Monday, May 15, 2017

NBA coach Gregg Popovich Explains Your Reality

Please listen to top NBA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich explaining your reality under the cloud of Donald Trump as President. I read and write about politics every day, but I have never come close to summing up our situation as well as Mr. Popovich does here in his short statement in this video clip (a minute and a half). 

Please listen, and please post a comment on my blog space. Posting annonymously is fine! And please share this clip with your friends and relatives who are still somehow supporting Trump. Many of them probably have great respect for this great winning basketball coach.

If you'd like to hear more, here's Popovich talking right after the election, explaining what Trump's election victory actually means. After hearing this, if nothing else, at least you won't feel alone in being totally freaked out about what's going on in our government!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Geraldo, Brian Williams, and Amerikans 💖 War

On Fox Propaganda, regarding the dropping of the MOAB on militants in Afghanistan last Thursday:

“And that’s what happens when a 21,000-pound bomb explodes in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, where at least 36 ISIS fighters have lost their lives,” ‘Fox and Friends’ host Brian Kilmeade said on Friday.

“That is what freedom looks like,” fellow host Ainsley Earhardt said. “That’s the red white and blue.”
"One of my favorite things!"
“Well, one of my favorite things in the 16 years I’ve been here at Fox News is watching bombs drop on bad guys,” Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera added.

(The MOAB, our largest non-nuclear bomb, kills or fucks up everybody in a 2-mile circle, and costs $16 million a pop. We had 20 of them, now we have 19.)
Brian waxes poetic about the beauty of the rockets’ red glare
Another great patriot, Brian Williams, the former top news anchor in the United States, rhapsodized about the beauty of the 59 missiles Trump launched earlier this month at a military air base in Syria. The total cost of the missiles was about $60 million. 10 soldiers and 4 civilians were killed. Some of the missiles totally missed their targets, and the air base was useable the next day. The few military aircraft that were hit were already out of service.
The rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air . . .

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Donald Trump Longs for the "Good Old Days"


I notice people talking about how bad Hillary was as a candidate. And they talk about some of the good ideas Trump has come up with. The smart Trump sympathizers talk about how Hillary was more likely than Trump to start World War 3 with Russia, and their evidence is compelling. But Trump supporters seem to be overlooking one incredibly important point: they seem blind to just how abhorrent and frightening Trump is as a president. I'm noticing that a lot of formerly good people have somehow become insane, and they have become apologists for Trump!

Every breath we have taken in our lives and every beat of our hearts in our lifetimes has been under the presidency of a Hillary-like leader! Hillary lied and killed, but so did Johnson and Nixon. So did Obama. But we've never lived under the presidency of an ignorant, dishonest, racist, greedy, criminal (look at his environmental stance and his stance on torture) clown! Once you speak at length about your plans to command American citizens to use techniques far more extreme than waterboarding to torture people, you might as well have bitten the head off a kitten on the debate stage or showed a reporter kiddie porn on your cell phone! And yet Trump supporters actually have the ability to overlook this!


Here. I made a video for you, just 3 minutes long. This is a screen capture from an excellent 2016 Netflix documentary, 13th.


Thank you for following my blog! Let's get down to business. Now it's life or death.


Please use the comments link to comment on this blog post! 
I thank you!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Democracy vs Demagogue

A guy I follow on Instagram (@humansofny) just posted this, and I made it into a bigger, perfectly square image so it could re reposted and more easily read on both Instagram and Facebook. It's pretty good! I think it gets right to the crux of the matter.

The polls are so close that simple arithmetic dictates that those who don't participate or who vote 3rd party are going to be helping Trump. It's interesting that a friend of mine can blabber about fallacies and write out equations to prove that I'm wrong, but if an analogous election had his children's lives in the balance, he'd be sounding exactly like me! 

Friday, February 05, 2016

Hillary the Shape Shifter, Flint Water, Fukushima, and Pussy Riot

A rule I follow in my personal life, and also in my political life, is to deal with the biggest problem first. I believe that this approach often results in the smaller problems being solved automatically. Sometimes it's easy to figure out what Job One is, but when there are dozens of huge Job Twos looming, it's not so easy.  

There was a time when the obvious Job One on the whole planet was to impeach Bush Jr and Dick Cheney. Now, with terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Syrian refugees pouring into Europe, and ISIS spreading far and wide, we're seeing the result of our failure to accomplish this.

Today, I believe Job One for Americans is to get Bernie Sanders elected. It may seem that Hillary would be a fairly innocuous president, and in the scheme of things, we know that she would be a competent president. But what kind of country do we want to live in? An oligarchical empire that crushes millions of lives and destroys Earth's environment in order to add to the wealth of billionaires, while forcing us pay its bills? Do we want to continue living under our present system of soft fascism, in which TV's are used in place of gulags and America is slowly transformed into a Third World nation right before our eyes? 


The main purpose of my blog post today is simply to share this video (2 minutes) of Hillary helping Bush Jr sell his illegal, immoral, and unwarranted 2003 invasion of Iraq. This invasion and occupation has resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Iraqi people and 5,000 brave American soldiers, destroyed the whole country of Iraq, and recruited millions more terrorists, all while stealing about $3 trillion dollars from our Treasury, or more accurately, from our children's future labor! 

Every minute our children and grandchildren work to pay taxes to cover the cost of this war crime will be a minute that they will be in slavery, having their labor stolen from them to pay for crimes of which they are totally innocent! We too are enslaved, every minute we work to pay the percentage of our taxes that goes to the Pentagon, that pays Bush's and Obama's war debts, that pays for the hundreds of F-35's that can't even fly correctly (over $100 million each!--the software required to fly them is already more than 24 million lines long, and programmers are finding it impossible to make the plane fly at night!). Hillary is very good at making people forget who she really is, but this old video, just 2 minutes long, is a good reminder that Hillary is a shape shifter.

We must avoid automatically caving in and voting for Hillary. If we vote for Hillary while Bernie still has a shot, it will be an admission that we live in a country where the government is absolutely no longer a servant but a master. We will be admitting that we have no choice but to be party to murder and to be complicit in the further breakdown of our country's culture and infrastructure. And we will be gladly accepting our position of privilege while knowing that millions of our fellow Americans are going without healthcare, without affordable college, without decent jobs, without safety in their neighborhoods, and even without enough food to eat. 

How would Hillary handle the present Flint, Michigan infrastructure EMERGENCY? Would Hillary go after the perpetrators, who have knowingly poisoned tens of thousands of (mostly black) children? Here’s How Hard It Will Be to Unpoison Flint’s Water. There's a huge looming Job Two for you! What is the United States government going to do about this emergency affecting tens of thousands of Americans? This is staggering! And how many other of our cities, with their aging water, sewer, and natural gas systems, are on the brink of similar problems? 


I think it's doubtful that the oligarchs will allow Bernie, a self avowed socialist, to actually win the presidential election, but people thought it was impossible for a Catholic (JFK) and for a black to become president, and yet these things happened! The prospect of Bernie winning is very exciting! How could young voters not be totally excited about voting for Bernie? His wining would be an actual revolution. Checkmate, elite .001 percent! We didn't like the only two flavors you made available to us, Trump/Rubio/Cruz or Hillary (Coke or Pepsi?), and you have been trumped! The elites lose! We win!

After losing Iowa, will Trump now deflate like a stupid looking balloon full of hot air and blow out of sight? My intuition tells me that many Americans are becoming willing and able to look at reality instead of meekly allowing politicians to trigger their feelings and control their loyalty by pushing their pre-programmed buttons--about gays, immigrants, abortion, socialism, etc. People are finally starting to notice what most of you reading this have been able to notice instinctively for years--that is, when a politician is talking total bullshit. 

A quick check of videos on YouTube, such as Stephen Colbert's excellent Trump vs Trump debate, shows that Trump is all over the board on every issue. Electing Trump president would embarrass America before the whole world! And allowing Trump to have the keys to our nuclear arsenal would literally endanger every human on Earth. What a humiliating, insecure, frightening position to put people from other countries in, who didn't have the opportunity to vote for or against him. This election is important, brothers and sisters!

The Hillary vs Bush video I've linked you to here shows that Hillary is in no way a progressive, but truly just a neocon in Democrat's clothing.

Bernie is the only viable candidate, the only one actually talking about the wellbeing of the people. If he won, he'd still have to beat his head against the brick wall of Congress, but by the same token, we would have restored sanity to one of the three branches of our government! That's something we didn't achieve with Obama, who immediately appointed Goldman Sachs' Tim Geithner Secretary of the Treasury and doubled the size of the war in Afghanistan. 

Another huge Job Two is Fukushima. The media behave as if the the earthquake and tsunami that disabled the Fukushima reactors 5 years ago were the disaster, but actually the disaster is just getting started, the biggest industrial accident in history, threatening Japan and ultimately the world. Can I interest you in a tuna sandwich? What will happen if they have to evacuate Tokyo?

And last but not least, Pussy Riot is back in the news! From the New York Times:
The Russian punk protest group Pussy Riot sashayed back into the public eye on Wednesday with the release of a music video savaging the country’s prosecutor general, Yuri Y. Chaika, who locked up three members of the group in 2012. 

It is a black satire of the Russian criminal justice system, in which the women, playing prison guards, rap lustily about money and torture a man with hot clothes irons.

Unlike Pussy Riot's previous videos, this one features high production values and choreography! And the young women aren't wearing ski masks! The whole NY Times article is here.


What do you think? Are we being naive if we once again let ourselves believe that a president can make a difference? Please click the comments link below and let me know.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Jewels of Logic About Nukes--That You Probably Haven't Thought Of


I'll probably vote for Bernie Sanders no matter what, even if it costs Hillary the election. I think it will be easier to politically activate people under a clownish, blatantly sold-out, almost psychopathological Republican than it would be under a faux-liberal female Democrat. The System of global oligarchs has, over the centuries, become amazingly subtle, replacing gulags with TV, and replacing dictators with a cool black guy who likes to play basketball, and soon, with a WOMAN, who do pretty much what dictators do. Amerika becomes a Third World country while the elites form a more powerful and relentless oligarchy. They spy on us, send our kids to wars for plunder and power, and take away OUR power to the point that we become peasants . . . peasants with nice TV's and amazing smartphones.

The only rub to my plan to vote for Sanders is, like I say, that I might be contributing to a Republican victory. It's EXTREMELY bad manners for Americans to let a KNOWN IDIOT hold the nuclear button for even a minute! We arrogantly risk the life of EVERY human with our nuclear weapons, especially when entrusted to an idiot such as Bush (any Bush), McCain, Sarah Palin, etc.). The way I understand it, our nuclear weapons policy is: "We might use some small "battlefield" nukes here and there if we really have to, or maybe a few nuclear "bunker buster" bombs, but nobody else can ever use them. We will match a full-scale attack with a full-scale retaliation, turning the attacking country [and inadvertently much of the world] into a glass parking lot, even though we'll all be dead in a few minutes or hours and won't really be able to enjoy the revenge. And by the way, Obama has already embarked on a trillion-dollar project to modernize our nuclear arsenal, to make our bombs more reliable."  

And yet this horrible machine that we're spending our national treasure on, while our schools fail and our infrastructure crumbles, is a machine that can never be used. How bizarre to improve the function and reliability of a machine that can never be used! If we deploy even one nuke (on the average, each of our warheads is about 1,000 times more powerful than the bombs we dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cutely named "Fat Man" and "Little Boy"), it's likely to escalate into actual nuclear war, which would result in humans of ALL countries becoming EXTINCT or at best finding themselves living in a world where the living truly do envy the dead.

According to Jonathan Schell, "The brink is not the sharp edge of a cliff, where one can stand firmly, look down, and decide whether or not to plunge. Rather, the brink is a curved slope that one can stand on with some risk of slipping."

The following is from the most famous book of recently deceased Jonathan Schell, America's most well known and respected writer about the nuclear peril humanity faces since Albert Einstein wrote about the same topic, THE FATE OF THE EARTH. Savor each of these quotes I extracted from this somewhat repetitive, not always interesting book. Don't rush. These are shining jewels of logic I found within it. A lot of us don't OWN all these concepts, but it's important that we do. Schell reasoned these concepts out for us. At the beginning of this list of quotes is my little mini-review of his book.

Note that some of my political emails are about things that don't impact you directly. Who knows?--maybe 500 years from now, Bush's decision in 2003 to invade Iraq might be seen as a good thing, something that prevented China from becoming too powerful too soon. But according to several respectable statistical studies that have taken into account all of the known nuclear close calls the United States and Russia have had, the fact that we're still alive and comfortable is the result of approximately a 50-50 coin toss. We have been less than 5 minutes from total global nuclear holocaust more than once. Nuclear proliferation and worldwide nuclear policies based on nationalism might just be YOUR BIGGEST PROBLEM, even though it doesn't seem like it.

This guy Jonathan Schell is BRILLIANT!  What a beautiful mind! It's like living in 1860 and reading Darwin for the first time. I'll bet that a lot of these concepts are totally new to you, even though they are available by simply thinking honestly and analytically about what is probably humanity's biggest problem.

--------------------

My mini-review:
[B+] Fate of the Earth, 1982 book by Jonathan Schell [recently deceased, which brought this book to my attention, and is why I read it in January 2014], makes you see the consequences of nuclear war. I don't think I'll include this book in my lifetime favorites list even though it's super important (people have given FAR too little thought to what extinction means!) because the author is just too repetitive. I like how it gets philosophical and deals with the meaning of extinction from a lot of different angles, but it gradually becomes too much of a philosophy book, while the first half of it is much tighter--a scientific discussion that makes the nature and MEANING of nuclear danger very clear.

p 4  ". . . the world as a whole has thus far failed to fashion or to discover within ourselves an emotional or intellectual or political response to nuclear weapons. This peculiar failure of response, in which hundreds of millions of people acknowledge the presence of an immediate on remitting threat to their existence and to the existence of the world they live in but do nothing about it--a failure in which both self interest and fellow feelings seem to have died--has itself been such a striking phenomenon that it has to be regarded as an extremely important part of the nuclear predicament . . ."

p 6 Jimmy Carter:  ". . . the survivors, if any, would live in despair amid the poison ruins of a civilization that had committed suicide."

p 8  "A society that systematically shuts its eyes to an urgent peril to its physical survival and fails to take any steps to save itself cannot be called psychologically well. In effect, whether we think about nuclear weapons or avoid thinking about them, their presence among us makes us sick, and there seems to be little of a purely mental or emotional nature that we can do about it."

Interesting: if an airplane is shot down by bullets and everybody dies, there's not much difference for the passengers, although a few of them might have died immediately from the bullets while others died a few moments later from the crash. (analogy for hydrogen bomb holocaust "survivors")

Political revolutions involve lots of people, build over time, and don't last, while scientific revolutions are led by 1 or 2 people and never die! Scientists, as they construct the ever growing structure of scientific knowledge, are like bees, building a more and more complex and elaborate hive. Also, science, the most powerful revolution on Earth, is a leaderless revolution.

p 100  "As long as that knowledge [how to make a nuclear bomb] is in our possession, the atoms themselves, each one stocked with its prodigious supply of energy, are, in a manner of speaking, in a perilously advanced state of mobilization for nuclear hostilities, and any conflict anywhere in the world can become a nuclear one. To disarm matter itself, converting it back into its relatively safe, inert, nonexplosive 19th century Newtonian state--something that not even the physics of our own time can teach us how to do."

p 105 "A disturbing corollary of the scientists inability even to for see the path of science, to say nothing of determining it, is that while science is without doubt the most powerful revolutionary force in our world, no one directs that force."

An escape to space to live with peaceful people in a big space station or settle on another nice planet is a fallacy, since we would take the knowledge of making nuclear weapons with us!

p 108  "If, given the world's discouraging record of political achievement, a lasting political solution seems almost beyond human powers, It may give us confidence to remember that what challenges us is simply our extraordinary success in another field of activity--the scientific. We have only to learn to live politically in the world in which we already live scientifically."

p 113  "Death, having been augmented by human strength, has lost its appointed place in the natural order and become a counter-evolutionary force, capable of destroying in few years, or even in few hours, what evolution has built up over billions of years." 

"One might say that after billions of years nature, by creating a species equipped with reason and will, turned it's fate, which had previously been decided by slow, unconscious movements of natural evolution, over to the conscious decisions of just one of its species. When this occurred, human activity, which until then had been confined to the historical realm--which, in turn, had been supported by the broader biological current--spilled out of it's old boundaries and came to menace both history and biology. Thought and will became mightier than the earth that had given birth to them. Now human beings became actors in the geological time span, and the laws that had governed the development and the survival of life began to be superseded by processes in the mind of man. Here however there were no laws; there was only choice, and the thinking and feeling that guide choice. The reassuring, stable, self sustaining prehistoric world of nature drops away, and in its place mankind's own judgments, moods, and decisions loomed up with an unlooked-for terrifying importance." 

p 132  "In actuality, of course, no one is proposing the voluntary suicide of everyone on earth; on the contrary, what is being claimed is that one or two countries have the right to jeopardize all countries and their descendants in the name of certain beliefs."

p 149  "The scientists working on the Manhattan Project wanted to send word to President Truman, who was at the Potsdam Conference, that the detonation near Alamogordo [150 miles south of my birthplace, Albuquerque, New Mexico] had been successful, they chose the horrible but apt code phrase "Babies satisfactorily born." Since then, these "babies"--which are indeed like the offspring of a new species, except that it is a species not of life but of anti-life, threatening to end life--have "proliferated" steadily under our faithful care, bringing forth "generation" after "generation" of weapons, each more numerous and more robust than the last, until they now threaten to do away with their creators altogether. Yet while we did all this we somehow kept the left hand from knowing--or from dwelling on--what the right hand was doing; and the separation out of our lives from awareness of the doom that was being prepared under us and around us was a largely preserved."

"It is probably crucial psychologically in maintaining this divorce that, once Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been pushed out of mind, the nuclear peril grew in such a way that while it relentlessly came to threaten the existence of everything, it physically touched nothing . . ."

Even if we're only building nukes to be safe, the threat of using them is only valid if there is actually a chance we will, which means we are all in the act of being immoral every second of every day.

In 1930 Freud predicted human caused destruction of humanity.

p 157  ". . . every generation that holds the earth hostage to nuclear distraction holds a gun to the head of its own children."

p 161  "As long as politics fails to take up the nuclear issue in a determined way, it lives closer than any other activity to the lie that we have all come to live--the pretense that life lived on top of a nuclear stockpile can last."

"In this timid, crippled thinking, "realism" is the title given to beliefs whose most notable characteristic is their failure to recognize the chief reality of the age, the pit into which our species threatens to jump . . ." [You are considered naively altruistic and goofy if you talk about a world at peace, a world without nuclear weapons.]

Solzhenitsyn: "Woe to that nation whose literature is disturbed by the intervention of power because that is not just a violation against freedom of print, it is the closing down of the heart of the nation, a slashing to pieces of its memory."

p 171  "The idea of escaping extinction before one was born is a strange one for us, since it is so new, but to generations that live deep in nuclear time, and who know that their existence has depended on the wisdom and restraint of a long succession of generations before them, we can be sure that the idea will be familiar."

p 172  "By acting to save this species, and repopulating the future, we break out of the cramped, claustrophobic isolation of a doomed present, and open a path to the greater space--the only space fit for human habitation--of past, present, and future."

p 173  "By threatening life in its totality, the nuclear peril creates new connections between the elements of human existence--a new mingling of the public and the private, the political and the emotional, the spiritual and the biological."

p 174  "Formerly the future was simply given to us; now it must be achieved. We must become the agriculturalists of time. If we do not plant and cultivate the future years of human life, we will never reap them."

"Instead of being asked not to kill our neighbors, we are asked to let them be born."

p 175  The nuclear peril makes all of us, whether we have children of our own or not, the parents of all future generations.

p 177  More and more, the earth is coming to resemble a single body . . . inhabited by billions separate intelligences and wills. In these circumstances, the use of violence is like the left hand attacking the right, or like both hands attacking the throat.

p 178  We need to remember that neither as individuals nor as a species have we created ourselves. And we need to remember that our swollen power is not to create but only a power to destroy.

p 186  "What is needed to make extinction possible, therefore, is some way of thinking about it that at least partly deflects our attention from what it is. And this way of thinking is supplied to us, unfortunately, by our political and military traditions, which, with the weight of almost all historical experience behind them, teach us that it is the way of the world for the Earth to be divided up into independent sovereign states, and for these states to employ war as the final arbiter for settling disputes that arise among them."

p 187  "One might say that they [nuclear bombs] appeared in the world in a military disguise . . ." 

p 188  "We try to make due with Newtonian politics in an Einsteinian world."

"... It is not an external, self-propelled peril . . . rather the peril comes from our own actions--from within us . . ."

p 194  "The doctrine that resulted was the doctrine of nuclear deterrence: the forbidding political and intellectual product of our attempt to live simultaneously in the two worlds--the nuclear, scientific world and the pre-nuclear military and political one."

p 196  "And as long as we continue to accept the underlying assumptions of this strategy we will be condemned to go on sketching scenarios for futures that must never be, while neglecting all planning for futures that CAN be and that would permit us to be."

[author is being ironic] Salvation from extinction by nuclear weapons is to be found in the nuclear weapons themselves.

p 199  "the sturdy child of terror." [Churchill] "According to this logic, safety can only be as great as the terror is, and the terror therefore has to be kept relentless. ... "distruction" must, conversely, be "assured," as though our game were to destroy, and not to save, mankind."

p 200  "Each side actually has an interest in maintaining its adversary's retaliatory forces as well as its own."

p 202  "Once the action begins, the whole doctrine is self canceled. In sum, the doctrine is based on a monumental logical mistake: one cannot credibly deter a first strike with a second strike whose reason for being dissolves the moment the first strike arrives."

p 203  "To grasp the reality of the contradiction, we have only to picture circumstances of leaders whose country has just been annihilated in a first strike. Now their country is on its way to becoming a radioactive desert, but the retaliatory nuclear force survives in its silos, bombers, and submarines. These leaders of nobody, living in underground shelters or in "doomsday" planes that could not land, would possess the means of national defense but no nation to defend. What rational purpose could they have in launching a retaliatory strike?"

p 205  ". . . adding to Kahn's concept of reasoned insanity the planned accident. The strategy in effect, he writes, "the brink is not the sharp edge of a cliff, where one can stand firmly, look down, and decide whether or not to plunge. Rather, the brink is a curved slope that one can stand on with some risk of slipping.""

210  ". . . thus, the peril of extinction is the price the world pays NOT [emphasis mine] for "safety" or "survival" but for its insistence on continuing to divide itself up into sovereign nations. The nuclear powers put a higher value on national sovereignty than they do on human survival."

215  "It is as though a number of people, each one possessing certain valuables that the others want and, furthermore, think they have a right to, are grouped in a room around a single bomb that is large enough to kill them all if it goes off. Each person holds in his hands a switch with which he can detonate the bomb."

217  "For the doctrine's central claim–that it deploys nuclear weapons only in order to prevent their use--is simply not true. Actually, it deploys them to protect national sovereignty, and if this aim were not present they could be quickly dismantled."

"For to build this machine at all was a mistake of the hugest proportions ever known--without question the greatest ever made by our species. Now deterrence, having rationalized the construction of the machine, weds us to it, and, at best, offers us, if we are lucky, a slightly extended term of residence on earth before the inevitable human or mechanical mistake occurs and we are annihilated."

"National sovereignty lies at the very core of the political issues that the peril of extinction forces upon us. Sovereignty is the "reality" that the "realists" counsel us to accept as evidence, referring to any alternative as "unrealistic" or "utopian." But that political realism is not biological realism; it is biological nihilism–and for that reason is, of course, political nihilism, too." [beautiful logic, Joe!]

219  "This predicament is sort of a cage that has quietly grown up around the earth, imprisoning every person on it, and the demanding terms of the predicament--its durability, it's global political sweep, its human totality--constitute the bars of that cage.

Admiral Hyman Rickover, who devoted a good part of his life to overseeing the development and construction of nuclear power and nuclear-missile-bearing submarines for the United States Navy, told a congressional committee that in his belief mankind was going to destroy itself with nuclear arms.

p 222  "Thus in today's system the actual weapons have already retired halfway from their traditional military role. They are psychological weapons, whose purpose is not to be employed but to maintain a permanent state of mind--terror--in the adversary."

p 225  "And yet simply to recognize that the task is at bottom political, and that the only a political solution can prepare the way for full disarmament and real safety for the species, is in itself important."

"Moreover, this recognition forces us to acknowledge that nuclear disarmament cannot occur if conventional arms are left in place, since as long as nations defend themselves with arms of any kind they will be fully sovereign, and as long as they are fully sovereign they will be at liberty to build nuclear weapons if they so choose."

p 230  "We deny the truth that is all around us. Just as inertia produces despair--a despair often so deep that it does not even know it self as despair--arousal and action would give us access to hope, and life would start to mend: not just life in its entirety but daily life, every individual life. At that point we would begin to withdraw from our role as both the victims and the perpetrators of mass murder."

p 231  "Two paths lie before us. One leads to death, the other to life. If we choose the first path--if we numbly refuse to acknowledge the nearness of extinction, all the while increasing our preparations to bring it about--then we in effect become the allies of death, and in everything we do our attachment to life will weaken: our vision, blinded to the abyss that is open at our feet, will dim and grow confused; our will, discouraged by the thought of trying to build on such a precarious foundation anything that is meant to last, will slacken; and we will sink into stupid stupefaction, as though we were gradually weaning ourselves from life in preparation for the end."

"One day--and it is hard to believe that it will not be soon--we will make our choice. Either we will sink into the final coma and end it all or, as I trust and believe, we will awaken to the truth of our peril, a truth as great as life itself, and, like a person who has swallowed a lethal poison but shakes off his stupor at the last moment and vomits the poison up, we will break through the layers of our denials, put aside our fainthearted excuses, and rise up to cleanse the earth of nuclear weapons."
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Wow, if you're still with me, THANKS! If you have any comments, please post them by clicking on the Comments link below.

Monday, December 22, 2014

We Luv Torture!


Since this is the "season" during which our "culture" celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, one of the least materialistic people to have ever lived, by participating in an insane orgy of materialism and the genocide of beautiful young pine trees, brought indoors where people can watch them die, I think it's appropriate that I bring up our "great" nation's program of institutionalized torture. I doubt any of you on my list (because you all happen to be good, intelligent, empathetic people) can stomach much more than a few seconds of this "normal" Fox "News" broadcast, but try to watch as much of it as you can. These people live among us! 

The glibness and coldheartedness of these women while they talk about other (non-white, non "Christian") people being tortured is, for me, almost beyond belief! Maybe I'm naive as hell and stupidly idealistic, but I just can't fathom how these well travelled, educated, reasonably intelligent people can be so completely devoid of empathy. They'd sure be singing a different tune if it were a close family member of theirs on the good old Amerikan "enhanced interrogation" table!

If you're a fan of my blog posts, you know that I've done a pretty good job lately of keeping them short and to-the-point. Meandering blog posts that try to cover too many subjects and go on and on, the writer obviously enjoying her own voice, are unreadable, I know. But please give me leave, this one time, to cover not one, but three topics in one blog post.

Extinction. Of humans. I just finished the most well known book by the recently deceased Jonathan Schell, The Fate of the Earth, and it's quite sobering to know how close we've come in the past and how close we live daily to . . . extinction from nuclear weapons. Just one missile can contain 10 nuclear bombs, each one 1,000 times more powerful than Little Boy and Fat Man, the cutely named bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

And then there is human extinction due to global warming. I did a bit of research, and it appears this respectable journalist/author was taken in by a less than reputable scientist, but still, it's quite sobering to consider that there may be something to what he's saying. Scary when a well known climate scientist states that humanity should be in "hospice mode"!

And finally, as we go to movie theaters on opening night (Jesus' birthday) to see "American Sniper," about the "best" sniper in Amerikan history (161 kills), let's contemplate religion. This would be a great time to read my great but vastly underappreciated essay, "Earth is Spherical and Religion is Over." Keep in mind that 91 percent of all girls in Egypt have had clitorectomies due to bizarre, hyper-sexist misinterpretation of the Koran. Here's a good, short piece about this from a recent issue of the New York Times.

Mild, lukewarm, semi-religious people (the bulk of Amerika's population) provide credibility and respectability to religious fundamentalists. Although this isn't widely recognized, fundamentalists--"Christian," Muslim, whatever--who teach their religion to children are child abusers. Teaching fundamentalist Iron Age religions to children, who have not yet had their bullshit filters and anti-virus programs installed, is a severe form of child abuse that can and does damage them for life. And just as the "Middle East" has its "terrorists" and "extremists," we've got extremists of our own, such as Billy Graham, who strongly supported the Vietnam War (3 million murders), and the idiots who supported young Bush (because he was "a Christian") in the murder of about a million Iraqis and the destruction of their whole country.

As always, please use the comments link below. Your comments are very welcome!

Here's a map showing female genital mutilation in Africa. If you're feeling especially religious, thank God that you were born here and not there!


Love, and Happy Winter Solstice (a real day! based on the mechanics of our solar system!) to You!

Jeff

P.S. Keep the X in Xmas!

Some news about the Fox News broadcast linked above:


Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is facing some well-deserved ridicule for refuting the stomach-turning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by declaring that “The United States is awesome. We are awesome” and claiming that the Democrats and President Barack Obama released the report because they want “to show us how we’re not awesome.”

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Electric Cars Can Teach You

You know what Edward Snowden's biggest fear was when he disclosed thousands of classified documents showing the extent of NSA spying? Not that he'd be imprisoned or killed but that Americans wouldn't care enough about his revelations to fight to regain their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure. 

I think I'd like to be a full-time activist! (After I pay off my house, put Eileen through college, and buy a Tesla!) (Will I burn in hell with my fellow bourgeois scum?)

The way the world is going is so over-the-top insane that it's almost more than I can live with. We have, as a society, decided to trust corporations to take care of us and run our country and planet. That wouldn't be such a bad idea if they were able to do a good job of it. My growing interest in electric cars has really pushed me to a new level of hating the system we're living in. 

Internal combustion cars look to me, a true alien sociologist, like something that should have been taken off the road and put in museums about 25 years ago. Think of the MILLIONS of cars stopped at red lights in crowded intersections right this second in Beijing, Los Angeles, Moscow, Bangkok, and Mexico City, their engines idling at 1,500 revolutions per minute, super hot air (wasted energy from gasoline) radiating from the outside of the engine and hot poisonous exhaust blowing out of exhaust pipes into the air. And all the people in all those cars are sitting there breathing that poison, plus dumping millions of tons of C02 into the atmosphere, intensifying the frequency and intensity of ongoing global climate change disasters. 

Imagine the pile of junk these internal combustion cars carry: fan belts, radiators, radiator hoses, mufflers, oil filters, air filters, fuel filters, gas tanks, fuel pumps, oil pumps, water pumps, spark plugs, valves, timing belts, and much more. 

Not that I think electric cars are the answer. Cars on this planet are immoral, period. It would take 5 Earths worth of resources for everybody to have a car, even an electric one. But electric cars just prove how incredibly PRIMITIVE, dangerous, and wasteful our internal combustion cars are, and how the corporations don't care in the least about us or our environment, just as long as they make profit now.

We must wrest control back from the corporations, or we are no longer truly Americans. We are much more like hamsters in a pet shop, dependent on the shop owner to fill our water bottles and give us enough food pellets to eat. Will they clean our cages or make us live in our own shit? It's up to them.

Revolution 2.0 anyone?
tesla
"Collect it All," "Process it All," "Exploit it All," "Partner it All," "Sniff it All" and "Know it All."--Leaked slides in Glenn Greenwald's book No Place to Hide, May 2014, showing the NSA's stated objectives 

Monday, May 12, 2014

America Becomes Diseased Right Before Your Eyes (Animated Obesity Map 1985-2010)

This is really quite amazing to watch, a God's-eye view of a whole nation becoming seriously ill, like watching an organism dying of cancer.

To read more about obesity in Amerika, go to this CDC page (where I found this scary animated map) and see the statistics that this map reflects.





Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fuk Fukushima

A guy named Gerbil from the Fukushima Action Group just commented on a short little video I made of scientist Michio Kaku summing up the Fukushima situation. He shared a song he wrote

It's called "Fuk Fukushima". Check out the trumpet solo towards the end!

I responded to the comment he posted to my video:

You guys are doing THE thing that needs to be done now. Some people--just a very small percentage of any population--are really good at figuring out what Job One is. Several years ago, Job One, no matter what one's political affiliation, was to impeach Bush and try him and his administration for treason. Now, Job One is for all of the major countries (and even the minor ones, who could donate plenty of labor) to work together making a cement/boron sarcophagus to seal off Fukushima for at least the next 500 years. 

You don't wash the dishes while the kitchen is on fire. This is the most important job facing Earth residents right now, and it totally transcends politics, so it would be a great first international project, and it would set up future international projects we need to undertake in order to keep Earth habitable and safe for humans. Keep up the good work. You guys are amazing. Your trumpet solos could wake the dead (fucking Republicans). I consider quitting my good job (I'm a technical writer putting 2 smart, radical kids through college) and working full time on pushing for action in Fukushima, but I realize I have practically no voice, and that dealing with Fukushima is about 417th on the priority list of most Amerikans. And now the Japanese aren't even allowed to talk about it. 



Friday, March 21, 2014

Global Warming? No Problemo!

Climate change is being called a slow-motion apocalypse. There’s no denying that it’s happening. All you have to do is go on line and look at pictures of the Arctic taken over time, and you can see that ice that’s been there for thousands of years has now melted and that sea routes are open in the summer that have never been open throughout human history.


Human beings are changing the Earth so rapidly and dramatically that our presence is becoming part of the geological record. 97 percent of climate scientists are in agreement that humans have at least sped up global warming, if not caused it, and virtually all peer reviewed scientific publications concur. But considering the huge amounts of methane (worse than CO2 for global warming) now spewing into the atmosphere through gigantic cracks in the Arctic ice cover, the thawing of the permafrost (note the prefix “perma”), the sudden melting of glaciers and breaking free of city-sized icebergs, and the complexity and natural changeability of weather, I think that whether we start using Al Gore approved light bulbs or not, the horse is already out of the barn.

Vicious circles have been created and set to roll, and these vicious circles have spawned more and increasingly vicious circles, to the point that it might not matter what kind of response we humans make to the problem. A lot of scientists think it’s probably already too late. Scientists predict that island nations and low-lying nations such as Bangladesh will be inundated with water sometime this century, and that millions of people will become refugees. Perhaps Spain will have severe droughts, making farming there impossible. Millions may die in Africa as soil turns to dust. Drought in the Midwest could make America’s Depression era Dust Bowl seem like child’s play. Overpopulated China and India, with nuclear weapons held loosely behind their backs, might face off in competition for fresh water. While few will admit it, we are in an apocalypse, slow motion or not. However, Jeff Syrop has a solution!

Here’s the logical truth that’s been staring us all in the face since the end of World War 2:

The original 13 colonies were separated by days of travel time. Even with several fast horses in relay, it took longer than a week to go from Maine to Florida. And yet the regional leaders had the good common sense to realize that the colonies were proximate enough to benefit from federation. Now, all of the nations in the world are within a few hours from one another by jet—eat a meal, watch 2 movies, take a nap, and you’re there!—yet the governments (and even the people!) hang on to the ancient, divisive concept of nations, with all the waste, redundant infrastructure, superfluous bureaucracy, and danger that entails. We perpetuate the danger and chaos of the warring city-states of ancient Italy, when Venice and Florence fielded armies to fight, kill, and enslave each other’s citizens. The nations of the world need to federate and become states of a global government, just as our 13 colonies federated to become the United States and just as nations in Europe have become the European Union. It has to happen. “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools”. Martin Luther King said that.

“Federate or deteriorate”. I said that.

You can’t have a single ship commanded by several powerful captains, each with his own corrupt crew and violent militias. Especially when some of the most violent, powerful s militias are carrying weapons that would sink the whole ship if they were ever used!

“It is important to recognize in the face of dire predictions about a 2°C rise in global average temperature, that humans are a tropical species”, writes Greenpeace founder Patrick Moore, Ph.D. “We evolved at the equator in a climate where freezing weather did not exist. The only reasons we can survive these cold climates are fire, clothing, and housing. It could be said that frost and ice are the enemies of life, except for those relatively few species that have evolved to adapt to freezing temperatures during this Pleistocene Ice Age. It is extremely likely that a warmer temperature than today’s would be far better than a cooler one.”

The crisis of global warming could be easily met by compassionate people! That’s the elephant in the room. I find it amazing that even loving progressives are behaving as if the only hope for saving humanity from climate change involves selling carbon credits, driving hybrids, and switching over to solar and wind power. I’m not denying that doing these things could be a big part of the solution (in a world where humans cooperated), but we have no idea whether it’s already too late for humans to prevent catastrophic global warming, and no matter what we think or know, there is no easy way, in our present political world order, to get China and India to stop building 2 new coal-burning power plants every week (according to a 2012 article in the New York Times).

Under a compassionate global government, large areas of human settlement could be relocated and the resettled humans retrained. Crops could be rotated and adjusted for new climates. These two short sentences pretty much spell out what humanity’s strategy should and could be!

It seems impossible for humans to live together as if Earth were one big country (actually a much smaller country, in travel time, that the 13 original colonies!). But it’s actually just as doable as the federation of the 13 colonies--I mean it’s not rocket science for nations to federate into a global government. And with a constitution that gives Mother Earth rights equal to the rights of humans, a constitution that maintains the cultures, languages, and traditions of every nation (as long as they are not harmful to Earth, oppressive to women, or detrimental to democracy), not only would the problems associated with global warming be solved, but we’d be living in a much nicer world. Racism would be as taboo as cannibalism. War would be as taboo as incest. Torture would be a horror of the past. What is so wrong or so impossible about having equal rights for all people on this tiny planet? When Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal,” he didn’t mean only white European-American male colonists living on the east coast of North America.

The present nations would become states of the Nation Earth!

My wife Ruey and I drove our primitive internal-combustion-engine automobile all the way to Berkeley last Saturday just to have a good cappuccino, and we travel to Taiwan and Europe at the drop of a hat, so my carbon footprint is just as big as the next guy’s. But I would gladly support leadership that would melt down our cars to make amazing public transit, and require well insulated homes that create most of their own energy. I’m not attached to my cars. I consider them obscene. Even electric cars are obscene, since the world obviously cannot support electric cars for everyone. I’ve read that it would take 5 Earths for everybody to be able to have a car. We are practically forced to be accomplices to this global crime of car ownership because of the way our cities are designed around the car, but I believe we are guilty nonetheless. Cars are a sin, a way of enjoying the fruits of empire on the backs of the human beings living under the empire’s steel boots.

I hate being that loathsome character in shipwreck movies who takes more than his share of rations on the lifeboat while the other castaways starve. What this world can easily provide for everyone are eyeglasses, a laptop computer, a bicycle, a guitar, enough to eat, awesome education (with every kid over 9 having a wireless laptop and fast Internet, and all information available to all people), and decent medical care. And safety. No longer 200 separate armies, draining the wealth of their citizens and always, eventually, bringing them into bloody conflagrations, which not only destroy human bodies but the land itself. (Think of the thousands of tons of depleted uranium our munitions have spread all over Iraq—“Thank you Amerika for 10,000 years of birth defects! Yay for freedum!”) No, we Earthlings would have only one Earth National Guard, made up of soldiers from all over the world, training, serving, and bunking together, becoming like brothers and sisters and making lifetime international friends during their time in the service.

A friend asked me if I would consider being part of a one-way mission to live (and die) in a settlement on Mars. If I were a highly skilled old astronaut instead of a mediocre old tech writer, I’d consider it. Living on Earth is making me sad! It is beyond belief that we’re allowing a handful of billionaires to squeeze the last hydrocarbon energy out of Earth by fracking (hydraulic fracturing), simultaneously poisoning water tables across every continent! And mountaintop coal removal! And deep-sea drilling! It makes me sick. And if you really want to freak yourself out, listen for 50 seconds to what Harvard scientist Michio Kaku has to say about Fukushima.

Every planet inhabited by semi-intelligent life probably goes through its filthy energy stage. But I love it here! Earth truly is a Garden of Eden, albeit a tainted one. We let the billionaire psychopaths get away with it because we get something out of it too. I read somewhere that one gallon of gas is as powerful as having 38 guys doing manual labor for you for a week! Oil and coal are so fantastically powerful and still easy to get! Especially coal--you just cut down a mountain, and the coal under it is practically ready to use. It’s impossible for humans to leave the $10,000 tusks on elephants or the magically powerful oil and coal in the ground. So I don’t think things are going to go very well here for humans. I think the Book of Revelations has it right: the living will envy the dead. Yes, all inhabited planets probably go through their filthy energy stage, but on some of them—maybe only a very small percentage—the intelligent beings might be wise enough and compassionate enough to resolve their climate crisis before it turns into a full-on apocalypse.

For the beasts called humans to pass this hard test we’re facing, the idea of separate nations has to go into the junk drawer of history along with cannibalism, slavery, foot binding, religion, sexism, torture, racism, homophobia, child beating, animal abuse, etc. We are not doomed. The real hard-core psychopaths who are destroying the world probably make up less than .001 percent of the population. What kind of revolutionary is too much of a sissy to stand up to those odds? Even if only 5 percent of us woke up, we could crush their power almost effortlessly. They are controlling us like puppets. We can break the fucking strings by simply waking up and acknowledging the perils, most of them self-imposed, facing humanity. Look what the band Pussy Riot managed to do in Russia. Three brave young women got way more say and got to exert way more clout on the global stage than even the most powerful, corrupt Russian Parliament member! Millions of people worldwide are watching their videos.


And don’t write me off as an idealist. We’ve already created a global common currency. When I first married Ruey, 26 years ago, my VISA card didn’t work in her country. We had to use her parents’ Taiwanese VISA card. But now, whether I’m in a restaurant in Italy, a cafe in Taiwan, or a nightclub in China, my VISA card works seamlessly. Inside a Starbucks in China, I actually forgot I was in a foreign country and for a moment thought I was here in Hayward. The cafe looked the same, the clerks spoke better English than a lot of Hayward natives, and the Internet was fast!

The idea of world federation is nothing new. But it became an especially urgent issue after the Soviet Union tested its first hydrogen bomb, a thousand times more powerful than the cutely named atom bombs America dropped on Japanese civilians, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”. In those days, egotistical people like me set about writing all kinds of declarations and constitutions, thinking they might be the next Thomas Jefferson and that their precious documents could actually become law. Thousands of people worldwide made an effort to learn Esperanto, a neutral, easy-to-learn global language created in the late 1880’s so that each human on the planet could talk to and understand every other human on the planet. What is new is the urgency of the situation. We know of many societies that have collapsed--the Mayans, the Incas, the Roman Empire, Easter Island, and the kingdoms of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. But we have never experienced a planetary collapse. Now we’re about to.

I’m realizing that my world was relatively clean as I was growing up largely because America was so large and was still being settled, e.g., Los Angeles was mostly orange groves when my mother was born. When I was 16, living in Los Angeles County, one of my chores was to change the oil in our 2 cars. When I’d finish, I did as my dad (a chemist) taught me—I dumped the used motor oil in our back yard. This would be unthinkable nowadays—we know it goes right into the water table. But now we’ve settled the country, and now, almost simultaneously, we’re starting to frack our country and frack the whole world for the cheap, plentiful natural gas that is locked in the shale 2 miles below Earth’s surface. Fracking will poison the world’s water tables all at once. I’m realizing that my children will spend most of their lives in a very poisonous, carcinogenic world. Unless we federate.

Of course there is a horrible potential downside to global federation. Think North Korea. What if our new global nation evolved to become something like North Korea? There would be no other nation to escape to, no other nation to ally with to fight the oppressor. Humans could make a hell so seamless that it could last for millennia! I mention this, even though it weakens my argument for world federation, to show that I’m not going into this blindly. The new world constitution would have to be bulletproof, so that corporations could never rule over humans again, so that men could never rule over women again, and so that all children everywhere would be safe, healthy, and well educated. We would have to treat world federation with the care that we presently treat plutonium waste. The difference is that nothing good can ever come from having plutonium waste sitting around, lethal for a half million years, or from poisoning our water tables and aquifers for about as long, while it’s at least possible for the federation of humans to be a good thing. Think of some fun group camping trips you’ve been on! And think of America at it’s best! Despite its flaws, America is still perhaps the most successful experiment in human freedom ever. It might not have gone so well if the 13 colonies had stayed separate jealous competitive countries, each with its own militia.

Some problems have a set degree of severity, such as getting shot in the face with a shotgun. But the actual severity of what we’re being told is a cataclysmic doomsday problem ranges from critical to no big deal. Apocalypse or no problemo—it all depends upon the behavior of human beings.

The 97 percent of climate scientists along with all the progressives and intelligent people lined up with them are treating it as a foregone conclusion that if we don’t radically lower our rate of CO2 emissions, we will usher in an apocalypse. And that’s not necessarily so. In the struggle for humans to learn to live together as a civilized species, they’re throwing in the towel, as if that’s just an absolute impossibility, when actually living together in harmony and sharing like we were taught to do in kindergarten might be much easier than controlling the weather.

Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova attacked by Russian Cossacks with horsewhips