The call and response could go this way:

What do we want?


When do we want it?


We humans prefer predictability. It makes us feel secure. We aren’t such frightened little bunnies when we know what we can count on today and tomorrow, too. Sadly, we live in a world that simply isn’t all that predictable, due in part to the ever-accelerating rate of change in our world of non-stop breaking news.

America has always had a share of its citizenry who mouthed the words of support for democracy but didn’t really like or support it. That majority rule thing means that sometimes some people don’t get what they want. Some people just can’t handle not getting what they want all the time.

Plus, everything takes so much longer to decide and to do when everything is effectively a function of a committee, which is what democracy implies. Besides, some people don’t like to share and want all the power for themselves. They operate under the assumption that the “others” are too lazy or ignorant or less worthy somehow, so power grabbing by them, the “more equals,” just makes sense to them. And it’s so very self-satisfying.

We tried that anti-democracy thing with King George III at the top of the power pyramid and didn’t like that too much. That led to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, saying that we’d rather do that ruling thing ourselves.

It was intended to include all of us (eventually). But anti-democracy is really attractive to some, especially in the face of change and uncertainty.

Last September 11 the New York Times published an opinion piece by Elizabeth Rush entitled What Antarctica’s Disintegration Asks Of Us. She calls for having a different attitude toward this aspect of climate warming, yet my big takeaway was just one sentence in her piece:

“How do we go on living when the very things we once depended upon have become undependable?”

We are decades past the time when it became clear that we are killing ourselves and our planet on the installment plan, one tank of gas at a time, yet practically nothing has been done to ameliorate the problem. Not long ago there were the Paris Climate Accords and we earthlings have a perfect record. Of the 195 nations pledging specific action to deal with global warming, not even one country has kept its promise and most haven’t done a thing.

The Anasazi cliff dwellers lived for over 1,000 years in what is now southwest Colorado. It was a very dry climate, yet they managed to grow crops and scratch out their existence. It had always worked for them.

Right up until it didn’t.

One day between 1275 and 1300 A.D. they left. They didn’t leave a note about why they were departing or where they were going.

Something had become undependable. Best guess: years of drought forced them to leave in order to find a place where there could be a dependable supply of food and water.

The Anasazi liked dependability and predictability just as much as we do today. But they had an existential problem, so they made a decision and all of them left. Nobody knows how they came to their decision, but if drought was the impetus, what they had to do probably looked fairly obvious. Other times, solutions don’t look as obvious and decisions are difficult and slow to be made.

Now we’re facing a challenge every bit as dire as that of the Anasazi and increasingly as obvious. The Antarctica glacier that Elizabeth Rush and the scientific and journalistic team investigated is melting and has the volume to raise sea levels 10 feet. Say good-bye to all coastal cities on the globe. Nobody knows what other climate changes that much sea level rise could trigger.

The question we are going to have to answer is whether we will allow our democracy to solve this riddle. Doing so will be much slower than by authoritarian dictum. Also, it will likely be better reasoned and actually workable. That’s what happens when extra wisdom is applied.

You’ve watched would-be authoritarians over the past years and even now, as they work tirelessly to undermine democracy in order to grab power for themselves. They want to solve problems by fiat.

As of this writing Kari Lake is continuing to say that she will refuse the election results in the Arizona gubernatorial election if she doesn’t win. That’s the very stuff of authoritarianism. Would you trust Kari Lake or anyone like her to make life and death decisions for you or for our nation?

Now, for a collision of muddled metaphors.

We don’t have certainty and we will never have it. The people trying to sell you their authoritarian bucket of bolts are calling it dependability and predictability and saying theirs is the best answer. They are singing a siren song to lure you to crash on the slippery rocks of authoritarianism. They claim theirs is the patriotic way and that all you have to do to secure their promise for yourself, to have the predictability you crave, is to surrender your freedom and your voice.

They will be trying to get you to bite into their poison apple two years from now. If there is any certainty anywhere, some of them will be doing that every two years for the rest of your life. So, always be prepared with your decision.

Otherwise, you’ll be left clutching slimy authoritarian rocks and holding a bucket of worthless bolts.

Covid Update

No, it hasn’t gone away. Here’s an updated chart of daily Covid deaths:

We endured thousands of daily Covid deaths for over two years. Then magical vaccines came along, rationed first to healthcare workers, then to the elderly entrapped in nursing facilities and at last to the general public and there was a drastic reduction in Covid deaths. We still lost over 400 of our fellow citizens every day to this pandemic for a long time. As you can see from the chart, the daily death count began to decline in late October and is now below 300.

The fact remains that over 95% of the people who die from Covid every day are or were vaccine refusers. The same percentage applies to those sick enough to be hospitalized but who don’t die. Meanwhile, you do the math on how very few would die from Covid if vaccine refusal went away.

295 people dead from Covid every day is better than before, but hardly something to celebrate.

Oh, wait – we’ve already moved on and are now paying no attention to Covid at all. There are too many fresh distractions every day in this hyped up, always-breaking-news environment for us to stay focused on any one thing for very long. So, no celebration.

Ukraine Update

Ukrainian troops have recaptured the city of Kherson in the southeast of Ukraine along the Dnipro River where it empties into the Black Sea. Russian troops ran away from the advance of liberating Ukrainian troops and the Ukrainian flag flies in that city once again. It appears we’re coming closer to the day when President Zelenskyy can demand Putin’s surrender, as outlined last March.

Ukrainian flag is raised in Kherson with President Zelenskyy attending – 14 Nov 2022. Click the pic.


Our governance and electoral corruption and dysfunction and our ongoing mass murders are all of a piece, all the same problem with the same solution:

Fire the bastards!

The days are dwindling for us to take action. Get up! Do something to make things better.

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One Response to Bolts
  1. Jim Altschuler Reply

    Excellent points all but there’s an additional impact to the melting Antartica glacier:
    The volume of water that would raise the oceans 10 feet will reduce the percentage of salinity radically which, in turn, will devastate who knows how many species of fish, ocean mammals, crustaceans and the simpler life forms.

    On another plane, those millions of people currently living in coastal areas will have to move way inland. My reckoning says that a lot of currently agricultural land will be built up with housing and businesses and hospitals. Then where will our produce come from to feed us and our cattle/sheep/pigs, et al. The ramifications continue.