Archive | March, 2018

The Future Is Still…

30 Mar

Image result for plastic in the ocean

PLASTICS! PLASTICS! PLASTICS!

A new report published by researchers based in the Netherlands using a fleet of boats and aircraft to scan the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” found an astonishing build-up of plastic waste even more massive than previously reported. They found a total of 80,000 tonnes of buoyant plastic that is now bigger than France, Germany and Spain combined… and it’s growing rapidly!
In addition they found that this “plastic dump” located between Hawaii and California, now contains around 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, including Microplastics, which are tiny fragments of plastic smaller than 50mm in size which can enter the food chain when swallowed by fish. The pollutants they contain become more concentrated as they work their way up through the food web, all the way to top level predators such as sharks, seals and polar bears.

The Ocean Cleanup project, which carried out the study, says eight million tonnes of plastics enter the oceans every year, much of which has accumulated in five giant garbage patches around the planet.

And in another recent study 259 water bottles from 11 brands sold across nine countries, including the United States, were tested and found that 93% contained micro-plastic contamination. The research, found an average of 10.4 plastic particles per liter of water, which is twice the amount of contamination found in tap water. So…if you are drinking water that you are buying in plastic bottles because you believe it is safer or purer than your tap water from the faucet in your home…you’re wrong!

Unless of course, you are trying to get more vitamin-P into your diet!

But it gets worse! (How is that possible?) because researchers who tested tap water from around the world found that more than 80% of the samples contained microscopic-sized plastic fibers and the contamination is particularly high in the United States, where 94% of faucet water is affected, including in samples from the U.S. Capitol and the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency…of all places!

So now you can go back to your plastic bottles (that didn’t take long) I guess because in the USA it’s 94 tap-93 bottle and this is one score where more is not better…unless you live in India and/or Lebanon where the highest rates of tap water contamination were found.

And how did we get into this plastic mess in the first place? It was cheaper of course than glass which was so passe anyway and heavier to carry and didn’t make that fun crinkly sound when you were all finished and glass had to always be saved and recycled…which by the way we do now with plastics.

Ah well, on the bright side (?) in the not so distant future we won’t have to use up more of the Earth’s space by burying one another after we have passed. We can just dump our dearly departed and mostly plastic loved ones into the trash bin…and have them recycled too!

And Perhaps in a thousands or two more years aliens will fly by our lonely orb and wonder how a plastic planet with a non-plastic moon found its way into the middle of our solar system…a cheap trinket in an otherwise priceless universe?

 

Stormy on Sunday With a Chance of…

25 Mar

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War on Monday!?

President Trump, although on vacation in Mar-a-Lago (again) is putting together a hawkish war cabinet of Anti-Iran and former Fox News hosts (of all people) and Stormy Daniels, porn star, turned “I banged the president” famous, is planning to tell all on CBS’ 60 Minutes this Sunday night.

Could this mean war with Iran on Monday… just to change the subject? I know that it sounds absolutely crazy for me to suggest such a turn of events but aren’t we living in the age of “Crazy” right now?

We know that our president loves his TV so this may come down to what he wants to watch all day. Stormy shopping lewd and crude photos and talking about their “affair” or Shock and Awe? I for one am nervous… but then I’ve been nervous ever since the last presidential election. Maybe I should just stop watching TV?

But Iran and Israel are spoiling for a fight. Plus, President Trump hates anything President Obama, especially the Iran nuclear deal, and he’s spoiling for a fight too! (What happened to North Korea and Little Kim?!) But Iran is no Iraq… or Afghanistan…or North Korea! Iran has 80 million citizens and an army of half a million men!

…Anyway, this will be quite a weekend for television watching… with March Madness, Stormy Sunday and…maybe even some Monday Morning Madness?????

Good grief! I hope not…but…Please someone tell me what happens because I don’t think I can look!

Forward Thinking?

24 Mar

Image result for rising oceans

Here is what President Trump had to say about his proposed wall along our border with Mexico, for which 1.6 billion dollars has recently been allotted in our latest 1.3 trillion dollar budget.

“If you have a wall this thick and it’s solid concrete from ground to 32 feet high which is a high wall, much higher than people planned. “You go 32 feet up and you don’t know who’s over here. You’re here, you’ve got the wall and there’s some other people here.”

“If I’m standing here, I want to be able to see 200 yards out. “I want to be able to see, I don’t want to have a piece of concrete that I can’t see.”  “And I’ll give you an example: As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” President Trump continued. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”

I know it’s a difficult read but still rather amazing that these words came from our President of the United States. I especially like the part where someone throws a 60 pound bag over a 32 foot high wall of unknown thickness. but I digress, because I have suddenly realized that our president could actually be onto something!

Think about it. If this wall works and can actually be built it would be a perfect prototype for America’s beaches in 50 years! That’s if you believe in science of course. But just imagine it. There you are safe on the beach, in the year 2068, catching some rays just like you used to, and behind a 32 foot see-through wall through which you can still see the beautiful and majestic ocean vistas…

…and perfectly protected from the rising seas, crashing waves, plastic debris, oil spills and an untold number of desperate immigrants fleeing from their own flooded countries.

I really think our president is on to something. I really do! Folks are always saying, “Don’t worry about global warming or climate change. Someday someone will figure out the answer and save us all!”

So maybe this is it?

 

No Pseudo For You!

22 Mar

Image result for pseudoephedrine

So I made my usual trip to the pharmacy to purchase my allotment of Claritin-D which is regulated by the Federal government because it contains Pseudophedrine, a substance that can be used to make Crystal-Meth, and when I produced my driver’s license (necessary according to Federal law) and it was scanned into the pharmacy’s computer, the computer responded with a funny noise and…

No Pseudo for me!

Now I don’t make Crystal-Meth, and I don’t want to…but I do have allergies and Claritin-D helps a lot but the machine hath spoken… said the clerk, and I was denied my medication. She didn’t know why the machine made a funny noise and when she called over the pharmacist he didn’t know either. And don’t look at me because I didn’t have a clue, except for the fact that my wife might have taken one or two of my pills during the course of the past week and so I may have used my allotment without knowing it…but the computer apparently did!

And since the machine made the noise and refused to continue with the transaction there was nothing any of us could do. No sale! No how! No way! I was left to my sneezes and itchy nose and hopes for another day…

Once upon a time I was able to receive my allergy medication from a doctor who would prescribe it for me and the pharmacist would fill the prescription and that was that. Then the medication was approved for over the counter sales and not only did it become more expensive but also was subject to more government regulation and hence the day was soon to come when not a doctor, nor a law enforcement officer, but rather a common clerk would have the authority to tell me:

No Pseudo for you!

Now what am I to do? Turn to Heroine? That won’t help with my allergies! Hit the black market? Turn to a life of crime? Or perhaps I will have to just wait until the machine says that it is OK for me to have some more…after all I am not a criminal and I am not in the Crystal-Meth making business nor do I need any more than the amount necessary to quench my allergy symptoms…

So I ask you: Why can’t we do this with Opioids?

Just take them out of the hands of the doctors who always seem to prescribe more than they should because they empathize so strongly with the pain and suffering of their patients. Take them out of the hands of the Pharmaceutical companies who can’t seem to help wanting to make as much money as they possibly can by producing more pills than is humanly possible for humans to consume responsibly, and also take them out of the hands of the pharmacists who fill prescriptions simply because… they are prescribed.

Let’s put opioids in the hands of the computers and the common store clerk who has no authority to do what he or she can’t do except say, No Oxy for you! …When the machine goes whir or beep or whatever. Then the opioid user has a choice: Wait until they can purchase more to manage their pain, as medically prescribed by federal law, or…turn to a life of crime. In which case they would then be responsible for their own addiction (which we don’t seem to hold them responsible for now…like the hundreds of thousands of addicts we stow away in our prisons)

We’ve been at war with drugs in America for 60 years! Law enforcement has not worked…but they’re still on the job. Walls have not worked…but we still want to build more. Drug companies have not helped.. and they still keep churning out more and more pills. Doctors have not helped….and they still keep on writing those prescriptions. So Maybe simple computers and work-a-day clerks can get the job done?

Achoo!

 

Guns… In… Space!

17 Mar

Image result for guns in space

Space Cadets arise! It’s time to join the Space Force!

President Donald Trump has declared that space is a “theater of war”, and he has come up with the idea of creating a Space Force, a branch of the military that would operate outside of earth’s atmosphere….you know, like, in space!

“Space is a war-fighting domain, just like the land, air, and sea,”  The President recently told an audience of service members at a Marine Corps Air Station. “We may even have a Space Force, develop another one, Space Force. We have the Air Force, we’ll have the Space Force.”

He was so excited kids. He had to say it 3 times in a run-on sentence! (Do not try this in school)

Our forward thinking president then described how he’d originally coined the term as a joke, while discussing U.S. government spending and private investment in space. “I said, ‘maybe we need a new force, we’ll call it the Space Force,’ and I was not really serious. Then I said, ‘what a great idea,’ maybe we’ll have to do that!”

President Trump told this to a crowd of Marines and I am disappointed to say that they loved the idea… And even more disturbing, a contingent of House lawmakers in June proposed dividing the Air Force into two separate branches, one dedicated to aviation and a second, dedicated to space ventures. May the Force be with us!…and in space too!

The President (of the universe?) however, continued…”From the very beginning, many of our astronauts have been soldiers and air men, coast guard men and marines. And our service members will be vital to ensuring America continues to lead the way into the stars.”

And shoot them? …Sounds like a plan doesn’t it? But who will America fight out in space? We WILL need an enemy won’t we? Maybe that’s why we want to go to Mars…to establish a colony of Martians… and then invade!?…or maybe goad them into invading us? One can’t be too careful I guess.

Space is a gun free zone at the moment and with our luck some trigger happy, crazy, unloved, parent hating, alien loner from a far off planet where their constitution deifies weaponry, will wander into our air space (space space?) and start shooting up the thermosphere! (Hopefully just with like, guns… like we have)

Anyway, in case you might think I’m making this all up, Representative Mike Rogers, a Republican from Alaska and the biggest backer in Congress of a military space branch, said that directives have been included in the most recent National Defense Authorization bill that could facilitate the Space Corps plan in the future.

“This is just the first step,” said the Congressman. “We will not allow the United States national security space enterprise to continue to drift toward a space Pearl Harbor.”

Meanwhile, back on Earth, according to a report from Homeland Security in a department far, far away…Russian Earth-men have infiltrated our nuclear, electric and water power plant operating systems (which are still using software from a century far, far behind) and apparently remain there in cyberspace! (not space space)… waiting to…turn them off?… Should the situation or need arise???

And our President and our Congress have absolutely nothing to say about how they plan on defending us from that!

 

 

 

Did You Get Your Money?

8 Mar

Image result for tax reform

There is a commercial being run on television here in the New York metropolitan area featuring a young mother explaining to the camera that now that she has received her 2,000 dollar increase in her pay check and a $1,000 bonus from the company she works for… as direct results of the recent Republican tax reform, life in America is so much easier because she and her family can now afford to buy so many more of the things that they need.

Has this happened to you? Are you earning 3,000 dollars more than you were 3 months ago? The commercial says that this is the average increase in middle class workers pay throughout the country.

I have received about 32 dollars more in my monthly pay or around 380 dollars over the course of this coming year…and of course since I have not filled out my 2018 tax return, because that will not be due until another year from now, I have no way of knowing whether I will receive more in tax savings or will have to pay it all back (and more?) because of the deductions I am going to lose because of the new tax plan.

So are we all getting richer or am I the only unlucky tax payer in America?

I would love to hear about your good fortunes! Thanks!

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