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Just Say No to Monsanto

Fruit still life

From a TED Conversation

Question: We just lost the constitutional right to take Monsanto to court if their GMO crops sicken or kill us. Any comment?

Spring responds:

Today Monsanto got a lot of America farmers punched in the nose. Japan banned American wheat because it’s contaminated with GMO grain. Let’s hope that bloody nose shakes other farmers awake. Isn’t it encouraging to watch other governments protect their citizens? Continue reading

Blessed are the poor…?

Mountain

From a TED Conversation

Question: Why do many politically conservative American Christians oppose social welfare programs when the Bible calls on Christians to help the poor?

Spring responds:

What you believe and have been taught about Jesus may not be anything like what Jesus taught. If you believe in the Old Testament, you are what he was fighting against. If you believe in an eye for an eye, you are opposed to his teachings. He never states that it is wrong for the people to provide for the poor through the government, does he? He never taught spare the rod and spoil the child, did he? Continue reading

Why Education?

Painting

From a TED Conversation

Question: What is the purpose of education? The most important question in the education revolution

Spring responds:

We are a functioning society with rules and requirements to keep things working. Most of us have to know the rules and follow the regulations because of reality. If everyone at a stop sign goes at once, no one gets anywhere but maybe a hospital, after the wreckage is cleared. Continue reading

Evolution and Survival

Photo: from a painting by Spring Bright

Photo: from a painting by Spring Bright

From a TED Conversation

Question: The survival imperative in evolution — Where does it come from?

Spring responds:

The theory doesn’t necessarily include the survival imperative. If you’re just looking at Darwin, he saw the pattern of birds and other animals being changed by their circumstances so that some had long beaks that seemed to evolve with plants that grew deeper flowers in response to longer beaks or long tongues that let finches reach nectar.

Whose survival instinct are you looking at? The plant or the bird? It’s so much more complex and really has little to do with any battles between humans or fights over territory.

The most important aspect of it that has been roundly ignored is chance. You can have a very strong instinct to survive and yet be wiped out by a volcano or a close impact meteor that kills off almost everything on earth, as in dinosaurs and most humans thirteen thousand years ago.

Those who survived were underground or just happened to be in a protected place and still young enough to produce young. And that is the fastest, greatest change our little planet ever experiences.

So figure chance into your equations.

Considering the very core of life, where perhaps survival is not a precondition, but an evolution from merely existing as anything we would define as being alive. If there is only one newly minted form of life in a vast world, why would there be any fight for survival or any need for DNA that codes for it?

For some time, there would be enough for everyone, and then as shortages developed or as things got crowded, the need for an urge to survive might arise in some single celled beings, which would then have an advantage over the others who were just existing, and so on.

How do you define “survival instinct?” And if no other form of life is able to or wants to compete for a certain niche, why would we need a survival instinct to make it?

 

Wealth Hoarding Is a Crime

Birds + home

From a TED Conversation

Question: Should we view wealth hoarding as dysfunctional as any other form of hoarding?

Spring responds:

Wealth hoarding may be a “dysfunction” but it frequently is also a crime and America could be better served by severely punishing the “white collar crimes” and “legal” manipulations of law and court that make it possible. Continue reading

The Attack on Social Security

Owl

The drive to privatize or end Social Security is a clear example of willful blindness. The only proposal from Republican pundits is to raise the retirement age to 70. It ignores the inability of many people to keep working that long.

Imagine if young workers were forced to support their destitute 68-year-old parents who can’t work or get Social Security. How will those workers afford kids? How will they rent apartments or marry? Nearly 30 percent of American college graduates now have to move back in with their parents. They can’t buy homes, furniture or dishes or sign up for their own cable or satellite service.

The Social Security and Medicare “shortfalls” have been carefully crafted to look like an emergency to justify cutting benefits or raising the retirement age. Simply ending the exemption on income over $112,000 a year would solve the problem.

And why are dividends, interest income and capital gains all exempt from buying Social Security and Medicare insurance?

Even the wealthiest among us collect Social Security on earned income and rely on Medicare, although they could afford private health insurance. And their kids and grandkids benefit from Social Security and take whatever benefits they can get from Medicare and Social Security.

Sarah Palin, who can clearly afford to take care of her kids, gets Social Security for her disabled youngest child.

Do CEOs and leveraged buy-out billionaires imagine that impoverishing others will make them richer or more secure? Are they willfully blind to the riots in Greece, England and France? Are they willfully blind to the possibility of that happening here? Again?

Do they want bloody union wars? Again?

Photo credit: from a painting by Spring Bright

 

 

Women in Charge

Ghosts women

Q: Who is really in charge in our so-called society?

A: Actually, corporations, religions and the military run things, not women or men. Unfortunately, men now mainly run these entities, and when women are excluded, balance goes out the window.

This can lead to stupid decisions, like drug makers selling drugs they know are killing people who take them. Hopefully, women are less likely to think their own paychecks are more important than the lives of their customers. We can’t be sure until a lot more women are CEOs and board members. Continue reading

Have We Lost the American Dream?

Photo: from a painting by Spring Bright

Photo: from a painting by Spring Bright

Why do people think the American dream is to work hard and get ahead? Most people do not dream of hard work, they dream of an easier life and many other things like laughter, love, freedom, travel, sports and freedom from pain or hunger.

They dream of being free from worrying about having to take care of others, freedom from sickness, freedom from harassment by governments or religions or neighbors or family members. Continue reading

Pain-Free Living

The Non-Drug Migraine Cure

(first of a series)

SB 18

When I was 21, I had been a coffee addict since I was 16. I drank it black by the pot full. I had terrible migraines, and one day I went to see a chiropractor to see if he could help me. He looked at the dark circles under my eyes and said, “Something is poisoning you, and I’ll bet it’s caffeine.” Continue reading

Pain-Free Living, part 2

Avoiding Tomatoes

(second of a series)

Nature

I was suffering off and on from nasty leg cramps at night. Nothing seemed to help. I tried exercising early in the day or late at night, stretching, yoga, both hot and cold. I took aspirin, but it made my stomach burn. I tried NSAIDS but my stomach rebelled again. I tried prescription drugs, but they made me groggy and stupid without stopping the pain.

Finally, a chef in a Chinese restaurant told me that some people get muscle cramps and migraines from tomatoes, eggplant and other vegetables in the nightshade family. Continue reading