Sunday, October 20, 2013

Emergency Room Time

It's a disgrace to see the human race in a rat race. -Bob Marley
Today my father cut his hand using a skill saw, and called me to come over and pick him up, and take him to the emergency room to get stitches.  He also said that normally he would just drive there himself, but he felt uneasy and wasn't sure if it was safe.  I got the sense that he felt like I had more important things to do than help him get to a doctor.  As soon as I realized what was happening I told him I was on the way, and I leaped off the couch and took off immediately.  When we arrived at the hospital there was hardly a soul in the waiting room.  The staff said it was a slow day.  There was the usual over amplified PA calling individuals names, and the TV screens with sport shows playing.  What I thought was unusual was while I waited for my father to get stitched up, people who wandered into the ER sometimes had friends and family, and some did not.

All of the Hispanic people came with an entourage.   Mom, Dad, children, and sometimes others.  They comforted each other, and were very vocal with each other.  The Asian and African American people came alone, or with one other person, and sat quietly usually away from others in the ER waiting room.  A white homeless looking person walked out of the exam area, and was escorted outside by a nurse.  The nurse asked if she knew where she was, but it seemed obvious to me at least that she was mentally ill and confused.  White people usually arrived by them selves, or with one other person.  The white married couples barely spoke to each other, and when they did it was usually about some trivial meaningless topic such as what chores they had to do later that day.
The differences and similarities I witnessed revealed a cross section of attitudes of the society I live in, and how they contrast with nearby cultures in the world.  The predominately religious and communal cultures of central America have migrated north into North America as a result of economic upheavals and the theft of farm lands via NAFTA and similar trade agreements.  The drug cartels that have taken advantage of the economic situation that resulted have also compelled many to flee the area.  One bright side of this exodus is disconnected fractured cultures in North America will notice more how much they have lost in our obsession with selfishness and greed.
Living in Mexico, or other central American countries, prior to economic conquest by large corporations was  more agrarian, and self sufficient than it is now.  The larger your family the more you had to help with planting food, hauling clean water, and to take care of you when you became sick, or too old to work. 

North American societies have lost most of the middle class wealth that existed in the 1950s, and are now focused on just getting by week to week, or dominating those who are most desperate such as immigrant Hispanics.  Compassion for one another is considered costly to North Americans when devoting themselves to opportunistic lifestyles.  Non-hispanics have a lot to learn from hispanic people, if we are to redevelop our empathy, and improve our society in North America and beyond.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

I was going to wait until the Fukushima disaster was over to pour over the information, disinformation, and whistle blowing that always needs to be reconciled, but it seems this disaster is going to be with us for many years to come.  According to many recent news reports this month, the Japanese government will get directly involved in decreasing the amount of fall out from the melt down of the Fukushima reactors that have gone critical, and stayed critical, since March 11th, 2011.  

Back in 2011, TEPCO announced that it had ran out of land based containers to store radioactive water that was a byproduct of the Fukushima meltdown, and would now have to dump the water directly into the ocean surrounding Japan.  The Japanese government has just revealed that around 300 tons of contaminated water has leaked from the reactors per day since the melt down occurred.  Lets do some simple math here.  It's been 887 days since the reactors melted down, and if we multiply 887 by 300 tons per day, that equals 266,100 tons of radioactive water total.  A gallon of water equals 8.33 pounds.  A ton equals 2000 pounds.  266,100 tons of radioactive water x 2000 pounds per ton, divided by 8.33 equals 63,889,556 gallons of radioactive water dumped directly into the ocean.  This is staggering to comprehend.  -UPDATE 1/15: The Japanese government has officially agreed with TEPCO now about their decision to dump waste water into the Pacific Ocean.

The Japanese government has publicly stated that it will require at least forty years to clean up the reactor site, and the costs will exceed 11 billion dollars.  The owners of the nuclear power plant have been attempting to decommission the plant, but industry experts have questioned their competency and advised the Japanese government to take over.  There has been no official budget in Japan dedicating money to this clean up yet, so the world is waiting for the clean up process to begin still.  Meanwhile the people working the problem will continue to dump the radioactive water into the ocean indefinitely.

There have been unconfirmed rumors circulating in the internet about EPA nuclear detectors on the west coast of America being shut down shortly after the melt down occurred, and even claims stating President Obama ordered the detectors to be shut down.  I failed to find documentation of this happening, although I do recall a local news broadcast in California, where I live, claiming that nuclear particles have been detected in sensors by the AQMD/EPA, but later that same day retracting the report and attempting to sooth their viewers with scientists claiming there was nothing to worry about.  When I went online and looked at the AQMD website there was a statement claiming that there was nothing to worry about regarding the Fukushima melt down.  I assume a panic began and the officials decided to change the story to calm everyone down a bit.

UC Berekely, a California university, has published reports on their website since the melt down occurred indicating the small amounts that have been detecting in the air and in substances.  There have also been reports concerning kelp on the North American west coast having high levels of radioactive particles in their cell structures.  The amount of radiation released by Fukushima has been over one hundred times what Chernobyl released, although the news organizations that report the news to the public have changed dramatically since then.

There have even been reports as far away as Europe of radioactive particles being detected from the melt down in Japan.  Some retail items manufactured in Japan have set off radiation alarms when shipped over seas.  This disaster coupled with the BP/Halliburton oil spill in the gulf should be enough to convince any meat eater to avoid fish, and any other animal based products exposed to these contaminates.  Many large ranchers have began using radiation detectors to measure the exposure their herds are being subjected to.

The coincidences
  • Over the past two years many well connected informed people with homes on the west coast of North America decided to sell their homes and move elsewhere.  
  • Still births on the North American west coast has risen 800% since Fukushima melted down.
  • Starfish are dying in the millions!
  • According to a recent medical study conducted by professional researchers and doctors, thyroid illness among infants has increased dramatically since Fukushima's melt down.
  • The EPA is rewriting the environmental law to permit iodine-131 to reach 3,000 times higher levels in the air than it used to be allowed before reporting it to the public.
  • The FDA refuses to test any fish for radioactivity and is also rewriting the laws concerning radioactivity in food.
  • Canada has completely shut down it's nuclear monitoring program as of March 2011.  The website for the program was also shut down.  Here's the broken link:
Starfish Dying in the MILLIONS
Government acknowledges and supports dumping waste into Pacific:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gun Ownership Has Decreased?

Source: General Social Survey

According to a recent posted update by the General Social Survey gun ownership in the US is actually down to an all time low.  This might sound odd given the current reports on the American news media that everyone is going out to buy a gun due to the Federal Government plans to decrease the availability of certain gun types.  It seems these reports only apply to people that have more than one gun already, and simply want to buy more for their collection.

The 'General Social Survey' has been conducted almost annually since 1972. It is the only full-probability, personal-interview survey designed to monitor changes in both social characteristics and attitudes currently being conducted in the United States. 
More Info
New York Times Article

Monday, February 25, 2013

They Are Out There

Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the universe or we are not.  Both are equally terrifying.
-Arthur C. Clarke

It is arrogant, and ignorant, to assume that human kind is the only intelligent life in this vast cosmos. With the fact that human beings have only existed for three million years, and the universe has existed for 13.7 billion years, it is hard to believe that other civilizations on other planets have not been able to evolve before humans did, and develop technology to explore the universe out of curiosity. We have only existed for 0.02% of total cosmic time, and only 0.06% of Earth's lifetime! Astrophysicists have found evidence that our sun, and the solar system that surrounds it, was formed by the remnants of an explosion of a nearby supernova -link. If this is how most solar systems are formed it is probable that planets formed, and evolved life, long before Earth was even created.

Sara Seager has contributed greatly to the blossoming field of extrasolar planetary science and astrophysics. Currently she is a professor at MIT, and has obtained a PhD from Harvard University. Her research and resulting papers have established a firm foundation for theories regarding life on other planets. There have been discoveries of extra solar planets such as Kepler-22b that have confirmed there are planets in other solar systems that are similar to our planet Earth in some ways, and could have lifeforms on it possibly. Dr. Seager has also proposed the idea that it is highly possible that if advanced aliens do exist, and they are looking for life on other planets, the detection of oxygen on Earth would be a clear indication to them that life has evolved in some way on this planet. Earth has 20% oxygen by volume. Without organisms such as plants, the oxygen content would be 10 billion time less. This scientific fact along with the radio and television signals that escape our atmosphere, most likely would be a beacon to an advanced alien civilization within range to observe them.

A thought provoking book titled UFOs: Generals, Pilots and Government Officials Go On the Record, has official records from international sources, military officer testimonials, and impressive documentation on UFO sightings, and details about interactions, that occured:

On Wednesday, May 9th, 2001, the National Press Club hosted a large gathering of ex-high ranking officials including air traffic controllers, ex secret op. officers, commercial pilots, numerous military defense specialists with top secret clearance, people who had access to very sensitive documents, lieutenants, ex-commanders in the U.S. Airforce, astronauts,etc... all going before the national press club to discuss what their experiences have been regarding u.f.o's and all are willing to go before congress to testify under oath.. never before has such a group come forward.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where I Stand

President Kennedy articulated liberalism when he said, "If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about welfare of the people - their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties - someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad. If that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'" In that light, I would place myself in the Liberal category. Although, in today's political world it may be more appropriate to substitute the word liberal with progressive.

Considering all the greed and corruption rife in our government, unions, NGOs, and corporations, it is tempting to allow political despair to consume us completely. However, we must not allow ourselves to give up. We must not be apathetic, and decide not to participate. The main goal of an oligarchy is to inspire a populace to do exactly that, give up and simply do what they are told to do.

If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
-Mark Twain

I believe that being aware of the situation to the best of our abilities, and then attempting to identify propaganda is one of the most important goals a citizen has. Once we have adequate information, we then have an obligation to actively support positive political change. We must diversify our news sources so we obtain more of a complete picture of issues. Look for publications that offer different portrayals of history. You will begin to break out of the mold you were placed in while enduring public school indoctrination, and instead start to understand the depth of history. If you are a liberal, listen to right wing talk radio, and read the right wing blogs. If your a conservative do the opposite. Diversify your information gathering so you can relate and as a result communicate to more people, more of the time. Letter writing campaigns, protesting, and just talking with people you know can make positive change happen. Study ethics, and logic, both are fundamental in developing your political point of view.

Some Decisions President Obama made in that disappointed me:

  • Hired Michael Taylor (An ex-vice president of Monsanto) to be the U.S. Food Safety Czar and later promoted to be a head advisor of FDA.
  • Invaded Libya in 2011 after supporting a CIA backed coup.
  • Promised to get the U.S. military out of Iraq when running for office, but took two years to get around to it. With tens of thousands of contractors and state department people still in Iraq, and oil companies locking down the oil reserves in the country, I don't agree that the U.S. ever stopped occupying Iraq.  The U.S. also left behind countless pieces of military equipment now being used by enemies of the U.S..
  • Promised to shut down Guantanamo prison, but failed to accomplish this. I am also disappointed that Congress and state governments have blocked the reassignment of prisoners to the states, and foreign governments have refused extradition. Many of the prisoners at Guantanamo shouldn't even be in a prison since the evidence against them is flimsy or non-existent. Guantanamo is an American made limbo.
  • Appointed a myriad of K Street lobbyist to powerful political positions within his administration.
  • Reauthorized the FISA wiretapping to 2017.
  • Defended the NDAA law that allows the military to detain US citizens indefinitely without trial.
  • Gave up on the single payer option at the start of negotiations over the Affordable Care Act, and now it has mostly devolved into a broker mechanism for insurance companies to gain more clients.
  • Supported Israel in genocide.
  • Supported Ukraine's political coup, and the subsequent slaughter of hundreds of eastern Ukrainian dissidents.