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Sophia4's Journal
Sophia4's Journal
August 15, 2018

Today on DU, a DUer asked what the Sanders Institute is doing.

I didn't know, but that made me curious, so I GOOGLED Sanders Institute, and here is what I found.

Enjoy the videos.


August 14, 2018

Flew into Los Angeles, LAX, last night.

As we flew in, I saw many, large BLACK CLOUDS. Smoke and ashes I guess.

After we landed, I asked some airport employees about the clouds. They said they were not above Los Angeles proper but above some of the surrounding areas.

Global warming is here.

When insurance companies face the barrage of claims for damages to homes (not just totally burnt homes) and for healthcare due to the ashes and smoke, etc., we may just get some changes in our environmental policy.

Shame that our degradation of the environment had to be this bad.

But the insurance industry's interest in profits and low claims may just be the factor that changes the attitudes of the powers that be toward our environment.

I've got my fingers crossed.

July 23, 2018

Gettysburg address

"Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

July 20, 2018

Shakespeare wrote plays about tyrants.

Shakespeare’s Richard III brilliantly develops the personality features of the aspiring tyrant already sketched in the Henry VI trilogy: the limitless self-regard, the lawbreaking, the pleasure in inflicting pain, the compulsive desire to dominate. He is pathologically narcissistic and supremely arrogant. He has a grotesque sense of entitlement, never doubting that he can do whatever he chooses. He loves to bark orders and to watch underlings scurry to carry them out. He expects absolute loyalty, but he is incapable of gratitude. The feelings of others mean nothing to him. He has no natural grace, no sense of shared humanity, no decency.

He is not merely indifferent to the law; he hates it and takes pleasure in breaking it. He hates it because it gets in his way and because it stands for a notion of the public good that he holds in contempt. He divides the world into winners and losers. The winners arouse his regard insofar as he can use them for his own ends; the losers arouse only his scorn. The public good is something only losers like to talk about. What he likes to talk about is winning.

He has always had wealth; he was born into it and makes ample use of it. But though he enjoys having what money can get him, it is not what most excites him. What excites him is the joy of domination. He is a bully. Easily enraged, he strikes out at anyone who stands in his way. He enjoys seeing others cringe, tremble, or wince with pain. He is gifted at detecting weakness and deft at mockery and insult. These skills attract followers who are drawn to the same cruel delight, even if they cannot have it to his unmatched degree. Though they know that he is dangerous, the followers help him advance to his goal, which is the possession of supreme power.

His possession of power includes the domination of women, but he despises them far more than desires them. Sexual conquest excites him, but only for the endlessly reiterated proof that he can have anything he likes. He knows that those he grabs hate him. For that matter, once he has succeeded in seizing the control that so attracts him, in politics as in sex, he knows that virtually everyone hates him. At first that knowledge energizes him, making him feverishly alert to rivals and conspiracies. But it soon begins to eat away at him and exhaust him.


Good article.

July 19, 2018

So Trump insisted on talking to Putin in the presence of only an interpretor,

but he refuses to talk to Mueller.

What does that tell you?

July 14, 2018

If Putin claims that the Russian government was not involved in the hacking and theft

of the e-mails of the DNC, etc., then Trump should demand and receive extradition for a trial based on due process of those in Russia who are alleged to have done the hacking and theft as alleged in the grand jury's indictment.

If Putin and the Russian government were not involved, yet there is evidence suggesting that certain Russians were involved, why wouldn't Putin allow the extradition for a fair trial of those Russians?

If Putin does not extradite the suspects, then it suggests that Putin or the official Russian government are either protecting criminals or are involved in the hacking and theft of the e-mails themselves.

Do you think I am right?

Trump should challenge Putin: Either extradite or admit responsibility for the hacking and theft.

If Trump does not do that, then what did he know and when did he know it?

Because it will appear that Trump is covering up for Putin.

July 12, 2018

97 to 2, the Senate votes to confirm NATO membership.

(CNN)The Senate took a bipartisan swipe at President Donald Trump on Tuesday when it overwhelmingly approved a motion of support for NATO.
The 97-2 vote reflects the broad concerns on Capitol Hill over Trump's seeming ambivalence about the alliance and his commitment to it.
The vote came the same day Trump arrived in Brussels, Belgium, for a summit of NATO nations and shortly before he heads to Helsinki, Finland, for a one-on-one session with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


This gives me some hope that the Senate will thwart any attempt by Trump to take us out of NATO.

July 11, 2018

Why NATO is so important!

The history of Europe is one of war after war among and between countries that now, thanks to NATO, are joined in a common defense.

They are open with each other about the state and extent of their military organizations. They act together, not just in Europe but in other places in the world.

Thanks to NATO and with the exception of the former Yugoslavia, the world has enjoyed a peace not known for centuries on the European continent.

That should never be sacrificed for any reason.

NATO is the key to peace in Europe.

Let's don't forget that.

Financial concerns about who spends what are absurd.

Why? Because if we had to ever again fight a war on the European continent, it would be devastating for the entire world.

Never again. Never again.

So for those who do not understand the history of Europe or why NATO is so important, there you have it.

July 9, 2018

Update on the reunification of refugee children with their parents.

Under the administration policy implemented in May, adults who otherwise might have been directed into civil deportation proceedings were instead criminally prosecuted for entering the country illegally. Children were removed from these parents and placed in shelters across the country, sometimes thousands of miles from where the parent was detained.

President Trump issued an executive order ending the separations amid mounting political pressure and public outrage. The administration has committed to reuniting migrant children and their families, but stringent vetting, including home visits and the fingerprinting of every member of a household where a child will be residing, have slowed the process down.

The A.C.L.U. and immigrant advocates say the exhaustive screening is meant for unaccompanied minors, typically teenagers, who enter the country alone — not for children who were brought into the country by their parents and then taken away by immigration authorities — who presumably should already be aware of their family connections.

A lawyer for the Justice Department told the court Friday that 19 parents of children who are under the age of 5 have been deported. In the case of 19 others, the parents have been released and their whereabouts is unknown, she said. She indicated that the government needed more time to reunify all the families.



July 9, 2018

More Recycling Won't Solve Plastic Pollution

ecycling plastic is to saving the Earth what hammering a nail is to halting a falling skyscraper. You struggle to find a place to do it and feel pleased when you succeed. But your effort is wholly inadequate and distracts from the real problem of why the building is collapsing in the first place. The real problem is that single-use plastic—the very idea of producing plastic items like grocery bags, which we use for an average of 12 minutes but can persist in the environment for half a millennium—is an incredibly reckless abuse of technology. Encouraging individuals to recycle more will never solve the problem of a massive production of single-use plastic that should have been avoided in the first place.

As an ecologist and evolutionary biologist, I have had a disturbing window into the accumulating literature on the hazards of plastic pollution. Scientists have long recognized that plastics biodegrade slowly, if at all, and pose multiple threats to wildlife through entanglement and consumption. More recent reports highlight dangers posed by absorption of toxic chemicals in the water and by plastic odors that mimic some species’ natural food.

Plastics also accumulate up the food chain, and studies now show that we are likely ingesting it ourselves in seafood. If we consumers are to blame, how is it possible that we fail to react when a study reports that there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050? I would argue the simple answer is that it is hard. And the reason why it is hard has an interesting history.


Everything I buy seems to be wrapped in plastic -- except produce. And I put a plastic sack around my vegetables in the store.

Is so much plastic really necessary?

Sometimes I can just barely extract the product I just bought from its plastic shroud.

Do we really need so much plastic? Wouldn't life be better without a lot of it?

What can we do about this?

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