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Controversies – Author Stephanie C. Fox’s Blog

Welcome!

This blog discusses the issues that are dealt with in my books:

Women’s issues and feminism, politics, ecosystems collapse, human overpopulation, history/herstory, Asperger’s/autism and Aspie voices, banksters and hedge fundsters and their role in economic meltdowns, honeybee colony collapse, people in fiction, Hawai‘i, Kuwait and other nations in the Middle East, cats, and travel.

Controversial issues and statements will not be avoided. They make life interesting and worth pondering.

Articles and websites are shared here, with my thoughts on them.

Enjoy perusing it all.

If you would like to support me and my work, please buy one of my books. Sales links for them are in the right margin of this site on every page.

And…if you enjoy my books, please write a review on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, or wherever else you find them.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Stephanie C. Fox, J.D.

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Happy Hallowe’en: Political Posterboards, Death Threats, and Videography

Happy Hallowe’en!

Professor Matt Warshauer, who teaches political science at Central Connecticut State University, and who puts up a political Hallowe’en display every year, invited me to come back this evening while a videographer conducted some interviews in front of it. These are some images of the display, taken in daylight a couple of weeks ago:

Tonight, in the dark, I got a little experience doing nighttime photography. I cranked the ISO settings on my camera to the maximum and used the flash. It worked out well.

Here is the tombstone that Professor Warshauer put next to the display, showing his website: https://themindfulprofessor.org/

 

This is Grace O’Donnell, producer/director of O’DonnellDunn productions inc. See: http://odonnelldunn.com/

She specializes in politics, religion, and rock & roll.

In short, she is just the sort of person I enjoy meeting.

As is the professor. Here he is:

Professor Matt Warshauer, who teaches political science at Central Connecticut State University, stands in front of his Hallowe’en display in West Hartford, Connecticut. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

I took a look at the spot where I had written something a couple of weeks ago, which was on one of the “Hope” posterboards. Those and the “Fear” ones were nearly full of writing by members of the public.

I had written:

Hack the G.O.P. – fix what they broke.

Then wipe the path of its codes. Block gerrymandering!

Be stealthy to be effective.

Break rules and maybe some laws to restore civil rights.

Remember: That is how we got those rights!

When I wrote that, I was thinking about women suffragists.

The laws then on the books worked against them.

Following the law was never going to get them the right to vote.

So…they broke the law.

We need to get back to thinking that way, because the wealthy banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists of America have rigged the system against the majority with money.

These are the individuals that I call “Farmers” with a capital “F” because they view and treat the rest of us as a crop to be manipulated or a weed to be erased, depending on whether we are cooperating with them or demanding our civil rights.

They insist that everyone but themselves must follow “proper channels” in order to get what they want, while using money to buy lobbyists – the most expensive and most unethical, prostituted ones they can find – to direct the politicians that they have bought with campaign donations to do their bidding.

They paid a lot of money for Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010 to enable them to do just that.

Now they can donate as much money as they want to whichever politicians they want through their corporations.

What they want that ability for is to choke off rights that we now have that they don’t like, such as the right to abortion on demand. They want women to be forced to birth unwanted babies and then be stuck raising them and paying to raise them while calling women who get stuck with said babies “whores” and “welfare queens” – and then to cut off that money.

We should feel rage about this and fight back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world and all that makes life enjoyable, i.e. a comfortable home, meaningful work that pays a living wage, and civil rights, are not just for one group.

White male rage over seeing all other groups – women, other races, religions other than Christian, atheists, people of all sexual identities, and so on – is a hate crime.

It is not a “right” that is being infringed upon by the mere existence of these others.

White males with rages issues are terrorists and must be viewed and treated as such.

The professor who hosted this videography event is a white male WITHOUT rage issues. He is unselfish, reasonable, and thinks clearly.

There are plenty of men like him in the world.

Those are the ones who deserve to be paid attention to, NOT the minority of angry terrorist losers who attack others online and in person.

Civility has gone too far.

At Democrats are finally starting to disagree with the “go high when they go low” advice that is obvious nonsense and a recipe for more trampling on our civil rights.

Michelle Obama Wanted Democrats to ‘Go High.’ Now They Aren’t So Sure.

I get very angry about all this, and as long as I can remain polite and eloquent in my writing, I can do something useful and effective about our political problems.

People make and post memes online. Some are intelligent and insightful. Others are profane and hateful. Still others manage to express anger in acceptable ways.

That one was my attempt at expressing myself.

It’s a lot better than my initial thoughts upon seeing an article on Facebook about the Alabama Supreme Court wanting to kill Roe v. Wade.

But back to the video event:

The first thing that the professor did was to interview a man whose granddaughter saw Roots, based on the book by Alex Haley.

The next day at school, she drew a picture of Donald Trump whipping Haley’s ancestor, Kunta Kinte, while demanding that he accept a new name.

The man brought the drawing, which is now a few years old, to the interview. It was done during the 2015-2016 U.S. Presidential Election.

Donald J. Trump is a divisive, nasty bully who wants to destroy freedom of speech and the rest of the U.S. Constitution.

He aligns himself with Nazis, alt-right terrorists, Christian terrorists, any government that has its leaders patronize his hotels, and the anti-intellectual masses who feel sidelined by a lack of access to resources.

Never mind why they feel shut out of resources – they are angry, and lashing out at anyone who has access other than those who are actually shutting them out, i.e. the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Mercers, the DeVoses, the Princes, and any other “Farmer” with a capital “F” who seeks to hoard resources for themselves and only themselves.

I posed with the professor in front of his exhibit:

The professor told me that he got a death threat online about his exhibit, which was also addressed to the university president.
She forwarded that threat to the state police.
The state police traced it to a guy in Wisconsin – and we’re in Connecticut.
The guy was freaked out when the police got him on the phone. He whimpered that he was drunk when he posted that comment and that he wasn’t interested in actually hurting anyone.
People are out of control, and I blame Trump, Pence, McConnell, the Kochs, the DeVoses, the Uihlein’s, the Mercers, the Princes, and the alt-right Nazis of America.
At least Bill Maher is out there.
And Stephen Colbert.

After I was interviewed by Ms. O’Donnell, I signed a release form and started to leave.

But then, one of my politicians showed up, so I stayed a couple of minutes longer.

I like this politician. Her name is Beth Bye, and she is the state senator for West Hartford and the part of Bloomfield that I live in.

She is a Democrat, and I remember meeting her in someone’s home when she was first running. She is a former kindergarten teacher who is willing to educate herself about any issue that she votes on in the course of her political duties, and if that means making field trips to learn in person about whatever topic it is, she will do that, and talk about it to groups to share what she has learned.

Senator Bye came to write on the posterboard, and paused to pose for some photographs before doing so.

 

While I was chatting with her, I took advantage of the moment to ask her about our state’s apiary inspector, because a couple of years ago, he was almost removed from the budget.

Mark H. Creighton runs his own set of Langstroth beehives at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Hamden, and he invited me to see his operations there.

That was my third camera-toting bee field trip for the book that I wrote about honeybee colony collapse disorder:

Price: Check on Amazon
Price: $17.96
Was: $25.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I blogged about that at the time, after having a Letter to the Editor published in The Hartford Courant.

Here is the blog post: Our Bee Inspector is the Lorax of Honeybees – Save His Funding!

I told her that I had given the governor a copy of my book, The Bear Guarding the Beehive, with a post-it note on the page with 2 photographs showing Mark Creighton, the state apiary inspector at work, and a letter to the governor asking to save his funding. I also knew about the petition from the Connecticut Beekeepers Association and mentioned that.

Senator Bye told me that a combination of Democrats and Republicans had demanded that the apiary inspector be put back on the budget, and so it was.

That was encouraging to hear: a purple group – both red and blue – had understood the importance of keeping the bees healthy. Bees enable our food supply to continue.

I really miss the days of blue and purple in American politics. Red has thrown reason, logic, civility, and democracy to the wind.

If a fight and some stealth is what it takes to restore blue, purple, reason, logic, and civility to political life in America, so be it.

We Broke Laws That Disadvantaged Us. We Must Do It Again.

Our nation was founded by those who broke laws that disadvantaged them.

Since then, those of us who continued to be disadvantaged by the new legal system continued that tradition.

We must do that again.

There were dire consequences for doing so, ranging from being jailed and force-fed (women suffragists such as Alice Paul), to being lynched and burned to a crisp (civil rights activists), having one’s home or place of worship burned down (you name the cause!), having one’s bus burned, often while still containing its passengers (again, civil rights activists), getting murdered or assassinated (Medgar Evers and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), getting one’s skull bashed in by a police night-stick (U.S. Representative from Georgia John R. Lewis), having food poured onto one’s head at lunch counters (civil rights activists such as Anne Moody), and many, many more.

Price: $9.99
Price: $8.87
Price: $11.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scary thought?

Well, Happy Hallowe’en!

That brings me to law, politics, ecosystems collapse, human overpopulation, and the fabulous annual project of political science Professor Matt Warshauer, which you can read more about at https://themindfulprofessor.org/ 

This is what he has created for Hallowe’en 2018:

The exhibit includes quotes by Presidents George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama.

George Washington panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

Teddy Roosevelt panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

John F. Kennedy panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

Barack H. Obama panel on political science professor Matt Warshauer’s exhibit for Hallowe’en 2018. Photograph by Stephanie C. Fox

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is an annual Hallowe’en tradition in West Hartford, Connecticut to go and see it. This year, the professor has invited the public to write on 4 panels provided to the right of the display.

The panels are labeled alternately “Hope”, “Fear”, “Hope”, “Fear”, in white, black, white, and black. Markers with black and white ink are provided. I left them nib-end down in the wells atop the tombstone to civil rights in the center, so that gravity would keep the ink flow going as long as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, members of the public have taken the professor up on his invitation, and continue to do so every day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Among the writings were the initials of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a peace symbol, an exhortation to eliminate the electoral college, an encouragement to vote, worry about the loss of reproductive rights, and words such as “equality,” “education for all,” “fascism,” “transphobia,” “sexism,” “rape,” and “the GOP is corrupt.”

The professor has addressed the problems were are dealing with in panels to the left of “Gates to Trumpian Perdition”, which is topped by a sign that reads “Democracy Can Die”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over these is a Trump puppet that spews steam from a mechanism behind the wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With Trump is a vulture skeleton. These panels include quotes from past politicians that offer hope via useful advice, warnings written by prescient dystopian fiction authors, and quotes from monsters from history’s worst, most hateful periods, such as Adolph Hitler.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scariest panels come last. Dystopian authors warn repeatedly, historians warn that those who don’t study history are condemned to repeat it, and still the monsters reappear with disturbing regularity as history stubbornly does repeat itself. There was Hitler, and now there is Trump.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am one of those dystopian authors who insist upon writing warnings. Some of those warnings are novels that include ideas for averting or remedying catastrophes. The world of Nae-Nee, my 3-novel tale of human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, offers many ideas aimed at preserving, remediating, protecting, and otherwise saving our planet and its human societies. The books are in both digital and printed formats.

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Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator from the state of Connecticut and former Attorney General of that state, has filed suit as a member of Congress against Trump for violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Profiting financially from one’s position as POTUS compromises one’s ability to serve and to uphold one’s oath of office. Thus far, the case is going well, with a win in federal court. Let’s hope for res judicata on this one, i.e. that it stands as decided. Stay tuned.

Richard Blumenthal: Trump Thumbs Nose At Constitution, Americans

Here is the case:

Richard Blumenthal, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 1:17-cv-01154 (D.D.C. 2017)

Alexander Hamilton, one of the framers of the Constitution was concerned about foreign corruption of the new United States.[10] Towards that end, the Foreign Emoluments Clause can be seen as a measure to prevent corruption and one that has yet to be interpreted by the courts.[11][12] So the question of how to ensure foreign payments to the President or organizations which exist for the benefit of the President are not unconstitutional unauthorized payments from foreign governments has not yet been the basis of case law.

The Ranking Member of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Richard Blumenthal, the similarly situated Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, John Conyers, Jr., 29 other senators and 165 other representatives[13] allege that this behavior impedes their constitutional right to be advised of such foreign payments and their duty to weigh in on potentially unauthorized emoluments.

It’s great that we have people like Senator Blumenthal in government. But it may not be enough. The federal courts are full of judges who care about the rule of law, but that is no longer so at the top level. The U.S. Supreme Court is now ruined with the addition of an angry, self-entitled , white male bent on getting revenge against liberals for daring to try to stop an attempted rapist and belligerent drunk, i.e. himself, from being seated on our highest court.

We don’t know whether or not we will succeed in restoring Democrats to power in the House and Senate this November.

Vote!

I have already done so via absentee ballot.

We are forced to look to fiction to hear proper speeches by leaders to offer logical, legitimate perspectives. Madam Secretary said it tonight: “Nationalism is a perversion of patriotism.” She also talked about how our nation is not for just one group. It’s for all groups. (It was also fun to see 3 real past Secretaries of State in the season premiere: Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell, and Hillary Rodham Clinton.)

Madam Secretary | ‘E Pluribus Unum’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the beginning of this post, I said that we got the laws that give us civil rights such as the right to vote, the right to equal education that is not separate from other groups, the right to the absence of segregation, the right to control one’s reproductive life, and many others, by breaking laws that put us at a disadvantage.

Yes, we did get some that way. We also got some by using the standard legal and legislative process. Case law and enacted law reflects this.

But…when the law is hijacked by those who use money to pervert it, by calling for nationalism rather than patriotism, by gerrymandering, by not minding when foreign computer hackers tamper with our elections, and by deliberately looking the other way when Nazis crop up, vandalizing, harassing, maiming and killing, and bullying as if we were back in the post-Civil War South full of enraged, self-entitled losers who saw murder as a solution to their having lost the Civil War…clearly, expecting the system to continue working for the greater good is a fantasy.

The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century | The justices again appear poised to pursue a purely theoretical liberty at the expense of the lives of people of color.

John Adams said that, eventually, democracy commits suicide.

We must fight to get it back.

If that means temporarily breaking the rules – and the laws – that take our rights away in order to restore our laws and civil rights, it is time to consider that.

Here is my statement from the second “Hope” panel in Professor Warshauer’s exhibit with some suggestions:

“Hack the G.O.P. – fix what they broke.

Then wipe the path of its codes. Block gerrymandering!

Be stealthy to be effective.

Break rules and maybe some laws to restore civil rights.

Remember: That is how we got those rights!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s all very well to suggest this – to suggest breaking laws to fix them – but there is one other problem: I don’t know how to hack a computer. I don’t know computer experts who could perform on that level. I’m a dystopian author who can warn, suggest, and write eloquently.

But like the rest of the people in this country who care about preserving and protecting our civil rights, and who want them restored, I need some help with that.

Thinking of Concealing a Controversial Opinion? That’s an Exercise in Futility.

Most of us can relate to the feeling that we ought not to express our opinions.

This usually comes from holding a controversial opinion.

Here is one: Brett Kavanaugh lacks the temperament necessary to sit as an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court and rule on cases that will affect our nation’s future life.

Of course, no one agrees with everyone on every issue, opinion, topic, or whatever else might be suggested.

That could lead to any opinion being deemed “controversial”.

Why would anyone – our parents, our teachers, our career counselors, or other advisors – tell us not to disclose our opinions?

They want us to get accepted to “good” (read: prestigious and of high academic rigor) schools, and to be hired for the jobs that we want.

Do they really think that no one will ever find out?!

In this age of internet ubiquity, that idea is pure fantasy.

Granted, we’re not officially living in an Orwellian, police surveillance state, but we’re close.

We have blogs, such as this one, and social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, Google+, and many, many more such sites.

The best we can do to protect ourselves from social and financial ruin to express controversial views politely and eloquently, and to research our statements.

After that, it is fantasy to imagine that one can both have a blog or other internet presence and not have it found out.

I keep this one to promote my books.

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My books are about social and political issues.

That pretty much means that expressing my views is what keeps this blog relevant.

This website includes my books, reviews of those books, my curriculum vitae, reviews of my work as an editor, and a list of the books that I have read as research.

The entire point of having this site is for this blog and everything else that is on it to be seen.

Brett Kavanaugh, sniffling and almost crying as he delivers his self-entitled, whiny statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27, 2018. Win McNamee/Getty Images

We are watching a liar with a likely case of alcoholism, a history of blackouts and a mental state of denial about them, and a possible rapist or at least attempted rapist apply for a job.

This is not just any job.

This is a job with a lifetime appointment, an annual paycheck that is currently set at $255,300, and the responsibility for adjudicating cases that will affect our rights for decades if not longer.

Brett Kavanaugh has shown a sense of entitlement to this job with his whiny, almost-crying, sniffling, grimacing statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee on the afternoon of Thursday, September 27, 2018.

Kavanaugh Said He Had ‘No Connections’ to Yale. He Was, in Fact, a Legacy Student

At least Saturday Night Live opened its season with some great comic relief, expertly delivered by Matt Damon, which highlighted all of the major points involved:

Kavanaugh liked beer, still likes beer, worked out at the gym with his friends, studied for high grades at Yale, and the upshot of this is that he feels entitled to the job he is applying for.

As Michael Che pointed out later in the show, during the Weekend Update segment, “If your dog might bite, I definitely won’t want to pet it.” Colin Jost, his co-anchor, noted that “you’re not really helping yourself in a drunken assault case when you yell about how much you like drinking and how strong you were at the time.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, by limiting Democrats to five minutes each to ask the nominee questions, has shown that it does not care about their views.

By doing that, the GOP senators have demonstrated a lack of integrity, a lack of ethics, and ultimately a lack of patriotism.

For a bit more relief delivered by thespians on video, here is Wednesday Addams, all grown up, turning the menacing behavior of sexist speech in public places back on her harassers, along with knowledge of the law of speech in public places:

It brings back memories of Murphy Brown in the early 1990s, walking to work past a construction site, getting hooted at by idiots, and then reappearing in the frame, jeering at that same fat, loudmouthed construction worker as she chases him back to his point of origin. I’m so glad that show is back on television!

Here is a controversial political cartoon by Canadian cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon.

It shows Justice getting symbolically raped by the white males of the U.S. Republican political party.

Here is my comment on it:

“Poignant. (Read the article to see why I put that particular word here.) Showing Justice getting symbolically sexually assaulted by a GOP, white male politician is precisely on point.”

‘Wow. I gasped, put my phone down…’: Cartoon inspired by Ford-Kavanaugh grips North America

His reason for drawing it is to point out the outrageous attitude of the GOP about the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh.

To him, I want to say, “Thank you!”

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a hero, as are those 2 women who cornered Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator at the U.S. Capitol.

‘Don’t Look Away From Me’ | Jeff Flake is confronted by sexual assault survivors | The New York Times

The transparency that they triggered forced him to demand some modicum of an F.B.I. investigation into Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct.

If Jeff Flake hadn’t asked for that investigation, any effort he made in the future as he moves on to the next phase of his career would have been tainted with the impression that he didn’t care about women’s rights, safety, or any other aspect of our lives.

Here is a piece from The Huffington Post. It’s about human interactions, and it shows the hypocritical attitude of Senator Lindsey Graham:

“I heard every disgusting word that Sen. Graham said then ― that Dr. Ford wasn’t credible because she had waited so long to come forward. That he wouldn’t consider the merits of the claim because he disagreed with the process by which her story had not been shared earlier with the committee. But what hit me hardest was his assertion that we shouldn’t believe Dr. Ford because she couldn’t recall the exact date or location of the assault.

I couldn’t keep quiet on that. When Sen. Graham broke free from the press gaggle, I told him that I had been raped 13 years ago and that I didn’t know the exact date. Would he believe me despite that?

Graham’s callous response was to say that he was sorry but that I needed to go to the police.”

I Told Sen. Lindsey Graham I’d Been Raped. His Response Was Telling.

The GOP senators are determined to push Kavanaugh’s nomination through regardless of whatever the F.B.I. uncovers within the next week, and to stop that probe whether it finds more dirt or not.

This is unethical, and they don’t care.

Any objections from the Democrats, and the GOP males shriek, reflexively, that the Democrats don’t want to make America great again.

If “great” means with advantages heavily weighted in favor of white males, as our society was blatantly aligned before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, before Roe v. Wade in 1973, and a plethora of other legal changes that should keep on coming rather than be undone, then yes, we don’t want that to happen.

That idea is not “great”.

That is a travesty.

I intend to incite controversy over this, and outrage from anyone who disagrees with my rejection of MAGA.

Let’s make America equal and just for all, as in our Pledge to the Flag. And get that “under God” bit out! (I never say it, and I won’t.)

It was added in 1954 by a GOP politician from Michigan, whose name was Homer S. Ferguson:

He introduced the Senate version of the bill that inserted “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Michigan’s 17th congressional district United States House of Representatives Republican Charles G. Oakman had previously introduced a House version. The bill became law on Flag Day, June 14, 1954.

We should have a separation of religion and state, not a merging of them.

No particular brand of religion should take precedence over any other, and no brand of religion at all should ever be mixed with or come ahead of the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If stating my position on this matter risks offending others, whoever they may be, in order to contribute to the effort to stop this abomination in progress, it’s worth the effort.

Fox News – How Dare It Share My Cool Last Name! – And Other Observations

Fox News – how dare it share my cool last name!

Actually, I prefer to call it Fixed Noise, a la Keith Olbermann. He switches between calling it Fixed News and Fox Noise, but I like my combination of his terms.

Fox News/Fixed Noise is anchored by a disturbing mix of college dropouts, spin doctors, the intellectually lazy, by those who disparage intellectual accomplishments, by those with a religious bent, by white supremacists, and by individuals who react to criticism with inane defense mechanisms rather than with measured, calm, thoughtful rebuttals.

In judging the quality and credibility of a news source, it is important to consider whether or not is actually is a news source, or just an opinion channel, such as Fox News. Some are mixed, such as MSNBC. Both are at opposite ends of the political spectrum.

One way to know whether or not a source is credible is to see if it has won any awards. For example, there is the highly prestigious Alfred I. DuPont—Columbia University Awards, given to honor excellence in broadcast and digital journalism in the public service.

I often come across comments and complaints both in face-to-face interactions and on the internet in which people say that “the liberal voice is stronger.”

That sounds whiny.

Who says that, and why would they do it?

The people saying it are a contradiction of factors all in the same individuals.

They are not well educated and they admit it to the others in the discussion.

They are not well read.

They are not liberals, obviously.

I found these people in two places.

One of them was in a discussion of human overpopulation in which a concern about that issue is present.

Yet, for the non-liberals in the group, it is more about expressing disgust for children, parents of children who happen to be obnoxious and self-entitled about passing on their own DNA while displaying gross discourtesy to others about noise and mess caused by their offspring when out in public.

Oddly, these individuals support Trump, the GOP, and abortion, birth control access, and a population policy.

Everyone in the group supports abortion, birth control access, and a population policy.

But to support all that is oxymoronic.

It’s contradictory.

Why?

Just apply a little logic: Trump is trying to pack the U.S. Supreme Court with justices who will eviscerate our rights to abortion and birth control. If they were ever to institute a population policy, it would resemble ethnic cleansing and genocide, war crimes that would qualify them as defendants on trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC), rather than one that would reduce births evenly throughout the entire human population, and therefore attempt to save our ecosystem from collapse due to resource depletion and pollution.

This portends a turn in the wrong direction, one that will make the world alarming like the dystopian nightmare that I depict in Nae-Nee Book 2, Vaccine: The Cull – Nae-Nee Wasn’t Enough.

I should mention that, unlike in the world of Nae-Nee, the United States is not subject to the ICC because it has refused to ratify the Rome Statute (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rome_Statute_of_the_International_Criminal_Court). To see the text of that document, visit: http://legal.un.org/icc/index.html

The United States is notorious for refusing to subject itself to any law other than its own while remaining a member of the United Nations.

The group also has many posts about ecosystems collapse, many about species depletions and plastic pollution.

At this point, I should mention that this group also has liberals in it, and that the posts about overpopulation and ecosystems collapse come largely from us.

How can one support Trump and his company of Farmers (I’ll list them again: banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists) such as the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Mercers, the Princes, the DeVoses, and other one-percenters, while also supporting a solution to human overpopulation?!

It is not logical.

It smacks of either whining or criminal intent.

Fortunately, it seems to be more of the former than of the latter.

However, too many votes, whether induced by Russia’s Internet Research Agency, by America’s Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh, or cast by tiki torch-toting white supremacists, can do plenty of damage for decades to come.

Remaking America into a nation of religion-addled, intellectually lazy and mentally unskilled citizens is treasonous and dangerous. It will quickly make us, by and large, helpless to take care of our own interests.

I worry that we will soon be like the Roman senators as the Goths sacked their capital city: obsessed with astrology, wasting their lives. At that point, they didn’t deserve sovereignty, let alone an empire. They were no longer capable of managing either.

Supporting an administration that is quite possibly headed by an unindicted criminal with dementia is crazy behavior. Trump – whom I love to call Herr Pumpkingropenfuhrer – cannot pronounce basic words, cannot parse a sentence that makes sense or with eloquence, as required of a nation’s leader, he makes up names of nations and mistakes fictitious nations for real ones, and he readily admits to treasonous acts with casual nonchalance.

This is the behavior of a narcissist, a criminal, and one with dementia.

Supporting him and his crew is against one’s own interests, because this administration is out for itself, and out to remake our declining empire as a conservative Christian one of the barely literate, unable to compete or even function on our own in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines, without sex education beyond admonitions to abstain from it unless procreating, until most of its voters are clueless cannon fodder, blithely tithing away chunks of their income while laboring at below-poverty-level mcjobs and gigs, never able to pay off student loan debt, be it from for-profit schools or legitimate ones.

That was a long sentence – longer than the ones I usually write – but it sums up what we are facing.

But that is what Betsy DeVos is trying to remake our nation’s majority of citizens into as she destroys its public school system and refuses to stop debt slavery from crippling graduates of either for-profit schools, which she and her fellow Farmers profit from, or graduates of other schools.

This is an array of scammers and swindlers who seek money from gullible fools who want others to do their thinking for them. No wonder so many voters fail to research how to vote in their own interests. They want an easy way out of having to bother to do that.

These fraudsters, and others like them, are allowed by many to serve as their fact-finders and news sources.

They are culturally sanctioned conspiracy theorists, much like Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh.

There was another source that I got my information from: face-to-face conversation.

“All I know is what I feel” is what I was told recently in a discussion of politics, law, and the economy.

Really?! What you feel?!

What about the data?!

Facts, research, logic, measured reasoning – these are the things that ought to inform one’s voting decisions.

What this person “felt” was that the economy seems to be doing better now that Trump is in office.

What I told him was that always, when we see how the economy is doing, we are experiencing the effects of the efforts of the previous administration, because nothing is immediate. Policy implementation takes time to have an effect.

Liberals – we horrid creatures who coldly think things through based on science, data, logic, and other Spock-like factors – do not operate on simply emotion.

We have emotion, but our voting behavior is not ruled by it.

That is not to say that we don’t feel rage at the idea of having the right to abortion on demand and easy access to birth control cut off, or at being choked by coal ash instead of moving forward on the Paris Agreement (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement), which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Framework_Convention_on_Climate_Change). Many states are moving forward on it without the federal government, including Connecticut, which has just one coal-fueled power plant left, in Bridgeport.

So don’t give up on fighting for real news. Learn how to identify it. Watch and listen to it.

Ignore those who would manipulate you into voting to suit their interests rather than your own.

Think of how life was – and what distractions did not yet exist – when our republic was functioning as it ought to.

Then focus only on the information sources that aid and are relevant to your interests.

Educators Should Realize that We Aspies Are As We Ought to Be, and Teach Us On Our Terms, Not Theirs.

Educators should realize that we Aspies are as we ought to be, and teach us on our terms, not theirs.

People on the autism spectrum have a lot of different words used to refer to us: Aspie, Asperger’s, Aspergirl, Asperwoman, autistic, and now, thanks to one of us, neuratypical.

What are the other people called? I mean the people who are in the majority – the ones who are not on the autism spectrum, and not singled out as “different” simply because they are in the majority.

They are called neurotypicals.

Joi Ito has written an article in Wired magazine that describes his experiences as he sought an education, complete with formal credentials all the way up to a doctorate.

The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals

He makes many excellent points, points which made me think about my own education, and how I navigated the process.

People on the autism spectrum – Aspies and others – are neuratypical as opposed to neurotypical. Neurotypical is the word for the majority of humans. Aspies – neuratypicals – are simply a minority model of human. The difference is in our brainstems. We are not wrong, just different. The answer to the question as to how to educate us is to adapt to our ways of learning and understanding, NOT to attempt to remake us or to force us to adapt to a model that is not us.

Neurotypicals must be told over and over, and taught from an early age, and then taught again and again, that just because they are in the majority, that does not make them the “correct” model of human being and all others somehow “wrong” and in need of fixing or adapting to suit the ways of thinking that suit neurotypicals.

What distinguishes us from neurotypicals?

It’s a brainstem type. Every brainstem, be it neurotypical or neuratypical, is different – unique – which backs up the saying that if you’ve met one Aspie, you’ve met one Aspie.

No one is really a litmus test for anyone else, and we Aspies like what we like, and pay attention to little else.

That can help us in pursuing an education, because it guides us through the learning process, allowing us to ignore learning methods that don’t work for us while finding and using those that do.

Brainstems have connectors that branch off and connect to the lobes of the brain, allowing access to it.

Brains have sections that, among other things, are devoted to memory, data storage, and social interaction, also known as intuitive reasoning.

Several years ago, Leslie Stahl of CBS’s 60 Minutes did a story about this, with an interview of Temple Grandin, Ph.D., and magnetic resonance images (MRIs) of brainstems.

Temple Grandin’s Unique Brain | CBS

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., is an animal husbandry expert who has designed humane slaughterhouses and who understands how animals communicate. She also has autism.

One of the things that I love about her is the fact that she insists that people on the autism spectrum should have and hone a special interest into a skill, and that they should be people who can do something who merely happen to be on the autism spectrum.

Another thing that impresses me about her is that she will talk about whatever it is that she has to say without making the eye contact that neurotypicals deem so important…until she is finished.

At that point, the pressure to remember every point that she wishes to make is off, because they are all made. Then, and only then, will she give them that thing that they want.

It’s not that we on the autism spectrum aren’t willing to meet neurotypicals on any of their terms. We are. It’s that they must accept that we will be doing that on our terms, not theirs.

If that is confusing, just remember how Grandin grants eye contact – when she is good and ready! I do that, too.

But back to Leslie Stahl’s television magazine article.

Here is the image that was shown in it, which is a pair of human brainstems in an array of pretty colors, taken using an MRI machine by a neuroscientist:

Temple Grandin’s brainstem is on the left, and some random neurotypical’s brainstem is on the right.

Leslie Stahl is pointing at the blue and purple cluster of connectors that matches the circled ones on the neurotypical’s brainstem.

Those connectors go into the data storage part of the brain for an autistic person, and they go into the intuitive reasoning section for a neurotypical person.

Put another way, we Aspies and autistic people handle social interactions, and figure out how to navigate them, using memory and analysis of how each interaction went for future reference.

This explains why we can be socially awkward and slow to learn how to interact successfully with other people.

Having said that, I have observed a social weakness in neurotypicals: overconfidence. Forgetting that not all of us function the same way, and assuming that we ought to, leads to bullying.

And here is where I have a criticism of Leslie Stahl’s attitude, because it needs adjustment: She kept pointing at Grandin’s connectors and which way they went, i.e. every which way instead of just upwards, and calling them “wrong” directions.

She was wrong to do that.

I watched this report with my Aspie father at home in the kitchen that Sunday night and thought, as I looked at this image and focused on the brainstem on the right, “That’s IT? That’s ALL that the neurotypicals get to work with?! That’s not very much.” Then I said so.

My mother walked into the room and my father commented, “We just saw our brains on TV.” He sounded very calm and matter-of-fact.

I was elated by what I had just seen.

It had only been a few years before that I had researched what Asperger’s is and how it works, and I was very happy to understand myself, in part because that’s what a person needs to function, and in another part because the psychiatrist who diagnosed me never bothered to teach it to me. She, like many in her profession, thought it was her role to medicate me for any condition that she detected, with a view toward making me more like the majority. It didn’t work. I was still me – just eating too much from those stupid pills and with my thought processes dulled, thus making me unable to write. A few years after that, I quit the pills, shrank down to a healthy size, and resumed writing. I’m never going to work in a cubicle. That much is obvious to me.

Here is something that I would like to share from my independent research into what Asperger’s is and how it works:

Asperger’s Syndrome – Symptoms | WebMD

It’s a set of 3 checklists of traits that can be observed in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. I have most of each.

I’m not someone who spends much time on WebMD. I prefer to look at historical research and news sources. But this one was worth saving forever.

As I’m writing this, the movie Proof is on, starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s about a woman mathematics genius who is on the autism spectrum. She has written a brilliant proof, an equation that is defined as “a convincing demonstration that some mathematical statement is necessarily true”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_proof

Catherine, the Aspie math genius, spends the movie not realizing that is was she who wrote the proof, not her math professor father who has just died, and she must also realize that there is nothing wrong with her, despite her neurotypical sister’s efforts to “take care of her” and make everyday life decisions on her behalf. She can handle things on her own. She even has a nice new boyfriend – all she has to do is realize all that, and she eventually does.

I love such characters – Aspies who learn to define themselves and take charge of their own lives, knowing that they are what they ought to be, and that they are exceptional.

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The Aspie characters that I have written – Avril in Nae-Nee and Delphine in Elephant’s Kitchen – have learned to work and study on their own terms, much as I did in school, without disclosing what they are up to. They are sneaky that way, and thus they succeed at earning degrees and playing musical instruments.

Often, we don’t realize what we are doing as we are growing and doing this, until we are adults and have finished our degrees and established our careers to some extent.

That is exactly how it is for Avril. She revels in being an Aspie. Delphine is not aware of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Book 3 of Nae-Nee, I have Avril talk about genetic editing with a couple of corporatist Farmers who want to find a way to edit people on the autism spectrum out of existence.

She is against it, and so is her cousin-in-law, Claire, who is another Asperwoman. And it is well that they should be!

Both of them have completed college degrees in subjects that fascinated them, they speak coherently and cogently using advanced vocabulary words that these corporatist Farmers sometimes find that they have to look up, and Avril has two graduate degrees. Claire is much younger, but about to start law school.

Avril wastes no time in lambasting these two guys, who start off fine, talking about using genetic editing to delete problems like Tay-Sachs disease, but then devolve the discussion to deleting autism. She tells them that what they are considering doing is likely made possible by people on the autism spectrum, and that many of the advances made throughout human history and herstory have been made by people on the autism spectrum – so humanity needs us, and we have no intention of going away quietly and leaving the enjoyment of the world and its resources to neurotypicals.

She tells them about the movie GATTACA, in which society only values and allows fulfilling careers and advancement for those whose genes have been edited, yet the joke is on those who have had that done, because the main character has qualified for the trip to Saturn’s moon Titan without having had that done.

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She points out the work of Temple Grandin, Ph.D., and adds that there are many other names that she can cite in support of her argument, including the Founders of the United States of America: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison. Reading biographies of historical figures, and looking at their personality traits, quirks, and interests, is a way to discern whether or not someone was in fact on the autism spectrum, and the markers of Asperger’s show in these Founders.

Avril doesn’t stop there. She names Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Nikola Tesla, and others.

Charles Darwin Had Autism, Leading Psychiatrist Claims

Claire loves it, of course.

I deliberately validate Aspies, because we should be the ones who speak for ourselves, and neurotypicals have certainly demonstrated that they’re not going to do it.

DeVos is with the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Mercers, the Trumps – not with the People.

Betsy DeVos has never had to worry about money.

We have a Non-Secretary of Education in Betsy DeVos.

Betsy DeVos. Photograph by Bill Clark, CQ Roll Call, ZUMA

She has no idea what it feels like to worry about paying bills, about being able to pay bills, about how she will pay student loan debt, nor how she will cope with duns for payment.

She is the daughter of a billionaire auto parts dealer, Edgar Prince. Here is the history page of his company’s website: https://princemanufacturing.com/history-timeline/

Edgar Prince. Corporate Photo.

Her brother, it is worth noting, is the notorious and infamous Erik Prince of Blackwater Security (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erik_Prince), which now operates under another name due to abuse. It was changed to Xe Services in 2009, and then to Academi in 2011. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academi Just click on the hyperlink for Blackwater in his Wikipedia article. It redirects to one entitled “Academi”.

Blackwater CEO and founder Erik Prince. Photograph by Sara D. Davis, AP

This is the guy who had a secret meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian confidante of Vladimir Putin in January of 2017, arranged by the U.A.E.

Blackwater founder held secret Seychelles meeting to establish Trump-Putin back channel

This rogues’ gallery isn’t complete without a look at her husband, Dick DeVos, of the Amway products empire, so here he is with her at a GOP Michigan fundraising event in 2016:

Here is an inventory of her property, co-owned with her husband:

  • Primary residence, valued at $10 million, in Holland, Michigan, measured at 22,000 square feet.
  • Summer “cottage” overlooking Lake Michigan, valued at $2.4 million.
  • Home in Vero Beach, Florida.
  • Chalet in a Colorado skiing area.
  • 3 aircraft: 1. Cessna Citation III; 2. Cessna Caravan; 3. Cirrus-SR 22.
  • 2 helicopters.
  • 10 boats, including a 50-meter superyacht called the SeaQuest.

Here is a [partial] gallery of the DeVos property holdings:

DeVos Mansion in Holland, Michigan. Betsy DeVos’ Palatial 22,000 Sq. Ft. Michigan Summer House is Making Headlines For All The Wrong Reasons

A Cessna Citation III. http://jetav.com/cessna-citation-iii-performance-specs/

A Cessna Caravan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cessna_208_Caravan

A Cirrus sr22. https://cirrusaircraft.com/aircraft/sr22/

SeaQuest – the DeVos’s superyacht. http://www.superyachts.com/motor-yacht-3708/seaquest.htm

What does it mean that she has access to all those planes and helicopters? She has no need to ever mingle with the masses while boarding or disembarking from any aircraft. She can just use her own transportation while in office, and thus not get dinged for using taxpayer funds to accomplish that.

Thus, she will never have to endure the “indignity” of meeting citizens while en route to wherever, as Scott Pruitt did, who can ever have a chance to tell her off in person.

Betsy DeVos doesn’t have to take care of life’s mundane details herself, such as home maintenance or shopping for gifts. She pays someone to do that for her – and to think of what to buy.

She is so far removed from reality as to have no concept of time management combined with anxiety about the ability to make financial ends meet, yet she controls an entire government agency that is responsible for ensuring that funds for education are fairly accessible to those who seek them, which is the key to qualifying for employment that enables one to make financial ends meet.

Betsy DeVos is no Secretary of Education, despite what her job title says.

She is instead the Secretary of Elitism and Betrayal.

Betsy DeVos is with the Kochs, the Uihleins, the Mercers, the Trumps – not with the People.

She betrays her oath as a matter of policy.

She knows exactly what she is doing and she absolutely means to do it.

There is no mistake in her actions and inactions.

She intends to enable fraud, to facilitate debt slavery, to disable actual education, to addle the mental faculties of students with religious nonsense of her preference, and to see that students are ill-prepared for the professions and mental disciplines for which the public and private schools that they attend purport to train and educate them for.

For full details, one can read a short, 77-page book called Schoolhouse Wreck: The Betsy DeVos Story by Jason Linkins with Phil Lewis, published this year (2018).

The book comes with footnotes to stories by the journalists that the Trump administration and Herr Pumpkingropenfuhrer himself revel in dumping on ad nauseam ad infinitum.

It lays out the case against DeVos by describing her background, her lack of qualifications, the reasons behind her attitude toward life, difficulties, religion, student loans, for-profit education, vouchers, public schools, private schools, parochial/religious schools, her agenda about charter schools, her contempt for students with disabilities, her donation machine, and the intentions behind her actions and inactions.

Website for disabled kids disappears as DeVos takes office

It ought to be read by any American citizen who cares about the future of our nation.

If the Founders read it, they would turn over in their graves.

Betsy DeVos wants to remake the U.S. education system in her own fantasy of Christian Calvinism, separation of religion and state be damned.

Rather than focusing on preparing students to compete in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines, she would have them know mythology inside out.

Imagine field trips to the Creationist Museum for schoolchildren, who would, under her direction, be taught that humans and dinosaurs once coexisted, that the Sun is not billions of years old, that the Earth was created in a day rather than over the course of eons, and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Jennings Bryan would be so proud, while John T. Scopes would be disgusted.

The constant spewing of anti-intellectualism is a patently obvious hatred and fear of being exposed as being against following the law, doing one’s duty by representing the citizens of the United States as required by the oath of office that Betsy DeVos, Donald J. Trump, and the rest of his non-administration took.

Betsy DeVos is all about causing our nation to be populated and overpopulated by a people so poorly educated as to be incapable of critical thinking or of questioning those in positions of authority.

Why?!

Because once this is accomplished, it will be far easier for her and other Farmers – yes, back to the banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists – to run roughshod over government, policy, and the people.

She is definitely a Farmer with a capital “F”, i.e. one who views the people as a crop to be manipulated for her own gain.

Betsy DeVos has never had to worry about money in her entire life. She came from money, she married money, and she intends to hoover up more money from the education industry.

It doesn’t matter to her whether or not the source of that money is legal. If not, she will simply not enforce any law, regulation, or policy that gets in her way.

Federal courts may order her to do so, but she will simply fabricate reasons to delay doing so.

She will issue rules that make it illegal for state attorneys general to sue her and the U.S. Department of Education to compel her to enforce the law, which is also known as doing her job.

She is not qualified to do her job, and does not care.

She used Lauren Maddox, a lobbyist who helped a for-profit law school that failed to prepare most of its student to pass the bar exam, to shove herself down the throats of the confirmation process, which, despite short questioning times for the senators involved, showcased her incompetence.

DeVos Offers a Lifeline to For-Profit Law School That Hired Her Former Adviser The feds had cut off federal student aid to Charlotte School of Law. Then it hired Betsy DeVos’s confirmation “sherpa.”

This incompetence is irrelevant to her agenda. Her agenda is to enable for-profit pseudo-universities to defraud students, and to ignore their pleas for debt reviews and relief.

For-profits schools have been shut down and then been allowed, under Betsy DeVos, to re-open, while others are still defunct. DeVos owns stakes in some of these corporations, in a blatant conflict of interest.

Here is are some of the for-profit schools, and corporations that manage them, that have failed to meet the criteria for being granted federal student loan service contracts, yet were granted such contracts anyway:

     

   

   

These for-profit schools have their own lobbyists, too. One organization that aids and abets them is called Career Education Colleges and Universities.

The Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) documented loan servicing companies misplacing paperwork, charging unexpected fees, and providing inconsistent information. Obama-Era guidelines for the Department of Education that were meant to curb, deter, and otherwise block such behavior have been rescinded under Betsy DeVos.

There are laws and regulations in place to assist defrauded students and student-loan debtors, which Betsy DeVos intends to ignore.

She wants their money, both for herself and for her Farmer friends, whether paying it would leave them enough to survive on or not (it would not).

She does not care.

 

The Water Will Cover Florida…and a Nuclear Power Plant.

Miami, Florida is just a few feet above sea level, and within a few decades, it will be level with the sea.

The water won’t stop there.

It will rise another few feet, and likely another few feet after that, for a total of at least 9 feet above its current level, before this century ends.

A novel in my Nae-Née series, Book 3 of 3, New World Order Underwater, spends a significant portion of its plot in Miami, Florida, after sea level has risen.

Infrastructure changes have been made, but most of Miami is underwater in it, and the scene is reminiscent of the opening credits of the Starz series Magic City. That is where the similarity ends. The woman swimming is having a different experience, which makes sense in disaster ecotourism.

A year after I published my story, a journalist named Jeff Goodell published a book entitled The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World.

He too spends a significant portion of his book discussing Miami, Florida, and the dangers it faces in the coming decades.

Here are both books:

So, both I and Mr. Goodell have been alert to these dangers, noticing and focusing on the situation in Miami in our respective books, and with horror.

I responded to the danger posed by the existence of a nuclear power plant just south of Miami, in Homestead, Florida, by having had it shut down, dismantled, and its radioactive contents relocated far inland, disassembled and not to be reassembled before the water could inundate it. There are, after all, plenty of other problems to describe in horrific detail in my novel.

There was no need – nor was there any desire on my part – to write the game-over version of Miami underwater, one in which the Turkey Point Nuclear Generating Station has melted down in the Atlantic Ocean’s version of Chernobyl.

I figured I would leave that horror show for a journalist to describe, and sure enough, a year later, one did.

Courtesy of Florida Light & Power.

State Senator Says FPL Isn’t Preparing Miami’s Nuclear Plant for Sea-Level Rise

Jeff Goodell has detailed the facts in vivid detail, having visited local politicians and researched the situation to the nth degree.

Not surprisingly, he was not admitted to the facility for a tour, but there is no need when enough information is a matter of public record.

The reactors – both of them – are 20 feet above sea level.

That sounds great, doesn’t it?! Sea level isn’t going that high in climate model predictions.

But wait, there’s more: there is an emergency cooling generator 15 feet above sea level. Its job is to cool the reactors.

We all know what happened when those things failed at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukushima, Japan: meltdown.

Now no human can get near the place to shut down the lethal mess, it’s leaking into the Pacific Ocean, toxifying fisheries, and it is doubtful that any robot yet invented could function long enough to do anything about it, either.

Back to Turkey Point: the cooling generator is housed in an open-louvered container, 15 feet above sea level.

So what? Sea level is projected to rise at most 9 feet, not even high enough to get at that, you might say.

That’s not the whole story.

Never mind the fact that humans will have to abandon most of Florida, as they have in my dystopian novels with poorly planned chaos in their hasty departures.

Never mind the mixing of saltwater with freshwater as the ocean inundates Florida.

Never mind the cholera-infested waters from raw sewage mixing with it all that will add to the misery.

No, that’s not all.

Don’t forget what will get to that nuclear power plant: hurricanes.

All we need is for a super-storm of a hurricane – a Category 5 would suffice – and storm surges will rise over the place by 28 feet.

Super-storms are no longer a theory. They are a regular occurrence, and they are happening with far greater frequency than ever.

The Atlantic’s version of Chernobyl is coming if our short-sighted species doesn’t dismantle and relocate this entire facility and soon.

If that louvered box is breached, the cooling generator will fail, and the nuclear reactors will melt down.

It won’t be pretty.

Here is how the place looks from above, close up, on Google Maps:

Pulling back from it a bit, we can see the general layout of the facility, the coast, and the fact that no human settlements are adjacent to it.

Pull back a bit more, however, and human settlements are within walking distance. Look at the neighborhoods and pools nearby.

And, rising even farther overhead, showing the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Station toward the bottom of the image, we can see Miami.

Think about that just before you try to go to sleep, and you won’t fall asleep quickly, nor will you rest easy once you do.

I found a blog post that was made shortly after the tsunami that destroyed the nuclear power plant in Fukushima hit.

It extrapolated the effects of a similar disaster on Miami, in a very short entry, with this image:

EYE ON MIAMI – Nukes: In Japan and Turkey Point. By Geniusofdespair

It focuses on Miami, the water that laps at its sidewalks, the keys and shoals just off of its coast, and reminds us of all of the residents who would be affected by a meltdown.

Actually, we don’t have to wait for the next natural disaster to poison the waters around that nuclear power plant.

It’s doing that now. A system of cooling canals, if you can imagine the idiocy of implementing such a plan, winds through the marshes around it.

It goes into Biscayne Bay, and saltwater leaks into drinking water.

South Florida is not a safe place to live, let alone a healthy one.

Radioactive baths and showers, cooking water, drinking water – all are part of life in Homestead and the Miami area.

Local citizens – not wealthy people – have organized to protest the inaction and mismanagement – a familiar story – and gotten nowhere.

Neither Florida Light & Power nor the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission acknowledge the danger.

Florida Light & Power won’t allow tours, and insists that there is no danger, engaging in the classic speech of an entity in a state of denial.

Photo by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Turkey Point Nuclear Plant Is Pumping Polluted Water Into Biscayne Bay

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers earthquakes and storms, but not rising sea levels or super-storms.

Meanwhile, as Goodell reports in his book, Miami area real estate agents get defense and then hysterical when told of the coming danger of rising sea levels, crying that it’s “not fair!”

That’s amusing in a rather hideous way, because life isn’t fair.

What these sinking land merchants are really howling about is the loss of a lucrative income and the beachfront, luxurious lifestyle that they currently enjoy and intended to continue in.

We live in a time of idiocy, reckless endangerment, and outright insanity.

I know what I want done about this: I want the place taken apart by nuclear experts and its components taken far inland, then stored in a cool and secure facility until nuclear fusion is perfected, so that the danger posed by this fissionable material will be averted.

I want us to stay in a reasonably safe holding pattern until science fiction has had time to become science fact.

I’ve written it into my novel.

But I am under no delusions as to what actually will happen.

The wealthy humans of this planet will not wake up and insist upon a change in time to stop a nuclear catastrophe.

They will relocate their homes in time to save themselves, and only themselves.

As for the rest of the world, I have little hope for it.

I did try to warn people by writing my story, and Jeff Goodell has tried also.

However, I have a sinking feeling – pun intended – that most people don’t want to read unless they are being entertained.

That is why I tried presenting my research as dystopian science fiction.

But even that involves thinking and facing inconvenient realities.

We humans are entirely too focused on our own convenience to deserve a healthy ecosystem.

The few of us who are paying attention may deserve it, but making the biggest fuss we can about it likely won’t preserve it.

That won’t stop us from pushing for it anyway.

Presentation Counts. So Does Substance.

Although I prefer to focus my attention on substance, you will notice that everything I present aims to be attractive.

There is a reason for that: I want people to pause to look at what I have to offer, and to read what I have to say.

A smile works far better than a frown, and a pretty image makes one stop to take a second look.

This isn’t something I spend most of my life on, but it counts.

I have given this website a makeover, streamlined its contents, and changed its aesthetics.

Presentation matters, whether we like it or not.

It feels superficial to focus on it, but I spent some time on it this weekend, and the results are worth it.

QueenBeeEdit now has 8 different banners for its header, which rotate at random.

(Note: the template of this site came with 3 banners, only one of which I liked, and they rotated at random, too.)

Here are the new banners:

1. A Beverly Sills pink iris.

2. A Victoria Falls blue iris.

3. A lavender-to-purple bearded iris.

4. A bearded, lavender Dutch iris with variegated leaves.

5. Natural honeycomb with honeybees working on it.

6. A pastel pink peony.

7. A raspberry pink peony.

8. A bee staring into the camera lens from a pink rose in Elizabeth Park, in Hartford, Connecticut, from its famous rose garden.

That last image was the toughest to get right.

I really wanted her to be shown looking right back at the viewer, so I had to tinker repeatedly with the cropping of the image and then wait for the software to rotate to it and show me the result.

It was worth it, though.

She’s staring, large in the header banner, right back at us.

Why would I bother with this?!

Research into website views advised me that this matters, for reasons of aesthetics and of having images relevant to one’s work.

This website is about nature, bees, honeybee colony collapse, insecticides and the laws, politicians, and corporations that threaten the bees, laws that can help the bees, and the plants that the bees pollinate and thus enable to grow and produce fruits, nuts, and flowers year after year.

We humans, who number over 7.6 billion at the time of this writing, need bees, fruits, nuts, and flowers, and yet we aren’t sufficiently careful to preserve and protect them.

Our species includes many who care far more for making immediate money, the future be damned.

This includes banksters and hedge fundsters, who seek the almighty monetary unit above all else, and corporatists, who manufacture insecticides and who clear vast swathes of land of vegetation that wildlife need in order to keep the ecosystems of the Earth – upon which we all, including them, depend – thriving.

I have written about them all in  2 allegorical tales – The Book of Thieves and The Bear Guarding the Beehive – which focus on each problem group:

 

To discuss all of these issues together, i.e. the “Farmers” (with a capital “F”) who view and treat the rest of our species plus all others as either a crop or a weed to use or erase as it suits them, plus human overpopulation, I have written the Nae-Nee series:

But back to what I did to this website and why: the idea is to make it look relevant to its content, and to show that I have bothered to put the effort into it.

Once done, it’s over, and I can get back to blogging, which is what I prefer to do.

Here is the bee again, looking at you:

Let’s hope we never stop seeing more just like her.

Bees forage over an area of roughly 2 miles/3 kilometers, but they can go farther – up to two or three times farther, so it matters whether or not any humans are spraying insecticides anywhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forage_(honey_bee)

And let’s make sure that we see more healthy bees, out foraging for pollen and nectar, by voting for politicians who are willing to refuse money from Farmer corporatists and enact laws that protect our shared ecosystem, and by not using insecticides.

Life is not only nicer but possible when we take care of what we have.

Writing the Nae-Née Series: How to Kill a Character – An Instruction Manual.

When I was writing my series on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, which is entitled Nae-Née, I knew that sooner or later, I would have commit virtual murder.

As I wrote more, I realized that if I didn’t commit virtual genocide on a global scale, I would be writing a cop-out rather than dealing with as many facets of the issue as I could think of.

In Book One of the series, I didn’t have to worry about this issue – much. The only deaths were of characters who were trying to kill other people, plus one murder that made the news.

That meant that as a writer, I didn’t feel any awkwardness over this, because it meant killing bad guys whose characters were not developed in an up-close or personal way.

In other words, neither the author nor the reader gets emotionally attached to them in any way. It doesn’t hurt to see them die.

The news story is a passing item, one which explains the need for a little subterfuge and secrecy to protect the Operator and his staff, so that they can function.

(I’m not going to explain that character. You’ll have to read the story to find out who he is, what his job is, and why he has it. Insert grin here.)

In Book Two of the series, it got complicated.

Now I really had to kill people, lots of them, and to form an emotional attachment to them.

I was virtually killing good people, intelligent people, talented people, hard-working people, people who didn’t deserve to be hurt in any way, people who were just living their lives and trying to survive without bothering others.

I was going to have to develop their characters.

I was going to have to get to know them.

I was going to have to show that they were the sort of people who ought to be valued and to have their civil and democratic rights respected.

And then I was going to have to kill them in an appalling way that would show that none of that was respected or valued.

How was I going to do that?

I started by introducing the one character whose point of view would be used to describe the scenes that led up their murders.

Who was she?

She was a college-educated, peaceful, middle-class, American twentysomething, and a liberal activist with a minimal sense of danger.

I had to give her some sort of vulnerability that would lead to the opportunity for the bad guys to kill her. (I’m not going to explain exactly who and how. Again, read the story to find out.)

Great – I had a character in mind to kill.

She seemed all right as a person and as a potential member of Avril’s family. (Avril is the narrator of the series.)

I will tell you this much: she was the new girlfriend of Avril’s oldest cousin, who lives across town.

This meant that there would be plenty of family visits with this character present, during which everyone would get used to her, used to the idea of her, and get to know her a bit.

There’s the hook that draws a reader into a character, causing a feeling of emotional attachment, and justifying a sense of outrage and horror when something finally happens to her.

But how could I kill a perfectly good human being after all that?

Well, I built some traits into her character that helped me to do it:

I described her as having her hair parted in the middle, and I made her…a sniffler!

That was just the beginning of it. I realized that the reader would not understand my antipathy for this hair styling choice, nor the rage that sniffling inspires in me.

No…I would have to add something else, something that, by the middle of Book Two of the series, the reader would be used to about the narrator.

I made Ellie the kind of neurotypical who observes a person on the autism spectrum and immediately looks down her nose at that person, finding her wanting in some unspoken way.

Avril is on the autism spectrum with Asperger’s, and she is well aware of the fact that her brainstem type is a minority model – normal, and fully functional, but often treated as “wrong” simply for not being like that of the majority of humans, i.e. neurotypical.

Being in the majority does not make one superior or always right.

Neurotypicals may think that they know how a person ought to think and comport themselves, but just take any group, let it be the majority, and sooner or later, that majority will bully the others.

Experience has taught me that neurotypicals are eminently capable of erring socially in a myriad of ways.

Yes, Aspie can err by being too loud, by being blunt without realizing how we seem to others.

But neurotypicals can make mistakes by hurling the word “appropriate” like the epithet it is, appointing themselves as the final arbiters of what is and is not socially acceptable.

We know that teenagers often appoint themselves as the final arbiters of what is and is not “cool” even though no one died and made them the judges of that.

Aspies simply don’t care what “most” people deem cool.

Like myself (and here is the author putting something of herself into the story), Avril insists upon wearing clothing with deep, usable pockets for her keys, so that she shall never, ever get locked out of her home nor her car, and for her pocket watch, because she can’t abide having a machine strapped her wrist, least of all one that makes tan lines.

If that isn’t quirky enough to induce a conformist of a neurotypical to at least glance skeptically at an Aspie, I would be surprised.

Well, there you have it. Ellie rubbed me, the author, the wrong way, and I absolutely meant for her to do that.

That was no reason why she should die, which was exactly why making her that way made it easy enough for me – an author to whom killing did not come naturally – to kill her.

Killing, even when it’s not real, should not come naturally.

But I still had to do it, because to keep everyone alive in a series about human overpopulation would be tantamount to avoiding a hugely awkward facet of that issue, and that is that the Earth has far too many humans on it for the ecosystem to continue to sustain us all with enough of what we need.

We need living space, personal space, clothing, fresh fruits and vegetables, education that enables us to think and analyze the world independently, and meaningful, useful work.

The Earth can’t provide that for 7.6 billion humans and more.

A bank – one of the biggest ones – recently did a study that assessed the situation in cold, clinical terms, and came to the same conclusion.

One of the largest banks issued an alarming warning that Earth is running out of the resources to sustain life

My thoughts, when I saw and read this article, were as follows:

“So…the situation has to be dire for “most” people to take it seriously. That is just completely unreasonable. That is what makes it too damned late to do us or the Earth’s ecosystems any meaningful good.”

I wrote them at the end of the copy I made of the article just to save them for future reference. This is part of that future, but I intend for it to be revisited as often as possible.

It’s 2018, and we just had Earth Overshoot Day on August 1st – the earliest date yet.

That means that our species used up all of the resources that the Earth can produce in one year in just seven months.

Right now, we have the liberty to reproduce as much as we wish, even though that isn’t specifically enumerated in any set of laws that comes to mind.

Apparently, this liberty is simply assumed.

It is an assumption that is parroted to me by anyone who wants children and grandchildren, and insists upon having access to the resources that their particular descendants will need, regardless of the fact that, research be damned, those resources aren’t going to be there for most, and that that reality will be felt sooner rather than later.

We are going to feel this in just a few years.

Fertile growing soil doesn’t have more than a few decades, water aquifers are running dry now, the climate is heating up, and human populations from crashed ecosystems – either undergoing desertification or flooding – are attempting to relocate to ecosystems that are already comfortably occupied with more people than they can support.

And that is why I also had to kill 6.8 billion humans in Book Two of the series and thus be a virtual genocidal maniac.

Well, the Georgia Guidestones are also the reason why.

They recommend that the Earth’s human population be kept under half a billion.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

It’s good, after all, to make up one’s mind about a number and write accordingly.

So…how did I commit genocide, virtual and thus not real as it was?

I could not get to know that many people personally.

As a lawyer, I had to focus on that fact that this was a crime and describe that fact, along with the erasure of so many people who did not deserve to be wiped out.

As an author, unnatural and wrong though it felt, I reminded myself that this was the job I had set myself to do, so I did it.

I reminded myself not to make the Nae-Née series a cop-out.

They had to die.

They didn’t actually die.

Thus, the story got written.

And, I admit, I also comforted myself with the fact that, in Book Three, there is the International Criminal Court to deal with the Farmers who perpetrated it.

I cleaned up after the crimes, with a legal system, a mechanism of enforcement, and…something else.

If you want to know what that something else was, read the series.

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Nae-Nee

Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day 2018

Well, it’s August 1st, 2018, and here we are, earlier than last year as usual, facing Earth Overshoot Day.

Congratulations to us humans: we have used up all of the resources that our planet can produce in a year.

We are now operating at a deficit, using resources on the Earths’ virtual credit card, resources that mean dipping into next year’s supply.

How is this possible?

We don’t all live in the Tropics of Chaos, where there isn’t enough.

But those zones will encroach upon the wealthier nations of the Earth in due time.

We can’t go on importing our food and fuel from elsewhere indefinitely.

Once the people who live elsewhere are truly crunched for food and water, they won’t send us any more of what they have.

To see a list of Earth Overshoot Days by country, just go to the Global Footprint Network.

Global Footprint Network

It’s quite disturbing; the United States was in overshoot as of March 15th of this year.

What about our food?

How much do we import, and what percentage of each kind do we import?

Here is a website with an article that provides those answers:

Food Safety Modernization Act: Putting the Focus on Prevention

In it, one can read that “…an estimated 15 percent of the U.S. food supply is imported, including 50 percent of fresh fruits, 20 percent of fresh vegetables and 80 percent of seafood.”

Trump – a.k.a. Herr Pumpkingropenfuhrer – is doing us no favors by antagonizing the nations of Central America. Americans love avocados, guacamole, and other recipes from there.

I’m never going to get tired of calling him the Pumpkingropenfuhrer.

I made a meme after watching a Bill Maher video on YouTube that is worth sharing here:

But back to the topic of overshoot, which Trump will only exacerbate…

He is a bought-and-paid-for representative of the Farmers, i.e. banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists who control the world’s resources while treating the rest of humanity as a crop or a weed to do with as they please. That means using us as drones in cubicle farms to do mindless chores that make money for corporations, outsourcing work to robots and foreign nations to avoid paying as many workers as possible while paying as few of them as possible as little as possible, and toxifying the ecosystem to extract more products from it faster, even though that will mean crashing our shared ecosystem. That also means treating us as weeds to be erased when we demand civil rights and civil liberties.

I describe the damage they do in my Nae-Née series, plus the consequences of human overpopulation and overshoot. One fuels the other.

Nae-Née Book Series (3 Books)

Want to read specifically about the banksters?

The Book of Thieves deals with them.

Want to know about the damage caused by insecticide producers? The Bear Guarding the Beehive covers the law, politics, economics, and science of that problem.

I won’t stop talking about overshoot, not even – or especially – when confronted by people who don’t care, and who are determined to reproduce and see their children do so, giving speeches about individual choice to do so. One question asking whether or they every think about human overpopulation will trigger such speeches, but I am unrepentant and unrelenting.

The idea that people will insist upon having kids when there are so many who need to be adopted in this world of finite and dwindling resources is unreasonable.

Water aquifers are drying up.

Fertile growing soil has about 4 decades left.

Sea levels are rising.

The climate is heating up.

There are 7.6 billion humans and that number is increasing, yet many organizations that deal with ecosystems collapse consider the issue of human overpopulation too difficult to tackle.

Too difficult?! That is the underlying cause of these ecological problems.

I wonder what people are thinking when they reproduce, because doing so condemns their offspring to dwindling resources, longing for space in colleges and universities that are few too few for the numbers of applicants, those making those slots unobtainable for more and more qualified applicants, even more of whom will simply be priced out of access to them. It’s either that or debt slavery without an end to it, due to insufficient jobs in a gig economy.

James Corden of The Late Late Show on CBS recently laughed ironically as he pointed out that it was funny (and he meant it in a sad way) that today’s young people with college degrees and loans actually think that they will ever pay them off.

There are far too many humans, however capable, talented, intelligent, and willing to study and work, for our finite Earth and economy to accommodate, so it simply won’t accommodate them.

Unhappy Earth Overshoot Day 2018!