Category Archives: Important Society Issues

Enough

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Okay, enough of this stupid shit that has been going on since our election.  I can almost not stand the news on a daily basis.  If you are comfortable with what has been going on, then you must either be an ass, arrogant, or ignorant.  Or all three. I guess, after reading Rod’s comment, total lack of concern could be an excuse.

I heard that Muhammad Ali’s son was held up at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport by immigration authorities.  Do you understand that?  Muhammad Ali’s son, who is Muslim, and an American, with a US passport, was detained returning from Jamaica with his mother.   The guy is a millionaire, inheriting a huge amount from his father’s estate.  And, once again, an American.   And his issue was his religion.  We can not tolerate this.

Now our immigration problem.  I’ve been looking around about immigration and the majority of our illegal immigrants work in agriculture.  The numbers vary, but up to 78% of farm workers in many states are undocumented immigrants.  And we don’t have enough.  

Please feel free to comment here about your experiences of having bad experiences with undocumented workers.  Jobs that you’ve lost, crimes against you personally. Any bad experience that you’ve personally experienced.  And use your real name when you comment.

I travel a ton and interact with lots of different people.  I’ve never had a bad experience or know of a crime against me, by an immigrant.   The “illegal immigrants” I’ve had the pleasure to meet, have been super nice, polite and, I think, add to the ability to live comfortably in our country.

Plus, who out there thinks building a very expensive wall is going to address the immigrant issue one bit? Anyone? 20 billion dollars well spent?

Mr. Trump is calling the deportation of immigrants a “military operation”.  Huh?

I don’t personally know a person that would like a job that is currently being done by a illegal immigrant.    Feel free to comment about the job you’d like to be doing, except for so many immigrants doing them.

We, here in the US, have many problems.  But the stupid shit President Trump has been addressing aren’t those problems.

Transgender kids.  Anyone out there had a problem here? Other than the kids that are struggling experiencing this?

How about dismantling the EPA?  I sure don’t like clean air or water.   Or all other environmental regulations.

How about not allowing certain press to attend daily briefings at the White House?  Or this “fake news” rhetoric?    I don’t think that Mr. Trump understands the need for press in our society.  If he is so worried about fake news, then he should just stop talking so much.

Americans, historically, have taken pride in being fair.  And treating others fairly.  At least trying to.  We’re doing neither now.  Just because we were born here, doesn’t make us entitled to treat others badly. Especially poor people, with little options.

Don’t be leaving comments about sticking to cycling here.  We all have a personal mandate to speak up for those that don’t have that ability.   President Trump isn’t doing that.  He is doing exactly the opposite.  He is a horrible reflection of what a true American is all about.

What he is trying to do, so far, isn’t what needs to be addressed in our country.  It is embarrassing on so many levels.  More than embarrassing, it is scary.

Want this job?

Trump – Not Playing Nice

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You might agree 100% with everything that President Trump has said and done since running for office and getting elected.  You think he is taking our country in the right direction.  That is fine.  But I challenge you to defend the way he acts.

He uses intimidation, arrogance, non-informed knowledge, and sloppiness to try to get “his” way.

I guess the easiest description is that he is just plain mean.  When someone says something he feels is incorrect, the guy lashes out at them via social media.  Or he tells one of his underlings to defend him, many times by just lying.  It is so wrong.

And worse than wrong, it is disrespectful of the office of President of the United States.  It makes our country look arrogant to the rest of the world.   Thus, it puts us, the citizens of the United States, in very bad light to others.  It reflects very badly on us.

The United States has historically been looked at as an empathetic country.  We tend to try to take care of people who don’t have the freedoms that we have.  I am proud of these actions. We were all lucky to have been born here, or at least end up here.

But that isn’t the case so much now.  If Trump doesn’t think that the national media is covering the acts of terrorism enough, then the guy doesn’t watch the news or read newspapers.  That is all I hear on a daily basis.  But he calls our media “fake” and they aren’t doing their jobs.

Sure, there is bad news people out there.  But outright lying to try to make your point makes the man looks either stupid or just confrontational.  I think it is the later.

I don’t think that politics is a good profession.  It is a very hard job and the people involved, usually, tend to be pretty thoughtful and smart.

I am sort of astonished that republican senators and house members have to sort of lie when being interviewed by the “fake” media. Maybe not lie, but sidestep the questions or say they can’t speak for the president.  Just because you are in the same political party as the guy, doesn’t mean you have to lower your standards to his.

I feel our politicians should always try to tell the true.  Don’t speak publicly if you’re going to lie. That is a pretty good mantra to have if you hold the job. That isn’t  always the case today.

When our politicians start lying to the people of our country, the system comes under pressure. And when our elected citizens start treating others very badly, then the whole problem is exacerbated.  That is where we are now.

This is an addition – This isn’t a left or right political deal.  This is a manors or moral compass deal.  We want our leaders to act the role of a leader.  Not a mean-spirited, egotistical weirdo that seems more interested in how he is portrayed by the media than actually doing what is correct, or what he feels is correct.  It is really basic, don’t be a dick trying to get your way.

I can’t understand why the smart, nice guys in Washington can’t explain to Donald that he is acting very badly and should try to play nicer.  Maybe they have and he’s just fired them.

Seems like the German media likes us a lot.

 

America First !

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What is that all about?  The guy has lost his mind.  That was a pretty depressing inauguration speech. I think we have become a much richer country because we opened our borders by buying and selling products internationally.  Not now, as of today.

I acknowledge, up front, this is a very divisive subject.  But, come on, don’t we expect and deserve  a president that has some intellect and thoughtfulness.

This is turning into more of a weird thing than most had imagined.  The current president is at war with the media, really the 4th arm of our government.  For some reason he doesn’t realize there is fact checking, actually more than that, there is actual recorded footage of him contradicting himself nearly each time he speaks.  Now he has a press secretary that mimics his actions.  It is nuts.

Obviously, I don’t like the guy.  And don’t try to say it was the best of 2 bad choices.  I’m not comparing him to anyone but himself.  His priorities and statements are ludicrous.

He is saying he is planning on cutting taxes to corporations today.  The response from one of the guys that covers bond ratings for all countries –

“Even before elections the U.S had the highest level of government debt of any triple-A country. If we add on top of that Trump’s plans to cut taxes by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years that could add around 33 percent to U.S. government debt,” said Ed Parker, Fitch’s head of sovereign ratings for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

That means Trump’s plans to slash taxes could threaten the United States’ triple-A credit rating over the medium term.

And what’s with the statement, “America will start winning again, winning like never before.”,   I wonder if he even knows the definition to the word win.  We’re not in a game, or a war, with all the other people that live on this planet.  Historically, our country has been looked up to as the country that has empathy and looks after others.  Guess not so much anymore?

The purpose for politicians in our society is varied.  Recently, and especially during this election, it seems like there was a main objective  to win the election. That would explain a lot of political behaviour during the campaign, such as flip-flopping, which seems dishonest to some.

But after someone is elected, that needs to stop.  And it hasn’t. Kellyanne Conway phrased it “alternative facts”.  Pretty creative, but stupid.   And this tweeter thing is insane.  It seems that the guy is “at war” with everyone.  Can someone name one thing the guy likes?   Anything?

He hates Saturday Night Live, actors and actresses, the media, just about anyone that disagrees with what his views are.  It doesn’t seem normal.  It is a really bad trait for the leader of the free world.

I was hoping that he was going to surround himself with others that would help him get up to speed how this all works.  Nope.  He has surrounded himself with a team of advisors that have a combined net worth of more than $10 billion.  Many from the financial sector, those that he criticized during his campaign.

One of the first things he does as President is to sign an executive order to curb some parts of ACA.  That is health care related.  Affects about 30,000,000 Americans.  Where is the replacement plan?  Wasn’t the line repeal and replace?  Guess he’s just interested in the first part.

Wouldn’t you think that a non-politician, a businessman, would take a little bit to get up to speed about what the repercussions of executive actions would be?  Give it a little bit of time to understand the gravity of his decisions?  He has the most information available at his finger tips now.   And maybe not doing so many “victory tour” gatherings and, instead, spend every waking hour of the day understanding 100% of what needs to be done.   Guess not, once again.

I could keep going on and on.  Sunday, there were close to 3,000,000 people that thought their views needed to be heard.  So they went to the streets and “protested”.  They did this for various reasons.  But mostly to be heard.  This was the largest protest in the history of the United States.

Whatever you might think about her, Madonna made a speech and said she was tempted to “blowing up the White House”.  I guess now the secret service isn’t happy and is having a talk with her.   They want to know her intent.

According to an official, “If it’s characterized as inappropriate, then there won’t be any discussions with the U.S. Attorney. If it’s determined that there’s intent on her part, then there will be discussions with the U.S. Attorney and they’ll take it from there.”

They actually think that Madonna has an intent on blowing up the White House?  Kind of reaching here, aren’t we.

This is going to be a long four years if it has only been 3 days so far.  I can’t see this working out that well for our citizens.  Or people throughout the world.   It isn’t how it works nowadays.

 

Madonna has some explaining to do.

 

Which definition is he meaning?

win
win/
verb
1.be successful or victorious in (a contest or conflict).
2.acquire or secure as a result of a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor.
noun
1.a successful result in a contest, conflict, bet, or other endeavor; a victory.

60 Days for Killing a Cyclist ?

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Yesterday was the sentencing hearing for the man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of my friend, Glenda Taylor.  Glenda was struck and killed by  Todd Kidwell at the Kansas State Time Trial Championships in June of 2015.

I didn’t go to the hearing.  I’m haven’t been feeling that good recently and really didn’t want to live the reality of what has already happened.   Lots of cyclists went there to support Joe, Glenda’s husband, and to support cycling in general.

I did see the sentence pretty soon after it was announced.  60 days in jail and 36 months probation.  Here is a link to the Topeka’s newspaper article about the hearing. 

I don’t understand the legal system.  I don’t know why this whole thing took so long.  I don’t understand the plea agreement for manslaughter.  I don’t understand a lot of things.

Todd Kidwell made some statements that seemed genuine.  He said, “I’m the reason Mrs. Taylor is not here.  I shouldn’t have tried to pass her.”  He also said that “I had a responsibility to Mrs. Taylor.  I know you probably hate me, you have every right to.  I need to make amends.”

Those are words that you want to hear, but impossible to digest.  At least for me.

I don’t know what is right.  A guy sitting in jail isn’t gonna bring back a life.  A guy saying he’s sorry isn’t going to do it either.   Glenda was a super person and didn’t deserve to be on this end of a tragedy.  She is missed by all.

Glenda after winning a medal at cyclocross Nationals.

Some of the friends and supporters of Joe and Glenda that made the trip yesterday.

Airplane Flights

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I woke up early this morning and was listening to the BBC.  They had a pretty good segment on airplane flights and greenhouse gases.  Man, there is a lot of information to digest on this subject.

They said something like there are 100,000 flights per day currently.  And that 3.5 billion passengers per year currently fly.  That number is nearly 1/2 the population of the planet now.

Obviously jet planes use fuel, which causes warming.  The fuel a flight uses, per person, is quite a bit more than an automobile, considering how much distance a flight covers.

Burning the fuel also cause clouds.  They are addressing that there are so many flights and the flights obviously make contrails, which affects the greenhouse gas problem.  The contrails create clouds and these clouds are high clouds that are complicated.

The high clouds contain warmth for the planet, that has a next warming effect. But these clouds also reflect the sunlight, which has a net cooling effect on the planet.  So the problem is to figure out which is stronger.

They tried to compare the amount of sun reflected from volcanoes, even 9/11, which grounded nearly all aircraft for 72 hours.  There was a study during 9/11, when the flights were grounded, that showed that with no planes in the sky, the nights were cooler and the days were warmer. This gap was over 1 degree, which seems extreme for only 3 days of no airplane flights.

Anyway, it is complicated and, I’m sure, won’t really be addressed until it is too late to correct. I’m pretty sure that the US is going to be contributing way more to the heating of our planet the next four years.  At least if the president elect keeps his campaign promises.   Funny that the rest of the world is intent on addressing this and, currently, we’re dragging our feet.  Go figure.

Contrails are pretty, but maybe not so good for the planet.

Contrails are pretty, but maybe not so good for the planet.

On a happier note, a hunter's trail camera filmed a mountain lion in Shawnee County, where I live. This is the first photoed mountain lion near Topeka. They are very stealthy and shy.

On a happier note, a hunter’s trail camera filmed a mountain lion in Shawnee County, where I live. This is the first photoed mountain lion near Topeka. They are very stealthy and shy.

 

 

Fall Leaves

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Leaves changing and falling from the trees is really what defines fall and signals the coming of winter.  (Is it leaves or leafs?)  But, I have a pet peeve about fall and leaves.

When I was a kid, our whole neighborhood would pretty much get together and rake our yards on the same weekend.  We had huge leaf piles that we’d all jump in. Then we’d burn the leaves in the street gutter and it would be super smokey.  Kind of weird now, but that was the way it was back then.

People used to take care of the gutters in front of their houses.  Not anymore.  At least in Topeka.  I live in a pretty good neighborhood in Topeka and most of the street gutters and nearly all the sewer grates are clogged with leaves.

But when many people rake their leaves, most put them into plastic trash bags and have the trashmen pick them up.  That is wrong is more than one way.

First of all, I read something about leaves in a dump and it is a high percentage, something like 16% of all volume.  I think it said that 125 million tons of leaves are put into landfills in the US.  We’re putting stuff into a landfill that would decompose on its own.  What is up with that?

We have a couple compost places in our backyard.  I can add as many leaves as I want and they are mostly gone by the next spring.  It makes super garden additive.  If you don’t want to rake the leaves and put them in a compost bin, then just mow them and let them help your yard.  Or rake  them and put them around your bushes.

Up in Mount Prospect, a Chicago suburb, where Trudi grew up, all you have to do is rake  your leaves to the curb and every Monday they come by with a special vacuum truck and the suck them up, shred them and then they take them to the vegetation dump.  Every city should do this.  Clogging up our storm sewers with leaves is just dumb.

Anyway other than bagging them up and giving the trash guys more work is okay.  We have enough problems in our society than filling our trash dumps with vegetation.   Someone, maybe our city officials, need to educate us all about what is the right thing to do with leaves.  We’re doing it all wrong now.

One of my neighbors driveway.

One of my neighbors driveway.

Another. This is nearly weekly all fall.

Another. This is nearly weekly all fall.

Nothing like the storm sewers being clogged. If you have a storm sewer in front of your house you need to keep it clear.

Nothing like the storm sewers being clogged. If you have a storm sewer in front of your house you need to keep it clear.

This guy has been coming nightly to the compose pile. I guess he like the fruit peels or something.

This guy has been coming nightly to the compost pile. I guess he likes the fruit peels or something.  I’ve been teaching Tucker to not bark in the yard, but he can’t help himself with an opossum.

 

USA Votes to Shoot Itself

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Wow is all I can say about yesterday’s election.  Our country is so divided.  So divided that they have no idea how to make important decisions.  If our new president elect does any, or all of his pledges, our country is going to be going down the drain fairly quickly.

How about building that wall?  Think that is going to happen?  Estimated cost is 25 billion dollars.  Think Mexico is going to be paying for it?  Or better, do you think this is going to make our country richer and safer.  I think not.  I think it makes our country poorer and more divided.

So, the person that gets the most votes loses the election?  That is some kind of fucked up political system. Our electoral college system didn’t work so well this time again.  I guess the nearly half the population, at least 1/2 the people that voted, are happy.  I doubt they have all their assets invested in stocks, because I very much doubt they are going to be liking that.

I’m not into virtually any of Trump’s ideas.  The stock market is going to tank today.  And it will keep tanking.  Solar stocks are going down the toilet because we need to rebuild our nation and he doesn’t see any value in green energy.  He is into coal mines, so let’s just fuck up our air like it was in the 70’s and 80’s.

I could keep going on and on.  This, in my opinion, was the biggest mistake our country has made in current times.   I’m worried about keeping health insurance after whacking my head a month ago.  If you have, or don’t have any health insurance, you should be worried.  I’m worried about our kids who are in our military.  Pretty much everything.

This doesn’t have anything to do with your political party or views.  I live in Kansas and the voters here have made some really bad political choices recently.  Our state has been suffering since.  I see no difference here, except on a national level.  We picked an unqualified person to be the most powerful person on our planet.  That can not work out well for us.

Trade,, immigration, taxes, you name it, it is going to be a problem.  The election has created uncertainty.  The rest of the world is in shock. Our image to the rest of the world just dropped a few more notches.  Welcome to the new United States of America.

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