The choice is yours.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why people believe in and follow ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/systems/and people that:

  • Lack solid evidence to support that the idea/”theory”/thing/belief/system – actually exists.
  • Support people who promote ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/systems that lack any supporting evidence.
  • Claim to be the only “way” and do not allow questioning or deviation from the ideas/ideals/idols of the “home team.”
  • Are harmful or potentially harmful to the believer, their loved ones, society, or the natural life-support system of the planet that supports them (often while making the leaders of their chosen belief system richer in the process).

Have these folks ever just sat back and asked themselves any of the following questions?

  • Is this idea/belief/thing/person/”theory” – actually helping me, or is it doing more harm than good?
  • Why do I believe in/support this idea/system/belief/thing/person?
  • When did I start believing in this idea/thing/way of thinking/person?
  • Who/what was it that brought me to believe in this thing/way of thinking/person and why?
  • Is it possible that I may have been/am being conned by a charlatan only out for propping up, profit, power, or prestige?

I have come to a few of my own off-the-cuff ideas as to why people follow these things – but I am sure there are many more.

Some people may just want to believe that they/their idea/belief system/their chosen path or person to follow is somehow special or mystically “chosen” above all other options.

Some may want to believe in things/ideas/persons/beings/”theories” because they feel small, inadequate, and/or insignificant – so they are looking for something bigger than they are, something or someone to give them advice or direction on which way to go in life, which path to take – someone that will take on the role of the father figure in their lives. On one hand, I can understand this because we are all just tiny, insignificant, ant-like beings when compared to the unimaginably vast grandeur of nature/the cosmos, and when we realize this humbling and mildling terrifying fact, it may help to have someone with more knowledge and experience to help us make sense of it all – as long as that someone is not a charlatan trying to take you for a ride and/or control/coerce you into doing something nefarious – or just give the troll all of your hard-earned money. On the other hand, not believing in yourself or your abilities to do your own research – your own ability to unearth the facts and the truth and just accept whatever pseudo-facts or absolute hogwash those you look up to are feeding you to make you feel better – well, that is just a recipe for absolute and total disaster.

They may want to feel special and/or in some way “chosen” and/or above all those outside of their “flock” that they have been tought to see as “outsiders,” “other,” or “lesser.” It is interesting to me that those within these bizarre groupings, congregations, and “clubs” are often taught that any individual/group/or ways of thinking that are “outside” of their “tribe” are conveniently labeled as wrong, bad, lost, lesser, infidels, unclean, or inferior and therefore not to be trusted or accepted…unless they pay to play – then, they are accepted and all is well within the “flock.” Bizarre.

Some people just seem to want to believe that there are all kinds of twisted conspiracies all around them.

Some people may want to feel like their chosen thing, person, or belief system has all the simple answers to all the complex questions – therefore, they have no need to actually try to think for themselves.

Some people may have deep tribal tendencies and whatever their chosen tribe does, whatever they believe, whomever or whatever they follow – no matter how twisted, bizarre, dangerous, destructive, or detrimental it is to themselves or their tribe or others on the “outside” – they will blindly accept it, believe it, and/or do it without question.

Some people seem to have been taught to fear the experts/authority and/or anyone with more knowledge than they have – especially if that knowledge involves them changing their way of thinking. This is an extremely dangerous way of thinking.

They may fear change and resist or refuse to adapt.

They may deeply fear the unknown and/or new things.

They may simply lack the needed knowledge to make the needed change and/or refuse to learn/accept the freely offered and/or easily available new knowledge – especially when that new evidence/knowledge is counter to what they have always held as the truth.

They may be comfortable with their position and do not want to step outside of their comfort zone and no amount of facts, evidence, or example presented by the experts or even others will ever convince them that stepping out of their bubble would be better for them….unless, the unthinkable/unbelievable reality suddenly happens to them or a loved one and finally wakes them up out of their toxic self-imposed mind fog…but by then it is often too little too late.

Examples of all of these misguided individuals are all around us.

  • Flat earthers
  • Moon landing deniers
  • Conspiracy “theorists”
  • Anti-maskers
  • Anti-vaxxers
  • Science deniers
  • Religious fanatics
  • Political fanatics
  • Racists
  • Homophobes

The twisted list goes on and on.

Don’t be a close-minded denier.

Open your mind to the realities and the endless possibilities.

Believe in and follow whatever you like if it offers you comfort, peace, guidance, advice, and/or genuinely helps you or your family/loved ones/others in need in some positive, measurable way.

But if your chosen way of thinking and believing requires you to hate/bully/harm/kill others, and/or serves only to cause harm to you, your loved ones, other innocent people outside of your chosen way of thinking/living, and/or your environmental life-support system – then maybe, for your own good and for the good of others, and of everything moving forward into the future – it is time you seriously rethink the ideas/”theories”/things/beliefs/and people you have chosen to follow and work very hard to purge, delete, and/or render extinct all those harmful ways of thinking and living from your existence.

Here is an idea: try letting peer-reviewed facts, evidence, and knowledge be your decision-making guide.

Choose wisely.

Do only good things.

Be the change.

Everything amazing is often found on the other side of fear.


Fossil Fools

Yes, whatever the cause may be, gas prices are getting higher and higher.

Along with this fact many people are now hating on and bashing electric vehicles and renewable energy.

Wait – what?

Yes. In the last two weeks, I have seen many posts and comments by many people about renewable energy sources and electric vehicles that try to paint them in a negative light.

It is all the same old cherry-picking FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and nay-sayer arguments and then some.


IMHO I think it is because the bullies and bashers do not want to acknowledge that it is time to change from an outdated, toxic, war-supporting, finite, politically polarized, planetary-sourced, energy/fuel system to an up to date, much cleaner, renewable, energy secure, distributed, energy/fuel system powered by locally-sourced energy from solar panels on your own rooftop or wind turbines silently turning on a windy hillside or west Texas ranch. With our current technology, it no longer makes good science-supported common sense to power our society primarily on hydrocarbon-based energy products sourced on the other side of the planet – be it from the Persian Gulf or Russia – when we have the technology, engineering, and knowledge to get things done with clean, secure, home-grown energy sourced close to home – where it is needed and used.

Some will say the environmental impacts of renewable energy and electric vehicles are actually greater than that of fossil fuel sourced energy systems. This is a total falsehood manufactured by fossil fuel mongers using the same playbook used by the people who tried to tell us that smoking was not bad for your health or that lead in gasoline was safe and, more recently, that Volkswagen had developed a “clean diesel” engine – we now see where all those arguments lie – deep in a steaming pile of festering worm-ridden filth in the bottom of a long-forgotten moldering outhouse.

Yes, it is true that everything, even EVs and renewable energy systems has an impact – and the greater our population – the greater our need for resources so the greater our impacts. Our survival as a species is no longer about growing – it is becoming more about balance, it is about reducing our impact on our planetary life-support system so we can reach equilibrium and continue without harming the very life support system that gives us all life. So why do we keep accepting and using the worst possible energy/transportation sources with the biggest most harmful impacts when far better options with far less of an impact are readily available?

Many will often simply say it is too expensive – but my answer to this is have you actually done the math to support your opinion?

Driving electric and going renewable does in fact cost more upfront – but over the life of the product – the solar panels or the EV – you make up for that initial higher cost and the lifetime savings far offset the initial costs. As an example: I power my daily driver EV primarily with solar-produced electricity. Therefore, my fuel costs to drive the vehicle are less than 1 cent/mile. I drive around 200 miles/week – so therefore I spend less than $2/week to drive the car everywhere I need to drive it.

I do still have a legacy vehicle (Honda Pilot 4×4 SUV) for towing/hauling and short trips to town and getting to work in bad weather. It costs an average of 15 cents per mile (at today’s gas prices) to drive. So, to drive the Honda the same distance as I drive my EV I will pay ~$30 (200 miles x .15 = $30)!! Yikes!

How far do you drive and what are your costs per mile? (and don’t forget to figure in the costs of maintenance on your vehicle – all those tune-ups/filters/exhaust pipes/catalytic converters/oil/fluid/filter changes etc)

Now, imagine if you have a few solar panels on your roof and an EV in your driveway – how much money would you save now that you are not paying for electricity for your home and fuel for your car?

Some will say it takes forever to charge an EV. Earlier EVs – yes. They charged far slower than today’s EVs but today’s EVs charge far faster – some add hundreds of miles of range in mere minutes and the speed is getting faster every day.

Fact: Most EV owners charge overnight while they are sleeping or while at work and the car is ready to go when they are. If you can use a smartphone, you can drive an EV.

Some will say “charging an EV at home will raise your power bill unimaginably high.” Nope. In my experience charging at home* only raises my power bill by about $10/week – how much do you spend on gas per week? *back when I most often charged at home – now I rarely do since I most often charge at work so I can take advantage of solar-produced electricity.

Obviously, if you have an EV with a larger battery it will cost more to fill it up – but even a Tesla Model S Plaid with its massive 95 kWh battery would cost less to fill up than almost any fossil-powered vehicle in today’s gas market.

Some will also say “the energy for your electric car comes from dirty coal – so it is a coal-powered electric car.”


Fact: even if an EV is charged with the dirtiest coal-fired energy – it is still far cleaner to operate than any petroleum-powered vehicle. Why you may ask?

Answer: because the entire fossil fuel mining/transport/refining and supply chain (and let us not forget the human costs from war/terrorism and the environmental costs from emissions and pollution from the final use of the product) is now out of the picture for the EV…AND the US power grid is getting cleaner every day as more and more legacy energy power plants retire and more and more renewable energy power plants come online – so every day your EV gets cleaner and cleaner to drive – that is an impossibility with any vehicle powered by fossil fuels.

Let’s face the facts: using fossil fuel-powered anything is simply a subscription to dependency. We are hopelessly addicted to fossil fuels…well, some of us anyway.

Some will say “at the end of their life solar panels and EV batteries cannot be recycled and are just tossed into landfills.” Really. You are really going there? Sad. Ok. Here are the facts.

In reality – solar panels are made mostly of glass and aluminum and these things can be recycled – into more solar panels.

EV batteries, when they are not able to push a car down the road, are repurposed into stationary energy storage such as storage batteries for homes and businesses (think backup generator – but with batteries.) Then, after another decade or so of life as a stationary storage battery – they are recycled – into more batteries. In other words, we can mine the battery for its resources and do not need to dig more holes for more raw materials to make more batteries – we already have them. It’s a win-win for everyone.

In fact, it is just stupid (and illegal in some places) to throw away a used battery due to the high value of the raw materials contained inside. This is why when you need a new 12-volt car starter battery the auto parts store will pay you money (the core charge) for your old one and it is then recycled into a new battery. It is no different with used Lithium-ion batteries.

There are countless erroneous and outright ignorant “memes” circulating on the internet that have been created to spread FUD around electric vehicles and renewable energy sources. One of the most recent I have seen involves the following:

From Diego Loredan on Facebook:
“This is a used car dump near Paris, France with hundreds of electric cars. Please note, these are only used cars of the city of Paris and not personal vehicles.
Everyone has the same problem …. the battery storage cells are dead and need to be replaced. Why not replace them, you ask yourself? Well, there are two reasons.
One, battery storage cells cost almost twice what a new vehicle costs, and two, no landfill or landfill will allow you to dump batteries there. So these green fairy electric cars are dumping toxins from the battery right into the ground.
Still think we need to think green ???” Very interesting!!??

I did a quick and simple Google fact check and discovered the following about these cars:

“The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

News reports from France say the cars are part of a fleet from a failed car-sharing service, and the vehicles shown in the field are being resold or sold for parts.

A French television news report in April, with photos like those appearing with the Facebook post, said more than 1,000 vehicles used in the Autolib program are being stored on a lot in Romorantin-Lanthenay, an area about 130 miles southwest of Paris. 

The Bolloré company had a contract with local authorities in and around Paris to provide the vehicles, which people could borrow for a fee. That ended in 2018 when the service was in debt and failing. 

Some 4,000 of the vehicles were sold, mainly to two companies that have been reselling them, according to the report. That includes the ones shown in the Facebook post. 

The TV stories and a French newspaper article noted the claims on social media. “Unlike what buzzes on social media, this is not a cemetery,” the newspaper report said.

We rate the post False.” – From Politifact

Another thing to note is the following from Reuters:

“French media reports here , here and here which show pictures of the cars lined up in a field like those in the social media posts, explain that the termination of the contract meant that Bollore had to remove its 4,000 vehicles from the Paris region to Romorantin-Lanthenay, 200 kms (124 miles) south of Paris. Bollore sold the cars, most of them going to two companies, Autopuzz, which resells the cars throughout France, and Atis Production.

On claims about soil pollution risk posed by the cars, Paul Aouizerate, head of Atis Production, told France Info here “Our vehicles are properly stored. The firefighters are aware, the construction site is well organized. All the batteries have been removed and the connectors are isolated.”

He added that the cars were not going to a junkyard. Autopuzz told France TV Info it is reselling the cars to buyers across France at a rate of 50 per month (here).


Partly false. These are genuine photos of electric cars in France, but they were taken off the road due to financial difficulties, not problems with the battery storage cells. More than 2,500 of the cars have been resold.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.”


If you remain unconvinced – do your own simple research.

This erroneous meme and many like it have been manufactured/miscaptioned in the attempt to illicit FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) about electric vehicles. More than likely the FUD generators that made this meme have money tied up in fossil fuels/fossil fuel infrastructure and are terrified at the prospect of losing their nest eggs.

Along with all that nonsense: many renewable energy haters/doubters/FUD spreaders will often say “wind turbines kill countless numbers of birds and bats” – another falsehood. While it is true that some of the earliest wind turbines were smaller, lower (closer to wildlife habitats), spun faster, and did impact wildlife – today’s turbines are designed from the get-go to lesson wildlife impacts and it is rare for birds and bats to die via modern wind turbines. In fact, do you know what kills the most birds, bats, and small animals in this country: pet/feral house cats and impacts with glass windows. The numbers of wildlife deaths from these two top killers are in the billions per year. Wind turbines do have an impact but it is minuscule when compared to bird/bat deaths from cats/windows and ahem: fossil fuel-related pollution from mining, shipping, spills, refining, use, and incorrect disposal of used oil, etc.

Some people are even saying that when someone drives an electric vehicle they do not pay gas taxes so the roads will suffer. This is simply a falsehood. I have been driving an EV since 2013 and I pay a yearly EV tax which makes up for the gas taxes I would have paid if I drove a legacy vehicle. This tax then goes to support highway maintenance and infrastructure. I have absolutely zero issues paying this tax because I enjoy driving on nice roads as much as the next bipedal naked ape.

I believe that many of these erroneous myths have and are being spread by the fossil fuel producers themselves and the “think tanks” they have hired to sow doubt in technologies that are their competition, as well as those with loads of money invested in fossil fuels – at home and abroad…possibly even in part by Russian government hackers since we all know that Russia’s main export products are soaked in hydrocarbons and they will do anything to keep the oil flowing out and the money flowing in.

Just stop it, people – stop it.

Stop falling for and spreading the clickbait and lies being spread by those who do not want to change – it is not helping anyone or anything except the old fossils running the petroleum companies, their politician puppets, and the tiny dictators who do not want to accept that the future of our species is renewable energy powered and electrically driven.

Change is the way of nature.

The time for change is now.

Change is often scary and it is often hard but remember this: very often the life that exists on the other side of change is far superior in every way to the one you are living in right now.

Someone once said everything worth doing in life exists on the other side of fear. It is time to push through the fear and adapt – because if we do not adapt, we die.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Knowledge conquers fear.

Do good things.

Leave the world better than you found it.

On being Different

I have been called names.

I have been called profanities.

I have been bullied.

I have been called “different.”

What does it mean to be different?

The definition of different according to Merriam-Webster:


  1. partly or totally unlike in nature, form, or quality : DISSIMILAR
  2. not the same
  3. unusual, special

I have also been called a free spirit.

What is a Free Sprit?

According to Websters:

  1. a person who thinks and acts in an uninhibited way without worrying about normal social rules NONCONFORMIST

The Lonerwolf website outlines a Free Spirit as:

  • You have an immense passion to live a whole and fulfilling life
  • You desire freedom above all else
  • You’re not afraid of being a lone wolf
  • You have a lust for adventure (whether internally, externally, or both)
  • You’re willing to go beyond your comfort zone
  • You accept instability and a lack of security as a way of life
  • You’re independent-minded
  • You can be volatile and capricious
  • You don’t tolerate needy, clingy, judgemental or controlling people
  • You tend to be an unconventional thinker
  • You have a unique personal style
  • You’re a “rule breaker”
  • You’re artistic
  • You thirst for truth
  • You’re an innovative dreamer

And yes, despite a few differences, the descriptions on that list mostly sum up who I am. I am a unique kind of person who marches to the beat of a different drum.

I have also been called names – from geek, nerd, wimp, and loser, to bastard and all the other childish “knuckle-dragging” “lowbrow” profanities, and more recently snowflake, greenie, leftie, leftist, activist, and even “hippie hair” as I choose to wear my hair longer than other males of my species within the culture in which I live. Obviously, many of these insults were sent in my direction by my peers when I was younger and in school, however, the latter more divisive and politically oriented verbal attacks were far more recently.

So, my big question to all those who have called me different, those who have called me profanities and other names, those who have labeled or called me a “free spirit” (which, by the way, I am proud to be called), and those that have targeted and bullied me with fear, venom, and hatred is this; why would you, and why would anyone choose to target and attack others with hate and fear without first: 1. Getting to know the person you are targeting before you choose to attack them. 2. Investigating those ideals and hatreds you have chosen to support for the justification of their actions. Why would anyone willfully, blindly, and without evidence, logic, and without considerate calculation consciously choose to target others they do not know with hateful, hurtful, and harmful, words and actions?

Maybe one of the answers is connected to what E.O. Wilson said: “…we are a dysfunctional species. and why? because, we have paleolithic emotions, we have medieval institutions, and on top of all that, we’ve developed god-like technology and that’s a dangerous mix.”

I do not have the answers. Nor do I know if anyone truly knows the answers to these complex questions.

What I do know is as my mother said: “If you can not say anything nice, then just do not say anything at all.”

This I also know – I will always support anyone labeled “different” “other” or “free spirit” by society.

In fact, I most often prefer the individuals that carry these labels as these are the people who most often have the most interesting and beautiful hearts, minds, and souls.

Why? Because I am one of them and I am proud of my uniqueness.

To begin with: Yes. I am a nerd.

I am a wild nature, wildlife, technology, and science loving nerd.

I would rather spend time in the woods than in the shopping mall.

I would rather read a book* than go to a party.

*Just in case you are wondering my favorites include but are not limited to: encyclopedias and reference books, nature field guides, science journals, technical manuals, DIY and other informational books, science fiction, and graphic novels (aka comic books) etc.

I would rather sit around a campfire with a few good friends than hang out at a loud crowded bar or nightclub (especially in today’s world).

I would rather go fishing, hiking, or biking alone or with a close friend, than attend a sporting event or a concert. (especially in today’s world).

I would rather work with my car/computer/cameras/audio-visual/technology and energy projects rather than socialize with others.

I would rather watch Star Trek than any kind of sports.

Team sports do absolutely nothing for me.

Religion is not my thing.

Conspiracy “theories” are a maddeningly huge waste of time.

Politics is insane.

My heroes are probably not your heroes. For example, from the superhero/movie/TV/movie/fantasy world I most identify with Peter Parker aka: Spiderman, Doc Brown from Back to the Future, Han Solo from Star Wars, Jackie Chan, Radagast the Brown – a wizard in Tolkien’s epic story, and MacGyver. I wholeheartedly agree with and understand where Mr. Spock is coming from on so many levels and feel a kinship with Geordie LaForge from Star Trek the Next Generation.

From the real world my heroes/inspirations and mentors include: Stephen Hawking, Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Gene Roddenberry, George Lucas, Nikola Tesla, Elon Musk, Clare Patterson, Giordano Bruno, Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Jacques Cousteau, David Attenborough, Hayao Miyazaki, the Dalai Lama, Chris Hadfield, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Colllins, Mike Massimino, Les Stroud, Greta Thunburg, both my adoptive and biological mothers and fathers, Ernie Kadel, Joe Woodard, Jim Hardy, and Bob Harris.

I believe it is crystal clear – I am what many would call a square, a dweeb, a nerd, or a geek and I am good with that.

I am a person who trusts, supports, and respects the logic and reason of the scientific method.

I am a person that trusts, applies, does, and communicates science.

I am a person that gets his vaccinations to help himself and others around him.

I am a person who knows the earth is round and exists within the solar system – the small collection of rocky/wet/dry and gaseous planets/moons and random chunks of ancient rock, ice, dust, and other cosmic flotsam and jetsam orbiting a rather insignificant yellow star in a somewhat remote corner of the milky way galaxy which is just one galaxy in billions that all had their start with a big bang some 13.8 billion years ago.

I am a living being who is a product of evolution. As this being who understands and supports the evidence and the facts supporting the theory of evolution by natural selection, I therefore understand that all living things on this watery space rock we call earth are related – closely and distantly – to each other through their DNA.

I am a person who understands and supports the evidence and the facts supporting that we humans are causing climate change by burning fossil fuels for the energy we need to heat and cool our habitats, produce our food and materials, and move our vehicles around the planet – with the natural consequences of these fuel choices adversely altering our planet’s climate and living ecosystems by burning up too many of these ancient dead things at too fast a rate for nature to be able to mitigate effectively.

I am a person who supports caring for nature – our only environmental life support system – above all other self-centered short term concerns.

I am a person who helps injured wildlife and picks up live serpents, (for rescue, rehabilitation, conservation, and education purposes only – and not in any way for any of the macho, toxically masculine, and/or bizarre, dangerous, and cruel, rattlesnake roundups or pseudo-religious snake-handling traditions.

Snakes are my friends

As this nerdy, free spirited person of nature, science, logic, and reason I believe that is is safe to say that had I been born in the middle ages I would most certainly have been labeled a heretic, a witch, possibly even possessed by “demons” and therefore deemed a threat to society by the narrow-minded fear-driven people of the day. More than likely I would have been held captive in a filthy rodent infested and rot infected hole or dank dungeon, repeatedly tortured, tried by a totalitarian judge, then finally – publicly burned alive as one of my heroes was. Giordano Bruno was tortured and later publicly burned at the stake for being a free spirit – he was horribly killed because he believed in the possibility of other planets orbiting other worlds and the possibility of life existing upon those worlds.


I’m sure had I lived in those narrow minded days I would have surely met the same fate. Like Bruno’s it would have been a gruesome fear-driven political-religious-control-focused jeering bully filled spectacle designed to use those individuals labeled as “different” as examples to keep the rest of the people living in fear, marching in line, and locked in blind servitude to the master-blaster-bully in charge – be they a power mad control seeking king/queen/bishop and/or ancient misinterpreted metaphorical words in a dusty old – and highly edited to fit their politics and profit margin – “religious” book(s).

So, with all that being said, I believe I can understand and relate in many ways how today’s nerds, geeks, dweebs, squares, free spirits, deep thinkers, people of color, people with physical and mental challenges, those on the autism spectrum, and those in the LGBTQ+ community, …and anyone else society labels as “different” than the “norm” whatever the frack the “norm” is… must feel when they interact with the all crazy-mean finger pointing hate-filled, xenophobic, anti-science, myth and superstition following, bully promoting world we have created for ourselves today.

This is why I will always support and stand with anyone labeled “different” or “free spirit” by society.

The good thing for us “different” folk is that in today’s world, those in power do not usually burn alive, hang by the neck until dead, feed to lions or other hungry beasts, leave us in the wilderness to die, or toss us into dungeons to rot – but sometimes, these things do still happen.

Sadly, however, the bullies of today, those individuals who – for some strange reason – feel somehow threatened by our differences such as our looks, our skin color, our genetics/heritage, our place of birth, our dialect, our actions, our choices, our knowledge, or or by any verifiable facts and scientific evidence we may offer up freely to everyone – these insecure knowledge-lacking (and sometimes knowledge-doubting) bullies still feel the need to attack those of us they have chosen to label us as “different” and/or to distrust and deny anything we science and nature nerds discover and/or reveal that has the potential to threaten the ancient and/or modern real and/or /imaginary thrones of power, control, and influence they wish to continue to sit upon.

Strangely, even with mountains of evidence to the contrary staring them in the face, these bullies will often choose to attack with hate and fear-filled, words, fists, and feet…and sometimes, in today’s bizarre world – stones, knives, ropes, fire, bullets, bombs, armies, and even the misguided movements of massive mountains of money and/or gigabytes of data full of manufactured hate, fear, doubt, distrust, and distaste.

These kinds of fear and emotion driven attacks are just so childish, so tribal, so illogical, so…primitive.

“When people hurt you over and over, think of them like sand paper; They may scratch and hurt you a bit, but in the end, you end up polished and they end up useless.” –  Chris Colfer

The hard part is coming up with a way to educate those who do not want to be educated. How do we teach the bullies and haters that the answers they are seeking are not to be found in their fists and venom-spitting fear of anything different than what they think they know? How do we enlighten them that there is a better road than the terrible dead end road they have been on for so long? How?

Sometimes it does come down to fighting back – but a true warrior fights back not with fists and fury, but with with calculated knowledge, evidence, compassion, and love.

If you are ever forced to attack an enemy bully in self defense, the best defense from that enemy is knowledge. Know your enemy. Know the bully. If you know your enemy, then your attack will be swift, accurate, educational, and will hopefully, it will never need to be executed again and the bully will have grown to become a better person.

Part Two.

Today I am totally comfortable and happy with being who I am…but many years ago I was not. I so desperately wanted to be included and be part of the “in” crowd. The pain of it all was often just too much to bear. There were times when I thought about ending it all but when this would happen I would play with my dog, just go for a walk in the forest, or go fishing. Nature was my healer. It always put me at peace. The trees, the wildlife, the flowing waters, the sun and wind on my face – all these things were my escape from the toxic little red-faced bullies in school.

I am also so very grateful for all the gentle and wise elders who – then and now – have taught me and are still teaching me how to see, how to hear, how to care for others, for nature, and for myself – I am grateful for them because they taught me the true meaning of life.

Clayton and Catherine were my adoptive father and mother who brought me into their home and raised me as their own child. They gave me a deep curiosity for why things are the way they are, in how things work, and they gave me compassion for others. The most important thing my adoptive parents imparted to me was this: be your own person, make your own decisions, find your own path, find your passion. Be whatever you want to be in life as long as it does good for you, for others, and for the future, it will be a good choice. I have carried this with me throughout my life and have made it my motto:

Do good things. Do good things for yourself. Do good things for others. Do good things for nature. Do good things for the future.

If it is not a good thing, if it harms you, others, nature, or the future – delete it. Extinct it.

Do only good things.

There was my friend and mentor, Ernie Kadel, an older German immigrant who fled his home country when the notorious bully Adolph Hitler came to power. Ernie lived his retirement years in the neighboring house to the south of my home. He was a wonderful person who taught me so much about how things work. He took me sailing in his Folbot folding kayak/sailboat. We played billiards in his basement. We worked on projects in his shop. We ate traditional German confections his wife Heidi made. Ernie taught me to care about people because no matter where they are from they all have a story and lesson to share.

Then there was May and Joe Woodard. They were Cherokee. They were wonderful people whose Native American ancestors had been greatly harmed by the choices of my European ancestors. They did not hold a grudge. They just shared their lives, their stories and music from their elders. They shared the value and importance of keeping nature close and working with nature instead of against it. I listened and have kept their lessons close to my heart to this day.

Then there were the neighbors to the north of me. I do not remember their names but I do remember their fights, their arguments, the bitter hatred of the red-haired wife and the meek quietness of the skinny husband. All they ever seemed to do is yell and fight with the wife doing most of the yelling and fighting – the bullying. One day I noticed the man limping in his driveway – he had a arm and leg in a cast. Their cars were undamaged so I could not help but wonder if she, in a fit of flaming fiery rage, had pushed him down the stairs. What I learned from them was that I never wanted to be like them. I was so glad when they moved away but I sometimes worry about that quiet little broken man and if he is OK.

There were the two American dads and their wives. These two men and their wives were the fathers of two of my childhood friends. Both of these dads worked in the same factory, had two kids, had nice wives and tried to give their families the best lives they could. I admired them for working so hard to give their families so much. What I did not admire was that one of them drank openly in his home, even building a bar and having get-to-gethers with friends while his young children looked on and learned that free-flowing alcohol is OK. Some may not see a problem here but I do because my adoptive father was an alcoholic and his vise led to his death at an early age. For one of my friends dads, his open acceptance of drinking led to the abuse of alcohol by one of his sons who was my best friend for most of my childhood. From these two families I learned some great lessons what was a good work ethic, how good parents treat their children, and probably more importantly, good lessons on what not to do.

In high school there was my my home room and shop teacher “Sarge.” Sarge was a wonderful country gentleman who taught his students with calm strength and calculated educational words of wisdom and guidance that, if you were really listening, would reveal loads of meaning. Sarge taught me how to listen.

My parents and my childhood mentors really helped me sort out the conflicting feelings I had been having in trying to deal with the bullies. They helped me see that the problems I was facing were not in me, they were in the bullies. While I did understood this, it did not help me take the rapid-fire bullying I was assaulted with on a daily basis.

A true story.

Way back in the early 1980’s when I was in junior high school I found myself sitting in history class when the teacher had to leave the room for a few moments. While he was out of the room I, and the other students, witnessed an overly muscled testosterone-soaked toxically violent bully beat a non-threatening autistic boy bloody in his classroom seat just because the autistic boy was “different” and would not speak to the bully. The autistic child did not move or fight back. He never fought back when the bullies attacked. He felt that fighting would put him on the sub-human, fear, and animal instinct-driven level of the bully. He was right.

He just unwaveringly took the blows of the fearful little bully’s clenched fists and the hateful words hurling from his venom spitting mouth and he later walked away, bloody and bruised – but on the right side of history.

The bully was expelled on this occasion and on many more for similar infractions.

The bully continued on through the next few years of junior and high school and then the next couple of decades verbally and physically attacking people (including me) for trivial reasons. He finally met an early end on the other end of a knife from someone he pushed just a bit too far.

The autistic boy the bully attacked – he grew into a man and is a “different” but productive member of society.

“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” ― Dan Pearce

Part Three.

Moving on through the rest of middle and high school I continued to be the target of many profanity spouting, hair-pulling, ear-flicking, red-faced little schoolyard, locker room, and back of the bus sitting bullies and no, at no time did my increased intake of spinach ever help me overcome their foul mouths and fat little clenched fists.

Why, because I was small in stature, “geeky,” “nerdy,” or “square” acting and looking, I sat in the front row in class because I was in school to learn – and the bullies always seemed to sat in the back row as far from the teacher – as far from the knowledge – as possible. I hung out with the nerdy/geeky/square/smart kids, I liked nature, wildlife, and science and engineering and working on bikes. lawn mower engines, and cars far more than sports and partying. I was also extremely introverted and not at all popular and then and now I did not and do not care about popularity nor do I want to be popular – I have far better things to do than to worry or care about what others think about me – that is their problem, not mine.

 “I think the sooner that all of us in society stop accepting any type of bullying or harassment from other people – in spite of people’s social standing or net worth or whatever it is – the sooner it will stop.” – Jason Priestley

In school, and in life, I have always tried my best to fly low and maintain a low profile to avoid the bullies – but this tactic did not work for long because in my experience bullies always seemed to seek out the quiet ones, they targeted the those who fly under the radar – or perhaps I just did not fly low enough. Either I just wasn’t savvy enough to avoid them, or I was just unlucky because the bullies would always find me, and then do all they could do to attack and humiliate me for any superficial trumped-up “reason” they could find and then use to get a laugh from their friends (and sometimes even from those bully teachers and school administrators who are probably just grown-up bullies), and to somehow prop them up and make them feel stronger, popular, or somehow important (more like impotent) among their peers. At the time, when I was being bullied, all I wanted to do was to trounce them vigorously and viciously (like that kid in that old Christmas movie did) – but I never acted upon that urge because I am not a violent person and I also knew the bullies were very insecure, probably had horrible home lives, and many other problems. I knew the bullies were most likely hurting inside far more than I was hurting outside so I did my best to ignore them, I would stay quiet, not respond to their verbal attacks, and walk away when possible – I did not want to feed their attacks – feeding the fires of a bully only makes it grow into an inferno of rage.

“I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.” ― Abraham Lincoln

On two separate occasions I did confront my bullies, this is how those instances played out.

One day in middle school my peers and I were queued up and filing into the kitchen to get our lunch. I knew one of my bullies was right behind me but I just ignored him. I could feel his eyes on the back of my head. I could hear his snickering with his other little bully friend. I heard them talking shit about me trying to get me to respond. I used my Jedi powers to ignore them.

We then entered the kitchen where there was a buffet type set up where, as the students filed through, they would tell the “lunchroom ladies” which food items they wanted which would then be deposited upon our plates. As I moved along the line and my food items were placed upon my plate the bully to my right leaned over and said in a whisper “your father is an alcoholic and you will be too.”

This was it. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I stopped. Frozen in my tracks. The bully stopped. The entire line stopped. I was like a stone. My fists clenched my lunch tray. I thought about smashing the bully over the head with it but I do not like disruption or confrontation so I placed logic over emotion and I regained my composure. I slowly turned to face the red-faced bully – who was now grinning from ear to ear reveling in his toxic comment. I looked him in the eyes and said calmly “My father died last week. If you ever again disrespect his name and if you ever speak to me again – I will destroy you.” The blood drained from the drooling little bully’s face. His greedy grin dropped to a fearful frown. He froze. Then he broke eye contact with me and looked down. I did not give him any time to comment and I turned and moved on down the line.

It worked because the little rat-fink never spoke to me again.

“A bully hides his fears with fake bravado. That is the opposite of self-assertiveness.” ― Nathaniel Branden

In the second instance it was a female bully I had to deal with.

I was in high school and had been instructed by the band director to load several folding chairs onto my truck and take them to a band concert and a nearby school. I and some friends were working to load my pick up truck and a hot headed bully girl came over and started yelling at me calling me names and saying the band director had told her that she could take the chairs. Yes, really – she was bullying me over the right to tote chairs. I stood there in the back of my truck getting screamed at for offering to help the band move chairs. Very strange indeed. I stood there and took it for about a minute and when it looked like the foul mouthed insults from the girl were never going to end I just said – “You want to tote the chairs, sure, you can tote the chairs -” and I picked up about 6 folded lightweight plastic chairs and tossed them on top of the girl and her friends. They all fell down in a pile of chairs, flailing arms and legs, yelling and crying and then got up and ran away yelling insults and saying they were going to tell the principle. Whatever. Later I was called to the office along with the band director. He backed me up and supported my story and the principle dismissed the incident saying they had often had trouble out of the bully girl and that she would be dealt with. She must have been because she never spoke to me again.

After graduation, my schoolyard bullying problems mostly ended and I never saw most of the bullies again and for that, I was grateful.

“Getting bullied in school taught me how to be strong, getting judged taught me to be better, failure taught me to be resilient and being made fun of taught me humility.” ― Mehak Bhalla

Part Four.

In many ways, today’s childhood bullying tactics are far more damaging than the face to face bullying of yesteryear. Today’s bullies often use the before mentioned tactics and then add in social media, email, and other online platforms to horribly and repeatedly attack their chosen targets any time they wish with deep cutting insults, humiliating lies, and harsh and hurtful sarcasm and even threats to life and limb.

“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” ― Phil Lester

Sadly, childhood bullying is often ignored by school officials and some parents saying things like “kids will be kids” or that old “sticks and stones” thing that is true only in the physical sense – words can and do cut deeply and words cannot be unsaid.

Please be very careful and calculated with your words.

“Cyberbullying is Bullying. Hiding behind a pretty screen, doesn’t make it less hateful, written words have power.” – Anon

Bullying, verbal or physical, is a form of assault – it is a direct and harmful attack on another person. Sticks and stones may, in fact, break bones but words and actions have the potential to cut deep, lasting, emotional scars in sensitive people as they have done to me.

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey S. Firestone

Harmful childhood bullying needs to be stopped. Do not stand by and let a bully get their way. If you do this you are telling them it is ok to be a bully. If you witness an injustice happen and do nothing, you then become part of the problem. Intervene.

Damaged children need professional help. If childhood bullies do not have help sorting out and processing their insecurities, pain and problems when young, they may very well grow into emotionally unstable adults who verbally, emotionally, and sometimes even physically (secretly and publically) attack anyone who threatens their position – whatever they believe their position to be.

When childhood bullies grow up to be professional bullies that resort to toxic tactics in the attempt to win or gain some perceived high ground, it shows how deeply damaged and insecure they really are. This happens more often than we know, from the workplace to the homeplace and even in churches and most definitely in the toxic world of professional bullying: business and politics.

If a young bully does not get help early on, it is very possible they may at “best” grow up to become members of the upper echelons of the workforce where they may fit in best as controlling, micromanaging bosses who continue to harm and bully others daily with their toxic tactics – all while calling it “business” – as if that somehow justifies their horrible treatment of others – it does not. It is possible these boss bullies may reach a “tipping point” where they will be unable to be helped and may then become a detriment to society…what then…maybe they become a member of the ever-growing prison population or, in rare cases, maybe even fearful, venomous, hateful, racist, xenophobic, nationalistic, self-absorbed, power-seeking politicians putting control and profit over people and planet…or in rare cases they may even become terribly destructive fear-driven, power-mad dictators such as Adolf Hitler…

“Bullying happens because weak people need to prop up their ego by beating up or humiliating others.” ― Bruce Dickinson

Part Five.

In many of my part-time, seasonal, and professional jobs over the years, I have been verbally attacked and insulted by workplace bullies – usually for the same infantile reasons why I was attacked as a child and young adult. These so-called “adult” people who bullied me were most often white males in positions of authority and occasional females as well. For me the adult bullying was more subtle, it didn’t come in a physical form but manifested itself in stabbing veral personal attacks and/or painful targeted harsh sarcasm.

Freedom of Speech doesn’t justify online bullying. Words have power, be careful how you use them.” ― Germany Kent

In one instance a “boss bully” manager of mine would not give me a raise when the time came because I worked my job “by the book” – as he instructed me to do during the two-week training class I attended at the beginning of my position with the company. At a staff meeting where this regional manager was rewarding workers with raises for “a job well done,” he informed me that I was not receiving a raise because I was “slow, and needed to work harder and to cut corners in my work to increase my speed and therefore: increase company profits.” When I calmly said “respectfully sir, people’s lives are at stake so I will work as YOU and your company trained me – “by the book” – and therefore, I will not cut corners that would in turn, jeopardize people’s safety and lives just to increase the companies, your, or even my profits.” – he then jumped all over me yelling, making a scene, and slinging insults and cuss words at me telling me I was “fu***** slow, couldn’t keep up with “the rest of the guys”, would never get a raise, and had no place in the company and if I could not perform and that I should just stay home and play with my turtles.” All his other hand-picked brown nosing butt kissing corner cutting toady employees laughed at me with him and mocked me from then on. Shortly after this incident, I left the company. The bully was later fired for his bullying tactics. Karma, maybe…or perhaps it was a certain well-written report outlining all the on the job infractions this boss-bully had committed that was sent to his superiors – we may never know.

“The meanest people are the weakest people, for they do not even have the strength to believe in goodness. Do not let this be your life’s curse.” ― Sean Patrick Brennan

Over the years I have experienced many other instances of workplace bullying on the professional level and my response would usually be to remove myself from the situation and leave the company…leaving a full and detailed report of what led up to my resignation. It was revenge of the nerds pure and simple.

“If they don’t like you for being yourself, be yourself even more.” ― Taylor Swift

For others, it is not that easy. Many adults suffer daily bullying and harassment in their workplaces and it is not just us skinny nerds, science geeks, and goofy squares who are attacked – it is also women, people of color and other ethnicities, religious groups, those in mixed marriages, LGBQT+, “country” folk, “city” folk, physically and mentally challenged people, and people who are on the Autism spectrum. It often seems that anyone who is labeled as “different” by society are quick and easy targets for the small-minded, toxically masculine, overly macho, knuckle-dragging, status quo seeking type bully.

”Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Then there is familial bullying – bullying among siblings, spouses and other family members. Often familial bullying is verbal and in the form of inflamed tempers, raised voices, personal insults, and/or harmful harsh sarcasm. This type of bullying may be fueled by money/job insecurities, alcohol, and substance abuse, and domestic disputes with one family member taking out their frustrations on another – oddly enough, with the aggressor often saying things like “I only do it because I love you” – riiiiight. This kind of verbal and emotional abuse may even lead to physical and sexual abuse.

You may not think this familial bullying is a big issue but you would be very wrong. Many people suffer familial bullying and abuse and never do anything about it, they just take it, day in day out – hoping the situation will get better or go away. Some of these people get wise and get out of the toxic situation by leaving the family, divorcing the bully, or calling the authorities, or even defending themself with force – but some do not and sadly, some, who cannot see a way out resort to committing suicide.

Yes, bullying can be that bad.

“People try to say suicide is the most cowardly act a man could ever commit. I don’t think that’s true at all. What’s cowardly is treating a man so badly that he wants to commit suicide.” ― Tommy Tran

If you find yourself in a similar situation – ask yourself, am I being bullied or am I being the bully? If you answer yes to either of these questions – seek professional help now.

“Bullying is killing our kids. Being different is killing our kids and the kids who are bullying are dying inside. We have to save our kids whether they are bullied or they are bullying. They are all in pain.” – Cat Cora

Part Six.

Sadly, and bizarrely, it also seems that in some places, those of us who work to support a better future for humanity and choose to unite behind the findings of science with the adoption of clean, renewable energy, ethical foods, coexisting among all “races,” respect of others choices of who they choose to love, and alternative transportation technology choices as well as supporting policies and regulations that protect air, water, nature, and wildlife – in other words, protectors of nature and life – we and our works are often horribly and endlessly verbally bullied online and even in public by those individuals that do not want, or are afraid to change – or that have large sums of money tied up in dirty, highly consumptive, often addictive, outdated toxic technologies such as fossil fuels or tobacco. There are even highly paid “think tanks” and other organizations designed to manufacture and cast about FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) on the facts and the science and to bully and harass the scientists who choose to share their findings and evidence with the world – findings, and evidence that, by their very nature, challenge the status quo. These scientists only want the best for the future of our species and yet they are attacked, ridiculed, harassed and bullied – just because they want to help society. Examples include: Clare Patterson (lead in gasoline), James Hansen (climate change), Rachael Carson (DDT), Robert Mark Bilott (PFAS) – and there are many more.

Hundreds of nature and wildlife protectors are attacked and die each year at the hands of hired thugs (grown-up bullies who are paid to be professional bullies) working to help huge corporations gain access to natural resources such as protected and endangered wildlife, forests, fossil fuel and mineral mining, land rights for expansion of humanity, and factory farms, etc. This is corporate greed sanctioned bullying and it often hits the indigenous and the poor the hardest – but it impacts us all.

“What if the kid you bullied at school, grew up, and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life?” ― Lynette Mather

I hope you see my point.

Do not be a bully.
Do not support a bully.
Do not vote for a bully.

Bullies are never working for you, they are only working for themselves.

If you are a bully, apologize to those you have harmed and seek professional help.

If you have a young bully in your classroom or home, or if you know an adult or a professional bully – please, help them get professional help for their sake and for the sake of all the other people they will wrongly attack throughout their lives if their bullying is allowed to continue.

Believe in good.
Do good things.
Be the change.


“No one heals himself by wounding another.” ― St. Ambrose

Being “different” in a world full of control freak bullies is a huge challenge, but it is who you are.

Do not be a bully, but be yourself and do your own thing even if it ruffles the feathers of those who would rather stay a sheep, conform, and fit in.

Be nice.

Rip off the labels.

Be yourself.

Let your difference be your superpower.