Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, September 24, 2018

Mimicking Nature...

Image Source: Link below
Topics: Alternative Energy, Chemistry, Green Energy, Nanotechnology, Photosynthesis

During photosynthesis, plants split water into hydrogen ions and oxygen. If researchers could devise a method to mimic nature, the hydrogen could provide a carbon-neutral energy source. A significant challenge to implementing such a technology is developing a system that separates the electrons and the positively charged holes; otherwise, the hydrogen and oxygen could react back into water. Researchers led by Jacek Stolarczyk of Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich and Frank Würthner of the University of Würzburg may have overcome the difficulty by introducing two intermediaries—an oxidation catalyst and platinum particles—to a novel semiconducting nanorod.

The researchers started with an approach that already generated hydrogen but at the nanorod’s expense. When a cadmium sulfide nanorod in water absorbs light, the energy spurs the donation of electrons to a platinum reducing agent. The free H+ can then form H2. But without an oxidation catalyst, the arrangement is unsustainable because the remaining holes oxidize the nanorod’s sulfur lattice. The figure illustrates the researchers’ solution: decorating a newly synthesized CdS nanorod with both platinum nanoparticles and an oxidation catalyst.

The process begins when the nanorod absorbs light, which mobilizes electrons. The oxidation catalyst then draws holes from the length of the nanorod. Each Pt tip attached to either end of the nanorod acts as the electron sink. The oxidation half reaction (red arrows) removes electrons from OH− to produce O2 and water; the reduction half reaction (blue arrows) uses the electrons to covalently bond hydrogen atoms to generate H2. The researchers deployed a fresh chemical group to attach the catalyst to the nanorod. With that innovation, the anchoring group was more resistant to oxidation and the holes were swiftly transferred to the catalyst. (C. M. Wolff et al., Nat. Energy, 2018, doi:10.1038/s41560-018-0229-6.)

New nanoarchitecture generates hydrogen, Alex Lopatka, Physics Today

Friday, September 21, 2018

Impact...


Topics: Civil Rights, Diversity, Human Rights, Politics

Charles Blow revealed his own assault experiences on CNN. It was courageous but not hard to believe, as every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted; 15 persons per day. One in nine girls and 1 in 53 boys under 18 experience this. I apologize if this triggers anyone.

*****

I was five years old, and my mother visited her sisters in Washington, DC. He was introduced to me as my "uncle," as cohabitation in 1967 was still considered taboo. I accepted that explanation and had my trust violated by a stranger. My mother defended me with what looked like a lead pipe administered forcefully on his temple. We left on the next bus. We never discussed it.

It erupted in fits and starts after I married my wife. I argued about insane things that I didn't think important, but wanted to "win." She was at her wits end, and very close to ending our marriage. My rage was not expressed physically, but I was verbally and emotionally abusive.

My "uncle" experience came out in marriage counseling. I tried to describe it dispassionately, as if I was viewing a scene through an opaque screen. Our counselor wasn't having it: "No, Reginald. That was abuse. That was assault."

That hit me with the same blunt-force trauma as the original lead pipe planted in the asshole's head. I tried to drown my feelings of helplessness and lack of masculinity in a 1.5 liter wine bottle. I collapsed on my kitchen table. I wept. My wife embraced me. I was solidly in my thirties, decades from the event. I dreaded telling my father. When I did, we didn't speak for about two weeks. When we finally did, he was angry that my mother didn't tell him; that I didn't tell him. I just recalled to him the likely reason my mother didn't bother. My father owned a .38 caliber pistol, .22 caliber rifle, and a protective temper. We made amends as I told him I preferred him on this side of the criminal justice system...as my dad.

Time has consumed my parents and my hellish assaulter. It is a defense mechanism to construct a "screen" - opaque and dim to hide the pain. I am revealing this as a husband and a father. I am revealing this as a US Air Force veteran. I am revealing this as a martial artist of 38 years experience. I am revealing this as an example that damning a woman for not reporting an assault immediately as it happened is not taking into account the psychology of survivors and a complete lack of human empathy.

*****

Questions have lingered since shortly after Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced in July and reporters digging into his public record found that Kavanaugh’s financial disclosure forms showed tens of thousands of dollars of fluctuating credit card balances as well as a loan against his retirement account for the 12 years before 2017. All of these debts disappeared from Kavanaugh’s financial disclosures in 2017 and the forms did not indicate an obvious source of funds to repay them, prompting speculation about potential conflicts of interest.

Kavanaugh contradicts White House account of credit card debt, raising more questions
Luppe B. Luppen, Yahoo News

Finances are the first lever point of influence by an adversary or a oligarch - American or Russian - to a sitting Supreme Court Justice. It's why it's front-and-center on a government SF-86 application, and why the Federal Bureau of Investigation (apparently, the teen girl tweeter-in-chief thinks "investigation" is not part of its function) looks at it. On just this alone, it turns the spirit of the court from an arbiter of the law without partisan considerations on its head. The court teeters from Supreme to kangaroo; the Federal Republic to banana. We are teetering towards collapse, which only pleases Putin.

The optics are already bad when you're putting the pressure of a deadline on a possible victim of sexual assault who has to flee her home due to death threats. For that alone, the FBI should be called. What used to be derisively referred to as cowardice or "shell shock" is now correctly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which anyone who has been sexually assaulted are now triggered by the Neanderthal clumsiness of Senators Grassley and Hatch. The optics are already bad post the public accountability of Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, Bill O'Reilly, and "me too" that pretty much the same cadre of old, ossified white males will judge an accuser of their president*'s pick to the US Supreme Court, only to give himself a 5-4 vote in case the House of Representatives flips and "impeachment is ON the table." Grassley previously was all for an FBI investigation for Clarence Thomas, yet he and Hatch are deathly afraid now. The defense of Judge Kavenaugh, who according to former Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) may have lied under oath for his current job is "that was decades ago" and "boys will be boys"; sexually assertive girls are routinely called whores and sluts, sexually assertive p---y grabbing man-babies with toadstool penises... become president*. 

The only way to get "boys" to behave is to remove the current statute of limitations most laws have on sexual harassment and predation. That Sword of Damocles is only oppressive on a certain group of men that wish to practice predation unencumbered by accountability. It should force society as a whole to think reflectively on how poorly American culture raises its men in misogynistic toxicity.

The accountability for toadstool man-babies...is The Constitution.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Fallback Disk...

A group of researchers recently observed a mysterious infrared emission coming from near a pulsar in NASA's Hubble Space telescope data. This animation depicts one possible source of the emission: a "fallback disk" or a disk that formed from materials of the parent star falling back into the neutron star after a supernova.
Credit: ESA/N. Tr’Ehnl (Pennsylvania State University)/NASA

Topics: Astrophysics, Infrared, Neutron Stars, Neutrons, X-rays

Space is filled with bizarre signals that we scramble to put meaning to — and now, researchers have detected yet another mysterious signal. This one emanated from near a neutron star, and for the first time, it's infrared.

So, what's nearby that could have created the weird signal? Scientists have a few ideas.

When a star reaches the end of its life, it typically undergoes a supernova explosion— the star collapses, and if it has enough mass, it will form a black hole. But if the star isn't massive enough, it will form a neutron star. [Supernova Photos: Great Images of Star Explosions]

Neutrons stars are very dense and, as their name suggests, are made up mostly of closely packed neutrons. Neutron stars can also be called "pulsars" if they are highly magnetized and rotate rapidly enough to emit electromagnetic waves, according to Space.com.

Typically, neutron stars emit radio waves or higher-energy waves such as X-rays, according a statement released by NASA yesterday (Sept. 17). But an international group of researchers from Penn State, the University of Arizona and Sabanci University in Turkey observed something interesting in NASA's Hubble Space Telescope data: a long signal of infrared light emitted near a neutron star, the researchers reported yesterday in The Astrophysical Journal.

This signal, they found, was about 800 light-years away and was "extended," meaning it was spread across a large stretch of space, unlike typical "point" signals from neutron stars that emit X-rays. Specifically, the signal stretched across 200 astronomical units (AU) of space, or 2.5 times the orbit of Pluto around the sun, according to a statement from Penn State. (One AU is the average distance from Earth to the sun — about 93 million miles, or 150 million kilometers.)

Weird Infrared Signal Emanates Across Space, But What Created It?
Yasemin Saplakoglu, Live Science

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Schrödinger's Temperatures...

A new uncertainty principle holds that quantum objects can be at two temperatures at once, which is similar to the famous Schrödinger's cat thought experiment, in which a cat in a box with a radioactive element can be both alive and dead.
Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Nanotechnology, Schrödinger's cat, Quantum Mechanics, Thermodynamics

The famous thought experiment known as Schrödinger's cat implies that a cat in a box can be both dead and alive at the same time — a bizarre phenomenon that is a consequence of quantum mechanics.

Now, physicists at the University of Exeter in England have found that a similar state of limbo may exist for temperatures: Objects can be two temperatures at the same time at the quantum level. This weird quantum paradox is the first completely new quantum uncertainty relation to be formulated in decades.

Heisenberg's other principle
In 1927, German physicist Werner Heisenberg postulated that the more precisely you measure a quantum particle's position, the less precisely you can know its momentum, and vice versa — a rule that would become the now-famous Heisenberg uncertainty principle. [Twisted Physics: 7 Mind-Blowing Findings]

The new quantum uncertainty, which states that the more precisely you know temperature, the less you can say about energy, and vice versa, has big implications for nanoscience, which studies incredibly tiny objects smaller than a nanometer. This principle will change how scientists measure the temperature of extremely small things such as quantum dots, small semiconductors or single cells, the researchers said in the new study, which was published in June in the journal Nature Communications.

"I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics." Richard Feynman

Bizarre Physics Phenomenon Suggests Objects Can Be Two Temperatures at Once
Meredith Fore, Live Science

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Tunable Quantum States...

When the researchers turn an external magnetic field in different directions (indicated with arrows), they change the orientation of the linear electron flow above the kagome (six-fold) magnet, as seen in these electron wave interference patterns on the surface of a topological quantum kagome magnet. Each pattern is created by a particular direction of the external magnetic field applied on the sample.

Image by M. Z. Hasan, Jia-Xin Yin, Songtian Sonia Zhang, Princeton University

Topics: Modern Physics, Nanotechnology, Quantum Computer, Quantum Mechanics

An international team of researchers led by Princeton physicist Zahid Hasan has discovered a quantum state of matter that can be “tuned” at will — and it’s 10 times more tuneable than existing theories can explain. This level of manipulability opens enormous possibilities for next-generation nanotechnologies and quantum computing.

“We found a new control knob for the quantum topological world,” said Hasan, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics. “We expect this is tip of the iceberg. There will be a new subfield of materials or physics grown out of this. … This would be a fantastic playground for nanoscale engineering.”

Hasan and his colleagues, whose research appears in the current issue of Nature, are calling their discovery a “novel” quantum state of matter because it is not explained by existing theories of material properties.
Hasan discusses the discovery with Yin and Zhang in his office in Jadwin Hall.

Photo byNick Barberio, Office of Communications

Hasan’s interest in operating beyond the edges of known physics is what attracted Jia-Xin Yin, a postdoctoral research associate and one of three co-first-authors on the paper, to his lab. Other researchers had encouraged him to tackle one of the defined questions in modern physics, Yin said.

“But when I talked to Professor Hasan, he told me something very interesting,” Yin said. “He’s searching for new phases of matter. The question is undefined. What we need to do is search for the question rather than the answer.”

The classical phases of matter — solids, liquids and gases — arise from interactions between atoms or molecules. In a quantum phase of matter, the interactions take place between electrons, and are much more complex.

“This could indeed be evidence of a new quantum phase of matter — and that’s, for me, exciting,” said David Hsieh, a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology and a 2009 Ph.D. graduate of Princeton, who was not involved in this research. “They’ve given a few clues that something interesting may be going on, but a lot of follow-up work needs to be done, not to mention some theoretical backing to see what really is causing what they’re seeing.”

Hasan has been working in the groundbreaking subfield of topological materials, an area of condensed matter physics, where his team discovered topological quantum magnets a few years ago. In the current research, he and his colleagues “found a strange quantum effect on the new type of topological magnet that we can control at the quantum level,” Hasan said.

Princeton scientists discover a ‘tunable’ novel quantum state of matter
Liz Fuller-Wright, Office of Communications, Princeton University

Monday, September 17, 2018

Textbook...


Topics: Civil Rights, Diversity, Existentialism, History, Human Rights

Republicans: Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. In 1860, it came to power with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals toward the end of the 19th century. Today, the party supports a conservative platform (from an American political perspective), with further foundations in supply-side fiscal policies, and social conservatism. Merriam-Webster

Fascism: The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Oxford dictionary

Friday, the campaign manager flipped to help Special Prosecutor Mueller, and himself as the cost of defense was becoming prohibitive, and at 69, spending the "rest of his life" in prison will likely be a short duration.

Also Friday at the end of a week of the Woodward book and an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times, an anonymous woman's incident with the Supreme Court nominee was proffered by Senator Feinstein (D-California). The alleged victim's name was hidden at her request. Senator Grassley was determined to plow ahead with a nomination in committee on the 20th. The charges by an anonymous person was "baseless" unless she came forward.

So, his accuser, came forward. In her own words "Now I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation." We will see if Chairman Grassley will follow "the rule of law," give her a hearing before the senate committee vote. Senators Collins and Murkowski will have pressure on them if Kavenaugh goes before the full senate.

The Republican Party prior to the fall of Richard M. Nixon had made a Faustian compromise between my kindergarten and first grade year. They turned from their foundation in Civil Rights and prosecuting the Civil War for political expediency by pulling in the disaffected "Dixiecrats" disillusioned by the tilt that started with Harry Truman in the '48 Democratic convention towards expanding equal opportunity towards African Americans. The 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights and 1968 Fair Housing Acts were more than many could bear. They were wooed, then migrated en masse to the siren song of the "Southern Strategy" and Nixon's "law and order" platform (read: reestablishment of white supremacy). This would be slightly camouflaged by coded language, as Lee Atwater opined:

You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” Rick Perlstein, Exclusive: Lee Atwater's Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy, The Nation

The Republican Party of Ronald Reagan I did not agree with in my youth, but I did admire aspects of it as a lot of people did. If you read novels as I did and still do, Tom Clancy and "The Hunt for Red October" or Robert Ludlum's "Bourne Trilogy" held your rapt attention. That was back when you talked about novels at work near water coolers. That was post the Vietnam era, when the country spat on vets as "baby killers." In the wake of the Iranian hostage crisis, we wanted desperately to seem "tough" and in control. We recreated a new mythology for ourselves, and catharsis with characters like Sylvester Stallone bouncing between "Rocky" and "Rambo"; we all loved Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry."and through a brash machismo, we tried to rescue our bruised national self-image in a tough-talking, B-movie actor, who's "awe shucks shrug" persona masked an agenda infused with the Janus religions of Ayn Rand worship and libertarianism. This was also prior to the "Me Too" movement and acknowledging the lingering toxicity of misogyny. AIDS was becoming a health crisis in the LGBT community that Mr. Shucks would ignore as the bodies represented by memorial quilts piled up, and pop culture along with Hollywood had a keen focus on nostalgia.

Abstract
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Hollywood studios churned out film after film that sought to recapture, revise, and re-imagine the fifties, as evidenced by films like American Graffiti (1973), Grease (1977), The Outsiders (1983), Reckless (1983), Footloose (1984), Back to the Future (1985), Blue Velvet (1986), Stand By Me (1986), and Hairspray (1988). Academic and popular critics alike have noted the peculiar fascination Hollywood had for the fifties, comparing the politics of its fifties nostalgia to the rise of the neoconservative movement that took Ronald Reagan as its avatar.

However, it is important to recognize that representations of the fifties in Reagan Era films and popular culture were far from homogeneous. Rather than a concept with discrete political or social import, "the fifties" functioned in the Reagan Era as a set of unstable signifiers, the meanings of which were the subject of intense negotiation and struggle.

Dwyer, Michael D., "Back to the fifties: Pop nostalgia in the Reagan Era" (2010). English - Dissertations. 54.
https://surface.syr.edu/eng_etd/54

*****

This country has been surprised by the way the world looks now
They don't know if they want to be Matt Dillon or Bob Dylan
They don't know if they want to be diplomats ...
Or continue the same policy of nuclear nightmare diplomacy
John Foster Dulles ain't nothing but the name of an airport now

The idea concerns the fact that this country wants nostalgia
They want to go back as far as they can ...
Even if it's only as far as last week
Not to face now or tomorrow, but to face backwards

And yesterday was the day of our cinema heroes
Riding to the rescue at the last possible moment
The day of the man in the white hat or the man on the white horse ...
Or, the man who always came to save America at the last moment
Someone always came to save America at the last moment
Especially in "B" movies

B-Movie, Gil Scott Heron

This is a party, before its current avatar, that has always looked back longingly to the 1950s: when industry wasn't so global and a white male with a high school education (or less) could purchase a house and support a family. This of course was a time of segregated schools, transportation and neighborhoods by law prior to the nascent efficacy of the Civil Rights movement; an era of closeted LGBT people, who's existence I can only imagine was like constantly living in a suffocating envelope or cocoon; there weren't many Hispanic/Latino with exception of pockets in California and Texas, usually in agriculture and women - white women - were in the kitchen at home. Black women were too - mostly, but not completely as the servants of white women.

And now, they see a chance at a stolen Supreme Court seat to take us all back to those (not-so) Happy Days, a sexual assaulter appointed by a sexual assaulter to sit next to a sexual harasser to decide the future of women and their bodies, as well as people of color and LGBT and their Civil Rights. The desperation for those (not-so) Happy Days will have them lie, cheat, steal (2016 and past questionable late 20th century elections) and possibly collude with a foreign power to maintain Christian Supremacy sans White Supremacy that has had remarkable staying power.

Their "great again" has since the existential threatening presence of President Obama been quite literally by "any means necessary" (Malcolm X). We just didn't fathom how much power meant to them.

So, when do we stop calling them "republicans"?

Republicans: Founded in 1854 by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers, the Republican Party quickly surpassed the Whig Party as the principal opposition to the Democratic Party. In 1860, it came to power with the election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency. The party presided over the American Civil War and Reconstruction and was harried by internal factions and scandals toward the end of the 19th century. Today, the party supports a conservative platform (from an American political perspective), with further foundations in supply-side fiscal policies, and social conservatism. Merriam-Webster

Fascism: The term Fascism was first used of the totalitarian right-wing nationalist regime of Mussolini in Italy (1922–43); the regimes of the Nazis in Germany and Franco in Spain were also Fascist. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Oxford dictionary

Which definition...fits?

Friday, September 14, 2018

Cynical Capitalism...

Image Source: AARP, which up to this moment, I didn't realize was so "woke."
Topics: Climate Change, Existentialism, Global Warming, Star Trek

The home world of the Ferengi species is Ferenginar. The Ferengi have a culture which is based entirely upon commerce. They follow a code of conduct known as "The Ferengi Rules of Acquisition." These rules ordain conduct such as "Never place family before business." Reportedly these rules are subject to interpretation depending upon the situation. Plea bargaining is a legal tradition, as is the purchasing of an apprenticeship following the Attainment Ceremony. There is no distinction between business and pleasure in Ferengi culture. Source: Star Trek (the link to Ferenginar is priceless)

In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world-- through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries.

At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly out-sources the running of the “War on Terror” to Halliburton and Blackwater…. After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts.... New Orleans’s residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be reopened…. These events are examples of “the shock doctrine”: using the public’s disorientation following massive collective shocks – wars, terrorist attacks, or natural disasters -- to achieve control by imposing economic shock therapy. Sometimes, when the first two shocks don’t succeed in wiping out resistance, a third shock is employed: the electrode in the prison cell or the Taser gun on the streets.

Naomi Klein, though a Canadian author is a national treasure, that despite the faux-existential crisis between our nations initiated by a baboon. The Shock Doctrine came out in 2007, 6 years after 9/11; 11 years ago and her follow on books This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate and The Battle For Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists follows the same theme: using the misery of others by climate, terrorism and war for profit. She is the proverbial "voice calling in the wilderness" metaphorically speaking, minus the camel's hair wardrobe and proto Paleo diet of locusts and wild honey. Quite literally, it is about the only planet the human species currently lives and exists on.

We may not be able to reverse climate change, but we can adapt to it—and climate change isn't all bad for the construction industry. Construction Business Owner tells us that climate change means warmer winters and a prolonged construction season for many states. And as the pressure grows to reduce our carbon footprint, new solutions and innovations are introduced within the construction industry each year. Source: Concentra: The Effects of Climate Change on Construction

We had literally decades to address this repeated, slow-moving catastrophe. There is only one thing that delayed any actions to mitigate it.

Profit. The crass, self-serving reason nothing about guns, climate change, terrorism or wars get any better. There are businesses that require this chaos. It's a part of their business model. Serenity and world peace are death knells to them. We see this in every American mass shooting that increases the profits of gun manufacturers, causing hand ringing and naval gazing by the news media, until the next shiny object diverts our attention. We saw it when we stumbled into Iraq on the manufactured lie of "weapons of mass destruction," the prelude to "alternative facts." Martin Paredes in Medium took a humorous stab at 47 rules of acquisition sans our twitter freak with presidential seal.

Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I had to give you the original.

Puerto Rico's death toll was raised from 64 to almost 3,000, approximating 9/11. The current resident of the executive mansion made his first tweet all about "no Russian collusion" on the 17th anniversary and a fantasy collaboration between his democratic opponent, the FBI, foreign spies and his Russian benefactors. He then denied almost 3,000 American citizens (which I doubt he knows they are) died at all. Puerto Rico is still under stress, they still have limited access to electrical power and in North Carolina, I have little confidence in the efficacy of government assistance from a raging lunatic.

The campus closed Wednesday at 5:00 pm. We await Hurricane Florence, whose eye proceeds up the Carolina coasts. An estimated 1 million people have evacuated South Carolina, the highways converted to one-way lanes out. I have supplies for several days; no water's on the shelves in grocery or convenience stores. Gas stations have plastic bags on pump handles. This reminds me of Hurricane Sandy in upstate New York, when people from Manhattan drove up to gas up (get in a few fights) and drive back. This reminds me of Katrina: the citizens called "refugees" by the news media; in central Texas - grocery shelves stripped of water, food and empty pumps - the monstrous eye, the survivors on rooftops, the stratification of society before we called it by its modern nom de guerre "income inequality" and which sides of New Orleans recovered and which were purchased as distressed properties and gentrified. It would remind me of "heck of a job, Brownie," except the reality of failure would just be denied, "explained" and parroted by cult ditto heads. I have somehow been on a jury to witness the effects of climate change up close. It's something I didn't think I volunteered for.

For a very brief, shining moment, the republican presidential candidate George W. Bush talked about "compassionate conservatism." It was short-lived, as compassion led to diversity, black pres, healthcare and gay marriage. What is within the darkest bowels, hidden from view by "winks and nods" with coded language eventually erupts like a boil or a pimple; it is an infection that must emerge, and cannot be denied its day in the sun.

And, "We The People" breathlessly, daily await that rancid zit, who might actually tweet its first jumbled, insane thoughts during morning bowel movements.