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.

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."

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,, 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