Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Mrs Pindar

She "taught" Physical Science when I was in eighth grade. Mrs. Pindar had the ability to turn the most wickedly amazing science into a boring rote recital of the 20 year old information in the text she used. She was a mean-spirited burnout who should have retired, or been retired.

In one class I suggested that some of the dinosaur bones resembled birds and it seemed to me that they didn't go extinct but grew wings and flew away.

She told me I was an idiot, it was impossible, she growled. She further claimed that I was a vegetable so I asked her if I could be a carrot. It was likely not the best possible response but in those days I didn't know better.

BTW, those bones are now referred to as "Avian Dinosaurs" and are commonly accepted to be the forerunners of birds today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Your Choice In The Age Of Covid

Did you realize that we were such social creatures? Is it clearer now?
We see the healthcare workers sacrificing their lives in service of us; You and me. They are not being forced to do it, Our country is not that far down the road to Fascism, yet.
Can we do less than these brave folks? We are not being asked to go as far, we are only being asked to wear a mask and stay home unless you HAVE to go out.
We get off pretty easy in all this, and it's far from over.
So we can choose to support each other, as many of us do. Wear a mask, limit contacts, wash your hands. While doing these simple things we are learning new things;

Many employers will be encouraging work from home (telecommuting). Imagine how much energy and gasoline could be saved. Imagine how much less stressful you day will be without traffic jams and lousy lunches.

Instead of dragging the family out for dinner, have dinner brought to your family. BTW, home cooking still tastes the best.

Give up slogging around the grocery store (Walmart, Walgreens etc)? order online and pick it up.

How simple and refreshing washing your hands can be?

So we can choose to support each other, as many of us do; or we can choose to use assault weapons to threaten our government workers because some rich folks spent a bundle to encourage you to further THEIR ends; and yes, some folks are that easily led. In all honesty, you are taking up arms against your fellow citizens. That makes you the bad guys.
What's your choice? Let's be blunt; will you choose selfishness and and stupidity, in the guise of protecting "your rights"? Your rights end when it infringes on another citizen's rights; period. This is basic to civilized societies around the world and throughout history.
Tell me then, what are the other rights in the Bill Of Rights? (HINT: there are 10 of them) You likely only know the 2nd amendment because some Nazi or the NRA (Seems redundant) mentioned it while convincing you to take up arms against your fellow citizens. What's the 7th amendment? ( Right of trial by jury in civil cases.) BTW I knew that without looking it up. What does the 2nd amendment say (Hint: it does not say the right to bear arms.)
Make your choice, but in these days of media, you WILL be remembered.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

The End Of The World As We Know It

Remember that feeling? It was November 3, 2016. Some of us "Progressives" went to bed early because it was in the bag. Me, I'm a news junkie and I stayed up. I was missing Walter Cronkite, because the lineup of respected "Pundits" was blathering on and on.
I can't remember exactly but I was probably writing ( I often do that). With my jaw hanging open I turned my attention back to the Pundits; did I just hear that? I changed the channel several times, yes I just heard that, "With 92% of the votes reported CNN is now calling Donald J. Trump the winner and next President of the United States"
"ummm..." I thought; also "WTF" and several other things. There may have been some scatology involved and possibly tears I was, after all, in shock.
Think back to that day. Remember how it felt when you found out that this self-promoting, sociopathic, ass-clown was President Elect.
I grew up in Hackensack NJ. It is a stone's throw from New York City. I read the Bergen Record every day, sometimes twice while I was growing up. I read the NY Times as often as I could. Trump, the rich, rapacious, spoiled failure (ass-clown) figured prominently most days. He was a dirty joke, a symbol of everything that was wrong with America.
He called in to radio shows pretending to be someone else promoting "The Donald", even the interviewer knew who it really was but they played along. He mugged for the camera in any way he could and shamelessly lied about his successes, when everyone knew his successes were basically due to Daddy throwing money at his massive failures. I think he was up to 3 bankruptcies by then, but I didn't check my facts.
He was an ignorant, arrogant, self promoting rich kid who would have been selling mobile homes if not for Daddy's money. Oh yeah, he was always that ugly and stupid but he did know how to promote himself. That is what he craved; the Limelight. He used Daddy's money to take out a full page ad in the NY Times to call for the death penalty on 5 kids of color who turned out to be innocent. He did not retract it or apologize when they arrested the real criminals.
I realized my mouth was still open.
I don't know how many people cried, cursed or contemplated suicide that night. I'm not sure how many self-satisfied "Progressives" woke up the next morning and sat over their coffee in shocked dis-belief, but I'll bet there were many.
"How could this happen in the USA?" I may have said that aloud, possibly to Rachel Maddow who was on the TV at the moment.
I realized my mouth was still open.
If you want another moment like that, just don't vote. If you want to get rid of President Donald J. Ass-Clown vote. That's all it takes. The concerned and intelligent outnumber the Trumpsters 2-1. So vote. Better yet, get behind the local Democrats in you area and volunteer; make 10 phone calls.

Friday, May 08, 2020

The Hard Work

Many years ago, bands of wandering hunter gatherers made a difficult transition. They started farming and husbanding animals and changed the world. It was hard, such transitions always are but they did it. The result was civilization; Our world.
All those years ago people took advantage of the climate, the water, the Sun and the earth they walked upon and changed the world forever.
It is now our turn. It's our turn to do the hard work and change the world for the better.  We let it get out of hand, because we trusted the corporations to not be evil. We were wrong about that.
Corporations are intrinsically evil as their first concern is profits over people. They have proved that there is no such thing as "too low" when it comes to profits.

Let's put the oil companies to sleep, their time is over. It is only through their relentless campaigns of misinformation that we are still dependent on petroleum products. BP should have been euthanized when they destroyed the Gulf Coat and said "Who, us?"

Let's get a hold on corporations like Nestle and others who have been buying up all the water on the planet for the last 50 years. They are being very quiet about it, I would call it sneaky. They don't want you to realize that in the next 20 years you will be dependent on them for clean water. Could it be they who are lobbying against clean water legislation around the world?

Let's end industrial farming for good. The life of the American farmer has gone from nobility to despair; because of companies like Conagra. Like Walmart they are actively forcing the competition out of business.
Farming has always been hard work, but it used to be worth it. Food use to be good for you. Now just look around at the amount of laxatives and stomach remedies. We shouldn't need to take vitamins but the processors take all the good out of food so it will fit in the box properly.

For most of us the combined knowledge of the human race is at our finger tips. That should be the first thing we fix. Finally get the billions of dollars worth of funding that Qwest and AT&T (et al) got for extending connectivity to rural and under-served communities. They have as yet to do that, as far as I know they kept the money. Now they are conglomerating to RULE the Internet, streaming and phones. Let's put them in their place.

It's time to take Healthcare back from giant for-profit corporations. Unfortunately the government is the only one who can take over; but the infrastructure is already there. Thousands of workers can be transitioned to a new system, one that will allow every citizen to have the kind of health care that only politicians enjoy now. No copays, no $100.00 aspirins. Just imagine all the good the workers could do who are now paid to deny your claims as the HMO's first line of gouging.

It seems like it comes down to 2 choices:
We can let the Industrialists and Fascists take control, and they are mostly there now.
We can change the world for the better.

It has to be up to you and I, because we see what happens when politicians are believed. These last 3 years are a perfect example.
It isn't that hard, for you and I. We will have to put up with some transitions.
*Gas sucking, pollution spewing cars will give way to electrics.
*Connectivity that costs about a 1/4 of what you are paying now includes your phone, "cable" and does not include whatever ridiculous add on fees they can get away with.
*Health systems that welcome everyone and will not bankrupt you if you get sick; we'll only have to give up the massive fees and "Co-pays" for that one.
*Clean water that will only require us to give up plastics and stop flushing garbage and chemicals into the aquifers. It will require municipalities and states to do the hard work and clean up their act; remember Flint. We have to hold their feet to the fire.

My dream is to put them all out of business. The employees can be transitioned to the new paradigm and the only ones to lose out will be a few billionaires, who likely already have a plan for that.
I want politicians to be as afraid of losing their cushy positions as we are of losing our lousy jobs.

So what do you want to do?

Friday, May 01, 2020

Your Children's And Grandchildren's Future

We are selling out your Children's and Grandchildren's future.

1. We wrote checks for trillions of dollars because the Administration used this outbreak as an opportunity to make money and campaign for re-election. Even before the outbreak, the Republicans pushed through a tax bill that gave more than 80% of the benefits to the wealthiest top 10%; campaign donation pay backs.

2. After 50 years there is still no significant legislation for mitigating global climate change, mostly because of Petrochemical donations to politicians. This Administration is working to undo what little has been done either because  a. Obama did it or b. because of Petrochemical donations to politicians.

3. The US clean water supply (and that around the world) is being bought up by companies like Nestle because they know what's coming. The water coming from our taps is so poisonous that everybody thinks nothing of needing a water filter. This administration is busy undoing what little protections there were either because  a. Obama did it or b. because of donations to politicians.

4. Nazis, racists (I refuse to call them white supremacists) and pinheads are infiltrating the armed service, police forces and city councils around the country. What happens when you have a (insert name of Democrat) for President sign on your lawn, or ACLU bumper sticker and 2 Proud Boys and a pinhead answer your home invasion 911 call?

What can we do?

1. Take back the money. Set the tax structure back to pre Reagan days when Billionaires were paying a decent share. NO ONE who makes a billion (or more) dollars a year should be paying zero taxes - period. End subsidies for billion dollar industries -

Conservative estimates put U.S. direct subsidies to the fossil fuel industry at roughly $20 billion per year; with 20 percent currently allocated to coal and 80 percent to natural gas and crude oil. European Union subsidies are estimated to total 55 billion euros annually.Jul 29, 2019 -

Imagine how much could be done with 20 billion for schools, or school nurses; and that's just one resource.

2. Fire the head of the EPA and his deputies. Bring the codes up to realistic standards and put the breaks on pollution. Beef up the enforcement section and bring the scientists back. Get Congress to put the regulations into law and put real teeth in them; if your caught dumping plastic in the ocean, your company and all it's assets are forfeit and sold to plant trees and make solar panels.

3. (see 2)

4. Simple, Nazi militias are banned in several countries. If your stated goal is to take over the country for the white (black, brown yellow or green) people or for any religion then you have an illegal militia. There is no gray area when it come to Nazis, Racists and Zealots. Lock them up.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Word Balloons

It is coming again. It lurks just beyond the edge of what we can see, though it's there to be seen if one looks.
It has been just long enough for the world to forget; for the words to be just words, without the horror and misery that filled them. Once again, we will learn their meaning. We will fill up those words with meanings again; as if they were carnival balloons dragging along the ground, devoid of the gaseous-ness that buoyed them in our sight.
Now those who saw the horror and madness of times gone by are all but gone themselves. Their children and fathers lay silent in their graves bearing mute testimony. The rows of nameless crosses are only landscaping now, however carefully manicured.
Now the madmen hold the reigns, fingers poised above the switches; their drooling desires are plain to see. Because we are silently unknowing or uncaring, we will fill new graves with wasted lives. The wealthiest will hide in their protected enclaves, while they aim their madmen to send the poorest to fill the graves. The media will have a boom year and politicians will pontificate. Collection plates will overflow because it's good for all except the dead and mourning.
This time though, we will fill those word-balloons with gaseous horrors we have barely seen before; unthinkable, unprintable things that will shock and awe us until the next time. If there is a next time.

Perhaps they will rise far enough above the horizon that we will not forget, this time.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Afflict The Comfortable

 One of the more re-used aphorisms about "newspapers" or media in general states that it "...comforts the afflicted, afflicts the comfortable,..." It is one of my favorite twistings of language, which I believe I first encountered in "Inherit The Wind". How I wish the media still saw this as their mandate, instead of searching for and forcing sound bites. If only we could get back to the place where news was a loss leader. When News divisions didn't need to make a profit, we all profited.

Chicago humorist Finley Peter Dunne wrote a popular syndicated column featuring the distinctive voice of Mr. Dooley, using an Irish dialectical speech and spelling. The following appeared within a 1902 column titled “Mr. Dooley on Newspaper Publicity” Here, I've adjusted the original dialectic speech and spelling:

    "The newspaper does everything for us. It runs the police force and the banks, commands the militia, controls the legislature, baptizes the young, marries the foolish, comforts the afflicted, afflicts the comfortable, buries the dead and roasts them afterward." *

In November 1902 an Albuquerque, New Mexico newspaper printed a description of the jocular bylaws of a new secret society, which I am including for strictly geographical reasons:
    "In the line of benevolence they comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. Don’t pay any old debts and let all the new ones get old as fast as they can. It is against their interest to pay principle and against their principle to pay interest."

* the original Irish dialectical quote:
"Th’ newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis foorce an’ th’ banks, commands th’ milishy, conthrols th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead an’ roasts thim aftherward."

Source: Quote Investigator

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The American President

I keep watching it because that's the kind of President I wish we had. Some of it is Hollywood silliness, fun but inconsequential. Much of it will give you a glimpse into the political process. There is one part that gets cited frequently; the speech toward t end of the movie when Michael Douglas says things that I would love to hear our President say like,

"America is advanced citizenship; You've gotta want it."

Andrew Shepard's Speech

A Million Moms, Really?

OneMillionMoms is in the news again blasting Burger King for using "damn" in one of their ads.

So who are these 1,000,000 Moms? This from their FAQ page:
" is a ministry of the American Family Association"

The AFA is a super right "Christian", LGBTQ hating organization and are a driving force behind invented controversies like people being forced to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. They are based in Mississippi and that should tell you all you need to know. (P.O. Drawer 2440 Tupelo, Mississippi 38803)

"... (OneMillionMoms) is basically One Meddling Mom with an agenda, and no company should be giving her the credence she so desperately craves. Her name is Monica Cole. In the decade that I have been aware of One Million Moms, she is quite literally the only staff member I have ever heard anyone name. She is the one and only person who appears on their petitions, as well as the one and only person who speaks for them to the media. She is the mom. Her. Solo. One person, supposedly representing one million."
GLAAD - December 15 2019

"On Twitter, @1milmoms (created in February 2010) boasted a grand total of 4,525 followers... On Facebook, the page had a far bigger following than it did on Twitter. In fact, 98,649 people liked the page as of December 17 2019; a lower 93,533 followed the page for updates.
In their individual efforts, petitions to “pressure” various groups seem to garner slightly less than 15,000 signatures."

As Ellen said, ",,,They are rounding up to one million..."

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Why is Trump is behaving like a Putin Asset?

Putin's biggest problem on the world stage, besides Russia's second class status is sanctions. Every country in the world has enacted sanctions against Russia because of it's invasion of Crimea. In the first few days of the nascent Trump administration they work to lift US sanctions against Russia.

NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) was formed in 1949 to protect against aggression from Russia, Trump and Fox whoop up a holy war of misinformation against it.

The Democracies of the world dis-invite Putin's Russia from the "Group of Eight" in 2014, because of it's invasion of Crimea, thus making it the "G7". Trump alienates them all and pleads for Russia to be re-invited.

Putin's Russia is a second class power. Putin can't bring Russia back to prominence so he begins a campaign to destabilize democracies around the world and install "Nationalists" who will act for him. Intelligence services around the world agree that Russia interfered in the US elections to favor Trump. Putin's FSB created a false narrative about Ukraine being responsible and Trump, along with prominent Republicans, echo it and spread the word through Fox News and the GRU's Social Media campaigners.

Putin wants to increase his foothold in the Middle East, so Trump abandons Syria and the Russians move right in, occupying the abandoned US Military bases.

To further destabilize world governments Putin needs a war or two to create chaos on the world stage. Trump pisses off North Korea and China and assassinates Qasem Soleimani. This is the best way to start WW 3 without involving Russia. It also distracts from the impeachment and what He and his Republican cronies are doing to negate democracy in the US.

When no other bank in the world would loan toxic Trump money he was given billions in loans by Deutsche Bank. Those loans were guaranteed by the Russian state bank VTBR. Trump fights to prevent his tax returns from being released, is it for fear of what they might reveal?

It doesn't take much to realize that Trump is working for Putin, probably so his billions in loans will be forgiven.