Friday, November 11, 2016

Donald Trump wants to use his fists instead of his mouth

The people have spoken.  Donald Trump will be our next President.  I have so many reasons to be against him, that it's hard to know where to start.  So I'm going to talk about just violence and democracy.

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In some very primitive forms of government, you have a strong man who rules, and everyone else follows, and he will beat them or kill them if they don't.  You can see this in barbarian and medieval times.  Also North Korea, Russia, China, etc.  No meaningful voting, no freedom of speech.  Strongest person is in charge.

Middle Ages (Medieval Era)
Feudalism (feudal system)
§The Oath of Fealty

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Today in the USA and much of the world, we have a better system.  Democracy.  It's a terrible system of government.  It's better than any of the other systems of government.

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In a democracy, we all argue and quarrel, but at the end of the day, we vote.  And power to lead is given to someone for four years to preside over us.  There is a legislative body that makes the laws (the President executes the laws only) and a judicial branch that decides the legality of laws and judges.

These branches of government have checks and balances.  Unfortunately, almost everyone sees a gradual growth of power in the executive branch.  It's been getting stronger regardless of which party holds the presidency.


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The heart of our system is that people have the right to choose, and we all accept the results of the vote of the people.  I assume up until now just about everyone in the USA is on the same page with me.  Here is where we diverge.

Donald Trump doesn't believe in democracy.  Donald Trump believes that 'Might makes Right.'  Honestly I've included a few examples in each area.  Pretty much all of them relate to direct Donald Trump quotes.  You may disagree with my interpretations, but the quotes are genuine.  And I believe the weight of the evidence shows Donald Trump's world view of believing that violence is better than talking things out and letting the people decide.

Violence against peaceful protesters: 
In a rally, when he finds people protesting against him, he has said some interesting things.  Keep in mind these people are not trying to harm or kill him.  They are trying to get attention for their views against him.  This is a perfectly acceptable thing to do in a democracy.

"I'd like to punch him in the face." Trump said of one peaceful protester.
trump gives teacher black eye
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Actually Donald didn't give this guy a black eye.  Who did he give a black eye to?  A female grade school teacher of his.  He was just a kid then.

"Part of the problem... is nobody wants to hurt each other any more."  -Donald Trump

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Protester gets sucker punched by a Trump supporter, then protester gets arrested?

Trump says "I love the old days.  You know what they used to do to protesters like that when they got out of line?  They'd be carried away on a stretcher folks."

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"If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell. I promise you I will pay for the legal fees. I promise."  -Donald Trump

"Get out of here. Get out. Out! ... This is amazing. So much fun. I love it. I love it. We having a good time? USA, USA, USA! ... All right, get him out. Try not to hurt him. If you do, I'll defend you in court. Don't worry about it ... We had four guys, they jumped on him, they were swinging and swinging. The next day, we got killed in the press — that we were too rough. Give me a break. You know? Right? We don't want to be too politically correct anymore. Right, folks?"  -Donald Trump

Allowing people their right to free speech is a basic tenet of democracy.  Removing them from your events without the threat of violence if that's your choice.  Threatening them with violence and encouraging your followers to violence, that's not ok.  We want the voice of the people to rule, not the violence of their leaders.  

Violence of dictators against their own people: 

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In China there was a series of protests for democracy and free speech in 1989.  At their highest point, about a million people met in Tiananmen square to protest their lack of freedoms. The communist party leadership rightly was afraid of these kinds of protests, but also wanted to show the world that they weren't going to abuse human rights.  The government went back and forth on whether to ignore them or to put them down.  After vacillating, the government sent 300,000 troops and tanks into Beijing.  They killed somewhere between several hundred to thousands of protesters, and then arrested many more.  In my view, this shows the great weakness of a system where leaders rule without wishes of the people.  

What does Donald Trump think of it?  He said: "When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength."  

Donald thinks the Chinese government almost made the mistake of allowing the peaceful democratic protesters to protest peacefully.  Then they showed the 'power of strength.'  Obviously Donald Trump is a fan of 'strength.'  I think about what I would say if I were asked about the Tiananmen square massacre.  I would talk about how sad it is that these people died wanting freedom that I have, and i couldn't do anything to stop it or help them.  Donald Trump talks about the power of a military willing to kill its own people.  And says nothing negative about that military or government.   

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If Donald Trump had been driving the tank in front, I don't believe he would have stopped.   

Vladimir Putin has almost single handedly turned Russia from a fledgling democracy into it's old self again, killing jounalists and shutting down press freedoms, murdering and imprisoning political opponents, taking over parts of Georgia and Ukraine, changing laws to stay in power, and interfering with the democratic process and opinions of people in democratic countries.  And what does the Donald think?  "I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A and our President is not doing so well."  No, Vladimir Putin is not getting an A.  Unless it's on how well he has moved Russia from democracy to dictatorship.  Again, we don't hear any criticism whatsoever of this move away from democracy from Donald Trump.  

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In North Korea, Kim Jong Un starves his own people and apparently kills people in his own family as well as other leaders beneath him for whatever reason...   

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"If you look at North Korea, this guy, I mean, he’s like a maniac, OK? And you’ve got to give him credit. He goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible! He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one!"  -Donald Trump

It's incredibly tragic is what it is.  Where is the criticism?  Where is the "I can't believe in this day and age any human being would be capable of this?"  Donald is amazed at how a country's leader can just kill people off, and face no consequences.  That isn't a great thing for our country's leader to feel.  

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There are also admiring quotes for Moamar Qaddafi, Saddam Hussein, and seeing so many, there may be others I'm not aware of.  Donald Trump speaks highly of dictators and tyrants.  I do not understand this.  I do not see criticism of them unless some reporter is bringing up the fact that he's so pro-tyranny.  I used to find it scary.  Now we will have a man who is supposed to be the 'Leader of the Free world,' but loves dictators.  

Not accepting the voice of the people: 

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Donald Trump stated emphatically: "I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win,"  

I do not believe for a second that if he had lost he would have done the traditional phone call in conceding and that would've been the end of it.  He was asked multiple time what he would do if he lost.  He hedged, talking about how Al Gore challenged, etc.  But that never answered the question.  The question wasn't "what would you do if it was extremely close and a recount was needed for a state?"    The question was "What if you lost?"  Not a hard question to answer.  

A couple of weeks before the election when it looked very unlikely that Donald Trump was going to win, In one of his speeches he recommended cancelling the election and just making him president.  he said it like a joke.  That is not something to joke about.

Saw this on a Trump voter friend's Facebook page.  Exactly what this blog is about.  Yep.  Everyone go along with Trump or he will shoot you.  Just the kind of liberty we need.

It seems ridiculous to me to think of what would happen if Trump lost but wouldn't concede.  That's not what would really happen.  What would really happen is he would just have to convince people that he was the real winner and the vote was rigged.  Happens all the time in countries with less stable democracies.  If Donald Trump lost it would've happened here.  As the challenger he had no political power and it wouldn't have been a real threat.  In four years he will go in as president. 

Violence against Innocent people: 

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"We're fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. But they say they don't care about their lives. You have to take out their families."    -Donald Trump

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Weeks later when told that having the US military target innocent people was a war crime, and that the US military would refuse, he said "They're not going to refuse me.  If I say do it, they're going to do it." He reasoned that this would be "retribution" and was ok.  

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Donald Trump is quoted early in his campaign as saying "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose voters."  When things are going well for a person in a campaign, I would be surprised if many people think of their popularity in terms of their ability to murder in cold blood and remain popular.  But that's the Donald.  

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"I killed them.  I killed them all.  They're dead.  Every single one of them.  And not just the men.  But the women and the children too."    -Anakin Skywalker

Is it really a big deal?  
Trump has no political record, so all we have to go on is what he says.  I've listed many items of his talk, but if he walks the walk, he will murder innocents and subvert the people's choice if it doesn't favor him,

I heard once about George Washington that one of the greatest accomplishments in the formation of this country happened after the revolutionary war.  He went to the other founders, and what always happened historically is that the military leader claims leadership in the government.  Washington didn't do this.  He sent the armies of men loyal to him home, and went back to his own home, and was only later called back to be the first president of the United States of America.  

Luckily, while Donald Trump talks the talk, he usually doesn't walk the walk.  After all the rallies chanting 'build the wall,' he had the chance to meet Mexico's president.  while there, 'it didn't come up,' says Donald.  Hmm.  Go figure.  Also, even if Donald were to try many of these things, there are a lot of good people around him that might stop him.  Or at least not help him and he can't rule without help.  

Even if all of this comes to nothing and Donald doesn't make himself a dictator or a war criminal, it is more than enough for me to say I will never vote for him.  This post is about his violence and possible threat to our democracy.  I have another several major reasons that I would not vote for him.  I might blog about those other reasons at a later time.

Donald Trump won this election because we have an electoral college.  More people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.  Unless he changes his personality, (after 70 years... does anyone think he will magically become a different person?) four years from now, I believe that just about any political opponent, including conservatives in a primary challenge, should be able to beat him.  

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Utah Utes of 2013!

I'm now addicted to news about the University of Utah football team.  Articles come out about once or twice a day, mainly from the deseret news, the salt lake tribune, and the ESPN Pac 12 blog.  
It appears the Utes will be the best they've ever been this year.  They have the hardest schedule they've ever played this year.  I'm pretty sure these kinds of things are said every year.  

My big concern is for the defensive line.  Of course after losing Lotulelei and the Krugers there is going to be a huge drop off.  However, several coaches are saying that it will be a strong unit.  I'm thinking that they'll have issues.  

When you have a great running back, you use him, things are great, you score, etc.  I'm really concerned when all four running backs are ripping off great runs all the time.  That doesn't tell me that they have four great running backs.  That tells me they have some weaknesses on defense.

On the other hand, it could mean that they have a much improved offensive line, which seems to be the case.  Until I see some massive runs by multiple running backs in games, I'm going to hope that one or two really stands out and gets the job.  Why does the U need eight running backs?  Apparently four more are coming in Fall.  I'd rather get a few more receivers.  Preferably the kind that can catch the ball.  

What other issues?  I'm a little bit concerned about the completion rate of the quarterbacks.  Lots of dropped balls and batted down balls and some interceptions.  I hope either Travis Wilson or Adam Schulz pulls away.  I hear it all the time.  When there are two quarterbacks, there aren't really any quarterbacks.  

Again to play the devil's advocate, intra-team scrimmages don't really give a good picture.  The defense knows its own offense better than any other offense, and will be more prepared and better able to stop them.  Or so I would think.,r:69,s:0,i:330&iact=rc&dur=1789&page=7&tbnh=165&tbnw=306&start=64&ndsp=12&tx=165&ty=102

When I played football at Magnolia High School, I was a wide receiver, and we practiced the "x slant" about 6 times in a row.  I was the receiver, running diagonally towards the center of the field, receiving the football from Todd B, who was quarterback.  If I remember right, the first ball was thrown well, and I just dropped it.  We ran the play again.  Of course the corner back, Phillip L, knew the play, and he got his hands in even better to stop the catch the second time we ran it.  Once or twice the pass wasn't perfect, and Phil finally decided to pretend that he didn't know what was coming, and we connected.  

Long story short, it is a challenge for offenses and defenses to face each other on the same team without using advantages that they wouldn't have in a real game, such as a better knowledge of the playbook, or of weaknesses on the other side of the ball.  Of course finding out these things about opposing teams is part of every college team's strategy, but there's nothing like the guys you practice against every day.  

So do the defensive players know the offense's routes?  Sure.  Do they know exactly where the quarterback is probably looking for an open man?  Of course.  Should this result in more interceptions, batted down passes, and less separation between receivers and defensive backs?  Yes.  

So, fearless and overly optimistic biased prediction for this year.  10-3  

I'm trying to figure out how to paste images from other sites again.  The way I've done it in other posts is arduous, taking almost thirty seconds, and I'm not sure if it's completely legal.  My friend Josh C. told me how to do it... multiple times, but I forgot, and I'm way to lazy to actually look it up.  Instead I'll pointlessly blather on about it and probably have long lines of meaningless letters instead of pictures in several places on this blog.  Meh.  Go Utes!  


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Will increasing tax rates on the wealthy close the budget deficit?

NO!  The Answer is NO!!!  Not even a tenth.  In the long term not even a hundredth.  This is just an FYI for those that don't actually want to read the post.  I'm actually fine with increasing taxes on the wealthy.  But it won't get us out of our hole.  It will make us go deeper slightly less quickly.

Increasing tax rates for Americans who earn more than 250,000 to the pre-Bush levels will result in 60,000,000,000 to 120,000,000,000 next year.  As cool as it was to write that, it's easier to just write 60-120 billion dollars.  That's a ton of money.  Probably way more than a ton of money.  Tons of money.  What will it do to stop the deficit spending?  Nothing.  It will reduce next year's shortfall of 1 trillion dollars by 5-10%.  We'll still have a much bigger hole than we did before.

I'm still a little bit upset with hardcore President Obama voters who slammed Mitt Romney's plan.  Taxing the wealthy was Obama's plan. It was the only one I ever heard, except once, when the issue was pressed, he said he'd deal with it in 6 months.  Mitt's numbers didn't add up all the way.  He only would have managed 80-90% of the debt... Now we have Obama, and 5-10% of the new debt will get reduced.  The 16.5 trillion in debt that we have.  No plan for that.  But it's cool.  Done is done.  Obama has some advantages that I like along with the things I dislike.
The above cartoon was from 2009.  Imagine how big that hole is now.  :)

Using the term "fiscal cliff" is wrong.  Just thought I'd throw this out there.

Reading another article, it looks like President Obama is also planning to increase investment tax rates to 20% (they're now at 15%) and dividends tax rates to the same level as a person's top income rate (they're also now at 15%)  It looks like this will only be done on "the rich."  And this is almost exactly the same thing I heard out of Mitt Romney explaining his tax plan.  Not sure who thought of it first, but I think it's a good idea.

I understand the idea of giving people an incentive to save by reducing their tax rates on income gotten through savings, but lets face it, most Americans aren't saving.  The probability that a person saves money increases almost directly parallel to their income.

I keep seeing 1.6 trillion quoted as the increased revenue from changed tax rates for the wealthiest, and my understanding is that this is the amount over ten years.  Why they had to multiply the savings over ten years and give it to us that way I have no idea.  But 1.6 trillion in ten years is not much at all when we already have 16.5 trillion in debt, and the debt is increasing by more than 1 trillion per year.

My big thought about all of this though, is that it won't be enough.  It never can be.  I think when any entity is spending more than it takes in, the main control has to be on reducing expenditures, not on increasing income.  Very rich multi-millionaire athletes and others find themselves in the poor house all the time.  It's easy to spend money, and in the case of many democrats, it's fairly easy to increase government income from taxing the American people.  Controlling expenditures is hard.  That's the key to the federal deficit.  Medicare and Medicaid will have increasing expenses over time.

Compare the US deficit to Canada's 26 billion dollar deficit.  Their government is actively working to balance the budget.  Good job Canadians.  Come on US, let's follow suit.

In contrast, the US deficit increased by 120 billion dollars.  Just for the month of October.

As it stands now, by 2025 all federal revenue, ALL of our tax money, will be just enough to pay interest on debts, medicare, medicaid, and social security.  This is according to the Simpson-Bowles commission that President Obama requested.  It looks like both parties are guilty for not pushing it forward, as the resulting plan included some tax hikes which Republicans hated, and lots of spending reduction, which Democrats hated.

The following link is especially upsetting to me.  Apparently a poll says that Americans prefer to tax the rich and keep Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security how they are.  Nobody told these Americans that THE MATH DOESN'T ADD UP!!!  They heard all about how Romney's math didn't add up.  They appear not to understand that Obama's math doesn't add up either, and by a lot more.  Oh well.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Why I'm voting for Mitt Romney

I'm that guy that can't stop with the devil's advocate thing.  I was told this in high school by Edward Davis, one of my best friends.  He was telling me this horror story about how mean a certain girl at school was.  I didn't even know her, but I was explaining how she couldn't be as bad as he was saying, and he said "Jeff, why do you always go against anything people say to you?"  He went on and on.  I'd never thought about it.  Well I have now.  I still have no idea why, but I try and temper it sometimes.
Funny Political Cartoons and Memes-poli_cartoon_good_news1.gif

Before I tell you who I'm going to vote for... wait, I already did.  Anyway, in the name of being objective, I want to get out all of the reasons why I didn't want to vote for Mitt Romney.

First and probably foremost, if I'm honest, is that I'm a Mormon white man.  I absolutely hate being stereotyped, and probably 95% of Mormon white men are voting for Romney.  So I don't like that immediately, and that's points for Obama in my book.  Or it was until I admitted it to myself and decided it was irrelevant to the decision.
Cartoon 01 - Political Cartoons about Iran

Second, I disagree with Romney and most Republicans in their views regarding illegal immigration.  Being an illegal immigrant is slightly less bad in my book than driving 26 in a 25 mile an hour zone.  We need more people in this country.  Illegal immigrants aren't criminals.  Their crime rate is less than that of citizens.  They aren't a significant drain on the economy.  They are people just like anyone else.  Disenfranchised people.  Remember that "No taxation without representation!"  All of them pay some taxes in some form, and some of them (more than you'd think) pay every tax that a citizen pays, but none of them get representation.  I know many of them, and if I were to make a mental list of good and bad people by judging everyone (which I think is a dumb idea), they would be spread out along the continuum just like any other group.
Detail from Herblock's Fire!

Third, I don't like this whole 'less taxes for the rich' thing.  I don't buy Obama's line of "he'll drop taxes for the rich and increase them for the middle class" thing.  No politician would do that.  It would be political suicide.  I do think he might reduce taxes for the wealthy though.  Or I did.  My problem with cutting the capital gains tax was that for the most part it's only people with extra income that invest, and might have to pay a capital gains tax, therefore it's mostly them that benefit from it.  My understanding of his policy at present is that those earning less than 200,000 a year will have no capital gains tax, and those earning more would have the same (14%?) or an even higher (20%?) rate.  Don't quote me on the over 200,000 per year percentages.  I could be wrong.

In that same 'help the rich' vein, I don't like the whole "the rich will pay the same proportion of all taxes (60%?) that they do now" idea.  A rich finance guy said that the rich are paying more now relative to the rest of the country than ever before.  Maybe it was even "the 1%" pay more.  The reason that this is so, is that, relatively speaking, they are making more in comparison to the rest of us than ever before.  If before, the regular guy made 1 dollar for every 20 dollars earned by the 1% guy, now it's the regular guy making 1 dollar for every 70 dollars earned by the 1% guy.  Of course the proportion of taxes paid by the wealthiest will go up when they're earning so much more.  As it should!  While the mega bucks earned by the rich are more volatile than the average guy, they are still massive.
 Waiting for Economic Growth

I have no problem with distributing wealth.  150 years ago, there were factory owners and workers.  The owners said 'hey, for every dollar less I pay my workers, that's a dollar more in my pocket!'  And they made tons of money, while the workers made very little.  I don't consider those tons of money to be earned or deserved.  Anyway, this article isn't about fairness, so I'll stop now.

I'm voting for Romney for the following reasons:
I do think his business acumen will translate into a better economy.  He knows how to take struggling businesses, trim off the fat, and make them profitable.  Our government has some similarities to a struggling business that seem obvious to me.  It's also not like a struggling business in other ways.  Anyway, I like the experience in terms of reducing government waste.
Political Cartoons of the Week

Mitt Romney has some plans to reduce government spending.  In any election, the candidate that talks about spending less government money than the other guy gets painted as being 'against' any group that receives government money.  Any specifics are used against him or her.  My biggest problem with Obama, is that every one of his four years have been one of the four years in the history of this country where the USA has increased the deficit by the most.  I understand that in a growing economy, government expenditures should grow by 1-3%.  But his first year (budget came from Bush) was an 18% increase, and then the spending never dropped back down.  That's huge!!!

This country cannot afford to spend more than it takes in.  And doing it by such large numbers, year after year after year.  This is a disaster!    What really upsets me is the people that say Mitt Romney's numbers don't add up.  It's probably true.  But at least he has a plan.  It will require adjusting, but it is set up to be as painless as possible.  I don't hear any plan out of President Obama at all.  Just the standard "Oh, we'll take care of that 6 months from now."  I don't hear any of the objective voices calling him out on that.  It's just "Romney's plan is only covering 98% of what it claims to."  Taking care of 98% of the problem is a lot better than taking care of 0% of the problem.

I also agree with Romney generally in terms of abortion.  I believe that we were all fetuses at one time.  Any of us that were aborted would not be here.  All of those that were aborted are not here.  I agree that there may be terrible consequences and/or suffering by some women, and I'm OK with some of the proposed exceptions to the no abortion rule.  Generally however, I see no difference between killing the baby the day before it is born or the day after.  I don't think a baby should be killed because she was a girl and her parents wanted a boy.  I don't think a baby should be killed because it will have down syndrome.  In coming years, many variables may become known about a person from when they are in the womb.  Maybe Mom and Dad don't want a short child, or a red-headed child.  Is it ok to kill them for it?  In any case, I don't think presidents have much sway in terms of abortion law, so it doesn't really affect my vote.

I'm not sure what Romney's detailed position is on homosexual marriage.  What is mine?  I guess the easiest oversimplification is that I think marriage is between a man and a woman.  Always has been.  Always should be.  I don't mind something else, like legal recognition of a relationship, including the visitation rights and many of these things that have been denied to same sex couples.  I do understand the idea that my beliefs shouldn't be imposed on other people.  I believe the homosexual act to be a sin.  I also believe the heterosexual act outside of marriage to be a sin.  Not my job to criticize or judge people who believe different than I do.  Unfair legal practices, like not allowing visitation rights, need to be changed.  Probably the easiest way to do this would be via civil unions that offer similar legal recognition to marriage.  There have been societies where homosexuality is tolerated and even encouraged, and many others where it is prohibited.  There are apparently some cultures present today where it doesn't exist.  As far as I know, there has never been a culture where the same word is used for the permanent relationship of a man and a woman as for a homosexual relationship.  The ideas are different.  The names are different.  Why do they need to be called the same thing?  Not really an issue for me in this election, but oh well.

As far as other reason I go with Romney over Obama... I am a little bit upset by Obama's tactics in the election.  The whole idea of so much time spent on attacks on Romney, little or no substance on what Obama will do in a second term kind of upsets me.  More of the same isn't good enough for me.  I can't imagine the national debt after 8 years of this.  I tend to agree with Romney that most of Obama's attacks are 'small.'
Political Cartoons

I don't like the pandering done by both sides.  President Obama waited until the election was coming around to take some actions to rally his constituents.  The reversal and support of gay marriage, conveniently takes place at election time, and only when the public opinion polls show majority support for gay marriage proponents.  The new 'don't remove certain illegal immigrants' rule went into effect years after it could have.  Obama could have done this whenever he wanted.  But he wanted increased energy from the Latino community, so he waited until election time.  Mitt Romney does similar things, but on a much smaller scale.

I've felt that I learned just how 'liberal' the 'liberal media' is recently, watching much of the media follow the president's lead, when, after the first debate, when Romney destroyed the "uber conservative plutocrat elitist" image that the liberals had spent so long creating, they switched back to the "flip flop will say anything" Romney.  I see a lot of articles devoted to how Obama probably wishes he was still facing 'severely conservative' Mitt and not the new moderate Mitt.  They make a long winded assertion that Mitt Romney has flip flopped his character to win votes.  This is Obama's new attack line.  None of them say "Obama switches campaign strategies from painting Mitt as ultra conservative to painting him as a flip flop."  Mitt Romney is talking more moderately now than in the primaries.  As does every candidate in every presidential election.

For me, there are also a number of non-issues involved.  I don't care about tax returns.  I don't care about the recent problems in Benghazi, or who knew what when.  I don't care about Obama saying "When I was president" in a debate instead of "As president."  I don't care about 'binders of women.'  It was a poorly worded phrase, but he has a record to be proud of regarding women in his administration.  Even if much of it was due to outside influence of that women's group.  Nobody made him accept their influence.  I don't care about President Obama's middle name.  He is not a Muslim.  And even if he was, I would be OK with that.  I don't believe he's trying to destroy the country, or intentionally send the USA into mediocrity.
Political Cartoons

I think president Obama has a good heart, and wants to do good for lots of people that need help.  But there are limits to what we can do.  I like Mitt Romney's idea of comparing every federal expense and saying "Is this important enough to borrow money from China for?"  Of course the great majority of US national debt is held by US citizens, and the China bit is mostly for political points, but the point stands.  I believe in helping people.  I think Jesus Christ would do it if he were president.  He wouldn't tow the conservative line and say that giving and serving was for individuals only and not for government.  In a democracy, we are the government.  Do we want to help those in need? We do.  I think Mitt Romney does to.  But there are limits, and he knows them better than president Obama.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Killing and cloning mammoths!

I've loved seeing the back and forth about the destruction of the huge animals in North America 12,900 years ago.  In the last few decades the idea of humans causing ecological destruction became popular.  While this no doubt has happened at times similar to how Jared Diamond explains in his book Collapse (which I haven't read...) I think the theory immediately got over applied to every kind of ecological collapse.

It was applied to the extinction of mega fauna in North America.  12,900 years ago, humans were somewhat new in North America (those dates keep getting pushed back), and around this time, the destruction of thirty plus species of large animals were wiped out.  This is where the Mastodon, Mammoth, Sabre Toothed Tiger, different species of lions, camels, dire wolves, sloths, giant beavers, horses, sloths, stag-moose and others died out.

One article claimed that the variety of mega fauna in North America 13,000 years ago was greater than the variety of mega fauna in the wild unpopulated areas of Africa, and probably similar in terms of animal interactions.  Pretty sweet.

So of course these little human Clovis peoples walked around North America and Canada, destroying all the mega fauna.  It seems to me that you'd need a lot of people to do all that hunting.  Like several million.  If you look at the history of Great Britain, you'll see that they didn't kill all the bears on that tiny little island until historic times.  How many times bigger is North America than Great Britain?  Probably like 75 times bigger.
giant bison

It took the Brits until recently (10th century-ish, no one knows) to wipe out all the bears on that tiny island.  There are 11 states in the US that are larger than Great Britain.  So these Clovis guys wiped out 36 species of animals that were all human sized or bigger just to eat them?

Similarly, if you think humans wiped out the North American animals, why didn't they wipe out all the African animals?  Many animals still roam the African savanna.

Or the 'new' other option is a Comet!  As funny as it is to say, I wouldn't be surprised if this were the case.  The linked article makes the case.  Or at least reports on the research that makes the case.

Anyway, for me, and my disbelieving ways... I just can't believe the "we evil humans killed them all" stuff.  Not in this case.  Frankly I'm amazed at the professionals that attempted to persuade others that it was the case.  Couldn't they have put in the disclaimer "this is what we think based on the evidence that we have, which consists of taking what happened in some other places, and agreeing that it must have happened here as well because we got nothing else."

OK rant over.  In related news, the return of the Mammoths approaches.

All we need is some living cells that have survived for like 40,000 years, and we're good to go.  I put money on the first one being named "Harry"  ya know.  like 'hairy' but not.  Because it's "Harry"  D'ya see?  Ha!  Where do I come up with 'em?