You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make ’em fish

Maybe it’s the eternal optimist in me, or maybe it’s just my own stupidity…. I keep trying to help other people and they are either too stupid to accept help or they are willfully ignorant.

I’ve done some stupid things in the past, but I can’t imagine anyone CHOOSING to remain stupid. Every interaction in life is an opportunity to learn something; either we learn how to do something or we learn how NOT to do it. Either way, we have learned something.

But in today’s world, it seems there are soooo many people who are quite happy to stay stuck in their ways, not wanting to do better than before, not wanting to improve themselves. The saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” comes to mind and I suppose if one chooses to remain ignorant, then the saying is true.

One way I spend my time & effort is on the “Mechanic Advice” board on Reddit. It’s a natural outlet for me, since I’m a professional mechanic with over 30 years experience, and I actually like helping others. I’ve built over 3200 “post karma” points, I’ve only had 1 comment downvoted, and I’ve helped fix numerous people with a variety of problems. I’ve fixed many other problems through the phone/internet over the years, and this outlet is just like that, but one level greater because I can pick & choose who I answer based on my own general knowledge and any specific knowledge I may have regarding their vehicles. And to some extent, I’m probably subconsciously stroking my own ego.

Recently one other person commented “Don’t listen to that guy” and then added that having a scan tool wasn’t relevant to solving the original problem that was posted. Really? Having the proper tools to fix a car, especially a scan tool to access the computer, isn’t relevant? OK, good luck to you and your ‘parts shotgun’ approach; my condolences to your wallet. I’ll just drop back into “lurk mode” and watch the situation unfold. Where’s my popcorn?

Another discussion that I stepped in was on Facebook, when a former supervisor of mine had commented in regards to the protestors in Portland “The only response to an insurrection is overwhelming lethal force.” Another mutual friend of ours had originally commented about the protestors and he & I had several back & forth discussion points, ranging from the protestors to the original settlers of this country and throughout all this I tried to impress to him how the mindset of ‘Kill ’em all and let God sort it out‘ hasn’t worked in thousands of years, so why continue with it now? Maybe he’s just too ‘set in his ways‘ to see exactly how wrong he is, or maybe I’m being too idealistic; I’m willing to concede that possibility, though being overly nice usually doesn’t end in murder. And to think so many people think this is ‘winning in ‘Merica’. I’ll sit back again and watch the news unfold.

My own father was a Navy veteran, having volunteered at the tender age of 17. I had asked him once why he signed up and he said “It was the thing to do; everyone was joining, because our country was under attack“. He didn’t talk much about his time in the Navy, but I do know that he spent some time helping move the wounded from Guam to Hawaii and then to San Francisco. I can only imagine how humbling it must have been to see his fellow service men, injured, broken, and completely in need of his help as a “Pharmacist’s Mate 3rd Class” (a nice way of saying ‘male nurse’). I also know that he did NOT want me (his only son) to join the military, because when I was about 8 or 9 years old, my parents had an open discussion about “What are we to do with Billy if the Vietnam War runs on for another 10 years?“. Their best idea (at the time) was to send me to Canada; but not the best idea overall, since we did not have any family in Canada for me to go to. The overall lesson I learned was the my father had learned how wrong war really is and that he would try to protect his only son from this. When I was 18, my best friend joined the Army and when he asked me to join, I turned him down, citing that I already had a job. But in the back of my mind I had the lesson that I learned from my father.

Thank you dad, for a lesson learned.

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How does an “economy” work?

economy/ (ɪˈkɒnəmɪ) /


noun plural -mies

  1. Careful management of resources to avoid unnecessary expenditure or waste; thrift
  2. A means or instance of this; saving
  3. sparing, restrained, or efficient use, esp to achieve the maximum effect for the minimum effort: economy of language
  4. The complex of human activities concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services
  5. A particular type or branch of such production, distribution, and consumptiona socialist economyan agricultural economy
  6. The management of the resources, finances, income, and expenditure of a community, business enterprise, etc

So what’s missing from this definition? The actual PURPOSE for an economy. WHY do we do this?

Our current “economy” is centered around capitalism the accumulation of capital (money/wealth). And in a world based around capitalism, that end purpose is, for some folks, to amass more wealth than other folks, at any cost. This causes them to do many things that are not healthy or wise, from the perspective of humanity.

Financial advisors tell us to set aside part of our earnings to be used in an emergency, yet so few people can afford to do this; one reason being that capitalism works very hard to suck every dollar out of your wallet. Every month there is someone trying to get into your wallet for many reasons, all of which are driven by capitalism.

There is no requirement for a business to put aside a portion of their earnings as an “emergency fund”, to help them through the lean times; even though the lives of their employees depend on the ability to earn money, to buy the necessities in life. Would a shareholder accept a smaller dividend this month knowing that the excess would be utilized the following month? Of course not; they take the larger dividend NOW, then scramble their employees the following month to somehow meet their financial objectives. And if those financial objectives are not met, and the business can not sustain through a tough time, the business is closed and the employees are now unemployed. Unemployed people can’t afford to buy the goods & services that they need to sustain the life style they have created and in many cases, life itself. Capitalism includes this boom/bust cycle as part of “just doing business”, but it’s HUGE problem from the perspective of a humanitarian.

Is THIS the only way we can run a country? Of course not!

So how else can we run a country? Let’s look at definitions #1 & 4 above – “Careful management of resources” and “human activities“. Wouldn’t it make sense to manage the Earth’s resources in such a manner that EVERY person has at least the basic resources that they need? The United States Declaration of Independence states “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as unalienable rights, meaning that everyone was entitled to them. So let’s look at the first one – “Life“, what exactly is needed to maintain life for all humans? Self-sufficiency standards are calculated differently from the federal poverty level but both try to define exactly what is needed to sustain a basic life –  food (including water), shelter, clothing, sanitation, education, and healthcare. I’m NOT advocating that everyone has a Ferrari in their free mansion; this list is what’s needed just to get by. Shouldn’t all the hard work & effort that we (people) do in the good times help take care of us in tough times? Hell, even squirrels are smart enough to put nuts away for the coming winter!

So how could we run a country and provide these basic necessities? Duh….. a RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY comes to mind! But many folks are not willing to even consider this idea, mostly because they are the ones profiteering from capitalism….

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I spy with my little eye…. something green

In April 2016, my wife and I were returning from Oregon back to our home in California. We had driven my uncomfortable truck, Dino the Dodge-asaurus Wrex, only because we had moved her dad & his belongings from our house up to her brother’s house in Washington. Since we were not in a hurry, we decided to take a longer route home, one that meandered us from Klamath Falls, Oregon, south-east towards Lassen National Park. As we rolled into the tiny town of McArthur, California, I looked to my right and immediately hit the brakes. My wife asked “What-the-fuck are you doing?” as I backed up the shoulder, coming to a stop on a small bridge that was next to a house. Lucky for me I had brought a camera with a 12X zoom lens, because from the street, the car was barely recognizable.

As much as I wanted to knock on the owner’s front door, I got a bad vibe because it looked like the kind of place that just screamed “Do Not Enter!“. So after staring in disbelief for a minute, we continued the drive home. That night I posted my picture on social media where many people bantered over whether the car was a real Superbird or not, with the consensus being that it was real but a few parts had been removed (the wing and the A-pillar chrome trim).

2 months later, I saw this photo on social media and instantly recognized the green ‘Bird.

I added a comment that I had recently spotted the green ‘Bird and I included my photo. The owner sounded indignant, replying “You’re in my driveway!” and I told him that I was not, taking the picture from the public street with an extra long lens.

Sounded like I made the right call by NOT knocking on his door.

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How much is enough?

A good friend of mine, Tom, loves to discuss capitalism with me. Often we have heated discussions because we are on opposite sides of the fence, but at least we are both willing to HAVE those discussions. Too often in today’s world, people don’t want to talk about the issues, especially the BIG issues that affect everyone. He endorses capitalism, saying “I don’t want anyone to ‘take a chance’ and not be able to keep their rewards“. I lean towards the humanitarian side of the argument, so I always ask “How much is enough?

As of this writing, Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world, his company Amazon.com is self-described as “earth’s most customer-centric company.” And considering how “consumer-centered” America’s economy has become, it’s no surprise that he has more cash than he could ever need. It’s easy using Bezos as an example of someone who started a company in his garage, worked hard, and made it big; but let’s not forget the $250,000 gift/loan from his parents that he used to start his company. That’s a financial advantage that an ordinary person just doesn’t have at their disposal. And let’s not forget the corporate welfare that he has accepted; it’s an easy way to boost the bottom line. Of course, not paying your employees a living wage is also a good way to keep your profit margins high. How else could one afford to buy an entire newspaper? Another typical trick of the wealthy is to keep your money in an off-shore bank account, so you can bypass all those pesky taxes. And like many other wealthy people, Bezos has branched out through other philanthropic endeavors, which certainly help maintain his public image as someone who gives back, whether or not these projects actually do any good. And then there’s his divorce, which cost him billions in Amazon stock, a mere drop in his overall financial bucket.

Of course, this is an extreme example. Most business owners don’t achieve this type of financial success; most run their businesses as a way to earn a respectable living and pay their bills. Then again, a business is a good way to pay for all sorts of things that an employee can’t buy.

While I agree with Tom that no one deserves to have their hard-earned profits *stolen* from them, there has to be a happy medium between people taking care of business and the economy taking care of people. Afterall, if the only reason businesses exist is to suck money out of other people’s pockets, then how the hell is the economy supposed to continue through the tough times, like a global health crisis? Taking care of the people HAS to be first & foremost, right? RIGHT?? Improvement of life for ALL people, right?? If not, then we are all just wage slaves, doomed to exist only to toil for other people’s comfort, until the day we die. And what kind of “quality of life” is that for us….???

I’m not asking that everyone get a free mansion and 2 Lamborghinis in the garage. Let’s start with something simple – let’s start with the basics in life.

I’ve often said that “An insane world seems sane to insane people“. This is a great quote to print on a bumper sticker, but one of my Facebook friends, Josh Tewell, reminded me of a better way of describing the problem. He quoted one of my all-time favorites, Jacques Fresco, as saying: “I would say the majority of the people of the world today are unsane, not insane but unsane. Meaning having been exposed to methods of evaluation that have long been rendered obsolete.” Josh also added: “People need their mental software updates relevant to today’s society and to let go of the cultural norms and expectations they carry around as baggage–oftentimes holding them back and causing emotional anguish and strife. We’ll be better off for it in the long run because there is no good reason to take tradition with us into the future if there is no other good reason than because “it has always been done this way…” Very well said, Josh!

So how far back in history did things go awry and how do we fix the world going forward from here? something to everyone to think about.

I’ll close today’s thought experiment with another snappy saying that I think would make a great bumper sticker:

Retrain your brain

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It’s my birthday, prove me wrong

I was born on presidential election day, 1964. My mother later told me that she knew my delivery was going to be close to election day, so in an effort to make sure her vote got counted, she mailed in her vote for Johnson. I jokingly told her that she had voted for “johnson” 9 months prior.

For many years, I have said that voting in America has no effect on who gets elected. The popular vote is ignored and the electoral college places their votes for the next president. It’s who THEY want, not who YOU want. It never is.

Many people say that voting for a third party does harm because it takes votes away from the other candidates, especially the underdog who really could have used your vote to overcome the incumbent. Having more than two parties simply splinters the total number of votes into numerous tiny groups, so the population thinks their vote was lost in the shuffle and had no chance. “Wasted votes” they are called, in an effort into shaming that voter and ultimately causing them to NOT vote for anyone in the following election. Wow, isn’t that a handy little way to influence a large portion of society.

And here is where my challenge (to you) begins.

This year my birthday is, once again, on Election Day. (I didn’t plan it that way, it just happens to coincide, roughly once every 6 years.) What I’d like you to do is to prove me wrong in regards to voting for a 3rd party being a wasted vote. I’m calling for everyone to go out and vote for a 3rd party candidate, and I honestly don’t care WHO that is, as long as it’s who everyone agrees on. Pick a name out of a hat and put them in office; don’t just vote for “the lesser of 2 evils”, because in the end, that’s still voting *FOR* evil.

If a radio personality can influence an online poll, to the point of causing a landslide win, then why the hell can’t we all pull together for my simple request? If everyone utilized social media to coordinate this effort, it would be extremely easy to swing the election to whoever was picked. According to the census bureau, the population of the USA is roughly 328 million people, and according to the Pew Research Center, 69% of Americans use Facebook, that’s roughly 226 MILLION people, all voting for one person. And again I stress the fact that the one person you elect could be anyone, because quite frankly, ANYone could do the job in the same ineffective manner that our current elected officials are doing.

And if you do this and your candidate still isn’t elected, maybe you will realize I was right all along. Maybe then you will go out and change the way our election system operates, because it sure as shit doesn’t “work”.

500 PEICE, I VOTED, ELECTION LABEL STICKER  ROLLS 3/4" X 1 1/2" OVAL
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Ignorance is bliss (knowledge is a curse)

As a mechanic, I’ve spent a fair amount of time helping friends (and other people) fixing their cars over the phone and the internet. But sometimes it’s frustrating hearing about a problem that you absolutely KNOW EXACTLY what is wrong, but you just can’t convey the solution to the other person, simply because they are not a mechanic (nor are mechanically inclined). I’ve often wanted to tell them to “hold the phone closer to the car” just so I could reach through and fix the problem myself.

Back in the late 1980s, when I was living in SoCal, my buddy Pat (in Virginia) needed help overhauling the engine in his 1973 Barracuda. We did this through several weekend phone calls – One time installing the crankshaft, then the pistons & rods, then the heads. He did such a good job, I ended up buying the car a few years later when I moved back home.

Back in 1990, when my (now ex-)wife and I were travelling from Virginia to Massachusetts (to show our new baby to my half-sister and her husband), we had stopped at a rest stop on Highway 81 in Pennsylvania to use the toilet and stretch our legs. Since the baby was asleep in the back, she went in first while I waited, then when she returned, I went in while she waited. On my way back to our truck, I noticed 2 cars parked next to each other with jumper cables run between them. The problem car, a Dodge Aries, was being cranked over by the owner, a woman who was pregnant. There were 2 other guys there, which I assume one was her husband and the other was the driver of the second car. As I walked by I heard the unique noise of an engine that has no compression, a distinct “WHIRRRRRRRR” instead of the usual “ROWR, ROWR, ROWR, ROWR” that a 4 cylinder engine usually makes when the starter is engaged. I walked back to our truck but instead of getting in, I stood at the open driver’s widow. My wife looked at me and said “WHAT??!?!“, which I answered “You think I ought to tell those folks they’re never going to get that car to start?“. She said I should, so I walked back over to offer some help. When I approached, all 3 of them were staring at the car, and I said “Looks like you’re having some car troubles” and one of he guys replied “It’ll start, just needs to charge up the battery a little bit more“. Then I replied “I’m a Dodge mechanic and I think your timing belt is broken“. This got the woman’s attention who said “You’re a mechanic?” just as one of the guys replied “How the hell do you know that??“. I told them that I heard them cranking the engine over and it did not sound correct. The guy was still stumped as to how I was able to diagnose this problem from just a sound, so I told him “Go ahead and remove the oil fill cap, see those parts inside?” I pointed to the 2nd guy who was standing near the driver’s door and said “You – turn it over“. When the engine spun over I said to the first guy “See the belts & pulleys moving? Do you see anything moving inside the engine? Nope. It’s a broken timing belt“. Instantly you could feel all 3 of them give a collective sigh of lost hope. I turned to the lady and said “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not getting out of here without a tow truck.” She asked how much this would cost and I said at the shop I worked at, it was probably about $225, but I’m on vacation, just passing by and I don’t know where the closest shop is. She thanked me for my time and the guys started to remove the jumper cables as I returned to my truck.

Back in 2009, when I was working for Alldata, I travelled with my boss to Bangalore India to meet with the business group that we were using to process automotive repair information data. One day my boss & I had a very fancy lunch with the head of their HR group, a very nice, laid back guy named Elango, who liked to wear jeans in the office. As we were eating and discussing data, he piped up and asked if I was a mechanic, because his car was making a weird noise that neither his driver nor his mechanic could figure out. I asked if the car was here and could we look at it after lunch. He said it was, so a little later the 3 of us went down to the parking garage to look at his very ordinary looking V6 Camry. He started it up and there was a very apparent grinding noise, so I told him to pop the hood. As soon as I lifted the hood up, the noise was very loud, so I’m thinking this ought to be an easy one to find, if only I had a mechanic’s stethoscope with me. I asked him if he had any tools in the car and he happened to find a long handled screwdriver. I used this to pinpoint the noise, which was coming from the alternator. I handed him the screwdriver and told him “Put one end on the alternator and the other end near your ear. Hear that? Now listen to something else, no noise.” He was amazed that I was able to find the noise so quickly and with only a screwdriver. A week after returning to California, my boss forwarded an email from the guy, who said his mechanic thinks I’m a wizard.

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What comes around, goes around

Planet Earth is round. Primitive man did not know this because he could not see the planet in it’s entirety, nor did he know of a way to calculate the planet’s size.

We know this *now* because we’ve explored the planet and we’ve traveled to space, gaining a complete view of the planet from a distance. We have learned math and can calculate the planet’s diameter with extreme precision. Hundreds of years ago, sailors noticed that a ship’s mast would come into view first; then more of the ship, as it sailed towards the viewpoint on land. Conversely, when the ship sailed away, the body of the ship would sink over the horizon until just the mast was visible, then even that would disappear over the horizon. The natural horizon for an average sized person is approximately 3 miles. On Earth, you can start traveling in a straight line in any one direction and approximately 25,000 miles later, you’d come back around to your starting point. (Granted there are a lot of obstacles in the way.) But even today, some people claim that the Earth is flat because they say you can’t see the arc of the planet. Obviously, if you get back far enough, the shape of the planet is quite plainly NOT flat.

"The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth, taken by the Apollo 17 mission. The Arabian peninsula, Africa and Madagascar lie in the upper half of the disc, whereas Antarctica is at the bottom.

Earth is just one planet in the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists estimate there to be 100 billion planets in our solar system. How many of them can support life? Surely there has to be more than just one (Earth), right? The Drake Equation says that there should be a small percentage of planets that can support life. Yet we seem to be alone.

How Many Habitable Planets are in the Milky Way Galaxy?

Other scientists, using the Hubble telescope, estimate there to be 100 billion galaxies in the entire universe. Trying to grasp the enormity of this is truly mind boggling.

Most people think that the universe simply goes on and on, for an infinity. Einstein’s theory of general relativity explains how space-time can be “bent” around a massive object that has a magnetic field (gravity).

Spacetime curvature schematic

But what if the universe is also round, just like a planet? What if space & time curve in a spherical arc, connecting one side to the other? If it is continuous in every direction, just like our planet, traveling in one direction would (eventually) bring you back around to your beginning point. How would you even measure that arc on such a grand scale? Stephen Hawkings described curved space in his description of “Imaginary Time“.

Scientists estimate the age of our planet to be 4.5 billion years old and they estimate the Milky Way galaxy to be 13.5 billion years old. It’s a safe assumption that some parts of the galaxy are older than other parts. The level of technology will vary with age, knowledge, and exploration.

As technology improves, newer technology is invented/discovered at an exponentially increasing rate; meaning the smarter we get, the faster we get smarter. Just look back at the previous 100 years and look how far technology has come in that time. Every advance in technology gives us a larger leap forward in overall knowledge and ability to learn.

So what if “advanced life forms” from another part of the galaxy have just a 1% head start on technology over what we (humans) have? That would mean their technology is 45 MILLION years ahead of ours. Maybe they do have the technology necessary to travel through space.

And maybe, they have finally learned to get along with other inhabitants of the galaxy.

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And the winner is….

Some folks (conspiracy theorists) say that covid-19 was invented in a science lab in China, as a way to bring America’s economy to a halt.

Other folks (Scientists) say that it’s a natural occurrence and we have to do everything to fight against it, to save mankind.

Either way, it’s plainly obvious that something is going on here, because life has drastically changed for all of us, and it doesn’t look like it’ll ever go back to what was “normal” before.

And Just Like That Meme |  AND JUST LIKE THAT; THE WALMART GESTAPO WENT FROM SCANNING YOUR RECEIPT FOR STOLEN ITEMS TO COUNTING HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE IN THE BUILDING AT ANY ONE TIME | image tagged in memes,and just like that | made w/ Imgflip meme maker

But here’s the real question – Is the virus winning? Hands down, this has changed the world in way that I have neve seen in my lifetime (55 years now). And if a virus is tougher than all of human technology, then quite frankly, we deserve to perish.

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Stacy’s Stick

Back in 2000, when I worked at Alldata, one of the guys I trained was named Stacy. He was a sharp student and a good worker, eventually moving up into a position where he was training new employees. Ah, the young grasshopper has surpassed the master.

I left that job in 2001 but through an odd turn of events, I went back to work there in 2006; and Stacy was my “trainer”. He used a long, white stick to point at the computer screen, so he didn’t have to sit in your lap. It only took a week for me to prove that I was still more than proficient at using the proprietary tools & programs that the company used.

Soon after settling back into my work routine, I looked to find interesting ways to entertain (READ: prank) Stacy. I got the idea of taking pictures of his stick in other locations, similar to Elf on a Shelf, Where’s Waldo, or other photography games. Several of my co-workers got in on the idea, so we would borrow the stick, mostly for a weekend, and send it away. One of my co-workers took the stick to Hawaii and it was swept out to sea, so we had to replace the stick with a “stunt double”. Eventually other departments in the company got involved and the pictures were flowing in. It seemed everyone in the company was in on the joke; everyone except Stacy.

We had secured the main web site URL as well as a Facebook page and a MySpace page. It was getting tough to keep my laughter under control when I talked to Stacy at work.

And then came the moment of truth. I had made a “ransom note” and one Monday morning, Stacy found the stick was gone and this note was on his desk:

Stacy went to the web site as instructed and found an alternate reality that his stick had been living, without him. The page was complete with numerous photos from all over the world. At the time, Jack in the Box restaurants had several different “antenna toppers”, so many times the stick had a topper as a decoration. It even had it’s own font and a sponsors page!

Golfing in Arizona

Sacramento Black & White Ball

Disney Land

Great America Park

Halloween party

Hawaii vacation

Bangalore, India

Morro Bay, California

NUMMI Plant, California

Hooters

Nut Tree

Pismo Beach

Raiders football game

Reno Air Races

Reno balloon races

Santa Barbara, California

SEMA Show

Winchester House of Mystery

Xmas party

Sponsors

Unfortunately, all good thing must come to an end….

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Most (?) lives matter

Some people say “Black lives matter”, others say “Blue lives matter”, while another group says “ALL lives matter”. Believe it or not, there is no single perfect answer.

Let’s get down to the bottom line here, and see exactly who does (or doesn’t) matter.

As a humanist, I do believe that all people begin life with an equal footing. Truthfully, it’s a terrible beginning, with the infant needing help just to make it through the first day and it doesn’t get much better for years to come. Thankfully parents are there to raise and nurture the baby into a happy, useful, productive member of society; at least we all hope that’s what happens. Terrible parents do exist and quite possibly the rest of us could do without them muddying up the social mix, so we could easily pencil them off the list. And what about the non-conformist children that might exist only because of those terrible parents? Even Santa has his “naughty list” to keep them in line. But that’s another tangent discussion in itself.

Yes, all lives do matter in the beginning. Then people change, either through their own choices in life, or their lives are changed for them by other people. And that’s where the value of one’s life can diminish. If you’re not adding to society, then you’re only taking from it, right? Once you start picking & choosing who is not adding to society, you fall down a “slippery slope”, trying to find where to draw the line.

So who doesn’t matter? On social media, I saw an answer posted that simply said “Pedophiles”; and quite frankly, I agree. It’s an easy choice to make, but don’t assume that means they would be killed off. I’m not a murderer, but if they disappeared off the face of the planet, then so be it; no real loss for humanity because they don’t matter. While we’re at it, don’t forget that some priests have been having sex with underage children, so they don’t matter. And the people who covered all this up for many years, they don’t matter either – Fuck ’em! (pun intended).

How about other criminals? Mass murderers go on that list, with no hesitation. Hell, any person who commits even a single murder can be included; after all, we don’t need killers in our all-loving, all-inclusive world. What about someone who killed another person through their own negligence? Drive under the influence of alcohol and get in an accident that kills the other driver…. we can probably do without you as well. What if you’re the sober driver and the person killed in the accident was the drunk; what then? What if you’re a politician and simply walked away from the scene of an accident, not knowing if your passenger was alive or dead; and failed to report the accident to the police? Surely we can do without that guy, right?

While we’re on the subject of criminals, how about rapists? Of course they don’t matter! Anyone that sexually assaults another person can GTFO! But what if it’s just guys having some locker room talk or maybe that’s how you see the act of “courtship” in this modern world? Lots of people are morally depraved, but they still matter…. or do they?

Let’s switch gears for a moment, and discuss our financial world. Do grifters matter? You know, those people who steal money from folks that can least afford it? Nobody likes a pick-pocket, but it’s the white collar criminal that we ought to be focusing our attention on, simply because of the amount of financial damage he can inflict. How about a CEO that gets a huge bonus just before laying off his entire staff? He’s a horrible person and we don’t need him screwing things up for the rest of us. Then there’s bankers and finance people who specifically prey on certain people through their use of “predatory lending practices”. These methods only benefit themselves and the world can do without those folks. How about slumlords who get rich providing crappy housing? Do they count?

What about people that just don’t “conform”? People who don’t use their turn signals and/or clog up the fast lane on the freeway. They are obviously adding to the traffic problem and the world beyond your front bumper would benefit if they were gone. Right? Right??

What about advertisers and marketing? The late, great comedian Bill Hicks used to rail hard and heavy against this group and for good reason – you’re putting a dollar sign on *EVERYthing* and THAT keeps people financially enslaved.

The list of who matters or doesn’t matter is long and varied and I’m sure there are as many reasons to add someone to the list as there are reasons not to. It all depends on your viewpoint and what you consider to be acceptable “situational ethics”. We all need to stop and re-examine our entire world, because quite frankly, a lot of folks have it wrong.

In the end , the planet will continue to survive long after we (humans) are finished arguing over history and have long since disappeared.

Why? Because to mother Earth, no lives matter.

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