Global Warming II

About 10 years ago, I wrote my first post about global warming. If you like, you can scroll down to see it. The physics of global warming is quite simple. The atmosphere is composed mostly of two molecules. One is oxygen: O2. The other is nitrogen: N2. Both are short, fat cylinders. The entire spectrum of light passes right through both of them. Not so carbon dioxide. This molecule is shaped like a triangle. Although most light passes through it, CO2 absorbs infrared. To make matters worse, when light hits the earth, it heats up. At night, that heat is radiated upwards and CO2 absorbs some of this heat also.

This is what NASA said:

“Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (between 1850 and 1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere. Most of that is recent and the rate is growing.”

Global warming is doing damage to the earth, the killing of various life forms, much worse storms, heat waves, intense fires on the upper west coast and many other problems.

Finally, it is getting the attention it deserves. Joe Biden went to see the damage done by Hurricane Ida. USA Today quoted him saying: “We’re living through it now. We don’t have any more time,” Biden said of the effects of climate change. “Every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather. We can’t turn it back very much, but we can prevent it from getting worse.” President Biden called it a “Blinking code red.”

The Prime Minister of Great Britain Boris Johnson told the world at the UN: “If we keep on the current track the temperatures will go up by 2.7 degrees or more by the end of the century. And never mind what that will do to the ice floes. We will see desertification, drought, crop failure, and mass movements of humanity on a scale not seen before. Not because of some unforeseen natural event or disaster but because of what we are doing now.”

Right now, there is a far more serious global warming problem that is getting very little attention: the melting of the permafrost in the Arctic Circle. Embedded in the permafrost is an enormous amount of vegetation. As the permafrost melts, this material rots away and carbon dioxide is released. It is estimated that twice as much carbon is contained in the permafrost as is currently in the atmosphere. Worse, much worse, is that lot of this carbon, maybe half, is being released as methane.

 NASA stated that methane retains as much as 200 times as much heat as carbon dioxide. National Geographic states that, over a 20-year period, methane retains over 80 times the amount of heat as carbon dioxide. So, if the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere raised the temperature by 1.5 degrees centigrade and about as much methane is released, that will raise the earth’s temperature by 1.5 times 80 or 120 times the current rate of global warming. Even if the result is considerably less, the human race and most species will become extinct. This is a problem that must be dealt with Right Now. This is not a blinking code red. This is your neighbor kicking in your front door in the middle of the night and screaming “Buddy! You’ve got to get out! Your house is on fire!”

Ten years ago, I came up with a plan for dealing with the melting permafrost. For simplicity, let’s call it:

The Baxter Plan.

The place most effected by global warming is the Arctic Circle.

The Washington Post ran an article about it:

“The Arctic as we once knew it, an inhospitable, barely accessible and icebound place, is gone. Climate change has transformed it into a region that can heat up to 100 degrees, is beset by ferocious wildfires, and is covered in permafrost that is no longer permanent. The sea ice cover that has long defined the Far North is fast disappearing.”

The article reveals that the impact of global warming is triple in the Arctic Circle as in the rest of the world.

Something must be done to stop the permafrost from melting. To do this, the Baxter Plan suggests that we must eliminate the contrails over the Arctic Circle. There are a lot of them. This is what Arctic Today says about transpolar flights:

“Every week, hundreds of flights on U.S. airlines pass through Russian airspace. Only a handful of these flights actually start or end in Russia.” The article shows all the myriad flights from the US to other countries. It also points “For the Arctic, however, cross-polar flights bring black carbon and harmful emissions.”

Also, the contrails from these flights tend to be very dense. Because of the cold, the contrails tend to be large. Because the sun is never more than 28 degrees above the horizon, these contrails tend to reflect sunlight down. Also, because there are a number of currents that bring warm water into the Arctic, the contrails are reflecting that heat down. We must eliminate them. THIS is something that can be done RIGHT NOW. There is no real cost involved except that the cost of around the world flights like, say, Germany to the US, will go up. A slight additional cost would be for inserting measuring devices in the Arctic Circle to monitor the results. There is a United Nations Climate Change meeting (COP26) conference coming up shortly. It will be held in Glasgow, Scotland. If this topic was to come up, all the countries in attendance could agree to ban such flights. President Biden and John Kerry will be in attendance. I need your help. Please, there is a letter below. Copy it and send it to them.

Space Based Solar Power

There is only one long term way to end the use of fossil fuels. That’s space based solar power. The way it works is that solar power collectors are placed in geosynchronous orbits. They will turn sunlight into microwaves and beam it down to the earth. There is no gravity and no weather so the collectors can be made much more cheaply. Sun shines on this orbit 20 hours a day and there are no clouds. Enough energy shines on this orbit in four minutes to supply all of mankind’s needs for a year. Years ago, the Clinton administration was working on it. Had Al Gore been elected, we would have space based solar power. Instead, we got the war in the Middle East at the cost of $6.9 trillion dollars and the American people got no benefit at all.

The way these satellites will be launched is with linear synchronous accelerators. Most people have never heard of these but everybody knows about rotary synchronous accelerators. We call them electric motors. A linear synchronous accelerator is an electric motor laid out flat. The reason they should be used is because when a rocket is sitting on the launch pad about to lift a payload into orbit, 94% of the fuel is used to lift the fuel. With a linear synchronous accelerator, the energy is supplied from outside saving most of the fuel.

NASA is in the process of perfecting linear synchronous accelerators. Here are a two articles describing what they are doing:

Explain That Stuff

A paper published by Harvard University

Part II of the Baxter Plan

The second part of the Baxter Plan also involves contrails. On 9/11, shortly after the jets smashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the FAA was told to shut down all air travel over the US and Canada. There were no flights for three days. Global News covers it in great detail. One notable thing that happened was that the temperature in the US went up: “The effect during the three days those flights were grounded was strongest in populated regions where air traffic was normally densest. The increase in range came to about two degrees Celsius.” That’s from three days. Clearly, contrails in the temperate and tropical areas reduce temperature. Until we can do something more positive about eliminating global warming, like switching to space based solar power, we can stop global warming temporarily by increasing contrails early in the day in temperate and tropical areas.

This part of the Baxter Plan is far more complicated. It involves installing equipment to inject water into the exhaust of jet airplanes and, possibly, equipment to have water come out of the ailerons on the wing of the planes. This is what’s done to planes that do sky writing.

The complicated part would be figuring out how much to increase the contrails and to monitor the results. The FAA would constantly be contacting the planes and telling them to increase or decrease the size of the contrails. Also, contrails on night time flights increase global warming. Red Eye flights might have to be banned and, certainly, would not have increased contrails. Nevertheless, this also is doable and would definitely have an effect on global warming. It needs to be done Right Now.


Below is the letter that needs to be sent out. After the letter is a list of the people that the letter needs to be sent to. In most cases, there is both a mailing address and an email address. Mail tends to have a greater impact. The most important two people are President Biden and John Kerry but the other attendees at the COP26 are also important. Help me find people to send out letters.

Dear Mr. President:

Global warming is an extremely serious problem that threatens the very survival of the human race. The most serious aspect of the global warming problem is the melting of the permafrost in the Arctic Circle. Buried in the permafrost is several times more carbon than has been released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. It is in the form of vast quantities of rotting vegetation from millions of years ago. Worse, much of this carbon is being released in the form of methane which has many, many times the global warming power of carbon dioxide. The global warming in the Arctic Circle has been estimated as triple that of the rest of the earth. It appears that it will continue to melt even if the global warming in the rest of the world is contained.

Several years ago, a solution was proposed called the Baxter Plan. It is very inexpensive, can be implemented immediately and is likely to solve the problem. It involves contrails. First, the contrails in the Arctic Circle from transpolar flights is a major contributor to the problem. They need to be abolished. Second, contrails in the temperate and tropical areas actually reduce global warming and they need to be increased.

To learn more about this plan, go to (don’t forget the “e”.) All of the how and why are available there. Please, check it out. It’s important. It is particularly important that it be brought up at the COP26 meeting in Glascow.

Thank you.


                                                                                                Brian Baxter

People that this letter should be sent to:

John Kerry

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

1129 20th Street NW

Washington, DC 20036

Suite 600

John Kerry

US Department of State

2201 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20520

Joe Biden

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, D.C 20500.


Great Britton

Dame Barbara Woodward

3100 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest,

Washington, D.C.  20008

Dame Barbara


Robert Rae

466 Lexington Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA

French Embassy

4101 Reservoir Road, NW

Washington, D.C. – 20007

German Embassy

Emily Margarethe Haber

4645 Reservoir Rd NW

Washington, DC 20007

Spanish Embassy

Santiago Cabanas

2375 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20037

Portuguese Embassy

Domingos Fezas Vital

2012 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036

Italian Embassy

Armando Varrichicco

3000 Whitehaven Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Poland Embassy

Piotr Wilczek

2224 Wyoming Avenue N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20008

Czech Republic

Petr Gandalovič

3900 Spring of Freedom St NW

 Washington, DC 20008


Mikko Hautala

3301 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008


Anniken Krutnes

2720 34th Street NW
Washington, DC 20008


Karin Ulrika Olofsdotter

2900 K St NW

Washington, DC 20007


Lone Dencker Wisborg

3200 Whitehaven St NW

Washington, DC 20008


Martin Weiss

3524 International Court, NW
Washington, D.C., 20008



Daniel Mulhall

2234 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008


Oleh Bilorus

3350 M St NW

Washington, DC 20007


Shinsuke J. Sugiyama

2520 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008


Lee Soo-hyuck

2450 Massachusetts Ave NW

Washington, DC 20008


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Down Ballot Campaigns

The theme that the Trump Campaign is harping on is the economy has not fully recovered and they blame the trade deals and Obama. This is playing well with the Republican base in particular and white working men in general. What is not understandable is the Democratic response. The reason that nothing has been done to repair the situation is that we have had a “do nothing congress” for the last six years. They have passed fewer bills than any other congress in the past hundred years. In particular, they have not passed one single jobs bill nor one single infrastructure bill. They successfully fought against repealing the Bush tax cut that caused the problem and the Bush tax cut is gone only because it expired.

The main message between now and the election in “down ballot campaigns” has to be that we can’t have more of the same. We can’t have the super rich continue to pay little or no taxes and move their riches to off-shore accounts. We need to take that money from them by raising their taxes and closing tax loop holes. We need to invest it back into the economy through infrastructure and job bills. This is a message that will succeed. This is a policy that will succeed.

Now, the Republicans are harping on increase in premiums on insurance policies under the Affordable Care Act. For years, their approach is to “repeal and replace.” With what? What is the change needed? If they actually have an idea, why didn’t they put it into a bill, pass it on to Obama for his signature? If they are re-elected, it will be more of the same inaction that we have seen for the past six years. This is an easy message to get across.


I’m just one person. I can’t contact all of the Democratic offices. Please help. To make it easier, you can simply send this link: Down Ballot Campaigns.

Hurry. Time is of the essence. Let’s stop all of the talk about e-mails and make the conversation about something important.


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Bathroom Bill

Bathroom Bill

On March 23, 2016, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory signed into law The Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, the so-called “Bathroom Bill.” The bill describes itself thusly:


Click on Link to read the bill.
The meat of the bill is in the second section:

(1) Biological sex. – The physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate.

It then goes on to say:

(b) Single-Sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities. Public agencies shall require every multiple occupancy bathroom or facility to be for and only used by persons based on their biological sex.

The point being that a transgender individual can’t use a bathroom based on his or her current sex but only based on what gender is on his or her birth certificate.
Similar bills were introduced in Arizona, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin but failed to pass. In short, the purpose of the bill is to require that people use only that bathroom consistent with the sex indicated on their birth certificate.

In May the Christian Science Monitor discussed why such bills are important in certain circles:

Concern that allowing transgender women to use women’s restrooms will make it easier for male sexual predators to commit crimes in bathrooms and locker rooms has been frequently raised. At this time, it appears to be mostly hypothetical, at least in the United States.

The Charlotte Observer, among others, launched an investigation into such claims. It didn’t find a single confirmed case in the US:

We haven’t found any instances of criminals convicted of using transgender protections as cover in the United States. Neither have any left-wing groups or right-wing groups. There was one incident in Canada, involving a rapist. In the US, there have been a few yet-unproven allegations.

The New York Times put out an article this spring explaining the real reason behind the bills:

The Republicans are having a grand old time carrying on about Democrats (and now Donald Trump) who are bent — as Ted Cruz so cleverly framed it — on “putting little girls alone in a bathroom with adult men.” Mr. Cruz is now running a particularly creepy ad harping on this idea.

There is nothing in any anti-discrimination bill that would encourage the hordes of heterosexual perverts that so concern Mr. Beck and Mr. Cruz to storm women’s restrooms and assault innocent people. And there is nothing in the recent spate of “bathroom bills” that is going to prevent that from happening.

But that’s not really what the bills’ supporters want. Their real goal is to scare people, to divide Americans, and to make us believe that some of us are better and more righteous than others.

These statements from the New York Times are far more accurate than anything that is said by the right wing but it doesn’t go quite far enough. The reason the right wing is always harping on issues like this, issues like gay right and abortion and… on and on… is that it is through these issues that they are able to generate hate. Hate is really the only thing that the Republican leadership has to offer their base.

On May 9th,, a leading radio business news program from NPR, quoted Aaron Nelson, president and CEO of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce:

“It’s at hundreds of jobs,” he said, speaking of jobs lost due to the law, “and its economic impact in terms of millions of dollars in lost conference revenue, and we are nearing the hundreds of millions of dollars of lost community investment impact, and that’s just what we know.”

Marketplace also pointed out what the federal government is planning:

“The federal government is also threatening to pull funds from several sectors like education, transportation and housing. A recent report from UCLA’s Williams Institute estimated such cuts could cost the state more than $4.5 billion.”

This huge amount of lost revenue is just the first step in understanding the stupidity of the so-called bathroom bill. It will have a huge negative impact on the people of North Carolina but it is offset by the increase in hatred and bigotry of the right wing base.

Clearly, a central component of the bill is the concept of forcing women (albeit transgender women) to use the men’s bathroom. The idea is that it will be totally humiliating and embarrassing which, in the minds of the right wing, is exactly what they deserve. God made them men and that’s what they should be. If transgender women were, in fact, to start using men’s bathrooms, it would, indeed, be humiliating. It is unlikely that they will do so.

There’s another group of people, however, that gets very little attention but is just as impacted by the law: transgender men. They are required to use the women’s restroom because these men have an “F” on their birth certificate. These are people that look like men, act like men, and think like men. To see what some of them look like, click on the link: Transgender men. Forcing these men to use the women’s restroom is an entirely different kettle of fish. Men like looking at women in all their various states of undress and activities. In fact, voyeurism is very common among men. Here’s a statement from Wikipedia:

Voyeurism has high prevalence rates in most studied populations. Voyeurism was initially believed to only be present in a small portion of the population. This perception changed when Alfred Kinsey discovered that 30% of men prefer coitus with the lights on. This behavior is not considered voyeurism by today’s diagnostic standards, but there was little differentiation between normal and pathological behavior at the time. Subsequent research showed that 65% of men had engaged in peeping, which suggests that this behavior is widely spread throughout the population.

Voyeurism is much less prevalent among women. Here’s what Psychology Today had to say about it:

It’s no surprise that men are more voyeuristic than women. Voyeurs are called peeping Toms, not peeping Teresas. The audience for pornography is clearly men, and according to porn industry estimates, 80 percent of pornography is viewed by men solo. In the study, the single best predictor of voyeurism was frequent use of porn.

In short, transgender women are far less likely to go into a women’s bathroom for the purpose of “peeping” at the women inside than are men. Consequently, the law should have exactly the opposite effect than the stated intention. This point is rarely discussed.

One person who did raise this issue was US District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder. He is the judge who will be ruling on the so-called bathroom bill. BuzzFeed discusses his response:

US District Court Judge Thomas D. Schroeder also seemed flummoxed at one point by how the law could function in practical terms — it requires people to use single-sex restrooms associated with the sex on their birth certificate, thereby making transgender people enter facilities that conflict with their identity and appearance.
“We would have people dressed like males, who consider themselves male, walking into the ladies room,” he told a lawyer representing Gov. Pat McCrory.
“How on earth is that supposed to work?” he asked.

Now, let’s look at the numbers. An article in the New York Times discussed a number of attempts to estimate the total numbers of such people in the country:

Another paper, published in 2011 by the Williams Institute, used survey data to attempt to count the transgender population. It estimated that 0.3 percent of the population, or 700,000 adults, identified that way.

If the percentage is correct, the number of transgender in North Carolina would be total population (about 10 million) times 0.3% or 30,000. That would mean there are about 15,000 transgender men who are, under the bathroom bill, required to use the women’s bathrooms. I believe that this gives us a wedge to drive between the Republican politicians in North Carolina and the voters. These politicians are doing nothing for the people of North Carolina except feeding them a constant stream of hatred. While there is virtually no evidence that transgenders- of either sex- are following the dictates of the “Bathroom Bill,” perhaps we can give it a nudge. Let’s hang a poster outside of women’s bathrooms all over North Carolina. Make no mistake, the purpose of this notice isn’t to encourage men to use the women’s bathrooms. The purpose is to let women know what this horrible bill is all about in the most graphic way possible. Maybe this will help voters of North Carolina see the bigger picture and vote the Republicans out of office in November. Here it is:


Women:Under “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act”, transgender men are required to use the women’s restroom. These people look, act and talk like men but they have an “F” on their birth certificate under “gender.” So, if you see someone in the bathroom that you think is a man, don’t scream or call the police. They are required under the law to be there.

Men: Many of you have wanted to enter a woman’s restroom and watch the women in there going about their business. This is your opportunity. Go ahead. They are not going to check your birth certificate. The law may be shortly overturned so take advantage of your opportunity while it lasts.

Voters: Besides being an enormous embarrassment, the Bathroom Bill is going to cost the people of North Carolina billions of dollars. In addition, this bill is going to result in men in women’s bathrooms all over the state. Vote the Republican politicians out of office in November.


(For more information, go to

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Right Now


It’s been hot. Damn hot. It seems that every day the weather report tells me that the heat index is over a hundred degrees. I believe them. Bloomberg News ran a great article showing that the first four months of this year are record breaking:

“This has been the hottest start to a year by far, according to data released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The record heat is likely to continue as an already strong El Niño weather pattern in the Pacific Ocean continues to intensify, ripping more heat into the atmosphere.”

It’s a wonderful article because it shows an animated graph of temperature change going back to 1880. Watching the change over time eliminates any lingering doubt about global warming. Click on the link.

The trend continued through July. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported: “July 2015 was warmest month ever recorded for the globe.” And it wasn’t just atmospheric. They also reported: “Global oceans record warm for July; January-July 2015 also record warm.”

By the end of the year, The Washington Post wrote:

It’s official: 2015 ‘smashed’ 2014’s global temperature record. It wasn’t even close

Efforts to control global warming have also been in the news. Back in November, President Obama announced an agreement with China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On May 20, 2015, President Obama made a speech at the US Coast Guard Academy in which he said:

“Climate change will impact every country on the planet. No nation is immune,” the President told the 218 graduating cadets. “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and, make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act — and we need to act now.”

On August 03, 2015, President Obama made a speech in which he announced new regulations designed to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. See the entire article at Salon entitled “We only get one planet.”

It isn’t Just President Obama. Recently, Hillary Clinton also made a speech about controlling carbon dioxide levels through greater consumer reliance upon solar power. Here’s how The National Journal described her July 14, 2015 speech:

“Clinton’s plan calls for more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of her first term, and having the U.S. generate enough renewable energy to power every home within a decade of the start of a Clinton presidency. Achieving the goals would mean expanding the amount of installed solar-energy generating capacity by 700 percent from current levels by the end of 2020, and adding more green-power generation capacity to the electric grid than any other decade in U.S. history, according to a summary of the plan.”

Both President Obama’s approach and Hillary Clinton’s plan seem to be based on the idea that as more carbon dioxide is pumped into the air from the burning of fossil fuels, the warmer it gets. It leaves out a critical factor. The increase in global temperatures that we are seeing now doesn’t reflect the total effect that the carbon dioxide level will eventually have. It takes time.

The National Academy of Sciences Division on Earth and Life Studies describes the process:

“Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe.”

“Because of time-lags inherent in the Earth’s climate, the observed climate changes as greenhouse gas emissions increase reflect only about half of the eventual total warming that would occur for stabilization at the same concentrations.”

In short, the temperature changes we are seeing now aren’t from the current levels of carbon dioxide. It’s like wrapping yourself in a blanket when you are cold. It takes time for the blanket to warm you up. The temperature today is warmer because of the carbon dioxide that was in the atmosphere twenty years ago. Since that time, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has more than doubled. The increases in temperature over the next twenty years will be faster and much worse even if no more carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Of course, we will continue to dump large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Clearly, a stronger response is needed and this point will become increasingly apparent in a few more years.

The burning of fossil fuels is a problem that truly needs to be addressed. But there is another problem that needs to be addressed Right Now. Currently, the permafrost in the Arctic Circle is melting. The impact of this melting is huge. Here is how I described it in a previous blog:

Athropolis indicates that the size of the world’s permafrost is 9 million square miles. This is really huge. Wikipedia indicates that the area of the contiguous United States is under 3 million square mile, it indicates that China is slightly larger at 3.6 million square miles and it indicates that India is 1.2 million square miles. So the permafrost covers an area larger that the USA, China and India combined.”

The amount of carbon, in the form of tree roots and branches, frozen in the permafrost is estimated to be four times the amount of carbon that has been burned by people. Because the permafrost is melting, it is currently rotting away and leaking carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Worse, since it is underground and the bacteria consuming it have limited oxygen, much of it is being converted into methane. Methane is often cited as having 20 times the ability of carbon dioxide to retain heat in the atmosphere. The reason for that number is that methane is converted to carbon dioxide by ultraviolet light. The “20 times” figure is the power of methane to retain heat over a hundred year period and much of that time is when it has been converted into carbon dioxide. When it is first released into the atmosphere, (meaning now) it has 70 times the power of carbon dioxide. Further, there are also huge quantities of frozen methane at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. How much methane is going to be released is not known. Here are a few articles about the problem:

NatureA sleeping giant? As the planet warms, vast stores of methane — a potent greenhouse gas — could be released from frozen deposits on land and under the ocean. Amanda Leigh Mascarelli reports on the race to understand a ticking time bomb.

New York TimesAs Permafrost Thaws, Scientists Study the Risks FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A bubble rose through a hole in the surface of a frozen lake. It popped, followed by another, and another, as if a pot were somehow boiling in the icy depths. Every bursting bubble sent up a puff of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas generated beneath the lake from the decay of plant debris. These plants last saw the light of day 30,000 years ago and have been locked in a deep freeze — until now.

The GuardianSeven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb

Weather UndergroundPermafrost in a Warming World

Think ProgressWhy This New Study on Arctic Permafrost Is So Scary

PRIThawing permafrost could have catastrophic consequences, scientists warn

Weather Underground: Permafrost In a Warming World

PHYS.ORG Is a sleeping climate giant stirring in the Arctic?

CNN: The climate is ruined. So can civilization even survive?

International Cryosphere Climate Imitative: The earth’s cryosphere – regions of snow and ice – is approaching thresholds that may tip the balance between successfully addressing climate change; or slipping into a cascade of catastrophic and near-irreversible global impacts that begin with the cryosphere.

Another indicator of exactly how bad the situation is getting is what happened on this Christmas. It was described in many media outlets. Here is how
The Washington Post described it:
“Freak storm pushes North Pole 50 degrees above normal
to melting point”

For a few days, at least, the permafrost may have been melting in the middle of the Arctic winter, when the temperature was fifty degrees above average.

Let’s sum up. Over the next twenty years, the earth will be warming from the point that we are now, a higher temperature than twenty years ago. The global warming we experienced in the past decade was from half the amount of carbon dioxide that is currently in the atmosphere. Over the next twenty years, the increase will be double and the amount of carbon dioxide will double again. That will bring us to 2035.

Over the next twenty years, we will also have the carbon dioxide released in the Arctic Circle. It is estimated that the amount buried there is four times greater than the amount that is currently in the atmosphere. No one knows how much will be released as carbon dioxide and how much will be released as methane. Let’s be conservative and say ¼ of the carbon will be in the form of methane and ¾ will be in the form of carbon dioxide. That amount of carbon dioxide is three times the current amount in the atmosphere. Let’s add it up. Call our current level one. Adding the carbon dioxide that will be added by burning fossil fuels over the next decade will make it two. Adding the carbon dioxide from the Arctic Circle makes it 5 times the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The methane will have seventy times the global warming power as carbon dioxide. That brings us to the conclusion that the decade from 2035 to 2055 will have seventy five times the warming influence than what was experienced in the past twenty years. This will not only wipe out the human race but destroy 95% of all the species on earth.

Further, this warming power will begin to effect us very soon, well before 2035. I am simply calculating the result from all of it being released and all of it reaching its maximum heat retaining power.

Clearly, something must be done right now. It can’t wait. Incredibly, there is something that can be done, something that, in the arena of global warming is incredibly cheap, non-controversial and will begin to take effect immediately. Equally incredible, I am the only one talking about actually doing it.

The closest idea in the literature comes from David Keith. It is described in Technology Review:

“A Cheap and Easy Plan to Stop Global Warming”

Here is the plan. Customize several Gulfstream business jets with military engines and with equipment to produce and disperse fine droplets of sulfuric acid… The author of this so-called geoengineering scheme, David Keith, doesn’t want to implement it anytime soon, if ever. Much more research is needed to determine whether injecting sulfur into the stratosphere would have dangerous consequences such as disrupting precipitation patterns or further eating away the ozone layer that protects us from damaging ultraviolet radiation. Even thornier, in some ways, are the ethical and governance issues that surround geoengineering—questions about who should be allowed to do what and when. Still, Keith, a professor of applied physics at Harvard University and a leading expert on energy technology, has done enough analysis to suspect it could be a cheap and easy way to head off some of the worst effects of climate change.

This idea comes from recent investigations into the effect of recent volcanic eruptions. An article in Nature World News describes what happened:

         “Sulfur Dioxide from Volcanoes Keeping the Earth Cool” Volcanoes releasing sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere are the reason behind the temperature not rising as high as expected between years 2000 and 2010, according to a new study. Ryan Neely, lead author of the study, said that sulfur dioxide emissions rise up to some 12 to 20 miles into the stratospheric aerosol layer of the atmosphere. Here, the gas reacts with other compounds in the aerosol and forms sulfuric acid and water, which later fall back to earth. These water particles reflect sunlight and cool the earth. These aerosols have compensated for nearly 25 percent of greenhouse emissions, Neely said. “This new study indicates it is emissions from small to moderate volcanoes that have been slowing the warming of the planet,” said Neely, who is a researcher at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences…”

Nevertheless, even David Keith doesn’t think it’s practical and neither do I: inject huge amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere? Go back to acid rain in a really big way?

The experiment that proved the efficacy of the method I am suggesting was carried out (in reverse) on 9/11. On that day, all airline flights in the US were canceled. Weather experts, at that time, determined that the temperature in the US increased by ½ a degree. The reason for the increase was that there were no contrails produced by airlines. The contrails reflect heat back into space. Upon further consideration, those looking at the problem realized that the contrails, at night, reflect heat down, thus increasing the temperature of the earth. They wondered whether the net effect warmed or cooled the earth. Further study revealed that the net effect was to increase the heat retention of the atmosphere. See Science Daily “Jet contrails affect surface temperatures.” For more detail, see the paper “Contrails, Cirrus Trends, and Climate” by Patrick Minnis. Also, Christian Science Monitor: Airplane contrails and their effect on temperatures.

Later on, further analysis determined that there were other factors that affected the reduction of the temperature on 9/11:

BBC: “Elsewhere, a team at Leeds University, working with the Met Office Hadley Centre, ran contrails through its climate models and found that you’d need about 200 times the quantity of flights over America to produce a significant effect on DTR.”

Or, more simply, 200 times the density of contrails. It shouldn’t be hard to engineer. Not if the survival of the human race hangs in the balance.

The method by which contrails are formed is fairly complex, but there are two main methods, condensation from engine exhaust and condensation from decrease in pressure at the tips of the wings. See Wikipedia “Contrails.” Both of these methods are known to be effected in a variety of ways but no one seems interested in increasing them. Likely methods would include injecting water out of wing tips and engines. They can also be controlled by altitude adjustments. Perhaps contrails can be reduced at night by ejecting dry air out of the wing tips. A simple technique can change the contrails dramatically. This method is sky writing with smoke. The typical smoke generator consists of a pressurized container holding a low viscosity oil, such as Chevron/Texaco “Canopus 13”, formerly “Corvus Oil”. The oil is injected into the hot exhaust manifold, causing it to vaporize into a huge volume of dense, white smoke. This could be used to increase the size of contrails during the day. True, it would cause pollution but the pollution is nothing like the problem of runaway global warming.

Turning this problem over to aerospace engineers will quickly result in a variety of techniques being suggested. The problem will be monitoring the effects on climate and weather and adjusting accordingly.

Back in 2006, a woman named Linda Dischler, suggested spraying silver nitrate from planes to create contrails. Nothing came from the idea. Similarly, cloud seeding has been discussed but, again, nothing has come from the idea.

What needs to be done is to increase the size of contrails during the day and decrease them at night in the most environmentally sensitive manner possible. The effects on world wide temperatures need to be monitored carefully and the process adjusted accordingly.

What should not be a problem will be reducing the temperature, particularly over the Arctic Circle. All contrails over the Arctic Circle must be eliminated. Here’s a recent article  showing why in Voice of America:

                  “Study: Night Clouds Promote Greenland Ice Melt”

The article describes how clouds and, by implication, contrails, hold in heat. Clicking on the link shows why contrails won’t reflect light from the sun back into space at the North Pole. The sun never gets above 23.5 degrees above the horizon. It would be impossible t arrange the flights of thousands of airline flights over the North Pole in such a way that the sun’s light wouldn’t go under the contrails rather than shine down on them. Consequently, the most urgent problem is to eliminate contrails on the flights over the North Pole.

Modifying contrails fall into the category of altering the earth’s albedo. A recent book, written by a number of well respected environmental organizations is called:

        CLIMATE INTERVENTION: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth

Examines a variety of methods of changing how much sunlight reaches the earth’s surface vs. how much is reflected (albedo.) They conclude:

           ” Recommendation 3: Albedo modification at scales sufficient to                         alter climate should not be deployed at this time.

Albedo modification strategies for offsetting climate impacts of high
CO2 concentrations carry risks that are poorly identified in their nature
and unquantified.”

In the case of contrails, this perspective is moot. We are already doing albedo modifications sufficient to alter climate when it comes to contrails. Unfortunately, the current approach is increasing the temperature of the earth in general and helping to melt the permafrost in particular. This needs to stop. The current way contrails are spread needs to be changed.

This needs to be done RIGHT NOW. Whether or not there has been any previous discussion of the idea is not the point. What is the point is that stopping the melting of the permafrost need to be center stage.

This is where you come in. We need to get this idea out. I will be contacting everyone I know. I need you to do the same. I need you to contact one hundred people and get them to agree to contact one hundred people. Contact them through Facebook or Twiter. Call friends. Send out e-mails. Send notes to everyone on your Christmas card list. Do something. Yes, what I am suggesting is a pain in the ass but this is important. It involves the survival of life on the planet. So what if it takes a couple of hours and costs twenty bucks. Aren’t the lives of your great great grandchildren worth the investment?

Here’s the point. You may have seen the demonstration that Greenpeace put on in Seattle to protest Shell Oil’s plans to drill for oil in the arctic. It was a huge enterprise, involving people hanging off of a bridge to stop the ship. Read about it on NPR’s site. Whatever your opinion of the enterprise, (Personally? I’m against Shell Oil’s plan and agree with Greenpeace) it doesn’t compare with the extinction of 95% of all species on earth including the human race. If that was what they did to protect one small area of the Arctic Circle, what needs to be done to protect the entire earth? This is number one and people need to know it. Send a letter to a newspaper. Call in on a talk show. Tell them to go to Right Now on my blog.

Contact President Obama. He has expressed an interest in climate change .Click on the link and give him a link to this blog page.

Contact Hilary Clinton. She is also interested in doing something about climate change. Click on the link and give her a link to this blog page.

Contact your Senator or Congressman. Click on this link and click on you Senator or Congressman. Then give him a message and/or a link to this page. If he’s a Republican, you might want to contact someone else. Maybe an email isn’t enough. Maybe you want to send letters.

Try contacting environmental organizations. They all have Live Mail links but a letter will have a greater impact.  is an organization dedicated to controlling global warming. The “350” is what they believe is the highest level of CO2 (in parts per million) that should be allowed in the atmosphere and I agree. Currently, the level is over 400 ppm. Let them know that this is the single most important issue.

20 Jay St.                                                                                                                                           Suite 732                                                                                                                                    Brooklyn, NY 11201

World Nature Organization is dedicated to the protection of the environment at international level. Its main focus is on energy efficiency, climate protection, sustainable development and a sustainable energy supply. They are located in Switzerland.

ACEEE promotes energy efficiency policies, programs, technologies, investments, and behaviors.                                                                                                                                                  American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy                                                                      529 14th Street N.W.                                                                                                                      Suite 600                                                                                                                             Washington, D.C. 20045-1000


Green Peace  describes themselves as the leading independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and to promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. Unfortunately, you’ll have to send them a letter:

Greenpeace                                                                                                                                          702 H Street, NW                                                                                                                            Suite 300                                                                                                                                     Washington, D.C. 20001

Earth First seeks to protect the environment through radical means.

Earth First!                                                                                                                                       Journal Office                                                                                                                                          PO Box 964                                                                                                                                        Lake Worth, FL 33460

Friends of the Earth– defends the environment and champions a healthy and just world.

Friends of the Earth                                                                                                                       1101 15th Street NW                                                                                                                          11th Floor                                                                                                                                Washington, DC 20005

Bill Moyer & Company                                                                                                                                           Public Broadcasting Service                                                                                                              2100 Crystal Drive                                                                                                                          Arlington, VA 22202

The Climate Reality Project The CEO is Ken Berlin and the Founder is Al Gore

The Climate Reality Project                                                                                                      901 E St NW                                                                                                                                 Washington, DC 20004

Our Children’s Trust– This organization believes (as do I) that we have the solemn responsibility to leave to our children a world that is inhabitable. They just recently won a lawsuit to that effect and you can read about it at their website.

Our Children’s Trust                                                                                                                   P.O. Box 5181                                                                                                                                  Eugene, OR 97405


Remember, this is the single most important issue facing the human race. If it isn’t solved, we will be looking up through an atmosphere with something like 70 times the greenhouse effect as the current atmosphere. It’s a problem with a readily available solution which no group opposes. Please, if you are willing to spend just a few minutes, maybe an hour of your time, this problem can be solved. What other enormous problem are you working on that can be solved in an hour?

Postscript: It appears as though this issue will not be raised at the Paris conference on global warming. This means that the only way it will receive national attention is if you notify your friends, relatives and the people on the above list through letters and e-mails. It’s up to you.

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This week, I was prompted to write this blog because two cases were presented to the Supreme Court on abortion issues. This is the worst of all the Republican Big Lies: abortion is murder. It isn’t a difference of opinion, it’s a lie. Although they have absolutely convinced their base, the people behind promoting this Big Lie don’t believe it themselves. I’ll show you how I know this.

Although the Republican Party leaders descry the murder of fertilized eggs that are implanted in a womb, they ignore the fertilized eggs that are not implanted and are naturally flushed from the body. On average, it takes four instances of unprotected sex before a woman becomes impregnated. The other three times, the fertilized eggs fail to implant in the uterus and are flushed from her body. Why not save these twelve million potential babies as well? Why is that not an issue?

Let’s look closer. The right wing efforts to prevent abortion are relentless and ineffective. Case after case is appealed up through the courts in an effort to overturn Roe v Wade. These cases go nowhere, yet they continue. In 2013, the House of Representatives passed over 40 bills to ban abortion. This is a House that is almost paralyzed and getting almost nothing done. They have been the least productive legislature in the history of the country. Yet they have passed 40 bills outlawing abortion. That, they say, is because they believe that there are 1 million babies a year being killed. Not one of those bills had a snowball’s chance in hell of passing the Senate, let alone avoid being vetoed by the President. And, even if it had gone through and been signed by the President, it still could have been overturned by the Supreme Court. Why do they do this? So that the legislators can tell their constituents that they are fighting to stop the annual murder of the million potential babies that are aborted every year. They tell their base that these million potential babies are real babies and it is murder. And their base becomes inflamed. Not just by them but by the whole right wing propaganda machine- FoxNews, the right wing radio talk show hosts, the evangelicals, and all the other right wing speakers.

That’s what they say. If they actually believed it, then I have a question. There are twelve million potential babies that fail to implant. What are the Republican legislators doing to protect the twelve million fertilized eggs that fail to implant? Nothing. It is twelve times the problem and receives none of the attention. How can anyone seriously believe the Republican Legislators when they say that the million abortions every year is killing real babies when they do nothing at all for the twelve million? There is another huge difference. Should the House of Representatives pass a piece of legislation designed to help the twelve million fertilized eggs that die every year, it would have an excellent chance to pass the Senate, be signed by the president and it wouldn’t be overturned by the Supreme Court. These are the twelve million fertilized eggs that fail to implant when couples are having unprotected sex in order to have a baby. The house of Representatives could help these twelve million. For instance, they could pass a bill to fund research into why these fertilized eggs fail to implant. Scientists might find out a way to help the fertilized eggs implant. If they did, the anxious mothers and fathers, wanting to have a baby would certainly use it. It would be a win-win all the way around. No one would object.

This is precisely why the legislature doesn’t pass such legislation. The whole point of the abortion issue isn’t to “save babies” as the right wing repeats endlessly. The purpose of the relentless right wing attacks on abortion is entirely different. The purpose is to fill the hearts of their followers with anger and hatred. People consumed by anger and hatred don’t think clearly. People consumed by anger and hatred are easy to manipulate. These people, consumed by anger and hatred, vote for Republicans. It is pretty straight forward. Mitt Romney was recorded telling a group of money men who were donating money for his campaign that he had absolutely no interest in doing anything, at all, for the bottom 47% of the country. And yet, the Republicans in that category voted for him anyway. Clearly, they were convinced to vote against their own interests. Hatred is the technique that the Republican Party relies on to convince people.

At the state level, various laws against abortion have been promoted. States, though, are in an altogether different position than the federal government. Many states have a legislature controlled by Republicans as well as a Republican Governor. These states have passed a whole host of laws regarding abortion. In 41 states, legislation has been passed which actually bans most abortions, laws which will ultimately be overturned by the Supreme Court. 19 states have laws that ban partial birth abortions. 46 states have laws that allow healthcare providers to refuse to do abortions. 26 states require a waiting time before a woman can get an abortion. Texas and Virginia passed laws which require that a woman watch a vaginal ultra sound picture of the fetus before the abortion is performed. Several states have required such specific requirements for facilities giving abortions that all of the intuitions that currently do abortions will have to stop. All of these laws were passed to help the 1 million fetuses that are aborted. It’s not clear that any of these laws will keep even a single abortion from being performed. How many of these states have passed legislation to help the 12 million fertilized eggs that fail to implant each year? The answer is none. If these state legislatures actually believed that millions of babies were dying every year, they would have tried to do something. The might even have prevented millions of fertilized eggs from dying. So, although they say that a fertilized egg is a baby, they don’t believe it.

It’s even worse than that. Many of the states that have passed the most restrictive laws have infant mortality rates higher than those of third world countries. Mississippi has an infant mortality rate of 9.67, followed by Alabama at 8.71, then Tennessee at 7.93. Compare those numbers to Bosnia at 9.1 (recently war torn) Kuwait at 8.9 and Costa Rica at 8.7. Why are these states not reaching the low rates of other industrial countries like Germany at 3.9, France at 3.3 or Sweden at 2.3? The care for babies in these states is inconsistent with their interest in stopping abortions. If they actually cared, they would do something to help all the real babies that were dying in their states. In fact, they did the exact opposite. The Affordable Care Act allocated Medicare funds to them to help those too poor to get prenatal care. The states with the worst problems turned down the funds. This is proof that they care nothing about saving the lives of babies. In fact, the opposite is true. Had they done nothing, they would have received the funds. They had to take action to prevent the funds from coming. Their statement about wanting to save the lives of babies is a Big Lie.

When I say that the leaders of the right wing are lying about abortion being murder, I am not including the Tea Party officials that have been elected. The Koch brothers have unleashed a horror on the country. Through Freedom Works and other organizations, the Koch brothers have created a sub party of people who believe that abortion is murder and know nothing about the other twelve million potential babies. It’s too complicated an idea for most of them to understand.

Now I come to the final proof of the fact that the leaders of the Republican Party don’t actually believe that abortion is murder. Today’s Supreme Court is populated by 5 right wing conservatives. They’ve had the opportunity to overturn Roe v Wade. Yet they didn’t. If they actually believed that a million babies a year were being murdered, they’d do something. Wouldn’t you? Suppose you believed that a million babies were being murdered every year, wouldn’t you at least try to help them? Could you possibly sit there and say that a woman’s right to privacy was more important than the life of a baby? So, like the legislators, the right wingers on the Supreme Court do nothing to save the lives of fertilized eggs which they claim are babies.

And one last thing the Supreme Court shows us. They refused to hear the Arizona case where a lower court found the ban on ‘partial birth’ abortions unconstitutional. That was their chance. They had the votes and they didn’t agree to hear the case. So much for the idea that they believe that a million babies a year are being murdered. On the other hand, they did agree to hear the Massachusetts case appealing a ruling requiring abortion protestors to remain thirty-five feet away from people entering clinics providing abortions. Why? It’s too early to say which way they will rule, but I’m betting they will overturn the law. The law was enacted because protestors would go to Planned Parenthood facilities and try to prevent them from getting inside, screaming at them, and physically harassing them with everything from spitting on them up to and including killing them. These protestor clearly believe that abortion is murder. What they don’t know is that less than three percent of the women entering Planned Parenthood are going for abortions.

Why would the Supreme Court overturn the Massachusetts law? Talk about generating hate. Just let protestors surround those going into a Planned Parenthood facility, people convinced that all of them are going to get abortions. Let them scream, throw things, kill some of them. Could there be a better way to generate hate? That’s what this is all about.

Now let’s take a look at what would happen if the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Let’s say that the Supreme Court decides that a fertilized egg is a human being and orders equal protection for them under the law. Alternatively, imagine that the right wing succeeds in getting an amendment to the constitution granting fertilized eggs personhood, like the amendment voted on in Mississippi. This is the position the right wing takes over and over. It would make all birth control pills and IUD’s totally illegal. The use of those measures prevents fertilized eggs from implanting thus killing them. In fact, if the fertilized egg is granted personhood, the use of such a device would be considered murder. There would be a rash of cases going to court in which some young women found using birth control pills would be dragged into court, charged with murder, found guilty, sentenced to death and executed. Imagine how the general public (excepting right wing nut jobs) would feel. Imagine how you would feel. Look at it this way. Perhaps, at some time, you or your wife used birth control pills. If it was your wife, then the two of you were in cahoots. Let’s say the two of you were involved in using birth control pills for ten years, having sex once a week. That’s fifty fertilized eggs that failed to implant a year or five hundred over the ten year period. Of course, three quarters of them wouldn’t have implanted anyway but that still leaves 125 that didn’t implant because of the birth control measure that you used. Now, do you really feel that you murdered 125 babies? That’s the argument that is being fed to the right wing base. Think about it. Do you really want that point of view to win out? Do you really want to live with the guilt? Finally, think about this: there’s no statute of limitations on murder and ignorance of the law is no excuse. Think about it again.

This is why the leadership of the right wing base doesn’t want Roe v. Wade overturned. This is how you know that the leadership doesn’t believe the crap about a fertilized egg being a human being. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case appealing a lower court ruling that found the Arizona ban on ‘partial birth’ abortions unconstitutional. ‘Partial birth abortion’ is a term used by the right wing to describe abortions after the twentieth week. It is the abortion that absolutely infuriates the right wing and the court won’t even take the case. If they did but didn’t overturn the lower court ruling, the cat would be out of the bag. The base would know that the leadership doesn’t believe that abortion is murder. Refusing to accept the case gives them some plausible deniability.

The right wing leadership has a good thing going with this particular Big Lie but there’s a problem. As I said, the Koch brothers unleashed a monster with the Tea Party. Most of the leaders of the Tea Party have no ability to understand complex issues. The Tea Party leaders are out firing up their base and more and more people are starting to believe that abortion is murder. More and more people are starting to believe that a fertilized egg is a human being with all the rights of a human being. If the percentage gets high enough, then the Tea Party will succeed in getting the personhood amendments through, by hook or by crook. You don’t want to live in that world. It’s pretty easy to stop them. Send a link to this blog to the people that you know. A percentage of Republicans will see the point. More importantly, Democrats will be more motivated to stop these people. Too many people just don’t vote. They need to understand where all this is heading. Send them a link and ask them to send it to the people that they know. I’ll keep you posted on the abortion issue.

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The Beginning of The War on Christmas

Rant3The so-called ‘war on Christmas’ is a really big deal amongst the right wing. Google “War on Christmas” and get 570 MILLION hits. That’s 570 million pages of discussion about the so-called ‘war on Christmas.’ Google just “the war on Christmas books” and get 1,200,000 hits. That’s pages of discussion about the books on the topic. I have researched this war and discovered the source. For the first time, you can find out exactly who started the war and when. But first, let’s take a closer look at the topic.

Sara Palin describes her book:

“The book is about protecting the heart of Christmas – it’s good tidings and great joy. It’s a fun, festive book – but it also offers some legalese on how to fight back and not allow the heart of Christmas to be taken out of America.”

That’s the concept in a nutshell. The evil liberals are trying to take the heart of Christmas out of America. This is what the right wing keeps saying over and over and over again. In truth, the war on Christmas isn’t the whole story. It’s just a piece of a larger battle. Media Matters, several years ago, looked into Bill O’Reilly’s book:

“About this time last year, the media was abuzz with talk of a purported war” on Christmas, a charge promoted by Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, who blamed the supposed offensive on “secular progressives” who seek to drive religion from the public square. This October, O’Reilly resumed his fight against the “war” — the same month the book The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (Sentinel, 2005), written by O’Reilly’s fellow Fox News host John Gibson, was published. The allegation of a secular conspiracy against the Christian holiday became a recurring theme on Fox News programs; for example, over the course of a five-day period at the end of November through early December, the network had devoted 58 segments to the topic.”

They identified the point perfectly: “secular progressives who seek to drive religion from the public square.” The so-called ‘war on Christmas’ is just the last gasp, back to the wall effort of the right wing to keep prayer in the public square. This is what it’s all about. The right wing has been fighting the battle to keep prayer in the public square and losing. Over and over, the Supreme Court has been siding with the ‘secular progressives.’ There was the judge who wanted the Ten Commandments in the lobby. The right wing lost that one. Then, there’s the whole issue of school prayer.

There were two cases that went to the Supreme Court in the early sixties, Engel v. Vitale and the Abington School District v. Schempp, both of which were about the legality of forcing students to recite or listen to prayers in school. In both case, the court said no. But the right wing refuses to let it go. The current approach is that they are promoting a constitutional amendment. In fact, the constitutional amendment came up for a vote in the House of Representatives back in 1998 and the vote was 224 to 203 in favor of a constitutional amendment to allow schools to require prayer in school but to be accepted as a constitutional amendment required 285 votes.

Then, there is public prayer in town meetings. Here’s Mike Gallagher talking about the latest case to go before the Supreme Court on Facebook:

“Alliance Defending Freedom will go before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow to defend and preserve public prayer in America. Show your support by signing the Statement of Support for Public Prayer, and help us get to 100,000 signatures.”

This is what the organization says about their case- Alliance for Defending Freedom: “Attempts to Dismantle Public Prayer Unravel the Fabric of our Society.” Public prayer is that important.  Without it, our society is doomed. And, they won their case.

This is the battle. It’s been going on for fifty years. The right wing has been promoting the right to public prayer. They win some battles and loose others. Where did it all start? Here is the very first quote coming out against public prayer:

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the Republicans are: for they love to pray standing in the schools, town meetings and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

There it is, an abundantly clear admonition against public prayer. I doubt that many of you are familiar with this particular quote, so let me skip ahead and give you another portion of the same passage, what to say when praying in private, a quote which I feel that all of you will recognize immediately:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

The battle began with the words that came from the lips of Jesus Christ in the preamble to the Lord’s Prayer. (I substituted the word ‘Republican’ for hypocrite, just to be clear.) It isn’t the secular progressives who first argued that people should pray in private, it was Jesus Christ.

The leadership of the Republican right does this over and over. They convince their base to do the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ. Make no mistake, in every religion, people slip up, they fail to carry out some particular prohibition. This is different. This is the leadership of the religious right deliberately convincing their base to do the exact opposite of the teachings of Christ. Their base simply accepts whatever they are told. They don’t think for themselves, they just repeat the slogans they are given, even if what they are told is the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ has told them. The base doesn’t think but the leadership knows exactly what they are doing. They fill the minds of the base with lies to generate fear, hatred and anger. When they succeed, it makes the base exceedingly easy to manipulate. They do it to make it easy to strip money from the 95% and give it to their rich friends to put in offshore accounts.

Much of the right wing believes that the end of times is either here or, at least, very near. Here are a few websites out of the 390 million Google hits discussing the end of times:

Rapture Ready: The end of times are screaming at us.

Discover Revelations: More signs of Christ’s return exist today than at any time in history.

NowTheEndBegins: While we cannot name the exact date of the Lord’s Return its nearness may be known by the character of the Times.

Contender Ministries: “It is increasingly obvious that the time of our Lord’s coming is drawing near.”

The discussion is really endless. Personally, I don’t believe that there will be an antichrist, at least not any time soon. I’ve read Revelations and I have a real problem with the concept. One of the problems that I’ve had is believing that people would follow the antichrist. Now, I see the Christian right following people preaching the exact opposite of what Christ said. It isn’t simply about public prayer, far from it. It seems that the leadership of the Christian right preach the exact opposite of most, if not all of the things taught by Jesus Christ. They are truly evil people and the right wing follows them blindly. One might even think that the leadership of the Christian right, the neocon movement is the antichrist. This doesn’t seem plausible either. They seem to be exclusively interested in striping money and power out of the hands of the rest of us.

Perhaps you are not convinced. Perhaps showing you that the Christian right is thoroughly opposed to one of the things that was given by Jesus Christ doesn’t prove that they are opposed to  most of the things that were preached by Jesus Christ is not enough. I’ll be back with more. In the meantime, it appears that the right wing of the Republican Party in general and the Tea Party in particular would fall right in behind the Antichrist should he appear.

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Canceled Insurance Policies: Fake Scandals Part One

Rant2This won’t be a long piece nor is it complicated. It’s about the latest right wing talking point and how the Democrats ought to be responding. In case you’ve been in a coal mine for the last month, the media is saying: ‘President Obama lied when he said people that liked their health care plans could keep their health care plans.’ Depending on what news channel you turn to or what day you tune-in, the phrasing might be slightly different. Of course, what the president referred to was that nothing in the Affordable Health Care Act required people to change their health care plans. But that is not the right wing’s interpretation. They are saying he had given the country an absolute guarantee and he was lying.

A piece on Fox News was a recording of President Clinton saying “I never had sex with that woman,” and then the commentator claimed that President Obama’s comments were the same thing: a deliberate lie to deceive the American people. I saw Reince Priebus saying this issue was going to be the main focus of the Republican Party’s 2014 campaign. Reince also thought this issue was the reason  Governor Cuccinelli was able to close the gap between himself and his opponent Terry McAuliffe. Reince was confident this issue would give the Republican Party the victory in 2014.

I have the answer. We need to destroy this particular meme.  And it’s not too late. Here’s the strategy. First, the Democrats in the Senate need to take the lead. They should have the staff in their home districts begin to identify people who had hoped to keep their existing policies but whose insurance companies were cancelling the policies.

Next, they should sort those people by the companies cancelling the policies. Then, begin hearings bringing those insured’s before the Senate, starting with the company that has the largest number of people whose policies were canceled. My cursory inspection suggests it might be Aetna Insurance but wait to see where the most witnesses are. Let the insured complain loudly about how they were counting on keeping their policies but the policies were canceled. Sound very sympathetic. Let it go on for a few days. Next, subpoena the CEO’s of those companies and attack them brutally, much like the Republicans attacked Katherine Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. One question they should definitely ask, over and over, is “What section of the Affordable Care Act required you to cancel these poor people’s insurance health plan?”

At the end, every Democratic Senator should stand up and make a speech explaining how they found the loophole in the Affordable Care Act, a loophole that needs to be closed. After they are finished, they should call for a vote on a bill to close that loophole. The bill should be fairly complicated and the Republicans shouldn’t be given a whole lot of time to read it. The number of the bill should relate to the Affordable Health Care Act. Democrats should always refer to it as an amendment to the AHCA. What the bill will say, in essence, is that any insurance company cancelling a health insurance policy will reinstate that policy or the CEO and senior staff will spend one year in jail.

Yes, yes, I know, this legislation is a horrible bill. What this bill will do is insure a large group of people will end up with truly horrible insurance policies, policies with extremely high deductibles and clauses letting the insurance company release them in the event of a severe illness. Still, it should be passed. No longer will the problem of canceled policies be the fault of President Obama. Problem solved.

Is this an appropriate use of the United States Senate? Guaranteeing that people will continue to have sub-par insurance? Well, the House voted 40 times to repeal the AHCA without a prayer of getting the bill passed through the Senate, let alone being signed by the President. This is what the Congress has become. It is the least productive congress in the history of the United States. In the House, what they spend their time doing is investigating scandals. Fake scandals. The goal of the Republicans in the House is to promote votes from their base, that is, it’s all about politics. Nothing is going to pass both houses until the Democrats take back the House. To take back the House, the Senate needs to take a lesson from the House, a lesson in using that august body for political ends. This would work, ending the ability of the Republican Party to make their number one case for election the fact that insurance companies have canceled insurance policies.

Finally, governors of the states not producing their own call centers as described in the AHCA should be subpoenaed to testify as to why. They won’t come to testify but that’s fine. The point is to blame them for the problems with the websites. The people building the websites never imagined so many states would opt out. The Senate needs to blame those governors for the failures. It will be helpful to compare the results in states like New York, California and Kentucky with the states opting out.

This is just the start of the Senate investigations into the fake scandals the Republicans are investigating.

Post Script: As I was preparing this post and putting it on line, I heard President Bill Clinton and Speaker of the House John Boehner have essentially, come out with the same proposal. The significance of their agreement is that such a bill has an excellent chance of passing congress. If it passes, it would be the first step in a plan I have been considering for many years now. It seems the Republican base has been determined to find ways to take money from the poor and middle class and to put that money in the pockets of the super rich: Redistribution of the country’s wealth Republican style.  This may be the first step. The people most likely to hang on to really bad insurance policies are precisely the Republican base. They won’t want to go to the government websites because they have been taught to hate “Obama Care.” Fine. This way, they can keep the policies producing extremely large profits for the insurance companies while

Democrats and independents will get much better policies. Perhaps we can use this as a model for other ways to get money from the Republican base and to give it to the super rich while leaving the rest of us out of the process. That will be a win-win all the way around.

It is even possible that some of the Republican base will realize the insurance policies they had before are an absolute disaster. It might take a major illness putting them into bankruptcy. Some might realize that, if they had had a better policy, it wouldn’t have happened. Next, they’d have to realize that if they went to one of the exchanges and got a better policy they wouldn’t necessarily have to tell anyone. They could keep it a secret and never have to admit that they had ‘signed up for Obama care.’ Who knows? Incredible things happen.

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The Affordable Care Act And Defaulting on the National Debt

rant7The purpose of this posting is to look at how the right wing fought against funding the government and tried to put the country in default. It looks at the endless right wing lies told about The Affordable Health Care Act, compares the lies to the truth, shows how the lies were integral to the development of the Tea Party, how the lies have resulted in intractable and irrational hatred for The Affordable Health Care Act which has caused the irresponsible behavior we have seen from them.

Once in a while, I tune in to FoxNews to hear what the other side is saying. I don’t have the stomach to listen very long but I try. One night I tuned in and heard that the State of California was anticipating that a large number of people who didn’t go to the doctor will start going when The Affordable Care Act goes into effect. Because of this, the State of California was considering a possible doctor shortage. They were therefore considering allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to practice independently. After the lead in, one of the commentators got excited and said “Oh, my god! People are going to die! They will be seeing unqualified people!” I sat there, staring at the TV. Did the people who watch FoxNews actually buy this? Didn’t it occur to their viewers that those people would be better off seeing a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant than nobody?

Prior to passage of The Affordable Care Act, a man may have a minor problem, be it a sore that isn’t healing, a lump that he didn’t have before, a cough, a pain or whatever. It bothers him but he has no insurance and doesn’t go to see a doctor. A lot of these people really do end up dying. They would be much better off seeing a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.

Another night I tuned into FoxNews. They were saying that The Affordable Care Act was going to have such a devastating effect on the economy that we are going to lose the war on terror. There is no limit to the things they will accuse The Affordable Care Act of causing.  In this case, it doesn’t even make sense. What does ‘lose’ mean in this context? That the terrorists will take over the country?

There is an endless stream of lies coming from the right wing. I really mean endless. Google “the horrors of obamacare.” You’ll get a half million hits. Try a slightly more neutral “the problems with obamacare” you get 178 million. Or “what’s wrong with obamacare” you get 344 million hits. That’s million.

Here is a selection from the hundreds of millions of lies that the right wing is putting out:

BreitBart. You might recall that Breitbart was the man behind the fake videos about ACORN that resulted in the organization’s collapse. He was a hero of the Tea Party and addressed their conventions before his death. After his death, his blog continues. Here’s one of the thousands of things they had to say about The Affordable Care Act:

“Unfortunately for Americans who expect truth from their media, this means the media are having to manufacture a false reality that says ObamaCare is, to steal a phrase, “doing fine.”

“In order to manufacture this phony reality, the media must further sell their blackened souls by violating one of their most cherished principles: reporting on how government policy hits America’s weakest the hardest. It’s just a fact that the worst fallout of ObamaCare is already landing hard on the working class, who are losing work hours, jobs, and their insurance.”

As far as blackened souls go… well, I sincerely doubt anyone over at BreitBart has a soul. They all sold them long ago. Nevertheless, they are hardly the only ones to put out this particular lie:  The Affordable Care Act is resulting in employee hours being cut back to prevent the employer from having to supply health insurance. It’s a common the right wing criticism of The Affordable Care Act.

To see if employers are cutting back hours, let’s take a look at Walmart because it is the largest employer in America, with 5 times as many employees as the second largest employer. Also, it is an extremely right wing organization. Here’s a description of Wall-Mart politics from Making Change At Walmart:

            “Just as the total amount of money in politics increases with each passing presidential election cycle, Walmart and the Walton family have dramatically increased their spending compared with a decade or more ago. Through corporate political action committee spending, contributors by executives and family members associated with the company, direct spending by the corporation on state-level polics where permitted, and likely many more undisclosed channels, Walmart is a major player seeking to advance an extreme partisan agenda, typically in ways counter to average Americans’ interests.”

The Affordable Care Act presented them with an opportunity both to lower their expenses (or so they thought) and to help their right wing political friends. If anyone would take the opportunity, it would be them and, indeed, they did. It didn’t work out. Forbes took a look at it. The headline was “Wal-Mart Returning To Full-Time Workers-Obamacare Not Such A Job Killer After All?”

“For anyone who has not been following the Wal-Mart saga, sales have been sinking dramatically at the retailer as the company has turned to hiring mostly temporary workers (those who must reapply for a job every 180 days) to staff their stores while cutting full-time employees’ hours down to part-time status in order to avoid providing workers with healthcare benefits.”

The problem with part-timers is that they don’t work as hard as the full time staff and WalMart’s merchandise was not getting put out on the shelves. Here’s Forbes conclusion:

“While there are no shortage of Americans who enjoy deriding the Affordable Care Act as a ‘job killer’, what will soon emerge—and sooner than you may think—is an understanding that the losses experienced by businesses that cut worker hours will far exceed whatever is gained by avoiding giving employees the healthcare benefits their families so badly require. Don’t believe it? Just ask Wal-Mart.”

CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research) did an extensive survey to find out if employers have, in fact, been cutting back full time workers to part time. The title of the report- “Is the Affordable Care Act a Hidden Jobs Killer?” And here is their conclusion:

“An analysis of data from the Current Population Survey shows that only a small number (0.6 percent of the workforce) of workers report working just below the 30 hour cutoff in the range of 26-29 hours per week. Furthermore, the number of workers who fall in this category was actually lower in 2013 than in 2012, the year before the sanctions would have applied. This suggests that employers do not appear to be changing hours in large numbers in response to the sanctions in the ACA.”

The article goes on to point out that most workers questioned indicated that they worked part time at their own request. It’s just one more right wing lie, nothing more. Still, .6% of the workforce gives the right wing news services plenty of people to come forward and blame The Affordable Care Act.

Not that FoxNews even bothers to find someone working part time. Recently, they brought on a man who reported that his construction business is having to reduce worker’s hours so as not to have to buy their workers health insurance. He said that he couldn’t afford it. found the man who had been on the show and asked him how many employees he had working for him. The answer was 4. The Affordable Care Act doesn’t require employers who have fewer than 49 employees to provide health insurance. Salon caught FoxNews in two other pieces of misinformation on the same show.

Here’s one of the most common lies, the one concerning whether or not The Affordable Care Act would require people to change doctors. President Obama said that no one would be required to change doctors under Affordable Care Act. The right wingers repeatedly claim that this is a lie. They find some individual who had to change doctors. What President Obama failed to point out was that The Affordable Care Act did not prevent doctors from dying, retiring, moving, dropping patients, or deciding not to accept specific insurance carriers. They retain the right do as they wish and remain subject to the whims of the insurance companies. However, there is nothing in the Affordable Care Act that will require patients to change doctors which was what the President was explaining.

Here’s another from The Daily Caller:

“If you are among the hundreds of millions of Americans who already have health insurance through your job, or Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have,” Obama said.

“But as Obamacare’s rollout approaches, we have learned this is not true. Here are the ten states where consumers may like their health care plans, but they won’t be able to keep them.”

He goes on to list instances where insurance companies decided not to continue providing insurance in that particular state or region. President Obama never said that the law compelled insurance companies to remain in place in all the states where they sold insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, the officers in charge of insurance companies retain their right to run their companies as they see fit. President Obama merely said that nothing in the Affordable Health Care Act required patients to change coverage. Sanjay Gupta, on CNN pointed out that the vast majority of people who will be looking for coverage through the Affordable Health Care Act will be people who do not currently have a doctor. As far as people who will not be enrolling in insurance through the Affordable Health Care Act, whatever happens to their insurance company has nothing to do with the Affordable Health Care Act. Except, perhaps, that insurance companies don’t like Affordable Care Act and some seem to be changing things around just so they can blame it on Affordable Care Act,

Another common lie told by the right wing is that this is socialism. Here’s what ABCNews had to say about it: “Why Calling Obamacare ‘Socialism’ Makes No Sense [Analysis]”

Even better, is the article in the New York Times which states:

“…the architecture of the Affordable Care Act is based on conservative, not liberal, ideas about individual responsibility and the power of market forces.”

“This fundamental ideological paradox, drowned out by partisan shouting since before the plan’s passage in 2010, explains why Obamacare has only lukewarm support from many liberals, who wanted a real, not imagined, “government takeover of health care.” It explains why Republicans have been unable since its passage to come up with anything better. And it explains why the law is nearly identical in design to the legislation Mr. Romney passed in Massachusetts while governor.”

One more lie that needs to be addressed is “Obamacare.” This particular lie is the suggestion somehow, under the Affordable Care Act, medical care in this country is going to be different. The only, the single, tiny grain of truth that the right wing has blown up to perpetuate this lie is pretty simple. There are a couple of sections in the law such as: (from the Senate website)

“Strengthening the Quality Infrastructure: The HHS Secretary will establish a national strategy to improve health care service delivery, patient outcomes, and population health. The President will convene an Interagency Working Group on Health Care Quality to collaborate on the development and dissemination of quality initiatives consistent with the national strategy.”

“Health Care Quality Improvements: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will create a new program to develop community health teams supporting medical homes to increase access to community-based, coordinated care. It supports a health delivery system research center to conduct research on health delivery system improvement and best practices that improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of health care delivery. And, it support medication management services by local health providers to help patients better manage chronic disease.”

“Modernizing Disease Prevention and Public Health Systems: A new interagency council is created to promote healthy policies and to establish a national prevention and health promotion strategy. A Prevention and Public Health Investment Fund is established to provide an expanded and sustained national investment in prevention and public health. The HHS Secretary will convene a national public/private partnership to conduct a national prevention and health promotion outreach and education campaign to raise awareness of activities to promote health and prevent disease across the lifespan.”

These items, designed to take some small steps to improve the quality of health care, the right wing blows up to be “a government takeover of health care.”

Here’s a tidbit from my personal experience. I was in a clothing store, looking for the owner who wasn’t in. Instead, I ended up talking with his mother. She told me that, since the passage of The Affordable Care Act, she “felt that she was living in a communist country.” That’s the extreme right wing position, that The Affordable Care Act is communist. This is pretty basic, but I’ll say it anyway. In a communist country, people don’t own stores, the state does. Being the mother of a store owner, she should have realized that her son, not the state, owned the store. Thinking things through isn’t a characteristic of the right wing. Rather, they think of ways to elaborate on the lies they are given.

Here’s a list of right wing lies about the Affordable Health Care Law from the Tampa Bay Times. An article in Fact Check goes through 26 of the lies. In another article, Fact Check goes through another bunch of right wing lies. The list really is endless and unrelenting. One of the most often spoken of is that the Affordable Health Care Law is 2,700 pages long. This lie comes from the fact that, when presented to congress, bills must be in large type and double spaced so that senators and congressmen can read it from their podiums while discussing it. Fact Check claims it is a little over a thousand pages. Check it out yourself at the Congressional Budget Office. There’s another copy prepared by the Office of the Legislative Counsel that strips out some of the section numbers and so forth that are necessary for legal citations. This copy is 955 pages long.

The question, after looking at the lies, is why? Why did the right wing invest so heavily in attacking The Affordable Health Care Act? The only obvious reason is that the right wing was trying to protect the profits of insurance companies. If you think about it, billionaires don’t need health insurance. Think about the owners of the Tea Party- the Koch brothers. They’re company is worth $100 billion dollars. An over the top, insanely expensive health care problem might approach $1 million in cost. That would use up one of their 100,000 million dollar bills or .001 percent of their net worth. This is trivial. No, the importance of insurance companies to the super rich is the profits that insurance companies bring in.

It makes sense and would explain why the right wing protests so insanely but, in fact, the Affordable Health Care Act is not driving down the profits of insurance companies. For example, this is what Forbes  had to say: “2012 – The Year in Healthcare Charts” Take a look at the graphs. See how health insurance premiums are going through the roof. The average American family of four is now paying over $20,000/year in health care costs. It broke the $20,000 level in 2012. $15,000 of it is for insurance. (The charts also compare the US to other countries. We’re not getting much bang for our bucks.)

Bloomberg: also talks about it: “Insurers Profit from Health Law They Fought Against.”

“The industry that was the loudest, most persistent critic of this law, the industry whose analysts and executives predicted it would suffer immensely because of the law, has thrived,” Gosselin said, Health insurers contributed $86.2 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to oppose the law after Obama administration officials criticized the plans for enriching themselves by raising customer premiums.”

ThinkProgress: “Health Insurance Companies Threaten To Increase Premiums Even As Profits Soar”

“Some of the nation’s largest health insurance companies are warning investors that they’ll raise insurance premiums by as much as 116 percent next year, as the coverage expansion provisions in the Affordable Care Act go into effect and millions of uninsured Americans begin purchasing coverage.”

So, it isn’t being done to protect insurance company’s profits. What is certain is that the right is putting out a truly endless list of lies and obfuscation. The question is, why? Clearly, the reason has nothing to do with The Affordable Care Act. It was their proposal; it fit all the Republican values and standards. They have no alternative approach to offer instead of The Affordable Care Act. Their objections are all lies. A lie isn’t a reason. A lie is made up. For someone to make up a lie, they have to have a reason to do so. Therefore, the reason for all these attacks can’t be found in The Affordable Health Care Act. To find out why, we’ll have to look elsewhere.

The first place to look is the current modus operandi of the Republican Party. To understand why they are lying about The Affordable Care Act, it is necessary to understand that they lie about lots of things and why they lie about those things all the time. This is what the Republican Party has devolved into: the party of lies. They don’t just lie about The Affordable Care Act. They lie about President Obama not being a US citizen. They lie about him being a Muslim. They lie about global warming. They lie about increasing background checks in purchasing guns. The lies are designed to fill the hearts of their followers with fear, hatred and anger. It’s all they have to offer their followers. An example that relates to The Affordable Care Act came up during Ted Cruz’s fake filibuster which was done supposedly to defeat The Affordable Care Act. He compared himself to Winston Churchill. To make the comparison work, you have to be able to see The Affordable Health Care Act as the Nazis. A law changing the way health insurance is marketed is just like the Nazis. What? It invades countries and engages in genocide? It doesn’t even make sense. Even John McCain stood up and protested this idiocy.

People who see this kind of behavior amongst the Tea Party members, particularly from people like Ted Cruz, often call the right wing Nazis as a way to understand them. That isn’t true either. There are a couple of huge differences, even in this. It seems clear that Hitler actually believed the things he told his followers. Another huge difference is that the Nazi’s had something to offer their followers. Hitler told them that Germany was going to conquer the world. The Republicans, in contrast have nothing positive to offer their followers, just lies There is, however, one powerful similarity: hatred is a central part of both. Looking at the comparison between the right wing and the Nazis helps us to understand why the right wing lies all the time about The Affordable Care Act. The lies have nothing to do with the act itself.

This is what needs to be understood about the Republican Party if one wants to understand why they lie constantly about The Affordable Care Act. Other than tell lies, they really do little else. Once in a while, you might hear one of them talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, but they have not put forth one single proposal to increase the number of jobs and have voted against every stimulus package that has come up for a vote. It’s just a lie and understanding the lie is the key to understanding why they lie about The Affordable Care Act. You’ll hear the Republicans talking about ‘putting money in the hands of job creators.’ Too often, the main stream media treats this as the ‘opinion’ of the Republican leadership. Here’s how you know that it is a lie. This is not the first time we have gone through this process, giving huge tax breaks to the top .1%. Reagan tried the same thing when he was in office. He may have believed that it would work. What happened was that he created the second worst depression since the Great Depression. His policies brought the unemployment rate up to 10.4 in 1983.  ThinkProgress has an excellent article about President Reagan. (One thing that most people fail to realize is that President Reagan raise taxes 11 times- CNN Money.)

The point of this is that the Republican congressmen went through all this. Many of them were there when Ronald Reagan’s redistribution of wealth to the rich caused the second worst recession since the Great Depression. They don’t actually believe that they are creating jobs, jobs, jobs, it’s just a lie they tell to justify stripping money out of the economy and giving it to men like Mitt Romney who put it in offshore accounts. They know damn well what they are doing. These lies lead us directly to the reason for all the lies about The Affordable Care Act. Let’s take a look at the “putting money in the hands of job creators” lie.

After Reagan left office, after his tax cut for the rich and trickle down economics, we had President Bush Sr., who mostly continued President Reagan’s policies. Under President Bush Sr., the re-distribution of wealth to the rich continued apace and unemployment was between 5.4% and 7.3%. Then Bill Clinton came into office.  By looking at what the Republican Party did to Bill Clinton, we will understand that they are doing something very similar to President Obama, using the same method for the same reason. They told lies about President Clinton, just like they are now telling lies about The Affordable Care Act. Bill Clinton ended “putting money in the hands of the job creators” although back then, they called it ‘trickle down economics.’

During the Clinton administration, 25 million jobs were created. Boom times. He was putting money squarely in the hands of the 95%. He was on the side of the 95% in every way. He eliminated the deficit and began paying down the national debt to protect social security. The right wing media attacked him viciously all the time. Relentlessly. Because of the lies, the right wing quickly came to hate him.  The attacks weren’t over the fact that he got the unemployment level down to the lowest point in thirty years, of course not, that wouldn’t have sold. Instead, they made things up. For example, the right wingers got a list of all the unexplained deaths in the state of Arkansas and developed a complicated theory of how Bill Clinton was to blame for each and every one of them. And many of those in the Republican base actually believed all this crap. Just like a majority of the Republican base believe the lies about The Affordable Care Act.

So, why the relentless attacks? Bill Clinton wasn’t on the side of the .01%. Therefore, he had to be stopped by whatever means came to hand, up to and including impeachment. Nothing worked and Bill Clinton remains one of the best liked presidents. Now we’re getting to the reason for all the lies about The Affordable Care Act. The problems that the Republican Party had with Bill Clinton were very similar to the problems they have with President Obama and the constant attacks on The Affordable Care Act were very similar to the attacks made on Bill Clinton.

An interlude came along with the election of President Bush, Bush brought back the tax cuts for the rich and, by the end of his administration; the country was losing jobs at the rate of 750,000 a month. It is difficult to believe that it wasn’t the intention of the neocons to do so. Al Gore ran on a platform that included paying down the deficit to protect the country’s ability to keep up with the large numbers of people who would ultimately be collecting social security. He called it “putting the money in a lock box.” The Republican Party, under President Bush, tripled the deficit to use it as a club to try to destroy social security and Medicare. The Republican Party plans, implemented under Ronald Reagan, were back on track and working fine.

Then, Barrack Obama got elected and the right wing saw immediately what they’d gotten. No way in hell was this man going to cooperate with their plans. No way in hell was this man going to help them transfer wealth from the 95% to the .1%. He was trouble. Big trouble. So, while he was being inaugurated, the Republicans in congress were meeting to discuss how to stop him. They needed to do to President Obama what they had done to President Clinton but they needed to do a better job. They needed a way to attack him. They needed to find something that would work.

The first thing that the new president wanted to work on was reforming health care. He went to the Republicans and told them that he just wanted to get this problem solved. In the spirit of bi-partisanship, he told them he would adopt their plan, the plan developed by the Heritage Foundation, the plan that Bob Dole ran for president on, the plan that Mitt Romney put in place in Massachusetts where it was working just fine. In short, The Affordable Care Act. The Republicans saw this as a golden opportunity. They pretended to agree but asked that they just be given to the end of the summer to discuss the plan with their base before the vote. And that’s when all the hate mongering began. That’s when all the right wing hate mongers on FoxNews and right wing radio began their endless lies. They were attacking The Affordable Care Act as a way to attack President Obama, to interfere with his intentions to improve the living standard of the 95%.  Once again, we began to see an endless stream of lies, just like we saw the endless stream of lies directed against Bill Clinton.

On some level, the right wingers know that they are being lied to. I was at a party where there was a contingent of Tea Partiers. I avoided them but one of them overheard me talking about getting a colonoscopy. She touched my arm and said “You know, that’s one of the first things that’s going to be eliminated under Obamacare.” Then she turned back towards the group and said “Isn’t it?”  The rest of her little group all murmured their agreement. They were doing what the people they listen to do- making up a lie on the spot to promote their agenda. The gross ignorance of the right wing base is a problem. All the lies they are given to fill their hearts with anger, fear and hatred make politics difficult.

Another obvious sign that the right wingers must know that they are being lied to is all the things that they were told were going to happen that haven’t happened. Like the claim of death panels that were going to decide who lived or who died. Or the claim that the government was going to send someone to your house to kill grandma. Am I the only one who noticed that this never happened? And then came the Koch Brothers. We will see how what the Koch Brothers did brought us to the situation we find ourselves today.

This blog is about The Affordable Care Act and defaulting on the national debt. It is totally bizarre that we found ourselves on this brink and we need to understand how we got here. The reason we found ourselves on the brink of total financial disaster is because of the terrorists in the congress- the 40 members of the Tea Party. We need to understand how this happened and the role that hatred of The Affordable Care Act played. Only then can we understand how to get out of it.

The Koch Brothers changed things. Wikipedia tells us that in 1984, they sent up a conservative group called Citizens for a Sound Economy whose self-described mission was “to fight for less government, lower taxes, and less regulation.” They obviously did this to increase their own income at the expense of the rest of us. The group produced more than 100 policy papers each year in its run, delivering them to many congressional offices, sending out thousands of pieces of mail, and getting coverage of its viewpoints in thousands of news articles around the United States. In 2004, that organization split into Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity. When President Obama took office, they got active. While the Republican representatives were home during the summer of 2009 lying to their base about The Affordable Health Care Act, Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity got people out. They put ads in the paper. They sent buses all around the country. They held rallies in conjunction with the Republican Party Congressmen at the town halls. This was the time that the Tea Party took off. Freedom Works prepared a dumbed down version of the Republican creed, one that could be understood by people stupid enough to join an organization designed to take their money and give it to the super rich. They made up posters for the demonstrators to carry around and handed out sheets so the demonstrators knew what to say. And then, Freedom Works left. This was the disaster. They left the Tea Partiers alone to talk about their new creed. Freedom Works created a monster. The groups they left behind practiced repeating to each other the lies they learned. This was groups of people living in their own world, a group dominated by hatred and anger. They went on to select their own candidates for office. The people they put in office were born in the hatred the right wing directed towards The Affordable Care Act. The Tea Party’s reason for existence was hatred of The Affordable Care Act. To see the problem the country faced in raising the debt ceiling, let’s take a quick look at the people that the Tea Party elected and some of the things they’ve said:

Allen West from ThinkProgress

“If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”

You can see the stupidity, confusing cause with effect. Certainly, the text books, reference books, manuals and encyclopedias all agree with the Democrats. This isn’t because of their propaganda machine. It’s because the Democrats tell the truth. Republicans like Allen West don’t even recognize the truth.

“I must confess, when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

That shows the depth of hate in the Tea Party.

 “American women have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That’s what we need you to do. Because if you don’t, then the debt will continue to grow…deficits will continue to grow.”

AND the insanity. The deficit is caused by women making men subservient.

Ted Yoho, talking about defaulting on the national debt:

“I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets,” since they would be assured that the United States had moved decisively to curb its debt.

After you read that statement, is it any wonder that we ended up on the brink of disaster?

Michelle Bachmann, where to start? She’s made so many… Well, here are two that directly address her understanding of the upcoming default.

“All of the problems we’re facing with debt are manmade problems. We created them. It’s called fantasy economics. Fantasy economics only works in a fantasy world. It doesn’t work in reality.”

Yeah, economics dealing with man-made things are fantasy economics. Wow. Or this, given the fact that they are trying to blame the shut down on President Obama-

“We’re excited, we’re united!” after coming out of a meeting where they decided to shut down the government.

Marlin StutzmanRachel Maddow:

 “Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) argues that House Republicans are “not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”

They shut down the government to get something but they don’t know what.

Tom Coburn  HotAir:

 “The only time you shut down the government is when you shut it down and refuse to open it until you accomplish what you want. But we’ll fold like hotcakes,” Coburn told reporters. “You do not take a hostage you are not going to for sure shoot. And we will not for sure shoot this hostage.”

Could it be clearer that the shutdown was planned by the Republicans? He’s objecting because the rest of the Republicans won’t really shoot the hostage.

Louie Gohmert AtlanticWire:

 “I heard just before I came some senator from Arizona,” Gohmert said, a slight referring to McCain that brought out some audience laughter. “A guy that liked Qadaffi before he wanted to bomb him, a guy that liked Mubarak before he wanted him out, a guy that’s been to Syria and supported Al-Qaeda and rebels.” Finally, he gets to his main point. “But he was saying today ‘The shutdown has been a fool’s errand.’ And I agree with him. The President and Harry Reid should not have shut this government down,” he said to applause.”

Ted Cruz The self appointed leader of the Tea Party attacks. Clearly, he did everything in his power to force a default on the debt. Here’s what he said to CNN:

“The Texas (Ted Cruz) senator refused to speculate on whether there were enough votes in Congress to support his proposal of obliterating Earth, but he ended his interview on a personal note: ‘Candy, I don’t want my children and my children’s children to live in a world with Obamacare. And the best way to guarantee that is by destroying the world.’”

This could well be the definition of terrorism, although, frankly, even most terrorists wouldn’t go quite that far. This is the man who lead the fight to shut down the government and to default on our debt payments. He would destroy the world because of some imagined horror lurking in the complexities of the Affordable Care Act. Not simply America, but the world, including England, Canada, Australia. The whole world. These people are not rational, not working to better the country, not knowledgeable of how the world works and they are directing the actions of the House of Representatives. They must be stopped.

There’s even worse information out there about this man. His father is a dominionist. Political Research Associates describes them as follows:

“Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe the United States once was, and should again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy.”

“Dominionists promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity.”

“Dominionists endorse theocratic visions, believing that the Ten Commandments, or “biblical law,” should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.”

Further, Dominionists have met with military leaders to discuss the overthrow of the US government. And, at the Values Voters Conference, they all blessed Ted Cruz who is the standard barer of the Tea Party.

Those were the people that got elected as a direct result of the endless lies being told about The Affordable Care Act. And those are the people that put us on the brink of defaulting on the national debt.

What we have seen is not so clear to the people involved in trying to negotiatewith these terrorists. Most people don’t spend their time consumed with hatred and anger. Most people are open, caring and respectful. Most people have a basic understanding of how the world works. What other people don’t understand is that these people are consumed with hatred and hatred is not rational. People filled with hate don’t negotiate in good faith. They can’t be bargained with. These people have a belief system given to them that they treat as catechism. All their decisions are based on it. THIS is what the Koch Brothers gave us. Whole districts filled with lies, consumed with hatred and anger, voting for representatives who have no clear understanding of how the real world operates, without any knowledge of how the government works, without the slightest desire to roll up their sleeves and work with the rest of the Congress, let alone the Senate or the President. And they were in control. This is what is behind the right wing hatred of The Affordable Care Act. We now have a band of terrorists that have taken over the House of Representatives, a band of terrorists created by the Koch Brothers. The latest? The Koch Brothers have abandoned the monster they created. The Guardian reports that the Koch Brothers have circulated a letter claiming that they are against the government shutdown and certainly against defaulting on the debt. This will have no effect upon the terrorists that were created by the Koch Brothers and have taken control of the congress. It’s just a small part of the abysmal ignorance of that group, but they have no understanding that they were actually created by the Koch Brothers. Like Frankenstein, they have turned against their creator.

Another clear indication of the stupidity of the Tea Party is what they are doing. They say they want to default because they are afraid that the national debt will, someday, become so large that the country won’t be able to pay it. Great. What they don’t seem to understand is that we don’t pay down the national debt. We only make interest payments. If we default, the interest rates will go up, way up. Consequently, the someday that they are afraid of will be right now- caused by them.

What the Democratic Party needs to do, right now, is to begin working on getting these people out of Congress. The reason is simple, if the Tea Party has its way, they will default on the national debt. They failed once but they haven’t given up. The problems will go on and on. There is no way that the Tea Party members in congress will assist in solving problems.

The right wing goes on and on with lies about what The Affordable Care Act is going to cost. Let me tell you, in dollars, what not having The Affordable Care Act cost America. Here’s a story from CNN back in June, 2009 called “Medical bills prompt more than 60 percent of U.S. bankruptcies.”

“Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report that will be published in the August issue of The American Journal of Medicine.”

Remember the collapse of the housing market, and the bank bailout? It cost America $5 trillion dollars and was caused by a lack of adequate insurance.  Not exclusively. There was another problem, a bill put through by the Bush Administration.

The HuffingtonPost ran a story entitled “New York Fed Economists Say Bush-Era Bankruptcy Law Fueled Over 200,000 Foreclosures”

“Economists at the New York Federal Reserve have concluded that a controversial 2005 law backed by banks and credit card companies pushed more than 200,000 people into foreclosure and exacerbated the subprime mortgage crisis.”

“Consumer advocates fought hard against the law, which made it much more difficult for individuals to alleviate credit card debt in bankruptcy. This inability of homeowners to eliminate other debts, the New York Fed economists conclude, in turn made borrowers unable to pay off their mortgages, spurring foreclosures.”

The story on law suits that got all the attention back then was that the Bush administration was passing a law to make it more difficult to file lawsuits. It was the darling of the Republican base but the law only applied to people filing lawsuits against corporations. Another law, the one that made it easier for corporations to sue individuals, got no attention.

All that is just money, an extremely large amount of money to be sure, but just money. There’s another problem associated with lack of health insurance. Here’s what the HarvardGazette had to say:

“Nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a new study published online today by the American Journal of Public Health. That figure is about two and a half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2002.”

That’s a whole lot more than the number of people who died in all our wars and all the terrorist attacks against Americans in the past 15 years. And that’s just one year. The Tea Party terrorists in Congress said they would settle for elimination of the 2.7% tax on medical appliances. Compare that to a loss of $5 trillion and 45,000 deaths a year. A 2.7% tax just doesn’t look like that big a deal.

I saw a re-broadcast of Rush Limbaugh talking about stopping The Affordable Care Act. He said it was a matter of life and death. He was right but in the exact opposite way from what he said.

Enough about the right wing lies about the Affordable Health Care Act. Let’s look at some websites that discuss the facts regarding the Affordable Health Care Act. My neighbor thinks that the Kaiser Permanente gives the best analysis.  ObamaCareFacts give a good summary and lots of useful information.

In conclusion, don’t count the Tea Party out. They may very well default on the national debt the February 7th, plunging the country into chaos. Now that we know what they are and how they came into being, we need to do something. In the election in which Ted Cruz was elected the Senator from Texas, the total voter turnout was only 7 million. There are 7 million registered Democrats in Texas. People around the country need to understand that not voting is going to cost them. The rest of us have to be sure to let them know. There are those that think that the Democrats are no better than the Republicans, that they’re both the same. That both groups take money from the super rich as a result of what the Supreme Court did. Be assured, the Tea Party Republicans are something altogether new. Even the super rich no longer support the Tea Party. The super rich see them as dangerous which is exactly what they are. They need to go. Their impact goes far beyond their size because any Republican that doesn’t support their agenda will be primaried. The Tea Party only cares about how well candidates mouth the Tea Party catechesis. The rest of us have to focus on getting them out of office. This means getting people to vote who don’t normally vote. Talk to them. Our country needs them.

Well, I’m not lonely interested in politics. If you’d like to see some of my art work, check out Celtic Art or that of my friend, the author Doug Page.

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Reasonable Gun Control Measures


The shooting that occurred at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on  February 14, 2018 was absolutely horrendous. Fourteen students and three teachers were killed and 3,100 other students were traumatized. The response of the students afterwards was commendable.  The demonstrations that were held all over the country, the speeches that were given by the students… No one could have asked for more from them.


Unfortunately, the results are negligible. ABC News reported on June 28th, 2018:

“According to the Gun Violence Archive, a total of 154 mass shootings incidents have occurred as of June 28th.”

They contrast this with 2017 in which there were, for the year, 346 mass shootings. Almost the same numbers.

If anything, the Sandy Hook School shooting was worse. A few more students were killed but the really horrendous part of that shooting was the age of the students: they were all between the ages of 6 and 7. They will never recover from the trauma of seeing their friends and teachers killed before their eyes.

What was even worse after the Sandy Hook shooting was the response of the gun lobby. It just went on and on and I’ve documented it below. One tidbit? Republican commentators claimed that it was the fault of the students and the school. Another? They claimed that it was fake. You need to see it to believe it. Nothing comparable has happened after the Parkland shooting, mainly because the Republicans are in control of the congress and the presidency. Their base simply can’t be convinced that Trump will be sending the military to their homes to confiscate their guns. Because of this, gun sales have dropped by over $100 million since Trump took office. Remington had to file for bankruptcy, sales are so far down.

The major stockholders and senior management at the gun manufacturers have clearly shown that they simply don’t care if hundreds of children are killed in cold blood at schools every year. They care only about their profits.

There is one thing that would allow reasonable gun control measures to be put into place, things like banning bumper stocks, improve background checks, eliminate the gun show loophole, etc. That one thing is if a mass shooting were to occur at the annual board meeting of a gun manufacturer (or two.) They don’t care, at all, about anyone else but they care about themselves.

Neither you nor I can advocate a mass killing, even if it would get reasonable gun control measures put into place. There is, however, something else that just might succeed: talking about it.

Here’s an example of a possible element in a speech:

“The Annual Meeting of Stockholders of STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC. was held at the Hassayampa Inn, 122 East Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 on the 9th of May, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. If a deranged shooter had shown up at that meeting and killed all of the stockholders and the senior officers, the NRA would be down on its knees begging for reasonable gun control measures.”

(Do scroll down and see what I wrote about the right-wing response to Sandy Hook. It was this over-the-top right wing blustering that resulted in the failure of America to do anything at all about the killings.)

Although Sturm Ruger is the largest gun manufacturer, here’s information about the largest 10.

Sturm Ruger  the Annual Meeting of Stockholders of STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC. will be held at the Hassayampa Inn, 122 East Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 on the 9th day of May, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. The company, however, is located at  411 Sunapee Street Southport, Connecticut. To see a list of top management and their board of directors- Link  In 2915, their meeting was held at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at The Trumbull Marriott, 180 Hawley Lane, Trumbull, CT 06611.Their quarterly report is at Link.


Remington 870 Remington Drive P.O. Box 700 Madison, NC 27025-070. Their quarterly report is at Link. While they provide less information on their senior stock holders and none on the location of their board of director’s meeting, anyone who owns a single share (or more) of their stock is not only entitled to be told where the meetings are to be held, they are entitled to attend. For a list of their Board of Directors link.

Glock 6000 Highlands Parkway Smyrna, GA 30082. Bloomberg claims that “There is no Board Members Memberships data available.”

Sig Sauer 72 Pease Boulevard Newington, NH 03801. (not available)

O.F. Mossberg & Sons 7 Grasso Avenue North Haven, CT 06473

Savage 100 Springdale Rd, Westfield, MA 01085

Springfield 420 West Main Street Geneseo, IL 61254

Beretta 17601 Beretta Dr, Accokeek, MD 20607

Browning Arms Company 1 Browning Pl Morgan, Utah 84050-9326

Colt’s Manufacturing Company New Park Ave West Hartford, CT 06107

Again, do scroll down.



Things keep happening with the right wing that no one talks about. I’ve finally had it. If no one else is going talk about them, then I am and God help me. The latest is what the right wing did about the attempt by the President and the Democrats to introduce some reasonable controls on the purchase of guns. The Republicans blocked these efforts. They defended the right of deranged mass murderers of children to purchase assault weapons. Let’s take it from the top and look at each and every step in the nasty, vicious process. Right after the Sandy Hook massacre the right wing got started with a well coordinated set of messages. Below are a variety of right wing comments that appeared right after the killings. I have nothing in common with the right wing which lies all the time about everything. I am quoting these people exactly and the links that I am providing will allow you to confirm what I am telling you. Please check them.

1. Blaming the Victim

They deserve it because they drove God out of the school

Right after the Sandy Hook massacre the right wing got started. Mike Huckabee was asked how it was that God allowed it to happen. Immediately, he blamed the school. This is the link to one of the papers that has his quote. The Washington Post: Host:

You know, invariably, people ask after tragedies like this, ‘How could God let this happen?’ Huckabee: Well, you know it’s an interesting thing. We ask why there’s violence in our schools but we’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability…? Maybe we ought to let him in on the front end and we wouldn’t have to call him to show up when it’s all said and done at the back end.

He was far from the only right winger to make such comments. Below is a whole selection of other, similar right wing comments:

Huffington Post: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich:

“When you have an anti-religious, secular bureaucracy and secular judiciary, seeking to drive God out of public life, something fills the vacuum.”

It was their own fault because they “feminized” the school

Charlotte Allen at National Review: gave this explanation for why the children were killed:

“But in general, a feminized setting is a setting in which helpless passivity is the norm. Male aggression can be a good thing, as in protecting the weak — but it has been forced out of the culture of elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel.”

God sent the shooter because America accepts homosexuality

The Washington Post The Westboro Baptist Church, the tiny independent fundamentalist Christian church based in Topeka, Kan., announced on Twitter that, once again, they are planning to stomp over our nation’s heartache by protesting at the funerals of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and declaring “God sent the shooter.”

The children were killed because there were no guns in the school

The Washington Times:

Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, said Sunday he wished Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, who was shot as she lunged at gunman Adam Lanza, had had access to a rifle on Friday as the deadly shootings were occurring in Newtown, Conn.

Similar statements about the Aurora shooting: This effort on the part of the right wing leadership was well –coordinated and began even before Sandy Hook. The same type of comments were made about the Aurora shootings.


Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said:

“You know what really gets me, as a Christian, is to see the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs, and then some senseless crazy act of terror like this takes place.”

Mike Huckabee said:

“Ultimately, we don’t have a crime problem or a gun problem – or even a violence problem. What we have is a sin problem. And since we ordered God out of our schools and communities, the military and public conversations, you know, we really shouldn’t act so surprised when all hell breaks loose.”

Russell Pearce said:

“Where were the men of flight 93???? Someone should have stopped this man. All that was needed is one Courageous/ Brave man prepared mentally or otherwise to stop this it could have been done.” Rick Warren said: “When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.” Tom DeLay said: (talking about Columbine) These tragedies happen because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes who are evolutionized [sic] out of some primordial soup.”

2. Main stream media response to Mike Huckabee’s and similar comments about Sandy Hook I’ve tried to find some reasonable reactions to these comments. The best I’ve found was that Huffington Post called Huckabee’s claims bizarre. MSNBC said they don’t make any sense. Below are the best of a sorry lot:

NBC News quoted Martin E. Marty, the prominent religious scholar, who wrote Monday for the Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago (which is named for him) that Huckabee “wins, hands down, the prize for his absurdist judgment that ‘Newtown’ should have been no surprise.”

Huffington Post: called it a bizarre claim.

Rachel Maddow said his comments don’t make any sense

Policymic called his comments crazy.

Sorry. This just isn’t good enough. What they are doing isn’t insane. What they’re doing does make sense. What the right wing leadership is doing is wrong. Their comments have a purpose and a name. It’s called blaming the victim. The right wing is saying that children in schools are getting killed because the schools kicked out God. It’s the fault of the schools that the massacre happened. Blaming the victim is a way of siding with the perpetrator. So, the leadership of the religious right is siding with Adam Lanza and not with the victims. And no one is calling them on it. I think it’s disgusting and it needs to be pointed out for what it is. Adam Lanza was an evil man. A really evil man. In fact, the evidence seems to suggest that his goal in going in to Sandy Hook was to be the most evil man, the worst mass murder of children in America, ever. Still, it is clear that this man was seriously deranged. This is not to say that, had he gone to trial, he shouldn’t have been convicted, or, even, had he been convicted, that he should have been spared the death penalty. Hell, he killed himself. Still, he isn’t anywhere near as bad as the right wing that supports and defends him. He was dealing with some, apparently, overwhelming impulse. At the least, he knew he was wrong. The right wing? They are on Adam Lanza’s side. Nothing personal, they don’t really hate the students at Sandy Hook, they don’t, necessarily, want to be evil. Nevertheless, they are even more evil than he is. They know exactly what they are doing, they know it is evil and they just don’t care. They are making a choice to side with Adam Lanza (and others like him) for their own benefit. This is truly despicable.

3. Why is the right wing siding with Adam Lanza? No one is talking about this. It’s huge, it’s an overwhelming problem facing the country and the main stream media is mute. Why is the right wing siding with deranged mass murderers of children? What does the leadership of the rightwing get out of it? This is what we need to ask and the answer is clear. The answer is that the right wing gets a political advantage and money, that’s what. Right wing politicians get campaign financing and support from the gun manufactures. It’s what helps them get elected.

4. Right wing Lies about Universal Background Checks And it isn’t just the money. The NRA tells their members and others that the politicians they support are in favor of the second amendment and that their opponents are not. They don’t stick to the facts: they lie through their teeth and lie all the time. Those politicians in favor of routine background checks aren’t denounced for being in favor of routine background checks. They are denounced for supporting President Obama in wanting to send black helicopters to your house with jack-booted thugs to confiscate your guns. Not only that, but NATO is going to help him. The lies that they tell are absolutely bizarre and the right wing believes them. They have listened to so many lies for so long that they no longer even recognize the truth. Lately, the right wing has really cranked up the rhetoric. And their audience believes them. They believe the over the top lies that the right wing cranks out. The links below are only a tiny fraction of the millions of pages of this filth but it will give you an idea.

The Washington Times:

If no serious crisis is to be wasted as a chance to sneak laws onto the books that fail the rational reflection test, all “gun control” proposals hastily put forward after the Connecticut elementary school slaughter by a mentally disturbed young man should be seen for what they actually are. They are gradual steps toward the confiscation of firearms from private hands, the “Holy Grail” of “gun control” activism.

Ted Nugent at the Washington Times:

The God-given, individual, U.S. Constitution-guaranteed right to keep and bear arms — like the natural, instinctive right to self-defense — is by any and all considerations a self-evident truth. The depth of mindless denial necessary to avoid these truisms is an inescapable indictment to the soullessness of liberal gun haters.

On Tuesday, April 9th, 2013, Mark Levin Show:

Mark talks about how the 2nd Amendment is essentially being voted on this coming Thursday and they are not following the correct protocols to do so. Mark talks about Constitutional conventions, and how this should go to the states and have 3/4s of the states vote on it if they want to change the Amendment. Just because one doesn’t exercise every single Amendment, doesn’t mean that this fight isn’t important. This is about us the people and our Constitution, while Congress is trying to legislate against us. They’re acting like our rights don’t matter and we can’t allow this. Why do they fear letting the American people see what is in the gun control bill? The 2nd Amendment allows us to be the ones to defend our families, and not have to wait for the government to protect us when there’s a robber.

Rush Limbaugh responding to criticism that no one is talking about confiscating guns:

“How ignorant do you think we are? People are reacting quite rationally here to what they’re hearing and seeing in the media when they’re going out and joining the NRA and buying guns. They know what they’re up against. They’ve heard Democrats all their lives. They know what you guys really want. Your problem is the existence of guns.”

Rush Limbaugh once again:

“…(Folks), let me tell you what this point is. The guns in this culture are the secondary target here. The primary target is the Constitution itself. That is what is under assault. That is what is in the cross-hairs of people who are using this tragedy to advance an agenda.”

Rush Limbaugh a third time:

“One of the things that we never get from the left… This is very important, folks. I want you to hear this and believe it. In all this talk about bipartisanship and getting along, the one thing you never get with the left is an honest debate. Because they will never tell us what their real objective is. They always mask it or camouflage it or hide behind it with children, in the case of yesterday and many other times. But you can’t have an honest debate with them. They will not tell you that they want to eliminate the Second Amendment. They will not tell you that, if they could, they’d find a way to confiscate guns. They won’t be honest about that. So when you accuse them of that, when you say that that’s what their real objective is, then they go nuts accusing whoever says it (like me) of being extreme and dangerous and reckless because of what people are going to think after hearing it.”

This is Ann Coulter on Sean Hannity:

“Universal background check means universal registration, universal registration means universal confiscation, universal extermination. That is how it goes in history. Do not fall for universal background checks.”


“Under the guise of a proposed global “Small Arms Treaty” premised to fight “terrorism”, “insurgency” and “international crime syndicates” you can be quite certain that an even more insidious threat is being targeted – our Constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to own and bear arms.”


Almost half of voters believe new rules for universal background checks could lead to the government confiscating legally-owned guns, according to a wide-ranging poll released Thursday.

The Badger Lake Observer:

If you are a gun owner in the state of California, expect the doorbell to ring any night now – if you’re lucky. Instead it just might be a squad of jack-booted storm troopers kicking in your front door.

Here’s Vox Popoli talking about the California killer, Christopher Dorner, who was traveling around California killing policemen:

“These are indeed Orwellian times. It’s rather like reading Robin Hood and being expected to cheer for the Sheriff of Nottingham. Here is a hint for the police: if you’re wearing black armor, killing innocent animals, lying about your actions, and on top of it all, you outnumber the other guy several thousand to one, you’re the bad guy.”

Dean Garrison:

“If they come for our guns then it is our constitutional right to put them six feet under. You have the right to kill any representative of this government who tries to tread on your liberty.”

Michael Savage on the History of Gun Control:

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control and from 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated. China established gun control in 1935 and from 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Guatemala established gun control in 1964 and from 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Uganda established gun control in 1970 and from 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. Cambodia established gun control in 1956 and from 1975 to 1977, one million educated’ people, unable to defend themselves, w ere rounded up and exterminated. Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

Do I even need to point out that this is completely false? I am fairly familiar with what happened in Nazi Germany, read books about the times, and seen movies about it. Never have I heard that the Jews of the time, particularly, had guns to be “controlled.” I read Mein Kampf. It is abundantly clear that Hitler hated the Jews. He actually had jack booted thugs- the SS. The SS also seems to have been completely anti-Semitic. Where are the jack booted thugs in America? What? The police? The police are gun owners, for God’s sake. It is almost incomprehensible that the right wing base actually believes this. Let’s just repeat the idea one more time. The right wing is saying that, if Congress increases the percentage of people that undergo background checks when buying a gun, millions, perhaps tens of millions of Americans will die. Somehow.

Time Magazine wrote:

Within a complex web of ideologies, most of today’s armed radicals are linked by self-described Patriot beliefs, which emphasize resistance to tyranny by force of arms and reject the idea that elections can fix what ails the country. Among the most common convictions is that the Second Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms—is the Constitution’s cornerstone, because only a well-armed populace can enforce its rights. Any form of gun regulation, therefore, is a sure sign of intent to crush other freedoms. The federal government is often said in militia circles to have made wholesale seizures of power, at times by subterfuge.

Then there are the statements from Wayne LaPierre, the president of the NRA, listed in Think Progress:

In March 1995, LaPierre sent a fundraising letter to 3.5 million NRA members calling federal law enforcement agents “jack-booted government thugs” and arguing that “in Clinton’s administration, if you have a badge, you have the government’s go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.” In March 2000, the New York Times reported LaPierre said President Clinton tolerated a certain amount of violence and killing to strengthen the case for gun control and to score points for his party. Mr. Clinton called the comments ‘smear tactics.’ Then Mr. LaPierre said Mr. Clinton had blood ‘on his hands’ because he had not enforced existing gun laws. After the January 2011 Tucson shootings, LaPierre claimed “gun-free zones and anti-self defense laws that protected the safety of no one except the killers,” and said that “by its lies and laws and lack of enforcement, government polices are getting us killed, and imprisoning us in a society of terrifying violence.” This, despite the fact that the shooting had not taken place in a gun-free zone. He added, “These clowns want to ban magazines. Are you kidding me? But that’s their response to the blizzard of violence and mayhem affecting our nation. One more gun law on top of all of the laws already on the books.” LaPierre refused to take part in discussions with President Obama’s administration after Tucson shootings to discuss possible ways to avoid future mass shootings. “Why should I or the N.R.A. go sit down with a group of people that have spent a lifetime trying to destroy the Second Amendment in the United States,” he asked. In March 2011, LaPierre said on a Fox News program he hosted that “someone in the government” engineered the failed Operation Fast and Furious “to seek political advantage.” In July 2012, LaPierre told Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly that a proposed United Nations treaty regulating the global arms trade “says to people in the United States, turn over your personal protection and your firearms to the government.” In July 2012 — just three days after the movie theater shootings in Aurora, CO — LaPierre sent a paranoid fundraising letter warning that the group needed to defeat President Obama’s re-election. “The future of your Second Amendment rights will be at stake,” the letter said. “And nothing less than the future of our country and our freedom will be at stake.” . . . The solicitation letter says that Obama’s re-election would result in the “confiscation of our firearms.” In September 2012, LaPierre suggested a novel theory as to why President Obama had not opposed gun rights in his first term. He said the administration’s inaction was “part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country…Before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012.” In February, LaPierre predicted that gun owners will rally en masse to defeat Obama in November. “All of what we know is good and right about America, all of it could be lost if Barack Obama is re-elected,” he said. “It’s all or nothing.”

These are only some of the, literally, millions of pages of right wing lies about efforts to keep deranged mass murderers of children from purchasing semi-automatic assault weapons. Seriously. Google “gun confiscations”. I did and got over ten million hits. This should give you an idea of the over the top, vitriolic hyperbole the right wing leadership is pumping out. The purpose is to fill the minds of the right wing base with lies and fill their hearts with fear and hatred. Please, don’t take my word for what they are saying. Click on the links and check. I have nothing to do with their method. I don’t make up lies about the opposite side in order to justify my attacks. I simply quote them. Perhaps the most disgusting of the right wing lies is the one that claims that the Sandy Hook massacre was made up by the President and the Democrats as a complex plot to confiscate guns. Check out these links:

The Daily Paul: Proof the Sandy Hook Children are a Hoax: Barden’s Fake Pictures

Before It’s News: Proof Sandy Hook Was A Staged Media Hoax

This whole concept is so bizarre that even Glenn Beck’s The Blaze rejects the idea. Check it out.

5. Are the lies working? There is absolutely no question that millions of pages of right wing lies about gun control were pumped out following Sandy Hook. The first question is are they working? When the leadership of the right wing asks the base, the base confirms that they do indeed, believe the lies that they have been told.

Glenn Beck’s The Blaze conducted a survey of their almost 5 million listeners:

“And while 87% are considering purchasing a gun, 91% really believe that the president will use an executive order to enact a gun ban if congress will not. And a whopping 89% are worried that gun confiscation will be attempted before the year’s end. 98% say they will not willingly surrender their firearms if confiscation is ordered.”


Almost half of voters believe new rules for universal background checks could lead to the government confiscating legally-owned guns, according to a wide-ranging poll released Thursday.

Clearly, it is working with a significant portion of the base.

6. Why all the lies? Now we get to the conclusion of the entire right wing plan. The gun manufactures are having a problem: the number of hunters in America is going down. They need to give buyers of guns another reason to buy guns. That’s the function of the lies. That’s why the right wing is siding with the mass murderers. People like Adam Lanza buy lots of guns. Not that the small number of mass murders will make up the loss but, remember, there are many more deranged potential mass murders who buy the guns and think about doing it but never work up the courage. Still, this isn’t the big money. Much more serious money is reflected in the comments of the NRA president LaPierre. He said: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” He wants to put an armed guard in every school and, hopefully, a gun in the hand of every teacher. This is big money. There are roughly 98,000 public schools in this country and another 33,300 private schools. That’s a total of 132,100 schools. Currently, assault weapons are selling at $2,000 to $3,000. Putting just 2 in each school would put almost a billion dollars in the hands of the gun manufacturers. This is why the right wing supports the right of deranged mass murders of children to have guns. To put money in the pockets of the gun companies and it’s disgusting. Still, a billion isn’t that much. Now we get to the really big money:

USA Today:

Gun shops and sporting-goods stores in Tennessee and around the country have been running short on ammo — especially for handguns — since late January, and say they don’t see their stocks getting back to normal until summer.

Miami CBS:

Ammunition sellers and manufacturers say there’s been a run on bullets and they can’t keep their shelves stocked. “Because of the terrorist attacks and the gun control legislation people are getting in more of a panic situation,” Dillard said. When he can get bullets, Dillard says, they’re expensive. “We paid five times the price we would normally pay.”

7. Gun Sales All of the relentless right wing lies are working. They have succeeded in convincing the right wing base that jack booted thugs are on their way. The base is convinced that now is the time to buy guns for two reasons. First, this may be their last opportunity. Second, the jack booted thugs may already be on their way. They are going to need lots and lots of bullets to defend themselves. We have a Dick’s Sporting Goods nearby. The store usually has an entire wall stocked with bullets. They ran out. So many people are buying bullets to protect themselves from the impending government gun seizures that the price of bullets went from $20 a box to $60 a box. Success. This is what it is all about. The comments that the right wing pundits are making aren’t insane, they’re purposeful and they’re working. And that’s just the bullets.

New York Times:

People were crowded five deep at the tiny counter of a gun shop near Atlanta. Emptying cases and bare walls gave a picked over feel to many gun stores in many states. One Iowa dealer indicated that thirty-round magazines were fetching five times what they were sold for just weeks ago. “If I had 1,000 AR-15’s, I could sell them in a week,” said Jack Smith, a gun dealer in Des Moines, Iowa, referring to the popular style of semi automatic rifle that drew national attention after Adam Lanza used one to kill 20 children and 6 adults at a Newton school.

ABC News:

Two reasons explain why the Bushmaster rifle–the weapon implicated in the mass murder of children in Newtown, Conn.–is disappearing fast from gun store shelves: It’s been vilified. And it remains hugely popular.


A contributor presents graphs of gun prices following the Sandy Hook massacre. These are the prices paid by gun dealers for three varieties of semi automatic assault weapons similar to the one used by Adam Lanza.

Common Dreams:

As politicians in Washington have talks with “stakeholders” and convene “task forces” to review policy, gun violence continues apace and gun sales are surging. In addition, gun and ammunition sales—particularly of the most dangerous varieties—have skyrocketed across the US in recent weeks as Americans appear to be stockpiling semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity clips amid fears that lawmakers will respond to long-ignored calls for a ban on such items.

Salon did an analysis of gun manufacturers stock prices:

Arms manufacturers Smith & Wesson, Cabela’s and the Big 5 all boasted sterling third quarter results in the post-Sandy Hook gun boom. A number of big retail chains moved to end sales of AR-15s and similar assault weapons in the wake of the shooting and Cerberus Capital, the New York firm that owned Bushmaster, sold the company, calling the Connecticut shooting a “watershed event.” But a small number of hedge funds, accustomed to a sadly familiar pattern (gun massacre, leads to fear of gun bans, leads to mass gun sales), moved to make bank on the tragedy and this predictable trajectory.

Incredibly, this is the current mentality of the right wing base. These are almost all people that already have guns, more than one. They are paying at least a thousand dollars more than the normal price just to hold in their hands the gun used to kill 20 small children at Sandy Hook. Apparently, the thrill of having such a weapon is worth thousands of dollars, at least a thousand dollars more than the regular price. What kind of people are they? What kind of people are the Republican leaders? They appear to be absolutely determined to keep guns flowing to the worst of the worst of the worst and keep the mass murder of children continuing. All for the purpose of putting more money in the pockets of gun manufacturers. The only word to describe these people is evil. And they won the fight even though 90% of all Americans disagree. They stood up to the 90% and kept them from increasing the percentage of people who, when buying a gun, submit to a background check. The right wing is confident that it can convince their base that what they are really doing is protecting rights. Anyone who believes this is just plain stupid. Like those on the right that believe that Sandy Hook was staged by President Obama as a way to confiscate guns. Here it is. The whole function of the millions of pages of extreme right wing lies comes down to putting billions into the pockets of the gun manufactures. It is clear that the base believes all these lies, without question. They have listened to so many lies for so long that they are damaged goods. More and more, the term being used to describe the right wing base is “stupid.” This is a clear example. Nevertheless, it is equally clear that the people that are telling these lies are savvy, smart and sophisticated. I keep calling them liars. Let’s go over it, just for completeness. President Obama failed to get legislation passed to keep assault weapons out of the hands of deranged mass murderers of children in spite of the fact that over 90% of all Americans agreed with him. Do you really think that he is going to be able to put together a force to go door to door, shoot it out with 75 million gun owners and confiscate their guns? Seriously? (Check the number of gun owners.) Do you seriously believe that the right wing demagogues believe what they are saying?

8. Will gun control work? Then there are those that argue that passing a few sensible gun control laws like mandatory background checks or banning assault weapons really won’t have any effect on gun deaths. Really? How about an assault weapons ban? John Howard was elected Prime Minister of Australia in early 1996, leading a center-right coalition. A few months later, Martin Bryant, a disturbed mass murderer, used an assault rifle to kill 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania. Afterwards, John Howard was able to put into effect an assault weapons ban in Australia, including a buyback of all existing assault weapons. But don’t take my word for it, you can see what he wrote in the January 17th issue of the New York Times. The result? Gun deaths decreased by over sixty percent. Currently, in America, we are experiencing about 31,000 gun deaths a year. If we had the same result, it would save 18,600 lives a year. How can this be? I think the behavior of the right wing explains it. Apparently, the right wingers are willing to spend thousands of dollars just for the electric thrill of holding one of these weapons in their hand. Perhaps some fall under the spell of a gun specifically designed to kill people then go out and do it. Perhaps some other factor is at play. Who knows? What we do know is that Australia shows us what happened when they banned assault weapons.

9.Now that the fight is over The battle is over and there was no change in the laws. Deranged mass murderers of children will continue to be able to purchase high capacity, semi automatic, assault weapons. Most Americans have no idea what happened. The republican base thinks: “Ah, the evil liberals were trying to take away our guns and we won! Hooray, for our team!” More and more, the term “stupid is being applied to the right wing base. This is a perfect example. The Democratic Party just can’t understand why the Republicans sided with deranged mass murderers of children:

Huffington Post:

“I can’t understand why the leadership of organizations such as the NRA would think that we’re invading anybody,” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said. “If anything, this protects the 2nd Amendment. It expands it.”

The Democratic Party doesn’t understand that Republican Party sees no need whatsoever to enact policies that benefit their base. The Republican Party has the ability to convince the base of absolutely anything. What actually happened is that there was a massacre, the Republican Party saw the opportunity, told their base a huge amount of lies and then ripped them off for billions of dollars by overcharging them for guns and ammo. Afterwards, the base cheers. The gun manufacturers are quite grateful and will do everything in their power to use a small percentage of these funds to help the republican candidates get elected in the future. Neither the Democrats nor the Republican base gets it. Protecting children is a liberal thing; it has no role in the Republican Party. The Republican Party is all about taking money from the middle class and giving it to a small group of their rich friends. They saw the opportunity, took action and they succeeded. How well did they succeed? To give you an idea, Smith and Wesson is now, for the first time, the most profitable corporation in Massachusetts. Hooray, if you’re a member of the Republican base, I guess.

10. What do we do now? Perhaps you are a parent worried about the safety of you children. Perhaps you are a part of the 91% who would like to keep assault weapons out of the hands of deranged mass murderers of children. It might make you feel better when your children are off at school or when you go to the movies. Perhaps you think that the middle class should get some consideration when it comes to the re-distribution of wealth that the Republicans have been engaging in for the last forty years. Just remember what the right wing did. You’ll have your chance to work this whole thing out during the 2014 elections. Remember, when it comes to doing things to protect the safety of your children, the Republican Party isn’t the party of no. It’s the party of hell no. It’s not just about protecting children. It’s about protecting 99% of Americans. The Republican Party only has one policy that they consistently pursue: greed. They work tirelessly to re-distribute wealth from everybody else up to the top one tenth of one percent. If you are part of the top one tenth of one percent by all means, vote Republican. Otherwise, what you need to do is to start working on the people that you know that don’t vote. Convince them to register and to go out and vote starting in 2014. It matters. The Republican base is hopeless and the rest of the voters haven’t the numbers to get these people out of office.

This is what I have to say about gun control but I don’t spend all of my time on politics. I’m also a Celtic artists (the border is my work.) If you would like to see some of more my art work, go to my website or that of my good friend, the author Doug Page.

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Global Warming I

Rant6Global Warming

The science behind global warming is straight forward. Nitrogen (N2)accounts for 78% and oxogen (O2 )is 21% of the earth’s atmosphere. Both these molecules are like short, tiny rods. The sunlight is around 52 to 55 percent infrared, 42 to 43 percent visible, and 3 to 5 percent ultraviolet. Because of their shape, infrared, visible and ultraviolet pass right through the oxygen and nitrogen. The CO2 molecule, other hand, is shaped like a triangle. Because of its shape, infrared light hits the CO2 and heats it up. During the day when sunlight hits the surface of the earth, the surface gets heated up. At night, infrared light is radiated back up into space, keeping the earth at the same temperature. The CO2 in the atmosphere absorbs some of this infrared light, preventing the earth from being cooled.

CO2 is like a blanket, keeping heat from radiating out from the earth thus keeping the heat from the sun trapped on the earth. Like a blanket, it takes time to work. Surely, you’ve felt cold, gotten a thick blanket, and wrapped yourself in it. At first, it felt wonderful. After a while, though, it got to be too hot. That’s the situation with global warming. This is the way that The National Academy of Sciences Division on Earth and Life Studies describes it:

Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe.”

“Because of time-lags inherent in the Earth’s climate, the observed climate changes as greenhouse gas emissions increase reflect only about half of the eventual total warming that would occur for stabilization at the same concentrations.”

In short, the experiences we are having with global warming right now aren’t because of the amount of CO2 that is currently in the atmosphere. It is because of the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere 20 years ago. The Los Angeles Times reported in August of last year:

“More than half of the counties in the United States have been designated as disaster areas mainly because of the ongoing drought that has been ravaging the nation, officials announced Wednesday.”

“Disaster designations were signed for 218 more counties in 12 states, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced. That brings this year’s total to 1,584 counties in 32 states; more than 90% of those designations are due to drought conditions.”

The drought is a sign of global warming but this is not because of current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is due to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere 15-20 years ago. Since the time that the ‘blanket’ began to increase the earth’s temperature, far more CO2 has been added. The CO2 levels have more than doubled. The impact from that increase is coming. Be assured, the devastating changes are in the bank. Paid for by inaction and huge quantities of CO2 being pumped into the air.

It isn’t just the increases in CO2 that will be causing catastrophic changes upon the earth. The increase in the earth’s temperature has caused a whole host of changes that will also increase the temperature. The changes are too numerous to list but I’ll try to hit some of the high points.

Let’s start with the drought. In addition to effecting crops, the result of the drought was the death of millions of trees. Those trees will rot, releasing enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere. The drought has also resulted in huge fires in the northwest. Not only do the fires release additional CO2, they also produce huge amounts of black soot which absorbs heat from the sun.

In discussing the impact of the soot on Greenland, The Rolling Stone reported:

“Jakobshavn is the fastest-moving glacier in the world, and it is sliding into the sea at a top speed of 170 feet a day. How quickly this giant slab of ice and snow – and hundreds like it across the North and South Poles – disappears is the biggest uncertainty in the world of climate science. The faster these glaciers melt, the faster seas will rise, inundating cities throughout the world, and the more unpredictable the world’s weather system is likely to become.”

They go on to describe how a climatologist went to Greenland to:

“test a more startling hypothesis, part of what he calls “a unified theory” of glaciology: that tundra fires in Canada, massive wildfires in Colorado and pollution from coal-fired power plants in Europe and China had sent an unexpectedly thick layer of soot over the Arctic region last summer, which settled onto Greenland’s vast frozen interior, increasing the amount of sunlight the snow and ice absorbed, which in turn accelerated the melting.”

Global warming, caused by an enormous increase in CO2 levels in the atmosphere, results in droughts which cause forest fires that deposit soot on glaciers. The soot absorbs heat, melting the glaciers. Glacial ice normally reflects almost all the sunlight that shines on them. Now they are absorbing heat and disappearing. This will greatly amplify the global warming caused by the increase in CO2 levels.

There’s more, much more. The melting of the Arctic ice results in sunlight penetrating deep into the ocean rather than being reflected back into space. This is an enormous amount of energy that is being retained by the earth and warming the oceans.

The biggest problem is the melting of the permafrost in the Arctic. Athropolis indicates that the size of the world’s permafrost is 9 million square miles. This is really huge. Wikipedia indicates that the area of the contiguous United States is under 3 million square mile, it indicates that China is slightly larger at 3.6 million square miles and it indicates that India is 1.2 million square miles. So the permafrost covers an area larger that the USA, China and India combined. And the permafrost is melting.

The first issue this melting presents with regard to global warming is, because it is melting, it will absorb more sunlight, particularly early in the summer and late in the fall. The second issue is that larger plants are now growing in an area that was mostly lichens. The impact is that there is more transpiration, that is, the plants are taking water out of the ground (water that is no longer frozen) and putting it into the atmosphere. Water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas.

A much larger problem is that an enormous amount of vegetation is trapped in the frozen tundra. When it thaws, it rots, releasing, for one thing, CO2. Wikipedia states:

“Permafrost contains 1700 billion tons of organic material equaling almost half of all organic material in all soils. This pool was built up over thousands of years and is only slowly degraded under the cold conditions in the Arctic. The amount of carbon in permafrost is four times the carbon that has been released to the atmosphere due to human activities in modern times.”

OK, the permafrost is melting. It contains, and will possibly release, four times the CO2 that has been released by people burning fossil fuels. This is serious but it isn’t the worst problem arising from the fact that the arctic is warming.

The New York Times reports:

“When organic material comes out of the deep freeze, it is consumed by bacteria. If the material is well-aerated, bacteria that breathe oxygen will perform the breakdown, and the carbon will enter the air as carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas. But in areas where oxygen is limited, like the bottom of a lake or wetland, a group of bacteria called methanogens will break down the organic material, and the carbon will emerge as methane.”

NBC shows methane as it escapes as Siberian permafrost melts, shows methane being set on fire as it escapes from below the ice.

How much of the carbon will be released as methane is not know but the scientists who have gone looking have found plumes of methane being released all over the arctic.

The Independent points out:

“Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.”

“The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.”

“Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tons of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf.”

“The total amount of methane stored beneath the Arctic is calculated to be greater than the overall quantity of carbon locked up in global coal reserves so there is intense interest in the stability of these deposits as the polar region warms at a faster rate than other places on earth.”

This leaking of methane gas is, probably, the single most serious of the global warming problems. The potential exists for leaking into the atmosphere more methane than all of the carbon dioxide that would be released from burning all of the coal reserves in the world. While the number 20 times more potent is often used when comparing methane to CO2, it is misleading. The Independent goes on to point out:

“Each methane molecule is about 70 times more potent in terms of trapping heat than a molecule of carbon dioxide. However, because methane it broken down more rapidly in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, scientist calculate that methane is about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a hundred-year cycle.”

Much more important than the hundred year cycle, is what it will do right now. It is 70 times more potent and there is many more times the quantity of methane than carbon that could be released into the atmosphere. This is methane released from bacterial action rotting away the previously frozen vegetable matter in the Arctic.

As bad as this is, the Guardian points out a much more serious problem

“Governments and industry have expected the widespread warming of the Arctic region in the past 20 years to be an economic boon, allowing the exploitation of new gas and oilfields and enabling shipping to travel faster between Europe and Asia. But the release of a single giant “pulse” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea “could come with a $60 trillion global price tag”, according to the researchers who have for the first time quantified the effects on the global economy.”

“Even the slow emission of a much smaller proportion of the vast quantities of methane locked up in the Arctic permafrost and offshore waters could trigger catastrophic climate change and “steep” economic losses, they say.”

It’s true that the methane hydrate frozen under the Arctic icecap north of Europe doesn’t seem to be melting any faster than it was forty years ago. But, off the coast of Siberia, the situation is different.

Let’s add one more related problem. The Independent reports:

“The microscopic plants that support all life in the oceans are dying off at a dramatic rate, according to a study that has documented for the first time a disturbing and unprecedented change at the base of the marine food web.”

“Scientists have discovered that the phytoplankton of the oceans has declined by about 40 per cent over the past century, with much of the loss occurring since the 1950s. They believe the change is linked with rising sea temperatures and global warming.”

Let’s sum up. The earth has been getting warmer from the CO2 which comes from burning fossil fuels. The increase was small, at first. The small increase was difficult to see against the background of large swings in temperature that normally occur. Now, however, as the change has been getting larger, it is easier to see. At the same time, the changes are producing a multiplier effect. The increase causes droughts which causes fires which release additional CO2 into the atmosphere. The increased temperatures are melting ice which previously reflected sunlight back into space but now the heat from that sunlight is being absorbed. Additionally, the heat that previously melted the ice will now be heating the air and water. Next, huge amounts of methane gas are being released into the air. The amounts may exceed the amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere by orders of magnitude. Initially, this release will trap heat with 70 times the efficiency of CO2. Finally, just when we really need the environment to process CO2 back into O2, we find that global warming is killing off the phytoplankton living in the ocean responsible for 50% of that processing. Getting the picture?

Now let’s look at the possible ultimate negative consequences of this heating. While it is true that global warming is a process that happens on a cyclical basis, not all the cycles are the same. The warming of the air that has resulted in climate change is bad. Much worse is the increases in temperature of the world’s oceans. The reason it is so catastrophic is that when the oceans are warmed, the oxygen is driven out. That causes all the living creatures that participate in the O2-CO2 cycle to die out. This cycle is called the aerobic cycle. What replaces them is creatures that gain energy by using sulfur. This is called the anaerobic cycle. Rather than producing carbon dioxide, it produces, hydrogen sulfide a poisonous gas. A horrible smelling poisonous gas.

Science Daily points out that:

“Volcanic eruptions in Siberia 251 million years ago may have started a cascade of events leading to high hydrogen sulfide levels in the oceans and atmosphere and precipitating the largest mass extinction in Earth’s history, according to a Penn State geoscientist.”

Or Skeptical Science:

“By whatever means an initial atmospheric carbon spike is generated (be it gigantic volcanic episodes or humans burning fossil fuels), the knock-on effects can be substantial, leading to a portfolio of severe environmental stresses that manifest themselves in the fossil record as mass-extinctions. Will Mankind’s footprint, already involving severe carbon pollution and over fishing, be likewise visible in Anthropocene strata some 180 million years from now? Let us hope not, but if so, we will not be worthy of the sapiens part of our species’ Latin name. The events recorded in these Toarcian rocks once again warn us starkly of our peril.”

Or Wired:

“Millions of years before the dinosaurs were apparently killed by an asteroid hitting our planet, the Earth experienced another mass extinction that was far more devastating. The cause for that, paleontologist Peter Ward says, was actually homegrown: Hydrogen sulfide in the oceans and atmosphere turned the sky green and choked off oxygen for plants, animals and marine life.”

“Ward, who teaches at the University of Washington and who spoke at the Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference last week, says that global warming caused by humans could reproduce the same hydrogen sulfide gas conditions that killed more than 90 percent of life during the Permian period, when the extinction occurred. And we might just do it faster than nature did.”

Clearly, global warming has the power to make the human race extinct. Clearly, whatever the ultimate negative consequences are going to be, they are going to be bad, cataclysmically bad. Small changes will do nothing to halt this process. The only hope for the human race and 95% of all the other species is to completely halt the burning of fossil fuels and find some way to help cool the earth down.

Just as clearly, the United States has the capability to pioneer a solution. It would need to be composed of two parts. The first would be to produce an alternative form of energy to replace the burning of fossil fuels. This is not beyond our capability. Doing so would bring in enormous amounts of money into the country, trillions of dollars, from a grateful world, happy to get the energy and delighted to know that the human race is not going to become extinct.

The second part would be to prevent the increases in global temperature that we are facing from the previous burning of fossil fuels. One method would be to begin removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Another would be to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting our planet through the use of contrails. America has the ability to do both of these things and could do so with the money made from selling energy to a desperate world. It is within our grasp.

What is stopping us isn’t lack of knowledge or resources. What is stopping us is a group of people, hired by owners of fossil fuel companies, to deceive a significant minority of Americans, enough people to prevent a solution from being clearly identified let alone implemented. The people who are providing the money are extremely wealthy. They are billionaires with so much money that they couldn’t conceivably spend it in ten lifetimes, let alone the piece they have left of this one. What they are motivated by is greed, blind greed. No amount of money is enough, their greed is endless and they don’t analyze it or put it in context. They think of nothing but making more money.  Mahatma Gandhi said:There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.” He hit the nail on the head. The world will be destroyed for man’s greed. Lucius Annaeus Seneca said “For greed all nature is too little.” Again, exactly right. The entire world is too little for the greed of the people that own the Republican Party.  Kevin Bacon said “I think one of the most pervasive evils in this world is greed and acquiring money for money’s sake. Once you have six houses and a plane, it’s just about a number. It’s never been anything I understood.” Again, there is nothing these men could not buy now.

The enduring legacy of the Republican Party will be a lifeless husk of a planet, adorned with the bleached bones of the last of the human race, a planet destroyed so that a few men could strip out a few more trillions of dollars to feed their greed, men with no need of the money just a desire to see the number on the bottom of their balance sheet go up. People will die gasping and choking just to feed this need for a larger number. Not even for money to spend for there is nothing that they cannot buy now. Children will die. Their own children, or grand children or great grand children will die for this insatiable desire to see a larger number. Little Richard said “Greed has taken the whole universe, and nobody is worried about their soul.” Maybe not the whole universe but we are on path to sacrifice the earth on the altar of their greed. Jacques Yves Cousteau was wrong when he said “If we go on the way we have, the fault is our greed and if we are not willing to change, we will disappear from the face of the globe, to be replaced by the insect.” It doesn’t appear that even the insect will survive man’s greed. Finally, Erich Fromm said “Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” Even after these, the most evil of men, destroy the planet to extract a few more trillions, they will feel no satisfaction.

These people have to be stopped. The future of the human race depends upon it. Vote them out of office.

Next: How to reduce the earth’s temperature with contrails.



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