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By Diana Diamond

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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Do People Care?

Uploaded: Jun 14, 2023
I recently watched a documentary film on Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, in which Ellsberg, who copied and released the secret Pentagon Papers to the press, was at first viewed as a hero and then as a person who gave the material to the newspaper because he was anti-government.

An aging Ellsberg said on the documentary that he took that action because he was upset that four presidents (GHB, JFK, LBJ, and RJN) had lied to us about how well things were going in Vietnam, and kept on spending more and more money on a war they knew the U.S. was losing. But they wanted to save face because it would be embarrassing America were to lose a war during their administration.

Ellsberg’s biggest disappointment was that most Americans never read in any detail about the findings contained in the Pentagon Papers, and didn’t even care what they revealed, even though the documents showed their government was lying to the people just to save face.

That concern brought me to the just-released Jack Smith report about the indictment of Trump -- 37 felony charges. The report is detailed, replete with comments Trump actually made, offered proof Trump deliberately kept them hidden from the FBI and refused to release them, time and again. This is quite disturbing.

But some Americans are tossing it off, saying it’s just another political piece and why didn’t the DOJ go after Hillary Clinton, who also had a few secret documents on her server, or President Biden. Mike Pence’s name was seldomly included in those who are trying to say what happened was all a witch hunt, which is Trump’s claim.

Do you care about what the charges against Trump are? The report available online under a search for “Trump indictment,” is only 43 pages, with lots of white space, easy to read, and very specific.

Or will the Trump indictment be forgotten next week? Will Americans, once again, say it’s all too political and all too partisan and simply dismiss it?

There are other areas of concern in our country that people know about but say, “Yes, we have a problem, but, well, I’m busy (or whatever); I’ll let other people solve it.”

Think about the escalating known powers of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We are slowly learning about it this past year, although it has been in existence since the 1980s. In early 2000, higher -powered computers were developed to increase the power of AI -- and the good and bad applications of it have been escalating. Some scientists, who have been working on AI, are now saying it is getting beyond their control – AI will soon be smarter than humans and will overpower human directions. An analogy between the dire possibilities of AI have been compared to the release of nuclear bombs, or another raging global pandemic, or a dramatic climate change with soaring temperatures. A dystopian portrait, for sure.

Do you care about this? Are you worried? Will you learn more about it and contribute to informed discussion? Or just say you are too busy?

Climate change is a bigger concern. Some cities are trying hard to lessen the use of fossil fuels and control the release of carbon dioxide. That’s good because we say we are worried and are taking some action. A few of the efforts are misplaced – like eliminating plastic straws. Straws won’t affect the fact that the seas get warmer and rising, and storms -- hurricanes and tornadoes -- occur more frequently. Our Earth will soon be in deep trouble if we don’t act faster and in a bipartisan, global, concerted effort.

So, what to do?

I look back at World War II, when America was challenged by attacks from Germany and Japan. In some unprecedented, united and inspired way, Americans joined together and worked as one to organize an action plan. We turned our factories, our economy, our self-sacrificing to produce machinery, planes and weapons to conduct war. We rationed, did not use butter, saved rubber and tin cans, and anything else the military thought would help to aid in the war effort. The best and brightest in our country organized a united response – and it worked. The future of our country was at stake.

The problems we have today need the same united, thoughtful effort. We need the best and the brightest to help all of us get together to help control our global climate problems, substantially decrease fossil fuel use, and control the misuse of AI.

Can we do this? Can we rid ourselves of apathy and, as citizens, encourage people to read, and better understand the problems we have, and act together as a caring society? Do you care enough to help take action?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 14, 2023 at 10:30 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I think people do care, but we all care about what we think of as being important and we often differ in what we think is important. I also think that there is so much bias in media coverage that nothing ever feels right anymore.

The issue of the former marine, Penny, who has been indicted for the death of Neely, a homeless man with an apparent mental condition who was threatening riders on the NY Subway is a perfect example of this. Some call him a hero, others call him a trained killer. It is all down to perspective as to what people think and how people care.

Posted by Native to the BAY, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 14, 2023 at 11:21 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

We have a serious problem. When our very own mayor apologizes to her colleagues and city staff immediately in the heels of two public comments �" both of whom passionately/compassionately opposed temporary & disproportionately sheltering our unhomed residents and will be soon confined within bleak stack of corrugated, hot tin pods �" located on an old waste water site, near a new one where one story grey water pools will heat up under a noon-day climate change, and too, behind �" a household garbage site. So. 2 waste facilities and �" The mayor is demoralizing, discouraging the democratic process of her elected duty: encouraging, inviting a respectful, open public civic dialogue of engagement. “The city of trees" and even the tallest one can't reach this Bay waste land site and is bending away from our right to free speech.

Posted by MyFeelz, a resident of another community,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 12:13 am

MyFeelz is a registered user.

@Native To the Bay, sometimes I just want to crawl around inside your brain and see and feel the world the way you do.

I had a button once that said, "Apathetics Untie" Diana's last paragraph reminded me of that, and I think the point of the button was to shine a light on the fact that there is a way to cast off the ropes of apathy, and that way is to loosen and untie them and walk away.

Leland's ghost has created a legacy where all of the elite get to live on their 80 zillion acres held in perpetuity, and the only "land" left is overbuilt swampland. Almost any trust can be broken. I'm surprised Newsom hasn't stolen a huge portion under eminent domain, to build MFDs that are NOT run, controlled, designed, and erected by the Power Elite at Stanford.

Posted by Lucille Kennedy, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 10:15 am

Lucille Kennedy is a registered user.

Caring and worrying are two different things. Worrying is counterproductive and serves no practical purpose.

Caring is another story and it is purely subjective.

Like the previous poster, there are some issues I pay more attention to and others I tend to ignore like LGBTQ+ advocacies and whatever goes on in 3rd world countries that no one has ever heard of.

The key is not to make other people's problems your own and best way to go about that is to keep things pertinent on an individual basis.

Caring about what goes on in America is important to most of us. Caring about what goes on elsewhere is purely optional.

Posted by Gary Lynch, a resident of Los Altos Hills,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 10:36 am

Gary Lynch is a registered user.

There are a lot of internal U.S. problems that still need fixing. $39B is spent annually on foreign aid and not only to underdeveloped 3rd world countries.

It is time for the recipient countries of U.S. foreign aid to stand up on their own two feet as these wasteful payments are akin to a grown adult who still receives a weekly allowance from his/her parents.

The 10 countries that receive the most U.S. foreign aid:

Afghanistan ($4.89 billion)
Israel ($3.3 billion)
Jordan ($1.72 billion)
Egypt ($1.46 billion)
Iraq ($960 million)
Ethiopia ($922 million)
Yemen ($809 million)
Colombia ($800 million)
Nigeria ($793 million)
Lebanon ($790 million)

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 11:01 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

I think most people care. I also think a lot of people feel powerless regarding what they can do to make a difference. Caring and talking about it is nice. What's needed is effective action.

Posted by Shaquon Wallace, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 11:04 am

Shaquon Wallace is a registered user.

If American citizens actually cared about social and economic equality, they would promote and advocate for the recommended $5 million in reparations to all African American descendents of slavery.

The U.S. government should consider redirecting all of that questionable foreign aid money and apply it towards a reparations program trust.

The recipient countries aren't making any positive contributions to the betterment of America or its citizens.

Posted by Roberta Hicks, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Roberta Hicks is a registered user.

Why is the United States still providing foreign aid to Afghanistan and what is the point of subsidizing the Taliban?

Afghanistan's former president (Karzai) left the country with $52 million in cash from the U.S. and is now living like a king in Dubai.

As for Israel, why are they receiving $3.3 billion in financial aid?

While foreign aid amounts to only 1% of our nation's budget, these fiscal resources could be put to better use, uses that directly benefit American citizens.

Charity begins at home.

Posted by Devin Kline, a resident of Professorville,
on Jun 15, 2023 at 1:51 pm

Devin Kline is a registered user.

Comparing our nation's unity during World War II cannot be fairly compared to the conditions that exist today. Japan and Germany were viewed as mutual enemies and most American citizens acknowledged them as such.

Contemporary opunions pertaining to POTUS45, LGBTQ issues, (including gender affirmation), race relations, and pro-immigration reforms are often diametrically opposed and prone to continued conflict.

America is now a nation of disunity and this condition will continue because no one is on the same page except for various self-serving and disruptive factions.

Responsibly managing one's own life is far more important than getting sucked into a vortex of issues that do not directly impact our lives.

As a result, I could care less about LGBTQ concerns, immigration access, and race-relattions so long as these issues do not directly and adversely impact my personal life or that of my immediate family.

As George Foreman says in his appliance insurance commercials, "It's not my problem."

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 7:25 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Some of these comments prove the point that many from other countries make that Americans have no idea or any concern for what is happening in the rest of the world.

Posted by Rosalinda Morales, a resident of Mountain View,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 9:44 am

Rosalinda Morales is a registered user.

"Americans have no idea or any concern for what is happening in the rest of the world."

On the whole, this mindset is pretty much true but all things considered, why should we care about what goes on in remote places like Bangladesh or Sudan?

Of what value (extrinsic or intrinsic) are these countries to citizens of the United States?

Let the United Nations address and resolve their internal problems, if any.

Posted by Anson Greenwall, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 10:39 am

Anson Greenwall is a registered user.

Most Americans focus their caring and concerns on people and issues that have a direct impact their everyday lives.

What goes on in distant places like Africa and Southeast Asia is immaterial to most Americans.

On the other hand, dire social and economic conditions in the southern hemisphere have a more significant impact because these adverse factors often generate unwelcomed immigration into the United States.

Criminal gang activity is a major problem in some Latin American countries and in Haiti and El Salvador, both citizens and the government are taking constructive steps to curtail the violence. And as a result, these elective measures have reduced illegal immigration into the U.S. from both countries.

In Port Au Prince (Haiti), citizen vigilante groups armed with machetes are confronting suspected gang members with a vengeance, oftentimes chopping off their limbs or drenching them with gasoline and setting the hoodlums on fire.

In El Salvador, the president has built the largest prison in the Americas, one that can hold 65,000 suspected gang members. Their military working in conjunction with the local police have rounded-up and imprisoned over 45,000 suspected gang members to date. 90% of the El Salvador's population endorse these anti-crime measures and though the tactics are somewhat draconian, illegal immigration from El Salvador has diminished significantly.

The only ones who have taken issue with these harsh anti-crime measures are human rights activists viewing the scenario from afar.

Concern for others is all about proximity.

Posted by Mike Reynolds, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 11:00 am

Mike Reynolds is a registered user.

"The only ones who have taken issue with these harsh anti-crime measures are human rights activists viewing the scenario from afar."

Desperate times often call for desperate measures and fortunately this type of solution is not taking place in America.

Human rights activists are concerned about the lack of due process and the suspension of habeas corpus in El Salvador but all things considered, the situation is similar to tuna fishing where a few dolphins always get caught in the net.

It is not for Americans to tell other countries how to operate as our nation has enough problems of its own to contend with.

Outside of progressive mindsets, who really cares about the lives and rights of suspected criminals?

Posted by Byron Hilliard, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 12:02 pm

Byron Hilliard is a registered user.

Kudos to the president of El Salvador. By striving to eliminate criminal gang violence, communities in El Salvador are now safer and as a result, fewer Salvadorians have a reason to immigrate to the United States.

While economic opportunities are often cited as a primary reason for the massive influx of illegal immigration from abroad, most El Salvadorians simply want to live in a safe environment where they can go about their business without the perpetual fear of encountering criminal street gang violence.

Guatamala, Honduras, and Venezuela should take a cue from El Salvador's 'progressive' initiatives.

Posted by Newsworthy, a resident of another community,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Newsworthy is a registered user.

Inspired by these posts, I decided to further investigate some noteworthy world news.

Outside of what's going on in Ukraine...

(1) Former Lybyan Muammar al Qadaffi's son is currently on a hunger strike while being held in a Lebanonese prison. Big deal.
(2) Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan got married last week. Big deal.
(3) Prince Harry testified in a London court that his cellphone was hacked by a tabloid. Big deal.
(4) Guatamala judges suspended the presidential candidacy of a left-wing businessman because his platform runs counter to what President Bukele in El Salvador is promoting (see earlier comments).
(5) The canals in Venice have turned green due to environmental groups dumping fluorescein (non-toxic) in the water to protest climate change. Big deal.
(6) In Uganda, homosexual acts with minors is now punishable by death. Oh well.
(7) In Matamoros (Mexico) the CDC is monitoring 25 suspected cases of meningitis stemming from Americans who have travelled to Mexico for Brazilian butt lifts, liposuction, and breast augmentation. Why go all the way to Mexico for these procedures? You get what you pay for and besides, all vanity is superficial.
(8) Nigeria elected a new president. Big deal.

I can understand why so many Americans cannot be bothered or care about what's going on in other parts of the world.

All that matters is what goes on in America because it strikes closer to home.

Posted by Victor+Bishop, a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood,
on Jun 16, 2023 at 5:18 pm

Victor+Bishop is a registered user.

Daniel Ellsberg passed away today.

Native to the bay- you have to understand that mayor Kou is in real estate, her goal is to maximize home prices which will maximize her commisssion, she has a financial interest in obstructing Palo Alto meeting their required housing goals, as well as making sure that he homeless do not bring down home prices

Posted by Ginger Faulk, a resident of Stanford,
on Jun 17, 2023 at 11:21 am

Ginger Faulk is a registered user.

Both parties (Democrats & Republicans) are trying to discredit each another as we approach the 2024 election year. This is standard operating procedure when it comes to politics.

While Trump has more than his share of personality flaws, Biden has also established himself as a less than stellar president based on his age and senility. Yesterday he ended a speech in Connecticut by saying "God save the Queen." Seriously?

The alternative candidates (Kamala Harris, Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence, Chris Christie, and Tim Scott) also leave something to be desired and we will need to have better options than the aforementioned individuals if we are to move forward as a nation.

Caring and concern involves having something to care about. The document-related indictment of Trump is troubling from the standpoint that it is politically motivated by the Democrats who are wary of both another Biden presidential campaign or having to accept the highly ineffectual and bland Kamala Harris as a Democratic 2024 presidential candidate.

Their reasons? Because Trump would most likely out-debate and easily defeat either one of them in 2024.

Both presumed candidates (Biden and Trump) are not good for this country and should step aside but that's not going to happen.

Meanwhile the Republicans will be going after Hunter Biden whose background and past activities are being further scrutinized. An indictment of Hunter Biden is also warranted given his dubious track record.

The only votes that matter will be the ones from the 'battleground' (aka swing states) of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, and Arizona. All of the others are immaterial because their leanings are forgone conclusions. In California, Biden doesn't need my vote because CA is already a predominantly blue state and Trump is incapable of carrying California
except for maybe Orange County and a few podunk counties further inland. And so Trump doesn't need my vote either. Pass the popcorn.

Posted by Native to the BAY, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 1:09 am

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@MyFeelz it's my heart that has poetry ,my head tries to put into words. “Almost any trust can be broken" this poetic & lyrical. can we trust that these bay bottom tin can family shelters will be rust proof or strong enough to withstand all the sea level rise & the flood of money Biden came knocking on PA, Los Altos & Atherton mansion doors 2nd round camp caining White House 2024: AKA rest home for one. Will these tin pods be resilient to the 1.5 degree rise in temp or withstand a good Calif earth shake from the San Andreas. If not, as Council-member Burt got all excited about for moving mountains, our residents aka temp tenant are free to use the Bike Bridge to nowhere & out of here. the poo pod stack O shacks r cooled by a solar panel & pretty decorative “composite" plastic fencing facing out of course. Beyond good, quality, emotional security & opportunity for our most vulnerable residents. a useless bridge, the desperate will not use, or pretty decorative facades looks�" ours need love, empathy, encouragement: in all of my dealings w LM's I and others have witnessed zero caring from under sourced, overworked, underpaid unskilled quasi social work labor. To: Dev-con, LM's, Sabroto, PA: the bruised need community garden where food can be grown “victory garden" of sorts. Put into the sanded soil jasmine, lemon trees, lavender �" a twofer as it sweet scents also mitigates the stinky stew water stench and Professorville's fermenting, moldy old wine bottles from the trash heap behind. Is it fair, irony, coincidence that the day after our city opens the door for the Bay Pods “HAL" MV approves a massive Bay land Preserve just south Poop-od-ville. PS did anyone catch that info residents will be served by a cadre of unpaid volunteers. These children who most likely have suffered near grave exposure to everything get help from a community volunteer. Obvious. All the cash is going into a facade & pod build & very little for good, healthy, kind, experienced staff 24/7 .

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 7:55 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Hunter Biden has now been charged with tax violation and gun offenses. Do you think anyone will care about that? Do you think MSM will spend hours reporting on this? Do you think it would be the same if it was Trump's family? Do you see anything hypocritical in this?

People care about what they are told to care about mainly by main stream media. They have much too much sway which gives them the power to control public opinion.

Posted by Marilyn Maxwell, a resident of another community,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 8:37 am

Marilyn Maxwell is a registered user.

@Bystander...outside of Fox News, the National Review, and the Wall Street Journal, the news media tends to be liberal, focusing its vitriol and ridicule towards Republicans, conservatives, and the far-right.

MNBC is the worst of the bunch and CNN runs a close second.

Hunter Biden should be investigated and prosecuted if need be, no different than what POTUS45 is enduring.

A level playing field equates to overall fairness and until we reach that point there will be further national disunity and conflict.

Posted by Bruce Johnson, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 11:15 am

Bruce Johnson is a registered user.

Hunter Biden just received a free 'Get Out of Jail' card courtesy of the DOJ.

He now avoids a potential 10 year prison sentence for illegal possession and disposal of a handgun, along with a 2 year maximum sentence for tax evasion.

Republicans are irate because this move amounts to preferential treatment compared to the DOJ's targeted attacks against POTUS45.

Posted by Brent Leuwellen, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 12:30 pm

Brent Leuwellen is a registered user.

If Hunter Biden was not the son of President Joe Biden, he would be facing harsher penalties as per the tax and criminal laws of the United States.

Instead he got a free pass...probation upon pleading guilty. How many defendents in federal tax and criminal court proceedings get off so easy upon pleading guilty?

Posted by Carmen Morales, a resident of another community,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 1:33 pm

Carmen Morales is a registered user.

If the majority of people on Earth don't care about me why should I care about them?

When I was broke and homeless, nobody came to my rescue and others in similar situations can do the same. It is their problem to resolve.

The bottom line is that most people only care about themselves which is human nature.

Posted by Native to the BAY, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 20, 2023 at 3:14 pm

Native to the BAY is a registered user.

@carmenmorales Only care about ourselves; our money; our private property . What's egregious is the negligence of inhumane treatment of our unhoused. If we as a nation, state, county, city treat domestic pets better than human dignity we are in deep trouble. Displacement of humans is at a precipice of the climate crisis. Those of us on the street are the visible dissociative collective conscience of greed. It starts where poverty begins and spreads to all levels of society private public corporate. It's a type of fear & thus bullying the already down trodden. If we are turning away from the care; the selfless sacrifice for personal, political corporate gain, it's over. AI is not solving the problem it's exacerbating and making most American lives worse off than ever before. The homeless are showing each and everyone of us our true American colors.

Posted by Miriam Lockhart, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 8:47 am

Miriam Lockhart is a registered user.

@Carmen Morales/Native to the BAY...
Excellent points. The homeless situation in California and other parts of the nation is cause for concern and a yardstick of how far we have progressed as an American society.

Meanwhile, the wealthy are paying $6K-$100K apiece just to hear POTUS46 babble on about his extended vision for our country and a selfie.

Political fundraising aside, America's priorities are a reflection of its self-serving shallowness.

Posted by CARE Package, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 10:31 am

CARE Package is a registered user.

Do others really care about the ongoing struggles of 'marginalized' people (i.e. the homeless, transgenders, gays, poor blacks, and illegal immigrants) desperately trying to survive in a hostile world?

Given the pervasive contempt and/or indifference towards the marginalized, it is safe to assume that the average American citizen could care less.

When it comes to self-serving interests, SF Bay Area residents take the cake.

Posted by Ryan Tucker, a resident of Woodside,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 11:55 am

Ryan Tucker is a registered user.

"Given the pervasive contempt and/or indifference towards the marginalized, it is safe to assume that the average American citizen could care less."

• The proof is in the pudding. Most Americans only care about issues that directly affect or impact their personal lives.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 3:19 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

The World cares a lot about the 5 lives in the tourist sub near the wreck of the Titanic. The last time I remember such concern worldwide was for a team of young soccer players in Thailand. There have also been stories of concern for trapped miners in Chile. The first major worldwide concern I can think of was the Apollo 13 mission.

All these struggles for survival show the human instinct and desire for survival. It is part of what makes us human.

Posted by Gabrielle Peterson, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 4:52 pm

Gabrielle Peterson is a registered user.

> Do others really care about the ongoing struggles of 'marginalized' people (i.e. the homeless, transgenders, gays, poor blacks, and illegal immigrants) desperately trying to survive in a hostile world?

>> The World cares a lot about the 5 lives in the tourist sub near the wreck of the Titanic.


This says a lot about caring. Major concern for a bunch of rich white folks who paid $250,000.00 apiece to ride in a tourist submarine VS the truly marginalized trying to get by on dry land.

The submarine story is more newsworthy because it offers a departure from having to acknowledge the real world.

Hoe pun intended.

Posted by Gabrielle Peterson, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 21, 2023 at 4:53 pm

Gabrielle Peterson is a registered user.

Correction: Hoe > How

Posted by Marc Healy, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 8:11 am

Marc Healy is a registered user.

Getting into a submersible resembling a hot water tank just to view the remains of the Titanic is for wealthy adrenaline adventurers who thrive on taking risks. It's a lifestyle that most people cannot identify with or afford. But to each his/her own.

On the other hand, sympathy for wasteful spenders with money to burn versus those who have little and are struggling just to survive on Earth above sea level could easily be construed as misplaced caring and concern.

Posted by Keneesha Watkins, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 8:44 am

Keneesha Watkins is a registered user.

? "Major concern for a bunch of rich white folks who paid $250,000.00 apiece to ride in a tourist submarine VS the truly marginalized trying to get by on dry land."

On the topic of caring....there's more caring & concern about these wealthy spendthrifts with excess money to burn than the impoverished refugees struggling to cross the open sea on wooden platforms and rubber rafts.

Talk about priorities.

Posted by Rand Taylor, a resident of Atherton,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 9:00 am

Rand Taylor is a registered user.

It is not a sin to be wealthy. Ask Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg among others.

As Bystander noted "All these struggles for survival show the human instinct and desire for survival. It is part of what makes us human."

For some, accruing immense amounts of wealth represents a means of personal survival in an indifferent world that doesn't care one iota about your existence unless you have the means and the power to control others.

As Gordon Gecko said in Wall Street, "Greed is good."

Having lots of money is also a ticket to immortality.

That said, if I had that kind of money I certainly wouldn't be be taking an expensive ride in a tin can just to look at barnacles on a decaying ship.

Davey Jones is calling.

Posted by Neil Johnston, a resident of Midtown,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 9:28 am

Neil Johnston is a registered user.

The ruins of the Titanic are wedged 12,500 feet below the surface which is approximately 2.4 miles. It takes an hour and 45 minutes of underwater descent time just to get there.

And for what? A personal glimpse of images that have already been well photographed?

This adventure is no different than the out of touch moneybags who pay a similar fee just to ride into space and travel around the Earth for amusement.

Imagine had these submariners not embarked on such an ill-fated folly. They would be back at ground level living like kings and perpetuating the materialistic universe they successfully perpetuated.

Then again and with all their money, maybe they could have impacted the world in a more positive light by showing more 'caring and concern' for those far less fortunate.

Instead they went joyriding.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 9:55 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Why do we have people climbing Everest? Why do we have NASA attempting to go to Mars and back to the moon? Why did Christopher Columbus attempt to get to the Far East by sailing West? Why did Amundson and Scott want to reach the South Pole? Why do people want to run a Marathon? Why are movies about the Titanic such great box office hits?

There are many answers to these questions and they are different, but have similarities in that humanity wants to strive to do things that are difficult, haven't been done before, or test the human psyche. They are thrill seekers and many thrill seekers are satisfied with riding roller coasters they haven't ridden before, or want to explore places they have not been but have have seeb pictures of. Not many of us would want to go down in a subermersible to see a wreck, but that doesn't mean that others should not go. If people want to spend their own money doing things that the rest of us can't afford to do, does that mean they are not entitled to do so? Just because they are spending some of their wealth on such things does not mean they are not using some of in philanthropic causes too.

I admire people who do things that I know I have no interest in doing even if I had the money to do so. Money can be given to all sorts of causes and there will still be other causes and when the money is spent the problem won't be solved. All we can do is try to do things that help others but that doesn't mean we should not spend some on our own amusement.

It sounds that it is unlikely they will be found in time. I feel sure that although it is sad for them, extremely sad for their families, and for those who have spent the last few days attempting to rescue them, that each of the 5 individuals spent time living life to the fullest, even if it did cost them their life. I have no idea why people want to jump out of planes with a parachute, but everyone I know who has done it feels exhilerated thinking about what they did, and repeat it.

Posted by Jennifer, a resident of another community,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 10:16 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

There is no right way to live your life. Whatever is right for you. I don't care if someone climbs Mt. Everest. It's not on my radar screen.

When it comes to money, that's very personal and private. Let people do what they want and learn to MYOB.

Staying focused on your own life is healthy.

Posted by Bob MacKensie, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 10:30 am

Bob MacKensie is a registered user.

@Bystander...your points are well taken. People take on challenges and adventures for various reasons of their own (generally ego and endorphins).

Some excursions are foolhardy and if the outcome ends badly, that's their problem.

As Jennifer noted, "learn to MYOB" which is why whatever transpires is of no interest or concern to me.

Like the original Titanic and Hindenburg,
this event will eventually become yesterday's news and guess what?

No one will care one way or the other.

Posted by Florence Talbot, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 1:24 pm

Florence Talbot is a registered user.

* Some excursions are foolhardy and if the outcome ends badly, that's their problem.

Fortunately no one in the Coast Guard was killed or injured trying to rescue these sightseers.

If anything, perhaps more people (at least the ones with money to burn) will be reluctant to partake in these high-risk excursions.

There was nothing courageous about this endeavor other than the concerted rescue efforts.

Posted by Butch Logan, a resident of Barron Park,
on Jun 22, 2023 at 1:51 pm

Butch Logan is a registered user.

"When it comes to money, that's very personal and private. Let people do what they want and learn to MYOB."

Try telling that to the IRS.

As for the imploded mini-sub, the riders knew the risks. It's no different than a tightrope walker or trapeze artist performing without a net, except that the casualties were merely tourists with a fat wallet seeking bragging rights at the next deck party.

Posted by Paula Jacobs, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Jun 23, 2023 at 9:59 am

Paula Jacobs is a registered user.

It is one thing to care about certain issues or events and another to have absolutely no control over them.

The examples cited in the opening blog are far beyond the control of the average American citizen and besides, the battle lines have been drawn between left and right perspectives.

So perhaps it is best to focus on one's own issues and problems. And others should consider doing the same.

Besides, history just repeats itself. Ellsberg was merely a precursor to Edward Snowdon and the Viet Nan War has been long over. It is no epiphany to learn that governments lie and distort the truth.

The Trump indictments are merely a political ploy to improve Biden's chances for re-election.

We also have no control over artificial intelligence and its impact on the future. Try telling Google and Microsoft to cease and desist in this groundbreaking arena.

As for climate change, again we have no control over it unless the global population is radically reduced as fewer people equate to less carbon emissions. War and disease can play an active role towards reducing global population.

Think about it. Fewer people on Earth amounts to fewer large scale problems and considerably less to be ovetly concerned or worried about. Less to care about as well.

As an aging Baby Boomer I consider myself fortunate in that I will not have to be dealing with the various socio-economic-eco problems that Millennials and Gen Zers will be facing.

It's their problem now and besides, no one asked to be born. Overpopulation will always be the source of Earth's problems.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Jun 24, 2023 at 8:30 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Those who say they don't care about what is happening outside the USA, had better start watching what is going on in Russia.

The Earth is vast, but it is also a small place. What happens in one place can sometimes be ignored by some at times, but certain things just shouldn't be ignored.

Posted by Jacob Bromley, a resident of another community,
on Jun 24, 2023 at 12:01 pm

Jacob Bromley is a registered user.

° "Those who say they don't care about what is happening outside the USA, had better start watching what is going on in Russia."

Who cares about Putin & the Wagner Group? Best case scenario is that both factions destroy themselves in the process leaving room for a true democracy in Russia (fat chance).

The sooner the United States and its allies can free themselves from the Ukraine conflict the better.

China now poses a far greater threat to the Western free world than Russia and must be kept in check.

The PRC-Taiwan issue is more critical than Putin and his petty-minded mentality.

The western world will only be safe when Russia and China fall.

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