Monday, January 30, 2017

USA: Puppet Who Dances For Coins

We now have an individual as the leader of our great nation who is not a peace maker. Indeed, his shameless and spontaneous outpourings will cause many unnecessary problems and maybe even calamity.

This "entrepreneur" is primarily concerned with promoting corporate interests, hence the push for capital gains tax reductions, lowering of corporate tax levels and thwarting environmental protections. His populist facade is, indeed, a very thin charade. 

One thing that I do in an attempt to preserve my sanity is to avoid 'clicking' on anything online about our infamous leader. There's simply too much of an overwhelming variety of coverage of his contrived nonsense. And besides, online news and such watch their 'hits counters' just like I do. So, I click on articles that sound sane, safe and responsible. [I do read a hard copy newspaper each day. Its coverage is more responsible and limited.]

The following link is from The Week.
Audio files are attached to written articles. You can read or listen:

Saturday, January 28, 2017

"The Wall": Paying the Piper

One of the first idioms that I remember learning was "we all pay the piper sooner or later". Meaning that we all must face the results of our actions. It's a corollary from the Absolute Law of Cause and Effect (which is one of the Cosmic Laws). 
Another is "if we don't change directions, we will wind up where we're headed".

As I read today's headlines that our president wants to tax imported Mexican goods at a 20% rate in order to pay for a border wall, I hear the song, Stairway to Heaven, of which the lyrics are about someone who accumulates money, only to find out the hard way that their life had no meaning and will not get them into heaven. The song, also, reminds us that our words and actions may take us to unforeseen destinations- that taking the high road instead of following the line of least resistance is what's best.

In short, I say that if we want a wall, then we should pay for it. Pretending that rich Americans haven't gotten richer off the backs of illegal immigrants is shameful. In which case,  let all of us who have financially benefited the most (by keeping Americans wages artificially low by padding higher profits via Mexican labor) pay for the wall. Not by making the American consumer pay for The Wall via paying 20% more for goods being manufactured in Mexico.

[Note: Weakening the Mexican economy would cause the number of illegals to once again increase after have dramatically decreased in the past several years. And the "wall" is something of a misnomer since it is not completely feasible. He will score brownie points with his constituents though. Why heck, even I want a tight border! We will definitely need one as climate change increases pressure on our southern neighbors.]

Song, "Stairway to Heaven":

Lyrics (and interpretation):

Thursday, January 19, 2017

God is "All" in 'all' .....

...that is, was and will ever be. God is Infinite. God includes the Cosmic Law that grants us our free will and our knowledge of good and evil so that we might learn from the Absolute Law of Cause and Effect. God is the stars in the heavens above and the earth below. The true name of God cannot be spoken because that would have to encompass 'All of all'.

God's Spiritual Hierarchy serve God. They minister to us. Elohim, Archangels, Ascended Masters and more help manifest God's Will. One such being is Elohim Peace whose Spiritual Retreat is 'over' Hawaii:
Aloha 'Oe is the keynote music:

I find the following to be in harmony with the idea of peace:
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole - Somewhere Over the Rainbow (with lyrics) 00:04:48
...without lyrics; but with rainbow photos:

p.s.- To Make A Difference:
Know that you are not the center of the universe;
however, you are at the center of yours.
Know that you can't change the world;
but, you can change your world.
This is the way towards making a difference.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fake News: New Species: Hotheaded Mole Rats (Aprilsnar antarcticux)

On one April Fools Day, before I retired, I read the following to my 8th graders after I first told them that I was about to read that was not true (that it was a joke):

"On April 1, 1995, wildlife biologist April Pazzo (pazzo = fool, demented one) discovered the only mammal native to Antarctica --- the Hotheaded Mole Rat.  There used to be plenty of other species of animal life millions of years ago on Antarctica before plate tectonic movements shifted this continent to its extreme southern latitude.  But this unique creature is the only one to adapt and survive.  It is, thus far, found only in a poorly explored area inland from the coast of the Ross Sea.

Its appearance  (and eusocial communal hierarchy) is similar to that of its relative, the Mole Rat of Africa (remember that Antarctica was once attached to Africa).  However, it has a large bulbous protrusion on its forehead (with innumerable blood vessels that radiate tremendous amounts of heat which allows them to melt their tunnels in ice).  It is this that allows them to hunt penguins (their favorite prey). 
In the winter when the Emperor Penguins are tightly clustered in small protected areas to protect their chicks, the Hotheaded Mole Rats sense their return.  Slowly, they migrate under the ice into a location that’s directly under the middle of the penguin cluster.  They then force themselves into one concerted ball with their foreheads pushing upwards.  At some point, the weight of the penguins above collapses some of them into the cave of slush beneath that contains the waiting teeth of the voracious rats.  This will be repeated after the penguins have moved to a different location --- but since the winter storms force them to remain in a specific locale to take advantage of the protection of very tall cliffs, it’s only a matter of time before the procedure is repeated.  [Since the ice in Antarctica never melts, old tunnels remain open.  The old cave-ins fill in with blowing snow & are indistinguishable after just a few years.]"

Note: After I finished reading it, I looked around the room and could see that most of them were believing it. When I reminded them that it wasn't true, they looked truly crushed. They had wanted to believe it.
I immediately altered my lesson plan for the rest of the day. Not all Eighth graders are mentally mature enough to properly handle misinformation. [And, today, I'd say that all too many adults aren't either. Case in point: fake news.]

Monday, January 16, 2017

Why Protectionism Won't Work To Make America Great Again

In The Week weekly news is an article entitled "Protectionism's Misguided Nostalgia" by George Will:

"Trade protectionists want to make America great again by making it 1953 again"...That’s when manufacturing’s share of the labor force peaked at 30 percent. But the decline in factory jobs that followed “was not caused by imports from today’s designated villain, China, which was then a peasant society.” In reality, it was the return of competition from industrial nations devastated by World War II, combined with rapid technological advances. The latter trend continues today. Of the 5.6 million manufacturing jobs lost in the 2000s, trade accounted for only 13 percent; productivity improvements from new tech accounted for more than 85 percent. Efforts to protect workers by pricing imports out of the market through tariffs also tend to backfire, often by dramatically raising prices for consumers. In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan’s limits on Japanese auto imports helped create 44,000 U.S. jobs, but “the cost to consumers was $8.5 billion in higher prices, or $193,000 per job, six times the average annual pay of a U.S. autoworker.” Similarly, President Obama’s tariffs on Chinese tires saved 1,000 Americans’ jobs, but at a cost of $900,000 per job, “paid by American purchasers of vehicles and tires.” We’ve tried these interventions before. But for protectionism’s fans, “there is no Everest of evidence too large to be ignored.”

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Voter Fraud Accusations: Another Republican Ploy

Along with gerrymandering, claims that voter fraud is rampant where photo IDs are not required is an obvious ploy to suppress Democratic voters. Republican political consultant, Carter Wrenn, unabashedly states that efforts requiring voter photo IDs and restricting early voting are designed to minimize the number of votes being cast by Democrats. In short, the Voting Rights Act is considered an a anathema by the extreme right.

The Week: The battle over voter ID-

My Comment: Such backwardness will boomerang. One possible effect would likely be a renewal of the National ID Card movement(which would take the voter ID just one step further). 

"Ride A Painted Pony"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Global Warming: Climate Change and Immigration

The Democrats are the "go-to party" for curbing global warming, while it's the Republicans on immigration. Since climate change is already underway, and we, as a species, are rather blasé about it, the industrialized nations in the northern latitudes (who caused the 'enhanced greenhouse effect') had better prepare to stem the flood of refugees that will be headed our way. [The current Syrian refugee crisis is an example: the war was triggered by a region wide drought that is unprecedented:

Researchers from NASA and the University of Arizona studied tree rings — a reliable proxy for measuring precipitation — going back several centuries and found that the recent Syrian drought was likely the worst in at least the past 900 years and almost definitely the worst in 500 years.

"We wanted to know how the current drought compared to past droughts," said Benjamin Cook, a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the lead author of the study. The current drought, which has lasted about 15 years "really is the worst, far outside of natural climate cycles." The last major drought began in 1807 and lasted fourteen years.]