Aurora, Texas 1897


I love a good UFO conspiracy – not so much for the conspiracy as the legend and folklore surrounding it. Area 51 and Roswell, New Mexico fuel UFO speculation and government cover-up to the point of hysteria. I’ll admit; depending on your frame of mind or the conviction of believers – it does pose some questions.

Pondering UFO abductions, sightings or crashes is tricky business. It’s one thing to say you don’t believe we’re alone in the universe, another to state you buy into specific cover ups. I don’t believe we could possibly be alone, that said I find it difficult to digest many UFO theories being bantered about. Cautiously forging ahead – ponder Aurora, Texas in 1897.

On April 19, 1897 the Dallas Morning News reported an incident on April 17 in Aurora, Texas. A “cigar shaped” flying object hit a windmill and  crash landed on the property of Judge J.S. Proctor. Witnesses claim a single occupant perished; the body mangled and described as “not of this world”. A Mr T.J. Weems – U.S. signal officer on duty in the area – reported to conveniently be an expert on astronomy – declared Mars to be mystery ships’ home planet. Further evidence; papers found on deceased Martian contained script in undefinable hieroglyphics. A “Christian burial” scheduled the following day.

The incident was never mentioned in press again. Local legends tell of the mysterious metal craft partially buried with the “alien”, the rest tossed down Judge Proctor’s well. In 1945 the property was purchased by Brawley Oates who developed a acute case of arthritis after trying to clear debris out of the old well. Oates later sealed the well with a concrete slab and built a shed on top of it. The Texas Historical Commission erected a marker outside Aurora’s cemetery detailing the “legend”.

UFO enthusiasts, historians, and idle gawkers ponder events at Aurora with interest ranging from curiosity to conspiracy. Naturally no evidence exists – the legend lives on. Never mind original reports of a slow moving cigar shaped craft – think Zeppelins since they were the only aircraft of reference. Take folded papers containing Martian hieroglyphs with a grain of salt – obviously alien travellers carried note pads when crossing galaxies.

Hard as I ponder, I can’t think of one good reason why we need “proof” of alien visits. We can’t cope with our own nonsense let alone deal with ramifications of other worldly beings. Religion would bend it into utter nonsense, business would find ways to turn it into a cash cow and fear would make survivalist wing nuts look like the next best thing.

I’m perfectly happy in my belief we’re not alone – and equally convinced we couldn’t process the truth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurora,_Texas_UFO_Incident

Ted Cruz – Please Stay Away From Canada


Our world is a weird and wonderful place – I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Ted Cruz is a Texas Republican elected to the U.S. senate; he’s also holding dual Canadian/American citizenship. Born 1970 in Calgary, Alberta to a Cuban father and American mother – he left Canada at age four, America has been his home ever since. He has served as the Texas Solicitor General, Director of Policy at the Federal Trade Commission, Associate Deputy Attorney General for the federal Dept. of Justice, Domestic Policy Advisor to George W. Bush in the 2000 Bush/Cheney campaign, taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation as a Law Professor at the University of Texas, and is endorsed by the Tea Party and Republican Liberty Caucus.

His father – Rafael Cruz – left Cuba as a teenager, finding his way to Texas where he attended school. Prior to leaving Cuba he supported Fidel Castro in the revolution aimed at dictator Fulgencio Batista.  During his run for the senate,Ted Cruz made a point of publicly explaining –  his father had no idea Castro was a Communist. Today, Pastor Rafael  Cruz seems to “know a socialist” when he sees one. Speaking recently at the Family Leadership Conference in Iowa, Rafael Cruz likened Obama to Castro, telling the evangelical conservative crowd that Obama policies mirrored those of Castro. His statements backed by his assertion – life in Cuba allowed him to recognize socialism when he saw it. He claimed policy changes such as same sex marriage were part of a socialist agenda.

“Socialism requires that government becomes your God,” he said. “That’s why they have to destroy the concept of God. They have to destroy all loyalties except loyalty to the government. That’s what’s behind homosexual marriage. It’s really more about the destruction of the traditional family than about exalting homosexuality.” – Rafael Cruz

Ted Cruz opposed banning high capacity gun cartridges with more than ten bullets; likewise any further restrictions on background checks or meddling with the “right to bear arms”. Obviously against gay rights, and voted “NO” to reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Cruz believes insurance companies should deny women coverage for birth control and wants to ban any state funding of abortions. Cruz is fighting tooth and nail to halt any attempts by the Obama administration to introduce universal health care.

The debate over his partial Canadian citizenship is nothing short of lunacy. Round the clock coverage on American news stations only reinforces my belief that America has lost its way. Quibbling over this Tea Party poster boy’s eligibility to run for president, rather than stopping to ask themselves how they could live with his nonsense speaks volumes for an America headed towards a train wreck.

Once upon a time a great Canadian named Tommy Douglas had an idea. A Baptist preacher who believed in “social religion” – taking care of people in life rather than dwelling on the afterlife – entered politics. Douglas is responsible for universal health care in Canada – a country where most people don’t sleep with a gun under their pillows. A place where gay marriage is old news, and religion has no business in politics.

Please America; believe me when I say Ted Cruz is not a Canadian. He belongs to you now – good luck with that.

Six Degrees


Ponder this – The average temperature of earth during the last ice age was only 6 degrees cooler than it is now. The industrial revolution of the 19th century heralded the age of burning fossil fuels. Since our industrial blast furnace began belching noxious fumes – average temperatures have increased by 1 degree. A single degree; responsible for glaciers calving at unprecedented rates, and massive 100 year storms becoming all too frequent.

http://chge.med.harvard.edu/topic/climate-change-and-biodiversity-loss

A study by the International Social Survey Program was recently published by the Science World Report. Covering 33 countries over a 17 year period from 1993 – 2010; it concluded global warming is becoming less and less of a hot topic. Only 4.7% rated the environment as a pressing concern, with most people calling it a national rather than personal problem.

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2013/02/26/kelly-mcparland-study-uncovers-massive-global-yawn-over-global-warming/

A story in the news today reported on rising food prices due to recent drought in North American farming regions. Within a few years dry land farming will surely become one for the history books. America’s corn belt was devastated last year, with the lowest rainfall in decades. Call me crazy but this should be seen as something far more than somebody else’s problem.

Big oil seems to have figured it out; at least a few big old Texas oilmen. T. Boone Pickens purchased 68,000 acres in Roberts County, Texas; along with the rights to drain 50% of the water. He sits atop the Ogallala Aquifer – the largest aquifer in America. In 2008 the Bush family purchased 100,000 acres in Paraguay – strategically placed over Guarani Aquifer; considered to be the largest in the world.

http://www.newsfocus.org/water_grab.htm

We need to start thinking about climate change from a different point of view. The debate over its cause will continue to rage, our hand in hastening natural cycles is no longer the point. The world is changing; our weather will become increasingly violent, and the ice will melt faster than it can be replaced. If we can move on to acceptance there’s a fighting chance to wrap our heads around the problem.

Six little degrees is all that stands between us and the last ice age. It doesn’t take much to turn our comfortable existence upside down.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/earth/cause-ice-age.html

The Greatest Man Made Disaster in North America


The Great Plains stretch from Texas to Canada. In a time before settlement, home to massive herds of buffalo who fed on the thick  layer of protective grass. Prone to periods of drought, it was the grass, with root systems reaching up to five feet deep that trapped moisture and maintained a perfect balance.

In the late 18th and early 19th century the plains enjoyed a period of relief from draught. Believing the rain would continue to fall settlers arrived by the thousands. Land was plentiful. The Homestead Act was revised in 1909 offering 320 acres of free federal land to “homesteaders” willing to try their hand at dryland farming. Up from 160 acres in the original Homestead Act of 1862, and considering the pattern of plentiful rain, it seemed to good to be true.

So began “the great plow”- mile after mile of grassland turned gold, wheat blanketed the land. Throughout the 1920s rain fell, farmers prospered with wheat prices at $2.00 a bushel – possibilities seemed endless. When the stock market crashed in 1929 wheat prices began to slide. Farmers responded by plowing more land, they reasoned that more wheat even at lower prices would maintain their families until conditions improved.

They never considered the rain would stop – the plains fell under a catastrophic drought that would last for the next ten years. The terms “dust bowl” and “dirty thirties” can’t begin to describe the misery. With the protective grass plowed under barren fields, nothing prevented the top soil from turning to dust in the wind.

Imagine day after day, year after year, never being able to go outside without a face mask. Livestock died, their noses, mouths, and lungs caked in mud. Starving rabbits and hungry insects devouring any attempt to grow vegetables. A home where you couldn’t open your windows. Ponder the sun disappearing in the middle of the day behind a curtain of dust, at times hundreds of miles wide. Then your children fall sick, victims of dust related pneumonia.

Hundreds died, thousands left, many more endured. The “dust bowl” is a cautionary tale of what can happen if we ignore the balance of nature. We seem to forget that we can’t control the environment. All the technological advances in the world can’t stop a force of nature. Time to ponder the consequences of our actions.

800px-Dust_Bowl_-_Dallas,_South_Dakota_1936.jpg

Geomagnetic Holiday Suggestion


For anyone who hasn’t experienced the Northern Lights this ponder may fall flat as words can’t describe their magic. You don’t have to travel to Alaska or Norway to be touched by Auroras. The solar wind is raging at over 500 Km/second and an impressive geomagnetic storm is under way. Picture this storm as a shock wave caused by blasts of solar wind that compresses our magnetic field, sends it reverberating in all directions, and interacts with the magnetosphere, forcing this energy downward from the poles in a glorious display of light.

Worth adding to any bucket list is a trip to destinations within the “auroral oval”. In 1986 a massive storm resulted in auroras as far south as Texas. Bundle up the family, throw caution to the wind and head for Edmonton or Saskatoon when the solar wind blows, there’s no better way to start your understanding of the power of our universe.

http://spaceweather.com/

northern lights

Photo – Bob Martinson AP