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Trump and Pence Want 4 More Years. Let’s Think About This.

Trump at the RNC 2020 Convention in his acceptance speech in Washington DC spoke of dire consequences if Biden wins in November.

Let’s seriously think about this. Trump and Pence are running on the platform that Biden and Harris are going to make it worst for America and that they deserve 4 more years. And yet,

* We have 180,000 plus dead from the coronavirus pandemic (of which they talked of in the past tense at the RNC 2020 Convention) due to this administration’s mismanagement and continued denial.

* Because of the mismanagement of the pandemic this administration has killed the longest-running expansion of our economy (9 years! And yes, it was started by Obama’s Economic Recovery policies after the ’08 recession and not after Trump was inaugurated).

* The present demonstrations and rioting did not just flare up out of nowhere. This is the direct result of policies that would rather SUPPRESS than RESOLVE issues. We have a desperate and angry people in this country and a local police force ill-trained to cope with it. Compassion IS NOT Socialism, but Oppression IS Fascism.

* Finally, Where’s the Wall paid by Mexico? Where’s the Peace Treaty with North Korea? Afghanistan? Where are the benefits of the tariff war with China (have you noticed the grocery prices rise even BEFORE the Pandemic)? Where’s the START Treaty with Russia? Where’s the Affordable Healthcare Act reform Trump promised? The Farm Relieve Bill (which benefitted PROCESSORS AND BIG AGRICULTURAL CONGLOMERATES but not the small farmers) how did that help us? And who benefitted from the tax relief directives? The average worker got a few “Jacksons” while the top CEO’s got thousands of “Ben Franklins”.

Trump and Pence want 4 more years to do what? Stay the course? Buddy, we hit the iceberg and we’re sinking. Fix what they screwed up? You can’t bail a sinking ship with a sieve. The best course of action is to save as many lives as possible through careful thought and planning and taking the advice of those who know what to do. Unfortunately, this captain and first mate wish only to blame others and be first on the lifeboats.

-A. M. Holmes

What You Should Remember On November 3rd, 2020

“Trump will attempt to start or buy a media company that can compete with Fox News and do battle with everyone else.” This is what Timothy L. O’Brien wrote in a Bloomberg Opinion article on June 7th, 2020  (https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-06-07/trump-s-ugly-week-reveals-how-he-wants-to-be-remembered).  I see this as a strong likelihood because if there has been one constant in the Trump administration it’s that everything centers around him. If you have any doubt of this just remember this, he has publicly referred to himself as “the Chosen One”. His arrogance, his megalomaniacal view of self-worth, lacks any justification. Donald J. Trump is a farce of a man with no substance.

This administration has given us no peace treaty with North Korea or Afghanistan. We have no trade agreements with China, Japan, the European Union (though NAFTA has been tweaked it still cannot be called “NAFTA 2”), or OPEC. “Law and Order” President? No reforms in gun control regulation at any time in the foreseeable future despite the school and public mass shootings. On the global scene, North Korea is still a “rogue” nation, the Taliban is leaving peace talks, and we have no SALT Treaty with Russia. Healthcare? Despite the over 50 attempts to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act by the GOP, Trump has not come up with a replacement (he does want to make changes to Medicare and Medicaid by allowing coverage through private insurers and cutting government spending). Immigration reform: increase in arrests and still pushing for a costly and mostly inefficient wall (there are alternatives in technology like the use of drones that would be more efficient and less costly).

Then there is what he has done. He has rolled back EPA standards and regulations almost to pre-Obama (even pre-Bush) times benefitting pollution producing industries like coal and petroleum. His Farm Relieve directives he signed to help farmers in the trade tariff war he created with China benefitted mostly the Big Agribusinesses and suppliers than small farms. He has increased funding to the Defense Department which mostly benefitted military manufacturers. Trump has stepped on state’s rights by rolling back interstate commercial transportation taxes. Talking about taxes, he has given tax credits to the wealthy and corporations with the idea that it will get to the regular worker (“trickle-down” has never worked before it will not work now). Oh, and he has bullied, insulted, and threatened everyone who has seen through incredulous scams. I can continue with the other debacles, “Russiagate”, Covid-19, George Floyd Protest, but why? We all saw it. His lack of leadership in any situation is very self-evident.

When November 3rd comes around I want you to remember the last 4 years and ask yourself this, must we allow this petty, shallow, self-gratifying man-child to serve another four more years?  I hope your answer is no and that you vote for Joe Biden.

Donald Trump’s June 1st strolled from the White House to the steps of St. John’s Church for a staged photo-op. Moments before Washington D.C. police tear gassed peaceful George Floyd protesters to make way for the president’s entourage of White House administrators, secret service personnel, and chosen media.

Agricultural Land versus Regional World Population

Recently in my wanderings through “Reddit-land” I came across a world map that divided the world’s population into four equally numbered regions.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/aeosva/world_divided_into_4_regions_with_the_same/

This recalled another world map, one of a different kind, showing all the agricultural land is located geographically.

https://www.reddit.com/r/MapPorn/comments/7u6enj/map_showing_where_all_the_agricultural_land_is_in/

Superimposing the two I was startled by the differing distributions and what it implies. Most agricultural lands are existing in two narrow bands that cross the globe in both north and south temperate regions. When you consider population distributions you see that two of the largest agricultural regions exist in the least dense regions, the Americas and Europe. In the densest, only India has enough farmland to supply its population. But it may not be enough as its population increases.

World Population Divided Into 4 Regions Superimposed On Where All Agricultural Regions Are Located.


When one considers how this will affect the world socially, politically and economically one only sees an increase in conflict, instability, and war.

Just a thought.

Here’s one more, all of the above doesn’t even give a consideration of how climate change will change the agricultural regions.

https://reliefweb.int/map/world/world-climate-change-vulnerability-index-2014

-A. M. Holmes

Battles Are Not Won By Skirmishes and Wars Are Not Won Without Wins!

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As President Trump continues to lie, manipulate, and bully his populistic policies his nationalist followers continue to mistaken it for effectiveness and ignore the folly of it. In the meanwhile, our country continues on its chaotic course creating trade wars with stronger economies than our own and alienating allies. To stop Trump the majority that opposes him has to unite under one movement and one party. This could be the Democratic Party. Trump himself today said that if the Democrats wish to determine who becomes Supreme Court Justice they need to win elections.

If that’s the case then let’s do it! Let the “Blue Wave” overwhelm the Republicans in the November Elections! But in order to do that the Democrat Party has to pick their fights skillfully and escape the label of “liberal obstructionist” the Republicans have put on them. They have to embrace those issues the GOP have shown to be least effective and win on issues like immigration; trade; gun control and healthcare.

Let them have their Supreme Court Justice pick, let Trump have Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice. Battles are not won by skirmishes and wars are not won without wins! To win in the 2018 mid-term elections the Democrats must be the Progressive leadership Millennials and Gen-Z are looking for. Only they have the numbers to effectively overwhelm Trump Boomer support.

-A. M. Holmes

 

Sunday Thought

Extremist ideology has always used the idea of the “external threat” as a source of their power and “us against them” the reason for abandoning democracy for a dictatorship. Angry White Americans, because of extreme Right-wing ideological demagoguery and rhetoric, perceive themselves as disenfranchised see politically driven lies as truths. The Left is no better but nothing is more insidious than the manner in which populist nationalism brings down a republic from within. Just look at every dictatorial regime in the last 300 years that ended democracy by proclaiming “We will make our nation great again!”

Natural Selection versus Genetic Drift in Single nucleotide polymorphisms, SNPs

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Research published from The University of Queensland indicates that natural selection plays a greater role than genetic drift in SNPs dealing with height, waist-to-hip ratio, BMI, and schizophrenia among European, African, and Asian populations (Does evolution make us or are we just drifting that way?). Led by Professor Jian Yang from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Queensland Brain Institute, the team used more than 400,000 genetic samples from African, East Asian and European populations to determine if the SNPs (pronounced as “snips”) showed a tendency towards randomness, implying genetic drift, or not, and thus natural selection.

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The results showed that for SNPs such as height, waist-to-hip, BMI, and schizophrenia, there was a greater frequency for height among Europeans; a greater BMI number for Africans with Europeans having greater than Asians; both Europeans and Africans falling out of the mean for schizophrenia. None of these traits showed the tendency towards a random distribution which indicates that for these SNPs natural selection plays a greater role than genetic drift. In other words, what this study says that rather than in the colloquial debate of Nature versus Nurture it’s more like Selection over Nature and Nurture not having a factor at all. This is important in that it gives hope for the potential to treat certain ailments, such as schizophrenia through treatments such as CRISPR. 

It has left me to wonder how much of natural selection over genetic drift influenced hominin traits? Eyebrows/brow ridges, robust/gracile, even “having a chin” how were these more a product of selectivity among groups than randomness among Neandertals, Denisovans, and modern humans? More intriguing, could this be applied to culture as well? 

-A. M. Holmes

 

 

“Populism” is the New “Nationalism”

 

The New York Times op-ed says, “If freedom is to prevail over the many challenges to it, American leadership is urgently required.” Unfortunately, the U.S. has leadership but not in the form it needs to preserve freedom.

In the U.S. “Populism” has become just another word for “Nationalism”. “America Great Again”, “America First” these are fascistic slogans used by a radical movement within the GOP that has Trump as its leader. This is a group that believes in the suppression of the free press, divisiveness along socio-economic and cultural lines, isolationism, and “bread and circuses (tax breaks and parades) for the masses. These people are elitists who have nothing in common with the average American and yet know how to manipulate and lie to achieve power through the ballot box. They are un-American and if we continue to allow them to usurp the government they are a threat not only here but globally as well.

-A. M. Holmes

Why I Remain on Facebook

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I thought about it as well, weighing the security breaches against staying in touch with people, and concluded that whatever I am worried that someone would get has already happened. Therefore, I’ve taken some steps to prevent any further excursions by outfits like Cambridge Analytica into mine and my friend’s lives. I’ve cut down my number of contacts down to a small, manageable number and of people I can control. Removed any pictures of my children and be careful of what I post in the future. I’ve also made access to certain information more restrictive. I won’t participate in surveys, test, and any of the other distractions FB had provided in the past. Note: I never understood why some of these would ask for a login to post on your profile if you were already logged in. Always seemed like a security violation.

Anyway, to keep in touch with family, former classmates, co-workers -friends, I will remain on FB. I will also remain to do so more carefully.