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Global Climate Change and the Future of the Domesticated Turkey

pollutionThere’s an old wives’ tale that turkeys are so stupid that when it rains, they’ll look up in fascination with their mouths open and drown. Much to the dismay of old wives everywhere, this is false. The turkey has been given a bad rap in the folk tale channel. The truth is the domesticated turkey isn’t the brightest bird in the barnyard, but it’s not that stupid. You’ve never seen one watching Fox News have you? Case closed.

Unlike the turkey, other animals have been awarded a falsely elevated status where it comes to intelligence. It’s unfair, but once rumor turns into avalanche, there’s just no stopping it. There is no question in my mind that the single animal with the most overrated brain is your common, run-of-the-mill, garden variety homo sapien. Mankind has spent much of its history trying to exterminate itself. If it hasn’t been through warfare, it has been through soiling its own nest. A common house cat has the innate smarts to use kitty-litter and bury its waste. Mankind’s not that smart. The fact is the species isn’t bright enough to save itself.

Looking for evidence for my claim that humans are grossly overrated in the intelligence department? This one seems to be incontrovertible – there are still people who don’t believe we have a serious problem with global climate change. As a scientist, I find this beyond stunning. It amounts to an indictment of the human mental machinery that is without defense. The mere fact that there remains one person on the planet who hasn’t spent the past quarter century living in a cave in Borneo that doesn’t have at least some grasp of the problem proves, “Mankind is too dumb to save himself from his own self-induced calamity.”

The scientific evidence keeps piling up and up and up. But even if someone’s not “scientifically inclined”, how sharp does he have to be to conclude that if a half dozen kids spend an afternoon in a swimming pool, there’s a good chance there’s an element of “pollution” in the mix? With the obvious in every corner, there are those who still cite the claims of their preachers and Foxite talking heads to deny the phenomena exists.

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Econ 101 – He Never Saw it Coming

Sometimes people just don’t look both ways. That’s how wrecks happen. In this country, the level of economic expertise is pathetically low. We don’t mandate even basic economics classes in most high schools. The average American doesn’t have a clue how the economy works or what the Federal Reserve does. If the paycheck clears the bank, the economy must be good. If our collective ignorance didn’t have such a monumental influence on our future, it would be funny. But when some people listen to the likes of Glenn Beck for their economic knowledge, our future is bleak indeed. Tea baggers sit in judgment of President Obama, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Barney Frank and myriad others who provide direction to our economic policies, yet few could tell the difference between their economic philosophies and Shinola. It truly portends of a dismal future.

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A Review of Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”

Michael Moore, the leftist the right would like left behind, has done it again.  Capitalism: A Love Story is in theaters around the nation.  As much to annoy my right leaning friends as anything else, I attended opening night.  I’ve always enjoyed Moore’s work even if he did every now and again take a bit of literary license.  His intention has always been to be provocative.  Love him or hate him, you can’t deny he’s been successful at that.

Moore’s newest film differs from his previous documentaries in that it is more humorous and less focused.  The film is interspersed with plenty of the dry humor for which Moore has become known.  His attempts to make “citizen’s arrests” are laden with his trademark humor that has everyone laughing but the FOXites and the subjects of his jokes.  Although, in one instance, a New York Police officer can be seen putting forth a Herculean effort to keep from cracking up.  Regardless of your political views, the movie is worth seeing if for nothing more than the laughter in brings.

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The Tyranny of Words – “Wealth Redistribution”

Humor tickles the soul by poking at those spots we can’t normally reach by ourselves. Often it’s the fact that something doesn’t seem to make sense that makes it so funny. That’s why it’s difficult to remember more than a few lines after seeing a good comedian perform; the humor’s perverted logic is difficult to file using the mind’s normal organizational structure. If you can’t file it, you can’t retrieve it. It’s what makes Babs so funny from time to time. She rarely makes sense.

The American public is a great wellspring of humor. For an English speaking people, how is it Americans can be so completely befuddled and confused by any of a number of words and phrases that they’ve been programmed to instantly define as either good or evil? It’s like their brains are put in a state of suspended animation and some mindless robot takes control of their thoughts. Blowhards like Rush Limbaugh utter one of the magic phrases and the minds of 10 million otherwise intelligent people are instantly anesthetized and all rational thinking stops. The zombies chant in unison, “It’s socialism (or communism or the welfare state or liberals or blah blah blah)” and they actually believe what they’re saying.

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AIG – Get a Rope!

It’s impossible to talk about AIG (American International Group) without being accused of piling on.  But sometimes temptation is just too much to resist.  Here’s my penny’s worth; given the state of the economy, I’ll resist the urge to put in two cent’s worth.  Who can afford it?  (Except maybe the guys getting the $165,000,000 in bonuses.)

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Poof! You’re a Poor Person

It seems like just yesterday.  Baby-boomers were marching in lockstep toward their twilight years with ear-to-ear smiles on their faces.  A lifetime of working, saving, and investing in the economic miracle land called the United States had them positioned to finally enjoy a little leisure time with a modicum of comfort.  Oh, what a difference a matter of about sixteen months can make.

Who doesn’t love a magic show?  Don’t you just love it when a master magician through slight-of-hand, high tech or maybe even real magic makes something disappear right before your very eyes?  Cool!  Before they had that little problem with becoming finger-food for one of their tigers, Siegfried and Roy amazed everyone in Las Vegas by making a full sized elephant vanish while a thousand people were staring at it.  It was incredible.  I’ve seen their show many times and have yet to figure out how they do it.  And I know the elephant’s real.  I watched more than once while the critter has spattered its audience with elephant dung just before he disappears.  And elephant dung is something that’s tough to fake.  (Maybe that’s a clue as to how the elephant disappears.)

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Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down this Wall!

On June 12, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered his now famous “Tear Down this Wall” speech at the Brandenburg Gate in West Berlin.  It wasn’t long after that the wall came tumbling down.  Jingoists and myopic right-wingers declared the end of communism.  Many said capitalism had triumphed over communism and proclaimed the end of the Cold War.

There can be little doubt that communism had indeed suffered a failure of sorts, but only the foolish declared it dead.  I have been to Russia and have observed firsthand the products of the rise of Soviet communism and the mechanism of its decline.  Although I don’t pretend to be an expert on the subject, I feel confident in making two statements.

  1. Communism in its purest Guervarian form will not work.
  2. The failure of Soviet communism was in fact the result of capitalism, but not in the sense most people believe.

The brand of communism espoused by Che Guevara and others like him doesn’t work because it is an ideal, a concept, a theoretical condition.  It is a completely selfless system where everyone works hard for the common good.  In its purest, hypothetical form it is as close to a perfect system as can be imagined.  Unfortunately, it falls apart when you introduce one additional variable to the equation – humanity. Continue reading

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