Friday, February 16, 2018

School Shootings; A Parent's Perspective

School Shootings; A Parent’s Perspective
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 14, 2018

This is a perspective from a parent of TWO elementary school teachers. 

It was only a matter of minutes after the Florida high school shooting before some politicians started the cry for gun control.  This Nugget is NOT about gun ownership but rather some basic suggestions as to what schools “could” do to protect the students, the teachers and the school administrators from shootings that may occur.

I was impressed that several of the students interviewed immediately after the most recent school shooting in Florida said there were several teachers that made presentations to all the classrooms in recent weeks to explain the procedures to be taken if or when there is an “active shooter” situation.

There needs to be some procedure in place to insure everyone is aware of the difference between a fire drill with the emphasis on the word “drill”, and a REAL FIRE or something like this ACTIVE SHOOTER situation.  Today I heard one interview where a man (unknown) said that in his area students are told to stay put in their classrooms when the fire alarm sounds.  Then and only then do they leave when they are directed to do so by School Administrators.  That would have prevented the type of shooting that took place in Florida from being as bad as it was when all the students evacuated into the hallways. 

Every classroom door of every school in America should be required to lock when a class begins and no one would be permitted entrance to the class once the door is locked without the specific permission of the class teacher.  It is too late to start locking doors AFTER the shooting begins and there is no reason the doors can’t be locked ahead of time.  In time, schools could and should be outfitted with doors that can be locked from a central location much like hotel doors leading to elevators can be automatically closed to prevent people from using elevators during a fire. 

Every teacher and school administrator should be fitted with an electronic device much like the devices you see advertised on television for senior citizens.  These devices are buttons they wear as a necklace or on their wrist that they can push and in just a second someone is notified that that the senior citizen is in need of help and exactly where the person is.  There is no reason why a similar technology can’t be created for the purpose of having teachers and school administrators being able to push a button they wear and in a matter of seconds and the appropriate officials would be notified of an emergency situation in a classroom/school.  These devices should be required to be pressed TWICE as that should prevent accidental activation.

A school can have as many exits as necessary to evacuate the building or buildings but the entrance to the buildings should be restricted to a select few just like in movie theaters and other public buildings.  All exists should be appropriately marked as FIRE EXIT, but people cannot usually enter through a designated Fire Exit and schools should be the same.

Every school should have video surveillance of entrances to all school offices and school hallways.  This won’t prevent shootings from occurring but may help to identify a shooter and it may act as a deterrent for people considering criminal activities.

Schools should hire School Marshals like airlines hire Sky Marshals.  You would not need a Marshal at every school but if a shooter had no idea whether there were School Marshals on scene at a targeted school or not, it may act as a deterrent out of fear of being opposed by an armed School Marshal that “might” be in the school.  I would think that retired military and police officers would welcome such duty.  Schools should be marked as having armed security on the premise also as a deterrent.

The Florida shooter was expelled from the school.  It is my understanding that prior to that, he was suspended showing a trend of discipline issues.  It was obvious to me that any student expelled from any school should be reported to the local authorities with a complete report of not only the incident that triggered the expulsion but all recorded incidents of discipline infractions.  Local authorities should then create a database of such individuals and run their records for other incidents involving the same individuals.  The Florida incident also suggested that a National Database should be maintained.  A report was filed in Mississippi regarding the shooter but there was no connection to Florida and nothing was done with the tip.

Individual freedoms are wonderful and are envied throughout the world.  What happens when someone is diagnosed with a mental disorder?  Who should be made aware of this person?  For example, should this person be allowed to operate a motor vehicle?  Should he or she be permitted to purchase and/or own a fire arm?  The answers to these questions can only be answered by a qualified physician.  BUT when the physician does make that determination, there should be a requirement that the patient be entered into the National Database of individuals that are prohibited from purchasing and/or owning a fire arm.  Once that person has been entered into the database, the database should be compared against any database of fire arms owners.  When there is a match, the patient should be required to surrender their fire arm(s) to the police ASAP; no exceptions.  That does not mean that over time their mental status can’t change but until that day arrives, no fire arm ownership.

As for laws governing and/or restricting ownership of fire arms it seems to me like taking an action that makes everyone feel good while they fully understand the law will make little difference.  Laws are passed for people who will abide by them.  That by definition excludes criminals as they have total disregard for any law you might want passed.  In regards to criminals, I defy anyone to explain how a new gun control law will prevent someone who will do anything to obtain a gun from doing so.  Even if the law is successful, criminals bent on creating such chaos as we saw in Florida will find an alternative to fire arms to obtain their desired outcome, like a car, a truck, a bomb, a knife or whatever.  Where there is a will, most people will find a way.

Finally, we are taught that when we see something, say something.  That goes right out the window if someone takes the personal risk of telling someone like the FBI and then having the FBI seemingly doing nothing about the report.  Our law enforcement organizations MUST review their protocols to insure that all leads are not only followed up but the person providing the lead is notified of the result of such follow ups.  It’s a two Way Street if you want “the see something, say something” to actually work.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A New Paradigm for Humanity
Written by Dennis Lusk
A book review
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 12, 2018

I have read a lot of books.  What is a lot to me?  I have not kept a count but I once did an inventory in the event my library was lost due to a hurricane like Katrina which it almost was.  I inventoried well over 1000 books that I have read.  Keeping count is much easier, if that is one’s goal; since I now read all of them on Kindle.

So when I tell you that I have never read a book quite like this one by Dennis Lusk, it may have more meaning when you consider the number of books that I have read.  You can find it on Amazon at:

Lusk’s book covers so much territory it is difficult to classify it.  It is a history book, a political book, a scientific book, and as important as those subjects are, it is probably most notable as a futuristic book as Lusk uses all the books mentioned to project a vision of a future for mankind as he conceptualizes that it good and maybe should become.  He makes a very valid argument for his vision.

During the first 30 to 40 percent of the book, I found myself agreeing with almost all of Lusk’s views of the world up until today, 2018.  Like it or not, he is right on the money.  I say like it or not because some who begin to read his book will probably stop because his thoughts of our world do not match the reader’s.  Instead of having an open mind, their past and current political beliefs will stop them from seeing a vision of mankind’s future that frankly I had never imagined like Lusk obviously has.  I would describe his vision as his thesis of the future of mankind.  One of the definitions of “thesis” is a statement or theory that is put forward as a premise to be maintained or proved.

I wrote a separate Nugget for the Noggin on just one of the topics of this wonderful book, that of Thorium.  If you have not read the previous Nugget on the subject, you can find it on my blog at  It could very easily become the miracle energy for the future of the world or at least it appears to be from a non-scientific person/reader opinion.

As I read the book I was a bit overwhelmed by some of the science described by Lusk in depicting how life could exist on our Moon, satellites in orbit and on other planets.  I had no such difficulty in understanding why we should at least be considering the possibilities of living on other planets/satellites.  If you look at the millions years of Earth’s history, you will discover as I have that there have been “incidents” that have severely eliminated a great many life forms from our planet like the dinosaurs and these incidents seem to have a time table of their own.  One only need look at the Super Volcano at Yellowstone National Park.  It has erupted approximately every 600,000 years with the last eruption taking place about 640,000 years ago.  The next eruption will adversely affect our climate for an estimated 6 years with the volcanic debris filling our atmosphere carried by the winds.  That one event will wipe out millions of humans, animals and plants world-wide.  There are several such Super Volcano sites around the Earth any one of which could have the same result.  Therefore you do not have to have a scientific mind to understand that a world-wide disaster can and eventually will happen.  If there is no alternative place to live, then what?

Lusk provides a great argument that we (you, me, our governments) should be seriously considering a relocation of our species and our plants and animals to other locations beginning with colonizing our Moon.  Frankly I had only briefly thought of such a thing but not seriously at least until I read this book.

I would recommend this book to everyone.  It is like reading a book on scientific achievements that may well have been written by Gene Roddenberry of Star Trek fame and George Lucas of Star Wars fame except that that this is NOT about wars.  On the contrary it is about extending civilization without wars. 

This is a book that will definitely make you think and isn’t that what a good book is written to do?  You may not agree with the conclusions of Lusk but he will make you think and that is a good thing.

Who should read this book?  I cannot think of anyone who would NOT benefit from reading it; therefore everyone should read it.  Would I buy this book as gift?  Absolutely.  Would I read it again?  Probably not but would I look through it for something that interested me that I would like to read about again – absolutely.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Thorium; What Is It"

Thorium; What Is It?
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 10, 2018

Until yesterday, February 9, 2018, I had never heard of Thorium.  So what is it?  Here is a definition from the internet, note the date 2011 – clearly over 6 years ago.

Nov 1, 2011 - Thorium is a radioactive chemical element that could in theory be used to generate large quantities of low-carbon electricity in future decades. Compared to the uranium that powers today's nuclear plants, thorium is more abundant and widely distributed in the Earth's crust.

I underlined the most important parts of the above definition, primarily the last line where it explains that it is WIDELY DISTRIBUTED in the Earth’s crust.

If you would like to see: 
  • Cheap and abundant energy
  • Clean water source
  • Cures for cancers


I first learned about this Element (it is on the table of known Elements) by reading Dennis Lusk’s book, A New Paradigm for Humanity, it is available on Amazon at:

Since I had never heard of Thorium, I looked it up on the Internet and found several sites that explain it.  Then Mr. Lusk sent me a YouTube link that at first I found extremely interesting and then it made me very angry.  Sorry folks but that is exactly what happened.  Please, please, please, take 20 minutes to watch the link Mr. Lusk sent to me via Twitter:  You can find it at:

If you don’t watch the video, the rest of this Nugget will be meaningless so you may as well stop reading right here.  The video was produced as a TED Talks presentation.

Why did I find it interesting?  If true and I believe it is, building Nuclear Thorium Reactors around the world would solve three very real problems.  Cheap and very abundant energy.  They would provide clean drinking water.  And they would provide the means for treating many types of cancers. 

Why did it make me angry?  If I told you on February 11, 2018 that I had found an Earth’s really abundant and available Element that when merged with our Nuclear Reactor Technology that it would do the three things mentioned above; what would you think?  Hopefully you would be as excited as I was when I first learned of this breakthrough technology.  So why the anger? 

This technology was discovered in the mid-1960s well over 50 years ago.  Think about that for a moment and I would be shocked if your next question is not why someone hasn’t, especially the government done something with the technology?  That was my first thought.  Then I had a lot of other thoughts such as:

  • If the technology was available in the 60’s, why wasn’t it developed?
  • Would we have been fighting wars in the mid-East for the past 17 years if it were developed?
  • If the answer to the above question is NO, how many American lives where just thrown away fighting wars that didn’t need to be fought?
  • Cape Town South Africa is about to run out of water in May 2018 due to a severe draught in South Africa. If this technology was available couldn’t they have planned for their repeated seasonal draughts by using this technology years ago?
  • Many parts of the world are struggling to have clean drinking water AND cheap electricity? Again, couldn’t these problems have been solved by this technology years ago?
  • If America were to implement this technology, could we not have done away with the more life threatening Uranium fueled Nuclear Reactors we currently use and have stopped building which by the way is our current cheapest form of energy?

Let me ask you a hypothetical question.  You, in your garage at home, invent a very cheap to build alternative to the gasoline combustion engine.  You would be jumping for joy over your invention, right? 

But as soon as you try to alert the world as to your find, what do you think would happen?  First the car manufacturers would do everything in their power to stop you.  Why?  Because you are threatening their life-blood.  What about the people who work in the oil and gas industry?  Do you think they would just lie down and or do you think they too would try to stop you?  What about our Federal Government?  Do you realize how much money the Feds take in from both the auto industry and the oil & gas industry?  Do you think the Federal Government would not make it difficult for you to get your product to market? You already know the answers to all of these questions. 

Want proof?  The world knew that smoking tobacco could and probably would cause cancer in anyone who smoked.  What did the Federal Government do about it?  First they ignored the threat.  Then when enough people contracted cancers of all types and began an outcry, the Federal Government put a warning sign on the all cigarette packages as if that would stop anyone but the most concerned from smoking.  At first it did but then more and more people, especially teenagers began smoking again.  It’s 2018 and cancer causing cigarettes are still available on the market and yes, a lot of teenagers have picked up the habit, why?  The sale of cigarettes provides the Federal Government a lot of money in taxes plus there are a lot of jobs in the tobacco industry.

So why hasn’t Thorium been brought to the forefront of our search for cheap energy?  I could be wrong but I believe it comes down to income to the Federal Government and jobs.  A second reason lies in the term Nuclear Reactor.  What first comes to most people’s minds?  Two Mile Island, Japan and Chernobyl disasters.  Nuclear energy has a stigmatism on it that is very difficult to break.  Simply put, people are afraid of Nuclear energy. That may be true, but did you know; from the Internet:

There are 61 commercially operating nuclear power plants with 99 nuclear reactors in 30 U.S. states (the Indian Point Energy Center in New York has two nuclear reactors that the U.S. Energy Information Administration counts as two separate nuclear plants). Of these nuclear plants, 36 have two or more reactors. Aug 15, 2017

61 plants means to me that there is are more reasons why Thorium Reactors have been put “on the shelf” in 1960s: 
  • Federal income
  • Jobs
  • Nuclear weapons

Some detractors will claim that Thorium is not ready for the market place.  Seriously?  That is their response? Remember it was discovered in the 1960s; over FIFTY YEARS ago.  Less than 20 years ago, it was hard to afford a portable telephone let alone carry such a large device around with you.  20 years later, we have more computer power in our pockets than they had on the first manned space craft orbiting Earth.  Do these detractors honestly believe that if there were any kinks in the development of a cheap, available and relatively SAFE Thorium reactors that they could not be worked out in 50 plus years?  I am NOT a scientist but I seriously doubt that. 

I, like the author Dennis Lusk believe that the primary reason it was put on the shelf in the 60s was because America was more interested in creating Nuclear Weapons than creating cheap Nuclear energy that could not be converted to weapons.  Maybe I am wrong but I seriously doubt it.  Our government is far more interested in raising income, creating jobs that convert to more income, preserving their own personal power, and growing government as a form of job security.

If you watched the video, what do you think, and why do you think it?  An inquiring mind would like to know.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

America is Circling the Drain!

By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, February 7, 2018

I am at a loss to understand how America has gotten to the point that few people in power seem to understand the difference between right and wrong. They all seem so fixated on the differences between Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative and the lack of difference between following the law and BREAKING the law.

We are either a law abiding country or we are not.  This Nugget is NOT about Sanctuary Cities but they to me represent the symbolism of becoming and being a lawless country.  Numerous Governors and Mayors of states and cities across America seem to be thumbing their collective noses at the Federal Government when it comes to enforcing the laws that are ALREADY on the books.  In this case I do not know of one Republican Governor or Mayor that has done so, it appears to be all Democratic Governors and Mayors that have. Why?

We had a Presidential Election and like it or not, Donald Trump won.  Just like Barrack Obama won (twice) over the 8 years preceding Trump. George Bush before Obama.  The point is that if we follow the Constitution of the United States, “We The People” elect our President and thousands of other people running for office.  When I entered the U. S. Military in 1965 I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States.  I am pretty sure that every elected official within the United States took a very similar oath INCLUDING the Governors and Mayors of Sanctuary States/Cities. 

The term “Sanctuary Cities” has become a metaphor to me for someone ignoring the law.  First we have elected politicians ignoring Federal laws.  Then we have illegal aliens with the key word being illegal, ignoring the law because they understand that if they can get to America ILLEGALLY, they can find safe haven in the many states and cities that will harbor them.

The number of crimes they commit, many of them violent crimes including brutal murders, deaths due to drunk driving, rapes, and the like, have been increasing at rates far greater than those committed by U. S. Citizens or LEGAL immigrants trying to become U. S. Citizens.

Recently a National Football League linebacker was killed by an ILLEGAL alien driving without a license and driving drunk. I purposely left out the players name because I hate when people seem to focus ONLY on crimes involving celebrities.  There was also an Uber Driver killed in the same accident by the same drunken ILLEGAL alien driver.  The news media still focuses its attention on the football player and refers to the “other victim” as an “Uber driver” and not by name or photo as they have the football player.

If Governor Jerry Brown, D-California does not like the current laws on the books of the Federal Government he should do as EVERY OTHER American has to do to change the law – solicit the help of your Congressman/woman and/or your Senators.  When enough people do so, sometimes the laws change because of the grass root effort as the Founders of this great country envisioned.  I doubt you and I have the national platform or spotlight that a Governor Brown has but he has it and in my opinion he has seriously abused that responsibility AND his OATH that he took as if the oath was totally meaningless. 

Let me put this into perspective.  I served 20 years in the U. S. Coast Guard.  Can you imagine being in the waters of the North Atlantic on the verge of drowning and as you are taking your last breath before you expire beneath the cold and very heavy seas, you see a Coast Guard Cutter approaching.  They have put their spotlight on you and you are about to be rescued.  Before they put a small boat into the water or throw you a life line, they ask, “Are you a Democrat or a Republican or Legal or Illegal?”  How would you answer?  If you say Democrat, the Commanding Officer and Crew might all be Republicans.  If you say Republican, well, you get the idea.  Political party affiliation should NOT matter when it comes to abiding by the law or fulfilling your responsibilities but it does.

I can find numerous examples where ignoring the law or your responsibilities can cost people their lives such as the Uber Driver and NFL Player.  Kate Steinle has all but been forgotten already.  She was murdered by an ILLEGAL alien that had been deported 6 times.  Shockingly he was found innocent.  It really doesn’t matter to me HOW Steinle was murdered because she would NOT have been murdered, at least by this ILLEGAL alien, if America, California and San Francisco just enforced the law.  They should have put the Governor of California and the Mayor of San Francisco on trial for the Steinle murder because they were the ones that were actually responsible for the crime for simply NOT FOLLOWING THE LAW and just as importantly, THEIR OATH OF OFFICE.

There can be only one reason that this is happening in America – POLITICS!  To me politics has become THE “four letter word” of 2017/18. 

But here’s the rub, so to speak.  Do you think Jerry Brown really wants California to be a Sanctuary State or do you think he has done so because he does not like President Trump?  Do you think the NFL players are truly concerned about “police brutality” as they claim or do you think it they also dislike President Trump?  Do you think people like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and others in the Democratic Party did not like the lowest unemployment rate in history or was it because they too do not like President Trump? 

When you see a politician from either party obviously break a law and members of that person’s party fails to acknowledge that they committed a crime, do you think they remain silent because of their belief in the person’s innocence or because the person is a member of THEIR political party?  To better explain, I handled classified material while serving in the military.  I fully understood what would happen to me if I mishandled it or worse removed it from where it was supposed to have been secured without specific authority to remove it.  Yet that is what Hillary Clinton did and that is not an opinion, it is a verifiable fact.  So where were ALL of the Democrats that took an oath to defend the Constitution who want to see actual criminals prosecuted?  They were silent.  If Hillary Clinton had been a Republican, the Republicans would all take her side because that is what Politicians do – they ignore the laws they passed that would apply to you and me but apparently do not apply to any of them.

I only use the Clinton issue because it has been the most obvious.  Now we have people who have been entrusted to enforce our laws, senior members of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who seemingly have broken the laws with the intent of influencing the outcome of our last Presidential Election or if that failed, the removal of the winning candidate, Donald Trump from office by nefarious and criminal means.  Government officials are thumbing their nose at the law and the citizens of this country.  Just look at the discussions involving the current attacks on President Trump – they fall along party lines.  If members of the DOJ and/or FBI broke the law, you would think that there would be as many Democrats outraged as Republicans but it doesn’t seem to work that way.  Instead, the Democrats defend them, the Republicans attack them.

Last night I watched a fascinating interview conducted by FOX News Commentator Martha Macullum and Representative Trey Gowdy.  It was truly enlightening.  We see one Congressional hearing after another where the Party Lines are vividly on display where one side asks questions one way and the other party asks questions in a different direction.  But here is the problem – NONE OF IT MATTERS – according to Congressman Gowdy because Congress cannot press charges or put anyone in jail.  So why are we doing these hearings?  Who can press charges against someone breaking the law?  Of course it is the DOJ so who believes that the DOJ is going to press charges against itself?  Certainly not me.

Therein, if you have read this far, you have the REAL reason America in 2017/18 is circling the drain.  NO POLITICAN OR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE IS BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS!  Break the law?  No problem.  Lie to Congress?  No problem.  Make millions of dollars beneath the table because of your elected position?  No problem.  Tell a lie?  No problem.  Tell the truth?  Wait, what?  The truth?  Again, no problem but who cares besides the millions of American who can clearly see the obvious.

Our government is NOT working to create a law abiding country.  They have created a law avoidance government bureaucracy. Why do so many Federal politicians remain in office for decades?  To me it is to become millionaires on salaries that seemingly would not enable them to become such.  How is that possible?  You tell me.  I think I already know the answer but I’m certainly willing to listen to yours.