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The ‘social cost of carbon’; homeless kids in Silicon Valley; best 2016 sci-fi

Today’s comic by Matt Bors is The Democratic Party’s path to victory!

What to expect from emboldened forced-birthers in 2017.

Trump administration may fight with economists over “social cost of carbon”: Department of Energy transition leader says social cost would be lower if reviewed using latest science. But some experts say he’s got that backward, and argue that the social cost of putting carbon into the atmosphere is likely higher than the $36 a ton currently used.

Private charity will never cure capitalism’s ills. Only working-class organizations can do that:

As Oscar Wilde remarks in “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” it is “inevitable that we be strongly moved” by the plight of our fellow humans, and feel compelled to take immediate action against poverty and suffering. A dollar in the Salvation Army’s bucket or a monthly pledge to OxFam seems to be the least we can do when we’re surrounded by so much unnecessary human misery.

But, as Wilde notes, “this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty.” Charity, if it soothes the soul and provides a degree of sustenance the economy denies, buttresses the same system responsible for that immiseration. Homeless shelters and breadlines do not challenge the existing social order; the philanthropic sentiment behind them has always been a corollary of capitalism.

Space X’s year of fiery triumphs and explosive failures

Maybe 2016 wasn’t your year. Buck up, at least your $60 million dollar rocket bearing a $200 million dollar payload didn’t explode on the launchpad. Or, perhaps your year was great. Again, some perspective: Did you land four rockets on ocean barges after inserting satellites into orbit around the Earth?

The Verge’s 11 Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels of 2016.

Homeless kids a problem in Silicon Valley:

Housing in and around Silicon Valley has been an issue for anyone not making tech figure salaries for some time, with more and more people outside the industry being displaced by the needs of Facebook and Google workers.

The Guardian reports that in California’s East Palo Alto—which is a separate town from Palo Alto—homelessness is becoming closer to the norm for school age children in the district. About one third of school age children are defined as homeless, either sharing space with other families, living in RVs or in shelters. That’s 1,147 kids. While some consider moving into more affordable agricultural areas, it’s often difficult to find work there.

Trump’s NY campaign chairman’s offers lengthy “nopology” for grotesque remarks about President Obama, Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett and says they weren’t meant for public consumption. They were inappropriate but weren’t racist, he says.

Resistance Notes: How to intervene when you see street harassment: an illustrated guide.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Christmas #GunFAIL is back. Greg Dworkin’s not, but his APR is. Rosalyn MacGregor reports on another… unusual fiscal situation in MI. The Russia story takes another bizarre twist. And Armando joins in wondering what to do in case of a crazy PEOTUS.

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