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The Delusion of Miracles

Excerpts from George Monbiot’s recent article in the Guardian:
“Plastic Soup” “The problem is not plastic. It is consumerism.”

(https://www.monbiot.com/2018/09/12/plastic-soup/)

“Do you believe in miracles? Plenty of people imagine we can carry on as we are, as long as we substitute one material for another.

The problem is pursuing, on the one planet known to harbor life, a four-planet lifestyle. Regardless of what we consume, the sheer volume of consumption is overwhelming the Earth’s living systems.

The most obvious is the fishing industry. Throughout the oceans, this industry, driven by our appetites and protected by governments, is causing cascading ecological collapse.

Buying prawns causes many times more damage to marine life than any plastic in which they are wrapped. Prawn fishing has the highest rates of bycatch of any fishery: scooping up vast numbers of turtles and other threatened species. Prawn farming eliminates great tracts of mangrove forests, crucial nurseries for thousands of species.

But we cannot address our environmental crisis by swapping one over-used resource for another. The answer to the question “how should we live?” is “simply”.

The problems we face are structural: a political system captured by commercial interests and an economic system that seeks endless growth.”

Author’s comments:

It is obvious that Monbiot’s above comments involve the endless growth in consumption of our planet’s scarce resources. This, of course, results both from the population explosion on the planet and the incessant human desire for more and better food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment. We all seem compelled to replace ourselves with enough offspring to not only offset the loss of our person but to continually increase the population of consumers on the planet. And we are in a bit of a trap in considering any solution to such a process.

There were 1 billion people on the planet as of about 1800, 2 billion by about 1925 (125 years), 3 billion by about 1960 (35 years), 4 billion by about 1975 (15 years), 5 billion by about 1990 (15 years), 6 billion by about 2000 (10 years), 7 billion by about 2010 (10 years), and 7.6 billion by 2018 (8 years). So, in 218 years the population of the planet has grown by a factor of 7.6, an average of about 30 million additional consumers annually.

From 2010 to 2018 the increase has averaged about 85 million additional consumers annually. Based on this rate of growth we will have 8 billion by 2022, 9 billion by 2030, and 10 billion by 2040. And where she stops, nobody knows! This would be like adding another country with a population like China or India every 10 years or adding another U. S. every 3 years.

And now comes the oxymoron, albeit one of finality at some point. Without a constant supply of young people there would not be an adequate number of workers required to provide food, shelter, clothing, and entertainment to sustain us all. We must have enough working-age people to provide adequate necessities but in so having we overpopulate the planet to the point of destroying the habitat which makes human life possible. Dead if you do and dead if you don’t. Not an inspiring choice.

Sounding an alarm for those of us who are well-seasoned individuals may be a fruitless effort in addressing this upcoming debacle, However, the young among us and those who follow should take serious heed to this history of population growth, the impact it will have on future generations and any corrective measures possible to extend human life. The outlook doesn’t seem positive considering the scientific evidence which becomes more severe on a continual basis.

We have a responsibility to future generations to correct and change any process of human consumption which will have a devastating impact on human habitation.

And here we have just discussed consumption. We haven’t even addressed the impact on human habitation we are incurring with our carbon dioxide emissions from normal transport and manufacturing or the impact of explosives which we use for nearly every facet of life, especially trying to make each other behave the way we wish, both in war and in peacetime conflict.

Think about it!

First Chance or Last Chance?

First Chance or Last Chance?

Ted Folkert – September 1, 2018

They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. That could very well be true. But making a first impression isn’t the only place where we may only get one chance. Which brings up a much more serious problem. We probably only get one last chance for making some strategic decisions about the sustainability of our planet. Apparently, if we choose to listen to our scientists, we may now have our last chance to save this planet for human habitation in future centuries, much to the denial of our simple-minded president.

Now that our president has as his mission the walking-back of everything that took place during the Obama administration, and his mission of ignoring all of these “ridiculous” warnings of climate change being mouthed about by these evil Democrats, and his mission to promote a stronger economy with massive wealth to be garnered by those who pursue it and who have the rules on their side to get it done, he has proceeded to block, change, ignore, and set aside any and all measures to deal with the real debacle that hovers over mankind.

The real debacle is not a faltering economy, it isn’t threats from foreign countries which force him to show off his bravery and make idle threats of warfare while strutting about our powerful military, it isn’t abusive taxation which threatens the lessening of massive wealth – no, the real debacle, the debacle that could end it all without us ever pulling a trigger or dropping a bomb, is global warming, that annoying term which our president calls a hoax while ignoring the stated belief and frequent warnings of nearly 100% of the scientists on Earth.

The common belief, and one which already has empirical evidence of an unbearable outcome, is that the warming oceans, which are fueled by carbon emissions which provide a blanket around our planet which traps the heat within our atmosphere, is and will continue to cause the oceans to rise, eating away at the land on which we live, and will cause the deserts to expand, eating away at the land on which we live, and the air we breathe will become more toxic with no method of cleansing it for life sustainability, and the climate favorable for growing crops and raising livestock will increase and provide an unfavorable impact on food production – and the list goes on.

Our scientists tell us that 80% of the remaining fossil fuels on Earth need to be left in the ground if we want to save the planet for ongoing human habitation or perhaps life of any kind. Well, our brilliant president knows better. He knows that this is all a hoax and therefore sets in motion the process of expanding coal production, oil production, offshore drilling, and probably, if he can find a way, nuclear power production – all the very processes which our scientists declare to be the fuel of our demise.

This policy of short term financial gain for the rich and powerful, a group which our president claims to be a part of, takes precedence over long term economic stability through increased equality of income and wealth. Of course, so long as our saber-rattling president (the same one with the bone spurs) can continue to amass a fortune for he and his heirs, nothing else matters one iota. We all are coming to realize that his entire plan to conquer the presidency was to enhance his own wealth and to garner some relief from the Russians who have lent him billions and have him over a barrel, obviously in more ways than one. All this seems apparent as we watch him pursue his romance with Vladimir Putin, the former strongman for Russian dictators and who is now a murderous dictator himself, and who seems to hold our president’s image and financial survival in his hand. This, of course, has inspired cartoons of Putin walking around with our president on a leash, a cartoon which has too much reality to be very humorous.

We have gone from perhaps the most admired and respected country in the world to probably the laughing stock of the world. And why not? We stood by and allowed this president who has been labeled as stupid, idiotic, hedonistic, narcissistic, rude, ungrateful, self-centered, and pathetic, become elected as the leader of the richest and most powerful country on Earth while we watched from the sidelines, assuming we didn’t need to enter the game. We didn’t even care enough to assure that we had two good candidates to choose from and then we didn’t care enough to elect the best of the two less-than-the-best candidates we were offered.

We have an opportunity to start atoning for the errors of our negligence, for correcting the errors of our lack of involvement to assure an ongoing stable country, for starting on the road back to an intelligently administered country and generous world leader, an admired nation of laws and not of men, an example of the rewards of free-enterprise, democracy, and equality of opportunity. And above all, a country whose leaders recognize the perils that stand before us and our obligation to future generations to take steps within our control to eliminate the eventual destruction of life on the planet.

Maybe we can render meaningless the cliché which could serve as our future epitaph: “the operation was a success, but the patient died.”

This first opportunity to instill change is in the November elections. We have an opportunity to elect state governors, federal legislators, and many other governmental officials who will have more respect and concern for the good of the state and nation than for their personal welfare, elected officials who will serve the nation and not themselves, officials who will understand the value of equality of opportunity and the rule of law.

We should take heed to something that Louis Brandeis is quoted as having said many years ago: “We may have democracy, or we may have wealth in the hands of the few, but we can’t have both.”

It seems possible that if we don’t improve our leadership, we may not be able to have either.

Think about it!

 

Climate Change Challenge

Climate Change Challenge

Ted Folkert, August 22, 2018

Our fearless leader Donald “Vladimir” Trump is, of course, rolling back clean air regulations on coal-burning power plants. It’s another head-in-the-sand attempt to revive the coal industry that threatens the environment to “save all those coal mining jobs,” as he promised to do while campaigning in coal mining states.

Robert Bryce, in his L.A. Times article, “A Fully Renewable California, discusses Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour about renewable energy. This concerns California Senate Bill 100 which would require the state’s utilities to get all their energy from renewable sources by 2045.

As Bryce explains it, this would require more than 100,000 megawatts of onshore wind-power capacity, which would require more than 15,000 square miles of turbines. L.A County is about 4,000 square miles, so this would occupy an area 4 times the size of L. A. County, which houses, employs or educates more than 10,000,000 people.

It would also require more than 30,000 megawatts of off-shore wind capacity, and more than 200,000 megawatts of solar-energy capacity. The 200,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity would be about equivalent to the amount generated on the entire planet last year. The 30,000 megawatts of off-shore wind capacity would require more that 80 new solar facilities as large as that in the Mojave Desert which covers more than 5 square miles.

Obviously, the goal of this bill would seem a formidable challenge at best and, more than likely, impossible to achieve in the time frame which the bill sets out.

So, what has caused this problem of providing enough power to serve the state, or the nation, or the planet? There have been many books written about this subject, so it cannot be explained here in a few paragraphs. However, some obvious causational factors are apparent. The population of the state, country, and planet has grown geometrically over the last couple of hundred years. When we started using electric power there were less than 1 billion people on the planet. Now there will soon be 8 billion. And when there were 1 billion people we didn’t use electric power for everything we do, we didn’t all drive vehicles which were manufactured by the thousands, we didn’t all have well-lit houses and offices, we didn’t all have radios, televisions, air conditioners, multiple electric appliances, cell phones computers, printers, you name it.

Adding up the impact of population growth and multiplying it by the technological advancements for comfort, health, and entertainment equates to a simple explanation of the growth in demand for power generation capacity and the space and resources it requires.

And now that we seek alternatives to protect the fragile environment which supports human life, and now that we face depletion of scarce resources, and now that we face the cost and impact of providing adequate power generation capacity, we have some decisions to make that will probably not be made in a timely manner and which will endanger the fragile environment which we are responsible for preserving for future generations. Future generations obviously are those who have not yet been born and therefor are unable to voice their objection to our depletion of scarce precious resources and destructiveness of the planet.

But, on a brighter side, or uglier side, if we continue to choose world leaders like Vladimir Putin, Kim Jon Il, and Trump the over-population problem may solve itself through warfare, a very unpleasant sounding resolution.

Think about it!

How long has this been going on?

Ted Folkert, August 20, 2018

“How long has this been going on” sounds like a line from the song of a jilted lover.

But, no, this time it refers to the pathetic predation of perverted Catholic priests, an estimated 300 Catholic priests, who violated the trust of their superior positions in violating the minds and lives of thousands of helpless children. We don’t know how long or how many, although they are now coming forward with incidents of the perversion, an action that the victims feared during their periods of sexual abuse by these pitiful, perverted, sexual predators.

The pope says: “we showed no care for the little ones.” Wow, what a self-serving statement. How about saying: “we raped little ones who were in our trusted care?”

And has the church excommunicated these creeps, have they charged them with any crime, have they demanded any punishment? Did they ever intercede to protect these children or was everyone involved in the game? Ignoring a crime to protect someone from prosecution surely is no different than complicity to commit.

Was it caused by some oath of celibacy which restrained them from sexual involvement that forced them to resolve their sexual desires in such a way that perhaps didn’t violate their oath? Were these activities ignored by the bishops and cardinals to protect their beloved priests or were they all complicit as well? Did the bishops move these predators around to other locations so they wouldn’t be exposed assuming that they would discontinue their wrongful and criminal ways? Were sexual predators attracted to these church positions because of the availability of potential victims? Were the church officials aware of such? Did they do anything to prevent such practice? Did they do extensive background investigations on priests who would have authoritative contact with helpless children? Where were the bishops and cardinals while this was going on?

If it can be shown that knowledge of these crimes was known by church hierarchy, those so revealed should be punished in the same manner. They should receive criminal sentences, not just a demotion in their position. They should be removed from public society and spend the remainder of life incarcerated from contact with potential victims.

It is hard to believe that knowledge of this widespread, disgusting travesty was not well known by the hierarchy of the church or law enforcement officials. No widespread criminal activity could possibly exist without complicity and looking away for the benefit of the perpetrators and the detrimental results to the victims.

It is also hard to believe that many of the parents of abused children were unaware of these horrendous violations of sexual abuse that could and often does adversely affect the lives of the victims for many years and sometimes a lifetime.

There is no punishment equal to the severity of these crimes, crimes which adversely effected the lives of these helpless victims, but at least these miserable creeps should be tarred, feathered and the hung from the flag pole of the church they served. They should all be punished with extensive incarnation and public scorn.

However, we hear no such suggestion from the pope or other church officials. It seems that priests are immune from prosecution for crimes for which an ordinary citizen would be charged, convicted and sentenced as a criminal, with mandatory incarnation and a ban from contact with any minor ever again.

And, has the church indicated a plan to reconsider their requirement of celibacy, a requirement completely adverse to human nature?

 

 

 

 

It’s About Money – We Don’t See It

It’s About Money – We Don’t See It

Ted Folkert – August 15, 2018

As we observe ourselves, our activities, and everyone with whom we come into contact each day we don’t really see the big picture, the picture of all the people on the planet, the picture of the economy in which we all operate, how it operates, how it affects each of us and each segment of society, what makes it function to generate production, supply and demand, and the marketplace for goods and services. And we don’t see how we are directly affected by these factors and how it all fits into a long term, stable existence.

We don’t see how pricing is established and we don’t see the outcome of all the participants in the day-to-day workings of the marketplace. We are taught to believe that prices are decided in the marketplace by ready, willing, and able buyers and ready, willing, and able sellers. Well, that obviously is the case sometimes and has its effect, but such pricing decisions are more often not the case.

We don’t see the mass movement of profits and incomes being garnered by the decision makers in industry. We don’t see the collusion transpiring among the producers, the merchants, and the corporate hierarchy. We don’t see the massive increases in corporate managers’ and executives’ salaries, bonuses, and other financial benefits and how those factors affect pricing. We don’t see how political power is manipulated to limit production and competition, or how it enables establishment of assured profit margins and sustained preferential pricing for corporate powers-that-be.

With the continuing demise of workers’ rights and collective bargaining, and the continuing tighter grasp of the business leaders as they strive to make quarterly estimates of earnings to keep their stock value on the upward trend and thus help to keep them in control of their lucrative positions, the workers continue to lose ground and management and ownership continues to gain an ever-growing control of the economy. Income for wage earners declines and that of management continues to rise. Like playing poker with a stacked deck against professional opponents with unlimited resources, clinging to life with every hand dealt, realizing that the odds are unfavorable at best and without equitable recourse.

My hope is that I will be labeled accurately as whiner, a naysayer, and a paranoid schizophrenic sooner rather than later, and that our economic process proves to be fair and equitable and the best possible system in a democratic society which will endure for generations to come. But I don’t believe that will be the case, otherwise this discourse would be unnecessary.

It is easy for our governing bodies and individuals to profess their concern with injustice in economic fairness and their dedication to correcting abusive financial dealings that adversely impact those without economic power. Just today we read that the abusive lending practice applied to those who need help the most has “perhaps” been altered by law to be less abusive. The unconscionable interest rates as high as 135% annually have been challenged by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau resulting in the California Supreme Court declaring that rates can be unconscionable and that they are in violation with California law. However, any decision regarding “conscionable” rates was not determined as the case is returned to the lower court. So, it seems the borrowers are still in limbo and at risk of having no source of emergency lending to meet financial obligations of everyday life. And, of course, this applies to those who need help the most – another tax on the poor supported by government leaders under the influence of their campaign funders.

Like Voltaire is quoted as having said: “if they say it isn’t about money, it’s about money.”

Unfortunately, the “War on Poverty” created by Lyndon Johnson in 1964 has now been converted by the GOP to a war on the poor. The members of the GOP are diligently destroying the social safety nets created by the New Deal and the Great Society. After Johnson’s war on poverty the percentage of those in poverty decreased for 22% to 11%. Over the last 40 years that number has rebounded significantly, a factor that the GOP is willing to ignore as they protect and enhance the income of the rich and powerful.

Sasha Abramsky in her Los Angeles Times article tells us that income inequality in America is as extreme as it has been since the Gilded Age (1920s) and that 1.5 million Americans live on incomes of under $2 a day. Tens of thousands live in the streets, which is evidenced every day in downtown Los Angeles as well as many other U.S. cities. She tells us that one in six or seven live below the poverty line, a vastly higher percentage than most other developed countries. Some live without running water in their homes. Some Walmart workers qualify for food stamps. People are bankrupted by medical bills. Some refuse medical care due to lack of funding.

And all the while the rich and powerful individuals and corporations are handed billions of dollars of tax-cuts for which they have no need.

If there was ever time when we need to register and vote, it is now.

Think about it!

 

 

Accentuate the Positive

The Fall of the American Empire


Remember Roman Empire? You may soon have to remember the American Empire.

Donald Trump did something positive today. He proved to everyone with a brain that he is not governing for “we the people,” He is governing for the Trump financial empire. It is so obvious that one would have to have their head in the sand not to see it. He almost shouts it every time he opens his mouth and he proves it with his every action.

Please tell me what actions he has taken since taking his throne that will benefit the American people who are not named Trump or who don’t belong in the same class of wealth that he portrays for us to believe that he possesses.

Everyone he has appointed has been dedicated to enacting and enforcing laws and rules that are beneficial to the rich and powerful and detrimental to the working-class of society. Every action he has proposed or taken is likewise. And he has no intention of hiding it or denying it.

Trump tells us that he is not involved with Russia – no business deals, no loans, nothing. Then both of his sons openly admit that most of their money now comes from Russia. Gee, they must be confused. I’m sure that their benevolent father wouldn’t lie or mislead anyone. Of course, there are those who have been involved in his circles for many years who tell us that he is a con man. And he has now proved to us that the thing he is the best at is being a con man. He conned Russia in to helping him get elected and now he is using his life long practice of denying everything, even if the truth is sitting there in plain sight.

He goes to meet with “Rocket Man,” not because he wants to cool things off but because he wants to clear the way for business deals for the Trump empire.

It’s the same thing with Russia. He meets with perhaps our worst enemy, a guy who when you shake hands with him you count your fingers afterward. And then he trots him out like a kid introducing his new friend to his astonished parents.

Why a closed-door meeting? Not because he thought we might hear naughty words. The reason is the same one we all have when we whisper to someone. We don’t want anyone to hear the conversation. He has loans with Russia and probably wants those loans to be forgiven since he probably can’t pay them. That would be the best deal Putin could get if he could pay those loans for him and get his cooperation while he rapes the rest of Eastern Europe.

And then he has the audacity to stand next to this murdering tyrant and tell us what a great guy he is to do business with.

And this is after he made a complete fool of himself with the NATO members and thoroughly insulted the Queen of England among several other world leaders.

The guy is out of control. He is trying to fortify his financial empire at the expense of our future generations and he has no qualms about it.

Where is Al Capone when we need him?

In Defense of the Great One

In Defense of the Great One
Narcissism, Trumpism, Brilliance, Benevolence, and Greatness –all Synonymous!

Ted Folkert – June 30, 2018

When will we ungrateful slobs acknowledge brilliance and benevolence – especially when it is so obvious?

Why should we be surprised with Trump’s we-we-we attitude about the U.S. trade policies, (although some of us losers believe it exemplifies his idiocy and complete lack of any understanding of how our economy or the world economy works)?

And we accuse him of making rash decisions about tariff policies, among many other policies, which he believes fortifies our dominance in the world economy but which actually backfires and does just the opposite to U.S. companies and ultimately to each of us as we participate each and every day of our lives in our somewhat tenuous economy.

His actions are merely an expansion and expression of his innate narcissism, his me-me-me attitude, which we greatly admire, and which is so apparent that there are suggestions to change the term from Narcissism, which was named after Narcissus, who fell in love with his image reflecting from the water, to Trumpism, which actually gives a perfect modern day example of and whole new meaning to Narcissism.

Trump believes, and perhaps rightly so, not only that is he the greatest person ever created, but that his greatness should expand to the U.S. since our greatness can be attributed in large part to his enormous success as a leading pinnacle of the business world and that he is generously expanding his greatness to the country which he has so benevolently agreed to make great again.

And our jealousy brings us to accuse him of being all about “me-me-me.” After all, his willingness to share his greatness is certainly benevolent and just the opposite of narcissistic. Unless, of course, that we should believe that his making America great again slogan is intended to make his financial well-being great again, which would be a very unkind belief when we consider the fact that he devotes a great deal of time that he could be playing golf at one of his tremendous resorts, that display his vast and envied success as a business tycoon, while willingly sharing his tremendous governmental brilliance with us just to share the wealth and success with the rest of us poor slobs.

And then we have the audacity to question his obvious billionaire status just because he refuses to let us see his tax returns and examine his records of financial well-being when that is merely a show of modesty on his part and a desire to not make every one of us feel a failure in society when compared to his tremendous, wonderful, and the best there ever was or ever will be, success in the history of mankind.

And then, to pour more fuel on the fire of disrespect, we conduct an extensive investigation of Russian meddling in his election and continue to pursue it even though we have only discovered a dozen or so of his associates who had conversations or involvement with the Russians who are alleged to have committed such fraudulent interference.

It seems high time to acknowledge his contribution to our future greatness which will certainly be attributable to his unselfish willingness to share the wealth and greatness with those of us who lack the brilliance (and, of course, the family inheritance and willingness to bilk banks and investors) as we live our lives as ungrateful losing chumps.

It must be one of those thankless jobs that we hear about!

Letter to “Right-Wingers”

Dear political activists who we refer to as “Right Wingers”:

It is apparent that we don’t all think alike about how or how much we should be governed. But, like one of our revered writers of the 18th Century is quoted as having said: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” – Voltaire

In attempting to understand our differences of opinion, I have a few questions:

What is it about Trump that induced you to vote for him?

And, what is it about him that induces you to continue to believe in him and his policies?

  • Is it his coziness with Kim Jon Un in North Korea, a dictator who comes from a long line of vicious despots who have proven their untrustworthiness?
  • Is it his coziness with Vladimir Putin in Russia, a dictator who orders the murder of his own people when he considers them a threat to his dominance?
  • Is it his criticism of Congress when they fail to act for his benefit and to support his reach for dictatorial power?
  • Is it his bilking of the government of every conceivable means of personal financial gain in the use of his office, a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution?
  • Is it his criticism of our judges and judicial system when they follow the law and act to his disfavor?
  • Is it his rudeness in mocking people with disabilities, people who are suffering from poverty, and people who recognize his narcissistic egotism and lack of common sense and grammatical deficiencies?
  • Is it his appointment to the Supreme Court of a right-wing judge like Scalia who has already shown his dismay for the workers of this country and sides with the rich and powerful individuals and corporations, like three of four others who hold that position?
  • Is it his treatment of immigrants who sometimes travel on foot for days to seek immigration to the United States as shelter from extreme poverty or death threats from criminals in their home country?
  • Is it his willingness to ignore the welfare and fragility of small children by separating them from their parents and imprisoning them for, what he calls, illegal immigration?
  • Is it his deranged decision to upset tariff policies with our major trading partners, creating a trade war and creating havoc for many of our manufacturers in this country with the ultimate financial impact on all of us?
  • And do you continue to believe in him regardless of his apparent criminal activity in seeking help from Russia in being elected, which is evidenced by numerous individuals who have already been indicted and criminally charged?
  • What is it that you Right-Wingers like about your political identification?
  • Is it the belief that we should have smaller government? If so, which part of it do you wish to eliminate?
  • Is it the laws of credit and commerce, which the behemoth corporations find restrictive in their incessant drive for more and greater profits? Those laws which control usury to some extent and provide protection from abusive financial activities which are considered fraudulent or oppressive?
  • Is it the labor laws, which provided the working class with the right of collective bargaining which is now being all but eliminated by adverse decisions by the Supreme Court regarding unionization?
  • Is it abortion, which has been an ongoing argument for decades and which, if the right is banned, will lead to illegal abortions with devastating results for women?
  • Is it male dominance that drives you, the annoyance of women becoming a more equal part of our governance and our business world?
  • Is it welfare, that process of democracy whereby we take care of others who are less fortunate, that process which some of you refer to as taking my hard-earned money and giving it to someone else who refuses to work and earn their own welfare?
  • Is it your quest for less government spending that is becoming a laughing matter since the president and Congress enabled a tax-cut that will create an enormous debt increase for the government, that is, you and I?
  • Is it your struggle to continue calling yourselves the party of fiscal responsibility while generating less revenue, a larger budget, a larger deficit, and much larger federal debt?

Is it any of these? Is it all of these? What is it?

As a matter of further things to consider, Voltaire is also quoted as having said:

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

The more often a stupidity is repeated, the more it gets the appearance of wisdom.

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

Think about it!

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

An incurable Left Winger

 

Immigration, Migration, and Ownership

Immigration, Migration, and Ownership

Ted Folkert

June 21, 2018

The discussion of human habitation has suddenly become refocused on immigration now that we who consider ourselves as owners of this land have all safely immigrated here and established our space to pursue a comfortable livelihood. Many of us “own” a portion of this country, a portion of this planet. At least that is what we think because we bought it from someone.

If we want to take this belief back to basics we should consider the right of the owner that we bought it from to sell it to us. And we should take that sequence of owners all the way back to such time as the American Indians were the only inhabitants here and the English, French, and Spanish decided that this vast continent was up for grabs and they grabbed portions of it. Did they buy it from anyone? Doubtful, since no one then thought they owned it and had any right to sell it. No, they just staked their claims, as did many of the early foreign immigrants and many of those who ventured West as the immigrants migrated away from each other.

Of course, similar “ownership” of continents and land transpired worldwide throughout the history of mankind.

So, who really owns the land? Who has the right to decide who gets to live anywhere? The answer is whoever has successfully claimed the territory and whoever has been able to protect their so-called rights of ownership.

Theoretically, everyone on the planet should possess the same right of ownership and everyone on the planet should have the right to live anywhere they want. There should be no such term as immigration. Migration is well-defined as people moving about in seeking of a better life or simply a desire to leave where they live and live elsewhere. Immigration entails legal status and the avoidance of such status has coined the term “illegal immigration”, that term that has Trump all in a tither.

If the above over-simplification of history makes any sense it should mean that perhaps anyone who wants to live anywhere should have the right to live anywhere they wish, without requesting permission to ‘immigrate.” Even if you are a small child!

Think about!

Digitizing our minds, our thoughts, our lives

Digitizing our minds, our thoughts, our lives

Ted Folkert

June 8, 2018

This subject reminds me of the old song line “every time we say goodbye I die a little,” simply because every time we think we understand digitization, some mind-boggling technology seems to appear out of nowhere and our old beliefs die a little, again and again and again.

Those of us who are old enough to remember when we used adding-machines and calculators to do computations can’t help but be overwhelmed by computer technology, which seems to advance at breakneck speed, in gigantic leaps instead of at one bit of data at a time. We who consider ourselves adept at utilizing computer technology to our advantage keep getting mesmerized as we seem to watch the old computer fly over our heads and out of the ballpark just when we think we have a grasp on automation and digitization.

When I graduated from college, computers were not even available. We used adding-machines, and calculators, and hand-written calculations to solve mathematical equations. Now a problem which would take minutes or hours to resolve, can be done in a second by entering simple data into a computer.

That was the old rate of speed for our computers. The world’s fastest computer now, they tell us, can compute 200 quadrillion calculations in one second, a task which would require 63 billion years for one person to calculate.

This machine built by IBM and Nvidia can do calculations in one second that would require 2 million laptops to complete. It has more than 9,000 processing chips, more than 27,000 graphics processors, and almost 200 miles of cables. The cost was a mere $200 million.

It is beyond the conception of most of us to imagine the commercial or scholastic value of such computational capacity, but it certainly speaks volumes in conceiving the unlimited technological advances and the opportunities for resolving some of humanities most pressing obstacles of survival.

And before we get all giddy about this potential expansion of life, I guess the next question may be whether Planet Earth, which now has more than 7 billion inhabitants, can support the number that may be required if the current rate of progression is multiplied by this amazing technology. We went from 1 billion to 7 billion in a couple of hundred years without this super computer. At that rate we will have more than 70 billion 200 years from now. It is unimaginable what the growth may become with the ability to solve life’s equations at the rate of 200 quadrillion calculations per second.

We may need many more wars to keep the population at a level that the planet will support.

Think about it!

(Computer and computational statistics came from Steve Lohr, New York Times, June 8, 2018)