Tag Archives: behavior

Another day on our home planet, Earth

22 Apr

I posted this for the first time back in 2013…It’s been 3 years since then and 46 years since the very first Earth Day…that is if you don’t count the original birth of the earth, whenever that was. Anyway, how are we Earthlings doing with our home? Is it getting more hospitable for us humans or less so?

I remember the first Earth Day back in 1970 and I remember the sense of urgency that people were feeling about the planet and air and water pollution and the overuse of fossil fuels and cars and oil and gasoline and carcinogens being everywhere and in everything etc…

We were all worried that if we didn’t change our ways then the future for ourselves and our loved ones would be bleak and filled with more pollution and harder times and wars over oil and…then… what happened? We seemed to just forget about it.
I blame my generation, which was in college at the time, for dropping the ball. We all graduated got jobs, got married, had children and joined the rat race and stopped paying attention and started shopping, eating out and driving SUVs…how did that happen?

Now the Earth is 1 and a half degrees warmer, (3 degrees warmer in NJ!) our cars get only 25 miles per gallon, everything is made in China where the sun never breaks through the industrial haze, we still go to war to protect our oil interests, drill the oceans and frack the very core of our planet in search of more of the same old fossil fuels… and cows are force fed corn until their stomachs explode.

And that poor old Native American with the tear running down his cheek is now crying bankruptcy in his casino…

I wonder what the odds were of that happening?

And still we pay little attention to the health and well being of our most precious and pale blue island floating solemnly amidst the enormity of the universe.

My apologies Earth day… Mother Earth… Your prodigal sons and daughters, even though we don’t seem to think about you very often, still hope you live a long and happy life, (at least until the sun explodes)

Where would we ever be without you?

Guns and Diapers

2 Apr

Gun sales in the USA are through the roof with 23 million new gun permits applied for in 2015! Americans, apparently, are nervous. Here in the land of plenty, the most prosperous and powerful nation on the Earth, the nation that extends its imperial arm across the globe like no other nation in the history of the planet…we, the people, are afraid…of something.

But what is it that we are afraid of? An eventual gun shortage? A mob of Mexicans flooding across the border to take our jobs before the great wall gets built? Isis and the Muslim horde come to take revenge for our Middle East transgressions? An LGBT explosion accompanied by forced mass gay marriage? An abortion epidemic? The possible election of a woman named Hillary? Our own government gone mad with regulation?

You’d think we’d be happy… ruling the world, kicking ass and taking names, using 25% of the world’s everything while being only 5% of the world’s anybodies… having 500 channels to choose from…plus the internet… and Netflix…and all at our phone fingertips!

So why all the guns? Is it because we really need to make America great again and this time America needs our help? Is it because Donald Trump is everywhere…telling us that we’re not great? I know that the media can’t figure it out. Our trained professional journalists keep putting him on television and then, quite disingenuously,  can’t  seem to figure out why he’s always on television.

And then whenever he says something incorrect or untrue, rather than challenge him or point out to the American people that what he has said is completely false…they simply move on to the next question.

But you have to admit that Mr. Trump does put on a good show. He’s been in the television business for quite sometime now and he understands all too well the power of outrageous spectacle and a populous that can’t get enough of unrealistic “reality” programming. He’s created a larger than life character that’s helped turn the Republican party into a late night infomercial and he has most Republicans running scared too.

Republicans have been selling hate, bigotry, fear and misogyny for quite sometime now but apparently they didn’t want to sell it right out in the open and so cheaply like “The Donald” is doing it. I do believe they prefer the more subtle, back alley, smoke filled room approach.

In any event many American citizens are now finding themselves frightened and fixing for a fight as guns are flying off the shelves in a country that already has the most guns per capita in the history of the world! Even the patriotic 17th century American militia minuteman would be hard pressed to interpret the 2nd Amendment this liberally (or is it conservatively?)

But where do the diapers fit into this story? Well along with guns, diapers have seen a 43% rise in sales since last year! Everybody’s buying them! Are we having more children in the USA hence we need more guns? Nope the diapers that I am referring to are of the adult variety! Yep, guns and adult diaper sales are surging all over America.

And so it’s come to this: An aging American population, living in the greatest democracy in the history of the world, is sitting at home, staring out the window, with guns in hands, irrationally frightened of impending doom…and literally crapping their pants!?

Perhaps it’s also finally come time in America… to turn off the TV? Because if we’ve learned anything about a good television program, we know that it’s the suspense that’s going to kill us. Unfortunately we also know that we just can’t wait to see how it ends.

So have fun crapping your pants everybody! And try not to shoot yourself in the process!

Goodnight…and good luck.

 

 

 

 

 

Old Macdonald Had a Farm?

25 Mar

Just something I saw and found interesting…

According to the USDA’s 2014 farm bill policies 79.55% of U.S. government farm subsidies go to corn, grains and soy oil. 13% goes to cotton. 3% to dairy. 2% to livestock. 2% to tobacco and .45% to fruits and vegetables.

That would make for a yummy meal of 1 loaf of bread fried in soy oil, 1 meat slider with a brush of catsup (vegetable) washed down with a sip of milk, while smoking a cigarette with a yummy bag of cotton candy for desert! (not really, because cotton candy isn’t cotton) but you could wipe your mouth with a nice soft napkin afterwards, I guess.

Why, in a free market capitalist society, we subsidize food that is not particularly good for us, let alone food that the very same USDA that subsidizes it recommends that we don’t eat very much of…is a mystery to me. Doesn’t sound very capitalistic, free or democratic does it?

With a diet like that no wonder some folks think it’s a waste to spend money subsidizing healthcare…That would be some kind of socialism wouldn’t it?!

Anyway, that’s what’s for dinner in the United States, USDA Farm Bill style. Bon appetit!

 

 

Some Things Never Change…

24 Mar

A while ago, after writing several blogs about guns and gun violence in America, It was suggested to me that I take a look at the homicide by firearm rate to get a clearer perspective of violence in the United States and how perhaps it isn’t all that bad.

So I checked out the statistics collected by the UNODC ( United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) from their 2011 Global Study on Homicide.

According to their statistics The US has the highest gun ownership rate in the world – an average of 88 per 100 people. That puts it first in the world for gun ownership ( the number two country, Yemen…(great company we’re in)… has significantly fewer  at 54.8 per 100 people)

The united States also ranks 1st in the total number of all civilian firearms with 270 million.

We are also #1 in rate of ownership.

But, say gun proponents, the US does not have the worst firearm murder rate.  In fact, the US is number 28, with a rate of 2.97 per 100,000 people. Isn’t that good news? Even though we have all of the guns we don’t have the highest firearm murder rate. We’re only 28th!

And here are the winners…

Honduras…El Salvador… Jamaica…Venezuela…Guatemala…St. Kits…Trinidad and Tobago…Columbia…Belize…Puerto Rico…Brazil…South Africa…Dominican Republic…Panama…Bahamas…Ecuador…Guiana…Mexico…Philippines….Paraguay…Anguilla…Nicaragua…St. Vincent…Zimbabwe…Costa Rica…Argentina…and (wait for it)…Barbados.

Not exactly the major leagues of industrialized and sophisticated 1st World countries is it?

And don’t even ask who #29 is!…all right you asked…it’s Gaza and the West Bank.

Yes, gun advocates have something to be proud of. At least we don’t kill each other like they do in Gaza and the West Bank.

In fact you have to go way down the list before you’ll find any other 1st world countries

Switzerland was at 45, Italy 48 and Canada came in at #56…but remember this is a list of the percent of murders by firearm. Switzerland had 57 gun murders, Italy 417 and Canada 173. The United States had 9, 146…so statistics don’t always paint the entire picture.

When it comes to the total number of murders by firearms we’re 5th. Brazil, Columbia, Mexico and Venezuela beat us out…but again which of those countries would you say out civilizes us? Interestingly enough they are also all in our hemisphere (in fact 25 of the top 28 are)…you know….the one the Monroe Doctrine told the rest of the world to keep their hands off of back in 1823.

But I digress because here is the most sobering statistic of all:

9,143 Americans were murdered with firearms in 2011 but At least 31,940 people died from gun injuries in 2011. That means that 22,797 citizens of the United States died from gunshot wounds that were what?

Accidents! Unintentional! Suicide!

This is what the proper and mathematical reading of statistics tells us.

Although outlaws kill over 9,000 people every year in the US, regular law abiding citizens like you and me kill 23,000 more!

Guns do not save lives. They kill the people who own them or their loved ones or their neighbors more than twice as often as they kill intended victims…and guess what?

And as we have increased gun ownership and the number of guns in our country over the last 30 years those numbers and ratios  have been rising…and most sadly…with a bullet.

*** I wrote this post about guns in America 3 years ago and since then Congress has done nothing to attempt to reduce gun violence even though first-graders were horrifically shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. What in fact they have done is to criticize and block common-sense gun safety measures proposed by the President… until, that is, 14 more Americans were shot by 2 Muslims with guns in southern California last December. Then they decided to criticize the President for having done nothing to prevent it…like propose new laws and gun safety measures?

Now Republican presidential hopefuls, namely Mr. Donald Trump, are proposing measures to make our country safer from gun violence by making our country “Muslim free” or by eliminating the immigration of any new Muslims into our country. 

Statistically speaking you have a .000099 chance of being shot by a gun in the US. Maybe that’s why we don’t care so much about gun violence…But you have about a .0004 chance out of that .000099 chance of that person who shoots you being a Muslim… And that’s what frightens us?

Here in the United States more than likely killing people with guns at home and around the world rather than spreading democracy at home and around the world, will be our ultimate legacy. Let’s face it, Guns R Us! It’s what we do. We like to own them. We like to use them. It’s the 2nd most important thing we could think of to add to our Constitution.

So If we don’t care very much about who gets shot…why do we care so much about who does the shooting?

Trump/Bunny 2016?

22 Mar

https://i1.wp.com/media.breitbart.com/media/2016/03/mall-Easter-bunny-brawl-facebook-640x480.jpg

New Jersey may just have found the perfect running mate for Donald Trump, should he secure the Republican nomination for president. It’s the The Easter bunny! Who recently got caught up in a mall brawl, Trump Style,  in New Jersey (of all places?!) this weekend.

It all started when a 1-year-old girl slipped out of her chair after posing for a photo with the bunny. The girl’s father reportedly shouted at the 22-year-old man in the costume, then started throwing punches. That’s when the man in the bunny costume took to action in his best Trumpian fashion, threw off his white bunny gloves, and began to throw punches of his own at the protesting dad.

How dare that father barge into an Easter celebration unannounced! This is America after all! Get your own show if you want to be in the spotlight…Everybunny knows that!

And as all New Jerseyans know, You’re nobunny till somebunny hits you! So Chris Christie, fuhgeddaboudit!

It’s all the way with Trump/Bunny 2016!

 

 

 

Penis not Included?

6 Mar

To Womb it may concern:

I keep seeing Facebook and Blog posts here and there about how Hillary Clinton is not the right choice for President of the United States because of the man she is married to and that any respectable woman fit for the Presidency would have divorced him by now…

So I wonder, are we to believe that because a man improperly used his penis, his wife is not Presidential material? Do we judge a woman by the man she is married too and if so, do we value or devalue men in the same way?

Over on the Republican side we have 3 men who all claim that their penises are the proper size for governing, as if such a measurement standard exists let alone has any validity. They are even arguing over whose penis is larger and who has used it the most! Donald Trump has used it to attract 3 wives already while Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have only had 1 wife each.

Does that fact devalue the Trump wives or raise the value of Mses Cruz and Rubio…and is this really how we measure people? In any case they all seem to agree that owning and operating a properly sized penis correctly (politically speaking) is a prerequisite for seeking the highest political post in the free world.

Does Hillary (or any other woman) need to have a penis surgically attached to her anatomy (or one removed from her husband) in order to make her a valid candidate for President of the USA? Both options are medically possible and even acceptable now by a majority of American citizens…Does man in fact complete and define woman?

Or can a woman in the United States of America, here in the 21st century, actually possess the capabilities, intelligence and gravitas necessary to lead the country and the free world, with husband in tow, regardless of discussing said husband’s accomplishments or lack thereof, with or without penis, to become the First Woman President of the United States…

Or is First Lady, the best a woman in America can and should ever do?

I do believe that this fall we Americans will have the chance to actually answer that question for the first time in our history and while I do not know what the answer to that question will ultimately be, I am fairly certain that should Hillary Clinton win, her husband will be the first spouse in the White House to have a penis…

So America, if a penis you must have…there’s always that.

Fear and Loathing in the 21st Century

29 Feb

I was recently reading an article about women and the Islamic culture and came across the word Burqini, which I had never heard or seen before, but I was intrigued and like any curious male just had to see what one looked like. Was it a sexy version of the more popular burqa? Oh yes, it was! Just take a look…

It’s described as: “A high quality ladies swimwear for Muslim, Hindu, and Jewish women. A four-piece swim wear with separate cap and hijab to the top. This fine piece of clothing also consists of long sleeves and a long trouser, that has a band attached to the end to prevent it from flowing backwards, preserving modesty.” Which led me to thinking:

Wow! Is this a style of swimwear that women developed themselves for a fun and relaxing day at the beach? It looks to me like a wet-suit sans scuba gear, more suitable for underwater than on top of the water…let alone on top of the sand, in the hot sun, on a warm summer’s day, (and it even comes with straps and tie downs just in case a wave comes by and exposes your…I’m sorry but I have absolutely no idea what could possibly cause this garment to expose anything)…but what do I know about women? I’m just a man. Which led me to thinking:

What’s the matter with men?! And why do we do such horrible things to women in the name of God? For the design of the burqini is intended to comply with the Quranic admonition for Muslim women (and other women of various religious orthodoxies) to dress modestly…but whose definition of modest is this? I’m all for freedom to do as one pleases and if it pleases you to dress up in a hooded sweatshirt and pajamas when going to the beach, then so be it…but if it’s someone elses idea of modesty forced upon you because they think God’s going to have a heart attack if you show some skin then…

I mean seriously, Does anyone really believe that God actually said, “Let there be light!” And then when he could finally see what was what, decided to create man in his own likeness and image and then created woman to be man’s companion and looked at her and said, “Oh my! What have I done to my penis?!” And so then ordained (by way of male prophets) to cover up this monstrosity of his creation for all time?

What kind of fear and loathing of the human body (or of women) and the natural processes by which it survives, resides inside the brains of the men who make up these rules and regulations? And what kind of hell must the poor women who live inside these garment prisons endure?

Which then got me to thinking: Vote for Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States. Finally placing a woman atop the leading Democracy in the modern world just might be the best thing to happen to the people of this planet since it first began dizzily spinning on its axis…6,000 or so years ago! ( another ridiculous religious factoid undoubtedly calculated by a man, counting on his fingers, while holding onto his manhood)

 

 

 

Human is, as Human ___?

18 Feb

Here’s a heartwarming story…

Earlier this month, After 41 days of an armed occupation of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, all of the armed militants surrendered peacefully. And even though the armed occupiers were “heavily armed” and had multiple weapons that they at times threatened federal authorities and police officers with and had even pointed at them while shouting phrases like, “You’ll never take us alive” and “We’ll never surrender”, they were all captured peacefully.

No one was injured, and no shots were fired during the arrests in which officers of the law were heard to say, “nice and easy, hands behind your back.” I’m not sure if the words please were ever uttered by law enforcement officials but shouts of “hallelujah” echoed through the phone lines of those involved in the final roundup of the protesters.

Did I mention that the protesters were armed…with guns? And after their surrender they informed federal agents that the occupied area had been left booby-trapped…with explosives! And finally, after carefully (very) searching through the area, Investigators indeed found explosives, firearms and even human feces to add to the occupiers careless 41 day desecration of what was a 6,000 year old Native American archaeological site.

But the good news?

Not one of the heavily armed occupiers was:

shot in the back while running away, or shot in the front 15-20 times while holding what appeared to be weapons, or shot while surrendering, or shot while sitting in a wheelchair, or shot while being only 12 years old, or shot while holding a toy gun, or shot by a ricocheting bullet fired in fear of one’s safety, or shot to death while sitting in a car, or choked to death after surrendering, or found hanging in a jail cell after capture, or found dead in a van after the drive to jail.

So let’s all cheer “Hallelujah!” It can be done. Those who either are or are perceived to be, Threatening, belligerent, frightening, angry, heavily armed, militant criminals can be apprehended peacefully, even when law enforcement officers are in fear for their lives…even though I read no mention in any of the Oregon reports, of any law enforcement officers expressing fearfulness for their lives during the 41 day ordeal…although I’m sure, at some point, they must have.

01_06_oregon_standoff_fbi_01

Oregon Standoff 2016                                         Ferguson, MO. 2014

In conclusion: Humanity can and does work! Everyone should give it a try.

 

 

It’s Good To Be Rich…and Getting Better All the Time!

18 Feb

New medical studies show that being in the top 10% of income earners means that you will live on average 15 years longer than folks who are in the bottom 10%… and that gap is growing in leaps and bounds! 30 years ago the difference in life expectancy between the very rich and very poor was only 6 years.

But there have been big advances in medicine, technology and education, in the United States in the past 30 years…available for all people…no? So how come the longevity gap between high-income and low-income Americans has been widening? Public health researchers say that they are still investigating the causes for such a large gap in life expectancy between the rich and poor?

Gee, could it be that the rich are rich?… and in our society money buys whatever is for sale?… and although we all hate to admit it, health care, like all things American, is for sale. If you can’t pay for it, then all of the advances of the modern age might just as well be imaginary…N’es pas? Or French for that matter, I guess.

500 years ago there were 500 million humans on Earth. Today there are over 7 billion thanks in no small part and perhaps ironically, to advances in medicine, technology and education. Yet here we sit, in a free and modern country still openly debating whether or not all citizens should have access to affordable health care. And those who are opposed to that proposition can honestly only site one objection. It might cost too much.

And so at the dawn of this new age of longer life…and most probably, with continued medical and technological advances, even immortality… we are faced with the question: What will it avail a man to live long if he is to live long and be poor rather than prosper?

And what might those who prosper now want to save their money for in the future rather than share it in the present by making medicines and medical advances affordable and available to all their brethren? Well, if you only have billions today and are planning on living forever then you very well might need every penny of it for spending in your never ending future. Life I’m sure will be pretty expensive then too.

So let them eat cake and drink poisoned water and let their pensions run dry. For the rich  have got a lot of living to do!

 

Star Stuff

10 Feb

 

 

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. We earthlings have been visiting space for almost 60 years now and this is what we’ve made of it…space that is.

Above is an actual image from the NASA Goddard Flight Space Center. I can remember sitting on the front stoop of our home in New Jersey with my mom and looking up into the evening sky to see if we could spot Sputnik, the Russian satellite that was the first of its kind in orbit around Earth, and as far as we knew, the only thing.

I was 4 years old then. Now look at what we’ve left up there…so far

Right now, more than half a million pieces of man-made space junk are orbiting our planet Earth. And about 23,000 of those pieces are the size of a softball or larger. More than 21,000 pieces of orbital debris larger than 10 cm are known to exist and the number of particles smaller than 1 cm exceeds 100 million!

I know that doesn’t mean much to those of us Earthlings who have no plans to ever leave our atmosphere but some scientists are now predicting that if some of us don’t leave soon, no one ever will because it will be impossible for one of our spacecraft to make it safely past all of the junk.

On the bright side it should make it a bit harder for aliens to attack us, although why they would want to visit or take over this mess of a planet is beyond me… Unless of course they offer a cleaning service…and cheap!

But what is sobering about the above photo is that the outside of our planet, dirty as it is, is a lot cleaner than the inside because Scientists also predict that by 2050 our oceans will be mostly plastic!

One thing you can say for us humans…and sadly perhaps the only consistent trait we’ve ever displayed…We sure know how to pollute, defile and otherwise desecrate a very pretty place… don’t we?

 

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