AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR.

Verdict: I loved it.

Caveat: I’m a superhero genre aficionado [or nerd, or whatever].

!!SPOILER ALERT!!SPOILER ALERT!!

Never thought much of Thanos in the comics. Liked his movie interpretation better. His pseudo-scientific/pseudo-religious drive to destroy half of all living beings in the galaxy to “rebalance” everything, as a way of somehow ensuring Life continues was better that the comics’ simplistic “Thanos worships Death”.

I was surprised at who died, and who didn’t. Wondering if any of Marvel’s “Conceptual-Embodiment Entities” had any influence in that, via the Infinity Stones (given that they are the remnants of previous existences of the Universe or Multiverse, and it gets hinted that they may or may not be sentient themselves).

Plus, Thanos’ desire to “cull” means Life’s cycle of “Death/Rebirth” that happens organically/dynamically on every planet that can support Life has been interrupted/delayed; not to mention that it may inhibit the spread of species that could already migrate across the vast distances of outer space, with or without technology.

I’m interested to see how Marvel/Disney develop the Marve Cinematic Universe from here.

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From NPR News: Are We Prepared For A Killer Flu Epidemic? https://n.pr/2Hvdvq0

Forgotten Flu | BackStory with the American History Guys

[EDIT: “Contemporary Speculative Fiction] Contagion (film) – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagion_(film)

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NPR’s Fresh Air: How America’s White Power Movement Coalesced After The Vietnam War https://n.pr/2JsHviZ

[Evil people doing scary shit.]

From NPR News: As American Awareness Fades, Holocaust Museum Refreshes The Story https://n.pr/2K4RrA2

[We, Humanity, most never forget.]

From NPR News: Goldberg’s ‘Suicide Of The West’ Tackles Ills Of Identity Politics : NPR: https://www.npr.org/2018/04/23/604854281/goldbergs-suicide-of-the-west-tackles-ills-of-identity-politics

[I agree with certain points, but this guy takes a kind of “everyone was Christian in those halcyon days of yore” position; too over-simplified, to me.]

From NPR News: Pruitt Proposes New Rule Defining What Science Can Be Used By EPA https://n.pr/2Jo7Yy2

Opinion: another reason I’ve gradually moved away from so-called “Conservatism” since the 1990’s: what I see as an unGodly anti-science position, and propagandistic, lawyerly tactics of weaponizing concepts like “transparency,” “opportunity,” “choice,” “equity,” and “justice” in order to achieve goals that are diametrically counter to those concepts.

21st Century Geopolitics

“Money & Trade & Politics & Market Forces & Green Tech & Trade Wars”:
EDIT (2018-04-24): I’m just gonna keep adding stuff. 🙂
[URL=”https://www.npr.org/2018/04/23/604384871/alexa-tell-me-a-national-security-secret-amazons-reach-goes-beyond-the-post-offi”%5Dnpr.org (2018/04/23/604384871): alexa-tell-me-a-national-security-secret-amazons-reach-goes-beyond-the-post-offi[/URL]

[URL=”https://www.npr.org/2018/04/24/605014988/after-diesel-scandal-vw-turns-to-new-leadership-and-electric-cars”%5Dnpr.org: 2018/04/24 (#605014988): after-diesel-scandal-vw-turns-to-new-leadership-and-electric-cars[/URL]

[URL=”https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2018/04/23/597780405/how-the-tiny-nation-of-georgia-became-a-bitcoin-behemoth”%5Dnpr.org: sections/parallels: 2018/04/23 (#597780405): how-the-tiny-nation-of-georgia-became-a-bitcoin-behemoth[/URL]

EDIT: 2018-04-24:
[URL=”https://www.npr.org/2018/04/24/604241476/sounding-the-alarm-about-a-new-russian-cyber-threat”%5Dnpr.org: 2018/04/24 (#604241476): sounding-the-alarm-about-a-new-russian-cyber-threat[/URL]

[URL=”https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2018/04/23/604438311/autonomous-weapons-would-take-warfare-to-a-new-domain-without-humans”%5Dnpr.org: sections: alltechconsidered: 2018/04/23 (#604438311): autonomous-weapons-would-take-warfare-to-a-new-domain-without-humans[/URL]

EDIT 2018-04-23: Tangential: “Science & Civilization & Natural Philosophy”:
[URL=”https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2018/04/13/602156189/the-true-the-real-and-the-beautiful-7-years-of-cosmos-and-culture”%5Dnpr.org: sections: 13.7: 2018/04/13 (#602156189): the-true-the-real-and-the-beautiful-7-years-of-cosmos-and-culture[/URL] (Endings are bittersweet.)

[URL=”https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2017/07/18/537882769/to-defend-western-civilization-start-with-science”%5Dnpr.org: sections: 13.7: 2017/07/18 (#537882769): to-defend-western-civilization-start-with-science[/URL]

From NPR News: U.S., Allies Hit Three Syrian Sites Linked To Chemical Weapons Program https://n.pr/2GTeewJ

History Of U.S. Responses To Chemical Weapons Attacks In Syria https://n.pr/2IRWlz1

EDIT (2018-04-15): To be clear, I approve.

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From NPR News: In ‘A Higher Loyalty,’ James Comey Describes An ‘Unethical, And Untethered’ President https://n.pr/2GYaQRB

5 Insights From Comey’s Memoir: Ex-FBI Chief Blasts Trump As Moblike https://n.pr/2GRilxs

EDIT (2018-04-15): To be clear, I don’t trust DJT. I didn’t vote for him. I’m not a Conservative; I’m a Moderate/Centrist Republican.

I won’t be voting for DJT in 2020.

I’m having a tough time figuring out which Republicans to vote for in 2018. Conservatives and “Ultra-Conservatives” dominate the GOP. They don’t care to listen or work out viable compromise solutions with Republicans like me, but with thier view of America and what the Consititution means, they demand silent loyalty from non-Conservatives to the party they control.

In my lowly, undereducated, working-class opinion: A Constitutional, Federalist, Democratic-Republican form of government demands that people of competing view come together to hammer out solutions to common problems, while recognizing those with differing views do have a right to exist, a right to have those differing views. Rule of Law has to be about Checks & Balances, about Truth & Justice, about knowing that the Arc of History bends toward Justice and figuring out how to balance short-, medium-, and long-term needs in such a way as to avoid causing Injustice, and providing Just Evolution. Transactional Cynicism may have always gotten and always get things done short-term, but it also leads to Evil “habits” like notions of Racial/Religious/Gender Supremacy and socioeconomic system justification like Slavery or Segregation/Apartheid.

Failure to Think and Reason and to Balance Justice against certain economic momentum and resource pressures seems to be, IMO, how some of History’s seemingly greatest Civilizations collapsed.

A relative Few in each society managed to entrench themselves hereditarily in into power structures that mostly benefitted themselves and a close circle of “loyal” allies; and all of them used each other suppress those Others of the “lower classes”, more and more harshly as time progressed, in order to hang on to what they’d accumulated, usually while suppressing Freedoms/Liberties and Innovation. Seems like a lot of them used concepts like Markets and Trade/Free Trade only as ways to gain a foothold; after achieving a superior or even supreme position as a result, it then became more about denying others access to Markets or Free Trade as a way of securing those positions. For awhile, some got by, looking like they were Innovating (usually by stealing innovations in some way; easy to do, since ideas are like viruses and easily transmitted, often coalescing into packets of information that are also easily tramsmitted/replicated), but if they’re not managing the “Soil” of Innovation well, nothing Grows there, nevermind perennially regenerating.

The way DJT opperates may have been enough for himself and his family to sustain themselves out in the private sector, but I believe his pattern of behavior is detrimental to our Constitutional Republic and the institutional systems it relies on. Are our institutions in need of change, evolution that keeps them striving for a balance between Justice and Efficiency that benefits the Republic long-term, evolutionarily? Absolutely. Those institutions continually require such evolutions, such adaptations, or they become drags on the Republic.

But what DJT seems to instinctively do is try to put himself above Law by manipulating every Law he can. He denies Truth, views Justice as only what benefits himself and his personal sense of Greatness, and undermines our foundations attempting to “permanently” secure Power.

It has always been “Power Corrupts”.

It must always try to be “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility” or we are lost to History.

IMHO.

From NPR News: ‘This Is Going To Be A Challenging Year’: Ryan Retirement Adds To GOP Worries https://n.pr/2JF4JmY

—-

(Originally posted on 2018-04-06)

Technocracy movement – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy_movement

I lothe the thought of single political party systems.

I love our Constitutionalist, Federalist, Democratic-Republican system.

Political parties are inevitable developements.

Here on the U.S.A., we have it okay, with our “duopoly” (two-party system, mainly Republicans versus Democrats, with a few minor parties trying to gain “market share”/credibility).

Wish the rules of the nation and each state allowed for more viable competition among three parties.

My dream: three viable parties duking it out every election. Liberal Democrats, Conservative Federalists, Republican Technocrats.

I’d vote as a moderate/centrist Republican Technocrat……

EDIT: (Socially/religiously liberal, fiscally conservative, pro-STEM/HAL/EMC education, pro-business, pro-markets and checks and balances. My view of “technocracy” differs significantly from the 1930’s version. It’s more influenced by Star Trek than anything else. )

Technocracy – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technocracy

Mars (chocolate bar) – Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_(chocolate_bar)

Excerpt: “Unlike the American Mars bar, however,Snickers Almond also contains caramel. … The international and Canadian Mars barsare very similar to the United States Milky Way bar, which Mars, Inc. also produces (not to be confused with the European version of Milky Way, which is similar to the United States‘ 3 Musketeers).Unlike the American Mars bar, however,Snickers Almond also contains caramel. … The international and Canadian Mars barsare very similar to the United States Milky Way bar, which Mars, Inc. also produces (not to be confused with the European version of Milky Way, which is similar to the United States‘ 3 Musketeers).

So, here I am in Amsterdam, bpight a Mars bar on a whim at a checkout while buying souvenirs, and I had no idea an American Mars bar was different than a European Mars bar! I did it to myself, tho, since I failed to research it first…

From NPR News: Scientists Push Plan To Change How Researchers Define Alzheimer’s https://n.pr/2IGsNEm

From NPR News: Xi Says China To Lower Trade Barriers As Beijing Files WTO Complaint Against U.S. https://n.pr/2IFdwUy

Good to hear!

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From NPR News: Why ‘MasterChef UK’ Is Uniting Malaysians In Outrage https://n.pr/2JvUUrm

Excerpt: “The judges didn’t understand the dish itself,” says the Kuala Lumpur native. “We have to be culinary historians, so that we understand what we eat and where it comes from.”

Sounds like I need to know more, then find some to try…

I love my country. I love our Constitution, and all the Rights, Liberties, and Freedoms secured therein.

I would never — NEVER! — relocate to another country, or renounce my citizenship.

I will exercisse my rights of free speech and free expression to call out wrongs as I see them, regardless of what ‘sector’ they originate from (Public, Private, or Government).

You have those rights yourself, id you are a citizen.