They make airborne the same toxin that is killing salmon in the Northwest.

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Photo by Dave Simbosa on Unsplash

Although I’m sure it has turned out badly at some point somewhere, I’m not talking about the bright orange-wrapped maniac in the middle of the road looking vaguely like the Atlas robot from Boston Dynamics waving a leaf blower barrel as if he’s a symphony conductor and just daring you to run him down. This is just a minor irritation, not a public hazard.

If it hasn’t rained in a while, the road is covered with dust of dubious and various lineage. It comes from oil and grease dripping from cars and carrying metals, salt for deicing, car exhaust carrying gasoline additives, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluid, tiny pieces of eroded asphalt, dust from brake pads and rotors, paint particles from accidents, road stripe and signage paint breakdown, bird poop, tire wear dust, mold spores, pesticides and fertilizers from yards, and plant pollen. Plus all the chemicals produced when this stuff reacts with atmospheric gasses, moisture, and sunshine. If it has rained recently the road is relatively clean; and you are comparatively safe, which means this stuff has been washed into your nearby ditches, storm sewers, creeks, bayous, canals, and rivers. …


It is a blatantly subtle disinformation machine.

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Photo by Brian Wertheim on Unsplash

By now anyone that hasn’t ingested what nearly half of the nation obviously has to make them … less analytical, knows that Fox News broadcasts a dizzying array of right wing propaganda. A panoply of radio networks has been plying the airwaves with similar sludge for even longer with a decade head start. Anyone that has been exposed to this toxic quagmire of unreason without being infected should be given the Medal of Freedom instead of one of its most efficient super-spreaders, Rush Limbaugh. Now they’ve latched on to yet another method, much sneakier than television or radio.

You’ve read that paper all your life. No, it’s not the New York Times, but it has all the local stuff, the gossip about local politicians and businesses that you’re familiar with in the neighborhood. It’s the local rag. Yes, it’s changed a bit over the years, but times are hard for newspapers nowadays, and you can’t expect it to stay exactly the same. It’s got the same name, and the front page looks the same. …


Wealth inequality has been involved in every collapse for the last 5,000 years.

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Photo by Raph Howald on Unsplash

It’s very easy to point at billionaires and say, “There! There is the cause of our pain, suffering, and poverty; our lack of a sweet ride, a swank crib, and steak instead of beans for supper.” It’s also hard to really prove that’s the case, and so it comes off as kind of whiny and sour grapes-ish because of that. Maybe that’s why Occupy Wall Street sort of petered out.

But in the back of your mind is that feeling, that gut-induced intuition telling you it makes sense. If that gut feeling comes from having missed a meal or two, you may be cheered to know there are some studies that show a correlation between inequality and the fall of civilizations. …


Always be ready to take the next step up.

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Photo by Ruiqi Kong on Unsplash

One of my first jobs when I came to Houston as a young adult was rebuilding pneumatic industrial control valves. These ranged from small to very large, controlling fluids and gasses in 1” to 12” pipes or larger and weighing up to hundreds of pounds. In order to rebuild them, I had to tear them down to their component parts, clean, refinish, and build them back up, replacing or fixing the broken stuff. That gave me an intimate knowledge of how they worked.

Later, I would get a job at a place that built oil production equipment like heaters and separators that took oil and gas right from the ground and made them suitable to go into pipelines heading to a refinery. Most of these were vessels (big metal bottles) and these vessels had valves attached to them, and I knew exactly how those valves worked. …


Don’t let them take your future.

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CEO of Comcast — Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Things may be going swimmingly; just got promoted, making rent, stashing a few bucks in a 401k, but remember that blockbuster idea you had for a startup? You couldn’t risk quitting your job and working on it because you would lose your health insurance, and your four year old has diabetes. Can’t take the risk.

It wouldn’t be a problem in almost any other developed country because they have universal insurance. In the U.S., however, health care hangs over your head like the sword of Damocles. This is just one example of how the owners of capital in America have cheated us out of opportunities. …


There is hope for the future.

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Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

I love Bernie Sander’s political ideas, and I hate that he did not win the nomination and go on to win the presidency. He is a caring, intelligent guy. He wants to serve. He eschews power. …


Some are exciting, some a little disturbing.

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Courtesy Wikimedia

On Friday, August 28th at 6:30 PM Elon Musk emceed a presentation of Neuralink. It is an electronic disk around the size of a quarter and thickness of about 1/4” that sits in a round cavity to replace the same size bone plug taken from the top of the skull underneath a flap of scalp which is then sewn back in place. Trailing from it are nearly a hundred tiny filaments containing thousands of electrodes to conduct electrical signals. These are individually installed via robotic surgery into the brain to serve as electronic connections between it and the device.

The development of Neuralink is currently touted for medical reasons such as allowing people with Parkinson’s disease to control their own movements. For the paralyzed it is hoped the tiny wire fibers can collect signals from the brain allowing them to communicate with others. Knowing that Elon does not think small, the ultimate goal may be to cheat death by uploading human memory and consciousness into a computer. …


The U.S. government started this fiasco. They should end it.

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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

The gigantic financial organism that is now employer-provided health insurance in the U.S. was created by the federal government as an unexpected result of WWII. After witnessing the horrific hyperinflation crippling the post war economy of Germany, the U.S. was determined to keep up the wage and price controls instituted during wartime. But with workers threatening to strike en masse for higher wages, the government decided to make all employer-provided health care insurance exempt from taxation at any level of government — municipal, state, or federal — as a sop. …


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Photo by Jennifer Griffin on Unsplash

I know what you’re thinking. You stood in the snow for eight hours at 10 degrees Fahrenheit to cast your ballot. You drove from a gig in California to vote in Houston because the mail-in ballot you were tracking never got there. Trump is an evil dictator. Biden is a commie socialist. You’re thinking, “Fuck you, telling me my vote doesn’t count.” Just bear with me.

Most of the members of our current Congress are millionaires. More than half.
All the presidents since 1929 have been millionaires. The cost to run for office is substantial. …


It’s everywhere. Deal with it.

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Photo by Metin Ozer on Unsplash

What Is Propaganda?

Talk radio; think tanks publishing articles; Madison avenue and the advertising industry in general; both private and public schools; social media; TV shows; magazines; and hearsay from friends, neighbors, and relatives are where disinformation and propaganda can originate. If you’ve ever been exposed to any of these, someone has tried to change your mind about something or persuade you to do something. Some of it is more insidious, hardly any of it is benign; but any arguments, rumors, half-truths, or lies told to influence your opinion is propaganda.

Let’s take a peek at couple of indicators of the scale of disinformation. …

About

Glen Hendrix

Artist, writer, poet, inventor, entrepreneur

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