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.


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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And Justice for All

On May 11 the pandemic will have come to an end. I read that on any number of mainstream news outlets today. Wow, that’s what medical science can do in just a few years when facing a global pandemic.

Except the Covid-19 killer-disrupter will only have ended here in the U.S. That May 11 date was set by the Biden administration. So, the financial and medical assistance programs established to address the situation will disappear. I know that Joe Biden’s wife likes being addressed at Dr. Jill Biden, owing to her having earned a PhD in education, but I wonder if any medical doctors were advising Joe on the practicality of making such an announcement? The pandemic is global. It is not over. Likely never will be. Mitigated here and there but not over.

China has had 345,000 deaths from the virus just since December. My guess is by May 11 many more Chinese citizens will have died by then. Are we here in the U.S. to assume that life can return to pre Covid “normality” come May 11?

Of course not. While the U.S. has had over a million deaths from Covid, aided by a certain sociopathic former president who was in office when the virus hit the U.S. in early 2020, his departure allowed medical science to work free of his Oval Office idiocy regarding the spread of the pathogen–including the what the fuck? idea of consuming bleach as a remedy. Medical science has certainly mitigated the pandemic’s ability to infect and kill its victims, but again, like the flu, it is still present. No matter what May 11 is supposed to represent as far as an individual’s sense of danger per masking, disinfectant wipes and casually encountering crowds both indoors and out.

Caveat emptor, as per May 11, or right now, January 31, 2023, here in the U.S. Paging Dr. Fauci…


Did I mention the former president up there? Right. He who not only treated the pandemic as an annoyance rather than a matter of urgency, and who now is on the campaign trail as a candidate for president in the November, 2024 election. Wait. Did I just right that sentence unironically? President Joe Biden may have just made a questionable pronouncement per federal programs and the ongoing pandemic, and his detractors will make it seem outrageous in one way or another, but his predecessor, the guy with a bleached brain, who wants to be president again, begs many questions as well. By orders of magnitude beyond anything Biden has done, his running for office in and of itself is outrageous. The irony! Here is a person, responsible for tens of thousands of unnecessary Covid deaths because of his official dereliction of duty to act in accordance with virological science, should for that reason alone have been charged with second degree murder.

However, as egregious as that matter is, worse still is his now documented role as the instigator of an armed insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. People died that day, too. But never mind, he has not been indicted for anything personally, and somehow he is being permitted to run for the office that he attempted to criminally retain after being defeated in the 2020 election. What. Is. Wrong. With. This. Picture?

The media, evidently, doesn’t have a problem with it. Nor does Joe Biden’s Department of Justice, lead by one Merrick Garland. He has been charged by some State Attorneys, but it now truly appears to all be a charade. Of course it is. The Flim-Flam Man, the sexual assaulter, the tax cheat, the xenophobe, the white supremacist, the insurrectionist, is allowed to remain a free man. Nothing to see here.

November 2024 is far in the future! Any day now the charade will end, right? Certainly. Or at least likely. Okay, maybe. You never know.

Ha! I’m just kidding. But for the non-MAGA, non-looney tune types in the public square or on Capitol Hill, it’s all a sick joke. Try not to think about it.

And remember to pay your goddam taxes. There are laws about that, you know.

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Dunce, D.C.

Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue (I read somewhere). In short, it alludes to those who say one thing but do another. That change of intent might be an innocent act of hypocrisy or one that is egregious and damaging. That “tribute” is being paid by a vast number of our elected officials, especially the ones that currently occupy positions in our federal governmentRecent additions to our congressional membership include one newbie who evidently lied about his background. All of it, apparently. As of this writing that person may not even be the person he claims to be by name. That possible falsehood may not be in question, but these days what is there left to be shocked by when it comes to our congressional critter’s babblings? The recently elected Speaker of the House–who said whatever he needed to say to his own party’s hardliners keeping him from gaining the votes needed to finally emerge the winner tossed off some bromides about “working together” and “working for the American people” but I doubt he intends to do any such thing. I, for one, have little to zero confidence that any segment of our national government follows through on asserted platforms or proposals for a better America. As a long-standing opponent of what I see as a rigged, exclusive and corrupted two-party governing system, I feel hypocrisy is a polite critique for the misgivings of members of our current government. Hypocrites display hypocrisy. It’s an easy thing to be guilty of, writ small scale. We all change a smidge in our storylines if it’s not too reckless a sharp turn. But as far as the Body Politic goes right now, it’s a matter of  lunatics displaying lunacy. Writ large scale. Very large. Voters prevented a predicted “red wave” in the November, 2022, mid-terms. That is, the so-called “party of the people” retained a slim majority in the senate but lost enough seats in the House of Representatives to give the party of the 1 percenters (you know, those that never have enough wealth) the ability to form committees and fashion legislative sausage. The lunatics are now able to (and have not been afraid to announce their intent) waste the tax payer’s money on witch hunts and vendettas against their counterparts “across the aisle”. Not sure what they fear from the Donkey Party, since it has enabled our current decades-long descent into neo-liberal policies that take from those who have the least, or those who have a little, or even a modest means of making ends meet, and routinely giving what they take to those rich, dispassionate, greedy, fat cats. Thus, we the people, must endure two years of lunacy from a party that harbors lunatics, nitwits, con artists, double-dealers, back-stabbers, two-timers, scammers and…oh…unless one is a MAGA moron, I assume you get and approve of my invective-laced assessment of the state of our union. I’m exhausted by this sickening scenario of creeping fascism. The daily objective of trying not to think about it has become ever-more challenging. Perhaps thinking of it as a circus of slapstick politics is possible. I mean, the clown car is impossibly packed with those who not only hate that other Party but can’t seem to stop eating their own. Isn’t that worth a derisive snicker or two? Hmm. I have got to stop writing about the cesspool stench coming from D.C. and many statehouses. I need a distraction. Paging The Onion. Or Alfred E. Neuman. Something satirical but light all at once. Yeah that’s it. My copies of Orwell, Huxley, Atwood and others whose dystopian fictions have become fact, need be placed out of sight. Another reading of the Confederacy of Dunces might by be in order though.
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Ah, Humanity!

Reality. It has been quite a tumultuous aspect of life for as long as humans have had to face it. Reality. Other than being asleep, one must face it every waking day of life. Whatever number of days one may be granted before succumbing to an inevitable endgame. What transpires between the cradle and the grave is sometimes planned and sometimes not. Presumably we all seek satisfaction. Whatever might provide for such. Along the way, maybe the pursuit of satisfaction (dare I say “happiness”?) may be filtered through a wide aperture, magnanimous personal lens. Or maybe a tunnel-vision that serves ultimately only the self.

How thick a skin one has had to have just in the past several years in facing reality. We hear about horrors far flung or literally in one’s front yard. For some, cruel fate has become the quotidian hunter. No place seems safe anymore. Good versus Evil is the narrative of much news. With Evil typically the “if it bleeds, it leads” headliner. One wants to be safe in spite of everyplace now seeming to be subject to assault. We are less shocked anymore from the accounts of cold-blooded killings as than becoming-numbed out from them.

Well, clearly we try to escape reality. For many, through a virtual reality. Caveat emptor on the virtual world of the Internet age. One might be lured into a web of deceit. The self-servers are everywhere and nowhere in cyberspace. That’s the trade-off on seeking satisfaction in a world filtered through a hazy lens that keeps reality tucked behind a deceptive, digital curtain.

In a more passive approach to wanting a distraction from brutal, outside-the-front-door cold reality that satisfies, there’s sports. Sports are big business. Name the major professional sport and then consider the salaries of the players; but don’t scoff at the obscene mounds of money the stars of sports receive. Big money aside, watching players skill levels in action can be exciting, even if one’s teams or individual competitor flops. We watch, they get paid for doing so. It’s a business transaction,

You bet it is. And winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing, said a famous football coach of back when. Yeah. And some sports are inherently violent, but the violence is accepted by the fans. Like football. Football plays are planned and rehearsed. The violence is a spontaneous outcome. Players suffer broken bones, dislocations, concussions, torn ligaments, tendons, muscles. It’s part of the game and the fans accept the possible sight of potential season or career-ending injuries. It’s an ironic way of escaping personal reality for a few hours or so. Watch others intentionally trying to ruin someone’s health. They get paid well for the risk. Not sure how much wrecking one’s health at an early age is worth, but the choice is theirs.

Right now, however, that mentality of eyeballing violent sporting events as “entertainment” of a sort has now been given a really strong dose of harsh reality all its own. Oddly so, I might say. Bear with me…

Mass shootings, gang violence are harsh realities. The stench of polluted politics is a harsh reality. Entertainment is supposed to give the audience an escape, whether light-hearted or heart felt. The audience member understands when the show is over, they are either to going to find it worthy of watching or not. They’ll likely not lose sleep over what they saw. But last night, with tens of millions of eyeballs watching a game that was a football fan’s extra-strength dose of escapism, a player suffered more than an injury. A player went down, and stayed down. And stayed down. Cut to commercial. He’s still down. Cut to more commercials. Still down. Team mates surround their fallen brother, but they know this not a broken this or that, not just a knock-out head slam. He might actually, in front of their eyes and the eyes of the TV audience, die.

As of this writing, he is still alive. In a Cincinnati hospital. Only after being given CPR to get his heartbeat back, get him breathing. But he was laying there, with the TV coverage of this stunning, gut-wrenching event lasting for a long enough time to wonder, will he survive? The moment of his collapse was caught in-the-moment. Replay shows he barely got to his feet after he tackled another player before dropping free-fall on his back. He was almost certainly in cardiac arrest before he hit the ground. From that moment on, all players from both teams, the announcers in the stadium and back in broadcast studios, and the national viewing audience stopped thinking about being entertained. Or winning and losing. Or anything, anything having to do with the game at hand. It had suddenly become all about our inevitable human mortality. A prime time lesson in appreciating life and its fragility. That game will never be played. Players may play again, but they and the coaches, broadcasters, and viewers at home won’t be able to view the game as mere entertainment. It became all too real. It begs the question of how the game now and as always invite such a grim outcome in the name of generating revenue for all involved. Is this Ancient Rome and gladiators? From now on, I have to believe the violence will be unnerving for all to watch, and not just “part of the game”.

The player is 24 years old. Everyday, people his age and much younger die in senseless acts of violence. Little does Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills football team know how he has brought people from around the world together in rooting for his life to be given back to him. People who did not know he even existed. Millions of people saw what happened.

The mayhem and senseless loss of life that occurs so frequently around the world is not captured by live media. And certainly the cold reality that encompasses such dreadful local and worldly events cannot ever be a form of recreational entertainment. That’s the “odd” irony I alluded to earlier. Just maybe this story will have a satisfying ending. It certainly has the potential to make a lot of emotionally insulated people understand what does and what does not truly matter in life beyond their own.

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The Cosmological Comeuppance

Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away,,,uh…well. Who cares what’s far far away in another galaxy or even maybe all the way to infinity and then beyond that? We’re here on Mother Earth, a decaying, dying planet. Our sphere a teeny part of the physical occupation of the vastness of space and whatever boundaries–if such exists–contain it. But who cares about that? Oh sure, the astrophysicists care, but how is what they do helping save this planet? We have a climate crisis causing misery far and wide. Melting glaciers. Rising sea levels. More and more severe storms. Greenhouse gases. Drought. Rising ocean water temperatures. All aided and abetted by a seeming indifference on the part of governments the world over. Are we doomed?!

Wait! I think I may see a way that rocket science might help save Momma Earth. It has nothing to do with discovering any goddam thing way out there, out as far as any space probe to Jupiter and beyond has to date documented per gases, rock, minerals, cigarette butts or single use plastic bags. Forget the robotic probes. We need a combination of refined manned rocket travel with criminal and moral justice at its core design, a combo that will mitigate if not restore our 3rd rock from the sun to its former self: a healthy green and blue ball with Nature residing in harmony with all creatures large and small. You know, single-cell stuff, quadrupeds, things with feathers–whether or not all of such can fly–and maybe even the bipedal species of primate known as homo sapiens, the most dangerous thing occupying space on our sphere.

Bear with me here. I realize that of all those aforementioned creatures it is only the Homo S. that has anything to answer for as far as our current–and likely last–mass extinction event. This one is all on us, folks, and by that I don’t mean all of us because some of us have been trying to save the day. In small ways, ya know? For instance, I just took out some recycling material and placed it in a dumpster that will haul it away. Probably to a landfill but I did my part. This blog post, however, has an idea about actually, effectively saving the planet.

But first: keep in mind that about 98% of all organisms that have ever existed on our planet are now extinct. The first five mass extinctions occurred between 440 and 65 million years ago. Also consider that Sapien the Homo has been around for a mere 300,000 years. In that relative blink of an eye (Earth is about 4.5 billion years old) the bipeds have clearly been messing things up as far as living in harmony–with one another but worse than that, with Ma Nature. The inter-Homo clashes are legendary: battling over resources and a thirst for wealth and the power that wealth confers. Which bring us to our current state…

Did I mention money and power? Here in the United States, we have the worst government money can buy. Other governments may rule by religious extremism and/or ethnic hatred and genocidal forces, or whatever, but as asserted above, not much concern for the planet on which this bullshit is carried out. Here in the U.S. we have a government that certainly has its religious extremist factions, conspiracy-spewing loonies, and worse, but essentially the problem is money. Money has been ruled as “free speech” and corporations are “people” says the Supreme Court. This lunacy has been allowed to transpire by an entrenched two-party system in which most all of its members have been bought and paid for by corporate America. Massive economic injustice prevails. In 2018 a new, young congressional contingent of progressives were elected advocating a Green New Deal. In two weeks it’ll be 2023. That 2018 infusion of hope for aiding the planet was D.O.A. Why? Because the owners of the much larger portion of congress made it clear it would be too costly to implement such a program. In other words our government is telling Nature that it can drop dead for all it cares. Money talks and micro-plastics are in all we eat.

My plan? The scientists and the jurists with a moral conscience stage a coup–bloodless of course–and then those who value money more than We the People who actually value people and the planet on which we live and have no planetB, are brought to justice. Those greedy, immoral scumbags elected by constituents who are then tossed aside for bags of greenbacks are sent packing. Where to? Not jail. Not back to private sector. But rather on a long journey. One way. No way back. Into space. On space ships with the best purpose of all. Packed with plenty of food and water but no hope of return. Sentenced to die in deep space. On spaceships built with their bags of money from the C-pacs and K-Street lobbyists. Off they go. And when the fuel runs out that propels them farther and farther and farther away, and the food run out, they can go insane together. I’m talking about a lot of such one-way rockets to nowhere-ville, okay? Greedy assholes from far and wide on our abused and battered Mother Earth, and not just the U.S. The corrupt and collusive cabals the planet-over! That’s the best use of rocket science I can think of right now. And the best use of the dirty money that otherwise kills without remorse. Put it to better use than stuffing the pockets of the few over everyone else just trying to get by. And possibly revive Mother Nature in the process.

What is killing the planet is greed. Greed is the cancer. It has spread to the point of its host inevitably dying. Excise the cancer. But don’t bury it. It will just further contaminate the soil. Yeah, shoot it into space. And good riddance, eh?

If you want to sign onto my plan, contact me at 867-5309. Ask for Jenny.

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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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