There Will NEVER Be a Water War In America

There is a lot of talk in the media these days about water and how lack of fresh water is going to start the next World War and all kinds of stuff like that. A recent video put out by CBC was done up to try and imagine how this type of thing could play out “if things got bad”.

Let’s set the record straight. This is a bunch of fear-mongering nonsense.

I mean, I can’t speak for the rest of the world, but in the United States and Canada…it will NEVER be a crisis issue. And by “crisis” I mean something that will cause people to take up arms and fight risking life and limb because that risk is better than what will happen if such drastic action is NOT taken. You know…life-and-death crisis. Worthy-of-shooting-people over crisis.

Consider this….

Niagra By the Numbers

Lake Superior alone has 2,903 cubic MILES of water. That’s 427,315,654,650,000 cubic FEET. Niagra Falls, at peek season has 225,000 cubic feet of water pouring over it every SECOND. That means that if ALL the water going into Lake Superior stopped showing up (no streams/rivers running in, no rain)…it would take 60 YEARS for Niagra Falls to drain just that lake alone pushing 225,000 cubic feet of water. Just Lake Superior. There’s Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario too!

There is currently a system of pipes that transports oil all over the United States. If a REAL water crisis loomed on the horizon, we would build another set of pipes connecting the Great Lakes to the rest of the nation. Pretty simple.

But what if the nation drank up all the water in the Great Lakes? What THEN?

We would never come CLOSE to using that much water. The entire United States uses 397,000 acre-feet of water per year. That’s 17,293,320,249 cubic FEET. If Niagra Falls is putting 225,000 cubic feet over the edge every second, then that means that it would take just 1,281 minutes for the amount of water the entire nation guzzles down (for personal consumption, agriculture…all of it) over the course of a full year to pass over the falls. Just 21 hours. Not even a full day’s ration for Niagra.

Other than evaporation, Niagra Falls is THE drain for the Great Lakes. All the water coming out of the system and going to the ocean goes over those falls. The Great Leaks remain relatively level, so that means that the same amount of water flowing over the Falls per day is the same amount SHOWING UP each day from rivers/streams and rain.

What this means is that Niagra Falls pushes more water from the Great Lakes in one DAY than the entire population of the United States uses in a year. It also means that the same amount of water is being REPLACED in the Great Lakes each day. Because the Lakes are Level.

Bottom line? Michigan could water the entire nation and it wouldn’t make a dent of a difference in the Great Lakes ecosystem. The amount of water showing up at Niagra each day is based on the amount of water pressure there is in the system. If there is more water in The Lakes then more water spills over the falls each second because the back-pressure from the system is moving more water toward the falls. If we tapped the system and drew down 397,000 cubic acres of water per year for distribution, then that means that (essentially) the Falls would spill 1/360th LESS water than they do now. That’s it. Nothing more. The levels in the Lakes wouldn’t change a bit. They would change more from an extra supply or a lack of supply of rainfall than anything else.

Now you may say, “That’s nice for us here in America Brian…but what about the REST of the world?”

Technology Is Coming

The world has more water than you can shake a stick at. The only problem is that it’s saturated with salt. We are now building monster desalination plants in California. More of those plants can be built around the world. As we build more of them we’ll get better at it. They’ll become more efficient and we’ll become more efficient at building them. The only problem with this really is…


It is an energy-intensive (i.e. expensive) process to push salt water though a multi-stage filtration process. But what if we could get energy very VERY cheaply? So cheap that it’s essentially one step above free for all intents and purposes?

Well that’s where we are headed. There is only ONE long-term energy solution to the world’s energy needs. Fusion Power. Clean and limitless, we’re already well along the path to cracking the code on this. In the meantime, we SHOULD be building clean, safe, next-gen nuclear plants powered by Thorium to do the same thing. Energy wouldn’t be next-to-free…but it would be cheaper. And there is an unlimited supply and it wouldn’t boost greenhouse gas emissions.

As soon as we perfect nuclear power it becomes reasonable to build as many salt water desalination plants as necessary. Hook them up to the nuclear energy, and push that water through the filters to make as much fresh water as we want.

The linch-pin is the energy. Perfect nuclear power and we automatically have THE necessary thing that allows us to solve a majority of these environmental problems. Whether we get there soon or not though, rest assured that there will be no “Water Wars”.

Bernie Sanders Has At Least ONE Good Idea

A few people who I respect on Facebook have recently pointed out what is described as the “Putin Worship Phenomenon” that’s seemed to have taken hold in right-leaning people who use social media. Specifically, it’s memes and shared stories that contrast Putin as a strong leader in contrast to Obama as a weak one.

I think of this as a little crazy. Putin wants to be King of Russia. The new Czar. His Imperial Majesty For Life.

He’s kind of a nutter.

And in my book – nutters should’t have even the slightest amount of control over nuclear weapons.

Putin seems to be to be slightly crazy. Documentaries show him, his administration, and the entire government system under his tenure as having descended into corruption. I might be wrong. Maybe he’s a rock star and I just don’t see the whole picture. But I don’t think so.

The invasion of Crimea and Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict makes me think that this guy is itching to show Russia as a strong military power. That kind of thing can cause something bad to happen. Especially when you have russian missile cruisers and submarines in the same military staging areas as the forces of the United States happen to be in. As must be the case with the whole Syria debacle.

I really really REALLY do not want there to be a nuclear war. The whole mutually assured destruction thing seems like a safeguard…but it’s not a safeguard against a crazy person. I can see Putin being the kind of person who would use a nuke just to see if anyone would call him out on it. If nobody did – if nobody nuked him back because they just wanted his first mushroom cloud to be the LAST mushroom cloud – well it would go along way in gaining this global military respect that he seems to be after.

Hey Russia! Look at that. I nuke people and nobody stands against me. I told you I was stronger, that WE are stronger than anyone ever gave us credit for!

I can see that type of thing happening. Or him trying to achieve it and then someone else DOES shoot back. Then the world is a nuclear wasteland for 10,000 years and I can’t go fishing anymore.

What does all this have to do with Bernie Sanders?

Well this guy came up with a good idea on this back in the day. Apparently he said:

“A handful of people in this country are making decisions, whipping up Cold War hysteria, making us hate the Russians. We’re spending billions on military. Why can’t we take some of that money to pay for thousands of U.S. children to go to the Soviet Union?” Sanders asked, adding, “And, why can’t the Soviets take money they’re spending on arms and use it to send thousands of Russian children to America? We’ve got to start breaking down the walls of nationalism. We’ve got to get people to know one another.”

This is not a bad idea. Or at least a version of it.

Back in the day monarchies would build alliances with both friends and foes via marraige. The general idea being that if you married your daughter off to the son of your enemy, maybe you’d both be loath to attack each other as your own grandchildren would be at risk.

Well what if tons of the wealthiest kids in both Russian and the United States were consistently found studying within the other nation? Do you think that if the power broker’s children were likely to get turned to ash in the first salvo of nuclear strikes that everyone would be even MORE inclined to NOT to push the launch button?

I do.

Oil Prices and the Economy Make No Sense

I remember back in 2008 when the housing market, stock market, jobs market, and everything else started circling the drain – I remember oil prices being high. Over $4.00 p/gallon for regular unleaded gas during the summer. Every time I went to the pump my heart would squeeze seeing the final bill if I would dare fill the car up. In fact, for a number of years I would NEVER fill the car up. I would only put $25 in at a time. Which I knew was silly at the time as I wasn’t going to be driving any LESS…but I just couldn’t stand the $68 and $75 bills for filling up at one time.

Now as things got bad and everyone was losing their jobs, the high oil prices were being called out as making things worse. The economy was bad but the truckers had to pay crazy high fuel prices to get goods from one place to another – which made a difficult situation more difficult. People out of work needed to pay high gas prices to drive around looking for work – which made a difficult situation more difficult. That kind of thing.

The talk at the time was that China and India were charging forward into the future and their economies were growing and they needed to gobble up energy to produce all the goods they were shipping all over the world. Nice.

But what’s going on now then?

Oil prices are down, down, down. You’d think that low energy prices would STIMULATE the global economy. Instead news agencies are reporting that China’s stock market tumble is tied the fall in oil prices.

Now wait a minute.

When oil prices go up to record highs it hurts the global economy. When oil prices fall to record lows it hurts the global economy too?

I think someone is playing a trick on us. That’s what I think.

Never Again Is a Terrible Feeling

Life changes. Get over it. That’s the type of thing the “man” in me says whenever I think about things that are on the sad side of life. I don’t think that’s a very honest way to go about living though. It seems evasive. It also seems like a way to try and re-cast the truth of your own life in such a way that the downside is minimized. In essence, it’s a way to make your own life fake in your own mind.

So while I don’t think that dwelling on the past is either healthy or a good idea if you want to forge a better future for you and yours…I don’t think it’s a bad idea to work through the things that are not-so-sunny either.

Never Again Land

In that classic tale, Peter Pan takes Wendy, Michael, and John on a grand adventure to Neverland. Obviously, Neverland is imaginary but there is another similar place that is very much real. At least for me. I call it Never Again Land.

If you think about it, there are place you’ve been in your life where you’ll never end up spending time ever again. As long as you don’t think about that little fact, you tend to not care. When you DO face it though, it’s really quite stark.

Goodbye North Carolina

So shortly after my wife and I got married back in 2002 my in-laws built a nice home in the western mountains of North Carolina, right where the state butts up against Georgia. We went down there many times to visit – sometimes for as much as 2 weeks at time.

We’ve built many memories there. From going to the little country town, to visitng their local library and used book store, to the kids playground that we always stopped in at, Goats On the Roof, visiting Brasstown Bald, to the Georgia Mountain Fair that we were able to attend three times over the course of the 12+ years of visits.

Tons of memories were made. But the last one to be made HAS been made.

My father-in-law passed away in September. My wife’s mother already did an estate sale, cleaned out the house, put it up for sale, and moved back up to Michigan. Any closing paperwork will be done by FedEx. So nobody is going back down there. Pretty much ever again.

A chapter of our lives is closed for good. It’s really heart-rending.

Now it’s time to make some changes. To build some new memories in new places and give THOSE places significance too. I plan on doing that through hunting and fishing. Right here in Michigan.

It’s time to get a piece of hunting land in Jackson County and put a hunting cabin on it. It’s time to get a bass boat that I can use up and down the Detroit River in the early spring when the big walleye run is on and then tow over to the inland lakes for serious bass fishing during the summer. It’s time to learn how to fly fish for trout on the Au Sable River and for steelhead on the Muskegon River.

It’s time to make it happen – and what better place than here? In Michigan. The Land of the Hand. The Great Lakes State. The best place you could ever be hope to be blessed to be allowed to live on the whole of God’s green earth.

Actually, Yes…The 2nd Amendment IS Able to Stop the U.S. Military

Every time some crack pot goes on a shooting spree here in America, the gun control debate starts up again. The anti-gunners say the same stuff and the pro-gunners provide the same replies. The problems is that the anti-gunners don’t really think very deeply about the things they say. They’re very “surface level” type of people. Here’s an example of how this tends to go:

Gun Grabber: “Just take away the guns. All of them. If not all, then at least the semi-auto ones. I’m cool with hunting. I’m not saying we should take duck hunters shot guns away. Just the assault rifles. They are designed as weapons of war and should only be in the possession of law enforcement and military.”

Pro-Gunner: “Because the bad guys will just turn their guns in right? Thanks genius. Because disarming the GOOD guys is going to make things better. Look at Chicago. Heavy gun control and lots of gun deaths.”

Anti: “We need to do SOMETHING. And all the ‘data’ from the University studies show that if we removed guns from the population, the number of deaths from guns overall would fall. If it saves just one person, I say do it.”

Gunner: “That worked out great in Germany, Russia, and China when THEIR government took guns away from those populations. Sure, it’s tragic that thousands of people die each year with guns involved, but those numbers would PALE in comparison to the MILLIONS of people that die when Governments go rogue. The 2nd Amendment assures us that such a thing can never happen and if it DID happen…then we would be able to defend ourselves.”

Anti: “Oh please. So you think that a handful of people on a leaky boat, armed with guns, are gonna save the world? This isn’t the 1700’s. You think that some hillbilly heroes with AR-15s are going to be a match for the U.S. Military? HELLO! How are they going to stand up against advanced tanks, bombs being dropped from an F-22, and surgical kill shots being placed with hellfire missiles fired from Predator drones?”

And there’s the rub.

People actually BELIEVE that the United States Military would actually WIN in the event that President Palpatine rose to power and decided to turn the full power of this fully operational battle station against the group of rebel freedom fighters that took up arms against him.

It shows how little the antis know about the military and how it works. More important is the fact that it shows how little they know about the PEOPLE in the military work. As in, they actually believe that Army soldiers, Navy sailors, Airmen, and U.S. Marines are mindless stormtroopers who will do whatever they’re told.

They’re not.

I was IN the Marine Corps as an 0311 Infantry Marine and I can tell you that long before I ever went in I already had decided that if they ever tasked me with drawing down on my fellow Americans…I would disobey that order and immediately desert the service. Because I’d fully embraced my 2nd Amendment rights long BEFORE I took the oath to protect the constitution from all threats foreign and domestic.

After having left the Marine Corps I was confronted by people that I came across who implied that they DID believe that the majority of the military would actually follow unlawful orders to attack the American people! That military people were so stupid and brainwashed and such simpletons that they would commit any atrocity imaginable if told to do so. So I hunted down a few of the people I’d served with during my time in the Corps and did an informal poll as to whether or not they would ever have obeyed if told to draw down on the American people.

Universally, the answer was “No.”

And THAT my friends is all you need to know in order realize that YES, an armed rebellion of citizen militia COULD defeat the might of the United States Armed Forces. And with relative ease.

You don’t believe me, do you? I can hear it now…

But Brian, what about the M1 Abrams Battle Tank? What about the F-22 Raptor and the Joint Strike Fighter? What about all the Tomahawk cruise missiles that can be fired from both attack and ballistic missile submarines? What about the fact that infantry units have advanced shoulder-fired missiles? What about the fact that President Palpatine could just assassinate people at will with Predator drones?

Don’t be too proud of this technological terror that we’ve created known as the United States Military.

Did you see what happened in Iraq? A bunch of uneducated, underfunded goat herders kept the military might of the United States on a hamster wheel of war for 10 years. They call that a decade. And the people of Iraq certainly were not as well armed as the American people are. We’ve got TONS of guns. Enough guns to mount real assaults that would make a difference. Furthermore, that whole mess was run by a minority of the Iraqi population whereas an armed rebellion in the United States would bring THOUSANDS of patriots to arms in very short order.

Sound nutty? Remember, half the nation already did this once during the Civil War and if you ever watched some documentaries on that you’d know that the South had first-mover advantage and the bungling of the leadership of Army of the Potomac nearly lost Lincoln’s War early on. From there on out it was a slug fest to the very end.

But none of that matters. Because the fact is that while the U.S. Military is without a doubt the most powerful in the world, it has a very critical flaw when it comes to a civil war. Just like the Death Star had a ray shielded exhaust port.

That Achilles’s Heel is the technological specialization that is required to make the military work.

If the government went tyrannical to the point that the American people DID decide that it was time to fire up 1776 all over again – well the F-23 and the M1 Abrams Battle Tank is not going to be our version of the Death Star that will “crush the rebellion with one swift stroke”. Why?

Because members of the U.S. Military are AMERICAN CITIZENS. And not just any American Citizens. Citizens that are obsessed with their individual rights more than ever. I mean, the Secretary of Defense just said that he doesn’t care what the Marine Corps eval studies have shown, he wants women in ALL roles in the military as soon as possible…regardless of whether or not it makes the unit weaker. Because women’s right trump military effectiveness. Does that sound like someone obsessed with “the needs of the many” and how they outweigh the needs of the few or does it sound like individual rights trump all…even if it makes our armed forces weaker to one degree or another?

Just look around at the youth of today and you’ll know that they are anything BUT little order-taking fascists like the youth of pre-WWII Germany who dreamed of a return of the German people as a whole to glory. No, no no. Americans are all about THEMSELVES and THEIR individual rights. They’re SO about THEIR rights that they foam at the mouth about protecting the rights of the fellow citizens because they’re worried that if their neighbor’s rights are violated…well then their own could be next. So forget about the collective good. The rest of the country be damned. If the gay marriage thing leads to a complete breakdown of the American family in 50 years which causes the nation to implode in 100…well…it’s a necessary evil that has to be accepted in order for progress to be made where individual liberties are concerned.

In America, the needs of the many definitely do NOT outweigh the needs of the few.

So as SOON as our forces were told to kill Americans on their own home turf, more than HALF of those people would desert. If not more. Killing our own? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

At that point it’s Game Over. Checkmate.

If you know ANYTHING about the modern military then you know that this isn’t you’re grandfather’s Army or your great-grandfather’s Navy. Back then you could just grab anyone and assign them any job and they could pretty much do it. If you’re on a ship in the Pacific and your anti-aircraft gunner gets killed, well you can pretty much grab the cook in a pinch and tell him jump on the guns, point the center of the target retacle at the incoming Japanese kamikazes, and pull the trigger. Try that with the Navy’s new RAIL GUN. How’s the cook gonna do with that one? Let’s see how well it works out to take the guy who runs the steam catapult on the aircraft carrier and tell him to hop into the shoes of the guy (or gal) who is on the flight deck guiding the aircraft in for a perfect landing so they don’t go flying off the other end of the ship.

Everything in the military requires EXTENSIVE training and specialization. ALL of those extensively trained people have to show up and do their job or else the war machine comes to a grinding halt.

The F-22 Raptor doesn’t fly by itself. It requires HUNDREDS of people from mission planners to the guys who take care of the plane to the guys who load it with weapons and fuel, and everything in between. If a bunch of the ordinance loading crew walk off the job, well sure, I guess that the mission planning people could pull double-duty and load some bombs. But what do you do when the MISSION planning people walk off the job? You gonna turn that job over to bomb loading guys? They’ll just give you blank stares. And what if the PILOTS quit?

American fighter pilots are specifically chosen from the best and brightest of all the available pilot pool. They are vetted for their ability to THINK INDEPENDENTLY under pressure. They know that they are to follow orders but they ALSO know that they are to think for themselves when things get crazy and to be able to adapt the mission on the fly. These are NOT mindless order takers. They are people of solid moral character who can be trusted with aircraft that cost half a billion dollars each. HIGH moral caliber. My guess is that 75% or MORE of all American fighter pilots would desert before flying their Aircraft against the American people who were rebelling against President Palpatine’s oppressive rule.

In fact, they would be the ones to round up all the like-minded bomb-loaders, mission planners, and cooks and blow their OWN aircraft to kingdom come before leaving post and joining the rebellion themselves.

Even if they didn’t sabotage their own aircraft on the way out…if the pilots quit, you think you can just toss someone else in the cockpit on a whim? It takes MONTHS to get someone combat ready to fly an F-22. Or any other fighter for that matter. And when the “new pilot” who IS willing to pull the trigger against his own people is brought on board, how is he going to get spun up to learn how to bring the plane to bear when it can’t fly because so many of the ground/support crew deserted that the plane can’t be readied for flight on a consistent basis…much less ready for battle?

This carries over to the entire military. The nuclear submarines don’t put to sea when half of the crew deserts. They can’t. It’s impossible. Same goes for ALL the ships. Same goes for the units flying predator drones. Sames goes for the units that get the tanks up and running.

All that falls apart as quick as you can count to three when you build a military like ours which is dependent on highly trained specialists to keep everything moving so that the weapons can actually be brought to bear. When the MEMBERS of the military are not able to mentally commit to a course of action, when unit solidarity breaks down beyond a certain point, it’s not just that the bombs don’t drop as WELL…..they don’t drop at ALL. The tanks don’t run AT ALL. The drones don’t fly AT ALL.

It’s the 2nd Amendment that guarantees all that.

The linchpin in the whole thing really IS Americans taking up arms against their oppressors.

Not enough of the personnel of American Military will obey orders to KILL their own people who have mounted an armed resistance against a government that has obviously gone corrupt. They wouldn’t obey the order to KILL their countrymen.

But they MIGHT obey an order to oppress people who are NOT shooting back and thus don’t need to be KILLED in order to be “brought in line”. In a time of crisis, if the powers that be can convince the military as a whole that suspension of civil liberties and the Constitution “for a time” is really “for the greater good” and that to enact martial law on a national level and use force to “provide a safe haven for discussion” for a bit “for the good of the nation as a whole” then they MIGHT just be led to do that…IF they believe that they won’t have to kill anyone.

Because nobody has any guns. Because they were all confiscated.

If the worst you fear that you’ll have to do to “get things under control” is grab a bunch of people and put plastic handcuffs on them…you might be willing to obey and do what you’re told. After all, it’s not like you’re going to have to KILL anyone.

Make no mistake about it. The ability of the American People to use their trump card of armed resistance against the government will EASILY bring the might of the U.S. Military to it’s knees. But only if the MEMBERS of the military refuse to use their training to kill their own people…and we can only KNOW that if we ensure that it’s always possible that patriots armed with guns are able, if things get bad enough, march on Capitol Hill.

The only way we CAN know that those patriots will always be able to mount an ARMED assault against a rogue government is if the 2nd Amendment remains strong and American retain their current level of access to firearms. In fact, increasing it to allow for the people to arm themselves with whatever weapons are currently employed by regular infantry units would not be a bad idea if you ask me.

Always Be Skeptical of Conspiracy Theories

Today is November 25th 2015. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day and right now there is an article on Yahoo News about how oil prices are set to hit a record low by Christmas. Just today I was a bit shocked to see the price of gas had fallen to $1.75 per gallon. I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever see gas that low again.

Just a few years ago gas was hovering at $5.00 per gallon. More than double what it is today. And we haven’t even hit the bottom yet. All of this change has been driven by the fact that new technology has been perfected and brought online quickly so as to access oil reserves in the United States that were not easy to access before.

So how does all this relate to conspiracy theories?

Well one of the major underlying ideas out there where conspiracy theories is concerned is that “Big Oil” has the world in a stranglehold. I bet that everyone out there has stumbled on some article or blog post about how years ago some inventor came up with some simplistic “carburetor” that would allow you to split water into its elemental parts of hydrogen and oxygen and then burn the hydrogen as a fuel in a car. Water powered cars.

In fact, the only reason why we didn’t HAVE these things was because Big Oil had bought the patent long ago and had “shelved” the technology so the public couldn’t use it. They had also done the same thing with a bunch of other technological advances. Big Oil. Holding the world back so that they could realize their obscene profits.

Well apparently they are not as good at this whole buy-it-and-bury-it thing as we would have been lead to believe because if they WERE…then fracking sure as heck wouldn’t have been allowed to see the light of day. How could they encourage the development and implementation of technology that would certainly lead to what it HAS lead to….a SIGNIFICANT drop in oil prices?

Anyway, my point is that “Big Oil” doesn’t have the world under its thumb anywhere to the degree that Alex Jones and Company would have us believe. Nor does the Military Industrial Complex. The fools out there who believe that some shadowy puppeteer keeps the world perpetually at war so that Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Halliburton can rank in profits year-in-year out don’t understand that NOBODY has the world under their thumb to that degree. Furthermore, a world at PEACE is a world where people spend, spend, SPEND….which means more gross domestic product being shipped and sold, more income being generated, and (cha-CHING)…more TAX dollars.

Keep them tax dollars flowing.

It’s not in the politicians best interests nor the best interests of the vast majority of all the monster businesses out there to have anything but perpetual peace. If you think that lots of dollars are enough to turn the course of the entire world where global security is concerned just so that you can sell more bombs and stuff….then apparently whoever has the most MONEY should be able to have the final say in which way the world turn. Whether to war…or to peace.

So which is more likely? Lockheed Martin, with profits of $3.6B in 2014 using their money and power to ensure that the world goes TO war…or Apple, with $40B in profits using THEIR money and power to ensure that the world does NOT go to war so people feel fine spending their money on another iPad?

Big Oil doesn’t control the world. Big Pharma doesn’t control the world. The Military Industrial Complex doesn’t control the world. Period. If you believe that then you’re trying to look for simplicity in an incredibly complex system.

Humans crave simple answers, even when none exist. So if you swing that way it only means your human. But recognize it for what it is. Old-school, tribal thinking. The desire to draw a line and say that anyone who lives on THAT side of the line is an enemy and everyone on THIS side of the line is a friend and that over in THEIR camp there are shadowy wizards with mysterious powers that they wild in secret and that few people can comprehend. I mean…common…they even CALL the Illuminati the “shadow government”.

Whenever you first start swiming in the conspiracy theory pools the major underlying question is, “What if the world isn’t what it seems to be?” But upon closer examination, it may be the case that the deeper and better question is, “What if the world is EXACTLY as it seems to be?”

Setbacks Can Make Life Feel Like Hell

We’ve all had setbacks in our lives.  Some come at what seems like the worst time.  I just went through one myself in recent weeks.  This video helps reframe the negative thoughts that tend to overwhelm us when that happens.  At least it has for me.


Maybe Michigan Should Lend California a Helping Hand

Lake Drought

Today I read an alarmist article about how the drought in California is so bad that they only have 1 year’s worth of fresh water left in their reservoir system.  To put it in perspective right out of the gate, the article explained that the amount of water lost in California reservoirs amounts to twice the total volume of Lake Mead – which happens to be America’s LARGEST reservoir.

Sounds pretty scary, right?

Let’s talk about Lake Mead for a moment.  This body of water, located in Nevada, is man-made being the result of water from the Colorado River backing up behind the Hoover Dam.  Here’s some pictures for perspective:

Some quick wiki research reveals that Lake Mead has a volume of about 32 cubic kilometers of water.  That’s a lot of water.

Or is it?

Enter Lake Superior.

This, the largest of the Great Lakes, is comprised of truly super-massive proportions of fresh water.  It is the largest lake in the world by surface area and the third largest freshwater lake for total volume of water.  It’s so large in fact, that all of the other great lakes could fit inside of it.  Have a look.

Lke Size Comparison

How much water you ask?

Nearly 12,000 cubic kilometers of water.  Lake Mead represents less than 3/10 of 1% of the amount of water that is in Lake Superior.

You know about all that ruckus about stopping the Keystone Pipeline?  I wonder if there would be as much backlash if we Michiganders decided to lend our California brethren a helping hand with a pipeline of our own.

I mean, seriously.  We could throw 2x the volume of water that’s in Lake Mead their way and it wouldn’t even be noticeable over here.  More water probably evaporates off the face of Lake Superior in a hot summer than that.

And that would be a one-time thing.  Build the pipeline, give them water, close pipeline.  In 10 years, when there’s another drought…we open the pipeline again.  Seems simple to me.

Of course, we’d let those rich people in Cali pick up the bill for it.

Can the Red Cross See What I’m Thinking?

The Red Cross just raised their game to a whole ‘nother level. Recently I’ve been thinking that the organization is a For Profit company masking itself as a non-profit. After all, they hire professional nurses and have a very well organized telemarketing thing going in order to get me coming back in to donate blood on a consistent basis. It’s clear that the hospitals are paying them money to for the blood that they get from the organization and they’re probably paying BIG too.

My guess is that the pint of blood that I donate for free sells to a hospital for $250 to $500 when all is said an done. Probably closer to the $500 mark. Maybe more. It would have to in order to keep the buildings open, the nurses employed, paying for all that tubing that they use to get the blood OUT of me, all the testing that goes on in the background to ensure my blood isn’t tainted with AIDS, and all the rest. It’s expensive and I’ve gotta believe that people are NOT throwing truckloads of cash at the Red Cross.

Susan G. Coleman has the race for the cure to raise money all over the place…but where do you hear about the Red Cross doing consistent organized fund raising? Where’s their version of the Walk for the Cure? Me thinks that it doesn’t exist because they don’t NEED it. They have a constant flow of people coming in to donate at centers all over the nation and they convert those pint-sized bags of blood into cash on demand.

They’re always call up saying that there’s a severe shortage of blood. How can that be? They have the most organized and consistent follow up program in the world? Count out 7 weeks from my last donation and they call again to set up that next appointment. I’m busy so I send those calls to voicemail all the time. No problem. They call back. Different days. Different times of the day so they can catch me when I’m more available. If I cancel an appointment, give it a week and they’re calling again to reschedule. If they’re doing this with MILLIONS of people, then I gotta believe that there is no shortage of blood. The only way that can be true is if by “shortage” they mean that there’s not enough bags of blood in the Red Cross refrigerators – because they sold it all and need to get some more if they want to be able to get some more cash anytime soon.

Anyway, that’s the long way of saying that while I try to be consistent about donating blood, I feel a little bit weird about it. Like I said before, it feels like the Red Cross is a bit of a for profit company that is masquerading as a non-profit. I don’t even want to Google up how much their CEO gets paid each year for fear I’ll never commit to donating again.

But check out what they just sent me in my email today!

Red Cross Email

You see that? This was the SMARTEST thing that they could ever do. I have always wondered where my blood goes once I donate it. As they have 40 different bar codes on all the various elements of the donation “stuff” in order to track it through the screening process and such, it’s clear that they could look it up and tell me where the blood went.

But now they’re doing it!

This was pure genius! With millions of donors on their email list, telling them where the blood actually went goes a long way toward giving the donors a reinforced vision that their consistent pattern of donating really DOES go to help real people in need. After reading an article about America’s Worst Charities I was a bit freaked about going to the Red Cross. What if they were just a giant money pit too?

This short email shored up my doubts. I’ve always wondered where my own blood was going and it appears that the Red Cross was able to see my thoughts because they pushed that very real hot button.

Even if the Red Cross really IS getting paid truckloads of money for every pint of my blood that they sell to a hospital, ultimately that blood is going into the veins of a real person who really does need it. I think I might just use their handy little app to lock in my next donation appointment.

The Mind, the Person, and the Twilight Zone

So I was doing my quite time this morning and at the end my thoughts were wandering and I was thinking about “the I”.

As in, it’s weird that materialists (atheists who believe that everything that exists actually exists because of a series of guided accidents ) think that simply connecting a bunch of wires together can create a self-aware person. That’s what they believe. That if you connect enough neurological electrical connections together that mass of connections can become a self-aware person.

They’d never say that if you connected a bunch of extension cords together randomly and plugged the mess in that it would create self-awareness….but they believe that all that “we” are is just electrical connections firing off in some way that we think that we are something more than a giant twisting of electrons….when we’re not. We’re just playing a trick on ourselves in order to pass our genes on to the next generation more reliably and when we die, that “I” illusion ceases to exist and so do we.

Say they.

Of course I don’t believe that. I would point out that we can connect two neurons together in a petri dish and make them fire off manually and of course the materialist would say that, no, that’s not a “person”. I’d say we could string 2, 3, or 300 neurons together and the materialist would say that’s not a person. So when DOES the connects become a person? Why believe that the connection are both the hardware AND the software of the mental computer?

Why do we not instead see it as the electrical connections form nothing more than the hardware component and maybe a small system bios while the “I” – the person – is a software component that cannot be identified? That it’s origin may not be able to be seen or discovered through the instruments of science? It certainly exists – we have ample evidence for that – but what if “personhood” is cloaked from view forever because it extends from the Divine? From God? And because we can’t “see” God with science we can’t see the part of us that is made in his image? The person. The “I”. The “we”.

That was where my thoughts ended and I stood up.

I came into my home office, turned on my email and saw THIS waiting for me from a motivational speaker that I follow. Can you say TWILIGHT ZONE?