Tuesday, March 28, 2017

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Look for the Trump administration seeking a subsidy for coal burning power plants because they cannot compete with natural gas, which is available in prodigious amounts. Also, wind energy is cost competitive with coal to install and far cheaper to operate.

Trouble ahead in the White House with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner put in charge of a number of efforts, including foreign affairs. Whoa! Does that mean that the Secretary of State reports to Jared, and not the  president?

Trump's reversal of environmental control measures will create an uproar. Many jobs now depend on climate change abatement.

Common sense will eventually drive the legislature to provide medicare for all. One administrative system, modest charge, everyone covered. Rebates if don't use it and take care of health. A healthier nation. Everyone wins.

Friday, March 24, 2017

DECEPTION AND DEAL MAKING

Author's note. Trill is a fictional female acquaintance who makes it possible to write in a style that is comfortable for me.


My Dear Trill,

You write that you are despondent, confused by a churning world that has escaped your understanding. You are  not alone.
Commercial interests, a universal drive to encourage  people to consume and acquire possessions, is the engine of what is called progress. Rather than being guided, it operates by pushing boundaries as far as they can be pushed without breaking. You see this in television, which has largely become a medium for huckstering, even making a game of it, for example, and its adoption of the disgraceful role as the nation's greatest drug pusher (“see your doctor”).
Then there is the matter of utter falsehoods being foisted upon an entire population. Sad and troubling  is the election of a professional huckster to lead the country; a man with the reputation as a “deal maker” with a background in casinos, steaks delivered to your door, wine, golf courses, real estate, a failed  “university” (  a practiced liar, as if it isn’t commonly known that this is a necessaary attribute for deal making), and no governing experience at all: a man empty of empathy. We have elected a president who is skilled, howver, in pushing the boundaries, The worry now is that a mis-step could easily  take the nation into war. It appears that he has already given up the role as leader of the free world to Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Germany.
The marginal quality of our new President is common  knowledge, and draws much   critical commentary, a sample of which is illustrated by Richard Cohen’s recent opinion piece in the New York Times. Quote:
“If a budget can be a portrait of a soul, then this president’s is arid and shriveled. It is filled with contempt for the needy. Here is a man dismissive of the arts, the environment, the humanities, diplomacy, peacekeeping, science, public education and civilian national service — in short, civilization itself. If he could defund goodness he would. Charity is also ripe for the ax. Creativity needs skewering. Giving is weakness. All that counts are acquisitive instinct, walls and bans (of the kind that keep mother and son apart), displays of power, and the frisson of selective cruelty that lay behind his successful TV show. Everyone is now Donald Trump’s apprentice, at least as he sees it.”
How far this intrusion on Democracy, behaving more like a kleptocracy, will be allowed to go on is a matter of conjecture. My guess is that by mid-year the President will show signs of tiring of a job he doesn’t really understand, which is not meant to be styled to be run by deception and deal making, and the people will be really tired of him.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

SPACE TRAVELERS

      When you think about it, human space exploration is akin to dolphins leaping out of the water. Contrast this with fact that we are already space travelers, tooling around the sun once a year at 30km per second. We even grow our own food. 
      Further, our spaceship moves along with the solar system in its orbit around the galaxy, at 230 km sec. which occurs once every 230 million years. 
      Rockets can hardly match what exists in the cosmos.

Monday, March 6, 2017

ANXIETY

Authors note: Trill is a fictional female acquaintance who makes it possible to write in a style that is comfortable for me.

My Dear Trill,

     Isn't it odd that America does not exist on maps? The Continents of North America and South America do, however. The founders had it wrong when they wrote "the United States of America' in the preamble to the constitution. Technically they should have written "the United States in the Continent of North America."
     It follows then, Canadians, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Costa Ricans can claim to be Americans. Hawaiians, though part of the United States, unfortunately cannot make that claim.
     For that matter, all citizens in countries in South America can claim to be Americans.

"God Bless America."  

      A nice song. Maybe a suitable anthem for the North and South American Continents. 

     The foregoing may be  food for thought, Trill, but  it is probably unimportant in the grand scheme of things; the immediate prospects for intelligent leadership by a lying, delusional, petulant and vindictive president, and in the broad perspective, society facing a race that is  already out of the starting gates between the Transcendent Man, Dystopians, Luddites, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.



Thursday, February 23, 2017

REMINDER

Write to:

Senator Dianne Feinstein

Now that President Trump has reversed Obama’s decision on the Keystone and Dakota pipelines, they will in all liklihood go ahead with construction. I think it is important to insert in the permits what will happen after the pipelines have outlived their use. Disposal of the pipelines is an important issue, as is restoration of the landscape to its original condition. The companies involved should be required to put up a bond to ensure that the work is done.

And to Governor Brown


Given that  carbon emissions abatement is an important issue for California, and that in many ways California is leading the way for the nation, I urge you to consider requirIng that Diesel locomotives convert to biodiesel. In one significant move, an entire segment of the transportation industry can be converted to a near zero carbon footprint. California can do this as it already has a healthy biodiesel industry. Along these lines, I urge you to authorize hemp growing, a very good cash crop and source of oil as well as other products that grows well in semi-arable areas. Congress foolishly banned the growing of hemp because it belongs to the cannabis family. Hemp could be a source of biodiesel and is already useful for soaps, health oils, rope, fabrics, etc. Why should we have to import it?

Sunday, February 19, 2017

ENEMY IDENTIFIED?

Author's note:  Trill is a fictional female acquaintance who makes it possible to write in a style that is comfortable formme.

My Dear Trill,

Brava! You made it to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, an event you will remember with pride for a lifetime. The new President appears to shrug it off, but a sleeping giant has been awakened. Hooray for woman power.
The president was placed into power by an Electoral College vote, but failed to win the popular vote, and in the end, if he does not perform, it will be his undoing.
It is too bad that at the swearing in ceremony he was not required to swear to tell the truth, as lying about matters, small and big, seem to be common. When a president prefaces a statement with “to be honest,” what he has to say is immediately suspect. He frequently states that he has nothing to do with Russia, yet he called upon Russia publicly to hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mails and his son publicly stated that “the family has a lot of money coming in from Russia."
The signs are bad, as he has surrounded himself with a wealthy cabinet and a cabal of advisers of dubious governing experience, and has proceeded immediately to nullify Executive Orders by the outgoing president without regard to consequenses. Beginning  his administration with a mere 36% approval rating, he may be treading shaky ground, especially regarding rulings that affect health care and the environment. Declaring the press an “enemy of the people” is  an invitation to open war with the media, which he can’t win.
Approval of the Keystone Pipeline, reversing President Obama’s disapproval, is taking place even as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau aims to shut down the tar sands operations, in part due to destruction of large areas of the Canadian landscape, including boreal forests. A promise that the pipes will be American made, and therefore promise new employment may be entirely limited, as photos show the pipes are already made and stored along the pipeline route. Don’t you think President trump should have been on-board with Trudeau on this subject before lining up with projects that adversely affect climate change? But he believes that climate change is a hoax.

Many more demonstrations by the citizenry are predicted in the future as Americans realize  how fully they have been victimized. Very high on the worry scale are the gag orders on Federal Agencies, preventing them from releasing important data to the public who paid for it with taxes.  But demonstrations will likely not affect this vain president’s impenetrable and glorious self image.

Friday, February 17, 2017

BYE BYE EARTH

Kiss the planet good bye.
Today, Scott Pruitt, sycophant to the oil and gas industries and climate change denier, was confirmed by the Senate to head the Environmental Protection Agency. On track to a dystopian society, 
it seems, at the hands of the Dear Leader.
America's premier con man has told the coal workers that they are back in business as he has axed regulations that had at least partial control over the industry's pollution practices. Apparently not yet aware that coal is on the way out because it is being replaced by natural gas, which is available in prodigious quantities, more efficient and cheaper to build power plants. Moreover, wind power is competitive with coal so the power industry, sensitive to the climate change problem, will lean that way.