July rain in Berkeley…a sign of the end times? Nope, the end of the Earth has been rescheduled for 2126, party on.
I got up this morning to discover that it had rained during the night. Real rain, not just an exaggerated fog. I’m not sure I remember it ever raining in July in the Bay Area, so this is something pretty special. Nice for my garden too, and the cats had gotten really dusty so this has cleaned them right up. Unfortunately the smell isn’t as nice as one would imagine, since it’s still legal to use the streets as a public toilet in Berkeley. The dark side of liberalism and tolerance and diversity. Oh well, all isms have their extremists who go too far, part of the human experience.
What’s in the news for today? This morning headline on the Drudge Report is “Top Al-Qaeda-in-Iraq” figure captured. Sigh. This of course means nothing, and is another example of how unrelated to reality that the American news has become. Everything is a game or a sport, so if we kill or capture enough of the opposing team, we win! Wrong, the situation is vastly more complex than that, but this sort of thinking is why we are making the situation worse and worse in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Our attempts to kill our enemies are causing dreadful civilian casualties, which simply brings more people over to the insurgent’s side.
An earthquake has caused some problems at a nuclear reactor in Japan. You would think that the Japanese, who live in one of the world’s greatest earthquake zones, would have been better prepared. People are people though, who among us ends their shift at work making sure that everything is properly placed in case there is an earthquake during the night? I’d rail against the nuclear industry, but what’s the point? The oil/coal industry kills vastly more people and does vastly more environmental damage. My main criticism of the nuclear industry is that it is wildly subsidized, and really is just an offshoot of weapons production. If it wasn’t possible to make nuclear weapons, there would basically be no nuclear power, because the profit margins aren’t there. No private company would have risked the staggering amount of money it took to develop.
This is one of the things that makes me mad about people who tout “free market” policies and unrestricted capitalism. They don’t know (or are being paid to ignore) that all sorts of industries are vastly larger than they ever would be under an actual free market, because of the unholy influence that corporations have over governments. It started with the US government giving millions of acres to the railroads in the 19th century, which they are still profiting from today mind you, and has gotten steadily worse since since then. The digital spectrum giveaway in 1996 for example was the biggest handover of public assets to private ownership in history, how many people of even heard of it? Yeah, we can’t afford national health care, but we could give $70 billion dollars to the broadcast industry? And it has gotten worse since 1996.
In end times news a coelacanth has been captured in Zanzibar. Thought to be extinct for 80 million years, this rare and endangered fish may not survive the latest challenge, people. They survived the cataclysm that killed the dinosaurs, only to end up being filleted to death by poor third world fishermen. Where’s Jesus when we need him? And yes, some will ask “Why hasn’t it evolved? Isn’t this proof that there is no such thing as evolution?” Nope, but anyone who asks the question has proved they don’t understand the Theory of Evolution. First off, for all we know the coelacanth’s DNA has evolved and the modern version might have all sorts of subtle improvements that don’t show up in the fossil record. Secondly, things evolve when they need to, the coelacanth is perfectly suited to its environment, so there was no pressure to evolve.
In final end time news, the date has been announced. Comet Swift-Tuttle is very likely to strike the Earth or the Moon on its next pass. That will be on August 14, 2126. I will blog more on this as the date approaches.
(The above image of a coelacanth is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and is central to illustrating the post. Big suckers, aren’t they? Credit: Mark V. Erdmann, July 1998 Smithsonian Institute)