Israel-Palestine: The Israel-Palestine conflict must be seen from an international and human rights perspective. It appears that the only solution is one secular democratic state that respects human rights. That Jewish immigrants may be a minority in that country is hardly relevant since, being much more prosperous and educated, they will maintain leading positions in all parts of governance.
Religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, and a Jewish religious identity must not be pivotal. Human rights must be realized, as feasible, independent of the teachings of any of the three major religions. The world does not need Islamic, Jewish or by another religion defined countries. Additionally, Jewish groups do not agree on the interpretation of their holy texts, and Israel’s parties do not agree on how their religion should influence politics; many modern Israelis, as countless people in all parts of the world, are essentially secularist.
Court system, Supreme Court: The court system is being filled with judges that were nominated according to their known prejudices. Courts have become more and more extensions of partisan politics. Confirmation hearings are apparently not considering whether a judge is a neutral observer of the constitution, appropriate precedents, and relevant scientific data. In addition to ethically questionable conservative economic thinking, moral judgments and mandates that are associated with religious factions have encroached conservative legal thinking in spite of the constitutional requirement that we keep religious beliefs separate from the public life (politics, including the legal system).
It appears unbelievable that politically influential people are allowed to spread obvious falsehoods and starting unfounded conspiracy theories about political candidates of the other party; this undermines the very basis of democracy and must not be considered free speech; legitimate free speech may consist in stating opinions, interpretations of present data in a possibly biased way but without assertion of reporting actual knowledge; expressing one’s cultural-religious beliefs must not be permitted to be presented as factual knowledge.
Recently, the Supreme Court allowed the partisan senates to, based on spurious reasoning, refuse confirmation hearings for a judge nominated by a president of the other party; and a nominee who obviously lied during the confirmation hearing was 1. confirmed by the senate, and 2. accepted by the Supreme Court judges to become a peer.
[Kavanaugh lied about the meaning of words, in college year book, which indicate morally questionable sexual behaviors, and he asserted that he did not assault any women; he may have believed in the assertion but it was not truthful since he was apparently often too intoxicated to remember what he did – Prof. Ford’s testimony was unambiguous and believable, and there was no motive or benefit for her to courageously explain her vivid memories. It is also conceivable that he ‘forgot’ – pushed out of conscious memories – other unacceptable behaviors he was accused of by multiple women other than Prof. Ford; he must have known that his memories of that shameful time were vague and possibly suppressed.]
Corona virus in perspective: For years, scientists warned that a pandemic was likely to occur at any time, and the WHO and every country’s health department should have been ready to respond. This would include ready orders of preventive quarantine, large supplies of protective face masks, etc. In late January it should have been clear: Covid-19 is rapidly spreading worldwide, and it is a very contagious, often lethal disorder. Wherever or not potentially exposed persons are recognized as likely to have covid-19, quarantine and protective measures to prevent the spread should have been prompt and as thorough as possible, long before reliable testing was available.
Apparently, our institutions are very bad when it comes to officials looking at the ‘big picture’ and responding according to the seriousness of a situation. Why has the response to the corona pandemic been terrible in the U.S. while other countries did fair to very well?
To put it into perspective: in a couple of months, we reached more covid-19 deaths than the annual death rate from the opioid epidemic, However, while there has been no treatment for covid-19, the highly contagious opioid use disorder is cheaply treatable, with methadone, in milder cases buprenorphine, combined with targeted psychotherapies (these medication assisted treatments work like nicotine patches, greatly decreasing craving while hardly interfering with normal functioning and emotions). But governments and our profit-driven health care system have been sabotaging these treatments! Everybody adhered to “business as usual” which included referring people to mostly worthless, dangerous but profitable treatments.
If the Corona pandemic should remind us of how incompetent our institutions’ responses have been, it should also remind us how bad our economic system is, how market capitalism needs major modifications. Even much more important: is the climate emergency not much worse? The consequences of the climate emergency can not even be compared with the covid-19 epidemic and its economic consequences. But who is even mentioning how we must, immediately, start saving energy in e very way possible, greatly reduce the cattle industry, etc.
What we can learn from the tyrannosaurs – hypothesis about their disappearance: Did the dinosaurs disappear because of a ‘nuclear winter’ following the asteroid impact and enormous volcanic eruptions or was it lack of population control? The large carnivorous dinosaurs were on the top of the food chain with no predators to control them. With the climate change, plants became scarce, and in the end, the carnivorous dinosaurs may have eaten all the vegetarians and then died of hunger. Are we humans, now on the top of the food chain, also moving towards mass starvation due to global warming, destruction of ecosystems and inadequate family planning?
Like homo sapiens, the tyrannosaurid family and, in some areas other large carnivore dinosaurs, became the kings of the animal world with no predator controlling their populations. Today’s large herbivore families are larger and more powerful or better long-distance runners than local predators, and the small, very prolific herbivores often can hide. Plant eating dinosaurs were not likely to be able to escape or hide from the large powerful predators. The Chicxulub Asteroid impact and major volcanic eruptions on the Deccan plateau (on the Indian subcontinent) led to significant cooling of the world (which then was about 10°C warmer than today) and there was much less sunlight for decades, influencing plant growth. However, there was no “ice age” and diurnal land annual temperature fluctuations were smaller. Biologically, it is surprising that the normal high ambient temperatures actually allowed a successful fauna. Body temperatures up to 5°C above normal are tolerated by birds but proteins become unstable at high temperatures. It appears that animals had to be either big – cooling off significantly at night and not heating their body mass up too much during days, or nocturnal, usually close to or below the ground.
Ancestors of today’s large flightless birds and the even larger ones that were hunted to extinction by homo sapiens probably were smaller and nocturnal (like today’s Kiwi), or some may still have been able to fly(?) Gigantism probably developed after the extinction of the dinosaurs.
I believe the temporary darkened skies and decrease of plant life cannot explain why all land-bound dinosaurs were completely eradicated. More likely, the large carnivore dinosaurs, particularly the tyrannosaurid family ate all other dinosaurs with the notable exception of the bird families that would appear to have been more at risk of extinction due to a shortage of food. The large carnivores then perished due to starvation.
Dinosaurs may be a warning to humans – to survive we must use birth control and protect our environment.