PHIL-osphy, February 24th, 2020
SING A SONG. Enjoy this song, The Day Democracy Died, as sung by the Founding Fathers.
RUSSIA’S UNDERSTANDING. Per this CNN article, Russia learned a lesson from the 2016 election that US voters have not learned. See if you agree.
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!. You may not remember the bad 1966 movie by that double name, but, yes, they are coming again. The US intelligence communities told lawmakers that the Russians plan to interfere with the 2020 election to help make sure trump wins. Learn more here. Of course, trump will deny it and the republicans will go with the President. This is even worse than the movie.
MORE THAN EXPECTED. Each of us have heard about the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest. We understand that it eliminates a significant portion of Earth’s natural resources and ability to heal itself. It seems there are unexpected consequences. Now we know that it changes how plants are dispersed, if at all. Read thisEurekAlert article for more information.
ANOTHER WAY TO GO. When a person dies, they usually are placed in a casket and buried in the ground or a vault or they are cremated with the remains stashed in a vault or on a mantle or, when law permits, scattered. Washington may become the first state to permit a body to be composted in a facility. Colorado may become the first state to permit simple burial in the ground with no coffin or vault for natural decomposition (natural burial). There is a claim that either process saves a ton of carbon compared to cremation or traditional burial. Natural burial is approved in parts or all of some other countries. Read more about it in this BBC article.
HOW TO GET A PARDON FROM trump. Here is a CNN article that tells you how. You will be disgusted at the simplicity.
YES! California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (a Democrat, of course) gets it. He declared the state’s biggest issue will be solving the state’s homeless crisis. This Snopes article tells more. Homelessness can lead to drug dependency, prostitution, unemployment, early death, and many other problems. Some communities have had some good successes. Let’s hope California does, too.
SUPERFUND CLEANUPS. Figures released by the Environmental Protection Agency indicate the fewest cleanups of toxic Superfund sites (only six) last year than any administration since the program’s firs years in the 1980’s. This Snopes article tells more. We’ve come to expect less and less good from trump and his appointees.
NORMALIZATION OF CORRUPTION. Did the trump and the republicans attempt to normalize corruption? It certainly seems that way. Watch this 8-minute CNN video for the evidence.
IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID! Goldman Sachs is warning people of a stock market correction. Read about it here. Of course, trump will blame Obama.
Speaking of the economy, the median increase in wages last year was only 1%, which is less than inflation. The top 5% earners saw a 4.5% growth, a lot more than inflation. Read more about that here. The economy is not what trump pretends it is.
THE NEW BLACK? Sadly, people on the far right are doing it again. They take some new-found tiny grain on knowledge and blow it up into a wealth of stupidity. This time, they are taking the coronavirus outbreak in China to discriminate against and actually attack Asian people. This CNN report and 2-minute video tells you far more. To help, go out and eat in an Asian restaurant. Many are hurting for business because of discrimination.
DIDJANO? On February 21, 1958, Gerald Holtom designed the peace symbol. It was commissioned by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and combines the semaphore symbols for the letters N and D, an abbreviation of Nuclear Disarmament.
ECONOMIC CONTRADICTION. Earlier this month, trump proposed slashing federal employee pay raises by more than half, citing his right to do so under “national emergency or serious economic conditions affecting the general welfare”. There is no national emergency. He claims our economic conditions are the best ever. Federal employees make, when adjusted for inflation, 4% less than they did at the beginning of the decade. Where is the logic here? Oh, I forgot. It’s trump, so there is no logic. Read more about it here.
GREYHOUND. I am happy to hear that Greyhound, the bus company, will no longer permit US Customs and Border Protection agents to search its buses without warrants. You can read more about it here.
GERMANY’S FAR RIGHT-PROBLEM. Germany, like the US, has a far-right problem. Unlike in the US, Germany’s government acknowledges the problem. Regretfully, they don’t know quite what to do with it. Racism and hate attacks have reached levels not seen since the Nazis were driven from power. That despite the kidnappings and killings in the 1970’s through the 1990’s. As we try to fix our own problem, it may be worth watching what Germany does with their problem, too. Maybe we can exchange ideas on things that work. Learn more here.
SWITCHING PARTIES. That is what Indian Americans may be doing. This thanks to a rise in Hindu nationalism. It doesn’t help that the Indian Prime Minister is a big trump fan. Learn more about it with this NPR transcript and sound bites.
THE FUTURE OF VOTING? In Virginia, the voting equipment used by a jurisdiction must be selected from one of a few options already approved by the Commonwealth. Some of the companies are based outside the US. Fortunately, the equipment and accompanying software is well tested. However, this brief video and article shows what the future of voting may be like. It had a trial run in a small Wisconsin community.
Where will YOU be on March 3rd?