Remember the 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause”? James Dean, Natalie Wood, and Sal Mineo played three distraught teens, alienated from their families, caught up…
The huge full moon, the amazingly colorful solstice morning, and Christmas all came together in a beautiful way that seemed to portend a beautiful upcoming year. I hope so. 2021 was a bit of a dreary, frustrating challenge. We’re all worn by social, political, and medical worries. I hope and pray we regain a healthy community.
Here’s the sky on solstice:
I appreciate those few of you who came here to read what I post. However, it was such a busy month with the holidays and other duties, I didn’t have time to compose much of a message. So, once again, I revert to posting all the scattered online contributions I made during December.
Sorry, I haven’t arranged these in their respective topic areas. Rather, they’re just listed chronologically. If you care to read them you’ll find themes: political, environmental, appropriate technologies, religion, Covid, and media. Where pertinent I include the text that stimulated my comments and/or replies to me. It’s a long read (four sermons worth), but perhaps you’ll find ideas and phrasing that you’ll like.
BBC Says December, 2021
12-1-21 (Hey, this date is an anagram!) to a Youtube Bruce Springsteen anti-war song
Yeah, the Boss! And I’m starting to get reacquainted with Tom Morello (formerly of Rage Against the Machine) who contributed to Bruce the heart-rending story of vet Thomas Young, who wrote a telling “Last Letter” to George Bush and Dick Cheney before he left his difficult life. Tom also sang to this.
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12-6-21 to Cleantechnica DOE report on why lithium-ion batters will never charge quickly
What of QuantumScape and NanoTech, both of which are announcing non-flammable, fast-charging batteries? Solid-state lithium/metal and graphene, respectively, I believe.
The headline claims “Scientists Discover Another Reason Why EV Batteries Can’t Charge in a Few Minutes,” misleading the narrative, generalizing as if about all EV batteries.
fcfcfc’s post on new batteries •
Well, OK, you have a chemical engineering problem. So, solve it.
Second. Who says Li-ion has to be the battery of choice for fast charging? Probably isn’t. You are trying to keep Li-ion alive. Move on. Li-S, SSB, etc….
This “headlined” implied “show stopping” problem is business as usual.
How’s that for narrative minimization….
Thus “narrative minimization”. Minimizing there’s not mine…
I like your term, “narrative minimization,” for this Dept. of Energy report as if providing talking points for those laughing off EVs.
Range and charging time are both overblown “problems.” The truth is, EVs and their batteries are pretty good now and will only get better.
You have clarity of thought.
You have good judgment of character.
What are QuantumScape’s Anode-Free Batteries and how do they work?
In an anode-free battery, the Li deposits on the bare current collector (CC) in the first discharge without any host materials
Thanks, SJC. Your link provides the technical explanation of this hopeful breakthrough. Such batteries would be game-changers for EVs and other applications.
it does look like a good technique
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12-9-21 ByronBradley to a Cleantech Steve Hanley article on Florida’s DeSantis’ meager sea-rise plans
(Quoting Hanley) “DeSantis has no plan to reduce carbon emissions in his state by one iota.” Iota comes from an old theological argument between the Homousians and the Homoiousian’s, killing each other over whether Jesus was of the same nature or substance as God.
Steve’s point is that DeSantis won’t take any responsibility for Florida’s emitting more of the stuff that’s causing Florida’s (and the rest of the world’s) stubborn and growing problems.
He reminds me of King Canute, who stood in the sea commanding it to not rise. The difference is King Canute knew his power could not prevent the rise, while DeSantis is deluded about the deluge his irresponsible stance perpetuates.
Does he think calling it “left-wing stuff” eliminates the left-wing? Would his potential presidency flop like an eagle that has only one wing? Perhaps he’s trying to preemptively balance that with Covid policies that kill off mostly the right-wing? Would he stand in the rising tide holding a misbalanced, mutilated eagle or one with no wings, unable to fly to safety? Presidential, or presi-demented?
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12-10-21 to blog by Danica Salazar on the new climate words in the Oxford Dictionary cited in a Yale Climate Connections post: https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2021/12/dictionary-update-shows-how-changing-climate-changes-language-and-much-more/
I had to copy/paste in the word kaitiakitanga because I can neither say it nor spell it. It’s a good concept and intention but a bad word. Why obscure what should tell?
I’d say it’s worse than “climate change,” the oft-used word that says nothing. It’s ambiguous. It shied away from “global warming” for petty reasons.
We need stronger, more urgent words for the man-made planetary fever that is bringing and will bring havoc and hurt to our formerly safe, healthy, and reliable earth weather system.
The same day, tweet and Facebook about Standard Oil’s long history of financing sickening lies
Read it and weep, or rage. A century of lies and manipulation to keep them rich and us sick. The same sort of PR that kept cigarettes popular, such as killed my mother, is being used to keep fossil fuels sickening Mother Earth.
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12-11-21 reply to the Gangaji blog, “The Freedom of No Escape”
I was thinking of the irony of peace protesters shouting, “What do you want? Peace. When do you want it? Now!,” but stridently.
Then I imagined a counter-protest to the current craze of demanding freedom from mask mandates and pressure to vaccinate. Across the street, some could chant, “What do you want? Responsibility. When do you want it? Now!” (Or a more honest response might be, “Never!” or maybe, “Occasionally!”)
So, after your excellent “Freedom of No Escape,” we might chant, “What do you want? Freedom from Me! When will you get it? Never!”
So, we suck it up. We’re stuck with who we are – for better or worse.
Some say eschew the ego, but ego’s who we are and where we start. Acceptance is starting.
(No reply from her)
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Same day to Cleantechnica Johnna Crider’s report on Tesla in China:
That Tesla is making and selling EVs at 50,000 a month in China is good news, for any EV that replaces an ICE anywhere by any company is a bit of good news for the planet.
That news publishers like CNN avoid such good news while dwelling on hyped-up bad news isn’t good for our planet.
Such news outlets as CNN must know that, but, as forum contributors here note, there are economic pressures to distort the news beyond standard stale thinking.
yet the little Wuhang EV sells 40,000/month in China. I have to wonder how long the legs are for ‘premium EVs’ in China when 95% of US citizens would be hard-pressed to buy a car costing the equivalent price in the US.
Bring them here. The planet can’t wait for the US and other automakers to keep pushing only high-end electrics. We need simple, affordable electric cars now. If we can’t or won’t do that, I’m in favor of paying China to provide them.
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12-13-21 to Facebook, Twitter, posting the Michael Mann video on Democracy Now!:
I highly recommend this clear, concise explanation of how the recent and impending tornados and floods, firestorms, and droughts are exacerbated by human-caused (and therefore human-fixable!) global warming.
Here is Mann’s appearance on Democracy Now!
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Same day reply to Adam Kinzinger tweet what would Reagan and Lincoln say about Republican Party now:
They’d say, “fix the Republican party or abandon it as RINO.”
How can decent Republicans keep supporting this menace to our America and our Earth?
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Same day to forum for the theme music to Democracy Now! Bosh comment:
“this song is synonymous in my brain with incredible news and crippling anxiety”
The news we weary of seeing yet should – if we’re citizens, the news that is otherwise “covered” by the standard news and deliberate liars like Fox.
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Same day to Steven Colbert youtube on Fox News Christmas Tree burning, etc.:
With help from some witty writers, Steven (himself, a master improviser with great hair!) has once again brought laughter tears to my eyes. He sums up and explains the news better than anyone else! Let Fox News, Ron Johnson, Ahhh Qua, morons, and the historonic minority preacher with a trumpish red shirt all squirm!
Here’s Steven’s Christmas Tree Fire video complete with his carol:
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Same day to KOS on Brian Williams finally saying something as he exits newscasting:
Excellent point, Stella. Some dare to use their big voice, then suffer for it, like Julian Assange, Steven Donzinger, etc.
And it isn’t hyperbolic to say the Republican Party is deliberately pushing our entire country towards a Naziish direction while the Democratic is occasionally imperfect.
What often disturbs me is how newscasting is supposed to be neutral. Just the facts, man. But spoken devoid of any normal human reaction to the sometimes-horrendous news or crippling grief or the dismantling of our country? Take our humanity out of it and it becomes a distortion. What are we to think and feel – inured, numb, passive?
What emotional lesson and social direction does the news teach?
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Same day to KOS diary about man jailed for violent threats:
If the Democratic Party doesn’t start tooting its own horn about accomplishments since FDR and contrasts that with Republican acts since, especially lately, and do-so with incisive ads like the Lincoln Project made, using bold appeals to our patriotic natures in realistically emotional terms, whatever untiring efforts it has made and accomplished will be lost to their “noble loser” image as blatant fascists capture our country, courts and cops included. That would then unleash corporate control of our media, workforce, education, and environment along with irate petty moralists pushing punitive puritanism.
People need self-assurance and dramatic leadership, much as seen in a perverted form in DJT! Who else is wearing colorful garments, flying the American flag with gusto, and shouting group slogans beside his base base? Most Americans don’t read KOS. Many don’t realize the manipulation of our news and social media. Many suspect a dangerous misbalance but don’t feel the presence of a counterbalance.
In that the Republicans have consistently used tactics that work: unrelenting ridicule spouted as if brave (yet shallow) patriotism, the Democrats should be similarly negative and critical, denounce the danger and destruction in dramatic urgency. Instead of desperately trying to hold on in 2024, swing decent Americans into pridefully taking up the Democratic cause. Secure the House, take the Senate, restore security and sanity in the states, counties, and cities (and the currently abandoned rural America!), and rescue America from its own demise.
I would rely on the Democrats entirely, except for their new expanded military budget, the rattling of sabers at both China and Russia, the treatment of Julian Assange, and the absence of appeal and identity for whites, males, and rural America. At this crucial juncture in history, create the vehicle that will actually “build back better.” Seeking bipartisan agreements isn’t working. Seeking to explain American ideals and promise in terms of recent obvious differences and getting decent Republicans to either not vote or switch might.
To Byrd on KOS
With decades of republicans “constant gifts” of their numerous and ongoing crimes against Democracy, and their own people. All we should have to do is run and have videos ready, playing the worst of GOP’s own words against them, proving republicans records of harming their own. And, FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN TEACH DEMOCRATS MESSAGING, and simply use the truth to defeat GOP lies. How is it the Lincoln people seem to have better political commercials against republicans than we do? Still?? We should be winning easily once we educate people on how much we want to help improve their lives, and end the violence many of them live with.
So true, Bartskid. The Dem PR people are the worst on techniques and optics. Watch the backgrounds on their messages — messy, grey, irrelevant, distracting. Did the Reps somehow install anti-directors in the Dem team? Watch the camera work on Congress, how one side of the room is highlighted for cheering and the other utterly out of frame. Americans have no idea what an insulting process is in place. There’s no back-n-forth, only stubborn sides (Republicans especially, as they obstruct and ruin the process, then blame it on vague “Congress” or “government” or specifically on the Dems, alienating citizens from the Dems and the process).
Look at the predictable, off-putting ads the Dems use. Any passion for Bernie or AOC gets lost in the bland. White men have been abandoned, relinquished to the Proud Boys and their ilk. Minority victims of various sorts and groupings are highlighted, which is good that they finally are included as vital parts of a humanistic inclusive plurality, but while ignoring white men and rural America? Draw the circle bigger and make it more appealing, more all of us, not parts of us.
Display how wild, silly, and dangerous the Reps often are — and shame it. Invite decent Republicans over, or at least to not vote for those they find abhorrent. Reps parade as if patriots, eager to bully their way to bossing the country. It’s a perverted patriotism that real patriots should name and shame. When our flag is used to bash our police and attack our government it is defiled.
They aren’t the good guys here! So, say so! Don’t succumb to being the wimp republicans, the noble losers yet again. The Dems have done marvelous work despite highly financed, tightly organized limitless opposition. Make a story that we want to be proud of, and then live into it.
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Same day to Cleantechnica Steve Hanley article about geoengineering the ocean:
Geoengineering might open blunders greater than the one our using fossil fuels has created. However, given our predicament, both stopping problematic ff flatulence and devising ways to get it down into our soils, plants, and oceans are worth considering.
Bucky Fuller once defined pollution as wasted resources. What waste do we now deal with uneconomically that could be applied to meet our needs beneficially? We systematically take a lot from the oceans. What might we be doing systematically to feed and augment them? Same for the soils and our spirits.
One of the only original Biblical instructions was to “replenish.” Switching to a circular economy and ecology that goes beyond mere sustainability to invest in flourishing and abundance will build a better future for all.
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Same day to Cleantechnica David Waterworth article on new electric airplanes in Australia:
The elephant of which you speak is fed and foisted on us by that other elephant in the room – the Republican Party.
Short-haul electric airplanes are already in place and being developed. As batteries come down in weight while improving in power, we will have longer flights using electric airplanes. (Which besides being cheaper to run and maintain, won’t pollute as much and will be far quieter.)
This is another example of “as we have the will, we will find the ways.”
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12-16-21 to The Guardian newspaper in England
I sent in my meager L 5.00 to thank the Guardian for great environmental and political coverage, better than we usually see here in the US, as a way of saying “Thanks!” and “keep up the good work of journalism.” (I note that journalism is under attack by coopting it, snooping out journalists to harass, and by killing them.)
This world needs honest and brave journalists as never before.
Reply from environment guy at the Guardian:
Thanks for your donation, and for your kind words – we’re always pleased to hear from people who think our work is making a difference. I will share your message with the rest of the team and we will do our best to keep at it!
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Same day to Adam Kinzinger tweet on Russian bully threatening a US congressman:
The larger fascist world is rife with such arrogance. I hope you succeed in returning the US Republican Party to any measure of principle and dignity. As is, they only embarrass and threaten us all.
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Same day, late evening, to Quora on why conservatives don’t like socialism:
We have the party of Social Security. Then we have the party of Antisocial Insecurity.
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12-17-21 to Cleantechnica article on VW getting dealerships ready for EVs, a respondent wrote:
In Europe the EV markup is fixed for all VW dealerships. So VW pays them a fee for each sale.
I replied to Moonbeam:
I wonder what that fee/sale is.
When a VW dealership in Portland, Oregon suddenly jacked up the already agreed price on a long-reserved ID.4 by $8,000, my son walked away from the deal, perhaps to never buy a VW.
I can see some reasonable fee to a dealer to receive a car, do some paperwork, and allow it to be picked up, but $8,000?
12-29-21 to Cleantechnica article on EV dealerships honoring agreed prices or jacking them up
My son’s year-and-a-half wait for his ordered VW id-4 went from glad anticipation to sour resentment (at least for me) at VW in general when their Portland, Oregon dealership suddenly demanded an extra $8,000 to turn over the car to him.
I can see some reason for some dealer markup, but $8,000 for a two-hour walk-around and delivery of some paperwork? I thought VW was trying to rebuild their honor.
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Same day to Cleantechnica on California’s CARB pulling back on auto emission requirements:
I don’t understand the nuances of these numbers and those of those commenting here, but I appreciate the California Air Resources Board for their progressive work earlier and hope they persist in leading California, and therefore to some extent the rest of our country, in a cleaner air direction. Being from one of those states adopting California standards,
I want our combined leadership to sway the auto companies and the rest of the US in the EV direction as quickly as possible. Nationally and in the states, it has been only the Democrat Party that has tried to address the persistent and growing problem of planetary heating. The other party, though ostensibly conservative, doesn’t conserve traditionally reliable weather patterns at all!
That admitted, the extent to which Democrats Manchin and Newsom are financed by fossil fuel interests (which include laggard automakers) should be part of every consideration of their views. Only rarely have I heard any connection between Manchin’s stubborn votes and how much money he gets from the richest and most resistant corporations in the world.
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12-18-21 to NextDoor on Holly D.’s appeal to antivaxers and Joni Holland’s reply:
This thread is clear, kind, and helpful to any who are hesitating to get vaccinated. Such resistance and denial come in a time of rampant cynicism and paranoia towards governments, science, and corporations in general. Taking a stance becomes a way to show how strong you are. Some shout, “Freedom!” I don’t see any shouting, “Responsibility!” The responsibility isn’t just personal, it’s social. Would it have been better to keep smallpox and polio going in favor of our freedom to resist the fixes? Like planetary heating, we’re in this plight together.
(Joni’s reply to me) I’m sorry was referring to one singular comment. You’re right. On the whole, it is leaning more toward civility. I stand corrected! However, if we’re ‘ in this plight together’ we should be making the choice for the safety of the majority
(and my reply to her) Yes, Joni, but your reply about one comment is indicative of a widespread social trend involving some good people who are sure their suspicions are right. They’ve “researched it,” and there’s lots of references and company to support their views. We’re all subject to our own biases in this volatile time with a morphing challenge. I expect the hospitalization and death rates for the unvaccinated will sway many to be more cautious for themselves even if not also for the larger community.
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Same day to Next Door on Gary Anderson’s announcing Ashland.News
Glad to see this. Hope it will be easy to post news, opinion, and events to a public site. In that businesses fund newspapers with ads, I wonder if local businesses would favor supporting this venture rather than the traditional ones that are now coopted. I avoid our former papers, and hence, don’t see any ads, because of their political agenda. (On the other hand, I resent the ubiquitous insertion of ads in all our media and try to look past them, so I’m not sure if this would help or not.)
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12-19-21 to Cleantechnica article by Maximillian Holland on SOS Blinken’s touting the U.S. as defending journalism despite Julian Assange’s torment. Long but pertinent comments by others before I chimed in.
The list of nefarious things the US government had done in the name of “the people” is so long, there may not be a server large enough to store it all. Start with the hundreds of thousands murdered by the US military in the Philippines during the Spanish-American conflict that Teddy Roosevelt called a “splendid little war.” Add in Eisenhower siding against Partrice Lamumba because he had communist leanings — as did Ho Chi Minh. Did I mention the overthrow of a democratically elected leader of Iran in the 50s or mention the ceaseless meddling in Central and South American affairs since the time of the Monroe Doctrine? The atrocities in Chile, Argentina, Honduras, Guatemala, and Nicaragua can be laid at the feet of Uncle Sam as well.
The “black sites” and extraordinary renditions gave legal cover by the despicable John Yoo are national stains that can never be erased. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution was a blatant lie. The War on Drugs was a transparent attempt to counter the Black Panthers and teach black people their place as part of Tricky Dick Nixon’s racist “law and order” tactics. His appeal to the “silent majority” was a dog whistle to white Americans to support the mass incarceration of black people.
The bombing of civilian populations in WW II was a war crime. The torture of foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay for the past 20 years is a horror that burdens the soul of every American. Deliberately ripping children from the arms or their parents at the US southern border is a strategy that exposes the evil that lies at the heart of American society. Don’t even get me started on 5 partisan hacks in Washington telling Florida how to count votes in 2000 and handing the presidency to Bush League.
The list is long, I do not know what is or was in Julian Assange’s heart. I am pretty sure, however, that the hatchet job he did on Hillary Clinton was one of the primary reasons she was not elected.
Does this story belong here? Why not? Politics is the primary reason why the nations of the world are slow-walking any meaningful response to the devastation caused by a warming planet. It is impossible to disregard the political sphere when thinking about climate destruction. So much of it is preventable and yet governments continue to obfuscate, fund fossil fuel activities, and agonize over whether a woman has a right to control her own body.
If Max has ripped the bandage off a long-festering wound, I say, “Good on ya, Max!” As the Washington Post says on its masthead, “Democracy Dies In Darkness.” Let the sunlight shine in, I say.
I strongly agree with Steve’s sentiment. But I also recognize there’s another side to the argument. War, diplomacy, politics and so many other human endeavors are strategic in nature. You don’t win a game of strategy by telling your opponent what your strategy is. Transparency is a good thing in general, but as with most things, that is not a universal truth.
There’s a saying that you should never wrestle with a pig – you’ll both get dirty, and the pig likes it. But if the pig means you harm, you wrestle with it and get dirty – or get harmed. Moving from proverbs to real life, there are many instances in some of those strategic human endeavors where there are no good solutions. Sometimes the absolute best you can do is to counter a big evil with a lesser evil. You don’t count it as a win, you just accept that you came to a resolution with more skin intact than you would have otherwise. This is the ugly, unseemly side of the whole Assange circus that few want to talk about.
Certainly, many bad things are done in darkness. But Assange blindly whipped the cover off WAY more goings-on than he understood. It is a near-certainty that many good people working in bad situations were harmed or killed by his illegal exposure of state secrets.
Ask any politician or other government official you respect and trust. They will tell you that secrecy is crucial to the security of all that is good, in spite of the cover it gives to all that is evil.
It’s easy for keyboard-pounders to see things in terms of black/white, good/evil false dichotomies. Try arguing that with a CIA field operative and you’ll quickly learn that you’re applying unrealistically extreme – even unnecessarily deadly – definitions to what is actually a highly complex spectrum of reality.
If Assange wants to claim he’s some kind of hero, he needs to do a lot more homework before doing his typical blind data dumps.
For those wanting a taste of the real-world murkiness of good vs. evil, see Eye in the Sky with Alan Rickman and Helen Mirren. It’s typical Hollywood fiction but does give a thoughtful, realistic look at the costs and methods of fighting evil. This is a topic where simplistic notions of purity will get you dead.
I wonder if Ralph Nader (whose thinking I respect) still thinks there was no difference between parties as he touted when the Supreme [ly corrupt] Court denied Al Gore the presidency, ensuring decades more of climate catastrophe since and still?
We’re stuck in a clunky system that misleads and impedes democracy more than it defends and improves it, but that’s all that we citizens have so far.
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12-20-21 reply to Adam Kinzinger’s tweet of a dog watching him onscreen.
I like dogs too.
You’re a bit of a puppy dog, innocently and bravely standing up in your otherwise dismal and dangerous party, only to have them sic their junkyard dogs on you!
Same day to Lincoln Project tweet showing lots of empty seats for a Trump rally:
Okay, this looks like empty seats.
But at His inauguration, all that empty white floor space was really packed with very white supporters, so white you couldn’t see them.
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12-21-21 to Cleantechnica article by Steve Hanley on Biden’s banning of Chinese BYD busses despite being manufactured in L.A.:
(Quoting Hanley) “This is xenophobia at its most virulent,” and, “America is gearing up for another colossal witch hunt and the war drums are beating. This is going to get ugly very quickly. And people wonder why there are no Chinese-made cars in the US?”
Thank you, Steve, for voicing my concern. Biden and Xi could instead be cooperating on fixing the planetary heating crisis as quickly as possible, both countries going all in, each in their own best way, working together for our common humanity-wide, historically crucial concern.
Must we instead create new enemies, stimulating only the arms industries, investing in waste and tragedy? I deplore Biden’s silly blocking of BYD (not just for busses, but their affordable cars, too) and of Manchin’s and ALL Republicans’ undermining the once-hopeful Build Back Better. We’re investing in trouble instead of pragmatic hope.
And then, in the forum on the same article, responding to Nio62’s
Biden and Democrats need to start understanding that we are all in this together, and we need Chinese companies like BYD that is one of the world’s biggest producers of electric cars and busses to be able to sell these vehicles in the US. Biden doesn’t have to agree with everything the Chinese government does, but the last thing we need is for China to retaliate and not allow Tesla, Ford, GM or any other American company to sell EV’s in China. I’m getting so sick of both corrupt parties starting these trade wars. Biden and the Democrats are acting just like Trump here, by trying to punish a Chinese company BYD, that has nothing to do with the decisions that Beijing makes. Biden and the Dems need to let BYD sell their electric busses and electric cars in the US, and stop trying to prevent them, which could start a trade war and retaliation which will hurt both countries.
Just when humanity needs principled leadership and cooperative thinking to transition from world-injuring fossil fuels into clean, renewable energy and efficient vehicles, Biden instead rattles the sabers at China and blocks this decent bus and the chance for further industrial/economic relations with China.
If the US were putting out affordable solar panels and cars and busses like China offers, I could see favoring such domestic industries for nationalist purposes, but we don’t, and I don’t see Biden admitting or creating that, and the little bit he envisioned in Build Back Better was scuttled all the worse, not just by Manchin, but EVERY Republican.
How we treat our single, shared planetary environment is an ethical issue, and Biden and the Republicans are failing it, offending us, our descendants, and much of earth’s life with petty divisiveness instead.
12-22-21 to Cleantechnica Fortuna article on Joe Manchin
It isn’t just Manchin. It’s EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN senator! Not one of these so-called “conservatives” did anything but obstruct and deny our ability to begin to “conserve” “traditional” weather patterns and stable economies such as weather supports. In so doing, they and coal-rich Manchin are the enemies of our country and planet. Utterly deplorable.
12-23-21 to Facebook, promoting Adam Kinzinger:
Hounded by vicious Republicans, Adam is one of the only decent Republicans I know of, even if he is still a Republican. I gave a token amount to his campaign to not let the insurrectionists assume they’re safe and normative. While they assume they’re going to take over utterly in 2024, I’m hoping Americans will realize what dangerous traitors they really are and will sweep them out of their smug stances and supposedly assured offices. We need to rescue us all from Trumpist Republicans who would overthrow what’s left of America.
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Same day to Cleantechnica article by Arthur Hasler on Electrify Everything
This is exactly the sort of creative thinking that will help extricate ourselves from planetary overheating (and stimulate new industries and save money). Thanks, Arthur and Cleantechnica.
As we have the will, we will find the ways!
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12-24-21 to Babylon Bee (Rightish wing Christian podcast) with Elon Musk:
Like Elon, though I do, I wish that rather than cynically concluding the government should do as little as possible, I’d rather he put his wizardry to helping our government do as much as possible towards the well-being of people and the natural environment, be that small and decentralized and/or coordinated and large. This would include the economy (as in a circular or donut economy, ideally) and would structure it to allow for maximum life satisfaction for all people, not just the overly rich.
I don’t mind Elon his riches, but I wish he’d be involved in envisioning a renewed form of government rather than assume it can’t work and then leave us all to the mercy, or mercilessness, of corporations, ideological zealots, and theocracies. Are systemic scarcity, stress, and wasted lives and resources towards only a few benefiting the best we can do? He cares, but as an earthling citizen, what’s the best way for us to care together in a self-run “government?”
A book to add to the Bible to help balance out the fundamentalist idolization of it: Thomas Paine’s “Age of Reason,” in which he critiques both the Bible and Christianity, and which changed his status as an international celebrity in helping found America to an abandoned and decried outsider for his outspoken free thinking.
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12-26-21 to KOS on showing Covid lungs:
Pictures are better than the jargon used to explain medical conditions. When I was an embalmer I sometimes got to see (in autopsied bodies) the stark difference between pink healthy lungs and the grey ones of heavy smokers, or the nearly closed arteries of even young people, occluded with cholesterol or plaque. Show the lungs. Show the anguished people barely alive in hospital intensive care. Give people reasons to get vaccinated and wear a mask other than whether it impinges on their selfish “freedom.”
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Same day to KOS on Liz Cheney
Liz and Adam Kinzinger could become pivot points on restoring “the party of Lincoln.”
While I appreciate their lonely brave patriotism, we need Dems who vigorously go after the entire Republican Party, naming it for the disaster, disgrace, and danger that it has long been, far worse lately, but not as bad as their blatant fascist revival of domestic civil war.
Liz and Adam, though Republican, could provide a place for decent Republicans to identify with and support. The Reps devil’s bargain with Trump is weakening and could lead to their being trashed. But don’t leave it to Liz and Adam alone to dare to buck their evil.
Just what have they accomplished since Nixon? Why don’t the Dems hire the Lincoln Project to not only keep seats in 2024 but create a landslide abandonment of the current Republican Party as the gravest threat to America in our history?
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Same day to Cleantechnica article by Steve Hanley on modes of thinking.
I’ve long been leery of the words critical and argumentation as applied to thinking. Some only hear snide criticisms and angry arguments where the winner is the one who shouts loudest. I prefer careful thinking and reasonable considerations.
When trying to teach critical thinking and logical argumentation in college I noticed that biased thinking and fallacious tactics were winning all the national discourse. You can’t teach stupid, especially stubbornly and sneakily stupid when they appear to be winning.
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12-27-21 to Cleantechnica re Steve Hanley’s article about lying about EVs
Unfortunately, the most dangerous fascist regimes were all overthrown by angry invaders, not their own angry citizens.
The exception was in Spain and Portugal, where anti-communism made the democracies tolerate fascism in an isolated backwater for 35 years until the population got sick of it. In general, a lot of dictatorships hold out for a couple of generations until the children or grandchildren get sick of the daily brutality and incompetence. The problem is the comprehensive approach to mind control by fascists, the creation of an alternative reality that must shut out the outside world. Easy to do in wartime, hard in a peaceful, successful Europe which Spaniards and Portuguese had to interact with.
Given American Exceptionalism and xenophobia, I fear how much we would eagerly believe the most ridiculous things about the outside world to justify an endless retreat into the past, where the solution to every failure of the regime is to turn the clock back even further. Clearly, the Internet has not, on average, increased human understanding across borders.
Your view of the internet and mine are the same. The reality has turned out to be the exact opposite of the promise.
I refuse to surrender hope here, I believe that the internet can be a valuable source of truth and information if used properly. That being said, just like education can be a natural form of birth control, it is (or can be) a natural source for conflict resolution and the peaceful evolution of our species.
A lot of the problems with the Internet could be solved if everyone who posted had to do so in their own name and land address.
I tend to see a lot more honest (and informative) discussion among those posters on these sites that (at least appear to) use their real names.
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Same day to Next Door Neighbor re Snowy Christmas
On Christmas Day Eve I biked up to the Plaza through the crunchy snow to find it utterly empty. No shops or pubs were open, and no cars were parked. Only crystal snow clinging to all surfaces. I biked around to Oak to the Beaver Slide, back to photo it, only to realize I didn’t have my phone/camera. Oh, well, you could imagine and I can remember.
Then, the next day, this: Snowy Taurus, Merkley the Truck, and Back Yard
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Same day to KOS Aldous Pennyfarthing’s report of anti-vaccers at a Burger King
Aldous, what kind of American are you if you resent a possibly covid-laden patriot shouting his freedom spit in your face?
True patriots would wipe it all over and shove it in their hyper-American noses!
In the history of protests, what could be more important than the freedom to spit?
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Same day to KOS on Don Trump Jr. and White Evangelical Christianity
“that mass of ignorance and intolerance known as white evangelical Christianity.”
Indeed. So many in America are stupid and cruel because of Christianity replacing kindness and ethics with mere belief, making Jesus’ pain worthwhile by sinning all the more while feeling forgiven, personal rescue to pie-in-the-sky heaven while leaving a Mother Earth-made-hellish behind.
Nor is intelligence praised in such Christianity. The old theologian Tertullian put it succinctly, “It is to be believed because it is absurd.” Belief (to use a verb now forever tainted) trumps facts, thought, and kindness.
To Byrd on KOS
If you must rant and blame some group for the mess humans have made of the world please target those who are part of the problem and stop insulting all the Christians here who believe Trump and his family are misleading and taking advantage of Fundamentalists (who were already doing a great job of misunderstanding Christ’s teachings).
Taking quotes out of context may be clever but not really kind or intelligent. Belief takes over when there is no way to prove or disprove a thing. It does not supersede intelligence or facts.
I am really tired of having to point out that not all Christians are stupid, intolerant, bigoted, or credulous (we are all of course hypocrites to some degree!) ;)
Fair enough, Kayette, because some Christians try to live more kindly as Jesus did. No matter how whacky Christians get, they have to somehow relate to, if not emulate, the man Jesus. Many Christians got this and get this like you probably do.
But too many, historically and currently, replaced morality with belief, be it in the sacraments of the church (as Tertullian and Augustine favored), the righteous ire and mayhem of true believers (be they crusaders or sectarians), or those who think they’re saved by merely believing in the Bible or in Jesus as the Christ.
I see thousands of years of anti-intelligence and presumptive arrogance since Paul. He’s not the start of that, and other religions have their counterparts, but the Evangelical Christians highlighted in the article help taint whatever honor Christianity has. Until they change their ways or other Christians start denouncing it, it stands.
To Byrd on KOS regarding the sentence, above, Belief (to use a verb now forever tainted) trumps facts, thought, and kindness.
uhhhh belief is not a verb!
No, but trumps is.
To Byrd on KOS
Then the sentence is badly constructed!
Back to Xuuya
Yes, Xuuya, I hurriedly put the parenthesis before the verb rather than after it. Sorry to disturb you. My bad.
But the verb trump is now tainted by the idiot monster. Hard to use it without bringing his orange offensiveness to mind.
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Same day to KOS on hateful comments to Representative Dingell and others
Deplorable. Report such words regularly. Let America know they aren’t just a bunch of colorful jokers pretending to be patriots. Expose them for the vile and dangerous threat they are.
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Same day to Time on their Person of the Year: Musk
Mariah Espada, Nik Popli, and Julia Zorthian’s 2021 Person of the Year report on Elon Musk was thorough and fair to him except for two things. It failed to explicitly report his “massively transformative purpose” of “accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” core to why and how he operates Tesla. Also, all the photos of him were jarring or darkly ominous, ugly misrepresentations of an otherwise daring and successful wizard of engineering and finance.
I included this photo:
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Same day to EBay’s seeking feedback regarding an air gun cylinder replacement:
It took about a month to receive it, then it shows up from Russia! I wish eBay would post where such an item is coming from. I don’t want to require round-the-world shipping for such simple items.
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12-30-21 to Cleantechnica on the “batwing” deployable solar collector for a futuristic and overblown truck
A foldable solar collector shade device would be a great product for campers, boaters, carports, etc.
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Same day to KOS on the outspoken anti-vacc couple, where the husband died of it despite appeals for prayers. My comment refers to a bloodied Jesus, used to make their anti-vacc point:
The hideous painting of Jesus being flayed and striped shows the underlying psychology: let someone else suffer so you can be forgiven your sins. Don’t correct the behavior; escape to heaven instead.
This pernicious meme has infected western civilization for eons, crosses atop our churches, a torture device at the pinnacle of our aspirations.
To put on the Passion Play requires an innocent victim, an inured judge, and someone to drive the spikes. It’s an archetype that undermines how we live, misleading us into injustice and sadism as if somehow divinely ordained. Julian Assange is a current unfortunate Jesus.
Too bad the good man Jesus had his story perverted to scare us about hell — another cruel and foolish magnification of supposed divine judgementalism and sadism.
I prefer the Hindu image of Krishna and Radha, standing happily together, bejeweled in erotic splendor. Or Jesus kissing Mary of Magdalene. Or Jesus welcoming the children. Or Jesus getting the crowd to share their hoarded bread. These are archetypical symbols of healthy religion.
To Byrd on KOS
The myth of a BURNING ‘’hell’’ has been literally stolen from previous Middle-Eastern myths (‘’Baal’’ in Mesopotamia, ‘’Ammit’’ in Egypt, etc).
It has been ‘’incorporated’’ in the christian mythology several centuries after the launching of this religion, when its chief manipulators realized that it was a very handy tool for terrorizing the gullible masses of their believers (LOL !)
(my reply to him)
The Universalists denounced the idea of hell, pointing out that the words used in the Bible for it were really for other things: Sheol was merely the grave and Gehenna was the burning garbage pit at the edge of town. Hell is not biblical. They were known as the no hell Christians. Their teachings were that all are finally united with a forgiving and loving God (much as Jesus exemplified); hence universal salvation.
But most Christianity was otherwise steeped in it, scaring the kids and the old folks with the threat of it. It saddens me to see how those who insisted he was the Christ have grown to be so different from Jesus, even antithetical to the kind of person he was. Teaching kids he suffered for their sins and they better believe it or go to hell seems emotionally abusive, instilling guilt into their souls, supposedly fixed only by gullible, obedient belief. I doubt Jesus would approve. He seemed more human and humane.
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12-31-21 to Cleantechnica’s Steve Hanley review of “Don’t Look Up.”
I like your peppy writing, Steve, but agree with those here who warn of cheap put-downs. For one thing, they cheer those who are proud of creating tears or anger in liberals and other intelligent people at their antics. For another, it further alienates those caught in the herd mentality of denial, pushing them into defensiveness rather than welcoming whatever modicum of sanity they might be considering.
That said, I do the same thing, rail against their metastasizing memes overturning the Enlightenment and inclusive democracies. I thought the movie “Idiocracy” was sarcasm; they took it as a training film. Such tactics apparently work if no one speaks against stubborn stupidity paraded as if brave and praiseworthy. Don’t look up can become don’t speak up.
While some readers of Cleantechnica wince at political views, I welcome them, for if we’re to address this rising Planetary Fever, in our faces with droughts, fires, rain bombs, and tornados, we not only need to innovate technologies to rescue and restore our beautiful planet, we need creative political cooperation too. I value the writers and readers here who participate in that conversation.
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Well, dear readers, if there are any of you who came this far, thanks for perusing my rants and ramblings. I guess I’m trying to have some say in the larger world. Now that I’m not doing much UU ministry I’m seeking to preach to a larger congregation. Next up for me is trying to finish some songwriting while developing my musical skills. Hope we all have a healthy, happy 2022.
(Heads up, folks! January 4th is Perihelion Day. Cosmic! You can read of it here: https://www.earthlyreligion.com/perihelion-promise/)