Monday, November 28, 2022

Advertising Basics: Facebook "Cooks the Books" with Account Restarts to Add Profit Without Customers

** To help make this article's point that Facebook data is, at best, erroneous, this author is listed as an administrator on no less than six Facebook pages.  Truth is that only one of those pages has been used in the last three months and only two have been used in the last year.  The idea that six pages provides six unique opportunities for ad exposure is completely false.  

As if Facebook doesn't make enough money from its platform, the recent push to get users to reset their accounts is one quick and rather unethical way to scam advertisers and manipulate user data.   

In the advertising world, this is a common practice. Change the way you define your viewers and you change the way it appears to those placing ads.  After all, if you do not make it look good on paper then advertisers will take their money elsewhere.  By renaming the company, re-profiling users, and changing up the way ads are received, Facebook (like Twitter and other media) applies false advertising methods to trick its own advertisers.  

Recently, Facebook re-profiled our Just a Touch of Sass page.  Only after the process was completed did FB explain that the separation was irreversible with a clean slate and five years of lost posts. Rather than take the time and effort to re-post all our articles and then re-link them to older posts, Just a Touch of Sass has said good bye to Facebook for good. 

So WHY? does America tolerate this level of fraud and sleazy business models in our technology sector.  We reward greedy and abusive start-ups as long as they promise us a job.  In attitude, we are still the refugees who escaped poverty in Europe, worked the mines, forged the steel and were injured in countless factory fires because  we believe hard work pays off.  It seems today's technology operations believe something very different. , 

Interestingly, European countries have not only fined Big Tech for these practices but also levied heavy tax rates on income. After all, technology does not really build anything lasting. Without electricity, technology doesn't exsiste and that should tell us exactly what it is worth--NOTHING.  

Furthermore, Its expenses are low compared to its revenue (that's call a high profit margin) and it accepts NO responsibility for copyright infringement, misrepresentation of the original author's work and is driven solely by supporting its own narrow cultural philosophy.  It can't even claim to be an advocate of Free Speech since advertizers cannot say or promote any business in direct competition to itself. 

Just a Touch of Sass will continue to operate as it always has--with little or no thought to advertising revenue.  Perhaps this break with FaceBook is just the push that is needed to take this blog to a wider and more diverse audience. 

Look for us after the New Year to see if we make that dream come true.  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Election 2022: Divisive Privilege in American Neighborhoods (Are No-Leash Cat and Fence-Out Laws Unconstitutional?)

With the election over and the media drumming up the illusion of a great shift in power, voters who kept the "red wave" from materializing understand that they made a conscious choice to maintain gridlock in Congress.  Some were Republicans. Some were Democrats.Some were young and some were old but together they corralled the runaway agendas that give privileges to some and take rights away from others.

As media outlets such as NPR (National Public Radio) and the Washington Post, publish concerns of public unrest and potential civil war, nary a one takes the time to identify the small issues which impact far more people than abortion or student loan debt or transgender lifestyles.  As small and insignificant as this list seems, just one can send a neighborhood into divided camps of opinion and recrimination. 

Take a look and see how these would effect you.

Unregulated Cat Ownership

As beautiful and funny as they can be, porch cats (outdoor, free roaming) are not well loved by all.  There is little that will set off a neighbor faster than a free-range cat that uses a well-maintained flower bed as a litter box or one that taunts a leashed/confined dog by traveling back and forth just out of reach.  Yes, it happens all the time. The question is why should cats be allowed to cause such distress while dog ownership is heavily regulated. Just the first example of divisive privilege in supported by weak leadership.

An even better argument against this preferential ruling is that domesticated cats are an invasive species. With no natural predator other than the coyote in the East, domestic, free-range cats are no different than a python released into the Florida Everglades or Kudzu planted on a highway bank. Besides being carriers of all manner of respitory disease, they are just as subject to rabies and not always vaccinated.  Even if "fixed", domestic cats can damage landscaping with their high nitrogen (and smelly) poop, strip the bark from young trees when sharpening their claws and decimate the song bird population in short order.

On the flip side, fed cats do not necessarily hunt for food. Owners who leave food out encourage wildlife to abandon their natural feeding habits, take up residence near homes and invite predators (coyote, hawks, bear) into the backyards of families and individuals. Moreover, why should the slow moving possum or touchy skunk dine on bugs and carcasses when a feeder of yummy kibble sits on every back porch in the community.  With a range of several hundred feet in any direction, the concept of this being a victimless crime is unjustified.  Sadly, the wildlife that has been invited in by irresponsible human behavior is trapped, shot, or poisoned believing they are harmful to residents.  Owners never consider their cats are MORE likely to transmit disease because of their close personal contact with humans. 

Does the Constitution not provide for equal treatment under the law? Should cat owners not be held to the same standards as dog owners? With millions of tax dollars being spent each year to deal with the feral cat population, why aren't owners held accountable?

Because some politician is too afraid of losing votes and too focused on economic growth which always brings inflation to act responsibly and treat citizens equally under the law. 

Fence-Out Laws

Contributing to the cat issue and other boundary landmines in a modern world, Fence-Out jurisdictions protect irresponsible landowners by forcing responsible ones to build and maintain expensive fencing (aka Fence Out danger).  Started when range wars were settled with guns and violence, fence-out laws may have worked when dealing with livestock but do little to protect property from such dangers as wildfires, pesticide usage, over bearing landscapers, obsessive environment protection policies, hikers/camping and yes, cat owners who think the best cat is an outdoor cat. 

As the law is currently enforced, boundary lines are owned equally by each side. A neighbor can tear down a fence or hedge without notification, mow your yard if you don't take care of it to their satisfaction, spray pesticides indiscriminately, and install a fence on your property without verification of the property line.  In other words, the neighborhood bully has the right to be a bully without impunity.  How is this policy constitutional in a country that was founded on the protection of individual rights? 

Today, those elected to govern care more about wealth and avoiding bad press than standing up for what is right.  Is it no wonder that people fear violence from those who have no respect for private property?

Where Does It Leave Us?

As a result of decades of legally permitting one group to take advantage of another, this country has slipped into a mindset that fraud and persecution is acceptable, even normal.  While the Beatles tried to persuade the World that "All we need is Love" (dun, da, dun, da duh), such an attitude is naive at best and only increases division and anxiety in this country.

Only when Congress, state legislatures and local government govern for the majority and not the special interest can America ever be great again.  As the 2022 mideterm shows, citizens have a lack of confidence in both political parties.  Until Congress abandons special interests which feed economic growth and buy votes, citizens will need to clog the courts system with lawsuits and civil actions that regulate one person at a time.

What an incredible waste of time, effort and money because the focus of today's leaders is being elected rather than serving the whole. 


Thursday, October 27, 2022

The Farce of Food Insecurity: How Federal Spending Fosters Hunger (and ilness) in America (A FACS Teacher Explains)

To put it short and sweet, NO ONE in America should ever go to bed hungry and yet, as the holidays approach, the media sends out emotion laced storie stating that food is scarce in this country and that something needs to be done about it.  Is that the truth or is it a subtle method of persuasion designed to lower residents expectations while increasing tolerance of government inefficiency.  Read  below and make up your own mind.  

 America, The World's Bread Basket

According to Investopedia, the US is one of the four largest food producing countries in the World. Ironically though, how that food is distributed changes it from a necessity of life to an economic growth tool. Sadly, malnutrition and hunger are very much woven into American politics as both parties use food as a weapon against its own people. Not surprisingly, Americans pay high prices and get little food value for their money as a result.

Simply put, government agriculture and trade policies are not designed to FEED people but to FEED the economy and bargain for loyalty around the globe.

Yes America, federal policy laid out by the Food and Drug Administration, US Departments of Agriculture and Commerce and other regulatory agencies choose to foster hunger and poor health in its general population. They do this by taking a hands-off approach with corporate interests such as Nestle, General Mills, PepsiCo, and many others.

Why do both Republicans and Democrats support food production methods which put people at risk for illness and death?  Because it is good for Wall Street and Wall Street is everything in today's global economy.

Food Labeling Shows Declining Food Value

To get a better idea of where Congress puts its priorities, all it takes is a look at food labeling. So complicated to understand, the numbers on a label tell the story.  One does not need to be a registered dietitian to understand low numbers and lots of zeros translate into food that has little quality. In today's market, it would take 10 snack bags of potato chips and you still would not get the sodium and potassium which are needed for good hydration.

Interestingly, the FDA allows countless products with little or no food value to be purchased with food assistance dollars.  One specific example is alternative milk products. California's almond milk is an acceptable food source even though a serving of this high priced milk look-alike is the equivalent of eating three almonds and drinking a glass of salt and vitamin infused water. 

Is that worth 10% more than whole milk with 5 times the calories, 8 times the protein and naturally sourced vitamins and minerals? Economically, sure it is. In terms of feeding the poor, its a scam on every level.

What does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Do?

At this point in time, no one is really sure. What they are supposed to do is ensure safe food products and medicines be delivered throughout the country.  Unfortunately, they seem to be more concerned with punishment after the fact than preventing food safety issues as the baby formula, pet food and drug shortages continue to cause problems for many. Recently, Clorox recalled a cleaner which had been shipped and sold over a year ago. What good does it do to recall a product a year after it has been shipped and sold?

Secondarily, there appears to be no FDA food policy that stops tax dollars from being redirected to companies through products which are colored and flavored water or calories that provide few of the micro nutrients that improve general health, strengthen muscles, or regulate metabolism.  The same, generally, holds true for medications even when their proven efficacy is less than 50% and their list of side effects is dangerously long.

As an instrument of Republican and Democratic administrations, the FDA and USDA willing allow low food value products to flood the market which reduces the buying power of individuals. Claiming to be treating those who live in poverty fairly,funds can be used to buy popular foods even when high quality food products are cheaper.

Supply Chain Problems? Not likely. 

There is an old saying in business--Say it Enough. They'll Believe It.  The truth is that food companies have been shorting the American public on nutrition for decades.  Worse, they are now using the "Supply Chain" myth to alter recipes, reduce the nutritional content of their products and increase profits.  This practice has increased with deregulation and has made commercial foods more susceptible to contaminated and less nutritious overall. 

Add the sound of celebrities and talk show hosts proclaiming that there is a food shortage in this country and it isn't hard to realize they help make misinformation appear as truth.

Where does the REAL food go?

Naively, Americas want to believe in farm to table marketing that supports local agriculture. Commercial agriculture is very different. Actual food distribution in this country is a complicated system of tiers (see below) with the local grocery store being at or near the bottom  Politicians will not mention that they trade food products as if they were gold or silver.  While they ship food produced here to other countries, they import food that ends up on our tables.  Economics is everything, after all.

  1. Government Interests: It should be no surprise that government takes its cut at or near the top.  Active and reserve military bases, federal prisons and detention centers and, of course, the exports that are part of the every day wheeling and dealing called "foreign policy" take large quantities of food out of circulation without it ever entering a store.  With little packaging, large recurring orders and quick payment, it is good business to supply these operations first. Unfortunately, it is also susceptible to waste and mismanagement due to strict food safety guidelines which have unused food thrown away.  The FDA is currently recalling record amounts of food of all kinds.
  2. Non-Food Products:  From cosmetics and vitamin supplements to ethanol and cleaning products. Food is used for many things other than nutrition.  Today's gourmet pet food industry is also a drain on supplies in which there have been massive recalls over the last year or more.
  3. Commercial Operations:  This group includes any type of food prepared outside of the home.  Hospitals, residential facilities such as dormitories, school lunch programs(not actually a federally run program), convenience stores, vending machines, restaurants and catering businesses get the next cut of the pie (no pun intended). As restaurant owners explained at the beginning of the pandemic, these kitchens purchase bulk sized containers.  Good managers can keep waste to a minimum but because serving size is predetermined customers may simply not need or want as much food as is served.  In most cases, these chefs have access to whole foods and do not get the watered down versions which are found in many grocery outlets. 
  4. Value Added Foods:  There is one last attempt to turn an abundance of basic food into something pricey and that is called "Value-Added Products."  These products include the rotisserie chicken and sliced meats at the deli counter, servings such as juice boxes or individual containers and already molded hamburgers or specialty seasoned meats. Then you have quick fix boxed dinners like Hamburger helper and microwave pouches for steamed vegetable.   Any change from a food's original form is considered better and therefore more expensive.  For example, the rotisserie chicken that you pay $8.99 for is a 2 to 3 pound, mostly bone, bird that costs the store a dollar and a half.  The nutrition is the same but the size is a third of what an uncooked bird with a similar price would be.
  5. Local Grocery Outlets:  After all these other groups buy what they want, then food producers take whats left and package it for the most profit. Cheese that is cheese food.  Juices that are juice drinks.  Milk that is from a plant based mixture and meat that has been canned or breaded and fried.  Even more interesting is the number of imported foods that are found in the produce section or the meat section.  Besides foods which are largely devoid of anything but calories, the cost of these available products has gone up because of a scarcity result from preferential service to the federal government. 
**Recently, McKee Foods informed the US military that it would no longer supply products to military facilities. Its reasoning appears to be a conscious choice to supply the public rather than accommodate the large volume order required for government contracts.

Implications for Health

 As the World learned during the Covid-19 pandemic, not even the greatest healthcare system can fend off a virus when good nutrition is lacking. For fifty years, educated populations believed that healthcare was more important than nutrition. Now many are dependent on vitamin supplements and medications to maintain the illusion of health.  Still, the federal government skims the best off the top and fails to regulate what foods are marketed to children and the elderly. Sadly, a look at food labels quickly shows  that a fast food hamburger offers more balanced food value than a boxed mac and cheese with organic pasta prepared at home. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

WE ARE BACK! Sort of

**Interestingly, Version and other companies are now offering FREE upgrades with no increase in phone charges.  Perhpas they are getting the message that American business is getting to big for its britches and the American people are getting ready to take it to the woodshed. What a wonderful thought. :)

I have also repaired four older computers at a fraction of the cost of sending them to a repairman.  But it is the Internet that keeps us frustrated.  

Our local server is now 65 miles from our location.  It is so far from home, online purchasing is nearly impossible with a debit card.  The bank blocks purchases because I do not have LOCAL internet.  See why rural citizens distrust big business and their promises for a better life.  It doesn't matter how much speed you have if you can't connect in the first place folks. 

Original Post

After six weeks of internet and telephone troubles, we are back up and running. Is this just a preview of what rural communities will go through when 3G is turned off. Again, Congress lacks the ability to foresee the down side to its actions and only considers how good it is to for economic growth.   We will see what happens when millions of rural and low-income people have their phones turned off when companies like Verizon "make room for 5G" and more powerful internet.  All rural communities want is a reliable signal not the "fastest" or the "most powerful".  

I won’t be buying a new phone from Verizon.  This just one more example of planned inflation. Especially since rural communities will be lucky to get 4G service. 

Its nice to connect again. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

UPDATED: One Hot Mess: Why Saving the Planet is Making it Hotter? (A FACS Teacher Explains)

**** NOAA (our country's national weather reporting agency) has recently released yet another hyped up global warming article that is equally short on details.  Claiming that this July is the third hottest on record anyone who is familiar with computer data understands the questionable accuracy of such a statement.  As mentioned many times before in this blog, there is no standardized method of reporting temperatures and the chance of human error in such reporting methods is high. Just failing to report temperatures from Montana or Alaska in a timely fashion could shift numbers to seeming much hotter than they actually are.  Add the preference for hotter, urban areas and the only way to describe such information is "skewed".  With a climate change bill waiting to be voted on this week in the House, it is not surprising that this agency would  slant information to tip the votes in favor of passage.  Remember: this climate change bill is not about reversing human caused climate change but designed to fund infrastructure which will only make the planet hotter and our tempers more frazzled. 

*** Biden’s one billion trees is more about supporting the housing industry than climate change. Wood fired power plants produce the same type of smoke as coal and oil. This is called gaslighting the public. 

We have all done it. 

You open up a cookbook, Do-It-Yourself manual or set of instructions for your child's new toy and follow them to the letter.  DISASTER!

Not to be undone, you try again. You follow the steps exactly, assemble your equipment before starting, have all the right materials and it seems to be going well. . . except the end result isn't anything like what it is supposed to be. Welcome to Climate Change Politics.

Now you know where leaders and climate scientists find themselves today--following all the rules and coming up with a crisis that is "one hot mess". 

Brain Over Computer

As a teacher of any subject will tell you, thinking for yourself is a very difficult concept to instill in even the smartest individual. Forty years of computer generated directions and automatic answers has indoctrinated civilized people to question everything BUT the directions.  The reality of any science is that the science doesn't change, only our understanding of it.   

The question today is . . .How bad is it going to get before these educated thinkers rely on their brains rather than their computers for answers?

As Biden tries to pull a climate change 'win' out of thin air, the problem isn't his leadership style or focus.  The problem is the THIN AIR. Biden simply isn't speaking Nature's language and until he does it is only going to get hotter.

 Speaking Nature's Language

 Until modern science decided Nature could be modified without repercussions, Nature's rules were pretty basic and easy to understand. As for air quality, there  was but one concept to remember. Plants clean the air and animals/humans dirtied it up. 

Why in the world would that be part of a Family and Consumer Science background? Because before whole house filtration systems most females from homemaker to high end interior designer knew growing plants kept rooms smelling fresh without extensive cleaning and artificial deodorizers. Pretty smart, huh?

So what does that have to do with today's climate change problem?  It's simple. Humans cleaned up the air instead of letting plants do it. The chain of command for Nature was broken and not there are consequences that went something like this. 

  1. Clean air makes nature think animals and humans have died so plants stop producing food (after all, there isn't anything to eat it, right?)

  2. Nature doesn't understand why there is plenty of CO2 but none of the other essential gases which would normally be given off by dead animals, feces, cook fires etc.  Naturally, it uses volcanoes and gas plumes to add those gases back into the atmosphere. 

  3. Thin Air (clean air) has little ability to insulate the ground from the direct rays of the sun. So day time temperatures get warmer and the night time temperatures get cooler.

  4. Clean air cannot form rain clouds so rain stops falling.  Plants have root systems and humidity to give them a drink.  Remember: Clean air only exists naturally in a plant only world.

  5. Hurricanes, Nor'easters, and thunderstorms produce heavy rains to replenish ground water. 

  6. When all else fails to bring the atmosphere back into balance, Nature takes to wildfires which use up excess oxygen and spread gases like nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide.  Sound familiar?

 All this because humans thought they could do it better than Mother Nature. 

President Biden, Mother Nature doesn't need any more of this kind of help.  Go back to dirty air or pay the consequences.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Clarification: The Royal Family and Climate Change

Special Note:  As the UN Conference on Climate Change (Cop27) nears, this will be the first time in several years that King Charles III (Formerly Prince Charles) will NOT be in attendance.  A strong advocate of climate change remediation, the rumor is that he has been asked by new Prime Minister Liz Truss to keep a low profiled.  

The key to shifting the climate change discussion to something realistic has always been to debunk the popular belief that scientists of a hundred and fifty years ago proved that carbon dioxide warmed up the planet.  The main scientist, John Tyndall, resided in both Ireland and London.  Loyalty runs deep in the UK but perhaps through the new Ms. Truss the British will look a bit harder at the facts and not believe in climate change on national loyalty alone. 


Original Article:

From a writer's perspective, the unpredictable audience of the internet makes it very difficult to feel that these words will be used appropriately.  You hope, if you have readers at all, that they  can understand the technical concepts explained here. You hope the information will start a discussion not a feud. But there is always worry about the lack of integrity in the climate change industry and the leaders who support it.

Today, it might be Prince Harry who was the victim of climate change politics. Yet again, leaders like United Nations Secretary General António Guterres are not above using a well connected young man to promote a scientifically flawed position that cannot be justified by spreadsheets and computer data. (See speech here)  Sadly, the United Nations would rather hold on to 50 years of poor judgement than do what is best for the global environment and economy.  Here's where this blog may have come into the picture. 

 What Brits Should Know About Climate Change

A few weeks ago, during a particularly hot Royal Ascot, the article  What Brits Should Have Always Known: John Tyndall Knew Nothing about Climate appeared on this platform. (see original here)  The reason was start a discussion about whether John Tyndall was really a man who understood climate nor one who simple carried out several experiments which would later be mostly countermanded.  He did, however, explain the insulated properties of clouds quite perfectly.  Modern science just turned it into something else.

As a quick summary, the conclusion was that a history based difference in language caused young computers to link Tyndall and climate change.  The well-respected professor never studied climate or even considered it because the study had not been established until just before his death.  

Where do the Royals Come In?

Understanding that the USA and UN were locked into its illogical position of carbon-based gas theory, the article challenged Prince Charles and the Royal family to take a more political stand in helping the World understand differences in terms and how they can be destructive when misinterpreted by computers.  

Apparently, it was Prince Harry that was feed a diet of misinformation and then put on display for the World to see.  It doesn't seem to have gotten the desired response. If this blog was in any way used to encourage that, I am truly sorry. 

Manipulating data is a common occurrence for leaders. As this blog has stated before, all climate scientists have to do is prove their point without a computer and the world will listen.  Guilt, shame, fear and emotion are not the tools of real science.  

Monday, July 11, 2022

10 Things Insurance Agents Should Stop Doing! (A FACS Teacher Explains)

Certainly, it was going to be different after COVID.  And yet, the crashing suddenness of the transition from work-focused Baby Boomers to the adulthood-avoiding younger workforce came with a high price.  The older worker could almost feel a machine going down in time to stop a complete breakdown or smell the difference between clean stainless steel pipe and invisible contamination of a baby formula factory that would embarrass the United States in a way that other countries will not soon forget. 

The problem isn't the young adults comin' up. Its how they were educated and trained.

As a Family and Consumer Science Teacher, career readiness was part of the curriculum.  By the time the Bush administration revamped education by focusing on testing, the Obama administration changed directions and made computers and gadgets the most important part of leaning.  

To better illustrate what was once taught before enering the workforce, us old people listed a few no-nos to keep in mind.

1.  Using "Gotcha" as in a professional context. 

It might sound new and non-committal but that word translates into being used, swindled or fooled for most older adults. To understand it in a visual context, Google Laugh-IN Gotcha and see what YouTube has to offer.  Artie Johnson was the king of the lewd and crude "Gotcha" moment. I talked with 9 agents in a introductory call and found half used the term regularly. Another three used it at least once in the conversation.  Your trainer was WRONG!

2. Showing up at Dinner Time

A great joke in rural communities, showing up at after the office closes be convenient for the agent but it is still rude and disrespectful for the potential client. Use the Golden Rule if you want to make that sale. 

3. Downloading personal histories, credit reports etc. before you meet. 

Privacy is important and it only takes one slip up to go from respectful agent to invasive and untrustworthy creep.  It isn't worth the risk. 

4. Showing up without an appointment.  

Retirement does not mean "doing nothing".  You are invading their home and turning it into a place of business.  Clients are people first and profits second. They do not owe you a living.

5.   Using the phrase "Your kids would want you to"

No child wants their parents living a solitary lifestyle because they are spending 50% of their income on insurance and healthcare. Insurance is not a means of inheritance although it is often sold as such.  Moreover, using guilt as a sales tool is just plain despicable, not to mention unethical and possibly elder abuse (federal definition)

6. Using the phrase "Let me decide for you"

Again, they are the client not your ticket to a large home. Agents are licensed as advisors not guardians.  Walk that like carefully to avoid the appearance of financial mismanagement. 

7. Assuming mental incapacity

LIke Mark Twains quote of his death, reports about dementia have been found to be side effects of medical treatment and poor nutrition rather than age alone. One day you will be old and you may be treated as a second class person.  Again, just because you are legally providing a service does not mean you are not guilty of taking advantage of an older client. 

8. Adopting the attitude that you are doing it for them

Lieing to yourself about why you sell insurance is a great way to cross a line that can have some serious consequences. You know if your client is struggling because of the level of coverage you or your company push.  Karma always pays back greed and unkind actions. 

9. Using criticism as a way to instill fear. 

Your training may say to point out all the flaws in the property so as ti justify the need for insurance."A few branches can cause the whole roof to go in a storm Is this a plug for your brother-in-laws lanscaping service or a reference to a previous claim that has long since been resolved.  Either way, using fear is a pretty poor way to make a living. 

10. Forgetting that insurance has its roots in organized crime and extortion.

The line between legal and illegal use of insurance sales as a requirement for home ownership is approaching the old days of the "protection rackets"  Al Capone would be impressed how insurance companies have gained Congressional and State Support for something he had tried to do a hundred years ago.

Bottom line

Insurance like health care is a very large component in an artificially inflated and service dominate economy. Curbing insurance costs is an important part of a long and financially viable lifestyle for all Americans, not just its older citizens. 

Think twice before you advise seniors to carry masive amounts of insurance. Its our Country's economic viability that is really at stake. 



Saturday, July 9, 2022

Let Them Eat Bugs: Climate Change Investors Could Lose Billions If They Follow Bill Gates' Lead

If the quote "Let Them Eat Cake!" is not part of your high school classwork memories, then the similarity of Bill Gates' latest statement supporting climate change infrastructure might be neither familiar in tone nor currently relevant.  To the climate change investor, however, it may be a lesson from the past that foretells of financial ruin for the wealthy and more practical focus on the global economy.

"Let Them Eat Cake" in History

One version of Marie Antoinette's historic gaffe to the starving French people follows a story something like this. Whether it is accurate or not, that is left to the historians.

Insulated from much of daily life in the1700s, the French royal family, lived and ruled from the security of the Chateau Versailles, a community centered on life at Court.   Issues such as illness, inflation and famine were something to be tolerated as part of life. It was not until the reign of the young Louis XVI that royal wishes shifted the focus away from a working economy to one focused largely on the trappings of the Baroque Period.

For Marie, wife of Louis XVI, the loud and violent protests that surrounded her home and carriage seemed confusing and inappropriate.  When asked why they were protesting, and then learning they had no bread to eat, she simply stated the obvious, "Let them eat cake!"  She had no understanding of how crop failure translated into a lack of flour which then logically meant a lack of bread. Because she had both bread and cake, she naively assumed, all people had the same options.

Her ignorance of this situation would go down as one trigger for the French Revolution  (1789-1799), with her being beheaded in October of 1793 as a result. 

Infrastructure Without A Purpose

Like Louis XVI, Gates is a wealthy man and can direct funds to multiple projects. The young King would spend the 20 years prior to the French Revolution turning a well appointed chateau and hunting lodge into the Palace we now associate with the Versailles name.  Like the 2,300 room palace and grounds which were never again used as anything more than a testament to the fall of the privileged, Gates' desire to create a framework of unnecessary and expensive food production could bring him and others to financial ruin.

One version of the businessman's message, "Let Them Eat Bugs!", was recently published by Cheryl K. Chumley, in the Washington Times. The subscription-only article apparently explains why a wealthy man would gobble up North Dakota farmland which until two weeks ago was protected by law. Is the article for or against such waste of resources? Who knows but this post is adamantly against such funding, especially by taxpayers because nature will always adapt faster than humans.

What the Data Doesn't Tell You?

Without getting into too much detain, here are a few missed factors that will cause the "Let Them Eat Bugs!" to fail

  1. A three degree temperature increase could actually expand growing seasons particularly in the Northeast.  
  2. A three degree temperature increase will not cause ice caps to melt but could make it possible for some area in the Southeaster US or Mexico to group food year round. 
  3. The nutritional value of food is not based on the food itself but on the elements in the soil at the time of growth. Fossil fuel use allows this to happen naturally. Since clean air, farmers have to use fertilizers produced from (wait for it) FOSSIL FUELS. 
  4. Gates is likely gobble=ing up land to use for ethanol (potatoes and corn are particularly good for that) which is a poor energy source. It also take food out of the food supply to make a non-edible product.  Gates wants to an artificial oil baron instead of a crude oil baron. Either way it is about making money not feeding the world or saving the planet. 

 The bottom line is that Gates is, like Louis XVI, acting on his vision of a World that has no purpose other than to be historically remembered.

Sorry Bill.. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

AP Gets It Wrong Again: Glaciers Don't Melt, They Evaporate! (A FACS Teacher EXplains)

 In yet another quick-type-and-submit climate change story, the Associated Press has reported that Italy's Marmolada glacier is shrinking (see story here).  While there is no doubt that the glacier is  becoming more unstable, Italy's scientists clearly should be able tell the difference between a glacier that is melting and one that is evaporating.  Unless, they just aren't looking and are promoting the U.N. Climate Change Agenda.

Yes, Ice Evaporates

Known as freezer burn or freeze dried, the science behind how and why ice evaporates has been around since NASA used the technology to make light weight and nutritious food products for space travel.  Remember: Freeze Dried Ice Cream. The same principle has a place in nature as well. 

So if this is a well-recognized principle, why does the AP article mention Italy's drought in the first line but defaults to the more politically correct culprit of warming temperatures. That's a good question. 

Glacier Health

Glaciers are repositories of billions of gallons of fresh water transported from coastal areas to mountain tops by, of all things, clouds made of water vapor and impuritiesl like dust and fossil fuel emissions.  Without such impurities, clouds cannot reach the glacier in sufficient quantities to keep it healthy.  That is what causes drought, not high temperatures.

As for the difference between melting and evaporating, that's easy. Water that melts from a glacier settles into cracks and grooves making it more solid when it refreezes overnight. Evaporation due to a cold, dry wind creates thinner and three-dimensional ice loss, like an ice cube tray that has been left alone for too long in the freezer. Don't your ice cubes seem to disappear. Same principle. 

Someday, maybe the Associated Press will learn to check all their facts before running with a climate change story that is only half true. When we realize that fossil fuels are not endangering our planet, nature will quickly and efficiently dump feet of snow in the Italian Alps and restore its glaciers to their natural beauty.  


Monday, July 4, 2022

Congratulations! Underdogs West Virginia and Mississippi Win, Big Government is the Loser (A Female Perspective)

For as long as I can remember, West Virginia and Mississippi have been the butt of more than a few unkind and derogatory characterizations. While the connection to "By God" West Virginia had come with family ties, I did not realize the similar national prejudice  to Mississippi until I unexpectedly became a short-term resident of Starkville, MS, forty couple years ago.

Through no planning on my part, I attended State universities in each location. I can honestly say that the coursework taken  was based on practical and factual knowledge, not high brow theory that has little real-world application. Not all of my studies from my drawn out and disjointed higher education yielded as strong a foundation. And yet, these states are seen as dumb and incapable of knowing what's good for them.

To get to the point,  this is a fancy but diplomatic way of saying "If you think these states are run by uneducated and  mindless puppets who pander to the religious right or big business, you are sorely mistaken." From my perspective, this isn't even about abortion or coal. 

In fact, this rare and unexpected display of defiance by two small states is about a federal government that demanded obedience and loyalty for a political agenda, even when it meant decimating the wealth and security of a state's population. The Supreme Court merely sided with them

 Why This Isn't About Abortion or Coal

Like a woman who uses her best pair of high heels to hammer in a nail, the legal profession must sometimes use an unusual tool to make its point.  In this case it happens to be abortion and coal with the job being to punctuate the message that states have tired of the "anything goes" mentality that both Republican and Democratic parties support. 

So often viewed as an emotional us vs. them position, the recent Supreme Court decisions that appear to favor the conservative perspective may quickly result in equally restrictive actions as individual rights of all kinds are questioned in the name of public responsibility. 

Either way, an over zealous Democratic President and a fanatically right-leaning Supreme Court came together to break the stalemate that has existed for too long. 

Why Coal Isn't the Issue?

Prior to the late 1960s, much of this country was enjoying economic benefits that seemed evenly distributed across all locations.  In West Virginia particularly (and still in MS when I finally arrived) each county and town had its mix of retail, manufacturing and professional  businesses. There were the old, rich families, and the young adults who could stay in the community if they so desired.  But with the push for clean air, those manufacturing jobs dried up as if the Dust Bowl Droughts had again returned to rural America.  The regulations, set largely to California standards, were so restrictive that factories could no longer operate at a profit.  

Even more devastating were the federal mandates that limited product options for converting homes and other properties to gas, oil or electric.  Everything from large, fine homes to small two room shanties were demolished or abandoned because there was no way to afford the preferred central heat and air system that the construction industry and urban lifestyles preferred.  Everything a family had built be it business or home disappeared for some in a matter of years.   

It wasn't the ban on coal that mattered in the end, it was the destruction of a working economy that put thousands of citizens at the mercy of low paying jobs and federal assistance programs.  The EPA didn't take coal away from West Virginia. It took their way of life. 

Why It's Not About Abortion

Fifty years ago, abortion was the unusual tool that was used to break a hard-line medical profession that took its "Do No Harm" motto very seriously,  While thirty years of almost continuous war had allowed surgeons to make huge advances in technique and methods, those skills and equipment had yet to come to private practice.  Elective surgery of any kind was considered dangerous and avoided for several reasons. Pregnancy, unless threatening to the life of the mother might not be convenient but it simply was not worth the chance of complications.  

Even now, advocates believe Roe vs. Wade was about abortion and female productive rights. They have yet to recognize this one Supreme Court decision was the beginning of the largest, most expensive and not often curative healthcare system in the World, The downside was that small and less affluent states, like Mississippi and West Virginia, were saddled with the expectation of unlimited, on-demand healthcare as a constitutional right because of Roe vs. Wade.

The reality that these elective procedures and tests drain funds from other more productive programs like police protection and education are of no concern to a federal government that only toots its own horn but never pays the cost, until now.

What Will Happen Now?

Without question the federal government will push back and attempt to over turn these rulings but the pendulum of societal thought has started to move and it will gain speed. 

Now with the freedom to look at actual fact, science will do a 180 and realize that pollution is not the end-of-the-World scenario that two generations of been taught. Old science based on centuries of actual experimentation will replace computer guesses.  Health problems will begin to abate for younger populations and in a couple of decades health will be an afterthought instead of a daily concern. 

As for abortion rights, there are two issues. Insurance companies and medical professionals will quickly and quietly begin to refuse services for more radical procedures.  Surgery will not be the automatic first course of action and health will become the focus, not healthcare. 

As for abortion itself, the states who are rushing to ban all abortion will find it harder to prove it is justified.  You see, before childhood vaccines made it possible for most children to survive their fifth birthday, banning abortion was not a moral issue but a means of forcing women of all races and status to have children for a growing workforce. Capitalism is a cruel taskmaster that does not discriminate.

With an open-door immigration policy and better healthcare, there is only morality that keeps the act of abortion banned.  State and federal courts alike can will find their court cases more difficult to draft since robotics, illegal immigration, remote employement and a steady stream of young healthy children now fill all concerns for a ready and willing workforce. 

For now, let the protestors be outraged and the politicians act without thinking. History will remember how the last fifty was not a time of enlightenment that ended with a thud and a crash but a sad example of what happens to a civilization when opinion replaces truth.