Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

In case the Russian spy drama overly sidetracked anyone, the following bills have been introduced quietly, I might add.

 

  1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. This means that Lake Michigan will be totally poisoned in a year. The great Lakes are basically static. They all only empty through one river, the St. Lawrence, so they retain pollutants. Lake Michigan unfortunately lies within U.S. boundaries with a multitude of mills, heavy populations near the shores, so heavy pollution. The lake was thought to be beyond saving, but due to efforts by the EPA it is just now starting to recover. Now heaven forbid that corporate America has to spend some profit and not dump their pollutants untreated into this body of water. The Great Lakes are the largest source of fresh water on the planet, and all of them are polluted to one extent or the other!

 

  1. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
! Voucher programs have shown to be unsuccessful. But what is most important for you to know, the voucher program will only allow you to put your child back into the same public program, but with a lot less money available to perform its duties. It does mean the rich can now save a buck sending their children to private schools that you still cannot afford, while your child gets even less of an education than before!            
  2. HR 899 Terminates the Department of Education
! So yes, they need to terminate anyone that might forewarn you about the ass kicking you are about to take!
  1. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
! I would thing that should be self evident, but it will not be!
  1. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act! Ok, I won’t defend it, but make sure you do not let them remove it until you understand perfectly what it is you are getting. You know the GOP are claiming they have written a tremendous, wonderful, the best of the best, most fabulous replacement for the ACA. It is an insult to basic intelligence; it is nothing more than a tax break for the wealthy while ripping healthcare away from millions. Just be wary folks. It ain’t whacha think!


6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
! This entity is under attack because of abortions. But it does not use funds from the government to fund any abortions. So now all you are doing is taking needed medical help from people who cannot get it elsewhere.

  1. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one ends unions) If you are one of those who hate unions, well you have no idea what unions have done for you, even if you and yours were never in one!
  1. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
  1. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
 Are we going all the way back to telling a woman to only speak with permission, to take care of the husbands needs above her own, and obey your man, or men if you don’t have your own man? I am a man, and even I know that is bullshit!
  1. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran

Since I started writing this the GOP has defunded feeding old people and children in need! The President just announced he will dismantle anything and everything that President Obama set in motion to fight climate change. That includes weather satellites controlled by NASA! He figures what you can’t see he can lie to you about! His meetings with leaders of countries that are members of NATO make it obvious he does not even understand how NATO works!

Look, I follow the writings of several highly educated people, Diane Ravich, for example, because she is plugged in way better than I am! Actually I don’t even know where the cord is! I recommend her to you, especially if you are in education. http://dianeravitch.com

I have no formal degrees. I am an avid reader, I do have a lot of technical training, some college, but as I said I never turned any of that into a formal degree unless Master Mechanic counts. However there is a humane way to live, a right and wrong that to my way of thinking is universal, it is not something you can parse out or budget out of existence. Kids, older folk, anyone up against it really, deserve to eat, stay warm, and live. (inside) Now that does not mean luxury by any means, but we, as humans, with a brain, conscience, and basic intelligence should not be debating this. As one of the richest countries in the world with all of the attributes that entails, it should just take care of its citizens, period. We can get into how we break the cycle of poverty, the dumbing down of America, the huge differences between poverty, middle class, and the upper crust, if you will, but we don’t put our basic humanity on a shelf while we figure it out! It does not take a genius to figure out right from wrong. I served my country, Sgt. USMC two tours in Nam as an avionics tech. I worked for 40 years. I never went on welfare and I worked for the same company for 30 years as a civilian before I got my second job! I am a proud liberal because I have a brain, a conscience, and I know right from wrong. I also know the GOP is totally out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent, and the current President lied to you big time and has mental problems. As I said before I do not have a degree, in psychology or any other medical field, but I know a rabid dog when I see one!

 

A Reblog!

 

Another exciting chapter in the adventures of Tim and Joanne! 

 

Friday, October 28th ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay, Isabela Island Day 3 ~ Before we take off on todays excursions, I wanted to share more information of what day-to-day life is like on board the Santa Cruz II. There are several primary large areas where meetings, or lectures, or meals can be served, the Panorama […]

via Galapagos Islands, Ecuador ~ Tagus Cove, Urbina Bay — A Note From Abroad

I travelled a lot from six to eleven, but not as a vacationing child of rich parents. So for this article, we will just leave that as a maybe blog down the line. For our purposes we will concentrate on my travels overseas courtesy of the Marine Air Wing commands. (By the way, all pictures are in Gallery format, so if you click on them they will enlarge and then you can arrow back and forth.)

My first stop after a year of boot camp, infantry training, Avionics school, and a short stint in a training squadron was landing on the Island of Okinawa. Now all of the marines I came over with were grunts, or infantry, with the exception of one other guy. They were all shipped out the next day, but they left me and this other guy, both of us to be assigned to an air wing somewhere, dangling for a week or so. This is where I met my best friend for my Japan deployment, he taught me how to play tennis, his name was Doc Holliday. To this day I do not know what his real first name was!

After a week and couple of days we both got orders to Iwakuni Japan. I was, at the time, a navigation computer tech, he worked in the photo lab of a different squadron. We kept in touch however. I eventually got myself transferred to his squadron by a lucky coincidence. They needed avionics techs on the flight line, and I wanted out of the windowless computer van that was my home 10 hours a day. I loved working on the actual aircraft. It was not long before I moved out of the barracks and into a small house with a couple of other Marines from my new squadron. This is where I met my other best friend, Neal Regan. We were not best friends yet, that did not happen until we went to the Philippines and Nam together.

Doc and I spent our time in Japan travelling. I was licensed to drive pretty much any tractor, jeep or 6×6 truck the squadron had. They also got me a license to drive outside the gate in Japan proper, so I bought a car. I don’t even recall the model; I just know it had a two-stroke motorcycle engine for power. It was a little miniature station wagon. Had to fuel up with mix gas, which back then was available at all gas stations. Ecologists would be aghast now! I was the only person in the squadron, enlisted or officer to have a license and car that was legal outside the base. Made me a popular guy. Mostly picking up officers wives at the airport in Hiroshima. They would even give me time off work to go and pick them up. They had some kind of agreement the officers wives could get a three month visa. We enlisted didn’t rate diddly.

This car allowed Doc and I to explore the country around Iwakuni and travel to places like Hiroshima regularly, and basically just get lost on a duty free weekend. We both had critical MOS so did not get assigned but the minimum duty required. (MOS is a job designator)

We made friends with a farmer by scrounging up a pump from the base, rigging up a transformer to make it work on his electrical grid and installing it at his water supply. He was a rice farmer packing water by hand. He spoke no English; we spoke basically no Japanese beyond hello, goodbye, excuse me, and thank you! The only other word I knew at the time was koko, which would get a taxi to stop and let you out! It means “here”. He had a niece that spoke English and he would invite her whenever he had us for dinner. Dinner was usually rice, fish, and a lot of Sake! At first we had stopped and proceeded to help him haul water. He had a fit. But we refused to go away, and when we installed the pump, well we were family! He turned us on to a little sandy beach we could pitch a tent next to a stream that had fish in it. I don’t know what kind of fish they were, they resembled perch. Cooked up well and had very little fishy taste to them. We fished by sitting legs spread in the shallows at the downstream end of a pool while someone else went to the upstream end and started slapping the surface vigorously and wading towards us. Fish would appear between our legs and we would scoop them up and throw them onto the bank.

About this time, Reagan and I had just made L/Cpl and got orders to the Philippines and then missions run out of Danang Vietnam. It turned out that we were both scheduled to go home, there were no NCO’s trained in our particular MOS, so they meritoriously promoted us to Corporal to extend for a second tour, which we did. They then bribed us again with meritorious promotion to Sgt if we would extend again. Best thing that had ever happened to either one of us! We were inseparable as much as possible, watched each others backs! We ran missions out of Danang, but due to reasons I will not go into now; we fixed the aircraft in the Philippines. Broke our little hearts.

When I was in Cubi Point in the Philippines I rented and lived in a three-bedroom house, one bath, complete kitchen. It came with a live in maid, gardener, and security. There were three of us sharing rent, Regan being one of the others. All included with groceries, I spent forty dollars a month. We lived in one of the nicer areas of Olongapo. Normal housing had no running water or toilet facilities. Were one or two rooms mostly, apartment houses were a little nicer, but had community bathrooms, but no bathing facilities. Our maid, unknown to us for a while, slept in a big round chair in the living room. She would stay in the kitchen until we all went to sleep before bedding down, and up and cooking by the time we got up! We increased the food allowance to include her and gave her a raise when we discovered this. We had no place to put her, so we just left the sleeping arrangement as it was. She was around 16, I think. We all treated her with respect, she was not flirted with nor were any remarks made. I had friends with morals, so did not have to police their actions. She cried when Regan and I had to rotate back to Japan and home. We tried to find good people to take our place with her employment guaranteed. It was all we could do. We were never able to find out who her parents were, or even if she had any. So back to Japan, everyone we knew was gone, then back to the world, that is what we called the U.S..

Had some leave in Australia, short hops and stays in China, S. Korea, and a few over nights in Europe, but very short, so I might include them in another blog, but I have let this one run to long as it is!

Short Stories

Aliens

Are there Aliens? Beats the crap out of me! Do I believe there might be aliens, well yes I do. Now whether or not they are a microbe or an intelligent being with his hand, paw, claw, or whatever, on the throttle of an intergalactic space craft, now that is the real question.

 So lets discuss a couple of basic theories, or facts, as I see them, that you also have to believe in to even fathom an alien! First you have to believe and understand that the earth is around 4.5 billion years old. Then you must believe that evolution is a fact of nature, and that nature will always try to find a way to produce life in any environment it can. So for those of you who eschew this statement and believe that the world is only around 6000 years old, well then just consider this a science fiction article!

 So lets say you agree with me about the age of the earth, evolution, the propensity of nature to promote life, and the advent of natural selection, then aliens on other planets is a foregone conclusion. Most scientists agree, with the vastness of the universe, the chance of planets having an orbit around a sun with a  similar makeup to earth is mathematically almost a certainty, and in credible numbers. So now we need to consider how life on our planet became self aware to the point it was able to leave the confines of the planet and start to explore the universe, albeit mostly by robotic means or deep space satellites so far, and how common an occurrence do we think this is in the galactic scheme of things.

 A couple of things to consider about how we did evolve, humans, that is. Dinosaurs, which were huge reptiles, ruled this earth for millennia. Their dominance would have very likely not have allowed the human race to develop, as any species as incapable of defending themselves against such an onslaught of predators would have been eaten out of existence before they really got a chance to start. So whatever catastrophe wiped the dinosaurs from the face of the earth, whether it was a normal or even abnormal natural climate change is unlikely as the extinction rate was way too quick. So I buy into the cataclysmic asteroid event, which created such a cloud of debris it blocked out the sun for a long period of time, and pretty much everything died. The new ecology that emerged allowed for smaller types of life to emerge as the huge amounts of tropical growth that existed in the dinosaur era of our history was not prevalent any longer. So without this earth-shattering event, humans might not yet exist, or at least may still be living fruit to mouth, as it were.

 So if what I surmise are the facts of our evolution, then how often do intelligent self aware beings of our caliber become a fact of life on other planets. No way to tell, but out of the billions of possible chances, probably at least a few, in my way of thinking. Maybe their planet was never capable of supporting such large creatures as dinosaurs, so smaller populations of life were allowed to take hold, thereby negating the need of a massive extinction event which gave us a chance to evolve. But then lets say something like us, or at least something as intelligent, or maybe even more so, has evolved? What is the likelihood they got in a spacecraft and came here? I think highly unlikely. The simple vastness of space, the fact that we are kind of out in the sticks in the galactic scheme of things would preclude being able to cover the distance. Now of course some aliens may have discovered a means to travel great distances with science way beyond our scope. This would also more than likely mean that these aliens would be, in the evolutionary scheme of things, far more advanced, making us seem to be unintelligent by comparison and not worth communicating with. Maybe snatching up and studying, so there is that!

 So I guess it comes down to one basic question, do I believe aliens have visited, no I don’t. Do I believe in life other than here on earth, yes I think that is inevitable. Do I believe that there is intelligent life elsewhere in the universe; yes I think it is definitely possible. Lastly, I believe if they ever do get here one of two things will happen. They will not have a none interference clause like the Federation, so we would definitely hear from them in some fashion. Or, and also likely in my opinion, they would look on this jewel of a planet, see the infestation that is destroying it, and take appropriate action! Sayonara takes on a whole new meaning!

 1/17/15

Short Stories

Posted: January 14, 2015 in Life
Tags: , , ,

So I woke up, or maybe I didn’t wake up, at this point I am not really sure of anything. I remember I was relaxing in my easy chair when I suddenly got the urge to go for a walk. Now usually, when I walk out of my front door there is the turn-around for the cul-de-sac I live on. Not this bright morning! A meadow spread out before me. Trees, but not too many, just enough to provide intermittent shade to hikers or visitors to this seeming paradise. Grass, but more like a very luxurious lawn sprinkled with colorful wild flowers, a few low bushes, a few fruit trees of various types, all with ripe fruit on them. There was a brook, you know, the kind that babbles. You could see a fish jump a small waterfall every minute or so. There was also small a lake off to one side, evidently fed by the brook. It was lined with willows, a few ducks and geese were seen paddling and feeding, and a fish would surface for a meal of some unseen delicacy. Off about a half mile under a huge oak was a little cabin, or so it seemed from a distance. Every once in a while an animal would walk out of a forest that seemed to serve as the border for this immense expanse of meadow before me!

Now you would think, seeing all that I described to you instead of the houses, culd-de-sac, cars, and kids playing in the street, that I would be freaking out. But for some reason I was calm, even peaceful. It was like the meadow itself was somehow emanating a peaceful, calming glow of goodwill! So I started to hike out across the expanse of meadow and taking in the wonderful smell of grass, flowers, trees, even the musky smells emanating from the forest were pleasant. I started to notice the animals that were wandering around, most not seeming to care that I was interrupting their day. I also decided, since I was seeing predator and what would normally be considered a food source for that predator seemingly not aware of each other, that I must be in some kind of preserve where the animals were fed and had not ever actually been in the wild.

The cabin by now was getting much closer. I could make out an older gentleman and a young man sitting in a couple of old rockers on the front porch, seemingly engaged in idle conversation. As I came closer I could see a couple of old willow poles with some line and a bobber wrapped around them leaning up against the railing. There were also a couple of fly poles and reels hanging on wooden pegs seemingly made for just such a purpose. As I walked up they both acknowledged my presence with a nod, pointed to a spare glass and what appeared to be a large pitcher of lemonade, indicating I should help myself. I had worked up a bit of a thirst so gladly did just that! They just went back to talking amongst themselves again, so I plopped down on the front step a few feet away and proceeded to enjoy my cool and delicious, as it turned out, lemonade!

We had not introduced ourselves to each other, but at the moment it did not seem necessary. It was a nice warm day, cool here under the branches of the big oak, so I was content to enjoy my drink and listen in on what the two behind me were saying. At present they were discussing who had caught the biggest fish early that morning, and who the better fisherman was. There seemed to be some debate over whether or not the stream or the pond was the better fishing experience. The willow poles and bobbers, from what I could make out, being the preferred method at the pond, while fly fishing seemed to be the choice along the banks of the brook.

I was just about finished with my lemonade, had actually just taken a large sip to finish it off,  when I overheard the older gentleman ask the young man if he had been to Earth lately. As I sprayed lemonade all over the front step while trying to catch my breath I overheard the younger of the two state that, no he had not, the last time he had visited they had treated him very shabbily! They actually nailed him to a cross and stabbed him in the side with a spear, so he was not sure exactly how he felt about that yet. He further commented that until he had worked that out he was not going back. I was at this point trying to be very quiet. I was thinking at least, apparently, I wasn’t in hell!