Saturday, 29 April 2017

THE ANTHROPOCENE AND THE GREAT AWAKENING


I write this on the 2nd anniversary of the loss of my wife of 72 years, so Joan, this essay is for you.
Thank you, Donald Trump and your cohorts.  Without all of you, we probably would have continued on in our ignorant ways, lulled by the relative stability of the last 11,700 years of the Holocene era.  You gave birth to the women’s marches of 21 January that sparked the reawakening of the movement for equality for all in their massive marches of millions on 21 January, organized by the likes of 4 women; Linda Sarsour, Bob  Bland, Tamika Mallory, and Carmen Perez.  Your redirection of government funds from science to militarism and your preference for profit over environment has awakened more millions to  tolerate inclement weather to march in over 600 world-wide locations in support of science on Earth Day, 22 April. Your disdain for Mother Earth resulted in today’s People’s Climate March.  That is a lot of thanks we owe you.
Too many of us had failed to recognize that, after 4 billion years of evolution, one species has managed, all by itself, to introduce the Anthropocene age in which Humans equal, or surpass, Nature in forging self-extinction conditions on this globe.     This screams at us to take a new look at what we are doing, understand what individuals and organizations are warning us about - and get active in building safe paths to survival.
In its 2016 analysis, The Institute for Economics and Peace, based in Sydney, Australia, with branches in Oxford, New York, and Mexico City, rated 163 countries in order of Dangerous Living and thus threats to world peace.  The US ranks 61st.  It borders Mexico that ranks 24th and Canada that ranks a peaceful 156th.  Iceland is rated 163rd, thus winning the prize for the best behaved nation.  North Korea ranks 14th.
Monopolizing today’s stage are two seekers of publicity: Kim Jong-un of North Korea whose 30 million people sacrifice greatly to reserve 950,000 citizens for its military with 70 submarines, 3 frigates, 4,200 tanks, 4,000 multiple-rocket launchers, and enough plutonium to make 6 nuclear bombs which, Kim claims, is more than enough to destroy the aggressive USA.    Sharing the stage is Donald Trump, president of 319 million divided people, noted for wasting enormous sums on the world’s greatest killing force that includes 11 carrier groups, one of which, Trump boasted, was racing for North Korea’s waters when actually it was steaming in what Singapore-area countries think are their waters.   Of course, Kim can actually do great harm to South Korea, the rest is bluff whereas Donald can do great harm world wide.  Yet, North Korea, with China’s backing, offered a freeze on missile and nuclear work in 2015.  It has repeated the offer.  Both were rejected by the Obama and Trump administrations because they included the ceasing of US military manoeuvres in South Korea.
Trump’s military conducted an expensive-to-both-sides surgical strike, costing 8 lives, against a suspected Syrian chemical launch site and dropped an 18,000-pound ‘mother of all bombs’ on a Taliban mountain hideway that also took the lives of some hundred nearby civilians that prompted a Taliban suicide counter-strike,  claiming 140 lives.  This is a never-ending war, unstoppable by military means.  Do we really care about humanity when we justifiably spend months lamenting the deaths of a dozen or so by what we incorrectly call Islamic terrorists, but quickly forget the thousands killed by our drones and aircraft?
We who are blessed to live in countries that tolerate dissent do need to thank Trump for reminding us we must protect what we have come to expect as basic rights.  And we must export our care to countries that currently do not because many times our Greed is a controlling factor in what they do.  
Of course, the bravest of dissidents exist, all too briefly, in countries like China, Egypt, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Turkey where thousands have perished with more thousands languishing in jail.  Then we have all those environmentalists murdered with some 205 in 2015 alone in Brazil, Philippines, Colombia, Peru, Nicaragua, Congo, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Liberia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Pakistan, usually while protesting the ravages of mining, lumber, and other commercial interests.  Global Witness has documented 1,176 cases going back to 2002. 80% of lumber from Brazil is cut illegally.
    VP Mike Pence visited Indonesia this month to meet its reformist President, Joko Widodo, known as Jokowi. Trump is building two new resorts in Indonesia, one in Bali and one near Jakarta.  He also has an interest in the Freeport-McMoRan Mining Company, controlled by Trump-advisor Mike Icahn.  While conveying US heartache at the deaths to ISIS terrorists of 5 Indonesians in January 2016,  Pence reminded Jokowi that the US was one of Indonesia’s oldest and strongest defence partners and that Trump intends to strengthen these ties.
According to Allan Nain, reporting for the Intercept, Trump’s associates are working with ISIS to organize a coup to return Indonesia to military rule.   Indonesians who had fought for ISIS against Assad in Syria are backing General Prabowo.  The US also backed the 1967 military coup that ousted Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president after the 1945 independence from the Dutch, and installed General Suharto to whom the CIA gave a list of 5,000 communists which was the start of the massacre of up to a million undesirables.  Ford, Clinton, and Kissinger all praised him.  He was given the green light to invade East Timor where the slaughter was akin to the Nazis.  By 1998, activists in the US managed to cut off the supply of arms to Suharto.  Indonesian human-rights proponents used this and other factors to oust Suharto.  Widodo, president #6, is continuing the policies of President #4 in keeping the military out of politics.  Nairn admits he does not know if Trump is aware of what his supporters are up to in Indonesia but hopes that his exposé will at least alert him.
The Money and Secrecy that command major governments make us all suspicious of governments and of those who control governments.  That governments we wish to call benevolent still persecute heroes like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden tell us they are afraid of Truth. This lack of openness plus many other factors such as talking to other veterans, and exploring what our for-profit media does not tell us, does foster skepticism.   A good start for sanity would be to force the world’s most powerful country in military might to: make election day a holiday, forbid all monetary donations to candidates but establish a tax-supported fund for candidates to travel and speak, and ensure media coverage is fair.  
The frightening degree of control is exposed when Annie Jacobsen investigated what has happened in such military sites as Area 51 whose 4,687 square miles are hidden away in Nevada’s bleak desert.     It is incredible that no one in Congress knew of the atomic bomb until it was dropped on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki, not needed to end the war but to test a different design.  Congress was also kept from knowing about the U-2 spy planes being assembled there from Lockheed’s California plants with USAF, then CIA, pilots learning to fly them at 70,000 feet to spy on Soviet nuclear activities.  After the secrecy of the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico, crash of what has been thought was an alien flying saucer, an advanced Soviet flying spy, or a weather balloon had subsided from media attention, the 1950s and 60s saw a rash of sightings revive the UFO mystery, reduced a bit after the silver U-2s were repainted to a black that merged with the darkness of space.
Those in the know made, often self-defeating, attempts at cover up. Several projects culminated in Project Blue Book for which part of my job when on night shifts at NORAD was to log and pass on UFO sightings that were frequently phoned in to me.  Knowing nothing about U-2s, I was disappointed with the lack of feedbacks and concern of those who received my detailed reports.  One of the very few comments I received was that the sightings were simply reflections from melting snow on mountains.
The odds of us having a universe to be alive in are so incomprehensibly low dictates to us who appreciate the experience, brief as it is, to strive to protect it while using our senses and instruments in a feeble attempt to understand it.  Of the 50-odd factors that are involved and need to work together, we are overwhelmed by the enormity of what science now tells us. For instance, if the strength of gravity or the atomic weak force were to vary by only one part in 10 followed by 100 zeros, there would be no life.    The initial explosion of the Big Bang had to be fine-tuned to one part in 10 followed by 55 zeros.
To many, this demands, and proves, the existence of a Sun Goddess, an Allah, the Christian God, or other Supreme Beings.  But that solves nothing as we ask “Who or what created them?”
We all need to reflect on just how amazingly far we have come in a 4-billion-year journey and wonder why there are so many differences among us.  Fortune has not smiled equally on us, so some of us are amazingly smart, some amazingly dumb, some altruistic, some greedy, but all with the same basic ingredients.
There are 7.5 billion of us crowded on a very fragile planet.  We think we are at the apex of intelligence, degrees of which are actually possessed by everything from atoms to trees that do communicate with each other.
Yet, for all our smarts, not one of us knows what Life, or Reality, is.
However, we do have immense potential.  Every day and every century we achieve new realizations.  Time is a vital ingredient.  We must accept the challenge of preserving this globe until our progeny finally achieve the understanding sought by their predecessors.
Our pathways are labelled Science, Empathy, Altruism, Co-operation, Inquisitiveness, Morality, Diligence, and they need to intertwine and merge, while excluding that old, winding, blood-stained road, labelled War.

                                                                                                                            Ye Olde Scribe

Monday, 10 April 2017

THE PUZZLE OF THE SYRIAN DISASTER

  The snake-oil salesman advises; “If your political ratings are low, find, or create, a villain, infuse your military might, and the hawks will lead the press to idolize you.”   Yes, it does work - for a while.
We live in the Age of Information, so are daily bombarded with truths, alternate truths, and outright lies.  We also live in the Age of Materialism where all members of a family feel compelled to pursue whatever currency their society embraces, often to the detriment of the environment, but to the benefit of scam artists.  This leaves little time to sort out  the truth to feed open minds, and the responsibility of researching and extracting the truth even though, like absolute zero in temperature, we can never achieve it.
I know that, as I compose this short blog, my own views will change as I contemplate, some for the umpteenth time, a tiny fraction of facts all mixed up in a mountain too large to see or understand. 
Is there no solution, short of a new French Revolution, to halt the man-made sufferings of millions of innocents in the Middle East and elsewhere?  Actually, it is easy to uncover many culprits if we care to filter through the mountains of evidence and recall history.  But, who really is to blame for the Syrian mess?  WWI, the French, Assad, his father, Syrians themselves, or outsiders including Israel, the CIA, and us?  The puzzling release of Sarin and chlorine gas that caused such pain and death to a hundred sleeping civilians in Khan Sheikhoun is a perfect excuse to mislay the blame and invade Syria to divert its oil (to add to the huge new find in the stolen Golan Heights that Israel is fortifying even more) to the Haifa pipeline to enrich further a few billionaires who have no concern for the millions of humans they have already sacrificed to Greed.  Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya have been left quarreling serfs, and except for Yugoslavia, used to flow their once locally-owned oil into ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron profits.  The long history of manufactured atrocities to justify this leaves us highly suspicious of the current one.  Trump, who refuses to help Syrian refugees, or shed a tear for the hundreds of innocents killed in US air strikes, lost little time in ordering the conveniently-off-the-Syrian-shore USS Porter and Ross to rain 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on the Syrian Shayrat air base, an act of war against Assad for a crime he may not have committed. The evidence, manufactured?, does point in his direction but makes no sense.  Why would he harm himself?  And the horrible loss of life was much less than so many other atrocities we ignore or shrug off or never hear about.  But what is sadly evident is, like so many politicians, slipping in home popularity, Trump resorted to war to unite the country’s press and numerous hawks behind him.   The scary fear is that he will use more war to augment his popularity.
Also disillusioning is the Qatar Petroleum-Rosneft lucrative deal set up in the tax haven of the Bahamas.  Russia and Qatar proxies are killing each other in Syria but that is of little concern to oil giants.
Oil was innocent enough in the beginning.  The world’s first commercial oil field was in SW Ontario founded by James Williams in 1858, followed in Pennsylvania in 1859 by Edwin Drake who stole the publicity for being the first.  Actually, the Baku, Azerbaijan, oil field used in the 900s predates them, and Marco Polo reported it to us in the 1260s.
The first Middle East oil discovery was in 1908 at Masjed Soleiman, Persia, financed by London’s William D’Arcy who in 1901 paid the Shah £20,000 for a 60-year lease to explore most of Persia with a promise of 16% of any profits.  He hired geologist George Reynolds who, after 7 years of fruitless efforts, was ordered to quit but dallied just long enough to strike oil.  The Anglo-Persian Oil Company, (APOC that became BP in 1954), was formed and a refinery built at Abadan which for 50 years was to be the world’s largest producer.  In 1913 Winston Churchill, an early stock holder, to avoid reliance on Royal Dutch Shell and Standard Oil, infused a large UK investment and converted the Royal Navy from British coal to more efficient cheap Persian oil.
After the 1919 breakup of the relatively-benign Ottoman Empire with its ethnic equality, Abadan was followed by finds in Georgia by the Turkish Petroleum Company. In 1920 APOC acquired a 50% interest in it, then, in 1923, an immense oil field was found in Kirkuk - the main reason for the current destruction of Iraq.
Our further search for the real culprits goes back to the 1919 Ottoman Empire break-up which needed a little help, starting in the 1700s.  The British agent, whose code name was Hempher, pretended to be Muslim.  He befriended Sheik Mohammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703-92), gradually convincing him to create a breakaway, extreme form of Islam, now known as Wahhabism  thus upsetting Islamic unity.  When he began teaching this he was evicted from his home town, so, with Hempher’s help, went elsewhere, recruited, with British financial help, a Bedouin army, and allied with Sheik Mohammad al-Saud.  They brutally conquered most of Arabia.
     In 1818, the Ottoman Caliph in Constantinople ordered his Egyptian army to crush them which it did and beheaded al-Saud.  In Bahrain, then part of the British Empire, the Saud house sought, and got, an alliance with Britain.  In 1891, Turkey supported al-Rasheed who attacked Riyadh, defeating the Saudi-Wahhabi clan who fled to Kuwait to rebuild, again with British help.  In 1902, they recaptured Riyadh, burning to death 1,300 people.  They brutally created Saudi Arabia and murdered 6,000 Hejazi.  Imam Abdulazizi destroyed all opposition and many holy Islamic sites, had 300 wives, owned hundreds of slaves, caused over 400,000 deaths including 40,000 public executions and forced over a million to flee the country.  He died in 1953. His 4 sons,  Saud, Faisal, Khaid, and Fahad, all became brutal dictators. 
To gain a US foothold in the Middle East, FDR in 1945 befriended King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud to form a lasting Saudi-US friendship, taking over the British role.  Today the Saudis are the world largest importer of arms and  the top deniers of human rights.   The US, UK, and Canadian arms industries all have blood on their hands as they continue to put Greed ahead of Humanity. 
The current ruler, since 2015, is King Salman Abdulazzi al-Saud with a net worth of $17 billion.  In Yemen  the Saudis lead a 9-nation Sunni war against the Shiite Houthi (anti al Qaida and supported by Iran).
     But, to get back to Syria: Having made basket cases out of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, but failed to do so in Iran for its oil, our predators turned on Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
Syria was the most tolerant and well-informed society in the Middle East. Tourists claimed it was the safest. Its sin was to retain control over its own oil rather than participating in the pipeline that skirted Russia and led to the Haifa refinery that supplied Europe.  To rectify this our oil manipulators chose the border town a Derra with a population of 150,000 to inject ‘freedom fighters’ to assist those opposed to Assad.  These imports were made up of CIA-recruited-and-paid Al-Qaida, armed with weapons seized from Libya.  They also injected enough ISIS to seize Raqqa.  How baffling!  Having used Al-Qaedda and IS-ISIL-ISIS-Daesh to destabilize Syria, we now fight them, or at least pretend to.
Even Syrian refugees are confused.  Many blame all the fighting on imported thugs while some do blame Assad.  Also baffing are the wars for oil when its profits are now dwindling, leaving only dominance and empire the goals.  Who else benefits?  Netanyahu, a major world criminal, uses Syrian instability as one of his excuses to fight Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran while fostering an apartheid state and the theft of Palestinian land, shamefully using US-supplied arms and money. 
Most dangerous of all is the fact that continued instability fills the pockets of those who rely on the arms industry.  This encourages them to continue to induce instability.
Greed does lurk in most of us but Much wants More.  The majority of humans can control it.  Too often they have been controlled by those who cannot thus causing much suffering and bloodshed.           The inadequately fed, clothed, housed, and armed Russian soldiers in WWI, being slaughtered in their millions, finally forced Russia to abandon the war.  Marx, Engels, Lenin, et al developed a communism of equality that frightened the capitalistic West so much they invaded with armies and an air force led by a Canadian, William Barker, with 52 victories.  The Red-White war crippled the promises of communism and led to the Stalin atrocities.  Fear of communism led to McCarthyism in the USA and US aggression in Vietnam. 
Manufactured fear remains a disease in the US.  It also contributes to a world of instability in which Leagues of Nations, United Nations, European Unions, BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) encounter problems in achieving a peaceful world.  Of no help is the US military dominance and its adding $54 billion to an already-bloated military budget.  Devoting a further $1 trillion to nuclear upgrading is to guarantee human extinction.  We need, instead, organic farming to rectify the abuses that create poverty and all of those ‘terrorist’ groups.
So, humanity is still faced with the age-old problem of the majority being controlled by the greedy.  Surely, we are now capable of solving the problem of escaping this, shy of another Revolution of the Masses.
This is one world and each of us is part of a cosmic whole.  Your atoms and mine will last as long as our universe does, yet they are destined to soon merge in a vast sea of atoms seeking different associations.  Let us leave with the satisfaction that our current atoms have achieved something worthy of having been associated, even if so briefly.  As my RCAF motto tells me: Per Ardua ad Astra (Through Difficulties to the Stars).

Ye Olde Scribe

Sunday, 26 March 2017

THINKING POSITIVELY

    Within the confines of a blog, I can only start to accommodate the advice of Mark, a Toronto lawyer and hockey coach, that my blogs would be more effective if they included more positive thinking to balance all that data about the unsavoury things of which our species is guilty.
I do know that shining out from all the bad are an incredible tally of benefits to many life forms and to our environment, but where to start?  Because some of our world’s most powerful politicians deny our human guilt, should it not be Climate Change? 
Yes, there were times when I yearned for global warming.  Intermittently, between 1949 and 1963, my RCAF responsibilities saw me strolling the beautiful sandy beaches along the Arctic coasts of Canada and the United States.  The ice pack was well off shore and the water was so temptingly placid that I tested it.  I instantly withdrew.  The 24 hours of sunlight were inadequate to make this the paradise it could be and, geologically, once was.  And my sympathies for polar bears were somewhat lessened a few moths later when I barely escaped the embrace of a huge one while away from my truck, all alone and unarmed, on the frozen tundra with only the moon reflected off snow for light.  Thanks, Wind, for keeping me downwind of him.
  But, I spent most of my time in the relatively-balmy South where my own senses were quite adequate to convince me that humans were racing towards self extinction.   This fear, augmented by the mountain of facts provided by scores of concerned investigators, resulted in me filling many of my blogs with dire warnings.   Deniers still argue that it is all Nature’s fault, but brilliant human minds keep unveiling her part of the blame.
There was Alfred Wegener in Germany who, in 1915, alerted us to continental drift and Milutin Milankovich  in the 1920s in Serbia who computed our Planetary Cycles: 
ORBIT: Every100,000 years the earth travels a path that goes from circular to elliptical around the sun.
TILT: Every 41,000 years the tilt of our polar axis goes from 21.5 to 24.5 degrees.  It is now at 23.5.
PRECESSION: Our earth has a wobble cycle of 23,000 years, altering where we are in our orbit when the seasons occur.   During the current ‘Now’, we northerners are furthest from the sun in summer.  It will take another 5,200 years to be closest in summer.
So, it is unjust to blame Nature for our current mess.  Other than a chance encounter with an asteroid, Nature is in no mood to molest us unduly.  We need to turn to other famed researchers like Paul and Anne Ehrlich and David Brower for their 1968 warning in their book “The Population Bomb”  wherein lie the real culprits.
Those who profit from the status quo tend to use Nature as a shield to hide behind while ignoring the dedicated work of 97% of investigators who find that humans with their excessive use of fossil fuels emitting carbon dioxide and their cattle emitting methane are the main causes of imminent disaster.
TRANSPORTATION: It is also a fact that the quickest and cheapest way to fry our planet is to get airborne in vehicles that emit heat, particles, gases that include carbon, both mon and di oxide, nitrogen and sulphur oxides which interact among themselves and the atmosphere.  This, plus our population explosion that has given Europe an 87% increase in air travel in 16 years and North America an annual increase of 5.2%, must be, and is being, addressed in the aircraft industry by thousands of scientists who are spread among diligent workers in the engine, propellor, airframe, seating, paint, scheduling, routing, advertising, and aircraft selection components.  It may be a losing battle but their successes have given us more time to avert disaster.
Our demand for energy increases 2% annually, so where do we find praiseworthy counter actions?
      It will take a while to be truly effective, but look: renewable energy is increasing at 2.6%!  And: CARS: Barcelona plans to bar cars from 60% of its streets.
COAL:  All of the UK went 6 days free of coal burning; Vietnam plans to eliminate the use of coal;    Scotland has already eliminated coal use.
SOLAR companies are adding workers at 12 times the average rate.    Wattway solar roads: The Anglo-French Company, Colas, has built in Normandy, France, at a cost of $5.2 million, a kilometre-long road made of photovoltaic cells.  It will undergo a 2-year test period.  A huge solar farm in the Sahara will, by 2028, supply 1.1 million homes. India has activated the world’s largest solar farm.
BIRD DEATHS: Birds do not prosper from many human activities, but moving to renewable energy is reducing the kill rate.  Various and varied studies rate annual deaths in this order:  solar 28,000, wind 328,000, nuclear 330,000, towers 470,000, oil and gas 1 million, coal 7,900,000, electrical lines 25 million, vehicles 200 million, windows 303 million, cats 3.7 billion.  As we are moving towards the front of this list we are improving bird survival but we still need to work on cats.  One irony is that, with my 6 bird feeders, my birds eat one 13-pound bag of cat-food pellets per week.  Yes, my squirrels prove the value of positive thinking by figuring out how to access squirrel-inaccessible bird feeders.
CRIME: has fallen:  In spite of a recession, Estonia has reduced crime by 70%.  In the US it started to fall in 1991, in the UK in 1995.  In the UK car thefts fell from 400,000 in 1997 to 86,000 in 2012.  In US cities the crime drop averages 32% with some cities 64 to 90%.  Some of this may be due to the ageing population.  Canada, the Netherlands, and Estonia have reduced prison population with no increase in crime.  In the UK the number of people arrested for a first crime is down 44%.  Better trained and less racist police get the credit.  But also burglar alarms, increased security, less cash transactions, and increased affluence do help.
China still leads the world in the number of executions, followed by Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, but the number of countries with no death penalty has risen from 60 to 102. 
PHILANTHROPY has been increasing.  Asia has the fastest growth in billionaires.  World-wide billionaires gave, in just one year, $7 billion to fund higher education.
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS: Reporters Without Borders, based in Paris, is one of many organizations fighting for  freedom of expression.  Rating 180 countries, the ten most-free nations are: Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Sweden, Ireland, and Jamaica.  Germany ranks 16th, Canada 18th, Australia 25th, UK 38th, USA 41st, Poland 47th, Hong Kong 69th, Japan 72nd, Italy 77th, Israel 101st, Ukraine 107th, Palestine 132nd, Russia 148th, Mexico 149th, Turkey 151st, Egypt 159th, Saudi Arabia 165th, Iran 169th, Cuba 171st, and China 176th.
During 2016, the USA jumped from 49th to 41st place, Russia from 152 to 148, Palestine 140 to 132. 
ENERGY IMPROVEMENTS - Nuclear: Military accidents have decreased: 1940s 3, 1950s 28, 1960s 19, 1970s 10, 1980s 8, 1990s 1, 2000s 1.   We did come terrifyingly close to killing millions, but luck was with us.
      Civilian nuclear accidents: 1950s 4, 1960s 5, 1970s 3, 1980s, 5, 1990s 3, 2000s 3, 2010s 1.
POVERTY:   Last year China lifted 35 million above the poverty line, but still has 21 provinces with counties below.  It plans to invest 100 billion yuan to eliminate all poverty by 2020. It will also ban all ivory imports in 2017.
Enormous gratitude is due hundreds of organizations dedicated to improving our lot.  Just a few:
Amnesty International, founded in UK, in 1961; has 7 million members focused on human rights; pressured Shell Oil for 7 years to get in 2016 a £55 million settlement to 15,600 Nigerians whose lives were devastated by two major oil spills; gave strong support to Ireland becoming the first county to legalize full marriage equality; and pressured EU governments to set up search and rescue operations that saved thousand of refugees.
Doctors Without Borders (Médicins sans Frontières) founded in France in 1971 now has associates in 19 countries and over 4 million individual donors.  It provides non-political aid to over 60 countries.  
The Environmental Protection Agency kept in place pollution reduction requirements that will force automakers to produce by 2025 fleets averaging 51.4 miles per gallon up from the 2015 average of 33.2.  The fact that more trucks and SUVs are now being sold has already reduced the original goal of 54.5.  The new US administration appears determined to reduce it further, so here is a plea to it for positive thinking.
Friends of the Earth, founded 1969 in USA; now with HQ in Amsterdam and a 74-country membership.
Greenpeace, founded in Vancouver, Canada, in 1971, has offices in over 40 countries with its co-ordinating body in Amsterdam.  It is focused on making greener and healthier our oceans, forests, food, and climate.
Oxfam, founded in Oxford, UK, in 1942 is a global confederation of charitable organizations focused on alleviating global poverty.
The Top Ten Philanthropics: Bill & Melinda Gates, Open Society (George Soros), Ford, William & Flora Hewlett, Children’s Investment Fund (UK), United Nations, Conrad N. Hilton. Rockefeller, Gordon & Betty Moore.
Charitable Organizations: Human generosity is universal. In the US the IRS lists 1,800.000 charities and these include Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu. The top 20 Muslim charities are located in the UK, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait, USA, Iran, France, Sudan, and Canada.   
I have lots more, Mark, but I am out of room. So, is this enough for now?
I hear your hockey team won a playoff spot.  I am sure you will tell me it was due to positive thinking.
                                                                                                                        Ye Olde Scribe.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

MIGRATION AFTERMATHS

I must share with you how my good friend, Diana DeLuca, has enhanced my blog #157 of 09 September 2016, entitled “So, You Think You Are Racially Pure?
Diana was born during WWII in England after her father, an RAF member of Bomber Command, was shot down and killed in May 1944 while flying a Halifax bomber with 640 RAAF Squadron.       Her Mother, Mary Fairbairn Macintyre, a mental nurse, raised Diana alone.
In 1957 they emigrated to Saskatchewan then British Columbia.  Mary continued in her mental nurse profession while Diana earned a PhD and took a position with the University of Hawaii where she rose to a top spot.  After her husband died, she moved to Colorado where I met her as she was making several trips to Trenton, Ontario, where a Halifax bomber, like the one her Dad flew, was being restored.  She also flew to Belgium to stand on her Father’s grave, lamenting “This is the closest I have ever been to my Dad.”
In 2007 Diana published “Extraordinary Things” supposedly a novel but actually the story of her Dad’s crew.  She donated the proceeds from sales to the Trenton RCAF Museum.  In 2016 she published “A Matter of Minds”, the story of her Mother’s career.
In 2009, it was Diana who started me blogging.  Her own blog site: coololdtech.blogspot.com  is well worth your visits.
This is the poem she composed as a result of my blog:
 
                                       THE NATURE OF THE BEAST

The Semites, the Hittites, the Hurians,
Anatolians, Myceneans, Dorians,
Pouring like lava out of the East
Pushing people before them.

We no longer know their names,
But they are here in our genes,
Restless children of a restless planet.

The Celts and the Angles and Jutes,
The Norse, and the Franks, and the Picts,
Hungry bellies flooding the plains
Hurling  those earlier
Over the cliffs and into the sea.
Restless children of a restless planet.

  Their descendants, like whirlwinds,
Driving before them the Huron, the Sioux,
The Navaho, and Apache.
Always moving, always spreading,
Always dispossessing.
Restless children of a restless planet.
  They are here in our souls,

These restless children
Of a restless planet
Balancing on the back
Of a dog scratching to shake off its fleas.







   

Friday, 3 March 2017

IS MONEY OUR OMNIPOTENT GOD?

    I should be able to ask the Media - but it is under siege as to what is alternate truth, fake news, or the real stuff.  So, I had to accumulate over 40 books by Canadian, UK, and US dissidents, but more of that later.
Long-worshiped Money is simply a convenient means of exchange used by humans, birds, and mammals.  With humans, livestock and bags of grains (from which ‘shekel’ is derived) were too bulky so we substituted smaller tokens of value such as shells, beads, coins, paper, bank accounts, and credit cards.
Like other Gods, Money embraces a wide range of human characteristics.  It is the one God that is accepted by all so it is imperative we relegate it, as many do, to the role of servant, benevolent and peaceful.  Sadly, too many of us continue to fail.  It can be very addictive with Much wanting More with no pity.   
To understand our needed task we must find and extract the many roots of Evil that have brainwashed us into believing that, while the rest of the world has faults, we have been examples of virtue.  We must endure the pain of finding this is not so.  As Putin tells us “No country is as exceptional as the US claims to be.”
I was fortunate in having Irish and French ancestry, raised in British Canada as a Catholic by loving parents with a brother and sister for companionship and competition in both cities and small towns.  Early I became an inquisitive rebel.  In my large kindergarten classroom in Owen Sound, Ontario, the hardwood floor was laid out in the shape of a Union Jack and we students would march in along the arms of the St. Andrew’s cross.  On the wall was a large world map depicting one quarter of it in red - the British Commonwealth and Empire.   What a great sense of pride to be taught we were part of an empire that had done so much good in the world.
     Well, it had done enough good to allow our educators to concentrate on it, but my mother, with all Irish roots,  would recount many examples where reality was somewhat different, but she did not dwell on the faults of those quarrelsome Celts as they also had so many likeable attributes.  My school friends gave me insights into 7 religions.  The prettiest girls always seemed to belong to other religions, resulting in us downgrading religion.   Having two uncles seriously wounded in WWI and growing up among so many veterans of it and of the Boer War made me well aware of the stupidity of war.  The long tale of the Crimean War, the Nile Campaign, and the numerous invasions we managed to beat off from the USA amplified all this.  Yet, I was to find myself a member of Bomber Command in WWII that included immoral area bombing and seeing, as a POW of 800 days, just how much horror it brought to millions of innocent Germans, Italians, French, Belgians, Dutch and Danes. This was followed by flying re-supply from Canada for the Korean War.  Wisely, we declined to join in the immoral wars against Vietnam and Iraq.
My military career brought me into contact with the competition among UK, Canadian, US, German, and Swedish, air, sea, and land munition makers and the worship of God Money.  It also mixed me with men from over 30 countries, finding the vast majority to be caring human beings undeserving of the cruel fates meted out to so many millions of them in wars with no connection to Necessity.
On retirement from the military I became involved for 16 years in the US educational system, teaching world history, geography, and international relations.  I found that, in history classes, there was a distinct difference in what was taught from elementary through intermediate levels to university.  Glowing praise for the US was the norm through high school.  In university I was many times the only one putting in a good word for US actions.  I found I was in a divided country that contained the elements of a second civil war.
Yet, I was very fortunate in being in a few of those countries where freedom of expression was actually free.  The Reporters Without Borders Association, in their assessment of all world countries, rank Finland first, Germany 16th, Canada 18th, UK 38th, USA 41st, France 45th, Japan 72nd, the Ukraine 107th, India 137th, , Russia 148th, Turkey 151st, China 176th.
Delving into the arguments of my dissidents I am impressed with the depth of their research and the fact that they amplify my suspicions, much of which was gleaned from the regular world press that did examine some of our faults amid extolling our good points.
What is so shattering to our peace of mind is the depth of corruption of so many whom we thought were employed to work for the good of humanity rather than their own power and affluence.
It was well known that our goofs created Al-Qaida, Daesh, and many of those organizations we call Terrorists.  What the dissidents point out is that much of this was, and is, deliberate - to destabilize and rule.
A few of the most noted dissidents whose works should be heeded include: Noam Chomsky, Noami Klein,  Andrew Bacevich, Ivan Eland, Andrew Feinstein, Charles Ferguson, Ahmed Rashid, David Suzuki, Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, the authors who contribute to the book “ISIS is US”, and the two Syrian Girl Superstars, one age 7, the other with an MSc in chemistry, both telling us online that all Syrian rebels are terrorists injected by us.  Several of these dissidents provide data that reveals the worst offenders reside in the United States, Israel, the UK, Turkey, and France.
To understand the present we must know the past and that is a massive requirement.  A small sample: The Vikings, who both plundered and settled, while dominant in the Baltic Sea, ventured into the Baltic States and the Ukraine.  A group of them, known as Rus, about 1113 AD, settled the area, captured Kiev, and gradually grew to control the world’s largest land mass.  Being confined to the northern latitudes they sought warm water ports, bringing them into conflict with France and Britain who instigated wars to keep the big bear confined.  This task has been willingly inherited by the USA who leads with sanctions against Russia for re-taking Crimea that had been given to another part of the USSR called Ukraine.  The CIA in 2005 had a large role in the installation of pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko who ousted pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych as Ukrainian president.  Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of Economics played a role in converting USSR state enterprises into privately-owned businesses at low prices thus creating a score of millionaires. Vladimir Putin may have his faults but he has not interfered with us near as much as we have interfered with him.  Neither has Iran.
    Played down, or ignored, by most of our press is the fact that elements within our beloved countries have the blood of millions on their hands in their quest for oil, wealth, and control.  With irrefutable proof our dissidents explain how these elements in the CIA, Mossad, MI6, and the Turkish and French Intelligence Services have teamed to disrupt countries that pose obstacles to their greed. Covered in great detail is the cost, in blood, infrastructure, and stability, imposed on Angola, Afghanistan, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Palestine, Peru, Russia, Syria, Vietnam, and others.
We also must know how that totally unnecessary war, known as The Great War, contributed to our current shame.  The break-up of the ethnically-tolerant Ottoman Empire due to the UK-French-Russian-Australian victory that left the spoils to only France and Britain because the Australians wisely went home and the Russians became occupied in a Red-White war.  To get a foothold in that oil-rich area, the USA became cosy with the unsavoury Saudi Arabia and bribed the UN to allow the re-creation of Israel at the expense of Palestine.  With the occupation of a broken Iraq, oil soon flowed to the Haifa refinery for export to Europe.  The intent was to add Syria’s oil but Syria had become the last free, democratic, and tolerant Middle East entity so had to be made submissive.  Using Saudi and Qatar money and captured Libyan arms  our infamous group recruited death squads to infiltrate and cause false unrests and to morph into Al Qaida and Daesh armies that fought each other  in the guise of Assad vs The People wars.  Daesh/ISIL/ISIS capture of oil fields led to a steady flow of oil to Turkey giving President Erdogen immense wealth as he paid ISIS only a third of world prices. 
As we did to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya we are making an unbelievable mess of Syria, fighting some and supporting others among the death squads we created, permitting Vladimir to scold us: “Stop playing with words.  Terrorists are terrorists, moderate ones behead people moderately.” His intervention has saved Syria and stopped the flow of its oil to Turkey.  But military ‘savings’ come at great costs to innocents.  
The lack of concern for others is evident in the fact that those most responsible countries for the Syrian refugees are those unwilling to accept them: USA, Israel, and UK, It is also evident in the Americas with the continued encroachments on Native rights and their environment by those who put money above all else. 
The saddest part of all this is that our exalted leaders seem immune to our faults and continue to create enemies - a pursuit that can be very cruel but quite profitable. Our new leader has increased an already-bloated military budget that will seed a terrifying arms race in a nuclear and cyber age while cutting funding for vital environmental protection. His $54 billion increase is 80% of Russia’ entire military budget.  Even our foundations join in: Reagan’s National Endowment for Democracy, The Albert Einstein Institute, the Tavistok Institute (UK), the George Soros Donations. Yes, they all express gratitude to veterans - but why create them?
Could it be that God Money is so omnipotent that it blinds us to conscience?  Why, we should ask, has not all of our Media jumped on this immense wealth of data our dissidents have provided? Perhaps they have, hidden among all those intriguing mysteries including crop circles, UFOs, 9/11 twin tower controlled demolitions, assassinations, scams, conspiracies, and so much else - and we are too comfortable to ferret it out.
                                                                                                                         Ye Olde Scribe