By Robert A. Vella
Here’s a little lighthearted commentary on some of today’s news.
Here in the U.S. Pacific Northwest, September is the month when children go back to school and temperatures begin to cool off. Sometimes I think the back-to-school ritual and the change of seasons are related because those dear little kids often raise the heat on our adult temperaments with their incessant antics. Getting rid of them during weekdays is a special kind of welcomed relief. Good luck, teachers!
But, not this year. We are currently under an extreme heat advisory until the middle of next week. The number of 100F+ temperatures have been increasing in recent years, and this summer was a scorcher. It’s the discomfort of climate change.
Compared to San Francisco, however, our weather is quite balmy. The City hit 106F yesterday, shattering the previous record. Also, Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for an arson-triggered wildfire burning in Butte County. Northern California typically gets warm Indian Summers this time of year, but for S.F. to get that hot is simply unprecedented. I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and the northern end of the San Francisco peninsula during summertime is usually quite nippy. As the inland valleys heat up during the day, cool ocean breezes rush in to replace that rising air… right over the top of my favorite city. Mark Twain reportedly said:
“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
Kenya’s incumbent president Uhuru Kenyatta, the darling of the western neoliberal establishment, is now threatening that nation’s supreme court which nullified his election victory this week due to evidence of election fraud perpetrated in his favor. Apparently, computers were hacked to manipulate the voting results.
The Roosevelt Institute has published a study that projects the U.S. economy would grow by $2.5 trillion after 8 years (12.56%) if a universal basic income of $1000/month was given to all adult citizens. Silicon Valley billionaires, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, support the idea because they are rightly concerned about the loss of middle class jobs in America due to globalization, automation, and other economic trends.