Science and music

I was at today’s march for science, and as I got near the main stage, this guy was singing:

That’s Thomas Dolby. He blinded me.

And amid the mass of speakers, this science guy got a big ovation:

Yes, Bill Nye.

The rally near the Washington Monument was a combination of the 47th observance of Earth Day and a March for Science. The march probably wouldn’t have happened if a bunch of mouth breathing pump truppets hadn’t put the orange troll in the White House, which the main stage was facing as speakers repeatedly noted that people who don’t believe in science have taken over the country. Here’s what the dwarf appendaged crimson menace looked like during the speech:

Thanks, pump truppets.

Remember that drought in California?

From Gizmodo:

California governor Jerry Brown recently declared an end to the state of emergency brought on by his state’s historically terrible drought. It’s a mid-level miracle, assisted by record rainfall earlier this year.

The stark contrast between peak drought conditions of 2014 and the relative normalcy of 2017 means that marinas that were veritable deserts just a few seasons ago are now lush lakefronts. Rivers that had shrunk to a trickle now fill the valleys they once carved out of the Earth. Heck, even crispy brown fields of thirsty grass have become majestic green hills. That means the risk of wildfires is down, and Californians can lighten up about water usage.

Let’s compare 2014 to today:

For more before and after images, click here.

International travelers are avoiding the U.S.

Of course, this was inevitable:

Though they may differ as to the wisdom of the move, the travel press and most travel experts are of one mind: They are currently drawing attention to an unintended consequence of the Trump-led efforts to stop many Muslims from coming to the U.S., pointing to a sharp drop in foreign tourism to our nation that imperils jobs and touristic income.

It’s known as the “Trump Slump.” And I know of no reputable travel publication to deny it.
Thus, the prestigious Travel Weekly magazine (as close to an “official” travel publication as they come) has set the decline in foreign tourism at 6.8%. And the fall-off is not limited to Muslim travelers, but also extends to all incoming foreign tourists. Apparently, an attack on one group of tourists is regarded as an assault on all.
As far as travel by distinct religious groups, flight passengers from the seven Muslim-majority nations named by Trump were down by 80% in the last week of January and first week of February, according to Forward Keys, a well-known firm of travel statisticians. On the web, flight searches for trips heading to the U.S. out of all international locations was recently down by 17%.
A drop of that magnitude, if continued, would reduce the value of foreign travel within the U.S. by billions of dollars. And the number of jobs supported by foreign tourists and their expenditures in the United States—and thus lost—would easily exceed hundreds of thousands of workers in hotels, restaurants, transportation, stores, tour operations, travel agencies, and the like.

Could it be that incidents like this

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… are leading foreigners to say, “Screw that place”?

I have noticed a difference in the quality of tourist in D.C. Far less diversity, and far more herds of sweaty overweight melanin deprived waddlers wearing American flag t-shirts and red MAGA hats.

And yes, I can see their t-shirts and sweat as I walk along the streets of Washington because it’s been hovering around 80 degrees this week in February, not just here, but in most of America, and these non-believers in global warming don’t see the irony in that.

It’s so unseasonably warm, that 5,294 daily high-temperature records were broken across the country from Feb. 1 through Feb. 20, Crouch said. In contrast, there were just 85 low-temperature records broken during that same period, making it a ratio of 62:1 of high versus low new daily- temperature records, he said.

“For every cold daily-temperature record we’ve broken in February, we’ve broken 62 warm daily-temperature records,” Crouch told Live Science. “That ratio is very high. In a normal situation, we would expect those to be a 1-to-1 ratio.”

We’re either living in Bizarro World or Oceania

bizarro_world_001In Bizarro World in the DC Universe, reality is reversed in every manner. So

— A lyingracistanti-Semiticxenophobichomophobicmisogynisticpedophile thief is considered qualified to run the most powerful country in the world. (Just click on every highlighted word in that sentence.)

— A president of the United States can win an election by getting 2.5 million fewer votes than his opponent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has garnered at least 65,527,625 votes in the 2016 presidential election, over 2.6 million more than the president-elect, who has received at least 62,851,436 votes, according to figures released Wednesday by The Cook Report, a nonpartisan election analysis organization.

Completely made up news is treated as reality.

The proliferation of fake and hyperpartisan news that has flooded into Americans’ laptops and living rooms has prompted a national soul-searching, with liberals across the country asking how a nation of millions could be marching to such a suspect drumbeat. But while some Americans may take the stories literally — like the North Carolina man who fired his gun in a Washington pizzeria on Sunday trying to investigate a false story spread online of a child-abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton — many do not.

baumhswBut in Oceania, where in the year “1984,” Big Brother is always watching through the telescreen, ministries perform the opposite function of what they’re named for. So:

— The proposed head of the Department of Labor wants to make it easier for businesses instead of workers.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would nominate as his labor secretary Andrew Puzder, a fast-food executive who has opposed additional overtime pay for workers and expressed skepticism about increasing the minimum wage. That followed a pair of Twitter messages Wednesday evening in which Trump attacked an Indiana union leader who had criticized him, saying the official had done a “terrible job representing workers.”

— The proposed head of the Environmental Protection Agency is against protecting the environment:

President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.

Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as a hoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.”

— The proposed head of the Department of Education wants to dismantle public education:

President-elect Donald Trump announced that he would nominate billionaire activist and Republican fundraiser Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.

Education historian Diane Ravitch believes that—if confirmed by the Senate—DeVos will become the most radical, anti-public-school education secretary since the Office of Education was established in 1867. “Never has anyone been appointed to lead in the past 150 years who was hostile to public education,” Ravitch told Mother Jones.

— The proposed head of the Department of Health and Human Services wants to eliminate the program that has provided healthcare to millions of previously uninsured Americans:

Donald Trump has chosen a prominent critic of Obamacare as his secretary of health and human services, casting fresh doubt over the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, Price said that whatever Republicans do to replace Obama’s healthcare law will bear a “significant resemblance” to a 2015 measure that was vetoed by the president. That bill would have gutted some of the health care law’s main features: Medicaid expansion, subsidies to help middle-class Americans buy private policies, the tax penalties for individuals who refused to get coverage and several taxes to support coverage expansion. The bill would have delayed implementation for two years.

— And the proposed head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t interested in housing or urban development:

Donald Trump’s selection Monday of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development sets up what could be a collision between the nominee’s philosophical aversion to social safety-net programs and an agency that administers some of the government’s most expansive programs for helping minorities and low-income people.

Who knows? Maybe we’re living in both places, and the national slogan is:

War am peace.
Freedom am slavery.
Ignorance am strength.