Posts Tagged ‘education’

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!

 

The President, current or past, cannot just order a wiretap. You have to go to a federal judge for starters, who would not take such an order from an individual. Not even the President! So the Justice Department would have to get involved, probably the FBI, and then provide the judge with damning evidence of why the wiretap is needed and legal! Even if you were trying to do an end run by claiming espionage or foreign entity lawbreakers, I am talking about Russians and Trump here, you still have to go through the CIA and them a FISA judge to get the warrant. So there would be a trail as wide as the Mississippi river and almost as long! So it did not happen! You ask Trump where his evidence is; he will not answer the question. You ask his staffers and they have all kinds of answers that are not actually answers. We heard, the papers reported, certain sources known only to the President, etc, so forth, and so on! Now even the President just said last week that he believes a source should be named. Ok Mr. President, lets hear them!

Ok, where did it start, well we actually do know how the story started! Breitbart wrote a story and it got circulated in the West Wing of the White House. So of course Trump saw it, got incensed then tweeted his rage! Now his buddy Bannon, probably sitting on his right shoulder like any good demon would, encouraged him! Not withstanding that this was the very publication he probably still controls! So now they have named it DeepStateGate! Fox news is calling it ObamaGate, and of course Hannity is asking what did Obama know and when did he know it, just like something actually did happen, which the FBI and Justice has already said did not happen. Of course Trump says he does not believe any reports by the FBI or any investigating authority, I mean what the hell, he has a magazine article! Trump is calling for an investigation. So when I claim fake news, this is exactly my point!

Now ask yourself why? Because Trump and gang do not want you spending your time on what he and the Russians might have been up to, or why he will not let us take a look at his taxes? Well no shit! Just invent something to take you eye off the ball, and then kick that ball as far into the muddied pond as you can and hope we forget about it. This was his go to formula during the campaign, and it worked. He basically used his “Foundation” as a personal piggy bank. He and his crew use non-government computers and electronic devices with impunity, yes, the same stuff they were yelling Hillary should be jailed for. When the media finally started reporting real news and not letting him off the hook, he labeled them false news, fake news, and crooked is a word he likes. So consider this. A crook always thinks everyone is trying to steal from him, a liar thinks everyone is a liar, and the list goes on. Why is this so, because people always think other people are just like them. So when someone calls everyone around them that they do not like a liar or a crook, it has always been common knowledge that you are listening to one or the other, or both!

Statement: This is not in bold to make a point, it is because I am old, a lot of my audience has been around for a while, and bold print makes it easier to read! So get off your Huffy Horse and walk along with me!

Studies done to try and understand why school shootings are on the rise, why certain states have a higher ratio, and why a group of states have none at all! Research highlights the need for a national registry to monitor school shootings in order to better inform the debate over its causes and how to prevent these tragic events.

However independent studies do show some interesting leads into why they are more prevalent in some states than others. The states with no school shootings at all have something in common. I list them below.

Mandatory background checks for gun and ammunition purchases.
Higher spending on mental health.
Higher spending on K-12 education.

Now please do not jump on the band wagon that equates mandatory background checks for gun and ammunition purchases to mean someone is taking your guns away from you. No! It only means these states are looking at your background for criminal or psychotic histories and not selling guns to these individuals. These states are also spending more money on mental health and public K-12 education than other states that do have shootings.

So the states with the highest percentage of shootings, and the highest increase in the rate these shootings take place, all have one thing in common. Poor background checks for gun and ammunition purchases, low expenditures for mental health in the state, and lower spending on K-12 education. Georgia had the greatest number, with 15 school shootings. Florida and Texas each had 14. There were 12 school shootings in North Carolina and 10 in Tennessee.

Here comes my point. Your new cabinet possibilities that President elect Trump is appointing are against just this sort of spending, all of it! Trump actually does not think a department of education is even necessary, and said so. Betsy DeVos, his pick for Secretary of Education has a long and public distain for public education, and works to syphon money out of public K-12 schools to private schools! She also supports an organization  that thinks child labor laws should be abolished, and instead of wasting money educating them they should work along side adults in mines and other other like jobs because that teaches them things too, lets them earn money, and youth like danger anyway! So basically if your not wealthy enough to afford private school, you should join a child labor force. The other appointees for the other departments all have disdain for the federal organizations they will run. Rick Perry comes to mind. He is slated to become the new Secretary  of  Energy. A department he has said he does not think should even exist!. He has no background in Energy except for maybe how to pull it out of the ground. I did enjoy him on Dancing With The Stars, seemed like a nice guy! I am not sure that qualified him to replace an actual atomic scientist currently in the position!  This is similar to almost every appointee Trump is nominating, as far as their disdain for the departments they will be running goes!

School shootings on the rise is just the tip of a very big iceberg. You can cry big government all you want, and sure, it has some serious faults, but wait until the checks and balances on the 1% are removed, you will not like it, not even a little. I predict you will hate it, but by then our education of our children will have declined to even lower levels, and their safety be even more threatened! 

 

 

 

(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!

Fathers Day and my posting of my Dad’s picture got me to thinking about the man who gave me almost every picture of my Father that thankfully I do have! Watch for the video at the very end of this article, it is the one I am most anxious for you to watch!

Warren King is a famous photographer and teacher who lived and worked here in Southern California. He was paired with my father during WWII, 167 Signal Photographic Company. They were both combat photographers, Dad specialized in combat movies when the opportunity presented itself. Not as easy to print up in the newspapers back home, but very valuable to military intelligence. Almost all of the photos I have of my Dad came from this man. A very good friend who I did not find until late in life whose name I had seen in letters sent to my paternal grandmother. He and my Father were very close, but after my Father died he lost contact and did not know what had become of us. I came across a website in which famous Hollywood photographers that had been taught by Mr. King had set up a scholarship fund in his name. I sent him a message via the web site asking if he knew my father and he immediately responded. So there is a documentary about the man, even includes a photo of my Dad!  You can see my Father at 5:16 into the film. It is the picture I am posting with this article and the one I posted on Facebook. At least my adopted families should take time to watch it. It was of course fascinating to me, but for obvious reasons. As I mentioned, Warren and my Dad stayed close friends after the war. After a couple of false starts Warren was offered a teaching job, among his duties he  started a career teaching photography to high school students. He became very famous, his students won prestigious awards every year, and so some of them also became famous in the photographic world. Mr. King took his students to a different foreign country each year on photo shoots, not your average high school photography class!

My father went to work for Hollywood Technicolor Corporation. He mainly worked on special effects for animation. For example, he told me the raindrops in Lady and the Tramp are actually milk drops that were later painted frame by frame to resemble rain and integrated into the animated movie. That is why they look so thick and fat! He loved his job, unfortunately his career was cut short by cancer, the Beverly Hills home we lived in had to go, not one of those mansions, just a regular home. But that is another story. Warren King or J Heslop, another very famous photographer, took most of the pictures in this article that I am including of my Dad. They were all in the same outfit at one time or the other and took photos of each other. So if King and Heslop are in a photo the chances that it was taken by my Dad are pretty good.

H_Warren_King_and_J_Heslop

The fellow pictured above with the camera is Warren King, and J Heslop is sitting to his left. No I am not forgetting to put a period behind the J, his first name is actually just the letter J, no period needed. Anyway, both he and my Dad wound up taking pictures and movies of prisoner of war camps, notably Jewish prisoner of war camps. Heslop used a still camera while Dad used a movie camera. I doubt they were together or at the same camp, but I do not know that one way or the other. I do know that because technology at the time could take still photos and get them in magazines and newspapers Heslop became famous! So there is a whole section at the BYU Harold B. Lee library digital photo section dedicated to J Heslop’s photos, he was a Mormon, you see. But he wrote books, was a journalist, and so was famous for more than just his war photos. There are several pictures of my Dad also in that collection taken by Hislop, however finding them took me a while, and some patience. Now the pictures of J Heslop himself obviously are not taken by him as cameras back then required a human to focus, aim, and pull the trigger, so chances are that Mr. King or my Dad could have taken them, no way to know. I will give you a link to the BSU site for Mr. Heslop, there are 75 pages of photos for you to choose from.

http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm/search/collection/JMHes/

 

Christmas_card-2

This photo is of Sgt. Warren King

Christmas_card

 

2007-12-27-2239-24

2007-12-27-2239-24

Staff Sgt. Charles Love/Sgt. Warren King

Charles Edwars Love

Dad

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2007-12-27-2247-49Sgt. King/Staff Sgt. Love

Sgt. Warren King, Staff Sgt. Charles Love

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Dad being awarded the Purple Heart.

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Below is the short documentary on Warren King. Warren told me that other than my Mother and Father he was the first to hold me when I was born. He was also the contact for the VA hospital and came to tell me my Father had passed away. Donna was too young, and no one could find my Mother that evening, so he came to make sure I was ok.  I honestly do not remember that night, or him, until I found him about 15 years ago in an Internet search, as I mentioned. Any of you from my adopted families, I highly recommend you watch the video. It does not talk about my family, but it gives you insight into the kinds of people my Father considered a friend. Thank you for watching, and thank you Mr. King for being such a good friend!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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.