Showing posts from May, 2018

Wildly Optimistic

An Old Democrat's Take on "Guaranteed Jobs" and Such



Done right (one of my fav sayings) great Public Works can work miracles.

The Result of the WPA (Water Project for America)
The Mississippi Flood of 2020 (and most other U.S. floods) became the End of Drought.  The solar and wind energy industry joined the oil companies as Majors.  American technology took another great leap. Agricultural subsidy took on an entirely new meaning.  Millions of Americans became owners of a dependable money machine.  Dying aquifers began refilling.  The Presidency regained some of its luster.  And the rest of the world began to emulate a plan that worked.

Ok, it's just fiction, but plausible fiction. This is how America used to solve huge problems - like building the Interstate Highway System, or laying railway track over field and mountains.

There is a huge difference between "Make Work" and "Public Works."  The New WPA in this short story has bene…

Spend It or Lose It

It#1 is Money for Basic Research It#2 is World Leadership in Science & Tech
You may know I truly like Aviation Week, a main trade magazine for Space and Aeronautics.

Here's a finely tuned advocacy for GOVERNMENT SPONSORED basic research. In massive humility, I say, "I couldn't have said it better." I mean, whew.

What company would spend the research money? "... I don’t think you’d find many people in our industry who would voluntarily pick up the tab to fund research on shrimp and barnacles. And yet, scientists studying barnacles and shellfish are actually doing national security research right now. As any sailor knows, barnacles are a huge problem for ships, slowing them down. The U.S. Navy estimates $7.5 billion dollars annually in fuel costs are wasted due to the drag of barnacles.

*Recently researchers sponsored by the Office of Naval Research figured out the key to the sticky cement barnacles create and are working toward a way to counter it. Scientists also di…

There's No Changing a Good Dog's Mind

The Occasional Breitbart Conversation Redux Communications across thebarricades *

A major meme on the right these days is to hate California. USC held a poll of Californians that says a large majority wants the property tax limiting "Prop 13" rescinded for commercial property. 

The anti-tax Force is strong on Breitbart*. The Russian trolls were rife, whupping up the snarling and snapping about the Golden State. 

I dived in with a pro-CA comment. Instantly one of the snarler/snappers whupped me with "socialist parasite," and the game was on.

I'm 98.4% sure I was fencing with a Russian troll. (I'm the hurricane track.)

What do you think?

seniorjunior (scooter duff)Just watch, Breitbarters. California is our super state, and it continues to set smart objectives and policies to make them happen. "Conservatives" who demonize government are happy with decaying infrastructure, underfunded public schools, unenforced environmental laws and let-the-rich-run-every…

Another NYTimes Pick

And Old, Close Pal o' Mine Gets a Pick May 23, my bud Demothenese hit the big time in the Big Times.

Getting a "pick" from the Times is flattering, and guarantees more folks read your wisdom. When I got one I bragged about it. Now the subject - Sinclair Broadcasting - is back in the news.

Check it out in context HERE.

Well, Take Mah Breath!

The Sweet Distractions of Nature No Russian Trolls, No Hateful Polarization, No Starving Babies in Yemen, No Trump...

...Just the wonder of "red sprites," reaching toward space from exceptionally powerful thunderstorms in Oklahoma.  Thank You Lord (the name of the novel I'm working on) for the likes of sprites to snap us back from the frothing and foot stamping with the curative power of genuine awe.

Sprites are an exotic form of upward directed lightning. Although the forms have been seen for at least a century, many scientists did not believe they existed until after 1989 when sprites were photographed by cameras onboard the space shuttle. Now "sprite chasers" routinely photograph them from their own homes. *


Infection Alert

Prop... Prop...Prop...ahh...GAND...AH..CHOOOO!
The Infecterator
Like a sneeze disperses tens of thousands of droplets in a cone of contagion if the sneezer is sick, the Russian troll farms and their obedient legion of bots disperse the virus of influencer messages when opportunity tickles their sensors. 
James Clapper’s new book, calling Trump unfit for the office of President, which office - according to Clapper - he attained thanks to Russian interference… well, that was a Russian nose ticker of the first rank! 
The sneeze blasted a wave of messages attacking James Clapper, denigrating, insulting, accusatory and downright libelous messages disparaging not only the man but the whole institution of American foreign intelligence. 
Twitter tweets, Facebook howls, Reddit subs, Instagram rants and - most of all - “comments” on all the sites that still carry them, especially the right wing ones. The anti-Clapper snarls on Breitbart, Daily Caller, Washington Times, Drudge, Limbaugh, Hannity… the…

Why Do We Believe Conspiracy Theories?

A PITHY EXPLANATION Evolution Continues to Pull Us by Our Noses

 (With apologies to Iain Banks and Robert Heinlein)
The evidence is mounting that "irrational" human behavior is hard code writtten on the substrate of those big computers we call our brains. 
The willingness (nay, eagerness) to believe in conspiracy theories is an artifact from evolutionary pressures. All those millenia when there were no scientific sources of explanations for the dangerous mysteries all around, those of our predecessors who could believe "theories" were more successful at organized response to dangers (any organized response was probably better than chaotic response), thus survived in higher numbers. 
So here we are, rational and logical thought overridden by primitive credulity, in a time when science is too new for (many of) our primitive brains to fully grok.

Evolution explains EVERYTHING.

Pix credit

A Glimmer of Plastic Hope

ScienceMarchesOn... ...Into a teeny hope for curing the plastic catastrophe *
It's just a glimmer, but by heavens, we need a glimmer.
    Spanish and British chemists have brewed a plastic that is "endlessly recyclable."
         It's new and needs tweaking, but it's a promising discovery that could put an
              end to the endless manufacturing of plastic that will eventually cover the planet.

Hard to believe?  Take a deep breath, remember you took chemistry in high school and look at this:

There' hope! (even if the chart is a gobble de gook to you.)

Read all about it here in Science Magazine
*pix credit

To Juarez, With Pleasures

Good DentalWork at 35% of the Price (I've been away from my blogging shack for several days. You deserve an explanation.)
I attended The University of Texas at El Paso for a year. KSET -AM was my job place. I pledged a fraternity - ΣΑΕ. My best friend Jim Lightfoot and I caroused in Juarez. A lot. On a station trade deal I got my private pilot's license. Commuting was by Vespa scooter, then MG-TD. I Eloped with my first wife.
It was quite a year.

Returning to El Paso for the first time since my departure in 1959, I came as a "senior" dental tourist to Juarez.

Two implants in Juarez costs about $4500. In Albuquerque, about $12,000.

Everything seems to be going very well after two of three visits. 

I will report after the third visit.  

*Pix credit