What’s your slant?

Monthly archive

June 2018

Republicans Ransacking Nature

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
Dead Fish - Photo credit: Warren Carlton

*Last week, along the southern border of America, refugees were separated and children were caged. Shock and outrage ricocheted around the world. Under the cover of chaos the Republicans pushed through two atrocious assaults on our mother, Nature.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which washed away President Barack Obama’s emphasis on ocean conservation and a plan to mitigate the climate in crisis.

Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Obama, Dr Jane Lubchenco said, “The policy reflects a shift from ‘use it without using it up’ to a very short-sighted and cavalier ‘use it aggressively and irresponsibly’.”

Trump’s policy increases slaughtering the ocean and it greenlights more subsidized fossil fuel seismic surveys. It’s in keeping with his election promise to unlock $50 trillion of U.S. oil and gas.

In so doing, Trump is impoverishing all sea life by increasing ocean acidity and decreasing ocean oxygen.

Dissolved Shells - Article: Ransacking Nature
53 percent of free-swimming snails sampled off the west coast of the U.S. had severely dissolved shells. Photo credit: NOAA

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The Federal Fracas

in The Political Slant by
Federal Fracas

*Recently, someone advocated the dissolution of the federal government of the United States, insisting that the states could manage themselves. It also suggested that the federal government has usurped power and taken away the rights of states. Let’s consider a few things.

There is no doubt that the federal government has become what Jefferson didn’t want, and that was a tyrannical central government, much akin to the monarchies and aristocracies of Europe. Unfortunately, I will accede that this has been the case, and I have never denied what my constitutional law professor claimed, that almost every decision by the Supreme Court has gone the way of the federal government.

Supreme Court - Federal Fracas

When in doubt, the federal government always wins, for the most part. The most egregious ruling was Gonzales v. Raich, which ruled that growing marijuana in one’s backyard for medical use was a federal issue. Sandra Day O’Connor bravely stated that it was not, but hers was the dissenting opinion.
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Another Dead Wolf of the Sea

in The Life Slant by
Orcas at sunrise

*Over the weekend, Friday Harbor-based, Center for Whale Research, reported a missing Southern Resident orca, L92, presumed to be dead. That brings the critically endangered Southern Resident Salish Sea population down to 75, the lowest since 1984. It’s yet another man-made fiasco.

Allow me to remind you that we are amidst the human-driven Sixth Mass Extinction. It’s accelerating 1,000 to 10,000 times faster than the five other mass extinctions. This looting of Nature has collided with the horrendous man-made persistent organic pollutants and 300 zettajoules of fossil fuel ocean heat driving the climate crisis.

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An Imperfect Preference for Perfect Postulants

in The Life Slant/The Money Slant by
Job Candidates - Applicants

*I recently read on a website a hiring manager who discarded the application of any applicant who had less than a 3.0 grade point average (GPA). This manager was quite proud of this fact. So let’s take a look at some of the critical qualifications of hiring and compare some of the good points and bad points. Included are some other characteristics that might on the surface demonstrate great qualities, but there might be some other considerations.

This reminds me of a person that I spoke with once who had a particular motorcycle that had a great reputation as a race bike. The person who had owned this motorcycle said that it was a great bike, but if you weren’t a very experienced rider, it was a nightmare, because it only performed well at very high speeds, and if you weren’t capable of holding the throttle wide open and slamming it around, it would torture you. The bike was essentially a production model of the bike that had won the world championship the year before. If you were world champion class rider, it was good for you; if you weren’t a world champion rider, it would punish you.

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Silk Road to Hell

in The Life Slant by
Silk Road to Hell

*Despite our planetary climate emergency, the first and third largest economies on the globe are moving at the speed of light to extract and burn all available fossil fuels. The consequences are hideous.

China’s One Belt One Road, a 21st century Silk Road, is linking 71 countries with rapid rail-lines and new supertanker ports. China is spending $1 trillion on its infrastructure to add an additional $2.5 trillion to its 11 trillion GDP thereby narrowing the gap on the European Union, the second largest economy.

This plan requires mega zettajoules of fossil fuel energy. It’s an expansion of the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43 percent, with 1,600 new coal power stations in 62 countries. Keep Reading

Veganism Saves the World

in The Life Slant by
Go Vegan

*Go Vegan and Save the World

This week was particularly challenging. A number of separate reports are stark wake-up calls on the acceleration of the climate crisis and its collision with the hideous Sixth Mass Extinction

My colleagues proposed that we add a Category 6, or, sustained winds above 190 miles per hour, to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Increased combustion of subsidized fossil fuels is adding mega zettajoules of heat into the oceans. This heat is driving Nature’s fiercest storms, hurricanes and cyclones, to greater intensities. It is also slowing them down by 10 percent, causing more destruction.

On October 23, 2015, Hurricane Patricia had maximum wind gusts of 215 mph, making it a Category 6 in the proposed updated system. Credit: NASA

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Sunny Balwani – Pecunious, Punctilious, and Prosecuted

in The Money Slant/The Tech Slant by
Theranos Sunny Balwani

*Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani was the president and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of a company named Theranos for seven years. The founder of Theranos was Elizabeth Holmes, whose life goal was to be a Silicon Valley billionaire. The unfolding of the story is rather sad, a story whose path was not unlike the fictional character Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” theme. Theranos’s business concept was a great idea, and should a company such as one like Theranos actually work, it would change a lot of how we view medicine, but the concept and reality never actualized.
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R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Professors & Teachers

in The Life Slant by

Professor.  Just the word elicits respect, and respect is something we don’t have or show a lot of in 2018 America.  We call physicians ‘doc’, coaches, bosses, aunts and uncles by their first names, and almost everyone else ‘dude’ …  except for politicians and lawyers.  But even the most confident of us wants to impress when dining or conversing with a professor.

Teacher doesn’t have the same shine, does it?

Teachers seem more human, more approachable, and generally speaking are not shown the type of respect college professors enjoy.

Why?
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The Cryptocurrency Conspiracy Continues

in The Money Slant/The Tech Slant by
Cryptocurrency

*As it was once said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”  Bitcoin has been joined by 1,450 digital coin offerings. I have never been happy with the term “coin” since we associate coins with metal objects we can hold in our hands, except for maybe the island of Yap that has stone coins.

I think they attempt to assuage people by using the term “coin” so that the chumps who invest in them really think that there is, somewhere, something that they can put in their pocket and stroll down to the local drug store and by a soda.

Bitcoin closed Friday May 18, 2018 at $8,487.61, in case you’re interested. Tulips were once very valuable, too (look that up in your history books).

Let me say I have no animosity for those who invest in Bitcoin. If you make a fortune, good for you, and make sure and thank the Winklevoss twins, who dreamed up Facebook and any other moneymaking investment that might have a sketchy, hard to nail down origin.

I think they slept through their ethics classes at Harvard; the only thing they learned was “once you have it, no one really cares how you got it” which was certainly true of I.G. Farben along with the International Bank of Settlements during the 1940s, or Joseph P. Kennedy Sr.

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Tokyo Slaughters Pregnant And Baby Whales

in The Life Slant by
Poached Minkes on Japanese ship inside Southeron Ocean Whale Sanctuary

*Japan is still torturously harpooning whales inside the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary; it’s a demonstration of bloody ruthless power.

Eight years ago, proceedings were instituted at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, where Australia accused Japan of pursuing a large scale Antarctic whaling program.

Four years later, the ICJ ruled that Japan must immediately stop its whaling program. The World Court found the loophole in the 1946 International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling that permits lethal scientific research did not apply to Japan.

Whaling Vessel represented as research vessel
Japan has not produced any meaningful scientific research after 25 years of killing more than 20,000 whales.
Photo credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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