Category Archives: Philosophy

Political Puzzlers

As the world continues to prove its passion for insanity, I’m left to contemplate certain things:

  1. The conservatives continue to fight “Woke” philosophies. Does this mean they prefer catatonic beliefs?
  2. Should we consider those who rely on Twitter for their news to be Twits?
  3. Donald trump was famous for not reading. He didn’t read his daily intelligence briefings and may have read very little during his life. What is he going to do with thousands of pages of documents that should have been sent to the National Archives? (Having dealt with government documents, I can personally assure you they are dry as toast to  read.)
  4. According to history, the Rus (later called the Russians) began in Kyiv, Ukraine. Wouldn’t this mean that that Ukraine has a legitimate claim that it is Russia that is a breakaway portion of Ukraine rather than the other way around?

American Political Turmoil Explained

We tend to categorize our politicians primarily as progressive or conservative, with moderate as an adjective (moderate Republican or moderate Democrat). Independent was added as a catchall for anyone else. However, since Independents normally have not signaled their intentions regarding who or what they will vote for they represent the swing voters.

Conservatives seem most comfortable with the status quo—leave things the way they are. Does a particular policy work? Leave it alone. Does it work, but not very well? Leave it alone. Does it not work? Leave it alone because you can make things go from bad to worse. When in doubt, leave it alone. Conservatives want everything to be static and will invoke finances, national pride, or whatever else works to further their cause. Many Conservatives embrace the American flag, but managed to avoid military service.

Progressives want things to move forward—to make changes. If it isn’t working, change it. If it is working, but could work better, change it. Sometimes progressive ideas work and sometimes they don’t. Progressives tend to focus on social issues, which their opponents can dismiss as unnecessary and too costly. Progressives tend to have multiple flags besides the American flag—Black Lives Matter, the LGBTQ Rainbow, etc.

But we often forget another category that is very important, very powerful, and getting more powerful—Regressives. Regressives want to restore “the good old days,” which have never been clearly defined. Some want the US to revert to the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” with women staying home and doing housework while wearing dresses, nylons, and high heels. Husbands ruled the roost and children were expected to speak only when spoken to. Other Regressives want to go back to the Jim Crow days or all the way back to the days of slavery. Regressives often embrace the Confederate Battle Flag, which they do not seem realize is not the flag of the Confederate States. Nevertheless, Regressives are hard pressed to name which states were in the Confederacy, who the principal players were (beyond Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee), and that slavery is promoted in the Confederacy’s Constitution.

Each group is quick to blame another (if not both) for all problems, real and imagined. There are few solutions presented, and if a solution was not generated by MY group, it is killed as quickly as possible.

I wish I could say that these thoughts will help us progress, but I strongly and sadly believe they will not.

Are we better off because of social media?

Unfortunately, the only digital media available during Lincoln’s lifetime was Morse Code.

As you know, I am not a Luddite. I have embraced technology throughout my life. I built my first computer in the 1970s because there were no commercially available personal computers. I still love building things that are electronic. Many of the magazines I read are technically oriented.

I was one of the first people on the internet, using dial up to a Cleveland University, which had 88 phone lines available to connect with the internet. Like most people, I found the whole idea exciting. As a ham radio operator, talking with people in different countries wasn’t a new experience, but through the internet I could choose groups by area of interest, which was fun. As the World Wide Web developed, it augmented trips to the library while I was in graduate school—especially attractive when my university was about 50 miles from my home and the snow was piling up fast.

But then it turned ugly.

I avoid many sites—especially Facebook and Google because they track people and collect information that I may not want to share, especially without my knowledge. I don’t have Alexa because I’ve seen too many possible examples of Alexa listening in on conversations. Is it a coincidence that when someone is talking about fishing, for example, the next time he logs in, a popup ad for fishing gear pops up on the screen?

I have seen so much wrong information without even looking for it.

To add to the confusion, many people have never developed critical thinking skills—our education system is based too much on writing on the exam the words that the teacher and/or textbook said. A photographic memory will be a blessing at school, but a curse thereafter. As more than one professor has said, “Education is the process of getting words from the teacher’s notebook to the students’ notebooks without involving either’s brain.”

Students may find a term paper online that suits their needs perfectly and turn it in as their own work. (Of course, teachers can run the text through a different web site that compares this paper with what is available online.)

Do you believe that there are Jewish space lasers controlling the world? I hope most of my readers do not.

The greatest ill from the internet is anonymity. People will write things anonymously that they never would otherwise, because there is no risk. They can be obnoxious, rude, lying, and nasty. One could say that the internet brings out the worst in people and I believe that in some—perhaps many or even most—cases that is true.

It disappoints me that our species is like this.

It’s Not My Fault!

“Mr. Omato, I’m surprised at you. Maybe I shouldn’t be, given what your colleagues say about you.

“First, you seem to have ‘forgotten’ that government employees, such as you—as a member of the Secret Service—CANNOT receive a political appointment, such as you did when you became Mr. Trump’s chief-of-staff for operations. You are a well-educated man, both from university and training required by the Secret Service. It seems highly suspicious that you just forgot that you’d be breaking the law. Not to mention that it made the Secret Service look like a bunch of political hacks.

“Now, you claim that all the text messages relating to the January 6th insurrection are missing. You know that it is your responsibility to save any and all official documents. Your responsibilities—not the IT Department, not the National Archives, not anybody else, do you understand?”

“But . . .Well, we were changing equipment, and all the text messages were lost,” Special Secret Service Agent Anthony Omato explained.

“Mr. Omato, the rumor around here is that you are an accomplished liar. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but in any case, this is not grade school.

“I’m sure back then you claimed that your dogs ate your homework, which is just as unlikely as the computer eating your official correspondence!”

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

This story has been told and retold. Benjamin Franklin was walking out of Independence Hall after the Constitutional Convention in 1787, when someone shouted out, “Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”

To which Franklin supposedly responded, with a rejoinder at once witty and ominous: “A republic, if you can keep it.

The question is, do we really want to keep it?

At the time of the American Revolution, the term United States referred to 13 separate countries that were united together for a common cause. The term United States was plural—These United States as opposed to The United States.

In December 1860, South Carolina declared that it had left the union and in April 1861, fired on the Union’s Fort Sumter, which surrendered. Some historians believe that until that attack, those in the North would have been happy to let them leave; they further state that the attack on Fort Sumter was the costliest military victory of all time.

South Carolina issued a statement explaining it’s reason for seceding. While many Southerners claim that the Lost Cause was about states’ rights, it is helpful to note South Carolina’s explanation for seceding included the following:

A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.

(The entire declaration can be accessed here)

The Constitution of the Confederate States, which parallels the United States Constitution in many ways, includes the following:

Article IV, Section 2, Paragraph 3—No slave or other person held to service or labor in any State or Territory of the Confederate States, under the laws thereof, escaping or lawfully carried into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor; but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such slave belongs; or to whom such service or labor may be due.

Today, some fear that we may be dangerously close to another split. Perhaps it will not be as bloody as the Civil War, but the split itself will be terribly damaging and costly. Blue (progressive) States tend to be on America’s east and west coasts, while Red (conservative) States are more in the center of the continent. Like in the Civil War, the division is accompanied by, if not caused by, a difference in values. The Blue States are more developed, more industrial, and produce as much wealth as most of the world’s countries. The Red States rely more on agriculture and mining—particularly fossil fuels. Wells can be tapped out and mines abandoned. Many farms located in Red States are owned and operated by corporations based in Blue States.

In the nineteenth century, Abraham Lincoln was intent on maintaining the Union. I don’t see the sanctity of the Union being the driving force for either side if Red and Blue States separate. Of course, both daughter countries would lack any significant influence on the world stage and would be unable to stand up to any powerful nation—any powerful nation, not just Russia and China.

The upside of such a division is limited. Various American politicians would be able to thump their chests and claim righteousness to the same people who already agree with them.

The first Civil War was instigated by Southern states. If we face another division, it will be due to the influence of Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. I hope they all decide to stay with the Red States.

Independence Day

John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The short, stocky man standing is John Adams. The tall man with red hair is Thomas Jefferson.

The Declaration of Independence was actually approved by the Second Continental Congress on 2 July 1776—the printed copy was not available until 4 July. At the time, John Adams predicted how Independence Day would be celebrated, relatively accurately, except he anticipated it would be celebrated on the second rather than the fourth.

“The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.

“It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.”

Unlike the famous portrait, not every delegate signed on 4 July. Some members were attending to other business and may have signed as late as September or October. Some members of the Continental Congress never signed, but most did, including at least one who had not been a member of the Second Continental Congress. (George Washington was not a member and did not sign–he was busy fighting the British.)

Ironically, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died 4 July 1826 —the fiftieth anniversary of the first signatures on the Declaration.

Recycling?

Where I live, the city government recently decided to eliminate curbside recycling. Like many people, I’ve just come to expect that recycling is a normal part of life. I’ve had the small bins into which we sorted the recycling—paper in one, glass in another, metal cans in a third. Most recently, we had the large bins—the same size as garbage cans—which accepted all recyclables. We faithfully tried to make sure that what went into the recycling bin was bona fide recyclable.

I remember being at Disney World years ago and being told that the park benches were made of recycled milk bottles. A while back, we were told that the cardboard that we put into the bin was sent to China and would return to the USA in 6-8 weeks later as boxes containing Chinese made televisions, computers, or other products. I took both these as encouraging statements.

Today, however, there are news stories reporting that most plastics have actually never been recyclable. The oil industry, which provides the raw materials for plastics, apparently has been lying for decades to increase their profits. Our recycler announced a while back that the Chinese needed us to be more careful with our paper recycling—too many pizza boxes covered with cheese and such. This, coming from the same people who sold us contaminated baby formula, children’s toys painted with lead paint, and laptop computers with built-in hardware hacks.

So, everything is going to the landfill. Add to that the clothing that is headed there as well. This is a significant amount because as people chase fashion, the lifespan of an article of clothing gets shorter as we make room for the latest style. There are so many discarded items of clothing that second-hand stores can’t accept them all, so they go to the dump.

The packaging for products is a major contributor. Marketing experts occasionally admit that “New and Improved” often refers to the package, not the actual product. I remember when milk and soda arrived in glass bottles with a deposit. Many times in grade school, I’d find enough bottles to buy a box of pumpkin seeds or even a candy bar.

I don’t know the real numbers, but my SWAG* is that around 10 percent is real recycling and 90 percent is smoke and mirrors. Oh, well.

Now, if I could only convince Louis De Joy to have all the junk mail I find in my mailbox delivered directly to the dump and leave me out of the process.

* SWAG – Scientific Wild Assed Guess

Juneteenth

What a strange sounding name.

It’s a contraction of June and nineteenth—the day that Major General Gordon Granger was given command of the District of Texas. The Civil War was now over as of 9 May 1865.  His first action was to read to the people of Texas his General Order Number Three which began with:

The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection therefore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.

Surprisingly [Satire warning] the slaveholders had either forgotten or had not yet gotten around to letting their slaves know they were—and had been—free for the previous five weeks. Ooops!

General Granger’s reading of his order fixed that.

The so-called “peculiar institution” of slavery was no more. The previously free labor from the slaves was gone, even though they could still be kept down through sharecropping and other means. Likewise, the use of slaves as breeding stock and the sale of their offspring was also gone.

For years the Jim Crow laws were intended to keep Black Americans subservient and it has taken the better part of two centuries to make any substantial progress. Nevertheless, for Black Americans, Juneteenth is seen as their independence day, and rightly so.

Author’s Note: With the current political efforts to turn the United States into a banana republic, it is more difficult to write. I make no promises as to how I will do in the future.

Putin Walks in Hitler’s Tracks

German Volkssturm members being trained to operate anti-tank weapons.

Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-J31391 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5665346

As I’ve said many times, history does not repeat itself, but it certainly rhymes.

As the Soviets approached Berlin near the end of the Second World War, much of the defense was expected to be from the Hitler Youth, the very young—early to mid-teens. The Soviets had no competition from the Americans, British, etc. because to do so had a great chance of placing allies in each other’s crossfires.

The Nazis, not the Wehrmacht, created the Volkssturm (Peoples Storm) by conscripting those from 16-60 who were not already in a combat unit. With teenagers in the Hitler Youth, this left the old men. The Soviets slaughtered many while Hitler was committing suicide in the Fuhrerbunker.

Today, in similar fashion, Vladimir Putin removed the upper age limit for military service. In the meantime, a number of reserve units have apparently refused to go to Ukraine. This is not surprising for a variety of reasons, including the fact that many of those already deployed to Ukraine were not told where they were going or why.

In the meantime, Russia is sending T-62 tanks, first introduced in 1962, to fight in Ukraine. These were a modest improvement of the T-60 tanks used in World War II.

Incidentally Ukrainian military have examined many downed Russian weapons and have found common purpose (not military specific) US computer chips. With current sanctions, these are no longer available, so allegedly, they are scavenging computer chips from washing machines and other appliances.

I hope and pray that, like in the Second World War, the end of this war is near.

USA’s Bleak Future

Trump is calling for civil war. He says that Pence should have been hanged.

In the face of the latest elementary school shooting, no one seems to want to take the issue seriously. If such shootings occur as often as they have so far this year, the next mass shooting would happen tomorrow.

The Supreme Court is systematically eliminating civil rights.

The Republican Party—Forget it, it’s too painful to talk about the Republican Party.

Canada’s National Security Task Force is preparing for the collapse of the United States. Can you blame them?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/news/canadian-national-security-task-force-is-preparing-for-the-collapse-of-the-united-states/ar-AAXFOgj

Honor

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

                                                                                      United States Declaration of Independence

This is the last sentence, the very last words in the Declaration of Independence, the last words before the founding fathers’ signatures. This group of imperfect men risked everything for our independence. If the revolution had failed, they would have been hanged at best, but punishment for treason against the English king included being drawn and quartered. Their lives were very much at risk and they knew it. Nine died due to the war, while five were captured by the British, tortured and then died.

As to their fortunes, twelve had their homes ransacked and burned, eight had their homes looted, others were hunted by the British. A number who lived through the war died penniless.

But their honor they upheld—that’s how important it was to them.

In America, far too many of today’s leaders see honor as just a word. They unashamedly display their lack of honor on a daily basis.

Many of us have more faith in the words of Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy than the words of half the members of Congress and justices of the Supreme Court.

It is both sad and terrifying.

A Supreme Solution to Abortion

The doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” Mrs. Saunders told her husband. When she got to the door, there was a police officer waiting.

“Good morning, Mrs. Saunders,” he began. “Is your husband home?”

“Do you mind telling me what this is about?” she asked.

“Just purely routine,” the officer replied. “Ah, there he is!” as Mr. Saunders came up behind his wife.

“Mr. Saunders, may I come in?”

“Do you have a warrant?” Saunders countered.

“As a matter of fact, I do, but it’s a sealed warrant. In any case, I am coming in.” He more or less herded the Saunders from the door into the living room. The officer sat in the overstuffed chair across from the couch, making it obvious as to where he expected the Saunders to sit.

“I’m Inspector Hodges from the Supreme Court,” he explained.

“The Supreme Court has police?” Mrs. Saunders asked, causing the inspector to frown.

“The Supreme Court Police were created in 1935,” he explained, “until recently it included about 200 sworn officers, but we’ve had to ramp that up a bit in light of current issues.”

The Saunders looked at one another, puzzled.

“You see,” the Inspector continued, “Setting aside the prior decision of Roe v Wade has made abortions difficult—if not impossible-for many people, especially those who are financially challenged. They have no way to provide for the children that otherwise would have . . . let’s just say not be born.

“In cases of rape, especially incest, the trauma is just too great for the mothers, so . . . .” the doorbell rang.

“I’ll get it,” the inspector said, “I’m expecting another officer.” He opened the door and another uniformed officer entered, this one carrying a small baby.

“You see,” the Inspector continued, “Congress has addressed this issue in a most effective manner. If you remember back to the mid-twentieth century, people were conscripted into the military. The draft was an attempt to randomly pick those who were to be inducted. We use a similar system.

“All citizens who filed their income tax as ‘married’ who meet certain criteria are deemed eligible.”

“What criteria?” Mr. Saunders asked.

“Income at least twice the current poverty line with no criminal history. It’s quite simple, you see. Therefore, you two were selected to parent this beautiful little . . . .” he glanced back at the officer holding the baby who silently mouthed girl. “beautiful little girl.”

“Wait a minute,” Mr. Saunders injected. “First off, I’m 65 years old and getting ready to retire.”

“Isn’t it funny how life always interferes with the best plans of mice and men?”

“Everybody with two times the income as the poverty level? What about Trump, Bill Gates, Elon Musk?”

“Oh,” explained the Inspector, “they don’t make any income. Everything they have is retained wealth or capital gains.” He motioned to the other officer, who carried the baby over to Mrs. Saunders and set her on Mrs. Saunders’s lap. Another officer walked in with a cardboard box.

“Some disposable diapers, formula, handiwipes—you know. The rest you’ll need to buy tomorrow.” The inspector stood up, but before he and his coworkers headed to the door he turned around.

“A word to the wise,” he said. “I shouldn’t tell you this, but you might as well adjust to everything all at once. The Justices are looking for a case so they can rule that wives are subservient to their husbands, so you just might want to adjust your behavior,” he said looking directly at Mrs. Saunders. Mrs. Saunders opened her mouth to speak, but the Inspector interrupted. “You should let your husband do the talking. In good Christian families, he’s the boss.”

Death of a Republic

Thanks to Mitch McConnell and Trump, the Supreme Court has indeed become an assembly of political hacks. The leaking of a draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade has resulted in a firestorm of (un)righteous indignation.

For the record, I am not a fan of abortion, but I am a realist. It is not my place to impose my will over another person’s God given free will.

  • God gave us free will, but the Supreme Court does not.
  • Murder has been illegal for centuries, but people still kill one another.
  • Stealing has been illegal for centuries, but we still have burglaries, robberies, embezzling, etc.
  • From 1920 until 1933, drinking alcoholic beverages was illegal. Prohibition’s main legacy was to make organized crime rich and powerful, but people still drank.
  • Lying to government agents, to a court, or to Congress is illegal, but seems to be ignored.

The Trump appointees were questioned about respecting precedent—the previous rulings of the Supreme Court—and nominees Gorsuch and Kavanaugh outright lied under oath. By rights, they should be held liable for perjury.

Barrett fudged her answer by saying it was not a super precedent. A decision is either a precedent or not—it’s like death. A person is either dead or not dead; there is no such thing as super-dead. By her logic, are some laws lesser than others and breaking them means nothing?

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court neither has standards of conduct nor a moral compass as seen by Justice Thomas’s lack of ethics. It has been my experience that every government employee—civilian or military—is required to take annual ethics training. One of the key concepts is that federal employees must avoid EVEN THE APPEARANCE OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR.

The Supreme Court sees itself as above the law. The last few years have seen a loss of faith in the legislative branch. Trump trashed the executive branch. I guess it was inevitable that the judicial branch would follow suit.

Finally, there are those who claim that the Constitution does not specifically authorize the right to certain things, including abortion. While that is true, our basic underlying concept is that the government receives its power from the will of the governed. A similar issue is reiterated in the bill of rights:

Ninth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

When asked what kind of government the founding fathers had devised, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

I guess we can’t keep it.

Politics vs Porn

Tory MP Neil Parish got kicked out of the British Parliament for watching porn on his telephone while attending Parliament. However, in my mind, that is not all of the story.

The House of Commons is rather like the House of Representatives in the United States; the House of Lords was once somewhat like the US Senate, but the US Senate is now an embarrassment unlike anything anywhere. In any case, the decorum that the British practice is somewhat laissez faire. Clapping is not allowed, but shouting is, although it often includes high and lofty terms like vainglorious. However, this does not change the fact that the House of Commons is sometimes reminiscent of a barroom brawl.

The video in the link below isn’t the most outrageous example, but you get the idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PVkR8jUSVM

If you ever watch C-SPAN, you are aware of the US Congress’s style, or lack thereof. I especially laugh when I catch C-SPAN while channel surfing. You can see politicians making speeches in the late afternoon to an almost empty chamber. I guess it proves that politicians talk to just hear themselves speak.

In any case, I would guess that many members of parliament are looking at their phones, playing games, or whatever. Parish got caught looking at porn. However, given the choice between watching the antics of his fellow politicians or watching porn, some may consider it a tough choice. Parish just forgot the 11th commandment-“Thou shalt not get caught.”

If you’d like to see a brief explanation of the British Parliament click this link. It’s only about 10 minutes, but very interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PVkR8jUSVM

Protecting a President

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Truth is stranger than fiction. (Click for video) Monty Python foresaw this in 1971.

Many presidents actively served in wartime and were exposed to bullets, shrapnel, poison gas, or other genuinely dangerous things. George Washington commanded the Army. Abraham Lincoln not only served in the militia during the Black Hawk War, but during the Civil War, while president, he crossed the front line into confederate territory. Presidents Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush all served in wartime. In all, 33 presidents served in the military.

On the other hand, Donald Trump did not, being exempted because of alleged heel spurs. In my opinion, if he had served it might have better prepared him for life.

“Donald Trump worried that “dangerous” fruits could be flung at him by protesters, according to newly-released excerpts from his sworn deposition for an upcoming trial in New York.” https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/donald-trump-worried-dangerous-fruits-could-be-thrown-at-him-by-protesters-a-new-deposition-reveals/ar-AAWEPFf?cvid=e7b0eaff5d15449b8e681c3ff0237ae9

Thank goodness he wasn’t threatened with a pointed stick.

Federal Rolls

The line between reality and satire is becoming harder to define.

The Founding Fathers never saw this coming.

Decisions regarding how to effectively deal with public heath crises have been transferred from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to the federal judiciary. For some reason it ended up in a court in Florida. Allegedly, this was suggested by Ginni Thomas, a conservative activist, to her husband Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

Meanwhile in Florida, Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that mask mandates were not legal. Judge Mizelle is not a qualified Public Health expert nor is she an epidemiologist nor learned in any other medical field. Even in her own field of law, the American Bar Association rated her as “NOT QUALIFIED” to be appointed a federal judge. She may not know anything about public health, but she knows what she likes.

Recently, Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett denied judges were political hacks. Since most people saw no reason for her to say this, as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet; “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Mitch McConnell, whose wife was Secretary of Transportation during the Trump Administration is alleged to have said, “It’s about time!”

In the meantime, Florida politicians are carefully combing arithmetic textbooks for kindergarten through third grade to ensure that there are no references to American History—especially concerning the enslavement of black people. The politicians don’t quite understand the actual math itself, but that’s why they have staff members to handle such things. Also banned are any books with references to sex, drugs, rock and roll, biology, or logic.

Now that the judiciary has assumed the role of writing new laws in addition to misinterpreting existing ones, the additional authority for public health, is not surprising. With the judiciary handling these responsibilities, it gives Congress more time to fundraise and make derogatory comments about just about everything.

Ukraine Shall Prevail

You’ll see a number of quotations in today’s blog. As a species, we’ve been over this same ground before and others have said it better than I ever could.

Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” – Winston Churchill

Churchill’s statement was never more true than today in Ukraine.

Russia is already the world’s largest country, spanning two continents—Europe and Asia—and 11 time zones. Its history has seen great wealth and power, although not equally shared. Prior to the Russian Revolution, the leader was the “Tsar,” which is derived from the ancient title of Caesar (as is the German title “Kaiser”).

After the revolution, the Csar was dead and could no longer skim the financial cream from the economy. Theoretically, given that they were committed to the communist system, with its egalitarian focus, there should have been a more equitable distribution. After all, communism’s credo is “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!” – Karl Marx.

Instead, of sharing, certain Russians stepped in to claim the largest and tastiest pieces of the pie. Then World War II came, and Stalin, Russia’s ruler at the time, grabbed as much territory as he could and made some part of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic and others satellite states. Eventually, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and many nations gained their freedom.

Skipping ahead to today, Vladimir Putin, current ruler of Russia and Tsar wannabe, has initiated efforts to rebuild the Soviet Union, starting with the conquest of Ukraine. It looked like low-hanging fruit since unlike most its neighbors Ukraine did not belong to NATO. Its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not a professional politician—in fact he was a television comic actor.

Things are not exactly going to plan. Ukraine has not been a pushover—its professional military has been trained by NATO. Many/most other males—and many females—have taken up arms and been trained to be an effective extension of the regular military.

Russia’s military philosophy has been, don’t worry about being accurate or doing it right. Instead, it has been, “If you shoot enough artillery shells and rockets, you’re bound to hit something important!” In a way, this is true. Russia’s attack has decimated children’s schools, hospitals, and other places the entire rest of the world would never see as dangerous.

Russia loves flashy missiles, fighter aircraft, and other things that look great in the May day parade. Unfortunately, these are not the keys to winning.

A few quotes that sum things up better than I could:

“I don’t know what the hell this ‘logistics’ is that Marshall is always talking about, but I want some of it.” – Admiral E. J. King

“Amateurs discuss tactics. Professionals discuss logistics.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Russia does not have reliable trucks to transport the “B’s”—Beans, Bullets, Bandages, and Black Boxes. To add to the negative situation, conscripts who serve for a year don’t have time to learn how to conduct maintenance properly on the vehicles, and they’re too busy counting down days until they are released to give a shit.

Mr. Putin, I’m not a world leader, but I have experience with logistics. All I can say is that I hope that the hole you’re digging for yourself is deep enough.

George Washington’s Oft-Ignored Advice

With all the infighting, hate, discontent, and incivility in Washington, DC, I thought it might be useful to review what our first president advised regarding political parties. Bluntly put, he opposed them. 

Washington remained above the fray; he wanted to be a president of all the American citizens. The most important reason was he believed unity, not division, was necessary for a democratic republic to survive. Washington believed that political parties would divide and destroy the young United States. 

His thought, in what became known as the Farewell Address in 1796, is clear: “the spirit of party” serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. 

Throughout his political life, and until his death in 1799, George Washington was confident that the country could and should function without the existence of political parties. Maybe we should have heeded his advice. 

https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-first-president/political-parties/ 

Mold, Fungus, & Politics

Newsweek published an interesting article written by Hannah Osborne entitled “Fungi Appear to Talk in a Language Similar to Humans” (link below). This is along the same lines as last year’s news in Nature magazine that slime mold, which is a large yet single-celled organism, without a brain, can learn to navigate a maze (second link below).

Pretty amazing, don’t you think?

I wonder if they lie and scream at one another the way our elected officials do.

It would be sad (but not surprising) to find out that mold and fungus are more civilized than Congress.

https://www.newsweek.com/fungi-language-communication-talk-similar-humans-1695146

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature.2012.11811

Hail the Honored Dead

Russian KIA (killed in action) in Ukraine

Those of us who have served in the US Military know that we are committed to never leaving a fellow service member behind, whether alive or not. It’s a sign of respect among those who are committed to the safety of our nation.

The Russian soldiers who invaded Ukraine are not afforded such respect. Many of them were lied to—being told they were going on a training exercise. Instead, they found themselves in a war. Thousands of Russian solldiers have died.

It is reported that Russia has sent in portable crematoria to dispose of the bodies of Russian soldiers. This allows Putin’s propagandists to claim that individual soldiers are missing in action or captured, not killed.

Apparently, the number of Russian soldiers killed is exceeding the capacity of the crematoria. Putin must believe that Russian soldiers are like trash. If they can’t be burned, like litter, just let them lie where they fall.

Ukraine is talking about putting the bodies in refrigerated trucks and returning them to Russia. This would involve digging up the mass graves as well as collecting the bodies left above ground. I suspect that if they tried that, Putin would destroy the trucks to keep the Russian people from seeing the thousands who had been killed. Truth is not Putin’s friend.

More detail is available at https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/23/europe/ukraine-war-russian-soldiers-deaths-cmd-intl/index.html.