YEAH, Biden's good!
The present danger to humanity is nuclear weapons.
But the present danger to the United States is a cult called MAGA – the worship of one man above law and reason.
I am reading American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. There are so many lessons, philosophical, political, and psychological, to be taken from this tale that it should be required reading in high schools.
Early in the book Oppenheimer is studying in Germany for his doctorate in Physics.
This passage I found particularly relevant and unnerving – an undercurrent that is too real in American society today!
"He found many Germans “bitter, sullen… angry and loaded with all those ingredients which were later to produce a major disaster.“ "
I don’t know what the answer is. Is our country, after 250 years, about to disintegrate?
Are we all living through the end-days of a great social democratic experiment – doomed to fail because of the malevolence of human nature?
Twenty percent of the insurrectionist that attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, were military veterans.
The media seems shocked as to the reason, but it takes another veteran to understand.
We take young men full of testosterone and teach them to kill and indoctrinate them with patriotic fervor; then we send them into a warzone.
These men are away from civilized society and bond with their brothers and sisters-in-arms. They have no compunction about pulling the trigger or thrusting the knife against an evil enemy that puts themselves and their fellow warriors in harm’s way.
These young men are conditioned to react aggressively and with violence.
Then we bring them back and dump them into society and expect them to immediately act with normal accepted civilized behavior.
Each and every one is experiencing some degree of PTSD. You can’t see and experience the carnage of war: living under constant threat of death, injury, or capture - view the death and injuries to fellow warriors; and ever be completely ‘normal’ again.
Fifty years later, I cannot watch Vietnam War movies.
Most of all they miss the support and brotherhood of their sisters and brothers-in-arms that was so cohesive in the military. They are among civilians that are foreign to them in their experiences.
Even if misguided, is there any wonder that feeling alien in society, they grab the moment to reenact and relive the emotion of movement and aggression and warrior that has become a permanent part of themselves?
On October 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb that detonated 1900 feet above Hiroshima, Japan killing 140,000 civilians incinerating 2/3 of the city.
Let’s get this straight. Donald Trump will serve no Jail time.
If Trump is elected President in 2024 he will pardon himself upon taking office. If any Republican becomes President in 2025 they will pardon Trump. If Joe Biden becomes president in 2025 he will pardon Trump in an attempt to unify the enormous split that is fracturing this nation’s population.
Trump will not serve time in jail.
The most we can hope for is that Donald Trump will be found guilty of all charges in a court of law and go down in history as the most corrupt President in United States history.
This is not the nastiest thing in your house.
Then you are putting cooking and eating utensils in a sink that has a strainer full of bacteria.
I know we are talking about rot and slime; but we need a break away from Trump.
The movie Oppenheimer opened yesterday at the local movie theater. I would like the see the movie, but three hours is a long time to sit and focus attention on what I am sure will be a traumatic theme. I have ordered the book American Prometheus, the basis of the movie. The title reminds me of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein - The Modern Prometheus. The movie would have been more properly subtitled Vishnu the Destroyer of Worlds.
We commemorate September 11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center and the loss of three thousand lives as a crime against humanity. But history is perspective - written by the winners.
On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan instantly killing 140,000 men, women, children, and old people – dogs, cats… and no birds sang.
Then five days later the good Christian people of America celebrated a second bomb killing 70,000 human beings in Nagasaki.
210,000 civilians - non-combatants - died instantly; thousands more died from radiation, and for decades children were born with deformities. This is never mentioned in our classroom history books.
The movie Oppenheimer should make us all pause and think.
There are 12,705 nuclear weapons possessed by nine countries, thousands of nuclear powerplants each capable of catastrophic meltdowns, and the real possibility of weaponizing the new cold-fusion science
How can a violent species such as ours be trusted with weapons of mass destruction?
I am not a zombie prepper, and I don’t believe I need to prepare for the apocalypse; but I am witnessing unprecedented climate events and even more severe events projected for the future.
I think it is reasonable to expect severe weather conditions at some point to disrupt the food/necessities supply chains as happened during the pandemic.
It seems reasonable if everyone, who can afford to, consider keeping a three-month supply of basic food/necessities above their normal daily/weekly needs.
This said, most people purchase fresh meat as needed.
For several years, my wife and I have been vacuum-sealing our meats using a Food Saver vacuum sealer.
We quick-freeze our meats for a few hours or a day and then vacuum-seal the frozen meats. Our meats last easily up to three months without frost burn or loss of flavor. We buy salmon, pork, chicken, and beef when it is on sale in quantities suitable for us. We freeze fruits and berries in season for vacuum sealing.
You can also vacuum pack beans, coffee, popcorn, – almost any dry food, extending the use time almost indefinitely.
I don’t advertise for any company, but the Food Saver we bought through Walmart online, and rolls of vacuum sealing material we buy on eBay have worked flawlessly for us.
It might be useful if each of us through our blogs posts tips that might be useful during these unprecedented times and the uncertain future.
We were warned by scientists about climate change, but people chose not to listen. It turns out that science is real whether or not you believe in it.
Rights are nice ideas, a comforting window with which to view the world. But once the glass is broken, you realize they were never really there.
Michael Marshall Smith
First abortion rights
Then Affirmative Action
Next Gay marriage?
Draconian drug laws,
A dress code for women?
There is an army of the night, now marching in plain daylight, with their bibles held high, convinced beyond doubt of both their righteousness and their rightness, set on making the United States a Christian nation.
Marching backwards into time.
Aware, conscious, cognizant, mindful, alive, apprehensive, regretful – acquiring knowledge and understanding through experiences and senses.
We are sentient beings on sparse occasions; mostly we go through our daily routine as androids unaware of the world around us.
We place high importance on our cognition, preferring to think of ourselves above and separate from all other animal species on earth.
We invent gods in our likeness, and refuse to accept the finality of death.
We declare ourselves intelligent and separate above all living things; when actually, we share 98% of our DNA with our cognizant cousins, chimpanzees.
We are not special creatures. We are on this earth through an uncontrolled application of chaos. If we were to back up evolution to an earlier state there is no reason to believe that the outcome would follow the same process.
We are each here as a matter of chance. One particular egg of the three hundred that our mother produced happened to drop at a time that she was sexually receptive, in a place and time that allowed for intercourse, with a random male who inseminated her with tens-of-thousands of sperm, and one particular of those tens-of-thousand happened to penetrate the egg fertilizing it with your particular DNA traits, producing an individual you. Total happenstance.
But we are here - sentient - and with the ability to enjoy our brief time.
Unfortunately, we produce chaos in our own life and waste our precious time by not being mindful of the moment.
If you cannot remember what you ate for breakfast this morning or how it tasted, then you were not alive in that moment; a waste of the precious time we have on this chaotic earth.
Our time is relatively short. Like all other animal species, we will pass and be no more.
Our life is a gift. We are here as a result of chance. Like the Buddha, we must savor the stimulations of our senses, bask in the beauty around us, and pause to enjoy the pleasures of living in the moment, or this gift of life will have been for naught.
In the legend, the Buddha, near death, became awakened when a beautiful young girl gave him a nourishing bowl of rice and a drink of cool refreshing water.
Rights are nice ideas, a comforting window with which to view the world. But once the glass is broken, you realize they were never really there.
Michael Marshall Smith
I know there is a difference between weather and climate. Maine has been in a freak weather pattern for the month of June. We have had only seven days this month without rain – seven dry days.
This is unprecedented, and only the future will be able to determine if this is a changing weather pattern due to climate change.
However, being a long-time resident of Maine I can declare through my observations that I am witnessing the result of climate change by the encroachment of invasive species.
Ticks are now an epidemic in Maine, causing serious illnesses to people. Moose and deer are covered with ticks. Domestic and commercial animals are plagued with ticks. There were no ticks in Maine before 1990. I was a survival instructor and avid hunter and fisherman between the years 1960 and 1985. I regularly slept on the ground and sat on the ground, as did all of my students in survival training, and never once witnessed a tick.
The water in the Gulf of Maine is warming and now becoming infested with green crabs that feed on young lobster and shellfish, affecting the future of fisheries on the coast. Fisheries are now moving farther offshore because of the warming.
The brown-tail moth is now showing up in the coastal regions of Maine killing trees and carrying poisonous spines that can cause serious rashes similar to poison ivy.
I spent eight years in Alaska and witnessed the melting of glaciers, and shore ice in the far north.
The indications are here but only visible to people old enough to have witnessed the changes. To young people, of course, the now is the norm.
Observations from an Ol’Buzzard
I just read Stacy Abrams’ book While Justice Sleeps.
If you are looking for summer reading material, this is a thriller about the Supreme Court; it strikes relevant in today’s legal turmoil.
You might remember Stacy Abrams as the voting rights advocate from Georgia.
There are three reasons that former President Trump will never wear an orange jumpsuit.
First: The Presidential Protection Act of 2012 gives Secret Service Protection to all former Presidents for life, and there is no exception for incarceration. This would create an impossible situation for any jail or penitentiary.
Second: No judge will want to go down in history as the person who ruled to incarcerate an ex-President. The violent factions of the MAGA extreme would place a target on the judge and his or her family, their lives would be in danger and they would require protection for the rest of their lives. No judge is going to accept this personal consequence.
Third: The liberal-biased Supreme Court will never allow Trump to be incarcerated regardless of his crimes.
The most we might see is Trump being placed under house arrest with an ankle bracelet for two or three years.
Trump must be publicly charged with the crimes he has committed, but rest assured, Trump will skate while others go to jail.
In 1872 William West was posted on the corner of 13th and M Street in Washington D.C. West was one of only two black policemen on the Washington Police Force. West had joined the force after serving in the 13th U.S. Colored Infantry under the command of General Ulysses S. Grant
Drivers often sped down 13th Street, the three-mile straight stretch that ran between the city and Brightwood Trotting Park. Earlier that morning a woman and her six-year-old child had been injured by a hit-and-run carriage speeding toward the park.
West, seeing a carriage speeding toward him, stood in the road with his hand up. When the carriage stopped the driver was President Grant. West explained that an injury had occurred earlier as the result of speeding and Grant assured West he would be more conscious of his speed in the future. Grant complimented the officer for his diligence.
The next day West stopped another carriage barreling down 13th Streed only to discover it was again President Grant.
West informed the President that he had to place him under arrest and the President offered to drive them both to the police station.
General Grant was arraigned and released on twenty dollars bail (the equivalent of $460) which was the standard fine charged for speeding.
Grant did not show up for trial the next day and his bail was forfeited which satisfied the fine requirement.
This is not making a comparison with Donald Trump, because Donald Trump is an ex-President and the crimes he committed occurred, and are occurring while he is not in office, and Trump is charged with sedition and espionage and multiple other lesser charges.
If a sitting President could be charged with a crime in 1872 there should be no question of precedence for holding an ex-President accountable for his crimes in 2023.
I’m not a lawyer
During the Trump reign, I often made reference to the dystopian world of 1984, but I was in error.
1984 was a world where the government indoctrinated its citizens and governed through fear. A world where Dear Leader is watching you and your every action. This is North Korea and not the cult created by Donald Trump.
Trump is a con man on the national stage. We have seen this before and there is a name for it: Fascism.
P.T. Barnum said you don’t have to be smart to con people, you just have to be smarter than the people you are conning.
A minority of gullible people have been aroused to anger by a charismatic leader preaching bigotry, white supremacy, and the demonization of people or ideas or religions ‘not like us.’
Hitler roused an angry vocal minority and the majority just fell in line.
This is what has happened to the Republican Party; they have been usurped by an egocentric paranoid fascist leader who now controls power over a loyal minority of Republican voters, and the majority of the Republican Party has fallen in line.
If we let this angry minority control us or even modify our norms, we have fallen in line, and our country will no longer be a democracy governed by laws.
Even though the Republicans have jerrymandered the states to favor Republicans in the Electoral College, we must Vote Republicans out of office in the 2024 election.
Bill Clinton discussing a soliloquy in Shakespeare's McBeth said:
the danger of blind ambition, the fleeting nature of fame, the ultimate emptiness of power disconnected from higher purpose…
This is out of context but seems to describe Donald Trump and the resulting situation we find ourselves in today.
This is a volatile time, but in my eighty-plus years, I have seen many volatile times.
I was alive during the Second world war. Men were away fighting. Star flags were in people’s windows to denote the number of loved ones at war; gold stars meant a father, a son, or a daughter had died in action. Women were working in defense plants and basic goods were rationed. People were planting Victory Gardens.
I was six years old when the world defeated fascism and the war ended.
I was eleven when the Korean War started. It was a brutal war, but for some reason was quickly forgotten.
I lived in the segregated South during my teen years and had just joined the Navy when the violent desegregation of the South began.
We thought the world was going to catch fire during the race riots in California during the 1960s.
And then the Vietnam War.
The twin towers.
Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now after eighty years fascism again rears its head, but this time it is here in the United States led by an ex-President.
To me, this is the most dangerous time since the Second World War.
During the Second World War Europe, and consequentially our nation, was in danger from a foreign power. The war was ‘over there’, yet people here were willing to sacrifice to save democracies.
This is different. Our very democracy here in the United States is now in danger from within, under threats of anarchy and civil war, seeded and fed by a dangerous demagogue.
Our future history will be decided over the next six years.