Monday, October 29, 2018


While looking through my account recently I thought it would be interesting to make a list of my grandmothers. When doing this I realized that my heritage expanded exponentially with each generation. Here is a list of my paternal line of grandmothers. Who knows who I maybe related to?
  1.  Mary Lyle 1887-1958
  2. Sara Getteys 1848-1924
  3. Adalne Wright 1821-1851
  4. Susanna Newell 175-1839
  5. Isabel Thorn 1745-1823
  6. Jean Jane Walker 1778-1785
  7. Katherine Hall 1699-1754
  8. Isabella Barclay 1644-1705
  9. Ursula Stanhope 1610-1654 
  10. Olivia Mary 1570-1635
  11. Isabel Abell 1539-1592
  12. Alexandra Knutton 1509-1575
  13. Isabella Maxwell 1491-1548
  14. Joanne Coynes-Norton 1405-1488
  15. Alice Guilford 1424-1461
  16. Alice Ellis 1402 -1466
  17. Isabella Robb 1375-?

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Big Foot Answers

If you are like me, a Big Foot skeptic, I may change your mind and them blow it.
I have been listening to The Long Earth series of books by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter. The title Long Earth comes from a discovery called "stepping" which is the ability for people to move between parallel works. Most people need a "stepper box" to do the stepping, but some people are born to be able to step. This stepping can happen across thousand and even millions of parallel worlds.

While stepping across these parallel worlds humans discover other intelligent being that are natural steppers and one of these beings are what humans call "trolls". These trolls are described as large bipedal primates that are covered with thick hair and have the intelligence of a chimpanzee. They communicate by singing songs and are not aggressive. They will work with humans as long are there are not more then 890 human in the area. These trolls have lived a stepping life longer then humans and can easily move between parallel worlds.

As I was reading about the trolls in The Long Earth it occurred to me that many of the features of the trolls fits the description of the Yeti/Big Foot. The ability for trolls to step also answers the question about why Big Foot is so elusive and seem to disappear when spotted. Trolls and Yeti are the same being.

Now to further blow your mind. Since now that we know that the Yeti is the Troll described in The Long Earth series of books, stepping must be real. And, if stepping is real then the Long Earth must be real which means that string theory is correct and there are multiple universes. Now all we need to do is build stepping boxes.

Monday, October 3, 2016

I'm Voting for Hillary

Why am I voting for Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8th? It is the same reason I choose an auto shop that has the experience and reputation to service my cars at a fair price. It is the same reason I choose a health center and doctor with the experience and reputation to meet my health care needs. I am not voting for Hillary because of her gender. Having been the wife of the governor of Arkansas,  the wife of the President of the United States, United States senator for 8 years and Secretary of State for 4 years she has the most experience of anyone who has run for President in modern times.
I always find it interesting that people will vote for anyone who is proud that they have no experience in government. We don't go to the mechanic that advertises they have no experience about repairing cars or the person who want to be your doctor and is proud they have no experience in medicine.
I am not voting 3rd party as a protest because I did that in 2000, I voted for Ralph Nader and regret it. I voted to protest the Democrats move to the center under Bill Clinton. I figured that voting for Nader in Massachusetts would not help elect George Bush, but it did not help Al Gore either. Today I think about how different our country would be if Gore had won.
I am not voting for Gary Johnson because the Libertarians are the party of I got mine and good luck getting yours. They are the party of economic Darwinism.
As far as the Green Party goes, it is a good idea that is gong nowhere. The Greens need to spend several years building a base in local and state legislatures.
Hillary is not without flaws and I disagree with some of her past choices and policies, but that is true for anyone who is in public service.
If you are dissatisfied with local, state of federal governments you need to get involved in making the changes. That is why I have joined Progressive Democrats of American (PDA) and my town Democratic Committee. The people who run your town/city and state governments make a big difference in you life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Clinton Does Not Equal Trump

There is meme going around that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are flawed and that both will bring ruin to America. Yes both are flawed, as are all humans, but as to bring ruin to America I guess this depends on several factors which include: your sex, sexual orientation, wealth, race, education, and religion. This is not a complete list, but you will get the idea. So lets take a look at each factor of how your life could change or not under Clinton or Trump.

Sex - Clinton is a staunch defender of women's rights, including the right to an abortion  and equal pay. Children will do better with Clinton as president as she has a life long record of helping families.  Affordable child care and family leave not only supports women but men benefit also.

Trump has a history of misogyny and has stated that he does not support abortion rights. With Trump as president the Republican congress will continue its dismantling of heath care for women and any gains in equal pay will be lost. No affordable child care or family leave. If your defining policy is anti-abortion Trump his your guy.

Sexual Orientation - With a Clinton president the progress of LGBT rights will continue. She will not let a Republican congress push back LGBT rights. Her Supreme Court nominees will continue to expand the rights of all people.

In contrast the rights of LGBT people are in danger of being denied with a Trump presidency. Trump himself seems to be neutral on LGBT rights, but with a Republican congress there will be a push to reverse recent court rulings. Pushing the LGBT community back in the closet by the Christen right will become normalized.

Wealth - If you are for the rich getting richer then vote for Trump. His economic plan is the same old Republican give the rich more and hope they will create jobs for the rest of us.

Clinton has been criticized for being wealthy herself and close to Wall Street. Although, she has laid out plans to raise taxes on the wealthy and make the tax plan more fair for the middle class. With the rise of the progressive left she will be forced to tackle income inequality or lose support.

Race - Trump's endorsement by the KKK and other white supremacists groups is all you need to know about how non-white citizens will fair under his administration. If you were alive during the 60's and 70's you saw cities burning as African Americans fought against racism. We are starting to see the black community pushing back against police shooting and this will only get worse under Trump. Hispanics will also feel the full force of racism and the closeted racists will be embolden to act.

Clinton has been working for and with minorities most of her adult life.  As a young lawyer she helped minority children receive health care and education that was denied them by a racist system. Clinton will push forward an agenda that will give more opportunity to minorities. She will help the 11 million undocumented people become citizens of the USA. A Clinton presidency will send a message that racism is over in America.

Education - Clinton has been working for years to improve early childhood education. She wants every child in America to have a quality pre-K program. By 2021, families with income up to $125,000 will pay no tuition at in-state four-year public colleges and universities. And from the beginning, every student from a family making $85,000 a year or less will be able to go to an in-state four-year public college or university without paying tuition. 

I don't know what Trump's plan is for improving education in America. The only plan that the Republicans seem to have is to add more charter schools and eventually turn all education in America over to for profit corporations. 

Religion -  I don't think Trump is a religious man, but the Christen right will try to turn America into a theocracy with him as President. Forget the separation of church and state, with Trump as President the church will be the state. Prayer in school will be mandatory, abortions only in secret places, no more same sex even in your own bedroom. 

With Clinton as President the Christen right will held in check. They will not get to pick Supreme Court justices or deny transgender people the right to use the public bathroom of their gender choice. Churches will still not have pay taxes and there will still be prayers in Congress. 

It DOES MATTER who is President. They have Cabinets Secretaries and who they appoint can make a big difference in our quality of food, air, water, health care, transportation, etc. Who the Attorney General is can make a difference in what laws are enforced and what law are not. Remember we had an Attorney General who ruled torture was OK and a Secretary of the Interior who was a friend of coal and oil companies. 

So take the time to decide what kind of America you want to live in.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What is your political philosophy?

Every Presidential election season brings up many choices in the political spectrum. According to Wikipedia their are five major political parties and 33 minor parties. Many people are die hard supporters of a particular political philosophy while others are not and have only a passing interest in the political process.
I have a liberal outlook myself, but  I try to see the world through the eyes of others. I have attempted to simplify my understanding of the political spectrum and in doing so I have distilled these diverse world views down to their essences. Moving from the left to the right political spectrum: socialist, liberal, libertarian, conservative (you may disagree with this arraignment some would have libertarian to the right of conservatives).

  • Socialist - I have some and will share it with you
  • Liberal - I have mine and feel bad you don't have yours
  • Libertarian - I have mine and hope you get yours
  • Conservative - I have mine and you don't deserve yours
Remember that all political world views have within them elements on the left and right. Some liberals lean socialist and some lean conservative. This list does not include the extreme left and right - communism and fascism.    

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Donald Trump's Brilliant Idea?

I recently decided that Donald Trump is not the clown I thought he was. He has a brilliant plan to solve the illegal immigration problem and provide needed jobs for the unemployed and recent college graduates.
Here how his (and many other conservatives) plan will save America.

  1. Building the wall on the southern border is only the start, but let's start there. According to an article in the Washington Post the wall will cost between $3 million and $16 million per mile (depending on where the wall is built) with a total cost of around $25 billion. Thousands will be employed to build and maintain the wall, which can be done by the unemployed and college students. A guess would be 10,000 workers
  2. To build the wall millions of tons of concrete and steel will have to be delivered to the border and this will require roads to be built and trucks to haul the material, more jobs. (Unless Trump's mob connections get the contract). Maybe another 10,000 jobs
  3. It will not be easy to find and remove 11,000,000 undocumented people. They are not going to line up at the border and willing go back to their home countries. We will need a large federal police force that has the power to stop and hold anyone who may be here illegally.  This could take up to a 500,000 member special police force, which can be manned by the unemployed and recent college graduates. We will all have to have ID's on us that proves we are citizens. Remember not all undocumented people are dark skinned. So that will create more job for the agency that will issue these IDs, another 200,000 jobs
    1. Rounding up and deporting 11,000,000 people will take time. At one million a year it will be 11 years until the job is completed. Working 24/7/365 federal agents will have to process over 2,700 people a day which will mean we will need to build hundreds of holding facilities. This means hundreds of thousands jobs to building and staff the processing centers. This job can be turned over to the private sector as they already have practice with private prisons. More private sectors jobs can be created in the transportation of the undocumented out of the USA by bus, rail and air. (This could also be a lucrative contract for mob connections). Another 100,000 unemployed will have a job.
    2. With the deportation of the undocumented there will be a shortage of around 1.5 million migrant farm workers. These low skill jobs can easily be filled with high school dropouts and college students who have not found jobs and auto workers who have been laid off. 
    3. Tens of thousands of the undocumented also work in meat processing and construction. More jobs for high school dropouts and unemployed tech workers. 
    4. And, this is Trump's true genius, his own hotels and casinos have undocumented employees working in housekeeping and food service. In fact most of the hotels and restaurants in America depend of foreign born workers to prepare food and clean rooms, these jobs could go to native born workers. This will create another 250,000 opportunities for PHD's who can't find a position and middle managers whose companies have down sized. 
    Donald Trump must have thought long and hard about the deportation of 11,000,000 people and how it can give millions of Americans jobs.  

    Saturday, October 25, 2014

    Wikipedia solves the knowledge gap

    As a teacher in the 90's one of the new digital tools that I used was a digital  encyclopedia on a CD. Encarta, from Microsoft, was one of the most popular multimedia encyclopedias (1993-2009)
    "The standard edition of Microsoft Encarta included over 50.000 articles of information, which includes images, video and sound; the premium edition contained over 62000 articles, along with over 25000 images and over 300 videos. Microsoft Encarta also included an interactive Atlas, where users could view and see information from nearly 2 million different locations. The later versions of the Microsoft Encarta electronic encyclopedia included more complex multimedia content and a range of other features."

    There may be many reasons why Encarta and other digital encyclopedias no longer exist, but one reason is the development of Wikipedia. 

    Wikipedia has long been the bane of educators as students by the million use it as resource material for writing papers. As Wikipedia has mature over the last 15 years it has gained more respect and should not be shunned by educators. 

    In this TEDx talk Andrew Lih (The Wikipedia Revolution) invites a new generation to become editors of and contributors to Wikipedia.