Friday, June 30, 2017

Our Slide into Animalistic Barbarism & the Notion of Perfection

I have a problem with the human notion of perfection. I don't believe that humans really have a grasp on that. The reason being, humanity is a savage child, barely removed from the savanna and animalistic impulses. How can a creature such as ourselves know perfection? I cringe to say it because of the word perfection, but how can an imperfect creature define perfection? Maybe they can define something being perfect for their corporeal existence, Like "That egg salad was perfect.". Otherwise, in my opinion, if it exists it is perfect. Otherwise I believe that humans calling this or that invention or thing perfect is born of human exceptionalism. That being, if humans did it, said it or postulated it, it must be the right.

As for things being real, things can be real without being eternal. Let me dive further into this. Take my consciousness for instance. That is something that truly is not eternal. It is an artifact created by the electrochemical processes of my brain. The instant those processes cease, so too does the existence of my consciousness. The material substance of my brain and body will still linger on, even to the end of the universe. The material substance of my body has always existed. It was forged in the beginning. It took 13.5 billion years, by current estimates, to coalesce into this form. After this body stops functioning, the matter that makes it up will gradually disperse. Even so, nothing will ever be lost, except the consciousness. The substance will continue.

You mentioned that you believe evolution is true. Consider this. If humans and chimpanzees have a common ancestor, then there was a time in the past in which we were one. That means that we can take any human or chimp and draw a ancestral line connecting a human to a living chimp. You can do that just the same as I can draw a line of ancestry that connects my second cousin, or any other human for that matter, to me.

Now if we carry that further, we must consider the split from the common ancestor. Following that ancestral line back in time, I would find a period in which it was only a few years that had passed since that split. Let us pick a year. If you could look at the humans who existed 1000 years after the split, you might find that they and their chimp relatives behaved in like manner. Then as time passed, the less alike we acted.

That, again in my opinion, shows why humans have acted so barbarically all throughout their history. It is because we emerged from animalistic barbarism. The animal behaviour is our default position. That's why when logic and reason fail, physical force is employed. That is why spiritualism is a default position for a lot of humans. That is why as we diverge from our chimp relatives more people abandon the idea that physical force is a solution, and that spirits are real.

So how did humans ever come up with the idea of gods and spirits? I will use Scooby Doo as an example. He is ruled by his animalistic nature. He is as brave as they come too! Even so, there is something that will cause him to tremble in fear. That thing causes him to stay close to me seeking safety. It is the thunder and lightening. He has no idea at all what it is! All he knows is that it is scary. The ignorance made it scary. Our remote ancestors were also ignorant as to the nature of lightning and thunder. We were ignorant to everything, except for the basic things that kept us alive. They too trembled in fear. Then our intellect grew through evolution, and with that so to did our curiosity, and ability to understand. That lead us to seek to understanding. Thus the notion of gods and spirits were born. Our ancestors come up with a solution with the knowledge they had at the time. Then as time passed, and our understanding increased, we abandoned the notion of such entities as Thor the thunder god.

Even though I acknowledge that our species is a savage child, I do have hope. I have hope that we will continue to diverge from the animal thought processes that ruled us, and still rules many people today. I look at it like percentages. A few thousand years ago the percent of enlightened people were less than the percent of people ruled by animalistic barbarism. Today that percentage is higher, as evidenced by a global tide of humanitarianism, socialism and the rapid spread of Marxist theology.

It is like a tug of war between enlightened thought and animalistic thought. Right now, with the rise of Christian fundamentalism, Republicanism and Trump, the tug is slightly on the side of the animalistic. That calls for there to be a greater effort by the enlightened to shift that back to the side away from animalistic thought or we are in danger of a fall into barbarism.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

No Ice: To Enslave Humanity

Here is an article I wrote a few years ago. If you like conspiracy theories, you'll love this one.

No Ice

James E Parks Jr. 1/26/2013

I want to pose a "what-if". I want to plant a seed in your mind to think about. This "what-if", is a horror story. One that may be unfolding before our eyes, and we all are unwitting participants!

Please bear with me because this may take a while to lay the pieces together. It took me years before this possibility came to mind. I have to tell you it, now that it has arisen in my thoughts. I wish it had never come to mind, but since it has I must say it. I wish it hadn't come to mind, because if it is true, it would be the greatest conspiracy in the history of humanity. A plot to gain absolute and total power. The ability to enslave all of humanity.

I've been looking at global warming, and the raping of our environment, and the reckless abandon in which it is being done. I thought it was being done just for riches. But I couldn't understand why the people in power wouldn't fight back harder, or why energy companies and the others would keep at it even though it might be the ruination of our world. I couldn't understand it, or find a reason until now. It has always been about power, but this is a power grab of a global scale. This is a scheme that would take centuries to complete. In the end it would mean total power, and total control.

Already it sounds far fetched, I admit. But I can not ignore these thoughts. Please hear me out. If you wanted to enslave a population, what would be the best way to do it? It seems to me, to enslave a population, and have absolute control, you must control its food, its water and if at all possible even the very air they breath. This global conspiracy would do just that.

Look at what is happening all around us. Giant agribusiness controlling food stocks. Genetically engineered foods are being developed to survive harsher conditions. People used to grow most of their own food, but that is becoming a rare thing. People get their food from just a few sources today. If shipments of food stopped flowing into the major cities, there would quickly be food riots. Chaos would ensue.

Look at our water supplies. They are getting dirtier, and fresh water is becoming ever more rare as the aquifers are drained, and rivers and lakes are polluted. People have been conditioned into a habit of willingly buying bottled water. For some people, that is all they drink. What if the tap was suddenly shut off? Chaos would run rampant in a short time as people become desperate for water.

What if the air, world wide, became so dirty and foul, one could not breath it without filtering out the toxins? The only safe place to breath would be inside artificially made environments. What if the air was all of a sudden cut off? In a short time as the remaining oxygen was used up, people would beg for air. They would agree to anything to get it. Even agree to become a slave.

As I look around me, I see the wheels in motion for just such a scenario to play out. That last thing, the ability to control the air we breath, may be in the works right now. The worse thing is we have been duped into helping the future masters carry out their plans.

I need to explain something now about how wrong I've been. I've told people time and again that our civilization has been based on expansion, and I still believe that. I also told them that we have expanded all we can on Earth, and must move into outer space in order to continue that expansion. That is where I was very wrong. Maybe even deadly wrong. How could we all have missed it? It has been right under all our noses all this time, but we have not considered it. Not until now anyway.

The Arctic, Greenland and the Antarctic are the answers! We have willingly burned much fossil fuel. It is heating up our atmosphere.  The Arctic ice sheets are retreating further and getting thinner every year. This melting is happening to the Greenland ice sheet, and the Antarctic ice sheet as well. I've said in the past that the energy companies are glad for this melting to happen, because it means they will at long last be able to tap into those reserves, and those reserves are vast. If you don't believe me just look at this:

"'Ice Wars' heating up the Arctic

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost -- combined with advances in technology -- have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice. 

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a gold rush-like scramble in the high north, with fierce competition to determine which countries have the right to access the riches of the Arctic. 

Who are the countries competing for resources? The United States, Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Finland all stake a claim to a portion of the Arctic. These countries make up the Arctic Council, a diplomatic forum designed to mediate disputes on Arctic issues".

If allowed to tap into the vast quantities of oil and natural gas there, it will be burned to produce energy by our ever growing global human population. They would need to do that too. It would help the plan, if there is one. Burning all that fossil fuel would accelerate the global warming process, and help melt the 2 miles thick Antarctic ice sheet faster. Why would they want to do that? Here's why:

"The Greatest Energy Deposit in the World - Arctic Methane Hydrates

A new study out of the University of California Santa Cruz demonstrates that old organic matter in sedimentary basins located beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet may have been converted to methane by microorganisms living under oxygen-deprived conditions.

The study was driven by methane release concerns from global warming with the idea that methane could be released to the atmosphere if the ice sheets shrink and expose the old sedimentary basins.  There in lies the opportunity"

 "There in lies the opportunity". Those words ring in my mind like a warning shot. Look at our world. Just in the last two centuries our world has changed dramatically  The pace of that change is getting ever quicker as our population grows. What will our world look like in the year 2213 if all this harvesting and burning continues unabated?

I truly believe, that in the Antarctic, there are vast quantities of oil, natural gas, coal and other resources that will make what we have already found look like a drop in the bucket. All of it is there and has never been touched by the hand of man. The process of getting to the reserves has already begun. When the ice melts, it will be a free for all.

You may wonder how the process could have begun already with ice still present. Well, take a look at this:

"Russian Scientists Bore Into Ancient Antarctic Lake

MOSCOW — In the coldest spot on the earth’s coldest continent, Russian scientists have reached a freshwater lake the size of Lake Ontario after spending a decade drilling through more than two miles of solid ice, the scientists said Wednesday."

What if the drilling into the Antarctic ice, and down into the ice covered lakes was not really a search for life as they say? What if it really is a search for oil and gas? What if they are practicing, and developing the technology to extract the oil and gas there under the ice?

The Russians aren't the only ones doing this. The Unites States is hard at it as well, and other countries too! Look at a map of the Antarctic continent. It is already carved up like an apple pie. The ownership of the Arctic reserves is a little more complected because it is all under water. Mark my word, there will be disputes. That is when the wars will start. Something like that has already started in the South China seas, so what would make us believe the Arctic would be any different, or the Antarctic for that matter. Indeed, before all is said and done there will be a blood bath like never seen on the face of this planet.

No matter. That very well could be part of the plan

 I want you to take a look at the pictures I've borrowed here. This is real. This is now. This is what the entire world could be like, but much worse if humanity is allowed to burn all the freshly uncovered reserves. They say in the 
pre-glacial sedimentary basins of  the Antarctic there are about 21 trillion metric tons of organic carbon. I think they are underestimating the true amount.
If humanity burns all that, the surface environment of the entire planet would become so hostile, it would be a wasteland. People would be forced indoors to breath filtered air. All the food we ate would come from genetically manipulated stocks, that would be strictly controlled. Fresh water would be rationed to the bare minimum to survive. Then humanity would be enslaved. 

Get out of line, you get your air cut off. Talk of injustice, your water rations get cut in half. Civilization would be numbered in the 10's of billions, and stretch from pole to pole. I could see this happen and be complete in 200 years. Maybe sooner.

Some people say global warming is a myth, like in this paper I found:

"What If All the Ice Melts?" Myths and Realities
-"If we keep using cars, the ice caps will melt and we'll all drown!" This is a myth, just as false as fearing the Sun will die as a result of using solar power. However, as often as I hear it--particularly from people who should know better--I thought I would address it here. First, here is a summary of the facts:
-Despite what you may have been told, it has NOT been proven that human-caused global warming is occurring, and in fact there is substantial reason to reject such claims."

I wonder how many of the Inca, when they heard stories of it, and before they met them, thought the Spanish Conquistadors were a myth? I wonder how many of them were enslaved despite them believing it was a myth. How many people thought, and still believe the Holocaust in Germany was a myth? The Spanish of old had no qualms about enslaving an entire race. Nether did the people in the United States in days of old when people were forced from their homes in Africa, brought to North America, and enslaved. Nether did the Nazis when they enslaved and murdered millions in a bid for global domination. What makes us think that there would never again be an attempt to make slaves, or to rule the world? Why should I believe that if there was a way to enslave everybody, that evil people wouldn't attempt it?

What is the saying? "Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty". Look at the apathy in our world. The complacency, and total acceptance of the status quo. Eternal vigilance to maintain liberty is only practiced by the few. The rest are so caught up in their daily lives, and selfish ambition, or struggle just for bare subsistence, they are blinded to what is going on around them.

You know what? If I were an Illuminati or whatever, and it was my long range plan to pull off something like this total world domination, that is exactly what I would want people to believe. "There is no such thing as global warming". In fact, if I could keep people arguing about it, little action would happen to stop it. We all would be dupes. We would be willing partners in the enslavement of our progeny. Every time we drove a car, or turned on a light, we become unwitting participants to our own enslavement.

People talk of 9/11 conspiracy theories, and such things like that. That is nothing compared to gaining total power over the entire planet, and all of its inhabitants. That in its self could be yet another deception designed to divert our attention away from the real plot unfolding around us.

Some people might say I'm crazy. I hope I am crazy and all of this is pure fiction. In my mind, this is a thought experiment that I hope and pray to the very fabric of the universe never happens. If this terrible thought could be true, there is only one way to stop it. We know what that is, without me saying it. I tell you I am afraid to think it.

I wish I had never come to such thoughts, because they will haunt me as long as I see things progressing the way they are. 

This sounds like the plot in a science fiction movie. Some might call it far fetched, or paranoia gone wild. When I look at the world around me and the things being done to my, and your Mother Earth, sometimes I feel like I am living in a science fiction movie already. I look at the history of humanity and how it is a blood soaked history filled with slavery, cruelties and murder, I can't help but to think there are people who might try to pull off a plan like this. A conspiracy of global and total power and control.

This would make the urgency to stop this raping of the environment even more imperative. If we fail to stop the Arctic drilling, and the rest of it, we can look forward to a bleak future for the human race. If we fail, in the year 2213 or 2313 our world will be a world of billions of slaves and a few masters. It will be a wasteland, with scattered mega-cities teaming with 10's of billions. All of them totally dependent on some overlord for everything to survive. All people would then truly be slaves. The un-needed would be thrown away like trash. We must not let something like this happen to our world, and its people.

I say again, I truly hope this is fiction. I pray that I am crazy, and this supposed plot for world domination is not true. Please prove this idea untrue, I beg of you.

James E Parks 2/3/2013

I would like to point something out. In 
this article they say, "The Russian and U.S. teams are drilling into the lakes in hopes of finding evidence of life forms that could have been living in the dark for thousands of years, or even millions of years."
That is only part of the story. They don't tell you the true reason for their quest for life under the ice. They aren't looking for life under the ice in preparation for searching for life on the ice-covered moons of Jupiter and Saturn. They are seeking life because they want to know if there is life under all that ice that could transform organic matter into hydrocarbons like oil, gas, coal and hydrides. 
Photo Credit: WISSARD

The Antarctic has not been covered with ice from the beginning of time. There was a time millions of years ago, when there were forests, rivers and lakes teaming with life. Now that extinct life has been trapped under the Antarctic ice for countless millennia. Now the powers that be must know if there is energy resources trapped under all that ice. They deduce that if they find life under the ice, they will also find vast quantities of untapped energy resources. Some estimated as high as 22 trillion metric tons of hydrides alone. Personally, I think the number is grossly underestimated.

In all seriousness I doubt the Russians would go to the trouble of drilling a 2 mile deep hole in the ice, just to look for microbes and prepare for some long shot mission to Saturn's moons in the distant future. I do believe they would drill a two mile hole in search for power. They, and we do that all the time.

These guys are already playing a dangerous game of chess over resources in the Arctic. Soon they will be doing the same in the Antarctic. We can't let that happen. Look at our planet after 100 years of burning fossil fuels. Could you imagine the devastation if we release all the carbon trapped in the Arctic and the Antarctic too? What would our world be like then?

Seriously folks, I got a very bad feeling about all this rush for ice bound energy. It doesn't bode well for humanity at all.

Isolation is a Growing Problem

I read an article about isolation. I think the part where he says...

"During the week, much of my waking life revolves around work. Or getting ready for work. Or driving to work. Or driving home from work. Or texting my wife to tell her I’m going to be late getting home from work."

...tells a lot. It also points to a way out of the isolation. Think about it. Our society is built on isolation. It doesn't matter if it is by design, or not. The isolation is caused by the methods we employ. Like driving to or from work.

 The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.
The biggest threat facing middle-age men isn’t smoking or obesity. It’s loneliness.

When I lived in Albuquerque, I found that I no longer needed a car. Because I am a veteran I could ride the city bus for free. All I had to do is show my Veterans I.D., and I was good to go. Also I could ride the Rail Runner train for free because I am a veteran. I thought, "What do I need a car for when I can get to anywhere I want to go using public transport, and pay nothing?". So I sold my car.

I found that the benefits were plenty. No more buying gasoline. No more paying for auto repairs. No more paying for auto insurance. I had a lot more money to use for other things once I got rid of that car.

I found something else that I hadn't even considered when I got rid of the car. I found friendly faces, and new friends. I am a gregarious kind of a guy. I'll talk to everybody, and anybody about anything. When I walked to the bus stop, I found friendly people who were willing to talk to me. On the bus I found the same thing. After some time passed, the faces became familiar faces with names I remembered. If one of these now familiar faces were missing, I wondered if they were okay. I was not isolated anymore. I was part of a group. I had lots of friends, and met new ones all the time.

Then one day it hit me. I seen the isolation. I seen thousands of people all by themselves. Even though they were surrounded by thousands of people, they were all sequestered inside a wheeled box made of metal, glass and plastic. Not only that, they lived and worked in boxes, sequestered from everybody else. They lived in a box. They went to work in a box, and their work was in a box. The only people they knew were the people at work, or the ones at home. Maybe they knew a few people at the local store, but that knowing as only an acquaintance. Not a real friend.

Isolated People in a Wheeled Box
I remember when I was a child. On the street where I lived, everyone knew everyone else. That was in days before the air conditioner drove people indoors. Neighbors and their kids were outside, and they greeted one another. They sat in the shade of a tree, and conversed. One parent scolded the child of another for being unruly, and the other parents thanked them for it. You don't see that today.

People come home in a box (car) from working in a box, and go straight back into their home box. Maybe they give a passing nod to the person living right next door, but they do not really know them, and neither are they really friends. I think if all the cars in the world were melted down, and all the people had to take public transport, maybe people would be better off. They would know one another. They would lose the fear they have of one another. They would lose isolation.

I don't live in the big city any more. I live in a small town without public transport like city busses. I do feel somewhat isolated. Because of lessons learned from that year without a car, I go out of my way to make friends. I made it a point to get to know my neighbors. Now they are all my friends. I walk around the small town I live in and wave to people as they pass by. I talk to the people in the local stores, and get to know them.

Even though I feel a bit isolated, I don't feel that so much as I did when I first moved here. That's because I made an effort to break that isolation. I'm still working on that effort by being outgoing and gregarious.

My advice to anyone who lives in the big city, and feels lonely, is to get out of the habit of using an auto to go everywhere. Walk to the bus stop and strike up a conversation with somebody. When you see someone outside in your neighborhood, again strike up a conversation. Talk about anything. The weather, the kids, the color of the sky, it doesn't matter because one thing leads to another. Then you will find new meaning and friends for your life. Get out of the box.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Use Campaign Finance Law to Punish Russian Colluders

I seen a video segment this morning in which the speaker said there is no law on the books regarding collusion with foreign government officials and US presidential campaigns. Because of that I have been looking through the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR's) and Federal Election Commission (FEC) rules to see if I can find anything to prosecute presidential campaign officials who are proven to have colluded with a foreign government to influence our election.

I am unable to find anything specific. I believe that a law should be crafted that would address this issue. I've included here an article that goes into the Logan Act in an effort to address this problem.

Is collusion with a hostile foreign power to influence a major American election and to subvert our democratic processes a prosecutable crime?

I've got another idea. It is already against the law to accept campaign contributions from foreign nationals. If a US citizen colluded with a foreign national to influence a US election, the foreign national would have to provide something in the way of a service to make the influence happen. I would also say that to influence is to campaign. Therefore the foreign national might use resources to set up a "Troll Farm", and/or to disseminate true or untrue, stolen or unstolen information by way of something like "wikileaks". To do either would cost considerable resources of money, materials and manpower.

IMHO, the money, materials and manpower used by a foreign government who's agent colluded with a US presidential campaign to influence an election would constitute campaign contributions. Clearly a violation of US campaign finance laws.

Would that work as an intern solution or tool to prosecute the traitors who colluded with Russian agents? You don't have to get them for collusion. You can get them for something else. Like Al Capone wasn't thrown into prison for bank robbery or moonshine. They took him down for tax evasion.

Monday, June 26, 2017

We Have a Psychotic Person As President

The trump is such a child. The trump being accused of obstruction replies, "Nuh-ugh! They are doing the obstructing and/or they did it first!" as if that has anything to do with anything now.

Okay, what if Obama did what trump says. That doesn't let trump off the hook for one minute. If Obama did anything against the law, prosecute him along side trump and kill two birds with one stone.

We all know that's not the case. We all know that the trump is the lying shyster, and not Obama. Obama is the whipping boy used as a distraction. Just remember, if someone says trump did this or that and the response is something like "Well, Obama did whatever." or "Well, what about what Hillary did." then you know they have no defense and are panicking. You win.

File:Obama handing over the Presidency to Trump 22.jpg

Trump accuses Obama of "obstructing" the 2016 election

First it's fake news and a hoax. Now CBS is suddenly credible and the Russian Connection is not a hoax. First it was trump's team who are the collusion dummies. Now it is Obama who is the big collusion master, and trump's team deserves an apology.

The trump has latched onto one story from a source he has harshly criticized in the past for stories about him, calling them "fake", and totally in his mind turned the cake entirely upside down. He has managed to turn the so-called narrative 180 degrees around. It is all in his mind though. No matter how much he wishes to extricate himself from his present troubles, and to use Obama as the sacrificial lamb on the alter of deception, it isn't going to work.

What does he think is going on at FBI headquarters, the chief and his investigators read his little tweet, slapped themselves in the foreheads as if dumbfounded, proclaiming "Look at that. We've been investigating the wrong fellow all along! Okay boys, start a new file. The Obama collusion file.", is that what he thinks is going on?

I'll tell you whats actually going on. We have a psychotic person who lives in a fantasy land of delusion as president. He talks about Comey calling him "nut job" to his Russian pals in the Oval Office. With the convoluted thinking going on in trumps head allowing him to twist the reality of things like he has this time, I think we all know who is the real nut job is.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Pain and the Pleasure

Pain is something that I am well acquainted with. Searing, agonizing pain so intense it would bring you to your knees and beg almighty God to take you from it, or it from you. Pleasure, or joy if you want to call it that, is another thing I have intimate knowledge of. Pleasure also as intense as the pain. So much so that you never want it to end, but it does. So too does the pain end one way or the other. Pleasure and pain are bed fellows. They are intricately linked. They are like two sides of the same coin, one unable to exists without the other.

There will be times for both pleasure and pain for all of us. The period of pleasure or pain varies, but pain will always win out in the very end. I am convienced that most people leave this realm of life in pain. Some of them in a lot of pain and others not so much. Drugs help some to bypass the agony of a failing organ or damaged body. That is only for the few. Most people are not afforded such a luxury. Pray that you go in your sleep, or suddenly.

The Trolls Among Us

Here is something I got to wondering about. Let me put together a few pieces. We all know about the Russian Trolls who tried to undermine the 2016 election, and are doing the same to other western democracies. We know about the protests and counter protests about one topic or the other that are taking place with regularity here and abroad. Some of the protests seem to be over things that aren't happening, like the Shari Law protests today. I don't know of any US city attempting to enact Islamic religious law. Then the thought came to mind, "Those two things, Russian Trolls and the protests, seem to be a lot alike." The major difference is one is in Cyberspace and the other is in real space.

Is it possible that Russia not only are employing troll farms to hurt us, but also real life trolls planted among us? Persons who look like any other American, but are really Russians hell bent on sowing discord. Maybe the Russians have been for decades setting us up and now the harvest is ready!

"How could this have happened?", I thought. My first thought was of the Russian Brides that have been advertised for so long. What if these Russian Brides were a major source of psychical Russian troll infiltration? I thought I might Google search the topic. I didn't find anything, yet, explicitly pointing in that direction. I did find this interesting and enlightening article from the Daily Mail.

By Edward LucasPUBLISHED: 18:59 EDT, 9 March 2012 | UPDATED: 08:14 EDT, 10 March 2012

A lot can happen in 5 years, and a lot has happened. I'm still going to see about the possibility of Russian Brides Spies. For now I offer you this. Sessions will be grilled this coming Tuesday in a special hearing. Think of all the things that have been going on. Think hard on it while you read this. Before you get into the meat of the article, read this one paragraph from it, and then a quote from trump.

Excerpt: "We are dealing with an adversary who is determined, resentful and paranoid, where we are complacent and trusting. We want to like him. We hope he will like us, and eventually be like us. He wants nothing of the kind."

Trump quote: "I'm saying that I'd possibly have a good relationship. He's been very nice to me," Trump said. "If we can make a great deal for our country and get along with Russia that would be a tremendous thing. I would love to try it."

My own quote: "This don't look to good at all."

Spies next door: As Putin - a former spy chief - tightens his grip on Russia,a new book reveals how he's riddled the West with suburban secret agents

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Media Bias Towards Coal in Southern Illinois

On the WSIL News 3 broadcast in Southern Illinois there was an interview with a 19 year old person who works at a coal mine. He said in order to make the money one can make in a coal mine one would have to go to college or work in a factory. I think he is trading his future for near term gains, and the possibility of black lung. He should get that degree or a job in a factory.

Coal Miners
Look, I know that Southern Illinois has a long history with coal. Coal was and still is a vital resource. There will always be a need for coal to use for one purpose or the other. Those purposes are less likely to have electricity generation on the list as time goes by. Coal use in power plants is on the decline. Even China has canceled the construction of 10 new coal fired power plants and is accelerating the construction of solar and wind power electrical generation plants.

Southern Illinois is banking on something called "clean coal" to save the coal mining industry. The coal mining industry is touting the benefits of carbon sequestration in an effort to stave off the decline in coal burning. Let's face the facts. By the time that technology has matured enough to solve the problem of carbon dioxide driven global warming it will be far to late. Clean coal is a myth.

Southern Illinois would be better served if the focus was shifted away from saving the coal mining industry, and pointed towards the booming green energy sector. The growth in green jobs is far outpacing the coal industry. Sure, there has been a little spike in coal jobs due to some of the current president's actions, but that will be short lived. The decline in coal mining jobs is inevitable. Backing the coal mining job horse is a bad bet in the long term.

I would like to see some unbiased reporting by WSIL News 3 on this. Their reporting seems to be leaning towards the coal jobs side. Like the interview with the young 19 year old man working at a coal mine. There you got one side of the story from a youth who did not have the life's experience to make a rational comment. He has a job paying well as evidenced by the car WSIL showed him driving away in. That carrot dangled in front of the audience wasn't lost on me. WSIL may as well had the news caster say "You too could be driving a car like this if you get a coal mining job."

The young person working in a coal mine may be all happy now with a new car, but his future looks bleak to me. He mentioned college or a factory as an alternative to working in a coal mine. Those two alternatives are way better than the future offered by a coal mine. But if people want to go for short term gain and suffer for it later (black lung, unemployment) then go on ahead and get that coal mining job and drive a new car now. Oh by the way, if the choice was an engineering degree now, the person who did that will be driving a way better car in the future than the one who opted for a coal mining job now. They will be living in a far better house too.

So let he viewer have both sides of the story WSIL News 3. You serve the community poorly if you fail to do that one simple thing.

Here is an excerpt from an article explaining why clean coal is a myth. It isn't the only one out there by far. I've provided the link to the main piece too.

The Myth of Clean Coal: Analysis

"But that's the easy part. The harder challenge would be transporting and burying all of this high-pressure CO2. American Electric Power recently began a CCS project at its Mountaineer Plant in West Virginia. The operation captures a few hundred tons of CO2 a day. That's a start--but a typical 500-megawatt power plant produces about 10,000 tons daily."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Stop Being a Poser, You Aren't in the Confederate Army

Hypocrisy runs rampant in America. I have a hard time understanding why people don't recognize it when it is right in their face.

I was surfing some Trump Facebook pages and groups to see how that mindset is doing. Sometimes I even join one of those groups for experimental purposes. I joined one a couple weeks ago, and after having lurked for a few days posed a question. I asked "What would you do if the Democrats successfully impeached president Trump?" I chose my words carefully so as to not give an indication of my opinion. There were a lot of comments coming in, but after about 40 comments it was deleted. I also was kicked from the group, and received a message. "You're nothing but a god damn troll, etc. etc. etc...."  Even though I didn't last long there, I did learn something. I believe it is a good thing to know what is going on in the opposition's camp.

Today I was doing the same thing and checking out the Trump Camp.I got to the second Trump group and BAM, hypocrisy right in the face. The group had a recurring character who liked to post video. This was a young man who fit the stereotypical "southern worken man" persona. Behind him was the Stars and Bars. Also on the wall were stick on decals of various types of weapons.

This guy started going on with "Don't come around here trying to tell me what the Confederate flag means to me!" It was pretty much the same old stale canned hash they have been serving up for years. The kind of hash that makes you say "Not again." because you've heard it 1000 times and you can go point by point on why he was wrong on every count.

I scroll down the page a bit only to find one that proves a disconnect. Hypocrisy, if you will. The same young fellow on this next video started ranting and raving about all the Mexican flags he sees every day coming home from work. Of how when these "illegals" get to "our" country they need to respect the flag.

Just exactly which flag is he talking about, the flag of the United States, or the Confederate flag? I know which flag I call my banner.I know which flag I pledge allegiance to, and it sure as hell isn't the Confederate flag. That was 100 years in the past. I have nothing to do with it. I really couldn't care less about if some fellow wants to fly a Mexican flag. At least Mexico still exists as a nation, unlike the Confederacy.

All the people out there who think they have something to prove with a confederate flag have bought into someone else's fight. There were actual folk who really were in the Confederacy. Some of them believed in the Confederacy as much as I do the United States. They weren't being posers 100 odd years after the fact. So give it a rest.

Stop being on the defensive about it. Look here. The Civil War is over. The Confederacy lost the war and surrendered. Stop being a poser, you aren't in the Confederate Army. It looks silly.

You Want People to Make More Money

Illinois passed a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage. I believe that is a good thing.

This morning I was reviewing all the benefits of an increased wage because it seems that the local news focuses on myths about the minimum wage. One of those myths is that the people working for the minimum are nothing but a bunch of high schoolers looking for extra pocket money. That isn't even close to being true. Even if it were it would be a poor excuse for a low minimum wage.

Look at it this way. Just because someone is a person of youth is no reason to rip them off on wages. Just because someone is being supported by their parents is no excuse for giving them a raw deal. What kind of message does that send to our youth, the message that it is okay to devalue people so they can be stolen from. That's what it is too. A form of wage theft.

Furthermore, and along the same lines, it is a poor economic choice to pay someone less just because they are a youth. What do youth do with their money? The majority of them spend it. If anyone lives paycheck to paycheck it is a high schooler, living with their parents, with a part time job. So if at one wage level they afford X amount of money for pizza, movies and whatever, they will afford XX amount of money if they are paid more. There would be double the kids in shopping malls spending twice as much. All of which requires people on the job to serve them. Jobs!

Realistically though, high schoolers are not the majority of minimum wage earners. A lot of them are people with bills to pay, and are of all ages. If they had more money to spend they would create jobs. The vast middle class and poor are the job creators. Let them do their job by giving them a living wage.