Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the category “Roger Ingalls’ Posts”

A Fair Currency – Roger Ingalls

There’s been a lot of news about Bitcoins and their success as a currency over the past several months. Prior to recent news, I wouldn’t even have known about them if it wasn’t for a friend that is really in to the digital mining of these coins.

This geeky digital money has gotten my mind churning about creating another currency that could parallel the dollar but would be a FAIR currency for main street working-class peoples. With the success and high public interest in the Bitcoin, it does seem likely that the creation of other useable forms of currency is possibly.

gold

It’s a worthy experiment to emulate, where appropriate, the implementation of the Bitcoin but this proposed new currency would be based on a basic human necessity instead of a precious metal like gold or a fiat currency ,such as, the US Dollar which is tied to the whims of the Federal Reserve and Wall Street Banks. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s call this new currency a FAIR. I would suggest the FAIR be based on food and more specifically, a fast and easily grown food such as lettuce. Again, food is needed by all so it is inherently precious.

Through the centuries, kings, warlords and religious leaders accumulated ornate elements to show proof of their powerful position. Over time, one of the elements – gold – would become the standard for commercial transactions. Until the 1970s, regional currencies were proportionally tied to gold; for example, the US Dollar was worth about 1/20th of an ounce and the Sterling Pound was equivalent to ¼ ounce. Here’s the point: today’s currencies are rooted in an ornate metal hoarded and controlled by the rich and powerful which has little to no life-sustaining value.

A currency tied to food has real value. It would solve many problems including hunger, obesity, wealth disparity, global warming and other aspects of an ailing society. Over the next several weeks I will justify the benefits of a food based currency, discuss implementation and earning participation.

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Taboo Talk: Religion – Roger Ingalls

Normally I don’t like to write about religion because it is very difficult to explain the nuances of one’s thoughts in a blog post consisting of a few hundred words. And, not too many people will read a 10,000 word post about the subject. However, I do like to talk about religion; it’s a fascinating topic.

Actually, this post isn’t really about religion, it’s about bring people together.

I read an article earlier today which got me thinking about how other people view religion. Participation in organized religion is on the decline but most people still believe in “something”. It would be extremely interesting to hear what others think about in regards to a higher order or their interpretation of religion. According to the article, it seems people want spiritual dialog, not preaching and they don’t want to be judged. In addition, there’s a feeling that the Gods of the main religions are ancient and don’t have relevance or show their existence today.

It would be fun to bring people together in some type of open forum where thoughts and beliefs could be shared without judgment. With all the social media and connection tools this should be easy to do. I’m brain storming on the fly here but this is something I may try to initially organize through GoToMeeting. I’d have open invitations to all people: all religious backgrounds, races, sexual orientation, atheists and so on. I’d try to get religious leaders to come to get their views but also so they could hear modern views first hand. Perhaps I could talk local churches, temple, mosques and synagogues into opening their door to host the meetings.

It would be an interesting experience but would people actually come?

Religous Leaders

Random Thoughts and Sound Bites – Roger Ingalls

Obamacare

Why has the Republican Party turned into an uncoordinated group of domestic terrorists trying to destroy the US economy? It’s a thrash and burn tactic synonymous with defeat; it’s just like Saddam blowing up oil wells as his army retreated from Kuwait. The conservatives know the Affordable Health Care Act won’t cause the world to stop as they’ve predicted and the people will mostly endorse it once underway. The party will have major egg on their face and they know it.

Government Shutdown

Why is a small group of right-wing zealots allowed to do harm to the country? By definition, a group conspiring to harm the USA is committing treason. They should be rounded up and given due process. Calling yourself a political party doesn’t exempt you from prosecution for treasonous acts.

Global Warming

The IPCC has released their fifth report on climate change and it is now 95% certain that this cycle of global warming is being caused by humans. As I’ve said in the past, it doesn’t really matter what’s causing it, we need to prepare for it…build an economy for it. It is here to stay. However, I’m still amazed that pseudo-scientists are still trying to deny the cause. The fakes are now even generating their own report with an almost identical name to further confuse the truth. All one has to do is look at who is backing these deniers and it becomes obvious that they’re shadowy hired guns supported by fossil fuel based corporation.

War on Terror

Listening to the local radio talk show, I was surprised to hear a frank speaking person with opinions seemingly based on real information. Then it became obvious. He was an ex-military higher up who worked under Colin Powell. His name is Lawrence Wilkerson (retired Army Colonel). I didn’t agree with all he said but Wilkerson did confirm something I strongly believe in. The WAR on Terror is misguided. The odds of an American getting killed by a terrorist is less likely than being struck by lightning yet we spend billions on top of billions under this fear mongering program. The military spending serves another hidden purpose.

Gun Control Again – Roger Ingalls

The recent mass shooting at the naval shipyard in Washington DC is extremely tragic and the frequency of this type of murder is increasing. Also, the use of long guns appears to be the weapon of choice for these deranged killers. However, I will still argue that mainstream media and political focus on rifles and assault weapons is way off base. The long gun’s use as a killing weapon is insignificant compared to the hand gun. Unfortunately, mass murders are great money making events for the media and provide a good soapbox for politicians to show their face. The real problem – hand gun murders that occur at a rate of one every hour, every day, 365 days a year – gets ignored.

We can solve the real problem and maintain the integrity of the Constitution by leaving the legal status of long guns as is but outlawing hand guns.

Gun MurdersLittle CrossesThis is the problem

Pussyfoot Politics – Roger Ingalls

To the battlefields, it’s time for war…again.  It’s no big surprise; the banking community needs their year over year growth and profit margins. There’s no real growth markets so they need to be artificially created. War material is expensive and if the inventory sitting on the shelves can be turned, it can then be replaced. All the big publicly traded military contractors will again make the big bucks, keeping Wall Street, aka The Banks, happy. We’re just looking for an excuse to make war happen.

Good for Wall Street, bad for Americans.

Good for Wall Street, bad for Americans.

Unfortunately, this is the economic path that’s been crafted through systematic flipping of freedom. Personal freedoms have been greatly regulated since the 1970s while corporate freedoms have experienced supernovas through deregulation. It’s a freedom inversion; taken away from the masses and given to big corporations and financial industries.

It is what it is; money buys power and brainwashing spin. It will not change until the system collapses under its own weight and corruption. People will react when the pain gets too great. We are not there yet.

Back to the war effort. We need to quit the pussyfooting, the posturing and all the fakeness related to our war efforts. We need to be honest with ourselves and come clean with the international community. We need to proclaim our true war policy.

Proclamation of War

We, corporate America and financial controlling partners, in order to maintain our monetary growth charter find it necessary to create a constant state of war. We steadfastly ascribe to maintaining leadership in weapons technology and will create war to deplete previous generations of war-product inventory which further enhances our ability to finance war sciences. We resolve to make transparent, through period notice, our intent to make war on nations deemed obstructionist to economic exploitation. We further resolve to align militarily and financially with all for profit entities engaged in economic exploitation.

It’s no longer about a free world; it’s only about a free market for the select few. Maybe it’s always been and the enlightened Voltaire, Locke and American Founding Fathers, such as Jefferson, Paine and Franklin were just fictional characters.

Healthy Sugar – Roger Ingalls

Yesterday I engaged in a food experiment completely by accident and ended up learning something. My wife left me a can of caramelized roasted cashews on the kitchen counter to take to work. Around 2:30 in the afternoon I decided to try some of these nuts. They were quite tasty and I found myself going back to the can over and over again. All of a sudden my stomach felt a little queasy and my brain said you better quit eating those sweet things before you make yourself sick.

I was puzzled by the ill feeling. Why is it that I can eat normal nuts all day but not ones with baked on candy and why can I drink sweet soda by the Gulp without issue? After reading the can it was apparent that these were high-end naturally flavored nuts that used real ingredients including natural sugar. Then it hit me; my body was recognizing what I was eating.

picture form motherjones.com

picture form motherjones.com

The body is a chemical machine that has evolved over a couple of million years and the brain detects, through receptors, enzymes as a result of foods breaking down (approximate definition of the body’s process). The body recognizes natural foods that have evolved with us but doesn’t chemically comprehend man-made foods. This is why I felt a little ill from eating too many cashews coated with naturally sugar but can drink a gallon of cola without feeling sick. High fructose corn syrup has been used in sodas since the 1980s and this man-made substance is slightly different (chemically) than real sugar so the body doesn’t know when enough is enough. If we still used real sugar in food, obesity and diabetes would probably be less prevalent in society today because our bodies would tell our brains to quit consuming so much.

For my next study, I think a comparison of Mexican Coke made with real sugar vs USA Coke made with corn syrup would make a good experiment. Supposedly, Mexican Coke is an extremely satisfying drink when a small quantity is consumed. If true, it makes a big statement for natural foods and ingredients.

California Climate Change Cheat Sheet – Roger Ingalls

Government reports about climate change can be boring and laborious to read. I believe changes in our environment are important, especially at the local level so I’m making an attempt to boil the information down to important and, hopefully, interesting bullet points. I relied heavily on a recent report from California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

ca warm pic

Climate Change Bullet Points:

1)      In 2007, there was a 90% statistical certainty that man was responsible for the current global warming trend.

2)      Today, there is a 95% statistical certainty that man is responsible for global warming.

3)      By 2021, as more data is collected, statistical certainty will climb to 99% pointing to man as the cause for global warming.

4)      The greenhouse gases (GHG) that warm the Earth’s surface are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halocarbons and ozone.

5)      In California, emissions from transportation, electrical power generation and the industrial sector account for over 80% of GHG emissions with transportation accounting for the largest portion at 38%.

6)      Atmospheric CO2 levels were first documented in 1958 at Mauna Loa, Hawaii at a concentration of 315 parts per million and in May 2013 a mean concentration of 400 was detected.

7)      Since monitoring CO2 concentrations in La Jolla, CA, levels have risen from 325 in 1969 to 395 in 2012.

8)      CO2 levels in the ocean rise as atmospheric CO2 levels increase, changing the chemistry of the water; this is called ocean acidification.

9)      California’s coastal waters are acidifying as evidenced by seawater CO2 and pH levels measured at Monterey Bay; this negatively impacts the local ocean food chain.

10)   Since 1895, annual average temperatures have increased by approximately 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit across California.

11)   Over the past century, minimum, average and maximum temperatures have all been increasing in California with the nighttime minimum increasing by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit and the daytime high increasing by 1.5 degrees.

12)   Over the past 20 years, the altitude in the atmosphere where temperature drops below freezing has risen by 500 feet indicating warmer conditions at higher elevations.

13)   Over the past century, spring runoff to the Sacramento River from the Sierra Nevada Mountains has decreased by 9%

14)   Over the past century, surface area of glaciers in the Sierra Nevada has been decreasing with losses ranging from 20% to 70%.

15)   The rise in global sea level is attributed to thermal expansion of ocean water and the melting of mountain glaciers and polar ice sheets.

16)   Over the past 100 years, sea levels have risen by an average of 7 inches along the California coast with levels at the Golden Gate in San Francisco increasing by 8 inches and 6 inches at La Jolla near San Diego.

17)   In Southern California, plant species in certain areas have moved upward by an average of about 213 feet over the past 30 years.

18)   The lower edge of the conifer-dominated forest in the Sierra Nevada has been retreating upslope over the past 60 years.

19)   Butterflies have been appearing earlier in the spring over the past four decades.

20)   Many small mammal species studied in Yosemite National Park showed a movement to higher elevations when compared to earlier century observations.

Don’t get caught up in a finger pointing “who’s responsible for climate change” world, just prepare for a warmer and biologically different future.

Songs of Protest, Change and Revolution – Roger Ingalls

It’s my belief that between the years of 2025 and 2040 there will be a revolution. It won’t be a peaceful one; it will be a bloody mess. It will be a global people’s revolution. A revolt against economic repression.

picture from unitednationsoffilm.com

picture from unitednationsoffilm.com

Predictions told in verse of songs:

 American Idiot, Green Day

Don’t wanna be an American Idiot
One nation controlled by the media
Information age of hysteria
It’s calling out to idiot America

The Economy is Suffering; Let It Die, Anti-Flag

I seen a lot of rip-offs in my life. The rip-offs of the old and the young, the weak, the sick, The never known. Stabbed repeatedly in the back by the Wall Street suit.

A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke

It’s been too hard living, but I’m afraid to die
Cos I don’t know what’s out there beyond the sky
It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will

Turn Turn Turn, Pete Seeger (sung by The Byrds)

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

Talkin’ Bout a Revolution, Tracy Chapman

Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ bout a revolution
It sounds like a whisper
Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Gil Scott-Heron

The revolution will not be right back
after a message about a white tornado, white lightning, or white people.
You will not have to worry about a dove in your
bedroom, a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl.
The revolution will not go better with Coke.
The revolution will not fight the germs that may cause bad breath.
The revolution will put you in the driver’s seat.

Black Spartacus Heart Attack Machine, Tom Morello

History’s not made by presidents or popes
or kings or queens or generalsor CIA kingpins runnin’ dope
history’s not madeby nine robed men or billionaires
it’s not made by them

Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Pete Seeger (sung by Joan Baez)

Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Young girls have picked them everyone.
Oh, when will they ever learn?
Oh, when will they ever learn?

A Nondescript Hero – Roger Ingalls

A few days ago I was thinking about teachers that influenced me in my younger years. There was Mrs. Bailey who introduced me and the rest of the second grade class to the Little House Series books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It turned a shy kid into a pseudo celebrity for a week or two and, as it turns out, I am actually related to the author. Then there was Ms. Lee from San Francisco; exotically pretty to a sixth grader. She opened my eyes to the goodness of ethnic diversity. I can still count in Cantonese…”yat, yee, sam, say, mm, lok, chat, baht, gow, sap, yatyat, yatyee and so on”.

The teacher that influenced me the most was Mr. X. Yes, that’s right, I can’t remember his name. It was the mid-seventies and the formalities of public schools were melting away. Most teachers tossed the traditional gender dress and became hip and cool. But not Mr. X, he wore black slacks, white shirt buttoned to the top and a dark unmarked tie. We thought he was a nerd and uncool, even the other teachers acted like he was a misfit. It was a time when educators were embracing friend-relations with students but not Mr. X. He kept a strict line between himself and us students. He was a teacher not a friend and we did what he told us to do; it was simple and straight forward.

math

Mr. X was a junior high school math teacher and I now believe a damn good one. When I moved onto high school, I was considered an advanced math student without ever trying to become one. I may not recall his name but I do remember that he focused us on one goal for that semester. We had to take the four numbers in our junior high graduating year (without rearranging their order) and make them equal 0, 1, 3, 4 and so on, all the way to 100. He would teach us different mathematical theories and then break us up into small groups and turn us loose on our one goal.

To get an idea of how we were to achieve our goal, here are some examples for the year 2013: 0=2+0+1-3, 1=|((2+0)x1))-3|, 2=2+(0x1x3) and so on up to 100.

Looking back on this some 30-something years later, it was brilliant. He made the class seem like a breeze because we only had to achieve one thing. The defined goal was made important to us because it was centered around the numbers used in the year we were graduating from junior high; it was personal, important and we owned it. Mr. X broke the class of thirty into five groups of six. The smaller groups made students more open to participation and simplified the teacher’s job because he could focus on five entities instead of 30 individuals. We achieved by working together; rehashing the theory which effectively created repetition in learning…we taught each other. Mr. X disguised his theory lessons by calling them hints for achieving the goal. He’d give us the theory and then we’d group up and apply what we learned to the goal and this deeply ingrained the lessons. It also groomed us for higher levels of schooling where lab work follows theoretical teaching. Without realizing it, we were taught some pretty complex math along with important workforce skills such as teamwork and cooperating to achieve goals.

Mr. X was not focused on or concerned about being cool, hip or friendly; he was focused on teaching. His methods were deceptively brilliant. He’s a nondescript hero and perhaps that was by design too.

Jail for the Privileged and Profiteers – Roger Ingalls

Another city jail opens its doors to corruption. Fremont, California over build their incarceration capacity by a factor of six so now they’ve decided to lower their vacancy rate by renting out the open cells in an attempt to turn a quarter of a million dollar profit. On the surface it sounds like a good idea because the city fixes a planning mistake and they also make money to spend elsewhere. But these profit motivated jailing programs have proven corrupt and beneficial to mainly the privileged.

Obviously, these programs cater to the wealthier members of society. As an example, if someone breaks the law and is sentenced to jail time, instead of serving time in a crowded county jail they can appeal to the judge for movement to a city facility if they pay a daily rental fee. In the case of Fremont, the daily fee is $155. If you have extra money, you can buy your way into a nicer jail with fewer prisoners and a less stressful environment. So, two criminals with the same offence with different monetary standings will serve different sentences. The poorer guy gets hell while the richer one gets a more privileged stay. Sentencing for crime should not be based on a criminal’s wealth.

picture by thinkprogress.org

picture by thinkprogress.org

Another problem with for profit jails is financial corruption. Again, it’s already been proven that judges can get bought. A for profit juvenile jail in Pennsylvania kicked back $2.6 million to two judges for keeping their facility at capacity; the infamous Kids for Cash Scandal. Offences that normally resulted in suspension from school for a few days often put teenagers in juvy-jail for months. The judges hid behind a position of zero tolerance but in actuality it was payola time.

For profit incarceration is also driving the criminalization of basic human behavior. Many of the prisons built over the past twenty years are constructed and managed by companies on the stock exchange. Many facilities originally built by local governments are now being handed over to for profit companies. Do you wonder why crime reports state that violent crimes are down but then the next report says the prison population is increasing? To attract stock investors, publicly traded incarceration companies need to grow revenue quarterly and annually…that’s how Wall Street and their financial institutions work. More prisoners equal more dollars and rehabilitation is a dirty word. These huge prison companies and their large work force hire lobbyists and political marketing firms to promote the passing of new laws or rally against movements that try to do away with bad laws that criminalize normal human behavior. Again, these companies need bodies behind bars to make money.

Jailing for the purpose of profit is a corruption of justice.

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