Friday, December 25, 2020

The Basics of Life


By Willard “Woody” Michels

Guest Blogger

A couple years ago a man named Gabriel Sherman wrote a book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” This book is about Roger Ailes the creator of Fox News. I’ll never forget a line in the book in which Ailes made a statement to Richard Nixon during his 1968 presidential campaign that has haunted me since reading it. I don’t recall exactly how it went but something to the effect, “the American people are becoming too lazy to make their own decisions and need someone to tell them how to think. Ailes then stated that TV would be the medium to do this.”

This statement came back to me last week when I was looking for a particular business here in Mesa. I stopped at another business in the vicinity to ask directions. The lady behind the counter gave me the deer-in-the-eye-headlight look and said she had no idea. I walked out and asked another lady and she pointed across the street and down a couple of stores and said where it was. I wonder how the first gal, a pharmacist got her degree. Will Rogers said a diploma was a slip of paper that meant you didn’t know anything other than what you were educated in. Was he right?

This was not the first experience I’ve had when asking for directions in the city. Another time we took the light rail to downtown Phoenix to the Comenco theater. We got off one stop too early not knowing for sure where we were. We walked a block down the street to a sports bar next to the big stadium that I was familiar with. We were early so we ordered a sandwich and asked the waitress for directions to the theater. Her comment was, “I get on the train near my home and ride uptown, get off and walk the block here to work. I have no idea where anything else around here is.”

If you ask a person in rural Montana directions, you'll get a sketch and a couple of alternate routes. They will even expound on the road condition. If they don’t know they will direct you to someone who does. How can a person spend years working in a city and not know where you're at. Is it like what Ailes said, people have become too lazy to think and need someone to tell them what to think.

Let me give you another example of how young people in particular are not taught how to think. We had employed a gal in our office who had a college degree. One day she was entering data into the computer and stated, a particular person did not have much crop production as he only had 2 units per acre. Now this particular crop is normally reported in pounds per acre and he had reported 2 tons per acre. I told her she needed to convert tons to pounds per acre and there were 60 pounds per bushel. Her problem was, she had no idea how many pounds there are in a ton. I was flabbergasted how someone could get to be over 22 and not know how many pounds in a ton. The next day, still in a daze, I asked a daughter-in-law and her young co-workers in a local store if they knew how many pounds there were in a ton. They too had no idea. They asked why would they?

I could go on with examples, like when I hired a college boy to work for me on the farm. I had him change oil on an older pickup truck. I told him to put 4 quarts of oil in after draining the old oil and then check the level. He drained the oil, put in 4 quarts and said it was already way over full. He had drained the transmission and put the oil in the motor. Another time I had a man call me from New Jersey looking for a house in our remote home town in Montana. I inquired as to why in our town. He stated that his daughter from New Jersey was going to attend the University in Missoula, Montana. He wanted a house close by her. Remember, Missoula is over 600 miles from us. The road is mostly 2 lane and goes over a large mountain pass and both are difficult most winters. I told him he could get to Missoula from New Jersey faster and easier than he could get there from our town. He said it cannot be that far as its in the same state. I told him to get a map out and do some comparisons. He never called back.

I am becoming more concerned every day about America. Has the TV, computer, smartphone and other electronics really dumbed down America? Further, look at the current political divide in this country, is this caused by people’s inability to think, decide and learn the real basics of life for themselves? It is very concerning to think there are many people out there that haven’t been taught or given the basics of life. Food comes from the store, gas from a gas station, directions and all information comes electronically. What happens if any of these sources is hacked or goes down, it recently became evident that a foreign power has the capability to disrupt these things. Maybe many people realize this and that is why they are buying so many guns. Could life back on the farm really be so bad, we would at least know where we’re at, how to grow a garden and how many pounds in a ton, and most importantly, where we're at?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

I think the planet has had enough of us

I think the planet has had enough of us and has fired a warning shot that says: "Shape up or join the growing list of endangered species."


We seem to plow through life without much concern for anything except what's actually in front of us. We are at the disposal and mercy of the big corporations and a corrupt form of government.  They tell us what we need to hear, what to buy, what to eat, how to live, and where. 

We have a planet situation called climate change or global warming. It's serious. But only to the people who know the facts and the science. The people who should be in our corner, consider it a hoax, fake and deny it even exists. They get their marching orders from the fossil fuel industry and that means money in the bank.  

Money, of course, is the holy grail and we'll do almost anything to get it. It's at the root of all political power bases. We live in a "fake world" and lying is just a way of communicating and doing business -- and business is good. It's divided society, friends, families, and relationships. 

We are forever engaged in unending wars, drowning in plastic pollution, being watched by and led around by artificial intelligence, seduced by the auto industry, banks, and foreign countries are taking control of whatever is left. 

We live in one of the world's wealthiest nations, yet we rank dead last in healthcare and the highest rates of cancer, heart disease, obesity as well as alcohol and drug use. We are addicted to more prescription drugs than any other country. Nearly 49 million Americans live in poverty and struggle to put food on the table, but yet we throw away 165 billion dollars’ worth of food every year. Pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and toxic chemicals are spreading through our food supply — undermining ecosystems, disrupting immune systems, and spreading chaos worldwide.

We've nearly exploited every possible resource from the planet to make living a little easier, convenient but mostly profitable. 

To make matters worse. The free world is led by a man who lacks basic civility, a man who is rolling back clean air standards in the middle of a deadly plague of respiratory disease, and whose greatest talent is to divide, mock, insult, alienate.

Since climate change is nothing more than a nuisance to the fossil fuel powers, and our current administration. Most of us are in the dark as what to do, the planet has finally become fed up with us and has fired a warning shot that seems to have gotten our attention. 

It's the worst of the worst. It's telling us to shape up or join the growing list of endangered species. The coronavirus is attacking every corner of the world and shutting it down. Rome is burning.

A Global lifestyle change is imminent

Your comments welcomed

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Cycling keeps your immune system young, study finds

A middle-aged man cycles. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Cycling can hold back the effects of aging and rejuvenate the immune system, a study has found. Scientists carried out tests on 125 amateur cyclists aged 55 to 79 and compared them with healthy adults from a wide age group who did not exercise regularly.

The findings, outlined in two papers in the journal Aging Cell, showed that the cyclists preserved muscle mass and strength with age while maintaining stable levels of body fat and cholesterol. In men, testosterone levels remained high.

More surprisingly, the anti-aging effects of cycling appeared to extend to the immune system.

An organ called the thymus, which makes immune cells called T-cells, normally starts to shrink from the age of 20. But the thymuses of older cyclists were found to be generating as many T-cells as those of young people.

Prof Janet Lord, director of the Institute of Inflammation and Ag
ing at the University of Birmingham, said: “Hippocrates in 400BC said that exercise is man’s best medicine, but his message has been lost over time and we are an increasingly sedentary society.

“However, importantly, our findings debunk the assumption that ageing automatically makes us more frail. Our research means we now have strong evidence that encouraging people to commit to regular exercise throughout their lives is a viable solution to the problem that we are living longer but not healthier.”

Male cyclists taking part in the study had to be able to cycle 100km in under 6.5 hours, while women had to cover 60km in 5.5 hours. The non-exercising group consisted of 75 healthy people aged 57 to 80 and 55 young adults aged 20 to 36.

Many other studies have also shown the remarkable health benefits of cycling. A study published in the BMJ last April found that regular cycling cut the risk of death from all causes by more than 40%, and cut the risk of cancer and heart disease by 45%.

Experts also believe cycling boosts riders’ mental health, with multiple studies finding that those who commute by bicycle are happier and less prone to depression than those who use any other form of transport.

A recent report from cycling and walking charity Sustrans also found that cycling does not just benefit an individual’s health but that of society as a whole, estimating that if Britain were to reach government targets for walking and cycling, the country would save about £9.3bn and reduce deaths from air pollution by more than 13,000 over the next decade.

Prof Stephen Harridge, director of the Centre of Human & Aerospace Physiological Sciences at King’s College London, said: “The findings emphasize the fact that the cyclists do not exercise because they are healthy, but that they are healthy because they have been exercising for such a large proportion of their lives.

“Their bodies have been allowed to age optimally, free from the problems usually caused by inactivity. Remove the activity and their health would likely deteriorate.”

Monday, March 09, 2020

Simple Solution

Simple Solutions
The medicine you'll never see doctors prescribe or the pharmaceutical companies promote and they are probably already in your house.
Back in the Day

As more and more of our food is manufactured, chemically treated, nutrition free chunks of who knows what, there are some natural products that have been around forever.

They were never referred to as health food, or medicine, but were used extensively to treat nearly everything from bad breath to cancer. And you didn't need a prescription. And a month's supply might cost a buck or two. Many still do.

So while the pharmaceutical industry, the insurance companies, and our politicians find ways to drain our pocketbooks (anybody use a pocketbook any more?) and invent diseases just to develop a new drug, maybe it's time to revisit and reeducate ourselves on some of these products and bypass the middleman completely. Here are a few to get you started.

Baking soda is a familiar household product that also goes by the names sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda and sodium hydrogen carbonate.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular home remedy. People have used it for centuries in cooking and medicine. 6 Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar, Backed by Science
Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is considered the worlds safest all natural effective sanitizer. 26 Amazing Benefits and Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide
The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control the body's metabolism and many other important functions. MORE >>
Have you had the chance to see any episodes? You should, especially those with open minds about climate change. Harrison Ford narrates the first episode. SEE >>
One of the largest consulting firms in the world, has highlighted the important role that bicycles will play in the coming years in easing traffic congestion. MORE >>

The Basics of Life

  By Willard “Woody” Michels Guest Blogger A couple years ago a man named Gabriel Sherman wrote a book, “The Loudest Voice in the Room.” Th...