Freydis taking a 'holiday in the sun', Bikini Atoll, 1954

Holology              by Freydis

I created the word 'Holology' to mean a complete study (from the latin holo+logy). My effort began about 1994 in the form of a written paper notebook that I later turned into a website.

The website had numerous topical categories, from science to religion to conflict, and everything in between - all as separate webpages. The content was almost entirely my own and it took a lot of time and effort to do. Yet I felt it was necessary because I couldn't find the views and ideas anywhere else that I wanted to express, or at least not in a concise form.

As the Internet developed as a medium I began to realize that most of what I wanted others to see and think about was being written elsewhere, and all I really needed to do was post a link on my news page or add an excerpt highlighting the key points. So Holology began to change, as did the time I had to work on it.

The arrival of social media, like Facebook and Twitter, took the same concept I was using and made it easy for almost anyone to do the same - albeit at the price of personal privacy and corporate control.

Holology has changed over the years but it still remains as a unique source of important information, resistance against commercial ownership of the Internet, and a refugee against relentless advertising for everyone. – Your author, Freydis

HOLOLOGY (holo + logy; 2000): the search for solutions within a holistic context

News | Solutions | Art | Contact

Now they want to Kill to be Famous

The indifference to others inherent in the marketing orientation to life leads not to community, but to the tribalism of celebrity culture, with its narcissism, contempt for the weak and insistence on the commodification of self. In this cultural milieu, the goals of life are shifting. For many people, it is more important to be famous than to be loved, or the former is equated with the latter in ways that make it more important to have a connection with an audience than a family or community. And if this quasi-celebrity connection to an audience is slow in coming, it is a simple matter to get a gun and murder your way to virtual glory.Michael Meurer, February 2013

Moral Relativism

[T]the real moral relativists are those who believe that the morality of an act is determined not by its content but by the identity of those who commit them: namely, whether it's themselves or someone else doing it. As Rudy Giuliani put it when asked if waterboarding is torture: "It depends on who does it."Glenn Greenwald, May 2013

Moral Compass, by Freydis
[Cardboard, paper, ink, credit card plastic, container lid plastic, metal hardware; 12x12x1 cm]

Socialization & Morality


Worsening Economic Conditions Fueling Rise in School Violence

“In all this hysteria, nobody has been talking about where all this violence is coming from. I’ve been teaching for 14 years, and I have noticed a marked drop in the social conditions of my students and their families. There’s been the huge impact of foreclosures and then nonstop budget cuts to social programs, especially to public education. This has been going on for a long time, whether it’s a Democratic or Republican in office. And all people hear about is war and more wars. American society has become a very brutal place.”

The teacher went on to explain, “This year the father of one of my students is homeless and living out of his pickup truck. Some of my poorest students have parents who are working, but at low-wage jobs such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at Los Angeles International Airport. One of the schools in our district is designated for homeless children.

The militarization of schools over the past several decades has resulted in the phenomenon known as the School to Prison Pipeline. Schools are employing policies and practices of “zero tolerance” that push young people out of school and into the juvenile and criminal justice system. The influx of police in schools has been one of the main contributors to the growing number of children funneled into the pipeline.Allison Smith, January 2013

Education System Deformed into Work Don't Think

The role of knowledge and art, as the ancient Greeks understood, is to create ekstasis, which means standing outside one’s self to give our individual life and struggle meaning and perspective. The role of art and scholarship is to transform us as individuals, not entertain us as a group. It is to nurture this capacity for understanding and empathy. Art and scholarship allow us to see the underlying structures and assumptions used to manipulate and control us. And this is why art, like intellectual endeavor, is feared by the corporate elite as subversive. This is why corporations have used their money to deform universities into vocational schools that spit out blinkered and illiterate systems managers. This is why the humanities are withering away. Chris Hedges, September 27, 2010

Capitalism is a form of Despotism

We now live under a form of casino capitalism that […] turns every space into a war zone, criminalizes social problems and legitimates state violence as the most important practice for addressing important social issues.Henry A. Giroux, January 2014

The Militia Movement is a Fake Revolution

That's the ironic thing about the militia movement. Despite all its rage against corrupt government, American decline, and the elites, in the end, the only people who benefit from its fight against "big government" are the same people who are already destroying our country - the billionaires and the oligarchs. To put it bluntly, the militias are the useful idiots of the one percent.  – Thom Hartmann, April 2014

Guns, Violence and Nihilism - Excerpts from the Department of Destruction

The dreadful guillotine of 1793, which cannot be reproached with having been idle or slow, nevertheless did not succeed in destroying the French aristocracy. The nobility was indeed shaken to its roots, though not completely destroyed, but this was not the work of the guillotine; it was achieved by the confiscation of its properties. In general, we can say that carnage was never an effective means to exterminate political parties; it was proved particularly ineffective against the privileged classes, since power resides less in men themselves than in the circumstances created for men of privilege by the organization of material goods, that is, the institution of the State and its natural basis, individual property. – Mikhail Bakunin, 1869

It is clear that where there is suppression there is also violence. – VI Lenin, The State And Revolution

Vegas Vic's Neon Bonfire, by Freydis

Vegas Vic's Neon Bonfire, by Freydis

Indiscriminate Fire from Israel

[Typical report as Israel wages war on Palestinians they call terrorists:] An airstrike on a house near Khan Younis killed 25 members of one family, including 18 children and five women, three of whom were pregnant, as they broke the Ramadan fast on Sunday evening. A Hamas member was also killed.Harriet Sherwood, July 2014

The greater the economic inequality within a society, the greater the violence. – Freydis

A stone-thrower is a terrorist and only a fitting punishment [10-20 years in prison] can serve as a deterrent and just punishment.Ayelet Shaked, Israel's Justice Minister (far-right Jewish Home party), July 2015

Insurgencies fight for an idea—Islam, Marxism, freedom, nationalism. [To fight back], you need a better idea. Bullets help sanitize an operational area; they don't win a War!' – Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak

Revolutionary change does not come as one cataclysmic moment (beware of such moments!) but as an endless succession of surprises, moving zigzag toward a more decent society. We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world. – Howard Zinn

For the rulers of a bankrupt regime the answer to every problem starts and ends with the police and the military. – Freydis

Terrorism is simply a rhetorical term used by a government to describe politically motivated violence it doesn’t sanction. – Freydis

Banks, Capitalism and Corporations

Why are Corporate Executives Paid so Much Money in the U$A?

[C]orporations actually have a perverse incentive for overpaying top-level executives. This is due to a tax loophole that allows corporations to deduct unlimited amounts from their federal income taxes for the cost of so-called "performance pay" for executives. The more corporations pay top officers, the less they pay Uncle Sam. Guess who makes up the difference? Taxpayers.Frank Clemente and Sarah Anderson, June 2014

The Mythology of Capitalism

Equal opportunity, self-creation, heroic individualism: these are the myths that predatory capitalism requires for its political survival. – George Monbiot

The Corporate Vehicle

Although a corporation will sell a product or a service, that’s just a means to an end. A corporation is really just a vehicle for making a few people rich. Especially in the United States where the legal system has decided that a corporation has as many rights as an individual person: the people at the top are getting rich; the corporation is a means for doing so. – Freydis

U.S. Government Fueled by Regressive Payroll Taxes

All working Americans pay substantial taxes, and when it comes to FICA taxes, the poorest pay the most. The only people who don't pay FICA taxes don't pay them for the simple reason that they don't have jobs.

The FICA payroll tax is perhaps the most regressive tax in the developed world. The richest 1% of American households pay an average FICA tax rate of just 2.2 percent. Their average FICA tax is even lower than the 2.9 percent minimum because much of their income comes from investments, which are not subject to FICA taxes.

How important are FICA taxes? All told, FICA taxes bring in more than $1 trillion a year and account for more than one-third of all federal government revenue.  That's almost as much as the personal income tax and about three times as much as the corporate income tax. The federal government could not operate without the income it receives from FICA taxes.Salvatore Babones, April 2014

"Worker shortage" is a lie use to push down  wages

[W]hen businesses claim there is a “shortage” of workers, what is implicitly meant is that they cannot find workers at the wages and working conditions they are offering.Vic Neufeld, May 2012

Religion is Hazardous to your Health

For many, the regressive belief in superstitions and miracles is an escape from the hardships of life. Once trapped into irrationalism, they become more incapable of mastering reality. It is a vicious circle, like an addiction. They become vulnerable to exploitation by astrologers, godmen, dubious pseudo-psychologists, corrupt politicians and the whole mega-industry of irrationalism.Sanal Edamaruku

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. – Thomas Jefferson

Religion & Belief

“While a commoner might get 10-20 years for robbing a bank, bank executives get huge bonuses for robbing us.”Ellen Brown

Robber Banks, by Freydis 2010

Class Confusion Neutralizes Civic Resistance

In the post-World War II textbooks and mass media, class has suddenly and curiously become synonymous with income level. When class is confused with income level, political self-identity becomes entirely connected to the selfish accumulation of personal wealth. This is the game played by the ruling rich. Workers cannot play that game and expect to create any kind of class solidarity. As in the case of the Roman plebs and Polish workers, class is what unites the toiling majority and solidarity is our most potent weapon.

Class is a reflection of a person's relationship to the means of production of wealth. The majority of Americans have to work for a living to survive, in workplaces devoid of democratic rights. Workers are neither middle class nor lower class, no matter how much or how little we earn, no matter if we work with our minds or muscles, in factories, offices, transportation companies, schools, hospitals, or retail outlets. We are working class, but are discouraged from thinking of ourselves as such, even by labor leaders and leftist academics and journalists who should know better. George Orwell, Joseph Stalin, and Joseph Goebbels all understood that political thinking and behavior can be channeled by restricting and reshaping the language.

The term middle class generally refers to owners of small and medium sized businesses and farms, managers who represent employers, and college students. Ironically, at the time of the Great French Revolution which established capitalism as the dominant mode of economic organization in Europe, middle class and bourgeoisie were the terms commonly used to refer to the emerging capitalist class. If we keep referring to ourselves as "middle class," we are essentially identifying ourselves with the enemy. No fightback is possible in that case. E. Douglas Kihn, July 2013

Debt & Taxes

Austerity is a Scam

The bankers know austerity can only deplete an economy; they keep doing it because their true purpose is to usurp political power. Greece is a perfect example of how this scam works: load them up with debt they can't realistically pay back, claim it's all falling apart, and then force the country to hand over control to the international banks. The banksters aren't stupid, they're disingenuous dirtbags. – Freydis, 2015

Question your Debts

If one debt can be nullified, maybe all of them can - not only for nations but for municipalities, school districts, hospitals, and people too. That's why the European authorities made such a humiliating example of Greece - they needed to maintain the principle of inviolability of debt. That's also why hundreds of billions of dollars were used to bail out the creditors who made bad loans in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, but not a penny was spent bailing out the debtors. Charles Eisenstein, August 2015

Everything Wrong with 21st Century Capitalism is Apple Inc.

Apple  Incorporated is the perfect emblem of 21st century global capitalism as the new despotism. From employing disposable workers under brutal conditions in East Asia (indirectly via contractors, like Foxconn) to rigging elaborate tax avoidance schemes that bounce their profits across the Atlantic, they know exactly how to play one country against another to exploit workers and avoid taxes. Everywhere you look, capital wins by making workers lose.

Apple’s tax avoidance efforts shifted at least $74 billion from the reach of the Internal Revenue Service between 2009 and 2012, the investigators said. […] Apple Operations International has not filed a tax return in Ireland, the United States or any other country over the last five years. It had income of $30 billion between 2009 and 2012. […] Because of these strategies, tax experts say, Washington is forced to rely more and heavily on payroll taxes and individual income taxes to finance the government’s operations. – Schwartz & Duhigg, May 2013

The Spectrum of Belief, by Freydis, 2012

The Spectrum of Belief, by Freydis

Spirituality often rushes in to fill materialistic vacuums. Economic insecurity breeds beliefs in spiritual forces and deities in a desperate attempt to find Earthly stability and security. This is why traditional religious spirituality is usually expressed in inverse proportion to personal monetary wealth. – Freydis, 2014

Belief in religious salvation is an understandable effect of poverty. – Freydis, 2015

Those who claim no religious affiliation are the fastest growing group of "religious" categories in the United States, making up twenty percent of the population and a third of adults under the age of 30. In addition, as mainstream religions decline, more than 3,500 churches shut down every year.

Moral behavior does not come from religion, it's learned through socialization.

Petty Criminals Use Religious Beliefs to Justify Anti-Social Behavior

A 2013 study by researchers at Georgia State University [found that] criminals often used religious beliefs to justify their own bad behavior.

The team interviewed 48 “active, hardcore street offenders, each with four or more serious offenses, such as drug dealing, robbery, carjacking and burglary,” and found that most said they believed in God and sometimes employed “faith-based” rationales for their actions.

“Offenders in our study overwhelmingly professed a belief in God and identified themselves with a particular religion, but they also regularly engaged in serious crimes,” Topalli said in a media release. “Our data suggest that religious belief may even produce or tend to produce crime or criminality among our sample of hardcore street offenders who actively reference religious doctrine to justify past and future offenses.”Simon Brown, July 2014

If the official education system was actually effective in its stated purpose then it would teach students the process of learning - how to learn - rather than idle facts, lectures and testing. Data points and figures are easily forgotten, but the actual process of learning, training in the ability to go out and find for yourself, that stays with you.

The establishment's education system is based upon ruse and hypocrisy because it claims to be one thing but is actually another, in practice it's just a means of soaking up the youth population to keep them out of the labor pool, minimizing unemployment and job competition, and of course indoctrination in official myths. The government could just pay everyone from 18-28 to vacation in Florida and it would be just as economically effective, and probably about as educationally effective as well. – Freydis

The education of the senses makes men observers, and not only accomplishes the general work of adaptation to the present epoch of civilisation, but also prepares them directly for practical life. We have had up to the present time, I believe, a most imperfect idea of what is necessary in the practical living of life. We have always started from ideas, and have proceeded thence to motor activities; thus, for example, the method of education has always been to teach intellectually, and then to have the child follow the principles he has been taught. In general, when we are teaching, we talk about the object which interests us, and then we try to lead the scholar, when he has understood, to perform some kind of work with the object itself; but often the scholar who has understood the idea finds great difficulty in the execution of the work which we give him, because we have left out of his education a factor of the utmost importance, namely, the perfecting of the senses. I may, perhaps, illustrate this statement with a few examples. We ask the cook to buy only 'fresh fish.' She understands the idea, and tries to follow it in her marketing, but, if the cook has not been trained to recognise through sight and smell the signs which indicate freshness in the fish, she will not know how to follow the order we have given her.  – The Montessori Method by Maria Montessori, 1912

Rising Stock: Investing in America's Future, by Freydis 2004

> Produced by Freydis, Updated 13 April 2018 <
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U$A Incorporated

Should Americans be Concerned about Terrorism...

What is perhaps most remarkable about the bottomless exploitation of the threat of terrorism is that it is so plainly exaggerated. The risk of any American dying in a terrorist attack is infinitesimal, considerably less than the chance of being struck by lightning. From: No Place to Hide, by Glenn Greenwald, 2014, page 205

...or Gun Violence?

[M]ore than 30,000 Americans die in gun violence every year (compared to the 17 who died last year in terrorist attacks). [...] The same day of the marathon bombing in Boston, 11 Americans were murdered by guns.Michael Cohen, April 2013

The United States has never been a "Christian Nation"

The most tenacious error in Christian nationalism is the false idea that American system of government rests on some specific set of religiously grounded values (which today are called, with almost perfect anachronism, “Judeo-Christian principles”). This I think is the political-theory version of a common canard in moral theory: that only religious belief can make people good. In fact, the genius of America’s founders was to have discovered that our morality and our civil rights depend only on our commitment to reason, not on any specific religious opinions – to paraphrase Jefferson.Mathew Stewart, July 2014

Identity Politics is a Dead-End

As American capitalism entered a period of protracted decline in the 1970s, the ruling class moved sharply to the right. As part of this process, the Democrats and their periphery worked to redefine “left” politics to focus on issues of gender, race and sexual identity. More affluent sections of the middle class were brought forward into positions of power and privilege through affirmative action and other measures, while the ruling class carried out a coordinated offensive against jobs, wages and social programs that benefited the working class.  – Joseph Kishore, November 2014

Here's how to have real Safety and Security

If the United States were really concerned about security, it would create a strong social infrastructure that provides quality education, affordable health care and housing, and full employment at a living wage. But such policies would lead to an empowered population that would resist Wall Street's efforts to profit from everything no matter the cost to people and the planet.Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, April 2013

Gains in Productivity aren't going to the Workers

Between 1951 and 2007 productivity in the US rose by 400 per cent. Had the increase been applied to benefit American workers, the average worker could achieve a 1950s standard of living with an 11-hour working week.

Of course they have not received that benefit and increases in productivity are simply fed back into the system. In large part, cold war militarism siphoned off the economic gain. – Jamie White, August 2012

The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave has been turned into One Prison Nation Under God

The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world by far. [...] A disturbing part of this shift from democratic to authoritarian legal norms has been the criminalization of nearly every social problem. Minor disputes between parties to a romantic or familial relationship, the economic inability to provide for one’s children, substance abuse problems, mental illness and a host of other social problems rooted in widespread poverty and desperation have all been criminalized over this period, exposing a wide swath of struggling workers and their families to extended periods of incarceration, exorbitant fines, loss of privacy and voting rights. Kevin Kearney, October 2012

Why did America Drop two Atomic Bombs on Japan?

[Freydis, 2007 & 2016] We are often told, and unfortunately it's still commonly believed in America, that the two atomic bombs dropped on Imperial Japan in August 1945 were necessary to end World War II and to secure U.S. victory. This convenient narrative survives today because it's repeated endlessly by official mouthpieces, not because it contains historical accuracy. A revealing article written on this important aspect of American (and world) history is titled ‘The Decision to Risk the Future: Harry Truman, the Atomic Bomb and the Apocalyptic Narrative’, by Peter J. Kuznick.

The military victors establish the official history concerning what happens during wars, and we have to remember that when we read the narrative on any major historical event. So, although it's also true that Imperial Japan was a vicious war machine that brutality subjugated and enslaved everyone in their path, and it seems completely logical to assume that if Japan had atomic weapons they would have had no qualms in using them, the atomic bombing of Japan is not supposed to have been an act of revenge. Instead the standard narrative claims the bombing was done out of military necessity in order to force Japan’s leaders to surrender and to save American lives by obviating the need to invade that nation.

In fact the U.S. government did not have to use the atom bombs on Japan in World War II and doing so served no significant military objective. By 1945 Japan’s imminent defeat was painfully obvious to Japan’s wartime leaders. Before the atomic attacks America had been fire-bombing cities across Japan for months, wreaking fantastic devastation and loss of human life, and two atom bombs was not going to alter the outcome of a war where defeat for Japan was clearly inevitable.

General Douglas MacArthur told former President Herbert Hoover that, if Truman had acted upon Hoover’s May 30, 1945 memo and changed the surrender terms, the war would have ended months earlier. “That the Japanese would have accepted it and gladly,” he averred, “I have no doubt.” Hoover believed the Japanese would have negotiated as early as February.

Using the atom bombs did not make Japan sign a peace deal any faster than they were going to anyway, and did not save any American lives as is often claimed.

Top U.S. military leaders recognized Japan’s growing desperation, prompting several to later insist that the use of atomic bombs was not needed to secure victory. Those who believed that dropping atomic bombs on Japan was morally repugnant and/or militarily unnecessary included Admiral William Leahy, General Dwight Eisenhower, General Douglas MacArthur, General Curtis LeMay, General Henry Arnold, Brigadier General Bonner Fellers, Admiral Ernest King, General Carl Spaatz, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Admiral William “Bull” Halsey.

The U.S. government didn’t just attack military targets in Japan using the atomic bombs, they intentionally used them on populated areas to test the psychological and physical effects on the civilian population!

Brigadier General Carter Clarke, who was in charge of preparing MAGIC summaries in 1945, later stated, “we brought them down to an abject surrender through accelerated sinking of their merchant marine and hunger alone, and when we didn’t need to do it, and we knew we didn’t need to do it, and they knew we knew we didn’t need to do it, we used them as an experiment for two atomic bombs.” ...

Admiral William Leahy angrily told an interviewer in 1949 that although Truman told him they would “only…hit military objectives….they went ahead and killed as many women and children as they could which was just what they wanted all the time.”

Admiral Leahy, President Truman’s personal chief of staff, stated: “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender. ... My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

Eisenhower was equally appalled, writing in his 1963 Mandate for Change that when he learned from Stimson at Potsdam that use of the bomb was imminent, “I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face.’” ...

Other military leaders drew similar conclusions about the imminence of Japanese surrender without use of atomic bombs. Air Force Chief of Staff General Henry Arnold wrote, “it always appeared to us that, atomic bomb or no atomic bomb, the Japanese were already on the verge of collapse.” General Curtis LeMay argued that his conventional bombing had already ended the war: “Even without the atomic bomb and the Russian entry into the war, Japan would have surrendered in two weeks.” Brigadier General Bonner Fellers wrote shortly after VJ day: “Neither the atomic bombing nor the entry of the Soviet Union into the war forced Japan’s unconditional surrender. She was defeated before either of these events took place.” ...

Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph Bard, the Navy representative to the Interim Committee, recommended, before leaving the government on July 1, that the U.S. not use the bombs without warning given the clear evidence that Japan was already militarily defeated and trying to surrender and the devastating blow that would be struck by the Soviet declaration of war. Such considerations led Admiral Leahy to conclude that an invasion would not have been necessary. Leahy explained, “I was unable to see any justification, from a national-defense point of view, for an invasion of an already thoroughly defeated Japan.”

Dropping the first atomic weapons in combat was a decision that carried enormous significance on multiple levels yet President Harry Truman was such a vacuous warmonger that he ignored the advice of his experts and Generals and ordered the attacks without even giving it a second thought! No wonder George W, Bush admires Truman so much. Having already incinerated millions in firebombing campaigns over cities in Europe and Japan Truman probably figured adding a few hundred thousand more to the pile wasn’t going to make any difference, as far as he was concerned anyway. Josef Stalin encapsulated this line of reasoning when he said, ‘the death of one is a tragedy, the death of millions a statistic.’

Not only did Truman rely on fervent proponents of using the bomb, he ignored the entreaties of Stimson, State Department Japan expert and former Ambassador Joseph Grew, Admiral William Leahy, Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal, Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy, and other knowledgeable insiders who urged him to change the surrender terms and inform the Japanese that they could keep the emperor. Indeed, this is precisely what the U.S. ultimately did—but only after dropping the two atomic bombs in the US arsenal. Several scholars have argued that such modifications of surrender terms could have significantly expedited Japanese surrender, saving numerous Japanese and American lives, and obviating use of the bombs, especially if combined with announcement of the impending Soviet declaration of war, a development that Japanese leaders dreaded. …

On his way back from Potsdam aboard the USS Augusta, Truman received news that the city of Hiroshima had been virtually wiped off the map. He proclaimed that “This is the greatest thing in history!” There is little evidence that, despite his statements indicating awareness of the forces he had unleashed, he ever gave the bomb decision the serious thought it deserved. In 1946, when MGM sent him a copy of the script of its upcoming docudrama about the production and use of the bomb, The Beginning or the End, for his approval, Truman voiced no objection to the scene where he decides to drop the bomb. It was only the insistence of Walter Lippmann, who during a subsequent screening found the president’s flip decision “shocking,” that stirred the White House to request changes. The original version appears to have been more authentic. When an interviewer asked Truman whether the decision was morally difficult to make, he responded, “Hell no, I made it like that,” snapping his fingers. In fact, Truman never publicly acknowledged doubts or misgivings. When Edward R. Murrow asked him in a 1958 interview if he had any regrets about using the bomb or about any of his other presidential decisions, Truman responded, “Not the slightest--not the slightest in the world.”

People like Truman are still in charge of the show sixty years later, so it’s no wonder America’s absolutely futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been grinding away for years with no end, or victory, in sight. Democrat or Republican, if they have the power, these 'public servants' will abuse it to the fullest extent possible. Probably the only reason that nuclear weapons were not used in combat during the Cold War was because the top leaderships realized that to do so would negatively impact upon their own personal lifestyles – they would be living in an underground bunker eating cans of Spam for the rest of their lives! Top authorities used nuclear weapons in every other way they could get away with.

“Again and again, generally in secret from the American public, U.S. nuclear weapons have been used, for quite different purposes: in the precise way that a gun is used when you point it at someone’s head in a direct confrontation, whether or not the trigger is pulled.” - Daniel Ellsberg

The atomic attacks on Japan make very little sense militarily, but from a geopolitical perspective it seems likely that the Truman administration intended to scare Stalin and deter the Soviet Union from further military aggression after Germany and Japan were crushed, as historian Gore Vidal maintains. But in fact this plan backfired badly for the United States and the entire world because it ushered in a new and highly unstable era threatening the entire planet with nuclear annihilation. Simply testing the atomic bomb in public was entirely sufficient to demonstrate this new destructive capacity to the USSR, but by dropping not just one but two atomic bombs on a defeated wartime victim Truman demonstrated that the United States' political leadership was not just willing but eager to use nuclear weapons! The real message was obvious to Stalin: get your own atom bombs as fast as you can. Far from securing an American victory Truman’s order to strike Japan with atomic weapons was the starter pistol for the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.

Drones aren't being used to fight terrorism,
are terrorism

Drone strikes also inflict serious psychological trauma on communities who live under them. A Stanford and New York University report points out that drone strikes inflict harm that "goes beyond death and physical injury ... Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities." It adds that people living under drones "have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior." The fact that US drones will strike an area more than once (known as a "double-tap" strike) or even kill rescue workers have made people "afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims." People often avoid gathering in groups, "including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators." Some parents keep their children at home and "children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school." Adam Hudson, June 2015


When Health is a Business...

Relentless and targeted commercial marketing of unhealthy food products increases obesity, diabetes and sickness, but generates big profits for business. Then corporations make billions of dollars selling drugs to treat the symptoms of lifestyle diseases.

Government does little or nothing to mitigate this corporate racket because the billionaires can spend a token amount to rent shills and political representatives, while corrupting official oversight bodies. This is the inevitable result of treating a universal human need as a commodity to be exploited for private profit. – Freydis, 2011

Beware of the Campaign Against Social Benefits

When you consider the fact that the TV news, magazines and newspapers that reach most of America represent the attitudes and values of the owners, many things fall into place clarified. This same mass-media machine is continually focused on the budget and how social security and other ‘entitlements’ like Medicare are going to bankrupt the nation. Yet, even if this was true (it’s not) one has to consider the alternative of no social security or minimal health care funding for those that can’t afford it – mass sickness, injuries that go untreated, mass poverty, crime and desperation – and that’s a far worse situation for the country than paying something to take care of the public, citizens of the country after all. And at the same time this diversion of national dialogue conveniently ignores the other drains on the national budget that can easily be changed – like the billions spent on suicidal wars being waged around the world. But the mass media, owned by the wealthy, makes no fuss about war because they can make a fortune owning the companies selling weapons and services to the government. Or what about the insurance companies that act as superfluous middle-men, making profits by denying health care to those that need it while fleecing those that don't? Once again, don't expect to encounter any real criticism of that problem in the mass media.

The rich don’t want to pay for social security and similar public benefits; even though it’s a small amount of money to them they feel cheated of their earnings having to pay for something they don’t need. With millions of dollars in the bank they can always afford to buy the best healthcare when they need it and they don’t have to worry about having enough cash to pay for food and shelter when they’re retired. But everyone else needs social health and welfare benefits, particularly after being regressively impoverished over three decades through declining wages and inflation of the money supply. This pathetic situation is largely a result of too many people believing the bogus arguments of the corporate ruling class that are being trumpeted constantly in the mass-media echo chamber.

These social benefits, like social security, are charged on everyone that works, it’s fair; it affects all equally, the definition of justice – equal and fair treatment for all. And even if you don’t want to pay for them, you have to consider the full-extent of the alternative before you make your decision. In a country where individual human value is determined by how much money you have, and with only a few tenuous efforts to even the playing field (under constant attack), your life may well depend on having access to the public benefits that you don't want to pay for today.

But hey, I don’t want to be narrow-minded or anything. We do have a choice here; we can rip up the social contract and just screw this civil-society crap. We can descend to the level of the ruling rich and play by the same perverted rules they use to prey upon everyone else, and then it will be every man, woman and infant for themselves! In this realm of convenient excuses and situational ethics you’re not entitled to anything, unless you already have it or can steal it. In this case, where the only things we get in life are the ones we take, then we’ll just have to start taking from the ones that have the most. – Freydis, 2010

Stop Mandatory Drug Testing

[D]rug testing cuts at the core of our right to privacy. It gets us used to regularly having our privacy - including the privacy of our own bodies - invaded. It promulgates the false meme that the Fourth Amendment is porous, when in fact it’s very clear in saying that our government has no right to mandate the inspection of your person or papers without getting a warrant first. It also promotes the worst ideas about what it means to be both a drug user and a worker in America. It promulgates the false meme that drug abuse should be a criminal matter, when in fact it’s a medical matter. And it promulgates the false meme that employers are kings who can do whatever they want to their employees, when in fact employers should be treating their employees with respect. Thom Hartmann, March 2014

[A]nyone genuinely pro-life should be demanding universal healthcare for pregnant women. – Sadhbh Walshe, January 2013

Doctor Dollars, by Freydis

Burning Issues and More...

Holology 1.0 had a section I called "Burning Issues" where I researched and analyzed controversial but critical topics. I've retained a few of them, with links here. The most widely read, and the most extensively researched, was my School Shootings Report. After tracking and analyzing every major school shooting for over a decade I came up with some primary results that I think everyone should read with the School Shootings Infographic.

Another extensively researched, eye-opening report was Understanding America's War on Iraq - Oil, Dollars and Israel. The main purpose of Bush and Cheney's war on Iraq wasn't oil, it was really just a warped scheme to put as much of the public's money into private hands.

Just Say No To NATO was built up from years of hearing and seeing the hypocrisy of the NATO military alliance, an alliance that is relentlessly pushing for a war with Russia that would inevitably go nuclear, threatening all life on our planet. Another one is the Quoted Word, a collection of interesting statements from famous, and not-so-famous, people. And finally, I kept my Notes From the Underground, a collection of random thoughts and articles, as well as Politics, and Culture with many film reviews.

'Predator Picnic (The Best Terrorism Money Can Buy), by Freydis, 2009

Predator Picnic
(The Best Terrorism Money Can Buy)
, by Freydis

The three largest massacres of innocent people in a single-day have all been performed by the government of the United States:

1. The firebombing of Tokyo, March 9, 1945. As many as 120,000 civilians were burned alive or suffocated in the inferno.

2. The atomic-bombing of Hiroshima Japan on August 6, 1945 instantly incinerated 70,000, and eventually killed up to 200,000.

3. The atomic-bombing of Nagasaki Japan on August 9, 1945 instantly killed 40,000.

Patents and Copyrights are a Key Force in Wealth Inequality

The story of Bill Gates' copyright protection, along with patent protection for prescription drugs and all sorts of other things, are a big part of the story of inequality. The key issue is that these protections are created by the government. They don't come from the technology. It is the protections that make some people very rich, not the technology.

We grant patent and copyright monopolies in order to provide an incentive for innovation and creative work. It is arguable whether these mechanisms are the best way to provide these incentives. For example, in addition to making drugs very expensive, even when they would be cheap in a free market, patent protection also provides an enormous incentive for drug companies to misrepresent the safety and effectiveness of their drugs. But the key point for the inequality issue is that the strength and length of these monopolies is set by government policy. [...] Instead of using our economic and political power to push for things like labor rights or a better environment, we have demanded that other countries pay Disney more for its movies and Pfizer more for its drugs.Dean Baker, June 2016

Terrorism: Effect

Americans should have a visceral understanding of why populations under our bombs and missiles resist.  They should know what it means to be attacked from the air, how it pisses you off, how it generates solidarity, how it leads to new resolve and vows of vengeance.  Forget Pearl Harbor, where my uncle, then in the Army, dodged Japanese bombs on December 7, 1941.  Think about 9/11.  On that awful day in 2001, Homeland USA was "bombed" by hijacked jet liners transformed into guided missiles.  Our skies became deadly.  A technology indelibly associated with American inventiveness and prowess was turned against us.  Colossally shocked, America vowed vengeance.William J. Astore, June 2016


Typical pulsar magnetic fields can be 100 billion to 10 trillion times stronger than Earth's. Magnetar fields reach strengths a thousand times stronger still, and scientists don't know the details of how they are created. Of about 2,600 neutron stars known, to date only 29 are classified as magnetars.Science Daily, 2016

Genetically-Modified Organisms: from Capitalism to Cancer

The main problem with genetically-modified biology isn't really about artificially changing genetics, it's really about the corporate control of living things, and the massive quantities of pesticides and herbicides that are dumped onto genetically-modified food.  Corporations like Monsanto push relentlessly for GMO crops because it allows them to put a patent on what used to be a natural substance in order to gain total commercial control, in other words to charge money for something we used to get for free. – Freydis


Cooperative Behavior

It's not individuals that have to survive, its genes, and genes just use individual organisms - animals or humans - as vehicles to propagate themselves. "Selfish genes" therefore benefit from having co-operative organisms.Professor Andrew Coleman, August 2013


No Perfect Species

[A]ll organisms are constantly evolving. There has been no point in our past when we were perfectly adapted to our environment. – Marlene Zuk, evolutionary biologist


Female mice made without any genetic material from a male live about 30% longer than mice with a male parent.

Our Mental Environment is even more Polluted than our Natural Environment

A factory dumps pollution into the water or air because that’s the most efficient way to produce plastic or wood pulp or steel. A TV station, magazine, or website dispenses sex and violence and “pollutes” the cultural environment because that’s the most efficient way to produce audiences. It pays to pollute. The psychic fallout is just the cost of doing business. – Adbusters, 2014


Space Travel or Extinction

As long as the human species remains only on planet Earth, a single widespread disaster (natural or artificial) can eliminate us permanently. In effect, by remaining only on Earth the human species is trapped in an evolutionary bottleneck, and the only way out, the only chance of long-term survival, is to travel out into space and live beyond the terrestrial realm. The longer we wait, the greater our chances of extinction. – Freydis, 2011

Monsanto Incorporated Hasn't Changed a Bit

Monsanto’s previous flagship products included the once harmless DDT, now banned worldwide; a family of industrial chemicals called PCBs that are now considered highly toxic; Agent Orange, the defoliant liberally used during the Vietnam War and promoted as harmless to people, with grave results for the Vietnamese and US soldiers who came in contact with it. And there was saccharine, the sweetener that ended up being a carcinogen.Wolf Richter, 2013



Fracking Leaves Radioactive Pollution

Freeing gas and oil is a water-intensive process called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which drill bits cut thousands of feet through shale fields to make way for high-pressure water streams that pulverize the rock. The process displaces radium-tinged subterranean water that comes up through the wells, where it can taint soil and surface equipment. Radiation levels can build up in sludges at the bottom of tanks, pipeline scale and other material that comes in extended contact with wastewater.Alex Nussbaum, 2014


Wave Function, by Freydis

Wave Function, by Freydis

Everything is Nothing

“The dreadful secret of mathematics: it’s all based on nothing.” – Ian Stewart, mathematician

05.10.12 The hypothesis that physical reality is defined by mathematics has passed every single test so far. Indeed, all of the universe can be perfectly described using mathematics, with predictive power and unbroken accuracy. This is something that can’t be ignored, and although math may seem arbitrary and non-intuitive we have to remember that the universe isn’t modeled for human consumption.

Some of the simplest questions are the most difficult to answer. The question of what exactly a number is has perplexed thinkers for centuries, but it was finally solved using something called set theory. An empty set is used to represent zero, like this:

{ }

The number one is the set that contains only the empty set of zero, like this:

[ { } ]

Two is like this:

[ { }, [{}] ]

Three is composed of two and one,

[ [{}], { }, [{}] ]

… and so on

But zero and one are all that's needed to define everything, just a multitude of binary switches to create an infinite variety from pixels, particles, points, etc.

Set theory leads to the remarkable conclusion that everything is made from nothing. With mathematics ultimately derived from nothing, all of the universe is also a product of nothing. Nothing can’t be created and so the universe was never created either, just as there’s no need to invoke a creator or God anywhere in the equation because the universe, and nothing, have always existed. However, the multitude of forms that nothing can take does change, rendering the infinite variety that surrounds us.

Dark Forces

On a related topic: the ‘dark’ forces of the universe. Despite numerous attempts to pin down an explanation using standard physics the latest evidence indicates that the factors called dark matter and dark energy, that are influencing matter and energy on a cosmic scale, are actually misnamed and are neither matter nor energy. These mysterious factors may well be the barely recognizable influence of additional dimensions beyond the common four of time and space.

The universe of light and energy that we exist within is probably the fractured symmetry of a perfect and infinite nothingness. The simplest math describes it as having ten dimensions. At the point of the ‘Big Bang’ the fractured symmetry inflated the common four dimensions we are familiar with, while drastically shrinking the other six. The other six dimensions are very difficult to probe, explaining why dark matter and dark energy are so challenging to measure for the purposes of determining exactly what they really are. But they’re probably dimensional artifacts of something much larger that we are unable to see directly, in the same way that islands in the ocean appear like isolated rocks to us on the surface when they’re in fact mountain peaks rising from the ocean floor below. The mysterious effect of quantum entanglement may well be another aspect of dimensions that are, as of yet, unexplored. – Freydis, 2012


Legal Abortion is Safe

The risk of serious complication from legal abortion is extremely low, between 0.05% and 0.2%.Molly Redden

The mortality rate for first trimester abortion is less than 1 per 100,000 procedures, for example, compared to nearly 9 deaths per 100,000 live births. The risk of major complications arising from abortion is less than .23 percent.Jordan Smith, January 2017

If the U.S. multinationals had to pay the statutory tax rate on that [$2.4 trillion in profits held overseas], they'd owe the government $695 billion.Jon Schwarz, June 2016

Democracy and Voting

Bogus Barriers to Voting Got W. Bush Elected

By all modern measures, we [USA] have one of the most corrupt and least trustworthy voting systems in the Western world. For example, in 2000, I discovered that the person in charge of counting the votes in Florida [Katherine Harris] was a Republican official who was also the chairwoman of Bush's election campaign. Before the election, she removed 56,000 African Americans from the voter rolls. She said they were convicted of crimes and therefore they couldn't vote. In fact, none of these people were criminals. But they all lost their right to vote. Almost none of them were going to vote for Bush, so that's how Bush became president. People have to understand, out of over 100 million votes, Bush won by just 537 votes.Greg Palast, June 2016

Most of the [campaign] ads are not about issues, they’re sort of like the debates. They’re saying, ‘He did this or he did that.’ Nobody is saying what I stand for. I’ve never seen anything like this and this is going to be a very good year for us. [...] I’m not taking any sides, I’m just saying for us, economically, Donald [Trump’s] place in this election is a good thing. Les Moonves, CEO of CBS, February 2016

Donald Trump "Says it like it is"


It's hard for me to turn down money, because that's what I've done in my whole life. I grab and grab and grab. You know, I get greedy. I want money, money. I'll tell you what we're going to do, right? We get greedy, right? Now we're going to get greedy for the United States. We're going to grab and grab and grab. We're going to bring in so much money and so much everything.Donald Trump, February 2016

Imposition of neoliberal free-market economics triggered the current wave of failed states

The expansion of the free market in a country [Syria] where there was neither democratic accountability nor the rule of law meant one thing above all: plutocrats linked to the nation's ruling family took anything that seemed potentially profitable. In the process, they grew staggeringly wealthy, while the denizens of Syria's impoverished villages, country towns, and city slums, who had once looked to the state for jobs and cheap food, suffered. It should have surprised no one that those places became the strongholds of the Syrian uprising after 2011. In the capital, Damascus, as the reign of neoliberalism spread, even the lesser members of the mukhabarat, or secret police, found themselves living on only $200 to $300 a month, while the state became a machine for thievery. [...]

Encouraged by Washington and Brussels, twenty-first-century neoliberalism has made unequal societies ever more unequal and helped transform already corrupt regimes into looting machines. This is also, of course, a formula for the success of the Islamic State or any other radical alternative to the status quo. Such movements are bound to find support in impoverished or neglected regions like eastern Syria or eastern Libya.Patrick Cockburn,  June 2016

Republican or Democrat, What's the Difference?

The economic aim of both major US political parties is, in the end, the same: to protect and reinforce the capitalist system.

The Republican Party does so chiefly by means of a systematic, unremitting demonization of the government. They blame it for whatever ails the capitalist economy. If unemployment grows, they point to government policies and actions and attack particular politicians for what they did or did not do to stimulate the economy, directing criticism away from the employers who actually deprive workers of their jobs.

Republican solutions for capitalism's ills always involve reducing the government's demands on private capitalists -- lower their taxes, deregulate their activities, and privatize government production of goods and services. Their program for the future is always: free the private capitalist system from government intervention and you will get "prosperity" and growth.

The Democrats protect and reproduce the system by assigning to the government the task of minimizing the problems that beset capitalism. So, for example, they want the business cycles that are an inherent affliction of capitalism to be foreseen, planned for, minimized, and overcome by government intervention. This is the underlying purpose of Keynesian economics and the monetary and fiscal policies it generates. Richard D. Wolff, June 2016

Terrorism: Cause

[M]ultiple Western intelligence agencies have long recognized (usually in secret) that at the top of the list of terrorism’s causes is the West’s militarism and interference in predominantly Muslim nations — as a 2004 Pentagon-commissioned report specified in listing the causes of terrorism: “American direct intervention in the Muslim world”; our “one-sided support in favor of Israel”; support for Islamic tyrannies in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia; and, most of all, “the American occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.” The report concluded: “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies.”Glenn Greenwald, July 2016


"Elie Wiesel Denounced Oppression of Jews—But Didn’t Do the Same for Palestinians"


Through Oprah, [Elie] Wiesel secured his brand as the high priest of Holocaust theology, the quasi-religion he introduced some 30 years earlier [… but] While Wiesel leveraged his literary talents to win sympathy for Jewish victims of genocide, he sought to limit the narratives of other groups subjected to industrial-level extermination.[...] Wiesel's support for successive assaults on Middle Eastern countries—always on the grounds of defeating “evil”—made him a key asset of neoconservatives and liberal interventionists alike.Max Blumenthal, July 2016

The Long, Sad, Corrupted Devolution of the GOP, From Eisenhower to Donald Trump

[President and former General Dwight D.] Eisenhower cut the military budget by 27 percent following the Korean War, and used his bully pulpit to highlight the trade-offs of military spending. “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed,” he said in a 1953 speech.Zaid Jilani, July 2016

This is how Conservatives have been trained to view government-sponsored social programs:

Social programs are immoral. By giving people things they haven’t earned, social programs remove the incentive to be disciplined, which is necessary for both morality and prosperity. Social programs should be eliminated. Anything that could be done by the private sphere should be. Government does have certain proper roles: to protect the lives and the private property of Americans, to make profit-seeking as easy as possible for worthy Americans (the disciplined ones), and to promote conservative morality (strict father morality), along with conservative social culture and religion.George Lakoff, November 2014

We need welfare for everyone, here's why:

The Left should fight for programs that provide health services, educate children, bolster the income of the less-well-off and subsidize housing. The reasons are obvious. The first is a simple moral imperative: A good society strives to meet the basic needs of all its people. The second is that government programs that protect people from the exigencies of labor markets, or of old age, or orphanhood, or disability, make people more secure. A sense of security, the reduction of fear, is a good thing in itself. But it also empowers people, and for that reason is essential to a more democratic society. Workers are far more likely to stand up to their bosses when they know they can fall back on decent unemployment benefits, just as women are more likely to stand up to abusive husbands when they know that they and their children can rely on government income supports.Frances Fox Piven, October 2012

State Secrecy: Secrecy is about control, in the same way a cartel restricts supply to raise prices. State secrets are a tool of political control, evident every time secrets are released by the government to favored parties. – Freydis, June 2013

Here’s a quick guide to interpreting official statements:

When a police department, government head, or corporate boss says they “regret” an incident, what they really mean is that they regret that their crimes and/or mistakes leaked out and they have to publicly acknowledge the situation.

When a government agency, corporation, or police department tells you they'll conduct an internal investigation of their crimes and/or mistakes, what they really mean is they’ll be conducting a cover-up. A genuine investigation would, of course, come from an impartial external group. – Freydis, 24.04.15

Character Reference

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attended the 1978 World Cup in Argentina as the personal guest of dictator Jorge Videla, the general who oversaw the forced disappearance of up to 30,000 opponents of the military regime.Uki Goñi, August 2016

Osama bin Laden was funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia, which had been financing bin Laden's upkeep since his seizure by the Pakistanis. "The Saudis didn't want bin Laden's presence revealed to us [American officials] because he was a Saudi, and so they told the Pakistanis to keep him out of the picture. The Saudis feared if we knew we would pressure the Pakistanis to let bin Laden start talking to us about what the Saudis had been doing with al-Qaida. And they were dropping money -- lots of it. The Pakistanis, in turn, were concerned that the Saudis might spill the beans about their control of bin Laden. The fear was that if the US found out about bin Laden from Riyadh, all hell would break out. The Americans learning about bin Laden's imprisonment from a walk-in was not the worst thing."Seymour Hersh, August 2016

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Trump epitomizes legalized tax evasion by rich

The real estate and casino billionaire made use of a tax provision that favors the real estate industry to declare paper losses of $916 million in 1995, which he could then use to offset income up to that amount for tax purposes over the next 18 years. [...] According to a Reuters report in April 2016, one-fifth of all large, profitable corporations paid no income tax at all in 2012, the last year for which figures were then available, and the average tax rate paid by profitable corporations was 14 percent, even though the nominal corporate income tax rate is 35 percent.WSWS, October 2016

How to defeat bullying by going to the source:

The best way to reduce bullying is to change our society by reducing its militarism and moving toward a less capitalist system. Social democratic countries, such as Sweden, have low rates of bullying. That is because they are not militarized and can be viewed as what Bernie Sanders called "democratic socialism." Their universal social welfare, and strong labor movement, reduces the inequalities of wealth and power that are the systemic causes of bullying. – Charles Derber & Yale R. Magrass, October 2016

How did Donald Trump get Elected?

Trump was able to exploit social anger due to the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party, under conditions of a general collapse of voter turnout and deep hostility to the entire political establishment. However, the vast majority of those who voted for Trump did not vote for an extreme-right regime, and as the character of his administration becomes clear, social and political opposition will grow.WSWS, November 2016

What really fuels Islamic Terrorism?

For 25 years, NATO states, with the US at the head, have been waging unceasing war against largely defenceless populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. Before that, imperialist interventions were carried out in Somalia, Bosnia, Serbia and a number of other countries. Millions have fallen victim to these imperialist wars and tens of thousands forced to flee every day.

Such war crimes have created the basis for the recruitment of fanatics intent on revenge. At the same time, Islamic terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and its predecessors, IS, were built up, financed and equipped by the US and its regional allies, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, before they became independent and turned against their erstwhile imperialist protectors.Ulrich Rippert, December 2016

If you really want to create jobs then promote clean energy

As a whole, advanced energy enterprises employ over half a million workers in California—three times the combined total of motion pictures, television, and radio—bigger than agriculture, forestry, and fishing. And, the pace is quickening. In 2015, the advanced energy sector generated jobs at six times the rate of the state’s economy overall.California Air Resources Board, January 2017

Billionaire DeVos shows how to buy political influence to turn public education into a private cash-machine

From 1995 to 2005, [Betsy] DeVos funded and sat on the Board of Directors of the Acton Institute, a right-wing outfit that has advocated for the elimination of compulsory education and child labor laws. […] She admitted during Senate committee hearings that she and her family had donated $200 million to Republican candidates over the last few decades. [...] She personally donated a total of $1 million to 21 of the Republican senators who voted for her confirmation.Niles Niemuth, February 2017

If you really want to make abortions be gone, then do everything possible to provide birth control, to have comprehensive sex education and, more importantly, to make sure there are programs in place that are going to help women and families.Shannon Speidel, February 2017

How can we define the human species now?

Most of us alive today carry inside our cells at least some DNA from a species that last saw the light of day tens of thousands of years ago. And we all carry different bits – to the extent that if you could add them all up, [Johannes] Krause says you could reconstitute something like one-third of the Neanderthals genome. With this knowledge, can we even say that these species are truly extinct? Pushing the idea one step further, if most living humans are a mishmash of H. sapiens DNA with a smattering from other species, is there such a thing as a “true” H. Sapiens?

New Scientist magazine, August 26 to September 1, 2017, pg. 33.