The demise of the West. The end of the postwar world order. The beginning of a new era. There are lots of dramatic claims making the rounds to describe what exactly U.S. President Donald Trump is currently up to. And all of them are both correct and incorrect at the same time.
The debacle at the G-7 clearly shows that the real problem with Donald Trump’s policies is Donald Trump himself. There is no rhyme or reason to his actions aside from the desire — the need — to be the best, the most important, the biggest. The collapse of the West and the destruction of alliances that have held up for decades are merely the side effects of this unprecedented ego trip.
@ Der Spiegel
Now the Europeans know what we have putting up with, they, unlike our people, refuse to tolerate it. Someone needs to take away his phone and put him in a soundproof cell where no one has to listen to him, except his willing relatives until his term is over.
SOUTHERN LIGHTS FROM THE STRATOSPHERE: Last night, there were no geomagnetic storms. A research aircraft in the stratosphere saw auroras anyway. “Last night, I was a guest on a flight of SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) out of Christchurch New Zealand,” reports astronomer Ian Griffin. “Our flight path took us down to latitude 61 in the general direction of the magnetic pole.” Before long, green lights were shimmering across the southern Milky Way:
“Despite a low Kp value of 1, lady aurora graced the southern sky as the astronomers aboard SOFIA collected their precious data. I even got to take some pictures of auroras from the cockpit,” says Griffiths.
The high-flying astronomers witnessed Earth’s persistent southern auroral oval, a ring-shaped region surrounding the south pole where the geomagnetic field guides solar wind particles down onto the upper atmosphere. This extraterrestrial rain may ebb, but it never stops. Inside the oval, sputtering auroras can suddenly blossom into magnificent sprays of green and purple light–no geomagnetic storm required.
The most complete assessment to date of Antarctica’s ice sheets confirms that the meltdown accelerated sharply in the past five years, and there is no sign of a slowdown.
That means sea level is expected to rise at a rate that will catch some coastal communities unprepared despite persistent warnings, according to the international team of scientists publishing a series of related studies this week in the journal Nature.
The scientists found that the rate of ice loss over the past five years had tripled compared to the previous two decades, suggesting an additional 6 inches of sea level rise from Antarctica alone by 2100, on top of the 2 feet already projected from all sources, including Greenland.
INSIDE CLIMATE NEWS
Not rich boy, Alec Baldwin playing rich boy.
Just over half of all Americans say they approve of how President Donald Trump has handled North Korea, but only a quarter think that his summit this week with Kim Jong Un will lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Wednesday.
In a joint declaration following their meeting in Singapore on Tuesday, the North Korean leader pledged to move toward complete denuclearization of the peninsula and Trump vowed to guarantee the security of the United States’ old foe. Forty percent of those polled said they did not believe the countries would stick to their commitments.
Another 26 percent said they believed the United States and North Korea would meet their commitments, while 34 percent said they did not know whether they would follow through.
Thirty-nine percent believe the summit has lowered the threat of nuclear war between the United States and nuclear-armed North Korea, slightly more than the 37 percent who said they did not believe it changed anything.
Mark Karlin: Why is it important to have an historical understanding of fascism to shed light on the age of Trump?
Henry A. Giroux: The conditions leading to fascism do not exist in some ethereal space outside of history. Nor are they fixed in a static moment in the past. As Hannah Arendt reminds us, the protean elements of fascism always run the risk of crystallizing into new forms. Historical memory is a prerequisite to the political and moral witnessing necessary to successfully counter growing fascism in the United States today. As Richard Evans, the renowned historian of modern Germany, observes, the Trump administration may not replicate all the features of Germany and Italy in the 1930s, but the legacy of fascism is important because it echoes a “warning from history” that cannot be dismissed.
White House staff are running after the president with scotch tape so they can stick pages he’s torn up back together. Two staffers have told Politico that the president tends to rip paper once he is finished with it, sometimes just in half, but sometimes in “pieces so small they look like confetti” which have to be pieced back into a document like a puzzle. The Presidential Records Act makes it law that almost any document the president touches must be preserved in the national archives.
The two senior staffers, Solomon Lartey and Reginald Young Jr, from the archive department, were tasked with Scotch-taping together Trump’s letters, including one from Chuck Schumer, which was ripped into particularly tiny pieces. Both were suddenly fired from the White House this year with no explanation as to why they had been let go after long careers in the civil service.
@ THE GUARDIAN