Life and Death

I have seen a commercial on TV that says the governor of my state has signed a law prohibiting abortion. My first thought was why did I not see this on the news. Could be fake news.

If the government can decide to get rid of people because of their age, then why can’t people? People are going to get abortions, might as well keep it safe and legal. I will say the same thing about marijuana. Keep it safe and legal and drive the crime out.

When it comes right down to it I will say the same thing about immigration, keep it safe and legal, and drive the crime out.

Saw on the news today that people are dying trying to get into the country. Yet they are still dying to get out of the aforementioned countries.

Makes me wonder where I might want to go.

Empty Shelves

I write about personal observations. Not that I go shopping much, my wife does most of the shopping, yet she does drag me along occasionally. So for the first time in my life I have been seeing empty shelves. Full shelves have always been a hallmark of America’s prosperity. Even during the hight of the pandemic, with the exception of toilet paper, the shelves were full. The news says that in the coming months the shelves will be even less full.

When you are on top you have nowhere to go but down. I have read that great civilizations only last 300 years. If so it is our time to fail. The question is how far down will we go. If we end up like Europe it will not be to bad. I do hear a lot of people talk about how great Cuba is. In my view that is pretty bad. In Cuba rich people drive 50 year old cars because there is nothing better. In this country rich people drive 50 year old cars because they can. If the rich in this country want to get somewhere fast, they take a jet. They can’t do that in Cuba.

It wasn’t that long ago the media praised Venezuela and its progressive politics. Last year inflation there was over 2,300%. That is just the beginning of reasons not to be there. The Venezuelan exodus is one of the largest in the world. Hope we don’t go that way.

So how low will we go? I don’t know.

Comply or Die

I read something interesting the other day. Supposedly it came out of the Hunter Biden laptop. It was a proposal by Hunter Biden to Muammar Gaddafi to represent the Libyan Government within the Obama administration via access provided by Joe Biden. The cost would be only two million a year plus unspecified expenses. The Colonel turned down the proposal.

I may be jumping to conclusions, but, when you run a shakedown or extortion racket. There is a price to be paid for noncompliance. I had always thought that the elimination of Colonel Gaddafi was somewhat unexplained. This story, as strange as it may be makes sense.

As far as the administration at the time was concerned, it would be stupid not to pay a couple million bucks for quality representation. In fact it would be a bargain. Everyone knows that sometimes it is just the cost of doing business. It is the way things work.

For whatever reason, Gaddafi did not want to pay. Maybe Muammar Gaddafi had talked to Donald J Trump about the quality of services. That idea is not that outlandish.

When Colonel Gaddafi visited the U. S. to speak at the United Nations, he pitched his elaborate tent on the grounds of Donald Trump’s New York estate. So Gaddafi and Trump may have been friends.

So if Donald J Trump advised Colonel Muammar Gaddafi not to pay the Biden family for political access, it was fatal advice.

For a Democrat administration, it is very very easy to say that anyone that takes the Advice of Donald Trump is stupid. Stupid people turn down a reasonable price for political access. Simply, in their mind stupid people deserve to die. It is how the system is preserved.

Sure there are gaps in this story, yet it is logical, and provides explanation for what has been unexplained.

The Ritual of Learning

Ritual is important. It is a way of transferring knowledge and beliefs.To ritualize is to learn. That is a rather Masonic view of learning. In a way I agree, yet I also disagree. Much to my amazement I am fully immersed in learning. I am trying to teach so much more than I know. Yet I am successful. I am surrounded on all sides by incredibly smart people. Awestruck I tell stories. Most of the time I do not finish my stories, I become distracted as my mind jumps around. This is certainly not ritual. I encourage and challenge, then look to my past for real life stories.

So I wonder how I teach, what is my ritual. What is my methodology. I believe in empowerment. I absolutely do not believe that I know more than the students and I need to make them believe what I believe. I summarized that some time ago with my saying “I am not programed to program”. When I say that I am not talking about software. I stay away from things I perceive as propaganda.

I tell my students that when I was your age they told me not to trust anyone over 30. I say you are the future, I will try and help you learn from my history. I explain what the times were like for me back in the 1970’s. Then we talk about the future. I explain that there is a variety of of opinions depending upon people’s backgrounds.

The best part of teaching is learning. As in I am learning. I listen, and try to relate to what I hear. Manufacturing makes our lives better. We would not be what we are without items that have been manufactured. We have to find our place in a manufactured society.

A Gaslighted Village

My wife and I watch a TV show called Midsomer Murders. The setting is always a beautiful rural English village. During a two hour show typically three people will die. Chief Inspector Barnaby then figures out the culprits. So it is a bit of a game to figure out who dies, and who lies. The clues and misleads are subtle, yet there is a certain amount of predictability. The scenery and architecture is always gorgeous.

During an episode the wife of the chief inspector was shopping for a house. She wanted to live in a beautiful little town. The reaction of the chief inspector was, why? People are so mean and die of unnatural causes. Of course it was a reference to the show. Small town are not that bad are they?

Of course a show like that may cause misperceptions. It is true some city people find small towns to be completely evil. As I have said before I wonder if it is a matter of projection. Yet not every small town is nice. Naturally, small towns are governed by a small click of people. It is not easy to run a town. So there is invariably a certain amount of self interest involved. The hope is there is also some altruism also. The mix in every town will be different. The TV show town is most certainly an unrealistic worst case scenario. It is good that the show can poke fun at itself.

None of us are perfect, yet some are more imperfect than others. I never considered my little town to be perfect, yet I was willing to let it be. Till now. How can the preported party of environmentalism be so callous towards the environment. How can the party of sensitivity be so blantly insensitive? In a bit of surreal reality the lies of my little town were echoed on the national stage. A promise of high-speed internet was made on the national stage. I figured that maybe my local Selectmen would soon be a representative, or maybe a senator if he played his cards right. He was in with the boys and girls at the top. Or so I thought.

No internet was forthcoming. The promises were empty. I mentioned the unfulfilled promise, they were not happy. Inexplicably the town decided to kill the beavers. Then blow up the dam. Honestly they may have blown the dam then killed the beavers. Yet the truth is they did both. Effectively. What was a twenty five acre pond to the west of the Mill Rd sudenly became a stream. The town denied they had done anything of the sort.

My wife and I stod on what was left of the beaver dam. She took a picture, then posted it to Facebook. People began to comment. Some were agast. Some called us names. I shared pictures of before and after. Other people shared pictures of what was lost. The town called me a lier. I invited them to come and see what I saw. They called me more names. Literally there were hundred and hundreds of posts about the lost beaver pond.

I went to the town conservation commission and mentioned the loss of a massive amount of wetlands. They did not care. I wrote the EPA and the governors office, and heard back from neither. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out the law. I found it was legal for the town to do what they did. So why did they lie?

When I found that it was legal for the town to do what it did I decided to post the law on Facebook, and essentially admit defeat. The post my wife started was gone. Other posts about the beaver pond were also gone. I have no clue how they did it, but they did.

The people that run my town are as genetically capable of telling the truth as a pandemonium of gaslighting parrots. My view is that is no different than the national stage. They are of the same feather.

Are We Globalism?

A number of aging hippies are thrilled that we are now a communist society. Unfortunately there are a number of workers that are appalled that we are now a totalitarian society. No, I do not know how many there are of each. Such numbers are not allowed in either society. In the first case, in theory, all of society works for the individual. Unusually that is actually the same philosophy as the second case. The disagreement becomes is who the individual is. The leader, or the lead.

So what are the advantages of globalization? Unfortunately the first thing that comes to mind is slavery. Not every country has outlawed slavery. Many of our consumer products are allegedly made with slave labor. Globalization definitely helps multinational corporations. Not so sure globalization helps the independent operators. I would guess globalization let’s people move around more, like jetting about the globe. Yet people say all this jetting about adds carbon to the atmosphere thus making the globe unhabitable. At least some people think so.

Instead of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness we now attempt to improve our social credit score. We are taught that there are too many people on the earth. If our social credit is to low we may become part of the retification. Redundancy is so unnecessary.

I may be a bit drastic, yet this scenario has played out before. World view can change in a few days. I think locally we are where we were when the Taliban blew up the Buddhas. We are shocked that such a thing could happen. Yet it did.

Can it be fixed? Probably not. The only solution would be to impeach them all. I certainly do not think that will happen. We do not have the will power. The corrupts will survive. I had thought they would collapse under their own weight. I was so wrong! History, like a giant fractal repeats itself. Most of the time society is genetically corrupt. Freedom is an aberration. Union thugs morph themselves into the Taliban. There is no master except theirs. Using guns and bullets provided by the self indulgent globalists they use fear to force the new open society called globalism upon us.

There is no quiet little contented towns, only voting blocks to be manipulated by whatever means possible. For power no longer comes from goodness, for there was a time when power came from doing a good job. I like what you did there. I am quite comfortable with having you move on to bigger and better things.

It is sort of like a relationship of trust. Now that we are told what we are to believe. It is our job to fit in and improve our social media score. We have become the judged, verses being allowed to judge. It is a bit hard for me to explain, yet that is my view of globalism.

Jack Weinberg

Back in 1964 Jack Weinberg a graduate student of mathematics at the esteemed University of Berkeley mentioned during an interview “Never trust anyone over thirty”. The San Francisco Chronicle then picked up the quote. It was a quote that would then reverberated through the next two decades.

I actually never knew who Jack Weinberg was until a few hours ago. I was just trying to figure out the origin of don’t trust anyone over forty. It was a phrase that was used many times during my schooling. Why I rember forty and not thirty is unknown. Maybe at some point the speaker was 32? Any way the quote was used to justify many a decision.

Now that I have gray hair I have become a teacher. I think back to the days of being a student for inspiration. Who were my favorite teachers, and how did they teach? My first realization was that my teachers were younger than I. Then there was this, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach” This is especially poignant as I have failed at my dreams. Still life is good, I have succeeded at so many things. Life is relative.

Personally I do not think I ever used the quote don’t trust anyone over thirty or forty to justify a decision, I may have used it for a punchline a few times back then. Yes when the Boomers were young it was the age of flower power and hippies. Counter culture protesting was the rage. Woodstock defined the age.

I wasn’t hip, I played with cars. I listened to the stories told by the over 30 group. Or was it the over 40 group. Basically the older a person was, the more stories they had to tell. I especially liked it when they had car stories. But any story would do. I was not an especially social person.

I would not really mention this except that the same people that said do not trust those over thirty are now in their sixties. The amazing thing is, the think they know more than those under thirty. Hypocrisy is now the hallmark of the aging hippies. I say this because I believe that our leaders and teachers live in the seventies. This is what brings me to the conundrum.

Now that Jack Weinberg is a old person, he says that he was wrong in in his youth. So who is right, the young or old Jack? Our aging leaders and teachers still have the beliefs of their youth. Yet in their youth their belief was to not trust the people of their now advanced age. Today, what is a young person to think?

Canceling Elon

Elon Musk stands tall in my pantheon of heroes. When I see Elon in the news I pay attention. Recently President Joe Biden and White House had an electric car day. The White House’s intention is to have half the cars sold in 2030 be electric. Joe brought in industry leaders from Ford, GM and the newly formed Stellaintis. The photo op of the day was of President Biden driving a Jeep.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? If the previous president had pulled a stunt like this he, well, would not have been treated any differently than he would have been any other day. Yet the media was happy to portray the current president driving a Jeep on electric car day. If I am not mistaken Jeeps get really poor fuel economy. This is the way we save the future?

People debate how useful electric cars are in saving the future. In my view the is a cost benefit analysis, and eventually electric cars will play a prominent role. I could go on about the advantages of the technology, yet there are others who are more qualified. People like Elon Musk, who actually built half a million electric vehicles last year. I am sure Elon knows a thing or two about the challenges of building electric vehicles. An even more interesting speaker would have been Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen. He could have talked about the misguided bet on diesels in the fight against carbon.

Left out were other industry leaders for electrification, Nissan and Honda who pioneered the Leaf and Insight. True the invited GM pead the revolution with the EV1, yet the emphasis was on Jeep. There are many EV startups in this country making off road EVs. None of the new startups were hilighted either. Only the traditional big three were represented. The big three, once the backbone of the American automobile manufacturing now account for about 41 percent of the market. Their share of the market is diminishing. When it comes to winners and losers, the focus was on the losers.

Of course Ray Curry was there. Ray is the newly elected leader of the UAW. Ray was given a prominent role on electric car day. Ray promised that union members are ready to build electric cars. The open secret was, only unionized manufacturers were invited. Now Ray may be a nice guy. He has only had the job a few months. Historically unions have been anti change. Maybe he can change their attitude. Unions are a big reason the role of the big three has diminished. In my view unions are basically parasitic. Resistant to change they stifle innovation.

I will GM credit for the innovation of the EV1. While the EV1 may have been flawed as a product, it was certainly innovative. GM took a lot of heat for crushing the EV1. The story was they did not want to be responsible for for providing spare parts for only 1000 cars for the mandatory 10 years. I wonder if union rules had any influence in their decision scrap the EV1. Adaptability to change is not a attribute of unionism. What are the union rules for small production runs.

Of course that was a long time ago. This is today, and Ray is large in charge. Of course I will make one small suggestion to Ray. When it comes to innovation, invite the innovators. Sure it is a culture change, Curry has been handed immense political power. As much as Joe is against innovators and innovation, I hope Ray will differ and embrace competitive innovation.

The Price of Cream Cheese

Funerals are a sad but necessary thing. Strangly they are a reason to put on the good clothes and wash the nice car. We left early as we had other commitments earlier that day. We were all dressed up with time to fritter and waste. Unlike some funerals it was a beautiful day. As we serenely traveled the highway we passed a sign I had been passing for a lifetime. It was for the bridge of flowers.

We discovered an old abandoned trolly bridge that had been planted with flowers by the local garden club. It was beautiful! So many wonderful blooms. Many of the flowers had enticing fragrances. It was obvious that the bridge of flowers was carefully tended. We, as many do took pictures. Water slowly flowed under the bridge. We enjoyed our time on the bridge. As we we were approaching midday we thought a bit to eat might be appropriate.

We found a small romantic Cafe nearby. There were four people inside. Two baristas and three customers. With tin ceilings and retro decorations I kind of liked the place. A well dressed middle aged woman was typing on her laptop on one of two tables by the window. An older gentleman was near the bar with some food and a paper. A young man was ordering a latte and politely arguing with the baristas over the price of a bagle. Fresh and handmade, the bagle was five dollars. After seeing that we were politely waiting the young man settled on his latte.

Whilst waiting we had read the menu. It wasn’t very long, and the first thing looked good. Harty fare. My wife also made her selection. We quickly decided and made our order. Maybe because we were used to fast food, we did not engage engage the baristas in extensive conversation about the menu selections. Because the food is what they did, we assumed it would be good.

Fortunately the second table by the window was still available. The young man with the latte had chosen a table near the baristas so he could converse about the possibility of enjoying a bagle. We seated ourselves by the window to wait for our food. It was a pleasant brick lined street with construction going on outside. There was lots to watch. There were beautiful buildings made of stone across the way. Interesting people walked by.

In the background the young man still desired the bagle. The barista held firm on his price. Surprisingly the cream cheese was an additional eighty cents. The young man then argued that the condiments should be free. French fries come with free ketchup he noted. The barista held fourth that cream cheese was not a condiment. Additionally they used only the finest and most worthy cream cheese in his establishment.

The conversation distracted me from the view of the activity on the street outside. I began to wonder what was the difference between a barista and a barrister. The conversation had taken the cost of a bagle with cream cheese to an obsessive level. I imagined the young man as a future barrister trying to make his case. He was going at the cost of a bagle with so many angles. The barista held firm on the worth of his fine bagles, and the services he provided.

Our food was ready, indeed it was good and tasty. Worth the price. We slowly enjoyed our meal, we had time to kill. Meanwhile the young man had informed the barista the he was soon to be a graduate student in political science and needed to save money. He was willing to pay the five dollars for the bagle, however he thought the cream cheese should be free.

I am not a conversationalist, I prefer the window seat. I am not saying conversationalism is bad, yet we showed up ordered our food and enjoyed the ambiance. Then we enjoyed our meal and the view. Meanwhile the young political science graduate student kept the barista entertained during an otherwise slow time. For an hour he talked about his desire for a bagle and cream cheese. When we left he was taking his first bite of a bagle with eighty cent cream cheese.

Refreshed we arrived at the funeral with time to spare. A reverend said a few appropriate words. We talked with family about memories and times past. When it was all was said and done we laid flowers upon the graves of the departed.

George Washington Carver

One of the very first papers I wrote was about George Washington Carver. I thought he was the definition of a great American. At the time a peanut butter sandwich was a staple food source for me. I even tried to make my own peanut butter. I had dreams of being a spaceman, or a farmer. I explained to my teachers how peanuts are grown. They did not know how peanuts grew. I went to school in the city, so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. However the teachers were interested in the growing of peanuts.

Another thing I was interested in during grade school was nuclear energy. My teachers were not impressed with splitting of the atom. They did not care about fission or fusion.

As the years went by Jimmy Carter became president. The nuclear scientist farmer, who raised peanuts. I was ecstatic. Carter’s success could be directly attributable to the efforts George Washington Carver. From peanuts to the presidency. I viewed that as success.

Unfortunately the Carter presidency was not that successful. I remember not being able to find a job. Oh well. I have no idea if it had anything to do with Carver legacy. However it seemed that society had forgotten about George Washington Carver. Anyway I had thought George Washington Carver was emblematic of success. Worthy of heroic of statuary. Seems my thoughts were not very mainstream.

So I was surprised to find a reference to the success of George Washington Carver in a website devoted to the education of Nepalese children. The use of the scientific methodologies to feed the people. Truly a great legacy.