A Brief History of the World, Winston Smith edition

First, according to astrophysicists, there was nothing. Nada. Zilch. Tabula rasa. Then that nothingness somehow exploded. Can you say big bang? Congratulations! To, uh, whatever produced the big bang, as it gave birth to what is referred to as the universe. According to scientific investigation, that was approximately 13.8 billion years ago. Then, around 13 billion years ago, the first stars begin to burn, their glow taking its sweet time to reach…well “us”; but let’s not get too far ahead here since “us” at this point in the life of the universe is still WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY off.

Moving on, about 4.6 billion years ago our solar system begins to come together and with it the birth our life-sustaining sun. Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and thus one of the charter members of our universe, which early on had no stars or planets. Stars were forged from atoms of hydrogen and helium, while new chemical elements were created inside the dying stars (birth and death, it’s inescapable, eh?). Planets and moons formed from blobs of ice and dust using these new chemicals and elements, and the first living cell evolved in the rich chemical environments of rocky planets.

Then, 3.8 billion years ago, comes the earliest forms of life on our very special planet we call Earth. These were mostly single cell life forms. Not too sophisticated but, hey, back then they were the entire show. And that “show” was a long-running production, with virtually zero competition for attention for the next 3.2 billion years. Okay, so let’s do the math: 3.2 billion from 3.8 billion=600 million , as in years ago, larger life forms appear. Those bigger living things had the stage for a mere 593 million (or so) years, when ‘only” 7 million years back our human lineage splits from that of the Chimpanzee. That “break-away” from the chimp world, over the next 5 million years, produced the–ta da!–homo erectus. This new “standing man” then becomes the species known as Homo sapiens, a classification that is marked at about at 200,000 years ago. Hey, from Big Bang 13.8 biillion years back to standing man. In a mere 12,999,800,000 years. 

Or, in just three paragraphs on this blog entry.

A brief history, okay?

Standing man hasn’t always had it easy, though. Life was rough and tumble. Maslow’s pyramid of ascending needs would have to have several sub-basements to signify the ordeal of simply staying alive back in that day. Today’s homeless population live elite lifestyles compared to Homo neanderthalensis. Basic food and shelter? Life was always a bitch, no doubt. And then, as already noted, they would die. But enough of standing man got off his/her feet to copulate and Homo sapiens endured, right through the last ICE AGE, some 10,000 years ago. After that frosty kick in the loin cloth-covered asses of our species by the forces of nature, it was but 5,000 years ago that cities began to appear on the planet. 3,000 years later, standing man had developed its survival instincts and desire to be the masters of their–and other’s–domains, with the Han and Roman empires. Little by little, by about 500 years ago, exploration and discovery by our species started to link the world together. For better or worse. Mostly worse, in my estimation.

Formal knowledge, the refinement of arts and sciences, elevated our human place on planet earth. In the past 150 years industrialization has given us railroads, jet airplanes, radio and television and space travel. Just 50 years ago we landed on the moon, an event that for a brief moment in time, was at once inspirational and mesmerizing in its realization, and as such, transcended race, ethnicity, or nationality in a most powerful and positive sense of shared pride in our humanity. And it was quite a momentary antidote to a world in which over the previous 200 or so years having been marred by revolutionary wars here and abroad, the U.S.civil war, World Wars I & II, (the latter of which produced an another awesome, if not a Kumbaya, event called the creation–and deployment–of the atomic bomb), the Korean and Vietnam wars, and at this point in time bloodshed far and wide. More empires. Less humanism.

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Now, here we are early in the first month of year 2019. Unless you are one of the Homo sapiens that has succumbed to a de-evolutionary modus operandi, and cannot think on your own, unable to truly engage your brain, not able to determine basic right from wrong, nor distinguish a stone cold fact from an inference to a bald face lie, you might have heard about, and perhaps become concerned for our planet, all 4.6 billion years old as it is. What am I getting at? Well, while the Big Bang theory says we came from nothing, (go figure) ever since, and as been alluded to earlier, all forms of life on this planet come and go. You know, born to die. In comparison to mother earth, we are all around for a nano second of a wee smaller nanosecond of a fraction of a fraction of a blink of an eye. Hope to live to be 110? No different. By the time you were born to your demise, you (all of us, okay?) relatively speaking were barely here at all! But reproduction keeps humankind around, whether one is using that brain very well or not. Among the scientists whom are most involved with the life span of our planet–which, mind you, is inevitably as with all else, going to die–they assert we have reached an “existential crisis”. It’s called climate change. And the virtual consensus of climate scientists is that our planet is sick. Very sick. Human activity is hastening our planet’s demise–and standing man and woman will eventually pass away when the sphere beneath our feet no longer can support itself, or us.

What are we humans doing about this crisis? Apparently not much. Certainly not nearly enough. In the decade that ran from 1979-1989 we had an excellent opportunity to solve this climate crisis. The world’s major powers came within several signatures of endorsing a binding, global framework to reduce carbon emissions–far closer than we have ever come since. During those years, the conditions for success could not have been more favorable. The obstacles we blame for that inaction are still emerging. But now, as back then, the only thing standing in the way of saving the planet is…ourselves.

And by ourselves, I include a particular person who is an avowed science-denier when it comes to looming climate collapse: this person is deeply, profoundly flawed. Okay, nobody is perfect but…this person is a sociopath. This person is a racist. Indeed, he is a white supremacist. He is a misogynist. A homophobe. A xenophobe. A failed businessman. A con man. As bad as all that is, the worst part is he has been allowed to be the President of our country. Oh, and one who may have colluded with Mother Russia and its evil strongman, V. Putin, during his campaign. This man is not helping with much except to create chaos and consternation among critical thinkers. Sadly, this person has followers. I call them “pod people” (after the people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers whose beings are overtaken by insidious pods being slipped near them as they slumbered, to awake and become zombie like automatons in the grip of alien forces). Today’s Pod People have brains, but they are a waste of gray matter. Podsters don’t seem to care about anything but what their “leader” thinks and does. But more than any creepy flaw he has clearly displayed, it’s that science-denying one that is the most dangerous here, in 2019.

Sadly, in my informed, personal opinion, it may be 2019, but I’m beginning to feel as though it is really 1984. As in the dystopian world penned by George Orwell in 1949, shortly after the carnage of World War II. In it, Orwell created Big Brother. A glossary of terms from that seminal novel would include, doublethink, hate week, newspeak, speakwrite, thought police, and thoughtcrime. Doesn’t sound like a Disney narrative, eh? Now, I am not saying we are actually immersed in Orwell’s nightmare vision of the future, as he saw it back in 1949, but there are indications that, since our current occupant of the White House took residence there in January of 2017, it certainly sounds and seems as though we are getting closer to an Orwellian nightmare than safely secured from any such approximation of it.

For example, a few nights ago, the corporate, mainstream media once again demonstrated its collusion in this country’s ever-increasing descent into creepy, dark political cynicism. How so? By granting a prominent platform for the dissemination of blatant propaganda and fear mongering by the above alluded to White House denizen.

The various major media outlets, both broadcast and cable, were asked to permit this person, who has been clearly and credibly identified as a bona-fide, dissembling demagogue to speak to we the people. The heads of these news outlets could not possibly have acted any more irresponsibly by agreeing to provide prime-time coverage for this person and his intended reason for seeking their assistance. After all, he was not addressing the vital–and ever more desperate–need for climate action. Of course not. He, at best, willfully denies the reality of climate change, or actually is unable to process the credible evidence that has been around for-as noted–several decades by now. He wasn’t talking about making healthcare more affordable for all of we the people, nor was he addressing the need for more affordable means of getting a college education. He wasn’t announcing a plan to address re-building our rotting national infrastructure, or creating a living wage policy to help the average person make ends meet without working two or more jobs.

No, he was given the national airwaves to potentially enter into the living rooms–Little Brother?–of every household, to demand several billion dollars for a “wall” to separate the U.S. from its neighboring countries to the south. He claimed–without evidence– that the border is not secure, and that those coming here included rapists, murderers, drug dealers and terrorists. All while our federal government has been shut down for almost three weeks as a means of showing he means business.

The Orwellian part of his being on the airwaves so pervasively is that there was no obligation on the part of the media to grant him time to spew his nonsense, all of which is at the expense of that evidence-based existential crisis known as the climate crisis that increasingly threatens our planet. The heads of each of those major media outlets could have easily declared his request as being so blatantly a political stunt that they could not possibly be so irresponsible as to let him have the airwaves to advance its unworthiness. The fact that they didn’t is extremely disturbing.

Orwell’s book, by the way, has become something of a new best seller in the past couple of years. Art imitates life? Ugh. Well, we’re not that far gone yet, but the media created this orange-hued occupant of the White House, and it could destroy him just as easily. We don’t have to listen to him even if the media continues to provide a platform for further prevarication, division and hate speech. But we shouldn’t have to willfully ignore what should never have been allowed to become a reality in the first place. What happened on Tuesday evening was a dangerous symptom of incipient Orwellianism, in my estimation.

After 4.6 billion years, here we are, my fellow Homo Sapiens. We are the problem. Of course we are. We must have asked for this or else why has it become a reality? When did basic right and wrong become so jumbled in so many people’s minds? How can we be so easily led astray? Who and what are we paying attention to? So, as mother earth continues to wheeze and convulse, the clock is ticking. You can take time out for a break, but you can’t take a break from time, right? I’d say, time to take a break from taking break from thinking about the present and the future. You can change the dial, or turn off that tv, leave cyberspace and connect with reality. I mean, can’t we do better than this? This is what we have evolved into since leaving Chimp World?

4.6 billion years from nothing to the moon and back. And it was televised! Now, our media has become a tool for misinformation, disinformation, insipid celebrity cults, bread and circuses. It is everywhere and nowhere. Newspeak. Doublethink. Hate week. Thoughtcrime. Far fetched? Let’s hope so. But sometimes, lately, I feel a bit like Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith in 1984. But I’m hoping for a happier ending than Winston’s.

If your brain is critically engaged and your eyes wide open, I’d say you–as I–are all incipiently becoming Mr.Smith.

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The More Things Change, part 2

Ten days ago, I opined on this site that the mid-terms would have no winner. It would seem, at this point a week out from November 8, that the GOP will have a modest House majority while the Dems retain a slim advantage in the senate. Slim as in either 51-50 or 51-49. So, neither party can claim a bona-fide victory as far as democracy vs demagoguery goes. Sure, by at least holding onto the senate, the Democrat party avoided what could have been a visceral implementation of Far Right fanaticism. Democracy, as weakened as it has become recently, is still in place.

Joe Biden’s presidency was not challenged, but if both houses of congress fell into the hands of a GOP that in the past several years has become a creepy, ugly, cult of loud-mouthed Big Lie loonies, he would essentially have become politically irrelevant. Dead Man Walking. The 2024 election would be assured in favor of the GOP. Their gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics would be roided-up. Democracy as nothing more than political road-kill.

And of course!

The GOP has spent decades dismantling the middle class in America. Union busting, deregulation for the banksters and corporations. Tax cuts for the uber rich. Reaganomics. But since 2015, when the biggest loud-mouthed Big Lie loonie of them all announced his run for president–laughable at first glance–a possible fascist takeover of the government was the agenda of the GOP. His becoming president was not funny at all. We the people sent him home in the 2020 election; his many clear and credibly asserted affronts to our Constitution, to committing financial frauds, and most of all inciting an insurrectionist attack on the Capital on January 6, 2021 demanded him being held to account.

However, as the months passed, and passed, and passed, it has become very clear that, while the mid-terms were yet another rejection of his and the GOP’s sickening slow-mo march toward fascism, he is apparently Mr. Above the Law. On this evening of November 15th 2022, he is expected to announce his intent to once again run for president! What’s wrong with this picture? From where I sit, it is an profound outrage that the Democrat Party, and it’s Justice Department, headed by Merrick Garland, appear to be afraid to indict, arrest and hold him to account based on the evidence that the January 6 Committee broadcast to the world. But the fact of the matter is the moment Mr. Above the Law was sworn-in as president in January 2017, he was in violation the Constitution’s “emoluments clause (look it up). But never mind.

So, again, the mid-terms produced no winner,. It’ll be two years of gridlock. A House of Representatives three-ring circus of corrupt, anti-democratic nonsense. But worse than knowing that is definitely headed our way, is the prospect of having to endure the Big Loser being able to possibly be at the top of the GOP ticket in two years. He should by now have been held to account. Convicted. Disqualified from ever holding public office again.

How about the Justice Department making its own big announcement–tonight! the immediate indicting of this felonious fake of a human being. Now that would feel like a true victory for We the People.

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The More Things Change.

November 5, 2022. A little more than three days out from what will likely be a very explosive day. I do hope not explosive in the literal sense of a bomb going off. Figurative I am certain of. Could be some violence. No, almost certainly there will be some violence. Pushing and shoving. Punches thrown, if not landed. Certainly harsh language will be unleased. One way or another a certain landscape will be altered. For better or worse–depending on which contingent of participants gets to claim victory. Such final determination won’t be settled on those few days from today. Likely won’t be settled for days and days. Maybe weeks. Before the smoke clears. Before the rancor ends. If end it ever will. After all this contentiousness among millions of participants started years ago, with mostly harsh language being the main weapon of choice. Along with finger pointing. However, in the past couple of years, the finger pointing and verbal assaults have escalated into actual physical violence. Of a most alarming and anxiety inducing level. And at this moment, whether any blood may be shed–as not long ago shed it was–is anyone’s guess. The figurative, if not literal, combatants, are making final appeals for their way of thinking and doing. But only time shall tell the tale of a soon to be battle for control. There’s that saying about certain conflict’s end result: to the victor goes the spoils. Alas, I predict. There will be. No. Winner. But lots of spoils to be fought for again and again. You know. How history works. In repetitious ways. In the year 1605, notably also on November 5, a person named Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up Parliament in London. He failed. He had his reason to be dissatisfied with King James I, whom Fawkes felt was persecuting Roman Catholics. So, 417 years ago that November 5 date hasn’t completely faded from historical memory. Conflicts come and kinda never go. Ya think? Remember, remember, the 5th of November. The gunpowder treason plot. I can tink of no reason, the 5th of November should ever be forgot (author unknown?). Did I just use the word treason? Like I said. History repeating itself.
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Hey, Joe!

Have you voted yet? You know, that mid-term election thingy? Rumor has it that it’s a big deal. As in, one of our two major political parties wants to hang onto its slim majorities in the House and the Senate, and the other major political party essentially wants to do away with elections altogether. That would be the party that brought us the January 6, 2021 attempt at overthrowing our Federal Democratic Republic form of government, as stated in the form of the 1787 Constitution of the United States of America.So, yeah, this 2022 mid-term election thing-a-ma-jiggy? It’s a big deal.

I, personally, would prefer that there be more than just two major political parties. Say three or four? But that isn’t about to happen, because no 3rd national party has gained even a minor amount of traction over the past, uh, 176 years (when the Republican Party supplanted the Whig Party). The two current major parties are quite content with the Frick or Frack choice given We the People who bother to go to the polls. But in this mid-term election, though as usual just a two horse race, the choices have been starkly revealed. The Democrats either keep control (razor thin again, or maybe gaining more of a majority) of the government or the Republican party–again, the Party that essentially orchestrated the January 6 coup attempt-will have control of the House and Senate. And if thathappens, well, it would seem to lead to mob rule of a sort.

I do NOT feel I am in any way exaggerating.After all, Republican members of congress have already publicly stated they will waste no time in impeaching President Joe Bidenif they have the numbers to do so. I’m not sure what Joe has done to warrant impeachment. Oh, right. He controls gas prices and asked for them to go through the roof. Also, we all know he sets the price of groceries. Isn’t he suppose to be the cause of Covid? Rest assured, the radical (crazed) party that has an elephant as its mascot will provide quite a circus.

Again–again!–the GOP and Trump staged the January assault on the U.S. government. The rioters wanted to kill not just high-ranking democrats, but the Republican Vice President at the time, because he would not (he could not) negate Joe Biden’s 7 million vote majority and the electoral college total in favor of Mr. Biden. This seditious crowd of Big Lie loonies wants to control the government.

Did I mention the J6mob wanted to kill Mike Pence? They also had a target on the back of Nancy Pelosi, then (and now) the Speaker of the House. Since that deadly insurrection, the forces of anarchy and division, of racism, and overall hate have become nearly household names: Qanon; The Proud Boys; Oath Keepers; and Patriot Front, among others.Fear and loathing on the campaign trail. Kudos to Hunter S. Thompson

Then there is one David De Pape.He is the reason for this blog post. In case you haven’t heard, Dave, an apparent fellow Far Right follower, broke into the home of Nancy Pelosi, seeking to–what else?–kill her. This assertion may be “alleged” but she was in D.C at the time. Her husband, however, was at home, heard the sound of shattering glass at the back entrance of the house and called 911. By the time police arrived, Mr. De Pape had already fractured Mr. Pelosi’s skull with a hammer demanding to know “where is she!?”My assumption is he wasn’t interested in civil discourse with madam Speaker.

Okay. At this point, I am using David De Pape as the face of the Far Right. His crazed desire to likely kill Ms. Pelosi is very akin to the mob that broke windows of the Capitol building toillegally gain entrance on 1-6-2021. Call De Pape’s action a microcosm of that chaotic, bloody day, minus anyone losing their life in the process. While Mr. De Pape is in custody, the leader of the January 6 attack on democracy is not. I know not why, since he has quite the rap sheet at this point. Just ask the January 6 committee, huh? You know, that made-for-TV committee that revealed the many clear links to the former president and the events of January 6? I’m certain that our former loser president heard about the attempt to murder Nancy but whatever; he’s busy on the campaign trail, wanting see his kind of fanatical, “stop the steal” candidate get elected. So he can somehow become president again in spite of what that J6 committee recommended about indicting him.

The mid-term election looms large and may well spell doom–for Joe Biden and  his Party. You, know, the Democrat Party. That right now has control–albeit-by a slim margin–of the levers of governmental power. Though the Dem Donkeys, ironically, appalingly, appear to be the minority party as far as using such power. Go. Figure. Why has its DOJ not put the Big Orange Kahuna behind bars already?! Afraid? Well, maybe David De Pape will help Joe and company find that fighting political spine

…as in…Joe Biden has the “bully pulpit” of the presidency. Use the goddam thing, will ya? Get behind that pulpit and pound away at what Mr. De Pope’s action portends if the Republican Hate Cult is given those levers of power. Not that the GOP has any use for the Constitution. But, hey Joe, time is running outon our Federal Democratic Republic. On people of reason. On the idea of representing all of the people, most of whom work for a living and believe in justice. As in no one is above the law kind of justice. No one.

Joe Biden should demand airtime to directly confront the vile and vicious desires of a political party that bleeds hate and divisiveness. A Party that is essentially aligned with fascism. And white supremacy. The GOP doesn’t even bother to hide these ugly character traits. It’s IN YOUR FACE!

Now is the time, Joe. Sure, you “condemn” the clear desire of a right-wing whacko to possibly kill Nancy. Let’s go on the offense, already! What clearer reminder that the Republican collusion to win the day that January 6th, than one of their acolytes still willing to find and finish what started about 20 months ago?

Just over a week away from the most most crucial mid-term election, perhaps in this country’s history.Huh? Joe? You can’t possibly have anything more important to do.

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Music Therapy

The other day, a musician friend of mine sent me a video of an event he attended at Chicago’s United Center. Was it a hockey game he saw? Basketball? A raucous political rally? The Midwest pit-stop on the Harry Styles concert tour?; (if that were the case, my 60-something friend could seem to be a lecherous interloper amongst Harry’s largely “pick-me-up” young women fanbase). But I digress.

None of the above. It was The Who. Well, the 2022 version of that iconic rock band that began in 1964. It now has only two original band members alive–Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. That makes them half an original and half “cover band” then? Whatever. But realizing that those surviving rockers are now 77 and 78 years old can still get thousands of people into a 23,000 seat venue says a lot for rock and roll’s staying power. Hell, aren’t the Rolling Stones on tour, too? It’s youngest original member is a mere 74. Mick Jagger is 79, and had heart valve replacement over two years ago. It was 1962 when Mick and the boys started strutting their stuff.

Good for both of these age-defying rock acts. Hey, retirement is overrated, no? One is what one does. But refusing to walk away from an accountant profession is one thing, being a member of a touring rock act covering thousands of miles is quite another. Wasn’t it Neil Young–who turns 77 next month–who penned and performed the anthem Hey hey, my my, rock and roll will never die?

As for current pop-culture, that Harry Styles tour makes me wonder how someone so young as he–whom critics say is as much known for his performance fashion statements as his musical ability–stacks up against the zeitgeist of the 1960s: Youthful rebellion. Anti-war demonstrations. Civil rights marches. The women’s movement. Questioning authority. Rejecting the political status quo. Rocking in the free world (kudos to–again–Neil Young). Am I simply engaging in superficial, comparative, generational gravitas and its attendant musical expressions? Maybe, but today there is no shortage of socio-political angst for which its youth to confront. Each generation embraces its time and temperament–at least in part–through music, from classical to pop-performance, right? I would presume, at the least, in the current crop of young performers, the up-and-comers may be more activist in using its creativity than their superstar, mega-touring, grab the cash “elders”.

Does it even matter? To quote the seemingly immortal Stones again: Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for you. So, just get out there and let it all hang out, baby! The Boomer bands had the legendary “groupies”. Harry Styles has the apparent updated version of those women flocking to feel the sexual–if not sociologically edgy–energy of the time: The “pick-me-up” contingent. See me. Feel me. Touch me. Heal me…

Whatever your music preferences may be, the least such should do is distract the mind and engage the senses for the better. Thus, beware the lyrics that inspire mass murder, though, okay? Helter Skelter! Whether that musical therapy comes in the form of Beethoven or “bubble-gum” pop or rock opera (initiated by the Who, arguably, via Tommy) the world would be a worthless place without music, regardless of generation.

Hmm. I wonder if Strawberry Alarm Clock is still together?

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Paradise Lost

Assuming you do not live in Florida, your relationship to the staggering images of destruction in large swathes of its landscape may be somewhat passive but sorrowful, or more active and anguished if you have relatives or friends who reside there. I have a sister who rode out a long night of very strong winds whipping very large amounts of rain outside her home near Daytona Beach. Compared to Ft. Meyers on the opposite coastline, she got off easy. She’s lived in a few different parts of Florida for over forty years. She has braced for brushes with other hurricanes over that time span. But this one was different, to say the least. Very deadly. Historical in its devastation. The storm chasers, reporters on the ground and meteorologists were kept quite busy documenting this disaster. After all, it’s what they signed up for, right?

Did the people of Florida sign up for this? Stupid question, right? I suppose so, but what the professionals who report and study the various fickle manifestations that represent Mother Nature Incarnate largely left out of their reporting was how–ironically–Ma Nature was aided and abetted in her wicked wrath by we mere mortals called people. Yes, weather may be a “natural” part of everyday life around the globe, but what we humans have done to Ma Nature has been nothing short of criminal neglect. Recall the term climate change. Certainly, anyone paying even the slightest attention to reality has heard at least the drib and drabs about climate science’s “take” on such historical and deadly weather events. There is a clear and irrefutable cause and effect in our planet’s declining ecological health. But don’t try and convince certain people that it is a very real concern. Some of these non-believers live in Florida. Whether born and bred in Florida, or be they transplants or “snowbirds” from the North, they absolutely do not, have not, taken the science of climate seriously at all. Florida–some call it a paradise–is one of many states that are very very red, as in far right of center, politically, regarding whom they support, whom they vote for, and the public policies espoused by such representation. These particular paradise dwellers, in my estimation, unwittingly did sign up for possibly being killed or left in ruins by Ian. The far right legislators of many states seem unanimous in their disregard for the documented climate cause/effects shown in study after study. Red state idiocy. Made possible by red state idiot voters, like those that support Floridian politics: book banning; gay bashing; xenophobia; racism. And the willful denial of science. They just got some harsh payback for that stupidity. Ian’s brutal forces are part of a global level of neglect and ignorance regarding climate responding to such neglect.

Back to those reporters, storm chasers and meteorologists who covered Ian carnage for those grim few days it descended on Paradise. I didn’t hear much about them linking the ferocity of Ian to the decades-long disregard of the climate science that has raised red flags for decades now. Never mind many of those in the media doing the reporting on this horrific reality are themselves trained in science. Maybe that realistic side of this ironic situation will be given voice soon. But I do not hold my breath.

Today Joe Biden surveyed the Florida damage, with its governor, who seems to aspire to prove more reckless and whacked-out than a certain former president who may or may not be convicted of countless criminal offenses. However, while that grifter idiot is genuinely an ignoramus, Ron DeSantis has Ivy League educational credentials. He’s intelligent enough to know better but looking at his ideological agenda, one wonders if being “smart” has anything to do with being intelligent enough to promote something more positive than book banning and denying disaster aid when Super Storm Sandy devastated another part of the U.S. But he got elected. And it was thanks to those who had to chose for their “leader”. The damage has been done. Paradise is–partially–lost. The body politic is a toxic mess. Large swathes of the electorate votes for their own destruction. They can do it all over again this November 8. But even the worse case scenario of that pivotal event won’t matter. This planet is dying. Ian is a red flag in the face of human folly.

Mother Nature will have the final say, not the fools who think they are so smart. So, to those in Florida who lived to tell tale, and who may have been foolish in their political choices, perhaps they can finally appreciate what the expression Be careful what you wish for as you might just get it means.

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In Search of Intelligent Life, part five

Zeldar from Zardoz reporting back to Zardozian High Command. Assignment to re-re-re-re-explore Mountain Sphere for hidden indicators of meaningful intelligence flawlessly executed. The indigenous regional gibberish languages encountered now being analyzed with Zardozian A.I. techno-733rd generation processors running Ultra Algorithmic Syncopated Filtration Clarification Output Unit certain to finally discern answer to sphere’s machinations and practical purposes. Zeldar now Mountain Sphere Senior Analyst after commanding Maximus Maximus A.I. intergalactic Enshrouding Transport in first several visits for data mining and categorization.

UASFCOU assures answers. Older models proved most clearly supported analysis of intergalactic exploration, finding and defining intelligence levels of other scattered spheres. Findings quickly interpreted as collaborative and homogenous functionally in pursuit of self preservation, a sustained strategic force over several thousand Zardozian enshrouded visits covering vast reaches of intergalactic exploration. Mostly routine with a few momentary exceptions.

And then we discovered Mountain Sphere.

Zeldar first recalls seeing Sphere circling sizable sphere of fire–we see countless of these formations, all with uncomplicated compositions and atmospheres, circling other burning spheres, same as Mountain Sphere. But Mountain Sphere more chaotic. Life forms of all shapes and sizes. Many species. Primary and sub-species. Some life forms that use two support stems, some with four, some that fly. As for Zardozian understanding of life form languages and activities, Zeldar and Commaand not finding it facile matter to make sense of such. Many languages indeed, but decoders jammed by algorithmic processor’s data output rendered confusing as to such dramatic deep space linguistic anomaly. Zardozian High Command at first not concerned–but uncharacteristically more and more curious. Zeldar assigned to more missions with similar inconclusive results. Gibberish. No harmony. A sense of self -generated chaos and lack of any ability to work to solve problems. Habitants from all parts of sphere in states of turmoil and anger. New generation processors designed specific for answer to question: why does Sphere’s inhabitants not use universally documented Collaboration Model other life forms on millions of other encountered spheres utilize? Zadozians used material collaboration before our indigenous life forms were nearly rendered extinct by microscopic toxins infiltrated our atmosphere after a colossal implosion of a degenerative molecular “free floater” sphere escaped our detection devices owing to our then lessor intellectual vigor lacking collaborative maturity. Call it bad timing. Going A.I. was suggested when then current and most efficient processors fed toxin takeover data. Order needed restoring, so its answer was enacted. Now Zardoz and Zeldar artificially but infallably collaborative and immune from toxins.

Zeldar wonders why Mountain Sphere and its clearly dysfunctional life forms that speak gibberish don’t let machines take over and be done with it. Zeldar not able to compute even a micro-micro sub-sub-sub atomic particle of collaborative problem solving calculating among Sphere life forms. Sixth mass extinction a threat to Sphere. This time with much cause by primary species. Gibberish filtered and transmitted through their “News” disseminators. Many problems revealed. Never any solutions. Wildfires. Floods. Regional fighting over Sphere areas in which different gibberish spoken, or life form coloring not homogenous. One Sphere life form somehow leader over all others of same linguistic gibberish. Dominant Sphere leader’s life forms allowed to control all others, for some even their thoughts and actions, often causing more problems. Lesser life forms not able to collaborate to change leaders and solve problems. Sphere life forms thus categorized as hostile toxins. Zeldar getting frequency nausea assessing UASFCOU processing. No break in disturbing data analysis. Sphere analysis not a source of logic or harmonious reasoning. Sphere life form reproduction and guidance itself a source of chaos, hate, and destabilization. Sphere means of instructing its recently rendered life forms chaotic and nonsensical. Instruction control of new life forms denying Sphere’s past realities. More thought control of malevolent strategic intent. Processor finally identifies a positive outcome of external primary life form encounter: Images or encounters with a sub-species called Cat or Kitty. Many Sphere sub-species apparently more admirable than primary species and thus co-habitate with it. Many other sub-species. some smaller or larger than Kitty Cat source of non-toxic reactions eaten, often with poisonous results. Certain “plant life” often too lives harmoniously with primary species. Some plants produce thought pleasure like Cat, others are consumed, often too with poisonous results.

Conclusion on this Zeldar visit to Mountain Sphere with most powerful analyzing technology: Sphere a most troublesome and non-intelligent possessing place. Apparently total lacking of problem solving ability. Technology created then used mostly for costly distractions and further hostilities. Distrust of its own history. Constant fighting and turmoil owing to lack of Collaboration. Fear of variety of thought based on gibberish or color distinctions that accompanies life form. Disregard for its habitat’s degenerating ability to sustain their own life forms. Allowing a single life form to further hostility without addressing the need to eliminate such individual negative sources.

Zardoz High Command to consider if intervention needed. A.I. processor preliminarily leaning to letting Mountain Sphere self-destruct. Such conclusion based on historical record of never having encountered such a high level of illogical behavior and wasting of potential in known galaxies and as far into space as any Zardozian exploration undertaken. With it being beyond the reach of any other spheres existing in Collaboration with its various life forms, letting it self destruct eliminates any further need for yet another visit.

Zeldar needs time off. A.I. circuitry needs to decompress.

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August!

Has June really come and gone along with July? I guess it has because I have this thing called a calendar. There’s no doubt about it. Like that expression, you can time out for a break but you can’t take a break from time. It’s kinda like: wherever you go, there you are. Obvious. Silly. Snarky. A little bit mocking. Simple.

Simple. Less is more.

If only. Two months past June and maybe you went on a diet, so something consumable would be “less” but it would only lead to lesser of you. Maybe you would feel less self loathing and so overall more of something better and then less indeed becomes more. That would be a victory as time continues to inexorably bulldoze ahead bringing what it brings: more. The “lesser” you can strut your victory all about the world at large. That would be the cold reality of the world-at-large. The cold, hot, dry, wet, turbulent world. Guided by the hand of humans, some of whom no doubt could afford to lose a few pounds, or think of being less greedy, control-freakish or finding fault with others based on, you know, race, gender, color, creed, religion, political ideology, or sports affiliation. Stop primping your new body in the mirror and look around. There are some issues that need be dealt with out there here as we finish off the last week of August 2022.

I’m not going to go into detail–after all the worst of any the issues are right in our faces. I mean in our faces. If you’re a female of the species, you are under vicious attack. If you are not white-skinned, ditto. If you are LGBTQ there’s bullseyes on all of your backs, too. Beyond those assertions, there’s a target on the backs of the entire human race. How so? Oh, c’mon. Wet. as in historical floods. Dry as in historical drought. Hot as as in historical heat waves, Cold, as in historical deep freezes. Historical weather events as in never seen it like this at this time of year or barely ever seen it like this ever!

As time marches on, the venal and vile of the humans that have influence on the cause and effects gripping our planet apparently assume they are immune from their own ultimate, massive stupidity. All of the dangers facing we homo sapiens by magical thinking cretins of corruption, callousness and cruelty of course face them too.

When it rains almost historicallyin ONE DAY! as in ONE YEAR! in Death Valley, California, I think we are definitely reaping what we humans have sown through layers of historical stupidity. The stewards of this planets have failed it. Writ large and small, collectively. It is our nature to be destructive, after all. Ever taken a comprehensive history course?

Less is less in the bigger picture at this tipping point in time. Whether or not there’s time to save ourselves, well, time will tell. No doubt it will. Here’s another expression: Time is a tyrant.

On the bright side, I figure we all have time to get our selves into shape. Hefting sandbags, climbing onto roofs, hefting cordwood, digging wells, hunting for innocent squirrels, rabbits, or maybe that stray cat that also hunts squirrels and rabbits, hefting dinner home…

Hooray for August!

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June!

June is busting out all over. Is it busting or bursting? Who cares? The daylight is increasing, but by the 22nd it’ll be decreasing, but who cares? It’ll barely be perceptible. And since it’s inevitable, why bother with being bothered by it? There’s so much else to be bothered by that I, for one, at least, barely bother with paying attention to the bothersome banality of it all the things that are bothersome. Think positive, eh? Think of happy stuff.

That guideline clearly means not discussing religion or politics in mixed company. So, aside from those two sources of bothersome dynamics. what ya got? And please I don’t wanna hear about inflation, or stagflation or $6 a gallon gas. Don’t even think of going there. I mean, can’t we find the bright side of life? Oh, right, there’s Nature. Yes, Of course. What? Who said that? Right away someone has to get all hot and bothered by climate change. But the future is now, so try not to think about such a thing. June! Busting or bursting. Out. All over. Go out and smell the roses. Did I mention the future is now?

Hmm. June! Proms and graduation parties! Woo hoo! Wait, what? I have to hear someone mention school shootings? Trying to stay positive here. What was that, a lot of people are testing positive for covid? Knock it off. How many are “a lot”? Why be so negative? Okay, forget schools and the pandemic and how it has changed the notion of things “positive”. Why bother worrying? Try not to think about any of the negative stuff–excepting testing negative for covid, sure.

It’s June! Plenty of daylight. Take a walk. Smell those roses already. Fire up the Bar B Q. Toss on some steaks, hot dogs, pork chops, pork ribs. Mmmmm mmmm. What? Who said that? Again I have to hear about how meat is dangerous, loaded with hormones, antibiotics, not to mention the hand-wringing about the cruel world of the slaughterhouses? Yo. Try not to be bothered about it. Just enjoy the day. June! Bon appetit!

Go to the zoo. See the happy animals there. Fun for all ages! What? What was that? Zoos are an abomination, taking creatures large and small and imprisoning them in an unnatural habitat? No way. Zoos are happy places. For we humans who can just go with the flow and enjoy those wacky monkeys and….what? Monkey Pox? Ugh. Stick with covid worry, okay? Monkey Pox. Why bother being bothered with another dreadful disease? Then just go see the elephants, okay? Smart creatures they are. Noble creatures… What? The only thing worse than a zoo is a circus? The elephants and other animals are treated cruelly there too? No way, circuses are happy places. Just try not to think about all this negative stuff. June!

Well, I’m worn out trying to stay positive with all the Debby Downers out there and…what? So now I’m a misogynist? Okay then. Call them the Donald Downers. What? You hate the name Donald because it reminds you that Donald? Okay the go with Donald Duck. Or call em David Downers, I don’t care. What? The word downer bespeaks the opioid epidemic? Well, what the hell, you can hardly blame anyone from wanting to do narcotics in this messed up world…Wait! See what you’ve done? Are you happy now, throwing your negativity at me when all I’m trying to do is rejoice about June?

Can you just chill and enjoy the wonderful month of June, which is still busting and bursting out all over…

You’re welcome!

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In Gratitude

Seventy-eight years ago today, a crucial battle of World War Two began on the northern shores of France. It’s known as D-Day–and was code named Overlord in its meticulously planned execution. A conservative estimate of Allied and German fatalities is 10,000 on that first day. Many more combatants would die before Allied forces liberated Western Europe in late August 1944. Clearly, the ginormous–a word that derived from military slang during WWII–undertaking and success of Overlord was the beginning of the end of end of Hitler’s dreams of a so-called “thousand-year reich”. It is hard to imagine what the consequences of D-Day failing–and the Allies ultimately having to surrender to Germany and Japan–would have been. Would I be here to write this blog post? Would you be around to read it? Such speculations may seem an unneeded concern. However, WWII was a war to save democracy from fascism. Nothing less.

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While the Allies stopped the maniacal intents of the Axis powers, and indeed protected the free world from subjugation by tyrants, one need only pay even slight attention to the geo-political developments of the past several years alone. Hungary, Turkey, Egypt, the Phillipines, India, Cambodia, China and certainly Russia all have autocratic rule in place. In the U.S. we got a taste of what an autocrat in the White House could do to our democratic values. His failed re-election bid was a sigh of relief, but fascist-leaning legislators control many of our statehouses and local governing bodies. The autocrat was shown the door in the 2020 election, but we are still under attack, Ask people of color. Ask any woman. Ask a teacher.**********************

The question becomes whether or not there is enough collective courage to personally and politically resist fascist wannabees before the only way to defeat them is to have to spill a lot of blood to get the job done–again. Maybe that course is already inevitable. I’m not sure we have any generation like that which fought the Second World War, though. Perhaps the real consequence of the Allied victory wasn’t to rid the world of fascism, but only to buy humanity four or five decades before it reared its ugly face again.Orwell warned us, no? But even then, Allied fighters made the world a better, safer place than otherwise would ever have been possible for a few generations to enjoy–if not ever truly understanding in whose debt they are for such safety and freedom.

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The Black Robed Assets

Who hasn’t seen one of the many films in which opposing organizations–usually governmental or quasi-official/rouge forces–face-off against villainous operatives? The CIA vs SPECTRE. Black Ops vs CHAOS. Secret Service vs FOOLS FOR CHRIST. Or, you know, Good vs Evil, with carnage aplenty as things get sorted out. Double and triple crosses clutter the narrative, leaving the viewer to wonder whom to trust, since everyone involved at one time or another might have been a payroller for good or evil. Follow the money. If there’s a “mole” then some informant will reveal the name, or vice versa. But as long as the threat is “neutralized” then we have a happy ending. It might take activating some stealthy, cold blooded “asset” to finish the job, if all else fails. No ambiguity. Justice prevails.

Movies specialize in happy endings, even if a few hundred people are left dead along that yellow brick road of ultimate satisfaction. Outside of the movie houses or one’s living room with the 67″ high-def flat screen, happy endings are not as likely as with cookie-cutter thrillers where all the tension-and-release button-pushing inevitably leads to those nasties getting what they deserved. Real life, as always, has the good and bad doing their thing, but happy outcomes are getting pretty rare. Are the forces of good outnumbered? Speaking of evil, The GOP represents maybe 40% of the public who vote regularly. Democrat and independent voters clearly have a significant majority. But our electoral system is a bit tilted toward the Right. Or more than a bit. But the Right has had a thirty year numerical edge of exactly ONE.

Allow me to explain (but not for the first time).

Five weeks ago, I used the Katenji Jackson Brown SCOTUS hearing to remind one and all how that grotesque charade by the GOP could ever come to pass. The birth of this SCOTUS gaggle of of six who now use the constitution to wipe their bought and paid for asses is quite clear. The blatant means by which these enemies of democracy and fairness for all have George H.W. Bush to thank, first and foremost. As previously reported, it was George I who cynically nominated C. Thomas to replace Thurgood Marshall. Thomas! Who now bitches about people needing to accept outcomes they don’t like. Never mind his wife, Ginni, was on board with the insurrection of Jan 6, 2021! This is how obnoxiously arrogant and massively clueless the replacement for Marshall is. And Marshall being replaced by such a sad sack sellout to the elite is a historical affront to the notion of honoring how much good Thurgood stood for.

For the umpteenth time, I now have to remind everyone that Thomas somehow was confirmed by a senate that was a 57-43 Democrat majority. The hearing was chaired by Joe Biden. He should have told his majority that Thomas–accused of sexual harassment by numerous women during the hearing, not to mention having a super lightweight legal portfolio–will NOT be confirmed and force Bush to nominate someone less toxically odorous for a lifetime place on the Bench. But no. Why didn’t he gavel the GOP down and ensure Thomas wasn’t fit for confirmation? But no, again!

That was 31 years ago. Clarence–how’d that pubic hair get on that can of soda?–Thomas has been the decisive 5th vote in a sequence of judgements that leads right up to the current pending striking down of women’s right to a legal and safe abortion. That was a 6-3 vote but you have to back up. Thomas was the 5th vote in a 5-4 decision to appoint George W, Bush President in the 2000 election, an election that after-the-fact showed conclusively that Gore won Florida and the electoral vote count. Then he was the 5th and deciding vote on Citizens United which granted corporations equal status with individuals as far as being “people” and thus able to use money as “free speech”. Then, he was again the 5th vote that gutted the Voting Rights Act. With all those decisions, the U.S then–inexplicably seeing as how rigged this Court to be as far as legislating for the rich and powerful over everyone else–has stood by and let money to flood campaigns without even knowing who the pocket stuffers are are, to allow a couple dozen states to do everything possible to make it harder to vote, gerrymandering, reducing polling places in minority districts, eliminating mail-in voting, reducing ballot drop boxes and in Florida we now have a literal gestapo force that will dictate what votes will or won’t count.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden is now our President, and has a majority in the House and a 51-50 advantage in the senate. But the Democrats are bought and paid for as well. Ask Joe Manchin! Of course they are or, why hasn’t Citizens United been legislated into the void, and voting rights reinstated? The Donkeys have COMPLETE CONTROL. For that matter when Mr. Obama was President why did he seemingly barely object when Mitch McConnell stole his rightful, constitutional ability to pick a replacement for Anthony Scalia, who died suddenly? Then when Ruth Ginsberg passed, with her body barely cold, the GOP quickly–with a 51-50 senate advantage–NOT 57-43–confirmed Amy Barrett. Let’s not forget the beer guzzling blowhard empty suit Brett Kavanaugh–also accused of sexual harassment (is that a GOP prerequisite to be nominated?) easily being confirmed. Assets!

Are the Democrats really simply unorganized and feeble? That’s a laugh. They’re led by filthy rich geezers (mind you 80 year-old Bernie Sanders is an Independent, and I hope he IS rich for all the righteous fight he has voiced for decades)) who have been around while this right-wing takeover of SCOTUS played out stating back in October 1991. The latest result of this Democrat collusion, corruption and incompetence is the impeding overturning of Roe vs Wade. The polls show the majority of Americans want women to have control over their reproduction futures, not dictated by six black robed “Assets” to the backward marching cretins who have been dreaming of this type of rule of the very very few over the very very many for decades. That slim advantage I alluded to way up there per good vs evil is quite literally a majority of ONE. His name is Clarence Thomas, and he was confirmed by Joe Biden and his weak-kneed Democrat Party. One vote, wreaking havoc over millions of working class people who are suppose to believe our system of governance works for one and all. One slimy, hypocritical, unqualified for his job Clarence Thomas.

The further insult are those mailings from Pelosi and Schumer and the DNC, pleading for your donations to fight against these injustices. How dare they even ask! They have no desire to use power, especially when they have the numbers to get things done that the American people want getting done.

Are ya’l ready to go Howard Beal on this bullshit? No, wait, that’s right. Howard get shot dead on live TV for inciting the fed-up many against the venal few. But of course, back in 1975 movies like Network didn’t always have happy endings. They reflected nasty truths sometimes and were willing to enlighten an audience as to cause and effects about the ways power can corrupt. Then, an audience could possibly be smarter for the experience.

I don’t think throwing open millions of windows and screaming I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore! will change anything. Better to show up at street level. In numbers there is strength. And believe me, it’s a minority that seems to always get its way–with the exception of those six SCOTUS assets who are not interested in listening to any form of logical reasoning.

First and foremost, the Donkeys have got to reinstate voting rights and enforce those rights. Until then, politicians can keep picking their voters, rather than the much better original idea of voters picking their government. Yeah, how’s that for a radical agenda? I’m sure Clarence Thomas would be in dissent. All the better.

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