Categories
The Day the Music Died

THE DAYS THE MUSIC DIED

February 3rd, 1959 is generally known as the day the music died, partly due to the song American Pie by Don McLean. But there were many days before that upon which rock personalities died, and certainly way too many days since.

I, of course, cannot list them all here, but I can give you the web address where Wikipedia has tried to collect a list of the names, dates, places of death, and where possible the causes of death for known rock (or rock n roll) personalities, grouped in decades, and starting in 1950 and going forward.

I do not expect anyone to know all the names, these lists use a very very broad definition of rock music, as well as the connections to rock for some people. But I am not going to dispute any of them. I certainly do not have even a smattering of the information being used herein.

And, even the contributors to the lists admit, there are probably a lot of people whose names are not on it. Lost in the shuffle, I guess, are two members of one one of the originators of the California sound in 1964. From the Beau Brummels: John Petersen, drummer, 2008. Declan Mulligan, rhythm guitarist, Nov. 2nd, 2021.

Just for your information, Don McLean is still alive, as of the last update on his website.

Here is the page to start from. It took me almost an hour just to get through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I still have 5 more decades to go…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deaths_in_rock_and_roll

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Categories
Abuse

The Flat (True Life Short Story) — Ellie Thompson’s World

A blogging friend from England who is struggling with childhood issues has taken up a new hobby, fiction writing. As we know, the best fiction comes from the author’s own experience. This story, I believe, hits mighty close to home. She even calls her main character after herself, Ellie.

Ellie was nine and didn’t want to go. She never liked going there. The dog always smelled and was continually bothering the cat. All that meowing, hissing, growling and barking made her feel anxious. Surely, keeping two animals in such a tiny flat is cruel, especially with six children there, too. No wonder the cat […]

The Flat (True Life Short Story) — Ellie Thompson’s World
Categories
Abuse Biases Fear Homelessness Human Interest Nuclear family SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

WHEN IT IS SAFER TO BE HOMELESS THAN IT IS TO BE AT HOME

The title for this post came to me while watching a television drama last night. A lead character was trying to convince her mother to stop living on the streets, and to find a home where it was safe.

Suddenly I was 15 years old again, and the police were dragging me home screaming after I had been caught after running away from home. In those days, the early 60s, there was no homeless problem, at least not one acknowledged by society. There were, however, homeless people whom I had tried to live with, because it was safer living with them than it was to live at home with a human monster. But the police didn’t care, my father owned me till I was 16, and it was their duty to take me back home, even knowing what was going to happen to me after they abandoned me there.

But this story is not about me. This story is about society, and the homeless problem, as we call it. For the past 30 or more years, at least, people have looked down on the homeless, and tried to fix them by giving them shelters. And by trying to give them homes to live in. What these people, what most people do not realize, is that home is a four-letter word. They do not understand that in one way or another homeless people feel safer living on the street than they do living in a dwelling. Bad things happen to them living on the streets. WORSE THINGS HAPPEN TO THEM LIVING IN WHAT EVERYONE ELSE CALLS A HOME!

The problem is not being homeless! The problems are that these people were abused physically, mentally, sexually, or some combination of two or all three of those things, either at home or in places connected to home. The word home means an unsafe place! No one wants to be in an unsafe place…

When uninitiated people (those who grew up in safe homes, no matter how dysfunctional they were or were not) think of home, they get a more or less warm fuzzy feeling. They cannot imagine anyone not feeling warm and fuzzy about being home! But there is a certain percentage of any population for who this is not true. Home brings not a warm fuzzy feeling, but instant and terrifying fear!

No, not all homeless people feel this way, and there are lots of those people too who are homeless for economic or other individual reasons. Some cannot afford to have a home to live in. Others just prefer to live outside of normal society. That in itself is tragic. But I am talking about the hard-core homeless. The addicts, the sex traffickers, the beggars, the petty thieves, and whatever else they are called by people who live in their safe homes, including the great capitalist label lazy bums!

The help they need is psychological. They have been hurt so often then cannot imagine ever being safe again unless they are with others like themselves. Before they can be given a safe place to live, they must be given a sense of security!

Security is not something that can be imposed from the outside, but it must be established and built up on the inside first. And this cannot be done in fancy offices or hospital rooms, this must be done where they feel safe, which is on the streets. This is something society needs to understand. We who live in homes (I have since learned to feel safe in a dwelling I call home) and who are trying to fix the homeless problem are throwing our money away by trying to fix the wrong problem. Security is not a physical space, it is a mental place. Security starts inside us, and until we feel secure inside ourselves, nothing done on the outside is going to help.

The worst part of this whole situation is, while we are working on the present problem, we are allowing future problems to live and grow. There are still children being abused by either parents or other authority figures, or even just by other children whom we may call bullies if we see them in action. Anyone who abuses another person is in the very least a bully, but often a much scarier thing — a predator. And there are lots of predators out there. No one knows who all of them are, most of them are not dumb enough to get caught. The only way to see them is by seeing their victims.

But what we are seeing is homeless people. Meanwhile we are not seeing what is staring us right in the face!

It is time to start looking at the real root causes of homelessness before we start trying to just give the homeless physical dwellings.

Categories
America Collecting Garbage Garbage Collecting

And the money keeps rolling in… — Around the Block

This reblog is a bit dated, but when I found it I just had to repost it. I am now the proud (sic, read barfing sick) possessor but not owner of 8 Trump NFT trading cards, and I thought you might want to be too (to use as dartboards, targets for axe-throwing or knife-throwing, or for lining your kitties’ litter boxes). No way I or you would buy these cards, but thanks to Mr.Block we can possess them, no questions asked and no money paid. How thoughtful of him.

And how stupid of Trump to think anyone but the sickest MAGAts might want to spend their hard-earned money to own them.

Enjoy!

Commentary: A former president of the United States, who is also a declared candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2024, released his “Limited Edition Digital Trading Cards. And, they’re only $99 (per card)! The Trump grift is back! When, the other day, the former president teased a “major announcement,” fans expected a bombshell campaign update. And […]

And the money keeps rolling in… — Around the Block
Categories
America Government Regulations Robert Reich The Debt Ceiling

MAINLY FOR AMERICANS, AND THOSE AFFECTED BY THEM — The Debt Ceiling Debate

Following are the words of Professor Robert Reich, once upon a time the Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. He is now, and has long been, an American professor, author, lawyer, and political commentator. He also worked in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. I believe he knows the truth about what he is saying.

**********************

Friends,

Few things make me as furious as the mainstream media’s reluctance to tell the public what the Republican Party is doing — and instead hide the truth behind “both sides” rubbish. How the hell can democracy work if The New York Times, CNN, and even National Public Radio obscure what’s really going on?

Let me state five central truths about the pending fight over the debt ceiling and show you how the mainstream media is distorting each of them.

Truth #1: The fight is being waged solely by the Republican Party. The Democrats did not pick this fight. When Trump occupied the White House, Republicans voted to increase the debt limit three times without incident. Over the last quarter century, it has been raised over a dozen times.

You wouldn’t know this from the way it’s being covered. Last Thursday’s Times, in an article titled “Months Before a Potential Crisis, Both Parties Kick Off a Fiscal Blame Game,” leads with the wildly false equivalence that:

“Members of both parties are intent on painting the opposition as culpable for the turmoil that would result from a catastrophic default on the debt this summer….

Administration officials say Republicans are provoking an unnecessary crisis by insisting on deep spending cuts …. [But Kevin McCarthy] has started early trying to lay the blame at the feet of Democrats instead. As Republicans vow to extract spending cuts in exchange for an increase in the debt limit, Mr. McCarthy insists it is Mr. Biden and his allies in Congress who are acting cavalierly by refusing in advance to negotiate on such reductions, and they who are risking upheaval if they do not shift their position. The clear inference is that whatever happens will be the fault of Mr. Biden and Senate Democrats.

CNN is no better. Anchor Erin Burnett has framed the fight as “a dangerous game of chicken,” in which “Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling without any strings attached,” while “the White House — well, they are going to the opposite extreme.” 

White House going to the opposite extreme? Hello?

CNN congressional correspondent Lauren Fox even describes Republicans and Democrats as “retreating to their corners” and “sticking to their political talking points.”

Truth #2: The fight has nothing whatever to do with controlling the national debt. It has to do with paying the nation’s bills. The “debt ceiling” is merely an accounting convention. The national debt is comprised of obligations already incurred. If Republicans were serious about controlling the national debt, they’d be willing to consider tax increases — including repeal of the giant Trump tax cut that went mostly to big corporations and the very rich. But the national debt isn’t on their minds.

Yet the mainstream media is intent on treating this as a fight over the national debt.

On CNN’s major political talk show last Sunday, anchor Jake Tapper suggested to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) that it would be “irresponsible” for the GOP not to force a fight over the debt ceiling, saying, “We have these crazy deficits, crazy national debt. It’s $30 trillion right now … Isn’t it time that Congress takes this seriously? And would the Republicans be irresponsible for not forcing this conversation?” In an interview with the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, Tapper said that it’s “a problem” that “the U.S. government spends a lot more money than it takes in” and that Democrats are unwilling to negotiate. “Republicans say they are willing to come to the table to discuss raising the debt ceiling but they also want to discuss negotiations to reduce future government spending. … Are you willing to at least sit down and see if there is a deal to be made in any way?” 

Truth #3: For the last half century, Democratic administrations have been more fiscally responsible than Republican ones. I was part of Bill Clinton’s administration, which balanced the federal budget after Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush had racked up record deficits. Obama cleaned up after George W. Bush’s runaway spending and tax cuts. The Trump administration added a whopping $7 trillion to the national debt.

Yet if you watch or listen to the mainstream media, you’d think that the two parties are equally fiscally irresponsible and will be equally at fault for whatever happens next.

Introducing a pair of segments, CNN anchor John Berman said “Republicans refuse to budge on demands and Democrats refuse to budge on negotiations.”

Truth #4: The real reason Republicans are waging this fight is they see it as a backdoor way of attacking the two most popular (and largest) safety nets in the federal government: Social Security and Medicare. They dare not take on these programs directly. But the GOP believes that negotiating over the debt ceiling gives them an opportunity to begin to shrink these programs.

The mainstream media barely mentions this underlying strategy. Politico refers to raising the debt limit as a “political stalemate” and describes the positions as: “Conservatives want a deal that includes spending cuts, but the White House says meeting the country’s obligations should be non-negotiable.” 

Truth #5: The act of holding the full faith and credit of the United States hostage is the economic equivalent of aiming a nuclear missile at the American (and world) economies and demanding concessions. It’s not a bargaining tactic. It’s a terrorist tactic.

Yet the mainstream media makes it sound as if Republicans have long used fights over the debt ceiling to counter Democratic spending. Consider this, in last Friday’s The New York Times, in an article titled “A Political Fight is Again Putting the Economy at Risk.”

Republicans, in particular, have used the passage of bills increasing the limit as leverage to try to force spending cuts on Democratic administrations …. If lawmakers have a problem with spending, the debt ceiling offers a way to protest….

The media are even blaming Democrats for not negotiating over the debt ceiling. On NPR’s Morning Edition, political correspondent Susan Davis said, “For now, McCarthy is the only leader at the negotiating table.”

Of course McCarthy is the only one at the negotiating table. The Biden administration and the Democrats are not negotiating because raising the debt ceiling should be non-negotiable.

Friends, I’m not even talking here about Fox News or its many far-right imitators. I’m referring to the so-called “moderate” mainstream media that most Americans rely on for their news.

The pending fight over raising the debt ceiling is complicated. If the mainstream media gets it wrong, how do we expect most Americans to get it right?

Categories
ANTI-WAR PROTEST Execution Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World War

RAWGOD ON A RAMPAGE — AND THE WAR DRAGS ON

As unpopular as this post will be to some, and as much as Jan. 6 was a treasonous act, Americans should be thankful the rioters had no idea how to riot. The rioters were mostly sheeple, nothing but gun fodder! Even as the events unfolded that day, as I watched it on TV, I thougnt how lucky Americans were the people rampaging in the Congress building had no idea what to do with themselves. Lives were lost, I know, but mostly through bad luck. If the rioters had been real rioters, there would have been hundreds dead, and the building would have been destroyed, as would have all the surrounding buildings. The riot would have lasted days, not 4 hours!
And anywhere else in the world retaliation for this event would have been swift and meaningful. Not just the rioters, but everyone involved in the riots from Trump through Bannon on down to Greene and Gaetz would have been immediately imprisoned without trial, and possibly executed in some jurisdictions.
For all the white terrorists and gun-toting racists America has, this event was sheepish in the riot and sheepish in the response to the riot.
And this has carried right on through to the world’s response to Putin’s War on Ukraine. One hundred years ago Putin would have been spanked and sent home to cry. But the war has been allowed to drag on for almost a year and the only ones dieing are Ukrainian civilians (their army is made up of ciivilians!) and Russian soldiers, all because of one man’s ego.
I am a declared pacifist and have been for 70 odd years now, but to see the world sit like an audience in a theater watching a snuff film, knowing that already wealthy people are profiting from allowing this murder to go on at the cost of innocent lives burns me up. Sacrificing Ukrainian citizens and Russian youth to bring home astronomical profits is wrong in every way, as are allowing known traitors into government positions. I am glad I have so few years left on this earth. Money reigns over humanity, and everyone is suffering for it except the wealthy. If this is what it means to be human, I want no more part of it!
rawgod has ranted!

This rant was originally written as a comment on Claytoonz, Jan. 19, 2023.

Categories
Biases Gender Identity Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World Transgender

I AM LEO — AN ESSAY

Reading a controversy in South Carolina about banned books led me to an essay a boy wrote about the troubles he had growing up — he was born with a vagina. I would like to share his essay with you.

This essay is not short, it starts on Page 3 and ends on Page 8. Just to let you know, this document appears in a frame with a constant heading above, and a page changer beneath the document page. Use the page changer for best results.

Unfortunately the essay starts with a letter from the governor of South Carolina to a Board of School Trustees objecting to the teaching of the essay in class, and finishes with the letter from a concerned parent who objected to having his Grade 7 son subjected to reading about Leo in a health class at school, which is so typical of so many parents all around the world. The letters are pure bigotry. Ignore them if you like. I wish I did.

As for the essay, it is hard to believe it was written by a person only 16 years old.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/23009757-220920mcmaster-ccsd

Categories
Atheism Human Interest Nuclear family Philosophy RACISM SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World War

A SIDEWAYS LOOK AT THE NUCLEAR FAMILY — REBLOG

In past blogs, I have mentioned three of the worst offenders to human happiness and well-being, my Three Gs: God, Gold, and Government. (Since I wrote this, my blogging friend Jill from Filosofa’s Word has convinced me to add a fourth G — Guns! I happily but sadly do this.)

By god, I mean any religion or philosophy that feels its members are better than the members of any other religion or philosophy, and will fight to the death to defend their supposed superiority, and they do it in the name of God, or Naziism, or Communism, or (and especially) Free Enterprise.

Free Enterprise also fits well with the G of Gold. Gold stands for wealth, money, corporations, global industries, national or global conglomerations, consortiums, and whatever else Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels predicted would come to pass, and eventually the proletariat or industrial slaves would rise up and slay the greedy bastards. What they, Marx and Engels, failed to realize is: Forewarned, forearmed. They should have kept that part to themselves. But whatever, I still believe they are right and the bosses will have to one day be cut down to size, either at the ankle or at the neck. (Not that I want anyone to die for being who they are, but would I be able to stop a mob from doing what they wanted to do? I don’t think so.)

The third G stands for Government, another establishment structure that writes laws and more laws, all designed, according to them, to protect the society and culture of the nation they are supposed to be “guiding.” But really, they are “guarding” the interests of the top 1% of their populations from the 99% of people who want what the 1% have way too much of anyway. And if the slaves of commerce start getting restless, find some other government whose industrial slaves are also getting restless, and declare war against them.

(War of course is an aspect of the fourth G, guns. Guns represent any weapon designed to kill people and other living beings. There is no other use for such weapons but to kill, though sometimes they just maim. Whatever, they ruin lives, and not just the lives of the victims of the weapons, but the lives of the people who held those victims dear.)

The people in the government won’t have to go to fight and probably die on national or foreign soil, they’ll be sitting in their hideouts just in case the war blows up in their faces. The only people they want to have killed are the young men and women who are actually capable of overthrowing their government when their amount of restlessness exceeds their ability to be controlled. Meanwhile, of course, the industrialists are making fortunes hand-over-fist off making the tools and supplies for their young people to kill other young people with. It has been like this since the dawn of cavemen vs. tree-dwellers. And the only way to stop it is to get rid of all levels of government.

Meanwhile, there is another grouping of people that have existed since the dawn of cavemen and tree-dwellers that has even more influence on their societies than any government will ever have. Of course, I am talking about: the nuclear family. If you were raised in a healthy home environment, loved and kept safe from the perils of the world, not taught to hate anyone, or covet what the family down the block or across the village has, please raise both your hands in the air. The more arms in the air, the more parents of nuclear families can feel good about themselves, right? But how many arms are there in the air? Not many, you say, maybe not even one depending on who is present?

Well, butter my butt and call me Jed! There aren’t any healthy nuclear families in this crowd? Parents, didn’t any of you come from healthy nuclear families? Well, no wonder you may not have raised healthy children, you don’t know how! Your role models weren’t any better than you as role models. I’d say God help us, but I don’t even believe in God anymore. He was as much a fable as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.

And so it goes, generation after generation, there aren’t any instruction manuals that come with babies, and the people that try to write them all have some kind of syndrome or other to begin with. Having worked in the addiction and mental health fields could have warped my mind against the nuclear family, but what do you want to bet my father warped my mind long before I even knew there were so many syndromes you could have because of the way you were treated as a child.

Just today (2017) the courts found a set of parents guilty of causing the death of their 15 year old son by denying him the insulin he needed to combat his diabetes. 15 years old, and he weighed about 70 lbs. when his body was discovered. His body was emaciated, and his pallor was the colour of the snow outside his door. He had not been allowed outside his home since he was six years old, and none of the neighbours even knew he existed, not in the province where he died. Back in the province of his birth, the authorities knew all about him, knew that his parents were withholding his insulin, knew they had to get him away from his parents, but the court ruled in favour of the nuclear family, because surely no parent could continue to be so callous as to not give their child his life-saving medicine. And as soon as the “nuclear family” left the courthouse, they packed up their belongings and moved. The authorities that had been watching over him never told anyone he was gone, so when the family found a home in a new province, no one knew their history. The boy slipped through every crack there was to slip through, and nine long years later he finally died. This is how the nuclear family works?

Of course I’m using an extreme example, but how extreme does a person have to get before people realize the nuclear family is failing worse with every new generation? In Vietnam and in parts of the Middle East, parents gave their ten year old children bombs and told them to give the bombs to the soldiers on the other side. The kids had no idea what they were doing, and they trusted their parents to keep them safe, but when they reached the other side and soldiers came out to greet the children, to get them out of harm’s way, the mother or father pressed a button, and the child got blown up along with most of the soldiers in the area. This is how the nuclear family works?

This wasn’t a random act, turning children into walking bombs. It is a reasoned act of war. How can we sit back and listen to the news that tells us these things are happening? In Africa ten year old children are recruited as soldiers of god, whichever god their masters happen to believe in, and taught how to shoot a rifle and throw a grenade. Should these children be held accountable when they had no concept that what they were doing could kill people? Well, guess what, the mighty United States of America thought they should be tried for war crimes, and placed in jail for the rest of their lives. If they happen to be Muslim children, President Donald Trump will probably put them in front of a firing squad. “No damned little Muslims are going to terrorize American soldiers!” And he will probably build a wall around the Middle East, and make the Arabs pay for it. It makes me wonder what kind of nuclear family he was raised in…

I’m serious as hell when I say, let parents have children, but don’t let the parents own them. If the parents cannot pass a set of psychological tests, take the babies away from the parents, and put them into a group home where professional parents who can pass those same tests work together to raise the little tykes, where the children are taught about things, but are never told “This is the way you have to be.” Provide them with love, safety, healthy foods, proper clothing, and toys and such, and mix the genders and the races in each group home, parents and children alike, and let them learn on their own there is nothing to fear in a world made of people of many races. There can be no corporal punishment in these group homes, and the children must be allowed to play in the same area as children from other group homes so that they can learn about other children, children of all ages from baby to near-adult. Give them the tools to live a safe and happy life. As they grow up, teach them various occupations suited to their age. Don’t make gender an issue, teach boys and girls the same things, including what happens with each gender as they reach puberty. And above all else, give them the power to think critically.

If you really want to save this world and all the people in it, deconstruct the nuclear family. Keep those people who would teach their children hatred and violence from ever bringing up children. These are the kinds of parents that keep the pattern of poorly adjusted physically and mentally ill children becoming the same kind of parents as they had growing up. Give the future generations the chances we never had, and save them from those parents who condemn their children to follow in their footsteps.

(I wrote this post in 2017, and still agree with every word of it. I confess I made some tiny changes but nothing that made any consequence to the theme of this post.

(These thoughts were not new even then, I had been refining them for years since my own childhood. It was my own nuclear family that forced ne to take a critical look at how I was brought up, and what inspired me to look for a better way to raise children. The above ideas are but one suggestion. The more people that can look critically at the nuclear family, the more suggestions there will be.

(The first step, though, is realizing the necessity to look at the nuclear family while thinking critically.)

Categories
Climate Change Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

GAS STOVES, AND GAS FURNACES TOO

Only a few times in my life have I had to cook on a gas stove, but I hated them. Aside from the fact a close acquaintance used a gas stove to commit suicide in the 60s, I just couldn’t stand the smell of them. In time, if apartment hunting or house hunting, I saw a gas stove in the kitchen, I learned to walk away. And now I am glad I did. But, the house where I now live still has a gas furnace, and if they are not properly vented, they are just as dangrous as gas stoves, especially for our cats. They are small creatures, about the size of babies. Is our house a danger to them?

The following article is about gas stoves. The video attached to it says gas companies vouch for their safety. Cigarette companies said the same thing about their products, and the second hand smoke they produced. Can we trust gas companies, or gas stove manufacturers, any further than tobacco companies. I know I don’t.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/here-s-what-we-know-about-a-potential-u-s-ban-on-gas-stoves-1.6226328?lid=6o7z5yvh5vli

And if that doesn’t convince you of the dangers of gas stoves, maybe the newest post from Michael Thomas on DISTILLED will give you pause to think.

https://www.distilled.earth/p/i-measured-the-pollution-from-my

At this time I cannot afford to switch to an electric furnace, and living where I do alongside the 59th Parallel North, I cannot live without a furnace in Spring, Autumn, or Winter. But I will be getting my gas furnace tested for emissions. I owe it to my cats.

Categories
Conservatism DEMOCRACY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

KNOW YOUR ENEMIES — THEY ARE EVERYWHERE

My thanks to Diana Ravitch, whose blog led me to this article in The New Republic. It is almost a year old now, but the information is still very relevent to today’s society.

I won’t waste any more of your time. This article speaks for itself:

https://newrepublic.com/article/165984/10-people-destroying-democracy

Categories
Climate Change Dreams Lifestyle SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

YES, HUMANS CAN CHANGE! YES, WE ARE EVOLVING! BUT AT WHAT COST?

I woke up a hour ago, literally shaking with sheer disgust from a horrifying dream. I will spare you the details, although a part of me wants to share the terror of what I watched happen in front of my dreaming eyes. It was too much even for me, and I had to force myself to wake up, I wanted so bad to barf. I will just say: Baby Seal Hunt, and leave it at that.

Why the hell would I have such an inhumane dream? What could it possibly mean. And after thinking about it, I could only come up with one reasonable explanation. Over the past few years I have heard so many people, including myself, asking if life is worth living, because nothing seems to change. The rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the wealth inequity just grows and grows. But while that is the root cause, saying it out of context does not tell the whole story. The rich are the hunters, and we are the baby seals!

We may not be being outright slaughtered, like the baby seals were, quickly but cruelly beaten to death in front of their horrified and heart-numbed mothers so as not to damage their valuable outer skins with bullet holes or knife slashes, their carcasses left to rot uselessly on the blood-soaked ground, but slowly, inexorably made to suffer through the years until our bodies give out on us and we succumb to death, the final liberator. (Yes, that was a long sentence, like the wealthy sentencing us to a lifetime of pain. It’s called poetry.)

But we changed! Because large numbers of people got together and demanded we stop slaughtering baby seals. And that was just part of the whole fight against the lucrative fur industry which had prospered for centuries! While the wealthy still want to wear fur, We the People have brought them down off their high horses. We rose up in numbers too big to be ignored, and we accomplished mostly stopping the slaughter of our fellow animal siblings just to please the uncaring parasites who had us prey on the animals for their pleasure. We changed the world, in part.

So, why are we not rising up in numbers too big to ignore in the fight to save our planet. Destroying the planet is even more inhumane than slaughtering baby seals, because it is slowly slaughtering all the higher lifeforms on Earth. Everything from aardvarks to zebras, and from flowers to trees. Bacteria and other microorganisms may survive, and fungis, but everything else is at risk! Are we really going to allow the wealthy to set nature back 4 million years in their pursuit of money?

I sure as life hope not!

WE MUST RISE UP!

Categories
Climate Change Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

A NEW CANDIDATE FOR ASSHOLE OF THE YEAR — THERE OUGHT’A BE AN AWARD

Michael Thomas at DISTILLED is at it again. Today he takes on the assholes who are trying to kill the offshore wind generator projects off the Atlantic coast. Is this being done only in America? I don’t have the answer to that, but I cannot see this group of dinosaurs fighting clean energy only in America! The whole world still runs on fossil fuels. The fossil fuel industry cannot allow any nation to become a shining example to the world of a better cleaner way to live.

I will admit, I have no idea if oceanic wind farms will create chaos for oceanic wildlife, that question needs investigating, but we human beings need to do something to mitigate the disastrous effects of burning fossil fuels on our environment, and we need to do it soon!. My own thought would be to start by putting solar panels on the roof of every permanent aboveground structure in the world, but when I checked into doing this for my own abode the cost was more than I could afford. I live on a small fixed income. And to think the price of anything will come down in our current economy is absurd. The Canadian government has a program to help people put solar paneis on their houses, but it has two huge flaws. It only covers a small portion of the cost, and because it is a payback scheme, one has to put the money out first, then hope the work will meet all the rigid demands of the program, so chances are you will end up getting no financial help anyway. I would almost think this program was designed by a fossil fuel advocate, built on appearances, however not designed to really work for anyone except the already wealthy.

But I digress.

Read here how a man named David Stevenson, and a conservative think tank named Caesar Rodney Institute are out to prevent us from moving away from consuming fossil fuels, and thereby threatening the future of life on Earth!

https://open.substack.com/pub/michaelthomaswrites/p/the-man-trying-to-kill-americas-offshore?r=1dq390&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

Categories
Climate Change Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

A PIG IN A POKE — A SAD TRUTH ABOUT SOLYNDRA

Selling a “pig in a poke” is asking you to trust the seller to sell you something sight unseen, and then hope you are buying what you trusted them to sell you. I’m sure you can see the problem with that. You can expect to be swindled more times than you can buy what you wanted to get.

Climate change is a big issue right now, and presumably, if you are American or follow American politics, you will know the Republican Party is full of climate deniers, and people who want to keep the world dependent on gas and oil, two natural commodities that have been proven to be major causes of climate catastrophies. If you listen to them, and believe their lies, you are buying a pig in a poke. What they are selling as truth is bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, and cannot be trusted.

House Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R – WA) has been selling a pig in a poke for a number of months now, and Michael Thomas over at DISTILLED (a Substack blog) is finally exposing her as a vendor of lies by misdirection. He explains this much better than I can:

Most people outside of Washington D.C. wouldn’t recognize Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ name. In her 18 years as a Congresswoman representing a rural district of Washington state, she’s rarely made national headlines. Compared to firebrands like Majorie Taylor Greene, Rodgers is calm and measured. Which is why in August, shortly after the Senate passed their historic climate bill, very few people noticed a video Rodgers posted to Twitter. 

Set against a blurry Zoom-style background, Rodgers called the Inflation Reduction Act a “war on reliable and affordable energy.” Like many other Republicans, she falsely claimed that it would increase energy prices. Then about halfway through the video, she said something she would go on to repeat dozens of times over the next few months. 

“We need to remember the Solyndra scandal,” she said, referring to the solar company that received a $535 million loan from the Energy Department in 2009 then went bankrupt two years later. “This bill pumps $250 billion of loan authority into a similar type of loan guarantee program. It’s Solyndra on steroids.” 

Rodgers has gone on to repeat those three words—Solyndra on steroids—in every national press interview she’s given since August. But this catchy line isn’t just political rhetoric; it’s a preview of what’s to come over the next two years. It’s a roadmap that describes how Republicans plan to stall a signature piece of the Biden administration’s climate plan and slow America’s transition to clean energy. 

The rest is here…

Categories
DEMOCRACY SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

IF YOU CAN’T JOIN THEM, BEAT’EM

WRITTEN FOR AMERICANS, BUT NO REASON NOT TO USE IT ELSEWHERE

A while ago I suggested forming a new political party in the USA representing and restricted to common people. Except for one interested party, it fell like a lead balloon. The final word came from my friend Jill, who said something like there is no room for another political party in America, the political system is not built that way. I wanted to protest because both Canada and Britain started as two party systems, and now have multi-party systems, but I decided discretion was the better choice over protest, and shut my mouth.

But I could not shut off my mind. There has to be some way to help the best people to get elected, I told myself. Right now the American political system is made up of three kinds of voters — not including non-voters: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. Logically the Democrats vote mostly to elect Democratic candidates, and Republicans mostly vote to elect Republicans. But who do the Independents vote for? To my mind, they seem to vote for one party one election, then the other party the next election. They don’t seem to want anyone to get too much power for too long. And they don’t seem to mind electing assholes every other election. I asked myself, and now I am asking you, is that any way to elect a government?

And then I came up with an idea. I got the idea from the corporate world, where corporation boards control the board by voting in a block. The members get together before a meeting and decide more or less en masse what direction they want their corporation to go in.

So why not a voting block for We the People?

How would you feel about becoming a member of a Grassroots Voting Block, where those who join pledge to examine the candidates running for election, doing a joint deep dive on anyone whose name is on a ballot, and combining their findings to help everyone decide on who would best represent the Common Good of We the People?

I envision this Block on a federal level to help everyone understand the candidates, and choose one in each district that everyone can get behind. Meanwhile, in state elections those in a state can do this on a state level, or even a civic level.

My reasoning is that I hear all the time more people need to understand what it is that candidates are running for and on, and that people should get a better understanding of the political process. But, while some people do their own deep dives, they mostly keep that information to themselves. NOONE SEEMS TO WANT TO INFLUENCE HOW SOMEONE ELSE VOTES! Why not!

To me that is swallowing your own tail. If you have pertinent reliable information, SHARE IT. Give it to whoever wants to listen. The question then becomes, who can you trust to listen to?

If you have a group of like thinkers, share that knowledge between yourselves, and if everyone can agree, publish it to a forum where everyone that wants to, and needs to, can hear it. (Tokyo Sand sort of does this, but not on a big enough scale. Same with On the Fence Voters.) If you can’t join them in Congress, beat’em by joining together to decide who to send to Congress. There is nothing illegal about it, and it serves a good purpose — responsible government.

By not sharing information we are doing a disservice to We the People. Those who have trustworthy information should have a duty to share it with everyone else.

I tried suggesting a new political party, but got shot down because too many people seem to like having a two party system. So, if you cannot join together to govern, why not at least join together to elect those who will be working hardest for We the People.

It can be done online, on a blogging site if noone can afford to create a new website. But share your knowledge, especially to those who have no idea how to find it, or how to understand what the information means. But do this intentionally, in order to get particular candidates elected.

You can even call it a Peoples’ Voters’ Union. Once it gets started, its membership will grow on its own, I think, because most people are good people. They not only want good government, but they want that government to be good for everyone, not just an elite few.

In a way, this is what Trump did with his MAGA cult, he convinced millions of people to vote for the GOP even though it was not necessarily in their best interests. My idea would be to get free-thinkers together, and in the best interest of everyone choose who is the best candidate to vote for.

This would allow each one of the voters to be a power for change, be a power for the good of the people, and be a power to help those who are unable to understand to learn how to understand.

What say you, dear readers? Is this something you could get behind? Something that you would want to get involved in?

Categories
Human Interest SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World

OVERHYPING THE HYPE: A NEW YEAR’S RANT

Today, but especially tonight and tomorrow, so much money will be spent or gambled all around the world, so much booze will be consumed that sewage systems will be filled with undigested alcohol, and sports fans will be gaga over some game or other — half of whom who will be ecstatic their teams won and half who will be so disappointed their teams lost that some will consider committing suicide. Hopefully noone will be that insane, but there is no guarantee. Mixing alcohol, money and sports is not a safe combination. AND ALL FOR WHAT?

Because tonight is the last night of one year, and tomorrow is the first day of another year. December 31, 2022; January 1, 2023. One day; another day. Today; tomorrow.

Some people will still be hungry. Some people will still be homeless. And some people will still have health problems. Russia will still be invading Ukraine, and people will die. We may call some Russian, and we can call some Ukranian, but they are all people, just like you and me. And they, and others, will die useless, unnecessary deaths, ending lives that still had decades of life in front of them.

Why?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not above participating in a celebration, or watching a sporting event or two, maybe even saying Happy New Year to my life partner, but I will fortunately be in my own home with Gail and the cats, no booze, no special foods, and not spending a dime that would not be spent on any other day.

I could just as easily be living on the streets somewhere, searching through garbage cans for uneaten scraps of food, or looking for a safe place to spend the night, hoping I would not freeze to death. I did all that, years ago. No word of a lie! It is not a good place to be. And I was lucky that I was able to survive.

I cannot say what it was that helped me to get out of that life, I cannot point to just one person who made a difference in my life. Many nameless people helped me to survive, so thank you everyone. And some helped give me the courage to return to university at the age of 54, graduating when I was 57 years old with a Bachelor of Social Work degree. How many times were there that I could have turned a different corner, and missed an opportunity to redeem my life.

And how many people never made it out of that life? And how many people are still living that life? Across this world there are hundreds of millions of people, some who may have homes, some who may have a bit of money to buy a bit of food to keep their families alive for one more day, but they are living in such poverty that they have lost all hope of ever having a better life?

Here I have to apologize to you. If you are reading this rant chances are you living comfortably, with food in your stomach, and a safe warm place to lay your head tonight to sleep. And knowing you will have all these things tomorrow and the day after that to the point of not even considering anything otherwise. Even as I know this about myself and my immediate family. I really did not mean to gross you out, or put sad thoughts in your head or your heart.

What I had intended to speak about was the frivolity of life, and the need of so many people to do those things they will do tonight, and none of it meaningful in any way that matters. For those who celebrate the new year, which truly is just another day for everyone, the waste of time, money, and effort is enormous. But for 36 hours or so we get to forget life’s problems for a short while, cheer on our favourite sports teams, if we have any, get wasted on alcohol or chemicals, and gamble money we may or may not be able to afford — there will be winners and there will be losers, but the real winners are the people running the games, who take their share of every dollar bet. They never lose.

What is it all for, I wonder. And I really cannot come up with a sensible answer. It all just seems so useless in the end. We will wake up on Tuesday morning, and our lives will still be the same as they were yesterday, but for at least half of us we will be poorer than we were yesterday, in some way…

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Categories
Human Interest RACISM SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Toward a Better World War

WHAT HAPPENED AT WOUNDED KNEE! THE GENOCIDE CONTINUES!

The other day I took Heather Cox Richardson to task for writing a historical piece on the Dakota Wars without emotion. It was an excellent post, otherwise, yet horrifying in so many ways. No matter how she wrote it, I was glad she had done so.

On Dec. 28 she did it again, this time in regards to the Wounded Knee Massacre. Being used to her style this time, I will not condemn her for it. You already know how I feel. But I will reblog it just as I did her other post, because it is important these stories do not get forgotten. If we are not vigilant, it could happen again, not to Red people hopefully, of which I am one, but to Brown people, or poor people, or non-heterosexual people or even people of no or a non-Christian religion.

Thank you for the reminder, Heather.

And a Happy 2023 to all! We could really use a good year after the last six!

Categories
Climate Change Government Regulations

CLIMATE DISASTER CHANGES — 2022

In case you haven’t subscribed to Distilled yet, the climate change blog on Substack, here is a partial list of good things that happened in the USA and Europe this year. By his own admission Mr. Thomas does not know much about the rest of the world, so I will add this about Canada. The Canadian government passed a bill in June of 2022 requiring 100% of all new car and light duty truck sales in Canada to be electric vehicles by 2035. I cannot say what the definition of light duty trucks is, but hopefully it will include all those trucks that red necks travel around in tooting their horns and declaring their rights to not get vaccinated, or wear masks protecting them from Covid and other airborne viruses, while burning fossil fuels and polluting our atmosphere.

For readers from other countries who know of good things their governments are doing, please feel free to add them in the comment section below.

My biggest worry on the topic of electric vehicles is the electricity grid. The grid we have right now is barely capable of supplying enough electricity. Add half a billion people plugging in their cars nightly and circuits are going to blow. 2035 is only 12 years away. Fixing the grid has been a problem for decades. Can we get it done in time?

Categories
Execution Toward a Better World War

AND BACK TO THE DARKNESS!

So much for hope. In her Letters From an American of December 26, Heather Cox Richardson tells a horrifying history I for one had never heard before, but not being American, it does not surprise me that it is not something Americans do not want to be known.

My problem with Ms Cox-Richardson’s story is that it is presented totally factually, without judgment of any kind, and without remorse. No feelings are expressed, and I cannot forgive her for that.

The following story is disturbing, and shocking. As much as it is it needs to be known, it may cause nightmares to some. Please proceed with caution… (Italics added by me.)

One hundred and sixty years ago, on December 26, 1862, in the largest mass execution in American history, the U.S. government hanged 38 Santee men for their actions in Minnesota’s so-called Dakota War.

The struggle did not involve all of the Santees, but rather those driven to war in August 1862 after the U.S. government, financially strapped by the Civil War, did not appropriate the money necessary to pay for the food promised to the Santees by treaty. Nine years before, in 1851, settlers had poured into the territory demanding land to farm, and the government had forced the Santees onto a reservation too small to feed their people. The government promised the Santees provisions to make up for the loss of their economic base not as a one-time payment but as a fifty-year contract. Then, when Minnesota became a state in 1858, its leaders took even more Santee land.

But by summer 1862, the Civil War had drained the Treasury, and so-called Indian appropriations fell behind.

Starving and unable to provide for themselves on the small reservation onto which they had been corralled, some Santees demanded the provisions for which they had exchanged their lands. At least one of the agents who had contracted to provide that food had some on hand but refused to hand it over until he had been paid. Furious, young Santee men considered their agreement broken and attacked the settlers who had built homes on the land the Santees had ceded.

On August 17, four young Santee men killed five settlers, and violence escalated. By September, both Minnesota militia and U.S. Army regiments were battling the Santees, and the struggles would leave more than 600 settlers, at least 100 to 300 Santees, and more than a hundred soldiers dead before the last of the Santee warriors surrendered to the military at the end of the month. Another 300 Santees—at least—would die from conditions of their imprisonment after the war or from exposure as they fled the state.

That is just the beginning. It gets worse… https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/december-26-2022

i do not understand how anyone in this day and age cannot be frightened and thoroughly grossed out by what happened. She seems to imply that because something good came of it — the Rules of War as established by the Hague Convention — that these actions should not be condemned by all Americans, and by all humans. I do not understand!

How you feel is up to you.

Categories
Dreams Music

A SONG OF HOPE

Today feels like a good day to listen to something hopeful — there doesn’t seem to be much of it around anymore. So please indulge me for must a moment, and maybe the world won’t seem so dark for a short while.

Categories
Climate Change Human Interest Inquiring Minds SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

How A Nonprofit Spread Climate Misinformation to 100 Million People

They used millions of dollars from fossil fuel billionaires to make climate misinformation videos. Google and Facebook helped them reach 100 million people.

This comes from a SubStack blog belonging to Michael Thomas, a researcher and journalist who has looked into where misinformation about the effect of fossil fuels on climate change is coming from. The following post is just one of many. To get there you may have to sign up to become a member, but you can follow it for free (Column four) to be able to read it. If you want to comment you have to pay a fee, which is why I hate SubStack. Abyway, his stuff is well worth the read…

https://www.distilled.earth/p/how-a-nonprofit-spread-climate-misinformation