Ending World Hunger….. Easy

In 1974 the first World Food Conference was held by the United Nations to set up a plan of action to end world hunger. In that conferences, then U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger stated that within 10 years no child would go to bed hungry. To say Mr. Kissinger was off on his prediction would be an understatement. In 1974 it was estimated, by the F.A.O., that 434 million people were going hungry in the world. Since then that number has risen to a staggering 925 million. In between this time there have been numerous conferences, committees, summits, rallies and protest on putting an end to world hunger but to date everyone of them has been in vain. It would seem that ending this crisis is an impossible feat and with the world population expected to rise from 6 to 8 billion by 2050 the crisis of hunger can only grow worse, but it doesn’t have to. With the methods of soilless cultivation such as Hydroponics and Aeroponics feeding the hungry should be a piece of cake (no pun intended).

Hydroponics is a method of farming in which soil is not used as a medium for crops to grow. Rather, crops are grown with its roots in a mineral nutrient solution or an inert medium such as coir, sand, wood fiber, etc. Contrary to belief, soil is not a necessity for plant growth. So long as the necessary mineral nutrients are introduced into the plants water supply soil is not required.

Since the mid 90’s NASA has been researching hydroponic farming and other methods of soilless cultivation as a means by which to grow food in space. NASA has primarily focused on a method of soilless cultivation known as Aeroponics. Aeroponics is a method of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium. The plants are suspeneded in a closed or semi-closed environment in which the dangling roosts and lower stem are sprayed with nutrient-rich water solution by means of misters or foggers.

What makes Aeroponics more attractive over hydroponics is that Aeroponics does not require as much water and energy to grow its plants. Plants which are cultivated in this fashion grow faster and are more mineral and nutrient rich. Also with these plants growing in a controlled environment the possibility for pests and disease forming are drastically reduced. In the case of soil or any other aggregate media, disease can spread quickly throughout the media infecting all plants within it. Whereas in the case of plants grown by the use of aeroponics, the infected plant can simply be removed and discarded without infecting the other surrounding plants. NASA has developed may types of aeroponics systems for potential use in there future mission to Mars.

Whats unfortunate is that theses methods of farming are not new. Aeroponicas dates back to the mid 80’s and hydroponics dates as far back as to the mid 1800’s. Fortunately there are many scientist, out side of those in NASA, such as Dickson Despommier, who are vigorously pushing for a complete transition of growing plants and crops through the uses of soilless cultivation by means of vertical farms (look inside a vertical farm).

With the use of Hydro and Aeroponics we can grow an abundance of food literally any where from Antarctica to the Sahara Desert and even Mars. To date there is no logical excuse for anyone on earth to go hungry and for it to continue is not only criminal but socially irresponsible. It is time to end hunger now!!

To further explain this here is a video by microbiologist, ecologist and Professor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences at Columbia University Dickson Despommier. Watch It! ūüôā


The End of History or Just the Beginning?

Since the fall of the Soviet Union many scholars have declared that the world has reached the end of its ideological debates and that there is no longer any viable alternatives  liberal democracies. No one has become more known for this argument than Francis Fukuyama who in the the summer of 1989 wrote an essay, published in The National Interest boldly titled The End of History. 

The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic¬† alternatives to Western liberalism….. What we my be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

Since then many have opposed this view of “the end of history”, mainly proponents of communism, but it would appear that many more have accepted it. It is not uncommon to hear journalist, pundits, and politicians, when questioned on the state of the world, with all its problems, to answer by saying, “the system is not perfect but its the best that we’ve got”. Even the everyday common man, when posed with the same questions will simply through up his hands and say, “that’s just the way it it”. But is it really just the away it is? Looking upon the world with all of its poverty, disease, inequality and endless wars, is this really the best humanity can do? Have we actually reached the end of history? By no means. To say that we have reached the end of history is to break the number one law of the universe which is, the only constant in the world is change. It must be reiterated, nothing in the universe let alone the world stays the same forever. Humans have been wondering this earth for millions of years and have constantly evolved socially from hunter gatherer to agrarian societies, monarchies to representative democracy (Liberal Democracy). So with the understanding that nothing is forever, the question then becomes, what comes after Liberal Democracy. In the past, many throughout the world believed communism to be a viable alternative but history has shown that communism (as it has been historically practiced) does not work. But over the past few years a little known idea, introduced by Jacque Fresco, has been bubbling over the surface of the consciousness of the people which is slowly but surely beginning to take from and that idea is a Resource Based Economy. A resource based economy is an economy not based on the movement of money but rather the intelligent management of the earths resources through the utilization of current technological and scientific understandings.

Society is a technical invention and the most efficient methods of optimized human health, physical production, distribution, city infrastructure and the like reside in the field of science and technology, not politics or monetary economics. It operates in the same systematic way as, say and airplane and there is no republican or liberal way to build and airplane.

-Peter Joseph (Zeitgeist: Moving Forward)

The three short short videos at the bottom will help you understand the concepts and values of a resource based economy.

For more detailed information you can visit “The Venus Project” and “The Zeitgeist Movement

Don’t be afraid to learn something new.

In The $ We Trust: The Bastardization Of Easter And Other Chirstian Holidays

Tomorrow morning children and adults alike, all over the country, will be engaging in numerous activities celebrating the Easter holiday. At this very moment retail stores everywhere are filled with customers doing their last minute shopping for colorful eggs, candy, accessories, decorations, bunny rabbit masks and costumes. But wait, shouldn’t these people be shopping for crosses, bibles, and other Christian decorations and accessories. Unless I am mistaken, Easter is supposed to be the day of celebration for the¬†resurrection of Jesus Christ. In essence Easter is a very serious day, for the entire Christian faith stands upon the resurrection of Jesus. As stated in 1 Corinthians 15:14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain”.¬† With this said, I fail to see what a bunny rabbit carrying a basket full of multicolored eggs and candy have anything to do with the resurrection of Jesus. Apparently when it comes to the Great All Mighty, dollar that is, nothing is sacred. While the Easter bunny may be carrying a basket full of eggs on Sunday, Monday he will be walking away with a basket full of money. About $16.8 billion to be exact, that is the estimated projection of sales according to the National Retail Federation (NFR).

‚ÄúThough the price of gas is on everyone‚Äôs mind, Easter is one of the few holidays some consumers are willing to stretch their budgets, especially because many children look forward to treats and new outfits on Easter morning,‚ÄĚ….. ‚ÄúRetailers will make sure to offer plenty of promotions on candy, apparel, food and decorations in the coming weeks for eager holiday shoppers.‚ÄĚ ¬† ¬† ¬†¬† – NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay

It is quite sad to see that what was once a holly day to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus has been reduced to a pointless holiday which has no base in value other than to fatten the pockets of retail stores.

Easter isn’t the only Christian holiday to have been bastardized for the sake of the all mighty dollar. When it comes to this, Christmas takes the cake as the biggest cash cow. Christmas combined with Thanksgiving took home $471.5 billion in 2011 (for those who don’t know Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday, do you homework). But the most disrespectful bastardization of a Christian holiday without a doubt has to be St. Patrick’s Day. Saint Patrick was born in Roman Britain where he would be captured by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland as a slave at the age of 16. After six years St. Patrick escaped from his masters and returned to Roman Britain where he would then join the Roman Catholic Church. After becoming an ordained Bishop, St. Patrick returned to the land of his masters where he would preach the gospel becoming a patron saint of Ireland. March 17, 493 a.d. marks the date of death for St. Patrick and it is on this day that St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated. If one takes the time to look more deeply into St. Patrick you will find that he is a man worth celebrating, especially if you are Christian. He is the ultimate example, next to Jesus, of forgiving and loving your enemy. How then is such an man so honorable as he celebrated around the world? By getting as drunk as you possibly can. St. Patrick’s Day is one of the best days for alcohol sales pulling in $4.55 billion this year.

(1 Timothy 6:10) “For the love of money is the root of all evil”, how true.

Stand Your Ground Law: What It Is And Why It Must Go

In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s murder many questions have arised. Of them all, the number one question has been, why has George Zimmerman not been arrested for the murder of Trayvon. Answer, the “stand your ground law”. It is at this moment that the second most asked question is posed, what’s the “stand your ground law”!? The “stand your ground” law permits the use of deadly force without duty to retreat, when there is reasonable belief of a threat. The law also provides immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action. One of the major flaws with the “stand your ground” law is the absence of duty to retreat. In criminal law, duty to retreat is an integral part in the defense of self-defense because the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that he or she were acting reasonably. For example, in states that do not have the “stand your ground” law, if you kill an individual and now stand trial, to claim justifiable homicide on the grounds of self-defense you must show that you made an attempt to avoid the conflict and secondly made a reasonable attempt to retreat before using force. If you can not prove this, than your claim of justifiable homicide may be dismissed. Therein lies the problem with the “stand your ground” law because duty to retreat does not apply hence the name “stand your ground”. Just over a year ago in Florida, Trevor Dooley, a 71-year-old retired bus driver and 41-year-old David James got into an argument at the local park over a kid skateboarding on the basketball court. David James allegedly lunges at Trevor Dooley and Dooley shoots David in the heart, killing him in front of David’s 8-year-old daughter. Trevor Dooley never stood trial for what was otherwise the murder of David James. It must be reiterated, had Trevor Dooley stood trial he would have had to prove that he made an attempt to avoid the conflict and a reasonable attempt to retreat. Why was Trevor at the park with a gun to begin with? Was Trevor the aggressor? Guess we’ll never know because he’s protected by the “stand your ground” law. Above all the most crippling aspect of the stand your ground law, as stated earlier, is that once granted it provides immunity from prosecution and civil action.

776.032‚ÄÉImmunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.‚ÄĒ

(1)‚ÄÉA person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force.
This is the dilemma currently present in the murder of Trayvon Martin. Despite all the facts against George Zimmerman, he has already been granted immunity from prosecution and conviction of any type due to the “stand your ground” law. Without the pressure of mass protest on our elected officials there is essentially nothing that can be done to Zimmerman under this law and that is precisely why the law must be abolished. Since the “stand your ground” law has been enacted, in the latter year of 2005, claims of justifiable homicide in Florida have skyrocketed over %200.
Here’s a breakdown by calendar year and whether the person acting in self-defense was a civilian or a law enforcement officer:

Calendar Year Justifiable homicide by civilian Justifiable homicide by police Total
2000 12 20 32
2001 12 21 33
2002 12 23 35
2003 16 16 32
2004 8 23 31
2005 18 25 43
2006 12 21 33
2007 42 60 102
2008 41 52 93
2009 45 60 105
2010 40 56 96
First half of 2011 16 33 49

Miami’s police chief made a prediction shortly before the law took effect:

“Whether it’s trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn’t want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house,” Chief John Timoney told the New York Times, “you’re encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn’t be used.” ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† -Tampa Bay Times

These predictions, unfortunately, turned out to be true. How many more Trayvon Martin and David James will it take until it becomes obvious that the stand your ground law must go!!

Trayvon Martin: Its Bigger Than Racism

With me being a black man in America it is an understatement to say that I am upset over the murder of Trayvon Martin. But it would be absurd for me to be outraged over his murder and not be just as outraged over the thousands of murders that go on everyday in the U.S and the world. Just turn on your local evening news tonight and see for yourself. By no means am I attempting to belittle the murder of Trayvon nor the issue of racial profiling. What I am saying is that this is bigger than Trayvon and bigger than issues of race. What we are faced with here is a “humane problem” and to keep this incident confined to simply a racial issue is not only a disservice to Trayvon but also to the countless number of people who are murdered in the U.S. and around the world every year. Living in South Central L.A. murder is an everyday thing. Time and time again I turn on the news to see a mother crying on tv over the senseless murder of her child, where is the outrage? A few months ago I got off the bus on my way home from work and was harassed by some gang members. Fortunately I made it home without any incident but in South Central L.A. there are so many who don’t. Had I gotten killed that day would President Obama have addressed it on the White House lawn? Would Lebron James and Dwayne Wade have written my name on their shoes before the Miami Heat game? Would people be protesting in the streets over my murder? The answer to all of these questions is no. Chances are, you wouldn’t have even heard about it and if you did you would have carried on about your day as if nothing happened. I challenge every one of you to turn on your local evening news tonight. Watch how many people were killed today and then ask yourself, do I really care? Everyday a countless number of people are killed, most of them for no good reason. It is time for us to recognize this as a “humane problem” and use reason, logic and behavioral science to put an end to murder and senseless violence. Some say it is impossible but I strongly beg to differ. How then, you may be asking. Well that’s another blog for another time, guess you’ll have to stay tuned. With that said, R.I.P. Trayvon Martin, let us use you passing as a catalyst to put an end to senseless violence all over the world. To slightly quote President Obama, If I ever have a son, I hope he looks just like you.

Trayvon Martin 1995-2012