Archive for From The Editor

Epitaph For Planet Earth

Greta Thunberg is making a big splash in the world and we couldn’t be more happy about this bold and courageous teen. She just recently scolded the world leaders to take climate change seriously or forever receive the wrath of the young people for their inaction. Kudos to her!!!

But she’s not the first advocate for climate change. Jimmy Carter actually talked the talk and walk back in the 1970s but thanks to conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan, the nascent green energy movement was ridiculed and quashed before it even got started. Of course, many other intelligent people have stepped to the forefront over the last forty years pushing for alternative energy, only to be ignored and vilified by the powerful oil, gas and coal industries and their Republican (and some Democrats) lackeys in Congress.

A few posts ago we noted how so many modern-day conservatives were against conservation, thus making themselves colossal hypocrites. But it’s much more complex than that, of course. It’s the collective, monstrous egos of our planet’s most intelligent (allegedly) species, homo sapiens, that have done the most damage. When you put it in that context, each and every human being on the planet is responsible for the demise of life on Earth. We are all to blame and if we’re to rectify the problem, we need to all get on the same page. We all need a giant philosophical paradigm shift and that starts with the realization that unregulated capitalism is killing the planet and all the life on it.

Right now thousands of acres of rain forest are burning in South America. The vast Amazon is considered by many to be the ‘lungs of planet Earth’. Yet, it is believed many of these fires were set on purpose by humans; pro-business acolytes of Brazil’s fascist leader Jair Bolsonaro. This authoritarian right winger wants to expand logging, farming and mining industries at the expense of the health and welfare of one of the most vital and important ecosystems of planet Earth because he claims the rain forest belongs to Brazil and he can do whatever he wants.

But Bolsonaro is only doing what other third world countries do when they want to play the capitalistic game. They see the wealth of the exploitative, industrialized first world countries and they want some of that action. Or, he who has the most money wins the game. Of course, once you place living, breathing ecosystems and wildlife as a commodity to be bought and sold for profit, human’s greed and hubris take over with devastating results. There are numerous examples throughout history. Most scientists believe it was humans who killed off megafauna like the mammoth, giant sloth and the saber-tooth tiger. We’ve killed off the Tasmanian tiger, the dodo and the carrier pigeon in the last five hundred years. We almost drove the American buffalo to extinction in the 19th century. We’ve killed off over 60% of species since the 1970s. Greenland is melting at an alarming rate which places its wildlife in peril. Climate change is killing the Great Barrier Reef as is human pollution. A new study has indicated that since 1970, bird populations have fallen 29% or 3 billion fewer birds. All because we ‘intelligent’ humans greedily lust for an abstract commodity; monetary wealth.

But how and why did having money become the most important thing in our world? Because we’re humans, goddamn it! We’re superior creatures! What are we humans supposed to do with our time? Go hiking in the wilderness, relax and enjoy life? Boring!!! We must grow, grow, grow! Bigger, bigger, bigger! We’re taught from day one that we must utilize our superior brains every second of the day or else we’re failures. We can’t just sit around doing nothing. Or can we? If you ask any sane person what their idea of paradise is, they’ll usually respond some idyllic tropical island like Tahiti or some mountain retreat with little to no development and lots of nature or some small remote village where people live simply. So, why are we constantly destroying nature and building ugly concrete and steel structures and athletic stadiums which only last for twenty years? Because we can; as a monument to human ingenuity and greed.

But just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should. Would it really be so bad to just not build a new multiplex shopping center? Would it be so bad to adopt a simpler lifestyle and enjoy nature and the great outdoors? Would it be so bad to tear down some of our ubiquitous, ugly strip malls and skyscrapers and plant urban forests and farms? Plant an urban garden where that stupid parking lot is. Have a nature reserve where that stupid golf course is. If we combine this with a global effort of birth control and contraception, we can get things under control again. We need fewer humans, not more humans on this planet. Humans, especially ones from industrial, consumptive nations are at the forefront of environmental devastation. We’ve created so much waste that we’re exporting it to third world countries with poor waste management systems. If third world countries become like first world countries, then our planet is truly doomed and we can all kiss our materialistic asses goodbye. We need to dial our greed back from 11. We need to curb our consumption and learn to be content with fewer material possessions and simpler lifestyles. This is the only planet we know of that supports life. We need to put the welfare of our planet before our own wealth, because without the planet, how can we enjoy the wealth? We need to stop worshipping the greedy, egotistical and avaricious and start respecting and caring for nature and our environment. Those paradises we yearn for are right under our feet; we just don’t recognize them because of all the concrete, asphalt and steel.

In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.
In an attempt to demonstrate how superior they are, humans are proving to be far more destructive to planet Earth than any asteroid.

Chillaxing For A Spell

America’s CEO/Dictator Donald Trump continues his relentless assault on democratic principles and as usual during the debacle that is the Trump presidency, we’re having a hard time keeping up with all the crap. Just in the past week there’s been reports of more migrant deaths in the concentration camps set up by Republicans, Trump almost started a war with Iran over suspicious claims of a tanker attack and a new press secretary has been named to replace Sarah *uckabee Sanders and for some strange reason, it’s not Sergeant Schultz. We thought he’d be a natural.

It’s been a while since we’ve taken a break, so we’re taking a little time to chillax and recharge our batteries from this non-stop bombardment on truth, honesty, logic, reason and democracy by the orange haired man-child and his feckless, flying monkey Republican goon squad. We’ll be back next month.

Gone Fishin' - Be Back Soon!
We’re taking a break America. We’ll be back real soon.

Religion: Humanity’s Security Blanket

If you’ve read any post or articles on this site, you know that we’re atheists. Our world view is solidly connected to a 21st century database of logic, reason and scientific knowledge obtained by thorough scientific methods and inquiry. Adherents to religion on the other hand, seem solidly connected to 1st century, 6th century or x century databases that may have made sense in those antiquated times, but given our advanced knowledge of the universe surrounding us, are now woefully obsolete.

Proponents of religion also claim that only they have the answers to life’s questions. Inevitably it boils to certain individuals in the upper echelons of the religious organizations who want to completely control their adherents or sheeple. History has many examples of bloody wars between adherents of one ‘faith’ disagreeing with followers of another leaving nothing but death and scorched earth behind. Many religions state that God made man in his image and that God created the Earth with man as ruler over all other animals. This directly conflicts with scientific evidence uncovered in the last three hundred years which concludes that man created God (or Odin or Zeus or Iron Man. . .pick you favorite fictitious deity) in his image and has used God and capitalism to commandeer and take control of the planet for fun and profit. Even the authoritarian dictator Napoleon commented that “Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” That’s why there are so many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there making a killing off of the gullible sheeple. There’s also a link between religion and vaccine refusal. So people are dying unnecessarily because the religious leaders are telling their flock to trust prayer (basically thinking good thoughts) over science.

We would think that modern day humans would see religion for what it is: a bloody, soiled security blanket to give us a warm fuzzy about capitalistic, materialistic life on this planet. All you really need to live an ethical and moral life is adherence to the golden rule or the law of reciprocity, which predates christianity or any other modern religions. Treat other people the way you want to be treated. You don’t need to tithe or give money to evangelical preachers so they can buy private jets to spread the gospel or ‘talk to God’. Just be kind and respect your fellow human beings and like Jesus (who was a human being, not a god) taught, share with others and help them when you can. Most major religions have this in their dogma. We’ll even go a step further and say respect animals and nature. The fact that so many evangelical rapture enthusiasts are salivating for complete destruction of the Earth, should be proof that they are insane. Why would anyone who loved God want to ruin his ‘ultimate creation’? And how can conservatives be against conservation? Given the knowledge we’ve obtained about the universe in the last three hundred years, the most important thing a human can do is maintain and preserve life on Earth. There is no planet B, folks. Since we’ve taken over the planet, it is up to us to preserve the life on it.

We’ve talked before that the best spaceship is our own planet. We need to stop being greedy materialists and live within our means. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “Simplify, Simplify”. We need to listen to modern day scientists. They know what they’re talking about. We need to attenuate our consumption and more importantly reduce the human population using the ethical means of birth control and contraception. By doing this, we can lessen our carbon footprint, decrease our pollution and in general, return the planet to a healthy equilibrium. Ridding ourselves of the antiquated dogmas of religion and embracing environmental science will also go a long way to preserving all life on planet Earth.

Denizens of Earth continue to wrap themselves in the bloody, soiled security blanket of religion putting the health and welfare of the planet in jeopardy.
Denizens of Earth continue to wrap themselves in the bloody, soiled security blanket of religion putting the health and welfare of the planet in jeopardy.

Have A Holly, Jolly Festivus

We’d like to wish everyone a Happy Festivus!

And to Trump supporters and the Republicans who’ve enabled the lying, orange haired, megalomaniac man child these past two years…we think you know where you can stick the Festivus pole.

Happy Festivus aluminum pole

Vote ‘D’ For Democracy

The 2018 midterm elections are tomorrow and the choice couldn’t be clearer in our opinion. Of course, we thought that two years ago.

The Republicans are openly embracing white nationalism and authoritarian corporate fascism. They are attacking the fundamental principles and laws of our constitution. They have effectively been dismantling our government for the last two years giving enormous tax cuts to the plutocrats in our society, basically giving complete and absolute power to a handful of corporations and the richest of the rich while saddling future generations with debilitating debt. If you truly believe in a representative democracy, by the people, for the people, there is only one way to vote: vote ‘D’ for Democracy.

Since the Republicans have completely embraced authoritarian corporate fascism, the choice in the midterms is clear: vote 'D' for Democracy.

Since the Republicans have completely embraced authoritarian corporate fascism, the choice in the midterms is clear: vote ‘D’ for Democracy.

Simplify, Simplify: The Fisherman Story

Given the unprecedented mounds of crap heaped upon us from America’s CEO/Dictator, Donald Trump, this year, we wanted to end this most craptacular of years on a positive note.

We’re presenting here The Fisherman Story. Various versions of it have made the rounds on the Internet for the last twenty years. It’s a simple story with a powerful message that forces each and every greedy, materialistic, ultra-competitive, consumer addicted American to reevaluate one’s life and take inventory about what’s really important. Like Henry David Thoreau stated back in the 1840s: we need to simplify, simplify. Also feel free to buy a Simplify, Simplify t-shirt, sticker or mug to support this site.

The Fisherman Story
Author Unknown

A small fishing boat docked in a tiny, picturesque Mexican village.

A passing American tourist complimented the Mexican fisherman on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took him to catch them.

“Not very long,” answered the Mexican.

“But then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the American.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his simple needs and those of his family.

The American asked, “But what do you do with all your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, help my wife around the house, play with my children and teach them things, and take a siesta in the afternoon. In the evenings, I go into the village to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing some songs…I have a full life.”

The American interrupted, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you!”

“You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of trawlers.”

“Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant.”

“You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico City, Los Angeles, or even New York City! From there you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years,” replied the American.

“And after that?”

“Afterwards? Well, that’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the American, laughing. “When your business gets really big, you can start selling stock and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?”

“After that — and this is the best part — you’ll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the coast, sleep late, catch a few fish, take a siesta, and spend your evenings singing, drinking and enjoying your friends!”

Rockin’ Around The Festivus Pole

We’d like to wish everyone a Happy Festivus!

And to Trump supporters and the Republicans who just passed a massive tax cut for the plutocrats of this nation…we think you know where you can stick the Festivus pole.

Happy Festivus aluminum pole

Takin’ Five

We’re taking a little break here at the Bucket. We’re big time science enthusiasts and although the results of hurricanes are terrifying, we find the science behind what makes hurricanes endlessly fascinating. These last two storms, Harvey and Irma, and their aftermaths have left us exhausted and depressed and it’s only half way through the season. You throw in Hurricane Trump and the Republican goons and…well…we’re taking a break.

So we’ll be back in October. Hopefully by then, Robert Mueller will be closer to ending his investigation and maybe, just maybe, Trump will be wearing horizontal pinstripes.

Gone Fishin' - Be Back Soon!

We’re taking a break America. We’ll be back real soon.

America Does NOT Do Nazism

This past weekend, violence erupted as a white supremacist plowed his car at protesters, who were protesting against the white supremacists and fascists who were rallying in Charlottesville, Virginia. One person was killed and several were injured. In commenting on the incident, Republicans, including American CEO/Dictator Donald Trump were tepid initially in their condemnation of these thuggish attacks, so typical of Nazi fascists, not just in America but back in 1930’s Germany. Trump and Attorney Confederate General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III only just today, three days after the incident, came out and condemned the attacks as domestic terrorism.

We’ve commented before how the Republicans have swung radically to the right in the last thirty years. These growing ‘Pro-Trump’ militia style rallies are frightening to those of us who read our history and know of the vileness and insidiousness of Nazi ideology. We now have in control of our government, people who have been willing to bend an ear and sympathize with these racist fascists who want to eliminate permanently those who are different. We KNOW the evil Nazism is capable of unleashing on the world. That is why every Republican needs to strongly come out and condemn these Neo-Nazis and other groups like the KKK, who want to tear apart America. There were hundreds of thousands of Americans who were killed or injured fighting the Nazis in World War II. For Republicans to embrace and enable Nazi sympathizers just for votes in not only a slap in the face to the ‘greatest generation’, but a direct violation of our core democratic principles of freedom and justice for all Americans. In short: AMERICA DOES NOT DO NAZISM!!!!

America does NOT do Nazism!

Dear Nazis: GO TO HELL!!!

Phoenix March For Science

The March for Science happened on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2017 in cities across the globe. Tens of thousands of people showed up to give support to science, which is under attack in this country by the Trump administration and right wing zealots in the Republican party. Vital government programs face devastating budget cuts because the facts that scientists discover don’t match the narrow ideology of the people who control the Republicans; the oil, gas, coal, defense, finance and banking industries and the evangelical christians.

We here at the Bucket attended the satellite march in downtown Phoenix. According to the facebook page, about 3.3k people attended. Many scientists and science enthusiasts showed up to support logic, reason and the scientific method. Although it was billed as a not partisan event, almost all of the people there were ROYALLY PISSED at the Trump administration and the Republicans in general. There were many greats signs at the rally, too. Our favorite was one carried by a local lady, which featured a picture of Donald Trump next to the words – Does this ass make my country look small? Classic!

But despite the frustration and anger of the participants, it was a peaceful rally. It gave us some hope that maybe, just maybe something will be done about these charlatans, con artists and corporate lackeys who are running the government now. Like another sign said – So bad, introverts are here…yes, even the smart, intelligent, geeky, introverted scientists and engineers, the very foundation of this country, are willing to venture outside their comfort zones and socialize to try and put an end to this mess.

A small section of the marchers in the Phoenix March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. BilgeBucket Gazette staff member, Chester Einstein, is the one in the hat carrying a sign.

A small section of the marchers in the Phoenix March for Science on Earth Day, April 22, 2017 in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. BilgeBucket Gazette staff member, Chester Einstein, is the one in the hat carrying a sign.