Steam Whistle News Feed – July 14, 2023

I know it seems like I’m doomsday picking and preaching these days—that all I want is to talk about the most general and large-scale, worst-case scenario news headlines, and then cynically and half-assedly rattle them in your face like I’m some kind of know-it-all toddler who seems to get his jollies that way.

This world is s—ing itself before stroking out, right as I speak.  See?  SEE?!  WAHHH! WAHHHH! Look!  Humanity shall know obliteration and extinction soon, dummy unbelievers!  Fools!  Know-nothings!  Cuckolds among the proletariat!  Bastards of the shadow benevolence of the have-alls!  Slime of the trickle-down effect!  WAAHHH! Look what the powerful are taking from you!  Your children!  WAAAHHHHH! The Earth is being plundered and sexually assaulted!  The time of judgment is at hand!  Repent!  Repent, oh sinner, REPENT!  Buy my merch, then REPENT!  Links at bottom of page. WAAAAHHHHHH!

That’s obviously a joke, but I sort of mean some of that.  Just not in those exact words.  I mean, if you don’t want to believe or notice the stifling effects of and damage occurring due to rising global temperatures; the checks on liberty and equity happening and getting worse in countries (your own); the pointless death and murder by lethal force; and the spread and lack of checks on ground, air and water pollution, then you’re part of the problem, as half the saying goes.  And the Earth will take a giant s— on you soon enough, if it hasn’t already.

As that saying goes.

I got your apocalyptic news again.  It seems to me all that’s worth talking about.   The rest is just niggling, lowkey sensationalistic bulls— minutiae that compels people to choose up sides and makes them forget the common enemies and greater causes we all share, and and should all be partaking in the fight against, together.

None of which is new—the niggling minutiae or the metaphorically slow, imperceptible house-sliding or cliff-crumbling that are the world’s most pressing matters.  Frankly, it’s just the wheel of history spinning around again—a wheel that should have put had the e-brake put on it decades ago.  Except the rise in global temperatures thing.  Everyone who knows more about it than everyone else is pretty positive that’s a novel occurrence.

Speaking of that, waters off the coast of Florida are bubbling up to the mid-90s (mid-30s C), making it mildly uncomfortable for tourists and locals and f—ing lethal for the bleaching coral reefs and marine life who have to live it out down there.  It’s fine, though.  December’s right around the corner.  And coral reefs can, like, grow back in a year, right? 

More like a dozen.  Assuming the world’s slow broil magically ceases overnight, and local climates go back to reading the temperatures they’re supposed to be.  Which isn’t going to happen.  Not unless there’s a sharp drop in greenhouse gases.

This guy’s staying upbeat and reasonable, though: The chosen head of climate talks in Brussels, among the world’s biggest economies (polluters) this week, says that everyone’s got to stop dicking around and divest themselves and get as far away as they can from the evils of fossil fuel.  This, while being in charge of one of the biggest state-run oil companies in the United Arab Emirates.  Skeptics are thinking he’s just going to take advantage of the loopholes that arise from the vaguely-worded junk people like him spew when these meetings end, the agreements get hashed out and promises get put onto paper (if they ever do).  And I would agree.  Because why would this guy (or anyone) want to engage in highly-successful-career hara-kiri out in the open like that, for everyone to see?  Because they care about the planet, being in charge of a massive oil company like that?  Or because it’s a PR stunt? 

I don’t know.  You tell me.

Thirteen Republican attorneys general sent a mafiosi-esque letter to the 100 biggest companies in America after affirmative action was recently nullified by the Supreme Court, reminding them that if the prospect of race every comes up in their hiring process again something unpleasant may end up happening to them or their loved ones, which would really be an unfortunate turn of events. And they’d be very sad, the attorneys general would, if such a thing were to ever take place, but, lamentably, these things do happen in the world, and there isn’t much that can be done about it, if and when they do.

Not that the mafia writes a lot of letters, necessarily. Oblique, defamatory, threatening, vaguely sensible hand scribbles, more like it. But are we splitting hairs here?

And while those AGs were doing that, the IRS hit about 175 tax-dodgers where it hurts, in their bank vaults and the garages concealing all the material assets that total up the money they owe the government.  Which, I’m sure, pissed off those Republican attorneys general and every Republican tax-hater like them, who have been trying to systematically gut the IRS to prevent it from ever being able to do such a thing to America’s deceitfully rich.

Speaking of taxes, these fools thought it would be a great idea to share your sensitive tax info with Facebook: H&R Block, TaxAct and TaxSlayer, by name.  You get your taxes done with them?  Well, Americans on Facebook can expect to see more targeted advertising around tax time, thanks to your information going toward Meta’s ability to annoy the hell out of the world, and profit greatly in the process.

Americans, too, can expect to be killed more en masse this year.  So far, 2023’s been the worst on record for mass killings, which are defined as four of more people, not counting the killer, being killed in a 24-hour timeframe.  And every single one this year but one of the 28 perpetrated has been by…anyone?  A type of weapon.  Anyone?  May or may not sound like ‘wetter fun smegislation’ in this country?

You guessed it.

Over in one of the world’s biggest breadbaskets, semi-ironically, Putin has thrown another tantrum at being one of history’s most unsuccessful bullies, and threatened to pull Russia out of the grain-export deal that was brokered with its archnemesis last year, which had since allowed over 30 tons of grain to continue exportation since the war in Ukraine began.  Which, of course, is likely to hurt the hungriest countries and those most at risk for famine, first and foremost, if he does.

Oh, and speaking of that, some 2.4 billion people in the world couldn’t just open up their refrigerators or pantries and make a quick bite to eat because they didn’t have constant access to food. 783 million also faced chronic hunger, and 148 million kids had their growth stunted by lack of proper nutrients, too.  From food.

Back in the States, the USDA won’t concomitantly hesitate to point out that around 34 million people can’t open up their own fridges or pantries when they want to make a snack because of the same kind of lack, and that includes 9 million kids in there somewhere. 

But Americans, if asked, seem more perturbed by how democracy doesn’t work the way they want it to than by food inequity these days. But, hey, maybe four more years of Joe Biden will change that. Or, better yet, four more years of that inept, criminal-minded buffoon who occupied the office before him. Things are looking pretty good for him over in that Republican Party of his. If only he didn’t have four years under his belt of having royally f—ed it up for himself, right? He might just be able to eh, I can’t even finish that sentence.