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  • Writer's pictureKaren L


What do they have in common other than appearing on social media on the anniversary of the first postings? All three remain serious problems after a year, two, three years, and actually longer. The human loss, property damage, and associated trauma of fires and COVID linger in the lives of victims. Our democracy has been challenged and continues to be a threat from demagogues.

COVID is a natural phenomenon of nature, a virus which has behaved in typical fashion. The definition of a virus on Google is an infectious microbe consisting of a segment of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone; instead, it must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of itself. The rest we experienced in 2020 and before that in 1918 through books and articles. Human fallability and frailty add to the tragedies resulting from viruses, but essentially viruses are biological events.

In most cases, the ignition of brush fires results from human error--campfires, cigarettes, or improperly functioning electrical wires Over-development and destruction of forests are additional human related causes, especially the recent well-publicized events in California, Greece, and Hawaii. Fires are natural. Certain types of wind determine the nature of a brush or forest fire, critical elements being the strength, direction, temperature, and humidity level. The fire and smoke are chemical reactions comprised of four stages--ignition, growth, fully developed, and decay. A flame is air with combustible gas. Smoke is a suspended emission of particles from a flaming source.

When we see or yell "fire," our impulse is to run, but first gather a cell phone, purse, etc. and people and animals. Instinctually, we know that fire is hot and dangerous. We fear and are awed by the conflagration. We gather around the fireplace or campfire.Sensible people take care to prevent its occurrence in buildings, parks, and habitable places. Fires are natural, creating a homestatis in the wilds. Fires caused by lightening strikes have controlled plant growth in forests for millenia.

Part of our problem today stems from insufficient controlled burns by forest fire professionals. I am a cautious human, so I have listened to Smokey the Bear, fire safety movies, and fireman for as long as I can remember. The climate changes occurring now, the result of human produced ecosystem and environmental change, add to the dangers of fires due to droughts and extreme heat. Irresponsible development and removal of trees increases the risk of tragedy at the level we understand most readily.

Sickness and fire scare me which is a human reaction to a threat. Both seem situations beyond our control, but there is a scientific explanation for them.

Jail refers to Trump and other greedy sociopaths we have witnessed recently who create chaos by human action. These evildoers cause more lives to be lost than fires and viruses. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Putin are additional examples to a list of villans which winds backwards down through the ages.

Trump continues to lie, cheat, and steal, encouraged by enough of the population to keep him going. But what is the origin of the inappropriate behavior? Human emotions and actions are incredibly complex, no simple answers. However, Trump was enabled for years and years. Trump grew up in a home controlled by an unscrupulous father and protected by money whenever he or a family member faltered. The creation of a Trump develops through myriad missteps, chance, and socioeconomic factors. A bad white boy protected by his father--sent to military school, attended elite college based on family influence, and took charge of father's business. The bad boy developed into a bad man who has manipulated women and lied to shareholders, voters, the media, judges, lawyers, and business associates. Cheating and a lack of consideration for others became his modus operandi. He's a T.V. star and big mouth and then a U.S. President. What?? Since 2015, a seemingly impossible scenario come true.

I find human created problems more frustrating than ones resulting from natural phenomena, though the latter can be influenced by scientists, politicians, leaders, and all of us. We can follow common sense safety rules, vote against impulsive development of the land, and protect our natural world of plants and animals.

I recognize that we are flawed. I accept that we err. When a person turns a corner and lies continuously with impunity, harming others, I draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable. This applies to the Trumps, Epsteins, Kushners, and Madoffs of the United States to name a few recent culprits. Unnamed individuals have destroyed families and relationships by smaller acts of dishonesty. Smaller lies harm individuals as mass murder, treason, and greed affect humanity at the national and international level.


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