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When humanity fails we all suffer. It seems there are more tragedies each day. Maybe it is because we are more connected but we are more connected. What used to take 6-24 hours to report is almost instantaneous today. It’s why I like following twitter for news—not big news sources but people in the field. I was about to go to sleep the other night when scenes from the Grenfell Tower fire came across my twitter feed. Horrible images and video with people saying they could see residents still trapped as the inferno grew. Images from the twin towers on 9/11 came flooding in from my memory banks—those awful feelings of despair for the individuals and their families.

 

I stayed up hoping to hear some news, hoping those people would make it out, but knowing what I witnessed in the video would not prove this true. I kept asking what about sprinkler systems. The more I watched, the more fuel seemed to be added to the conflagration. Come to find out—there were no sprinklers. WHAT? I’m used to living in the US I guess but that doesn’t always prove to be a safe issue.

 

Building codes are so important to have but some see it as unneeded regulations. I dare them to put their loved ones (or even themselves) in a building that hasn’t been deemed fire safe. To drive this point home, I live in a place where we pride ourselves on certain living conditions that seem to be above the norm but a few years ago, a retirement home (not nursing home) was built. It was for people who could still take care of themselves, could drive as they offered garages, and the like. I think it was two-story if I recall correctly—garage on the bottom with living area above.

 

A fire broke out one night. Even with a fire department down the street there was loss of life due to the building not being up to code. For one, there were no firewalls built in the complex. Yeah—I don’t know. Supposedly the fire inspector signed off on the building plans and then as it was being built and then again at completion. That was all a big mess because he later said it wasn’t his signature. And, this is here in the US where we do require sprinklers in certain situations along with a host of other things.

 

So I read an article about the Grenfell fire that keeps nagging at me (link). It equates sprinkler installments of established buildings as calculated risk compared to that of driving cars here in the US at a slower speeds so as not to die. DO WHAT? Yes, we know there is less of a risk of death at slower speeds but it’s not the same. Now to an actuary, this may seem to be equal—in reality it isn’t. People aren’t numbers. Accepted casualty rates aren’t acceptable and so on. Sprinklers and air bags might qualify for this type of discussion but we in the US have already had all of these discussions.

 

People don’t have to drive cars but they do need a place to sleep and that place needs to be made safe. I keep seeing people in the UK saying this isn’t the time to have this discussion. Sounds a bit like our gun debates that some people refuse to have. I understand our governments are different but it seems we have the same type of mindset about poor people…since there were poor people living in this building, they should be glad they at least had shelter — as in be happy for what they had. Roll eyes – yes I have read that several times and that they shouldn’t be expecting the government to take care of them not to mention the ones who blame the poor for being poor. Errrrrrr.

 

I could go on and on but sprinklers save lives. That’s a given fact. It isn’t debatable. It isn’t an opinion. It should never be up for discussion. Oh, by the way, they were adding cladding to the building to make it more aesthetically appealing. Even that was a bad choice since the material they chose can’t be used in the US but under certain conditions – high rises aren’t one of them because of flammability.

 

I’m so sorry for the loss of life from the fire. There are lessons to be learned. I hope everyone learns that this is not one of those accepted risks.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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This week I watched a video clip of Jim Bakker talking about the president—condemning anyone saying things against him and calling it hate speech. Where was Bakker when so many conservatives for 8 years called our president the anti-Christ and said all manner of evil against him and his family? Hmmm. Bakker believes President Trump was placed in power by God and yet, I guess he doesn’t believe that God placed President Obama in power. See the hypocrisy? Hmmm.

 

Bakker also calls for nothing to be done to Trump because this is God’s will. That it will cause all out civil war with Christians. Wait just a minute.

That if Trump is impeached, America will be punished. Eye roll.

He further goes on to say that anyone against Trump is the spirit of the anit-christ. Oh dear.

 

Bakker is trying to drive fear into the hearts of the believers. You may ask what’s wrong with what he is saying but I ask would he be saying this if he wasn’t peddling his long-term survival porridge in such a manner?

 

The man is a charlatan. He uses his charisma to draw in those who are willing to be led down such a road. I have to point out that this Trump worship is the same thing that is warned against in the bible but Bakker won’t be telling you this.

 

Franklin Graham also was and is shoving this to his followers but he’s not selling bomb-shelter food worse than MREs. They must have received secret information that all liberals are of the anti-Christ and that people need to listen to God and hate liberals—ok, loathe them. Don’t tell them about Jesus’ liberal tendencies and the first church’s socialistic policies. I mean…don’t dare mention the death of Ananias and Sapphira. These people identify anything coming from people of a liberal sense is evil and hatred but in honesty, I see it as these people are the ones yelling the hate. Bakker talked against words from the “left” while inciting people to use hate speech and thought. More hypocrisy.

 

Alice, can we go back to our normal world now? This upside down world is too much.

 

If you are a Christian, you might want to ask what Jesus would do. Did he condemn those all around him or was it the leaders of the church so to say—the ones who regulated the laws of the church—as in Jewish leaders? He had harsh words for those who were supposed to know scripture but yet didn’t follow them…those who professed to be God’s chosen but made horrible interpretations.

 

I don’t know who sold these people this belief that Trump came for and from God. I’m pretty sure someone can also make a case that he, Trump himself, could be the/an anti-Christ. I personally think it’s a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy–you believe it will happen and you make it happen. No real prophecy. People want to believe so badly in something but is not true. The truly faithful to this cause will not waver even when presented with facts. It’s become a cult like thing. Remember Jim Jones? I have a friend who lost someone in that massacre. The lady wanted to believe so much that what Jones said was real but inside she had doubts but not the courage to walk away nor the resources. From what I understand, she was caught up in it and it had gone too far. So sad to think how people get caught up in something like that, isn’t it?

 

Never worship a person. Admire them from afar and don’t take people’s words for something because they say they know what God wants. We have brains. We should use them. I’ve always wondered about the Heaven’s Gate cult—how did they go so far? They—to my knowledge—were not forced to do what they did unlike the Jim Jones last act.

 

Deceivers. Most do it for money but more than that—they want power. It’s a narcissistic trait but also sociopaths live for this type of allegiance. From my past experience, if a person truly comes from God or from true goodness, their message will be love and humility with no buts for excuses. And if someone feels as if another is taking something away from them, perhaps one needs to examine what is within. Peace is quite comforting.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

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Festival

My children studied the events that led up to the various wars of the last century specifically Nazi Germany. Today, they keep up with the news and not just face time on TV which I think is a grand accomplishment in itself. Often they will ask, “What was it like… (fill in the blank)…back when (such and such) happened. I’ll give them my perspective even telling them how it impacted my life and shaped my beliefs. Not until recently have they experienced much of this for themselves.

 

They are shocked to hear how the leader of the American government treats the citizens and friends and allies. I frequently hear these words, “But Mom, this is what happened while Hitler was in power. Why don’t people see this?” I just smile and whence deep inside elated that they see it but deeply troubled that it is happening during their lifetime in the year 2017. I keep telling myself it’s 2017 but my brain doesn’t seem to believe it. We have had countless conversations of what it means to be politically correct and why treating others with respect is not a bad thing and we talk about the daily happenings and how it will impact future generations.

 

As much as I would love for this next topic to go away, it’s not. White supremacy is not a thing in my eyes. I don’t recognize it no matter how many people pledge allegiance to such a grotesque way of thinking. You may think white power type of thing has to be labeled in order to see it as such but it doesn’t. These things start subtly and become more of the norm just like you watch today certain people such as the alt-right/Nazi guy who visited Auburn University recently (I’m not writing his name anymore). He can call it what he wants but it is still about white superiority (in his mind). Watch any or all of his videos. In other countries, he would be in jail but we have what we call freedom of speech—however, that does NOT mean that we have to give him a platform on which to speak such as story after story in the media. Yes, people need to know what he says but he’s in the news as a regular guy (eye roll).

 

To many, he is a novelty, something different so he is of interest. To me, he speaks nothing but hate inciting hate in other people. Imagine doing such against other races of human beings just because they have a different pigment or different religion, etc. I’m rolling my eyes even more because it’s 2017. I grew up amid the civil rights fight and the push back against the government integrating the schools. I live and lived in the south at the time. It was awful. I digress.

 

May 1 was designated loyalty day long ago. It’s nothing new. I don’t agree with it. I’m fine with patriotism. I’m even great with it but we have a tinderbox full of hot coals ready to blow up into the biggest wildfire that has ever swept this country. This type of call to allegiance reminds me of the time leading up to Nazi Germany. Plenty have dismissed this but there are so many similarities. I have lived my entire life saying it couldn’t happen here but just like my kids are witnessing the happenings of today, I have to change my way of thinking. It IS happening here. Further evidence can be seen at our fearful leader’s campaign rallies even three months after inauguration. Same thing happened in Germany. It’s like they are following along the Nazi playbook.

 

What happens to people if they don’t pledge their allegiance or they don’t do it in a manner others think you should? Look at those who protested the national anthem or rather look at the ones who criticized those who protested. Do I get jailed or deported because I don’t subscribe to the same level of allegiance on loyalty day? Look at those who criticize the saying of “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.” This is not saying let’s encourage better morale but saying dam* to anyone who isn’t like them.

 

It took a while for Germany to change over to Nazi control. It didn’t happen overnight but they had a reason for enacting each rule they came up with in order to go against another group of people. Similar to what is happening here. This is fascism pure and simple. We are not at the eve of a fascist government – we are in a full-fledged fascist regime.

 

Silencing the media is one of the crucial parts of this. When free press is wiped out, freedom of speech is next to go. And, one of the most difficult things to watch lately is the abuse of power over the justice system. Our democratic republic (giving that name is wishful thinking—I know) was established so that there are balances of power – to keep any single branch from having autocratic power. That is being abolished by strong-armed tactics (bully ways). More eye-rolling on my part.

 

I could go on and on but loyalty day to me symbolizes the cementing of this fascist type of government. Clearly seen by many and by his own words this past week, the man was not prepared for this position as president. Most of us know the job is difficult. He spent eight years criticizing President Obama because he thought the job was so easy. He’s a madman who wants to laud himself with great honors probably because of some family issue when he was growing up. He will always surround himself with things that tell him he is great because he cannot accept mistakes he makes – failure. He will always blame someone else. This is not different from other politicians but this is not characteristics of a president.

Martyn Pattison – Wikimedia Commons

As for me, I am choosing to celebrate the Gaelic customs of Bealtaine (Beltane) – the ancient fire festival ushering in the summer season. I tend to honor Mother Earth – she is what is important to me. If we don’t take care of her, there is no reason for anything else.

 

Happy Gardening and Happy Bealtaine! 🙂

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Art is said to imitate life. Such examples exist of present, past, and future. We also use it to give a more accurate representation of past events using exaggerated means.

 

In the movie, Tora, Tora, Tora, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was credited as saying,

 

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

 

No record was ever found that he actually said this but given the totality of what Pearl Harbor led to, it’s not out of the question that this sentiment was at the least considered by some. To me, it serves as a reminder of what we should contemplate as in the ramifications of war before we engage. Diplomacy goes a lot farther than slaughtering others.

 

No one wins at war. No. Our president and many others are wrong. Many want war because they have invested heavily in weapons of war. We have learned nothing from the past 50 years it seems. I want to be very clear in my views of war on terror. There is no winning. There is no end. It becomes a circle and in the end we stoop to their level and become nothing more than the extremist.

 

I have been horrified of how low we are willing to go in the world. Was I horrified at the chemical weapons used on the Syrian people? Of course I am just as I have been. I have also been enraged at all of the civilian causalities we have caused with our presence on foreign soils…all of the drone strikes…and depleted uranium ordinance – which by the way is a war crime.

 

I needed to write this. I want my view out there but my apologies for my mistakes. I am not doing well but with any luck, I hope to improve.

 

Happy Gardening! No matter how bad it is, there is sunshine somewhere. 🙂

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Each day I’m a little more embarrassed about my president but today was hurtful. I know it seems a small thing but it’s Friday and the end of two very bad weeks from this administration. It’s just too much to take. People will say I’m picking but it’s the overall lack of respect for others that gets me about this administration and president in particular. I shouldn’t be surprised. They did say they hate being politically correct which I just thought was being human and decent. Oh well.

 

I was always told that you can tell who is a gentleman if the man holds the door open or allows the woman to walk through first or opens the car door and such. Now, I know there are some women who might argue against this type of behavior but men should still offer and not feel hurt if the woman turns him down or says for him to go first. Many women are trying to be courteous though some might take offense. Me, I say thank you. Anyway, it looks bad when a man doesn’t do these things especially in public. Case in point is our president.

 

You may argue against this but most men would allow their wife to enter the building before them. They would even open the door for their spouse and anyone else as a gesture of good etiquette. If you can’t treat your wife with decency then I know you won’t treat anyone else with decency but then again, anyone caught saying the things he has said is just trash I don’t care what excuse you give.

 

Not shaking Chancellor Merkel’s hand today was just awful but what’s worse is the posture of this man and the way he came across before the press was asked to leave. You may say this was an informal time and all is good and I will say, bollocks. BBC World tweeted a link to their story and asked about the body language. Here is a shot.

 

 

She was sitting with legs crossed and hands together. Trump was sitting lunging forward over his knees with hands pressed together. He was frowning most of the time and she had a light-hearted smile. Someone in the room asked if they would do a handshake. With no response from Trump, the chancellor asked him and was ignored. Ok…

 

What does this mean? Even though her legs were crossed, she was relaxed – comfortable. You could tell by her shoulders. I would add that she seemed cautious but most likely she was in her comfort posture before the public. She didn’t seem uptight but at ease. Trump was tense, rigid, frowning. In some ways, he looked fuming. He was not comfortable in the situation. When she addressed him, he would not face her and acted like she wasn’t there. That was really awful. This was more than an innocent gaffe. He looked like Mommy just told him he could not have dessert until he ate all of his vegetables. He really looked like he was pitching a temper tantrum.

 

The home country (the US in this situation) should make the effort to create an atmosphere comfortable for the visiting dignitary. This wasn’t happening in the room at the time but she has come to the US on several occasions to meet with the sitting president. This was not her first rodeo. So often during the debates, we are asked who won the debate. Clearly, Chancellor Merkel was in control of this room. She didn’t flaunt it. She wasn’t overbearing. But Trump behaved very poorly and it embarrasses me.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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I want to formally apologize for my country. I am sorry that we—the US—look like the selfish fools that we have become. We are not all like what is being portrayed but many are. Look at who is in the Whitehouse. Many of us are busy trying to make the world a better place for everyone and not just a chosen few but it’s like in school when you have one or two bullies in the class that cause chaos and mess everything up for everyone. That’s us right now.

 

I hang my head in shame for what my president and his administration are doing. No, it is no being blown out of proportion. These are heinous acts against humanity.  I’m not going to sit here and sling blame at everyone like some are doing. I believe we have responsibility and therefore the actions of the few will have consequences for the many and not just those of us in the US but all across the globe.

 

I was horrified to watch the events unfold of the past week or so. I can’t tell you how much it tears me up. A phoenix is a mystical bird who rises up from the ashes—one who is reborn. We weren’t in the ashes when this administration began but we are hurdling there quickly now. I suffered at the hands of a narcissist but this narcissist that is leading us is the worst I have ever seen—one that has psychopathic tendencies. Dangerous. In order for a phoenix to rise, we must first die and that’s not acceptable in my opinion.

 

I just wanted to say that I am so very sorry for the actions of my country’s leaders. We have a choice each day that we get up—to do good or to not. Right now, we aren’t doing good things. We are being selfish ingrates.

 

I can’t say Happy Gardening so I will just say again that I am sorry!

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I love science

Science is one of those things we can’t live without. I love science. Who doesn’t? It’s the understanding of the world around us from simple things to more complex ones. When we better understand our world and the universe, everything seems much less complex.

science-image

Since science involves knowledge, this knowledge needs to be shared. If one person only has the knowledge, what good is science? Nothing really because our world will still rotate and revolve around the sun and our solar system will still spin in the galaxy while the galaxy—what we call the Milky Way Galaxy—travels in the universe. Light energy will still travel at the same speed whether we are aware of it or not and sounds will still make a noise whether we understand wave science or not. Our recognition and acknowledgment isn’t a prerequisite.

 

I like to deal in some absolutes in life. Science helps to give me those absolutes even if we only discuss theories. It’s much like geometry. You start with a point and from a point you establish a line and from that line you know another line exists and from lines we have planes and so forth. It may all seem undefinable at first but then you learn it’s more than just symbols on paper or computer because it explains everyday life. Same with science—yes I realize that geometry is a tool we use in science JIC I need to say this. We can examine the smallest of particles, observe them in their natural environment, and even do studies that change their environment to see how they react. Repeating these experiments often enough, we learn what suppositions and what hypotheses hold true.

 

We know for a fact that the earth is not flat and it is not the center of the universe nor does our solar system revolve around us. We know that. It’s not some theory. Just like we know dinosaurs existed but are gone today even though some of their relatives exist. We know they were here. We also know that the earth is more than a few million years old. We know this because we have amassed much information digging through layers here on earth, studying the smallest particles, understanding where elements are found and where they came from, etc. This is more than theory. So people who want to squash science because they don’t like to hear the results do so because they don’t like the reality. No, not an alternate reality. There is no such thing in our reality. It doesn’t fit their specific paradigm.

 

I’ll agree that there is some science left up to interpretation but it’s not what people are squabbling about. Black holes fall into this category. I know people want to believe that we were put on separate continents and that our skin color didn’t change but we weren’t put there. We migrated there through needs such as searching for food and better climate but also our desire to explore and find out more. It’s natural for humans to want to learn more about who we are and what the past holds. Through time, we as humans or more likely, our ancestors, adapted to the environments. We changed so we don’t all look the same. Evolution to me is not a theory but a fact.

 

If we continue to believe in things that are not true and continue to label what we have indeed found to be true theories, we are dumbing down the masses. Science is suffering which makes all of us suffer. Again, the earth is not flat. It is older than some 6000 years as some profess. Dinosaurs were not put on a boat to be saved some 4000+ years ago. Didn’t happen. Millions of years have passed since the dinosaurs and other animals and fauna were wiped out. We know this from the K-T or K-Pg boundary. (You know I love this about world geology—the boundary layer. It’s one of the most fascinating things to me for our history. You can see it and touch it. It’s physical.) Humans as we are today did not exist at the same time as dinosaurs. I don’t care how many science fiction books and movies portray it differently, it just didn’t happen.

 

As we study what is in our past, we are hoping to see a glimmer of what will be in our future. We particularly would like to be able to stop something that might wipe out our Earth before it happens such as what caused the dinosaurs to go extinct. Climate change is one of those things. Oh, yes, the climate has always been changing but the difference today is that we can do something about it especially “if” (it has) it has been exasperated by our own actions of the industrial age. People like to pretend everything is fine in their bubble. There are no wars in their bubble, no mass shootings, no super bug, etc. Why do you think people want a wall? To keep out the boogey man of course. Anything that might harm their bubble. Maybe they know their bubble isn’t reality—I’m not sure.

 

Science is important. I can’t stress how important. You can quit talking about climate change but it won’t make the problem go away. It’s a very selfish way to look at things—thinking it doesn’t exist. We should be talking about science more and sharing more facts rather than pretending we have only been on this earth for 6000 years. We have brains. We need to start using them.

 

Embrace science. Don’t be scared. The universe is beautiful and the more we know, the better we are and hopefully the more we appreciate what we have and will take better care of it.

 

Happy Gardening! 🙂

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