Want To Time-Travel?

I just have to share this! Quick time-out during my Black Underworld, Inc. series.

This fascinating time-traveling machine or rather software app actually doesn’t travel forward into the future, but it will take you as many as 750-million years into the geologic past from our current Holocene period to the Cryogenian period from any known address on Earth. Dial up your time-destination on the Delorean circuit-board, pull down your welding goggles, and fasten your seat-belt. It’s off to Pangea we go.

I can think of a number of blogging friends that might enjoy fiddling around with this cool app:  John Z, Arkenaten, IBTD, Nan, CommonAtheist, SecularJurist, Steve, Tildeb, Swarn, and perhaps too the magnana-wonderous Lady Esme and a few others and maybe (if my message in a bottle reaches him 😉 ) just maybe the castaway Hariod. I also know of some bloggers who would not enjoy the app or its implications—it flies in the face of their Young Earth and Creationist delusions beliefs. Oh well, can’t please everyone, huh? WHAAH… WATCH OUT! That Velociraptor is trying to eat your baby in the manger! 😱

Silliness aside. On to the science. With the address, region, or city you type in the interactive Ancient Earth tool will inform you of nearby dinosaur fossils from that geologic period. You can also select particular organisms-of-life periods such as the “first insects,” or “first dinosaurs” or “first multicellular life.” As you select one of 26 different time-periods you can watch the shorelines move inland or out based upon sea levels relative to glaciers and the polar ice-caps at that time. I discovered this app by my email subscription to Smithsonian.com and arts-science journalist Meilan Solly writes:

Ancient Earth, the tool behind this millennia-spanning visualization, is the brainchild of Ian Webster, curator of the world’s largest digital dinosaur database. As Michael D’estries reports for Mother Nature Network, Webster drew on data from the PALEOMAP Project—spearheaded by paleogeographer Christopher Scotese, the initiative tracks the evolving “distribution of land and sea” over the past 1,100 million years—to build the map. […]

To switch from one time period to another, you can either manually choose from a dropdown menu or use your keyboard’s left and right arrow keys. Start at the very beginning of the map’s timeline, Michele Debczak advises for Mental Floss, and you’ll see the planet evolve from “unrecognizable blobs of land” to the massive supercontinent of Pangea and, finally, the seven continents we inhabit today.

Take about 10-minutes and go play around at Ancient Earth and get an approximate intriguing visual of just how our tectonic plates have evolved and just how much NOTHING on this planet stays the same for one year or one minute. It hasn’t for at least the last 4.5 billion years!

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Black Underworld Inc. – Part I

The black market is brutal, exploitative, and corrupt. Nothing is off-limits; everything is for sale. Any hints of morals and ethics are non-existent or false. What you buy may not be what it once was or what it now seems. How one justifies their involvement in an entire global network is ignored or never introspective. Workers, suppliers, U.S. employers, foreign sellers, customers in all countries, no exceptions—and the domestic or foreign law-enforcements hoping to keep it tamed and in balance while unaware their own native people, governments, and businesses fuel the ugly, black machine—the experiences, the victims in ALL stages of this inhumane, violent, monetary commerce—is a hidden world out in the open. One way or another it effects us all. All of us are responsible and like it or not we are more accountable than the resident, native-born and wealthy American can fully comprehend. As a whole, our U.S. values equate in various legal and illegal “currencies” of supply and demand. They are the literal blood that pumps life into BU Inc.

Red, White, & Blue Fathered BU Inc.
McKinley_Prosperity

McKinley 1900 campaign poster – Wikipedia Commons

Yes, historical U.S. foreign policy with domestic big business sired a bastard monster which is now cannibalizing its family. Though the Age of Imperialism, expansion, colonialism was by the European Big Nine “fathers” between the 15th and 19th centuries — Belgium, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Holland, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Sweden — at the turn of the 20th century the hungry United States became the belligerent step-son in family imperialism. The 1900 Presidential campaign and election in the wake of victory from the Spanish-American War and resulting prosperity assured the Red, White, & Blue was embraced into the Imperialist family tree.

Republican-candidate William McKinley ran a campaign ticket of unfettered trade and bigger empire. Democratic-candidate William Jennings Bryan ran one of anti-imperialism and “Free Silver.” However, due to the country’s renewed prosperity under McKinley’s first-term coupled with America’s general approval of the Spanish-American War and victory, as well as acquiring and annexing territories in the western Pacific and Latin America, the McKinley-Roosevelt ticket managed a comfortable win over Democrats Bryan-Stevenson. Yet, these imperialist “victories” came at a cost and further problems for the United States, especially in Latin America in the following centuries. The most ideal whistle-blower to explain the U.S. appetite for expansion and global wealth, no matter the human cost, is from one who was actually there through it all from the beginning:  Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC (ret):

Major General Butler mentioned Nicaragua and Guatemala. These two Central American nations, along with a few others, are the unstable hotbeds today for drug cartels and trans-generational government corruption fueled and sired to-date by 119-years of American-European exploitation.

philippine-american-war

Retaliation by U.S. Army on Filipinos

In 1901 President McKinley was assassinated at, of all places, the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. The assassin was protesting American military atrocities in the Philippines and sociopolitical inequality in the U.S. by the wealthiest enriching themselves with McKinley’s government exploiting foreign and domestic, impoverished workers and civilians. This included Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Panama, among several others. Why Panama? Since 1513 European explorers from the original Nine Imperialist Fathering empires saw the enormous commercial benefits of a canal for their coffers and treasuries. By the 1820’s U.S. businessmen and their corporations lobbying Congress wanted European powers out of all Americas. They accomplished this by pushing the legislation and approval of the Monroe Doctrine. Many in Central and South America viewed this doctrine as self-appointed permission to bribe native dictator-puppets or replace one imperialist foreign sovereign with another:  the United States. This Pan-American perception was by no means outlandish and unfounded.

Once France tried and failed to complete a canal through Panama in 1889, interest by the U.S., President Teddy Roosevelt (also a strong Imperialist), and Congressional lawmakers and corporate lobbyists looked into building the canal in Nicaragua. But heavy pockets from various business interests in Europe and the U.S. wanted the canal in Panama. Securing the construction of the canal via the Hay–Bunau-Varilla Treaty and Panamanians winning independence from Colombia (more tension for the U.S.) garnered the apropos term of gunboat diplomacy: the constant U.S. financial, military presence, sovereignty and exploitation throughout the western Pacific and Latin America. Little did Americans back home know that this world perception of U.S. foreign policies and imperialism would last through the entire 20th century and into the 21st.

pay-car-colonmod

The Silver and Gold Roll system – the Jim Crow laws of Panama

From 1903 until 1989 Panama was a struggling pawn-Republic dominated by commercial oligarchies influenced by many world powers—none bigger than the “prosperous” U.S. business expansions. These were known as the Banana Republics with Congressional lobbyists from U.S. companies dependent on hard goods, cheap labor, and crude oil and Presidents bound to their party’s corporate promises and politics. Enter Manuel Noriega as early as 1981 with America’s new insatiable coast-to-coast craving for illegal drugs out of Central and South America.

Lords and Kings — Mastering Supply and Demand, Distribution and Buyers

Today almost half the world live in poverty, on about $2.50 per day, and around 1.4 billion live in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 per day according to United Nations Development Programme’s “Human Development Report, 2014.” Between 1903 and 1990 world poverty and all the consequential problems, crimes, and corruption connected to it was much worse than those figures. Therefore, young girls and boys who grow up in those regions and countries where poverty, crime, and corruption are worse many learn all the tricks and trades of the Hustle. Morality, God, and ethics mean nothing when one is merely surviving (barely) and living day to day, hand to mouth, and night to night. Hoping to see the sun in the morning or some nights to be relieved of the insane hustling-game at the end of a gun-barrel was and today still is the popular Central-South American attitude. Lots of these kids grew up to be drug lords, military elite, and trade kings. Birth-rights and zip codes had little and a lot to do with survival or success in their world and little or a lot to do with death and/or prison in other’s worlds. What’s the difference. They have, I don’t. I have, they don’t. The better the Hustle, the better the life… no matter what side of the flag, fence, wall, river, or canal you are on.

nicaragua-protests

Students protesting President Daniel Ortega & government – Esteban Felix/Associated Press 2018

Whether one was Henry Meiggs or General Manuel Bonilla, President Dwight Eisenhower or Jacobo Árbenz, President Ronald Reagan and Daniel Ortega or Manuel Noriega, or any number of investor-states utilizing various 20th and 21st century “free trade” agreements or treaties—i.e. DR-CAFTA, CTPA, PTPA, and NAFTA—lucrative for the U.S., Canada, and bilateral or multilateral FTA’s for the European Union, the hustle remains the same. These corporate interests with their lobbied governments in bed with Caribbean, Central and South American puppet-governments and leaders, all of it championed as “economic prosperity.” The modern developed nations, lead by the United States, have now fathered, sired a humanitarian crisis and BU Incorporated. For additional details read this excellent and poignant 2014 briefing by the Institute for Policy Studies, “What ‘Free Trade’ Has Done to Central America.

Some of America’s foreign economic, military, and diplomatic interventions interference over the last five to six decades have seen and made the richest, most violent hustlers, drug Lords and crime Kings blossom from the Central and South Americas. Here are just a few others (Pablo Escobar is excluded; he’s very well–known) from an extensive list of first and second generation BU Inc. Lords and Kings:

  • Frank Lucas – American, from La Grange, North Carolina.
  • Rafael Trujillo – Dominican, from San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic.
  • George Jung – American, from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Nicky Barnes – American, from Harlem, NYC, New York.
  • José Figueroa Agosto – Puerto Rican, from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Richard “Freeway” Ross – American, from Troup, Texas.
  • Juan Perón – Argentine, from Lobos, Argentina.
  • Rafael Quintero – Mexican, from Badiraguato, Mexico.
  • Joaquín Guzmán – Mexican, from La Tuna, Mexico.
  • Griselda Blanco – Colombian, from Cartagena, Colombia.
  • Anastasio Somoza Debayle – Nicaraguan, from León, Nicaragua.
  • Carlos Lehder – Colombian, from Armenia, Colombia.
  • Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela – Colombian, from Mariquita, Colombia.
  • José Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha – Colombian, from Pacho, Colombia.
  • Alfredo Beltrán Leyva – Mexican, from Badiraguato, Mexico.
  • Augusto Pinochet – Chilean, from Valparaíso, Chile.
  • Guillermo Rodríguez Lara – Equadorian, from Pujilí, Ecuador.
  • François Duvalier – Haitian, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • Amado Carrillo Fuentes – Mexican, from Guamuchilito, Mexico.
  • Christopher Coke – Jamaican, from Kingston, Jamaica.

Back in 2004 and even as far back as 1998 citizens of all these Central American nations publicly protested against FTA’s because they favored foreign interests, not their own. From the IPS:

[The people, economists, and legal experts] warned of the unemployment, poverty, hunger, pollution, diminished national sovereignty, and other problems that could result if DR-CAFTA were approved. But despite popular pressure, the agreement was ratified in seven countries—including Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and the United States.

[…]

Contrary to the promises of U.S. officials—who claimed the agreement would improve Central American economies and thereby reduce undocumented immigration—large numbers of Central Americans have migrated to the United States, as dramatized most recently by the influx of children from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras crossing the U.S.-Mexican border last summer. Although most are urgently fleeing violence in their countries, there are important economic roots to the migration—many of which are related to DR-CAFTA.

One of the most pernicious features of the agreement is a provision called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism. This allows private corporations to sue governments over alleged violations of a long list of so-called “investor protections.”

The most controversial cases have involved public interest laws and regulations that corporations claim reduce the value of their investments. That means corporations can sue those countries for profits they say they would have made had those regulations not been put into effect.

life-1964-01-24-flag-protest-cover

1964 protests in Panama – Life Magazine

These types of lawsuits have financially wrecked poor Central American countries often struggling to provide basic quality of life programs and services. These imposed conditions have greatly tempted the weak or corrupt governments away from domestic accountability and invoke policies favoring transnational corporations abroad in the U.S. or Canada. In certain circumstances U.S. Presidents, Congressional lobbyists, and/or corporate trade-investment partnerships push for clandestine military interventions—e.g. Lt. Colonel Oliver North—to stabilize or destabilize foreign governments depending on the most profitable U.S. interests. However, these operations, agreements, and policies are only part of the public domain or veiled and patriotically distorted manipulated mechanisms in the “restricted” public domain. This accessible domain is only the stained dirty side of a much darker, black underworld side.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

In the upcoming Part II of Black Underworld, Inc., we find after closer investigation that the dark criminal domain and the public domain discussed above actually stimulate each other’s livelihood in a largely symbiotic dynamic. But at what costs in the short, mid, and long-term? And costs to who specifically?

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Believe Every Word!

All we’re doing is passing our savings on to our client base.
It’s a proprietary strategy. I can’t go into it in great detail.
But take my word for it, for the most part
you can ignore those market swings.
Bernie Madoff responding to his clients, 2001

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Lesson 1: Why lying well or sounding truthy can be self-nurturing and very lucrative. I am not saying that one needs to be a conspiracy theorist 24/7. What I am saying is that much of the time you need to stay sharp and not take everything at face value, especially when it is all dressed up looking and sounding pretty. Here are four more examples that beg for fools and fun, or painful trouble, depending on which side of the result you’re on.

  • In order to become old and wise, you must first be young and stupid.
  • The most dangerous animal out there is the shy, silent man.
  • Wouldn’t it be great to have a six-month vacation twice a year?
  • Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life.

The art of verbal flatulence is alive and well today. In all honesty, it has been quite well and thriving for many centuries and likely several millenia. Only today, it is sometimes dressed up and symphonious then other times so audaciously in your face and eccentric that the gullible audience begins to consider “Well, maybe it IS true.” Take for another prime example last evening’s State of the Union address to Congress.

Thanks to the Poynter Institute’s commitment to excellent journalism and its unparalleled non-profit service in providing a resource for anyone who aspires to engage and reliably inform all citizens. They serve 21st-century democracies, around the globe for people who honor all human rights, self-government, and freedom of expression (speech) coupled with a speaker’s or writer’s ownership of truths or lies. They also provide the invaluable Pulitzer Prize winning fact-checking website PolitiFact.com.

Here are some of [President Trump’s] comments [during the SoU address], fact-checked or with additional explanation or context. This report includes information on three accurate statements and 12 claims that are inaccurate, exaggerated or lack context.

Because 25% (to be kind) is such a horrible score at telling the truth, I am picking eight of Trump’s 12 wrong, overblown, and lacking good context comments to illustrate that not every word can be believed by Bernie Madoff President Donnie Trump.

On the Economy

President Trump:  “Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades.”

Wages are indeed rising, but they began their upward trajectory under President Barack Obama, and wages actually rose a bit faster under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

One common measurement of wages is median usual weekly real earnings for full-time wage and salary workers 16 years and older, an inflation-adjusted figure.

During Trump’s presidency, this figure has risen from $351 to $355, an increase of 1.1 percent over the better part of two years.

But the current wage increase began in earnest in the second half of 2014, when Obama was still more than two years away from leaving the White House. Overall, wages increased by 7.5 percent over that period, from $330 to $355.

This rise in wages wasn’t as steep as the country saw in the 1990s. Between the fourth quarter of 1997 and the first quarter of 2002, wages rose from $314 to $341, an increase of 8.6 percent.Louis Jacobson

President Trump:  “African-American, Hispanic-American and Asian-American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded.”

This was accurate in 2018, but is out of date. Unemployment levels for each group reached record lows under Trump’s watch.

African-American unemployment fell to a record of 5.9 percent in May, and is at 6.8 percent as of January. Asian unemployment fell to 2.0 percent in May, and is now at 3.2 percent. Hispanic unemployment reached 4.4 percent in December 2018, and is now at 4.9.

But these trends began under former President Barack Obama, and economists say presidents don’t deserve either full credit or full blame for the unemployment rate on their watch.Manuela Tobias

President Trump:  “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by the new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence and not government coercion, domination, and control.”

This is a variation on misleading attacks Republicans repeatedly made on Democrats during the 2018 midterms.

The narrowest definition of socialism is where the state owns all the means of production. Democrats have not called for the government to take over business.

American politicians such as U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., or U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have used the term to call for a dramatic expansion of the social safety net, including already available health care programs. They typically propose much higher tax rates to pay for the programs.

That resonates with the systems in place in Europe, not Venezuela.Amy Sherman

President Trump:  “We have created 5.3 million new jobs and importantly added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs.”

Trump is close on overall job creation but less accurate on manufacturing jobs.

The United States has added 5.3 million jobs since Trump was elected in November 2016. Counting from when he took office in January 2017 makes the figure a bit smaller, at 4.9 million.

As for manufacturing jobs, the number rose from about 12.4 million in January 2017 to 12.8 million in January 2019, or an increase of 454,000. We should add that the increase in manufacturing jobs under Trump followed a rise under Obama that began in 2010, when the worst of the Great Recession had passed.Louis Jacobson

On Foreign Policy

President Trump:  “For years, the United States was being treated very unfairly by friends of ours, members of NATO — but now over the past couple of years, we have secured a $100 billion increase in defense spending from NATO allies.”

This could [might] be true two years from now.

NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said that’s what the European members expect to spend, and he credited Trump’s “clear message.”

“By the end of next year, NATO allies will add 100 — 100 billion extra U.S. dollars for defense,” Stoltenberg said on Fox News Jan. 27.

In constant dollars, NATO member defense spending has gone up about $24 billion since 2016. In current dollars, the amount is $48 billion. While we don’t know Stoltenberg’s starting point, $100 billion requires a steep rise, and we won’t know if it comes true until many months from now.Jon Greenberg

On Abortion

President Trump:  “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth.”

This distorts the circumstances covered by the law signed Jan. 22 by New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

Previously, women in New York could only get abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy if their lives were threatened. Under the new law, women can also get an abortion after 24 weeks if their health is threatened or the fetus isn’t viable.

The law codifies for New York the same standards established by the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision.

Jen Villavicencio, an ob-gyn in the Midwest who provides abortions, told PolitiFact recently that late-term abortions are rare and usually due to medical crises. The Guttmacher Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both report that slightly more than 1 percent of all abortions occur after 21 weeks.

“Abortions are not performed at 40 weeks on healthy, viable pregnancies,” Villavincencio said. “Overwhelmingly, abortions that occur at this point in pregnancy are pregnancies where lethal fetal anomalies have been diagnosed.” —Jon Greenberg and Ciara O’Rourke

On Immigration

President Trump:  “Year after year, countless Americans are murdered by criminal illegal aliens.”

We can’t specifically document how many U.S. citizens have been killed, because there is no national database on murders committed by immigrants in the country illegally. There also is no national data or study tracking the nationality of the victims, experts have also told us.

And while some immigrants here illegally have committed murders, research indicates that immigrants are less likely to engage in criminal behavior than the native-born population. —Miriam Valverde

On Energy

President Trump:  “We have unleashed a revolution in American Energy – the United States is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world.”

This is mostly accurate. The United States ranks first in both, but that’s only new for crude oil.

In 2017, the United States ranked first in the total production of petroleum and other liquid fuels as well as natural gas. Within the subset of crude oil production, the United States edged past Russia and Saudi Arabia in the summer of 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration, the federal office that collects energy statistics.

But the United States has been the world’s largest oil producer since 2012, and the largest natural gas producer for years.Manuela Tobias

Lesson 2: Lying better and sounding sensational doing it can also be very self-nurturing, very lucrative, and somewhat bumpy stepping on and over the many imbecile suckers in your wake of destiny. To the patient, experienced critical-thinker the minute you have to embellish, to sensationalize, hype it up and (try to) push people’s buttons and triggers… you are showing all your cards. Game over. But not everyone understands the con-man’s, showman’s game. Otherwise this man would not be in the White House in the first place.

That said however, Americans are not hard to figure out. The Land of Capitalistic Opportunity” or anything goes unless you get caught does enable the massive egos of the clinically psychiatric to thrive. Many Americans love (are obsessed with?) a great bombastic rebel. Our national history is without a doubt replete with them.

Fyi Nan, the clip is only 2.5 minutes. 😉

To read the rest of PolitiFact.com’s fact-checking on President Trump’s February 5th State of the Union speech, click here. It deserves noting too that the immediate Democratic response to the President’s speech by Stacey Abrams was also without context and more specific facts — hence, leaning to rhetoric and propaganda.

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Look Deeper for Your Own Good, Please!

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