California’s drought hits rock bottom

Snow in California’s Sierra mountains usually lasts all summer, which means surface runoff sustains cities and farms. Not this year. The snow is all but gone sending the state’s fragile water supply has entered into worst-case scenario territory. Last year was California’s hottest in history; 2015 will be hotter. Some relief could arrive come fall with rain generated by a Pacific El Nino, but not even Texas type flooding would be enough to eliminate the state’s drought the situation is that bad.

Minnesota: A Retirement Destination?

Paul Douglas is a highly respected meteorologist. His blog appears daily in the StarTribune. Yesterday’s post is worth reading because it makes sense of May’s rollercoaster weather. Douglas also provides his take on where people ought to retire because he gets that question a lot. You can read his answer in two paragraphs …

” ‘What about Florida?’ South Florida is probably the most vulnerable region of America as sea levels rise, threatening fresh water supplies. Do NOT buy right on the water — find a place a few blocks inland and be patient. You’ll eventually get your waterfront property. ‘California, Arizona or Denver?’ Sunny, but I worry about future availability of water. New Mexico is probably the safest state, in terms of natural disasters. The Pacific Northwest may fare relatively well, but there’s a slight risk of an 8.0 quake, and less snow in the winter may impact water supplies in Seattle down the road.

“I am not being paid by The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce (or FIFA) but my advice: use VRBO to rent homes in the dead of winter but stay put! With abundant water and winters slowly mellowing with time Minnesota will be a net winner as the climate continues to warm.”

Kitsault, a B.C. ghost town, died in 1982; it remains eerie and weird as the photos show

“The town would have a nice library, grocery store, and hospital as well as the other conveniences we have come to rely on. There is such a place and it is beautiful. It’s a small town on the northeastern coast of British Columbia, Canada. The name of this almost perfect town is Kitsault, B.C. I say almost perfect because one very important part of this town is missing. The most important part in fact, the people. Kitsault B.C. is a town with a very unique story. A sad story that is fading away like the fall leaves that cover the grounds before winter.”

Once upon a time, labor unions were strong and so were wages

Love them or hate them, unions have helped American workers get their fair share of the economy’s gains the last 60 years. Now, union membership is at 7 percent, bargaining power in the work force practically is nonexistent, and the richest get richer while worker wages stagnate.

Robert Reich is a professor at University of California at Berkeley and author of “Beyond Outrage” and “Inequality for All.”

“One big reason America was far more equal in the 1950s and 1960s than now is unions were stronger then. That gave workers bargaining power to get a fair share of the economy’s gains — and unions helped improve wages and working conditions for everyone … Workers need a union to bargain on their behalf. Low-wage workers in big-box retail stores and fast-food chains need a union even more.”

Read what else Reich has to say about the “super-haves” and the growing population of “used to have its” at:

Danes prefer their ‘mountain monkey’ brother NORWEGIANS

IceNews reports a tidbit about international relations in Scandinavia.

A new Danish government survey has shown that when it comes to foreigners, the Danes like Norwegians the most and French the least. Norway obtained independence from Denmark in 1814. Germans, Swedes, English and Americans rounded out the top-five list. Danes appear to have a soft spot for their Scandinavian brothers, or ‘fjeld aber’ (mountain monkeys) as they affectionately call them

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