Friday, May 25, 2018

Water... We Don't Understand You


We take so much for granted, don't we? 

Take water for instance. If it is clean, drinkable and abundant, then, what's more to know?

A lot.

Here are two examples of mind-blowing water research I've discovered.

Microscopy Advance Reveals Unexpected Role for Water in Energy Storage Material,Veronica Augustyn, Matt Shipman,  North Carolina State University , 24 May 2018

“Specifically, we found that the water layers do two things,” says Ruocun “John” Wang, a Ph.D. student in Augustyn’s lab and lead author of the paper. “One, the water layers minimize deformation, meaning that the material expands and contracts less as ions move in and out of the material when there are water layers. Two, the water layers make the deformation more reversible, meaning that the material returns to its original dimensions more easily.”

“In practical terms, this means that the material with water layers is more efficient at storing charge, losing less energy,” Augustyn says. Much more here...


Life Changing Discoveries

The one thing I have learned in this life is that what we discover today will turn a bright, revealing light on what we thought we knew for certain.

Consider water. Because water is everywhere, we believe we know a lot about it. After all, water is water, right? We know potable water is better to drink because it is clear of unhealthy contaminates and not to drink bad water. That’s about it.

But, there is much more to learn about water.


Dr. Gerald Pollack, professor of Bioengineering, University of Washington (Seattle), explains, “More than 99% of molecules in our body are water, but we don’t have a clue about how water works. We really don’t understand it,” he said.
After years of research, Dr. Pollack and his associates have discovered that water is not just a solid (ice), a liquid or a vapor. There is a fourth phase of water… EZ water or structured water.

Please go here for the rest of the story...


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Future World Hangs on Who Owns Your Data


Facebook, Google, Amazon, the CIA, the FBI, have all this data about each of us.

In time, because of advances in data analysis, improved algorithms, "they" will know more about each of us than we understand about ourselves... which this or that we will choose to purchase, which way we might choose to vote... if we will vote.... etc.

You name it, one or more of those "Theys" will know your choice before you make it.

What does it all mean?

Could it mean that the future will not be the domain of humans. Will the algorithms dominate?

"The future of life itself may depend upon the answer to this question."- Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Will the Future Be Human? (in 3 minutes and 25 seconds)


White Animation
Published on May 14, 2018
Animation produced by: http://whiteanimation.com

"Prof. Yuval Noah Harari tells us about the clear and immediate danger hidden within the information revolution. If we are not careful, in the future we will become the property of commercial companies and legal entities that will use our personal data for their benefit. This is a grave warning that if we take seriously will lead us to a more optimistic future."

Audio sourced from a presentation given by Prof. Harari at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npfShBTNp3Q


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Do Snails Portend Human Memory Transfer?


UCLA Scientists have succeeded in transferring a memory from one marine snail to another. (Please see story below.)

When I read the story I immediately thought of a future when humans live forever, perhaps as clones. But not as “tabula rasa” or “blank slate” clones, only looking like the original.

No, living forever, in my mind, means retaining life-experience memories, as well as the personal characteristics that make us who we are, no matter the “body” we occupy. In fact, our body cells replace themselves all the time. but we still retain our memories.

Eventually, death arrives, and we are no more in this world.

The “living-forever-body” must also include “living-forever-memories”, too.

That’s why the marine snail memory transfer success is so important. It may portend a day when our memories live forever.

Biologists 'transfer' a memory, University of California, Los Angeles, medicalexpress.com, 14 May 2018.

“UCLA biologists report they have transferred a memory from one marine snail to another, creating an artificial memory, by injecting RNA from one to another. This research could lead to new ways to lessen the trauma of painful memories with RNA and to restore lost memories.”

"I think in the not-too-distant future, we could potentially use RNA to ameliorate the effects of Alzheimer's disease or post-traumatic stress disorder," said David Glanzman, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of integrative biology and physiology and of neurobiology. The team's research is published May 14 in eNeuro, the online journal of the Society for Neuroscience.”

“RNA, or ribonucleic acid, has been widely known as a cellular messenger that makes proteins and carries out DNA's instructions to other parts of the cell. It is now understood to have other important functions besides protein coding, including regulation of a variety of cellular processes involved in development and disease.”

Please go here for the rest of the story.

Elvis Presley - Memories -1968


Monday, May 21, 2018

Complications Are Not Simple


Make America Great Again?
Simple, Right?

The problem is our world is just not that simple.
Why?

Change,
Fast,
Data,
Algorithms… algorithms... more algorithms...
Complicated…

Life has become complicated…

"Never Under Estimate Human Stupidity."

Yuval Noah Harari
Why fascism is so tempting - and how your data could power it



https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_why_fascism_is_so_tempting_and_how_your_data_could_power_it?utm_source=newsletter_weekly_2018-05-19&utm_campaign=newsletter_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_content=top_left_button

"In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Noah Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism -- and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram live from Tel Aviv, Harari warns that the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient and capable of control. "The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy," Harari says. "It is the responsibility of all of us to get to know our weaknesses and make sure they don't become weapons." (Followed by a brief conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson)

"This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page."

"The most important thing is to liberate ourselves from suffering... understanding what suffering is, what causes it and how to be liberated from it."

Yuval Noah Harari TED Dialogues
Natinalism vs. globalism: the new political divide


https://www.ted.com/talks/yuval_noah_harari_nationalism_vs_globalism_the_new_political_divide

"How do we make sense of today's political divisions? In a wide-ranging conversation full of insight, historian Yuval Harari places our current turmoil in a broader context, against the ongoing disruption of our technology, climate, media -- even our notion of what humanity is for. This is the first of a series of TED Dialogues, seeking a thoughtful response to escalating political divisiveness. Make time (just over an hour) for this fascinating discussion between Harari and TED curator Chris Anderson."

"This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page."

Friday, May 4, 2018

To: Great-Great-Great-Grandchildren


Dear great-great-great-granddaughter and great-great-great-grandson:

A brilliant man once explained to me, “You are not here on this earth to accumulate money, fame or power. Nor, are you here to find the love of your life. You are not here to “get” something. No, you are here to contribute that which will uniquely flow through you.”

He continued, “That uniqueness will come to you in time. It will find you. You will not find it.”

“And, when that day comes, accept it. Then do whatever it is that you must do, for it is your gift for those you love and those yet unborn generations to follow.”

Well, that day has arrived.

Now, I know my unique gift for you is to continue the work of my ancestors - your ancestors, too.

They worked unceasingly to provide a secure, loving home. They built that home in a land of opportunity, where the air was clean, the water sweet, and the earth poison-free. Flowers and trees surrounded our home. Birds sang, and a multitude of wildlife flourished nearby.

Hatefulness was forbidden and learning cherished. Our door, always open to new experiences, was still protective against harm.

Outside of home, your ancestors, women and men, served selflessly and heroically out of compassion, in pursuit of happiness and peace for all.

In my time, as in times past, leaders have proven cowards, soullessly sacrificing the future, your world and the helpless, for trillions and trillions of dollars of the public trust. All for personal gain.

I, and many others, struggle day-in and day-out to counter this never-ending ruthlessness of these soulless beings, who have forced us into a last-ditch battle to preserve something of our earth for you.

The fact that you are reading this letter is proof that we have somehow managed to overcome our inadequacies, faults and frailties in the face of unrestrained avarice and unmitigated evil.

My hope is that I have helped to pass to you a secure, loving home in a land of opportunity, where the air is clean, the water sweet, and the earth poison-free. That you, too, enjoy the flowers and trees surrounding your home... that birds sing for you and the wildlife flourishes nearby.

This is the world I hoped for you and the reason I lived.

May God be with you, now and forever. May he give you the strength and wisdom to pass our world on to your great-great-great-grandchildren. Whatever you do, please, Don't Stop Believin'.

Your great-great-great-grandfather, Ron


Journey - Don't Stop Believin'- 1981


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Fossil Fuel Geezers


While much of the known world has, and continues, to develop and implement sustainable energy technology, the good old USA, led by the Trumpists, has retrogressed into the fossil fuel Dark Ages.

Most Americans falsely believe their nation is a technology leader. We are not. We are Fossil Fuel Geezers.

We operate our society on electricity generated by antiquated coal and natural gas, or worse, nuclear-powered generation plants, that are wired together with an “1880 Power Grid” that loses nearly 69% of the electricity generated and distributed to us. (See video below.)

Additionally, the “Grid” is invitingly vulnerable to any “nutcase” or terrorist committed to causing painful mischief, or natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, solar storm cosmic radiation, etc.

An answer? A bunch of small power plants.

Solar or wind electricity generated by rooftop systems, or a plethora of standalone systems, massive wind farms or massive solar arrays, in many cases joined together in microgrids, is fast becoming the world standard.

Why? Because we have developed a lot of new technology since the 1880s, and it is cost effective.

Please check out: Solar Surprise: Small-Scale Solar a Better Deal than Big, John Farrell, ilsr.org, 9 Mar 2018.

"If you’re a Public Utilities Commission eyeing the least cost solar energy, it’s clear that electric customers benefit regardless of the scale of the solar build, but there’s definitely not a benefit to building bigger than about 10 to 20 megawatts. In other words, you may need to consider different factors, such as who earns the return on investment from the solar project. If solar projects are comparable cost, a Public Utilities Commission ought to favor project development with maximum public economic benefit, as opposed to utility shareholder benefit."

"If you’re a city or community looking to maximize the value of your solar investment, smaller is best. There’s every reason to favor distributed solar because the economic multipliers far outweigh any benefit from building solar bigger. The final chart shows the combination of purchase price less local spending value."

Small is beautiful, wrote E. F. Schumacher, but when it comes to solar,
it’s also an economic smash-hit.

One supposed sticking point I often hear is, "What happens when the sun goes down or the wind stops?"

No doubt you’ve heard about Tesla Powerwall? That is one proven solution.

Under development is another that may be coming your way…

Stanford researchers have developed a water-based battery to store solar and wind energy, Tom Abate, Stanford University, 30 Apr 2018.

“Stanford researchers have developed a water-based battery that could provide a cheap way to store wind or solar energy generated when the sun is shining and wind is blowing so it can be fed back into the electric grid and be redistributed when demand is high.”

Please go here for the whole story.

Tired of being a Fossil Fuel Geezer? I am. (Too, please consider the potential for new, higher-paying jobs that will be created when we switch over.)

"Lost in Transmission": How much energy we lose from plant to plug




"How much energy is lost between the power plant and your house? Inside Energy's Jordan Wirfs-Brock explains."

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Check Your Six Shooter, Cowboy



So, Dodge City, Tombstone, Abilene and the others of the Wild West had it right.

“… statistics show that, next to drunk and disorderly conduct, the most common cause of arrest was illegally carrying a firearm. Sheriffs and marshals took gun control seriously.”

“Although some in the gun community insist that more guns equals less crime, in the Wild West they discovered that gun control can work. Gun violence in these towns was far more rare than we commonly imagine. Historians who’ve studied the numbers have determined that frontier towns averaged less than two murders a year. Granted, the population of these towns was small. Nevertheless, these were not places where duels at high noon were commonplace. In fact, they almost never occurred.”*

Back in 1879 all cowboys had to leave their six shooters and Winchesters at the stable at the edge of town or with the sheriff, who then gave ‘em a token to be redeemed upon leaving town.

Oddly, even the NRA has decided guns are not welcome when Vice Pres. Pence is scheduled to speak before the esteemed body this Friday.

I guess, according to the NRA and the Secrete Service, guns aren’t welcome at this particular NRA shindig.**

So why should guns be welcome everywhere else?

Shouldn’t what’s good for the goose be good for the gander?

Better, let’s just follow the Old Western tradition and check the six shooters at the stable or the sheriff’s office.

*Did the Wild West Have More Gun Control Than We Do Today, Adam Winkler, THE BLOG 09/09/2011 03:42 pm ET Updated Nov 09, 2011 

**The NRA said guns will be banned during a Pence speech. Parkland students see hypocrisy,
Alex Horton, msn.com, 30 Apr 2018.

Lyle Lovett - If I Had A Boat - 1987


Friday, April 27, 2018

JFK Cold Case Murder Documents Remain Sealed


In 1992, Congress established a 25-year deadline for releasing all sealed archives pertinent to Pres. John F. Kennedy’s murder in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. When that deadline arrived — 26 Oct 2017 — Pres. Trump acceded to the CIA / FBI and declared a six-month extension to 26 Apr 2018.

Yesterday, Pres. Trump once again caved to the CIA / FBI. This time extending the deadline by 3 ½ years to 2021.

It is estimated that about, “15,884 records that have now been partially released, some with heavy redactions, will be subject to yet more review over the next three years under Trump's order.”*

Frankly, my guess is that all incriminating records must have been destroyed by now, erasing all traces of evidence leading back to the FBI / CIA’s involvement in Pres. Kennedy’s murder. Still, something must be in the documents or the people in charge of the current FBI / CIA would not be fearful of releasing them — 55 years after the coup d'├ętat and murder of our 35th President.


Coup d'├ętat and murder of our 35th President? Yes. Here is why I believe that is exactly what happened.

President Kennedy’s Murder and Conspiracy

I was attending a junior high school biology class the day President Kennedy was murdered. If you were alive at that time, I’ll bet you remember where you were that day, too.

The nation was in shock the day President Kennedy was shot – well, many of us were, I guess. Since that day in 1963, I’ve learned that a whole lot of people wanted the President dead.

Because of the JFK Records Collection Act, Dr. Joan Mellen explained, “The CIA released thousands of documents, not all about the JFK assassination. I believe the CIA does not know what is included in the documents that they released many of them are about peripheral issues.”

What was released that’s so important? How about Lee Harvey Oswald’s FBI and CIA payroll records?

 “There is no mistaking that Lee Harvey Oswald was connected to CIA, US Customs and the FBI,” said Dr. Joan Mellen. (1. )





“I believe they (CIA) think they are invulnerable. They release a lot of these documents and they have no idea what is in their own documents.”

 
Dr. Joan Mellen
"CIA’s politics are clear: destabilize the governments of countries that are not inclined to do business with U.S. corporations under conditions advantageous to the U.S. This includes destabilizing those who not amendable to the imprecations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Arm the militias willing to help do the destabilizing. Then kill them when they turn against us. Is Benghazi a surprise?", explained Dr. Mellen. (2.)

 “What I discovered,” she said, “is CIA has the power; the military is their arm; defense contractors are their clients; the government, elected officials are for show.”

In another recent presentation (3.) Dr. Mellen, said, "My belief is that the more we know about who was behind the murder of President Kennedy, the more empowered we are to combat the present assault on the Constitution. The more cogently we can analyze who profited by the death of President Kennedy, and by that I don’t mean the beleaguered Lyndon Johnson, a pawn in the hands of those who put him into office, long-time CIA assets Herman and George Brown, but not only the Browns, but D. H. Byrd, the Klebergs and others, the better able we will be to determine what is to be done. The more we uncover the similarities between the three Texas Presidents, the better equipped we are to reverse the authoritarian direction the government of this country has taken, if it isn’t already too late."

As painful as it is and so very difficult to accept, Dr. Mellen has found the truth for us.

Finally, after all the years of absolute denial about Oswald’s obvious connection to the CIA and FBI, we also now know, without a doubt that the CIA altered the Zapruder film, produced a “doctored” version, and swapped out the original film. This revelation alone negates countless investigations which were based upon the Zapruder film as an indisputable record of the President’s murder. Sadly, it also reveals formerly respected media giant, Time, Inc., an agent of the CIA, and its executive’s role in suppressing evidence. (4.)





"A revised version of the 2005 edition, the new 647 page A Farewell to Justice is a virtual encyclopedia of the JFK assassination. The book leaves no doubt that high level CIA officials authorized the murder and provides a complete list of the cast of characters who played roles in the assassination and/or cover up."

"The new edition makes use of documents Mellen obtained via her 2011 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit and personal  interviews with surviving assassination witnesses. The most startling new evidence relates to Robert Kennedy’s systematic efforts to obstruct both the Warren Commission investigation and Jim Garrison’s efforts to identify the real culprits behind his brother’s murder."
also see,"The Kennedy Assassination and the Current Political Moment", Talk at the 92nd Street Y, Joan Mellen, 28 Jan 2007




And, please listen to:



"Joan Mellen is the bestselling author of twenty books, including A Farewell to Justice, her biographical study of Jim Garrison’s New Orleans investigation of the Kennedy assassination. She has written for a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Baltimore Sun. Mellen is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

In 2004, she was awarded one of Temple University's coveted “Great Teacher” awards for outstanding achievement, in particular in the graduate program in creative writing. Joan Mellen lives in Pennington, New Jersey."










Thursday, April 26, 2018

How Rude… and Spooky, Too!


Our Canadian brothers and sisters at the University of Waterloo have developed a new form of radar that puts to use "quantum entanglement". You might recall that Mr. Einstein labeled that stuff, "spooky action at a distance."

“Quantum radar”, as it’s called, “ uses a sensing technique called quantum illumination to detect and receive information about an object. At its core, it leverages the quantum principle of entanglement, where two photons form a connected, or entangled, pair”.

The new technology helps “cut through heavy background noise and isolate objects —including stealth aircraft and missiles— with unparalleled accuracy”.

How rude of them! How many $zillions did we spend on stealth aircraft and other stealthy tech?

Here’s the story:

Quantum radar will expose stealth aircraft, University of Waterloo, Institute for Quantum Computing, 12 Apr 2018.

"Stealth aircraft in the Canadian arctic will be no match for a new quantum radar system."

"Researchers at the University of Waterloo are developing a new technology that promises to help radar operators cut through heavy background noise and isolate objects —including stealth aircraft and missiles— with unparalleled accuracy."

“In the Arctic, space weather such as geomagnetic storms and solar flares interfere with radar operation and make the effective identification of objects more challenging,” said Jonathan Baugh, a faculty member at the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) and a professor in the Department of Chemistry who is leading the project with three other researchers at IQC and the Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology. “By moving from traditional radar to quantum radar, we hope to not only cut through this noise, but also to identify objects that have been specifically designed to avoid detection."

"Stealth aircraft rely on special paint and body design to absorb and deflect radio waves—making them invisible to traditional radar. They also use electronic jamming to swamp detectors with artificial noise. With quantum radar, in theory, these planes will not only be exposed, but also unaware they have been detected."

Please go here for more about quantum radar...

Classics IV - Spooky - 1967


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Direct Energy “Ray Gun” Shuts Down Murderous Vehicles

A model of the short-range radio frequency stopper under development to stop
vehicle attacks, developed by JNLWD. Photo taken March, 2018.
It’s good to learn that a few of those$ bazillions in defense and black budget funding have been put to use for creating new technology for defending the public. Here’s an example of “Ray Gun” direct energy weapon technology that may one day be used to protect innocents from crazy people using trucks, cars, aircraft, boats as murder weapons.

Here's the story:

The Pentagon Is Making a Ray Gun to Stop Truck Attacks, Patrick Tucker, defenseone.com, 24 Apr 2018.

“A device that resembles an old phonograph may soon be used to jam and shut down vehicles like the one that killed 10 people in Toronto.”

“The van driver who killed 10 Toronto pedestrians on Monday showed that a terror technique that ISIS pioneered in Iraq and Syria in 2015 remains terrifyingly effective against unsuspecting urban populations. But the U.S. military is working on a new weapon to stop vehicle-born terrorist threats, one that could help police departments as well.”

“The Defense Department’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program, or JNLWD, is pushing ahead with a new direct energy weapon that uses high-powered microwaves to stop cars in their tracks without damaging the vehicle, its driver, or anyone else.”

“The jammer works by targeting the car’s engine control unit causing it to reboot over and over, stalling the engine. Like an invisible hand, the microwaves hold the car in place. “Anything that has electronics on it, these high-powered microwaves will affect,” David Law, who leads JNLWD’s technology division, said in March. “As long as the [radio] is on, it holds the vehicle stopped.”

Please go here for the rest of the story.

Vehicle Vessel Stopping RF HPM 480p


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Plowing Under Those Nasty Innovation Seedlings


Back in the 70s & 80s, during the PC revolution*, IBM never was much of a competitor. IBM was mired in its Dark Ages mainframe and minicomputer world, while Apple regularly stomped all over their “technological innovation leadership” self-declared status.

Finally, when IBM introduced their PC, the old-world corporate IT departments would only buy IBM because, well, because, “that’s what we buy”. No graphical user interface (GUI) system or video graphics for them. IBM wasn’t selling that stuff. No VisiCalc, the spreadsheet program, or Word Star, the word-processing program, either. Because, after all, they were still punch card men at heart.

We know what happened to those “C-suite” execs”. They were, and still are, the innovation stifling types, so favored then as today. They see their role as preserving the existing corporation first and empowering their corporate lackeys to stomp on any glimmer of innovation without a second thought.

They feel safe making decisions that throttle innovation in favor of preserving the ways they know best. They are the ones who reward the corporate youth for keeping their ideas to themselves, accepting pauper wages, working through vacations, and Trump-like, create an atmosphere of chaos so everyone is always on guard for the next backstabbing attempt. These are the management teams that held tight to “proven” Big Blue technology as their corporations were buried under tons of dust thrown up by the early adopting, personal computer-aided, innovative, global competitors.

So, what are those antiquated, dust-covered, old boys doing today? Well, just like their innovation-stifling forefathers, they are doing the same ole thing. But, this time they are tossing out their skilled people, the employees who know something in favor of younger people who know nothing but will do nothing for a lot less pay.

It’s good to know that, like death and taxes, IBM’s leadership will always tie-up ole Bessie and plow under those nasty innovation seedlings and make lots of dust to save a few shekels. They sure did innovate this time around. Instead of hanging on to their punch cards, they freed-up some talented, proven people for the competition.

This time, like last, will IBM's corporate brothers follow along making the same mistakes?

Here’s the story:

Video: How IBM Is Quietly Pushing Out Aging Workers, Ranjani Chakraborty and Ariana Tobin, ProPublica, 20 Apr 2018.

“Our latest in the Vox-ProPublica collaboration explores how IBM sidestepped age discrimination laws.”

“Last month, we reported that over the past five years, IBM has targeted its older U.S. employees for layoffs. The numbers are staggering: Since 2013, we estimated IBM eliminated more than 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over. We’ve collected the stories of over 1,400 former IBM employees and learned about their experiences during these job cuts. So exactly how does one of the country’s largest tech giants quietly push out this many older workers? Don’t we have laws to protect people at the end of their careers?”

Cutting ‘Old Heads’ at IBM
“As it scrambled to compete in the internet world, the once-dominant tech company cut tens of thousands of U.S. workers, hitting its most senior employees hardest and flouting rules against age bias.”

“In response to these claims, IBM spokesman Ed Barbini said: “We are proud of our company and our employees’ ability to reinvent themselves era after era, while always complying with the law. Our ability to do this is why we are the only tech company that has not only survived but thrived for more than 100 years.”

Much more here.

* Here's an excellent background, “Apple, Rising” 1976-1985

How IBM quietly pushed out 20,000 older workers



Vox
Published on Apr 20, 2018
Age discrimination can be very hard to prove.

Read ProPublica's full feature story here:
https://features.propublica.org/ibm/i...

In a ProPublica feature that collected the stories of over 1,400 former IBM employees, it was estimated that a staggering 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over have been eliminated by the company. How does one of the country’s largest tech giants quietly push out this many older workers? Don’t we have laws to protect people at the end of their careers?

Subscribe to the ProPublica newsletter:  http://go.propublica.org/weekly









Monday, April 23, 2018

Reducing the Hate Talk


A group called Better Angles is helping Trump supporters and non-supporters discover they have some things in common and that they are better served by talking together than not.

Recently, CBS News reported on Better Angels efforts to help ease tensions among the Trumpists and non-Trumpists:


“A recent CBS News poll found the number of Democrats and Republicans with negative views of the other party is growing. Unfavorable ratings hit almost 90 percent on each side in recent years. But a group called Better Angels is trying to bridge the gap.”

“It brings together people with differing opinions from the same community for face-to-face talks to ease tensions. CBS News correspondent Don Dahler visited a meeting in Lebanon, Ohio, where 14 people on both sides of the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment came together.”

"The idea is to stick to our own views and let others describe theirs," said David Lapp, who leads the discussion and enforces the rules. At Better Angels meetings, participants identify themselves as red or blue and the conversation is equally split.


According to their website, “Better Angels is a bipartisan citizen’s movement to unify our divided nation. By bringing red and blue Americans together into a working alliance, we’re building new ways to talk to one another, participate together in public life, and influence the direction of the nation.”

“The United States is disuniting. The last presidential election only made clear what many have feared – that we’re becoming two Americas, each angry with the other, and neither trusting the other’s basic humanity and good intentions. Today Americans increasingly view their political opponents not only as misguided, but also as bad people whose ways of thinking are both dangerous and incomprehensible. This degree of civic rancor threatens our democracy.”

On their website, Better Angels named these donors: the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Einhorn Charitable Trust, the Gill Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the F.M. Kirby Foundation, the Koch Foundation, the Myers Family Foundation, the J.M. Smucker Foundation, and the Tides Foundation.” 

Better Angels Skills Workshop Part 1
Example of how Better Angels works



Saturday, April 21, 2018

Hope Grows for Adult Gun Sanity

Photo by Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP

Not for a second, while I was in high school in the late '60s, did I fear that my life was in danger from some person walking into my high school with a gun. If I had, I would have been one among many of my friends demanding that our "responsible adults" do something to control guns and stop the madness.

Yesterday, youth from more than 2,500 schools across the U.S. did just that.

With our youth rests the hope that U.S. adults will at last become responsible for gun control sanity.

Here's the story:

Student walkouts sweep the US, Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN, 20 Apr 2018

Today they walked. Here's what they want lawmakers to do next.

Today's National Student Walkout, while drawing momentum from February's mass shooting at South Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, marked the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in which two gunmen killed 12 students and a teacher.

But organizers said the movement doesn't stop today, and they're encouraging young people to push for legislation at the state level if Congress doesn't act.

"The federal government can set standards and practices that apply to all states around gun safety. But states have the option of passing additional measures to protect their own residents from gun violence," the organizers' website says.

Students are calling for several measures, including...

  • Banning assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks
  • Mandating universal background checks
  • Placing a minimum age of 21 on all gun purchases
  • Implementing waiting periods between a gun purchase and gun transfers
  • Allowing families to petition a court to remove guns from individuals at risk of injuring themselves

There have been 20 school shootings in 2018

New York City students hold a "die in" in Washington Square Park. Photo: Kyle O’Leary

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Swimming in the Frying Pan?


There are lots of reasons people become depressed. Among them are a relationship gone sour; work; illness; loss of a loved one; divorce, just to name a few.

But worse than knowing when you’re depressed is not realizing or accepting that depression has its cold hands around your neck. That’s when we’re like the proverbial frog in the frying pan, slowly cooking as the heat is gradually turned up.

Fortunately, there is now an alternative method of helping identify the signs that depression is at hand (The “black dog” as Winston Churchill called it). It’s all about how we use language.

Here’s the story:


“Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture.”

“From the way you move and sleep, to how you interact with people around you, depression changes just about everything. It is even noticeable in the way you speak and express yourself in writing. Sometimes this “language of depression” can have a powerful effect on others. Just consider the impact of the poetry and song lyrics of Sylvia Plath and Kurt Cobain, who both killed themselves after suffering from depression.”

“Scientists have long tried to pin down the exact relationship between depression and language, and technology is helping us get closer to a full picture. Our new study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, has now unveiled a class of words that can help accurately predict whether someone is suffering from depression.”

“Traditionally, linguistic analyses in this field have been carried out by researchers reading and taking notes. Nowadays, computerised text analysis methods allow the processing of extremely large data banks in minutes. This can help spot linguistic features which humans may miss, calculating the percentage prevalence of words and classes of words, lexical diversity, average sentence length, grammatical patterns and many other metrics.”


Three Dog Night - Joy To The World - "Jeremiah was a bullfrog" - 1971




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Oops! "Unintentionally Engineered"

Prof John McGeehan (CREDIT Stefan Venter, UPIX Photography)
This from the Good Oops! or "Unintentionally Engineered" Department...

International team engineers plastic digesting enzyme, theengineer.co.uk, 17 Apr 2018.

"Scientists from Portsmouth University and the Diamond Light Source are part of an international team that has engineered an enzyme with the potential to digest certain plastics.

"The discovery could lead to a recycling solution for the millions of tonnes of plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which will persist for hundreds of years in the environment."

"The research was led by teams at the Portsmouth University and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)."

"Portsmouth University’s Prof John McGeehan and Dr Gregg Beckham at NREL solved the crystal structure of PETase – an enzyme that digests PET- and used this 3D information to understand how it works. During this study, they unintentionally engineered an enzyme that is even better at degrading the plastic than the one that has already evolved."

Go here for the whole story...

Uh Oh, Accident, Tom Chapin - 2010


Monday, April 16, 2018

Will the 2,974 Cold Case 9/11 Murders Finally be Investigated?


While I do not totally agree with the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911Truth) conclusion, I do support investigating the 9/11 cold cases to uncover the truth of what happened, how it happened, why it happened and who is responsible for murdering 2,974 people in New York City and 224 innocent people at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C. and on flights 77 and 93.

To this day, these crimes remain unsolved and the perpetrators continue to elude justice.

Lawyers and Victims’ Families File Petition for Federal Grand Jury Investigation, Ted Walter, www.ae911truth.org, 1 Apr 2018.

"The petition notes, “If any crime ever warranted a full special grand jury inquiry, the mass murder of thousands on our nation’s soil on 9/11 clearly does.”

“Yesterday morning, attorneys from the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, together with more than a dozen family members of 9/11 victims, filed a petition with the interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey S. Berman, demanding that he present evidence of unprosecuted federal crimes at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, to a special grand jury.”

Please go here for the story

And here for my summary of research into the 9/11 murders.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Signs of Intelligent Life


We’ve finally gotten a beautiful, war, sunny day here in Michigan. So, I’m not looking to wish the best part of the year away. Still, the November elections are only a few months down the road and I’m hoping to see signs of “intelligent life” following soon after, or even before.

While I cherish my independence (Which I defined as: no political party affiliation) I’m hoping to live to witness the U.S. people elect Democrat Party majorities in both the U. S. Senate and the U. S. House of Representatives and to offices throughout all the states.

Then my dream come true would be that the Democrats display hitherto unacustomed intelligence and immediately begin impeachment processes to rid us, not only of the scoundrel currently occupying the Presidency, but also the goofball incompetents he appointed as cabinet secretaries. All these scalawags need to find employment elsewhere.

Why? They must all be removed for their betrayal of their sworn oath of office and dereliction of duty.

Clearly, Mr. Trump appointed each not based upon proven management strengths nor their inherent sense of duty to the nation. No, Mr. Trump appointed them based upon their determination to dismantle the department to which they were named to lead.

That is dereliction of duty. And, these people have done the deed “to a T” (with T defined as Treason). Together, they have managed the worst, most harmful crimes ever perpetrated against the People of the United States.

Please, let us see signs of Intelligent Life come this November.

Article Two of the United States Constitution, Section 4:
"The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."

Impeached Scorecard

Two Presidents, 14 federal judges; one Supreme Court Associate Justice; one Cabinet Secretary.; and, one U.S. Senator.

Impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, the Record

William Blount, U.S. Senator from Tennessee
Impeached July 7, 1797, on charges of conspiring to assist in Great Britain’s attempt to seize Spanish-controlled territories in modern-day Florida and Louisiana
Charges dismissed for want of jurisdiction; Blount had been expelled from the U.S. Senate before his trial.

John Pickering, Judge, U.S. District Court, District of New Hampshire
Impeached March 2, 1803, on charges of intoxication on the bench and unlawful handling of property claims
Found guilty; removed from office

Samuel Chase, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court
Impeached March 12, 1804, on charges of arbitrary and oppressive conduct of trials
Acquitted

James H. Peck, Judge, U.S. District Court, Western district of Tennessee
Impeached April 24, 1830, on charges of abuse of the contempt power
Acquitted

West H. Humphreys, Judge, U.S. District Court, Western district of Tennessee
Impeached May 6, 1862, on charges of refusing to hold court and waging war against the U.S. Government
Found guilty; removed from office and disqualified from future office

Andrew Johnson, President of the United States
Impeached February 24, 1868, on charges of violating the Tenure of Office Act by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office
Acquitted

Mark H. Delahay, Judge, U.S. District Court, Kansas
Impeached February 28, 1873, on charges of intoxication on the bench
Resigned prior to trial

William W. Belknap, U.S. Secretary of War
Impeached March 2, 1876, on charges of criminal disregard for his office and accepting payments in exchange for making official appointments
Acquitted

Charles Swayne, Judge, U.S. district court, Northern district of Florida
Impeached December 13, 1904, on charges of abuse of contempt power and other misuses of office
Acquitted

Robert W. Archbald, Associate judge, U.S. Commerce Court
Impeached July 11, 1912, on charges of improper business relationship with litigants
Found guilty; removed from office and disqualified from future office

George W. English Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern district of Illinois
Impeached April 1, 1926, on charges of abuse of power
proceedings dismissed

Harold Louderback, Judge, U.S. District Court, Northern district of California
Impeached February 24, 1933, on charges of favoritism in the appointment of bankruptcy receivers
Acquitted

Halsted L. Ritter, Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern district of Florida
Impeached March 2, 1936, on charges of favoritism in the appointment of bankruptcy receivers and practicing law as a sitting judge
Found guilty; removed from office

Harry E. Claiborne, Judge, U.S. District Court of Nevada
Impeached July 22, 1986, on charges of income tax evasion and of remaining on the bench following criminal conviction
Found guilty; removed from office

Alcee L. Hastings, Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern district of Florida
Impeached August 3, 1988, on charges of perjury and conspiring to solicit a bribe
Found guilty; removed from office

Walter L. Nixon, Judge, U.S. District Court, Southern district of Mississippi
Impeached May 10, 1989, on charges of perjury before a federal grand jury
Found guilty; removed from office

William J. Clinton President of the United States
Impeached December 19, 1998, on charges of lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstruction of justice
Acquitted

Samuel B. Kent, Judge, U.S. District Court for the Southern district of Texas
Impeached June 19, 2009, on charges of sexual assault, obstructing and impeding an official proceeding, and making false and misleading statements
Resigned June 30, 2009 before the completion of the trial

G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern district of Louisiana
Impeached March 11, 2010, on charges of accepting bribes and making false statements under penalty of perjury
Found guilty; removed from office and disqualified from holding future office

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

American History Was Different Back Then

Which America Are We?
Back in high school my American history class was boring. It was so boring that most of us slept.

Don’t get me wrong. I really like learning about our past because, for me, life is all about people and their stories, what they faced, how they overcame their challenges, and importantly, what happened after all the winning and losing was over - how they lived their lives.

You might have been among the few to have a teacher who understood that people stories are a lot more interesting than memorizing war dates and endlessly repeating, glossy, truth-avoiding myths, like the “history” taught by authoritarian regimes, such as Nazi Germany, Mao’s China, FOX news, or high school history class.

I've come to learn that “history”, as taught by “zealots” of all persuasions, always favors the writer’s distorted beliefs – written purposefully or subconsciously steered –  to favor or manufacture a positive spin for them.

That’s why I have found it refreshing to read Maj. Danny Sjursen’s American History for Truthdiggers series, posted on truthdig.com. The first six parts are linked below. The segments are short, well written, enlightening and not the history I was taught in high school. Please check them out.

A U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point, Sjursen, served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has written a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” He lives with his wife and four sons in Lawrence, Kan. Follow him on Twitter at @SkepticalVet and check out his new podcast, “Fortress on a Hill,” co-hosted with fellow vet Chris “Henri” Henrikson.”

American History for Truthdiggers
  1. Original Sin
  2. Roots in Religious Zealotry 
  3. Whose Empire?
  4. Were the Colonists Patriots or Insurgents?
  5. Independence and Civil War (1775-1783)
  6. Whose Revolution? (1775-1783)


Just for Fun: Peabody's Improbable History - Surrender of Cornwallis