Tuesday, February 23, 2021






I just paid my IRS tax for 2020.  I am on a fixed retirement income and I pay what is owed every year with virtually no deductions.   What gripes me in not what I have to pay out, which hurts; but that I have paid multiple times more then the X-President of the United States.  The New York Times published that Trump paid $750 income tax in 2016 and 2917 and zero taxes in ten of the prior fifteen years.


This isn’t just Trump.  When I was a first-class (E-6) enlisted man in the Navy I paid more taxes than President Ronald Regan his first year in office.


This inequity sux.  My opinions don’t amount to a rat’s ass in the big picture, as I have no power.    But the U.S. tax code needs to be reformed.  The answer is so simple: One standard tax rate – no deductions – money from every source counted as income.   

Let’s say 7%. 

People making below $20,000 pay no taxes.

If you make $50,000 you pay $3,500

If you make $100,000 you pay $7,000

If you make $1,000,000 you pay $70,000

If you make $1,000,000,000 you pay $70,000,000 (One billion pays seventy million.)

The federal government could balance their budget and pay off the national debt in short order. 


Of course, the plutocrats, the people with all the wealth that control the politicians, will never allow this.  


the Ol’Buzzard



Sunday, February 21, 2021




Among all the noise of our political squalor, a monumental achievement of mankind has pass virtually unnoticed.  On July 30,2020 NASA launched a remarkable mission to Mars.   The Perseverance Rover was transported, at an average speed of 29,000 miles-per-hour, finally making a successful landing in a river delta, on the surface of Mars on February 18th.   


The science involved in carrying the rover one-hundred-and-forty-million miles and making a pinpoint landing at a precise location, is equivalent to hitting a golf ball in California and making a hole-in-one in New York.


There is a small window that opens only every 26 months, when the planets are aligned in such a position that a Mars mission is possible. 


Once the space ship is launched it circles the earth to attain a speed necessary to exit earth’s gravity.   Using gravity assist the ship slingshots into space, and again using a gravity assist from the sun, the ship obtains the speed and trajectory necessary to conform to the Mars interception and landing criteria.    


 Distance divided by speed equals a landing date: but it is not that easy.  Einstein’s relativity tells us that gravity bends time and effects trajectory, so complicated equations must guide the rocket to a precise space/time to launch the landing vehicle.  


Basically, a projectile has been launched from a moving, rotating ball: Earth rotating at 1,040 miles-per-hour and traveling around the sun at 66,660 miles per hour.   This requires advanced physics and mathematics to set the rocket projectile to intercept another moving and rotating ball at an exact entry point 140,000,000 miles away.


The science is mind blowing when you think of it.  


There has been a small percentage of the human population (scientist and mathematicians) that have advanced the rest of the human race, kicking and screaming, from the religious dark ages into the techno-society that exist today and into the future.  Most of us enjoy the fruits of science without heralding the creators: dancing with the ones that brung us. 


But then there are these:





The Perseverance Mission is a vanguard mission with the aim of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024, and from the Moon to Mars by 2040. 


Perseverance will be searching for prior-life on Mars, exploring the geology, photographing and mapping the terrain, extracting oxygen from the carbon dioxide atmosphere and numerous other science experiments opening the way for future manned mission.  

There is so much more.  Check out NASA web site.

the Ol'Buzzard


Tuesday, February 16, 2021





For years I put up bird feeders and enjoyed the different birds that inhabit Maine, both year-round and seasonally.  I always felt an obligation to help the chickadees and other birds that winter-over in our somewhat harsh environment.


In our ego-species arrogance we view all creatures on this earth as inferior to us; but somehow, we link birds to foolishness.


We use such terms as birdbrain, cuckoo, crazy as a loon, silly goose, loony etc. to describe persons lacking basic intelligence.


Actually, birds are superior to humans in many ways.   Bird vision is more acute in distance and breadth.  It perceives a broader spectrum of color – notably birds can see in the ultraviolet range.   Birds have an unusually large olfactory organ and an acute sense of smell.  Birds hear a larger range of sound than humans.   Birds exceed in memory retention; crows are known to stash food for later use in hundreds of caches and return to their precise location many months later.  Birds can also detect the earth’s magnetic field, allowing them to migrate to specific locations thousands of miles away and return.   


Mankind had been on this earth for a relatively short time.    

About 3.2 million-years-ago Lucy (Austracupithecus Afarensis) walked across the plains of Hararghe in Ethiopia – perhaps the mother of our evolutionary species.


Birds, however, have their origins back to the Cretaceous era.

Oviraptosaurian dates back 125 million years.  Birds have proven far more adaptive than humans. 

Human encroachment has pushed many living species to extinction.  Today, with our overpopulation and over consumption of natural resources, we endanger most other species on this earth.   Birds are a fragile lifeform and critically affected by environmental pollution.  At what point in our future will most birds be considered an endangered species?    


     the Ol'Buzzard


another endangered species.

Thursday, February 11, 2021




Neil deGrasse Tyson said that we consider ourselves intelligent creatures because the most intelligent species we have to compare ourselves to is the chimpanzee, which we share 98 percent of our DNA.


Intelligence is a far reach when we consider the human species.  We are a species that commits war and genocide on our own species.  We readily buy into mystical religions and tribal beliefs.  A small percentage of the human race has designed industries and technologies which has improved our existence on the whole, but for the majority of us we eat, shit, sleep and go about our daily existence in a dull routine.  We consume energy, produce pollution, and threaten other of our species that do not belong to our tribe. 


Individuals of the human race vary drastically in intellectual abilities, on the whole most people are poorly educated, egocentric and easily manipulated.   We only have to go back for a few weeks to see the ignorance personified by our species that ended in an attempted insurrection on the democracy of the United States.  An attempted coup, based on a lie, supported by millions, without any thought  as to what would follow.


Viewing the human race as an erratic and self-destructive lifeform; what are the chances of our survival as a species?


The possibility of human extinction has always existed through natural causes: an asteroid impact, a stellar explosion, a massive volcanic eruption or drastic climate change.  The odds have been stated as one-in-ten thousand (The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity by Toby Ord).

Better odds than winning the lottery.  


Natural causes are not the pressing danger.   The beginning of the atomic era in 1945 and our rapid acceleration of technology has now allowed humans the capability to destroy themselves. 


On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima killing 140,000 humans.    Today the world nuclear arsenal is equivalent to 200,000 Hiroshima bombs, and we are depending on the restrain of uncertain individual to prevent a nuclear holocaust.


Man accelerated climate change presents another danger of extinction.  Since the beginning of the industrial revolution mankind has been polluting the atmosphere at an unsustainable rate.   The possibility of reaching a runaway greenhouse effect is real.  The earth atmosphere could enter an amplified feedback loop where heat increases atmospheric water vapor and the water vapor traps heat.   This loop could raise the temperature beyond human viability (i.e. Venus.)    Ord places this danger as one-in-one-thousand.   Again, better odds than the lottery.   


Natural pandemics have wreaked havoc on the human race. The Black Death pandemic of the 14th century killed between one-fourth and one half the population of Europe.   But natural pandemics are not the only threat.   Biotechnology now has the capacity to create deadly new pathogens and resurrect old ones in a more deadly and contagious forms.    Biolabs in the United States and other countries research and store these pathogens.   Between bio-error and bio-terrorism this human catastrophe is an incident waiting to happen.  Ord list the danger as one-in-thirty.   Stephen King portrayed it in The Stand.


Artificial Intelligence is the new boogie-bear theorized by technology nerds.   It goes in three stages.   One – computers are able to teach themselves.  (We are already there: the computer company Deep Mind created a program that allowed a computer to teach itself championship level chess in just a few hours).   Stage Two – programs allow computers to teach themselves not just a limited skill, but a full range of human cognition.     Stage Three – AI exceeds human intelligence.   Computers would have the ability to shut down power grids, launch nuclear weapons and control the human environment… etc.


I don’t worry as much about AI as long as we can pull the power plug out of the wall socket.  But again, which humans will be in control of the computers that control us?


I don’t necessarily buy into the odds stated by Ord; but I do believe that the human race has a sell by date for its own destruction.  


An apocalyptic event might not bring about full human demise, but it would surely bring about an end to civilization as we know it.  


My feeling is that the most pressing danger is overpopulation – population growth at an unsustainable rate.  Pollution and the depletion of natural resources will increase respectively with population growth.   The earth will reach some point within the next century where it will not be able to sustain human needs.


Of course, humans are programed to see dead generations as fictional stories, and future generations in the same light.  We are only capable of reality in the now, which allows us to see destruction of our species as a fictional event.   


the Ol’Buzzard





Saturday, February 6, 2021




I am an alien to young people.   To them I could possibly be a lizard species from a parallel universe.   I have two legs, two arms and one head, but I do not look human – I do not look like them.   I have grey hair and wrinkles.  I move too slow.  I don’t live in a virtual world with an electronic device permanently attached to my hand.   

Among themselves, young people see themselves as brilliant and far superior to the senile old.   They are the discoverers of sex, they are masters of the automobile, they are celebrities in their virtual world, they can solve all the world’s problems with a sound bite and a mike drop; while we, the lizard people, eat oat meal, wear depends, and walk around in a mental fog and constantly in their way.  


I look at the young with forbearance.  What they extol as their trailblazing experiences we have done a hundred times over; and the depth and breadth of our experiences are beyond their comprehension.  We are the keepers of the past, of the  knowledge, and they are the explorers of the future.  

We are as unalike as alien species.  

the Ol'Buzzard

Wednesday, February 3, 2021



A conspiracy is a bogus explanation of an event or idea by a manipulative group of people with the intent of influencing a group action – an attempt to control – an attempt to standardize a false narrative. 

Example: Trump won reelection.


A hypothesis is a guess, an unfounded brain fart, wishful thinking that sometimes – once tested - might lead to an objective truth. 

Examples:  Approaching the speed of light objects become physically smaller, passing into another dimension when the speed of light is attained.   Or, monkey farts produce fairies. 


A theory is a hypothesis that has been extensively tested and peer reviewed to the point that it is considered sound.

Examples: The Theory of Evolution, The Theory of Relativity


Conspiracy Theory is an oxymoron.   


the Ol’Buzzard

Tuesday, February 2, 2021



These are hard times, and for the most part we are not prepared for them.   Technology has made us soft and dependent.   Our cars start with an electronic key; Alexa takes care of turning off our lights, adjusting the heat in our house, changing our TV channels and guaranteeing our security.   And, we are constantly entertained.


A deadly virus, a plague, has attacked our species and we are in denial.   Our leaders prefer to call it a pandemic, a much nicer word than plague.  We are told not to worry; a cure is on the way.   Unfortunately, no one told the virus.


The poor buggers that have to get out and go to work and risk infection – even worse the people who now have no jobs and can’t pay for rent, heat or food, all suffer a devastating double whammy that stresses the limit of human endurance, while the stock market reaches new heights.  


The rest of us sit around and complain that the schools aren’t open to take over our responsibility of parenting, or that we can’t get together with friends, that we can’t eat out, we can’t go to the bars, we can’t go to the gym: that we are bored.   


The great fear is not of disease or death, but of boredom.  A sense of time on our hands, a sense of nothing to do.   A sense that we are not amused.” 

Michael Crichton from Timeline.  


In 1665, shortly after graduating from Trinity College, 23-year-old Isaac Newton, to escape the Great Plague of London, went into seclusion at his family farm.  During his time in isolation, he invented Calculus, studied light refraction and proposed the Law of Universal Gravitation.


So, buck up little buckaroo; if you are bored you are fortunate.   Get off your privileged ass and entertain yourself.   Do something Constructive.


 Binge watching TV and posting on Face Book how uninteresting your life has become is not productive and is not healthy.


Read: you might start with Michael Crichton.  Expand your horizons with Master Classes, learn to read and write poetry, publish letters to the editor in your local paper, try to publish an article or begin writing a book.  If you are not good at math, pick up a general math or introduction to algebra workbook and expand your knowledge; take a college course on line – learn to paint or sculpture – begin an exercise routine…


I just signed up for Master Classes – there is a world of interesting topics being discussed – you might want to check out the link.

the Ol’Buzzard

Monday, February 1, 2021






Just because you believe something doesn’t make it true, and confirmation bias on the social media is worthless as proof.


Why do people willingly buy into outrageous claims without a modicum of research or thought experiments to question the validity.


I have a friend, an intelligent man, who believes in Big Foot.  I actually think he would like to believe in Big Foot, and so doesn’t question the claims.   It is hard to prove a negative so the best argument against questionable the circumstantial evidence is a thought experiment. 


I first heard of Big Foot when I was about twelve years old.   We are talking seventy years ago.   All animals die, and especially large animals leave remains.  Even humans that were murdered, or were lost and died in the woods, there remains are almost always found.  In seventy years, no Big Foot has ever wandered into the road and been hit by a car; died as a result of an accident in the woods; been shot by an ammosexual, and the remains found.  No Big Foot big crap – no DNA evidence has ever been collected.    In my seventy years, there has never been any physical proof of the existence a large hominoid wandering around the shrinking wilderness regions of this country or any other.   And just because some idiot with night vision goggles posts a video of himself in the woods at night and excitedly declaring “That’s godda be a squash we are hearing!” doesn’t make it real.



A number of people I have known believe in ghost.   Again, you can’t prove a negative.  But a thought experiment might go something like this:  

We are born naked.  Clothes were the invention of humankind to protect his body from the elements, and later to hide the proof of the smallness of his dick and to cover his mate to make her less sexually attractive to more dominant men; and finally, by the religions that are paranoid about sex.   Let’s say for the sake of argument that the vestige of a human could return after death.  Why would they be clothed?  Is there a gossamer wardrove that the dead get to pick from for their return?   Why are ghost wearing clothes?  They should be naked; and that would be really scary.  No proof.  The belief in ghost has a religious origin. 


Q Anon: you have got to be a fucking nut case to buy into this.  A cabal of Satan worshiping, cannibal, pedophiles – make up of high-ranking Democrat politicians, led by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and liberal Hollywood actors are running a world-wide child-sex-trafficking network, and have plotted against Donald Trump to make sure he is not re-elected President.  Satan – again a religious connection.


And then there is religion.   Christianity, Judaism and Islam based on the writings of a two-thousand-year-old book, written at a time when a wheelbarrow was considered cutting edge technology; with miracles confirmed by witnessed – this time without night vision goggles.


It is not necessarily a matter of intelligence, education, or affluence or lack thereof; I think gullibility is imbedded in our DNA along with our ability to fantasize.  Why else would so many people buy into religion and other fantastic?


Just asking

the Ol’Buzzard