Monthly Archives: August 2019

Dorian & Mar a Largo

For years now I’ve been saying that what is needed for the 1%ers to get hurt by the effects of Global Warming (aka Climate Change) and it looks like it could be happening now. According to Forbes, 40 of the wealthiest people in the world live in West Palm Beach.

At the time of writing hurricane Dorian is only a category 1 but it is projected to be a category 4 by the time it makes landfall in Florida. If you look at a map you will see that West Palm Beach is almost exactly in the middle of the cone of projected path for him. Looking at the map will also show that there are a great many ‘large houses’ (dare we say mansions) on the island that Mar a Largo is located.

I have been told that many of these island of the Florida East cost are not very high. It is also be projected that Dorian will be coming ashore at high tide and that it is also a new moon, so the tide will be higher than usual. This is just made for some serious damage. The people who are not going to be your average citizen of Porto Rico, shoot they wont be your average American, much less Floridian. We are talking about the 1% of the 1%. People who don’t take kindly to loosing anything to anything. An they like to find some body to blame other than themselves.

Unfortunately for the President the usually candidates for blame, the poor, the Immigrant, or any “not us” are really good as a scape goat for this. The 0.01%rs are not, generally stupid. They know just what is going on and who is doing what to whom. This has happen before in our, human, history. The example I like to remember is how London started to get a modern sewer system. In the mid 1900’s London was swept by annual Typhus epidemics every summer. Also the Times River was used as an open sewer for the city. The stench was getting so bad everyone but the very poor and the people who made their living off the river got as far away from the river as possible. Unfortunately for Parliament, the parliament building was on the river. So when both the stench and Typhus got too close (aka knocking on the doors of parliament) both the city and national government took action.

They waited this long, in spite of the clambering of the common fore about the problem. Nothing was done till ‘those who mater’ were inconvenienced and/or threatened. Well, we could be seeing this happen to the 0.01% now. First West Palm Beach, tomorrow Manhattan Island.

While the world burns.

Now that the G-6 +1 is over I’d like to share some thoughts I’ve had while volunteering at the Discovery Cube L. A. When I’m asked about climate change/global warming/Amazon Rainforest fires. I shan’t boor you with the science we going into, it is after all for kids and you can get much better information just googling the subject or go to NOAA and/or NASA. Rather I’m going to take you on a thought Experiment into what will happen.

I was originally going to go thru a step by step process of my reasoning but it quickly turned into a very nice term paper. Quite long and equally boring. It has been set aside for another day. Instead I’m just going to dive into a positive view of what things will be like if we either do something or don’t do something about climate change and the rapidly global warming that is driving it.

First off, in the 4.6+ billion years that the earth has existed it’s climate has been changing. Most assuredly in the estimated 4 billion years that life has been around the earth’s climate has been changing and life has been a key player in that change. It is here I like to talk about the “Great Oxygen Catastrophe” that leads to Snowball Earth. I have seen estimates that go as high as 98% of all life on Earth went extinct but I usually say that it was over 90%. I then talk about the multiple Great Extinction events in the Earth’s history.

I now like to point out that life has existed on both land and sea when the Earth was so hot there were no polar icecaps. If fact some estimates of the temperatures were several degrees centigrade higher than current predictions for the current warming. If the conservative prediction of warming occurs then it is most likely all of the two polar icecaps will totally melt. If we go with the accepted estimates of how much ice is in the two icecaps we will see sea level rise just about 80 meters (262+ feet). It is here I bring up the SOS (Science on a Sphere) data set that shows the sea rise in 10 meter increments.

If you are wondering, the USA doesn’t do too badly. We loose two states for sure (Louisiana and Delaware) and most of about six others. California will loose the Great Central Valley and get a new, expanded San Francisco Bay. We will have to say bye bye to places like Denmark, Holland, Bangladesh, and maybe Vet Nam. Cities lost will include Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, London, and Beijing. All this happens if we do nothing. Not very likely to happen but still a possibility.

Now is when I like to point out that we, Americans, have faced economic and environmental crisis like this before in our history and have come thru all the better for it. For that mater the world has faced crisis like this in the last few centuries. I like to talk about the annual Typhus outbreaks that hit London in the mid 19th century. When the causal factor (using the river as a sewer) reached the Houses of Parliament action was finally taken. I feel very confident that when the rising sea level starts affecting the 1% they too will take action. An it may not take the annual flooding of southern Florida either.

Now for something I don’t share with the kids, ever. If the most pessimistic projects come true the earth can loose between 50% to 90% of both life and bio diversity. This has happen before in the list or of life on Earth and most likely happen again. We, like the first photosynthetic life, maybe the major cause of it. In any case, given the spread of humanity over the earth, and our numbers 7.7+ Billion it is unlikely we will go extinct (7.7 billion * 0.01 is 7.7 million). Also while this is all happening with lighting speed in geological time it is still taking either decades or centuries to happen.

In closing just remember this, Mankind has been slapped silly by Mother Nature many times in our history. An while we usually pick ourselves up, dust ourselves of and go on our way as if nothing has happened, sometimes we do learn something. An always, always we become wiser, stronger, better.

Villains and Minions

Those who know me, know I am a great fan of Comics for my whole life. I am well steeped in the culture of Heros and Villains. I was a great fan of both Superman and The Daredevil, mostly because of two Super Villains, Lex Luthor and KingPin. What I liked about them is they could take on super powered hero’s even though they were just normal people. So what does this have to do with today’s politics? Simply their minions.

I would like to lay before you the idea that the GOP has been taken over by a real world equivalent of a comic Super Villain. Are own Lex Luther if you will. One of the problem all comic book villains have is finding good “reliable” minions. Minions usually come in two classes, competent or comic relief (aka incompetent). You can also judge minions by how reliable and unreliable. Think of it this way a two by two matrix

Reliable Unreliable

Competent. A. D

Incompetent B. C

From this array you can see the Villain wants a Competent and Reliable minion, lets call this a type A. What they don’t want is either an incompetent unreliable, type C. Or even worse, from the Villains stand point is the competent Unreliable, type D. Unfortunately getting type A minions is next to impossible because Reliable Competent people tend not to be villainess. Usually villains tend to be generally unreliable, that is dishonest. So what’s wrong with the type D minion? Simply put the Unreliable Competent minion will want to replace the villain with themselves. After all why be a minion when you can be the villain?

Now you are asking just what this has to do the GOP? Simply put the Republican Party is currently in the control of a Super Villain, Donald Trump. An while Donald Trump is no Lex Luthor is is still quite villainess. He also like to be surrounded by lots and lots of minions. I’d say most of Donald’s minions he brought with him were quite quite competent in their original area of operation, that is mostly type B or C in most things D.C. or political. The people in the GOP when Trump won the election who are candidates to be type A or D minions are doing one of several things.

Fist they type A minion material have mostly left the party, like Geo. F Wills, or are going to ground and keeping out of both the public and the Donalds eye. We have also been the steady leaking of the type A people from the Administration. Those brave souls who thought they could actually keep the Super Villain from doing evil things. Just take a look at the list of people who have resigned from this administration. Anywhere from a quarter to a half of them can be called type A minion material. The numbers are even more lopsided when you look at the nonpartisan people who have left government jobs since Trumps election. When we look outside the executive to the congress we see just as large an exodus.

When it comes to the national party leadership, they have shown they are either type B or C minion material. They all saw what Donald Trump is and most wanted to stop him from getting the nomination but they were totally clueless on just how to stop him. Som knew how. But just couldn’t sacrifice for the good of the party or nation. They will have to live with what has happened, and continues to happen to both their party an nation. Not that that is much solas to the rest of us.

So where does that leave us and the GOP? Simply put, by the 2020 election the GOP will be left with a single Villain in control, a few type D minions looking for their chance to take over and everything else type B and C minions doing their best to do as they are told they want to do what their are told to do. All the while trying to get everything they can for themselves, the devil take the hindmost. But all is not lost for both the Republicans or the Conservatives who once made up the GOP. They are still out their in country. They just have to do a few things, some easy, most difficult. The most difficult will be to accept the possibility that they were mistaken. Not easy for any of us.

Another Modest Proposal

2nd Amendment on a scroll

Given the recent shooting incidents I should like to put forward my idea for what can be done. I have taken in consideration the McDonald v. City of Chicago in as many of the relevant court rulings as I can. All these proposals can be implemented by changes to the National Guard and Conscription laws.

1: All persons who own or possess arms (guns) shall be enlisted in a State’s Militia

This would be limited to persons between the age of 18 and 65 (or the current age for SS retirement eligibility).

2: State Militia shall be required to attend two consecutive days, each month, of formal training

The monthly training of the State Militia shall be detailed in the State National Guards regulation and shall meet DOD training standards.

3: No person not enrolled in a State Militia shall be subject to conscription until all persons in the State Militia has been called into active duty by the National Government

This should be implemented in such a way as to allow those members of the State Militia that are unfit, physically or mentally, for active duty to be counted as having been called for active duty.

4: Any and all unlawful actions taken by a member of a State’s Militia evolving arms (guns) shall be subject to military justice as it apples to active duty Militia

An the Debate Goes On.

I have now watched (alright listened) to two of the scheduled Democratic Presidential Candidates debates. Unlike most, if not all, of the talking heads I will not be talking about who won/lost or about the “horse race”. Since 1964, yes that long ago (55 years now), I’ve been more interested in the subject mater (issues) discussed. I want to hear what the candidates are interested in campaigning on.

I really don’t think modern political campaign debates are really debates. This I blame my mother ‘ED’ Daniel a true aficionado of rhetoric and debate. From 1972 till she suffered brain damage in the 2000’s she and I would look upon Presidential election years as a fun time to vivisect candidates on their debate capabilities. I used to tease her that she selected who she would vote for by how well they spoke and debated. She would just laugh and smile. What I wouldn’t give to have her input on these last two debates.

That said, back to the issues brought forward so far. I think there are really only three that have any staying power. I say three, but their is really only two with one have two parts. In no order of preference other than my thought process here goes:

Issue One A: Health Care

From these debates it is clear that what we are going to be doing about healthcare in this country is going to be a major issue in the coming election. 99% of the population has some major concerns about getting and paying for healthcare. Those that have some kind of insurance worry about will they keep it and will it cover what ever happens. Ever since the baby boom Americans have grown up thinking they will get the health care they will need, mostly. It was only the poorest amongst us who had to worry, and they had charity, right?


Who reading this remembers the time before the law(s) making in mandatory for ER’s to accept anyone who shows up? I remember reading the horror story’s in the afternoon paper about dying people being turn away from Hospitals because they could produce an insurance card. It did happen back in the day.

We hear about people who get their insurance thru their union, but less than 10% of the non governmental work force are now union members. Or you get it thru your job, but that means you have to stay steadily employed, not so easy in this new job market. An what about the ever growing group smiling known as ‘Independent Contractors’? I was one, not because I wanted to be but because it was the only way I could find work. An this wasn’t some unskilled labor, I was a programmer aka software engineer. (See Bellow) even if you can keep the contacts coming in so you work steady you still have to buy your insurance. (Also even tho you may get anything from 150%-200% of what a w2 employee gets paid you can have to pay over 100% more in taxes) you still need to buy your own private insurance. If your over 40 this can get very hard.

Issue One B: Healthcare

This is where the rubber meets the road for most of the Democrats, what do we do about it. This is where we all have to be very careful with our words. It is easy to say Medicare for all. But just what does that mean? So far I have found more than two distinct meanings for the slogan and I fear there will be more. In fact I will go out on a limb here and say that “Medicare for All” means exactly what the hearer wants it to mean. More on this later.

Other candidates want to ‘fix’ Obama care. But so far they have all been kind of lite on details. What we do know is that the GOP has no idea how fix Obama care, they tried last congress with came up a cropper.

Issue Two: Who is best to Defeat Donald Trump?

For me this is really a non-issue. The answer is as simple as almost any of them or none of them can. It is that simple. No one really has any clear idea of why Donald Trump ended up being President. Hillary Clinton should have won, she didn’t. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again “It will take at least 50 years before the Historians and Political Scientists will figure it out”. So get over it an go on. The only thing for sure is the Democrats need to get a fighter. It can be a down in “the mud, the blood, and their beer” fighter like Truman. Or it can be an elegant ‘Mohamed Ali‘ dancer like JFK or something totally new. Just someone who knows they are in for the fight of their life with someone who cheats a golf! So it is ‘no holes bard’ and “Winning isn’t the everything, it is the only thing.” Fight.

I have no patience with the people who are worried about the Democrats tearing themselves apart. The Democrats need a fighter who ‘knows’ they are in for the fight of the century.