Sunday, June 26, 2016

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

What will be the final outcome of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union? 

Will the petition for a second referendum on remaining or leaving the EU prevail? 

Will Scotland and/or Ireland withdraw from the UK to join the EU?

Will other countries leave the EU, too?

What will be the effect on European unity? 

These are the kind of times when individuals and groups that no majority in a country wants to assume power manage to slip in -- sometimes stealing a nation's government right out from under them.    When it's too late citizens wonder how this could be allowed to happen, but it occurred in Europe beginning in the 1920's/1930s.    This could occur in the United States -- make no mistake -- if we aren't vigilant.   We should be concerned.  Prevention of such an evolution is the answer!

Consider this, too, staunch conservative commentator and columnist George Will is reported by news media to have stated he is leaving the Republican Party and is urging others to do the same.  Better late than never --  as I believe the handwriting on this wall has been present for many years when we consider how this party has performed in our legislature with little done to correct their ineffectual governing and numerous legislators poor job performance.  Voters failed to throw them out.

Think about this too ........

Billionaires Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch met in Scotland I noticed -- just to socialize?

Remember what transpired in Great Britain with Rupert Murdoch's foray into media ownership there -- employee's activities -- accusations of questionable governmental political relationships?

The U.S. has the distinction of Mr. Murdoch having become a citizen, being allowed to acquire the right to use our airwaves, then, by some analysts criteria, lowering factual news broadcasting standards on the network his company owns.      

He purchased the Wall Street Journal....has reportedly been dedicated to preserving newspapers though his publishing history in his home country of Australia and what occurred in Great Britain caused many concern over the quality of his publications.

Huffington Post's Michael Levin interviewing author Sarah Ellison in 2015 regarding the WSJ -- "The editorial page has stayed true to itself..." which some had been concerned might not occur.  There were ongoing legal matters in Great Britain at the takeover time which some reportedly thought might have taken precedence on his time.

Former WSJ employee Ms Ellison further observed:
" It [WSJ] used to be a watchdog on the corporate world, on American business"...now "...much more interested in the geopolitical landscape and finance."
 
" It’s tilted rightward politically."   Previously the WSJ was thought by many to lean to the left.

USA Today June 2015 article describing what Mr. Murdoch owns "....Everything".  I strongly recommend you read this article listing that includes the broadcast media he owns.  

I wonder if Mr. Murdoch will provide Mr. Trump financial backing and/or what else for future campaigning? 

Would Mr. Murdoch want anything in return for his support of Mr. Trump?

Billionaires in charge will certainly have the average citizen's best interests at heart -- or will they???

Is my concern premature?  It is just conjecture presently, or maybe even unjustified?   

Pay attention to what transpires with politicians and their supporters in the U.S. as we  move toward and through the July political party presidential nominating conventions.

I think there will be little doubt after the conventions who the candidate is -- that I haven't even named here -- who we'll need to support to keep our nation stable at home and in the world.

We, the people, can make a difference to preserve this nation and move progressively forward into the future.  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

HEAT WAVE, FIRES IN SO CAL



We're having a heat wave...temperature was 107 degrees here in Claremont Monday – 122 record-setting degrees in Palm Springs, California -- an hour auto drive east.   The highest temperatures I recall experiencing were 115-116 a couple days years ago in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Hot days like even the lower temperatures we're having now generally didn't occur until three or four weeks later in the year if we had them at all.    Do you suppose this might be one more indicator of global warming and/or climate change?  Is there any question!

Fires we don’t usually experience until fall started, also, yesterday – in communities west of where I live – ground growth, shrubs and trees are a tinderbox due to our drought.  The cause is thought to be due to a car crash which led to a second fire with both continuing to spread closer together for a massive out-of-control burn. 

Driving on an afternoon errand I could see the blue sky was being swallowed by the darkening reddish brown smoky clouds moving toward our city which they had reached by the time I arrived home.  We're not threatened by fire but the air pollution is unhealthy so I'll be staying indoors.

Cities west, Asuza and Duarte (home of City of Hope Medical Center but not reported as threatened) are the communities whose foothill residences edge into the mountainsides burning.   Evacuations of people, animals...firefighters on the ground...helicopter water drops...planes spreading fire retardants.  Wild animals, including bears, deer, smaller creatures... leaving the forests...fleeing to neighborhoods.  So far no homes lost.  Concern the wind velocity might increase or direction might change through the night.   

The electric power grid has been down in some other Los Angeles County areas.  One area's residents are reported to be enraged to be without power due to a "planned outage" on this record-setting predicted hottest day.  Some resident's complain they didn't even get an advance notice others report having been given.  I can identify with their protests as the same failure to notify me has happened twice in recent years.  I understand needed preventative work, but doing so on this specific day doesn't make sense?

Other southwestern states are being clobbered by similar drought effects.  This is what we experience plus our earthquakes much as other states are primarily subjected to tornadoes, massive flooding, hurricanes, winter’s freezing snows.  


Ella Fitzgerald is one of my favorite jazz female vocalists who recorded this Irving Berlin song with Enoch Light’s arrangement in 1958.   This song was introduced in the 1933 musical show As Thousands Cheer by Ethel Waters – the song subsequently was featured in several movies and recorded by numerous singers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

TRAGEDY, OTHER GENERAL MATTERS



TRAGEDY IN FLORIDA shocks my sensibility!   No!  No!  Not again!    Yet, I know other horrendous acts have occurred before on our U.S. soil, though not quite of this magnitude.     I want to rant and rail at the injustice but know others who may read this have also felt the same emotions, thought the same words which I would only be echoing.   I join the multitudes across the nation and the world sympathizing those who've experienced loss, sending well wishes for those physically injured and the survivors -- so many families and friends impacted.  
*                                    *                                          *                                  


CALIFORNIA WRAP-UP of 2016 Presidential Primary Election with Democratic Hilliary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump the top vote-getters.     Our state had less than 50% of registered voters participating – more than our last election, but not as much participation as in 2008.  

One proposition that passed may have attracted voters -- allows California state legislators to be suspended without pay for corruption.  This came about when three state legislators who had been suspended were discovered to still be legally collecting their salaries.   

What will it take to motivate participation of more voters in November?

EARTHQUAKE 5.2 STRENGTH shook my chair in the wee hours one morning last week, but was mild in comparison to others I’ve felt in years past.    The predicted "Big One" is yet to come at some unknown time.  

LA NINA is expected to follow our El Nino winter which disappointingly brought little rain to Southern California.  Typically La Nina follows which means a dry hot period which we may experience for another 3 or 4 years. 

ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAM results determined I'm still alive.  Basically I'm fine except for what's wrong with me -- but that's been true most of my life.

INTERNET CONNECTION has been inconsistent.   Frontier purchased the wired portion of services which includes those I use from Verizon a few months ago and possibly some of the problems that came with it.   Hopefully the technical people will remedy this frustrating situation.   





Saturday, June 04, 2016

"RIGGED" PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATING SYSTEM?



We hear a lot of accusations from some of our current presidential candidates and others about our “rigged” political party presidential nominating system.   Are the systems rigged?

Those of you in other states might want to examine how effectively your state political party nominating system works.      

Here’s a look at how California’s system works with links to sources:

(Note:  forms and most time deadline information that must be submitted I have omitted in this abbreviated recap.  Only the two major political party systems are shown here in alphabetical listing.)

In order to be a California delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention  you must be a registered Democrat and be selected as one of three types of delegates:  
District-Level, At-Large or PLEO.

July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania California’s Delegation to the 2016 Democratic National Convention 

Delegates:   317    Alternates:     30
At-Large Delegates:  105      Alternates    10
PLEO Delegates:         53      Unpledged Delegates:  71
Total Number of Delegates: 546    Alternates:  40                   

District-Level: Each of California’s 53 congressional districts (CDs) are allocated a number of district level delegates and alternates, based upon population and presidential voting from the 2008 & 2012 elections. Potential candidates for district level delegates must pledge their support during the filing period to a presidential candidate, Caucuses will be held in each CD where Democrats registered in the CD will be able to vote to slate delegates. Presidential vote levels per CD in the primary will determine which district level delegates are selected, based on the caucus rankings. 

At-Large: At-large delegates are selected from a statewide pool and offer another way for Democrats to participate in the national convention. Potential candidates for at-large delegate must pledge their support to a presidential candidate, within the filing period. Selection of at-large delegates will be confirmed at the Statewide Delegation Meeting. 

PLEO:  Party Leaders and Elected Official (PLEO) are Democrats from one of the following categories: big-city mayors and statewide elected officials; state legislative leaders and state legislators; other state county and local elected officials; California Democratic Party leaders. PLEO candidates must pledge their support to a presidential candidate, during the filing period.  Selection of PLEO delegates will be confirmed at the Statewide Delegation Meeting.

Here’s a link to the Democratic delegate selection plan for more detail.  

The Democratic presidential candidate must win a majority of votes from the estimated 4765 delegates which would be one more than half -- 2383.  

* * * * * 
July 18-21, 2016 Republican Party Delegates to 2016 Presidential Convention

National California Delegation      Total: 341
172 delegates
-- 159 (3 delegates per Congressional District)
--   10 delegates at large
--     3 pre-determined (State Chair, National Committeewoman, National     Committeeman)

169 alternates
--159 (3 delegates per Congressional District)
--  10 delegates at large 

Who chooses the delegates?   Delegates are chosen by the Presidential candidates, NOT by the CRP or the RNC.
Do I need to select a candidate to support when I apply? Yes. By selecting the candidate you support we are able to provide those same candidates with a comprehensive list of delegate candidates
How does the winner-take-all primary work?  California’s primary is a winner-take-all system by Congressional District. The Presidential candidate who wins any given Congressional District will receive all 3 delegate appointments for that district. In addition, 10 at large delegates are awarded to the presidential candidate receiving the largest number of votes statewide.
I’m a delegate to the California Republican Party does that mean I’m part of the California Delegation?  No. The delegates to the Republican National Convention are chosen by the Presidential candidates and are not in any way related to your status as a member or delegate to the California Republican Party.
What are the requirements for being a delegate?  You must be a registered Republican and a resident of the Congressional District you are representing. You must attend the Delegation Meeting. You must commit to vote for the presidential candidate by whom you are selected.
If I am a delegate to the California Republican Party can I be a delegate to the Republican National Convention?  No. The delegates to the Republican National Convention are chosen by the Presidential candidates and are not in any way related to your status as a member or delegate to the California Republican Party.

Essentially, to win the Republican nomination, a candidate must secure the support of 1,237 (half plus one) of the 2,472 expected delegates that will be present at the Republican National Convention (RNC).  

The allocation of delegates for each state and territory has been determined in advance according to Rule 14 of the rules for the election and government of the Republican National Committee. The major points of the rules are as follows:
(i)Each state is allocated ten delegates at large
(ii) The chairman, national committeeman and national committeewoman of every state and territory’s Republican Party is a delegate at large
(iii) The total number of U.S. House of Representatives seat in each state x 3 district delegates
(iv) States that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 are awarded 4.5 delegates at large plus additional delegates amounting to 60% of the number of electoral votes of each respective state. For D.C., an additional 30% instead of 60%, if qualified (all rounded up higher)
(v) Fixed number of additional delegates at large for each territory and D.C. (6 x American Samoa, 16 x District of Columbia, 6 x Guam, 6 x Northern Mariana Islands,20 x Puerto Rico, and 6 x Virgin Islands)
(vi) One delegate at large each for states with a Republican governor and for states which has a majority in its respective state legislature and Senate.
(vii) One delegate at large for states with an elected Senator for the U.S. Senate state within six years prior to January 1, 2016
* * *
Here's a link at This Nation.com to a site providing their summary of the processes described above.
* * *

Should your state political party consider a change in this presidential primary voting process for future elections?   If you think so, I suggest you start working now beginning at your local level to make any changes for future elections as it's too late for this 2016 presidential primary election.  

* * *
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 -- California Presidential Primary Election
Currently the top two Democratic party candidates, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are reported to be tied in the latest primary polls.

Donald Trump is reported to be the presumptive Republican party nominee.















Wednesday, June 01, 2016

TEMPERATURES RISING IN CALIFORNIA

Temperature is climbing here in Southern California in more ways than one as we near the June 7th 2016 presidential primary voting day.

Daily News reports some citizens have already cast their ballots in selected early voting -- "a relative tsunami" -- almost five times the number in 2012 -- as the Los Angeles Country Registrar's Office announces a total of 57 people voting on the first day of early voting.   11 Kiosks are expected to be scattered about the county for early voters.   Ballots for voting-by-mail continue to be distributed, completed and mailed-in. 
This is just my county (population estimate July 2015 --10,170,292) and there are 58 counties in California.


Still no rain in our area.   We're greatly relieved though ... news accounts on Huff Post Green report The Donald has acquired a full grasp of our drought situation and is quoted as saying, "There is no drought!"   Climate change likely doesn't exist either.   Now my dilemma -- what do I believe?    My lying senses, perceptions and real life experience, science, or what my wanna-be esteemed leader tells me?  His outlined energy policy plan depends heavily on reducing environmental regulations and expanding U.S. fossil fuel exploration.  All of that does little to increase the amount of rain falling from the sky, but what do I know -- I hear his voice now:  "Let there be water!"   His followers echo:  "Amen!"

"Hillary Clinton says she has been following California's water issues from "afar" and as president would be open to having the federal government involved in long term solutions to benefit cities and agriculture."  She "... declined to specifically address ... water deliveries to the southern part of the state"...."I  am going to support, as strongly as I can, a process of Californians to reach the kind of conclusions and there is a role for the federal government to expedite that, to support that, I certainly will be open to it," Clinton said.  There is little doubt she recognizes climate change.  This was an interview by  Conan Nolan, NBC News.

Bernie Sanders is quoted in The Tribune as saying, "...the federal government could help Californians manage the drought by pushing for “sensible water conservation practices” and helping in any way possible. Drought is a byproduct of global warming, Sanders said, so the most important way the federal government can address the problem is by being “aggressive” in phasing out fossil fuels and pushing for alternative energy sources.

"We have got to acknowledge that climate change is already doing devastating problems in this country and around the world,” he said. “You’re already on the cutting edge of that. Some parts of this country don’t perceive that.”

This is just one issue of special interest to Californians and other states affected by drought.  Of course, the whole nation is affected by our drought as described in this Climate Progress article "California's Drought Could Upend America's Entire Food System" by Natasha Geiling.

There are no easy answers.   I want my next President to be a person who understands that and is best able to facilitate a sane, sensible, environmentally sound resolution.  



 





Sunday, May 29, 2016

REMEMBERING...ALWAYS

NEVER FORGET.....



U.S. Navy



(Regrettably Comment Moderation has needed to be added.)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

SO CAL DRY - HOT AIR - NASA's ET 94 ENDEAVOUR

----El Nino has been pretty much a bust where I live in Southern California.  We've  received very little rain despite the weather expectations.   All we have is the rest of Grey May, then June Gloom to anticipate as the clouds overhead, though sometimes dark, float past to release any moisture in downpours elsewhere -- sometimes threatening flooding and/or mudslides. 

We can be grateful Northern California mountains did build up a snow pack almost normal for the season, but they'll need the same or more each year to come.  At least this year there will be snow to melt providing some portion of our Southern California usual water allocation.  Our city residents continue to convert landscapes to sustainable vegetation -- most of us voluntarily using water with care.  Meanwhile our city's legal efforts to acquire our water rights continue despite the company's unwillingness to sell them back to us.

----The political candidate onslaught has begun.  They've all previously been in Southern California numerous times in recent months and weeks, but now comes the big push.

Early afternoon I noticed two young men carrying clipboards coming through the neighborhood, but they turned away from my door when I directed their attention to my window sticker "No Solicitations - No Knock Registry" sign.  Now I wonder if they were soliciting for business, if they were promoting a candidate or if maybe they were after signatures on another of many circulating petitions.

----Later I tuned in to early afternoon TV news to learn Bill Clinton was expected in about fifteen minutes at a nearby community high school in Pomona as he campaigns for wife Hillary.  

----Heading south from here on one of our freeways into Orange County (known conservative stronghold ala Big John Wayne country) in the next few days Bernie Sanders (he's been in San Diego) will speak in Irvine at an outdoor amphitheater where I've enjoyed listening to the Pacific Symphony Orchestra concerts.

----Another day Donald Trump will be expressing himself in nearby Anaheim, also home to Goofy at Disneyland.

----A week or so ago Madeleine Albright was a speaker at one of our Claremont Colleges - Scripps - where she encountered protests to her appearance by some drowning out her voice.  Her months earlier comments calling for women to vote based on gender caused Scripps women students, especially, to let her know their adverse reaction.  There was some concern after a while that she wasn't being given an opportunity to be heard. 

I expect some individuals, both men and women, may gender vote, but I think most of us are wise enough to also consider additional more significant criteria.  I find it troublesome that there seems to be an increasing intolerance by many for listening to the views of those who differ from their own.

----ET 94 - external fuel tank -- is being united with NASA's Endeavour space shuttle at Los Angeles California Science Center Exposition Park.   Here's the tank arriving in L.A. after a trip through the Panama Canal from New Orleans:



Fuel tanks for all other shuttles launched disintegrated after being jettisoned.  Never launched, this tank is the only one remaining intact in the world.   This orange monster is reported to be fourteen stories high when in vertical position for take-off with the shuttle.  Today in horizontal position the tubular-looking tank was transported through streets where some light poles had to be temporarily taken down, though no trees trimmed as needed for the shuttle for safe passage.  Turning corners was a challenging maneuver, but despite the slow speed the tank arrived safely at the Science Center earlier than expected.



Shuttle Endeavour took a spectacular flight over L.A. in 2012 when it arrived in Los Angeles.  The flight flew over many special areas including east toward where I live, but here's one view over the famed Hollywood sign:

.

A spectator filled trip followed with transportation through the streets where it now rests at the Science Center as can be seen in this Los Angeles time lapse YouTube video:.



Recent years have seen other not just large but humongous objects being propelled through L.A. streets as I wrote about several years ago here in The Giant Megalith. 

Only auto motorcades on the streets are in our future as best we know now in Southern California  -- at least until our June 7th Presidential primary election.   A couple candidates, at least, will return later to raise money.   Then, we'll also see how important our state's voters are considered to be after the July Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Update:
This is a spectacular visual of Endeavour, the Los Angeles surrounding area, pilot audio noting points of interest, occasional radio chatter with control tower.  A special thrill for small plane enthusiasts though this is no small plane.









   

Sunday, May 08, 2016

MOTHER, EDUCATION, VOTING



Periodically I've been writing personal memories for my family so thought I’d share one commemorating my mother.  

Mother was born in nineteenth century United States to educated conservative but progressive farm parents as our agrarian society was becoming industrialized.   We had entered the twentieth century by the time Mother completed the 8th grade of school.   The Great Lakes State where she lived required those students wanting to attend high school must first pass a specially designed competency test referred to as “the Boxwell exam.”    
  
Mother’s parents encouraged their children who were so inclined to attend high school.   She passed the Boxwell, went off to a town the long-horse-and-buggy days-distance-away from her home to live weekdays with a family in the town where the high school was located.  In return for that family providing her board and room where she stayed while attending classes, she performed housekeeping duties in their home, plus her father paid them a small sum.    

Interestingly, I was able to locate the Boxwell exam's questions in the Ohio State University Library archives.     Here are a few questions with one I chose from each discipline an eighth grader was expected to have mastered.   The student was offered ten question choices in each discipline from which they had to select nine to answer.  
There were no yes/no or multiple choice questions as in many of today’s tests, often recorded on Scantron forms. 

Grammar and Composition:     
Analyze or diagram the following:  Captain Nathan Hale, a brilliant and handsome young man came forward and said, “I wiLL undertake it.”  His Last words were, “I regret that I have but one Life to Lose for my country.”

Orthography: 
7,8,9,10. Spell as the examiner pronounces: Aviator, vigil, Brazil, courtesy, tapestry, grieve, candor, reverie, Japanese, merino, sterile, dissent, refrigerate, justice, suffrage, peppermint.
Geography:
Write a short composition upon any of the following topics: "Raising Corn," "The Amazon Valley," "The Reciprocity Trade of the United States With Canada," “The Panama Canal" or "Our National Congress and Its Work of the Last Year."
Writing:
Write a short selection of poetry or prose from memory as a sample of your penmanship.
Reading:
Read for the examiners. (65%)
Arithmetic:
If ten men can dig a ditch 3.6 rods long, 2 feet deep in 8 days of 9 hours each, in how many days can twelve men dig a ditch 49 rods long and 3 feet deep if the days are only 8 hours long?
United States History including Civil Government:
What is a protective tariff? What is a tariff for revenue? What do you understand by the conservation of our natural resources?
Physiology:
Name the three divisions of the brain, and state the work of each division.                                                                                                                       

Click Boxwell's for a link to more details and questions if you're interested.    
 

Mother spoke of having to memorize all 88 Ohio counties; learning Latin to better understand the roots or relationships to some of our English words, especially scientific and legal ones, but these may have been high school studies.       

Following high school graduation Mother attended Kent Normal School (Kent State University now).  She became a teacher after completing the then required two year program for certification.  Subsequently she taught in a one room school house in her northern Ohio home community.   The experience of teaching all age students through eighth grade together in one room was the practice of the day.

1920 was the first year in which women could vote in the United States following passage of the 19th Amendment to our Constitution.   My mother became 21 that year, enthusiastically voting in that Presidential election.   She continued to proudly vote in all elections at every level throughout her life.    She cherished educated voting as a hard won right and a citizen's responsibility for living in this free nation.  

After meeting and ultimately marrying my father, they moved to a different area of the State where their family began.   Consequently, her life took quite a different path from that in education due to a variety of reasons, including the later development of unexpected health issues. 
 
Each year that I become older and closer to her age when she departed this earth, I increasingly think of matters I would so enjoy discussing with her now.   This year’s election is one such topic, especially when I read this description of issues in that first 1920’s election in which she voted.  

American Leaders Speak…    “…politicians were arguing…Overseas there were wars and revolutions; at home there were strikes, riots and a growing fear of radicals and terrorists. Disillusionment was in the air…The debate between the nationalistic activism…and the global idealism…”. 

My mother had a very positive outlook on life as she adapted to changing times and circumstances.     She was loving and supportive of our family throughout my life as only a mother can be.