Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 24

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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
  • 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

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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…

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.

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.

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The Fruits of Hubris, Conspiracy Loonies and Poor Education

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



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 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

Talking with a Cultist, part 2

I had an interesting discussion in a thread today, and, one of the posts was involved enough that I decided to add it to my blog. It falls into the category of dealing with Cultists, and addressing their objections. It also touches on the rather sad reality that the emotion filled political situation today has caused schisms within families, as well as within society as a whole.

JQN: I see where you are but my son is different. He is thirty and this economic mess and worry for good jobs I think keeps him there. He is not a racist but feels that with the job market, economic situation, loss of companies and everything going overseas he did not get an answer from anyone. He is for immigration but done legally. Why bring in so many immigrants when a lot of people need jobs and why give them so much help when our own people cannot get any. He knows that Trump is mess up in many ways but I cannot get him to budge. He is very smart and says he looks at all news but I wonder sometimes. It has caused a lot of friction between us the last couple of years. He voted for Obama but saw him fall back on campaign promises that were important to him. The situation is actually quite a mess. It is like the economics and control our government has over us has made him more Trump than anyone else. I truthfully do not like that there is not one really stand out guy out there who is perfectly aligned to my ideas. Very difficult choices ahead. This country and actually the world is a mess

Dave Mundt: JQN: That is a terrible aspect of this danse macabre that is the political world. It has caused rifts in families, because of members taking intractable stances. I have some family members who will not deal with me, because they are strong supporters of El Cheeto, and do not like my questions and comments about him.

IF I were to engage your son in debate on the points you listed…It would likely go something like this (In no particular order):

1) Immigration. No one argues that there should be a workable method of allowing people into the country. However, right now, the process is so broken it is more likely that the average applicant will die of old age before they get a chance to come in. Unless, of course, they can be exploited by big industry, which will get them a H1B visa, and waltz them to the front of the line.

The “so many immigrants” referenced is ignorance speaking. The fact is that a vast percentage of the people entering the country right now are refugees…trying to find a place to live because if they stay at home, they are likely to be bombed into a red mist (Probably with weapons made in the USA), or watch their son or daughter’s head explode from a sniper shot as the kid goes out to try and get some water or food. Will they all stay? Probably not…most of them love the land they came from, and want to return to it when the wars and widespread death moves away from their homes.

To make things worse, In many cases, the conflicts in those lands are, to some extent, America’s responsibility. Our meddling in the affairs of other countries has never turned out well, either for us, or them.

2) Giving Aid to Refugees. Actually the fact is that Refugees can only get a small stipend for the first 8 months they are in the country. The amount? $420 or so a month. Citizens get far more direct cash aid, and, they can receive it for a period of 60 months. here, by the by, is an explanation of the sort of aid Refugees can get.

3) Businesses leaving the country. This is capitalism in action, and, is driven by the fact that these businesses can get decent product made by workers who are paid a few dollars a day, instead of $15.00/hour or more. Their desire to do this is generated by two factors.
a) The terrible short-sighted view of business that has pushed out all other options. For the past couple of decades, a company lives or dies by their quarterly profit/loss report. This is a fairly new thing, as much of the focus of the robber barons and management thereafter was on the long term…choosing a path that might produce losses every so often, but, would result in an increased customer base, and greater demand for their product.
b) The American attitude that cheapest is best…and the cheaper it is, the better it is. Most Americans would not recognize quality if it bit them on the ankle, and they think that it is foolish to spent a few extra dollars to get the best product. let me give you an example. Quite some years ago, I purchased an industrial strength table saw made by Rockwell-Delta. I paid almost $800 for a saw that was 30 years old. I had friends and relatives who thought I was nuts because I could have gone to Home Depot and picked up a Chinese made saw for $150. However, the machine I bought was so heavy and well built that I could slice a strip off a plank, and the cut surface would be as smooth as if I had sanded it for an hour or two.

4) Americans cannot get aid – Actually, anyone who meets the requirements for Federal or state aid can receive help. For example, Walmart pays such crappy amounts to many of its workers, that they are getting food stamps. The total amount the government is giving out? around $600,000 per store per month. That, by the by, is corporate welfare, because that amount, instead of coming from the company to the workers, goes directly into the Walton’s bank accounts.

5) The shaky economy (which is likely to crash into recession next year, I fear) is a direct result of the policies of the current administration. President Obama, in case he has forgotten, took the worst economy since 1929 in hand, and over 8 years reduced deficit spending by 3/4, and save the Auto industry with his subsidies. By the by…all the money those companies got was repaid by the end of the Obama administration…with Interest. The current administration has nearly destroyed the America farmers with his insane tariffs which has caused them to lose their markets completely. Those markets, by the by, will likely NEVER come back. This has added billions to the cost of welfare as all those farmers get handouts from the Government. Oddly enough, in spite of the fact that so many of them voted for him, not ONE of them has turned down this welfare!
Add to that the huge tax windfall that he gave to his rich buddies. This year, it is forcing the government to borrow $750 billion to cover the losses. in coming years, that amount is going to rise to a trillion dollars a year! yes, he did give a token tax cut to the middle class…but it runs out in two years. The tax windfall for the rich (and larger corporations) is permanent. The result of this will be even more pressure on the economy, and, it will become harder and harder for the Feds to borrow the cash to cover the expenses. it was because of the “off the books” multi-trillion dollar wars in the Middle East, started by the Bush Administration that America’s credit rating was downgraded for the FIRST time in its history. This was in August 2011, when the economy was reeling from the nearly world-wide crash cased by the housing bubble bursting.

6) Obama failing to implement campaign promises. I was disappointed by this failure too. There were a number of promises he made, and was unable to follow through on, that I cared about too. But, look at the reality of the time. The DAY that president Obama was elected, Moscow Mitch had a meeting with a large number of Republicans. At that meeting he swore that his goal was to make President Obama a one-term president, by blocking every law he tried to support. He pressured and cajoled the other Republicans to stand with him on this…and being good, little, foot soldiers, the did. They were successful to a certain extent, in that they did halt some things, and made every success a hard-fought battle.
A factor that slowed the progress of the administration was that president Obama, who is a very good and honorable man with a strong academic background, came into office believing that the Republicans could be dealt with as rational adults, and so, would be willing to compromise after negotiations, to ensure that they got most of what they wanted as would the Democrats. It took a while to realize that they were more like 5 year old children, throwing a temper tantrum, and refusing to play at all. Their attitude for all eight years was “my way or the highway”.

In spite of this, President Obama managed to get some very basic and radical programs passed. I was disappointed that he was unable to shut down Git-mo, and process the hundreds of prisoners there (many of whom were innocents, and not terrorists) However, he did manage to cut the population by at least 75%. The ACA is truly an amazing accomplishment, even in the chopped up and seriously damaged state it finally got implemented as. It put millions of people on health insurance that never had it before. It blocked the insurance companies from the abusive actions they routinely took against citizens (dropping them, refusing to cover them, selling them policies that covered nothing, but guaranteed a healthy premium for the insurance company every month, for example). IF it had been fleshed out and the problems ironed out, America might be on the path to having a health care system nearly as good as the one in place in EVERY other industrialized nation in the world.
overall, there are over 700 laws and changes that President Obama managed to push through, though that made a HUGE difference in the lives of a vast majority of Americans…and, unlike the current administration…did not benefit only the 1% at the top of the economic scale. I have appended a partial list of President Obama’s accomplishments at the end of this article.

I know that many folks who voted for President Obama did vote for el cheeto, and, I still find it a puzzling thing. Their excuse for not voting for the most qualified candidate, Secretary Clinton, always seems to boil down to ” I believed all the lies I saw on social media, and pushed by the Republicans, and in any case, she is a woman, and NO one wants a woman president” So instead of choosing a candidate who had years of experience in the complicated maze of politics; who was known, during her time in the Senate, to show up to meetings being the most prepared person there – the person who knew the issue at hand inside and out, and could argue her point clearly; who had decades of working to better life for most Americans; chose to vote for a man who had cheated on EVERY woman he married, with his next wife; who was such an incompetent businessman that he bankrupted a casino! A man who NO American bank would loan a penny to – so he was forced to go to Russian banks or Russian funded banks with sketchy histories for cash. A man who had a 30 year history of stiffing vendors, and engaging in blatantly racist behavior. A man who had documented ties to organized crime.

One of the biggest points that made Secretary Clinton a better candidate was that she scared the living daylights out of Putin. el cheeto sucks up to him, and is looked upon as a weak, easily manipulated fool by Putin. Remember when el cheeto was bragging about how Putin had said he was the brightest person he had ever met? What Putin ACTUALLY said was that el cheeto was the flashiest person he had ever met. Putin saw that he was nothing more than smoke and mirrors, and so was a perfect stooge. Look at the world today…specifically The situation in Syria with the Kurds. Not only have we destroyed any chance of local fighters supporting American efforts, but, Putin has already moved into the area and is consolidating power in the region. He has wanted to do this for years, but, was held in check by America. No longer.

I agree with you that it is not possible to find a current candidate in the dozen or so Democrats still running that matches up to your standards and agenda. However, we both know that, unless YOU run, there will never be a “perfect candidate”. So…when I look at options, I look at their platform and where their focus is at. The Democrats have a long history of making laws that benefit the majority of Americans. The Republicans are almost exclusively focused on big business, and the ultra-rich. Between the two, I know which one is more likely to make MY life better. I hope, that over the next year, your son will take a hard, mindful look at his decisions, and what he supports. perhaps he will realize that the Democrats have better plans than the Republicans – especially these days. As Rachael Maddow says “Pay attention to what they DO, not what they SAY”. This is a paraphrase of the Bible, also…where it says “By their fruits, ye shall know them”.

I do wonder if el cheeto being impeached and (quite possibly) removed from office in the next few months will shake him up enough to remind him that voting for the wrong candidate does not mean that one is a bad person. So, there is no need to put one’s ego on the line and refuse to admit that one made a mistake. We all make bad decisions in our life. The important thing to do, by my rules of life, is to admit and own the mistake, learn from it, and work to never make that mistake again.

God Help us All.

Bee Man Dave

Partial List of President Obama’s accomplishments

The day Obama took office, the Dow closed at 7,949 points. Eight years later, the Dow had almost tripled, closing at 21,414.

General Motors and Chrysler were on the brink of bankruptcy, with Ford not far behind, and their failure, along with their supply chains, would have meant the loss of millions of jobs. Obama pushed through a controversial, $8o billion bailout to save the car industry. The U.S. car industry survived, started making money again, and the entire $80 billion was paid back, with interest.

While we remain vulnerable to lone-wolf attacks, no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed a mass attack here since 9/11.

Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.

He drew down the number of troops from 180,000 in Iraq and Afghanistan to just 15,000, and increased funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He launched a program called Opening Doors which, since 2010, has led to a 47 percent decline in the number of homeless veterans.

He set a record 73 straight months of private-sector job growth.

Due to Obama’s regulatory policies, greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 12%, production of renewable energy more than doubled, and our dependence on foreign oil was cut in half.

He signed The Lilly Ledbetter Act, making it easier for women to sue employers for unequal pay.

His Omnibus Public Lands Management Act designated more than 2 million acres as wilderness, creating thousands of miles of trails and protecting over 1,000 miles of rivers.

He reduced the federal deficit from 9.8 percent of GDP in 2009 to 3.2 percent in 2016.

For all the inadequacies of the Affordable Care Act, we seem to have forgotten that, before the ACA, you could be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition and kids could not stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26.

Obama approved a $14.5 billion system to rebuild the levees in New Orleans.

All this, even as our own Mitch McConnell famously asserted that his singular mission would be to block anything President Obama tried to do.

While Obama failed on his campaign pledge to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, that prison’s population decreased from 242 to around 50.

He expanded funding for embryonic stem cell research, supporting groundbreaking advancement in areas like spinal injury treatment and cancer.

Credit card companies can no longer charge hidden fees or raise interest rates without advance notice.

Most years, Obama threw a 4th of July party for military families. He held babies, played games with children, served barbecue.

Welfare spending is down: for every 100 poor families, just 24 receive cash assistance, compared with 64 in 1996.

Obama comforted families and communities following more than a dozen mass shootings. After Sandy Hook, he said, “The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old.”

Yet, he never took away anyone’s guns.

He was the first president since Eisenhower to serve two terms without personal or political scandal.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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The Censor Ship

Greetings and Salutations;

It being just past “Talk like a pirate day”, I thought it appropriate to go on a little ocean voyage…

An interesting question was brought to my attention today – “Is Censorship Good, or Bad?” This came up in a discussion of the efforts of the major social media companies such as Instagram, Facebook, etc, to shut down websites that were questionable in nature. At the moment these are pretty much all Neo-Nazi sites. However, it being the Internet, there is a huge range of sites available in the cyber-ocean, so, deciding which ones should go away can become difficult. That having been said…here is my answer to the question:

In short…”Yes”
this is a complicated question, as censorship is a double-edged sword. Let us look at the definition of the word:

“the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscene, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.”

That goal seems very virtuous, and I suspect that most of us would agree with it. However, the tool of censorship MUST be applied with caution, or it becomes a power for evil. Let us look at an example or two.

To start off in the modern era, what about neo-nazi websites, (I cannot give a link to a neo-nazi website, as the ISPs have pretty much wiped them off the visible web. In order to access the cesspool of hate, prejudice, holocaust denial and white supremacy they push, one must search on the so-called Dark Web.) I suspect that the censorship of these sites, and their removal from the Net is something that most people would look upon as a good thing.

What about a slightly greyer area, such as the Conspiracy Loony websites, such as, or Should they be removed from the Net? after all, they are spreading lies and opinions unsupported by evidence, or facts. I would argue that they should NOT be censored, unless they slip into an area where they are posting stories that are actively hurtful to other citizens, or advocating violence against other citizens. As for the former…And here I am looking at Alex Jones and for his diatribes against the mass shootings that plague America these days, and, continuing claims that they are “False Flag” operations, used by the government for some nefarious purpose and that no one has actually been killed in these so-called mass murders. His pontificating should be censored in my opinion, as his preaching about the idea that no one has been killed in these school shootings is not only blatantly untrue, it has brought great pain to the surviving relatives of those that WERE killed.

To go back a few years (most recently, alas, March of this year), or perhaps more than just a few! Over the millennia of recorded time, there have been many episodes of book burning. here is an interesting list that is lengthy, if not comprehensive.

Book burning is an extreme form of censorship, and one that I do not, in general, ascribe to or approve of. One common thread that runs through these events, from the destruction of Ebla in 2240 B.C. to the Greek Orthodox Priest burning Harry Potter books in 2019, is that the destruction of the libraries was caused by an intense dislike or fear of the knowledge contained in them. It was, I suspect, based not on rational thought, but, rather the hatred and fear of “The Other”, or the mindless preconceptions and narrow views of the people burning the books. This sort of censorship, I find repulsive and obscene, and do not believe it should happen.

(That having been said, I am forced to admit that when I read “Lord of the Flies” in High School, I was so disgusted with it and the picture of humanity it presented, the ONLY way I could express my feelings and, to a certain extent, cleanse my mind, was to burn the book. It is the ONLY book I have destroyed this way, though, and while I still find it disgusting, I have reached a point where I remain an objective observer of stories I read. In High School, I was much more vulnerable, and tended to dive into the story so completely, it was as if I was in the world of the story, and it left the same thoughts and feelings with me when I escaped the book as if I had been in that world.)

We all practice censorship on a daily basis.

  • Some of us change the channel when representatives of the current administration come on to speak.
  • Some of us turn off the television when a televangelist appears.
  • Some of us choose to watch Fox news, instead of the BBC, CNN, or another channel.
  • Some of us say “I will never read a book by O’Reilly/Bill Gates/A trump cultist/Rachael Maddow/Lawrence O’Donnell/etc”
  • Some of us say “Libtard, Dumbocrat, Socialist, Communist, Snowflake, etc.”
  • Some of us say “Rethuglican, Cultist, etc.” (it is difficult to find a lot of ad hominem insults used by the Liberal/Progressives when referring to Right-Wingers)
  • Some of us say “I will reach out to sources of opinions that differ from mine, the better to understand their, and my own, patterns of thought, prejudices, etc, and what brings them to believe what they believe.”
  • Some of our elected leaders rail against the news media, and claim it is “Fake News” not because it is a lie, but because they do not like what is being reported.

Some of these alternatives are positive, some are not. The important thing to do here is to make those decisions mindfully. Be aware of the choices we are making, and decide: “Am I making this choice because something there will hurt my feelings?” or “Am I making this choice because I am searching out the most accurate information I can find?” In my opinion, the latter question is valid, and important. The former is simply willful blindness. It is especially important for us to look at anything we are told with skepticism, and not accept it as the gospel truth. When I was in elementary school, and being taught the basic skills, one of the subjects was “Library Skills” and writing a properly supported article. The latter had, as rule number 1, believe nothing until it is supported by three, independent sources. The former gave me the tools to FIND those sources. This is the sort of mindfulness I am talking about.

God Help Us All!

Bee Man Dave

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Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 21 – Complaining about America

This meme appeared on my Facebook timeline today, and as it raises some good points, I thought I would add it to the collection of essays I am building here.

My disagreement with this meme is rooted in the fact that it offers simplistic solutions to complex problems, as well as being fairly sketchy in some of its claims.
Life is complicated, alas, so let me spend a minute or two addressing specific points in the meme.

  • America, nor its government, raised the cost of living. This is a combination of companies making as much money as they can for their investors or owners, combined with the successful attacks on unions by industry. Wages have stayed the same for decades now, while inflation has continued to increase the cost of everything.
  • The fact that parents are spending less time with their children speaks more to the deterioration of parenting skills; the unwillingness for parents to be “The Bad Guy”; and, parents allowing their kids to engage in recreational activities, instead of helping their parents with chores at home.
  • Parents were never told “You cannot discipline your children”. However society has come to realize that beating one’s children is not a productive way of teaching them the difference between right and wrong, or in a positive way to live. So, yes, laws have been passed to cut down on abuse.
  • No one has taken God out of the schools. Public schools have NEVER been allowed to engage in religious instruction as a part of their daily lessons. The Constitution, in the First Amendment addresses this specifically, saying that there is an unbreakable separation between Church and State. Let us consider for a moment, what would happen if we, as a society, were to ignore this restriction. The first question that comes up is “Which religion gets taught?” Islam? Judaism? Roman Catholicism? Greek Orthodox? Lutheranism? Presbyterianism? Primitive Baptist? Evangelical Fundamentalism? Wiccan? The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? I could go on, but, I think this makes my point. We are a very diverse society, so, it is impossible to say “THIS” religion is God’s Chosen Religion and should be taught.
    The fact is that today, in public schools, it is legal and supported to hold religious classes, prayer circles, etc. HOWEVER these must be completely done by the staff members can have anything to do with them. Also, as long as there are tests in classes, God will be in Schools! There is no more fervent prayer than that of a student who is not prepared for an important test!
    In my view of reality, it is the responsibility of parents to instill religious values in their children; to go to church with them; to talk with them about some of the less comfortable parts of the Bible and their denomination. it is the parent’s job to demonstrate, by their actions and their words, WHY their religious views are a positive addition to their lives, and are worth instilling in their kids. However, alas, too many parents fail to do this. Either because of the factors I have mentioned above, or, some deep-seated fears that their beliefs are false, or invalid, parents seem to be reluctant to nurture the spiritual growth of their kids

The meme does make a valid point that our Society is on a very self-destructive path, and it is up to us to drag it back to a more positive way. However, it is difficult for this to happen, considering the divisiveness in today’s world, the mindless hate and contempt held for anyone who disagrees with their point of view, and, the misogyny and racism that has burst forth again. We can change this, but, it will be a long, difficult road, and one that will require us to make difficult decisions and take strong stances. The meme speaks of the kids of today in very negative terms. I suggest that we are far past the kids…and the description given applies to far too many adults today.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

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“Christians” and Welfare

Greetings and Salutations.

The following interaction that I had of Facebook illustrates the sort of difficulties I run into when trying to engage El Cheeto’s cultists, or, the Conservatives who have ONE view of reality.

DCM: The Constitution says that one of the duties of the state is to provide for the public good (along with all the other rights we have). It is trivial to point out that this can easily cover at the very least healthcare.

No one says that there is a free lunch. However, there are many sources of funding in America that could cover the expanded costs with a huge amount left over.

I seem to have missed the place in the New Testament where Christ says “Screw the slackers and disadvantage. If they want MY help they need to get out and work for a living”.

CSM: No, it doesn’t say that, you are correct there but……..2 Thessalonians 3:10 – For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

CSM: Proverbs 10:4 He becometh poor that dealeth [with] a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

CSM: 1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

CSM: FYI God tells us to help the downtrodden, the weak among us, it says nothing about helping the lazy!

DCM: I am not going to get into dueling Bible verses, here. I will ask, though…where does Christ say “Screw them…they don’t have a job, so let them starve?”

Your final comment lacks merit… The vast majority of people getting aid today are already holding down jobs that simply do not pay enough to cover the expenses of a place to live, and food to feed their family. Also, by the by, are you aware of the fact that there is a 60 month, lifetime limit on Government aid?

It is unwise to believe that everyone is like you, or that simply because you are a hard worker, who is having some small success that people who are NOT successful are “Lazy”

CSM: How would exactly you like to see it play out? Do you want a 70% tax rate, everyone on government run health care, under a socialist dictator? Because that’s where we are headed if liberals get their way. And the reason you won’t get into dueling bible verses is because you can’t.

DCM: CSM: Before Reagan, the top tax rate was 90%. And yet, we had people who were rich beyond imagination. You seem to not understand that the top tax rate only applies to the very rich. It is likely that YOUR tax rate would not change, or might drop.

As a matter of fact, single payer health care would be cheaper and provide better care than the current situation. So, yes, I would much rather see America move to that model.

You are simply spouting mindless Right-Wing talking points when you talk about Socialist Dictators. That is a lie, pushed by the Republicans, to scare the gullible into voting for THEM, and not looking too closely at how they really DO screw the citizens. Question this? Right now the wealth gap between the richest and poorest in America is close to 400 to 1. How did that happen? The Republican administrations passed tax exemptions that do not change the tax rate for you and me, and 95% of America, and cut the tax rate for the top 5% in America. Do you love that? How about the trillions of dollars of debt that the Bush 2 administration saddled America with? And, the gutting of the regulations that kept the financial industry in check? Because they were set free, a few people got billions of dollars, and a large percentage of the world’s countries teetered on the brink of economic collapse. If it were not for the 8 years of the Obama administration, America would be so deep in an economic depression that you would likely be scrubbing floors for $0.10/hour just to stay alive.

Also, about that whole socialism thing. let me give you a short list of socialistic programs that we ALL benefit from and are part of American society. Fire departments, Police Departments, Utilities, Schools, Road maintenance, disaster relief in times of flooding, earthquakes and the like. The payments that all those Republican farmers are grabbing right now from the government are Socialism. There are many more, but, this is just a quick set of example.

You really need to do a bit more in the way of continuing education. You seem to have a limited source of information, and willful blindness to a number of realities in today’s world.

Now…let me be clear here. I would like you to tell me exactly where Christ said “Screw them…they are lazy slackers…let them starve”

CSM: You poor little thing……..You just can’t stop asking that vulgar question, can you? Bless you heart!!! Would you like to tell me where it says it’s ok for people to live off the government while the middle class works themselves to death paying for it?

DCM: CSM: So, then, you have no answer to the question. That says a lot. Let me help you – Christ NEVER said that. Since you love quoting Bible Verses…how about these:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:11-13

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:17

Then Jesus said to his host . . . When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.

Luke 14:14

And if that does not convince you, I suggest you read this link

You seem to have the opinion that anyone who needs help from the government is a lazy slacker who is living off the government dole. That is SO wrong… Yes, there are some that game the system. But a vast majority of people receiving aid are good people in bad circumstances who are unable to improve their lot, and are just trying to keep their head above water, feed their family, and get enough resources together to NOT lose their job.

Proverbs 28:13-14 ESV
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity

Finally…NO ONE making $10/$12 an hour is middle class…and if you believe this, you are lying to yourself. Those are poverty wages these days. If you really wanted to cut the tax burden on the so-called “Middle Class” you would push your Federal Representatives to remove the Trillion dollar windfall that this administration gave the very rich in America. You would push them to close the tax loopholes that allow folks who are billionaires to not pay a PENNY in taxes for decades. You would push them to remove the corporate welfare that hands over about 1.5 TIMES the amount spend on TANF. I suggest you read this article for some truth.

CSM: So you say……..

“So, then, you have no answer to the question.”

When in reality I did………

“No, it doesn’t say that, you are correct there”

You say……….

“You seem to have the opinion that anyone who needs help from the government is a lazy slacker who is living off the government “

But evidently you either misread or didn’t read or chose to ignore, in true liberal leftish fashion when I said on Michelle’s other post that you trolled………

“I have no problems with people accepting help, those who actually need it, the elderly, the sick or those with conditions that can’t work, single hard working mothers who need some extra help but when a full grown man capable of working lives on welfare, that I have no respect for.”

You see, you choose to ignore what conservatives say because you don’t want to admit that their words have merit because it does not go along with the leftist agenda. You troll these pages, posting your garbage and are mostly ignore until someone comes along and challenges you. Then you tell that person what they are even when they have spoken in no way the way you describe them.

Now let me school you in the real life situation of a person who could work but chooses not to……..

My husband is a district manager and from time to time he has to do mass hires for new stores. Most of the people who apply do not actually want a job, all they want is a signature showing that they went to a job interview so they can extend their benefits. These are perfectly able bodied people who are working the system. They blow the interview and toddle back off to get their next welfare check. AND YES……..that is how it works!!!

Conservatives are all for helping the needy, we are just sick and tired of helping those that “CHOOSE” not to help themselves.

If you spent more time listening to the right instead of yelling at them you might actually learn something.

DCM: 1) I will give you the point that you tucked in an agreement that Christ never said that…and then tossed a bunch of Bible verses out trying to prove that people who are not working are not worthy of help.

2) I am sure that if you search out all my postings you could find DOZENS of places where I disagree with one of your comments. However, I am talking about THIS thread. If you want to discuss other comments I have made, address them on the appropriate thread. in This thread, you have done nothing but slag people who do not hold down a steady job.

3) So..your husband interviewed them. Did he offer them a job? They are not ALL just showing up, as you say, to get a punch on their “Give me money I looked for a job” card. And, I have never claimed that there are not folks on welfare that work the system. My wife worked for Department of Human Services for 30 years. I doubt that your experience is as extensive.

4) What I am saying is that there are many, many ways that America is failing to support and improve the lives of its citizens. That almost ALL the failures are because of the unbridled greed and narrow-mindedness of the Republican party, and, if we truly want to even begin to approach the ideal of the “Shining City on the Hill” that our Founding Fathers envisioned, we have GOT to change the path we are on.

I did get my wife to read this thread, and offer some comments, based on her perspective of 30 years working for Department of Human Services. She had several points, but, the appropriate ones are as follows:

I have one more comment I will add before I walk away from this thread. When it is reduced to ignoring points I raise AND posting mindless Memes, it is obviously over.

I spoke with my wife about this, and, she has this to say about your comment of people coming in to blow off the job and just get a signature to say they had been there.

Of course that’s how it works. because the system wants them to take a job where they will take home maybe x $ per month best (multilply $7.25 x 38 hrs a week and subtract taxes) — NOBODY on the system can get a job that pays better than $8/hr or so — and then they will lose a good portion of their benefits AND face the choice of either paying out 60-70% of their take home pay for a GOOD daycare, or risking their children’s well-being by placing them in a state-subsidized daycare where they will still have to pay 30-40% of their take home pay to a place I wouldn’t trust to look after rats. I’ve seen those places. I’ve seen the “caretakers” there.

When they get a job, their children are almost immediately at risk: either from not having enough to eat and being at risk of losing their housing because Mom is paying everything to a good child care provider…. or because Mom can only afford to place her children in a daycare with untrained babysitters “caring” for them.

Honestly, the only thing ANYONE needs to know is that 80% of the people benefiting from food stamps and welfare are not old enough to work. At LEAST another 5% aren’t capable.

What is your solution to that? Taking the children away? Do you have ANY conception of how WRONG that is, not to mention how much more it would cost?????

DCM: The is the reality you invoked with your comment about your husband. I hope you read it and think about it.

While it would have been more interesting to discuss the points I raised, without the unending shower of insults and denigration you offer, as well as the deflection from my points. it has been an interesting discussion.

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

Fair Well, Forest (a tale of inhumanity)

Forrest…who was betrayed by humans…

I apologize in advance for this post. It was a difficult one to write, and it is a difficult one to read, if one cares at all for companion animals. The following was posted on a FB group I am a member of, and it is so terribly important a truth I had to add it to my blog.


I am wondering what you are doing tonight.
I don’t believe we have met.
You are the person who surrendered your senior cat to an animal shelter exactly 51 days ago.

You are also the same person who had every single one of his toes mutilated when you allowed a vet to 4–paw declaw him at some point during his life – likely when he was a kitten since so many believe it’s best to do it then before they fully learn what it is to be a cat and use their claws.
Yes, best to destroy all chance of a cat fully learning what it is to be a cat.
This means he has likely spent the majority of his life on this earth, trying to manage on 16 amputated toes.

Something tells me you are not losing sleep about this tonight. I am.
I’ve been losing sleep about this since I met him.
I can’t imagine what he was like as a younger cat – before you had this procedure done to him ..and before you removed him from the life he knew when you left him in a town shelter, in the hands of strangers, placed into a stainless steel cage and surrounded by barking dogs.
I envision him as whole. Running around, rolling over..stretching out, yawning, playing…..but I haven’t seen him this way.

In the month I have known him I have seen his bones become more obtrusive, as he has decided to stop eating (this happens often to animals once surrendered to shelter cages. It can quickly have devastating effects on the body of a tiny cat – the devastation compounded if the cat is a senior whose body is not strong and who had grown accustomed to life in a home and now find themselves completely abandoned and lost.) We have been force-feeding him by syringe to help him through this but …it’s stressful for them to have this done and it never amounts to enough food eaten.)
I see his eyes, cloudy from age. His left eye is cloudier than his right. He can still see but I do wonder how clearly.
I’ve seen him attempt to walk around on our wooden floors, but mostly slip and slide because he has no claws to help stabilize his already-weak legs.
I’ve seen him slide and fall over in the litter box as he attempts to steady himself long enough to pee. He has not been able to poo much because he has not been eating enough to produce it. He has tried.
I’ve seen his nose become encrusted from snot, the results of upper respiratory infection (common extreme-stress reaction in cats.)

A few glorious times, I’ve seen him attempting to be a normal cat. Mustering up the strength to stand up and walk around! Greeting people! Meowing! Willingly Eating!!! The hope and celebration that comes from witnessing these moments is indescribable.
However, those moments have been sporadic and short-lived and not enough to help him survive. and so tonight I’m watching him die.
It is not as cold as it sounds. I’m not idly standing by without feeling or action.
I know this is inevitable. It is “natural” , in that where there is life there is also death. It is unavoidable.

So I am here and it is happening and I’m doing my best to make sure he doesn’t go it alone and that he is met with the dignity, respect, love and reverence he deserves.
There are some prayers….gentle chants….and words I say, because I know they really do matter.
I’ve told him how precious he is.
How I am so so sorry that he was betrayed. That he didn’t deserve any of it. It is all true.
I tell him how his body is no longer serving him and it is ok to go…to a place where there is no more pain. There is no more loneliness, fear, or struggling. No hunger, No thirst. No strain.

He will no longer have to bear the pain of 16 amputations with each step he takes – he can fly. Soar even! He will no longer have to wonder where he is and who these people are who are trying to keep him alive.
Pure freedom, and alleviation of all suffering.
This is what he deserves!
More than this, he deserves to know that his life, his presence here has mattered – and always will.

We will continue to help other declawed/abandoned/senior/shelter cats in his memory.
We will continue to speak of him with love, and our hearts will never quite be the same from having known him and having witnessed his strength and his suffering.
He is still breathing right now.
Very slowly. Cool air passing through his tiny little nostrils.
Soon he will be physically free. And then I will go to sleep.

So what was the question again?
oh yeah, so….what are you doing tonight?
How do you sleep?
I can only wonder.

Forest passed away a few minutes after this note was written, and that was about a half hour ago. May he finally Rest in Peace.
Unfortunately the person for whom this note is intended won’t see it as most likely he or she is not spending time on an animal rescue page.. And, I am sorry. We do strive to keep this page positive, but we’ve been here so many times before and it hurts. It hurts when the only thing you can do to truly comfort an animal you have rescued is to help them die well.

Please please ….commit to any living beings in your care and make suitable arrangements for their care should you become unable. No excuses.

This is one of the very few entries that I made through a veil of tears. I have seen this sort of thing myself too many times over the years…and since I have already lost three beloved cats to predators and old age over the past few months, and I have another that is not doing well, it strikes at my heart.

I pray that if anyone reads this, who knows anyone who is OK with declawing, and abandoning their animals when they are bored with them, or they are old, or inconvenient, that you will urge them to read this post…and think about what they are doing to a sentient, important life. Get them to read This Set Of Posts, where I talk about the reality of declawing.

I also wish that anyone who would do these things to any animal be put on a “No Adopt” list, and NEVER be allowed to have control over a companion animal. The most they deserve is a stuffed, plush toy.

God help us all

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, General, Humanity, Observations, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sifting through the Ashes, Part 20 – Third party Candidates

Greetings and Salutations.

Today, I want to take a moment to talk about third party political candidates in America. Because of the political turmoil we are seeing, combined with the flood of Democrats running for the Nod to be the Presidential candidate in 2020, I am seeing a lot of discussion on Social media about third parties. The vast majority of American voters are following either the Democratic/Liberal Party, or the Republican/”Conservative” party. That is, perhaps, an issue that needs to be addressed, but that is for another time.

In the 2016 election, we had a significant number of voters from the Democrats that voted for third party candidates. As far as I could tell, it was mostly a protest vote, because they had bought into the one-sided view of Secretary Clinton, as spewed across social media by Russian operatives, and the Republicans. They ignored her many years of service, and deep understanding of governing, as well as the many programs she had supported that helped ALL Americans – not just the 1%, because their emotions were inflamed by the lies spread about her. While their votes may or may not have made a huge difference, in my opinion, any vote that was not cast for Secretary Clinton was a vote for El Cheeto.

Now then, let us look at the third party candidates that took votes in the 2016 election. Instead of listing them here, I refer you to THIS ARTICLE which has an excellent look at most, if not all of the lengthy list of these people. Skimming through the article, I notice one thing that all but one or two have in common – and that is a total lack of knowledge or experience in government. There are a mayor or two listed, which is a considerable step up, but still a bit weak, in my opinion.

So…while all these people were (and are) apparently passionate about their cause and their plans to improve America, why do I think that it is a waste of time to vote for them. There are a number of reasons.

  1. While enthusiasm is important…some knowledge of how to govern is vital. Running the country is not like planning and executing a protest movement, or, running a business. It is a very different skill set. The Presidency is the worst possible place to learn on the job, too…as it is a high stress position, requiring thoughtful decisions every day that take into account the entire population of the USA.
  2. Many of the third party candidates are single issue candidates. This can cause bad decisions, and actions that can harm the country not help it.
  3. It appears that some of the candidates suffer from the problem that most people have. They assume that everyone is just like them! They are not likely to be able to empathize with the people trapped in poverty, who cannot find a job that pays enough to do more than barely keep their heads above water, or the issues that people of color face in America.
  4. They have, for years, only popped up in the public eye at Presidential elections. (More on that later on)

Now then…How could a third party become a viable political force in America? I have written elsewhere about the idea of moving to a more parliamentary form of government in America, where many views could be represented in Congress, yet, would stay within the structure of government created by the Constitution. That, alas, will take decades to implement, even with wide-spread support. So, I suggest another, more immediate way that has a good chance of building enough of a voter base that it would have a significant voice.

  1. I mentioned earlier that the candidates are never to be seen except at election time. That is a killer as it ensures there is no voter base, other than the disaffected, or gullible, that will vote for them.
  2. I suggest that the people who support a given third party band together, and work to get members of the party elected to City and County/Parish councils. Once there, demonstrate WHY your views will actually help the citizens of that local area.
  3. After a term or two on the local level, their work should be well known enough to increase the number of voters that support them and their cause. At this point, I suggest they move on to run for a state office – Legislator, for example. Alternatively, they can work to get an appointment from the Governor to act for the citizens of the entire state. This latter case should lead to their election to Legislator. Moving to this level of government will increase the number of voters that know them, and may well support their causes. This is helped quite a bit if the programs proposed and implemented actually DO benefit the citizens of the state.
  4. Perhaps, after a couple of terms in the legislature, they could run for Governor. This is a good step, because it gives a LOT of visibility, both to the person, and to the programs they support. This is likely to widen their support base among the voters.
  5. At some point, the third party supporter should move to run for a Federal office – Perhaps a House seat. Or, of course, if they have made a name with their good programs, an appointment by the President to a cabinet position. As with the state example, this should lead to being elected to Congress and holding a seat there for a couple of terms or more.
  6. Finally, at this point, enough voters in the country should be familiar with the candidate, and the programs they support, so that they would have a decent chance of taking the Presidency.

Although it seems that this is a long and involved process, it is the only way, short of spending billions of dollars, that I can see to gain enough voter recognition and support to have any power or chance of winning in today’s political arena. Although the usual crop of third party candidates seem to be blind to this reality…there is no Royal Road to the Presidency. NONE of the third party candidates have such an amazing set of programs and proposals that any significant number of Americans say to themselves “WOW! How can I NOT vote for this person?” For those that complain that it will take too long…quality is not a five minute process. It is quite possible that the steps I list above could take 10-15 years, but they would work. For those who say “I do not believe this will work”, I point to the example of Bernie Sanders, who, has been a fixture in Congress for years, because he followed many of these steps, in spite of being a Democratic Socialist.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave.

Posted in Ethics, Humanity, Improving Life, Observations, Politics, Ruminations, Snake Oil | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Civil Discourse about Touchy Subjects.

An interesting moment on Facebook that is a perfect example of the extremest stances that we are in these days.
The original post was of a thread from Quora, starting with the question “Why do people get angry when I try to share the Word of God with them? I only do it because I care deeply for them, and do not want them to go to Hell. I feel that some people avoid me because of this. Is there any way I can get through to them”
Now, just off the bat, the whole Hell thing is likely a big turn off, and it kind of sounds to me like the person may be doing a bit of a hard sell on his religion. That is guaranteed to produce negative results, whether one is a Believer, or an Atheist! It certainly would not go over well with me.
Well, this lead to a somewhat lengthy thread that I contributed to with a thought. I am quoting my post and the replies here, as it demonstrates how difficult it can be to discuss religion (or the lack thereof) and the extreme reactions it brings up.

Dave Mundt I am a follower of Christ, and struggle daily to reach the positive life He preached. I do not inflict my religion on others, as I hate a hard sell as much as any other. I WILL, though, express support and sending positive energies to the people I am concerned for by saying I pray for them to be gifted with what they need to make it through a rough time. I will, and am, happy to discuss Belief, with anyone, as long as we can keep it on a civil, adult level.

As for the subject of a person’s eventual fate…I believe we are given free will to make the choice. For me, Heaven is a return of my small bit of Godly Spirit to the whole that is God. Hell would be eternal separation from that. However, Faith and belief is a personal thing, and is a journey we all must walk alone.

SD: Dave Mundt I’m glad you don’t try to force your beliefs on others. And usually if someone says they’ll pray for me, I’m not offended. But in some situations and with some people, telling a known non-believer of your faith you’ll pray for them can come across as condescending, even if it isn’t meant that way. Kinda like saying “I know you don’t believe in this god/religion, but I know what’s best for you so I’ll do it for you.”. Like I said, if it’s not coming from a judgy or preachy place it doesn’t bother me, but it will for some.
Maybe if you know someone is not of your belief, just tell them that they’ll be in your thoughts instead. Just an alternative idea.

TG: Dave Mundt Just don’t be pushy about it is all anybody of any faith can ask. Christianity teaches that it can’t be forced on others, but rather it must be accepted willingly. People tents to forget that these days.

Dave Mundt SD: This is a good point. I do not have the “praying for you” as a hard and fast rule. I will temper it to a less religious connotation “Best wishes…” “Strength and peace be with you” and the like… if the situation seems appropriate.

We have come to such extremest positions over religious belief, it had developed some serious intolerance on both sides. The Evangelicals condemn anyone who does not hold the same, fundamentalist viewpoint they have. A large percentage of the Atheist community tends to be very contemptuous of anyone who professes belief in “an invisible Sky Friend”. It makes civil discussion difficult.

By the by, I have been a Pastafarian for many, many years now, and I find no conflicts with my other beliefs. The 8, “I Really Rather You Didn’ts” are the basic rules of polite behavior that I, as a Lutheran, ascribe to. Lutherans have a long history of questioning and wrestling with difficult issues, (remember those 95 questions Luther nailed to the church door at Wittenburg?)

TG: Dave Mundt I have nothing against christians or any other religion except Scientology. I was raised Catholic but I was also taught to respect others beliefs. I don’t identify as Catholic, or even christian any more but that had always stuck with me-respect my beliefs and I will respect yours.

TG: Dave Mundt Bo Burnham said it best in his shopping written from the perspective of God. “The books you think I wrote are way too thick. Who needs a thousand metaphors to figure out you shouldn’t be a dick.” The 8 I Rather You didn’ts fit well with that quote.

Dave Mundt TG: I agree about respecting others. When I was in college, I had many, stimulating, interesting, and thought provoking discussions with people of other faiths. I had a certain level of open mindedness, but this period broadened my views and brought me to deeper understanding of the concepts.

AB: “I do not inflict my religion on others”

proceeds to regurgitate the usual “pray for you” trash, and has his genocidal god in every other sentence.

You don’t see a contradiction here ?

Dave Mundt AB: Thank you for so quickly proving my point.

AB: You do realize you are full of shit ?
Your point is “atheists are trash”.
My point is : “worshipping a genocidal maniac who throws at you the threat of eternal damnation unless you repeteadly tell him you love him” is trash.

Dave Mundt AB: You are putting words I never said into my mouth. You are, though, acting just as I commented that many Atheists act. I did not say Atheists are trash. To expand on my short comment, I find that many of them are filled with anger and intolerance for anyone who professes a belief that they disagree with.

Oh yes, by the by…unless you think I am inflicting religion on you…try reading the New Testament, instead of focusing on the Old Testament. However, it is up to you…

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Cosmology, Ethics, Humanity, Nuttiness, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How “Sheltered” are abandoned or surrendered Companion Animals?

Today, this image was posted on Facebook, with the following commentary, by a fellow named Jason Franks

I died today.

You got tired of me and took me to the shelter. They were overcrowded and I drew an unlucky number. I am in a black plastic bag in a landfill now. Some other puppy will get the barely used leash you left. My collar was dirty and too small, but the lady took it off before she sent me to the Rainbow Bridge . Would I still be at home if I hadn’t chewed your shoe? I didn’t know what it was, but it was leather, and it was on the floor. I was just playing. You forgot to get puppy toys. Would I still be at home if I had been housebroken? Rubbing my nose in what I did only made me ashamed that I had to go at all. There are books and obedience teachers that would have taught you how to teach me to go to the door. Would I still be at home if I hadn’t brought fleas into the house? Without anti-flea medicine, I couldn’t get them off of me after you left me in the yard for days. Would I still be at home if I hadn’t barked? I was only saying, “I’m scared, I’m lonely, I’m here, I’m here! I want to be your best friend.” Would I still be at home if I had made you happy? Hitting me didn’t make me learn how. Would I still be at home if you had taken the time to care for me and to teach manners to me? You didn’t pay attention to me after the first week or so, but I spent all my time waiting for you to love me.

I died today.

Your Puppy

If you don’t think this really happens….you aren’t living in reality…..they die daily…..thousands….

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

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

Sifting Through The Ashes, Part 19

Greetings and Salutations;

As we are all aware, the political turmoil and madness that has engulfed this great land continues. Every day, we see more, increasingly worrisome, and unhinged statements coming from the White House. We see actions being taken that are more like two teenagers playing “Chicken” in their hot rods, than the considered policies of a world leader. The latest example? The current administration has been drooling for war with Iran since it took office. The OOO’s placing John Bolton in as National Security Adviser last year has accelerated these pressures. Bolton has always been a Chicken-Hawk, and seems to really hate Iran. So…the other day there was an incident in the Gulf of Oman, just off the coast of Iran. A couple of oil tankers had explosives detonated on the side of the ship, blowing holes in the hull, and, in one case, starting the cargo burning.

The official story from the Administration was that these were mines, attached to the tankers by Iran, and this was an act of War. Today, several days later, the truth is still fuzzy, though. There are some odd facts that do not harmonize with the administration’s claims.

  • At the time of the attack, the Japanese Ambassador was IN Iran, in talks with them about finding ways to deescalate the tensions between Iran and America. Why, I have to ask, would Iran attack a couple of Japanese tankers when they were having productive talks with the Ambassador. Iran is an Old Civilization, and, so, hopefully, has more wisdom than that.
  • The Crew of at least one of the tankers reported seeing an object, perhaps like a rocket, heading towards the boat just before the explosion. This would tend to be more likely, considering the height above the water where the damage occurred.
  • If the attack was designed to do serious damage, why would the explosives be set so far above the water line. I would have sent divers in, to place several mines well below the water line for maximal damage. A combination of explosives to open the hull and tanks, along with an incendiary device would cause a VERY impressive burn and sinking.
  • There is film, of varying quality, of a small boat, identified as one of Iran’s navy, attempting to remove a mine from one of the tankers. First off…it would be foolish to send in a crew to do this, and secondly, what “terrorist” nation would be nuts enough to sign their work?
  • The events and the timing of them are suspicious, as they allowed the Americans to ramp up the drumbeat of war.

Then, after this event, the Iranians shot down one of America’s surveillance drones. Not only does this show some military skills, and the possession of some good equipment, when the American’s protested, claiming that the drone was over international waters, the Iranians were able to provide geographic coordinates showing that the drone was well inside Iranian air space. The American military offered no evidence, but, simply the claim that it was not. Considering the trustworthiness of the current administration, it is a challenge to believe that the American spokespeople were telling the truth.

The results of this drone downing was that the OOO ordered a strike on Iran…a Perfect Excuse had dropped into their lap. However, just as the strike was ready to take off, the OOO rescinded his order. He claimed that he had asked, at the last minute, how many casualties would result from this bombing run. When he was told there was an estimate of 150 dead, he pulled the plug. The timing on this is suspicious, as it seems impossible that the military would not have presented this information up front..and not “forgotten” to mention it. Casualty estimates are one of the first things that the military does when planning a mission.

Well….all that having been said…what can we, as citizens do about this? While some are calling for armed revolution, or assassination, these are foolish options. Not only would a majority of citizens NOT support these actions, they would likely have very negative blow back. In the former case, it would give the administration fodder to feed their paranoid fantasies of the OOO being a dictator for life, who is being attacked by disloyal rebels. It is a lie, but, these days, that hardly seems to matter. In the latter case, it would turn the OOO into a martyr for the Cause, and give the Republicans ammunition to implement more draconian laws to control citizens, and remove Constitutional Rights.

I suggest that a far better action is to be politically active. Do what you can, when you can, for as long as you can. Work to turn the government Blue in the 2020 elections and get the dinosaurs who are destroying America’s ideals out of power. I am an old, white, guy but, I find what is going on today to be stomach turning and disgusting. I have some observations on the process and the attitudes we should cling to during this process which I post online in various places. I am going to finish now, by quoting this essay:


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 one 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.

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.


We MUST Persist, and Resist, or The American Dream will be a distant memory. All that will be left are tiny shards of hope disintegrating on the ground.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

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

Is this the End?

Just a little bit ago, one of the folks I see on my timeline posted a link, to a article titled “Sorry, Global Warming Alarmists. The Earth Is Cooling” It was posted without comment, so, I am not sure why this fellow put it online. It got me to thinking about the Environment, the Earth, and where we are at today, so I wrote the following reply:

Alas, it is too easy to confuse weather with climate. There are documented changes in the Earth, accelerated by our terrible Stewardship, that are causing huge changes.

Two big ones?

1) The temperature of the ocean has warmed almost 1.5 degrees in the past 100 years. That might not sound like ANYTHING to folks, but, it means there is a HUGE change to the ocean’s ecosystem, and the amount of heat energy stored in the environment.
2) The average temperature of the atmosphere has risen by almost 1 degree in the past 100 years.

Now…for y’all who are saying “but it is a cycle…and happens all the time. The Earth Adapts!” The fallacy there is that this is happening orders of magnitude faster than it has ever happened before. What used to take half a million years is happening in a hundred years. It takes time to adapt to change and the current, rapid change is not allowing that time. It is, essentially, this situation. you are driving down a road at 20 MPH, and come to a sharp, left-hand curve. You make it through the sharp turn with no problems because you have time to adjust your path. Now…you speed up to 100 MPH, as you are on a nice, straight stretch. Suddenly, you are on top of a sharp, right-hand turn. Because you are going so fast, and have so little time before you are in the curve, your tires break loose from the pavement, you flip the car and roll off into the ditch, where the punctured fuel tank dumps gasoline that ignites. I believe we are on that road, driving at at 100 MPH, and are in the last seconds of still having a chance to keep control of the vehicle, slow down enough, and get through the curve successfully.

In any case, even if one is a denier…what about how we are treating the Earth? Are we the good stewards that God calls us to be? We have filled the world with plastic, to the point that each of us eats a fair amount of tiny, plastic, shards, every day in the food and water that keeps us alive. We are seeing massive extinctions of animals that are a direct result of humanity raping the landscape, in search of greater profits. Look at the trend today of sending in heavy equipment to clear-cut the Tropical rain forests, for the wood, and to repurpose the land for agriculture (In spite of the fact that it is not very suitable for this use). Look at the decisions made by the current administration – to open more and more of the public lands in America (wilderness areas, parks, etc) to the mining and oil drilling companies, whose only goal is to suck the profits out of the land, and enrich themselves.

We are seeing an increase in the violence and frequency of storms – Look at the number of “500 year storms” we have seen around the world just over the past few years! the changes have caused the Polar Ice shelves to be undercut and thinned, to the point that we are seeing both a decrease in the amount of ice and snow at the poles, but, we are seeing ice sheets of unprecedented sizes breaking off and floating out to melt away into the ocean. We are seeing massive die-offs of coral, and marine animal populations directly related to the changes in the water column related to its increased temperature.

It may be too late for humanity. We may have contaminated the Earth so much that it is only by the extinction of the human race that it can heal. However, I cling to the hope that we will be wise enough to start taking the steps necessary to move the environment onto a path of cleansing and renewal, instead of death and destruction. How can we, as Christians, do anything less?

Oh yes, that article from It vanished completely within hours of being posted. I suspect the editors of the site realized it was without merit and removed it.

God Help Us All

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, Hive and Colony care, Humanity, Improving Life, Nuttiness, Observations, Political rants, Politics, Questionable decisions, Ruminations | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joys of Living in the Country

Greetings and Salutations;

For something completely different, let me tell you about a moment we had a few years ago, when we were starting to move into the new house. The cats were not there yet, as we were getting possessions moved. So, of course, the door to the Mud Room was open much of the time.

I had gotten the washer and dryer out of storage so they were set up in the Mud room. I was in the garage getting some boxes stacked out of the way, when I got a ping from Lisa. She was in her room, and in the call, said that she would like me to check the mud room, as she thought there was a dead snake in there! I had just walked through there 10 minutes before, so, this puzzled me a bit. However, I worked my way back out from the boxes, and up to the mud room.

Sure enough, curled up in front of the washer was a very large, very black, and healthy looking Eastern Black Rat Snake! I rather thought that this was something I would have noticed when I walked through a bit ago, but, walked over towards it to see what was happening.

Well! It was hardly dead, because as I approached, it started to slither under the washer! Since this did not seem like a good thing to go along with, I quickly grabbed it by the tail, and dragged it back out. I got my other hand on its neck, just behind its head, and lifted it up. It was NOT a happy camper about this treatment, and, managed to twist around and bite my hand a couple of times! Rat snakes are not venomous, and, being a beekeeper, this was not an effective strategy for the scaly kid! I adjusted my hand a bit, Shook my finger at him, and told him he was a “Bad snake…NO biscuit”. Instead of trying to bite again, he wrapped his body around my arm, and tried to constrict it to make it let go! He was a big boy, and covered my arm up past my elbow.

I just laughed at him, and walked him out into the fields, near one of the groves of trees, then, let him go. Sadly, he did not thank me…just vanished into the grass!

My only regret is that I did not call Lisa out with her camera to record this Nature moment. Since then, I have seen this big, black snake a number of times, around the same area. I suspect he will be around for some years yet, as they tend to live 10-15 years in the wild. He also has a lot of safe places to live, and a lot of pests to help him grow!

So…if you happen to see a large, black snake crossing the road ahead of you, or zipping through your yard…PLEASE, do not hurt it or try to kill it. It is doing its best to keep the rodents out of your way, and is more scared of you than you are of it.

God Help Us All!

Bee Man Dave

Posted in Ethics, General, Humanity, Nuttiness, Questionable decisions, Ruminations, Something Good This Way Comes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment