Friday, July 13, 2018

Why Best Buds?




Perhaps you’ve been trying to cipher out why Mr. Trump appears to be so smitten with Mr. Putin.  I have.

So, what’s the deal?

Writer Neil Baron of Salon turns a spotlight on a reasonable answer in his recent article.

“It has nothing to do with politics.”

"Since Trump’s nomination, 70 percent of Trump sales were to limited liability companies frequently used by Russians to hide their identity, stow cash and, most likely, violate U.S. sanctions. Hundreds of millions of dollars from unidentified sources funded Trump’s unprofitable golf courses in Ireland and Scotland. Testimony before Congress suggests they were used to launder money for the Russian mafia. Steve Bannon told Michael Wolff, in speaking of White House corruption: “This is about money laundering … the path to …Trump goes right through Paul Manafort, Don Junior and Jared Kushner.”

"The blackmail potential in all these financial shenanigans is abundant. Implicating Trump in almost any of these schemes could expose him to charges of money laundering and bank fraud."


Money Makes the World Go Round - Liza Minnelli & Joel Gray - Cabaret - 1972



Thursday, July 12, 2018

Jive Talkin' Pres.



Mr. Trump’s off and on and off again declarations of love / hate for our NATO allies have left me feeling even more confused, dizzy and nauseous than his comment usually do.


Taking the cake for blatant, kindergarten-level-BS-jive-talk-fantasy, was his claim that NATO members had acceded to his demands to increase defense spending. They gave in to make him happy, he said, and would soon be spending 2% of their GNP on “defense”.


Mr. Trump’s “jive talkin.” did sparked a thought, though. Was there ever a time when the 99.9% of us didn’t put up with “leaders” and "rulers"?

Astonishingly the answer is, yes. If only we could do it again... the world would be much better off.


“There is a remarkable discovery that has not yet emerged from our renewed interest in ancient civilization. Yet few remark upon this glaring omission from the relics and records we dig up and discover. I first recognized its absence at a visit to the British Museum, and made a point of going back a few years later for another check. Their Mesopotamian rooms begin at 6500 BC, and as you wander through the exhibits and look at the artifacts and depictions of their culture there are none depicting warriors or warfare, chariots or combat, clubs or swords – for nearly four thousand years. As for kings and rulers, there was a single image thought to be a king because it looks like he’s wearing a crown. And what is this king doing? He is feeding flowers to sheep.”


Jive Talkin' - BeeGees - 1975


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Diversity, Assimilation - Both


Except for those of us of Native American heritage, either we or our ancestors came from somewhere else.

Have you maintained your diversity or are you fully assimilated into the USA? Or, both?
Are we a country of immigrants? Are we stronger by both embracing the diversity of our cultures and feeling we belong to one nation?

Elon Musk on American Melting Pot



OME - Prof.Dr. Magala: Salad Bowl (mosaic) or Melting Pot


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

We Know What Works

Diversity works... Mrs. Watson’s Kindergarten Class, Beverly Woods Elementary School,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 1984. Back row, third student from left is Amy Hawn Nelson.
We know what works: doin' what's best for you, your children, your community - diversity - challenge your own biases... try Fox News and MSNBC... learning... the other person's side,,, have a coffee with someone who voted for the other guy... learning how to work with someone that's different.

We Know What Works, So Why Aren't We Doing It?: Amy Hawn Nelson at TEDxCharlotteED



TEDx Talks
Published on Mar 15, 2013
When it comes to transforming our schools, we're not lacking for solutions. We actually know what works and what we should be doing. To be successful, however, we need to overcome some non-obvious barriers to how we gather data and insights that inform our policy decisions.

We know what doesn't work, Why do we keep doing it?


Monday, July 9, 2018

Can We Agree on the Basics?


What do you want for your grandkids?
Opportunity?
Education?
Safety?
Peace?
Drinkable water?
A good job – paying enough to live comfortably and build savings?
Home ownership?
Good health?
Nutritious food?
Happiness?

Do only wealthy white people of European descent want these things and more for their grandkids?

Do only wealthy white people deserve to have these things for their grandkids?

As human beings – regardless of our nationality – we all know the answer is: all of us want and deserve these things for our grandkids, regardless of race, ethnicity or religious and political beliefs.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Can't we agree on that?

www.legacygrandkids.info


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Where is Our FDR?

FDR - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sr.  - 1944
The Democrats must bring in the young people and the Progressives or all will be lost to the Trump-Republican-Fascists.

Frankly, I expect them to fail because they will be unable to overcome the .01% who control the party. Those are the same .01% who control the Republican Party. They present themselves through the big money donors and corporate elite – the .01% mega-wealthy.

Because the Democrats can't get it together, the USA of our high school text books will become overtly Fascist within our lifetime.

I am deeply concerned that we are heading for a civil war - Trump people vs. everyone else. Clearly the “everyone else” group does not yet know they are a “group” and are therefore non-aligned, pursuing different goals and utilizing differing tactics to reach their goals. Nor, do they know they are all targets of the Conservative-Republican disinformation apparatus.



Sadly, Democrats have not changed since Will Rogers' time… that brings to mind two of my favorite quotes:

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.” 
“Democrats never agree on anything, that's why they're Democrats. If they agreed with each other, they would be Republicans.” - Will Rogers

Nothing has changed for them. What has changed is that the Republicans have once again descended into Fascism, only this time there appears to be no FDR* on the scene to save the nation from them.

Why have I come to this conclusion about the Republicans? I have attached below some text describing a “conservative” pamphlet, The Left’s Racist War Against Trump & America, by David Horowitz.

In my mind this is scary rhetoric conflating charges of racist, collectivist and totalitarian with the humanistic rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, or religious belief.

The Left’s Racist War Against Trump & America
“This information in this booklet is so powerful that it completely discredits the Left both intellectually and morally. Get the political ammo you need to expose the liberal agenda against our nation and our president. In these pages, you'll find proof that:

“The Democratic Party is a racist party – now, still, as it always has been. And it is increasingly collectivist and totalitarian. It also aids and abets the advance of militant Islam, which is supremacist, totalitarian, homophobic, misogynist, anti-Semitic, savagely cruel and  murderous – and totally intolerant of all ideas that are not part of its primitive ideology."

“Black Lives Matter is an overly racist and violent group that is led by avowed communists and has allied itself with Hamas terrorists. It is an organization officially endorsed by the Democratic Party and lavishly funded by tens of millions of dollars contributed by Democratic donors like George Soros."

“An American patriotism – which is precisely not about blood and soil, [and] which is the antithesis of racism and collectivism – is what drives Trump and his presidency. … Patriotism – a specifically American patriotism – is the loyalty that unites us and makes us equal. It is this patriotism with which the political left is at war, and the reason they hate this president and are determined to destroy him."

* Why FDR? Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Sr.  overcame the 1933 right wing attempted coup d'etat, otherwise known as The Wall Street Putsch. FDR saved our nation from the last attempted Republican-Fascist takeover. Please see: https://www.npr.org/2012/02/12/145472726/when-the-bankers-plotted-to-overthrow-fdr

Monday, July 2, 2018

Miraculous Enlightenment



Will the Democratic Party leadership blow it this November and lose our American experiment completely to Trump-Republican-neo-fascism?

My guess is that they will - unless they are blessed with a miraculous enlightenment.

During the past election the Democratic leadership bungled a “sure win” by managing to not expand their base, screwed-up building local organizations, failed to motivate and turn out traditional core Democrats and worked tirelessly to exclude Progressives from the party.

Meanwhile, the Trump-Republicans amassed a formidable machine, in no small way, the result of yeoman-like work gerrymandering, excluding voters of color, restricting registration and voting rights, disenfranchising Democrat-leaning voters, artfully sculpting “alternative” media, and reshaping social media via Big Data manipulation.

The result?

Former Secretary of Labor, Dr. Robert Reich describes itthis way, “Trump controls the Republican Party, the Republican Party controls the House and Senate, and the Senate and Trump will soon control the Supreme Court.” Reich continues, “Republicans also control both chambers in 32 states (33 if you count Nebraska) and 33 governorships. And in many of these states they are entrenching their power by gerrymandering and arranging to suppress votes.”

I’m not trying to second guess the “divine parameters” of God’s epiphany, but, I’ll bet the Boss Leaders will need to adopt some radical moves, among them actively bringing Progressives into the party and supporting candidates that will address the “pocketbook” issues we all care about – housing, education, wages, healthcare – plus, repair all the immense damage done by the Trumpsters.

When it comes to the epiphany business I know things happen in strange and beautiful ways. I hope it happens soon.

O, Canada - Capitol Steps


Capitol Steps

Published on Mar 27, 2016
After Super Tuesday, the most Googled search term was "how to move to Canada."

Musical satire and parody from the Capitol Steps.  We perform every Friday & Saturday at the Reagan Building in Washington, DC.  Visit us at http://www.capsteps.com/

[From our latest album, "What to Expect When You're Electing,"  available at capsteps.com, iTunes, and Amazon -- plus albums from our first 30+ years!]


Friday, June 29, 2018

Hokus-Pokus


Hokus-pokus, now you see it now you don't

Making things go invisible is stuff of Star Trek, magicians (and politicians).

It's not real, right?

Wrong.

"Our work represents a breakthrough in the quest for invisibility cloaking," said José Azaña, National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS), Montréal, Canada. "We have made a target object fully invisible to observation under realistic broadband illumination by propagating the illumination wave through the object with no detectable distortion, exactly as if the object and cloak were not present."

Here's the story...

Spectral cloaking could make objects invisible under realistic conditions, Optical Society of America,phys.org, 28 June 2018.

"Researchers and engineers have long sought ways to conceal objects by manipulating how light interacts with them. A new study offers the first demonstration of invisibility cloaking based on the manipulation of the frequency (color) of light waves as they pass through an object, a fundamentally new approach that overcomes critical shortcomings of existing cloaking technologies."

"The approach could be applicable to securing data transmitted over fiber optic lines and also help improve technologies for sensing, telecommunications and information processing, researchers say. The concept, theoretically, could be extended to make 3-D objects invisible from all directions; a significant step in the development of practical invisibility cloaking technologies."

"Most current cloaking devices can fully conceal the object of interest only when the object is illuminated with just one color of light. However, sunlight and most other light sources are broadband, meaning that they contain many colors. The new device, called a spectral invisibility cloak, is designed to completely hide arbitrary objects under broadband illumination."

"The spectral cloak operates by selectively transferring energy from certain colors of the light wave to other colors. After the wave has passed through the object, the device restores the light to its original state. Researchers demonstrate the new approach in Optica, The Optical Society's journal for high impact research."

- more -

Hocus Pocus - I Put A Spell On You - Bette Midler - 1993



Thursday, June 28, 2018

Humane, Less Costly Alternatives Already Exist

The Trump administration has backtracked on its policy but offered no immediate plan
for reuniting families. Photograph: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been a few days since Mr. Trump signed an executive order which, as he proclaimed, stopped separating immigrant children from parents and imprisoning them in concentration camps.

So what is happening? Nothing.

Yesterday, a federal judge ordered the administration to re-unite the children and parents within the next 30 days. But the administration has no plan for re-uniting the children and reports persist that some desperate parents are agreeing to self-deportation in hope - forced to trust that the Trump administration will return their children.

So, here’s my question:

If you knew that more humane, less costly options existed for America to deal with asylum seekers, than taking kids from their parents or locking them up together, would you use it?

My answer is yes, I would.

Why doesn’t Mr. Trump?

“…there’s an alternative approach that’s cheaper, more humane and incredibly effective. The Trump administration just doesn’t want to use it.”

This Alternative To Detaining Immigrant Families Works. Trump Just Won’t Use It, Elise Foley and Jennifer Bendery, Huffington Post, 22 June 2018.

“The way the Trump administration talks about it, you’d think there are only two ways to respond to families crossing into the U.S. illegally: either separate kids from their parents while the adults are tried as criminals or put entire families into indefinite detention.

But there’s an alternative approach that’s cheaper, more humane and incredibly effective. The Trump administration just doesn’t want to use it.

The Family Case Management Program, which President Donald Trump ended several months after taking office, was meant to keep track of immigrant parents and kids in removal proceedings without having to keep them locked up. It was relatively small ? about 950 families in five locations. But it was hugely successful: More than 99 percent of families in the program showed up for their court dates, and 97 percent participated in required check-ins with their case managers, according to a report from Geo Care, the private prison company that operated the program. And it reportedly cost the government just $36 per family each day, versus $319 per bed per day in a family detention center.”

Please go here for the rest of the story.

Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven live Crossroads - 2013





Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Never Surrender ‘Tude

The A&E History Channel Special, Detroit Comeback City airs, Sunday, 1 July, at 9/8c.

When I first arrived in Detroit, courtesy of Eaton Corporation in the mid-1970s, the first structure I saw was the derelict Michigan Central Station -  the Detroit train station. Next, I made a wrong turn and drove around the Masonic Temple area and down the burned-out Cass corridor. To my naive eyes, all of it seemed to be still smoldering from the 1967 riots.

O.K. I must admit it. It was a foggy day. I couldn’t see the Renaissance Center towers and satellite navigation was a military secret. Still, I was shocked, frightened, even, to see that whole area was not yet rebuilt… still totally destroyed. So, I found a phone (no cell phones then) called my boss and said, “I can’t live in this desolated, God forsaken place. I quit. I’m heading back home to Ohio.

Somehow, she talked me out of resigning and going home. I stayed and built a fantastic life and career in Metro Detroit. Thank you, Detroit. You won me over.

It’s taken a while, but, Detroit is nothing like the one I discovered back then. Detroit has overcome the odds and the naysayers.

When people refer to “Detroit Tough”, well, I know that is a true Badge of Honor. It’s a never surrender ‘tude, earned through very tough times by the diverse, multi-national, black, brown, yellow, red and white Detroiters; sparked and led by a critical few wealthy believers; and teamed with civic and municipal leadership that makes Detroit the Comeback City.

Today… Detroit, Metro Detroit, is the right place to be. The A&E History Channel Special, Detroit Comeback City brings you up-to-date. It airs, Sunday, 1 July, at 9/8c. Please go here for a preview.


Freeway Of Love (The Pink Cadillac) - Aretha Franklin - 1984 


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Magic Youth Elixir Inside Us

Fountain of Youth, St Augustine, Florida


For most people, Juan Ponce de León, comes to the mind for searching Florida for the Fountain of Youth. He never found it. Perhaps because, most historians believe that he never went looking for it. The Fountain of Youth search is a myth, they say. Still, he is credited with exploring the interior of Florida and mapping the Florida coast.

Well, a few centuries later researchers at the University of Buffalo weren’t looking for the source of that magic youth elixir either. But they may have found it or at least its best bud… a gene called CD36.


"Scientists seeking to unlock the secrets of cellular aging have identified a gene that triggers senescence, a phenomenon in which cells stop dividing."

"Senescence is a natural occurrence in the life of a cell, and researchers have sought to learn about it for a couple of reasons. First, it’s connected to old age: Senescent cells are thought to contribute to heart disease, arthritis, cataracts and a bevy of other age-linked conditions. Second, a lack of senescence is a hallmark of cancer cells, which bypass this process to replicate in an uncontrolled manner."

"The new study — published online on June 20 in Molecular Omics, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry — illuminates genes involved in cellular senescence, and highlights one in particular that seems tightly associated with this crucial biological process."

"In experiments, University at Buffalo researchers discovered that a gene called CD36 is unusually active in older, senescent cells."

“What we found was very surprising,” says Ekin Atilla-Gokcumen, PhD, an assistant professor of chemistry in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Senescence is a very complex process, and we didn’t expect that altering expression of one gene could spark it, or cause the same effect in surrounding cells.”



Peter Pan - I Won't Grow Up - Taylor Louderman - 2003


Monday, June 25, 2018

Making America Wealthy-White-Male-Enough Again


I have resisted the fact that the Trump administration is in large part overtly racist, xenophobic, misogynistic and elitist. Now it is clear. Worse, it's also clear that Mr. Trump has little regard for our nation's laws.

Further, it's obvious that Mr. Trump’s greatest strength is white American’s fear of people of color, especially black and brown people.

To remain in power, Mr. Trump is willing to leverage that fear and sacrifice our Democratic Republic in the process.

The challenge of our time comes down to our decision: Are we going to continue to stand idly by while Mr. Trump and his administration disassemble not only our legal system, but our humanity, as well?

I fear we are on a path toward a second Civil War. Sadly, this president is no Abe Lincoln.

Young Abe Lincoln Make A Tall, Tall Man - Johnny Horton - 1973


Friday, June 22, 2018

We Hoped for Compassion

Images Credit: Art, Lady Liberty and Child- Justin Teodoro;
Mrs. Trump - Mandel Ngan via Getty Images, Huffington Post.
Until yesterday I felt sorry for Mrs. Trump. She seemed to want to distance herself from Mr., Trump and his bevy of goons. But after her recent visit to one of Mr. Trump's immigrant children’s centers, I have reluctantly changed my opinion. I had no other choice... because she wore her lack of compassion all over her back.

Fortunately, artist Justin Teodoro expressed my feelings, as well as those of millions of others, in his art. Thank you, Justin.




Thursday, June 21, 2018

Swedes Cook Up Steel Plant

Tariffs? Who needs tariffs. We just make stuff in a smarter way... then... Voilà! No need for tariffs!

O.K. So much for the dramatics. Now, here's the real, and serious, story:

Sweden starts construction on fossil fuel-free steel plant, phys.org, 20 June 2018.

"Utility firm Vattenfall said Tuesday it has teamed up with steel company SSAB and mining firm LKAB to build the 1.4-billion Swedish krona ($158 million) pilot plant."

"Existing plants produce large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, when coal is used to turn iron into hardened steel."

"The new factory being built in the northeastern town of Lulea by 2020 will use hydrogen instead of coal and coke. The companies' joint venture, called HYBRIT, aims to have an industrial process in place by 2035."

"Vattenfall said the technology could potentially cut Sweden's total carbon dioxide emissions by ten percent, helping meet the country's goals under the Paris climate accord."

Just for fun...

Pöpcørn | Recipes with The Swedish Chef | The Muppets




"In this special Muppets exclusive, the Swedish Chef shares his recipe for popcorn. In true Swedish Chef fashion though, his process for popcorn, or "Pöpcørn" is no simple task. Instead, he creates a musical masterpiece and somewhat of a mess!"


"The Swedish Chef is the Incomprehensible and hilarious resident chef for the Muppets. The Swedish Chef rose to the top of Muppets’ stardom with his his signature unorthodox utensil, sing-song introduction, use of "Børk" and indecipherable Swedish accent. His famous standout recipes include his stew, popcorn, and swedish meatballs. The Swedish Chef is not afraid to take risks with his cuisine, especially when it means making special meals for the rest of the Muppets cast.  The Swedish Chef also collaborates and competes with some of the world’s most renowned chefs including Gordon Ramsay."





Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Sacrificing Children to Pay for Mr. Trump’s Wall



Freedom’s price is high. It respects no national boundary and its fee continues to be paid every day.
Today, babies and children are paying the fee for their parents’ desire to be Americans.
Today and every day into the foreseeable future until Mr. Trump gets the funding for his “Wall”, we, the people of the United States, will permit the Trump administration to separate another 66 kids from their mothers and fathers. They will join some 2,500 already taken from their parents and held in U.S. concentration camps. There is no Trump administration program to restore the children to their parents.
Freedom’s High Price is once again being paid by the innocents… the babies. 
In the United States today: the powerless; the children; the babies are always on the short end of the stick.
The real question is whether the rest of us are willing to surrender our souls and squander our national heritage to let it continue that way.


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Plants Fess Up - New Type Photosynthesis Discovered

Guess what’s new?


Plants have been holdin’ out on us for years and years.

Yes. It’s a fact.

Plants have two ways to make convert light. Previously, they had let us in on only one type of photosynthesis.

What buggers! (Who knows. Maybe they have more secrets, too!)

Here’s the story:


“The discovery changes our understanding of the basic mechanism of photosynthesis and should rewrite the textbooks.”

“It will also tailor the way we hunt for alien life and provide insights into how we could engineer more efficient crops that take advantage of longer wavelengths of light.”

“The discovery, published today in Science, was led by Imperial College London, supported by the BBSRC, and involved groups from the ANU in Canberra, the CNRS in Paris and Saclay and the CNR in Milan.”

“The vast majority of life on Earth uses visible red light in the process of photosynthesis, but the new type uses near-infrared light instead. It was detected in a wide range of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) when they grow in near-infrared light, found in shaded conditions like bacterial mats in Yellowstone and in beach rock in Australia.”

“As scientists have now discovered, it also occurs in a cupboard fitted with infrared LEDs in Imperial College London.”

Mary Lambert - Secrets (Official) - 2014




Monday, June 18, 2018

Spineless Toadies

Photo credit: Reuters/New York Times
What could be a crime so heinous as to order U.S. ICE Agents to rip children from the arms of their mothers; send them to separate prisons, hundreds of miles apart; and, jail them for months out of contact?

Why, trying to become an American, that is the crime.

So far, we have allowed nearly 2,000 children to be treated in this manner.

Have you no shame, Mr. Trump?

Have you no shame, Republican leadership?

How has it come to this? Has fear of Mr. Trump’s Tweets gutted your humanity and metastasized you into spineless toadies?

Rob Rogers’s cartoon on the Trump administration immigration policy.
Photograph: Rob Rogers*

*Pittsburgh cartoonist says he was fired after 25 years for making fun of Trump, Joanna Walters, The Guardian, 17 June 2018.

The Toadies Are Coming
Are you as worried as I that we have passed out of the USA we thought we knew when we were children… a constitutional government… if it ever existed… into a neo-Nazi USA?

Every day now I see similarities with Nazi Germany. Perhaps the most alarming is how easily people accept Trump’s falsehoods and how the Republicans have become his enablers.

We have lost whatever flimsy connection we had with “truth”.

Editorial cartoonist Rob Roger’s firing by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is also a sign.

It appears to me that the corporate people at the paper are following the same script as their Nazi-journalists ancestors… they know they must maintain favor with the neo-Nazi USA or lose their jobs.

So, now they believe they must please the emerging Party. And, of course, President Trump!

The toadies can’t wait! They must be hopping with joy, thinking, "Soon the concentration camps will be overflowing with many, many more people than just immigrant children. They will be flooded with troublemakers of all kinds… all those less-than-humans who refuse to sign the loyalty pledge to Mr. Trump."


Saturday, June 16, 2018

Why not be King?


All this talk about becoming Dictator of the USA has me a bit bewildered.

Dictator seems so small, doesn't it?

Why not be really special... be Royal! That's the ticket!

Mr. Trump should make himself King of the USA...just like the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz.

Oh wait. Didn't the lion need courage?

"Courage"might require much more than this malignant narcissists deteriorate can present.

If I Were King of the Forest-The Wizard of Oz - Bert Lahr - 


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Gone Fishin'



Things just got too heavy yesterday. So, I decided we - the world - needed a break so we could cipher things out. 

Fishin'... that's the cure! Time away. But, not too far. Water. Nature's salve for all those terrible itchy things. Blue sky... thinkin', no matter what, it will all work out in the end. 

The End. Oh, my. I hope that's not the "future remains to be written" part!

Maybe I need a bigger fishin' pond. Or, some fish.

Fishin' Blues - Lovin' Spoonful - 1965



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

We Are Insane



We are insane.
There is no other explanation for it.

The Trump & Kim Movie… Trump’s comments about the beaches of North Korea… prime real estate. The next Trump hotel, golf & country club… OMG! This man really believes his own BS.

So, we’ve gone totally Hollywood… lost track of “reality”. While Mr. Trump touts his flick, Mr. Kim sings about Mr. Trump's concession: "According to a report by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Trump expressed his intention to halt U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises, offer security guarantees to the North and lift sanctions against it as relations improve."

Oh, well. If you insist Mr. Trump… O.K. then. Here’s a review of your movie:

We have allowed this person to represent us.

We are insane.


Here's C-SPAN's coverage of Mr. Trump's Singapore press conference. The film was shown just prior to his taking the stage.



President Trump News Conference on U.S.-North Korea Summit 


Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Shocking Election Reform



Economic inequality is a prime catalyst for societal change. Historians have called the change “revolutions” and all of them have been violent with the ruling aristocracy losing their heads and, eventually, the winning commoners gaining an itty-bitty bit of the “good life”, such as generally improved living conditions; perceived “freedoms” like the right to vote; and, a less oppressive government.

Still, in each case, the cost of improvement for the common people came at a horrific price, with many enduring terrible torture, multitudes losing their lives, and nearly all losing what little they owned.

But, things did improve for the common people.

And, each time the aristocracy, the handmaidens of the .001% ultra-wealthy, returned to wealth and political power, too.

Most of the .001%, the ultra-wealthy never were at risk. They were and are the people who finance both sides of revolutions and wars. Consider World War II as a case in point when ultra-wealthy America bankers shackled the democratic Weimar Republic with impossible debt while funding the nascent Nazi Party and Adolph Hitler.

Today, with no signs that the ruling U.S. aristocracy and the ultra-wealthy .001% are willing to throw a few bones to present day commoners, the next revolution is a given. It’s only the “when” part that is unknown.

As for the how, well, I’m hopeful we will avoid the violence this time. 

Perhaps we will manage to convince the aristocracy and the ultra-wealthy .001% to permit a few “clean break reforms”.

One could be changing our election system to be more representative of the common people. For instance, choosing some of our politicos through random selection rather than our current corrupt election process is a solution proposed by Brett Hennig and others. 

The key question is, would the people chosen via some form of lottery do to a better job representing the common people than the currently seated politicos? 

My first response is: YES! It is universally acknowledged (except for the Republican dominated Supreme Court) that our government is not only corrupted by unlimited corporate money, but also systemically flawed by a duopoly of gerrymandering political parties, neither of which even remotely represents the best interests of “every day people”. 

There is no way out under the current election system. After all, does anyone really believe the currently elected politicos will suddenly, magically, begin to represent the common good? 

No, some “clean break reform” is the only way to create a representative government.

Here is one idea that might be the catalyst (or shock) that will spark our next, hopefully, nonviolent revolution:

The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy - Brett Hennig (PhD in astrophysics)


Our politics is broken, but it can be fixed. A real democracy is not only possible – it is an urgent necessity.

Provocative, succinct and inspiring, "The End of Politicians: Time for a Real Democracy" combines insights from the history of democracy with a critical understanding of the information revolution to explain how we can fix democracy by eliminating politicians and replacing them with a representative network of everyday citizens.

The wealth of evidence from the many recent citizens’ assemblies shows that groups of randomly selected, ordinary people can and do make balanced, informed and trusted decisions. These assemblies are legitimate, accountable, competent and, above all, convincing demonstrations that we can govern ourselves.


Monday, June 11, 2018

Clean Break Reform



We have allowed our world to be topsy-turvy, inside out, sacrificing our children and grandkids to our gods: self-interest, greed and neglect.

Each day we choose to rush hither-thither through self-absorbed-lives. We go madly about, iPhones ablaze… multitasking… ultimately ending nowhere save as a bit in a Big Data set.

Most of us live hand-to-mouth, paycheck-to-paycheck, way over our heads in debt, eking out an existence. Still, we don’t think about that, do we?

Because we know no other way, we have accepted the status quo as our way of life. We work our lives away, afraid to take a vacation day, less the boss replaces us with someone more compliant and/or younger.

We don’t share in the abundance we produce.

Then, at some point, we become depressed, over medicated and addicted - fighting for more of those ever-diminishing momentary “pleasure hits” conjured up from within our culture to make us buy more, eat more, and even vote against our own best interests.

Like ping pong balls we are knocked back and forth by our politicos’ latest Twitter proclamations, going further and further into NoWhereLand... out of contact with reality.

Republican, Democrat, Progressive, Tea Party, conservative, liberal, blue collar, college educated, long-time resident, new resident - we all are feeling the pain alike.

We are not happy people. Things are not working. Things are topsy-turvy.

We need a clean break from our present mess, from a do-only-for-the-.001%-ultra-wealthy, corrupt Congress; from a tantrum-throwing, psychopathic president; from alternative facts.

We need a Clean Break Reform from this mess.

http://legacygrandkids.info/legacygrandkids_action_steps.html

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Students Perform At The 2018 Tony Awards



Thursday, June 7, 2018

Trump Tariff Could Be Mega Opportunity... for Mexico

The solar array being assembled by a Chicago-based SoCore Energy, LLC,
outside of Carrizozo, New Mexico, is beginning to take shape. (Photo/Ray Dean)
Mr. Trump’s 30% tariff on solar panels is projected to hurt the U.S. solar industry to the tune of $2.5 billion and cost thousands of jobs. Here’s a run down on how the solar developers see the Trump tariff move.

Too bad for the U.S. solar entrepreneurs, U.S. workers and the industry’s customers.

Still, as a former marketing person, I smell a big opportunity brewing.

If I were Mexico I’d build a “wall” on the Mexican side of the border, but my “wall” would be made of solar panel arrays, built by the U.S. solar developers’ Mexican subsidiaries, employing Mexican workers and U.S. migrant workers, using relatively inexpensive, imported Chinese solar panels.

Then, I’d use the electricity to power Mexican communities and industrial centers, plus sell electricity to the U.S.

A man this month in Nogales, Ariz., talking to his daughter and her mother,
who were standing on the Mexican side of the border fence.
Credit Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press

Mr. Trump has a different wall in mind, of course. His wall is aimed at keeping poor, jobless brown-skinned people out of the U.S. and could cost as much as $70 billion.

The Mexican solar wall would accomplish that end, too, by providing thousands of people good paying jobs and cheap electricity to power their new homes, schools, hospitals and a plethora of supporting businesses.


Yogi Bear (Who is smarter... than the average bear?) - 1958



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Had He Lived

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy
Would our world be better today if Robert Kennedy had lived? I say, yes. 


My confidence is based upon an excerpt from RFK’s speech at the University of Kansas (18 March 1968). It was a life-affirming speech about a better America and a measure of what "makes life worthwhile".

RFK said, “…we can do better in this country.” 

He said: “…the fact is, that men have lost confidence in themselves, in each other, it is confidence which has sustained us so much in the past - rather than answer the cries of deprivation and despair - cries which the President's Commission on Civil Disorders tells us could split our nation finally asunder - rather than answer these desperate cries, hundreds of communities and millions of citizens are looking for their answers, to force and repression and private gun stocks - so that we confront our fellow citizen across impossible barriers of hostility and mistrust and again, I don't believe that we have to accept that. I don't believe that it's necessary in the United States of America.  I think that we can work together - I don't think that we have to shoot at each other, to beat each other, to curse each other and criticize each other, I think that we can do better in this country.  And that is why I run for President of the United States.“

As Jon Meacham explains in, The Soul of America The Battle for Our Better Angels, we need “… a president of the United States with temperamental disposition to speak to the country’s hopes rather than to its fears.”

Had he lived, I believe RFK would have tried to “speak to our hopes” as a nation.


Robert F. Kennedy - University of Kansas Address - 18 March 1968


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hey! This is Our Home


With all that "political stuff" goin' down around us, it's important to remember that we live in a beautiful place.

Come on... take a look!

"If we can do it here in Detroit, we can do it anywhere." John Hartig

Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - 2016

"The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only international refuge in North America, established as a result of binational efforts between the United States and Canada to build a sustainable future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie ecosystems. The refuge consists of nearly 6,000 acres of habitat, including islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands. Thanks to dramatic pollution prevention and cleanup efforts, the area has made one of the most impressive environmental recoveries, creating habitat areas for wildlife and recreational opportunities for the surrounding communities. A new visitor center under development will provide educational and interpretive displays and programs."

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/detroit_river/

Monday, June 4, 2018

Can't Do It Again

The way things are goin' looks like it will be the same old Democrats this November... LOSERS.

Sad to think that the USA... the Great American Experiment in Democracy... will fail due to their greed and love of corporate dollars, just like the Republicans. We know where the Republicans and Mr. Trump stand.

What other reason could there be for failing to "have the back" of the American people?

This time, I fear there will be no "do it again"second chance for the 99.9%ers.

Steely Dan - Do It Again - 1972


Friday, June 1, 2018

Your Soda is Murdering You


Do not drink Coca-Cola or any soda in any flavor variety.

Each drink you take is like smoking a cigarette... it's shortening your life. Your soda is murdering you.

How? Too much sugar consumption results not only in obesity but also – the eight chronic metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance) diseases: heart disease, lipid (blood) problems, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer (especially breast and colon), polycystic ovarian syndrome, and dementia.

Soda (pop) is loaded with sugar.

Read the facts here.

Coke has promised less sugar, but less is still too much, Rosemary Stanton, The Conversation, medicalexpress.com, 30 May 2018.

The article distilled... the most important points  

"No nutritionist is going to knock reductions in sugar content, but even a single can of the new Coca-Cola with Stevia has 37% of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommended maximum daily intake of sugar for an adult. The other products listed still have 55-78% of the WHO maximum recommendation."

"Nor does the dental disaster associated with soft drinks disappear with low or no sugar varieties. This is because much of the damage to dental enamel comes from their inherent acidity."

"At last count, 28 countries and seven large cities in the USA had moved to introduce a tax on sugary drinks. Potential benefits are clear and include reducing costs from obesity and health-care spending, as well as the potential to increase a healthy life. Health groups in Australia have long called for the same to be done here."

"When Britain legislated for a sugary drink tax, graded according to the quantity of sugar used, some manufacturers significantly reduced the amount of sugar in their drinks before the law even came into practice."

"Echoing the tactic of some British companies, Coca-Cola in Australia is claiming it has taken action by "reducing sugar in 22 of our drinks since 2015," and is committing to "make all our new Coca-Cola flavours either reduced or no sugar." Their aim is for a 10% reduction across their range by 2020."

Please go here for the rest ofthe story.

That Sugar Song - 2015


Thursday, May 31, 2018

Financial Transaction Donation




Since Congress has determined that now is the time to repeal what little oversight we have over the Too-Big-To-Fail bankers, it’s also time to revive a concept from our nation’s past.

Yes, only a few years when the Wall Street boys and gals made a financial transaction, a minuscule tax was attached. So, a few bucks went into the U.S. Treasury.

It’s time to revisit the idea. Only this time, let’s make the whole idea a bit more patriotic.

Let’s call it the, USA Financial Transaction Donation (FTD). That way we’ll all fell a little better about it because it’s not a tax… it’s a donation… and it’s just for Uncle Sam, don’t you know.

Best of all, the “R” people can run it up the flag pole and feel good, too.

The FTD is simply a sales tax on a trade of stocks, bonds, or derivatives. In fact, it’s just like the sales tax which most of us pay every time we purchase something, only we pay a lot more... like .06% on the things we purchase here in Michigan.

The FTD legislation already proposed by Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) would be in the order of 0.5 percent on stocks, 0.1 percent on bonds, and 0.005 percent on derivatives or other investments.

As I mentioned, FTDs are not new. In fact, they are currently law in the United Kingdom and 20 other nations, including France, China, and Italy. Indeed, a financial sales tax was formerly the law in the United States, too, from 1914-1966.

How much money are we talking about here?

According to Robert Pollin, co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, such a tax could raise around $220 billion per year, which equalsapproximately 1.2 percent of current U.S. GDP.

Still, that’s a good amount to keep in reserve for that Come and Get it Day when we are once again forced to bailout the Too-Big-To-Fail bankers. 

What Bernie said:



The Banker - 2010