Tuesday, July 03, 2018

CDC on summer heat

It’s summer so let’s go to the CDC for this on the heat:


Learn about heat-related illness and how to stay cool and safe in hot weather.

Now is the time to prepare for the high temperatures that kill hundreds of people every year. Extreme heat causes more than 600 deaths each year. Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable, yet many people still die from extreme heat every year.

Take measures to stay cool, remain hydrated, and keep informed. Getting too hot can make you sick. You can become ill from the heat if your body can’t compensate for it and properly cool you off. The main things affecting your body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather are:

·         High humidity. When the humidity is high, sweat won’t evaporate as quickly, which keeps your body from releasing heat as fast as it may need to.

·         Personal factors. Age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use can play a role in whether a person can cool off enough in very hot weather.

People age 65 and older are at high risk for heat-related illnesses.

People age 65 and older are at high risk for heat-related illnesses.

Those who are at highest risk include people 65 and older, children younger than two, and people with chronic diseases or mental illness.  Closely monitor people who depend on you for their care and ask these questions:

·         Are they drinking enough water?

·         Do they have access to air conditioning?

·         Do they need help keeping cool?

People at greatest risk for heat-related illness can take the following protective actions to prevent illness or death:

·         Stay in air-conditioned buildings as much as possible. Contact your local health department or locate an air-conditioned shelter in your area. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned, and using air conditioning in vehicles.

·         Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during an extreme heat event.

·         Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.

·         Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.

·         Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter.

Even young and healthy people can get sick from the heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather:

·         Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.

·         Wear and reapply sunscreen as indicated on the package.

·         Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.

·         Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more. Muscle cramping may be an early sign of heat-related illness.

·         Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

If you play a sport that practices during hot weather, protect yourself and look out for your teammates:

·         Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.

·         Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.

·         Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness(https://www.cdc.gov/extremeheat/warning.html).

·         Learn more about how to protect young athletes from heat-related illness by taking this CDC course(https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/extreme/heat_illness_training.htm).

Drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Drink plenty of fluids to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and deaths during hot weather:

·         Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as possible.

·         Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.

·         Schedule outdoor activities carefully.

o    Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.

o    Pace yourself.

·         Take cool showers or baths to cool down.

·         Check on a friend or neighbor and have someone do the same for you.

·         Never leave children or pets in cars.

·         Check the local news for health and safety updates.



So those are some basics and let’s address one since we are in the “kitchen.”  Your home is already hot and doesn’t cool easily?  The stove and the oven will make your home hotter, yes.  So you can use the microwave.  Or you can do sandwiches or something that does not require cooking.   If you must use the stove or oven, consider using them after night fall.  You can wait until the sun goes down and pop something in the oven for the next day.  After it cooks and cools, pop it in the fridge and just heat it (or a portion of it) in the microwave the next day.  Turning on the oven?  You will feel it.


Sharing a story.  I was at my second oldest daughter’s apartment this weekend.  She needed some help with a crafts project.  It was comfortable and she had the air on and used the oven.  (I’ll talk about what was cooked later this week.)  We ate and discussed what we were going to do with the crafts.  Then after we were done, we started working on those.  About 3 and a half hours later, I asked her if we could turn the ceiling fan on because I was a little warm.  She said she was too and went to check the thermostat.  She couldn’t figure out what was making it hot.  After a few minutes, I asked, “Did you leave the oven on?”  She had. 


So not only is the oven cruel in a warm or hot home, it can warm up a cooled place very quickly as well.


Now let’s note the Supreme Court issue.  Ava and C.I. and Eric London are truth tellers.  First, Eric London (WSWS) from last night:



Even when the Democrats have won substantial majorities, they have enacted right-wing policies that parallel those of the Republicans. After the election following the financial crash of 2008, the Democratic Party controlled the presidency and had overwhelming majorities in both houses of Congress. In power, the Democrats oversaw a massive transfer of wealth from the working class to the corporations. Because of the policies of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress, millions of working class families saw their life savings wiped out.

During the 2009-2011 period, the Democratic Party expanded the bailout of the banks. It passed Obamacare, which jacked up premiums, cut Medicare spending and strengthened the grip of the insurance giants on the health care system. It expanded the war in Afghanistan, prepared for war in Libya and Syria and stepped up NSA surveillance of the American population.

Now in the minority, having alienated and outraged many of their former working class voters, the Democrats cynically claim that while they are determined to fight the right, they are restrained by their minority position.

This is a fraud. With a war chest of hundreds of millions of dollars and a network of powerful backers in the military and state apparatus, in the corporate media and on Wall Street, the Democrats clearly possess sufficient influence on the electoral process and the media narrative to delay a confirmation vote by a few weeks. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have the power to tell their whips, as Lincoln says to his lieutenants in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film Lincoln, “You will procure me these votes!”

Is there any doubt that the Republicans would be able to “procure the votes” if the situation were reversed?

Even as a congressional minority, the Democrats are able to pursue their investigation into alleged Russian interference. By means of their collaboration with the FBI and the CIA, the Democrats have secured wiretaps and subpoenas as well as arrests and office searches of high-level Trump campaign officials aimed at backing the phony claim that Trump’s election was the product of Russian “meddling.”

The Democratic Party’s theatrics serve a purpose that is central to the functioning of the two-party system in America. It is part of the mechanism by which these parties conspire to suppress opposition while upholding the rule and imposing the policies of finance capital.

The Democratic Party does not want a left-wing Supreme Court. Its chief concern is to strengthen the institutions of the capitalist state in anticipation of the growth of the class struggle.




Now Ava and C.I. from “Media: The Panic Players” from early Monday morning:


The Court's tilt to the right, which Kennedy is part of, didn't happen because of voters.  It happened because of the Congress and whomever occupied the Oval Office.  Senators refused to stand up.  Joe Biden?  He didn't stand up against Clarence Thomas.  He betrayed Anita Hill and other women.  Time and again, cowards on the Senate have seen their role in the confirmation process as to make nice, not to defend the beliefs of the voters who put them in office.

That's the information we should be receiving.  Instead, we're encouraged to freak out and run in circles screaming.  If the supposed experts and analysts can't grasp the basics of 'first do no harm,' maybe they can hum Jewel's "Hands" as a reminder before they're interviewed:

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we're all ok
And not to worry because worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I will not be made useless
I won't be idled with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear

My hands are small, I know,
But they're not yours they are my own
But they're not yours they are my own
And I am never broken

That's how you reassure and build power.  Panic and rending garmets only induce feelings of fear and despair.  We won't be made useless and we are never broken.





We have the Court the Democratic Party wanted us to have.  Grasp that reality.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:

Tuesday, July 3, 2018.  Chaos and violence continue as US troops remain on the ground in Iraq, the drought continues, and the never-ending 2018 election sees ballots recounted today.

AFP reports:

Standing on his farm in southern Iraq, Amjad al-Kazaali gazed sorrowfully over fields where rice has been sown for centuries -- but which now lie bare for lack of water.
For the first time, this season Kazaali has not planted the treasured amber rice local to Diwaniyah province.

's treasured amber rice crop, also known as ‘royal rice’ devastated by drought

What's going on?  The drought that's being caused by Iran and Turkey diverting water.  Patrick Cockburn (INDEPENDENT) notes, "Dams built upriver in Turkey, Syria and Iran since the 1970s have reduced the flow of water that reaches Iraq by as much as half and the situation is about to get worse."  Last month, Joshua Levkowitz (MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE) explained last month:

Iraq is in a drought, and with warming temperatures, declining rainfall and ongoing dam construction, “the situation will only become more serious,” says Ali Alkarkhi, a member of Iraq’s Save the Tigris campaign. In the run-up to Iraq’s May 12 parliamentary elections, water policy has been noticeably omitted. It is problematic yet understandable that water has become a secondary concern in the wake of Iraq’s declared victory over ISIS in 2017. This is particularly urgent given that violent disputes related to water scarcity have flared up across Iraq and will only intensify, according to Alkarkhi. All this underscores the vital importance of water security in Iraq.
Hassan Janabi, Iraq’s Water Resources minister, said the amount of water flowing in Iraq’s rivers has fallen by at least 40 percent in recent decades, largely due to irregular rainfall and the construction of dams. The Waterkeeper Alliance’s Iraq branch conducted a threat assessment and found that dams were one of the major threats to the lower Zab River’s ecosystem. According to Musa, “While rivers have historically connected us, dams are dividing us.”

Of Iraq’s water resources, 70 percent come from rivers and marshes shared with its neighbors. Turkey, Syria and Iran control the flow of water into Iraq, and all three countries have plans to build dams that will further decrease water flow to Iraq, exacerbating the water crisis further.

Catastrophic drought threatens Iraq as major dams in surrounding countries cut off water to its great rivers

As we noted last week, "Summer has already begun and summer, for Iraq, is especially hot.  In July 2017, there were eight days where the temperature reached 122 degrees Fahrenheit.  Imagine a water shortage when the temperature hits 122."  As I dictate this, the temperature in Iraq is 117 degrees Fahrenheit and tomorrow the high is expected to be 199 degrees Fahrenheit.

Iraq is facing a perfect storm of drought, resulting from war, climate change and construction of dams

The war has destroyed Iraq in countless ways.  And, yet, the war continues.

Yesterday afternoon the US Defense Dept issued the following:

Strikes in Iraq
On July 1, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets near Asad. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three ISIS caves.
On June 30, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets.
-- Near Makhmur, a strike engaged one ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.
-- Near Qaim, two strikes destroyed two ISIS supply routes.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on June 28-29.
On June 27, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets.
-- Near Rutbah, two strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed two ISIS vehicles.
-- Near Jalawla, a strike destroyed an ISIS-held building and three ISIS caves.
On June 26 in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of eight engagements against ISIS targets.
-- Near Asad, a strike destroyed 15 ISIS caves.
-- Near Hawijah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS-held building.

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on June 25.

And the US troops continue to battle on the ground.  On Monday evening's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED (NPR) this was noted:

We go now to Iraq, where there are still roughly 5,000 U.S. troops even though ISIS has been largely driven out. NPR's Jane Arraf traveled with the U.S. military for an exclusive look at one of the more remote American bases near the Syrian border.

JANE ARRAF, BYLINE: To get to the firebase, you fly by helicopter over Mosul, the city retaken from ISIS a year ago after nine months of fighting along Sinjar Mountain, where minority Yazidis fled to escape genocide in 2014. And then just a little more than a mile from the Syrian border, there's a collection of tents and armored vehicles in the desert. For the last month, that's been home to about 150 American soldiers and Marines working with Iraqi forces to fire artillery at ISIS in Syria.

SERGEANT JASON POWELL: This is the M777 Alpha 1. It shoots the 155 round as we have here. They weigh about a hundred pounds each. And sometimes we get up to 12-round fire missions. So with your gear on and hauling these rounds, these guys are fricking animals.

As the war continues, so does the long, drawn out process of post-election counting.

The manual recount of votes cast in ’s parliamentary elections has begun at 500 polling stations in northern (📷 AFP).

’s state TV: Hand recount of vote from May's national begins in Kirkuk province. It shows dozens of ballot boxes lined on the ground of a covered sports hall with employees counting the sheets. The recount will extend to six other provinces in the coming days.

elections manual recount starts in on Tuesday. The committee from Baghdad, supervising the recount, are not letting journalist in to cover the process except for the state TV. correspondents on site

  • The Iraqi High Electoral Commission began on Tuesday (July 3) a manual recount of votes cast in for ’s May 12 elections
    ‪The Iraqi High Electoral Commission began on Tuesday (July 3) a manual recount of votes cast in #Kirkuk for #Iraq’s May 12 elections ‬

    May 12th, Iraq held national elections.  Ahead of the elections, there had been big hopes -- these hopes included a large turnout.   Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) noted, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW added, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explained that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women.  THE SIASAT DAILY added, of the nearly 7,000 candidates, "According to the electoral commission, only 20 percent of the candidates are newcomers." Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) reported, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003.  According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions."   On the day of the election, the big news was how so few were turning out to vote.  NPR reported, "With more than 90 percent of the votes in, Iraq's election commission announced voter turnout of 44.5 percent. The figure is down sharply from 60 percent of eligible voters who cast their ballots in the last elections in 2014." AP pointed out the obvious, "No election since 2003 saw turnout below 60 percent."  AFP broke it down even more clearly "More than half of the nearly 24.5 million voters did not show up at the ballot box in the parliamentary election, the highest abstention rate since the first multiparty elections in 2005 [. . .]."

    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr came in first, the militias led by Hadi al-Ameri came in second, Hayder al-Abadi (current prime minister) came in third.  The three have no formed an alliance to form the next government.

    Who'e left in the cold?  Former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.  MIDDLE EAST MONITOR reports:

    Iraq’s Prime Minister and Leader of Al-Nasser Coalition (Victory Alliance), Haider Al-Abadi, has been trying to avoid making a coalition with his predecessor, Nouri Al-Maliki, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Monday. Working with the Sa’eroon Coalition leader Muqtada Al-Sadr, Al-Abadi has been exerting efforts to avoid such a deal. Al-Nasser and Sa’eroon are the largest coalitions in the new Iraqi parliament.
    Meanwhile, another Coalition, Al-Fateh, formed mainly by Al-Hashd Al-Shaabi (the Popular Mobilisation Forces), has been trying to bring Al-Maliki closer to the largest groups. “Al-Fateh Coalition, headed by Hadi Al-Ameri, is trying to bring the ex-Prime Minister closer to the coalition of Sa’eroon, Al-Nasser and Al-Fateh,” explained one Sa’eroon official. He noted that such an effort “will bring the Shia home together again.”

    The official, who refused to give his name, said that all three groups have the same stance towards Al-Maliki, but they have set conditions for him to join the coalition. One of these, he explained, is that he will not be given any of the sovereign ministries to run. This and other conditions are expected to be unacceptable to him.

    Nouri fueled the rise of ISIS via his persecution of the Sunnis.  That's why then-president Barack Obama stopped speaking to him in late 2012 (going so far as to refuse to take Nouri's call of congratulations the day after the 2012 elections, Barack insisted the call be passed over to then-Vice President Joe Biden).  By June 2014, Barack knew Nouri had to go and by August he was gone.

    Corrupt and inept, Nouri still has dreams of becoming prime minister again.  It's not working out for him.

    The following community sites -- plus LATINO USA, PACIFICA EVENING NEWS and BLACK AGENDA REPORT --  updated: