Covid-19 Thoughts, Part 02. Truth can be ugly and painful

Greetings and Salutations.

Ran across the post on facebook just now. It is a long read, and a painful one…but, this is the reality of what is happening in hospitals every day. THIS is why we are shut down, and sheltering at home. I wish that everyone whining about the shut down would read this mindfully, and think about this…What if that patient was YOUR mother/father/brother/sister/best friend?

Julianne Nicole April 24 at 9:49 PM

I am a Covid ICU nurse in New York City, and yesterday, like many other days lately, I couldn’t fix my patient. Sure, that happens all the time in the ICU. It definitely wasn’t the first time. It certainly won’t be the last. What makes this patient noteworthy? A few things, actually. He was infected with Covid 19, and he will lose his battle with Covid 19. He is only 23 years old.

I was destroyed by his clinical course in a way that has only happened a few times in my nursing career. It wasn’t his presentation. I’ve seen that before. It wasn’t his complications. I’ve seen that too.

It was the grief. It was his parents. The grief I witnessed yesterday, was grief that I haven’t allowed myself to recognize since this runaway train got rolling here in early March. I could sense it. It was lingering in the periphery of my mind, but yesterday something in me gave way, and that grief rushed in.

I think I was struck by a lot of emotions and realities yesterday. Emotions that have been brewing for weeks, and realities that I have been stifling because I had to in order to do my job effectively. My therapist tells me weekly via facetime that it’s impossible to process trauma when the trauma is still occurring. It just keeps building.

I get home from work, take my trusty companion Apollo immediately out to pee, he’s been home for 14 hours at a time. I have to keep my dog walker safe. No one can come into my apartment.

I’ve already been very sick from my work exposure, and I’m heavily exposed every day that I work since I returned after being 72 hours afebrile, the new standard for healthcare workers. That was after a week of running a fever of 104 even with Tylenol around the clock, but thankfully without respiratory symptoms. I was lucky.

Like every other healthcare worker on the planet right now, I strip inside the door, throw all the scrubs in the wash, bleach wipe all of my every day carry supplies, shoes and work bag stay at the bottom of the stairs.

You see, there’s a descending level of Covid contamination as you ascend the stairs just inside my apartment door. Work bag and shoes stay at the bottom. Dog walking shoes next step up, then dog leash, then running shoes.

I dodge my excited and doofy German shepherd, who is bringing me every toy he has to play with, and I go and scald myself for 20 minutes in a hot shower. Washing off the germs, metaphorically washing off the weight of the day.

We play fetch after the shower. Once he’s tired, I lay on the floor with him, holding him tight, until I’m ready to get up and eat, but sometimes I just go straight to bed.

Quite honestly, I’m so tired of the death. With three days off from what has been two months of literal hell on earth as a Covid ICU nurse in NYC, I’m having an evening glass of wine, and munching on the twizzlers my dear aunt sent me from Upstate NY, while my dog is bouncing off the walls because I still don’t have the energy to run every day with him.

Is it the residual effects of the virus? Is it just general exhaustion from working three days in a row? Regardless, the thoughts are finally bleeding out of my mind and into a medium that I’m not sure could possibly convey the reality of this experience.

There’s been a significant change in how we approach the critically ill covid-infected patients on a number of different levels over the last two months. We’re learning about the virus. We’re following trends and patterns. We are researching as we are treating.

The reality is, the people who get sick later in this pandemic will have a better chance for survival. Yet, every day working feels like Groundhog Day. All of the patients have developed the same issues. This 23-year-old kid walked around for a week silently hypoxic and silently dying. By the time he got to us, it was already far too late.

First pneumonia, then Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), essentially lung failure. Then kidney failure from global hypoxia and the medications we were giving in the beginning, desperately trying to find something that works. Then learning that it doesn’t work, it’s doing more harm than good in the critical care Covid population.

Dialysis for the kidneys. They are so sick that your normal three-times weekly dialysis schedule is too harsh on their body. They’re too unstable. So, we, the ICU nurses, run the dialysis slowly and continuously.

They are all obstructing their bowels from the ever-changing array of medications, as we ran out of some medications completely during our surge. We had to substitute alternatives, narcotics, sedatives, and paralytics, medications we’re heavily sedating and treating their pain with, in an effort to help them tolerate barbaric ventilator settings.

Barbaric ventilator settings while lying them on their bellies because their lungs are so damaged that we have to flip them onto their bellies in an effort to perfuse the functioning lung tissue and ventilate the damaged lung tissue.

Lungs that are perfused with blood that doesn’t even have adequate oxygen carrying capacity because of how this virus attacks.

Blood that clots. And bleeds. And clots. And bleeds. Everything in their bodies is deranged. Treat the clots with continuous anticoagulation. Stop the anticoagulation when they bleed.

GI bleeds, brain bleeds, pulmonary emboli, strokes. The brain bleeds will likely die. The GI bleeds get blood transfusions and interventions.

Restart the anticoagulation when they clot their continuous or intermittent dialysis filters, rendering them unusable, because we’re trying not to let them die slowly from renal failure. We are constantly making impossible treatment decisions in the critical care pandemic population.

A lot of people have asked me what it’s like here. I truly don’t have adequate descriptors in my vocabulary, try as I might, so I’ll defer to the metaphor of fire.

We are attempting to put out one fire, while three more are cropping up. Then we find out a week or two later that we unknowingly threw gasoline on one fire, because there’s still so much we don’t know about this virus.

Then suddenly there’s no water to fight the fire with. We’re running around holding ice cubes in an effort to put out an inferno. Oh yeah, and the entire time you’ve been in this burning building, you barely have what you need to protect yourself.

The protection you’re using, the guidelines governing that protection, evolved with the surge. One-time use N95? That’s the prior standard, and after what we’ve been through, that’s honestly hysterical. As we were surging here, the CDC revised their guidelines, because the PPE shortage was so critical.

Use anything, they said. Use whatever you have for as long as you can, and improvise what you don’t have.

As we’re discussing medication and viral research, starting clinical trials, talking treatment options in morning rounds for your patient with the team of doctors and clinical pharmacists, suddenly, surprise! Your patient developed a mucous plug in his breathing tube.

Yes, that vital, precious tube that’s connected to the ventilator that’s breathing for them. It’s completely plugged. Blocked. No oxygen or carbon dioxide in or out. It’s a critical emergency.

Even with nebulizer treatments, once we finally had the closed-delivery systems we needed to administer these medications and keep ourselves safe, they’re still plugging. We cannot even routinely suction unless we absolutely have to because suctioning steals all of the positive pressure that’s keeping them alive from the ventilator circuit. One routine suction pass down the breathing tube could kill someone, or leave their body and vital organs hypoxic for hours after.

Well, now they’re plugged. We are then faced with a choice. Both choices place the respiratory therapists, nurses, and doctors at extremely high risk for aerosolized exposure.

We could exchange the breathing tube, but that could take too long, the patient may die in the 2-3 minutes we need to assemble the supplies and manpower needed, and it’s one of the highest-risk procedures for our providers that we could possibly carry out.

Or we could use the clamps that have been the best addition to my every day carry nursing arsenal. You yell for help, you’re alone in the room. Your friends and coworkers, respiratory therapists, doctors, are all rushing to get their PPE on and get into the room to help.

You move around the room cluttered with machines and life sustaining therapies to set up what you need to stave off death. You move deliberately, and you move FAST. The patient is decompensating in the now-familiar and coordinated effort to intervene.

Attach the ambu bag to wall oxygen. Turn it all the way up. Where’s the PEEP valve? God, someone go grab me the PEEP valve off the ambu bag in room 11 next door. We ran out of those a month ago, too. It’s all covid anyway, all of it is covid. Risk cross-contamination or risk imminent death for your patient, risk extreme viral load exposure for you and your coworkers, and most certain death for your patient if you intervene without a PEEP valve.

You clamp the breathing tube, tight. The respiratory therapist shuts off the ventilator, because that side of the circuit can aerosolize and spray virus too if you leave it blasting air after you disconnect. Open the circuit. Respiratory therapy attaches the ambu bag. You unclamp. Bag, bag, bag. Clear the plug. The patient’s oxygen saturation is 23%. Their heart rate is slowing. Their blood pressure is tanking. Max all your drips, then watch and wait while this patient takes 3 hours to recover to a measly oxygen saturation of 82%, the best you’ll get from them all shift. These patients have no pulmonary reserve.

All of our choices to intervene in this situation risk our own health and safety. In the beginning we were more cautious with ourselves. We don’t want to get sick. We don’t want to be a patient in our own ICU. We’ve cared for our own staff in our ICUs. We don’t want to die. Now? I’ve already been sick. I am so, so tired of the constant death that is the ICU, that personally, I will do anything as long as I have my weeks old N95 and face shield on, just to keep someone alive.

I’ve realized that for many of these patients in the ICU, it won’t matter what I do. It won’t matter how hard I work, though I’ll still work like a crazy person all day, aggressively advocate for my patients in the same way.

My coworkers will go without meals, even though they’re being donated and delivered by people who love and support you. Generous people are helping to keep local restaurants afloat. We can always take the meal home for dinner, or I can devour a slice of pizza as I walk out to my truck parked on the pier, a walk I look forward to every day, because it gives me about eight minutes of silence. To process. To reflect.

I’ll chug a Gatorade when I start feeling lightheaded and I’m seeing stars, immediately after I just pushed an amp of bicarb on a patient and I know I have at least five minutes of a stable blood pressure to step out of the unit, take off my mask and actually breathe.

Every dedicated staff member is working tirelessly to help. The now-closed dental clinic staff has been trained to work in the respiratory lab to run our arterial blood gases, so that the absolutely incredible respiratory therapists who we so desperately need can take care of the patients with us.

Nurses in procedural areas that were closed have been repurposed to work as runners. To run for supplies while the primary nurse is in an isolation room trying to stabilize a patient without the supplies they need, runners to run for blood transfusions.

Physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists being repurposed to be part of the proning teams that helps the nurses turn patients onto their backs and bellies amidst a tangled web of critical lines and tubes, where one small error could mean death for the patient, and exposure for all staff.

Anesthesiologists and residents are managing airways and lines when carrying out these massive patient position changes. Surgical residents are all over the hospital just to put in the critical invasive lines we need in all of our patients.

The travel nurses who rushed into this burning building to help us are easing a healthcare system. The first travel nurse I met came all the way from Texas. Others terminated their steady employment to enlist with a travel agency to help us. Every day there are more travelers arriving.

A nurse from LA came to me after she found out I was part of the home staff, in my home unit, where this all first started in my hospital what feels like a lifetime ago, and said, “I came here for you. For all of the nurses. Because I couldn’t imagine working the way you guys were working for how long you were working like that”. During our surge and peak in the ICU, we were 1:3 ratios with three patients who normally would be a 1:1 assignment. And they were all trying to die at the same time. We were having to choose which patients we were rushing to because we couldn’t help them all at the same time.

The overhead pages for emergencies throughout the hospital rang out and echoed endlessly. Every minute, another rapid response call. Another anesthesia page for an intubation. Another cardiopulmonary arrest. A hospital bursting at the seams with death. Refrigerated trailers being filled.

First it was our normal white body bags. Then orange disaster bags. Then blue tarp bags. We ran out of those too. Now, black bags.

The heartbreakingly unique part of this pandemic, is that these patients are so alone. We are here, but they are suffering alone, with no familiar face or voice. They are dying alone, surrounded by strangers crying into their own masks, trying not to let our precious N95 get wet, trying not to touch our faces with contaminated hands.

Their families are home, waiting for the phone call with their daily update. Some of their loved ones are also sick and quarantined at home.

Can you even IMAGINE? Your husband or wife, mother or father. Sibling. Your child. You drop your loved one off at the emergency department entrance, and you never, ever see them alive again.

Families are home, getting phone calls every day that they’re getting worse. Or maybe they’re getting better. Unfortunately, the ICU in what has quickly become the global epicenter for this pandemic is not a happy place. We are mostly purgatory where I work, so this snapshot may be more morbid than most.

These people are saying goodbye to their loved ones, while they’re still walking and talking, and then maybe a week or two later, they’re just gone. It’s like they disappeared into thin air.

That level of grief is absolutely astounding to me, and that’s coming from a person who knows grief. I was there at the bedside, I held my young husband’s hand when I watched his heart stop beating. I was there. That grief changes you immeasurably.

But this grief? This pandemic grief? It’s inconceivable. These families will suffer horribly, every day for the rest of their lives. They might not even be able to bury their loved one. God, if they can’t afford a funeral with an economic shut-down, their loved one will be buried in a mass grave on Hart Island with thousands of others like them. What grave will they have to visit on birthdays and holidays?

Yesterday, I was preparing for a bedside endoscopy procedure to secure a catastrophic GI bleed in this 23-year-old patient.

It was a bleed that required a massive transfusion protocol where the blood bank releases coolers of uncrossmatched O negative blood in an emergency, an overhead page that, ironically, I heard as I was getting into the elevator to head to the fourth floor for my shift yesterday morning; a massive transfusion protocol that I found out I would own as a primary nurse, as I desperately squeezed liters of IV fluids into this patient until we got the cooler full of blood products, and then pumped this patient full of units of blood until we could intervene with endoscopy.

Before the procedure, I stopped everything I was doing that wasn’t life-sustaining. I stopped gathering supplies to start and assist with the procedure.

I told the doctors that I would not do a required “time-out” procedure until I got my phone out, and I facetimed this kid’s mom because I didn’t think he would survive the bedside procedure.

She cried. She wailed. She begged her son to open his eyes, to breathe. She begged me to help her. Ayudame. Ayudame. She begged me to help him. She sang to him. She told him he was strong. She told him how much she loved him. I listened to her heart breaking in real time while she talked to her son, while she saw his swollen face, her baby boy, dying before her eyes through a phone.

Later in the day, after the procedure, his mom and dad came to the hospital. He survived the securement of the bleed, but he was still getting worse no matter what we did. He’s going to die. And against policy, we fought to get them up to see their son.

We found them masks and gowns that we’re still rationing in the hospital, and we let his parents see him, hold him. We let them be with their son.

Like every other nurse would do in the ICU here, I bounced around the room, moving mom from one side of the bed to the other and back again, so I could do what I needed to do, setting up my continuous dialysis machine, with the ONE filter that supply sent up for my use to initiate dialysis therapy. This spaceship-like machine, finicky as all hell, and I had one shot to prime this machine successfully to start dialysis therapy to try to slowly correct the metabolic acidosis that was just ONE of the problems that was killing him as his systolic blood pressure lingered in the 70s, despite maxing all of my blood pressure mediations.

Continuous dialysis started. You press start and hold your breath. You’re not removing any fluid, just filtering the blood, but even the tiniest of fluid shifts in this patient could kill him. But you have no choice.

His vital signs started to look concerning. I could feel the dread in the pit of my stomach, this was going south very quickly. Another nurse and the patient’s father had to physically drag this mother out of the room so we could fill the room with the brains and eyes and hands that would keep this boy alive for another hour.

She wailed in the hallway. Nurses in the next unit down the hall heard her cries through two sets of closed fire doors. We worked furiously to stabilize him for the next four hours.

Twenty minutes before the end of my shift last night, I sat with the attending physician and the parents in a quiet and deserted family waiting room outside the unit. I told his mother that no matter what I do, I cannot fix this. I have maximized everything I have, every tool and medicine at my disposal to save her son. I can’t save her son.

The doctor explained that no matter what we do, his body is failing him. No matter what we do, her son will die. They realized that no matter how hard they pray, no matter how much they want to tear down walls, no matter how many times his mother begs and pleads, “take me instead, I would rather die myself than lose my son”, we cannot save him.

We stayed while she screamed. We stayed until she finally let go of her vice grip on my hands, her body trembling uncontrollably, as she dissolved into her grief, in the arms of her husband.

This is ONE patient. One patient, in one ICU, in one hospital, in one city, in one country, on a planet being ravaged by a virus.

This is the tiniest, devastating snapshot of one patient and one family and their unimaginable grief. Yet, the weight is enormous.

The world should feel that weight too. Because this grief, this heartbreak is everywhere in many forms. Every person on this planet is grieving the loss of something.

Whether that’s freedom or autonomy sacrificed for the greater good. Whether that’s a paycheck or a business, or their livelihood, or maybe they’re grieving the loss of a loved one while still fighting to earn a paycheck, or waiting for government financial relief that they don’t know for certain will come. Maybe they’re a high school senior who will never get to have the graduation they dreamed of. Maybe they’re a college senior, who won’t get to have their senior game they so looked forward to. Maybe they’re afraid that the government is encroaching on their constitutional rights. Maybe it’s their first pregnancy, and it’s nothing like they imagined because of the terrifying world surrounding them.

Or maybe they lost a loved one, maybe someone they love is sick, and they can’t go see them, because there are no visitors allowed and they’re an essential worker. Maybe all they can see of someone they love is a random facetime call in the middle of the day from an area code and a number they don’t know.

Everyone is grieving. We’ve heard plenty of the public’s grief.

I don’t blame anyone for how they’re coping with that grief, even if it frustrates the ever-living hell out of me as I drown in death every day at work. It’s all valid. Everyone’s grief is different, but it doesn’t change the discomfort, the despair on various levels. We are at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Basic survival, physiological and safety needs. I’ve been here before. I know this feeling. How we survive is how we survive.

Now that I’ve had the time to reflect and write, now that I’ve let the walls down in my mind to let the grief flood in, now that I’ve seen this grief for what feels like the thousandth time since the first week of March as a nurse in a Covid ICU in New York City, it’s time you heard our side. This is devastating. This is our reality. This is our grief

The healthcare professionals are attempting to bail out the ocean with a teaspoon.. They are doing the best they can, with inadequate resources and idiots who are too stupid or too agenda driven to realize the evil they are doing. We all need to take up arms, as it were, and become activists. How can we do this?

  • First off, FOLLOW THE GUIDELINES. Stay at home. Wash your hands often. Wear a mask when going out. Avoid excess trips out. Avoid people when out in the world. BE SAFE!
  • The quoted story is what is happening every day to our nurses and doctors…the people on the front lines against this pandemic. Actions on this list are, perhaps, the only way we can directly help them, and ease their stress. I have said for years…the best way to honor our fallen soldiers is to do everything we can to not make any more of them. The same rules apply to our medical personnel. The best way to help and honor them is to do everything we can to NOT make any more patients for them.
  • Reach out to friends and family regularly to make contact, and, check on how they are doing.
  • Remember that this crisis has added huge amounts of stress to everyone’s life, even if we are not physically ill. Calls to suicide prevention lines have leaped by 900% in the past couple of months.
  • Be mindful of hour YOUR government is handling the resources to fight this pandemic. On a federal and state level, there have been amazingly stupid actions, based on greed and ignorance, and not any rational scientific evidence. Think about that…and contact your state Governor and representatives to let them know if you think re-opening to “back to normal” is a terrible idea. Contact your Federal Representatives, and make it clear to them that the incompetence and foot dragging by the current administration is killing Americans now, and, will kill many, many more, unless the politicians, who have NO knowledge of dealing with a pandemic, and are driving by Party Agenda and greed only, must step asaide and put the Scientists and medical professionals in charge of the situation.
  • The elections are coming in a few months. The Republicans have proven time and time again that they do not care about a vast majority of Americans… NOW they are proving that they are perfectly OK with the majority of us dying off, in horrible fashion, if it allows them to push their agenda. They have lost any rights to hold the offices they are in, as they are no longer leaders but are grifters enriching themselves at the cost of our lives. Vote BLUE and sweep the majority of the remaining Republicans out of office, and keep them out for at least a decade.
  • Remember…once this crisis eases, America will be a smoking ruin of what it was. It will take at least a decade to begin to reach the levels of prosperity we enjoyed. The history shows that the ONLY party that makes that happen is the Democratic Party. If you are a Republican, and cannot bring yourself to vote for a Democrat, then, stay at home. Do not vote for the current crop of Republicans because you are a party member…

God help us all!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Improving Life, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations, Snake Oil | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid-19 Thoughts, Part 01

The current pandemic has had a striking effect on the world in general and America in particular. Along with the horrifying volumes of infections confirmed, and deaths recorded that mount up every day, there are some (shall we say) sketchy opinions being spread around the Net. I thought I would address one such post here…both to show the level of misinformation available, and my attempts to combat this nonsense with truth and facts. I have tweaked my comments a bit from what was originally posted, to expand and clarify some points. The posts from the other participants are verbatim.

Enjoy the ride…for what it is worth.

LM: Ahhh, not everyone takes the influenza vaccine. Not everyone should be required to vaccinate for covid. Doctors are finding this to be very similar to the common flu we are all accustom too. Spread your fear, run and hide and live in tyranny for your safety…
bored of misinformation on this shite now.

SF:

LM: SF: what’s the context to those stats.

Do they also account for comorbidity?

Or simply the fact that someone had covid present in their system at the time of death?

SF: LM: It shows that COVID is 10 times deadlier and twice as infectious.

Dave Mundt: Since most of the folks that are blowing off the dangers of covid-19 are Rabid Right-Wingers, I am all for them not getting vaccinated when one appears. If nothing else, it will improve the gene pool by leaps and bounds as they die off either directly from the effects of the disease on the lungs, or, within a year or so from the damage it appears to do to many other internal organs.

LM: SF: infectious maybe, deadlier… eh. It just shows that they slap covid as the cause of each death, rather than the true cause. Yet it is becoming increasingly apparent doctors are mis diagnosing autopsy’s to increase statistics.

Article: We Are Underestimating The Death Rate for Covid-19

Here are doctors (Dr Erickson) who tested over 5000 patients

Dave Mundt: LM: I agree that fear is dangerous and toxic…in many cases. In some cases it is a useful tool, enhancing our perceptions, and warning us, even on a subconscious level, that we are in a sketchy situation and need to USE those enhanced senses.

While the opinion piece from weforum.org is quite measured, and makes some excellent points, it is dated 04/April, which in terms of the activity of this virus is an eternity ago. I also have a small issue with the headline…because it really should read “Why we MAY BE overestimating the mortality rate…” The article is clearer about this, but, alas, too many people only read headlines these days.
Since 2020/04/04, when the article you link to was written, there have been some significant changes not addressed in it.

  1. Analysis has found that covid-19 not only damages the lungs, but, can damage other organs, leaving long-term effects. In general, the more severe the case, the greater the resulting damage that may happen. The end result of this is that we are likely to see a spike in health related issues, and early deaths over the next 50 years or so. However, how big a spike is unknown, until the statistics start coming in.
  2. There are increasing concerns from researchers that the antibodies created from an infection are not sufficiently strong to keep the infection from happening again. IF this is true, and, the isolation rules are being discarded, we could easily see a cyclical pattern of people becoming ill, infecting others, and then, possibly recovering. Then, those people become ill, and infect yet another circle of people…and perhaps part of that circle will be the person that was the source of the original infection.
  3. I suspect, too, that if this happens, the illness will likely become worse with each cycle, and so, increase the possible organ damage, the likelihood of lengthy hospitalization, and death.
  4. The article focuses on the point that we may be under counting the number of infections, but, ignores the fact that we may very well have a significant number of deaths that are not reported. As of today, not all deaths are being tested by the coroner for covid-19. So, there is a decent chance that they are being under counted. How does this affect the numbers? impossible to say without better data…and as of now there is not a lot of political will on the part of the administration to increase the number of tests run.
  5. Your offhanded remark that causes of death are being manipulated is sketchy at best.
  6. As for the video you mention from YouTube, Dr. Erickson, and his co-presenter, seem to have both an agenda, AND an inability to use statistics properly. Simply wearing scrubs, and sounding rational (at least on the surface) does not indicate wisdom, or a working understanding of the situation. As the following article points out, he may be correct enough, for his tiny area. However, there appears to be some serious issues with their data and the analysis which invalidates its use for the larger picture.

This pandemic has grown so rapidly, aided by the incompetent actions of the administration, including the massive cuts to funding for research, that we are struggling to play catch up, and understand how this virus works. In the coming months, I am sure we will find much more excellent data that adds to our understanding. The sad thing is that, today, we are playing catch-up. Because of this, we have at least 957,875 confirmed infections, and 53,922 deaths. The last time America had a crisis like this, that was the most widespread in the country, and has impacted, on a personal basis, the reality of Americans as a society, was the Vietnam War. For a comparison…it took 20 years for that war to wound 150,000, and kill over 58,000 citizens. We have left the number of injured in a cloud of dust, and, are on schedule to beat the War’s death toll by the first of May. Consider that this is barely 90 days into this cycle of the spread of covid-19.

My attention was originally caught by the casual way that LM: blew off covid-19 as being nothing more than the flu…There is so much data demonstrating how wrong this attitude is, the fact that someone could hang onto it is kind of amazing and sad. This questionable opinion is one that I have seen time and time again over the past couple of months, since the upwards curve of the infection graph started. His conspiracy loony comments that end off his original comment demonstrate the lack of substance his thoughts have.

I must say that, sometimes I wonder which is the worst plague on the face of America today. Is it the Covid-19 that is spreading like wildfire through the citizens, injuring or killing so many of them? Or, is it the willful ignorance that too many of these same citizens cling to…as exemplified by this thread.

God Help Us All!

Be Safe!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Advances in Healthcare, Ethics, Heath, Humanity, Improving Life, Nuttiness, Observations, Politics, Questionable decisions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Is Democracy Broken?

Greetings and Salutations…

The title of this essay is a short version of a question asked in a philosophy group today. I thought about it for a few minutes, and after replying to it in the thread, decided to add a blog essay…

The question in the title turns out to not be a simple question. It was asked in the context of America’s society and form of government, so, I ended up discussing it from that viewpoint…. Technically, America has never been a democratic nation. We are a democratic Republic, where the citizens are given the final responsibility for Government.

I do not quite know what “Is democracy broken” means, but, will take a stab at examining the question.
In the context of America…Democracy itself is not broken. However, right now, our Democracy is in a struggle against a burst of tyranny that has gotten into office. We are, alas, reaping the whirlwind from seeds we have been planting and nurturing for 40 years. This conflict is so basic and has gotten so extreme, I believe the future of the Nation is at stake. IF the citizens rise up and Vote in November, to remove the scourge of the Republican wannabe-dictatorship from the government, America has a chance of returning to a far more positive path. If people allow fear, stupidity or apathy to allow the current administration to be reinstated, i fear for the country and its future. In the past, short, three years, the current administration has completed the task of taking America from a respected, world power, to a joke that is the laughingstock of the world. It has mistreated and offended long-time Allies, causing them to withdraw from connection to us. It has withdrawn from vital treaties and programs addressing the very clear and present danger of climate change. It has created trade wars and inflicted tariffs on friend and foe alike, with the delusional belief that this is not costing America anything, and is actually costing THEM huge amounts of money. It has treated the entire world as an enemy, and as a result, caused Allies to walk away, and find their own way in the world, instead of looking to America for protection and leadership. They realize that there is no trustworthy leader of the country right now. To increase the feeling of instability, it has sucked up to some of the worst of the worst dictators and tyrants in the world…panting for their attention like a puppy who is lonely. It has, with no hint of regret, implemented some of the worst examples of human rights violations we have ever seen in this country…just like those tyrants I mentioned earlier.

It is a perilous time for the country, with many opportunities for complete, self destruction. However, IF, all Americans who still believe in the validity of the Constitution, and support the Rule of Law, over the whims of Mankind, will step up, persist and resist the evil that in engulfing us, I believe there is a good chance that the threat to the country’s long term survival can be fought down and defeated.

The covid-19 crisis is providing us with a real opportunity to implement positive change. The suspension of much of the commercial and private activity in the country, has provided us all the time to sit back, and really look at the path we, as a Nation, are on. We can decide if we like and are comfortable with this path…or if we have doubts that we cannot quiet about where we are headed. Sometime, between now, and November 3d, the reality of life will kick back in. We will be able to go to restaurants for a sit-down meal; we will be able to go to sports events; we will be able to go back to work and earn our way again. We will, then, have the chance to take action on our thoughts during the suspension.

I HOPE that most Americans have been forced to look at the dark and self destructive path that America is on. They will realize that many of us have been railing against this path for years, and, they will join together with all of us to say “No More!” I would like to see the number of Republicans “representing” us change to a tiny minority party. All the surveys taken over the past decades have shown that the more Liberal/Progressives in America outnumber the RIght-Wing, reactionaries who have held power for too long. It is, I believe, about time that our “Representatives” start to reflect the real state of the country…with its diverse demographics, rather than being the bastion of old, rich, white guys we have let it become.

History shows us that plagues like this can be the trigger for great change in our society. I hope this trend repeats itself, and Motivates Americans to get America back on a more positive path…to return to becoming that shining city on the hill that was the idyllic vision of many in our history.

Right now…to help this happen, the only path is to vote Blue on November 3d. Do not be dissuaded from this. Do not believe the lies that say your vote does not count. IF you have problems voting, reach out to friends for help. They will be glad to help anyone negotiate the issues of updating registration information, or getting transported to the polls. This year, though may be another sea change in voting. Because of the covid-19 crisis, there is a growing demand for mail-in balloting. If this is a question in your state…take a minute to communicate with your federal and state officials to let them know that you support this option. If your state offers mail-in voting…be SURE and send the ballot back in…

All that Evil needs to succeed is for people of good will to do nothing. DO SOMETHING!

God Help Us All

Stay Safe…and in homes until the scientists and medical folks say it is ok…not the politicians.

Bee Man Dave.

Posted in Ethics, General, Heath, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 26 – Humanity’s Future?

Greetings and Salutations…

Today, on Facebook, a fellow asked an interesting question “Is there a future for Humanity?”

When I got to thinking about it, this question ended up being far more complicated than I had originally thought. So, instead of a reply on FaceBook, I decided to create an essay on my Blog. Following are my musings on the issues, and some possible ways to ensure that humanity both persists and ends up on a far more positive path, after this shut-down caused by Covid-19 ends.

I believe that, if we allow the reactionary, Right-Wing to regain power after this crisis, as they had before…The sojourn of humanity on this planet will end soon. By soon, I mean within the next thousand years. ALL around the world, we are seeing these folks grabbing power, and exploiting nature for profit, with no thought for the damage to the ecology they are doing…and certainly no consideration of how that will affect all of us in the future. This is NOT a sustainable path. In addition, we are seeing more and more people driven by hate, and intolerance, not love and tolerance. This can only re-enforce the Culture of Violence that humanity slips into, and will not end well for us.

If, though, the oppressed and disadvantaged people in the world take this period as a time to really look at how reality has changed, and, in the process ask the vital question “Is this the world we want to live in?” perhaps there is a chance that we will band together to radically change the path we are on.

I cannot speak for anyone but myself, as an American. However, I would like to see some significant changes happen in this country over the next couple of decades. I would like to see such programs as a living wage, universal healthcare, and the UBI implemented. While these programs were decried by the Republicans and other right-wing reactionaries as being insane and destructive, this crisis has shown us that they are, rather, both an achievable goal, and a vital part of America moving back to a path to rebuild that strong, middle class that allowed us to become a Superpower in the world.

I want to see the issue of the massive and increasing wealth gap between the richest and poorest Americans addressed. In the 1900s, the Robber Barons had about a 50 to 1 advantage, and they lived lives of such unimaginable wealth and privilege that it is amazing to see. However, while they were often thieving, oppressive bastards, exploiting the workers, they also USED their wealth to improve the country. Andrew Carnegie, for example, took his wealth, and built fully stocked libraries all over the United States. He also funded universities. Carnegie knew that the best workers were the ones that could focus on a task, and follow complex instructions accurately. Where does that come from? Education. He knew that for America to succeed, we needed innovation and an increase in technology. Again…without education, that will not happen. Henry Ford paid his workers an unimaginably high salary for the time. Why? First off, he knew that he could be the best car manufacturer in the world, but with no one able to buy his product, it was a waste of time, so, not only did he build cars, he built a population that could afford those cars. Secondly, he knew that a well paid employee is a happy, dedicated employee who does a better job. This cut down on a LOT of expenses and kicked up quality production. The actions of these men are an example of why America, nearly unique in the world, developed a huge, prosperous, middle class. I recall, vaguely, a French philosopher saying that what makes America so strong is its middle class…and that was an accurate observation. If we look at history, we see that the most prosperous time for a majority of Americans was that period when the middle class was large, and, the income of a single wage-earner was enough to provide financial, housing and food security. The income was sufficient to support a savings account, and even allow for the occasional luxury. I believe that it was this financial security that helped support the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Having that security allowed whites to really look at the plight of people of color in America, and slowly, start to join them in their struggle for equality. (This is a complex enough topic that it likely should be another essay, though)

Why did the Robber Barons, such as, Carnegie and Ford, as well as others like them, share the wealth with all Americans? They were investing in the future. They, while far from perfect, had the view that a bigger, better, stronger America was a very good thing.

Today, the reality is very different. The wealth gap is upwards of 400 to 1. A tiny subset of people hold more wealth than 90% of Americans. What happens to that money the very wealthy accumulate? It generally goes into stocks and bonds, which produce nothing but more wealth for the very well off. It is almost never used to improve the plight of the majority of citizens. Currently, by the way, at most, 25% of the stocks in the market are held by individual investors. A vast majority of them are held by funds, investment corporations, and the like. There are a few exceptions to the rule that the wealthy do not use their money to improve the world…Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are two notable members of a small club of the very rich that are using their wealth to make the lives of people all around the world better. The Gates foundation has a history of supporting such causes as universal vaccination. However, today, there are trillions of dollars tied up in the hands of a few people.

The result of this accumulation of wealth by the few? Workers today have not seen a significant wage increase in years. The typical 2% or 3% they might get barely covers increased costs from Inflation. Employers are cutting benefits, such as health insurance, often either removing it completely, or, at best, deducting part of the costs from the employee’s paycheck. When companies get tax windfalls, such as the Republicans love handing out, they do not use that money to pay their employees a higher wage, or give them bonuses. Rather they use the money to buy back their own stocks…thereby enriching the owner, stockholders, and upper level management.

America’s middle class is shrinking. A small percentage of the members of the class are achieving the lofty heights of great wealth. A vast majority are sinking down into poverty, though. This is a terrible path, for it leads to despair, and barriers to escaping that pit of poverty, that can make it impossible to achieve their previous economic status.

What could we do about this? Well, Senator Elizabeth Warren, during her recent campaign for the Presidency, had a plan for that. She would have implemented a flat, 2% tax on ALL assets owned by the very rich – and by that, she meant people with a yearly income of more than several million dollars. This small percentage would have produced billions of dollars in revenue, which could be distributed to such programs as improving the quality of schools in America, increasing Teacher’s salaries, helping get the homeless into living quarters, and the like. Today, I recall that the top tax bracket is 37%. Of course the people that would hit that have bought lawyers and politicians, to provide loopholes, to avoid paying any taxes at all! Look at the current Occupier of the Oval Office, who bragged that he had not paid a penny in income tax in a decade, and that proved he was smarter than anyone else! Up to the Reagan era, the top tax rate varied up to 90%, and even then, the very rich lived lives of luxury (partially because they still had so much money, and partially because of those damn loopholes). I would go further than Sen Warren. I would call for a flat tax rate on the upper 0.01% of 50%, with no loopholes or special benefits allowed. I do not think that is unfair, or excessive, as it would still leave them with enough money that they, and several generations of their spawn could live in extreme comfort without lifting a finger. I would like to see that money go to a couple of major causes.
1) I would like to see it used to provide a Universal Basic Income for all Americans who make less than $1 million a year, of the current, Middle Class income. This should allow many of the people living in poverty to improve their situation, and give them the freedom to improve their skill-set, and get into even better paying jobs.
2) Hopefully, this would be enough cash to move us to a surplus budget, instead of a deficit budget. I would like to see this happen, and the debt start to shrink.

I would like to see some changes to the political game in America. For example, such changes as automatic voter registration, mail in ballots, a revamping of the Electoral College (which I may speak about elsewhere), term limits for Federal representatives, the restoring of the Fairness Doctrine as legislation, not simply a rule by the FCC, and a requirement that at least 15 years of complete tax information be made public by any candidates. On a state and local level, I want to see the process of laying out districts removed from the party in power. I would prefer that these districts be laid out by computer mapping programs, and approved by a vote. The current system is ripe for abuse…allowing candidates to choose their voters…instead of the voters choosing their candidate.

As for society, I would like to see parents becoming a more active part of their kid’s education. I think that this shelter at home period is going to ensure that many more parents come to realize how difficult the role of the teacher is. Perhaps that will cause them to be more supportive of those teachers…and less contemptuous of the idea of education. I would like to see those parents also teaching their kids the rules of tolerance, patience and empathy for others (however, that may be a pipe dream for most, it seems)

On an ecological front…we have seen how resilient Nature is. Once the unending dump of waste gasses into the atmosphere stopped, we have seen the air clear amazingly quickly. I was reading an article just the other day, that was reporting, with some surprise, that after a month or so of shut down, Mt. Fuji was visible from Tokyo for the first time in 30 plus years. In Tibet, the Himalaya Mountains are visible from 100 miles away, again for the first time in decades. I hope that seeing what a clean environment is like, will encourage more people to support a program of generating power from renewable sources, instead of fouling the air with burning coal and natural gas. I would even support the idea of increasing the amount of power generated from nuclear energy. However, I would not want American plants and designers to be in control of that. They have proven, over the past half century, that they have no clue how to design and build smaller, safer reactors and deal with radioactive waste in a better fashion. The last time I checked, the Canadians had an excellent design, that was almost bullet proof, and used pelleted fuel, instead of the huge, difficult to create, and fragile fuel rods favored by American designers.

In the long run, I believe that humanity has GOT to make these and other changes, or that thousand year lifetime will be gone in a flash. Perhaps, if America, with actual leadership (instead of an administration focused on pandering to the lowest common denominator) makes these changes, and demonstrates they do work to improve the lot of all, we can act as a catalyst for world change. We are far behind right now, as many European countries have implemented many of these changes…but even if we just catch up, that will improve the chances for everyone in the world. America does not HAVE to be “#1″…it is just as valid to walk, shoulder to shoulder, with the other, free nations in the world.

God Help Us All

Stay safe

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, General, Heath, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Short Look at a Grifter’s Journey

This just showed up in one of the threads on my timeline, and I thought it worth spreading a bit more broadly.


By Lucian K. Truscott IV:

“Donald Trump has tested positive — for the bullshit virus. He’s bluffed his way through his entire career and into the White House. But the coronavirus finally took him out.”


“There was a brief moment, back in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when I was on fire in New York City. I had a novel on the New York Times bestseller list. I had a new wife, and we had been dubbed a “literary power couple” in the tabloids. I had a movie deal in Hollywood, and Gore Vidal had been signed to adapt my novel for the big screen. I was invited to Upper East Side dinner parties, at one of which I found myself seated next to Henry Kissinger and across the table from Norman Mailer. But I knew I had really reached the top when my phone rang one morning, and the famous New York Post gossip columnist Steve Dunleavy was on the line, asking if it would be all right to publish on Page Six in the next day’s newspaper that Donald Trump’s latest starlet girlfriend had been my date the night before at Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday party at Studio 54. See all the star power in that sentence? And most of it was true! I had been at Elizabeth Taylor’s birthday party at Studio 54, the night when she rode into the place on a white stallion with the famous Studio image of the man in the moon sniffing from a teaspoon of cocaine behind her. But I hadn’t been with Trump’s new girlfriend, although I had spotted him at the party, standing in a gaggle that included the infamous red-baiting lawyer Roy Cohn and the designer Halston. It seemed that Trump’s then wife, Ivana, had learned he had been at the party with the starlet, and Trump had called Dunleavy with a favor to ask. Could he print a rumor that the girlfriend was with someone else, to get Ivana off his back? Dunleavy had seen me at the party, and for some reason selected me as the beard for Trump’s girlfriend. I said no, he couldn’t put me in his column as escort to Trump’s bimbo, and that was that.


Except it wasn’t, because of what my brief brush with the Trump penumbra of fame says about those days in New York in general, and Trump in particular. That wasn’t the only time I ran into Trump during my brief foray into the Manhattan stratosphere. I saw him at a boite called Le Club on the Upper East Side one night, ogling the young lovelies who teetered around the place in skyscraper heels and micro-skirts, their enormous cantilevered chests held aloft by power-bras seemly constructed by U.S. Steel.
I saw him at an East Side supper club one night promoting the Miss Universe Pageant, which he had recently purchased, apparently to audition “dates” for parties at Studio 54 and other popular nightspots. And of course I saw his then-boyish visage almost daily in the tabloids, grinning for the flashbulbs at nightclubs, prize fights, and ribbon cuttings for his collection of garish buildings that popped up around uptown Manhattan like some new species of deadly mushroom.


Trump was everywhere in those days in New York. You couldn’t avoid him if you dug a cave under one of those gigantic rocks in Central Park and buried yourself. Somehow you knew he would find you there in your underground hiding place, dig you up and force you to get back out there on the sidewalks and walk past another mirrored masterpiece with his name emblazoned in gigantic ugly letters. TRUMP. You couldn’t avoid him. He was like … what was he anyway? Oh, I’ve got it! He was like a plague! And New York City had caught it! It’s kind of funny looking back at those days in New York, when he was so ubiquitous that even my phone rang with cheapo-Aussie gossip-mongers asking favors for Trump.
Except it wasn’t funny when you think of the fact, and it is a fact, that those were the days when Trump honed his entire shtick, the same shtick he went on to ride all the way into the White House. Trump’s shtick as a celebrity in New York was the same one he used in his business. He bluffed his way into and through everything. His buildings were the tallest and the grandest and the most expensive and the most prestigious, even though they were none of those things. None at all. He added stories onto Trump Tower, seemingly just because he could. He told the world everything he had was the most expensive, even as he shopped his condos and cheap Trump vodka and cardboard Trump steaks at a discount to anyone with a buck. He bought the Eastern Airlines Shuttle for $365 million and renamed it the Trump Shuttle. It was an expensive flop that lasted only three years before he had to let it go in bankruptcy. Same with the prestigious Plaza Hotel, which he bought for more than $400 million and ran into the ground in less than three years, also lost in bankruptcy. Same with the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, which cost him $1 billion to build, another gaudy, grand, overpriced monstrosity he lost in bankruptcy. In all, Trump took out more than $3 billion in loans, $900 million of which he personally guaranteed.


His entire teetering gold-leafed mirrored empire fell, the whole lot of it, in 1992 at a big meeting with more than 50 lawyers in a big conference room in the law offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the firm that represented Trump’s largest lender, Citibank. Trump sat down and signed over most of his buildings, his jet, his yacht, his airline and his casinos, all of it in one afternoon, in exchange for more favorable terms on his personally guaranteed loans. The banks could have easily called Trump’s loans and left him penniless, “but we all agreed that he’d be better alive than dead,” explained Alan Pomerantz, then head of the real estate department at Weil.”

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to add some humor to one’s day!

Greetings and Salutations.

I just had an interaction on Facebook that provided ME with a bit of amusement, and, once again, demonstrated the sad state of education that too many conservatives have slipped into. The general discussion was about the issue of Covid-19, alas, as that is the firestorm of the day. Below, I quote the conversation that happened, including the Original Post that triggered it.

Facebook, 2020/03/14

EO: The thing is that this virus has been around for years look on a lysol wipe container, lysol cans and one of the viruses listed is Corona virus. The flu kills more people every year then this has and will it is an election year they making it a thing like the previous president election years. Yes it is scary and it sucks to see people dieing but people that are already have under lieing health issues which in the end does them in unfortunately. Hope this moves on and clears up before it bankrupts the economy and causes people to loose everything.

KDH: EO: you are very incorrect just do your own research and make your own decisions for your household. I hope no one you know, dies from this. I am concerned about a few of my close friends and my children

JM: EO: corona virus is a family of viruses. There are many strains. This corona virus is new. That’s why they call it “novel” corona virus 19. Or COVID19. The 19 is the year it was first discovered.

CV: EO: there is a vaccine we have been giving to cows for years. It mutated from animals. Now this is a different strain..

TS: EO: you are exactly correct!!!
Precautions weren’t taken like this when H1N1 was spreading in 2010 which was a much deadlier Virus that was deadly to people even with strong immune systems.
This virus is not even close and the rumors are pathetic and showing peoples true ignorance!!!

DCM: TS: Cling to that thought for comfort as you are listening to your lungs gurgle as they fill with bodily fluids when you get a bad case of Covid-19

TS: DCM: you Ignorant idiot , and you are I deal with MD’s on a daily, and now hourly basis- I will gladly but my knowledge that I actually get from medical professionals in the know against your dumbass anytime.
You’re the Epitome of what’s wrong with this country. Pure FN STUPIDITY!!!
Prove me wrong

DCM: TS: Sigh…better people than you have tried to insult me, and, alas, done a far more effective job. Instead of retreating to childish insults, demonstrate with evidence where my statements are ignorant, or “dumb-ass”

TS: DCM: you shouldn’t make Ignorant Statements –

DCM: TS: Remove the beam from thine own eye, before removing the mote from thy brother’s eye.

TS: DCM: lmao- you said when my lungs fill up with fluid- I guarantee my health is superior to yours, along with my intelligence.
Your lungs will fill with fluid long before mine ever will.
You sound just like a chicken shit leftist troll hiding behind a cartoon profile and posting from your moms basement!!!


DCM: TS: Bless your heart! Still got nothing, I see. Well, nice chatting with you. I needed some humor in my day.

TS: is a very Conservative, Right-Winger, and, it took only a couple of pokes with a sharp stick to bring that out. It did brighten my day a bit, I have to admit, although I also find some sadness in this sort of interaction. There are too many people right now who have the attitude of TS: and EO: They are downplaying the dangers of the Covid-19 virus, either through ignorance, or, because it is so fearful to them that they cannot face it, or, as has come up on other threads, the whole pandemic thing is nothing more than a Liberal Plot to overthrow “God’s Representative” now in the Oval Office. The Cult of Personality is very strong here.

Before I leave this, though, If anyone wants to give me feedback on my comments, that would be great. I admit I do not know the issues of the Covid-19 virus intimately, as I do not work with it, so, if I am wrong here…PLEASE set me straight!

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Advances in Healthcare, Ethics, General, General Thoughts, Heath, Humanity, Improving Life, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Thoughts on History, War, and Gun Control

An interesting thread sprang up on Facebook a day or so ago…and I thought it worthwhile to extract some comments from it and post them here… The original post that started this thread, went like this:

RL: Thanks to David DCM, we have a more accurate understanding of my post regarding a possible WWII invasion of California. He writes:

“there is truth here. However, there are issues. First off, killing a human is far different from killing a deer. If it were the same, then, all those country boys that joined the Army in ww2 would not have required the amount of training they did. secondly, This is meaningless in today’s world. When the world is filled with weapons that can see in the dark, and accurately put a kill shot on a target a mile away, not to mention drones and other killing machines, a guy with a rifle is not going to have the effect. As for the facts claimed in the meme about the day…well…here is some truth

The Meme, by the by, claimed that Admiral Yamamoto said it would be impossible to invade the United States, because we had so many guns in the possession of civilians, there would be one behind every blade of grass. I address this later on in this post.

DL: I wanted to answer this earlier,..but work happened. The original quote was attributed to Admiral Yamamoto, sic “…a gun behind every blade of grass” which was never said. An attack on mainland US was virtually impossible for the Japanese due to logistics. They needed to destroy the Naval Fleet at Pearl harbor to buy time to create a system of island jumps Iwo Jima, Philippines, and smaller Pan Asian islands to create a supply chain. Any advancement to areas in the Pacific required pre-staging of fuel and of supplies. They knew as they advanced to the Philippines would gain the attention of the Pacific fleet. Their crown jewel as I read was Australia. BUT they had to be able to not only get there but to supply the whole way and procure and supply while there. The U.S. was too far away and the land fighting force demonstrated in WWI, they knew it would be a lost cause relatively quickly. They could not get here by air without multiple refueling stops for ships and aircraft. We did the same to them starting with the battle of Midway, then second incursion into the Philippines. This is how I understand it.


DCM: I agree with this. The issue of supply chains is a real problem, even for countries like America. We have too many examples over the past 40 years or so of troops having serious trouble thanks to the lack of a viable supply chain.

From a strategic point of view, too, it makes no sense for them to reach out so quickly….far better to establish an area of control on the land right next to them, then, slowly start moving out.

DL: Then think 1941 regarding supply chains. The Japs only goal was to buy time to land grab. Even their alliance with the Germans was symbiotic…enemy of my enemy is my friend. There were at the time a LARGE series of Coastal defense systems on the west coast (Sometimes manned by civilians). The U.S. had them on the east coast through a series of old forts some active into the 70’s. NOT to mention that during the 40’s the “proving grounds” for military hardware was in the west. CA, had El Torro (Marines) for instance, multiple Naval installations LA, SF, San Diego, just to name a few. Army Air Corp (later USAF) was throughout CA, NV, and NM. The Japs knew this because they spied on us the level the Chinese do today (relative to time periods). AND for the same reasons the ChiComms are expanding today. They need resources. Back then Australia promised oil, gold, and space. That’s why they wanted it. Not to mention all of the other potential benefits. The underestimated the Aussies too, and badly. Just my opinion, but also my favorite subject. Love speaking with someone that knows this history. Thanks for the exchange.

MFB: DL What is interesting to me is that people continue to believe that someone’s opinion is fact. I agree that logistically it was impossible for Japan to invade the mainland. However, there are just as many people who say Yamamoto made the statement as there are who say he didn’t. No real proof either way. Still 2nd Amendment says we have the right to own whatever gun we chose to protect us from a corrupt government!

DCM: MFB: Hum…a couple of sketchy points in your post.

1) It is pretty well proven that this comment by Yamamoto is a hoax.

2) The second amendment does not say what you think it says. I quote: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now…in the day, a “well regulated militia” simply meant that any, arms bearing citizen was required to meet in the town square on a regular basis, where, they would receive rudimentary training in military discipline, and, would practice shooting for accuracy and speed.

Note that the amendment does not say “ANY Arms THEY WANT….” it is quite legal for the government to make it illegal to keep and bear certain weapons. For example – Tanks, grenade launchers, TOW Rockets, Apache Helicopters, Vulcan machine guns and the like. However, from day one, the Supreme Court has upheld the right of citizens to keep and bear such arms as low-capacity magazine rifles and pistols, and has not even limited the caliber allowed. if one has the ready cash, one can purchase a BFG 0.50 caliber rifle that is accurate and deadly to a mile or more. Machine guns, for example have been heavily controlled for decades. it is possible to own a fully automatic weapon, legally, however, not only is the weapon expensive, the background check is almost as thorough as the one for getting a Top Secret clearance, and the licensing fee fairly high.

Finally…this is a very different world than the world of the 1700s. Today, the military has such a pool of technologically enhanced killing machines that, while the idea a person armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 or similar weapon, and plenty of ammunition, could prevail is questionable at best. In addition, even a group of people attempting to build what is called a militia today would have to be very, very well off in order to purchase the tools that would bring them up anywhere close to the U.S. Military.
it would still be possible, if a significant percentage of the citizens took up arms, and practiced the asymmetric warfare of guerilla warfare. However, look at us…a vast majority of us are, in general, overweight, chained to a desk, and so get too little exercise, and spend our days typing on the Net…not keeping the skills of shooting and moving without trace through a forest.

Remember…to maintain one’s abilities to shoot accurately, the average person must visit the range once or twice a week, and shoot several hundred rounds. I do not do this. Do you? Do you know anyone who even comes close to this?

While the current administration does move one to consider using the 4th box that Citizens have to control the government, the Ammunition box, realistically, it is far, far wiser to use the third box – The Ballot Box. This means vote in every election; get as educated as possible about the issues, and the candidate’s stance on them. Do not be swayed by heated rhetoric, filled with lies designed to distract like smoke and mirrors, from the actions of the politicians, and vote for the person who actually follows through on actions that will help the most Americans.

What is my point here, you may be asking. I found this thread interesting for a couple of reasons. The first of which is the issues of looking at history brought up in it. Even in a history that is just a couple of generations back, the data we get from it is sketchy and argued over. It is fairly clear that Yamamoto never said the quote attributed to him…and yet a fair number of people both believe it, and use it to justify a stance on the level of gun control in this country. Is this deliberate lying to support an agenda, or simply gullibility stemming from a desire to believe what we read on the Net as truth? I am sure that there is a little of both going on here.

Secondly, there is clinging to the illusion that the government is being held in check by the weapons Citizens are allowed to own. As I point out, the military, if activated against a real threat, would have all the difficulty of a person stomping a June bug at making the people causing it to go away. Even today, as the current administration works to tear down the structure of laws that has sustained America since its founding, there are enough left that the actions of that administration are either blocked or slowed. While I am all for responsible gun ownership, I harbor no illusions as to what America would look like if a true rebellion were to arise. I point to Afghanistan as a classic example. Over the decades, Russia and America sent in tens of thousands of troops to deal with the situation there. They dropped billions of dollars worth of tools of war, from tanks to bombs, on the country. The Afghans, though, won the field. Russia pulled out decades ago. America is desperately trying to find a way to pull out and not look like losers. Look at the war that was fought there…it was classic guerilla warfare. The standard military, against a shadowy enemy that worked in small units, would implement a strike, and, then vanish into the hills. When I was in high school, I agreed with Jay Mohr’s assessment of the Revolutionary war, with the Redcoats marching in fine order down the center of the highway, glowing in the sunlight, while Colonists, in primitive ghillie suits, stood in the shadows of the surrounding trees, and shot them down. The Redcoats were sitting targets.

This is also why I continue to urge everyone to use that Third Box – the Ballot Box – and vote for the candidate who is most likely to do the best for the country as a whole, NOT just their rich buddies! And, of course, once they are in office, keep track of what they are doing, and be sure to use contact information to let them know if you approve of their performance or not. I am not a huge fan of petitions. Almost anyone can argue with, and ignore a petition with 10,000 signatures on it. However, getting 10,000 emails/phone calls/snail Mail missives is impossible to ignore. Politicians like the cushy jobs they get, both for the perks and for the 98% return rate…so they are not going to go against the wishes of the people who put them there…at least if they are smart that is. ANY politician can be replaced, and should be if they are hurting more citizens than they are helping.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Sadness Of Losing A Companion Animal

Greetings and Salutations.

Today A sad story came up on my Facebook thread. It is a perfect example, alas, of why I have a rule that any cats I am Guardian to are inside only.

This is Walnut. He lived too short a life, alas, and his death was unnecessary… His Guardian posted the image, with the following comment:

My cat Walnut passed away last night. A lady found him deceased in front of her door. And when Animal control came out I verified his remains. The animal officer thinks he got hit by a car on one of the main roads. I also remember people shooting off fireworks last night. So he may of been running home spooked and not paying attention. Going to miss him. He was my buddy.

All I am going to say here is repeat that, had Walnut been an inside only cat, he would still be bringing love to the family.

Cats that are allowed to roam outside have a life span of 5-7 years. Inside only cats can live 18 years or more… If you let your cat roam outside, ask yourself this: Do I want to have that companionship for 7 years? Or 18 years?

God help us all

Bee man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Family, Humanity, Observations, Ruminations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 25

Greetings and Salutations;

Anyone who is paying more than a moment’s attention to the world today knows that the political situation in America is dire! We have an administration that has engaged in despicable behavior and words since taking the Oath of Office in 2017. The actions of the Occupier of the Oval Office have been so blatantly offensive to Society and Constitution that he has become only the 3d president in America’s 250+ year history to be impeached. And then, the Senate voted to allow him to keep his office! The leader of the Republicans, “Moscow Mitch”, and another cowardly Republican, even went so far as to announce before the trial was held that it would be a Kangaroo Court, and, that #3 had nothing to worry about. Then, they had the audacity to stand up on the floor of the Senate, raise their right hand, and swear to do “Impartial Justice” in the trial to determine if #3 would be removed from office, and, perhaps banned from holding public office for the rest of his life. Did the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who was administering the Oath, and presiding over this sham trial say a word? Hell NO, he did not. At the very least, the Senators who had publicly announced they would not do impartial justice should have been recused from taking part in the trial. If it had been anyone else, they would have been imprisoned and fined for perjury.

Well, that having been said… I want to focus my attention on the next goal. Justice has been raped and murdered in the Senate, so, our next option is the ballot box. Over the past three years, there have been many fine speeches on the part of Democrats about what a travesty the current administration is, and, how it must be swept from power, in order to preserve the Republic and the Constitution. Now, though, it is 2020…and the actual election is rolling towards us, like an out of control freight train. We have had three debates with the Democrats, all in an attempt to winnow down the original crowd of 20 or so running for the office of President, to a manageable number to actually VOTE on in the coming primaries. 20 candidates are far too many, as it made it nearly impossible to produce more than sound bites for the first debates.

That, though, is not what concerns me already. In years past, the Democrats have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by getting into internal, family squabbles that fractured support, often ending up with a significant portion of the Party either not voting or voting for a third-party candidate that had NO chance of taking the presidency. In 2016, these were two factors that ensured that #3 was able to take the office. I had really hoped that the Democrats, as a group, would have learned a lasting lesson from the events of 2016. Alas, I am beginning to think that they have not. A year ago, the slogan of choice was “Vote Blue, no matter who!”, pointing out the fact that a bag of rotting hair would be a better president than what we had now. Today, though, I am seeing some signs of that solid support breaking up. I see a lot of impassioned debate about which Democratic candidate will be the new Messiah, that will save the Party, and America. There is no problem with this…although I am not so tribal that I am willing to put my complete support behind any candidate. As Treebeard, in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” books put it “I am not entirely on anyone’s side, because not anyone is entirely on MY side”.

What does worry me is that I am seeing a reawakening of the old attitudes of “My candidate or no one”, and “The whole government is worthless because they do not pay attention to the Voters”. The problems with both these views is obvious, at least to me…and shows that a disconcerting percentage of the Democratic Party has become infected with the same virus of Intolerance, and unwillingness to compromise that has consumed the Republicans. We can be better than that!

As for the latter point, I am going to quote a comment that I spread around the Net quite a bit in 2014-2016. It is still as true today as it was then…and, I believe holds the same level of importance.

————————————————————————————————————————

First off, understand that anyone that tells you that a communication from you as a Constituent, to your Representative is a waste of time, because the politicians only pay attention to the lobbyists that write them the big checks, is lying to you. They are likely fearful that if you DO contact your Representative, it will destroy their chances for some big score from the Government or, they have an agenda that is not one you would support.
Now…to help change your government and what it is doing, there are some simple things to do.
1) Use this tool or This Tool – to track down YOUR Representatives.
2) Email or call them to let them know your objection or support for the item of interest. When you do this, be SURE to follow these guidelines:
…..a) Be Clear about what you are talking about.
…..b) Do not write a lengthy, emotional rant. Be polite, and simply tell them whether you support or oppose the issue, and give them a single reason why you feel that way.
…..c) Repeat as necessary.

I was reminded the other day that many, if not all, Representatives have a Twitter handle and a FaceBook Profile. Search those tools also, and add your feedback there too.

CLING to the basic truth that “All that Evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing” and use that as motivation to take action to make sure your voice is heard.

Your Elected officials pay attention when 10,000 emails show up. They pay attention when thousands of constituents call them up. Why? Well, it is fairly simple. They like their jobs! They know that the folks that are contacting them are the voters that care and are paying attention to what they are doing. They are also the people that can vote for someone else if they are sufficiently unhappy with the job the incumbent is doing.

Politicians might ignore a petition with 10,000 signatures, but, 10,000 emails, phone calls, or snail mail notes make a big impact and will get their attention.

Feel free to distribute this. It is available for use under the Open Source License – . The only limits are that it must stay intact (but can be extended) and I would appreciate a credit if used.

——————————————————————————————————————————-

I said at the start of this post, that our next option was the ballot box. Historically, there have been four boxes that Americans have used to create change in Society. We have now used two of them – The Soap Box, and the Jury Box. These two have failed, as we have a government on the Federal, and often the State, level that is neither paying attention to the desires of the Citizens, nor dispensing Impartial Justice to miscreants. In the Fall, we will, again, try the Ballot Box. Unless our elections are meddled with by the Republicans or the Russians, attempting to force a preferred outcome, our Government may change, and be able to move to a more positive path. IF the Ballot Box fails…will it become necessary for us to resort to the fourth Box? – The Ammo Box? And, perhaps more importantly, if it does, will Americans have the strength of will, and courage to do so? I do not know, although I fear the answer is no…and so, before I shuffle off this Mortal Coil, I will see America fulfilling the warnings of Orwell’s “1984”, or Sinclair Lewis’ “It Can’t Happen Here”, and become a fascist dictatorship. I fear that, as with Nazi Germany in the 1930s, a majority of Citizens will simply keep their heads down, thank God it is not them that is the target, and pretend everything is OK.

I hope that I am wrong, and, that the application of the Ballot Box will return America to a saner place. It will take years to deal with the inflamed hate for “the Other” that the Republican cultists following #3 have, but, with a new administration and positive movement, at least the country as a whole, and the Constitution will be safe again.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave.

Posted in Ethics, General Thoughts, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some Thoughts on Religion, Part 2

Greetings and Salutations;

Politics and Religion…two topics that can always generate lengthy and, at times, contentious discussion. One of the several groups I follow on Facebook is a philosophy group that deals with various aspects of religion. When the angry atheists do not take over and fill it with posts, crapping on the “foolish mythology” of religious belief, some rather interesting conversations can take place. I thought I would grab the following one, before it vanished down the flood of words, as it has some interesting points in it.

Original Post, 2020/02/05 at 9:17 AM by H.M.

Religion vs. personal faith. Time to time I encounter this argument that religion and faith in Jesus aren’t the same thing, and therefore its okay for a Christian to agree with atheistic argument that religion causes more harm that good.

I can feel that there is something problematic with this argument but I can’t put my finger on it. Any thoughts?

Comments!

D. G.: I believe religion is dogmatic but faith is something personal.\

C. S.: The obvious problem is to deny Christianity is a religion.
You can point out how those who seemed to hate Jesus were the religious crowds and how His words and followers wouldn’t fit in at most churches even today, but that doesnt mean Christianity isnt a religion.

R. A. S.: It can be separated, but eventually in some contexts it leads to a No True Scotsman Fallacy or other fallacies. Essentially the person wants to be exempt from certain aspects of the religion as exampled on a whole, but they want to qualify for the belief related to the religion still while excluding those other parts. Sometimes it leads to cults / offshoots, other times the person may be a lay person who is unaware of the arguments for divisions/trains of thought; or if there is sufficient information to place them in minor divisions. Christianity is unlike Islam and many others (but I can’t speak on behalf of too many religions). Christianity allows individual analysis and conclusions for its holy texts, and often strongly encourages access to it, especially with mass production. This access alone instead of going through a religious leader is what has frequently led to the personal faith vs religion argument. Such an argument I might add wasn’t really commonplace in Judaism which it offshoots from, as rather few had access to holy texts.

I. G.: R. A. S. “christianity allows individual analysis and conclusions for its holy texts”
Matthew 12:25: Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

R. A. S.: I. G. so you believe Christianity has been ruined?

I. G.: R. A. S. yep. It has no place in the modern world

D. C. M.: I. G. An interesting point. However, I am moved to disagree for the reason that, while it is not the ONLY source for building a good, moral, ethical, life, Christianity has more, positive lessons on how we should treat our fellow humans than many religions. As I discuss in the blog post I link to elsewhere in this thread, even if one removes the concept of “God” from the Bible, it is a very useful collection of parables and lessons about how we should, or should not, treat other living beings. Having such a valuable resource at hand makes it far easier to teach one’s children the basic rules of ethics, empathy and the like.

D. T.: Fortunately the bible tells us what true religion is in James Chapter 1 vs 26 and 27. (26) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless. (27) Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

M. W.: D. T. the Bible is nit an authority though.

D. C. M.: M. W. What brings you to believe this? It seems like the quoted verses would apply very well to a Christian’s life, and, are even applicable to other religions.

There is quite a bit more in James about how religion should change one’s life, some of which has caused controversy through the ages. For example, he says “Faith Without Works Is Dead” Some folks have interpreted this to mean that there is some sort of scale out there that compares the good works of a person’s life with the evil that they do…and if the scale tips to the good side, one gets a passage to Heaven.

My interpretation is a bit different from this view, though, and is one that many scholars through the ages have come to accept. In my view, The good works we do are generated by our faith and striving to be more Christ-like in our lives. We do not believe they are a “get out of jail free” card, but a reflection of our inner beliefs.

I am re-enforced in this belief by the words of Christ, who said, in John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” And, as Romans 3 says “(23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
(24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
(25) Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
(26) To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

As I touched on in the opening to this comment, these words of James apply as well to a wide diversity of religions, from actual, “Christian” religions, to belief systems such as Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism and the like.. This brings me to the opinion that the are reflecting a “Universal Truth” that underlays many philosophies.

M. W.: D. C. M. nice sermon, moat of it falls on deaf ears.
Christianity is only one religion among many and not the authority on the issue.

D. C. M.: M. W. I am sure you are correct. There are none so deaf as those that will not hear. My problem with issues such as what we are discussing now is that they are not simple things, that can be defined with a 280 letter tweet…so, in order to clearly explain where my head is at, I DO tend to go on a bit. Folks that know me well are careful NOT to ask me an essay question!
I am not arguing that Christianity is more than one of many…I have come to understand that there is more than one path to understanding. If I implied it was “The Authority” then, I was unclear in my comments. I would only say it is “The Authority” for Christians.
That having been said…my comment about “Universal Truth” is not intended to claim that Christianity is the template applied to all religions. Rather, I was touching on the concept that there are certain facts that are common to the human condition, no matter what religion or society we are a part of. I realize that is a topic that would likely create a thread at least as convoluted and long as this one, so, I was simply referring to it in passing, instead of delving into the concept.

D. T.: If any atheist or sceptic wishes to point to the failings of the church administrators down the centuries then they may be disconcerted to find that the bible has a lot of support for the unfortunate truths they may wish to point to. At no point does the bible give a rosy and idealistic view of ‘God’s people’ in either the OT or the NT. Whatever sins you can find to hold against the church authorities the bible can match that with unvarnished revelations about the corruption of human nature – including of course in those who claim to be religious leaders

  • S. S.: The problem is this: if one uses this method to, effectively, shield the text from the stains of the people following it, then why should we give *credit* to the text for the behaviors of people following it? It appears to make said text irrelevant.

J. C.: We should never judge a philosophy by its abuses.

S. S.: No one gives credit to the text for the (mis)behaviors of the people following it. Your point would have more weight if all Christians universally, and especially if Jesus himself proved themselves abusive, selfish, manipulative jerks. But that simply isn’t the case. So instead of the subset of jerks staining the text, the opposite is true. The text agrees with you that they are jerks.

M. W.: R. A. S. pretty much said it all.

When people try to disconnect their faith from their religion, what happens is people conforming their religion to their faith, instead of the other way around, causing many different religions and denominations. As an example; It would be like claiming that you are a Nazi, yet believe that hating and vilifying Jews is wrong, and any Nazi that does is not a TRUE Nazi. It’s all about having a personal relationship with Hitler, not who you hate or who you think is the master race.

M. W.: As an atheist I respect this idea, to separate the good from the bad. It shows that the person recognized the evil in the Bible and they cant-wont, event try to reconcile good with evil.
Dogmatic beliefs in religion are dangerous and I see no reason not to idolize a good person instead.

R. A. S.: Wonderful example above. Apologies D. T., but I’m copy-pasting to ensure if the comment is removed the example remains.

“Fortunately the bible tells us what true religion is in James Chapter 1 vs 26 and 27.
(26) If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not bridle his tongue, he deceives his heart and his religion is worthless. (27) Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

So H. M. what we have with this example is 2 things:
1) Redefining “religion” for ones use;
2) Ignoring the religion in which the context is.

*sigh* I hate going into these TLDR’s, but it’s relevant and important here.

So the first thing is to define religion, and the “religion/religious” used in this passage.

Religion is generally defined as a particular system of worship or collective of faith for various followers.

The adjective used in this Bible passage is threskos (repeated as threskeia) which although shows an English rendering of “religious” derives from throeo which is to fear, giving threskos a more proper rendering of one who fears or reveres (their deity implied). In other words it is a term of reverence, not directly synonymous with piety or holiness, nor can it simply mean a person who practices a religion.

So James is basically saying if anybody considers themselves to be a person who reveres God, instead of losing control of their lips they should learn to help those in circumstances which they could not control. It doesn’t say anything about practicing Christianity really. And it would be a funny summation to say all Christians should simply be ascetics giving away to charities constantly.

What you do have within Christianity is a lot of information about the beliefs and system, which can be drawn upon. And examine any one individual’s practices. Even with different sects and types of practices in the world which each claim to correctly interpret the original languages.

J. S.: Yeah, well look. Religion is a goofy word and thing, in and of itself. People refer or consider it variously. Whatever they happen to have in reference might have legitimate underlying concerns they’re placing in front of their expression. It’s worth listening in communion with them instead of seeking opposition by problematizing their statements. Critique from the wilderness that the religion has made is where new life can be breathed into a god who was made dead by religion or vocal celebrity.

D. C. M.: I am ok with the original Post, and have an explanation about how a Christian can agree with an atheist/agnostic about the effect of religion on society.

This is an issue that I confront regularly, and, in the process of wrestling with it, have come to the understanding that “Religion”, as laid out by the Holy Books of the Abrahamic religions and others, can be a positive force in the world. I speak at length about my views on the Bible here.

The controlling factor that causes religion to be a negative force in the world is the way it is perverted by humanity, in order to support their, very human, agenda. For example, people who are anti-choice, often cherry pick verses that they can interpret to mean a fertilized egg is a human being. Folks that find the LGBTQ community icky, interpret verses to make them condemn single sex relationships. Folks who hate a given group (Muslims, Democrats, etc) will pervert the Biblical teachings to allow them to murder or or oppress their opponents without penalty.

M. M.: Well the Apostle Paul, at least, does not seem to have conceived of faith as a solely personal experience. To have faith, you had to be a member of the Assembly, the Church, and without membership in an association of a Christ believers, it’s not clear that Paul would have considered you truly a Christian.

  • D. C. M.: HA! Well, he would be in good company then! I have a list of folks that consider me to be anything from a “Questionable Character” to “Spawn of the Devil” because of my views on religion!
    Quite some years ago, I was watching an interview on BBC America, with John Cleese. This was, I believe, in the vicinity of the time when “The Life of Brian”, or, possibly “The Meaning of Life” had been released. Of course, they talked about the movie a bit, and then, Cleese got onto a very serious discussion of Martin Luther, and why his actions were taken so seriously by the Catholic Church. Cleese made the excellent point that, up to Luther’s questioning the Church, Religion had been very “Corporate”. The parishioners spoke to the Priest, and listened with (hopefully) rapt attention to the interpretation of the Bible the Priest would provide. Bibles were chained to bookshelves, and out of the reach of the common person, both because of that, and because of the inability of most folks to read Latin. As with all corporations, there was a hierarchy of control, up through the bishops, to the Cardinals, to the Pope…and all of it was oriented at being the source of Religious knowledge.

    Martin Luther, though, had the revelation that it was not the corporation that was important, but, rather, the one-to-one connection between the person and God. He realized that it was our responsibility, and our gift, to read the Bible, study it. and come to understand the lessons in it. This is one reason that, once he became a marked man, he spent a year or so translating the Bible into German…to make it accessible to everyone.

    In Hebrews, the Followers of Christ are told: “Hebrews 10:25 King James Version (KJV)
    25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Some interpret this as a call and a requirement to attend church on a regular basis, and, that it implies that (as you say about Paul), if we do not, we are not “Real Scots…sorry…Christians” I am all for church and Sunday School attendance, as it can be an excellent tool for educating oneself, and, focusing on the interpretation and message of a given set of verses from the Bible. However, as I have said to others – My Journey has taken me on a different path.

    That having been said, I would not consider myself to be “forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” as the wide range of discussions I have on Facebook and other social media, as well as in real life, bring me into contact with believers and non-believers alike. As with Jacob, wrestling the Angel, these interactions force me to seriously consider what I believe, often bring me to new ways of looking at the information I have, and, provide me with new data about a given topic. All of this data gets meditated on, and may change my views.

J. S.: M. M. well. There was no such concept of religion as distinct thing separate from life. You’d be religioning (not a word and not a separate concept) somehow or another, regardless.

M. M.: J. S. sure, but I think the point stands that this idea of Christianity as a very personal and individual connection to God is a very modern idea, a product of the Enlightenment and its ideas of the individual.

J. S.: M. M. oh yes definitely. Peace to that. We’ve been fussing about the personal for a while, trying to work that out, to the point that now it’s equivalent to individual without any external reference. The atomic self, I think, is going to have to get a jostling.

M. M.: As I touched on before (and this is a minor quibble) Martin Luther was the origin of that personal connection to God. The Age of Enlightenment, while good for the philosophical growth of society was not supportive of religion in any widespread way. Many of its followers rejected religion (as many do today) as a myth that has no bearing on today’s society. They focused on Science, the growth of philosophical thought, and rationality, instead. There was a small sub-group of these folks that were not so willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater, and so, worked to keep religion as an important part of society, but they were a minority.

M. M.: D. C. M. I’d say Martin Luther planted seeds, but it wasn’t really until the Protestant Pietism of the 18th century that the idea really flowered.

D. C. M.: M. M. This is a valid point. It can be a real challenge to deal with the chaotic and complex history of Religion in the world, especially when struggling with such a radical schism as produced by Martin Luther. I often use the example of trying to change course as the captain of a SuperTanker. It is quite possible, but it is not a quick process, and takes a LOT of ocean! Luther’s original heresy and subsequent excommunication from the Catholic Church was the start of that turn. His several years spent, carefully translating the Bible into German continued the process…and increased the distance between the slow spread of Protestantism, and the Catholic Church. The process was helped quite a bit by the advances in Gutenberg’s Press, making it a quicker and easier process to print large numbers of copies of the newly translated Bible. I agree that the process took a leap forwards in the 18th century, with the growth of the Pietism you mention. (Here is an interesting article on this movement, by the by…). When I look at this progress, it is rather like an exponential curve…rising very slowly in the early days, then, hitting a point when it exploded.

To a certain extent, the sequence of events we are touching on here is not a surprise. Humans do not take to change well, at all, and are often resistant to any new thing. Luther’s diverging path from the Catholic Church was a huge and radical change in the view of the world, so, it was slow to be adopted. It was, I believe, the increased access to Luther’s arguments in published form, and the newly translated, German Bible, that began to spread the concepts of free thought, and questioning the establishment through a wider population. His concepts of that one-to-one relationship with God likely triggered an emotional response in many folks, motivating them to take up the cause and helped the growth of the Pietism movement.

One thing I found interesting in early studies of Luther and the growth of the Protestant church, was how pivotal Germany was in the process…this has nothing to do with the current conversation, but, it is an interesting point that all three of these major events, Gutenberg, Luther and Pietism either were native to Germany, or, had a large following there.

This is a somewhat lengthy discussion, and, alas, kind of a challenge to follow thanks to the limitations of HTML. However, it seems worth plowing through… Its discussion of the effects of Luther’s resistance to the Catholic Church and the path it was on has some merit…although the whole issue of the one-to-one relationship to God was not the only issue that Luther’s 95 Theses dealt with. That having been said, I thought that the issues of humanity dealing with change, in both a positive and negative way, were rather to the point in today’s political climate. Also, of course, the issue of Works vs Faith for redemption is another point in today’s world.

I have to say that I enjoyed the conversation, and debate. I hope it will speak to someone else too.

God Help Us All.

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Observations, Ruminations, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Helping Feral Cats Live A Better Life

Greetings and Salutations;

One of the activities I have been involved in for many years is helping feral cats lead better lives. At the very least, we who do this will trap, fix, and return them to their colonies. This has several benefits, including avoiding floods of kittens, some pretty nasty health issues, and, aggressive behavior that can cause fights and injury. One task that we take on is providing habitats for the cats, to protect them a bit from the extremes of weather that they are forced to deal with on a daily basis. I decided to collect some links to online resources here, and talk about how *I* go about the task.

Why should we help out the cats? Because I am sure some are going to raise this question, there are good reasons to work to create a stabile colony in an area.

  • Some people advocate killing the cats. This is a bad idea not only because it often ends up being a painful and cruel death for the animal, but, if a colony is eliminated, it will simply provide more territory for OTHER cats to move in. This can result in even MORE cats in the area. It can also cause rodent problems.
  • Feral cats do a huge amount to keep down the rodent population. Some folks claim they are a serious danger to birds, but, I am not entirely convinced this is truth. Perhaps in very constrained areas – like small islands – cats can be a significant force. However, for an open area, they would far rather chase mice and rats, over birds. BIRDS can fly after all, and cats cannot! If the Colony is maintained, with a Guardian that feeds the cats on a regular basis, this cuts back on the predation of birds also.
  • A managed colony will not grow, as the cats are all fixed. In the long term, the colony itself may disappear naturally, as the lifespan of a cat with unfettered access to the outdoors is around seven years. At worst, it will remain static, as individual cats move in to replace a cat that dies. These end up being “TNR”ed, of course.

Now, what does any animal need in the cold of winter and heat of summer? A safe, insulated habitat for them to take refuge in. I have made several, and spent very little money on any of them. For example, I have, on my porch, a two-story habitat I made several years ago for a pregnant feral to use. I got the materials from construction scrap, both from my house, and sources on Craigslist, and paid nothing for any of it. The basic structure is a 24″ cube, made from 1/2″ plywood, with corners re-enforced with 2″x2″ stock, I ripped down from 2″x4″ scraps. The top is removable, and, there is a floor, supported by more 2″x2″ stock, about half way up the box. The upper chamber, reached via a ramp and a hole in the floor, is heavily insulated, with foam from a discarded mattress set. The bottom floor is insulated with a sheet of 1/2″ rigid foam, and has a heating pad in it. The feral cats REALLY like this structure and use it quite a bit in the winter.

By painting the outside, with a weather-resistant paint, and adding a slanted, metal roof to it, this condo design would work well out in the weather too. Note: The Condo is supported on four bricks, to raise it up off the floor a bit. a similar support should be used in an outdoor setting.

Foam Cooler, to be converted to habitat

In many cases, though, a very adequate habitat can be made from nothing more than a foam cooler! All that is required is to get a cooler, cut a 5.5″ hole in one side, and find a way to hold the lid on. This can be done with duct tape wrapped around the cooler, a weight, or, using Great Stuff foam to glue the lid in place.

The cooler, with access hole cut, and straw packed into it
Typical setup for re-homing Ferals to a barn. When occupied, the cages have food and water dishes, and a litter box.

I prefer the first two options, as it is good to be able to open up the habitat for cleaning later on. After cutting the hole for the entrance, which should be done about 2″ or so up the side of the cooler, pack a thick layer of straw in the bottom of the cooler, and set it out. The cats will find it, and use it. It is important to use straw, not hay, because the latter is wet still, and can be a problem in below-freezing weather. Straw is very dry, and provides excellent insulation. The pictures along with these comments are of converted coolers I use when re-homing feral cats to barns. I found them on Craigslist for free, and they work great! As a side note, when getting ferals as barn cats, they should be kept in the cages for a month, fed every day, and interacted with as they calm down.

There are many resources on the Net for plans for inexpensive or free habitats. Here are some links:

I hope these are helpful, and that it will also get you to look at Feral Cats as a valuable resource, instead of a pest to be eliminated!

God Help us All!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Hive and Colony care, Humanity, Improving Life, Observations, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 24

Image courtesy of MoveOn.org

Greetings and Salutations;
We are in the middle of the Kangaroo Court of the Senate, whose one goal is to keep #3 in office. This whole process has focused my attention on the reality that we have got to push through legislation that will help keep such a miscarriage of justice from happening again. Because of this, I have compiled a list of changes I would like to see happen over the next 12 years. I suspect that it is incomplete, but it seems a good start. These are presented in no particular order…

  • Require that any bills sent to the Senate be brought to the floor within 30 days, or they automatically go to the president for signing. I am tempted here to say that they automatically become law…and, I really would not have a problem with that. The first option assumes that the occupant of the oval office is sane…
  • The state laws attempting to control the Electoral College need to be declared null and void. The “winner take all” and “unfaithful elector” laws are, in my opinion, Unconstitutional, and force the College to NOT reflect the will of the people. (I have written more lengthy essays on the EC on my blog, at http://blog.beemandave.com/)
  • The makeup of the Electoral College should be equal numbers of the two major parties, not the current method of populating it, which favors the most vocal party. IF a third party arises that has a significant number of voters – say – 15%, they should be allowed representation in the College.
  • It should be codified into law that ANY candidate for public office on a federal (and possibly state) level, must release unredacted copies of their tax information for the proceeding 15 years.
  • It should be required that the candidate MUST either divest, or put in a blind trust, ANY enterprises that they might be called to regulate. Divestiture would be the best option, but, a blind trust, set up by an objective, third party, is a viable alternative.
  • ANY appointed position that is subject to advise and consent by the Senate must be subject to that examination and vote within 30 days of a person being appointed, or the appointee is automatically disqualified from holding the office.
  • In any case where impeachment is brought before Congress, ANY Member who states a prejudice or prejudgment of the outcome must be (at the very least) recused from taking part in the proceedings, and, if they take the oath to do impartial justice, imprisoned for the remainder of the time spent in the impeachment process for perjury.
  • The Constitution is very liberal in its requirements to run for the presidency. I would like to see laws passed that add a requirement that any candidate for the office undergo physical and mental examination by objective, qualified doctors before being allowed to enter the contest. We have many, fine, medical establishments in America that could provide these doctors, or, we could request that the UN provide them.
  • In the case of an Impeachment Trial, the format should follow the protocols of a typical trial in the Justice System. The major change would be that witnesses would be required as part of the Senate trial. We have just gone through several days of debate and a pathetic vote by the Senate, which banned the introduction of any new witnesses, or documents. This, in spite of the fact that since the Articles of Impeachment were passed by the House, quite a bit of new evidence has come to the surface, and, witnesses, such as John Bolton, who were halted by the White House from testifying to the House committee, who made it clear that they would be willing to testify in front of the Senate. Of course, Bolton’s motives may have been because he felt he would get a better reception from the Republican dominated Senate, and other, less savory ones, but, still… However in banning his testimony, the Republicans may have shot themselves in the foot. His book, detailing the malfeasance he witnessed will be published in a few weeks, and when it hits the streets, it is going to make the Republicans look like gullible fools.
  • The example of Moscow Mitch, and his actions over the past decade have provided an excellent example of WHY term limits for Congress are becoming vital. I look at folks like Bernie Sanders, Howard Baker, John Duncan Sr, and a few other shining examples of long-term representatives who worked to improve America for all..and were willing to work with members of the opposite party to find a compromise, and, I question the need for it. Then, alas, I look at the current crop of Congressional Representatives, and I see that those men are becoming an extinct group… Because of this, I call for Laws to be passed to implement term limits for anyone in Congress. I would implement this in one of two ways: a) a simple, hard limit of 3-5 terms, or b) For every term served in Congress, the candidate must get an increasing percentage of votes to keep their seat. Start out at 50%, and for every term thereafter, add 10%….

I do not know the best way to handle the situation where, as has happened too many times with the current administration, that a Federal Judge has been seated who was clearly incompetent. A person who got their appointment simply because they were either supporters of the administration, or extremist, Right-Wingers who will do their best to drag us back to the 1950s in a vain attempt to keep the old white guys in power, blocking all others. Perhaps it would be appropriate to require that the person have significant experience on the bench, combined with ratings from objective review committees. After all, there is a lengthy list of judges, who have a cushy, life-time job now, who were rated as “Incompetent” by the American Bar Association! Of course, the Administration has claimed that this is nothing more than a liberal plot, but, it is hard to argue with a rating of “Incompetent” when the judge has, literally, NEVER sat on a case!

There is almost nothing good that has come from this administration, I am sorry to say. The fact that animal abuse is now a Federal Felony does not balance the exploding deficit, the attacks on Medicare and Social Security, the betrayal of allies around the world, the sucking up to some of the dictators with the worst human rights records in power today, or, the totalitarian way that the current administration is treating refugees seeking safety on our shores. I submit that if America is to survive as a society, much less a respected power in the world, we, the citizens MUST stand up and take the power back that we have given away. We must implement rational limits to what can be done by the administration, and basic requirements that ensure that we are clear in what we are getting when we elect a president. Another vital thing that has got to happen is that the Electoral College has got to be reformed, to move it back to what Hamilton called for it to be in Federalist Papers #68. Had the Electoral College done its job, as defined in that paper, this whole debacle could have been avoided.

It is my opinion that, even if we have a generation of Democrats controlling the government, America will not achieve the status it had 20 years ago. In some areas, we will likely NEVER restore our reputation. However, if we do nothing, make no changes to the laws, as suggested above, accepting the status quo as the new reality, I can see no future for the country but loss. We, at best, will become like England. A country treated with some respect, but that has no power left in the world. At worst, the countries of the world will come to the realization that America has become a rogue state, that cannot be trusted, and should be sanctioned.

God Help Us All!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations, Snake Oil | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sifting through the Ashes, Part 23

Greetings and Salutations!

I hope the New Year brings all positive movement in our lives, prosperity, and peace in our hearts!

Alas, I am starting to see some old habits in the Democratic Party crop up, and I wanted to say something about it before it grows too quickly. It is far too easy to slip back into the auto-piloted ruts of actions and reactions…yet, this year, especially, it is overwhelmingly necessary that we remain alert, and mindful of our words and actions. What we do this year may determine the future of this Country, The Constitution, our Society, and each of us.

The Democratic party is far from perfect. However, consider the alternative! Look at the HISTORY of the Parties over the decades. Which Party has done more good for Americans as a whole? The Republicans? Or the Democrats?

A big issue with the Democratic party has been, from day one, the fact that it is a collection of widely varying views, it is very diverse, and welcomes that diversity. The problem with this is that almost every one of these splinter groups come in believing they are God’s Gift to the world, and that if everyone thought the way they do, milk and honey would flow through the streets of gold!
The fact is, that is NEVER going to happen. However, instead of this continual bickering that allows the Right-Wing to drive wedges through the party, and convince enough of it to waste their vote, by being “virtuous” and either not voting or voting for a third candidate, we need to learn and hold in our hearts the reality is that as individuals, we are powerless. However, when we walk together we are a mighty force that can move for good.


Especially this year, in 2020, we have GOT to remain mindful…and look at the long term results of what our vote means. Do we want the opinions I have seen coming up that #3 will easily win another term, because the Democrats are unable to field a viable candidate to be reality? ANOTHER four years of the current administration? Have any of us really sat back and considered what that would mean for the country…for each of us? The hatred that is being whipped up in this four year term may not have impacted YOU directly yet…But I would almost bet real money that if there are four more years of it, YOU will be a target. If that does not cause you to lay awake at night a bit…then you are simply in denial.

IF you really feel the Democratic Party needs changing…then, once the current administration has been replaced with a Blue one, work locally and nationally to support the candidates and change you want. However, do not allow yourself to become so fanatical that you lose sight of what is truly important – this Society, Country, and the Constitution which is its cornerstone.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Cat Person – Dealing with many Litter Boxes

Greetings and Salutations!

Sometimes it seems as if I have more cats than bees…and since I have NO desire to either end up on the 11:00 news, because my house has been condemned thanks to the waste products from the cats, nor, do I want the eyes of my friends to water when they stop by, from said odor…I have developed a technique for quickly dealing with multiple litter boxes. First, I will show you what I came up with quite a few years ago…then I will point to the commercial products similar to it (and yes, I DO wish I had managed to patent my design!)

I hate scooping litter, as it is slow and difficult to do a good job of getting all the bits out. So, I built a frame that fit nicely over the litter boxes I had at the time. It is about 3″ deep, and has a “bottom” to the box of 1/4″ mesh hardware cloth. I will not give exact measurements here, as I cut the sides to fit the litter boxes I had at the time. It works great on smaller ones, though…just have to be careful at the task.

Step 1: You will need one empty litter box for this process, and, it helps if all your litter boxes are the same size. Set the empty box down next to the full box, and set the frame, hardware cloth bottom down, on the empty box. (Here, I am using two boxes which each have litter in them…the process is the same, though!)

Step 2: Carefully dump the full box into the strainer frame. When the box is empty, loosen any chunks sticking to it. Gently shake the frame, so the unused litter falls through, leaving only the clumps of urine and feces.

Step 3: Dump the frame and the (now) empty box into a box or bag for disposal later. I purchase cat food in 15 Lb bags, and find that they are the perfect size to collect litter in. Once the bag is half full, I take them to the dump, and dispose of them.

.

.

Step 4: Take the empty box, and the frame, to the Next litter box. Repeat steps 1-3.

Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4 until all the litter boxes are cleaned of used litter. if desired, wash out the empty litter box, and put aside for the next cycle.

For this to work, one has to use good quality, clumping litter. I happen to like the house brand that Pet Supplies Plus sells, but there are alternative brands and sources (A Tractor supply store, or Rural King, for example)

I like to get 6″ deep litter boxes, and put at least 4″ of litter in them. This will, typically, ensure that any waste will NOT make it down to the box itself…easing the process of cleaning QUITE a bit.

The steps detailed above took less than 5 minutes, including the time I spent getting the second litter box and putting it back.

Benefits of this technique include the fact that it eliminates the hassle and expense of litter box liners, and the real expense of replacing the non-clumping litter. Since I have to do this every day, that would become a serious problem. Also, I find that the good quality clumping litter does a MUCH better job of odor elimination than the alternatives I have tried.

Posted in Ethics, General, Heath, Hive and Colony care, Ruminations | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 22

Greetings and Salutations!

Today, in the House, much of the time has been spent by the two parties working on finalizing the Articles of Impeachment for El Cheeto. The Democrats are simply stating the facts, calmly and with some regret. The Republicans are screaming, and attacking the process, or people who have NO connection to the current case. A big point the Republicans keep coming back to is that the Democrats only want to overturn the 2016 election, and they hate El Cheeto. They are dead wrong on the first point. They have a valid argument about the second point. However, while they seem to ascribe it to some delusional belief that the only reason so many rational people dislike the current Occupier of the Oval Office is that he is a Republican, there are SO many other, more valid reasons. A FaceBook Friend of mine just posted the following list laying out why El Cheeto is disliked, and needs to be removed from office. I thought I would pass it along…as it seems quite accurate to me.

Look what I found. Pass it along….

“A person asked the question, “Why are people so hostile towards President Donald Trump?”

Before you pass my answer off as “Another Liberal Snowflake” consider that
1.) I’m an independent centrist who has voted Republican way more often in my life than Democrat, and
2.) If you want to call someone who spent the entire decade of his 20’s serving in the Marine Corps a snowflake, I’d be ready to answer the question what did you do with your 20’s?

Why Liberals (And not-so liberals) are against President Trump.

A.) He lies. A LOT. Politifact rates 69% of the words he speaks as “Mostly False or worse” Only 17% of the things he says get a “Mostly True” or better rating. That is an absolutely unbelievable number. How he doesn’t speak more truth by mistake is beyond me. To put it in context, Obama’s rating was 26% mostly false or worse, and I had a problem with that. Many of Trump’s former business associates report that he has always been a compulsive liar, but now he’s the President of the United States, and that’s a problem. And this is a man who expects you to believe him when he points at other people and says “They’re lying”

B.) He’s an authoritarian populist, not a conservative. He advances regressive social policy while proposing to expand federal spending and federalist authority over states, both of which conservatives are supposed to hate.

C.) He pretends at Christianity to court the Religious Right but fails to live anything resembling a Christ-Like Life.

D.) His nationalist “America First” message effectively alienates us and removes us from our place as leaders in the international community.

E.) His ideas on “Keeping us safe” are all thinly veiled ideas to remove our freedoms, he is, after all, an authoritarian first. They also are simply bad ideas.

F.) He couldn’t pass a 3rd-grade civics exam. He doesn’t’ know what he’s doing. He doesn’t understand how international relations work, he doesn’t understand how federal state or local governments work, and every time someone tries to “Run it like a business” it’s a spectacular failure. See Colorado Springs’ recent history as an example. The Short, Unhappy Life of a Libertarian Paradise And that was a businessman with a MUCH better business track record than Trump. We are talking about a man who lost money owning a freaking gambling casino.

G.) He behaves unethicaly and always has. As a businessman, he constantly left in his wake unpaid contractors and invoices, litigation, broken promises, whatever he could get away with.

H.) He is damaging our relationships with our best international friends while kissing up to nations that do not have our best interests in mind. To his question “Wouldn’t’ it be great to have better relations with Russia?” The answer is Yes. But it is RUSSIA who needs to earn that, who must stop doing the things that are damaging to that relationship, or we are simply weaker for it.

I.) He has never seen a shortcut he didn’t like, and you can’t take shortcuts in government. “Nuclear Option, Remove the Filibuster, I’ll change the Constitution by Executive Order…Don…what happens when you remove the filibuster and the other side retakes the majority in the Senate? Suddenly want that filibuster back? What happens if you manage to change the Constitution by Executive Order and an Anti-2A President wins the next election?

J.) He behaves and has always behaved as an unabashed racist. Yes, I’ve seen your favorite meme that claims he was never accused of racism before the Democrats…Absolutely false. Donald Trump’s long history of racism, from the 1970s to 2019 See the Central Park 5, the lawsuits and fines resulting from his refusal to lease to black tenants, the 1992 lost appeal trying to overturn penalties for removing black dealers from tables, his remarks to the house native American affairs subcommittee in 1993. The man sees and treats racial groups of people as monoliths.

K.) He is systematically steamrolling regulations specifically designed to keep a disaster like the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis from happening again.

L.) He speaks and acts like a demagogue. He sees the Legislative and Judicial branches of government as inconveniences, blows up at criticism no matter how deserved and actively tries to countermand constitutional processes, not to mention attempts to blackmail and coerce people who are saying negative things about him

M.) His choices for top positions, with the exception of Gen. Mattis, who is a gem, have been horrendous. A secretary of Education without a resume that would get her hired as a small town grammar school principal, A secretary of Energy who didn’t know the Department of Energy was responsible for nuclear reserves, an EPA head whose biggest accomplishments to date had been suing the EPA on multiple occasions, an FCC head who while working for Verizon actively lobbied to kill net neutrality, and an Attorney General who thinks pot is “nearly as bad as heroin” and asked Congress for permission to go after legal pot businesses in states where it is legal. (There goes that great Republican States rights rally cry again, right? *Crickets*) An Interim AG after Firing his First AG who’s appointment is probably unconstitutional.

N.) He denies scientific fact. Ever notice that the only people you hear denying climate change are politicians and lobbyists? 99% of actual scientists studying the issue agree that it’s real, man-made and caused by greenhouse gasses. Ever notice that every big disaster movie starts with a bunch of politicians in a room ignoring a scientist’s warning?

0.) He does not have the temperament to lead this nation. He is Thin Skinned, childish, and a bully, never mind misogynistic, boorish, rude, and incapable of civil discourse.

P.) He still does not understand that the words he speaks, or tweets, are the official position of 1/3 of the US government, and so does not govern his words. He still thinks when he speaks it’s good ol’ Donald Trump. It’s not. It’s the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. You have probably spread a meme or two around talking about how no president’s every word has ever been dissected before…YES, THEY ALWAYS HAVE. It’s just that every other president in our lifetime has understood the importance of his words and took great care to govern his speech. Trump blurts out whatever comes to his mind then complains when people talk about what a dumb thing that was to say.

Q.) He’s unqualified. If you owned a small business and were looking for someone to manage it, and an unnamed resume came across your desk and you saw 6 bankruptcies, showing a man who had failed to make money running CASINOS, would you hire him? He is a very poor businessman. This is a man it has been estimated would have been worth $10 BILLION more if he’d just taken what his father had given him, invested it in Index Funds and left it alone.

R.) He is President. But he refuses to take a leadership position and understand that he is everyone’s President. Conservatives complain about liberals chanting “Not my President” while Trump himself behaves as if no one but his supporters matter.

S.) He’s a blatant hypocrite. He spent 8 years bitching Obama out for his family trips, or golfing, or any time he took for himself, and what does he do? He was already on his 20th golf outing in APRIL of his 1st year in office. He constantly rants about respect for the military, yet can’t be bothered to attend the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day because of a little rain. (And that excuse about Marine One not being able to fly in the rain is HILARIOUS.)

T.) He’s a misogynist. It’s not really ok in this day and age to be a misogynist, but it’s not a huge deal if you’re a private citizen. It’s a pretty big deal if you hate half the people you’re elected to lead. The disdain for women seeps out of his …whatever…. and he just can’t hide it.

U.) Face it. In any other election “Grab Em’ By the Pussy” would have been the end of that candidate’s chances. Back in the 90’s I used to marvel about how Teflon Bill Clinton was. I no longer do. The fact that he managed to slip by on that is as much a statement about how much people hate Hillary Clinton as it is about what is wrong with politics in this country right now.

V.) He has one response to a differing opinion. Attack. A good leader listens to criticism, to different points of view, is capable of self-reflection, tries to guide people to his point of view, and when necessary stands his ground and defends his convictions. Any of that sound like Trump? His default is not to Lead, its’ to attack. Scorched Earth. The Jim Acosta reaction is a good example. There was no defense of his convictions when Acosta was asking him repeated questions about his rhetoric on the caravan. His response was to attack Acosta.

W.) He takes credit for everything positive while deflecting blame for everything negative. Look at him with the Stock Market. He’s been bragging about it since day one, and to give credit where credit is due, speculation on coming deregulation early in his presidency did fuel some rapid growth, but to pretend that it’s all him, that we’re not in the 9th year of the longest bull market in history and THEN, when the standard market volatility that deregulation inevitably brings about starts to show up? Yeah. Look at yesterday. Hey! Stock Markets losing because the Democrats won! Do I need to bring out the Stock market chart for the last 10 Years again?

X.) He emboldens the worst among us. Counter-protesters are slammed into by a car while countering actual Nazi rally, and the response is there’s fault on “Both Sides” The media is at fault for a nut job sending them and Donald’s favorite targets pipe bombs. The truth is not all Republicans, not all Trump Supporters are racist, fascist lunatics. Many are just taken in by the bombastic personality and are living in an information bubble made worse by the fact that they unfollow anyone and ignore any source of information that makes them feel uncomfortable. People on the left do that too. The Biggest problem the right has right now is that the worst of the Right is the loudest and the most in your face, and the actual right, especially the Freaking PRESIDENT needs to be standing up and saying No. Those are not our values.

Y.) He seems to think the Constitution of The United States, the document that IS who we are, the document he took an oath to support and defend is some sort of inconvenience. He demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Constitution, from believing he can alter the 14th through executive order, to thinking The free exercise clause in the first amendment somehow supersedes the establishment clause (not that he really understands either) or that the free exercise clause only applies to Christians. Or his attacks on freedom of expression and the press. He repeatedly makes it clear that if he’s read them, he does not understand Articles 1–3, and that’s something he really should have before he took the job, because they’re not going away.

Z.) I’ll use Z for something I do blame him for, but the rest of us have to carry the blame too. Polarization. This country is more politically polarized than I can remember in my lifetime. Some of you who are a few years older than I may remember how it was in the late 60’s when construction workers in New York were being applauded for beating up hippies, I think it’s pretty close to that right now, but that was before my time. And he is the cause of much of the current level polarization, but also the result. It didn’t’ start with Trump. We’ve been going down this road I think since the eruption of the Tea Party in the early years of the Obama Administration. I do hope the tide turns before it gets much worse because the thing that scares me more than anything is what if that keeps going the way it has been? “

*snagged from a friends wall”

God Help Us All!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations, Snake Oil | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Memoriam: Tamela Shanelle Moore

Greetings and Salutations.

A few days ago, as my wife and I were returning to the house after a quick run out through the world, I saw a bubble of white on the driveway ahead of us. I stopped, and retrieved it, and, was rather surprised to find it was a helium balloon, with some touching sentiments written on it. When I got to the house, I took a couple of pictures of it, intending to see what I could find out sometime in the future. Here are the pictures I took:

After snapping these images, I left the balloon laying on the island, intending to deal with it later. However, when I returned to it, later in the evening, it was gone! I assumed that either my wife had disposed of it, or, the cats had gotten to it, so moved on with life. Well, yesterday, I was in the kitchen, cooking up some lunch, and I noticed that a couple of the cats that are permanent inmates here, were sitting on the island, staring up into the cupola over it, with some interest! I looked, and, rather to my surprise, I found the balloon. Apparently, it had enough helium in it, that, when it warmed up a bit, it decided to fly again! Now, it is living at the peak of the cupola, and since that is about 20 feet over the floor, I am not inclined to try and retrieve it. In time, the helium will escape and it will come down on its own.

This reminder revived my intentions to post it online, so, I put up a post in the local FaceBook page, commenting on it, and including the pictures. I had, actually, thought that it came from a birthday party or something similar, but, I was interested to see what I could find out about its story of how it got to my driveway, that chilly day.

Tamela Shanelle Moore, in a happier moment.
B:1995, D: 2018

Alas, as it turns out, it was, as the title of this blog article indicates, not a happy celebration. On November 11, 2018, Tamela Shanelle Moore was killed by a stray bullet, apparently collateral damage from a gang war in her neighborhood. She was 22 years old, had a wonderful son, and, was working her way in the world, trying to be the best person and mother she could be. A look at her posted obituary, shows that she was loved by many in the community, and her untimely death was a serious blow to many.

This tragedy points up the fact that there is no place immune from violence, and death. I have written before about my concerns with how our Society is moving towards a place of intolerance, hate, and violence. Events like this feed into this concern. Of course, this situation is complicated, alas, and there are several factors that likely played into her untimely death. What follows is an examination of some of these factors, and, some comments about why I think they have affected our society, and what we can do about them.

  • Because of the growth of intolerance, hate, and fear of “The Other” in today’s society, I believe we are seeing an increasing contempt and disrespect for life in general, and for others in specific.
  • Over the past decade or two, I have seen a worrisome growth of the basic belief that the way to solve a problem is to pick up a gun and kill. When I was growing up, in elementary and high school, we had weapons all over the place. However, when a fight would break out, neither party would pull a knife or gun out…it was settled with fists. Why? It was considered the mark of a coward to do it any other way.
  • Oddly enough, in spite of the ability of the Net, and the increasing access to Cell Phones these days, tools that facilitate communication, I see increasing amounts of isolation in the country. More and more people feel as if they are alone, and not really a part of any group. Mankind is a tribal animal, so, for most people, this sense of being alone and isolated is very difficult to deal with.
  • The youth of today are about three or four generations away from the Social Revolution of the 1960s. We, hippies, are still here, but, alas, we are fewer in number, and all of us look far too much like our grandparents. This is a problem that I see, because the “Do your own thing” of the 1960s has followed a somewhat destructive path. Instead of creating a level of respect for children, and an increased interest in parents in making sure they are the best that they can be, we have drifted away from that goal. Too many parents of the past couple of generations have been so caught up in the “Do your own thing” attitude that they have come to believe that being a parent is not their responsibility. They have attitudes such as “Kids are just little adults, who can make good decisions on their own”, to “I don’t want to be the bad guy…I want to be my kid’s best friend!” This has resulted in too many people of all ages having life rules to live by that tend towards the self-centered, and greedy…not the empathetic, altruistic attitudes that would be best for them as individuals, or Society as a whole.

These factors, and a number of other issues that contribute to the problem, have brought us to where we are today. Now, then, what can we do to correct the path that the Country is on…bringing it back to a more positive place? There are, I believe, several simple actions we could take that would start us moving in the better direction.

  • Parenting. Making the effort to be a real parent to one’s kids is vital. This requires some pain alas, which is why so many folks avoid it. Some aspects of this? Parents are not EVER their kid’s “Best Friend”. they are far too old, and too distant in experience for that to happen. Parents have to be “the Bad Guy” at times. They have to be willing to set boundaries, enforce them, and say “NO” at times. They have to understand that, at some point in their rearing their kids, those kids are going to hate them for “being unfair” or “the meanest parents in the world”. Parents should realize that kids are born with a slate that has a few basic rules on it. However, the rules for dealing with others do not exist, nor do the rules about respecting themselves, and avoiding actions that will be harmful to them. It is the parent’s job to write those rules on that slate. If Parents do not do this…where will the kids get those rules (because they will…that slate NEVER remains blank)? They are likely to get the rules of engagement from video games, movies, television, the Net, and their friends. Ask yourself…if you are a parent…are those where YOU want your kids to learn the rules?
  • The issue of isolation. I have not made an extensive study of gangs, but, from what I have observed, a huge reason for kids ending up in gangs is because they are feeling isolated, and without family support. They will gravitate towards a group that offers them community, support, and a feeling of belonging that is missing from their life. Alas, there are no easy ways to deal with this situation. A couple of things can help. Getting back to parents…making sure that their kids know they are an important part of the family, and working to entrust them with more responsibilities as they grow up, is huge. Alas, this is difficult in the areas where gangs are the strongest, as many parents there are carrying the Monkey of Addiction, or are so desperate they are engaged in criminal conduct….and are often likely to look upon kids as an interference with their lives…not a blessing. Some of that could be helped by increasing funding for community builders, such as athletic teams, or the Boys and Girls club. it is in that setting that kids, whose lives are chaotic elsewhere, can start feeling connections, and a sense of community.
  • Negative attitudes towards others. If parents are not willing or able to do anything about this, we, as a society, should provide adequate funding for mental health care, the organizations I mentioned in #2, and, venues that bring people together with common interests. it is very challenging to maintain hate, or any other negative attitude, towards people that one KNOWS on a one to one basis. It is very easy to hate a generic image of a people…but, when that person works with you day by day, or is your neighbor, or attends church with you, it puts a face of humanity on them, and causes one to realize there are no major differents between them.. All of these factors erode away the generic image we use as an object of hate.
  • The willing blindness and ignorance of too many in our society. SOME of this issue can be helped by teaching strong analytical skills and promoting diversity. Too many schools teach “To the Test” so if the test asks nothing about one’s ability to recognize a scam when one sees it, or, understand how propaganda works, and how to keep it from controlling us, those skills will not be taught. Another skill that is falling by the wayside is what I call “Library Skills”. Based in the ancient ways of accessing books via searching through drawer after drawer in a card catalog, these skills consist of the ability to find a way to phrase a query to Google that will return the largest number of useful responses. Another facet of this is the lesson I was taught when learning how to write essays. It was a requirement that I have three, INDEPENDENT sources for any factual data I was including in the essay. I will say that here, in these blog entries, I do not always put in all the links I may reference data from, but, I do try and include the important ones that are really meaningful. I touched earlier on recognizing a scam – which brings up a couple of vital tools for living. These are the ability to engage in Critical and Skeptical thinking. Making sure that all citizens have a basic ability to use the tools I have discussed will go a long way towards ensuring that we will both question the facts or arguments presented us in an attempt to sway our opinion, and, that we will look beyond the arguments, and understand the premises that provide a foundation for the argument. They also provide us with the ability to research a given topic on our own, then, correlate the data we gather, and use our conclusions to seek out the truth we need.

To finish off…many of the above factors came together to murder this bright star in the world of many people. The gangs, fighting for turf and respect, built by the feelings of isolation and fear in the hearts of the members of the gang, triggered the bullet that took Tamera’s life. The attitudes of society, and the stereotyping of others that it engages in likely influenced Tamera’s life and her decisions and put her in the vicinity of the violence and so put her life in danger. As an old, white, guy, I really cannot speak to the reality of her life, the positive moments, and the negative. I suspect though that it was a struggle, even under the best of circumstances, so the fact that she was making it makes her murder even more tragic.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Family, General, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Politics, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Privacy Policy and About information….

To read either the rules of engagement here, or find out what happens to your data, check out these pages

Privacy Policy

For some help figuring out what is going here…Read the About Page

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Civil Discourse on a Touchy Subject, Part 2

Greetings and Salutations!

Some time ago, I wrote an article here addressing the issue of how a Christian can share the Word without triggering an instinctive, negative reaction. Although it surprises me, apparently some folks DO read my blog, as I got a reply to the comments I had made. It was an interesting and thoughtful post that raised enough points, I felt it was worth expanding it into an article of its own. The text of the original comment is in italics. My discussions are interspersed, in plain text…

Dave,
I agree many atheists seem angry, I don’t consider myself one of those. However I find conversations with theists to be extremely frustrating. You willfully ignore the devisive and harmful nature of religion (not to mention how this confirms the Christian notion of persecution) despite the number of people killed every year due directly to a difference of religious belief and the number killed and punished because of non adherence to religious dictate.

I hear this about the frustrations of trying to talk to the person on the other side of this rift. That difficulty is increased both by the basic issue of belief/non-belief, and, the tendency for ego to get involved in the process…causing us to retreat to a stance that is cast in stone, and impossible to change. Attempting to change that stance may well appear to be an attempt by the other side of the discussion not to simply discuss, but, to destroy what is a basic part of our lives and our self-image.

The Evil that men do, in the name of religion, does, indeed, cause all the hateful actions detailed above…However, while I will touch on this later, in greater detail, But, for consideration, I submit that it is less an issue of Christianity, than it is the perversion of religion by the imperfect people who live in the world.


Couple this with the cognitive dissonance repeatedly demonstrated and it leaves little room for polite conversation. Christianity necessarily leads to suffering and only by the constant persistence of secular society are we able to shine a light on that suffering until it finally reinterprets itself out of existence.

Sigh…there is a real problem, as I mention in the other article, for people to cherry-pick the Bible to fit their world view. Mark Twain said it best, I believe. “It is not the parts of the Bible I do not understand that bother me. It is the parts that I DO understand” I do have to take issue with the concept that “Christianity necessarily leads to suffering…” I submit that Christianity is a way for humans to deal with the suffering that life inflicts on us. I will, though, agree that it is the perversion of Christianity, by the religious fanatics and fundamentalists that, indeed, brings suffering to the world. Their typically narrow minded, and limited view of reality forces them to cherry pick the verses and phrases that support their agenda…even if the verses in context, do NOT. Since much of what they are doing is oppressing the freedoms of others, it is expected that they bring suffering to the world. It is a shame, but, it is very Human, and, is one of the reasons, when I get into a discussion with someone about Christianity, I urge them to focus on the New Testament, rather than the Old Testament. As I have written elsewhere, the Old Testament gives us valuable tools to grow our spiritual understanding, but, it no longer rules us as Christians.

I am pleased we (mostly) no longer burn witches, deny science, condone slavery, deny abortions, deny women equal opportunity to name but a few. What’s more is you probably do to despite these all being incompatible with your religion and a literal but honest reading of your text.
Provide me sufficient evidence for your god and I will believe but I will never worship something so blatantly evil.
GG

I must say that I am not entirely sure how “a literal but honest reading of your text” in my previous post would give anyone the impression I was advocating any of the evil actions listed here… The problem that most people have with Christianity (which, I think is the focus of this comment, although passing references to other religions are made), is partially rooted in the fact that God is an entity that exists on dimensions that are to ours as a dot is to a globe. By definition, it is not possible for humans, who live in a 4D world (X, Y, Z and Time), to truly understand how the mind of an 11D entity works, or why it would make the decisions and take the actions it does. I usually recommend that folks read “Flatland” by Edward Abbott for an idea of how experiencing interactions with such an entity could be. Speaking of other religions, I also am not so pride-filled that I believe that any ONE religion has the Blessing of God, and is the only True Religion. Because of my understanding of the complexity of God, I believe there is more than one path to Him. Alas, some levels of understanding may be dead ends, as they are so focused on the “Law as Society” that they cannot stand. In general, I believe that the closer a religious belief is to that of Christ, as expressed in the New Testament, the more likely it is to be True.

Another root that feeds the difficulties is the fact that Humans have a very bad habit of ignoring inconvenient truths. Many of the most intolerant and hateful Christians I have encountered are so deeply engrossed in the Old Testament that they ignore the existence of the New Testament entirely. I tend to describe these folks not as “Christians”, but as “Under-educated Jews”. The bottom line is that to truly call oneself a Christian, one must follow Christ, and his messages of love, mercy, tolerance and forgiveness…and NOT the extreme legalism of the law-and-punishment based society of the Old Testament. As a part of this bad habit, we all tend to cherry pick the verses or parts of verses in the Bible that support our, very human, agenda. I do discuss this Biblical Interpretation issue in another article.

I am often asked to provide evidence of the existence of God. That can be a challenge, because many times, the Hand of God can be (and is) blown off as forgetfulness, or a simple mistake. For example…several years ago, my younger sister, who lived in Colorado at the time, was in town visiting. Alas, it turned out that she was not going to be able to be a part of an event that was happening the afternoon of the day she was scheduled to fly out. She would be landing in Colorado when it happened, as she had an early flight. However, when she checked her paperwork confirming the reservation, not only did the flight number listed not exist, but, when she called the airline, they confirmed that she was actually booked on a flight leaving mid-morning the next day. My sister is VERY much a numbers person, and, she had double checked the reservation when she made it…so.. it was unlikely that it was a mistake on her part. She was able to make the event, and, it was a good thing for all of us. At the time, it was such an inexplicable occurrence that I ascribed it to an action by God. However, I am sure that some could find a more complicated explanation that demonstrates it was simple, human error. The fact it would have required several errors, happening in the correct order, and not being caught, though, does make one wonder.

When the issue of Christianity being a great good, or a great evil arises, I am reminded of a (possibly apocryphal) story from Native American Culture. In the story, a young man is asking an Elder about the struggle he is having with wanting to be good, but wanting to do evil things. The Elder tells him this story: “Inside each of us lives two wolves, one good, one evil. Through our lives, they struggle with each other to gain control over us.” The young man asks “Which wolf wins?” The Elder replies “The Wolf we feed!” I look upon Christianity as, basically, a neutral thing. It has its good side, and it has its evil side. The side that we see as being the important one is the side we feed – that we focus our attention on.

Religion came to be in the world because humans are self-absorbed, greedy, and uncaring of others. They often only care about others to the extent that these others can help or enrich them! And, yes, like most generalities, this picture of Humanity is incomplete. However, the goal of Christianity is to teach us to love the other, as we love ourselves; to feel empathy for the other, and so to reach out and help them in their time of need; to be honorable, ethical, and trustworthy. All these tend to fight against the basic programming we humans start out with…so it is an uphill struggle.

I do not seek to entice or force anyone else to worship Christ as a part of God; We were given Free will, to believe, or not, as we please. I do, in my low-key way, introduce folks to the basic precepts of Christ’s teachings, in hopes that they will be interested enough to follow up and learn more.

Posted in Cosmology, Ethics, General, Humanity, Misc, Observations, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fruits of Hubris, Conspiracy Loonies and Poor Education

Ran into the following thread on a Philosophy group I follow.

DS:

THIS POST IS ABOUT AN ARGUMENT AGAINST THIS BELIEF: THAT PALAEONTOLOGICAL EVIDENCE SUPPORTS BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION

The argument is as follows:

Whenever we observe the fossil records we notice the following, that is to say, that it does not show us what species looked like before; particularly because what they looked like before no longer exists.

If the fossil record does not show us what species looked like before, then the fossil record cannot be perceived as adequate and sufficient grounds for believing this, that is to say that any biological change occurred, establish, because the establishment of change is not possible unless we’ve experienced what anything looked like before. And subsequently the fossil record cannot be perceived as adequate and sufficient grounds for believing this, namely that any biological change happen.

The process by which the inheritable traits or the expressed genotype of species changed with modification over a period of time by means of natural selection, random mutation, and environmental changes is a kind of biological change. Hence the fossil record cannot be perceived as adequate and sufficient grounds for believing this, that is to say, that the process by which the expressed genotype or the inheritable traits of species changed with modification over a period of time by means of natural selection, random mutation, and environmental changes occurred. And subsequently there is no paleontological evidence for biological evolution. And yet proponents of biological evolution believe this, namely that there is paleontological evidence in favor or biological evolution. However this does not correspond reality. Truth is what corresponds to reality on grounds of the correspondence theory of truth. Therefore their belief is false.

Not only that! For it is also important to take note of the following, that is to say, that whenever the proponent of biological evolution uses the fossil record as evidence in favor of biological evolution his or her evidential case entails the equivocation fallacy; particularly because it entails the equation of the bones of the species with the species even though there is a clear distinction between the bones of the species and the species. For every evidential case, the evidential case violates the law of identity if [and only if] it entails the equivocation fallacy. And subsequently whenever the proponent of biological evolution uses the fossil record to make an evidential case he or she has necessarily violated the law of identity. Every case that violates the law of identity also violates the law of non contradiction because the violation of the law of identity implies the following, namely that the proponent of biological evolution is claiming this, namely that species is what it is and not what it is at the same time. Hence whenever the proponent of biological evolution uses the fossil to make an evidential case in favor of biological evolution he or she has violated the law of non contradiction. An evidential case is logically coherent or logically possible if [and only if] it does not entail a contradiction. Hence the proponent’s evidential case is necessarily not only logically incoherent but also logically impossible. Every case that is logically incoherent is false because truth is coherent in the context of the coherence theory of truth. Therefore the evidential case [from the fossil record] and in favor of biological evolution is false.

———————————————–

DR did, at least for a few comments, stay in the conversation…..

JR: The fossils of shelled creatures most definitely DO show us what they looked like before. A shell is the external layer of such a creature and therefore faithfully reveals their appearance.

DR: Cherry picking! Plus my post is about body fossils and not trace fossils or living fossils. Give up!

JR: That will be all the mollusks and Arthropods. You are stupidly thinking only of creatures with an endoskeleton. And, even then, there are fossils that have preserved the soft parts. This happens in ice, peat bogs, resin and tar pits. You are the one who needs to give up and go back to school.

DR: Lol

JR: Why do you come here to parade your ignorance?

DR: The fossil records do not show us what any specie looked like before. The nature of the fossil does not even matter.

JR: Check out the Cretaceous era. No endoskeletal fossils there but the rocks are entirely made out of dead creatures.

MW: How sad, to be so religiously delusional as to feel compelled to repeatedly advertise your inability to comprehend the basics of life, DR.

Here is the point where I ended up in a dialogue with a fellow who demonstrated even less understanding of science than the O. P.

AM: Dinosaurs were made up… people here couldn’t tell a fossil from bird shit.

MW: If you’re trying to out-stupid the OP, nice try, but you’ll need to try harder than that.

AM: MW you have zero input on the subject. You know nothing about the real world, stick to sci-fi and fantasy… clearly you are outclassed here.

Dave Mundt DR Your argument is without merit, because it is based on false premises.

  1. Your claim that the fossil record does not record the appearance of long-dead creatures is false. The fossil record preserves the bones, and, often a record of the skin and other soft tissues of said creatures. This is easy to verify by some research of the archaeological reports generated from this data.
  2. The data about the creatures and plants that existed during the various eras DO show distinct changes in the creatures. The living creatures that persist are the ones that had the characteristics giving the best chance of survival under changing conditions, and those characteristics came, often, from genetic mutation. the basic definition of evolution is the adaptation to changes in the world, via genetic changes that provide an advantage for survival.
  3. You imply that, because the fossil record is incomplete, that it is meaningless. Alas, reality is that the world is imperfect, and so, gaps happen. However, IF there is a reasonable path to traverse that gap, going from the earlier genetic structure to the later one, it is not unreasonable to accept that as a valid connection. Occam’s Razor is useful here.
  4. You make the claim that there is no connection between the bones of a creature and the creature itself. That, in and of itself, should invoke questions…as in most creatures, the skeletal structure IS a defining aspect of the creature. After all, it is trivial to cloth a skeleton in flesh, and end up with a quite valid representation of the creature. I refer you to the forensic technique of Facial Reconstruction, as an example. it is rather more difficult to start with the flesh and reconstruct the skeleton.
  5. Frankly, some of the argument you present above seems overly obfuscated, perhaps in an attempt to create such a confusing shower of words that it is difficult to know how to respond.

Finally…If Evolution is a fallacy, as you claim…what is the alternative you would suggest?

AM: Another comment from someone who can’t form a thought of his own. Where did all you idiots come from? Most illogical post I’ve seen here in days… and that’s saying a lot. Here’s some common sense for you… YOU HAVE NEVER DONE ANY OF THE EXPERIMENTS YOU JUST MENTIONED!

MS: It’s kind of ironic how AM claims that Dave can’t “form a thought of his own”, and that he made the “most illogical post” But you’ve done nothing to demonstrate either..

Is this because you are projecting, and really it’s you who can not form a thought of your own, and so your reaction is necessarily illogical as you’ve apparently got nothing whatsoever to back up your claim. All you’ve managed so far, is a typical creationist script.. What DOES say a lot however, is your claim in the other post where you say dinosaurs were made up.. Not only would this demonstrate denial of reality, but this is a contradiction – unless you have done the experiments necessary to demonstrate that dinosaurs are made up, and you’ve got the evidence to back it up..

With this, the combined effort of your multiple posts would firmly place you in the category of tinfoil hat wearing creationists. I would say that it’s an accomplishment, but it’s kind of an inevitable progression if you take the initial scientific illiteracy and combine it dogmatic denialism at any cost.. What’s the most embarrassing, is that you’d actually go online to express these beliefs.. As if there’s not better educated 7 year olds that could be poke holes in your methodology.. But you really went for it and put it out there for everyone to see. Well done! I’d almost suspect that it’s a social experiment where you’re willing to sacrifice your credibility for the sake of making an example of yourself.

AM: My logic that he’s never done any of the experiments himself, trumps both of your comments put together… wall of parroting shit you have been told without any real thought behind it. Both of you full of ego and not being rational or logical. You can’t prove dinosaurs… fact. Get over it… you both have blind faith in what you are told. Morons

Dave Mundt AM: Ok, I have a few minutes…I will go one more round with you.

  1. True…I have not performed the experiments myself. However, I am well acquainted with both scientific literature, and archaeologists, and, I have no issue with taking as truth the discoveries discussed in the journals, and, by archaeologists. There have been some mis-steps, and misunderstandings while unraveling the fragmentary story of history as recorded in the geologic strata, but, when these are discovered, they are publicized, and corrections to the body of knowledge are made. Are you saying that the only valid conclusions come from experiments that one does themselves? If so, and if you are capable of being an expert in a multitude of fields, I applaud your efforts. However, alas, I fear that the reality is rather different…
  2. You have pretty much destroyed any validity to your argument by descending to ad hominem attacks immediately. I suspect the pool of people who would agree that calling someone a moron is a robust and insightful way to present an argument that you intend to be a valid argument. As a part of this, by the by, I notice that nowhere in your remarks do you present evidence, or even a convincing premise, to rebut my comments. If you would like to try again, I would be willing to entertain a dialogue.
  3. Finally, you totally ignored my question I asked at the end of my reply…That indicates to me that you HAVE no answer for it, and so leads me to believe you are simply posting nonsense to get your name visible in FaceBook. However, let me try one more time here… “If Evolution is a fallacy, as you claim…what is the alternative you would suggest?”

AM: “However, I am well acquainted with both scientific literature, and archaeologists, and, I have no issue with taking as truth the discoveries discussed in the journals, and, by archaeologists.” I too have read their discoveries and I don’t take it as truth, so we differ right there.

I go with my observations over any other mans… period.

Fool me once, shame on you… and I’ve been fooled by mainstream science for far too long to let it continue when “their science” doesn’t jive with reality, sorry… I hope you and everyone else wakes up to this someday. It is destroying our world.

Dave Mundt AM: Your post brings up some interesting, and rather revealing issues.

  1. Why do you discount the discoveries published in scientific journals?
  2. So…you DO believe that only your own reality has meaning and truth. How is that working for you? And, how does it affect how you interact with the world?
  3. How have you been “fooled by mainstream science for far too long”? Also, what would it take for us to become “Woke?”

AM: I’m sorry for attacking you, that’s on me. I didn’t respond to any points because it was more of the same I had just been discussing with someone else.

Dave Mundt AM Discussing in THIS thread?

AM: “If Evolution is a fallacy, as you claim…what is the alternative you would suggest?” I thought that question was posed to David, but i shall answer it.

It’s simple, just because a theory is out there, doesn’t mean we actually *know* the alternative….it’s unknown, why do we need theories when we have reality? Why are we so hard pressed to figure out what happened 1 billion years ago when we are so divided here now and cant figure out how to get along now?

Teaching kids about a dinosaurs does nothing for humanity… none at ALL.

Do you know when they claim to find the first bone? Nobody before 1824 ever found these? Egyptians? Then they carbon date them millions of years ago… with no proof, it’s a fairy tale to me… they didn’t exist, it’s part of Darwin’s society with links tied to him. It supported his “theory” he was an author… it’s BS, im not buying it nor do I have to because you guys don’t have empirical evidence that supports it… you have “he said she said”

Dave Mundt AM Sir; there is so much obfuscation in your reply it is nearly impossible to reply to it… So, I will, touch on a couple of general points.

  1. Again, you are not answering the simple question I posed. So, let me rephrase slightly. Do you believe that living things are exactly the same from the moment they appear on the Earth, until either the point they vanish, or, the current day?
  2. I am not entirely sure I understand your comments about “theory” and “Reality”. Are you saying that life is exactly the same now as it has been since it appeared on the Earth (and as a part of that, when do YOU believe life appeared on the Earth?)
  3. What logical connection is there between dealing with the issues of today’s society, and gathering data about Earth as it was millions of years ago?
  4. I disagree that teaching youth about the long and complex history of the Earth and the changes that have happened during that time is useless. I see it as giving them a broad base of knowledge and understanding, which will, hopefully, allow them to make better decisions when they take over running the planet.
  5. I fail to understand your comments about when the first dinosaur bone was discovered, and your implying that since that was in the 1800s, there was no way any dinosaur bones could be millions of years old. It is quite possible for items to be buried for very, very long periods of time – and since the process of fossilization is quite well understood – Millions of years is not out of the question. Simply because the movement of the Earth’s crust had not presented these buried fossils where they could be found does not mean that they are not ancient. As for the Egyptians…We simply do not know if they found, or realized, what a fossilized bone looked like. Their culture was not so much focused on Earth Exploration, so it is quite possible they may have run across bits of fossils sticking up out of the ground, and, simply did not record them.
  6. This, by the by, is strike 2.…

AM: 1. I did answer your exact question, but you want to be condescending and try to re-phrase it… “Again” wasnt necessary since you were talking to David before and not me. So calm down.

I’ll answer your rephrased question. No it hasn’t been the exact same, all life has adapted, but nothing is from one species to another…. and even then, there is unknowns… it’s not important to life now, so we disagree on that with your 4th point. Which makes us disagree on quite a bit.

2. Theory is any idea, from logical to downright insane… and don’t give me the “laws” of a theory shit… there is no scientific proof of the globe, dinosaurs, space, evolution, and many other things we were told. Reality is what we see around us in the NOW.

When? I don’t know , I don’t care, it doesn’t matter at all.

3. explain carbon dating? how is this so accurate? Where do these numbers come from? Even so, what does this do for us, it’s not changing anything now. It’s a waste of time.

5. Question is, How did this go unnoticed through ALL of history up until 1824? “It is quite possible for items to be buried for very, very long periods of time – and since the process of fossilization is quite well understood” This is what you are told, you don’t know exactly how long something can be buried for or not, you are taking peoples word for this. Now you don’t know what the Egyptians could of found? Same goes for everything else in your argument… how do you ever really know? you don’t and this topic is a waste of time.

6. by the way its strike 3

AM: Don’t know what the Egyptians may of found or not, but knows things can be buried for millions of years… see the fallacy?

Dave Mundt AM: I agree. You are out. Thank you for an interesting and amusing discussion. I will close by reminding you that community colleges are inexpensive, and easily available, if one cannot use the internet.

AM: Dave Mundt I’ll pass on paying to be indoctrinated unless I need to regurgitate some information to get a degree to scam other people for a living.

There are a number of interesting (at least to me) issues in this dialogue. For example, Neither DS, nor AM seem to be interested or capable of simply addressing the points I raise, or questions I ask. Instead of providing evidence to support their claims, they either mock, insult, or deflect.

To me, this is a perfect example of how the current administration was able to occupy the Oval Office, and, garner support for some truly Evil actions. The roots of this ignorance and hubris go back decades, though, to the time when folks like this were in elementary, middle, and high schools. The failure of the schools to teach basic skills of critical thought, data analysis and library skills has left us with millions of citizens such as the two we interact with in this thread. They have generated a world view out of thin air, fueled by nothing but fantasy, misunderstanding, and being gulled by conspiracy loonies. They demonstrate NO understanding of science, and, actually are so sure of themselves they reject the tools of science outright.

Assuming that we, the progressives and Liberals in the country, can regain control of the government for a few administrations, I hope that one of the issues addressed will be to clean up the attitudes that have caused the above, vital life skills to be discarded from the educational system.

God Help Us All

Bee man Dave

Posted in Cosmology, Ethics, General, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Politics, Ruminations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg and addressing the G4

Greetings and Salutations.

The other day, in the Civil Discourse group on Facebook, the following comment was posted, decrying Ms. Thunberg’s speech to the G4 questioning the wisdom of having her address that collection of world leaders. This is the original Post:

In my opinion, I find it exploitative to use children, especially those that are diagnosed with psychological disorders, as poster children for political agendas. She is far from a climate scientist and strictly uses subjectivity to isolate anyone unwilling to profess unwavering submission to the extreme catastrophic levels of climate hysteria espoused by climate extremists.

This rhetoric does nothing more than polarize those who want to engage in civil discourse and feed into left wing apocalyptic paranoia.

This post created some healthy discussion, but I am going to address only OUR interaction on this topic. In reply to his post, I added this post…

Your comment lacks merit. Ms. Thunberg, being on the autism spectrum, is not disordered or disabled. Being a highly functioning, autistic person, she is very intelligent and well-spoken (as many of us on the spectrum are). if there is a disability of any sort it is her unwillingness to refrain from speaking the truth without fear.

Yes, she feels strongly about this, but why is that wrong? SHE is the generation that is going to reap the worst of the effects of the damage to the environment that we, the older generations have, and are, doing. Are you happy or comfortable with the fact that your kids/nephews/nieces are going to live in a world of violent storms, killing heat, and severe food and clean water shortages? Would YOU speak out to try and mitigate these changes?

You seem to be a climate denier, though, so, perhaps the answer is “no, I do not think that this will happen”. I am sure that will be a great comfort to your descendants as they struggle to stay alive in the decades to come.

You can deny it all you want…but it IS happening, and to do nothing to help mitigate the damage and slow the changes is unwise

Which generated The following post by the OP, and myself. I have interleaved my responses to his points, to simplify keeping track of what was going on. I found it interesting to consider his points, and continue the dialogue a bit longer. I have to wonder how many people agree with the points of view, both pro and con laid out in this essay

You said that it is not a psychological disorder, yet followed up in your next comment that your brain is “wired in a different way.”, due to having a similar or the same condition. That is not to dismiss the relevance of individuals on the spectrum or that they are lesser, simply that it should be noted that a minor with well documented psychological issues including Asperger’s and OCD was selected to speak at a G4 summit meeting to aggressively speak about a highly complex topic in which she has NOTHING objective to contribute. Gaining a seat at this level requires large donors to get to that chair. If you don’t realize that it requires more than passion to obtain that seat at a summit meeting, look into the details of the process to get there.

1) this point has two parts, and I shall address them separately.
…..a) the attitude of the psychological community about Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism is in a state of evolution. It is hardly a psychological disorder, but, at most a developmental disorder. yes…it does affect the reality of the folks whose brains are wired that way…but, it is hardly like Clinical Depression, being Manic-Depressive, or Schizophrenia. This article lays out the reality of how such a wiring difference affects one’s life.

Your comments could easily be taken to imply that a person who is a highly-functioning autistic is, though, similarly damaged and unreliable. However, note, on the list that high intelligence is a typical aspect of being an Aspie.
…..b) I find your opinion that she had nothing to contribute to be sketchy. The fact is that she is a very articulate spokesperson who, as is the case with Aspies, has no filters that would keep her from speaking the hard truth to the powers that be in her audience. Aspies find lying or tact nearly impossible, and do not take it well when others engage in it…. She was, I believe, invited to speak to the subject because of her understanding of it – which is apparently rather better than most of the people discussing climate change, and, the fact that she is a strong activist trying to get us, the older generations who have done such a great job of putting the world on a path that could easily lead to a Great Extinction event for humans, to wake up, and take some action to change this path while it is still possible.
In addition, there is the fact that at most of the G* summits, at least one of the speakers has been an activist and advocate against any number of examples of mankind’s inhumanity to mankind.

2. Her feeling strongly, has nothing to do with actual science. This discussion, especially at this level requires actual scientists with decades of experience to have a relevant point.

2) Reading her speech shows that she does have a deep understanding of the issues, and, throughout the speech she never presents herself as the “expert”. Rather, she pushes the audience who is hearing her to look at the science and the results and conclusions of the climatologists who have been studying this problem for decades. here is a transcript of Ms. Thunberg’s speech

The hypothesis (absolutely not a fact, calling it a fact is about as ignorant to actual science as it gets) that we are going to experience “violent storms, killing heat and severe food and clean water shortages” due to the intervention of humanity on the environment is scientifically disingenuous and “lacks in merit” more than Trumps assertion that everyone loves him. An elementary briefing on the history of climate and global emissions, combined with the understanding of technological advances in the interest of the environment should lead you to have faith in the redemption of humanities scars, rather than the ignorant religion of apocalyptic fear.

3) I will give you that I should have used the term “hypothesis”, but, my description of the world to come is backed up by analysis provided by climatologists. We are also already seeing the beginnings of these effects.
Here is one article about the effects of climate change

And, here is another link, from NASA.

As for the effects of humanity on the climate… We are seeing an exponential climb in greenhouse gasses, a trend that started just after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

(Note, the source of this data is NASA’s climate research group)

These gasses (methane, CO2, etc) do a great job of keeping heat in the atmosphere. What happens to that heat? It is absorbed by the oceans, and the atmosphere. The oceans have warmed enough that we are seeing massive die-offs coral; marine animals moving far north of their usual haunts; and, a drop in health of many of those marine animals. Also, the storms we have seen recently have been much stronger than usual, as they are driven by the heat in the water…the more heat available the stronger the storms can become
Here is a link to a discussion of the effects of ocean warming.

The increased heat in the oceans and air is also causing the ice caps to melt. I know that many folks point to the apparent regrowth of them, however, that is not a good indicator of what is happening. The thick sheets of ice are melting away, and the winter Ice being formed now is relatively thin…and usually disappears in the next warm spell. This, by the by, will affect access to fresh water, both from the flooding caused by the ocean levels rising, and, because the increased hydro-static pressure from this water increase will tend to push salt water into what are now fresh-water aquifers, contaminating them and making them undrinkable without serious amounts of energy intensive processing.

4. I plan on combating the final phases with CIVIL DISCOURSE which should lead communities and consumers to make more responsible decisions in their their daily behaviors, such as greatly reducing their meat consumption, driving less, driving more fuel efficient vehicles, using less and recycling more, all of which are becoming significantly more mainstream.

4) Your faith in the ability of people to change their ways, based on arguments and civil discourse is touching, and a tad ironic. I have lived a long time, and I have seen many attempts at this course of action…and they have all, to a great extent, failed. My brother in law refers to this as the “Liberal/Progressive fallacy.” He and I agree that in the real world, one can explain, in rational terms and with rational discussion until one’s face is blue, why a particular course of action is unwise…and a significant percentage of people will still follow that path. We have a couple of excellent examples you refer to in your remarks.
…..a) Take the current administration. It is a documented fact that in the three years that El Cheeto has been in office, he has out and out lied over 13,000 times. Yet, some 40% or so of the voters believe that he is a good, Christian Man, and he only speaks pearls of truthful wisdom. In spite of a vast number of people pointing out how his trade policies are killing American Farmers (both figuratively and literally – Suicide rates among farmers are at their highest point in recorded history in this country), many of these farmers still worship the ground he walks on, and apparently believe his policies will somehow change American trade on the international market for the better…all while they are within days of losing their farms, and are only being kept alive by the socialist subsidies of the Welfare payments they are getting.
…..b) The issue of driving…Look at the buying habits of the American public over the past 30 years. When, in the 80s and 90s, we were seeing oil shortages and skyrocketing fuel prices, there was a slow shifting of purchases to more efficient cars and away from large trucks. Then, suddenly, it seemed as if the fuel crisis was over! Did people continue to buy hybrid cars, or smaller, more efficient cars? Of course not…in spite of all the advertising and PSAs urging them to remember that crude oil is a limited resource, people went back to buying huge, heavy, low mileage trucks to drive the three miles from their house to the grocery store, and back.

So…as a matter of curiosity..how would YOU address these two points with people who are bought into that mindset? It might well be more difficult than one would think.

5. “Climate denier”…. I don’t “deny” the climate, nor the impact humanity has on it. 😂 I also do not endorse the extreme and absurd assertion that we are at a pivotal, irreversible, cataclysmic point. Then again, I don’t follow any singular ideology, so it’s easy to develop my own views based on my own research without falling for propaganda.

5) Your first sentence is at odds with your previous posts. To quote from your original post: “…profess unwavering submission to the extreme catastrophic levels of climate hysteria espoused by climate extremists.

This rhetoric does nothing more than polarize those who want to engage in civil discourse and feed into left wing apocalyptic paranoia.”

This extremist language may have been used for effect, but it is the rhetoric of the hard-core climate change deniers. So, you might well understand WHY I would say you sound like one of that group.

What brings you to believe that the idea of being at or past irreversible changes to the environment are “extreme and absurd”. The recent report issued by the UN seems to disagree with your point of view here.

Finally…I was amused by your closing sentence to these comments: “I don’t follow any singular ideology,so it’s easy to develop my own views based on my own research without falling for propaganda.” Why, you may ask, do I find this statement ironically amusing? Because you are doing EXACTLY what Ms. Thunberg is doing, and you are basing your strongly held opinions on your research. To state the obvious, this does undercut your criticism of Ms. Thunberg that you opened with above. I also have to ask this: How does your research compare with the work of the tens of thousands of climatologists, who have spent their career studying and analyzing the changes in the Earth? How much time have you spent on this research? How well do you understand the conclusions that a vast majority of the scientists have come to? And, finally…are you saying that your research is the equal of the body of data and analysis that these professionals have generated?

Note that these are rhetorical questions, presented more to stimulate thought, than to extract an answer.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, General, Humanity, Nuttiness, Observations, Politics, Ruminations, Snake Oil | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment