Saturday, June 30, 2018

Increased Immigration: The Wave Of The Future?

As the birth rate of USA citizenry drops well below the replacement level and our population level yet continues to dramatically increase, it is obvious that immigrants are the wave of the future. As global warming increases, the displacement of more and more equatorial populations will increase the pressures on our borders. And as temperatures in the USA increase and air conditioning costs increase (economic and environmental), those naturally better adapted to such conditions are these new arrivals. 

If you want to see what how even a seemingly impenetrable border fence cannot stop large groups of desperate people, then watch the first half of the following YouTube video.
“Europe’s most fortified border is in Africa” (11 minutes)

Friday, June 29, 2018

Even more quips and quotes

Arrogance and stupidity are a dangerous combination. Arrogance leads to stupidity, and stupidity leads to arrogance.

Quiet the mind and allow the heart to speak.

The paradox is that what you resist persists. The more you resist something, the stronger it gets. Like exercising a muscle, you are actually strengthening the very thing you want to rid yourself of.

The great majority of mistakes belong firmly in the past. The remainder to serve only as reminders of lessons learned.

Fear is an unproductive filter with which to view the world.

Nothing in all of the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Deductive reasoning may be seen as a series of if/then binary decisions.

You must sometimes be seemingly selfish in order to do what’s right for you. And sometimes, being selfless can be self-destructive. One must try and do what is best for all concerned.

There can be no justice without truth. And the truth will always come out sooner or later, even if it’s in the afterlife.

Maybe yes;
maybe no;
I just don’t know.

“It’s usually best to simply judge people by their behavior.”

“There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.”

Is the world a better place because you are in it?

Do not say what you do not truly believe.

Doing what’s best for yourself is normal.
Doing what’s best for all concerned is better.
Doing what’s best for humanity is truly best because it’s usually best for you.

What is, is.

God and the Forces of Light do not interfere or violate your free will. So, beware someone who interferes with your free will and freedom of choice.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

My Voting On Global Warming and Immigration

I am most concerned about immigration and climate change, especially illegal immigration and global warming. To deal with immigration problems, I favor the Republicans. To deal with global warming and environmental issues, I favor Democrats. So, I’ll vote Republican for the upper house at the federal and state levels and Democrat for the lower legislative houses. The Republicans are most effective in a Senate setting, while the Democrats in a House environ. This will, also, encourage bipartisanship on these and other issues. Neither party functions very well when they are the dominant party. For President and Governor, I’ll vote for whoever demonstrates the best leadership abilities. For all other offices, I will vote for whomever I fancy after researching their names and candidacy (and if I can’t decide, I’ll leave that box unchecked). 

Auxiliary reading—
Ranked Choice Voting:

6 ways to fix American democracy:

Note: If we go to Ranked Choice Voting, I can drop my personal voting strategy.

Monday, June 25, 2018

How NASA Actually Helped Save The World

“The early ‘80s were a very different time. Crazy hair, crazy clothes, we didn’t know we were heading towards a planet-wide disaster. And if nothing had been done about it, this is what the world would have become in 2065: Crops fail, livestock farming fails, aquaculture fails, and cancer rates are through the roof. Step outdoors in Washington DC, you’ll get a severe sunburn in 5 minutes.

But lucky for us, NASA had our backs in the ‘80s. That’s right, this is basically a real-world Armageddon story, but without the asteroid ... and, BONUS, it’s scientifically accurate.

NASA might be famous for exploring space, but that’s not its only job. The agency studies Earth, too. Which helps it track how our environment works and catch when something goes wrong. And in 1985, things had indeed gone terribly wrong.

Teams of scientists from NASA and the British Antarctic Survey discovered a severely damaged section of Earth’s ozone layer over Antarctica.

Here’s why that’s a problem: The ozone layer is a region in the stratosphere that absorbs harmful UV light from the sun. It’s basically our planet’s natural sunscreen. And it had grown extremely thin over Antarctica. So the ozone hole, as it became known, was absorbing less UV light than normal.

In fact, from Sept. through Nov. of that year, the ozone levels in the hole dropped by up to 67%. That’s like if you used only a third of the sunscreen you were supposed to before going to the beach. Thankfully, NASA had a pretty good idea of what was happening. For years prior, scientists had been sounding the alarm on chemicals called CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS, or CFCs for short.

They were common in products like aerosol sprays and refrigerators and were chosen specifically because they were non-toxic to humans. But scientists soon discovered that didn’t matter because these molecules were extremely toxic to the ozone layer!

Turns out, when UV light hits a CFC molecule, it releases a chlorine atom which basically goes on a killing spree to celebrate. Turning ozone molecules into oxygen which are worthless when it comes to protecting your planet from UV radiation. One chlorine atom, for instance, can destroy over 100,000 ozone molecules before it binds with another molecule and becomes inert. And the worst part? Chlorine atoms are especially destructive to the ozone in cold temperatures. Making Antarctica especially vulnerable.

But if CFC's continued to go on unchecked, cold regions wouldn’t be the only casualty. By 2020: 17% would be gone worldwide and a similar ozone hole forms over the Arctic. By 2040 70% would be gone. By 2050 After the poles, the tropics lose their ozone layer completely. And in 2065 We’re doomed!

UV radiation levels on Earth’s surface double, which sparks all sorts of problems.

“If that UV were coming all the way to the surface, we would get skin cancer, we would have cataracts on our eyes, animals would get cataracts, our crops would die! So life on Earth —life on Earth for humans — really wouldn’t be possible. It sounds like some kind of horrible Hollywood disaster movie.I think we would have been in for a —well, it sounds pretty extreme —apocalyptic consequences. But really, we might have been.”

Fortunately, none of that happened. That's because scientists across the world banded together. The Montreal Protocol was signed into effect in 1987, lowering production of harmful CFCs.

“The policymakers listened to science, they were informed by science, and they made a great decision….And it worked!”

By 1996, CFCs were banned completely in developed countries. And today, Now satellite data indicates that the Ozone hole is on the mend. And if we keep it up, it could be completely healed by the end of this century.

So it looks like the world won’t crumble by 2065 anymore. Well, at least not from a depleted ozone layer.”

How NASA Actually Helped Save The World (5 minutes):

Saturday, June 23, 2018

The First of Our Kind: A 2.8-million-year-old jaw is the oldest fossil from our genus.

“A piece of fossilized jaw discovered at Ledi-Geraru, Ethiopia, pushes back the date when the first members of the human genus evolved by 400,000 years. The research, published in March in Science, shows that the jaw is about 2.8 million years old. It’s one of the few hominin fossils that date to between 2.5 million and 3 million years ago, when a small-brained australopith was evolving into the larger-brained Homo genus.”

“During this period, a changing climate forced our ancestors to move out of the forests and into more open territory. They had to adapt to new foods and new predators, which may have spurred the development of our distinctly larger brains. Animal fossils found near the jaw fragment suggest the individual lived in a savannah environment.
“It confirms this idea that our lineage, Homo, is a response to climate change,” says Brian Villmoare, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “If the climate had not changed at 3 million years ago, Australopithecus could very contentedly still be existing.”


Last of Our Kind?
Perhaps “Homo sapiens” at the current level of development is not sufficiently developed enough to climb the next rung up the evolutionary ladder in a proactive manner. If mankind does not cease to overuse and abuse the Earth’s biosphere, then the demise of civilization is likely. The Sixth Great Extinction that has already begun may eventually include us. What rises from the ashes may or may not be better. Thus, it behooves us to be proactive in the measures we take to thwart anthropogenic climate change — instead of reactive measures that are always competitive and destructive.

Note: It is not population growth (per se) that is driving greenhouse gas emissions, it is money.
Page 137:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Leg Movement Is Key For Brain Health

“Moving the large muscles in the legs, through activities such as walking, climbing stairs, etcetera, triggers the production of stem cells in the brain — helping that organ to renew itself. 
We are meant to be active.

Declines in oxygen levels associated with reduced physical activity alters metabolism and causes deterioration of health.”

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Quotes from “Elementary” (Sherlock Holmes in NYC]

My all time favorite show is the currently running TV series, Elementary: a modern take on the cases of Sherlock Holmes, with the detective now living in New York City.

Though I’ve thoroughly enjoyed many other movies and television shows, Elementary is the only one that I can watch over and over and still thoroughly enjoy it. Indeed, watching Elementary very appropriately stimulates one’s psyche and moral principles.

Samples of quotes:
“The world is balanced on a knife edge of destruction every single day. You accept that, and you can just get on with things.”
The Red Team [1.13]
The Red Team 
Season 1; Episode 13

Sherlock: “I need a moment free from the Internet. I’m trying to drag myself away, but the people I’m in conflict with are too infuriating to ignore.”

Sherlock: “But I have, of course, been drawn into a debate as to whether Mr. Kleinfelter, murder suspect, is the victim of a government frame-up.”
Joan: “Are governments capable of evil?”
Sherlock: “Yes, of course they are. All institutions are. But they’re more capable of incompetence.

In season 4 episode 9, Fiona says,
“You used logic, a series of if/then binary decisions that inevitably led to me.”

Joan: How do you do it? 
Holmes: Do what? 
Joan:' Guess things. 
Holmes: I don't "guess", I observe. And once I observe, I deduce.
(pilot episode)

“You realize that because you protected him two years ago, you have the blood of an innocent woman on your hands, don't you?”
(pilot episode)

...”I haven’t made my point unless you’ve absorbed it”... (pilot episode)

Watson: “Do you you close yourself off to people and deny yourself things that might bring you pleasure... not because it makes you a better investigator, but because it's some sort of penance??? I guess it just occurred to me that it might be something that someone might do and not even know it. 
Sherlock: Well, you always know it, Watson. If you didn't, it wouldn't be penance.”
Season 1 Episode 2

Read all transcripts at:
Hit the home page and many other shows’ transcripts are available.

Miscellaneous quotes:

Also, it behooves one to consider the original source of the character of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The following write up is exceedingly lengthy; but, even a cursory skimming is enlightening:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Who Is Going To Protect Us From Facebook?

“Facebook has detailed ways its partners were able to gather information about users' activities even if they're not logged into Facebook, including information about the purchases they make and the games they play. Questions about how Facebook tracks nonusers has illuminated the social network's digital reach, which many users had either ignored or taken for granted.”

Facebook can have your data even if you're not on Facebook-
“One of the creepiest things brought to light during Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Capitol Hill this week was how Facebook can amass data to construct what are being referred to as “shadow profiles” of you, even if you’ve never opted in or joined the world’s largest social network.”

“Facebook may be using the data it collects from people not on the service for reasons it considers totally benign. And it may not use the data at all. But the suggestion is also that Facebook may not be great at protecting your information — a concern amplified  by the social network's disclosure that 87 million Facebook users' information was improperly shared with political targeting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Facebook’s sheer size and reach across international borders only heightens the potential risk, even for those who have steered clear of the service.”

“Some lesser-known ways Facebook has devised to track its 2.2 billion users:
Facebook tracks when you need to recharge your phone and even knows when you're looking at the Facebook page on your computer screen. 
Collects a lot of data about the various devices people use to log into Facebook, such as computers, their smartphones and their tablets. >Facebook collects information how much available storage they have and the strength of the Wi-Fi signal the machine is receiving.
The company also knows whether you're actually looking at your Facebook window or if you've just got it open as one of many tabs. >Facebook can gather information about nearby devices or other devices on the user's network.”

But let’s not limit ourselves to Facebook. Search:
“how your every move can be tracked digitally”

One miscellaneous tidbit:
Facebook’s voting process is rigged from the inside. While non-insider shareholders receive just one vote per share, Zuckerberg’s inside circle is entitled to 10 votes a share.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Trump: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

‘Narcissistic personality disorder’ is a type of ‘manipulative personality disorder’. One characteristic is that they “don’t know when to stop digging” because of extreme arrogance (over-confidence). 

Lack of empathy is another of several very distinctive traits. But, he’s not alone. A sense of entitlement is increasing the number of people with this condition.

Note: As a school teacher, I ran across a few parents who were classic narcissists. They made their kids’ lives a living hell:
Toxic Parents (10 minutes)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Bible: Two Layers of Meaning

Strict Fundamentalists of different religions seemingly worship different gods. Since there is only One Creator, we know that they are putting their entire faith in their particular religious texts. And within each religion there are different sects according to further different interpretations of these texts. This is reminiscent of early tribal thinking that was necessary for cohesion and group survival. 

To help overcome this and to enrich one’s spiritual growth, I offer this to strict fundamentalists:

“There are two layers of meaning in the Bible: the literal sense and the spiritual sense. The spiritual sense is further divided into the allegorical, the moral and the anagogical sense. 

The LITERAL sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: ‘All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal.’”

“The SPIRITUAL sense. Thanks to the unity of God’s plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.
“The ALLEGORICAL sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events by recognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of Christ’s victory and also of Christian Baptism.
“The MORAL sense. The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paul says, they were written ‘for our instruction (I Cor 10:11).’
“The ANAGOGICAL sense (Greek: anagoge, ‘leading’). We can view realities and events in terms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.”

“The first meaning we should look for is the LITERAL meaning. We know that it was the Holy Spirit that inspired the Bible, but he used men as instruments. These men belonged to a specific time and culture, with their own language and traditions. The work of exegetes requires knowing the original language and cultural background of the writers. But Sacred Tradition teaches us how we should interpret the literal meaning.”

One possible place to start in understanding the historical context of the Bible is to read (or listen to audiobook) the book entitled “Don’t Know Much About the Bible”. The following link is a sampler: