An entire American town of 25,000 people has disappeared in a sea of fire and Verizon is advertising a service called Responder Private Core that will enable first responders to remain connected during disasters which you wouldn’t think would be a necessary thing to do unless you know they throttled firefighters’ data usage during a fire in Mendocino earlier this summer.
According to polls in 2017 close to ninety percent of Americans did not know there was a scientific consensus on global warming. Shortly after George W. Bush was inaugurated in 2001, Dick Cheney, who had previously worked as the CEO of Halliburton, convinced Bush to reverse his campaign pledge to treat carbon dioxide as a pollutant as the New Yorker reported this week.
Frank Luntz the infamous polling consultant for Bush produced a memo saying they could easily get away with it. “Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community,” he wrote. “Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate.”
After touring the devastation in California this weekend president Trump, who has called climate change a hoax, was asked whether what he saw had shifted his opinion at all.
"No, no, I have a strong opinion. I want great climate," he said.
In an interview last month Trump said that the climate may be changing but pointed out that it "goes back and forth, back and forth."
"You have scientists on both sides of it,” he said. “My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years, Dr. John Trump," he said. "And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”
The Los Angeles Times reported on what it was like to see your town consumed by fire today and I have to be honest it does not sound like a particularly great thing to experience. Here’s one striking excerpt about Nichole Jolly, a surgical nurse, who was trying to get out:
The fire caught up to Jolly on Pearson Road, blasting her car with heat. She reached for the stethoscope slung around her neck and flinched as the metal burned. Her steering wheel was melting — the plastic stuck to her hands.
As her car caught fire and began to fill with black smoke, she called her husband. “Run,” he told her.
Jolly fled for safety to the car ahead of hers, but it too was abandoned. She ran on.
The rubber on her shoes melted into the asphalt. The back of her scrubs caught fire, blistering her legs. She tried another car, but it wasn’t moving.
“I can't die like this,” she told herself. “There’s no way I’m going to die sitting in a car. I have to run.”
Jolly plunged into the smoke, now blinding, and ran with her hands stretched out in front of her. She hit firm, hot metal. A firetruck.
Two firefighters lifted her in and radioed for help, pleading for a water drop. The crackled response came back: “Impossible.”
In Finland, the president said, they don’t have fires like this because they rake the forest floors.
Dyson the famous vacuum company has filed for a patent for a wearable air purifier that can double as headphones “hoping to tap demand from pollution-choked cities in Asia.”
Sears is planning to close hundreds of stores and layoff 5,500 employees according to a report and Sears is also seeking approval to give out $19 million in bonuses to retain executives during bankruptcy reorganization. Three top executives could get $1 million each if the company goes out of business or $500,000 each if the company stays in business which doesn’t seem like it makes sense but I’m not a highly paid business genius so what do I know. I did just find some old rolled up coke bills in a drawer I hadn’t opened in a couple years however and I washed them in the bathroom sink and now they’re hanging out to dry like laundry.
Shelia Brewer worked for 17 years at a Kmart in Illinois which Sears also owns, and instead of the eight weeks severance she was promised she was informed after four weeks she wouldn’t get it anymore due to the bankruptcy.
"It hit me hard. I was already struggling as it was," she said.
"They say we can't get our severance because there's no money, but they're getting bonuses? It's like a slap in the face," she said.
A Navy Seal is on trial for alleged war crimes the most serious of which is the murder of a wounded ISIS fighter in Mosul in 2017. After an Iraqi airstrike was called in on a building a boy of around 15 who was wounded in the attack was captured the charges say. He was being treated by the medical unit Gallagher was working with at the time and was stabilized and then according to a witness Gallagher walked up nonchalantly and stabbed the boy to death then posed with the dead body and texted pictures of it to colleagues. “I got him with my hunting knife” he wrote in the text. Two other charges say Gallagher assassinated an elderly Iraqi civilian and a young girl from a distance with his sniper rifle on two separate occasions.
Speaking of war crimes I just read a report that [spins the wheel] the Cleveland Browns are interested in interviewing [spins the wheel] former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their [spins the wheel] head-coaching job and I’d like to be able to say nothing surprises me anymore but that would actually surprise me.
Speaking of battlefield medics I just watched a video about something called the Stop the Bleed Program which is an attempt to teach school children throughout the country how to apply a tourniquet to their dying classmates when their school inevitably gets shot up.
“At the end of the day our job with this knowledge is to make sure the least amount of people die,” one tenth grader said in the interview.
All of that is very bad but here’s maybe the worst thing I’ve ever written about on Hell World. I don’t know if I even want to think about it any more but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head all day. Maybe don’t read it. Trigger warnings for murder and rape.
Alyssa Noceda an 18 year old from Washington state passed out in the bedroom of a 19 year old named Brian Varela in February of this year. He had given her some percocet and xanax to snort and a dab of concentrated THC according to court filings. Shortly after Varela googled what to do when someone overdoses on percocet which as the local paper the Herald pointed out would have said to call 911 immediately but he didn’t do that. Instead he texted pictures of her unclothed body to his friends on a group text and bragged that he was sexually assaulting her to “pass the time.”
“LOL I think she od’d, still breathing,” he wrote to his pals who did not for some reason decide to call the police themselves. One of the friends asked for a nude photo of her and so he sent another photo. “But not joking she od bruh,” he wrote. And then he played a video game and went to bed.
The next morning he found her dead body. His roommate came in and told him to call 911 but he still did not do that he went to work his shift at Dairy Queen and told his co-workers about what had happened. He went to his mother’s house and got a plastic crate and washed the body hoping to destroy any DNA from when he had had sex with the dead girl. He took another picture of her body then went to bed again for the second night in a row without doing anything while Alyssa’s mother was frantically trying to find out where she was. He’d also used her thumb to unlock her phone to post a Snapchat saying she had run away. “Be careful,” her mother had texted her the night she died. “Do you know the person you’re with very well?”
Alyssa’s mother had had her when she was 16 herself and she ended up getting kicked out of her school after that and things had been tough for them.
This week Varela was sentenced for his crimes. “I’m sorry for my foolish actions,” he said in court. “Whatever I get is what I deserve.”
What he ended up getting was 2 years and 10 months which the judge said was the most time she was allowed to give for under state guidelines for someone with no prior record for his crimes which were second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape and unlawful disposal of human remains.
The newspaper said Alyssa had recently applied for a job at Safeway and had gotten an iPhone for Christmas and she was really excited about that.