to 65% but it is not oppressive like it used to be in Chicago, where I grew up. July 15 is the beginning although the local papers said it was expected earlier. My theory is that it is related to Mexican hurricane season which begins about now. The first Mexican hurricane of the season was “Dora”
and stayed in the Pacific.

Dora’s center will remain well off the Mexican coast, and will begin weakening soon. That was June 26.

About two weeks ago, we began to see afternoon thunderstorms arising to the northwest and sweeping to the south of us. The first real rain came a day or so after July 10 when I took this photo on our walk.

July 10

It did not rain that day but it was close.

The next day, July 11, early in the morning, we had a big thunderstorm with lots of lightning and thunder nearby. I had to leave for work at 4 AM and stopped at a gas station to get gas but the power pole across the street had been hit by lightning and the pumps were out. I finally got gas at another station but the low pressure warning light came on my dashboard and the last time that happened, I had a nail in a tire.

Not wanting to try to change a tire in the rain half-way to Phoenix, I called and cancelled out of work and went home. I went to the tire store about 9 and they found the valve stem in that tire was leaking so it was just as well I quit.

The next few days followed the same pattern and we have had a thunderstorm every afternoon for a week.

Thunderstorm1

Last weekend, a group of people from south of Phoenix went swimming in a “swimming hole” in the national forest east of Phoenix and north of Tucson. We had had flash flood warnings all week. Streets in Tucson often dip into dry “washes” and each has a sign, “Do not enter if flooded.”

Anyway, 9 people are dead and one is not yet found. In Monsoon Season stay out of canyons and stream beds.

Rainbow

We even had a rainbow last week.

Sunset

The storms are over by sunset and Juliet and I can usually take a walk just before dark.

Sunseteast716

This is what the sky about 2 PM looks like every day. I expect this will go on into August, when in my previous experience here, the real heavy rain comes. I have seen the river over its banks and the swimming pool overflowing.

Internal Secession ?

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

The Trump Derangement Syndrome shows no sign of stopping. The alleged meeting between Russians and Donald Trump Jr is reaching a new level of fever.

The anti-Trump mainstream media is buzzing with news that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian American lobbyist and veteran of the Soviet military, attended the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post insist that Akhmetshin’s presence “adds to the potential seriousness of the Trump Tower gathering that is emerging this week as the clearest evidence so far of interactions between Trump campaign officials and Russian interests.” I think they mean the only evidence.

But now does the attendance of this lobbyist add to the “potential seriousness” of the “gathering”? If it was inappropriate for Trump Jr. to meet with one Russian lobbyist with probable Kremlin connections, the attendance of a second doesn’t make the meeting more inappropriate.

The hysteria shows no sign of abating. What comes next ?

“Resist” marches all over the country bring out thousands of leftists and feminists.

Tens of thousands of LGBTQ folk and their allies marched through Hollywood and West Hollywood on Sunday for the Resist March, a protest which this year replaced the colorful and over-the-top celebratory atmosphere of a Pride parade.

The event was billed as non-partisan, but unmistakeable was the heavy presence of marchers bearing anti-Trump signs, speakers decrying the administration’s immigration, healthcare and civil rights policies, and Democrats calling for a burst of activism to channel into the 2018 elections.

Richard Fernandez has some thoughts on where this might go.

Internal secession.

Our trust hierarchies have collapsed. As with Soviet Russia, the “official” media sources are now distrusted as purveyors “fake news”. To fill the gap a peer-to-peer grapevine, similar to the “friends and family”, a samizdat is emerging to pick up the slack. Sonya Mann at Inc uses a startup to illustrate the growing division of society into trust groups. “Pax Dickinson wants to fund the revolution. Not a blood-in-the-streets revolution, but one where hardcore right-wingers can economically secede from the parts of society they vehemently dislike. “We need parallel everything. I do not want to ever have to spend a single dollar at a non-movement business.”

That’s the right, the alt-right if you prefer.

The left has already shown their willingness to boycott any business that does not follow their script.

Ask Brenden Eich.

Brendan Eich recently stepped down as CEO of Mozilla, developer of the Firefox Web browser. It may be more accurate to say he was forced out in the wake of a rising boycott against him. The backlash against Eich is related to his position on gay rights, but many feel that the campaign against him is its own form of discrimination and intolerance.

His crime was to quietly donate $1000 to the Proposition Eight ballet initiative, which resulted in over 7 million yes votes and a 60% margin of approval. The proposition was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge who promptly married his gay lover.

California’s AG declined to appeal his ruling. That’s a pretty effective boycott.

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What to do about North Korea.

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The North Koreans launched a new two stage missile, which signals more escalation of their part.

The two-stage missile launched Tuesday by North Korea will be classified by US intelligence as a brand-new missile that has not been seen before, US officials told CNN.

The first stage of the missile is believed to be a KN-17 liquid fueled missile, which is well-known to US intelligence and has been previously launched by North Korea.

Ahead of Tuesday’s missile test, US satellites had seen evidence the KN-17 missile was being prepared for launch.
But at some point prior to launch, the North Koreans attached a second stage atop that missile.
The focus now is on the capability of that second stage, and how it technically contributed to making Pyongyang’s latest test its first ever intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launch.

The next step will be the development of a solid fuel missile which could be launched with little warning.

NK launch

The trajectory was high and short but the second stage could be programmed to go much longer range.

It is apparent that the US policy going back to Bill Clinton and his “Deal” to stop the Norks nuclear program, has been a complete failure, like so many of Clinton’s deals.

On Oct. 18, 1994, Clinton approved a plan to arrange more than $4 billion in energy aid to North Korea over the course of a decade, in return for a commitment from the country’s Communist leadership to freeze and gradually dismantle its nuclear weapons development program, according to The New York Times.

The “complex” deal was to de-escalate the situation on the Korean peninsula, where the two Korean nations never negotiated a peace treaty after the Korean War ended in armistice in 1953.

“This agreement is good for the United States, good for our allies, and good for the safety of the entire world,” said Clinton in 1994. “It’s a crucial step toward drawing North Korea into the global community.

The drawing-in never happened.

I can only imagine what Hillary Clinton would do if she were President. The mind boggles at the thought.

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