Tag Archives: life

The Future is…Plastics!

1 Apr

I remember when I was very young most things came in bottles or cans or were wrapped in paper or cardboard. My dad would buy a crate of soda for family consumption every now and then and the sodas would always come in large glass bottles that he would clean and re-crate when finished so that he could return them to the store for the deposit, which he would in turn use to purchase more soda…and let me tell you, those sodas would last for a long time. Back in those days you opened a bottle of soda and shared it with the family. There were no sodas for guzzling individually. That was just too much soda for one person at one sitting…and as we all knew, not the healthiest thing for children, teeth and dentist bills.

But then sometime during the sixties something happened and I remember seeing advertisements in the stores announcing what “Everyone had wanted and had been waiting for!” And it was finally here! No deposit, no return, plastic bottles! What a modern convenience for a modern world! Except I had no idea who had been hoping, waiting and praying for no return plastic bottles. Glass seemed just fine to me, but there we all suddenly were. Guzzling sodas of all sizes and shapes and throwing away the bottles. How convenient! How modern! How…just what we asked for?

And before long everything was encased, bottled or surrounded by plastics, or some such derivative of petroleum, even food. And it’s gotten so bad these days that I often have to resort to the use of a hacksaw or blasting caps to extricate whatever new thing I have bought just to get beneath the plastic it’s wrapped in!

Anyway, fast forward 50 years and we now have more than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 metric tons, floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout our entire food chain, from large plastic pieces that can strangle large animals likes seals and turtles to smaller pieces that can be ingested by fish and then fed up the food chain, all the way to humans.

There are plastic bags and plastic bottles and plastic pieces of all shapes and sizes cluttering up our oceans and landfills all around the world. There is even the now famous “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” the size of Texas…yes, Texas…the state!!…hovering somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean along with 4 other giant plastic patches scattered about the rest of our world’s oceans and seas.

And researchers say that things are just going to get worse because…oh you know…we are increasing the production of throwaway plastics! Of course we are! Which takes me back to that grocery store sign that I wondered about oh so many years ago…”It’s just  what we’ve always wanted”, isn’t it?”

But on the bright side, okay, dim side, we now have recycling! Unfortunately despite my efforts to push the big blue can to the curb every other week, we only recycle 5% of the world’s plastic crap every year. So plastics are winning. But not to worry because on the flip side of this horrific ecological story is the even darker fact that if we keep on fishing our oceans and dumping our plastics the way we are fishing and dumping them now, (You know for profit) scientists say that by the year 2050 there will be no fish left to choke on the plastics… anyway!

Which is just what I’ve always wanted isn’t it?… because I don’t like fish! Nothing personal mind you. They just taste fishy to me… But sadly, the 3 billion people in our world who rely on fish for their major source of protein and sustenance will be rather put out, along with the fish of course, who together just might be facing the all too familiar, and all too plastic, fate of: …no deposit…no return.

War is Peace?

29 Mar
Is War Peace? Freedom Slavery? Ignorance Strength? As suggested by the leaders of Oceania in George Orwell’s novel, 1984? Well, Here in 2015, the United States, the country with the largest military budget in the history of the world, more than the next 10 militaristic country’s military budgets put together…has finally done it!
Currently we are fighting in Iraq, along side the Iranians, in an effort to defeat the terrorist forces of ISIS. And we are fighting in Yemen, alongside the Saudi Arabians, in an effort to defeat the terrorist forces of the Houthi rebels, who are allied with Iran!
Whose side are we on anyway? …Answer: Yes!
We are now fighting with our enemies against our enemies and they are both us, or at least one is us, or some combination of us and them. It’s quite confusing, but suffice it to say that we are fighting over there so we don’t have to fight here… which is kinda the same thing as saying…well, you know…don’t ya think?
And meanwhile here at home we are fighting over whether we should be increasing the military budget while cutting homes for the homeless, food for the hungry, and healthcare for the unhealthy…which is kinda the same thing as saying…
N’est-ce pas?…or as we like to say here in the USA… Freedom Fries!

Born in the USA?

27 Mar

Ted Cruz is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Did you know that Mr. Cruz was born in Canada and that his father is Cuban? So how come he is eligible to run for the presidency of the U.S. let alone serve as a Senator in the U.S. Senate?

Well, according to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, A child born abroad to one U.S. citizen parent and one alien parent acquires U.S. citizenship at birth under Section 301(g) provided the U.S. citizen parent was physically present in the United States or one of its outlying possessions for the time period required by the law applicable at the time of the child’s birth. Mr. Cruz was born in 1970 and for births between December 24, 1952 and November 13, 1986, the child’s parent must have lived in the U.S. for a period of ten years, five after the age of fourteen, in order to transmit U.S. citizenship.

So Mr. Cruz is a United States citizen because his mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. So that made him a U.S. citizen at birth, and therefore eligible to be president.

So what was all the fuss about President Obama!? President Obama was born in Hawaii. And for those who might be geographically challenged, that’s actually in the United States. And the president’s mother was born in Wichita, Kansas, which is also in the United States where she lived for the first 25 years of her life. So, even if President Obama had not been born in the U.S. it would never have made any difference anyway because his mother was a U.S. citizen and so the president’s citizenship, just like Mr. Cruz’s, was never, ever in doubt and never, ever should have been, birth certificate or not!

So why didn’t anyone in the Republican party, especially those 47 Senators who decided to take Iran to school on the constitution, or any of the Tea Partiers or any of the reporters on Fox News, or anyone in the American media for that matter, point that out to everyone in the country and put all of this racist hate mongering immediately to rest?!… can someone riddle me that?

And in addition, Mr. Cruz has also announced that his first order of business, should he be elected president, will be to dismantle the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as the Republicans are so happy to call it…but, since his wife is taking a leave of absence from her job to help him campaign for the presidency, the Cruz family will be without healthcare so…wait for it…Mr. Cruz is going to sign his family up for…the Affordable Care Act!

When asked why he wouldn’t just purchase healthcare for his family on his own and avoid The “Obamacare” exchanges in protest of the healthcare law that he so thoroughly loathes his answer was…(you can’t make this stuff up)…”It’s too expensive that way and using the ACA exchanges is much more affordable for my family”. !!!!!!

So here we go ladies and gentlemen. Start your engines…the only way you’ll ever know if these candidates are lying to you will be if they move their lips. Maybe someone in the media will raise their hand and call them out on it, but the chances of that happening are probably slim and none. It’s going to be a long election cycle but I guess, as we U.S. citizen’s like to say, “one hell of a show!”

Word!

25 Mar

Well it’s getting to be that time again… so…

Can anybody please tell me why God doesn’t speak to anyone anymore with any more instructions as to what we should do as a people here on Earth? No one has written anything authored by God in over a thousand years… except perhaps for Joseph Smith who was visited by Moroni, an angel who helped him discover the invisible plates of New York State? So why won’t God communicate with us now that we can all hear and record his voice and words so as not to mistake his message?

All of our scripture consists of what someone said they heard from God when no one else was around, and most everyone else was illiterate. Then it was written down over centuries by others who said they remembered or heard what was told to them, and then we know that it was further edited and reworded and altered over hundreds of years more before printing, and thus some tangible and corroborative proof of its existence as a text, was even invented.

After that labyrinthine process, how can anyone call whatever book they believe in, the indisputable “word” or “words” of God, a supposedly infallible and supreme being of intelligence and love? The entire process sounds no more intelligent then what must now go on in the editorial rooms of Fox News…

What kind of way is that for a supreme being to show off his intelligence, infallibility and supremeness?

To have faith is one thing…but to have faith in a supreme being who had no more sense or regard for his audience than say, a Rupert Murdoch does now, isn’t very inspiring of either faith or god. Is it?

God could have delivered an actual book couldn’t he? And updated with another revised edition each year or so like even the phone company or Sears does, could he not? And doing so before books were even invented would have been really awe and faith inspiring… don’t you think?

But we have faith that he decided to avoid mass communication with all of the sophisticated civilizations throughout time and rather enjoyed whispering his words of instruction and obedience to the outlying, marginal and unlettered people of the world so as to watch the spread of his message slowly throughout the convoluted march of time, altercation and war until…when?…Hell freezes over?

Common God! At the risk of blaspheming, If you’re out there, I have faith that you can do better. We need some new words please. Ones that none of us can miss, mistake or misinterpret. And we need them now… Word!

Go West Young Man…and Bring Water!

22 Mar

Bridge over Lake Oroville, CA

California has one year of water left in its reservoirs!

NASA data reveal that total water storage in California has been in steady decline since at least 2002 and groundwater depletion has been going on since the early 20th century. And even though Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas also have patches of “exceptional” drought, along with areas of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Georgia experiencing abnormal drought, California has been the hardest hit.

But this once again is just science so we Americans are forced to take it all in with a grain of salt, even though salt may be the only export to come out of California in the future rather than the 99 percent of artichokes and walnuts, 97 percent of kiwis and plums, 95 percent of celery and garlic, 89 percent of cauliflower, 71 percent of spinach, and 69 percent of carrots that California sends to the rest of us in the lower 48.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=http://img.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/08/aquifers_archive.jpg&w=1484

But as this map above shows there are still a lot of fresh watery places left on Earth. It’s just that most aren’t anywhere near the dry places so perhaps we humans might think about getting busy building a few more water pipelines around the world so we could at least get some water from where a lot of it is, to the places where it mostly isn’t…but wouldn’t you know what we fight about most is where we’re going to build all of our new oil pipelines. Oh well, you know what they say, “Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink…so give me cheap gas for my car and I can drive to the store and get some.”

When you think about all of the energy that we use to get water into bottles that are made of plastic, which is created from oil, which we then discard into our oceans and landfills, where they will exist as monuments of pollution for eternity…well, it kind of boggles the mind doesn’t it?

Anyway, California and other places where severe drought has persisted, have no real contingency plans for how to replace water during extended droughts like the one California is experiencing now, and especially not for a dreaded mega-drought that might last years longer, but hopefully won’t… So what to do?

In the past, droughts have always ended when the rain finally returns…And that, spiritually and scientifically speaking, is apparently still our best and only plan.

Cracker box Palace

21 Mar

Our government no longer works. In fact, by its own admission it won’t work. It more resembles a kindergarten class run amok then it does an august governing body of adults. Rather than taking traditional aye or nay votes on questions of the day Congress’ typical response to law and matters of governance nowadays is Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya!

Case in point: Loretta Lynch is the first African-American woman nominated to be attorney general. Even the Republicans in Congress acknowledge that she’s been a great prosecutor who has prosecuted terrorists and gone after organized crime and public corruption. Her integrity is unimpeachable and by all accounts, she’s a great manager, and even Rudolph Guliani, the avowed Obama-hater, thinks she’s a perfect choice who needs to be approved immediately. Plus, the Republicans in Congress hate the man who is the current Attorney General and want him replaced.

Yet, they have been refusing to take a vote on her nomination for the past 130 days because president Obama nominated her and they don’t like President Obama so, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya, Nya to him! And unless they get what they want, which is an anti-abortion bill, passed…then nobody gets nothin’ so there!

And this, believe it or not, is how “the most wonderful government ever invented in the history of the world” functions…or rather, dysfunctions. Even your little children at home understand that this behavior is childish and needs adult intervention and supervision. Go ahead and ask them. I’m sure they will agree…and they’re just little kids…not elected adult representatives of a sovereign nation!

And yet there is nothing “We the People” can do about it. And no way for us to reprimand, replace or receive a refund from these juvenile delinquent legislators who refuse to do their work. Some government, huh? If this were an excerpt from a history book you were reading, you’d swear I was writing about 17th century France or some foppish, poofy European kingdom where they all wore monocles and sashes and carried long polished swords with scabbards.

But no, this modern day government is all ours. And I’m ashamed to say, as nutty as a fruitcake. So they say Nero fiddled while Rome burned? Well alas, here we still are, wallflowers… at the dance.

Living in a Material World

20 Mar

https://i0.wp.com/resources.yesican-science.ca/trek/scisat/final/images/earth_atmosphere.jpg

Every now and then when I go on long highway drives I have a revelation. I’m Not sure if they are in any way prescient or prophetic…hopefully not, but here is my revelatory story from today’s sojourn across the state of New Jersey.

As I was driving down the highway at 75 MPH I noticed, while glancing into my rear-view mirror, an angry old man flashing his lights and gesturing for me to get out of the way. I was already traveling at 10 miles per hour more than the legal speed limit but I also noticed that as far as the rest of the traffic was concerned, I was a slacker! So I pulled out of his way only to find myself in front of a young woman talking on her cell phone who was rapidly gaining on me and looked as though she was prepared to go right through me if she had to.

Yikes! I was now pushing 80 MPH and still cars were passing me and weaving in and out of the traffic created by other motorists who thought that traveling in the 70’s was pretty damn fast…

And speaking of the 70’s I remember living and driving in the 1970s when the speed limit of the land was 55 MPH and set there as a way to save gas and oil and curb our need of foreign oil. And we were also concerned about pollution back then and the ecology and the ecosystems of our planet, or at least we said we were. We seemed to be trying. And we had hostages in Iran, and OPEC was ruling the day and we needed to change our dependence on oil and fossil fuels…

And now here we are in 2015, just having finished 2 long and grueling wars in the Middle East and threatening to start another! We are still held hostage by the fear of terrorist groups cutting off our oil supplies. And we bust open every inch of the earth on our own homeland in an endless search for more fossil fuels for us to waste on our highways, in our wars and with our modern devices of leisure and convenience…while the vast majority of us no longer even believe that any of this is doing any great harm to our world. And even if some of us do, it does not seem to affect our participation in the madness of it all. 7 billion humans strong, living and breathing and polluting each and every day, with still many, many more polluters to come.

Traveling at 80 MPH, it would only take us about 3 hours to reach the end of Earth’s atmosphere…all around our planet… about the distance from North Jersey to Washington D.C…that’s it. 3 hours of air and then you would be driving off into space and hoping that your car’s air conditioning would save you while you try to turn around. Of course it wouldn’t because the guy behind you would be flashing his lights and honking his horn while yelling at you to get out of the damn way…plus the air conditioning thing wouldn’t work…but you knew that, right?

But I digress, because I believe my true revelation was that we all live in a material world and have no intention to go quietly into that good night. Unless some scientists come up with a way to save the planet from ourselves and then get the dumb asses in Congress to believe them, rather than take Big Corporate’s money and continue to commit global suicide, I fear none of the rest of us will care nor take the time to pay any attention to what’s going on around us to see our own end approaching.

Sooner or later this planet is going to shake us all off like a bad cold…or not. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…that is if any of us plan on paying attention at the time…

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