While highly distracted with love and hope (I fell for someone – on my face!), I managed to read three good but very different books…
BBC Says – Even if only a few read it
There I go again – tilting at windmills. (Well, promoting the electricity-generating ones.) Only a few read my tweets and online comments, but maybe there’s a reader or two here who might appreciate my comments on Elon Musk, advice to Democrats, Adam Kinzinger, night lighting, electric boats, utilities that exploit their users, the trucker convoy, Dr. Bronner’s Soap brothers, Bill McKibbon, taxing all pipelines, Meet the Press staging, changing “You Must Stop” to “Stop When you Must,” most Republicans as RINOs, gun control, Steve Martin sadness, bots, and trolls, voting as a minor form of Citizenship, drought, fires, and fines, The Slap, Julian Assange, phenomenology, and Space Wars.
So, if you want to meander through these varied comments contributed in February and March of 2022, read on. If you want my more pointed entry, see the next one. I’ll post here in chronological order what I said, usually indicating in which forum and to whom it was directed.
BBC Says in February and March of 2022
2.14-22 to Cleantechnica article on Elon Musk’s Starship announcement:
I’m jazzed by rockets, part of our facing the new frontier – how far and inhabitable everyplace is. It’s in our nature to explore anyway.
That said, I imagine a bleak sci-fi movie of a dismal Mars colony, the inhabitants swollen, depleted, and depressed, the earth ruined, watching nature documentaries of what we wasted back at our former home, gone destroyed and dead.
Hardly a cheery movie, nor hopeful, yet needed here and now.
I don’t mind a long-shot Noah’s Ark backup strategy. I just wish Elon would apply his (and his people’s) wizardry to other ecological and governmental strategies here at home, as he’s done with EVs and is trying to do with solar roofs.
2-21-22 to Washington Post on Dem evasion of politics as a strategy in 2024:
Don’t cave to the bland; build on the brand. Give Americans the reasons to vote Democratic and save our democracy. We have the party of Social Security, and we have the party of Antisocial Insecurity. Those who resented that “taxes” were taken from their paychecks are now finding it was a reliable governmental savings program.
Compare the persons and causes of the last eighty years. Don’t relinquish identity in red areas; call out the lonely citizens and let them know they aren’t alone. Don’t assume a R win in the midterms; claim them as the real patriotic responsibility and opportunity. Highlight and welcome white men as a crucial part of “the people of color” who care about our government, society, and environment.
Don’t wilt at the charge of “the extreme left.” What extreme left? The passion of the AOC and Bernie crowd ought to be boldly and proudly claimed and energized as the essence of the American story. We don’t need another round of Democrats being the wimp wing of the Republican onslaught, the noble losers.
We need to rescue our country from the fearsome and foolish antics of the Rs of late. Compared to “the party of Lincoln,” they are all (except Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney) RINOs. Create a new narrative with some pep and promise.
Then, in the same article, responding to Nandez’s put-down of Max Coltraine’s call for Dems to stop the “war against white men.”:
The first thing the Democrats need to do is to stop the war against white men. 99.999 percent of white men have no more power than anyone else and yet the finger-pointing is endless.
Nandez replies to Max:
Max. First, “White Men” have
had an advantage. A big one! You will never win that debate (EVER.) The problem is whenever ones start speaking out about the injustices you have a group (like yourself) that take it as a personal attack. We do not feel sorry for you! How about helping fix the problem. Stop acting like it doesn’t exist to make yourself feel better, and help so the next generation can do better and break whatever bias that has been ingrained from our upbringing on Both Sides.
My reply to Nandez:
I agree with Max. The Dems have scared the right by positioning the Dem party as primarily of, by, and for blacks. While I agree we need to organize on their behalf, I disagree with the group-shaming that white men are responsible for the predicament we’re all caught in. We can only do a bit. I’m only 76; I didn’t cause patriarchy or slavery, nor can I easily fix it. Accusing Max as if he’s wrong to even want to be included ignores him and all the white men who also resent patriarchy and racism. Meanwhile, the Reps give white men one of the only friendly places to consider these days. We get Proud Boys all pepped up on one side and white men sidelined, ignored, [I should have added “insulted”] and wasted on the other.
Same day and place, to the news of Bernie Madoff’s sister and spouse killed in alleged murder/suicide:
Another sad outcome of the tragic Bernie Madoff story. His sneaky greed ruined thousands of others, including many in his own family. They didn’t earn the shame yet suffered from it.
Same day reply to an Adam Kinzinger tweet about being proud, yet harassed for voting against Marjorie Taylor Green:
I’m proud of you, too, but urge you to see all the calls for you to back voting rights. Here in Oregon, our voting is mostly done on paper during the weeks leading up to voting day. It is safe, calm, and verifiable. Such paper voting and a national day off show faith in us all.
And to another Kinzinger tweet responding to a critic calling him a RINO (Republican In Name Only):
It is today’s Republicans who are the real RINOs.
Same day to NextDoor Neighbor regarding nighttime car break-ins:
If the Ashland Police were to put silent, motion-activated, flash-less nighttime cameras in areas where there has been petty theft and worse, we’d catch the culprits. And just knowing such cameras might be there would dissuade such rascals from their selfish, anti-social thefts. I’d rather see this than annoying nighttime lighting glaring in our eyes, ruining a peaceful, starry view, and our having to revert to a culture of having to lock doors.
Same day to Cleantechnica Joanna Crider’s article on the Candela C-8 hydrofoil Electric Runabout Boat. The 8.5 Meter-long boat will rise to the hydrofoil at 16 knots, then cruise at 22 knots for 50 miles on a charge, using 80% less than usual boats of that size:
A promising advance for boating. Retractable foils allow it to go through weedy areas and to the beach. Decent speed and range for a sizeable electric boat! The sooner we get fossil fuels out of our lakes and other waters, the better.
Same day to Cleantechnica article on corn-based ethanol worse than gasoline, a responder posted a video of President Eisenhower’s tagging the science process as subject to financial influence:
Excellent quote by wise old Ike. Did you know the earlier draft of Ike’s warning about the “military-industrial complex” included “congressional” as part of that?
2-22-22 to Cleantechnica article by Steve Hanley on the dark side of EVs
John Dewey was asked if he was an optimist or a pessimist. He replied, “Neither, I’m a meliorist.” A meliorist ameliorates the situation, learning and improving as it goes. It’s good to critique our processes as we go, improving as we can devise and enable.
We’re all compromised in the consumerist modern world. We can look for ways to have better lives while we use less and pick those products and processes that impact people and the planet the least, or even for the better.
Sustainability is good, but a circular economy and ecology that invests in an ever-improving situation for all are better.
2-25-22 to Cleantechnica Crider article on Louisiana’s electric utility’s CEO being given a $4 million dollar raise – to $14 million a year – to be paid for by residents, ostensibly to fix storm damage:
That one person makes $14 million a year! at the expense of all the poorer people of a state is a codified crime. Similar sneaky profiteering went on during Enron and since in California. Perhaps it is a widespread norm in the country.
This is a good example of the foolishness of the faulty meme that privatization is better than governmental functions, which should be provided efficiently and fairly. Utilities should serve the people and environment, not grossly overpaid CEOs and shareholders.
Same day, forward to One Mountain, Many Paths on Mark Gafni’s upcoming talk on Biden and Xi:
Dear Mark and others at One Mountain,
Here is a brief overview of elderly theologian John Cobb’s public letter to Presidents Biden and Xi on cooperating in facing our planetary environmental condition:
and here is the letter itself:
Instead of floundering towards another round of tragic disasters, this would be real leadership.
2-27-22 to Washington Post on Canadian trucker blockage and auto policies
Beyond arresting and fining these dupes, why isn’t the media doing detailed reports on which right-wing interests in the US are promoting this lawless and injurious form of “protest”? Most in the US and Canada are rightly fed up with such antics, but the funders of it get a pass? Expose them. Make them squirm.
3-1-22 reply tweet to Peter Diamandis asking which industry should be disrupted”
The letting of a lingering fossil fuel fart in the face of Mother Nature, the rest of us, and our descendants.
Same day to the NY Times forum on Dr. Bronner soap, their advocacy of sacred mushrooms, etc., and their principled use of profits:
Many appreciations here.
To the NYT for an informative, fun read.
To the original Dr. Bronner for being a principled character.
To the soap itself, which I have trusted for years.
To the re-emerging interest and application of entheogens (in-god-generate) like THC, LSD, Peyote, Mushrooms, MDMA, MDA, and 5 MeO DMT, all of which I have recommended from the pulpit. (I have not yet tried ketamine or ibogaine.)
To the psychonauts who helped guide friends past trouble to insight.
To the responsible university and scientific communities, and such advocacy organizations like MAPS, to those progressive states and cities that are permitting the beneficial applications to proceed (like my Oregon is doing with mushrooms and perhaps more), and to the Bronner brothers for promoting this.
To the Bronner brothers and their company for fair pay.
To the forum contributors here for added insight.
Recuperating from an illness, I once took my magnifying glass to the bathtub and read the entire label! It was as inspiring as anything in seminary.
Our consumerist, warmongering, divisive society is generating much madness leading to personal, social, and ecological troubles. We need principled visionaries like the Bronners and the entheogens they are promoting.
While comments here remind us of the natural way (good diet, yoga, clear ideas, community) is always advisable, so are the sacred substances that have helped humanity for eons – and should re-emerge in these wayward times.
3-2-22 to Cleantechnica article on Elon Musk paying his $11B taxes and contributing $5B to worthy causes including the Khan Academy:
I give the man his due. Only a few truly wealthy people try to apply their talents and money to further society and the environment. Sniping at him for this or that, which I’ve noticed here and in the media in general, detracts from the positive reinforcement he deserves.
Same day to Washington Post article on 4 takeaways from Bidens State of the Union speech:
Another good speech by Biden. If Americans were to actually listen, instead of just staying reactionary, we would see the progress we want and the bipartisanship we crave could be starting.
However, whoever directs which camera is chosen presents a lie to Americans. The clapping for President Biden was shown, but the sullen, stubborn, stifled sitting on their hands of half the room was not. The only shots of that side of the room came when they clapped for Ukraine or for more funding for police.
A similar deception is used when a representative or senator is presenting their side of an argument during the session. We see them speaking, but not the rest of the room. You’d think there are others there listening. Not so. We don’t see how much our elected leaders don’t listen to each other.
Were they to have to be in the room, on camera sometimes, instead of off raising funds for re-election, perhaps there’d be the back ‘n forth of productive dialog.
Same day to KOS on the failed Trucker Convoy to Washington:
Burning diesel for a flop of a demonstration while griping about the high price of diesel. Putting the dumb in freedumb.
3-3-22 to Cleantechnica Johnna Crider’s article on Musk’s paying taxes equal to the amount used to bail out GM:
Thank you for this, Johnna. As Biden ignores Tesla while praising GM, etc., in hopes to revive the rust belt, this coincidence of Musk’s taxes equaling the GM bailout is not misplaced or overplayed, especially considering how long and inept GM has been in electrifying its fleet while he largely founded and succeeded in that market.
I also appreciate your defending him from outlandish criticism, often misplaced due to not understanding the machinations most corporations also indulge in.
That topic goes way beyond Elon Musk, though I note, as compared to many other billionaires, his use of money is largely towards bettering the human and environmental situation. He’s a bit of a joker, but he thinks big and gets big and worthy things done.
Witness, for example (beyond his promoting electric transport and solar rooftops) his sending receivers to allow Ukrainians to stay informed via his satellites when other means of communication are manipulated or removed by autocrats, a backup saving grace we might all need someday.
I can find things to criticize, but as billionaire CEOs go, he’s worth some praise.
(Then in the same forum, responding to Tim Kulogo’s comment in the thread about CEOs having to play the game of avoiding taxes and hiding money):
Biden’s efforts, if achieved, to get all countries to impose a 15% minimum tax on corporations would go a long way to reigning in these rascals hiding their money, doing no one any good. It is an act of leadership potentially benefiting many countries, not just ours.
This selfish game of hiding massive wealth needs to be changed so that the wealth that the world has generated (via lands, oceans, people) can be reinvested in the world.
(Same day to another Crider article, this one on the far-fetched fear of Russia knocking down the International Space Station, fcfcfc responding about the danger of attacking nuclear power stations):
Yet another reason to eschew nuclear power (as well as fossil fuels) in favor of clean, renewable energy – far more decentralized and resilient besides being cleaner and (once the devices are created) free.
(Same day on Cleantechnica to Steve Hanley report of Bill McKibbon’s call for using the Defense Production Act to send heat pumps to Ukraine by next winter:
Bill McKibben’s calling on using the Defense Production Act is an audacious idea that could help Ukraine by next winter, stimulate industry here, redeem our floundering reputation in the world, and educate the world on the 50-year-old technology (improving as it goes, especially with improved refrigerants and ground-source heating) to satisfy our heating and cooling needs without using fossil fuels.
Assuming Biden isn’t secretly in the pocket of such fossil fuels (as shown by not eliminating the subsidies to them, the leasing of new drilling sites, and allowing the Green New Deal and Build Back Better to dwindle) this could be a moment of bold leadership on his part. It would be a win/win/win.
(same day, also to CT, to Carolyn Fortuna fantasy of the speech Biden could have given):
I like your proposed edits, Carolyn, except I’d edit one of your lines. I’d alter your, “I’m calling for bipartisan support for joint EU – US carbon border fees, also known as border carbon adjustments. These would levy a tax on polluting goods. Goods like aluminum and cement from Russia.”
Such border carbon adjustments to be taxed should include all fossil fuels, be they coal, oil, or natural gas, from any source in any direction.
Russia isn’t the only one creating polluting goods. All pipelines should be taxed, the revenue directed at rescuing us all from the current and impending scourges of global warming.
Besides repairing the problems created by it, we should be rapidly upgrading our technologies. Imagine if Biden had included the innovative idea of using the Defense Production Act to rapidly supply Ukraine with heat pumps by next winter – see Steve Hanley’s article on that by Bill McKibben idea here in today’s Cleantechnica.
3-5-22 to Cleantechnica Steve Hanley article about Musk not trying to top the Lucid range of 520 miles on a single charge:
As an American, I won’t be happy until I have a ten-ton car with batteries enough to drive 2,000 miles in case I ever want to!
Even though I usually only drive a maximum of 200 miles during the week and can cheaply charge up at home, or once at a charging station, what about my right to never worry about the “range anxiety” I keep hearing about? (sarcasm)
(same day to Cleantechnica Crider article on Elon Musk and China’s ambassador to the US taking a ride together in a Tesla Plaid):
Aside from the red herrings of alleged slavery, Ukraine, etc., Musk and China are delivering the cars that are at the forefront of the rapid transition away from the fossil-fueled problem of planetary fever we all care about.
I’m glad they’re talking and innovating in getting this urgently needed transition accomplished. As Ford, GM, etc. catch up, all the better.
3-6-22 to Cleantechnica Hanley article on Americans willing to pay higher gas prices to defeat Putin:
Read this right after watching Meet the Press with Chuck Todd (a double-chummy name) at a big Red table, with Red backdrops and Red clothing as the across-the-board conservative commentators’ hyped-up war talk. Joe Manchin was there (without mention of his top rank in receiving fossil fuel financing) to assert Americans won’t mind paying more at the pump in order to support a vague “freedom.”
After swiping at Biden vaguely as a cause of inflation, Manchin called for raising our gas prices, not to fund repair and remedy of mounting global warming disasters and tragedy via a gas tax that invests in our future, but to pump up profits to whoever else (be they Russian, Saudi, U.S., or Canadian) supplies coal, gas, and natural gas – no matter what that does to our immediate and impending environment.
As the hapless Ukrainians and Russian soldiers both suffer in this mad rush to control and profit from natural gas under the ground and in pipelines, the hyper-wealthy plutocrats in Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S. all rake in the money. Oh, and the arms manufacturers on both sides too.
Nikki Haley dismissed any attempts at diplomacy with Russia and the new enemy we’re being prepped to hate, China, a whole new needless arena for the renewal of the war machine.
Lost in this same old cyclic round of arrogance, bluster, and eventual tragedy (perhaps worse than humanity has ever seen) is the cooperative and creative attention these supposed world leaders could be marshaling to address this trans-historic problem of transitioning away from ruining our environment with machines we know we shouldn’t be using.
The sun will still shine and the wind blow, but on and over what?
3-7-22 to Cleantechnica article on using ai to regulate traffic lights:
I have a simpler solution, change the software in our brains by changing the laws. Change the laws that say, “You Must Stop” to “Stop When You Must.” Keep the stop signs and stop lights in place but obey them differently.
For over a year here in Oregon when I approach a stop sign on my bike, if there is traffic in the right of way, I stop, as I must. If there is clearly no traffic in the right of way, I legally roll through. Traffic is still regulated but not needlessly impeded.
Some react to this innovation as too dangerous. In my experience, it is simpler and safer. Less stopping, waiting, and waste (of time and pollution). At complex lights or ambiguous situations, I wait or go cautiously so as to not even give worry to those in the right of way.
As we learn to obey the law in a new way, I can see cars using the same changed law.
3-8-22 to NYT article on battery advances:
Electric vehicles, along with the clean and renewable ways we can charge them, and batteries are all “good and getting better.”
This is a huge and hopeful advance in adapting to and fixing the transnational, humanity-wide predicament we got ourselves into by pumping carbon (that took eons to establish via plants taking it from the air) from below the ground suddenly back into our air, there to trap heat.
My dad was born near Oil City, Pennsylvania, where Pennzoil was founded. His dad helped in the first oil wells in this country. They were after the heavy oils and greases used as lubricants for farm equipment and steam engines. Back then, they burned off a waste product called gasoline in the ditches.
Though there were electric vehicles initially, the internal composition engines (ICE) took over, to Rockefeller’s profit but our eventual global heating predicament.
Gladly, if a bit late, Ford, GM, etc., are joining in with the early advances of Tesla and China in creating cars that are pleasant, clean, quiet, and efficient to run, much simpler and better than ICE vehicles were.
Yes, there are practical, economic, and ethical concerns and challenges to meet and master, but we’re doing it. Such advances will apply to much more than cars, from roller skates and skateboards to boats and locomotives.
Behind this nice NYT report is the glad news that things are good and getting better.
3-10-22 to India Today regarding the impending NASA launch to the asteroid belt past Mars:
Astonishing and admirable!
What powers the craft? Will it be able to maneuver? Are there hopes of eventually mining iron or other valued materials?
(same day) to Washington Post on gasoline prices rising, ostensibly due to Ukraine/Russia:
A benefit of the high gasoline prices is that people will use less, thus polluting less. They will also be more inclined to buy an electric car.
However, I suspect the oil companies will reap windfall profits by aligning the higher prices with Ukrainian freedom as a PR windfall.
Tragically, a gas tax to fund the repair and prevention of what used to be called global warming goes unused for that higher, wiser purpose.
We should be paying more for our gasoline to help end all the trouble fossil fuels have caused and will continue to cause.
Same day to Adam Kinzinger tweet about how welcoming the Republican Party ostensibly is:
Adam, and the rest of you readers of Adam’s tweet, read the replies to see how the Republican Party is being seen these days.
Finally, some perspective about the Fake News they’ve become!
3-12-22 to KOS on Governor accosted at a restaurant, to Duckncover’s comment that racist Democrats migrated to the Republican party:
Republicans claim to be “the party of Lincoln.” By that standard, almost all Republicans today are RINOs.
Same article, reply to Dangerd’s comment that Democrats might start arming themselves:
If Democrats and blacks and other minorities were to start arming themselves as extensively as Republicans — then we’d get gun control!
Or would we? After all, the NRA is a front group for the weapon makers and sellers. A new Civil War would be a boon to their business. Could that be a part of their business model?
A domestic version of the international arms race could easily be stimulated by fear and accusation, just as that is working now in Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc. The only ones winning are the arms manufacturers. A truly tragic trend.
3-17-22 to KOS article on Joe Manchin and Republican rejection of Sarah Bloom Raskin:
Manchin and EVERY Republican in the Senate aren’t just deplorable, they’re despicable!
They are the enemies of our country and planet.
Every American who supports them is either a dupe or a dope.
Our local towns burned to the ground. 2,500 buildings in this one fire alone! We’re due for another year of even worse drought and impending firestorms. Other areas of our country and planet endure rain bombs and floods.
The expensive consequences of this are impacting us even faster than predicted. All of this is mostly due to fossil fuels and the fossilized fools who ignore, excuse, and promote them. The suffering and costs of global warming will rise yearly, yet these selfish oil companies and their lackey senators have the perverted power to reject anyone who dares try to confront it.
The corrupt and dysfunctional system we are allowing to rule will haunt and hurt us for generations. Americans should and would be better than this, but not with Republicans and Manchin in charge.
(BirdDog’s reply to my entry)
We need a large-scale alternative to give these guys some competition. When presented with a renewable alternative that was actually accessible my guess is most people, especially the young ones, would convert over, IF it was easy and economical for them to do so. When enough people start to take advantage of this, fossil fuel energy will get more expensive, and more people will abandon it. They aren’t walking away until the costs outweigh their profits and once their futures traders figure this out, they will drop fossils like a hot potato. But right now, they don’t have any real competition, why should they change? They don’t give a shit about the environment, they are driven by profit and profit alone.
(My reply to BirdDog)
The alternatives are popping up all over, and you’re right, the traders will, and are, dropping fossil fuels. Young people can’t afford Teslas but they are jumping on electric bikes and skateboards. More and more people are opting for solar on their roofs to power their houses and cars. Worldwide, affordable electric vehicles are coming on, like the Chinese and European models starting at $5,000.
That this list of fossil fuel companies pressured Raskin out of the Fed is an insult to our democracy and an assault on our environment.
(Same day to KOS Jjc lamenting DJT while liking Hillary Clinton’s snarky tweet about Russia’s sanction of her):
Bless your heart, Jjc. I used to shake my head if I ran across The Apprentice while flipping through channels, aghast that anyone would like watching a bloated, arrogant white guy dismiss contestants with a, “You’re fired!”
Only to see him take command of our country, dismissing half the population with a smug shrug, unleashing police power on peaceful demonstrators so he could pose with a Bible — as if that mattered at all to him as anything other than a prop. He similarly used the evangelical Christians for his devilish agenda.
What is it about Americans who vote for an obvious liar, a con man, a self-loving slimeball? I didn’t like a few meager things about the Clintons, especially that her speaking voice grated. But I respect what they were able to do despite the conservative onslaught, and I love her for this audacious and funny tweet!
Reply to Byrd on KOS
Totally agree with you regarding how the hateful, belligerent whack-job trump got into office (unfortunately, I’m seeing many in the public who have short attention spans still supporting him for a 2024 run) instead of Hillary.
Adding one more thing: from having dealt with people who are malignant narcissists, pathologically lying, sociopathic con artist scammers just like trump, people like that can be, and are, very charming when they want something from people, and what happens is that people trust them and open up to them, which enables the con-artists to collect “dirt” on them. Later on, if that person has gotten wise to what kind of person the con is, they may actually manage to disengage, however, they’ll never turn on the con because that dirt will be flung publicly which will at the very least lead to humiliation and embarrassment, but may well lead to breaking up marriages, and could also lead to legal trouble depending on the dirt flung.
I’m thinking people like Lindsey Graham, Jim Jordon, Matt Gaetz, Marge Green, and many others (most likely including a few Democrats who were foolish) will never turn on trump for the simple reason that as a “dirt collector” he would without remorse destroy their lives, which scares other people he has dirt on into keeping their mouths shut, because people like him never go down alone.
Too true, WildTymes. Narcissists can also be psychopaths.
I wonder what secrets Trump and Jeffery Epstein have on all sorts of “dignitaries.” Well, Epstein had, before he was murdered.
(Same day to Steve Martin tweet of a sad banjo song):
Bless your heart, Steve. It’s a good lament.
I loved your humor, but you don’t have to always be funny. Stardom must be wearing.
Come to town; I’ll buy you a beer.
(Bring Sarah Silverman with you if you can!)
(Same day to Adam Kinzinger tweet mocking House liberals declaring a climate emergency):
I have supported much of what you do, but here, it is you who is tone-deaf and wrong.
In geologic and ecologic time, global warming is an emergency. The harm and the hurt will continue to increase, only faster than predicted.
Don’t be a dupe, like most Reps. Help fix it.
3-18-22 to Charles Eisenstein’s Reinventing Progress:
We need compelling but practical visions of a magnificent future, remembering and rescuing of the Eden Earth we inherited, injured, and could revalue and revive. The guru Anandamurti claimed the future will be better than we can now imagine. Loving Nature and each other towards a universal hedonic civilization could turn the corner from the doom and gloom we’re caught in.
Trouble partly is we’re caught in our own amygdales. We’ve grown cynical, paranoid, edgy, primed to defend and attack. Every powerful person becomes Lex Luther no matter their historical context or generous ambitions. Every technology is suspected of being out to get us. We moan that 1984, intended as a warning, became a manual. The Good Witch of the North isn’t as dramatic as the Wicked Witch of the West.
Whatever became of Ecotopia? Partly, it’s here. Things have improved, and they could get even better if we envision them doing so. Science Fiction has its place, but Science Possibility, futuristic stories based on the feasible, could help awaken us to each other and our Edenic home, not just as patchwork or catch-up disaster capitalism as warned by Naomi Klein, but the sort of sensitive, inclusive, forgiving caring Charles attempts here.
Come on, artists and storytellers, scientists and engineers, point us to a future worth creating.
3-20-22 to KOS on Trucker Convoy:
A lot of these anti-vax truck convoy people are clowns, no doubt. But don’t underestimate the depth of the potential violence among the MAGA/QAnon/Trumpist people. We saw just how ferocious and depraved their violence can be on Jan. 6, 2021. Other Trump supporters also plotted to blow up California State Democratic Party HQ over the 2020-2021 winter.
The truck convoy people are a mish-mash of anti-vaxxers, racist White Nationalists, right-wing anarchists, Trump supporters, and pro-Putin defenders. Authorities have to continue to take seriously the threat of the large trucks. Some of the MAGA people said they want to drive those trucks right up to, and perhaps AT, the White House. One year after MAGA/QAnon/Trump people attacked the US Capitol and tried to kill every member of Congress.
Individual MAGA/QAnon people might be clowns, just like Donald Trump often is. We can and should mock Trump. But we certainly shouldn’t downplay the continuing threat to American democracy, civil rights, minority groups, and basic civil society from the violent White Nationalist MAGA/QAnon/Trump movement. They remain as dangerous as ever. If they manage to win, or steal, control of the US House and enough state legislatures and governorships in the November 2022 midterm elections, there’s a very real chance that they could use that control to throw the 2024 presidential election to Trump, even if he loses the electoral vote.
Remember: There is no bottom with Trump and his MAGA/QAnon disciples. Many of them openly admire Vladimir Putin. Not despite his brutality, depravity and ethnic Christian Nationalism, but PRECISELY because of that! They want to bring that mindset back to the US government. It would be far worse than it was in Jan. 2017 to Jan. 2021.
What do we want?!? Something! When do we want it?!? At some indeterminate point in time!
What do we want? Don’t know. When do we want it? When we figure out what we want.
What don’t you want?
When don’t you want it?
To Byrd on KOS
We’re mad as hell and we’re not gonna take it anymore, once we figure out what we’re mad as hell about and what we’re not gonna take anymore. In the meantime, look at me! I have a big twuck with shiny wheels that go round and round!
It’s all hyped-up attitude, empty of substance but full of self-righteous indignation. No specifics needed, just mad as hell and eager to blame others for a collective mood disorder, a socially popular brain imbalance. Tribal but trivial, a perversion of patriotism.
3-21-22 to Seth MacFarlane tweet of a Guardian article about both earth poles melting
You sure do attract the dopey denial crowd and the nattering nabobs of negativity, with their shallow and nonsensical insults at solar and wind, and electric cars, people eager to display their ignorance, arrogance, and trite dismissal of global warming.
3-22-22 to Cleantechnica article on 50% EVs by 2030, comment by William Meyer on Ford paying $5/hr:
And, as I understand it, he was successfully taken to court by the Dodge brothers for paying that much, claiming his noble care for the overall state of the economy abandoned his fiduciary responsibility to his shareholders. Thus, instead of corporations also having to look to the common good, they must only serve the profits of their shareholders, leading to the super pay for psychopathic CEOs despite where that leaves their workers or our economic and ecologic environment.
Henry Ford, along with his faults, was a visionary. He brought soybeans here to make car dashboards and later entire cars. (They still grow near the Ford headquarters, the Glass House in Dearborn, Michigan.) He originally saw the high-water flow and lack of winter work for Michigan farmers as key to their using a water mill to crank out parts that would later be assembled in Detroit. Both moves fit our renewed regard for a sustainable economy and environment.
Despite the joke of an advanced car, the Edsel, Edsel himself was also a decent visionary. His money helped found and fund the Ford Foundation, which has gone on to support many a worthy cause.
Bill Ford and the company are keeping their tradition alive. Of the big three in Detroit, Ford is the one to step forward first (other than GM with its EV1, which was a great attempt until they called them all back and crushed them) to speed into production their Mustang and the F-150. The new Ford Co. also has Chinese connections, which I hope result in truly simple and affordable BEVs coming to our streets soon, lots of them, so we can quickly stop financing and furthering the harms of the now bygone fossil fuel era. (The GM Volt and Bolt were decent EVs.)
While I appreciate Elon Musk and Tesla for changing the reputation of electric cars, I bemoan how long it’s taking to bring out affordable ones for the masses and I’ll credit Ford for doing their initial part in helping us transition to transportation that is a crucial part of the sustainable gathering and use of the energy we all urgently need. Cynical gripes aside, Ford deserves a pat on the back historically and currently.
Actually thoughtful reply to me:
What is the afFORDable Ford EV? We were intrigued by the F-150, but discovered it has a $75k price tag at the new-standard range of ~300 miles.
My reply to Thoughtful:
Fair enough, and the Mustang’s not much better. Nor do their European options wow me, though their Kuga will get 31 miles on electric-only in the PHEV version. More importantly, they’re teaming up with VW towards? and have announced they will invest $30 B in electrics by 2025. Baby steps, but better ones than GM or Chrysler appear to be making.
Perhaps most promising are their Escape hybrid to sell for $34K and their Maverick little hybrid pickup, slated to sell for $25 K. So far, the Maverick looks promising, especially if it were to offer PHEV with AWD, but such a model isn’t being promised yet.
Same day to KOS on Findland advice to U.S., Bumpa comment that voting is the most important:
Voting is the least important thing we do as citizens. It is minimal, not maximal.
Beyond voting as best we can in a clunky system that often is a lopsided blindside or the proverbial choice between poor choices, we have the power and responsibility to be informed and to speak our truth as best we can with each other, in the newspaper and online, and to our representatives — no matter how unresponsive they might be.
We also have the right to contribute — even if our paltry contribution is nowhere matching the mega-bucks the Kochs and their ilk have — and to expose those corporations and people who support the ruining of our government and environment as we can.
Assuming the most important thing we do is to vote is to relinquish our power to those who run ads for scoundrels who gerrymander voters into helpless victims of heartless victimizers. Vote, sure, but be informed, involved citizens even more so.
3-23-22 to a Michael Mann tweet of Guardian report of both poles heating: (See 3-21-22 to Seth MacFarlane, above.)
Another tweeted this same article only to be met with rampant ridicule, cynicism, and fake-science replies. Trolls and bots dominate thought in some quarters. They treat the ominous signs of catastrophic worldwide heating and upheaval with flippant, trite replies as if a sport.
Same day to Cleantechnica report of megadrought to expand:
A mega-fire passed across the street from us to go on and burn 2,500 buildings. The metals melted into ash. Our local lakes are way down again this year. Our ski hills are barely open. Our farmers lack water. Meanwhile, other areas of the globe get too much water. It is a huge, precarious problem.
Yet trolls, bots, and the duped treat it as if trite, a snarky sporting event. Just when humanity needs international leadership and cooperation in admitting and fixing this transnational, transhistorical predicament, they instead mount a new war, partly over the same oil and gas that is creating it.
I appreciate those, like here at Cleantechnica, who try to innovate less harmful technologies, who alter their diets, who drive less and cleaner, who gather our energy needs from sunlight, wind, and falling water, etc. Bit by bit, our leaders are catching on, hopefully, because we urgently need them to.
3-25-22 to KOS on Ted Cruz, etc., and Judge Jackson
The only time I’ve seen Lindsey Graham fully inhabit his own body was when he denounced Trump. “Count me out,” he rightly said with passion and integrity.
Then, back to pathetic emptiness.
I almost feel sorry for him and the rest of those stupid, embarrassing fools.
I just hope the American public sees these twisted, belittling snakes for what they are.
3-26-22 to Bill McKibben’s Crucial Years, (in The New Yorker) “This is your world on fossil fuel”:
Kudos to Bill McKibben for a rational, well-written overview of our climate predicament and how to fix it. Were we to treat our world with tenderness, intelligence, and inclusive community (people, animals, life) we could enter a future far lovelier and more abundant than we now can imagine.
3-27-22 to Cleantechnica repost of a union of Concerned Scientists, The Equation article by Carly Phillips on year-round fires for California:
As in the fast fire that burned Paradise a few years ago, the fast, furious fire across the street from my house went on to incinerate 2,500 houses and businesses in Talent and Phoenix, Oregon. After the usual winter rains which didn’t come again this year, the local lakes should be full. They’re not up to 20%. Another summer coming of dry, hot conditions liable to flare into wild firestorms. The whole west coast is severely stressed and threatened. Forests, wildlife, crops, towns – all dangerously dry and ignitable.
I wonder, could California, Oregon, and Washington sue those corporations who knew they contribute to global heating and yet financed big PR disinformation campaigns and lobbied to avoid any slowing of their helping cause these huge problems or assume any responsibility in repairing the damage? Worldwide damage, because other areas are beset with storms, tornados, hurricanes, floods, and rising seas. They’ve profited; why shouldn’t they pay? Why aren’t the fossil fuel companies paying for the trouble they’re causing?
3-29-22 to KOS on Michigan Trumpists fighting Republicans
I’z born in Pontiac went to Flint Jr. College, Wayne State U., and graduated from Oakland U. before going on to the U of Chicago. (Now live in Oregon)
I wish the Democrats would boldly denounce the Magats for the embarrassing menace that they are. Give mainstream voters of both parties some relief from their crude, rude, armed madness, and move Michigan towards civility, intelligent progress, and safety.
Same day respond to a KenRadio tweet on The Slap:
Had Will not slapped Chris I would have missed the obscure joke.
I like comedians. They pop the tension by saying things we see but aren’t supposed to say.
Good thing this slapping a comedian wasn’t cool when Don Rickles held forth. He’d be even uglier.
(Same day to Chris Hedges tweet on the marriage of Julian Assange):
Thank you, Chris, for living up to your calling. What we see in the treatment of Julian is nothing less than slow-motion martyrdom. That he simply conveyed the bad news of our bad actions and thus inherits unrelenting sadism shows how lost and sinister the US is becoming.
Same day to Anon article “How to Think like a Phenomenologist”:
I confess to some reactivity here.
From Plato on, many assume their own consciousness is Reality, not the perceived world. That’s solipsistic. The world exists independent of our various views of it. The tree that falls in the woods makes noise whether there’s someone there to hear it or not. We don’t generate galaxies; the galaxies were there before we discovered them.
Sure, photons that fire my retina that send electrical info to my brain lets me see a stick, but I don’t then go on to assume what I see is what is there in the way I see it. St. Augustine said, “If you put a straight stick into the water it appears to bend; ergo, you can’t trust your senses,” going on to assert, “trust the church’s telling of Reality instead” (or some such similar). We see what that then meant to the development of science.
Lao Tzu nailed it in his first poem in the Tao Te Ching. There are words for the ten thousand things, but the words are not the things. Nor is The Tao the Tao of which he wrote, it is an approximation. So, using the mystery of words, peer into that of which they speak. Perhaps that’s what this article says that a phenomenologist does.
I went to India disgruntled at how the west’s religions are alienated from natural reality only to find those in India who assume our bodies and this natural world are all just maya, illusion. The useful concept of maya as the mistake of taking the rope in the corner for a snake morphed into alienating us from our own bodies and the ecosystem that enable them. One pines for an afterlife; the other, an instead of life. Neither loves this given life. I do.
I’m a philosophical materialist: Self does not exist independent of our body and this material world. I like the gurus (like Meher Baba) who assume we are the immortal Self taking on various bodies, but I have no evidence that that’s true, nor that we will go to Heaven or Hell. When I was an embalmer, I never saw the ghost of a soul. We have this one precious lifetime at least, and perhaps at most.
Lately, some seem to take the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle too far, that because Heisenberg couldn’t determine both the where and when of electrons that “Reality is up for grabs.” Not so. Standard physics, chemistry, biology, and ecology are all still operant, much as science has measured and organized. As stated in the article, when walking by the tree, remember to duck lest you hit your head on a branch.
We can and should question our perceptions (and those of others) but we need to go along with natural language, not stumbling over every perception and report as if suspect. We need and use common terms for the ten thousand things. Is Reality really up for grabs and every telling of it equally valid? If someone calls it Fake News, their news might be even more fake.
3-30-22 to Elon Musk tweet celebrating clean renewable energy advances:
Most of these replies are by dull-witted trolls who like to spout wild ideas or foolish ridicule based on their own ignorance. Sustainable clean energy (sun/wind/water) is rapidly replacing dirty energy. Coupled with storage, innovative cars, better buildings, etc., hope!
Same day to Cleantechnica Tina Casey article on space-based solar:
And how would that centralized energy source be distributed? The advantage of distributed energy supply, as in solar rooftops, community-based solar and wind farms, is that ownership is assured. If we had utility companies that served the people and planet rather than the investors and their overpaid CEOs, I’d be more open to space-sourced energy.
Whew! Did you read this far? Kudos! These are some of the ways I insert my religious views into the politics, technology, and cultural dialog these days.
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