Stephanie C. Fox

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Controversies – Because Intrigue Is What Counts

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Blog Posts – Stephanie C. Fox on Law, Politics, Women, and More

Welcome to the blog of QueenBeeEdit!

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, people in fiction, Hawai‘i, Kuwait and other nations in the Middle East, cats, and travel.

This blog discusses all of the issues that my books deal with and more.

Controversial issues and statements will not be avoided. They are what makes life interesting and worth pondering.

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

Enjoy perusing it all.

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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!

We can’t be reminded enough of the folly of the Corporatist Farmers of Jurassic Park.

The Farmers that I write about in Nae-Nee, my dystopian series on human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse, are the careless corporatists that Dr. Ian Malcolm is chastising in this clip from Jurassic Park.

Here is the Nae-Nee series that I am referring to:

Farmers – with a capital “F” – are banksters, hedge fundsters, and corporatists.

They treat the vast majority of other humans, i.e. the rest of us, as a crop to be manipulated as they please and as a weed to be erased as we demand democracy and civil rights.

They seek to buy knowledge rather than earn it by studying for it.

They don’t respect it.

They don’t respect the scientists, engineers, historians, artisans, professors, or any other experts in the world.

They just want to sell the products derived from other people’s knowledge, talents, and skills, damages and costs to all others be damned.

And now they have invaded our government and trashed it.

We have one running and wrecking our Environmental Protection Agency.

We have a POS POTUS and a POS Vice POTUS who want to destroy the rights that the U.S. Supreme Court has accrued for the people of the United States.

I watched the July 4th celebrations in Washington, D.C. , complete with fireworks, a concert, and exultations of freedom.

It is freedom that we are losing.

Of course, that loss was not acknowledged, because to do so would spoil the nation’s birthday party.

I have no such compunction – no qualms about disturbing the complacent sense of enjoyment that others get from ignoring our problems.

I am no longer proud of the United States.

This is the Untied States of America now.

We have monsters who have invaded our government, bought its seats in all branches, and finessed the rules of congressional procedure with a casual disregard for the intentions of the Founders of our nation. They don’t respect the Constitution. To them, it is merely an instrument to manipulate in order to impose their will on the liberal majority, because following the law was not getting them their own way.

The right to abortion on demand is now threatened, and women will have to ignore the law in order to control our own future if Roe v. Wade is negated.

The ecosystem is being raped by corporatist Farmers who want all the money they can extract from it NOW, the future viability of it be damned.

Gay marriage may be eviscerated. I don’t want to go back to the time when religious fools demanded that their gay children pretend to be heterosexual, marry unaware heterosexuals by lying to them just to hide what they were, and make themselves and everyone around them miserable. I know a nice woman whose first husband did that. His mother insisted upon it. They got divorced after they had reproduced not once but twice, and she was quite miserable – for nothing! It would have been far better for society to have simply accepted him as a gay male and let them all live without religion and without marrying against their sexual preferences.

Gays should marry gays, lesbians should marry lesbians, and heterosexuals should marry heterosexuals.

This requires honesty, which means that acceptance from society and from the law is an absolute necessity.

Without that, we’re back to social terrorism.

Those who have gotten engaged had better hurry up and tie the knot, because it will be a lot more difficult to take an actual marriage away once the deed is done.

I am a heterosexual, white woman. I have a great education and a long list of books to my name. Yay, me. But…

I always felt that my future and my freedom to live as I choose, i.e. child-free, was safe thanks to Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973).

Knowing that ruling was in place made me feel calm and ready to proceed with whatever I wanted to do next.

I don’t want kids. I won’t take care of them. I am absolutely unwilling to put my body through so much as one pregnancy, nor to add another human to the world.

Why? I don’t like babies and little kids. I never have. With that dislike came the social pressure to feel the opposite.

The ecological footprint of one more human is always far larger than anything else that we might do.

I don’t care what society expects and/or requires of me. If I don’t want to do a thing, I just won’t do it, criticism and disapproval be damned. I’ll just ignore that and do my own thing.

Not every woman should reproduce. I only like the quiet, introspective kids, but reproduction is like gambling – you don’t know what sort of kid you’ll get – so I won’t gamble.

Kittens are cute. Human babies are not.

There are far too many humans on this planet. 7.6 billion is depleting our ecosystem. People don’t want to hear this, and I don’t care. I shall say it anyway.

There ought to be free birth control and abortion on demand for whomever wants it.

Get everyone so comfortable with ENOUGH of everything – fresh fruits and vegetables, personal space, great educations, meaningful work – that they won’t want to reproduce…much.

And do it quick and do it now, or democracies will crash, as we already see them crashing.

The internet and recording devices have made it possible to remotely observe Trump supporters. This is as close as I wish to get to them, because stupidity can quickly turn to mob violence.

A gathering of Trump fans was looking forward to his space military becoming a reality, complete with ludicrous visions of space troops.

Never mind that we don’t yet have the technology for that…

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah | In Trump’s Universe, Everyone Loves “Space Force”

It is incredible to see how deliberately stupid and ignorant these Trump supporters are. They are into a space force because it’s fun, and because it is something to talk about other than the atrocities that are being perpetrated by their darling Idiot-in-Chief.

A space military only sounds cool if done by intelligent people and for the right reasons, such as in Star Trek. These people sound more like denizens of Starship Troopers. That was that campy, idiotic bug invaders movie made in 1997.

NASA isn’t concealing anything from us. That’s what the NSA does!

But never mind – they will ignore anyone who says that, jeer, scoff, and otherwise behave with a complete absence of civility.

The alt-right has little use for education, intelligence, thought, research, or civility.

It’s way past time for the left to have a lot less use for civility, while retaining and insisting that everyone have great respect for education, intelligence, thought, and research.

We need atheists in government. We need to put logic and cold reasoning ahead of all else, and never allow any religion or religious impulse to do our thinking for us.

Whenever one allows others to do their thinking for them, they cede all responsibility for themselves, and all future safety.

Others will not look after our interests. We must do that ourselves.

That is why I am such a fan of the character in Jurassic Park who demands that we respect our scientists, professors, and other experts, chaos theory mathematician Ian Malcolm, Ph.D.

Iris Blossoms, Peonies, and Global Footprint Calculations.

Sometime last week, I received an e-mail from the Global Footprint Network that said that this year, Earth Overshoot Day will fall on August 1st.

Global Footprint Network

It gets earlier every year.

Next year, we’ll have it in July. Yay, humans, for depleting a year’s worth of the Earth’s resources earlier and earlier each year.

I try to relax when I think of such things – and I insist upon thinking of such things daily – by enjoying my garden.

May and June are the best times of the year for flowers, in my opinion, because my favorite colors and flowers bloom then.

That means iris blossoms, peonies, and other wonderful pastels of pinks, blues, and lavenders.

I have my usual sign up for the insecticide demon, telling him not to poison the place. I want the bees to visit!

The sign and the e-mails I send out to the condominium association’s management company seem to work, but I wish there were no insecticide service at all, because bees forage over an area of roughly 4 square miles. That’s plenty of room to get nerve damage from neonicotinoids sprayed nearby.

What a cheerful thought.

But, I can’t help it. I researched all this and wrote about in The Bear Guarding the Beehive, which included 3 bee field trips with my camera. The last one was to the Connecticut Apiary Inspector.

It’s a good thing I did that, because a few years ago, the Connecticut Apiary Inspector was almost cut from Connecticut’s state budget. Fortunately, I had this book ready, complete with the law, science, and politics of bees and their problems and benefits to humans and to the ecosystem ready. I gave a copy to the governor and pointed it out to legislators. I also pointed out that I had published a Letter to the Editor in The Hartford Courant, entitled State Bee Inspector Crucial, had written a blog post about this, and the Connecticut Beekeeping Association had a petition to keep the inspector on the budget. In the end, he was put back on the budget…with more pay. That felt good.

Back to the garden while it’s at its most beautiful…

The Victoria Falls Blue iris plant was the first one I put in the garden, several years ago. I buy forced bulbs at the local plant nurseries, dig a hole, put the contents in carefully, and add water.

This method seems to work well.

The pink irises are Beverly Sills ones, according to the notice that came with them. The lavender-to-purple bearded ones – and I always get bearded ones, because of the scent – have no name.

The pink granite bird bath came from Cape Cod, as a lovely surprise from my parents. It’s an abstract heart shape, and I keep a large pink rock in it for the bees to sit on as they drink the water.

It has to be scrubbed out every few days – algae grows, and it accumulates dirt – so I keep an old kitchen scrub brush outside by the hose.

There is also a hummingbird feeder and a birdseed feeder, which has been visited by a red-breasted grosbeak. We call the bird-feeders and windows Cat TV.

That’s the Phantom Menace on the left and Ms. Chief Cherie on the right – in each image.

They love to watch the birds.

They also have to control themselves to some extent – no leaping at the glass! Birds are, after all, little dinosaurs, and they react to movement of any kind.

Just remember Jurassic Park!

The dinosaurs, with the exception of birds, which are the smallest of that species, went extinct when an asteroid hit the Earth.

It wasn’t their fault.

What we humans are doing to our planet, however, is very much our fault.

We use too much plastic. I harangued and harassed my mother and uncle yesterday at a town fair when we bought our lunches to NOT get any straws.

There is a now-infamous video in which a marine veterinarian pulls, with great difficulty, a plastic straw out of a sea turtle’s nostril.

 

There is blood and the turtle is in obvious pain. Straws don’t just go “away” in the recycle bins. They also get washed into the ecosystem and out to sea…and go up the noses of wildlife.

 

I would love to have my family try out the Global Footprint Calculator, just to see what they make of it. I think I will suggest it…why not? Done – I paused while writing this to send it.

Footprint Calculator

I’ll have to wait a while for that. Back to the garden again…

The pastel pinks and blues grew in fabulous clusters, while across the path from them, well under half their height, grows a lavender-hued Dutch iris with variegated leaves.

They all have different scents, all sweet, but the Dutch iris is the sweetest, like fruit punch.

The lighter the hue of a flower, the more intense its scent is.

All this reminds me of the narrator of my Nae-Nee series, Avril. She revels in her garden, and has great fun planning more and more elaborate and eco-friendly systems for it.

The Global Footprint Network is mentioned in these 3 dystopian novels, as are the videos and links shown in this blog post.

The books include pet cats because, well, why not? They are: Spock, the gray Chartreux; Eowyn, the tortie-shelter cat; and Mallory, the British shorthair who is white with black tiger-stripes.

They look out the windows at birds and other wildlife, fascinated but forbidden to go outside.

We had another cat who enjoyed all this, named Scheherazade. We kept her indoors, too.

She was a Kuwaiti calico, and the softest cat I ever petted.

I wrote the story of how she was found and adopted: Scheherazade Cat – The Story of a War Hero.

There is one more story to tell about her, so stay tuned for it.

Meanwhile, my mind keeps returning to bad news.

Trump is bad for the ecosystem, bad for human overpopulation, and bad for the pursuit of any kind of happiness. So is Pence. Well…they have demonstrated their contempt for the U.S. Constitution and for the principles that the Founders of our nation valued – repeatedly.

By all means, annoy Pence by donating to Planned Parenthood and to the National Abortion Rights Action League in his name.

Here is the latest insult to women and to the ecosystem perpetrated by the Trump administration:

Trump’s new Title X plan requires ineffective birth control most women don’t want

This is exactly the point that Avril makes to a forced-birther, anti-abortion gynecologist early on in the Nae-Nee series: that people like to have sex, that many have absolutely no interest in abstinence, and that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to rely on any method that doesn’t guarantee both the ability to have sex AND to not get pregnant while doing so.

But it is common knowledge that Pence is delusional and illogical, and that Trump is a hypocrite who just doesn’t care about the people he took an oath to serve.

Here is a better birth control method than abstinence: tube-tying!

It just doesn’t seem right to reproduce without putting a lot of very deliberate thought into the matter – thought about whether or not the offspring will have ENOUGH of everything:

  1. Fresh fruits and vegetables;
  2. Shelter that includes personal and private space;
  3. Clean air and clean water;
  4. An excellent education;
  5. Interesting and meaningful work.

Without that, reproduction is selfish. Life on any and all terms, regardless of how miserable – is an imposition and unreasonable.

I was used to the concept that politicians are liars, but Trump and Pence – and Mitch McConnell – are beyond that.

I have met and appreciated the sort of politicians who are at least willing to try to help their people, and who accept that they may have to lie a little and compromise a little in order to get the big picture into focus for their people. Those politicians are still in office, and trying to pass laws that protect the ecosystem and maintain women’s reproductive rights – and keep them passed.

They aren’t enough, but I’m glad they’re still out there, not giving up.

I keep interspersing this post with politics and flowers rather than writing exclusively about just flowers, and I make no apology for that.

Last year, when I posted about the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, Connecticut, I did so to achieve the same break from the aggravation that is our political mess.

Some tedious person remarked that it was “a shame” that I had to get political.

No, it wasn’t. I meant to get political. I will never not get political! We should not simply relax and enjoy whatever it is that we enjoy without caring about the world.

It’s nice to have the encouragement in mind of Paul R. Ehrlich, Ph.D., the author of The Population Bomb, who wrote to me, “Fight on!”, but I would do so anyway!

Back to the garden – it’s just that inviting that I want to focus on it again and again at this time of year.

The peonies are spectacular, and the pastel pink ones have the most delicious scent.

People are suggesting that I make perfume out of them, eat them in salads, decorate cakes with them, and so on. Somewhere near me is an artisan vodka maker who infuses their product with peonies, which sounds wonderful…and I don’t even drink hard liquor! It’s just the idea of such pretty bottles and the thought that the alcohol might have a floral scent that attracts me.

As with any garden, some blossoms snap over, as I call it, meaning that the stems get heavy with their blossoms and the weight causes them to fall sharply downward, making a crease in the stem. At that point, I cut them neatly and enjoy them indoors in a vase or a glass of water.

This is our peony harvest – our involuntary peony harvest – on top of the refrigerator. Why? The cats won’t leave it alone…especially the Phantom Menace.

Every so often, I look with morbid fascination, just as my character Avril does, at the Worldometers page:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

As of today, there are 7,628,211,315 humans in existence.

The Earth’s carrying capacity for humans is approximately half a billion.

No wonder we’re in overshoot!

A look at this general number doesn’t satisfy me, however.

I always click on the link that shows how many people live in each country:

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/

The next thing I do is I look at the total populations of random nations, comparing the numbers and thinking about why they have those particular totals.

China: 1,415,045,928

India: 1,354,051,854

United States: 326,766,748

Indonesia: 266,794,980

Bangladesh: 166,368,149

Russia: 143,964,709

Canada: 36,953,765

France: 65,233,271

Britain: 66,573,504

Nepal: 29,624,035

Saudi Arabia: 33,554,343

Kuwait: 4,197,128

Oman: 4,829,946

Japan: 127,185,332

Philippines: 106,512,074

Egypt: 99,375,741

Chile: 18,197,209

Guatemala: 17,245,346

Belgium: 11,498,519

Netherlands: 17,084,459

Switzerland: 8,544,034

Denmark: 5,754,356

Israel: 8,452,841

Palestine: 5,052,766

Malta: 432,089

Faeroe Islands: 49,489

Monaco: 38,987

Nauru: 11,312

Vatican: 801

Also, keep in mind that these numbers (with the exception of the Vatican) keep increasing with more births as you read this. There aren’t enough deaths to balance that out.

Meanwhile, the Vatican, with citizens who don’t reproduce, pushes the rest of us to do so. Of course, religion is rarely about logic…I want logic!

I want personal space, quiet, a healthy ecosystem, and control over my own body and future.

I won’t eat or drink poison deliberately, and I will check food labels. I just checked some for my aunt – a green tea that did not check out. It has aspartame for a sweetener, which is a carcinogen.

She won’t be buying or drinking any of that, nor shall I. She will brew green tea from a bag and add natural sweeteners, and chill it in her refrigerator.

Staying healthy means a bit more thought and work, but it’s worth it, and it’s better to do that and move around one’s kitchen (every step is activity/exercise), and to spend time on that rather than watching reality shows and wasting time.

There are so many fascinating books and documentaries to read and watch that I wonder how anyone can be satisfied with anything less.

And then there are gardens and nature…


Happy Spring – Avril of the Nae-Nee Series Loves This Time of Year.

Happy Spring! This is the time of year that Avril, the narrator of the Nae-Nee series, spends a lot of time going for walks, setting up her garden, and appreciating nature.

The Nae-Nee series consists of 3 dystopian novels about human overpopulation and ecosystems collapse. The story is told by Avril, a lawyer and professor who has Asperger’s, and who is the co-inventor of the birth control nanite that the series is named for. The books are in print and in digital format, available via Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Avril enjoys her life as much as she possibly can, growing irises, peonies, raspberries, a huge garden full of herbs, fruits, and vegetables, and she keeps bees.

She also goes for walks, often with her camera, much to the chagrin of Ed and Aaron, the Blackout Security guards who keep her and her husband company whenever she goes out.

This means that Avril comes back with many photographic souvenirs of whatever she sees, be it flowers, the Georgia Guidestones, or displaced humans (due to sea level rise and coastal depletion) who are being relocated by militarized police and U.S. Army personnel.

Actually, Aaron and Ed aren’t concerned about the images of things such as flowers and carved stones – only about things that could get their client arrested and made to disappear.

But they are worth every penny that Hamish, Avril’s husband, pays them, so of course Avril is able to collect evidence of anything and everything that interests her as the story progresses.

So…it’s spring again, and the ecosystem is coming alive beautifully.

Avril’s garden is much more spectacular and intricately arranged – as well as spread out over more space, i.e. an entire back yard – than mine is, but she would see lots of beautiful flowers and other plants while walking around near her home, just as I do, so I shall share some images from my walks in this post.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Nae-Nee series, Avril plants an elaborate garden in her own back yard with the purpose of growing much of her own food. This includes herbs, because she is a gourmet cook and baker, with rosemary, basil, lavender, and whatever else she uses in her recipes. Her French-American family uses what she grows, too. She has top-frame beehives in the back yard as well, and tends those herself. She has an enclosed conservatory on one back corner of her home, full of more herbs, plus raspberries of several varieties (red, golden, and black raspberry vines). She sets up an irrigation system in her outdoor garden that captures rainwater and slowly distributes it from a decorative, metal collection tank throughout the area.

Avril doesn’t just put in the effort necessary to grow food for her family; she enjoys it.

She lives in a time of climate change and food insecurity, and although it takes a while to show that such things are affecting her part of the world, which is Connecticut in the U.S.A., she doesn’t wait for it to show she is. Avril knows about these problems and changes her life and habits early on, expanding them and making them more elaborate as time goes on. She is an above-ground survivalist, as we all must learn to be.

This doesn’t have to be unpleasant, as Avril demonstrates. It is free exercise of the physical kind (no health club fees required!), and it gets her out in the fresh air.

While she is out there, she sees and smells all of the most beautiful plants and flowers that nature has to offer.

Happy Spring!

Longing for the Past Puts One on the Wrong Side of History.

Do you occasionally receive chain e-mails from friends and/or relatives?

We probably all do.

These can be fun, harmless missives full of images that make us laugh or educate us.

These can also be indicative of the sender’s political, religious, or other leanings.

I got one about 5 years ago that has been on my mind lately.

The gist of it is a longing for the 1950s in the good old United States of America.

I often point out that the current state of our nation is one of disunion, and call us the Untied States of America.

The mere fact that the advent of Trump and Pence has caused haters to feel free to express themselves is evidence of that.

We no longer have a Cabinet that does its jobs. It is no longer one to be proud of, with professors, lawyers, engineers, physicists, ecologists, physicians – people who are qualified for their jobs.

We have a Cabinet that is packed with corporatist Farmers who view the nation as a resource to be mined to the last drop, and damn the ecosystem of tomorrow as they get money today.

We have a Vice President who likes to torture homosexuals with electric shock treatments while advocating forced birther doctrines and prayer of his own personal preference, i.e. Christian.

In short, we have a government that is doing its best to return us to the 1950s, but with a much larger human population and a thoroughly stressed ecosystem.

Du Pont and Monsanto are being given a lot of help in toxifying that ecosystem. Here is what we can thank Du Pont for: teflon’s toxic effects on its workers and on their offspring.

Teflon’s Toxic Legacy

I won’t just trust that you’ll click on this article’s link. I’m going to include some images from it right here:

Buck Bailey, whose mother worked at the Teflon plant in Parkersburg, was born with just one nostril and other facial deformities. Photos by Maddie McGarvey.

We don’t want to go back to that – but the Farmers who are infesting the Environmental Protection Agency are loosening its regulations, or outright not enforcing the ones that restrict them from allowing a repeat or continuance of such atrocities. Money first! Humans not even last…

The press is being attacked for doing its job. I just watched The Post, which is about taking the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution out for a spin and winning.

Movies such as that one are crucial reminders of what the Founders of this republic meant it to be: one that serves the governed, NOT those who govern.

The members of our current Cabinet, however, are serving themselves to huge helpings.

At this point, I shall share the e-mail that I received on October 31, 2013 here.


FYI: The Land That Made Me, Me

Long ago and far away, in a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan , or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me, 

For Ike was in the White House in that land where we were born,

Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn. 

We longed for love and romance, and waited for our Prince,
Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one’s seen him since. 

We danced to ‘Little Darlin,’ and sang to ‘Stagger Lee’
And cried for Buddy Holly in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

Only girls wore earrings then, and 3 was one too many,
And only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.

And only in our wildest dreams did we expect to see,
A boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land That Made Me
, Me.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie, they never made it twice. 

We didn’t have a Star Trek Five, or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat whose co-star was a chimp.

We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
And Oprah couldn’t talk yet, in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We had our share of heroes, we never thought they’d go,
At least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.

For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

We’d never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren’t named Jefferson , and Zeppelins were not Led.

And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees lived in trees,
Madonna was Mary in the Land That Made Me, Me.

We’d never heard of microwaves, or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed, but they were not grown in jars. 

And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and ‘gay’ meant fancy-free,
And dorms were never co-Ed in the Land That Made Me, Me.
We hadn’t seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag. 

And hardware was a box of nails, and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

T-Birds came with portholes, and side shows came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks. 

And Coke came just in bottles, and skirts below the knee,
And Castro came to power near the Land That Made Me, Me. 

We had no Crest with Fluoride, we had no Hill Street Blues,
We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea,
Or prime-time ads for those dysfunctions in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

There were no golden arches, no Perrier to chill,
And fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill. 

And middle-aged was 35 and old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents in the Land That Made Me, Me. 

But all things have a season, or so we’ve heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline we swear by Retin-A.
They send us invitations to join AARP,
We’ve come a long way, baby, from the Land That Made Me, Me.

So now we face a brave new world in slightly larger jeans,
And wonder why they’re using smaller print in magazines.
And we tell our children’s children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away in the Land That Made Me, Me.

If you didn’t grow up in the fifties, you missed the greatest time in history.
Hope you enjoyed this read as much as I did.

If so, PLEASE FORWARD to someone who might enjoy it.


The e-mail contained a lot more artwork than just the image shown at the top of this copy, plus many nice photographs.

These included airplanes, a rotary-dial telephone, a gasoline pump manned (NOT womaned) by a team of guys who would polish each customer’s vehicles, a photograph of a hot young Elvis, and more.

The elderly Republican sender of this quaint-themed message deserved a response.

What response did I send back to her?

This is it:

I love history – and made sure to study the 1950s in college.

It was in a course called The U.S. Since 1939, taught by Dan Singal, Ph.D.

What drove me crazy was the attitude by many professors, except for this one, that anything in THEIR lifetime was not history, while we students longed for a history class that covered whatever had happened before our own lifetimes began.

This class offered it.

Since that course, I have looked at that era some more.

The 1950s were a time of rigid conformity.

I would not have been happy then.

The only people who could expect to be happy at that time were those who inherently fit the mold that this graphic describes.

It is important to look at it in that perspective.

I want my original surname while being married, I have Asperger’s, and I am not conventional. Also, I am a feminist and political liberal, while Ike, popular though he was, was a Republican who allowed Iran’s only democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mossadegh, Ph.D., to be overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the C.I.A. and British Intelligence.

The 1950s seem like a place to visit as a tourist…knowing that my time machine would safely and reliably get me back to now.

What is it that makes people long for particular points in time that they remember? Is it that they wish to be a certain age again? That they wish for the exact feeling that that time gave them when they were that age? Both? Is it the mental state of not knowing all of the disturbing things that we know now, such as that the Republican Party has few reasonable members, and that climate change has rendered the seasons that we all grew up with so different, making our years feel different? (I too am old enough to remember life before the seasons were all screwed up by carbon pollution and ocean acidification.)

She did not object to this note, and why would she – I was careful to keep it friendly and thoughtful.

There are some oppressive things that the 1950s exemplified. One story that sticks in my mind is the treatment of a young woman whose parents cut off her college tuition money because she wanted to use the courtesy title “Ms.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ms.). She managed to finish without their help, but that story is shocking in its effort at imposition of rigid conformity.

Not my parents! I was a teenager during the 1980s, and had decided I wanted to use that courtesy title at age 8 after seeing it in my 3rd grade textbook. My parents did not approve of stifling individuality in their offspring, so they didn’t do that. I have a strong personality, too. (Insert grin here.)

What else went on in the 1950s? Homosexuals had to hide to survive. African-Americans were still being terrorized and lynched, and obstructed from voting in the process.

Things like that still happen, but bringing them back into fashion is another thing entirely. Such things ought to be demonized, and no one should have to hide who and what they are.

I know of someone in my parents’ generation who came from a religious, Baptist family, who was pushed to marry a Baptist engineer. The engineer turned out to be a homosexual whose mother knew what he was and demanded that he hide it from the world, and even marry a woman without telling her what he was. Of course the marriage failed. He was also caught having affairs with young boys, and possibly murdered years later. How different their lives might have been if attitudes were different during their generation – but their lives were ruined instead by the attitudes that prevailed at that time.

This appeared on Facebook the day after Trump and Pence were declared the winners of the 2016 election:

It was posted by an African-American woman. It showed that haters had suddenly felt free to express themselves, a thing that they should feel forever inhibited from doing.

That e-mail longing for the state of mind that the 1950s made possible could never make me lapse into daydreaming about quaint time travel experiences.

It only made me think of how I would hate to live in a society with that mindset, unable to be my unconventional self without harassment and without acceptance – and I am a white heterosexual female! But I am also a liberal feminist intellectual Wiccan and heretic who doesn’t want to take care of babies or little kids, but instead prefers to write, study, visit museums and historic sites, and experiment with gourmet cooking and baking. No – the 1950s would not be a good “home” for me, let alone the gays, lesbians, non-whites, non-Christians, and other “others” of the world.

As I read and re-read this piece, I thought about what it meant. It speaks of a rejection of succeeding generations and all that matters to and impacts us.

This is not a new phenomenon, but it is one that we must all be careful of, because it has a tendency to bring oneself down on the wrong side of history.

What is the “wrong” side? It is one of hate, rejection of all that is “other” than oneself, and of a refusal to value education before business interests.

Money is temporary. It is a means to an end, not the end itself. Yes, we need some, but no one needs it the excessive amounts that the Farmers insist upon accruing.

These amounts have caused such an economic disparity as to make American household economies vs. those of the Farmers resemble that of the populace vs. the aristocracy of France in 1789.

That is dangerous.

It is dangerous to democracy – as dangerous as human overpopulation – and to the health of those who not only have enough, but who have such excess as to make it impossible for most others to have enough. Having enough – and for it to be possible for almost everyone to have enough – is what keeps people and societies safe.

Safety is good. We should all strive for it. We do all strive for it.

But with things as they are right now, far too many of us cannot attain enough, and therefore we cannot achieve the safety that is essential to us.

I do not long for the inequalities of the 1950s. I do not wish to bring any of them back.

Scott Pruitt is the Bear Guarding the EPA-Beehive – It’s a Blatant Conflict of Interest.

I wrote a book a few years ago about honeybee colony collapse that outlines the legal obstacles to applying scientific solutions to the problem, plus obstacles posed by wealthy and powerful corporations, which include the money that they throw at politicians and the lobbyists they hire to achieve this. The corporations inflict permanent damage on our ecosystems this way for money today, the health and continue of its source tomorrow be damned.

When I wrote that book, I did so using allegory and metaphor, and I did that because it’s fun. It’s fun to write, and it’s fun to read. It also condenses the narrative.

Sources for the assertions in The Bear Guarding the Beehive are provided in a bibliography at the end of the book.

I like allegory.

Allegory is defined as the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence.

Source: Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company: Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1981.

I also like metaphor.

Metaphor is defined as a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.

Source: Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam Company: Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1981.

As I said, both make writing more fun.

Straightforward, plain words can get dull, dry, and stale. Academic writing is like that, and it serves its purpose as source material, but it has an inaccessible feel to most people.

That’s not good when a writer wants to reach and connect with everyone else, particularly voters and future voters.

Present and future voters, along with the honeybees, the air and water quality, and academic science have been handed a traitor to natural security in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Here is his portrait:

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

A perusal of his Wikipedia page shows all of the indicators of a traitor to natural security.

This statement from its introductory section sums up what the ecosystem and scientists and voters who care about it are up against with Pruitt:

“Pruitt rejects the scientific consensus that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are a primary contributor to climate change. As EPA administrator, Pruitt reversed and delayed numerous environmental rules, relaxed enforcement of existing rules, and halted the agency’s efforts to combat climate change.”

Pruitt not only wants to wish science away – he wants to shove it away and launch it into the nearest obliging volcano. That won’t make science any less true, but he is doing his utmost.

He has waged constant war against the scientists of the Environmental Protection Agency since taking over its leadership, refusing to fully staff the agency, and undermining the efforts of its scientists to pursue inquiry into species collapses, air and water quality controls, shunting them into meaningless bureaucratic posts. He has gutted the scientific advisory boards of the EPA and defended huge budget cuts, hobbling the agency’s ability to do its work.

The EPA wasn’t perfect, but trying to kill it, as Scott Pruitt is doing, is the opposite of useful. A thing that is not perfect should be tweaked and improved upon, not destroyed.

Of course, a Farmer who spent his career before arriving at the EPA does not want to do that. It’s all about enabling huge corporations to make yet huger profits for him, the future be damned.

That’s why one of those scientists is suing him.

I’m suing Scott Pruitt’s broken EPA – here’s how to fix it

The damage currently being done is a huge step backwards in the effort to safeguard our natural security.

Getting rid of this Farmer and ensuring that he won’t simply be replaced with another one will be a huge undertaking, but that’s not all.

Once that is accomplished, scientists and attorneys will have to reinstate the parameters of the EPA as it was, thus wasting a lot of additional time that ought to have been spent on strengthening protections for bees and other pollinators.

That’s why I said that the bees need a good lawyer, and by good I mean ethical as well as competent.

There is hope in that Scott Pruitt’s lack of ethics is leaving trails wherever he goes.

EPA Chief Pruitt Faces Mounting Scrutiny For Ethics Violations

Pruitt has infested the EPA with Farmers who have ties to corporations that are regulated by the EPA. He has also hired lobbyists who worked for those corporations to staff the EPA.

That’s a conflict of interest.

He doesn’t want to hear a word of protest on airplane rides from the public, so he rides first class.

Scott Pruitt Has to Fly First Class Because Coach Is “Politically Toxic”

This is not the behavior of a public servant; it’s the behavior of a corporatist Farmer.

He doesn’t care. He prefers to blatantly conduct himself like a spoiled brat and one who would have been an aristocratic candidate for the guillotine in 1789.

His standard operating procedure is one conflict of interest after another, but I have provided references for it as well as examples of it.

Natural Security is the safety and future sustainability of a functioning ecosystem, one that is not toxic to the life forms that exist in it.

The problem is that corporations exist to make a profit for their shareholders, and corporations are soulless entities.

They exist to enrich themselves and only themselves. They exist to grow exponentially and without limits.

It is worth noting that this description also fits for cancer.

It is also worth noting that this description fits the definition of evil (I have got to stop letting Ash vs. Evil Dead run when it comes on television, but that’s another story.)

Here is another favorite metaphor of mine: Scott Pruitt is the epitome of a corporatist Farmer.

A Farmer is a member of the wealthy, selfish few who views the rest of humanity as a crop to be manipulated as he or she finds convenient, and to be erased as that rest of humanity demands civil rights and enough resources to have a comfortable, meaningful, happy life.

It’s another form of cancerous evil to be so avaricious and determined to grab resource after resource, no matter who or what gets in the way in the process, that few others have enough.

Political cartoonist Dan Wasserman summed up the problem very neatly in this March 2018 image:

There are actually 2 books that I wrote using allegory and metaphor to describe the legalized crimes of Farmers:

The first one is The Book of Thieves, which describers the banksters and hedge fundsters and how they caused the economic collapse of 2008, and then made sure that they didn’t have to pay a cent for it. We need the Glass-Steagall Act of 1932 to be reinstated, because it mandated a divorce and a consistent firewall between commercial and investment banking. That is the best way to protect against a repeat of the Great Depression, as well as against another Great Recession. However, the Farmers don’t want that. They want unfettered access to pension funds, savings accounts, and whatever else they can grab, the ability to comingle funds, and not a peep of protest from the rest of us.

The second one is The Bear Guarding the Beehive. I went on 3 beekeeper field trips for that one with my camera, which was a lot of fun. One of its points is that when one sprays insecticide into the environment, its effects reach any living thing that it touches and any living thing that touches what is sprayed. The upshot of that is that it is not just the insects that one doesn’t like who get nerve damage and die. They all die. The Farmers, of course, don’t care. All that matters to them is that homeowners with gardens and lawns seek monocrops of green grass, that huge agribusinesses use their genetically engineered crops and spray more neurotoxins every which way, poisoning farm workers and pollinator insects, and that no one without massive financial resources get in their way.

Farmers will hire attorneys who with prostitute – and pestitute – themselves and their legal careers for money and professional advancement. One of the end games is for such attorneys to eventually get seats on Federal benches, so that they may then rule in favor of continuing to allow the ecosystem to be toxified. As species die off and opposing attorneys put up a fight, those attorneys will be called “activists” – weaponizing that term as if it weren’t the most honorable use of freedom of speech…but it certainly is.

Farmers will sponsor politicians to do pass laws that favor their desire to market insecticides and create financial and legal loopholes that make all that easier and easier.

Farmers will pay lobbyists who have no ethics but instead want wealth and comfort for themselves, and damn the needs of anyone who comes after their own life spans.

We don’t have much time left to stop our ecosystems from being crashed, but let’s try anyway.

It’s better to fight than to just say that the Farmers have far too much money and power to be stopped.

Book Review: ‘Scheherazade Cat – The Story Of A War Hero’ by Stephanie C. Fox

Book Review: ‘Scheherazade Cat – The Story Of A War Hero’ by Stephanie C. Fox

Mitigative Action versus Corrective Action – Postponement Is Always Easier Than Prevention

It is always cheaper, easier, and involves far less change of long-established habits, practices, and preferences to mitigate conditions that, if left unchanged, will inevitably lead to disaster, than it is to take corrective action and prevent that disaster altogether.

We just had this year’s World Water Day, and meanwhile, in Cape Town, South Africa, Zero Water Day has been pushed back to 2019.

City of Cape Town | Day Zero | Pushed Out to 2019

Why is that?

It’s postponement. The city’s water authorities don’t want to face heightened crime rates and civil unrest over water scarcity and rationing, complete with military supervision, any sooner than they absolutely have to. They have upped the output of dams and levies, and thus postponed all that.

I’m talking about human overpopulation and the conditions that go with it: overcrowding, depletion of species, extinction of species, pollution, resource scarcity, resource wars, police surveillance states, parochialism and isolationism (defense mechanisms against the privations caused by human overpopulation), mass migrations, and so on.

We humans are literally drowning in our own excrement in many locations. One of them is Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The dysfunctional megacity: why Dhaka is bursting at the sewers

That’s not just some attention-grabbing, sensationalist statement. It’s true: Dhaka is prone to flooding several times a month, it is overpopulated by Bengali people fleeing rising sea levels who have lost their rural homes to permanent flooding, and as a result, the city’s sanitation systems, which are nowhere near as advanced as they need to be to cope with the demands on them, are brimming with sewage. This must be manually removed by human beings using bamboo sticks, ladders, and hand scoops – that’s human hands used as scooping tools. The people who do this work are from the Hindu dalit caste, also known as untouchables. That’s how they get that label: by doing work that no one else – no one with access to enough resources to be able to choose any other work – will consent to do. They are not thanked for their efforts. They are shunned. Not only that, but recently, three of them drowned in an effort to clear a blocked hole, and a fourth died at the hospital.

Meanwhile, in France, the bird population is starving to death thanks to relentless use of insecticides. Its ecosystems are dying off. Of all places to have that happen, the land of the most exquisite cuisine, which is made possible by those ecosystems, it is not immune to the disaster of collapse.

‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides

Even though the law there puts the burden of proof on insecticide manufacturers to show that their product does not destroy the ecosystem before it can be used, it is still doing tremendous damage.

When I see such things continuing to happen, I am both glad that I made the effort to fight it by writing The Bear Guarding the Beehive, and frustrated by a fear that it will not convince enough people – or the ones positioned to stop this disaster.

We have a problem now in the Untied States of America (yes, Untied, NOT United): we are stuck, at least for the time being, in a kakistocracy.

A kakistocracy (/ˌkækɪsˈtɒkrəsi, –ˈstɒk-/) is a system of government which is run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.[1][2] The word was coined as early as the 17th century.[3] It was also used by English author Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, but gained significant usage in the 21st century.
Etymology
The word comes from the Greek words kakistos (κάκιστος; worst) and kratos (κράτος; rule), with a literal meaning of government by the worst people.[4] Linguistic equivalents of the English word kakistocracy are as follows: Its Greek equivalent is kakistokratia (κακιστοκρατία), Spanish kakistocracia, French kakistocratie, German Kakistokratie, and Russian kakistokratiya (какистократия).[5][6][7][8]

At least Robert Mueller is getting closer to amassing the evidence needed to fix this.

Evidence of cyber crimes and treason is mounting faster and faster. No wonder Trump keeps tweeting angrier and more defense nonsense every day.

I hope that it catches up with Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer, who financed Cambridge Analytica, and Steve Bannon, who named it, and soon…and I have plenty of company.

Hedge fund billionaire and Cambridge Analytica financiers Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah Mercer. She runs Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund that he owns.

How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions

There has been some other good news recently, on the gerrymandering front. In Pennsylvania, a new voting district map, created on the instructions of that state’s Democratic governor by “Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford law professor and an expert in legislative districting”. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito rejected pleas from Pennsylvania Republicans to hear any appeal of the case, and the other justices refused to comment. As a matter of law, that’s it. The U.S. Supreme Court won’t intervene in state law once that state’s top court has ruled on a matter of state law.

Supreme Court Won’t Block New Pennsylvania Voting Maps

Isolating ourselves won’t fix this. Not using social media to interact online is no solution. What we have to do is to be careful how we use the Internet instead of enjoying every quiz and questionnaire that pops into view, and to not accept any story without checking its source first, perhaps on a debunking site such as www.Snopes.com.

Don’t quit Facebook, but don’t trust it, either

There’s no need to say this my way when the authors of the article did so already – but I do want to point it out:

“Facebook has the technical know-how to give users more control over their private data, but has chosen not to – and that’s not surprising. No laws or other institutional rules require it, or provide necessary oversight to ensure that it does. Until a major social media platform like Facebook is required to reliably and transparently demonstrate that it is protecting the interests of its users – as distinct from its advertising customers – the calls to break the company up and start afresh are only going to grow.”

Experts like Paul R. Ehrlich and Thomas Robert Malthus, to name just a couple, have been repeatedly mocked and castigated for offering up dire predictions about human overpopulation.

The criticism that is often leveled at them is that their dire predictions did not come to pass when they said that they would, or that they were averted.

That’s not what actually happened, though.

Look at it more objectively.

Those weren’t predictions, which are the work of psychics.

They were warnings.

These warnings were based on careful research and logical reasoning.

So what happened?

The warnings were heeded just enough to postpone disaster, but not enough to avert it.

Therefore, Professor Ehrlich continues to speak about the real and present danger posed by human overpopulation.

Paul Ehrlich: ‘Collapse of civilisation is a near certainty within decades’

Disaster is not averted. It still looms ahead, and we cannot put it off indefinitely and continue to reproduce as much as we wish to.

We are in environmental overshoot, using up the entirety of the resources that our planet can offer our species within a year by early August. Soon that point will be in July instead.

We are using more than 3 planet Earths’ worth of resources each year, but we only have one Earth.

We are crashing its ecosystems and using up all that our planet has to offer.

We can’t just move to Mars, a planet that is dangerous to get to, one that is about a quarter the size of ours with 38 percent of the gravity that Earth has.

We don’t have the technology to move to another solar system and settle on a planet there that is comparable to Earth, and even if we did, we would likely find that it is already occupied by a species a lot like ours that won’t want to share…and that may not have enough to share due to the same profligate consumption of resources that we have been and continue committing.

Professor Ehrlich and I both continue to speak and write about human overpopulation, however unpopular a thing that is to do.

We will do it even when called monsters and worse, because making no effort to reduce human numbers is suicide.

I am the author of a 3-novel series on human overpopulation: Nae-Née. It is named for a birth control nanite, the name of which means “Not-Born”.

The books are available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble, and are available as both e-books (Kindle and Nook) and in print via IngramSpark.

Each book has a detailed bibliography at the end, listing my research, but the books themselves are dystopian fiction, because it is far more fun to learn something from a story than via dull, dry, academic research.

I have donated copies of this series (along with other books that I have authored) to libraries near my home in Connecticut.

At one such library, I sat down and showed each of these books, plus others, to the head librarian, who was eager to acquire my bee book, and who said that each one would be read by the librarians before being added to their collection, as per library policy. (She did seem pleased to get the series. However, I wondered whether or not such a topic as my favorite one would be accepted. When I mentioned this to my father, he said not to worry, that they were just screening for “smut” because some angry parents had caught their teenagers with some trashy novels the year before.)

As I got up and walked away from the desk, I looked back and saw that another librarian was sitting on the other side. She was in the final trimester of a pregnancy, and looked hostile. Obviously, she had heard what Nae-Née was about. I was not sorry about my books, however. I had discussed them calmly and politely, with no exhortations for government to order anyone to abort late-term pregnancies.

What I want is a population policy, even though it won’t be popular. I don’t care much for popularity. It would be nice, but it’s not high on my list. Being read and taken seriously is.

I know that I am raising an issue that is unpleasant, one that, if dealt with before our species suffers famine, drought, and the terror of eating itself, will lead to anger and disappointment for those who wish to reproduce and have the fun of seeing their own phenotypes replicated on other human beings.

That’s a big reason why so many kids need to be adopted but are not.

We need a policy that has an enforcement mechanism like the one in my books.

We need to do what our species does not want to do.

The problem won’t just solve itself, however many Millennials decide that reproducing is unaffordable, and that the Earth cannot, due to climate change and species depletions, offer another generation a comfortable, happy life. They are doing the right thing, saddled as they are by student loan debt and housing costs that are pricing them out of the markets, and considering the plastic pollution that is choking the oceans. But it won’t be enough by a long shot.

No Children Because of Climate Change? Some People Are Considering It

Great Pacific Garbage Patch Is Now Twice the Size of Texas and It’s Rapidly Getting WorseMark Twain said “It is better to be popular than right.”

Greenpeace together with the #breakfreefromplastic coalition conduct a beach cleanup activity and brand audit on Freedom Island, Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The activity aims to name the brands most responsible for the plastic pollution happening in our oceans. A banner reads “Polluted by Single-use Plastic”. Freedom island is an ecotourism area which contains a mangrove forest and swamps providing a habitat for many migratory bird species from different countries such as China, Japan and Siberia. Credit: Daniel Müller/Greenpeace

 

“The people behind #BluePlanet2 say there was rarely a time during filming that they didn’t come across plastic in the sea. https://t.co/S2tPlrUPBJ”

I have quoted him before, but it is worth doing it again, because what he meant was not that we shouldn’t say what is so and what is correct, but that life is easier when one is popular.

It would probably make my life easier if I spent my career writing cute little novellas with idyllic scenes, murder mysteries with gourmet recipes scattered into the chapters, or other such things.

But I prefer to write about social issues.

Mark Twain wrote about social issues: anti-slavery, voting rights for women and all races of humans, and more.

I used to do tours at his Hartford, Connecticut home, where he spent his happiest years, so I had time to learn about him. That place is worth visiting.

But back to human overpopulation.

Paul Ehrlich bought the first of my books on human overpopulation (when it was my only one on that topic). He sent me a gift, too: an autographed copy of one of his own, entitled The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment, with a personal note encouraging me to “fight on”.

I will.

Get Ready for Civil Unrest and Bloodbaths Where the Water Runs Out

Zero Water Day is approaching in Cape Town, South Africa.

Warnings about the consequences of water depletion were ignored.

Or so the reports say.

Watch: Cape Town Water Crisis – ‘City of Cape Town was warned’

I doubt that the politicians in Cape Town simply didn’t listen.

More likely, they don’t know how to cope with this problem.

It is quite daunting.

When I say that they don’t know how, I don’t mean water delivery, water desalination, water purification, water damming, water aquifers.

Their engineers know all that, and their politicians have been listening to them and looking at the data.

What I mean is that human overpopulation will overtake their efforts to manage and control this problem.

With more humans living there than there were 311 years ago, which is how far apart scientists say a drought of this severity occurs there, and no population policy in sight, let alone discussed, this crisis was guaranteed. That number is roughly 3,766,000. (http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/cape-town-population/)

Residents are on rations of water – down to just enough for a 4-minute shower per day, and they get it in bottles that they bring to guarded collection points. That’s 50 liters a day, down from 87 liters a day. There is no water left over for that 4-minute shower (if they even have running water, which many do not). Those liters of water are being used as drinking and cooking water first and foremost, and then perhaps to wash cookware and persons.

The City of Cape Town has identified more than 50,000 consumers who are using more than 20,000 litres of water a month, and will install devices at the residences of high water consumers. Picture: Tracey Adams/ANA

Businesses will use chemical toilets and asks employees to bring their own water to work.

I wonder how that will play out. Will people be mugged en route and robbed of their personal supplies of potable water? That seems likely.

It’s the warm season there, but Cape Town has winters. The people there can’t just melt and use snowfall, however; the lowest temperature in winter there is 47 °F/8.5 °C.

I’m just trying to imagine what this is like. It’s anything but pleasant.

Water to poor townships, schools, hospitals, and the business district will not be shut off. At least, that’s the current plan. Plans can change.

Under discussion is the idea of storing water at military installations and having it handed out, because desperate hordes of humans tend to overwhelm water supplies without such measures.

People are unlikely to stay where they are if they don’t have enough water.

Those with motor vehicles will likely leave first, and poorer people will go on foot if they have to.

Where will they go? There are other cities in South Africa. There is also the countryside. Imagine almost 4 million people relocating rapidly.

If you have any trouble doing so, just recall what happened when millions of migrants walked into Europe last year and the year before.

This crisis will be repeated elsewhere in the world. Count on it.

Here are a few news articles about the unfolding crisis, from Zero Hedge, Global Citizen, Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg, and Otago Daily Times, respectively:

Cape Town Prays as “Day Zero” Looms; Security Forces to Guard Water-Collection Points

Cape Town Is About to Run Out of Water

Water Crisis Threatens Cape Town Companies Facing Staff Chaos

‘Day Zero’ Looms as Cape Town Scrambles to Tackle Water Crisis

After Cape Town, more cities face water crisis

The City of Cape Town, South Africa has a website devoted to Zero Day:

Day Zero | 4 June 2018 | The day we may have to queue for water

The date of Zero Day has been adjusted a few times, making it earlier, earlier, and then later. But it’s still coming – er, looming. (It was May 11th when I wrote this. 9 days later, it’s June 4th.)

Wikipedia has an article devoted to this problem:

Cape Town water crisis

On it, a map showing 6 dams can be seen.

There are also desalination plants for this coastal city.

I checked to see how many humans currently exist on this entire planet, since that number keeps going up.

Worldometers | Current World Population

Worldometers | Countries in the world by population (2017)

I doubt that guards will be enough to manage huge numbers of desperate, parched, uncomfortable, and mood-compromised people.

As I write this, I am sitting comfortably in the United States, but I am also thinking about water supplies here.

The Nestlé corporation pays $200 a year to a town in Michigan to extract and bottle all the water that it can.

Tiny Michigan town in water fight with Nestle

That town is not alone in this problem.

My own town has an unwanted bottling company in it, one that was protested at great length after its clandestine deal was pushed through.

National Geographic did a story on the Ogallala Aquifer in July of 2016.

The data isn’t pretty. That aquifer is being drained to irrigate crops, and farmers are unable to continue operations. 60 Minutes did a story on that problem in 2014:

Depleting the water | Lesley Stahl reports on disturbing new evidence that our planet’s groundwater is being pumped out much faster than it can be replenished

What is needed is a population policy AND water management.

We don’t have any of the former nor enough of the latter.

Politicians are terrified of even suggesting that the liberty to reproduce as much as people wish to reproduce be revoked.

Not only that, but the logistics of getting enough birth control devices distributed to everyone of fertile age, and of delivering enough vasectomies and tubal ligations to stem the flow of human reproduction, requires an infrastructure that is not currently in place.

We need that infrastructure – decades ago.

The Earth’s ecosystems cannot support us all even now.

We are too many for the amount of potable water that currently exists, nor for potable water that is likely to exist anytime soon.