I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

Beth

I’ve always wondered how people going through an upheaval actually emotionally dealt with the hardship of seeing their world as they knew it collapse and assume there was nothing they could do but hold on and ride the waves.

Sort of how it feels now.

U S CAPITOL BUILDING

 

  • We have two unstable national leaders playing a game of chicken.
  • We have a Congress that seems to forget who put them there.
  • We have a series of natural events coming fast and furious with hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires needing attention.
  • We have a huge segment of our population who is hiding as much as they can, not earning a living, because they are on a list to be removed and sent away.
  • We have Germany perhaps having their first elected fascists since the destruction of the Third Reich coming this weekend.
  • We have Britain’s Prime Minister trying to delay the departure from the European Union because since the vote more people know it’s a bad idea.
  • We have the US involved in wars We the People know little about.
  • We have military veterans coming home in emotional states that clearly show that war is hell and they were not prepared for it.
  • We have a segment of our population who seem to think they are above average while they line up with the rest of the sheep to support the 1%.
  • We have two major political parties that are dysfunctional and do not remember that this nation’s Constitution begins with “We the People.”

I could go on and on.

So, I have always loved to read and reading fictionalized or nonfiction accounts of how individuals live through a major crisis has given me concepts to consider.

  1. The Scout Motto, Be Prepared, makes sense. Have skills and equipment that will help survival opportunities improve.
  2. While Preppers may have the message right, it seems difficult to store 3 or more months of food, water and other supplies. Many of us can at least have a supply of food for two weeks in our homes. I know many people who don’t keep a “pantry” with some staples. Time to wake up, everyone. It does not take a war to have an emergency when stores will not be supplied with your favorite treats. All it takes is a storm and a loss of electricity. A highway blocked. A bridge too unsafe to cross.
  3. Start thinking NOW about how you will prepare food if there is no power.
  4. Make sure you also store water, toilet paper, medicines, and first aid supplies.
  5. I don’t need to tell you to store your weapon and ammo, but people, remember safety especially if there are children around.
  • Build a network of people you can trust. These are people who have complementary skills and common goals.
  1. So many people have no close friends and are estranged from their families because of emotional battles that may truly be pretty insignificant if you thought about it dispassionately. Time to try to heal those wounds. 
  • As the Governors of several states have recently done during hurricanes, martial law will most likely will be imposed.
  1. Recognize that the Internet and our cell phones most likely will stop communication; we’ll have to resort to meeting with people face to face and talking.
  2. ATMs will not be accessible and banks will be closed. Money will not be the currency of trade.
  3. Most likely  there will be restrictions on movement. Gas will be in short supply and expensive.

Now, I sure hope saner heads will prevail in this building concern with North Korea. We will not do well with a nuclear war.

I hope We the People have a better memory in the next election and actually participate and vote to remove Congressional representatives who fail at their job. No one should be returned to office who has not demonstrated their responsiveness to their constituents.

I hope anyone in places where there can be warning of a coming devastation like a wildfire or a hurricane can calmly and safely get their loved ones to safety. As hard as it is to lose “everything,” no matter how precious they are, they are THINGS. You can rebuild.

I hope people in places where devastation has occurred can remember they are part of the Family Of Man and will open their homes to provide shelter and sustenance to people who have lost everything.

I hope you feel compelled to speak to your morals and ethics when others are showing their fear in hatred to a minority. When we remain silent, perhaps out of fear that we will also be attacked, we condone the attack.

I hope you know firsthand how cooperating with others may not bring you the riches you dream of, but allows you “enough” as well as the ability to understand we each need “enough.”

I pray that any loved one serving in the military comes home safe and sound, and if not, you stay patient to give them the succor they require. As difficult as it is to lose the someone you knew to an altered person, love can help bring them around. A sense of trust and safety can provide the way.

I urge you to start digging a bit deeper from information that shapes your opinions. So many of us do NOT read across the spectrum nor any news sources form overseas, but those are the only ways you can know if the information you are being fed is accurate. Also, if what you are reading is using inflammatory language, if the article tells you what to think, it is an editorial, not a news article. News articles must explain who, what, why, where and how and leave you thinking.

As for the political parties, the ONLY way we can gain change is for everyone to get involved. Simple. And please realize that the place your voice REALLY counts is on the local level. You want to see changes, get involved in your town.

[Beth Rankin lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. She is the publisher and editor of “Going Places–Living Life” and “Can-Do Zero Waste.” This editor and his wife had the distinct pleasure of spending a few days with the Rankins during a recent trip through the far western and northern United States.]

 

“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”:  by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”: by Neil deGrasse Tyson

‘We might not recover’: Neil deGrasse Tyson gets emotional and sounds the alarm. All the alarms. –by Jen Hayden

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joined CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to discuss the massive, record-setting hurricanes that have been pummeling Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in recent weeks and he is sounding the alarm. All the climate change alarms, even wondering if we’ve reached the point now where we might not be able to recover.

It’s a sobering interview that all should see. The full interview an transcript are below. The time to act is right now.ZAKARIA: So what role did climate change play in the ferocious strength of hurricane Irma and the intense flooding caused by Irma and Harvey? Well, on Monday, U.S. Homeland Security adviser refused to say whether climate change had been a factor or Irma’s strength at all. The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has told CNN in advance of Irma’s landfall that it was insensitive to talk about climate change right now. How should we think about an event like this and the broader issue of science and public policy?

To help me understand the impact of all of this, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins me. He is, of course, the author of the best-seller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and much, much more. Neil, you’re not a climate scientist but you’re a very distinguished scientist and astrophysicist. What do you think about when people say, look, this is not settled science, there are still questions about Einstein’s theories that led to nuclear fission but we still know that there are nuclear power plants do operate and they do provide electricity.

TYSON: There are people who have cultural, political, religious economic philosophies that they then invoke when they want to cherry pick one scientific result or another. You can find a scientific paper that says practically anything and the press, which I count you as part of, will sometimes find a single paper and say “Here’s a new truth.” But an emergent scientific truth, for it to become an objective truth, a truth that is true whether or not you believe it, it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences. That’s what we have with climate change as induced by human conduct. This is a known correspondence. If you want to find the 3 percent of the papers or the 1 percent of the papers that conflicted with this and build policy on that, that is simply irresponsible. How else do you establish a scientific truth if not by looking at the consensus of scientific experiments and scientific observations. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, signed into law in 1863–a year when he had important things to be thinking about–he signed into law the National Academy of Sciences. Because he knew that science mattered and should matter in governance.

ZAKARIA: And you know we build our cities on the basis of science. When we fall ill, we don’t go to the local witch doctor, we go to a doctor even though all of that science is still–there are advances going to be made, none of it is settled in the sense that–

TYSON: Well, you know what is settled? Settled science is the science that has come out of large bodies of research that all agree. When you see scientists arguing–and I said if you think scientists want to always agree with one another, you’ve never been to a scientific conference because people are duking it out. But what are they fighting over?

MARCH FOR SCIENCE

Not the settled science that’s been in the books. We’re fighting over the bleeding edge of what is not yet known and that is the natural course of science. If you as a journalist want to eavesdrop on that meeting, you’ll think scientists don’t know anything about anything but it’s the body of knowledge that accumulated over the decades that precedes this that becomes the canon that if you’re going to base policy and legislation on, that’s what you should be thinking about.

ZAKARIA: So you would say this is a moment to listen to climate scientists?

TYSON: I can’t even picture–how many rain drops was that? Fifty inches of rain in Houston. This is a shot across the bow. A hurricane the width of Florida going up the center of Florida. These are shots across our bow. What will it take for people to recognize that a community of scientists are learning objective truths about the natural world and that you can benefit from knowing about it? Even news reports on this channel talked about the fact that we have fewer deaths per hurricane. Why? Because you now know weeks in advance. We have models that have drawn trajectories of hurricanes. In decades gone by it was like there’s hurricane there. I don’t know, should I stay? Should I go? You stay and you die. So to cherry pick science is an odd thing for a scientist to observe and I didn’t grow up in a country where that was a common phenomenon. We went to the moon and people knew science and technology fed those discoveries. And the day two politicians are arguing about whether science is true, it means nothing gets done, nothing. It’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy, as I’ve said many times. What I’d rather happen is you recognize what is scientifically truth then you have your political debate. So in the case of energy policy, whatever, you don’t ask is the science right, you ask should we have carbon credits tariffs.

TYSON: …Right. The longer we delay, the more–I worry we might not be able to recover from this because our greatest cities are on the oceans and water’s edges historically for commerce and transportation and as storms kick in, as water levels rise they are the first to go and we don’t have a system, we don’t have a civilization with the capacity to pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles. This is happening faster than our ability to respond. That could have huge economic consequences.

ZAKARIA: On that sobering note, Neil deGrasse Tyson, always a pleasure. We are in a hurry to read the book.

[The above interview was transcribed and first published in DAILY KOS, September 09, 2017 by Jen Hayden. It is reprinted in Columnist With a View because it is extremely important information for everyone. It was re-blogged by DAILY KOS SOCIAL, and it is reprinted with the permission of DAILY KOS.]

QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

“Well, our brilliant leader (no one is smarter than him, he said so) has begun cavalierly calling this man with his finger on the trigger in North Korea and total control over the use of monstrous weapons, “Rocket” Man like a child in the schoolyard trying to provoke a fight. If conflict ensues it will not be this draft-dodger or his pampered children who are placed in danger and sent in harm’s way to a far-flung war zone to engage.

We are talking about the deaths of literally thousands and tens of thousands of people-maybe even millions-many of them sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even grandparents that are Americans. To treat the threat of a horrible war with such a thoughtless approach-as though it is no big deal-something to be joked about and belittled shows the depth of this-and I’m choking on it-president’s ignorance, arrogance, and lack of feeling for his fellow man. Is there no end to this madness? Is there no balm in Gilead for those of us seeking a return to sanity?” –Pat Jones

 

“This is the final paragraph of an article I just read in answer to a friend who asked his Black friends to provide examples of white privilege. (I would like to note that more accurately, his statement should be “white, straight, male privilege”) This woman wrote an extensive, sensitive response to his request which is quite long. This last paragraph is good instruction for everyone:

“As to you ‘being part of the problem,’ trust me, nobody is mad at you for being white. Nobody. Just like nobody should be mad at me for being black. Or female. Or whatever. But what IS being asked of you is to acknowledge that white privilege DOES exist and not only to treat people of races that differ from yours ‘with respect and humor,’ but also to stand up for fair treatment and justice, not to let ‘jokes’ or ‘off-color’ comments by friends, co-workers, or family slide by without challenge, and to continually make an effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, so we may all cherish and respect our unique and special contributions to society as much as we do our common ground. With much love and respect, Lori.” –Richard Moberly

 

“I’m presently watching President Inept Narcissist Two Second Attention Span read a speech to the United Nations. I understand and respect that all Presidents in the modern era have used speech writers. Having said that…it is clear that no President has differed so greatly in what they say in their off the cuff remarks vs. what they say in their speeches written by others. Everyone knows that Trump is an incessant liar. His positions can change from day to day, or hour to hour, or sentence to sentence. He has no moral compass. He has no credibility here or anywhere in the world. What an embarrassment. He’s The Emperor With No Clothes. I’m thankful that he’s temporary.” –David Click

 

“DACA defines what we stand for as a nation, a program redefined in this early century. “Dreamers,” as were all immigrants to this country in the past, were allowed to fulfill their ambitions. Let it not become a nightmare for these young people. A bonus to our country, and a tragedy if our small-minded politicians prevail in ending the program. DACA kids, and their parents and extended families, remind us of what makes the USA great. There’s no need to “Make America Great Again”; it remains great as long as we welcome those already here and the new arrivals from across the world.” –Nicholas Friedin

 

“PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)–In what some security experts fear could be a high-stakes war of Elton John lyrics, minutes after Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump “Honky Cat.”

“As he issued the Elton John-based attack, Kim warned that he had an extensive collection of the singer-songwriter’s albums and was prepared to weaponized every lyric in them.

“The White House immediately struck back, warning Kim that ‘any further provocation involving an Elton John lyric, especially ‘Tiny Dancer,’ will be seen as an act of war.’

“But any hope that Kim would be silenced was short-lived.

“Responding to the White House, Kim stated, ‘I see the bitch is back,’ before signing off, ‘Goodbye, Yellow-Wigged Toad.'” –Ed Rabel

 

CONVERSATION ON CRITICISM AND ABORTION by Editor and Reader

CONVERSATION ON CRITICISM AND ABORTION by Editor and Reader

[The following mostly unedited conversation appeared in the E-edition of the Herald-Dispatch in August, 2017. Explanatory notes placed appropriately; otherwise, it appears as originally printed. The exchange was brought on by the editor’s response to a column in the H-D by a local columnist, who shall remain unnamed. The subject of the original column was anti-abortion and the body of the exchange, after a bit of back and forth on criticism, is on the subject of abortion.]

BILL: Milt, as you so often say when facing criticism regarding what you write in your own column, this is the opinion section. What’s good for the goose?

MILT: So it is. And so, I expressed my opinion above, as I generally do when I disagree with comments about my own columns. Also, it irks me and many others that [unnamed whose column was on the subject of “abortion”] never comes here to defend, explain, comment on criticisms, or expand on his thinking, etc., etc. Sometimes, he writes like he’s the voice of God, and anyone who disagrees with him (especially us liberals) is bound for the lowest levels of hell. Balderdash! I’m certainly neither goose nor gander, so what’s your point Bill?

BILL: My point, Milt, is that you lash out at people who criticize you on your column seemingly using the defense that it’s your opinion, therefore immune from criticism. And here you are lashing out at [unnamed] for his opinions. Seems rather hypocritical.

MILT: Bill, sometimes I’m hypocritical. What’s so strange about that? Most people are from time to time. Actually, it’s not hypocritical to be aggravated by responses to what you have to say, while being really critical of a completely different person. What you’re confusing here is oranges and apples. Oh, well, yeah, I don’t like to be criticized, but since I am frequently criticized, I think it’s perfectly okay if I lash out now and then. Whatever….

BILL: Well if [unnamed] criticized you, you would certainly be entitled to criticize him back, but he doesn’t. But at least you admitted you are sometimes hypocritical, so kudos on that, and yeah, you’re probably right, most of us are from time to time.

MILT: Bill, I think you have missed something. There are times when [unnamed] entire column is a rebuttal (or criticism) of one of my columns. He never uses my name, but the material and the theme is familiar…. Bill, opinion is never exempt from disagreement or criticism. That doesn’t mean I have to like it!

BILL: Interesting comments, some of which I see your point. I haven’t seen much of what you refer to as [unnamed] entire column being a rebuttal (or criticism) of one of your columns, but maybe I just missed that. I couldn’t find that in this particular column. I take it from your response to him that you’re fine with abortion?

MILT: I wrote a three paragraph response giving you two real examples I encountered as a minister, and hit a wrong key on my computer and deleted it before I could send it…but yes, I do believe in abortion under certain conditions if that’s the mother’s choice. And it is the mother’s choice (along with her physicians, family and mentors). As I remember my bottom line, it is definitely not MY CHOICE, YOUR CHOICE, OR ANY RELIGIOUS GROUP’S CHOICE. I also believe if a person believes in abortion under certain circumstances, then they believe in abortion, period. For me, it’s an either-or situation.

Some fetuses, i.e. severely deformed, without brainstems, without limbs, situations where there are defective chromosomes and genes, etc. that should not be allowed to term. I believe abortion is warranted for conception by rape, incest, and other situations that a woman must live with for the rest of her life. If you believe what it says in the book of Genesis, it says, “And God breathed into man the breath of life and man became a living soul.” To me, that means that a fetus is NOT “a living soul,” until it takes breath outside of the womb. Man, I wish I had not lost my first response, but it vanished for good. I hope this explains my belief satisfactorily. But, I will confide that it took me a long, long time to come around to this way of thinking. My wife helped. When we were married I was 100% definitely opposed to abortion, period!

BILL: “To me, that means that a fetus is NOT “a living soul,” until it takes breath outside of the womb.” I agree with that, Milt. If even then. I’ve always wondered about the fact that we seem to accept that when a person dies, the soul leaves the body, which recognizes that the two are distinct from each other. It’s the entry point which to me is totally in question.

MILT: I hear you. I’m skeptical of such an ancient statement from the earliest chapter in Genesis on which to base such a critical decision…but…in my lengthy post I lost, I gave two examples of children I saw while I was in the ministry that never should have been born. I was very close to both families. Frankly, they were living in hell with a child that should have been, in most anyone’s opinion, I think, aborted.

One was a 11-12 year old boy, no speech, no measurable IQ, no awareness of surroundings or recognition of family members, completely confined to an apparatus with a feeding tube and requiring the 24-hour attention of his parents and one older sister, who was not only normal but quite bright [intelligent]. The boy developed pneumonia, which [in his condition] he contracted fairly often and was hospitalized. The doctors consulted with me and asked if I would help them [convince] the parents to decide to let them stop medications [and food and water] and allow the child to die. I conducted the boy’s funeral. The daughter was then able to go on to college, and I think she is a master’s degree teacher now. The parents, too, have a life. The boy never should have been born [aborted], in my opinion.

DEFORMED NINE-YEAR OLD GIRL

The second case is almost unbelievable…but I was totally shocked when I saw the situation. The boy, probably 17-18 years old was kept in a cage [literally]. He had no normal human abilities or capabilities. He made screeching noises like an animal and swung back and forth in his cage, holding onto the upper bars. He was, for all intents and purposes, an animal. He was somewhat vicious [savage], so his food was placed in the cage and, of course, they had to do their best to keep the cage as clean as possible. [I don’t know how they accomplished this.] The explanation I was given was that while he was being born, he had to immediately have a blood transfusion and was transfused with the wrong type of blood [blood type]. Okay, he was born, but, in my way of thinking, immediately upon understanding the gravity of the situation, he should have been immediately aborted. I know lots of people would say that would have been murder, but, in my thinking it would have been a medical, post-partum abortion…and a blessing to his family. Actually, his condition (which required the immediate transfusion) should have been identified in the uterus and the entire situation could have been very different. I don’t know. [Perhaps, doctors did not have that capability back then.]

I just believe that sometimes the consequences or results of a birth are not a moral issue at all…but a humane and ethical one. With these situations (and others) I still remained anti-abortion until I married my wife. Over the years, she helped me to understand that abortion is a woman’s choice…. Isn’t it strange that those people who are so anti-abortion seem to have no such compunctions about taking the life of someone who has committed a heinous crime? It just seems to me if we as a society so value life we ought to be very careful to allow compassion and understanding in situations where a life is to be taken. This is what has shaped my way of thinking on abortion. It also seems to me that those people who so vehemently oppose abortion should be willing to adopt an “endangered” child to insure that life! Such an unwanted child was adopted into my aunt’s family and became a well-educated professional who is of great service to his community.

Bill, for your information, I also believe in euthanasia. I would hope that should I ever be completely inhumanized by some fatal disease, i.e. Alzheimer’s or A.L.S. or a disease that completely debilitates me and steals the quality of my life, that my wife would take me to a state where euthanasia is legal that that my life would be humanely terminated. What a blessing that would be!…WOW! I really laid it all out there, didn’t I?

BILL: Yes, you did (lay it all out there). I’ll never agree with you politically, most likely, but I do on these things you just wrote about…I definitely do not believe life begins at conception.

MILT: I understand that, Bill. But my politics is based on the general moral and spiritual principles I discussed in my responses. Let me give you another thought. I could never be a Republican conservative if Donald Trump is an example of that party. I can sum him up in one word: disgusting! I cannot agree at all with those who think he is good for America, i.e. [unnamed]. Yet, I was a moderate Republican until Bill Clinton’s second term, when I liked what he was doing with the economy and switched parties. To attempt to compare Clinton’s moral lapses with Trump’s total lack of respect for women and marriage is ludicrous. No comparison. As far as I’m concerned I got out of the Republican Party at just the right time!

[I admit this conversation might be boring to many; but, to others it might give some insight into how one might form a tenable, sensible opinion on such important subjects as abortion and euthanasia…and political affiliation. –the Editor] 

 

DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL by J. William St. Clair

DO NOT REPAY EVIL WITH EVIL by J. William St. Clair

I attended the University of Virginia (1982-1986). One summer, I worked at a restaurant about a block from the park where the clashes occurred last Saturday morning. My memories do not match what I witnessed on the television screen. It was surreal to watch people yelling and taunting each other, lobbing and being hit by bottles, spraying and being sprayed by mace and then engaging in random fistfights in an area I recall as being quiet and bucolic. What caught my attention is that those engaging in the violence were doing so voluntarily. They were mutual combatants. Certainly the young woman killed by a car was not part of the melee that I saw. Her death was an act of evil. And, I would place in the evil category (albeit a lesser category) the mutual combatants I witnessed fighting in the street. They were both returning evil for evil.

 

The public outcry in the wake of the street skirmishes apparently did not witness what I saw on the news. Government officials and media pundits generally focused on the white supremacists, Klan members and neo-Nazis (bigots) - their wrongdoing and our public intolerance for their thoughts and beliefs. There was no mention of the beatings I saw some of the bigots received in the streets.

The hatred, loathing and disdain heaped upon the bigots in the street and later in the media is exactly what the bigots want the public to feel and then pile upon them. Evil wants to be repaid with evil because even righteous loathing fuels the bigot’s hate-filled rhetoric intellectually and has no connection with logic or reason–they being in the same category with flat-earther’s.  Emotionally, I pity them. Yet, when all the focus is on the bigots we seem to ignore others who engaged in the mutual combat. This is an issue of concern because it seems to tacitly approve violence by some against others.

STATUE OF ROBERT E. LEE

Let me make one more observation to put this concern in perspective. The bigots had a permit to assemble in the park. Those protesting this bigotry had choices. I would have suggested “nothing-ing” the bigots by ignoring them. Another approach would have been to stage a counter-protest down the street. Instead, the protestors ignored regulations for lawful assembly and went to the park in mass to confront the bigots. Who were the aggressors?

TELL ME I’M NOT WORTHY by Jen Hayden

TELL ME I’M NOT WORTHY by Jen Hayden

PICK OUT THE TRANSGENDER PATRIOT IN THIS PHOTO

Kristin Beck, who spent two decades as a Navy SEAL, has a challenge for Donald Trump in the wake of his morning tweetstorm announcing a ban on transgender service members. From Business Insider:

“Let’s meet face to face and you tell me I’m not worthy,” Kristin Beck, a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALSs, told Business Insider on Wednesday. “Transgender doesn’t matter. Do your service.”

Beck is a bonafide American hero:

Beck is not just your average service member. Born Christopher Beck, she served for 20 years in the Navy with SEAL Teams 1, 5, and, eventually, the elite 6. She deployed 13 times over two decades, including stints in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She received the Bronze Star award for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.

“I was defending individual liberty,” she said. “I defended for Republicans. I defended for Democrats. I defended for everyone.”

Beck’s missions in Afghanistan helped take out Osama bin Laden. What an embarrassment to this nation and a stabbing insult to patriots like Beck, who simply want to serve their country.

[Article first appeared in Daily Kos, Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Reprinted with permission.]