Wild Fires Out West

Tragedy everywhere. It’s hard to focus on just one piece of bad news. While you try to figure a way for society to bounce back from one cataclysm, another calamity is slapping you in the face. Bad news travels fast, as they say, but does there need to be so much of it?

Sometimes it feels like being a speed bag in a Muhammad Ali workout. Rat-a-tat-tat the numbing blows keep coming until we are overcome by the sheer volume of blows. Death, destruction, pestilence and famine are present everywhere, even in the richest countries.

Surprisingly, the “happiest people on Earth”, the Finns, have decided to buy an insurance policy from NATO to gain a sense of protection from their neighbor. What has changed the Finns long standing policy of neutrality? Obviously Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine was the catalyst for their decision to apply for NATO membership, but could there be more “burning” issues?

Finland shares an 830 mile border with Russia that is predominantly rural forests. Currently Russia is on fire and there is not enough manpower on hand to put out the fires. The fires are so large and uncontrolled that the smoke from the fires is carrying to the western United States adding to the pollution here. Studies have shown that the fires in Russia are getting larger and more frequent every year. These are not just “ordinary” fires. These are peat fires that are burning rich organic material that is carbon rich. This carbon not only releases huge amounts of methane and carbon into the air, but can enter the lungs of mammals and create disease.

The fires increase the causes of global warming and therefore create more wildfires. Russia is in a cycle that could be existential, and I’m not just talking about ticking off everyone else on the planet because of your aggression. Putin’s plan may have been to gobble up as much territory and resources as possible to keep his already under-served population from extinction. There are reports that the peat is burning even around frozen lakes. Even to the most dull of us, we recognize that when the ground is burning under your house it’s time to move. Putin has never been considered dull.

No one country or peoples are immune to the effects of these fires. These peat bogs exist in a large number of countries around the world. The issue is that while they are normally fire resistant because of their wet nature, global warming has dried the bogs and made them susceptible to being ignited by wildfires. The key is prevention if possible and rapid response if a fire does break out. Russia’s commitment to take the resources it needs rather than protect the ones it has could prove to be its undoing. Every able bodied Russian is off to Ukraine to loot and rape and pillage while their homeland is becoming tinder. How could a supposed super power ignore science and keep on fanning the flames of disaster?

While it’s hot as the dickens here in Georgia, at least we’re not on fire like they are out West. The mind just boggles when you see the amount of acreage being consumed by fire. Fire seems to be pretty indiscriminate, too. Rich folk’s houses are being burned right along with the trailer parks.

Watching the crews going through doing cleanup, and only finding smoldering wood is pretty sobering. All of your mementos, all of your capital gone in a flash while leaving behind just a smoldering outline of where you once thrived. The sight should be sobering. It should be a wake-up call that climate change/global warming is real. It is estimated that there will be 1.2 BILLION people displaced by climate change by 2050. Some of them will be driving tanks.

Nothing bands humanity together like a disaster. It would be great if we could band together to prevent a disaster.

If You Ain’t Woke, You Must Be Asleep

In the words of the great philosopher and business tycoon, Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.” Have truer words ever been spoken? Whether your I.Q. is stratospheric or slightly higher than a rutabaga, people can be more truly judged by their actions than what they made on their S.A.T.S.

All of us sharing this planet have the expectation that the people that we interact with on a daily basis are, if not pulling in the same direction, at least not land mining our path. We presume that a person with “average” intelligence realizes that we as a society can accomplish so much more by working together than with one group carrying all of the load while the other group runs through the woods with their hair on fire.

We are wrong to presume. Average intelligence in the United States has dropped to an I.Q. of 98. When I was growing up it was 100, which was fairly consistent throughout the world as I recall. Now we’re three points dumber than our neighbors to the north. What happened? I suspect it’s the enforced breeding programs by the elites. You know where only Muffy can be betrothed to Biff and Skylar can only be seen with Cameron and Huxley. The Donald and his progeny has single-handedly dropped the average half a point at least.

As the recipients of “royal blood” can attest, sometimes the best genetic match is not the person closest to you. Exceptionalism is not a good thing in societal terms. Not only is society more likely to breed itself out of existence, but there is no place for the “diamonds in the rough” to emerge. “Talent and intelligence are equally distributed throughout the world. But opportunity is not.” So how do we ensure that the cream rises to the top and that we’re not at the mercy of one of the Donald’s offspring to come up with a cure for cancer?

First we have to recognize the dynamics of what average I.Q. means. In the case of the U.S., roughly sixty-eight percent of the population has an I.Q. of 115 or less. Please pause and dwell for a moment about the last time you interacted with someone that you suspected wasn’t “the brightest bulb in the box.” Now recognize that that person was around the 100 I.Q. mark and that roughly 68% of the population is not as quick as he is. Now speculate that there is a well funded movement designed to exploit those individuals for their own benefit.

In addition to perpetrating falsehoods on a constant basis through the media, this group is hard at work on dismantling the last bastion of civil discourse open to the vast majority of citizens, the public schools. Most of us learned in public school the rights and privileges of American citizens through history and civics courses. I understand that Civics is no longer taught most places. How convenient…. If the average citizen doesn’t learn their rights, their responsibilities and the way to preserve their rights in school, they’re certainly not going to learn them from the Faux News Network. The Faux News Network has its own agenda and it’s not inclusive.

The Faux News Network and its benefactors/promoters are masters at taking complicated issues and reducing them to buzzwords that the person of “average” I.Q. can latch on to and use to sound like an “informed individual” when shouting them out at a school board meeting. Phrases like “cancel culture” which is Faux’s take on the public telling a business “we’re not going to use your products anymore if your behavior continues in the same way.” What’s the public’s recourse to protest the bad actions of a corporation, burn all of their locations to the ground? Seems like boycotting the product until they meet acceptable standards would be more desirable than a fire sale. But God forbid we “cancel” anyone.

Speaking of cancelling anyone, Faux is working hard on cancelling, people of color, gays, liberals and anyone that is intellectually capable of seeing through their smokescreen. BTW, it’s ok, if Faux is doing the cancelling. It’s also ok to cancel anyone that is “woke”. Woke is a person that is sensitive to the plight of anyone not in the W.A.S.P. mold of the Faux News hosts. Woke is a person that knows that Blacks were once owned in the U.S. and have a had a struggle overcoming that time. Woke is a person that believes that history shouldn’t be “white washed” to make some people’s feelings feel better.

History is what it is, which brings us back to the importance of schools in the development of societal norms in children. In particular the children who are not intellectually inclined to seek out all of the positions of an argument. These children need to know that everybody is different and unique and should be respected for their diversity. That’s not “indoctrination, it’s just good manners. After all, what would Jesus do?

Rallying The Republicans

I keep telling myself if we can just make it through one more election cycle it will finally be over. The rush to take down the democracy that so many of us have cherished will finally be safe from those that want to install an American Taliban. Once the rightwingnutjobs are stymied again in their attempt to install an autocracy with Mullahs advising an empty headed narcissist, we can concentrate our efforts on building up, not tearing down. If we can just rally the troops one more time and reject those that want to take away all of those things that make America exceptional, make it through just one more election cycle, it will be behind us. And then I wake up.

The Republican National Convention through their spokesperson Skeletor, I mean Rick Scott, has produced the platform for Making America Great Again, Again. I have to clarify here because the Repubs are not exactly endorsing the plan, yet. Unlike 2016 and 2020 when the Republican Party platform was “whatever psycho-babble comes out of the Donald’s mouth”, this time they’re trying a different tack. They are using Rick Scott to trial balloon an actual platform for the 2022 – 2024 elections. It’s Rick Scott’s job to workshop new approaches to ending democracy in the U.S. and help destabilize the world for autocrats everywhere. In the “Endorse This Plan” section, also known as the “ask” the plan outlines how life will end on this planet if the Repubs don’t get their way. Fortunately, we all know how Republicans lie.

For example, take justices Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Comey. In their Senate confirmations they swore up and down that Roe v. Wade was established law. Kavanaugh assured the Senators that were willing to ask the question that there was no need to worry about him, Roe v. Wade was “settled as precedent”. What changed? In a document recently leaked stating the majority opinion that Roe v. Wade was wrongly settled, rwnj Catholic Justice Alito reached back to the 17th century to find a reason to deny women control of their own bodies. Searching for justification from people that burned women as witches is a bit of reach, in my opinion.

There’s also some interesting skullduggery going on about the source of the leak. There are reports that the Wall Street Journal had the draft before anyone else knew about it. Conspiracy minded people speculate that the leak might have traveled home with America’s Number One Tom and spread to the WSJ from Tom’s wife. Repub to Repub, who cares, except the leak cements the court into going forward with the plan to throw out the 9th and 14th amendments. No need to worry about the calamitous effect that will be wreaked on potentially millions of families, let’s concentrate instead on the source of the leak. It’s one thing to draft opinions that mimic the cruelty of pulling the wings off of flies, and another to be publicly exposed as a sadist.

Lying Ted Cruz is quick to get his two cents in. Genetically unable to grow a beard, Lyin’ Ted has taken out his frustrations by declaring that the peaceful protesters outside of Alito’s house are worse than the mobs of Jan. 6th. In a perfect example of how the Left completely controls the media, I can find no pictures or films of the protesters outside of Alito’s house fighting with police, breaking windows, or breaching entry into Alito’s house. Imagine having the power to suppress that kind of news and then being outed by the bastion of truth and compassion, Lyin’ Ted.

I have a post-it that hangs above my desk that declares that Republicans have had the same message since 1932. Number ten on the list is: “Big government bad. Small government good. No government better. Bribable government best of all.” Watching Republicans all over the country at every level of government say the quiet part out loud threatens all of us who love democracy with the numbing effect of their lies. We can’t forget that the Prevaricator in Chief is driving the Republican bus and is scant qualified to drive a bus, even if it is a short one.

Vote at every election at every level like your life depends on it. It does.

If Men Could Get Pregnant

I’m torn between taunting “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” or shrinking into an overwhelming sadness. The “nanny, nanny, boo-boo” is for any woman that has given aid, comfort, or votes, to a Republican candidate for the last sixty years. From Nixon forward I’ve told anyone that was listening, this is where the Republican party is going. The release of the Supreme Court draft this week confirms what many of us have seen coming for decades. “Future Back to the Past” is about to come to fruition. Get ready for barefoot and pregnant girls. We’re headed back to the fifties. Not the 1950’s, the 1850’s.

I hold particular disdain for female congress people like Susan Collins who held the allegiance to her party closer than her sense of self. True, when Collins gave Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett the green light to proceed she was well past child bearing age. No skin off of her nose, right? In truth, Collins probably never had to worry one moment about childbearing altering her career path. The fact that the same was not true for 99.99 percent of all other women did not resonate with Collins. But that’s how it is with Republicans, male and female alike. They’ve been altered genetically. Their empathy gene has been removed. How can people presume to represent others when they can’t identify with their constituent’s life situations?

Imagine if you will, that men could get pregnant. Star quarterback, Ben Dover has just been drafted number one in the NFL draft. Six weeks after his draft celebration party, Ben finds himself in a family way. What to do, what to do? Put off child bearing until he’s completed his career or prepare himself for his body and his pocketbook to take a big hit? Everybody knows the answer to this one, we learned about it in Catechism. Ben would take the hit for the Republican party, have the baby and turn it over to a Catholic orphanage to raise. I forgot to mention in the setup that Ben is a Catholic Republican just like five of the Supreme Court Justices.

We all know that if men could get pregnant and the number one draft pick turned up pregnant, a host of “fixers” would see to it that Ben would not lose one minute of his career, or bear any stigma for his decision. Heck, they’d probably provide a signing bonus along with grief counseling for as long as Ben needed to get over his mixed feelings. If he had any. Therein lies the contradiction and the hypocrisy.

George Carlin used to say that Republicans are not Pro Life, they’re Pro Birth. If you think about all of the social improvement bills, education, health care, etc., that have been shot down in Congress by the Republicans it’s easy to conclude that the actual life of the fetus after birth is not a concern for the Republicans. They just want to grab the knee-jerk visceral reaction from their voters over abortion and use it to further their headlong plunge back to the Victorian age. Do as I say, not do as I do.

From a strictly anthropological point of view, if we wanted to curtail unwanted pregnancies we would eliminate the seed sower not the fertile ground. Pregnant females are out of commission for at least nine months while the male could impregnate 5-6 women a day. That’s 1800+ potential births from adopting the wrongheaded assumption that the female bears all of the responsibility for the pregnancy.

The protesters carrying signs “Vasectomies not Abortions” have got a valid point. If our bodies truly belong to the state and none of us has any say with what can and can not be done to us, let’s give all males a vasectomy when they register for the draft. Eighteen might be too late in certain circumstances, but the significance of signing up to go to war at the same time relinquishing your ability to father indiscriminately might just be the wake up call this country needs.

Nip it in the bud I say, or get real about a woman’s right to choose.