The recent supreme Court hearing based on whether the Royal Prerogative could be used by the government to trigger Article 50 (to leave the EU) without parliament being involved has given me cause for thought re different issues that are on-going at this moment in time around the world.
The Royal Prerogative was written into law as long ago as the invention of script. At the beginning of recorded history it would just have been recognised as the King’s will. In their own way Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Boudica would have had the same power, so in effect it would have been the Monarch’s will.
In Britain, The Royal Prerogative began to be called as such post Magna Carta in the 13th and 14th Centuries, as law began to be more thoroughly written and understood. Effectively it disappeared in 1649, along with the King’s head, but was written into law in May of that year. The King had been substituted by his imaginary prerogative. Which still staggers on, from pillar to post, strengthened by The Glorious Revolution of 1688, adapted and used hundreds of times since then as another imaginary instrument of law. It has since travelled with us through 300+ years of legislation; through war, financial hysteria, coronation and abdication. And onward it goes, through post Brexit rulings and into the cyborg future.
It’s been a bit of a rocky road for the prerogative these last months, but there it still stands, the great ethereal simulation of granite stoicism, another invisible Wall in The North. The imaginary spectre of ultimate British authority flitting onward towards Britdoom; being hunted down by purely figurative white papers and threatening little green men. Strange to witness millions of people transfixed by the simple application of an imagined proposition. It is also only by imagination that it can be applied; even though in the same whispering reeds another instance has been found where it can’t be. Another wanton divisible proposition being denied by the indivisible imagination.
So, the King is dead, but he isn’t, because his prerogative travels without him. (I’m not being sexist, I just had no wish to involve the current head of the British state in this text). However, this kind of a democratic reading of lawful values isn’t properly understood outside of the confines of a fairly unimportant island off the coast of North West Europe. There are many places on the planet where the ruler has more or less absolute power. There are currently 50 dictatorships in the world. We think of Vlad the lad, who runs Russia like a fiefdom, Mugabe and 20 other African states. Myanmar and Saudi Arabia, although that looks more like a cartel from the outside. The world just isn’t the sort of place where the political movement towards the ‘prerogative’ could either be understood or applied.
With it’s history of being connected to us, even though Barrack Obama obviously regarded it as ‘back of the queue’ vague, I wouldn’t have thought that the USA fell into that category. I’ve always absolutely enjoyed the USA, from Key West to Seattle. My influences in poetry and song are 50% American, or thereabouts. I appreciate all of it, and love lots of it. I’ve often had misgivings about its politics, but always thought that it’s further ‘right’ than Europe because it’s a new nation, and etc., blah blah. However, the latest political swerve has come with alarms bells attached.
Even though it’s accepted that every new President comes in with executive orders often countermanding his predecessor, very suddenly, there’s a person at the head of the US government who is using his executive power in roughly the same way that Vlad does. He has a lot of people scurrying and saying ‘yes’, even though one or two might be thinking ‘what!?’ He is using the effective ‘prerogative’ of the government of the United States Of America as a personal tool. Some of his ‘executive orders’ sound as though they’ve been written by Kim Jong-un or Robert Mugabe.
Giuliani has admitted that ‘The President’ asked him to find a way to ban Muslims, (effectively the religion, which would be unconstitutional).
As yet there’s nothing to stop the continuous roll of executive commands, (orders), because the right wing Republicans agree with a lot of what he’s doing, and the rest have been wrong-footed by his ‘absolutist’ style. In other words, the constitution has to be re-worked to disable what could become a Goebbels style Haw Haw being delivered by Sean the man from his pressured press secretariat. The problem with rebooting the system is that it’s going to take time for the lumbering monolith of the state to prop its eyes open for long enough to pass something into law that resembles what came into law in Britain in May 1649. Namely, a check on power being exercised by one person, virtually single-handedly.
So, the US is now back in 1649 England. The pilgrims have left, but the ‘Rump Parliament’ is still sitting and could on the spur of any moment fire the members it doesn’t think agree with it. King Donald looks like any other medieval king, except that you can now see him on TV.
It’s going to be some time before what he’s doing can be undone, if ever. After all, it seems that to all intents and purposes, he is acting lawfully. Well, if eventually someone’s able to tell him that he isn’t, then even more toys are coming flying out of that pram. Pronto. And there’ll be lots of stamping, and jumping up and down.
Meanwhile, Rome, or rather the Arctic, is burning, and there’s even less hope of putting the fire out now that King Donald has the wheel. It seems that he doesn’t believe in anything he’s not thought, and things that other people think about do not seem to concern him. Worse still, historical discoveries that have long been understood seem to be automatically registered by his court as unbelievable. It’s quite possible that everything he’s not previously considered has to be untrue. Like the fact of climate change. King Donald wants to burn the world, well, he doesn’t necessarily want to, but he’s too stubborn to be able to see the writing that’s plainly been on the wall for a while now. I.e., 7+ billion creatures burning whole layers of fossilised plants that took 60 million years to lay down, (most of it before 300 million years ago), in decades, driving thousands of species into extinction. Does he see this as unimportant? Apparently.
It is for the people who are employed digging it out of the ground. And there’s the paradox. What’s more important, the planet, it’s diversity of life, or next weeks’ wages? An existential problem faced by at least the last 5 leaders of the ‘free’ world. This is an old one, and because it’s so old, it’s gone onto the shelf now. Into the filing cabinet, to be dealt with after the funeral; maybe.
More importantly, right now, (how can it be?) is that the ipso facto leader of the ‘free’ world is closing his doors to the world he presumes to be less ‘free’. As we know I’m an atheist, and I detest organised religion because of what it’s done to us. For how it’s trapped us in it’s obvious lies, and stopped many of our fellow beings from realising greater freedom of mind. Like many, I regard armed superstition as the most stupid manifestation of belief in fantasy; of belief in the fantasy that organised religion resorts to whenever it can. I don’t care whether it’s Christian, Islamic, Hindu or whatever, it’s the volatile part of this structured myth that’s holding us back. Holding us back from living in the present, among other things.
I fully accept that the Christians have been the worst in the past, but as everyone knows, they are now being rivalled by the Islamists. You don’t have to be a racist to want the whole of violent radical Islam to be wiped from the face of the planet. That has nothing to do with race. Personally, I regard my brothers and sisters as being from every race and creed on the planet. I literally cry for them every day, and even though I am an atheist, in these circumstances I will stick up for the right to peacefully fantasise.
Now that I’ve established that, I have to say that my opinion of what is now happening in terms of border control is that what King Don is now doing at the US border will antagonise the rest of the world, and particularly all of those people who have helped the USA in Iraq and other places. Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Peshmerga Kurds, Mexicans and all kinds. They are being insulted. These people are not religious fanatics, they’re people who’ve been existing and sometimes fighting in the front line of the fight against Isis, against armed superstition. What this amounts to is heavy handed gratuitous bullying which will surely backfire on the US if it’s allowed to stand. There are now well established ways of knowing who’s coming in your front door. They don’t need masochistic savagery added to them.
How much hope is there of some recalibration of this, do we think? With the whole US establishment psyche starting to look inward. Not much, we may surmise. Befitting of this are the King’s pronunciations, the tone of which often resemble those of a gangster. His demeanour is cretinous. He’s forcing everyone to look at their navel. And what’s in there. It seems he’s possessed with his own. Homo not very Erectus, the duck, he doesn’t walk, he waddles, his character is unsavoury and his signature is like a dozen chards of glass. He’s incredibly transparent, and everything I can see is undesirable. Whatever he sees in the mirror has obviously no bearing in fact. My imagination tells me that he’s a thug who lives an alternative truth that’s layered with slime. A grim reality, and a big mess.
He’s exposed himself as a tourist in buying an audience with a woman who’s seen it all. She’ll go along with it like any other pragmatist, and there’ll be no need to know what she thinks. There’ll be a big mess in the UK when he comes. O! No! Ugh!!! The ammonia! Christ!
- Fully sourced at Wikipedia Coal
‘Coal forms when dead plant matter is converted into peat, which in turn is converted into lignite, then sub-bituminous coal, after that bituminous coal, and lastly anthracite. This involves biological and geological processes that take place over time.
In 2013, the head of the UN climate agency advised that most of the world’s coal reserves should be left in the ground to avoid catastrophic global warming.
In Centralia, Pennsylvania (a borough located in the Coal Region of the United States), an exposed vein of anthracite ignited in 1962 due to a trash fire in the borough landfill, located in an abandoned anthracite strip mine pit. Attempts to extinguish the fire were unsuccessful, and it continues to burn underground to this day. The Australian Burning Mountain was originally believed to be a volcano, but the smoke and ash come from a coal fire that has been burning for some 6,000 years. There are thousands of such coal fires alight on the planet at any one time.
As of 2012 coal production in the United States was falling at the rate of 7% annually with many power plants using coal shut down or converted to natural gas; however, some of the reduced domestic demand was taken up by increased exports with five coal export terminals being proposed in the Pacific Northwest to export coal from the Powder River Basin to China and other Asian markets; however, as of 2013, environmental opposition was increasing. High-sulfur coal mined in Illinois which was unsaleable in the United States found a ready market in Asia as exports reached 13 million tons in 2012.’
2. US Energy Information Administration. (eia)
In the IEO2016 Reference case, coal remains the second-largest energy source worldwide—behind petroleum and other liquids—until 2030. From 2030 through 2040, it is the third-largest energy source, behind both liquid fuels and natural gas. World coal consumption increases from 2012 to 2040 at an average rate of 0.6%/year, from 153 quadrillion Btu in 2012 to 169 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and to 180 quadrillion Btu in 2040.’
3. Scientific American (Powder River Basin coal on the move)
‘The Missouri River became the dominant stream as the Northern Rockies formed, with tributaries like the Yellowstone, Powder and Cheyenne rivers running north and east to meet it. Their erosion eventually left coal seams only a few feet beneath the land surface of what today is called the Powder River Basin.
No other coal seam on the planet is so big, so close to the surface, and so cheap to mine, said Thomas Michael Power, a professor emeritus at the University of Montana who studies energy economics.
Today the massive deposits, enough to light the United States almost into the 23rd century, have become the center of a regional – and increasingly national – debate: Should this resource continue to be developed, how will it get to market and what is that market? The coal is so cheap that companies see profit in shipping it west via vast trains, a half-mile or more long, then clear across the Pacific Ocean to meet Asia’s seemingly insatiable demand.
There is also concern over the role coal plays in global warming and health impacts. Coal is the “dirtiest” fossil fuels, emitting mercury, nitrogen oxides, sulfur – and 2.5 tons of carbon dioxide for every ton of ore burned. Natural gas emits about half as much of the greenhouse gas. According to the Energy Information Agency, coal is source of 44 percent of global energy-related CO2 emissions.’ (Much more…)
- ‘Countries and their Cultures’(Kurds,5)
‘Many Kurds belong to Sufi (Islam mystic) brotherhoods. They meet to chant and dance together to worship Allah. The Sufi brotherhoods are very important in Kurdish village life. There are about 1 million Kurdish ‘Alawis (a secretive faith based on and distinct from Islam) in Turkey, and 40,000 to 70,000 Yazidis mostly in Armenia and Azerbaijan. Yazidism is a small religion that combines aspects of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. A very few Kurds are Christian.’
Are/is the following all lies, then? King Don will note that this is research being done by his own countrymen and women.
‘NASA 16-008 – January 20, 2016 – 2015 Global Temperatures NASA, NOAA ANALYSES REVEAL RECORD-SHATTERING GLOBAL WARM TEMPERATURES IN 2015 IMAGE: http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/16-008.jpeg 2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend — 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. VIDEO: https://youtu.be/gGOzHVUQCw0
This visualization illustrates Earth’s long-term warming trend, showing temperature changes from 1880 to 2015 as a rolling five-year average. Orange colors represent temperatures that are warmer than the 1951-80 baseline average, and blues represent temperatures cooler than the baseline. DESCRIPTION: Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.
The 2015 temperatures continue a long-term warming trend, according to analyses by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York (GISTEMP). NOAA scientists concur with the finding that 2015 was the warmest year on record based on separate, independent analyses of the data. Because weather station locations and measurements change over time, there is some uncertainty in the individual values in the GISTEMP index. Taking this into account, NASA analysis estimates 2015 was the warmest year with 94 percent certainty. “Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and NASA’s vital work on this important issue affects every person on Earth,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “Today’s announcement not only underscores how critical NASA’s Earth observation program is, it is a key data point that should make policy makers stand up and take notice – now is the time to act on climate.”
The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) since the late-19th century, a change largely driven by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. Last year was the first time the global average temperatures were 1 degree Celsius or more above the 1880-1899 average.
Phenomena such as El Niño or La Niña, which warm or cool the tropical Pacific Ocean, can contribute to short-term variations in global average temperature. A warming El Niño was in effect for most of 2015. “2015 was remarkable even in the context of the ongoing El Niño,” said GISS Director Gavin Schmidt. “Last year’s temperatures had an assist from El Niño, but it is the cumulative effect of the long-term trend that has resulted in the record warming that we are seeing.” Weather dynamics often affect regional temperatures, so not every region on Earth experienced record average temperatures last year.
For example, NASA and NOAA found that the 2015 annual mean temperature for the contiguous 48 United States was the second warmest on record. NASA’s analyses incorporate surface temperature measurements from 6,300 weather stations, ship- and buoy-based observations of sea surface temperatures, and temperature measurements from Antarctic research stations. These raw measurements are analyzed using an algorithm that considers the varied spacing of temperature stations around the globe and urban heating effects that could skew the conclusions if left unaccounted for. The result of these calculations is an estimate of the global average temperature difference from a baseline period of 1951 to 1980.
NOAA scientists used much of the same raw temperature data, but a different baseline period, and different methods to analyze Earth’s polar regions and global temperatures. GISS is a NASA laboratory managed by the Earth Sciences Division of the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The laboratory is affiliated with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Engineering and Applied Science in New York.
NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites, as well as airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. The agency develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing.
NASA shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet. RELATED LINKS: The full 2015 surface temperature data set and the complete methodology used to make the temperature calculation are available at: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/ The slides for the Wednesday, Jan. 20 news conference are available at: http://go.nasa.gov/2015climate For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/earth
- Public Domain
- Created: 20 January 2016’