‘Whiplash’ Concerns

May 7, 2013

wauters02Overcast and warm this early Tuesday on California’s north coast — we had some rain yesterday and last night, but not enough to really feel the wet.
Although the banging was pretty strong when I dozed off to sleep, this morning there was just fog and some dripping heard pinging around the back patio. We not only need rain, but even more of it.

Up here in Humboldt County we’re facing a $2.9 million shortfall in next fiscal year’s budget with layoffs and unpaid furloughs for county employees in the works. The Board of Supervisors are set to meet this morning to try and devise a plan — whatever.
Chief Administrative Officer Phillip Smith-Hanes: “This is very concerning.”

And I tell you, Phil, there’s a shitload of stuff out there that’s ‘very concerning.’

(Illustration:  Emile Wauters’ ‘The Madness of Hugo van der Goes‘ found here).

War zones are not the only danger spots for US military personnel, especially females, and in 2010 the DOD spent nearly $900 million handling sexual assault cases in the armed forces — money not used, however, for those still in the service.
In the face of this:

In 2011, the last year that information on sexual assaults is available, 3,192 cases were reported to Pentagon brass.
Former defense secretary Leon Panetta estimated nearly 20,000 occur each year within the military.
According to a 2011 military health survey, one in five soldiers said they had been touched inappropriately since joining.

Came this yesterday:

An officer who led the US air force’s sexual assault prevention and response unit has been charged with groping a woman in a northern Virginia parking lot, authorities said on Monday.
Arlington county police said Lt Col Jeffrey Krusinski faces a misdemeanour charge of sexual battery following an alleged assault at about 12.30am on Sunday in the Crystal City area of the county.
A police report says the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman’s breast and buttocks.
Police say the woman fought him off and called for help.

Krusinski was head of the Air Force’s version of the “Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.” He has since been ‘removed from his post.’
Ha!

The military should be more pro-active — even with girl-crazy assholes like this:

“Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis faces up to five years in Los Angeles County jail after a jury convicted him Monday of nearly half a dozen misdemeanor counts in connection with assaults on three women.
Francis, 40, was found guilty after a two-week jury trial on five charges — three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting and one count of assault causing great bodily injury — stemming from the Jan. 29, 2011, incident.
“Whether a celebrity or not, you will be held accountable for your misdeeds,” City Atty. Carmen A. Trutanich said in a statement.
“The victims in this case should be commended for their courage in stepping forward and reporting these attacks, and for not being intimidated from seeing this matter through the justice system.”

And the bat-shit crazy, but way-dangerous NRA touts storing guns in your kids room — crap like this:

During a session on home defense Saturday, firearm instructor Rob Pincus argued that a child’s bedroom could be the best place to keep a gun in the home, even though many would have “an emotional pushback” to that, according to a ThinkProgress report.
“If you’re worried that your kid is going to try to break into the safe that is in their bedroom with a gun in it, you have bigger problems than home defense,” he said, explaining that a parent’s natural reaction would be to run to their child’s bedroom in case of emergency.
“If I’m going to go to the kid anyway, and I have an extra gun and an extra safe, why not put it in their closet?”
The next day, the NRA hosted “Youth Day” events, with hundreds of kids attending to learn about firearms and take advantage of free six-month memberships to the NRA.

Despite the details like this:

Nearly one in five people under 21 who are at risk for suicide have guns in their homes, according to research presented Monday at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington.
“This study highlights the importance of parents understanding the risks of having guns in their homes,” said co-author Jeffrey A. Bridge of the Ohio State University.
“Being at risk for suicide and having access to firearms is a volatile mix.”

Easier with the gun already in the kid’s room.

Along with “extreme weather,” climate change has formulated another set of words to go with the quickly-shifting environment — ‘weather whiplash.’
Dr. Jeff Masters explains:

Weather Whiplash — a term originally coined by science writer Andrew Freedman of climatecentral.org to describe extreme shifts between cold and hot weather — is also a excellent phrase we can use to describe some of the rapid transitions between extreme drought and floods seen in recent years.
I brought up a remarkable example in mid-April, when a 200-mile stretch of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis reached damaging major flood levels less than four months after near-record low water levels restricted barge traffic, forcing the Army Corp to blast out rocks from the river bottom to enable navigation.
As the climate warms, the new normal in coming decades is going to be more and more extreme “Weather Whiplash” drought-flood cycles like we have seen in the Midwest and in Georgia this year.
A warmer atmosphere is capable of bringing heavier downpours, since warmer air can hold more water vapor.
But you still need a low pressure system to come along and wring that moisture out of the air to get rain.
When natural fluctuations in jet stream patterns take storms away from a region, creating a drought, the extra water vapor in the air won’t do you any good.
There will be no mechanism to lift the moisture, condense it, and generate drought-busting rains.
The drought that ensues will be more intense, since temperatures will be hotter and the soil will dry out more.

Just more concerns about a growing number of concerns.
Off to work I travel for another Tuesday.

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