Just so you know . . .

֎ 415 parts per million

At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, carbon dioxide levels were recorded at 415 parts per million last week. That is the highest level recorded there since it began such analyses in 1958. It’s also 100 parts per million higher than any point in the roughly 800,000 years for which scientists have data on global CO2. In other words, “levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are now nearly 40 percent higher than ever in human history.” [Popular Science]

֎ Utah recently passed a law that requires doctors to give anesthesia to a fetus prior to performing an abortion that occurs at 20 weeks of gestation or later. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) said it considers the case to be closed as to whether a fetus can feel pain at that stage in development.

“The science shows that based on gestational age, the fetus is not capable of feeling pain until the third trimester,” said Kate Connors, a spokesperson for ACOG. The third trimester begins at about 27 weeks of pregnancy.

To find out more, see: https://www.livescience.com/54774-fetal-pain-anesthesia.html?utm_source=ls-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190518-ls

֎ Can students’ life circumstances be quantified alongside their SAT score? The College Board’s new “disadvantage” score attempts to add a measurable layer of context to each student’s test score, taking in environmental factors such as crime rates and housing values where the student lives. Test-taking students won’t see their score, but 150 participating colleges will begin evaluating applicants on this metric in the fall. Notably, the score doesn’t look at race, so it can still be used in states that have banned racial preferences in public-college admissions. [The Atlantic]

֎ The United States is facing an affordable housing crisis.

Nearly two-thirds of renters nationwide say they can’t afford to buy a home, and saving for that down payment isn’t going to get easier anytime soon: Home prices are rising at twice the rate of wage growth. According to research from the advocacy group Home1, 11 million Americans (roughly the population of New York City and Chicago combined) spend more than half their paycheck on rent. Harvard researchers found that in 2016, nearly half of renters were cost-burdened (defined as spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent), compared with 20 percent in 1960. [More at Curbed.com]

Now is the time to tour one’s favorite botanical garden. Make an outing of it with an outdoor lunch. This time of bountiful blossoms lasts only a week or two. Peace of mind may be discovered amid the tumultuous moment in history that everyone is experiencing.

Ancient Mariner


This post, to say the least, reflects advocacy, prejudice and disdain.

Mariner’s mother had congenital heart disease. He was born when she was eighteen. Four years later, she became pregnant with his brother. She was advised not to have the baby but no one would perform a safe abortion. Mariner’s father could find no one to perform an abortion. She carried to term and mariner’s brother was born. Mariner’s mother was bedbound for two years then spent her last year in a hospital in an oxygen tent. She died when mariner was eight years old, leaving horrendous hospital bills for his father and left mariner and his four year old brother without a mother.

For the holier than others conservatives, irrational religious fanatics and political hackers, mariner has disdain. They don’t understand that pregnancy has many reasons not to be in the best interest of people’s intimate lives. They don’t understand that abortion is not a political decision. They don’t understand that the Constitution in no way gives them the right to own the life of any woman – any more than owning black slaves. Mariner’s mother wasn’t even black.

Basing the political conflict on fetal arguments of any kind is useless. People who oppose abortion aren’t scientifically minded nor would those arguments matter. Mariner notes that these same faux aristocrats have the same disrespect for other life-taking issues:

Among all other issues, war kills more than any other political misappropriation. The last thing a sane, emotionally secure person would desire is to go to war – about anything.

Failure to provide medical care to the poor and indigent is another way of saying “Let them die before I measure my dollars versus their life.”

Should a woman give birth to an unwanted child, the curse of prejudice stays with the child. The United States tolerates one in five children living beneath the poverty line. Further, the United States and its anti-abortionists cause the United States to rank 47th among all nations in infant mortality per 1,000 births. Anti-abortionists are rife with hubris, irrational thought and no capability to feel empathy and compassion.

Ancient Mariner



We must talk

Everyone is aware of the topic ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’. The difficulty is that there is no actual definition, experience or data that defines these terms. Clouding the dialogue is conflict between naysayers, entrepreneurs, ostrich heads, unprepared government representatives and science. The casual attitude by most around the world is, “Well, maybe. But it’s too far in the future for me to worry about.”

The reality is that climate change officially began with the first report of atmospheric modification back in 1853. The primary culprit is known today as burning fossil fuels. What is hard to accept is the gradual change – ever so slight – of weather, planet behavior, environmental degradation and other subtleties such as the effect of eliminating forests, open chemical drainage and destroying estuaries and tidal plains in the name of real estate development.

A record-setting amount of damage has occurred across the planet – including the United States – that no longer can be denied. Something is different. It is destructive, expensive and takes lives. Storms are stronger; rain is heavier; drought is prolonged; atmospheric quality affects health. If mariner may use an analogy, visiting with a cow and calf is pleasant until more cows come running; and even more cows come running. A pleasant interlude with one cow becomes a life-threatening stampede. Since about 1970-90, the rate of change has shifted slowly from arithmetic to algebraic, that is, the rate of change was moving along at 1,2,3,4,5,6…. Recently, the rate of change has shifted to 1,2,4,8,16,32….

Even the US Congress, bless them, is preparing a disaster relief bill with a budget in the billions and both parties are collaborating. Climate change must be serious!!! The cost of climate change perhaps is the most threatening aspect, capable of bringing the nation’s economy to its knees.

USNews just released an article that begins to provide measurable data. A summary is below; remember that when the term “in the next century” is used, that doesn’t mean it will start in the next century; it indeed already has begun. Metaphorically, the cows already are multiplying.

[USNews] A report released Tuesday in the journal Environmental Research Letters found that the homes of nearly 3.9 million Americans are at risk of flooding by the next century if the sea level rises one foot, as many climate scientists have predicted. While usual suspects such as New Orleans, southern Florida and the Manhattan section of New York City are at great risk, some more surprising areas also have large populations living less than a meter above sea level. Ben Strauss, director of the Program on Sea Level Rise at Climate Central, told us which states are most at risk of devastating floods during the next 100 years.

Georgia – 28,000 people living in 127 square miles of low-lying land are at risk of being flooded.

Massachusetts – Only about 32 square miles of Massachusetts is vulnerable to being flooded, but it’s a dense area, with about 52,400 people at risk.

North Carolina – 58,000 people living in more than 40 towns and municipalities in North Carolina are in danger of flooding, according to Strauss’ report. The state is prone to hurricanes, although it has largely avoided major damage in recent years.

South Carolina – In 1989, hurricane Hugo pounded downtown Charleston with five-foot high walls of water, damaging three quarters of homes in the historic district. Strauss says the area is especially vulnerable to flooding. In the state, 60,000 residents live in dangerous low-lying areas.

Virginia – Strauss says Norfolk is at the most risk in Virginia—about 75,000 people live in the state’s 120 square miles of low-lying dry land.

New Jersey – New Jersey only had 67 square miles of dry land in the “danger zone,” but more than 154,000 people live in those areas, putting the Garden State at risk.

New York – Last month, a researcher said that storm swells could easily devastate Manhattan over the next 100 years, and Strauss wrote that the city had a “one-inch escape from Hurricane Irene.” Manhattan has sea walls, but with 300,000 people living less than a meter above sea level, they’re at risk, Strauss says.

California – “In southern California, you never think of coastal floods,” Strauss says. Southern California often gets storms that push the high tide line three feet above sea level, but it rarely goes above that. “By middle century, when you have a foot of sea level rise, they’ll be seeing water to four feet regularly. There’s a lot of development and assets between three and four feet,” Strauss says, adding that relatively flat areas such as Huntington Beach and Long Beach are at the most risk. More than 325,000 people live less than a meter above sea level.

Louisiana – “The odds for extreme coastal floods have already increased dramatically for most locations we’ve studied,” says Strauss. No one knows that better than the people of Louisiana, who were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. More than 888,000 people live in the 1,180 square miles of dry land less than a meter above sea level, by far the largest vulnerable area in the United States.

Florida – More than 1.6 million people live in the 638 square miles of Florida’s coast that are less than one meter above sea level. Strauss says South Florida will likely have to migrate to higher ground, because the bedrock off the coast of Miami is “like Swiss cheese,” making it impossible to build a sea wall.

Globally, there are ten nations that may not survive economically:

Bangladesh – Climatic changes: A tropical monsoon country, Bangladesh is prone to floods, tropical cyclones, and tornadoes, which occur almost every year, and now the low-lying country is suffering increased rainfall, cyclones and rising sea levels. Over the coming decades it is estimated that 20 million climate refugees will emerge from Bangladesh.

Guinea Bissau – Not to be confused with Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, or Papua New Guinea, Guinea Bissau is soon to be placed on the map in its own right, no longer to be mixed up with other similar-sounding countries.

Guinea Bissau experiences a monsoon-like rainy season alternating with hot, dry winds blowing from the Sahara. Rainfall has become irregular and unpredictable. The coastal lowlands are exposed to increasing rising tides due to thermal ocean expansion, which in turn increases the risk of flooding. Damage to infrastructure and loss of water security are already felt keenly, as is the loss of food security due to the loss of fish stocks and coral reefs, soil degradation and decreased agricultural yields. Guinea Bissau already is heavily dependent on foreign aid.

Sierra Leone – Sierra Leone’s climate is tropical, with a rainy season and a dry season which brings cool, dry winds from the Sahara. The population is now threatened by climate change-related droughts, storms, floods, landslides, heatwaves and altered rainfall patterns. Crop production is highly vulnerable to prolonged droughts interspersed with heavy rainfall, rendering Sierra Leone another country at high risk from threats to food and water security.

Haiti – Haiti’s climate is characterized by two seasons: the wet and the dry. Heavier rainfall is now occurring in the wet season, hurricanes are more frequent and less predictable, and sea level rise is a major concern. Climate projections, however, indicate a hotter and drier future for Haiti with decreased precipitation overall. Unseasonable droughts have caused widespread crop failure in recent years. Less than 2% of Haiti’s forest cover remains since the 1915-1934 US occupation, which oversaw the majority of deforestation due to concentrated land ownership for plantations.

South Sudan – South Sudan’s climate is tropical equatorial with a humid rainy season – with vast amounts of precipitation – and a drier season. However, climate change has delayed and shortened the rainy season, and drought has become an increasing concern.

Nigeria – Nigeria’s oil-based economy is set to suffer greatly, likely impacting the funds required to address climate change. Nigeria is already experiencing drier weather, particularly in the northern Sahel region, and droughts are increasing in frequency and severity.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – The DRC is the richest nation on earth in terms of natural resources, and the most biodiverse African country, yet one of the poorest nations on Earth, with 70% of the population living below the poverty line. The predicted increase in frequency of floods, droughts and heatwaves, is expected to impact agricultural productivity and livelihoods. Deforestation and land degradation due to mining are exacerbating these climate-related disasters

Cambodia – Climate change is expected to amplify already existing problems of water scarcity, agricultural failure and food insecurity. Extreme flooding is predicted to endanger the agriculture that supports the majority of the population. Extreme heat is also predicted.

Philippines – The term super-typhoon is set to become a fixture in climate-related vocabulary. Rising sea levels place the Philippines in a particularly vulnerable position, and increase the threat of storm surges that inundate vast coastal regions, threatening their populations who will be forced to migrate en masse if they are to escape the effects of food insecurity and loss of shelter and livelihood that result.

Ethiopia – Small-scale farmers – which make up 85% of the Ethiopian population – are expected to bear the brunt of climate change-induced drought in Ethiopia, resulting in water scarcity and food insecurity. Crops have failed and cattle are dying; it is probable that Ethiopia will experience more famines on the scale for which the nation is famed.

Mariner is confident of two situations occurring: Even as the world has not figured out how to deal with emigration, emigration will continue to worsen especially in a decade or two when the effects of climate change dramatically change weather patterns; migration of US citizens will cost billions and affect everything from housing to jobs. The second is a global depression. GDP will suffer significantly at the same time the cost of climate change is beginning to affect national economies.

Thanks to USNews, Shift Magazine and Maplecroft.com for providing much of the detail in this post.

– – – –


Barbara Res, a construction manager in the early 1980s, recalled:

“We met with the architect to go over the elevator-cab interiors at Trump Tower, and there were little dots next to the numbers. Trump asked what the dots were, and the architect said, “It’s braille.” Trump was upset by that. He said, “Get rid of it.” The architect said, “I’m sorry; it’s the law.” This was before the Americans With Disabilities Act, but New York City had a law. Trump’s exact words were: “No blind people are going to live in this building.” [June Atlantic]

Ancient Mariner

Illicit Conversion

This isn’t about religion. Illicit conversion is a class of fallacy in reasoning which, it turns out, is Donald’s favorite form of argument. Retrieved from one of mariner’s ancient college textbooks on logic, it is nonetheless recognizable today:

Donald would reason that criminals are Hispanics; therefore all Hispanics are criminals. Or, another reasoning, Donald likes rich white people and doesn’t like poor nonwhite people; therefore, what Donald likes is acceptable and what he doesn’t like is unacceptable.

Donald may assume crimes are synonymous with collusion; therefore no collusion means no crimes.

Obviously for Donald, all friends are useful; therefore all those not useful are not friends.

In simple terms, one assumes a premise then uses that premise in an inaccurate way to propose a second premise. A syllogism with a split middle is a specific construct within illicit conversion.

What makes Donald confusing is that he illicitly converts illicit conversions at the drop of a hat. His reporting on the North Korean issue is an example.

Certainly Donald is not the only person who uses illicit conversion. It just may be that everyone is guilty of the practice when it provides an easy answer to a complex situation. How many conservatives or conversely how many liberals must confess to using ‘what one likes is legitimate; therefore what one doesn’t like is illegitimate’? How many think the brand of car they purchased is a superior choice therefore all other brands are somehow inferior?

The loosely defined truths (or untruths) contained in illicit conversions inevitably lead to flawed judgment, prejudice, exclusivity, meaningless pride and in some conditions lead to violence and abuse. Even in strict scientific research, what may be construed as a valid assumption often turns out to be an illicit conversion.

Has one ever used an illicit conversion to justify procrastination or scheduling preferences or which school is best for the children?

Illicit Conversion is a practice that is a bad personal habit until it becomes common enough to influence society. Without illicit conversion, populism cannot exist; identity politics cannot exist; prejudice cannot exist, etc.

The best antidote is curiosity along with engagement. Why does one want to procrastinate? Why do the various financial classes discriminate and isolate? Why is government split between capitalism and socialism? Why does one like their neighbor from the other political party but dislikes everyone else in that party?

One for all and all for one dispels socially assumed illicit conversion – plus add some rational education. Yet, many in the electorate prefer to be guided by illicit conversions for every aspect of life.

Ancient Mariner



Winter seems at last to have given in regarding its long battle to deter Spring. An unexpected late frost damaged tomatoes and impatiens enough to delay blooming but all survived even if near the ground level. During the exceptionally cold Winter, the Azaleas planted in the front a year ago were frozen completely except for a few shoots coming from the roots. Only a handful of blossoms appeared. Needless to say, Spring planting of flowers and vegetables is behind schedule.

As headlines in the news report, this area and the entire Midwest has suffered record rainfall throughout the Winter and early Spring. Flooding is everywhere and the major rivers are setting record flood stages; many very large crop fields look like lakes. Instead of an emerging Spring, mariner’s home town suffered endless weeks of a weather pattern that hung around the freezing point, snowing at night and turning to rain during the day.

Mariner is old enough that reengaging the labors of gardening after Winter layoff takes a while. Between the rain, grass growing like there’s no tomorrow and a water table high enough that one’s boots splash when walking on the lawn, it will be awhile before the grounds look kempt.

Mariner’s daughter gifted him and his wife with a fancy Cherry tree. Sitting next to a large crabapple tree that blooms rambunctiously, that end of mariner’s home should be quite a display. Mariner also set out his potted Oleander, Amaryllis and the cactus collection from the Sonoran Dessert.

So, all is happy again in mariner’s hometown – especially for the lawn Nazis whose lawnmowers, blowers, lawn trimmers, tillers and power washers are incessant and drowned out only by the cars racing on the dirt track at the fairgrounds. When mariner first drove into his town in 1964, he said, ‘This is a town of lawns.’ And it is. The Town Council passed ordinances requiring lawns not to be too long and the property must appear well maintained.

Nevertheless, it’s nice to walk outside without bundling up and to hear a living world from hummingbirds to riding mowers to stock cars.

Ancient Mariner


Did you know?

Day to day, we forget that if the billions of years of life on Earth were scaled to a twenty-four hour day, our settled civilizations began about a fifth of a second ago. [Falter, McKibben]

This implies that the existence of humanity, regardless of many years of human life ahead, is but a microscopic blip in the history of the Planet. The dinosaurs (during the Mesozoic Era inclusive of the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods) existed for over 170 million years. So far, the Homo clan has existed for 2.2 million years; modern humans, the troublesome sapiens kind, have existed only for 200,000 years.

There is scientific debate about the cause of extinction for dinosaurs. One or the other or both a large asteroid and/or excessive volcanic activity blocked the sunlight and caused atmospheric gases that made life impossible for dinosaurs – although virtually every other creature made it through this catastrophe in one way or another. The survival of other species suggests that the end of the Cretaceous Period was a slower change in the environment. Some scientists think while both catastrophes may have contributed to the extinction, they suggest the real cause was a more gradual shift in climate and changing sea levels.

Does that sound familiar? Humans are not blessed with asteroids but from time to time, large volcanoes have disrupted daily life around the planet. Just to be sure, though, humans have fossil fuels to create a warming climate and changing sea levels.

Another study suggests that the dinosaurs were overpopulated and suffering from disease and malnutrition during the end of the Cretacious. Humans have that covered, too, with excessive global population and intentional starvation across much of the Planet.

Mother Nature is not deterred from her strict laws for survival. Mother Nature is the spirit of the Planet – not of any life form per se. As to troublemaking humans, she says, “Capitalism, shmapitalism; profit, shmofit; AI, shmai – humans have never been in charge and never will be.”

Humans snub their noses and say they will leave Earth and live elsewhere in the cosmos. Where? On another planet?

Ancient Mariner


No News is No News

Frequently Mariner is asked to respond to Donald this and Donald that. Mariner does not follow Donald. Mariner spends most of his news gathering time catching up on the world and other matters non-Donald. The world is quite busy at the moment with war, political upheaval, scientific invention, even social events like a Prince and wife giving birth to a baby. Monsoons literally are wiping out a nation. These things are new news. Donald is not new news.


We already know Donald is incompetent.

We already know Donald is emotionally disadvantaged.

We already know Donald is a pathological liar.

We already know Donald hates Barack Obama and wants to wipe his accomplishments out of existence.

We already know Donald intends to keep America divided and paranoid.

We already know Donald’s cabinet is destroying thirty years of regulations covering everything from oil spills to health services to the humane aspects of immigration to global destruction of the environment.

We already know Donald ‘says’ he wants to build a wall but really he wants to keep populism on the front page.

We already know Donald wants to be king.

We already know Donald is unscrupulous and immoral in his business and political dealings.

So what’s new news?

Know what? Donald is all he can be, to quote a phrase. What he can be isn’t very acceptable; indeed it is harmful. But one knows who Donald is and what he will be. Mariner, though frightfully concerned about the ramifications of Donald, is not angry at Donald.

Mariner is very, very angry at Senate Republicans. They have demonstrated the most egregious behavior one can imagine. America is not their concern. America is devastatingly broken – far beyond anything Donald could invoke. Nevertheless, the first allegiance of Republican Senators is to the 2020 primaries. A Republican Senator may lose his $175,000 job with excessive benefits if that Senator must win a primary without Donald’s base. In any other circumstance,  Donald would have been impeached for treason as soon as he was elected. But Republican Senators allow the scourge of Donald to do great damage to America and its position as leader of the world – a nation among nations – not for ideological reasons but just so they can keep their job in 2020.

Twenty-two Republican Senators are up for reelection in 2020. A curse on them all.

So what is new news? Donald is gone. Republican Senators are gone. The Electoral College is gone. Gerrymandering is gone. PAC money is gone.

That’s news!

Ancient Mariner



Reality isn’t very large

Mariner was reminiscing the other day about his teen years. That was a time when weekend dances were common in high school gyms. Living on the East Coast, there were summer beach parties, water skiing, Limbo contests and in the midst of it all dating and beginning to learn ‘grownup’ social skills. Naturally, after a moment, realism set in and mariner realized that era didn’t last very long. Not only that, it doesn’t exist anymore. Everyone has memories, of course, visions stored in brain cells. There are accountings in history books, mementoes, even the old letter sweater. Still, that era doesn’t exist anymore in any form of reality. That chunk of time is gone. Time doesn’t flow; it breaks off in chunks just like a glacier.

Think about the lives of our elders in the year 1900. It was an era where the horse was front and center to virtually every human activity. One accepted without thought the smells, the chores, the care and feeding of horses. On farms, it was an unconscious chore to start the day harnessing old Dobbin. One couldn’t go to town or church or work or haul the product of one’s labor without engaging a horse.

By 1914 the internal combustion engine had replaced the horse – so rapidly and so completely that everything from commerce to politics was reinvented. By 1925, after World War I, the horse was no longer a centerpiece in society. The horse world disappeared. That time broke off as a chunk and was no more.

Reality, that is, an interacting phenomenon that creates new actions and results, is really only about 25 years long. In a Zen moment, one realizes that their own reality has disappeared, too. Having only a few moments that exist in memory, one’s old self is gone.

Similar to a glacier losing a chunk of ice into the sea, the actual chunking process takes a long time. A glacier may take a half century to slowly split and melt to the point that a chunk falls off. Mariner proposes that today, at the start of the twenty-first century, humanity is splitting and melting as it approaches a moment of chunk, when the time one is familiar with today will suddenly be gone. A new time is beginning.

Ancient Mariner




Mariner wrote a post some time ago that defines a physical difference between liberal and conservative thinking (Red Brain, Blue Brain posted June 19, 2015). The difference is where decisions are made in the brain.

֎ From an Atlantic article by Dan Meegan

Conservatives Have a Different Definition of ‘Fair’ and liberals ignore it at their peril.

[Some people have more than they need, and others need more than they have. Even when liberal leaders describe policies that are beneficial to everyone, they make it clear that the most important beneficiaries are those whose needs are most urgent.

Conservatives tend to value equity, or proportionality, and they see unfairness when people are asked to contribute more than they should expect to receive in return, or when people receive more than they contribute. Consider a hypothetical comparison of two people who graduated from college five years ago with equal amounts of debt. Jessie successfully implemented a plan to pay off the debt in five years, while Sam still has much to repay. Warren’s plan forgives Sam’s debt, but offers nothing to Jessie, despite her industriousness and self-discipline. To add insult to injury, Jessie must contribute tax dollars to the $640 billion fund necessary to forgive outstanding loans, including Sam’s.]

 Sigh. ‘Pass it Forward’ must not be a conservative concept. Where are the Evangelicals when Christ needs them?

No doubt the example above proved to be a litmus test for the reader. One option will ring more true than the other. The conservative option is based on self-value while the liberal option is based on human value. The twain, as it is said, will never meet. When one gives it thought, one realizes this is the very core of the dysfunction of US governments. Conservatives are willing to eliminate the Affordable Care Act (ACA aka Obamacare) because they already have health insurance and balk at paying someone else’s health insurance as well – and gratis at that. Liberals, on the other hand see the imbalance of the human condition and seek to rebalance equality using the abundance of others.

In a more subtle sense, conservatives operate from a point of view that induces prejudice and classism; prejudice and classism simply are rules of the road that keep proportionality in place. Liberals on the other hand see the injustice of prejudice and classism as lack of concern for the human condition.

There are handy government philosophies for this conflict: capitalism and socialism. Mariner has said in the past that these philosophies don’t work if either is an absolute. It takes two to mambo . . .

Ancient Mariner

Gettysburg Revisited

Mariner has a mental image of walking across the Battlefield at Gettysburg during the Civil War. Over 7,000 dead bodies lay strewn across the field; over fifty thousand were wounded. Heavy smoke from gunpowder hangs in the air like fog; the stench of blood and death fills the nostrils. This image is a metaphor for citizens in today’s America – old and new concepts of government are in battle against one another. The difference is the citizens are the ones who will die and be injured.

[NEWSY] The Justice Department said in a filing Wednesday that it believes “the remaining provisions of the ACA should not be allowed to remain in effect.”

The Trump administration has joined a coalition of Republican-led states in asking a federal appeals court to strike down Obamacare in its entirety.

Should the Justice Department win this legal battle, many millions of US citizens suddenly will be left without health insurance, including virtually the entire Donald base. If this isn’t gunfire into the citizenry, causing many more deaths and injuries than at Gettysburg, then what is it? Old government forces (social conservatives) want to stymie inevitable change to the culture. The conservatives will cause a lot of pain and suffering both fiscally and emotionally but change is inevitable.

So it has been throughout history. Change means war. The innocent must die.

Ancient Mariner