Someone complained that homeless people were being helped after the wildfire destroyed Paradise. They did not like the long term homeless ‘mixing in’ with the new homeless. I have got some news for you. We are heading into very uncertain times. Anyone can become homeless, including you. We have to create a society where everyone is taken care of, regardless of circumstance.
A hundred years ago, World War One ended on the eleventh month of the eleventh day on the eleventh hour. The war did not end all wars. It led to World War Two. Recently I sat in a college history class and a young student just discovering WWI and said to a friend “If there was a WWII there had to be a WWI.” In the future, let us hope there does not have to be a WWIII to jog their memory.
Over the century Europe has made progress. A hundred years ago it was run by a wealthy few as millions of refugees fled to the United States. Now there are social supports, NATO and the European Union. Countries are so interdependent on each other that it is difficult to Brexit. They have been so successful that refugees now flee to Europe. It is a sign you are doing something right.
Beyond this bigger picture is an individual one. Somewhere in France at this very moment a friend is looking for his grandfather’s grave. I hope Tim finds his Ted Bronson.
Time to change your clocks and your leadership. I know people who lost their jobs, homes and healthcare. They died before they could vote. Their pre-existing condition became a post-existing one. We need to take better care of each other. That is what civilization is all about.
How do we avoid becoming a nation of poor, homeless and dying refugees in an apocalyptic wasteland? You get involved. Voting is important. If you cannot change leadership, become the leadership. Raise your voice until you are heard. Never give up and keep pushing until they give.
It is going to be a busy couple of days/weeks/months/years.
These days Halloween is no longer the scariest day of the year. Election day is. After months of getting other people registered to vote, I got my ballot in the mail. I gathered all my research and quietly filled out the form. It is great to vote by mail because there is no hurry. There is no line of people behind you. You sign it and drop it in the mail.
Sometimes you vote for an issue that affects you directly, other times for the greater good. How many times have you walked by someone suffering on the street and wanted to help? If you vote, you can help.
One vote can make a difference. Many times I have sat on panels, boards, committees and council meetings and been the deciding vote. Several organizations I belong to exist today because of one vote. What do these organizations do? They help people find jobs, housing, education and healthcare.
Oddly, there are some who do not want to help other people… until they become those other people.
On October 2, 2018, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was reportedly killed by at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Istanbul Turkey. His body was dismembered by a bone saw.
Journalists are under attack all over the world. When you keep a journalist from covering a story, you are a bad guy. Killing a journalist does not kill the story. In many cases the story does not go away, it just gets bigger.
Think about this as I fill out my ballot. I want candidates who support a free press and human rights around the world. We must be able seek and speak the truth if we are going to survive.
Election Day is November 6, 2018 but I already received my sample ballot in the mail. I like sitting at my desk and carefully researching each issue and candidate. It is better than rushing through the ballot in the voting booth.
One way to evaluate is to measure how much campaign literature you receive in the mail. If you get lots of colorful brochures, rich bad guys paid for that and you should probably vote the other way. If you see lots of the same commercials on television, those are paid for by the bad guys. If you see lots of signs on lawns, those are expensive too. A well financed campaign is backed by people who are well financed. You are not.
Another approach is to be reasonable. Will the issue or candidate help you? Will it help people you know? Will it help people you do not know? Will it help a few wealthy people or millions of ordinary people?
Do you know the candidates personally? Lots of people this year have decided to do more than vote, and become candidates themselves. I am so proud when a friend decides to run for office. Of course I vote for them. I know them. Yeah, it might be just for the local school board, but schools are important. Some student is going to grow up and become a candidate.
Voting by mail is great. Voting early is great too. I have seen voters line up around the block of their local Board of Elections. There seemed to be a lot of women this year. I wonder why.
Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends!
This year’s election is important, so I’ve been busy getting people registered to vote. I went to one courthouse and saw a line of people stretching out of the building and into the parking lot. They were all women. Many of them were watching the news on their phones. Some were openly weeping. The woman behind the counter said it had been going on all week.
One woman talked to me. She said that she faced harassment from men and women. She thinks it is about an abuse of power. She had a union to protect her job. Without protection, she worried she would have to do something horrible to herself or coworkers to pay for her house or send her daughter to college. She called such people collaborators or kapos.
Another woman said that she was actually happy that the terrible news came to the surface. She wanted people to know that no matter who you are, no matter where you go, the day will come for you to be held accountable for your actions.
I was at yet another discount store. There was no sign on the front, but clearly the store was closing. Aisles and aisles of black empty shelves tied off with yellow tape. Lots of homeless people waiting in line to buy heavily marked down food. It was like the film Soylent Green. What is happening here?
I was driving past the front entrance of a discount store and saw something very sad. Security guards had grabbed an older woman for shoplifting. In the struggle, she dropped a bag of Lays potato chips to the ground. Times are so hard that people are stealing food. It reminds me of Les Miserables.
People are sending me congratulations for the anniversary of this website. The site worked as intended. I have to thank Doug Wray and Laughing Squid for their work over the years. As with anything I do, there are always lots of people involved who you never see. Thanks.
On Jan. 25, 2018 NPR’s Michaeleen Doucleff reported “Is There A Ticking Time Bomb Under The Arctic?” Doucleff talked with Dr. Thomas Douglas, a geochemist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Charles Miller, a chemist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. They are worried that climate change is causing arctic permafrost to melt and release methane and carbon into the atmosphere. This could dramatically increase global warming. There is also a possibility that a bacteria or virus could thaw and infect humans.
Last fall there was a big fire north of San Francisco that burned down lots of houses. Fortunately, many homeowners had fire insurance. Unfortunately, lots of insurance companies wanted an itemized list of everything they owned before they could be reimbursed. Chances are that most people do not have such a list. If they did it probably got burned up in the fire. It does bring up an important point. With global warming these destructive fires are going to more frequent and eventually hit your neighborhood. Photograph everything in your house. Send pictures to faraway friends. Put them up on the cloud.
The Federal government is on the verge of another shutdown. This is irresponsible and harmful to millions of people. Members of Congress and their staff will still be paid. They need the incentive to act. Perhaps they should be fined for every day they do not resolve this issue. Do your jobs.
On Jan. 18, 2018 NPR’s Sam Brasch reported “Concerns Grow That Infections From ‘Zombie Deer’ Meat Can Jump To Humans” Apparently some deer are suffering from Chronic Wasting Disease similar to Mad Cow disease. Matt Dunfee, head of the Chronic Wasting Disease Alliance in Fort Collins, Colorado said “The vast majority of the time hunters find out their animal has CWD, they’re shocked, because it looked great,” he says. “It was moving just like everything else. It had great body fat.”
On Jan. 17, 2018 the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached 26,000. It rose over a thousand points in one week. I think this rally is overheated and not sustainable. On October 11, 2018, it lost four percent of its value in a single day. The correction was caused in part by increasing interest rates, trade wars and low wages, Oh, and unstable leadership.
I once read an obituary of a small town school teacher. It said she taught for forty years. She never married and had no children. Therefore it said she had no survivors. I thought about that. Of course there were survivors. Every student she taught was a survivor. She touched the lives of thousands of people.
I must confess I like Yelp reviews. If a restaurant gets one bad review, I think it must be an exception. If there are twenty bad reviews they might be on to something. Of course, I don’t read reviews about my reviews.
On Jan. 10, 2017 NPR’s Jessica Taylor reported “Rep. Darrell Issa To Retire, Adding To Record GOP Exodus From Congress”
“Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., announced he will not seek re-election Wednesday, adding to a record number of House Republicans heading for the exits ahead of the 2018 midterms — perhaps seeing the writing on the wall of a possible wave election for Democrats.
There are now 31 Republicans who will not seek re-election in November: 19 who are retiring outright and another 12 who are running for higher office. And that list is is expected to grow in the coming weeks.”