Posts Tagged ‘congress’

(A New Sub Genus of Human Beings)

Prevarication means that the subject under scrutiny is a lie. A prevaricator is the person or persons extolling the lie. In this case I am using it to describe a whole new species of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Yes look it up, Homo Sapiens Sapiens is the correct nomenclature for modern humans, to differentiate us from our direct descendants, Homo Sapiens Idalta. We are mistakenly called carnivores. We are of course carnivores, but since we also each veggies, we are more accurately described as omnivores, basically we eat everything!

So my premise is this. Since we can be classified by what we put in our mouths, we should also be classified by what comes out! Now all mammals, which includes humanity, also expel air, mostly carbon dioxide, in some cases spittle, and in extreme cases vomit when we have either contracted an illness or omnivored ourselves on just a little too much too fast!

However this premise will be based on the vocal content of what comes out of the mouths of modern Homo Sapiens Sapiens either vocally or in certain cases in writing to be vocalized later! Since the dawn of time, or since men and women learned to speak, and then later to write, prevarications have been told. Now sometimes this is just a storyteller’s way of making the story more enjoyable for his audience, the audience is generally aware, so we call this fiction or artistic license! It is generally accepted, even encouraged in writers of novels of fiction. Even plays and literary works based on actual historical events will have fictional sub plots to make them more interesting or exciting! All of this is expected and accepted.

But there is now a more sinister Homo Sapien out there. It is a Homo Sapien belonging to the family Homo Sapiens Sapiens, but does not know what the truth is anymore, or even if they did know they where lying the first time they told the prevarication, after they repeated it two or three times, their brain flips a switch and accepts that what they are saying is the truth! Unbelievable you say! Well there is more! There are receptors to this kind of vocal prevarication within the same classification. Although they did not invent the lie, just like the originator, after they have heard it two or three times they also believe it! Even when evidence to the contrary is given, if it does not align with what they prefer to believe, they still cling to the prevarication. The truth has no weight with either the originator of the prevarication, or the receptor of such information!

So these individuals need a new classification, because there are millions, maybe even a billion or so of the 7.8 billion on the planet who fall into this new classification! This new classification would be Homo Sapiens Prevaricator! Now this classification can be variable! Just like some choose to be vegetarians and give up being carnivores, education can protect you from this affliction. Education in world history is of particular importance, in geology, the study of early man and how we eventually evolved into what we are today can effect whether or not we will become a member of this new classification. And please forget monkeys when considering evolution, we did not evolve from monkeys, and no real scientist ever said we did! We can get into that some other time! Other sciences such as biology, physics, chemistry, aerospace, all are important! All education in general, so you will know that Columbus did not discover America, for example! Never even laid eyes on it or set foot upon its shores! The educated in the time of Columbus did not even think the world was flat; it had been common knowledge that it was round a long time before Columbus set sail. He was actually looking for a faster way to the East Indies by heading west rather than all the way around Africa! They just did not know there was a whole continent in their way, or the vastness of the planet earth! So if all of these things are understood by having an education system that is not rated near the bottom of the pile compared to other industrialized nations as ours is, it will help you understand the world around you! Most importantly it will help to better recognize the prevarication as it is uttered!

I will give an example of why just history, the real history of the world is so important. It can shed light on why our enemies are our enemies and point to ways to alleviate at least some of the animosity! Ancient Persia was a center of science, math, and language, education was alive and flourishing in what is now Iran! Our modern plumbing and irrigation, road building, almost all science, was influenced by Persians, or some of the greatest scientists of the time who lived and worked in Persia. You see, when it was one of the greatest and largest regions on the planet; they welcomed all religions and all nationalities of people, including the Jews, into their schools, universities, and halls of science. Then as time passed they had what we are now experiencing, their versions of Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, and yes their Trumps. Science and education was placing religion on the back seat and power was not concentrated as it once was. So in order for a small percent of the population to gain control of the empire, this smaller influential group taught them to fear their neighbors, to ignore science and education, put all their energy into their religion! Education of all types was frowned on because they did not want thinkers, they wanted a large force of people they could control and prosper from. Then they concluded that it could only be one specific type of religion, this so that even a smaller percentile could concentrate their power over the rest of population! Everyone in the empire, even the known world for that matter, had to accept their particular brand of religion or face holy war! So now you have what is now called Iran instead of the largest most powerful forward thinking empire on earth. Sound familiar? You bet it does! We have our 1%, the methods of control are more subtle, more in tune with mass media outlets and politicians who can be bought to maintain their control!

So register to vote, all of you! There is no such thing as two bad choices when it comes to this presidential election. No matter how much you dislike Hillary, she is at the very least qualified for the job! We must reverse the trend I have been talking about in this article or this nation is headed for a downward spiral we will not be able to recover from. And you also need to pay attention to your senate and house seats. We cannot have a do nothing congress again! We need to get moving and Trump is not the man to it. He will run this country into the ground. He is a con man, an egotistical narcissistic one at that, and cannot be given the reins of power! As my story points out, he wants to rule with intimidation and fear. He wants to narrow the power in this country to a very specific group by fomenting hate of anyone not like himself! We have to learn to fact check, not just think someone is what lobbyists or talk show host says a person is. Ask for actual proof, if all you get is, well I feel this must be true, or I heard this, I heard this a lot, that means that what you just heard is made up! It is a prevarication by that new portion of humanity I call Homo Sapien Prevaricator. Just keep in mind that none of our living Presidents, both Democratic and Republican, will endorse Trump. That every major country in the world does not understand why Trump is even being considered for President! That he changes policy every week or so as his old ones get him into trouble, that he knows nothing about world politics, or the history that goes along with understanding it. He knows no science, he is not well read, well he does own a copy of Hitler’s speeches, if that is any indication! Almost all of Trumps bad actions can be verified with facts. Almost all of Hillary’s supposed bad actions have no basis in fact. Email is one, I give you that, but not as bad it is being made to seem. Benghazi, well even the House Intelligence Committee, controlled by Republicans by the way, exonerated Hillary completely. She actually had been trying to get congress to increase the monies for the security at Embassies and missions for months on end, but was always stopped by the GOP. So who is responsible again? Actually that report, over two years in the making torched all the conspiracy theories put forth by the GOP members. You go down the list of supposed Hillary crimes there is no evidence of any kind! Just the innuendo and prevarications told by her enemies and her political opponents. A crime in itself!

Even if we were in different grades and classes back in school in small town Idaho, we knew each other. Maybe we did not run in the same circles, actually, since I was not related to half the town or had family who had lived there for generations it was different for me in some respects. Luckily I made school and sports work for me, and living with the town Doctor and a state legislator’s family did not hurt either. I loved being editor of the school paper for two years, and this after not going to school for more than a month or so a year until I was thirteen! My point is, when I lived there, and even in my early years in California after my stint in the Marine Corp, I was a Republican! This was before the advent of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and others. They changed the landscape of the party from a conservative viewpoint to fear mongering troglodytes and isolationists who blame the poor, the immigrant, and people of pretty much any color,  big government, and of course hippie dippy liberals, as the reason all bad things happen!

Christians, especially evangelicals, went on the warpath because of course we had been told by talk radio that we are turning into a godless nation and christianity was under attack. So I had to get the hell out. If I show someone how to access the facts, show them the entire script from where some sound bite or sentence is being made to sound or mean something totally different than what was originally intended, well they will not even read, view, or take two minutes to find the truth! They just throw some hate label at me and dismiss it. They do not want to know the truth, plain and simple! They vote against their own interests, believe what thirty-second sound bites tell them is the news produced by lobbyists, not any gleaned from actual facts! And polls asking Republicans basic facts about the condition of the country show they do not know the actual facts! They don’t know about unemployment being as low as it was before the crash, or that the stock markets are way up, not down!, The fact that the deficit is dropping, not climbing! They do not know that the their Republican representatives want to curtail or get rid of social security and medicare entirely. They think the opposite is true in overwhelming numbers because they believe the sound bites and never check the facts! Our current President does not want their guns, he has said so plainly! But because the NRA tells them different, that is what they believe. The pundits like Rush, Glenn, and Sean have learned that if you want to control the conservative vote tell them someone is after their guns, the poor and immigrants are the reason the middle class is disappearing, religion is under attack, and scientists are all just members of an evil cabal! They will gather like lemmings and run off any cliff you tell them to! Not politically correct some say, but it is the truth, and it is time for us to start telling it like it is!

Now some will say that there are millions who have timed out of unemployment but still are unemployed so the figures are inaccurate. That is true, but what is also true is that has always been the case, in both Democratic and Republican presidential terms, it is not endemic to the current administration. Keep in mind, figures do not lie, but liars can figure! You also need to keep in mind that Republicans met on the day of President Obama’s inauguration and agreed to block anything he tried to do, regardless of whether or not we the people wanted it, even if it was actually an idea they themselves were in favor of before he was elected. The Affordable Care Act is a perfect example! Republicans are on a renewed kick to try to repeal, or at least delay (in the hopes of killing), the “individual mandate” that’s included in the President’s health care reform law, aka the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The irony, of course, is that it was Republicans, via their premiere think tank, the Heritage Foundation, who came up with the idea in the first place! Now this is truth not fiction.

As you know, the “individual mandate” requires that every American buy health insurance, if they don’t have it through their work, or pay a penalty. The reason for the mandate is so that insurance companies can cover people with pre-existing conditions and to keep premiums lower. Insurance companies need large amounts of younger insured customers that need less medical care to balance it all out and keep costs down to the consumer. It also keeps that same segment from using the emergency rooms across the country as their healthcare provider, while you and I pay for it! And as I said, a Republican idea, an idea that they even published, but now they seem to have selective memory malfunction! They also forget to tell you the poorest among us are excluded from this mandate.

No matter who you are, you will make mistakes. Has President Obama made mistakes, yes he has. Are they more egregious than his Republican predecessor, I think not! If you want to strip it down, President Obama is one of our most intelligent Presidents. His IQ has been maligned, but here are some facts. The average IQ for a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. is 115. Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University, so the assumption is he must have had at least an IQ of 115. Barack Obama graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School; such academic honors are only awarded to students in the top 10% of their class. Obama’s IQ has been estimated as high as 165, but again that is a guess based on his education. He is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as editor, and later as president of the Harvard Law Review; which is an extremely prestigious position. Obama also taught at the University of Chicago for 12 years, a top-ranked university in the United States. So no matter how you try to rate his intelligence, it is high! If you look at his predecessor, the junior President Bush, he will not fare well when compared to President Obama. If you come to a different conclusion based on facts, then there is another reason you disparage the President, but we won’t go there today!

It has been reported by Fox News, and others, that this president is looked down on by the rest of the world! However when you check foreign papers, speeches and interviews given by foreign dignitaries and rulers, you find the exact opposite to be true. If you poll the common men and woman of our peer industrialized countries, you find them praising our President, but castigating our congress as a do nothing body of government!

But like I said, he is not perfect, I am not in favor of our current trade agreements, some of the provisions look like they came straight off the desk of the Koch brothers, for example! But most of what you see on the Internet is either blatantly untrue, cherry picked to change the meaning, or fictional! You have to go to the source, and that takes time. If you want to know about Benghazi, for example, you have to read the entire report by the Pentagon. Which stated that they received no instructions telling them to do, or not to do, a single damn thing from the administration! They did the job as they thought it should be done based on real time information!  Then you should read the Republican controlled House Intelligence Committee report that also found no wrong doing by anyone in the administration! A FREAKING MIRACLE OF OUR TIMES! But that is not what you heard reported by those supposedly bringing us the facts! Facts are not sensational enough for todays news media who make up news as if it were a fictional show fighting for ratings so as to keep an audience tuned in! Especially since most in the Republican Party have reduced themselves to a lobby for the Oligarchs, with a few Democrats sprinkled in to make it even more spicy!

So what I am saying is do not be lazy! Check out your facts. Do not repost things on the Internet because they make you feel good, or because they back up how you wish things to be without fact checking. We are the most ill informed voting public on the planet, and that is a damn shame!

 

 

 

 

 

I am from a small logging and cattle town in central Idaho. It was a wonderful place to grow up, no one was rich, but no one lived on the streets or was starving either. The population in the fifties and sixties was almost entirely conservative and Republican. When I graduated high school and headed off to college I was a dyed in the wool conservative also. 1044980_576397282410598_1565005557_n

No, college did not cause me to change my attitude or become a liberal. I was the guest of the town doctor, lived in his home when I graduated high school. His eldest son and I were both co-captains of an undefeated football team, best friends, and Doc was a fan. During my first year of college I started running low on funds, although the Doc later told me he had every intention of paying my way through college, I was too proud to ask and joined the Marine Corps under a guaranteed electronic aviation school agreement. This was in 1968, the draft was active, Vietnam was raging, and I knew the minute I dropped out of school I would be drafted, in which case no guarantee of anything except cannon fodder eligibility! Click here for look at my hometown webpage!

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(on your left standing)

So I went to boot camp and the Infantry Training Regiment. From there I went to the Naval Air Station Jacksonville in Florida and attended the Aviation Electronic School provided by the Navy. I then went to a Marine training squadron at Cherry Point in North Carolina briefly before being sent to West Pac for over two and half years. Spent 10 months in Japan, with side trips to South Korea and Taiwan to train their troops in electronic countermeasures. After ten months I got a two-hour window to report aboard a C130 Hercules for duty a tad farther South. Although we were officially labeled as a detachment in and around Cubi Point in the Philippines, we were actually running daily missions to the north out of Danang! For political reasons we were not allowed to admit that at the time. I was an E2 or Pfc a month before we left Japan, so was a rookie L/Cpl when I started my first combat tour. Three months later I was an E5 Sgt and was the NCOIC of one shift of the Avionics Electric Shop supporting the Grumman Intruder EA6EA computer warfare bird for VMCJ-1. There were two of us. I got out of the Marines after four years, worked for the same employer for 30 years. No union, so no retirement or work sponsored 401k. A little late, then went to work for another eight years for a company that had at least a co-pay 401k and insurance, profit sharing, so managed to put some cash away the last few years. Click here for a link to info on VMCJ-1, my combat squadron! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

(again, on your left and 30 years)

I give you this background because I was covering a lot of ground and being introduced to many different cultures, and I wanted to demonstrate that I was never a taker, ever! It became clear to me that I needed to rethink some of my conservative ideas. Some of these countries were doing fine as far as big business was concerned, but none of that well-being was trickling down to the masses. Japan was the only country in the orient that even appeared to be trying to develop a middle class. For the most part, there were the rich, the filthy poor, and the crooks in between. Without unions child labor was rampant, and older workers still lived in poverty. The only people getting ahead beside the ruling class who owned the industry, were the whores, pimps, gambling and drinking establishments, and criminals in general!

I was a good student in high school, loved school, and knew it was my way out. I had run away from a broken home at the ripe old age of eleven, never wanted to go back that life ever again. So I started to remember my history classes. I signed up for more college classes through the Corps, and tried to see what was what. According to history, before unions, children worked and died in mines and other industry, yes right here in America. The adult workers, especially in mining, were tied to and required to buy all of their goods from a company store. They were not paid enough to live on, but were allowed to charge, so they were basically slaves, as they were not allowed to leave employment unless they were square with the company store, which they never were. There are many more examples, but I think you see where I am going. Unions changed all that; all big business ever did was assassinate union organizers! Then I started to notice our education in America was not all it was cracked up to be. I started hanging out with foreign students at coffee shops and other venues when on leave, or when I would have any time after travelling to foreign soil to fix an aircraft that had been forced to land and seek repair. As almost every square inch of our aircraft required a secret clearance, techs who could work on it had to be flown in, I was in that lucky few. Anyway, the people from Europe, Australia, the Orient, or the Mediterranean on average knew way more about American history and politics than American students did! Believe me, I checked! As our education started to get more and more expensive, countries like Germany who were becoming very successful in the technological age, and had a very savvy and educated work force, offered absolutely free college education. So my notions of how things need to be started to shift.

In the fifties we had strong unions, we were building an ever-larger middle class by leaps and bounds! We built huge amounts of infrastructure, for example practically all of the interstate freeways, bridges, and overpasses that went with them all started in 1955! Our national debt was manageable, certain social acts to protect seniors were enacted and worked just fine until politicians robbed Peter to pay Paul, Paul being another word for pet project, or another would be pork belly. So there was my attitude being adjusted again. Every state that has large populations that are convinced government is to big and we just need to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, well those states without exception take the biggest chunks of help from the big bad government to survive, ever single one, my home state included. I now live in California, and it takes a bad rap all the time, but it is not a major taker, like say Idaho for example, or almost any state in the geographic south, so go figure! Click here for more information on the history of unions.

Then in the eighties we were told unions were bad, just leave big business to thrive and the money will trickle back down to the middle class and others. So unions were weakened, nothing trickled anywhere, and now we make less per hour across the board adjusted for inflation than we did forty years ago. It trickled all right, but not in the direction we had hoped! So my attitude was further adjusted. Right now the bottom 80 percent of Americans own a meager 7 percent of the wealth, or, to look at it another way, the wealthiest 400 Americans have the same combined wealth of all the nation’s poorest – more than 150 million people, which is almost half the population. So, no matter how you slice it, when it comes to income and wealth, the rich get most of the pie and the rest get the crumbs.

Now you could argue that these are not true facts, however they are really not being disputed by anyone, on the right or the left. Of course the blame game is rampant and ongoing. You know those taker states that I talked about? Well if you take a poll and ask people questions about what they want, leave out party or ideology, the answers invariably align with a more liberal democratic view, yet every one of these people from these states will vote a conservative ticket, voting away the things they just said they wanted, if they bother to vote at all. So this kind of thinking made me adjust my attitude even further.

So now we are back to a basic change we need to make before we can start to make this any better. We have to get the money out of politics. We have to quit allowing money and the influence it buys tell us what is good for us, what we can have, and telling us how we should vote. We need each politician to be limited by term, money, and no cushy job offer after his or her term is over for a set period of time. I would like that to be a decade, but that is just me!

So are there problems with government handouts, you bet. Some people use a helping hand to do just that, use it as a way to get out and back into a productive life! But others, sadly, begin to depend on these handouts as a way of life and think they are entitled to them without any effort to get up and out of their particular predicament. In these instances the conservative adage is correct, get up and help yourself as soon and as often as you can!

Now I am going to tell you something you are not going to like, I am going to give you a link so you can see the pretty graphs and colorful maps, but suffice it to say the numbers, for decades now, have been quite clear: With some exceptions, what we regard as red states are sent a whole lot more of your hard-earned tax dollars than the traditional blue states. In effect, supposedly indolent, “tax and spend” liberals actually subsidize the individualistic, pure, and hard-working lifestyle of our conservative countrymen. Did you get that, my conservative friends and classmates, you are the takers, you are the ones sucking at the teat of big government, while we liberals pay for it! That is the hard truth! Click here for a link to the pretty graphs and maps. Pretty illuminating!

This article is not so much about the fact that Fox News lies, distorts, and just leaves out news it does not like, but why the loophole is allowed to stay in effect that allows them to it. To be fair, as I know I may send this to Jim, Fox News is not the only one who is guilty of the above statements I have made, but I do feel they take it to a whole new level! The link  http://foxnewsboycott.com/resources/fox-can-lie-lawsuit/, tells the story of a husband and wife team that were fired from Fox for refusing to knowingly include false information in their report concerning the Monsanto Company’s production of RBGH, a drug designed to make cows produce more milk. The case is also chronicled at the Wiki site, which the article does mention.

I also looked up the fairness law in broadcasting that used to be in effect. It was struck down during the Reagan years. Basically it stated that news agencies must report on stories that would in some way effect the lives of its viewers, and that both sides of the debate must be broadcast with no editing by the news channel, hence the word “fairness”. It was struck down because as the internet and other media came into existence the Reagan lawyers argued that there was enough places where arguments or opinions could be presented that news organization did not have to participate in presenting both sides of a debate, argument, or opinion. Just search fairness law in broadcasting followed by Wiki and you will get a lot of info.

After the fairness law regulation was struck down congress tried to make it a law, but Reagan vetoed it. It was tried again under Bush, but was again, vetoed. So in the comment sections of the link people are asking why this loophole has been allowed to exist making it legal to lie? My answer is politics, money,  and so far two presidents! Now the language in the legalese of the decision in this case does not use the word lie, but I can look up the definitions of words that are used, if you like, and they are definitely saying it is ok to lie. So I am demonstrating why this loophole is alive and well. It was first put into effect in 1949 and then struck down by the Reagan administration, as I stated earlier. It has since been twice resurrected as a proposed law and vetoed by Reagan and Bush, again, as previously stated. So this does not give Fox any more right to lie or distort, or simply not report news it does not agree with than anyone else, but consider what I say next. Find me a news organization that has fired broadcasters for refusing to knowingly include a lie in their reporting of the news as was ordered by Fox, I say you cannot do it! Also be aware that Fox does not deny that they did this, they only argue that regulations now in effect are not actually laws, so technically they did not break the law! Now they had to go through several judges and layers of counter-suits to find a judge who agreed, but they finally were successful. If you read the article I included the link to, it explains all this.

I wrote this because, using a Robert Kennedy article as a template, I said that Fox News could not broadcast in Canada because they do not allow you to lie. They did have a similar law, which was also struck down using some of the same free speech jargon used in the U.S., but that case was not about Fox, and did not ever stop them from broadcasting in some form or other, so I deleted the post after some reflection. This case in Florida is about Fox however.

Again, to be fair, all of the reporting by news outlets takes advantage of the fact they are not held to an absolute standard when it comes to telling the truth, or any versions of the truth they decide to broadcast! I just know, in certain areas, Fox is all that is watched because it reinforces pre-conceived notions that are popular in those areas!  So the truth cannot be known in my opinion, unless you hunt for it, which most are unwilling to do because  they would have to change the dogma they live by!

Climate Change for Idiots

Certain sections based on writings by Nonny Mouse in 2009

Posted on Crooks and Liars

This blog is not an exact repost, it has been edited, added to, and rethought by yours truly, but it has some extremely important points you need to consider, so I will illiterate them for you! But first lets look at some attitudes which are part and parcel to the problem. We have members of congress who believe the planet is only 6,000 years old, plus or minus 2,000 years! Now these are good Christians who believe in their bible, that it was written by God, and accurate in every detail. So Leviticus 18:22 says it is ok to own slaves as long as they come from neighboring nations, I guess turning your neighbor, who you dislike, into a slave was frowned on. Exodus 21:7 sanctions selling your daughter into slavery. Sounds to me like the sex trade was alive and well! Leviticus 15:19-24, well I won’t get into it, but it means I have to leave the house every 28 days and pitch a tent in the back yard. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that anyone working on the Sabbath should be put to death. I guess that means we automatically kill any politician during a reelection cycle! Leviticus 11:10 states it is an abomination to eat shellfish, 21; 20 says I cannot worship if I have any physical defects, like needing glasses or a cane to walk. It goes on and on, stoning people for planting two crops in one field, wearing two different kinds of thread, your cotton/polyester blend for example, gets you stoned, and not in a good way! I bring this up, not to make fun of, or belittle religion, but to point out you have to understand superstitious people wrote the bible, and superstitious people try to run the government based on what they think it says! It may well be the word of God, I personally do not think so, but man has always thought he knew best, even when it was God talking, so what God said is not necessarily what the “man” wrote down. Especially if he did not have the capacity to understand what it was that had just been imparted to him. I mean they also thought the earth was the center of the universe and that it was flat! I know, you are saying the person was directed by God and wrote as if he were God. But the scholars who later translated what was written were not possessed of God. The scholars who worked for King James, for example, who translated the version most of us have in our possession, were not guided by divine intervention. Oh, and this is way off point, but when you talk using thee and thou, verily, beseech, and other speech found in the bible you are not talking like a Christian or Christ, but like a really old Englishman, so knock it off.

So I do not want my politician making policy based on the examples I just gave, or anything else but actual science. I mean we have elected politicians in the GOP that say we do not have to worry about global warming because God is up there and he will take care of it! We have trees older than the bible says the whole universe is. We recently discovered a whole civilization in what is now Turkey that is at least 12000 years old. We can carbon date artifacts that are millions upon millions of years old! We can see fossil records going back billions of years! So when a politician denies science, and therefore climate change, based on who put the most money in his wallet that is neither good for me or for you! Pay really close attention to what follows in this blog, please!

So… a bit of Climate Change for Idiots to aid those of us who feel like we’re beating heads against the wall arguing with friends and relatives frantically denying The End is Nigh, all while driving their SUVs through the nearest McDonald’s drive-in, those poor benighted souls too obtuse to realize the causes of global warming are myriad, and that while – yes, they are correct, Big Biz and First World greed are busily maneuvering and dodging and scheming over who gets to profit the most from climate change – that doesn’t mean it’s not real. We’re too focused on the looters to realize that the city is burning down around us. Climate change is complicated, but not impossible to understand. Anyone with a driver’s license for that SUV isn’t required to know that d = V /(2g(f + G)); drivers instinctively know enough physics to apply the brakes long before the car needs to stop. The reaction time for a driver to start applying the brakes is 1.5 seconds. In terms of climate change, we’re in that reaction phase – and we’d better start thinking about stomping on the brakes pretty damned soon. A driver who doesn’t care about braking before they crash is stupid, suicidal, or crazy.

Let’s break this down into more easily digested morsels so that even those suffering from the current deficit of basic science in American school systems that their grasp of geological history is closer to The Flintstones than Charles Darwin can get a grip. Dick and Jane are in a jet, flying over Kansas. Look, Jane, look! The jet is leaving a contrail behind us. See the contrail form cirrus clouds. Contrails last up to eight hours, says Jane, and only half a dozen of them are needed to grow and form a cloud the size of the entire state of Massachusetts. That’s really big, says Dick. Woof, says Spot, shivering down in the baggage hold. Now for some basic math, something else that seems to be lacking in our classrooms these days: Five thousand planes, give or take a few, are in flight over the United States at any given moment. In a single day, more than 87,000 are leaving contrails all over those friendly skies. On average, 64 million jet planes take off and land somewhere in the States, leaving behind contrails. Divide six cirrus clouds the size of Massachusetts into 64 million contrails, and that’s a lot of clouds. All this cloud cover is bouncing the sun’s energy back into space, keeping our planet cool in what’s been called ‘global dimming,’ which should be a good thing, right? Um, not really. Now we need some chemistry… yeah, yeah, I know. They don’t teach much of that in schools anymore, either. But let’s give it a shot, anyway. What exactly are contrails? Contrails and clouds are similar, made up of condensed water vapor freezing around small particles. Clouds form from ice crystals and other natural particles, like dust blown into the atmosphere by wind. Ice crystals melt into water, while dust, being generally inert, falls back to earth where it came from. Contrails, on the other hand, form around aircraft exhaust, including carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, and hydrocarbons such as methane, sulfates, soot and metal particles. The clouds formed by these exhaust particulates has another difference to ordinary clouds; ice crystals and natural dust is larger than hydrocarbon particulates, which form much smaller water droplets. Smaller water droplets reflect back more sunlight, but don’t grow heavy enough to precipitate as rain. Pollution-derived clouds actually decrease rain, adding to drought conditions. Now add this in to what is known as the Asian Brown Cloud, a thick layer of smog covering a huge area of southern Asia and the Indian Ocean formed by combustion pollution, wood fires, garbage fires, burning fossil fuels in cars, industrial factory emissions, the usual culprits. In the monsoon months, rain washes this massive toxic cloud out of the air – and into the soil. But while this lethal crap is floating around in the atmosphere and causing droughts, floods, and killing two million people a year, it also is contributing to ‘global dimming’, masking its own impact on atmospheric warming. And before anyone gets too smug that the so-called ‘Asian’ Brown Cloud is all India and China’s fault and therefore their problem, it’s not unique to Asia; hotspots popping up in Europe, South Africa, South America, and North America – in other words, everywhere. In September of 2001, we got our first real glimpse of what happens if we aren’t pumping vast quantities of particulate crap into the air alongside all the carbon dioxide waste. Current climate change forecasts only take into consideration CO2 emissions, which predict a maximum warming of 5 degrees by the end of the century, plenty of time to ‘do something’, everyone can relax, sit back, wait for scientists and politicians to come up with the answers all in the nick of time, don’t worry, be happy! But climate change forecasts haven’t been factoring in global dimming. We don’t have a hundred years to come up with a solution – we’ve got about twenty to apply those brakes before it’s too late. Cooling particle pollution is already dropping off while the CO2 warming pollution is continuing to rise, which means a doubled accelerated warming – reducing cooling and increased heating at the same time. With the dual effect of global warming/global dimming, temperatures could rise twice as fast as previously thought, global warming exceeding two degrees by around 2030, at which point the Greenland ice sheet would melt, causing irreversible damage. Once the Greenland ice cap begins to melt, nothing will stop it. After Greenland, the world’s tropical rain forests will start to die off in the heat. By 2040, with only a four degree rise in global temperature, the Amazon Basin rain forest becomes unsustainable, subjected to devastating fires (think – Australia right now), all of South America turns into one vast savannah and ultimately desert. As rain forests die and burn, those fires will release even more CO2 into the atmosphere, driving global warming still further and faster. In just a century, rather than five degrees hotter, the world could easily be twice that, which would be a warming more rapid than any other at any time ever in Earth’s history, bar none. Most European and northern plant species will not survive in a North African climate. But while a ten-degree warming in Europe in a hundred years is merely catastrophic, a ten-degree warming in an already hot country makes it completely uninhabitable. Life on earth begins to starve and die, which includes us.

And now for the coup de grace at the end of this chain of effect: a ten degree warming will lead to the release of a vast natural store of greenhouse gas bigger than all the oil and coal reserves of the planet. Methane hydrates store ten thousand billion tons of methane, a greenhouse gas eight times stronger than carbon dioxide, at the bottom of the ocean in a kind of frozen form, known to be destabilized by warming. Once these gasses start to be released, no matter what was done at that point to curb emissions, it would be too late. Ten thousand billion tons of methane, which would have twenty-five times the impact on temperature than a carbon dioxide emission of the same mass over the following 100 years, would be released into the atmosphere, the Earth’s climate heading towards temperatures unseen in four billion years, with no way to stop it. All life on earth would become extinct. It’s the end of the world. And we’re only talking two hundred years, tops. But, yeah, those deniers are completely correct about one thing – the earth has been here before. Back when the only life capable of surviving in such an atmosphere and climate was precursors of bacteria. Totally natural, ya betcha. If we’re really lucky, the earth will recover on its own, just like it did the first time around… in another four billion years.

Welcome to Venus, folks…

Postscript: Climate change, global warming, whatever the hell you want to call it exists. There are basically no scientists denying climate change anymore. I am not talking about the guy who used to be a weatherman in a white coat who was hired by some conglomerate or other to spew out whatever they told him to spew. Saying your not a scientist, so you don’t know is not an excuse! GOP deniers that say they have seen no science to back it up are, for lack of a better word, liars. So vote the ticket just like you were told to, hell you will probably die before the crap hits the proverbial fan, but your kin might wish you had done something about it as they starve to death in a world gone mad!

I am gleaning this information from multiple sources. However most of what you will see in the this first section was suggested to me by an article in the Rolling Stone magazine entitled “Inside the Koch Brothers Toxic Empire” by Tim Dickinson.

Each Koch brother is worth approximately 40 billion. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle alone, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate. Here are some examples of why it is so important to them to keep the GOP in power.

Koch is now a key player in the fracking boom that’s pushing the United States past Saudi Arabia as the world’s top oil producer, even as it’s endangering America’s groundwater. In 2012, a Koch subsidiary opened a pipeline capable of carrying 250,000 barrels a day of fracked crude from South Texas to Corpus Christi, where the company owns a refinery complex, and it has announced plans to further expand its Texas pipeline operations. In a recent acquisition, Koch bought Frac-Chem, a top provider of hydraulic fracturing chemicals to drillers. Thanks to the Bush administration’s anti-regulatory­ agenda – which Koch Industries helped craft – Frac-Chem’s chemical cocktails, injected deep under the nation’s aquifers, are almost entirely exempt from the Safe Drinking Water Act. And why would they bother, if, as they claim, there is nothing to worry about! According to them, fire coming out of faucets in the areas of tracking is coincidental and nothing to do with them. Livestock has been found dead, fish in ponds floating lifeless, but it has nothing to do with fracking! So then why did they spend so much money and time to exempt themselves from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Legislation that was put in place to protect us from this exact type of activity.

Here is another example, the Koch brothers own the richest – but also the dirtiest and most carbon-polluting – oil deposits in North America: the tar sands of Alberta. The company’s Pine Bend refinery, near St. Paul, Minnesota, processes nearly a quarter of the Canadian bitumen exported to the United States – which, in turn, has created for Koch Industries a lucrative sideline in petcoke exports. Denser, dirtier and cheaper than coal, petcoke is the dregs of tar-sands refining. U.S. coal plants are largely forbidden from burning petcoke, but it can be profitably shipped to countries with lax pollution laws like Mexico and China. One of the firm’s subsidiaries, Koch Carbon, is expanding its Chicago terminal operations to receive up to 11 million tons of petcoke for global export. So it is illegal for use in the USA because we don’t want to contribute to the worlds pollution any more than we have to, but all right to sell it to the rest of the world out of an American port? That, my friends, is the perfect example of the definition of “oxymoron”! I have been accused of defending President Obama too much of the time. Of course most of my readers would prefer I never did! So what! I only did that when people started up with the birth nonsense, what color suit he wore, doctored pics depicting him and wife in every derogatory way possible. So sue me for wanting better healthcare and my social security I paid in since I was thirteen. So here is one of the things I do not like. President Obama is on a big anti pollution and climate change crusade. However he lets people who can buy votes sell pollution for profit and lets them use our infrastructure to do it! You have to set your boots down on one side of the barb wire or the other and dig in your heels. Can’t blame Obama for everything, well the same goes for the GOP. Of course their slice of blame pie is a really big sloppy piece!

Charles Koch, the 78-year-old CEO and chairman of the board of Koch Industries presents himself as a man of moral clarity and high integrity. “The role of business is to produce products and services in a way that makes people’s lives better,” he said recently. “It cannot do so if it is injuring people and harming the environment in the process.” I’ll bet after he repeated that bullshit three or four times, he actually believed it. Another example if you will. A company called Universal Oil Products invented a way to crack the heavy crude oil into the usable fuels and chemicals for plastic, etc. It made the process at the refinery faster and far cheaper. Fred Koch teamed up with a former engineer from Universal and copied their cracking engineering almost exactly, with only one or two small differences, then set out to under sell them. Universal eventually took them to court for intellectual piracy and tied up the operation. So undaunted, Fred Koch just went to Stalin who was financing his communistic agenda and the cold war with their oil fields. Their oil, it turned out, was even harder to refine than American oil. So Fred supplied Stalin and the USSR with all the cracking expertise and equipment the country needed to crank up its petroleum industry and helped to directly finance our biggest and most dangerous enemy! They have a word for that, and I don’t need to tell you what that word is. But money shoved in the right pocket allows you to pretty much do whatever you want, even collaborate with the enemy.

So one last thing. Almost all the ads you see denying climate change come out of the coffers of the Koch brothers. This fact alone should tell you two things right away. First, they are one of the top three polluters in North America so it behooves them to deny that man is effecting any climate change. And two, you don’t spend millions upon untold millions to convince someone of something that does not exist. The summit to discuss climate change at the United Nations recently was one of the highest in attendence ever. The protest event outside demanding something be done about climate change was one of the largest in history. Not only that, the same day, world wide, 2,646 other events took place in 162 countries. Cleaning up the environment cost money. The Koch brothers can’t have that even though currently they take in 115 billion in annual revenue and want to double that in the next ten years. We need to get them and their ilk out of politics. Well they should get to vote, scream and yell like the rest of us, but their money should be unwelcome in politics. Every politician for a specific office should have the exact same amount of money available to them to run for office. Any ads must come from that fund, not the Koch brothers deep pockets.

Why do we do it? I mean it! They have been talking about the dumbing down of conservatives, so why make it so easy for them to make such claims? Science deniers, history rewriters, with a flat earth mentality are running amuck and we are agreeing with them. I mean we have conservative Christians who have built museums based on the Flintstones as a documentary! People who cannot grasp the difference between the terms weather and climate seem to abound in the conservative world. They also do not know the difference between sheet ice and glacial or permanent ice, which is one example of weather and climate. Maybe they just choose not to in order to conform to what rich and powerful conservatives have been telling them to think! Am I picking on conservatives, well, yes I am. Most of my long-term friends are conservative so I care about them.

A lot of what I see posted can be disproved in about two minutes! Even if I have never heard of the subject before by just making use of the magic called the Internet. Which means the person posting did not bother, just copied and posted from the first thing that made him or her feel superior and better than all of those freeloading commie socialists he or she knows is out to suck them dry. This is a perfect example of “dumb”. It does not mean that you are dumb, but it is an example of a dumb act which fuels the dumbing down of conservatives rhetoric. So I guess a few examples are necessary, so here goes. I will not go into global warming or evolution, just be aware I believe in both. I will admit that the global warming issue is complex and since it is a global phenomenon is too complex for a discussion here. If you do not believe in evolution then nothing I say to you will matter anyway, I believe you will be too hard to reach.

I will start with stuff I saw this morning. Conservatives, or lets call them by a more common name in Washington, Republicans, are just all incensed over the President using the power of the executive order. They act like it is something rare and unheard of, or at least something we rarely have ever done. Well let’s take a look at the actual numbers of a couple of recent Republican presidents! Ronald Reagan used it 381 times. George W. Bush used it 291 times compared to the current 168 of Barack Obama. These are actually low numbers. Franklin D. Roosevelt issued 3,467 executive orders. There are several others in the thousands, for a total of 15,177 issued so far. This is an example of a party redefining anything this president does in a negative way, even to the point of threatening to sue him for doing what Reagan and Bush did at least a hundred times more than he has. Do not be fooled by why these other presidents used the executive order, it was exactly for the same reason Pres. Obama has. They either knew something was not going to get through congress they thought was needed, or they did not want to wait for it. Just because someone does not agree does not now make something illegal that has been legal for over a century. You can bring up SCOTUS if you like, but I am convinced they are, for the most part, bought and paid for, just like most of our politicians, so I am not taking much stock in their rulings. However, if anything President Obama has done were actually illegal, the Republicans would not be confused about what they are suing about or hesitant to file charges. The very fact that they have been going over every action the man has ever taken with a microscope but have never filed any charges is the best proof that he has committed no crimes.

Now do not get it into your head that I am defending everything this President does because I am not. He has plenty of faults to go around. But if you act like the boy who cried wolf too frequently, then when the wolf really shows up who is going to be paying attention!

I firmly believe that most of the reasons everything Obama is being discredited or opposed is for a very special agenda. Why do you think this congress, at least the Republican faction, has practically filibustered congress to a complete standstill. They are taking a hit for these actions but still persist in opposing anything Obama endorses. I mean anything and everything! This agenda is racism, don’t like that, too bad, it is the truth! The plan is fairly simple, make this administration look as bad as can possibly be managed and make sure it is always linked to the President. In this way they hope the voters will not consider another black President anytime in the near future, if ever! I could list at least a hundred photos that have been doctored to show either the President or his wife not respecting the flag, for example. If you look at the info and contact the original photographer and reporter, the pictures are not authentic, not a single one. One of the more popular ones that shows Mrs. Obama disrespecting the flag standing behind her husband while the flag was being lowered at end of day, well she was not even present at the event depicted, the photo had been doctored. Another showing the President, too casually dressed for the event, and hands down at his sides while everyone else had theirs over their hearts, well he was actually standing on a golf green watching someone else hitting away, again doctored photos. It is crap like that that I see every day that makes me ashamed.

Next, very briefly I will discuss Obamacare, or more correctly the Affordable Care Act. A lot of you are mistaking this for actual insurance when it is not. It is merely spelling out some rules to make it more affordable and available. The rule about a fine if you don’t buy in needs some tweaking in my opinion, but the rules for not being able to deny coverage because of a former illness is long overdue. How much they can charge has a cap by how much profit they are making. I don’t have a problem with that, but these last two items are why insurance and drug companies are spending billions to get Obamacare out. It is all about money, theirs, not yours. You are not even required to use the official website. You can get your coverage however you want, it is just easier to see what is out there on the website. California, where I live, does not use the federal website, we set up our own which works way better and is perfectly legal. Small business, well there are enough lies out there about that to blot out the sun. My take is that if you have more than 50 employees you need to be doing something to help them out. Plus you know that raises and bonuses will be calibrated to help defray the cost, but people need this. Plus it takes the strain off of emergency rooms. In rural areas you think so what, but here in heavily populated areas, going to an emergency room is a nightmare. So pick at it, make it better, but talking about repealing it without another plan that incorporates some of the much needed things it includes is wrong. The posts, adds, and commercials that I have investigated about losing insurance and costs going way up have all turned out to be false, every single one. If you are claiming to be a practicing Christian and posting any of this junk, then shame on you! You can’t have it both ways.

I have followers here and in several countries now; not many I admit, but I’ll take what I can get! But the people I really care about, well I have no evidence they actually read my blogs. If I have emailed you this blog, then I care about you and you are special to me. I do not expect you to just fall in line. I know better than that, but I hope you will at least allow my blogs to make you think about the ideas put forth. I promise your brain will not explode and that whatever I have is not catching, I wish it were!

So in closing, check out what you post before you post it. Make sure it is not fiction, if you cannot verify, then do not post it because it is probably made up. Plus use your brain-housing group for more than a hat rack when looking at some of this stuff. Whatever the President is, he is not unintelligent. He is not going to disrespect the flag in front of billions of people and neither is his wife. Even if he is the Muslim terrorist you believe him to be he is not going to make it that easy for you. But that is just another embarrassing piece of crap out there like his birth certificate, no degree, and not being an American. Do I need to say it again? Ok I will let it slide this time. Just please remember the boy who cried wolf example. If you want your opinion to matter you have to post responsibly or you are just making yourself and those you support less, not more!

I would also like to recommend you watch Inequality for All. It is an eye opener. It is done by Robert Reich, former United States Secretary of Labor, Harvard professor, and currently the Professor of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley. You can find it on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, etc. I know some of you consider me a pain. But I believe we must stay engaged and constantly updating our education. If you know me from Council, just remember I love you regardless of whether we see eye to eye on policy.

Forget that big business hires lobbyists to convince us there is no such thing as global warming. Forget that 97% of scientists in the field agree that there is. Forget that if there really weren’t any global warming no one would be spending untold millions to convince us otherwise because the facts would be self-evident. That circumstance alone chaps my hide! Because global warming is just that, self-evident, all you have to do is pull your head out of the sand (or any other place it might have been stuck) and look out at the world.

Water temp in the oceans is up. The earth itself is heating up all around the globe. NASA has been photographing both poles from space for quite some time now, and they show that ice sheets and glaciers are melting at an increasing rate. Now one argument is that this is a natural phenomenon and is not aggravated by what man does or does not do. I myself do not deny that there could be natural cycles that would give us at least some of our symptoms. However, these would occur because of fluctuations in the suns temperature that it is sharing with our planet. We now have the capability to measure how hot the sun is and we have been monitoring it for decades. The temp is staying constant, so it is not the problem. Plus the warming effect would take place during daylight; you know when the sun is actually shining on a portion of the planet!

But satellites show that the earth warms up more at night and winter than in daylight or summer, which supports the supposition that it is being caused by an excess of Co2, not the sun.

What is the best Co2 scrubber we have available for the planet? I think they are called plants, which uses up Co2 in photosynthesis and produces oxygen, which some of us actually need to live. (Well maybe not politicians, I think maybe they are part of an alien plot to just kill us off without a shot being fired.) So where does most photosynthesis take place, why in the ocean by plankton. As a matter of fact if we lose this resource we all die. Not an exaggeration, we all die! So lets keep dumping our sewers into it and making huge trash islands the size of Texas out in the Pacific. What is the next best resource, well any growing plant, but in enough concentration to really make a difference, well that would be a rain forest. So lets keep cutting them down at a hundred plus acres a day.

So let me see, we pump billions of metric tons of pollutants into the atmosphere regularly, then we do our best to kill off the two most important resources to combat the harm we are doing, but hey, man is not responsible. Bull, this world is our house, and we my friends, are the damn termites.

Scientists have been warning us that we could cause global warming since the early days of the industrial revolution. As a matter of fact, from what I can tell, scientist did not have differing opinions on this until science started to be funded by industry, then it started to change its mind, who would have thought! If you look closely, only scientists whose main focus is somewhere else but in the study of greenhouse and global warming have changed their minds. If you look even closer, you will notice a pattern of whom they work for, or who funds them, and that pattern is telling.

People also confuse global warming and climate change. You get a cold snap, or way more rain or snow than usual, and people immediately claim this proves there is no such thing as global warming. But it does if you spent your time with me in Mr. Pratt’s class doing something other than hitting on girls and skating by. A few college classes here and there helped, but Mr. Pratt was by far my best teacher. Only people in Council who went to school with me would know who or what I am talking about. We learned a lot of science, way beyond what other schools were doing then or now. I personally took six science classes in four years. Some invented by the same Mr. Pratt so we could continue to learn. The point being is that global warming changes weather patterns. One of the most common to us in the U.S. is the change in atmospheric winds that used to keep the cold air of the arctic in the arctic, or at least mostly contained to Canada and bordering northern states. But the increase in global warming has changed how far south these air currents are now allowed to travel. This causes a huge change in weather, which will be colder and more severe. Same thing for seasonal storms that generate over oceans, global warming makes the interaction of air and water more dramatic, increasing the ferocity of storms, hurricanes, or typhoons, depending on your location. Again, changing climate attitudes, and never for the better!

Now we should talk about the tipping point. Once we get too a certain saturation of Co2 there is no turning back. A new report on permafrost slowly thawing in the Arctic creating methane and carbon dioxide emissions highlights an approaching dangerous climate tipping point. There is a huge amount of organic matter frozen in permafrost, estimated to contain 1,700 gigatonnes of carbon, twice the amount of carbon currently in the atmosphere. And it is starting to melt. With no way to stop it except indirectly through us reducing the rate of global warming by reducing our own emissions. That means drastically and now! We both know that will never happen. You need to know that most people do not care, as long as they get all they can and the payback will happen after they die, then all is good! But you’re grandkids of our next generation may be living, or dying, in a world no longer fit for humans.

In order for us to turn the tide, we have to have a healthy ocean. We need way more green plants thriving. We will have to not only stop stripping the planet of rain forests, but also encourage growth. And we will have to quit pumping Co2 into the atmosphere. Natural or not, it can kill us off. We are smart enough to change this trend; we just have to be wise enough to do it. They already have a way to make fuel out of seawater. Not in a major way yet, but if it was a priority, it would soon be a way for sea faring vessels to be totally free of harmful emissions. And it also makes oxygen as a by-product. Plus the ocean regenerates these chemicals you take out naturally, so it is an inexhaustible resource. http://www.outsideonline.com/news-from-the-field/Navy-Makes-Fuel-From-Seawater.html There are lots of links I found, so I just picked one, but easy to find.

But for any of this to be done in time, or done at all, first you have to recognize the problem. We have the technology at our fingertips. Enough energy from the sun hits the planet in an hour’s time to run all of todays industry for a year. We just need to convince ourselves to harness it. The wind is always blowing somewhere, especially over the ocean. You can find links to wind generators in the ocean and not taking up an acre of useable land. In even one of the great deserts of the world, using today’s solar tech, we could power every industry in the world. So it is all entirely possible. Problem is, the people making themselves rich on fossil fuels are not about to let that happen as long as the money keeps pouring in. So you get the myth that it is not happening, or at the very least nothing we need to do about it. They are wrong, and I am telling you they know they are wrong they just don’t care. So you and I had better start!

I wrote this while my computer was down; some animal ate my cable off the side of the house last night. But if you have the ability to watch Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, I think it is the second to the last one. The episode is called; The World Set Free that deals with global warming. The whole series is well worth watching. Carl Sagan originally did this Cosmos series back when I was a teenager. It was great then and great now!

I have tried a few times to put down on paper my thoughts on our economy and those of Canada, the British empire and northern European countries like Germany, for example. Robert Reich posted a recent blog, which explains it well, and all in one place, so I am going to reblog it here, and I quote; “For years Americans have assumed that our hard-charging capitalism is better than the soft-hearted version found in Canada and Europe. American capitalism might be a bit crueler but it generates faster growth and higher living standards overall. Canada’s and Europe’s “welfare-state socialism” is doomed. It was a questionable assumption to begin with, relying to some extent on our collective amnesia about the first three decades after World War II, when tax rates on top incomes in the U.S. never fell below 70 percent, a larger portion of our economy was invested in education than before or since, over a third of our private-sector workers were unionized, we came up with Medicare for the elderly and Medicaid for the poor, and built the biggest infrastructure project in history, known as the interstate highway system. But then came America’s big U-turn, when we deregulated, de-unionized, lowered taxes on the top, ended welfare, and stopped investing as much of the economy in education and infrastructure. Meanwhile, Canada and Europe continued on as before. Soviet communism went bust, and many of us assumed European and Canadian “socialism” would as well. That’s why recent data from the Luxembourg Income Study Database is so shocking. The fact is, we’re falling behind. While median per capita income in the United States has stagnated since 2000, it’s up significantly in Canada and Northern Europe. Their typical worker’s income is now higher than ours, and their disposable income – after taxes – higher still. It’s difficult to make exact comparisons of income across national borders because real purchasing power is hard to measure. But even if we assume Canadians and the citizens of several European nations have simply drawn even with the American middle class, they’re doing better in many other ways. Most of them get free health care and subsidized child care. And if they lose their jobs, they get far more generous unemployment benefits than we do. (In fact, right now 75 percent of jobless Americans lack any unemployment benefits.) If you think we make up for it by working less and getting paid more on an hourly basis, think again. There, at least three weeks paid vacation as the norm, along with paid sick leave, and paid parental leave. We’re working an average of 4.6 percent more hours more than the typical Canadian worker, 21 percent more than the typical French worker, and a whopping 28 percent more than your typical German worker, according to data compiled by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. But at least Americans are more satisfied, aren’t we? Not really. According to opinion surveys and interviews, Canadians and Northern Europeans are. They also live longer, their rate of infant mortality is lower, and women in these countries are far less likely to die as result of complications in pregnancy or childbirth. But at least we’re the land of more equal opportunity, right? Wrong. Their poor kids have a better chance of getting ahead. While 42 percent of American kids born into poor families remain poor through their adult lives, only 30 percent of Britain’s poor kids remain impoverished – and even smaller percentages in other rich countries. Yes, the American economy continues to grow faster than the economies of Canada and Europe. But faster growth hasn’t translated into higher living standards for most Americans. Almost all our economic gains have been going to the top – into corporate profits and the stock market (more than a third of whose value is owned by the richest 1 percent). And into executive pay (European CEOs take home far less than their American counterparts). America’s rich also pay much lower taxes than do the rich in Canada and Europe. But surely Europe can’t go on like this. You hear it all the time: They can no longer afford their welfare state. That depends on what’s meant by “welfare state.” If high-quality education is included, we’d do well to emulate them. Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 rank near the bottom among rich countries in literacy and numeracy. That spells trouble for the U.S. economy in the future. They’re also doing more workforce training, and doing it better, than we are. The result is more skilled workers. Universal health care is another part of their “welfare state” that saves them money because healthier workers are more productive. So let’s put ideology aside. The practical choice isn’t between capitalism and “welfare-state socialism.” It’s between a system that’s working for a few at the top, or one that’s working for just about everyone. Which would you prefer?” Conservatives have to be careful not to follow a lot of their constituents over a line that has not been drawn by them, but by well moneyed interests who have been telling them how to think. Liberals have to weed out the bleeding heart that wants everything regardless of the cost. There is a happy medium, one that a lot of countries have obviously found and are using to their advantage, and just as obvious that we are failing to do the same. So the message is, wise up!

Our nations independence was July 4, 1776. Eight out of ten people on the street could not tell me the year, and almost half could not tell me the damn day! Which means they have no idea what July 4th is all about. The ones that did mostly referenced the movie Independence Day. When asked about why, most said it was over tea. After the successful conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British government decided to make its North American colonies pay more of the costs of governing and defending them. Over the next 12 years Britain imposed a series of new taxes and other revenue-raising measures on the colonies that aroused heated opposition. The American colonists resented the trade regulations by which Britain utilized American economic resources to its own advantage, and they likewise resented their lack of representation in the British Parliament. British intransigence to these grievances spurred a growing desire for independence on the Americans’ part. When was the civil war? The civil war was fought from 1861 to 1865. Not one single person was able to tell me the correct answer to that question. Most thought Washington was president during that conflict! They also thought the war was about political and economic issues not connected to slavery and that the only reason Lincoln freed the slaves was to help win the war and for no other reason. The truth is in the 1860 presidential election campaign led by Abraham Lincoln, he opposed the expansion of slavery into United States’ territories. Lincoln won, but before his inauguration on March 4, 1861, seven slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. The first six to secede had the highest proportions of slaves in their populations, a total of 48.8% for the six.[5] Outgoing Democratic President James Buchanan and the incoming Republicans rejected secession as illegal. Lincoln’s inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Eight remaining slave states continued to reject calls for secession. Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. A peace conference failed to find a compromise, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on “King Cotton” that they would intervene; none did and none recognized the new Confederate States of America. Watch the movie that came out a year or so ago about Lincoln. It is historically accurate and a good history lesson.

The history of WWI and WWII, well I might as well have been asking questions about molecular biology. No one knew when, why, or how we got into each. WWI began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. The great powers in Europe had been at each others throats, so to speak, for about 4 decades. The defining moment that started WWI was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie by Gavrilo Princip, an ethnic Serb and Yugoslav nationalist from the group Young Bosnia, which was supported by the Black Hand, a nationalist organization in Serbia. The more immediate cause for the war was tensions over territory in the Balkans. Austria-Hungary competed with Serbia and Russia for territory and influence in the region and they pulled the rest of the Great Powers into the conflict through their various alliances and treaties. WWII was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, though some related conflicts in Asia began before 1939. It involved the vast majority of the world’s nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people, from more than 30 different countries. In a state of “total war”, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust, the Three Alls Policy, the strategic bombing of enemy industrial and/or population centers, and the first use of nuclear weapons in combat, it resulted in an estimated 50 million to 85 million fatalities. This made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history. The Alls Policy was something I was not familiar with. It was a Japanese scorched earth policy adopted in China during World War II, the three “alls” being kill all, loot all, destroy all! I will stop there, as my conversations with individuals about Nam and current or recent conflicts is something I am still studying. The history of the world in general gets into the age of the earth, evolution, religion, and would take volumes, plus is not a popular subject where I come from. So I may tackle that, as I have some strong opinions based on facts, science, and yes, the bible, but does not need to be discussed to prove my current point. My point is, people I talk to have never taken courses in local, state, and federal forms of government. They have no accurate sense of our history, or how we came into being. This includes people who are proud to cite parts of the constitution, especially certain amendments, but have no idea of how or what was going on when they were drafted. They think they do, and are sure they have the straight of it, but when pressed, actually have no clue. These, I believe, represent the majority of our voters. It is also why we follow whoever inundates us with the most information prior to our elections, and couches this information in a way that catches our imagination, but is neither factual nor true in even a minor way in most cases. Yet we follow like lemmings with no true idea of why we are running off of a cliff by the millions.

I have no problem with rich people; I think the fact that you can become rich is part and parcel of what America is about. But it cannot happen at the expense of the vast majority of the American public, the poor, or the middle class!  Their spending power is what makes the economy work, now, in the past, and in the future. If they don’t have extra coin in their jeans to spend, our economy will not grow. Plain and simple folks, it is how it is. So basing a company on profit only at the expense of the worker will cause economic failure. Shipping jobs overseas, hiding money offshore to keep from paying taxes here at home, this all has to stop, must stop. Most people do not even understand the difference between the national debt and deficit, they think it is one and the same. They also do not understand that the deficit comes first before the debt even comes into consideration, and the middle class pays the bill, not big business, and it never has except to create a growing prosperous middle class, not disassembling it. Understanding this means you have to also be a student of history, a student of the local, state, and federal governments and how it is supposed to work. Without both you cannot understand economics. And listening to a powerful rich person is also a mistake. Study after study shows most know nothing outside the realm of the business they are succeeding in. This means they should not be advising you, so you need to advise yourself. So take a careful look, if you cannot see the majority of the population thriving, not just existing, then the policies that make that scenario a reality are absolutely wrong.

There is a dumbing down of America. We have dropped to the bottom of the pile of industrialized nations in education. We are not one of the countries where the population is happy with its countries policies, and we are fast sliding down that list like an out of control bobsled on the Matterhorn. If you are a conservative, you need to round off the sharp corners, if you are a liberal, you may need to accept some realities that are harsher than you would like. But if you look at things with no preconceived notions, and try to improve the basic education I think is necessary, I firmly believe your decisions will be different, and better, regardless if your political beliefs are conservative, liberal, or other leanings that proliferate out there.