Sunday, July 2, 2017

A Government by the People

A government run by the people actually means it is run by the people who vote, the wealthy (who control the media and sway public opinions), and large corporations.

Non-voters do not count for very much.

People receiving help from the government in the form of social programs (including Social Security) and those receiving other government cash, such as farmers being paid not to plant crops and farmers with government contracts to provide foreign aid are part of the largest block of voters.  Every person receiving government assistance with housing, food, clothing, and education are part of this group. The list of members seems endless. This group will control our nation.

Perhaps the fastest growing group of voters is the elderly. For over a decade we have been warned that retirees will outnumber workers and that it takes a minimum of four workers contributing to Social Security to cover each person currently receiving a Social Security check. We are now at a zero birth rate, meaning that the same number of new births is equal to the same number of deaths. (One study concluded that we actually have a negative birth rate). Medical science is constantly increasing our life span and constantly finding new ways to avoid giving birth. While an increased lifespan is welcome a decrease in new life is sad.

If most of this is news to you, turn off the TV and stop using social media. It is time to act like a grown-up.

Cutting government services may be what is needed to keep the government from crumbling, but voters will not tolerate needed cuts. The only other choices are steep increases in taxes or severe cuts to the military budget. I am betting we will see tax cuts.

There will be some feeble attempts to keep local entities from going bankrupt, but ultimately increased taxes will be their solution.

At the local and state level, the government will plead poverty to break contracts with retired employees, but that will only help their budgets for a short term. (It will happen because local mayors only care about the immediate short term and it is this very attitude (stick the next administration with the bills) that caused unfunded and underfunded pensions in the first place.

Whenever a new ‘benefit’ is given to the people, regardless of intent or worthiness, it is seldom funded. Also, the new benefits are never stopped; they often increase.

The government will try targetted tax cuts, such as taxing only increasing the taxes on the wealthy. However, even if we tax the super-rich at 90%, there would not be enough money to keep us afloat. How do I know? I remember, and history is the best predictor of the future and any new revenue will be quickly spent/ Also, I can add and subtract. It will not be enough money.

Most states sold us on the idea of state lotteries by explaining that the profits would be used to fund education. Have the pleas for more education funding decreased since we voted in favor of lotteries? Has anyone even bothered to explain where the added tax revenue from those huge lottery winnings was spent?
Are you aware that so much money initially was given to schools that at least one school district paid for individual taxis to transport children to and from schools? Do you know the amount spend on school swimming pools and the amount spent on school sports? Strangely, these investments did nothing to raise test scores. How odd?

What can the average person do? If you are one of the of 231,556,622 eligible voters that did not vote in the 2016 election it is time to change that behavior. It is also time to stay informed and examine views that are the exact opposite of yours.Stop allowing the media to control your thoughts and form your opinions.

Start writing Congress and the president in clear, professional words that express what changes you want in our government.

Go to school board meetings. The education of our citizenry is more than just the concern of parents. We all pay for our educational system and should all have a voice. Before opening your mouth, learn what is happening and what could be made better.

Who has the time? Turn off social media and avoid the time wasted on gossip. Limit your tube time. 

Somebody told me that I am dreaming if I think people today will do anything about this crisis. A friend said, "It is a damn good thing that most of the people living today were not here during either of our world wars. They are incapable of even turning off the TV, let alone making real sacrifices".

Dead Babies do not Matter - Cell Phones Matter

In Utah, a two-year-old died in a hot car at a family reunition. The father discovered the dead baby after several adults returned from a religious meeting.

Many people say that this was sad, but the father simply did not notice that the child was missing.

Yet, I believe that they would have quickly noticed if a cell phone was left in the van. They would have raced back to the van to get that phone! After all, a cell phone can be ruined if left in a hot van.

The same level of alertness and concern for a 2-year old? Not so much. Where in the hell are our priorities!

I know you are, but what am I? . . . heard at a preschool

Any leader of a Democratic Republic enters office with large numbers of detractors. Despite lofty statements by those not elected, about ‘all Americans will now come together’ people do not suddenly lose their passion for their beliefs and instantly love the elected president and his beliefs. This much is obvious. Elected officials must expect a vast number of people to be critical and nasty. He should be expected to be burned in effigy. He must expect his words to be taken out of context, twisted and laughed at because that has always been the case going all the way back to George Washington.

Decisions made by the elected leader will never please everyone. Some decisions will even anger his or her supporters. The best a leader can do is to sincerely explain his or her reasoning and try to win over people to his or her views.

Humans want to immediately respond to nasty remarks, especially those that are completely unjustified. Maybe it is part of our nature. Even 3-year olds lash out. Of course, responsible parents correct that behavior.

A leader must put aside those human desires to strike out. A leader must control emotions and respond in a dignified and measured manner that raises the office above our most base desires. Even the smallest of nations are noticed when a leader is petty and behaves poorly. Those nations lose respect.

It has been said that a capitalist democracy is bound to become gridlocked where laws cannot be enacted, where enacted laws are ignored, and where loyalty to a political party will replace loyalty to the Republic. Are we moving towards that prediction? If so, does that not require a firm leader who garners the support and respect of our people and all nations?

In my opinion, both major political parties chose petty, self-absorbed candidates that believe that they are above the law and cannot be held to the same standards as mere mortals.
Although both candidates had and continue to have rabid supporters, to millions of people, our presidential election became a matter of voting against someone and not voting for someone.

It would be Pollyannaish to expect millions of people to learn to respect opposing views and to rise above nasty and petty remarks. But is it too much to expect the elected leader to rise above nasty and petty remarks? 

When the President of the United States sneezes in public, the world takes notice and speculates about his or her health. Imagine the speculation when the president responds to the nastiest of critics with his own nasty and vile remarks. Wit and dismissal of the most outlandish remarks seem presidential. Nasty and vile responses seem like a childish temper-tantrum.

Imagine if a President made adult, presidential statements to the world through Twitter. Imagine if he told the world that 7-powerful entities control 90% of the U.S. media and he wants to be certain that everyone hears exactly what he says.  Imagine if he said that he uses direct social media because he respects the intelligence of the American people to form their own opinions without media influence.

We might still disagree with many of his opinions about taxes, jobs, health-care and world affairs, but at least we could respect the dignity of his office. Instead, we have nasty and unseemly remarks that demean the office that he holds.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Buy American? Under-Reporting by the Media Conceals the Facts

Buy American? Another example of the media control or our thoughts. Under-reporting the stories as we read about the soap opera aspects of politicians.

 When you want to sell something that you own, you sell to the highest bidder. This makes any desire to ‘buy American’ a bit challenging. Here are some of the things not owned by us or (in the case of some toll roads and bridges- owned by us, but leased to foreign owners).

  • Starwood Hotels (owner of New York’s Waldorf Astoria) Chinese,
  • Smithfield Foods - Chinese,
  • General Electric Appliance Business, Chinese,
  • Terex Corp. – (83-year-old Connecticut-based company makes machinery for construction, agricultural, and industrial purposes) -  Chinese,
  • Legendary Entertainment Group (co-financed Jurassic Park, Straight Outta Compton, Godzilla, Pacific Rim, etc.)- Chinese,
  • Motorola Mobility - Chinese,
  • AMC Entertainment Holdings, - Chinese,
  • Burger King-Brazil,
  • Budweiser: Anheuser-Busch - Belgium,
  • Ben & Jerry’s - England,
  • Breyers – England,
  • Lipton England,
  • Good Humor owned by a British-Dutch conglomerate.
  • French's Mustard." Except that it's now owned by Reckitt Benckiser, a British conglomerate.
  • Trader Joe’s - German billionaires
  • Holiday Inn – England
  • Dial Soap – Germany,
  • T-Mobile – Germany,
  • Firestone Bridgestone – Japan,
  • Sunglass Hut – Italy
  • Indiana Toll Road – 75-year lease by Australian-Spanish consortium,
  • Chicago Skyway, which was leased by the same Australian-Spanish consortium
  • Vaseline – England
  • Hellman’s – England
  • Purina – Nestle – Switzerland
  • Frigidaire – Sweden
  • 7-11 – Japan
  • Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state-owned oil behemoth, took 100% control of the sprawling Port Arthur refinery in Texas,
  • Saks Fifth Avenue (now there's irony for you, weren't they Jewish at one time) Saudis and Kuwaitis,
  • Tiffany's – Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Carvel Ice Cream Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Gucci (controlling interest) Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  •  Color Tile Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • AT&T Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Chrysler -  Italy,
  • Dow Chemicals - Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Atlantic Richfield- Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Santa Fe International - Saudis or Kuwaitis,
  • Arabs have investments are interesting. These are primarily Muslim countries.
  • A Saudi prince owns 10% of the stock of Citibank. Saudis also purchased half-interest in Texaco refineries, gas stations in 33 states. They bought United Press International (and we thought the media in this country was already biased against Israel), AOL, Chase Manhattan  Compaq, First Chicago Corp. JP Morgan, Transamerica 
  • There are now 25 Islamic Banks, many of them investment banks, operating in the United States.

Among other questions, an international question about the impact of American elections on foreign nations is interesting. Foreign-connected PACS, as reported by Forbes Magazine, is an open secret.

Recently, the United States signed a huge deal to purchase airplanes for the military from Airbus instead of a U.S. manufacturer. It seems that our own military cannot buy American. So, we should not feel guilty eating that hamburger, enjoying those movies, using that mayonnaise and mustard, or any of the other things that we do those help foreigners.  

Perhaps, we should question the wisdom of permitting the Saudis from buying 100 percent of the largest oil refinery in North America while we also insist on independence from Arab oil.

 While we pay lip service to buy American, foreign investors actually buy America!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Election Influence by Terrorists?

Theresa May’s election poll numbers were dropping before the terrorist attacks. Pundits said that the people are more worried about local issues than Brexit, which has been the focus of Ms. May’s campaign and the reason she called for an election.

Now, the terrorists have struck again. She is in a difficult place. No matter what she does there can be another terrorist attack before the election and this could spell disaster for Ms. May.

She could do something that has not been done before to combat terrorists, but whatever she does or does not do, another attack could still result in a defeat at the polls.

Smart politicians will keep quiet and not make specific proposals and not criticize her until another attack occurs. If she is smart, she will do what she can to get opponents on the record

How sad it is to think that terrorist can have such influence over an election.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Let's Get Real and Do Something to Protect America

Repetition often sells us on an idea. Once again, after a disturbing, horrific act of terrorism, we hear that if we should go about our normal routines because the terrorists want to change our fundamental beliefs in freedom and civil liberties.

Today, I ask, “Who says so?” 

What is the source of this often-repeated mantra that the goal of the terrorists is for us to restrict the wide range of freedom and civil liberties of Western societies? Is there a document recovered by intelligence forces or some intercept where terrorists made such a statement? Did a Gitmo prisoner crack under interrogation and say, “Our goal is to make you conduct more security checks. Our goal is for you to force Muslims out of your country. Our goal is to see you focusing on people from Muslim countries – what you would call racial profiling.”

It seems more likely to me that some well-intentioned person simply made up this ‘don’t change anything or the terrorists win’ nonsense. It sounds so Pollyannaish and politically correct that I’ve come to believe this is all simply a liberal chant that has no source in the world of terrorists.

What Do the Powerful People that Provoke Terrorism Want?

Even a cursory knowledge of the motivation of today’s terrorists reveals that they want us to stop engaging in military actions in the Muslim world. They want us to stop aiding Israel. They want us to stop selling arms. They want us to stop exploiting their resources. To this end, they have used religion to draw in ‘converts’ to their cause. Identifying the United States as ‘the Great Satan’ is part of that effort. In truth, I doubt that terrorists care about our promiscuity or lifestyle. They simply use it to bring in more ‘converts’ to their cause. I doubt that many of the terrorist leaders believe in the Muslim faith of the Koran. These are simply tools to them. I also doubt that the goal of their acts of terror is to force the Western world to beef up security and to force us to stop immigrants from certain Muslim countries where terrorists flourish. They want us out of their part of the world. They want us to stop supporting Israel and to stop selling arms.

What Can We Do?

The term, ‘for the greater good’ comes to mind as I watch the latest act of terrorism. Shed the political correctness and for the greater good, stop fretting too much about civil liberties and focus on the greater good.

Although President Abraham Lincoln did not explain in great detail why he suspended the writ of habeas corpus and locked up suspected disloyal Americans during our Civil War, I can imagine him thinking that should we lose the war with the South, the temporary loss of a few personal freedoms will be the least of our worries.

Regardless of what or why President Lincoln did, in today’s world of terror it is time to ignore all of the politically correct concerns and to return to common sense.

In most instances, we know what Middle Eastern terrorists look like. Profiling is not a dirty word. There was a time in law enforcement where police officers were trained in profiling methods to identify criminals. I am not talking about ‘driving when Black’, but criminal profiling. At our airports, focus on every person who fits a profile of a terrorist. (Are some terrorists White? Could a 97-year old wheelchair bound woman be a terrorist? Of course. Although profiling is not foolproof, it is certainly the most likely way to catch terrorists.

Inevitably, there will be lawsuits and court injunctions. The Executive Branch can request an emergency hearing in front of the Supreme Court and speedily get relief from any lower court order.
What if the Supreme Court rules against the President in such a case? Let’s not ‘what if’ and let us take firm and reasonable actions.

The President must set the tone of how we ignore political correctness and to what degree we temporarily surrender our civil liberties. Law enforcement must act responsibly and quickly and severely punish all law enforcement officers that ‘cross the line’.

In today’s technological world, we must invest in the best scanning and detection equipment available at our borders, our airports and at every seaport. (Our seaports are so vulnerable that foreign armies and weapons can be delivered by the boxcar).

A national identification card should be required to receive any federal or state assistance or service. This all in one card can serve as our Social Security Card, Voter Registration Card, and Social Services Card. Fingerprints and DNA samples and computer chips ensure the integrity of these cards. Bring technology to bear and create these cards. I have nothing to hide and do not care what my government knows about me.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Climate Changes - Fact - no need for more debate

Asking anyone if they believe in climate change is akin to asking if they believe in mountains. The climate has changed since the earth was formed and constantly changes. In fact, climatologists agree that we are at the end of a mini-ice age. Yes, the climate changes.

Another thing about climate change that is agreed upon by climatologists is that moisture is the number one cause of climate change. (This is seldom included in the reports that blame humans for climate change).

The impact of humanity on climate change is constantly argued, along with anything humans might do to stop climate change.

We are, as usual, having the wrong discussion. Prepare and adapt to the never-ending changes in our climate. This is not to say we should not minimize pollution (we all want clean air and clean water). But as far as the changing climate, prepare and adapt to it. Building seawalls and eliminating new construction near the sea makes sense. Plotting new sea lanes through areas that have been impassible due to ice is not only good sense, it will make many forward thinking people wealthy. 

What about the polar bears? In the words of my daughter, I don't care. I really do not care. If they die off, as Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. Should this be stopped? Maybe we would be better off if dinosaurs roamed the earth. It is all part of nature. 

By the way, we are a part of nature. Our actions effect the rest of nature, but like any other species, we should do what is in our own interests. 

As I eat a fish tonight I will not worry about costing that fish its life. I will complain if it is not prepared properly, but I will not even observe a moment of silence for the poor little dead fish.

Jefferson and the KKK

Columbia University students recently adorned a Thomas Jefferson statue with a Ku Klux Klan hood to protest “a man who is the epitome of white supremacy.”
In a “Statement to the University” published Sunday, members of the student group Mobilized African Diaspora (MAD) condemn Columbia for honoring Jefferson’s legacy, calling him “the epitome of white supremacy” and arguing that his statue contributes to the ongoing marginalization of black students.

Is slave-owner George Washington next? 
Will women rise up and demand the removal of all statues of Benjamin Franklin, a well-known womanizer?
When will statues of Lincoln be removed? He said that he had no problem with keeping slavery if it would preserve the Union. He also urged Black leaders to lead African Americans back to Africa.
Statues and monuments of people who promoted slavery were never created because they promoted slavery. These monuments provide opportunities to recognize the historical treatment of Blacks. Replacing these monuments with monuments to Backs only buries historical facts. 

Monday, May 29, 2017

Make a Buck - The Real Bottom Line of our "Diplomacy"

We fought in WWI and WWII to protect the United States. We did not choose our enemies. Today, we once again fly in the face of President Eisenhower's warning to the American people to keep a careful eye on the military-industrial complex. 

The $110 billion arms our armament factories can now sell to the Saudis created a Sunni Arab military alliance against Iran. This idiocy ignores two important facts. 
The Iranian people voted in last month’s election for the candidate seeking to liberalize their society and return to the nations of the world.

As we help to create a Sunni Arab military alliance aimed at Iran, we know that Saudi Arabia’s radical ideology of Wahhabism is the underpinning of the world’s most dangerous terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and ISIS. In schools run by ISIS, they even use official Saudi textbooks. We continue to push Iran as the ‘real’ terrorist threat to America.

This is all about the money. Soon, American bombs and rockets and machine guns will be murdering more men, women, and children in Yemen. IS and other terrorist groups will enjoy a propaganda gift from the United States. Propaganda may be an unfair characterization of the use IS will make of the plain facts. America is selling arms to the Saudis to generate millions of dollars for the wealthy American arms dealers.

  • At the very least, we should stay the hell out of these Muslim wars. 
  • At our moral best, we should negotiate peaceful solutions.
  • At our pragmatic best, we should be sharply questioning the Saudis about 9-11 and their continued support of the most radical group of Islamist terrorists.

President Trump has increased our entanglement in the affairs of Muslim nations, and the only beneficiaries are the terrorists and the wealthy American arms dealers.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Memorial Day - Include the Number of Memorials Removed Each Year in Every Celebration

Memorial Day

As we attempt to remove all memorials of the Confederacy, it seems that ceremonies surrounding Memorial Day, and perhaps Memorial Day itself, will be erased.
Will the removal of Confederate Memorials do anything to improve the test scores of Black students? Will this removal of monuments to heroes reduce the Black drug problem in any American city? Will we see fewer out of wedlock babies? Will Black fathers step up and take active roles in supporting and nurturing their children?

No. Politicians will score points or at least avoid protests and riots. Politicians will campaign on their great accomplishment of removing historical memorials as if it really helped Black people escape poverty, drug addiction and somehow improved the test scores of Black students.

Honoring the fallen military began as a ceremony that honored the 620,000 dead, both Confederate and Union. Historians believe the custom of honoring our fallen dead had begun by Confederate women before the Civil War ended. Instead of pretending that fallen Confederates were not American heroes, the Union General John A. Logan, leader of an organization for Northern Civil War veterans, called for a nationwide day of remembrance of both Confederate and Union forces.

The most familiar ceremony takes place at Armington National Cemetary, which is on the former plantation of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

During WWI and WWII, the Germans were puzzled by the number of Confederate Battle Flags flown by U.S. troops and the Japanese may have been similarly puzzled by the insignia of the Confederate Battle Flag on the USS Columbia.

 After the Battle of Okinawa, Marines raised a Confederate flag over Shuri Castle. It was visible for miles.
Should radical Blacks and liberals demand and that we cease honoring the Marines of the 1st Battalion who died on Okinawa because they not only raised this symbol of the Confederacy but let it fly for three days, will we cave to their demand?

We wonder how many of those that demand Confederate memorials be removed served in our military?

It is telling that the Union General that saw his men killed by Confederate soldiers chose to honor both Union and Confederate fallen as heroes. If any man had the right not to honor the 'enemy' is was this man. He instinctively knew what was right and just.
Once again, Americans choose to do something that does nothing to improve the nation or address the poverty, poor education, and the destruction of families within the Black community and pretend that something was accomplished.  Encouraging more radical nose-thumbing and further dividing our nation will win political votes as Black unemployment and crime among Blacks (Black victims and Black criminals) continues.

All races in our once great nation continue to thrive on bumper sticker size ‘solutions’ to complex problems that require complex solutions. Does anyone believe that Black victims or their families feel so much better after being murdered, stabbed, shot, robbed and raped because a Confederate statue was removed?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

New Information and Experienced and Expert Advisers

Not a Trump Fan, but . . .

As a person grows and is exposed to additional information, ideas and opinions one would expect changing views. This is certainly not hypocritical. In fact, a person that receives new facts and opinions that should change personal views, but simply digs in and refuses to consider opposing views is not someone we would respect.

As a citizen engaged in multi-million-dollar business deals and not engaged in the office of president of these United States, Mr. Trump, like most of us, formed and voiced opinions with limited information. I suspect that those that surrounded him simply voiced agreement and continued with their real concerns: business.

As the President of these United States engaged in the Office of the President, the focus was shifted and additional information and opinions were front and center. Information not available to the public from National Security Advisors, intelligence agencies, and being surrounded by people with experiences and knowledge beyond the world of business, it is natural that President Trump’s views and opinions would change. This does not mean that he abandons his core principles, but that he aligns his actions to achieve things in a manner that includes his principles and current ideas or views that result from exposure to new information and views.

For example, Citizen Trump, like many, felt that Mrs. Obama should have worn a head-scarf out of respect for the customs of Saudi Arabia during a presidential visit. President Trump may now see that his wife’s choice during such a visit is not a substantial issue since almost all foreign women who are dignitaries or the wife of a dignitary seldom chose to wear a head-scarf in Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the Saudis said that they have no issue with this situation. The media will be the only people to make this an ‘issue’ and the people that hate ‘all things Trump’ will call him a hypocrite. How sad. Both the media and the even Trump haters should focus on the substance of the visit, but instead are frantically searching for anything that is inconsistent with citizen Trump’s previous statements.

The media is almost in a frenzy to point out that President Trump did not use the phrase “radical Islam” because he often pointed out that his predecessor should have used that term. I have no idea what opinions and facts may have changed President Trump’s mind about this phrase, but I can explain why I reject the term.

Suppose for a moment that a group kidnapped and held Black Americans as slaves and proclaimed that they did so because they are Christian Fundamentalists who follow the teachings of the Bible and they quote such passages as Ephesians 6:5 “Slaves, obey your human masters . . .” and even quoted Jesus as he admonished slaves to be cheerful in their obedience. Would we call this group Radical Christians or Radical Fundamentalists or would we recognize that they are not true Christians or true Christian Fundamentalists? Would we not recognize that these are simply horrible people that are using the Bible to justify their horrible actions?

Applying this same way of thinking to the idea that terrorists are misusing parts of the Koran and Islamic history to justify their horrible actions. In other words, calling these people Muslims is offensive to the one and a half billion Muslims around the world. Would it not be more effective to say that these people are not Muslims? If that message was delivered, it could make recruiting terrorists more difficult.

Like many people, I wish that leaders in places like Saudi Arabia and Muslim leaders around the world would strongly condemn terrorists as pretenders and not a part of the true Muslim Faith. However, like every other major issue, it is complicated and I may never get my wish. All that I can do is to change my own thoughts and attitudes, and even that process is difficult.

The awesome pressures and responsibilities of any U.S. President certainly involve a constant flow of new facts, information, and opinions that require adjustments to the understanding of changing and volatile situations. Citizens should neither blindly support or blindly condemn a president. Mature judgment requires a degree of ‘the benefit of the doubt’ and recognition that those who disagree with us may be right. We should not simply ‘dig in’ and defend our beliefs, but we should explore opposing opinions for truths and then either hold firm or modify our own strong opinions.

I hope this is what every president of America will do.

Friday, May 19, 2017

One and a Half Million Gallons of Water - for free!!!! (IF you operate a data-center - even in drought zones!)

What Drought?

The media continues to manipulate the public. Some stories are widely reported on a regular basis. Others are hardly reported at all. Why?

In 2014, we were told that the drought in the San Antonio area was the worst in 500-years. Of course, global warming was the culprit, and we saw water rationing in our neighborhoods. When and how we could water our lawns was regulated. Programs in San Antonio and elsewhere encouraged us to replace grass with native plants or rocks. Global warming theorists proclaimed that the drought was here to stay.

Since that time officials reluctantly acknowledged that we were no longer under drought conditions, but even global warming skeptics remain cautious. Let’s face it: San Antonio is prone to drought conditions. 
In 2016, San Antonio 
officials and the media welcomed a new Google data center and the jobs provided to the local economy. However, the tax-breaks given to Google were under-reported and only recently was it reported that Google has the right to pump up to half a million gallons per day at no charge. Now, Google is asking to triple that, to 1.5 million gallons of water per day. That's close to half of the groundwater that Mount Pleasant Waterworks pumps daily from the same underground aquifer to help supply drinking water to more than 80,000 residents of the area. 

Will the media feature this story on major news-feeds and top news websites? Will the story be repeated and updated in the same way that old stories about violence in Mexico are referenced in the news? Probably not.

Although news consumers might want this story told and re-told, the people in charge of manipulating the people by the way news is presented will not allow it to happen.
Imagine if someone started asking how much water, free and otherwise, is used by data centers throughout this nation! How much do data-centers pump in cities in Northern Virginia, Washington DC, Santa Clara, San Jose, South Bay, Northern New Jersey, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, New York City, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Atlanta? 

While there are many stories about Arizona’s water shortages, try to find even one story about the millions of gallons of water used by the top five data centers in Phoenix, Arizona.
If no city offered free water and every city charged large users at a higher rate, data centers would be even more conservative in the way they cool their computers. 

The Economist magazine ran a cover story titled “The World’s Most Valuable Resource” and featured a photo that showed a hell of a lot of water. But the focus of the story did not mention water. The story was about data-centers. 

Sorry, but water is a lot more critical to life than information.

We need and benefit from easy access to information, even if that information is often filtered and even though much of the information that does not fit the media’s image of the world is difficult to find. However, to suggest that information is more critical to our species survival than water is ridiculous.

What can we do?

Search for information about local data centers. Participate in town hall meetings and the entire process of bringing in new data centers. Ask direct questions of politicians. Insist on simple answers. “How much water per day will be (or is used) by the data-center.
Tell local media that there is going to be some controversial questions at meetings with politicians, etc.

Email everyone. Use every type of social media to spread awareness.

Fight every rate increase and demand that your neighborhood receives millions of gallons of free water – the same amount used by the local data-center.

What to expect?

Expect long answers that talk about the environmental concerns and improvements in the use of water by data-centers. A typical answer might be that data centers now use 50% less water and that they recycle everything, including water. That does not answer the question: “How much water do they use?”

Ask if any of that water is free? Ask why residents must pay and have seen increases in their water bills, while the data-center is given millions of gallons of that same water, per day. Ask if you live in a drought region and ask how the use of millions of gallons of water per day fits into the global warming issues.

What About all of those Jobs?

Supporters of data-centers locating in your area will tout ‘new jobs.' Ask direct questions about those new jobs.
How many of those ‘new’ jobs will be filled by people from out of state?
How many of those ‘new’ jobs will be filled by people from holders of H1B1 Visas? How many foreign workers does the company that owns the data center employ?
Be reasonable. If these figures are not available, simply ask if they will be made available tomorrow or within a few days. After all, people that own data centers should be able to quickly retrieve such information. Politicians, working in the government, should be able to retrieve such government information.

The truth is that there might not be as many ‘new jobs’ that we are led to believe. By the way, what will most of those jobs pay?

The decision to have data-centers in our communities should be made by the community. In many instances, the answer should be ‘yes.' In other instances, depending upon all of the facts in the ‘deal,' the answer should be ‘no’ and it is up to an informed community to decide. 
Remember that almost every media outlet in the United States is owned by seven very wealthy entities.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Stop Treating Blacks as Violent People

“Police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, were preparing for protests on Thursday after a white officer was acquitted by a jury of killing an unarmed black man in a case that stirred tensions over racial bias in policing.” Reuters May 18, 2017

The police and city officials should announce that their preparations will not exceed the preparations across the nation when a police officer kills a white person and is acquitted or not even charged with a crime. Why should there be an assumption of violence, burning, looting and aggravated assaults when Blacks protest? Nobody assumes these things will occur when White’s protest. Unless people believe that Blacks are more likely to become violent (and that would be a bigoted, politically incorrect assumption) why should there be so much preparation? I hope that the police department and fire departments are not canceling leave.

If the police and city announce that there will not be ‘extra’ protection during the anticipated protest some business owners and members of the public may object. They should be told to ask the media if they believe that Blacks are likely to be more violent than White people during similar protests. This is important because so many more White people are killed by the police than Blacks. It almost seems as if the police hate White people, so why does everyone assume their protests will not result in burning, looting and violence? Special preparations sends the wrong message. Treat every race as if they behave the same way. Right?

Saturday, March 4, 2017

They Count on our Stupidity

In the latest proof that those in power count on our stupidity is the President’s statement that the Russian Ambassador met with President Obama! His assertion is that since the President met with this same ambassador as Jeff Sessions, people are hypocrites for criticizing Jeff Sessions!

The assumption is that we are so stupid that we do not know that the President is supposed to meet with Ambassadors and that private citizens are prohibited by law to try to influence foreign ambassadors and leaders. Sadly, millions of Americans are so stupid (and overwhelmed by hate) that they buy into the assertation of President Trump.

More frightening that the stupidity of so many is that President Trump may also truly believe that he suggests, or that he is insane. What is worse? A president that gleefully laughs at the stupidity of the American people, a delusional, uneducated president, or one that is insane?

Monday, February 13, 2017

A New Congress is Needed - One That Will Do Its Job!

Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA- commonly known as Obamacare) at least 62 times, so it is very said that they have no plan for the new Republican president.
It was hardly a secret that candidate Trump wanted to replace Obamacare, yet the Republican Congress did not finalize their plan. In fact, they did not have a plan and could not form a plan to replace Obamacare. Today, they talk about being ready with a plan next year.

The is no hue and cry to get rid of every Republican member of Congress that demanded Obamacare be repealed without a real plan. This was nothing more than grandstanding and a waste of time. We do not need congressional members that waste time.
Congress cannot deliver much to our president. It may be incompetence, the inability to work with other members of their own party, laziness, or deliberate foot-dragging because they dislike President Trump. If any member of Congress is opposed to the things that the president wants and lack the courage to say so, they should get out of Congress.

Many people fear our president is a dictator, but there is no need for worry. Our incompetent, lazy Congress prevents a dictatorship.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It Seems Obvious: We Should Not Lie

Doctors have long known about the phantom feelings that amputees express. They insist that they can feel their missing arm, hand or leg. Doctors force these people to accept the reality of their body and do not encourage them to rely on their feelings. Let me put it another way.

Suppose a man had his leg and amputated and insisted that his leg was still there because he could feel it. Imagine the result of a doctor encouraging the man to deny the reality of his body. This man would sure fall a lot.

When a man ‘feels’ that he is a woman, doctors now encourage him to follow his feelings. They chop off his penis and testicles and build him a brand new vagina! They give him breasts and help him to ease into his new sexual identity. Unless we can point to a gene or DNA module that defines gender, let’s just turn the puppy over and examine genitalia. If not, then let’s mark ‘unknown gender’ on birth certificates.

Why don’t doctors lie to amputees and build them prosthetics and tell them that they have not lost their leg or arm? Why do we refer to former cancer patients as cancer survivors instead of simply denying the existence of their cancer? It seems as obvious as which restroom I should use.

Tomorrow, I may awaken and feel like I am a chicken. Hopefully, the doctors and society will recognize that I am a chicken. Frankly, my family could use the fresh eggs.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Divide and Conquer

Watching violent protestors, reading hateful comments on blog-sites about Americans, and listening to conversations on the radio caused me to wonder what happened to the 'home of the brave'.

We should be careful about overreacting and be careful of people who are stirring up fear. Americans are divided into extreme, no tolerance point of views. 

The paradox in our views is that everyone believes that they love America, but we express hatred to fellow Americans with a different opinion and view. Both sides have legitimate arguments and concerns.

The presidential election showed politicians who are tone deaf to the frustrations of millions of Americans who believe that we need real political change. Many of those people are saying, “Finally, we have a president who is doing something.” Imagine being so frustrated that people are happy because their president is ‘doing something’! Many are happy and many others are angry because we have a president who is keeping political promises made throughout a campaign.

Peaceful political protest is right and justified. Thinking that protestors or even those that simply disagree with a government policy are ‘idiots’ only shows a closed mind. America needs open minds, fresh ideas, and respect for fellow Americans. 

How can we want the world to respect us when we do not respect ourselves?

If ‘divide and conquer’ is a valid strategy for winning, are we not setting ourselves up to be conquered?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Executive Order - Justice? Home of the Brave?

Malala, the girl who won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17 after an attempted assassination by Islamist terrorists, spoke out against Mr. Trump’s Executive Order. I immediately donated money (again) to The Malala Fund ( because I agree with her views about refugees, loved her book, her fund fights for the education of girls, and because I disagree with our president’s refugee ban.

First, the ban is probably unconstitutional and simply caters to the illusion of security. Why? The people involved in the 9/1 attack were from or sponsored by Saudi Arabia and that country is notably absent from the list of countries included in the ban.

Second, Israel, who has much to fear from Arabs, is horrified by Mr. Trump’s Executive Order.

Third, the U.S. does not accept many refugees from those countries. This Executive Order is theater.

Americans think that we accept a lot of refugees and are a beacon to the world. The number of refugees we accept is embarrassingly small and the percentage of world refugees we accept (based on either our population, economy, or land mass) is morally offensive.

Have we forgotten why there are laws to protect refugees? This might be what Israel is asking. We (and all civilized nations) enacted these laws after the world-shame when we viewed hard evidence of the results of not protecting refugees – the Nazi death camps.

Here is a little bit of our history that is not taught in our schools.
On 13 May 1939, more than 900 Jews fled Germany aboard a luxury cruise liner, the SS St Louis. They hoped to reach Cuba and then travel to the US - but were turned away and forced to return to Europe. This was the time of the Nazi Death Camps. Hitler’s propaganda in the United States and elsewhere worked. We were, after all, a Christian country. Jews would not assimilate, they looked different, the dressed different and, we were told, sacrificed Christian babies in secret ceremonies. We were told that the Jews were the reason for the problems in the world.

Today, the United States and the nations of Europe offer protection to refugees. Although they can apply to be accepted as refugees and wait for decades in refugee camps. This orderly process is what ‘we’ prefer, although they may wait for decades before being approved.

Our laws, the laws of individual European countries, the laws of the EU and International Protocols also guarantee that if a person is on a country’s soil (regardless of how they came to be on that soil) that they can apply for refugee status. If their claim seems likely to be valid, they may legally remain on that country’s soil until their claim is adjudicated. They cannot, under our own laws and international protocols, be forced to leave our country unless they commit specific crimes or the courts deny their refugee petition.

In simple terms: once on our nation’s soil, refugees cannot be forced to leave unless they commit a serious crime or the court rules against them. Period.

However, the president has authority to use a proclamation to suspend the entry of “any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States [who] would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” for however long he deems necessary. This provision was included in the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. But, many Constitutional scholars agree that President Trump’s Executive Order will likely prove to be unconstitutional.
At the end of the day, each of us decides what is just. Many of us believe that our decisions should not be based on unreasonable fear but upon:

  • ·     Our own self-interests
  • ·     Our nation’s self-interests
  • ·     God’s teachings

I did not number these beliefs. You put them in the order of how you define your own life.

Your position about our president’s order is as worthy as anyone else’s position if your reasoning is sound. Here are some facts that I am sure you considered.

Refugees are defined under international law as being outside their home country and having a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. (Poverty and wealth does not matter).

Regardless of how a refugee come to be on our soil, they cannot, under our own laws, be forced to leave if they do not break our laws or engage in specific plots against our nation.
About half of our refugees are Christian. The remainder are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, other faiths, atheists, and agnostics.

How many refugees?

When considering the GDP and percentage of total population, the graphs are too embarrassing to depict.

The United States should be proud of the fact that we provide more financial aid to refugees around the world than any other nation. We also permit our refugees freedom to live and work where they please. However, that also means that our dismal record of accepting refugees dooms millions to live for decades in refugee camps in countries that deny them the opportunity for jobs or real freedom.

What does the world want of its refugees?
The ‘good’ answer, the logical answer, is that the world wants its refugees to be able to return home. If that is not possible, the world wants its refugees to be good citizens that care for their own needs. At least this is what most people say they want. However, they are like the man who says that he wants to lose weight and be in great shape and that he would do anything, except diet and exercise, to achieve that want. Actions can predict the likely results. If the man eats like a pig and never exercises, we can make some safe predictions. The same is true in the way we treat refugees.

What would we expect to happen if refugees are forbidden to work, dumped in a ghetto, not offered job training and education? In the largest refugee camps, entire generations of refugees are raised to learn how to stand in line for aid and there are almost no schools.

I love my nation and believe that we are a part of a very small number of countries that can offer the best opportunities for people fleeing for their lives. The land of the free and the home of the brave. When did we become so damn afraid of everything? We panicked after Pearl Harbor and rounded up U.S. citizens who were Japanese. We look at those internment camps and are embarrassed and wish we could do that part of our history over. Today, we allow politicians and the media to panic us again. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

NPR False Reporting, Again

This morning, January 8, 2017, NPR did it again!

It was widely reported during the past two days that the gunman who shot people in a Florida airport was previously in police custody. Those reports stated that the police took him to a mental health facility where he was accepted and later released. At the time he was taken to the mental health facility the police seized a gun and loaded magazine that belonged to the suspect. It was widely reported that when he was released and not adjudicated to have a mental health problem that endangered himself of the the public that the police were required to return his gun and ammunition. The police followed the law and returned his gun and ammunition.

NPR even ran this report yesterday.

Today's news on NPR had a different slant. The new report began by stating that although there were concerns about the mental health of the shooter, the police returned his gun and ammunition. No mention of the fact that the mental health experts released the suspect and that the police had no choice but to return the gun and ammunition. The remaining story continued to imply that the police did the unthinkable and gave this man his gun and ammunition in spite of concerns about the man's mental health.

It seems as if NPR simply wants to stir up controversy and to make the police look like simpletons.

Why listen to NPR? I like to hear what the enemy of decency puts out to the liberal listeners so I can better understand why so many people hold the police in such low esteem.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why did these people rush the fence?

Why do these people not respect our borders?

The reports of another mass attempt to rush a border-fence, this time in Spain, is in the news. An estimated 1100 people tried to climb the fence on December 31, 2016. It was raining, the fence was slippery, police and migrants were injured. Why do they not respect our borders?

Speaking with sub-Saharan migrants last year I was surprised to learn that they do not really understand that each nation has the right to prevent people from crossing their land. Several were sitting outside of tents on the Greek Island of Kos, when one said, "You will not believe this! We are told that you can't walk across the land. We can't walk across some imaginary line. Not only that, they tell us that there are actually invisible lines in the water that we cannot cross and that there are even lines in the sky where airplanes cannot cross without permission! How can there be lines in the sky? How can a country, which is made of land, claim that they also own part of the ocean? None of this makes any sense!"

While I could make a fair attempt at explaining national sovereignty, I would need to struggle to explain how a nation can claim ownership of the sea and air. It is not disrespect for 'the law' that drives them to climb fences. It is also anger at what seems to be ridiculous. "I just want to cross their land. I am not even trying to stay in their country".

Many nations, such as Mexico, say that the laws are made for the people and that the people are not created for the laws. When laws make no sense, they should be ignored- is their view. "Why should I obey a law that prevents me from feeding my family without hurting anyone? I am not stealing. I just want to work so my family can eat. The law makes no sense. I have to wait for almost 10-years in hopes of getting permission to cross the border. I have to show that I have money, a job in Mexico and a home. If I had those things I would not be trying to leave! The laws make no sense when they keep a family from eating,"

I do not support illegal immigration, but I do support knowing the facts. Facts are more than numbers, charts, and graphs.

Refugees Storm Fence in Spain January 1, 2017

Today there are news reports of migrants trying to force their way into Spain by rushing a fence. Almost all 1,100 were forced back. (A few went to the hospital). Police were injured.

The obvious lesson from this incident and the hundreds of other attempts by migrants to rush border fences across Europe is that fences and walls are useless without human support. In Athens, Greece many residents, cab drivers, hotel clerks and business owners and a few police officers that I managed to find told me that Athens was almost devoid of police officers because so many were assigned to the fences. "Even the police trainees at the police academy are at the fences".

If we ever invest the billions needed to build the wall on our southern border, we will need to patrol it day and night. The military do not want such a duty. We will not shoot women and children We will not electrify fences or plant mines.

Whoever patrols our border must be trained in our immigration and refugee laws. People seeking refugee status have specific rights under our laws. Those laws need to be changed, but people are so busy screaming, "enforce our laws" that they prevent any real discussion about those laws that even provide refugee status to victims of family violence. The laws are the real problem.

We need a reasonable set of immigration laws that are consistently enforced in an impartial manner. Our first obligation is to our own citizens and it may be in their interest to help Mexico and other nations to improve economically and to live under a rule of just law.

Why did these people from sub-Sahara Africa rush the fence?
I will post my answer, based on conversations from other African refugees.