Friday, November 30, 2007

The light at the end of the tunnel

Many can see the end of conventional political American electioneering as the actual voting gets closer to 2008. All that has been hired, paid for, and written about will be slapped down by Americans who think about themselves, and their concerns, mostly “blue collar” things like jobs, security, children’s education, and the most basic benefits like social security and Medicare. Less these seem silly, many of these people have bought into the idea of the government taking care of their ancestors vice the older ways of taking care of their ancestors. Of course the alternative is the third world way, as in have big families that take care of their old people.

As the vote gets closer to picking our leaders, are we to respond to well manipulated campaigns that tell us what we want to hear, based on focus groups for example. Recently when former President Clinton spoke of “economic sovereignty”, a big deal to me, does anyone think it was more than an appealing slogan from a focus group? We Americans do have alternatives, to include whatever former President Clinton is selling these days.

Rather, America, the USA, might do well by voting for leaders who look out for our common blue collar future. The end is near for both national political parties that focus on themselves, and not our National Interests. And the alternative Americans are a rising class of leaders, local , state, and federal. These leaders will be themselves, vice the managed and propaganda oriented candidates that present themselves to us these days and even during the past decades. We don’t even have to agree with all these leaders opinions, but trust them to lead in our local, state, and federal National Interests.

So there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And the light is from we citizens that will make sure the old time and status quo American political elites go into the dust bin of history. We have good and better alternatives to our future.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The simplest things are often the hardest to achieve

Here’s the situation report. After three decades of successful pumping of natural spring water through an 1879 design hydraulic RAM (the 2002 version), I decided to product improve the above ground pipes by installing and burying new pipes albeit connected to the same RAM. In the previous setup, when things got cold and froze the uphill pipe from the RAM, we pumped electric in a parallel pipe when thing where above freezing. Since all pipes self drained, the problem of ice fracturing pipes was never a real problem.

So now, having made all the improvements, nothing works with the RAM. After 3 and ½ hours today I got it pumping again, and in the bitter cold, which was above freezing, I was an unhappy camper. Nothing works means the RAM is pumping slower than the springs that feed it, so it should be continuous, which of course it was for months before the “improvement”.

The normal “trial and observe” effort has been run to exhaustion. The whole “new setup” pumped successfully for two weeks before it quit. Quitting meant the RAM was pumping before, but now water does not come out of the pipes that it used to come out of. Obviously something changed. I’m beginning to regret not spending more time with fluid mech.

First the good news. The Hemlocks can pump electric so there is no water problem, as in flush, clean, and wash. The bad news is the problem aforementioned.

The latest guess is there is an air lock in the newly installed pipe that finally asserted itself as in preventing the RAM from pumping to the water tank due to poor winter pumping pressure. After all, the horizontal distance is around 840 feet, and the vertical distance is guessed at around 60 feet. I will provide an update after we do our drill to blow out the potential air lock.

The bad news. Right now Mother Nature is winning.
The rise and fall of television as we know it

The recent presidential debates point out the obvious, TV is not what it used to be. It’s a shame because it did not have to turn out as it has. The technology was evolved during the 1920’s, though the business and government use of TV really took off after WWII circa late 1940’s. From the primitive technology and government sales of public airwaves for TV to the big three networks in the USA after WWII, much as evolved, not all so good. Other parts of the world went the same kind of way, though the technology protocols were different, and government channels were often used. If you’ve lived in Sweden, or England, or Japan, for example, this makes more sense. They evolved TV (and radio) somewhat differently.

The initial promise of TV expanded with the coming of cable delivery of TV to more remote parts of the USA. But way beyond the delivery means was the ability to educate and inform we citizens of the great arts and other uplifting social ideas that were so normally restricted due to locations and other limiting means, like travel. National sports became truly national thanks to TV, for example. So did the Space Program. So did the News. And along the way, made for TV movies were always looked down on as a poor man’s cousin by the elite American movie industry, which later went south about the same time as foul language and silly scripts became de rigueur. The evolution was capped by the introduction of ratings, demanded by the citizens, and responded to by the industry, TV and Hollywood. Does anyone thing today’s PG-13 rating is a fair representation of the media’s true value? Is today’s PG-13 yesterday’s R, and did we citizens change to accept this, or did the industry media manage this, using TV of course.

The great failure of TV, so far, is falling so far off its promise to do good for society. Americans in loads brought TV into their homes, and along the way gave up more old fashioned things like radio shows at night, card games around tables played by family members from different generations (and marriages), reading stories to each other, or just playing board games like Scrabble. While TV was supposed to be better than that, such has not happened. Are the alternatives like cartoons that are now 24/7 (they used to be Saturday morning events while the family cooked and had events), or movies of all origins and ratings come into our homes, or music videos that change the values of so many young people better than what we had? The question is only exacerbated by the introduction of new internet technologies and pipelines, but the basic question is still TV, and its value.

Few people are going to deny themselves any advantage they can have, nor bother themselves with turning back the tide. For example TV and many movies are good baby-sitters much of the time. These same people also recognize the intrinsic value of educating their children, and TV is only one trick in their bag of tricks.

Yet in the same vein, much of the good potential of TV has not been achieved, so far. Now is a time for leaders, for example those so devoted and smart and knowledgeable of propaganda techniques, to switch from promoting crummy candidates and ideas to promoting American culture that will benefit our society and our kids. Having lived overseas and seen government TV, and even Armed Forces TV, there are better alternatives to having TV reach its potential.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Evolution produces national losers as well as survivors

That nothing remains the same is a given to most people. Change is constant. The American nation-state that existed at its creation no longer exists. A history book written in 1899 about the period 1800-1899 is different from a history book written in 1999 about the same period. The differences are many, but the values and perceptions of the period the history book is written about also have much to do with the result. To be able even to find an 1899 book about the period 1800-1899 says much about change.

And not all change is good, be it physical or mental.

The American nation-state has been an example of an evolutionary survivor. We have thrown off the many problems of fellow humans in the Old World; many would say we have revolted against them. All this did not happen by accident, but on purpose. One can say the life blood of this evolutionary instinct was egalitarian, socialist in nature if you will. We have come a long way. And much of this evolution was “led” by practical minded leaders, not idealists, but never-the-less leaders who could get elected, make things happen (as in manage), and stamp out an American nation-state that we live in today.

We as an American nation-state seem to be having an incredibly decades-long period of poor leaders who have recognized newer values that reward the two national parties as the best agents of change, pandering to the point of trolling for votes to extend even more benefits to the middle class without consideration for funding, and appealing to “tearing down” the American fabric without the slightest consideration, again egalitarian or socialist, to building a better nation-state. While one can blame the politicians one can also blame we Americans who have evolved this way and voted these people in. And these people, these politicians with their hired help, use the most modern and American propaganda tools to advance their political goals that appeal to those Americans who respond so well to all this.

One obvious practical example is when politicians can now be both for and against any issue, with little challenge from the media. Or a politician can attempt to rewrite history, that is his or hers political positions about the most fundamental issues to we citizens, like illegal immigration, or the war in Iraq, or benefits that must be funded by borrowing on a massive scale, and supposedly to be paid by our kids. Both the politicians and media should be embarrassed and shamed, but it seems evolution has taken this old standard away to the dust bin of history.

While change and evolution never stop, the process does continue for this nation-state called the United States of America. Only the vote, not polls or propaganda, will provide new practical (not idealistic) leaders who display egalitarian and socialist traits that are so necessary for this great American nation-state to evolve and survive. These leaders are not in the current federal crop of candidates, in this single voter’s opinion. But there are many oozing-with-leadership-principles Americans out there. They have much more in common with those who attended the original Continental Congress than most candidates today, again in this humble single voter’s opinion. And they too can be like the modern evolved version of yesterday’s attendees to the Continental Congress. Advancing this great nation-state called the USA is always a work in progress. We voters need to nurture this.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Where is our Bob Dylan for today’s times?

Bob Dylan was a late 1950’s and 1960s’s poet and singer who said so much about America. I think he was from Minnesota, or there abouts. And he is still alive and well on the concert circuit, though looking pretty old and full of wrinkles, as in passe.

What he expressed then, and even now, is about the hope for the New World, about change from the Old World, that change is good, and idealism is OK. He was then, and is still is now, an American. His rough and gravelly voice was poor, but his poetry was American.

We Americans have reached such a gravitas point for our future. Perhaps our American civilization and culture has reached an epoch that we will fall from. Many predict and say so. But perhaps we in the New World will show and reflect why our ancestors came here, and why we continue to evolve to another way, certainly not an Old World way. We will take our hits, probably financial, but the end result will be some kind of New World influence for the whole World. Tribes beware, nation-states still seem like the future.

When can a newer and younger poet show up, and be promoted by the main stream media (MSM)? After all they, the MSM, can influence things these days, or at least try to. When can poets express the American New World ideas? Will East ever meet West?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Playing with fire about our national survival

Most of us from western cultures have idealistic instincts. Mostly these instincts are “golden rule” and “leadership by example”. Practically speaking, “talking to our enemy” and “diplomacy” are the present day renditions of a way to apply these ideas to a nation called the USA. Past performance is seldom considered, and probably not known. So Neville Chamberlain’s famous waving of a 1930’s written document and saying “we have peace in our time”; or American educated leaders in D.C. sending “messages” such as bombing halts that are interpreted by eastern leaders as signs of weakness that are not known about, thought about, or yet to be discovered by the naïve; make many us concerned about our national survival.

That the debate can be about the “ideas” misses the mark. The debate should be about the willingness or lack of willingness of so many Americans to be taken down by the naïve if they are wrong, or simply naïve. Some of us, many we think, will not go down like “lambs to slaughter”. It is a tough world out there, and we have much to brag about and defend about, and “good intentions” is not a national survival policy. Now this is also something we can vote about.

That the present crop of candidates from both national political parties still seem to focus on their party and not our national interests is a sign of the old times that has worked up until now, or the present status quo. Like the oath so many have taken, the pledge in the oath is to the Constitution and against all enemies, foreign and domestic. So when times get hard, as in domestically hard, how many voters perceive the current crop of candidates as a good solution to going forward to the future? Rather there are many other national leaders out there, men and women, local, state, and federal. And like in “swarming theory”, or just think about a “school of fish”, when the circumstances change in the USA, we voters will gravitate towards “leaders” who think about our national survival, explain all this to us, and then “lead” us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

American values are not too shabby. One might even call them human and realistic. How classically new world.

One obvious point of departure is how we treat out women, our breadbasket of the future. Less this sound too course, explain the logic of big game animal hunting where all the biologists say hunt the males, and preserve the females. Most of us agree with the logic, which so far seems to work.

What is appalling is the emphasis by Hollywood, and the acceptance by a lot of America, that young fertile women should look like teenage boys. This image is wrong, pure and simple. Boys and girls are different. The old time adage of wanting to marry a woman that is like my mom at home and a hoar in bed is simply silly, and only reinforces the old time adage.

Rather we as a culture should promote marriage, and denigrate sex out marriage as not being in our best interests. As a father of daughters, the happiness of my kids following their being themselves makes a lot of sense. These young girls have alternatives, some better than others. Teaching them, and them reinforcing them, seems like a calm course of action.

The physical part is most embarrassing to America. Mother Nature made girls to have babies. This includes all the natural things that go on for girls to have babies, to include a spread pelvis, as in wide hips. It is about time for the opposite to happen to those so many in love and making babies. Let us worship and thank them for being a family and making babies. Let us also respect their abililty to say no, as in the old time make out days. Either cross your legs, girl, or don’t expect us to pay, both mom and dad, and society. That worked too, and both girls and boys had self-respect. Nature and culture worked just fine. Being shameful was intimidating. Being a slut was a bad term.

Lest we beat a dead horse, it is time to say the obvious. Babies born deserve, and need, both a father and mother to gain advantages in life. So parents cannot deny life. But they can define cultural standards, and try impose these same standards. What a tough job, but one has to give them an attaboy and attagirl salute as they do their parental job to provide their kid a good chance in life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Global warming is an emotional issue most of all

And it is a media and political issue. If it were a scientific issue as it has been until recently, then few would have heard much about it, though they should have, in my opinion. But that is another story.

Rather than rehash all the science and opinions and promotion thereof, one might consider how to think and consider future courses of action. For example in the how to think side of things, why do the drug makers’ products have to be reviewed by outside and hopefully independent humans while the global climate modelers get a free pass, as in they review their own work? This is classic conflict of interest stuff. And why do politicians set atmospheric goals that look a lot like when they were a kid, as that was the best we humans can do since they liked it as a kid. Personally, I would pick another period than when Al Gore was a kid in a D.C. and Tennessee. And the media coverage by individuals who have little subject matter expertise is starting to get embarrassing to many citizens. It is hard to determine who should be more embarrassed and shamed, the pundits who write for a living, or the reporters who generate stories for a living. Most of us assume they have families, and they all care about their and our family’s future, so most citizens do not assign evil intentions to their way of life. Rather most tune them out, or laugh at them quietly out of respect to basic human manners. Yet recently the humor left when the Governor of Kansas stopped a new coal fired electric power plant, and the Lieutenant Governor even later came to her defense. All this was over the impacts of CO2 on global warming. Fine, most small businesses have other alternatives as to where to relocate (as from California), or start up. Whatever, the effect will probably take decades to happen, and when the lights go out and the winter heat goes off, the Governor will probably be elsewhere. So will many fellow citizens who heeded the ruling.

“Global warming” is not a bad phrase. Neither is the “greenhouse effect”. For those interested in the subject, reading anything other than the media reports or accolades from Hollywood Academy Awards or Norwegian Nobel Peace Awards is a better alternative. For example, at the end of the last Ice Age, New York City was at least one half mile under the ice. Is that what we want to return to, or even try preserve. The benefits of global warming are seldom reported, as by Bjorn Lomborg. Those academic neophytes, playing God with complex systems, have a bad history of over confidence and underachievement, often called failure. Just look at 100 years of lack of performance at Yellowstone Park.

The scary part to many is that much of our future is beyond our control. That we may not be around forever, or life on earth even be around forever, is profoundly scary. Yet that is natural evolution, to most. To those who believe, and hope, that humans have much to do with all this, and can influence all this, I hope they are correct. For those who believe God made humans special in the universe, I also hope they are correct. But they both have to convince most of us. And the argument can never be some “chicken little the sky is falling argument”. Most citizens are invested in their families and their futures, and the latest version of well intentioned and probably idealistic young people and anarchists have no right, or expectation, to be able to take us down in their vision and path and poor education as to global warming; as in go along, as in the whole society and American culture is theirs just for showing up.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can you believe the American status quo still exists?

The normal line is still about right. Just because the status quo has worked in the past does not mean it will work in the future. This idea can be applied to Families, politics, and influential control of our Country. There is one subgroup of our Country who are honorable people, and they pay big time taxes, so they put their money where their mouth is. They can be made an example of. They are loyal tax paying Americans. Imagine having to finance paying $84,000 property taxes for a home on the beach in Long Island that is just a recreation home for a few weeks a year. Why many bear this burden is a complement to their ancestors, and the descendents who have chosen to bear the burden. Good on them. Financially, it is tough. And good, bad, or indifferent, these Americans are the new world descendents of ancestors suffering from old world family exposures. So are the rest of us! And if times get hard, as in America, then others will buy out the land and pay the local taxes. What a country.

What hurts many feelings is the assumption of the status quo as being normal America. Entire hired campaigns, mostly professionally run fund raising and professionally run propaganda media reports have worked in the past. After all, look at the amount of money being spent on these people. It must have worked in the past, and should work for the future. It has gotten so bad, some obviously paid pundits and operatives are suggesting not even bothering to show up to vote, since it is polled and all preordained. And all this is with a year to go.

American is a big Country. And the Country is not inclined to status quo beliefs from those who now live and get paid by old time poltiticians in the original thirteen colonies.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What do you do now parent?

When a 15 year old son tells you the father recently that two girls are chasing him at school and what should he do, well, what should he do? My answer was to be selfish, since he wants to be a military pilot. And it takes years of hard work and school to even compete.

When my now 12 year old daughter, then 10 years of age, tells me that being skinny and dressing sexy is important to attracting boys, what does a father do. My answer was to be selfish, and be one self. This advice passed as quick as the wind. I did answer, after all.

In both of the aforementioned cases, the area is Atlanta.

I, as a father, read a recent internet article that suggested the term “date” was no longer a verb for most girls that are under 30 years of age, or there about. Later in the article 4 out of 5 thought bringing back “dating” was a good idea. The main idea was to date, and if you find him OK, then think about marriage. Later sex comes in, as in marriage and fun, and family. The article went on to report what is going on today about how boys and girls end up getting together and eventually marrying, and it is sad from the girls point of view in the article. Most young people want to have children, and free sex has costs that make so many unable to conceive. Mostly it is on the girl side. And let me add, as a guy, that we have a reputation too, and being a slut (guy side) has to be reinforced by avoiding girl sluts, at least in the old days.

The parents response is obvious to this posting parent and former Marine. Information, information, and talk. Mostly it most be about standards, for both boys and girls. Number one is what is your objective, as in be a military pilot, or be a mother at 18? Number two is restraint, as in lack of promiscuity. This means keeping your pee pee in your pants and your legs crossed. Number three is restoring shame to living in sin, and having children out of wedlock. These are not new ideas. This father suggests they are “new world” ideas.
Transformational is a bad word

Many have associated the word “transformational” with the military. Implementing ‘network centric” ideas is one reason why. But recently the word has been used in conjunction with social change, or the suggestion of social change. Two times is a trend to many.

For those in a hurry for change, especially change at most any cost to our American culture and peoples rights, perhaps they are playing with fire. Change is inevitable, often on auto-pilot, and the only influence we mortals may have is one of time applied to change. Will the change be over one, or two, or more generations, a generation being 30 years these days, for planning purposes? And it seems amazing so many in favor of change think they have something to do with what is happening anyway. One who has been around the block a few times might suggest the main friction is about the pace of change, not the change itself.

Our “new world” America is much better than the “old world”. Much of our “new world” change is idea driven, which is part of our psyche. That some are selling “old world” ideas like multiculturalism (some call it balkanization) suggests that all change ideas are not good, as we have “new world” alternatives like the melting pot. So here we go back again to terms like “transformational”, friction, change, and the pace of change.

America seems to be perpetually (for now) willing to focus on minority parts of our culture in order to be “transformational”. That we can take the time to try do well is a complement to our security and willingness to think we are different from the rest of the world, and can change “new world”. This attitude is special and unique in human history. Never before has a group of humans and culture had the opportunity we have today. And as long as we keep voting in leaders who think and manage this way, it will continue, if. The big “if” is if we can defend and protect and finance this “transformation” since much of the rest of the old world does not think this way for now. And if our definition of minority parts of our culture is critically reviewed, then we can look silly. Calling women a minority is silly, for example, since they constitute over half of humanity and certainly over half of college attendees in America. And the converse, calling homosexuals a significant part of our society, seems also silly since it just isn’t so. In this latter case, we can debate the percentage numbers, but the debate is moot to many since all people are to be treated with respect. This respect thing is a two-way street, by the way. And are we Americans to have a permanent and dependent underclass funded as a perpetual “war on poverty” by those seemingly using “transformational” as a political ticket to power (and a career with retirement) and access to the public monies (local, state, and federal)? The answer begs the question as to what is our cultural objective.

Of course we “new world” Americans and voting citizens define our culture, which of course also varies depending on where we live, regionally, urban, or rural. How many have been taught in upbringing to look askance at other tribes like Italians or Vietnamese, or other religions like old world Catholics or Jews, or other races like Africans or Asians? How many have been led to believe their poo-poo doesn’t stink, that they are bred to be a leading class of humans? There are people born and taught like this, and they are on the losing side of American culture and history, even when raised this way. The chances are “transformational”, and it will take one or two generations for them to die off. The alternative is also not the masses with pitch forks storming the Bastille, either. Rather it is those of us living in the “new world” America, old and young, regional, urban, rural, using our votes to evolve whatever we become. Which of course will change again, since today’s young people will also grow old and die.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving meal ideas

It’s not the food and menu, it’s the ceremony, and colors, and presentation.

For all the nervous well intentioned hosts and hard working cooks, relax. The quality of the food and number of menu items is less important than your comfort is in presenting whatever you and guests may have, and add in some ceremony. Old and young will enjoy it all. After all, how many times can you go to or present a family off-Broadway show. And forget trying to memorize; just saying what you want to say, sincerely, counts just as well. Reading from any printed or book page is just fine.

And we have so much to be thankful for. Now that is Thanksgiving. So something between a simple prayer of thankfulness and a Mark Steyn article will work just fine. And please “please daddy, don’t get drunk for Christmas”, respect the Thanksgiving version.

Bottom line: Thanksgiving is uniquely American. It has little to do with religion or pagan ceremonies. It has much to do with us. So dress it up, and have an American ceremony at your home with your relatives. Not too shabby.
The winds of change in the air about us

The status quo is evolving into something newer that, as always, cannot be changed, though many will try. The forces of resistance to change, the reactionaries, will be more sluggish in changing their course than a very large ship in the sea changes its course.

What is new is the beginning rise of national interests in priority as compared to national party interests. This beginning rise is at all levels from local to national. Getting a bigger piece of the pie and carving up the vast national wealth is going down in priority as children’s education and health rises up in priority. Homeland and personal security is rising up in priority as emphasis in time and money for individual rights is taking a lower priority to our collective group security rights. Good intentions vice affordable intentions can now be talked about and debated. The rising change in the status quo is long in the making, and takes decades to show itself. Collegiate sports are showing new priorities on academics and student athletes as compared to the old status quo of exploiting jocks as part of the income college football does generate. Women’s equality as half of humanity can be reinforced while recognizing the obvious, that boys and girls are different. Reactionaries can be exposed as extremists from both the right and left if their efforts are to slow the inevitable change in the status quo. The ability of the few to influence the many, without challenge or simply explaining why the “king has no clothes” is evolving to the light of day requiring explanations of why: be it decisions, money’s influence, or simple ego even to the point of using one’s past to solve tomorrow’s problems.

Two remarkable things come to mind when observing these winds of change. One is that reactionaries can be both from the left and right. In the old status quo, the term reactionary was always associated with the right. Second is the recognition that we are the “new world”, and that is something different from the “old world”. Practically speaking, we are not burdened by “old world” standards and values. And practically speaking, human wise not politician wise, humans are immigrating to the “new world” USA from the “old world”. Now this trend is a hint and indicator that change is about, and the status quo is changing.

Friday, November 16, 2007

We Americans can look so silly to the world

The whole Plame and Scooter Libby affair made us look like the obvious; no common sense is applied or reported inside of D.C. The Clintons can tell the biggest whoppers, and not be challenged as to the absurdity of the whoppers. We say our women are free and equal, yet society’s values treat them like meat and free love objects. Then when they cannot conceive because of disease (them or their “partner”), it will become a government crisis. We spend 90 % of our political capital on 5% of our losers, and this is culturally wired in, it seems. And recently our candidates for President seem more concerned about what foreigners think about us than most of us think about us. This seems silly to so many that “have” to think about themselves, first. Are we this silly?

Well yes, and no. A certain group of Americans are this silly. This group tends to live and socialize and work within the Boston to New York to D.C. line, and some other urban areas. This group of influential people are on the losing side of American history, but time will have to take its toll. Most Americans are not this silly, and beginning after the first of the next year of 2008, will begin to think and listen to those running for office in November of 2008. These candidates are local, state-wide, and federal. And probably most importantly, these voting citizens are not silly, and will guide our Country better than any self-appointed person can try to achieve. Even the rest of the world appears to be paying attention to the basic values and respects that are beginning to look like the “new world” we are.

One can express a point of view that most Americans are not so silly. Perhaps our present media and political types are thought of this way, both foreign and domestic? Perhaps the foreign present media and political types are also suffering similarly? Perhaps what we new world Americans evolve to will become the world standard? That’s what seems to be happening, but only time will tell. And it will not be silly.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The indirect approach applied to American culture and politics

Forget the academic discussion of the definitions of indirect approach compared to direct approach. Think more British mentality, or subtle humor, or “beating around the bush”, or “some things are better left unsaid”. “Think of chit chatting in a telephone call for a few minutes before you get to the point of the call”. One can make this more American as in a Negro can insult a Negro but lord help another race doing the same; or a female can disparage another female while a male cannot without bringing out some hard wired defensive response; or even a baby boomer can demean another while another generation cannot, again without bringing out an inherent defensive response. And less than half the baby boomers were hippies. More became more traditional hard working Americans, albeit infected with many of the same idealistic ideas. There I go.

What seems to be a recent cultural tipping point is the assertiveness of so some many citizens to want to impose their political views on their fellow citizens, and our children, and our culture as a whole. The seeming intemperance of these fellow Americans is something still new to our American history, though Prohibition shows we can do it, and later reject it. The recent example at the University of Delaware where “officially approved” values are to be taught by RA’s (dorm advisers) and required to be accepted by enrolled students (living in the dorms) is: 1) a change, 2) a tipping point, and 3) a direct approach that when exposed to the light of day is mostly embarrassing and simply un-American. Hopefully, enough students and parents will vote with their pocket books and feet, and go elsewhere to be educated. Now that is an indirect approach method that the University might hear.

The idea of PC, political correctness, used to be associated with dumb jokes and bad humor as common sense and respect met self-appointed political police. There is a big difference between not tolerating jokes about Poles, or stupid women, or stupid men, or stupid Negroes, and imposing one’s views, which may or may not be right, politically popular, or even voted on. If PC becomes self-appointed PC police as in much of the Arab world, then we are no longer Americans.

Rather we can use an indirect approach, mostly based on respect, applied both ways. And most certainly changing our culture will take two or three generations, as in 60 to 90 years. Some change in culture involves the old people and voters dieing off. Some involves convincing arguments that will change us. It will take time. And most are watching how it sorts out. This watching is profound, because it will take the collective judgment as to how we are doing, leaders, followers, citizens all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Can we finally dump the losers

Basic leadership 101 teaches leaders and mangers to take care of their 95% of hard workers and producers. The idea is that they (the managers) should spend over 90% of their time reinforcing success, and inherently taking care of their top people. And these people will talk and recruit for the company or government they work for.

A terrible situation is where the leaders spend 90% of their time taking care of the 5% of their loser bad workers. In this situation, most of the good people bail out of the organization for good cause. Observation of the performance by the workers of their leaders is so simple, and so important. Just what is important and just what are the priorities guides them to new jobs and companies and local governments.

This idea applies to politics and how I will vote locally, state wide, and federally. We can’t do it all right now, and getting my kids educated and my family police protected and my country protected with some heat and water and electricity and health vaccinations is at the 90% level I expect for now. Some do better than others, and they (the some) I will both vote for, and follow.
It is an exciting time to be a scientist

If the 19th century was the one of chemistry, and the 20th century was the one of physics, then the 21st century ought to be the one of biology. The old idea advanced that all knowledge had been achieved is simply silly.

The common citizen should enjoy, and be aware, of the various conflicts and methods being promoted. One conflict is between the theorists and the observers. Another idea is the continuing physics pursuit of a “theory of everything”. The attention gainer is when Newtonian gravity formulas rolled up turned out to be a subset of Einstein’s formulas, and all it took was simple calculus to show it. Perhaps a similar subset link between gravity and magnetism is just around the corner? And 400 years ago we had fantastic machines to describe the motions of the celestial bodies. The common citizen should recognize the old idea that predictive power accuracy is different from why things happen.

The common citizen should also think about two trends going on in the science world today. One is the influence of politics in grant money to do research that the politicians want and will fund, albeit with expected outcomes. The other trend has to do with computers and their power to calculate. The computer types have two ways to go. One is the thrifty and out of popularity dynamic method. The other is the discrete and now popular method of making the entire world and atmosphere into as many small pieces as the computer power will stand, and then apply the scientist’s formulas, and let it run. This course seems to be winning in the science world today as evidenced by the politicians being willing to accept computer runs vice observations of underground atomic tests of future bombs.

That the first Polaris missile warheads would not have worked if a war had started (1960’s technology) makes this citizen a little nervous about the confidence of our politicians and scientists these days. And those playing God with complex natural systems like Yellowstone Park, have, by evidence, done more harm than good. Bottom line, playing God with Mother Nature is still a dangerous business for both the intended and those intending.

Yet things are still exciting. Big government research funding still does not suppress individual ideas and research and promotion of their ideas, too. That is why things are still exciting.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What is a consequence of sky high energy prices

While I have lived overseas and been cold or chilled in the winter because heat is so scarce, I still wonder about our Country. Other people know what we are learning, that energy is expensive. Even taking a super highway from A to B often incurs a toll, on top of the $5 plus (and rising) dollar a gallon gas bill. Many of us would kindly say we can think about this.

Some of us also think about our fellow citizens who have to balance a budget to survive, as in “balance a budget”. For years we have heard about turning down the thermostat and putting on more clothes and insulating the house. But when all this has been done, and the price of energy goes up, then the law of diminishing returns kicks in. We can only turn down the thermostat so far before we begin to die from the cold.

So for all the idealists and academics who say the more energy costs, the more we will conserve, please go to the funerals.
Mother nature is giving a party about global warming and we humans think it is about us

During the last ice age New York City and Chicago were at least ½ mile under the ice. Global warming and the greenhouse effect have gotten us where we are today with wonderful no longer under-the-ice cities, which is good. That so many humans think we humans had much to do with this is the recently popular theme of the news media, the entertainment media, and even too many politicians. One might laugh at them, or more respectfully ignore or disrespect them, but now even the Governor of Kansas is refusing a permit to build a new coal fired electrical plant in her state because of carbon dioxide emissions. Former President Eisenhower warned us about the scientific industrial complex’s effects on public policy, and now it is coming to fruition. While we have too many people on the earth and in Kansas right now, when we have even more and they cannot heat in the winter or use lights all year round, let them use the “potential” renewable resources she refers too.

Even if she is correct, which she is not, going cold turkey is a dastardly way to use the citizens of Kansas and the surrounding region to effect change. Many of us have heard of the idea of transition, but apparently the Governor has not, or will let the heat and lights go out anyway. Maybe that is what she wants, but is that what the citizens want? Many of these decisions takes decades to come to effect, and perhaps other factors may pull her fat out of the fire. While I hope circumstances help, little hope is expected for now. Our earlier leaders, management and union, decades ago in the steel and auto made decisions that are now hurting us here at home. Do we want a repeat?

But collectively, we as a Nation have been doing for decades what the Governor of Kansas is doing now, and the energy toll is about to be paid. What bothers so many is that so many politicians have obfuscated all this to so many citizens over time as they robbed Peter to pay Paul. That these politicians listened to environmentalists is embarrassing, in retrospect, and watching them turn on each other should be entertaining if the lights and heat are still on where you live. But when the heat goes off and the lights go out, obfuscation will no longer work. We are closer to the “straw breaking the camel’s back” in some regions of the Country, and it is not by accident or mismanagement, it is on purpose. Of course some do-gooder types just extend “the energy exhaust pipe” to have clean healthy air at home by expecting energy plants to be built in rural areas, say Arizona or New Mexico, and have transmission lines built across “other peoples lands” to bring them “their” energy. But when the heat and lights go out, will anyone be surprised if transmission lines are not destroyed to keep the energy at home in the rural areas? This assumes the energy transmission lines can be built at all. And all this is not the end of the world. Rolling brownouts and day-on-day-off water exist in much of the third world, and will here as things are going.

Energy independence is in our vital national interest. The present courses of action may get us there, but probably not. Expect lack of heat, no lights, and periodic water in parts of our country. If present ideas survive, it will go to the whole country. But before that ever happens, we citizens will change our leaders by the vote. The idea of a transition plan is called for, and obvious. Even drilling in new areas in Alaska and the rest of the country and coastal areas is not a final solution, but could be part of a transition plan.

Three things come to mind in conclusion. We will have too many people for available resources we are willing to pay for. We may be forced by present policies to wage war to gain energy resources to live in our lifestyle. Many of today’s citizens may think this idea is anathema, but future voting citizens may have another point of view. And last, we get to live what we have been practicing for decades as policy. For example, much public policy work in the 1930’s went into rural electrification. All Americans today think “turning on the lights” is a right. And our ancestors always conserved. Well here we go again. Going to bed with the chickens and rising with them makes sense in some realms. Is that what we want when the lights go out?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Intolerable situations eventually collapse of their own weight

Perhaps this is how the world has always been, and things now are about the same. Yet many of the now old time American generations see things as a pendulum swinging, and things are out of balance and getting ready to swing back, we hope. Only time will tell. And being America, one hopes the vote predominates as the process of choice. The alternatives like civil war and revolution are too banana republic for us, I think. And there are so many alternatives for this free people and others. We can move, as in leave California or Utah or Atlanta or Iraq. Some may be refugees, some others are just voting with their pocket book and feet. Most think of themselves as being forced out because of local circumstances.

The issue which gets my dander up is our children’s education. Now that is a vital national interest. And as much as it hurts to say, those who think our children have been dumbed-down have a point. Just seeing kids trying to make change in a fast food place is a painfully disappointing process. Thank goodness there are many exceptions, and one must thank the parents and local school systems who have made it so. Good on them! And I suspect many are public educated, so double good on them! And for those who are private school educated or home school educated, good on them, too. The astute reader of this post might deduce the theme. The theme is educating our children to benefit them and our society.

One number I cannot find reliably is the percentage of public school teachers who send their children into the very school system they work in. That number in my mind is more reliable an indicator of the local school system than any other indicator. I suspect most of these teachers send their kids to local public schools. Nobody wants their kids to be dumbed-down.

The other thing I cannot figure out is the true effectiveness of teachers unions, a relatively recent phenomenon in American history. I acknowledge they have been effective in enhancing the pay and benefits of their members, and think the unions have accelerated the methods of education promoted by academia and the unions. What I cannot figure out is how well the union leaders will do if times get hard. Will the tilt be towards the union, or the children?

The question is more profound on second thought. Much has been said about the political power of school unions, and I think most opinions are about right. Union agendas are often not citizens agendas, or local and above agendas. And that the unions can influence the votes of local citizens by skillfully funded voter machinations is pretty much industry standard these days. Rather the question is and should be, why do we vote in those who maintain this terrible situation where our children cannot vote and seem to take second fiddle.

The real question is simple. Is the local public school system an adult jobs program or a children’s education program?

The present day ways to beat the present system are also simple. School vouchers are one. Voting in those local leaders who will make public education work as a local and national imperative are another. Emigrating to a better place is another.

Inaction is the last choice. When the present intolerable situation collapses, then we will take what results. One hopes it does not get that far, but our children’s education is a big deal. Lord hope it be the local vote that decides.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A change in attitude is called for

Depending on whom we vote for, we must recognize most of the political winners bring along their worker bees, their hired staffs. These worker bees’ attitudes are as important as the candidates beliefs. Our foreign policy management as a way to promote and protect ourselves is such an example.

Most Americans know there are no longer two super-powers, and most think America as the lone super-power has been superceded by the rise of many third world countries who no longer have to listen to us as they act in their national interests, some good, some not so good. Even the idea of nation-states vice tribes comes up as it should. Things are back to the eight or so decades ago many think, incorrectly. This is the new world, and while historical analogies are appropriate, things are different in today’s world.

This is where American foreign policy should shift from helping the rise of our third world friends and enemies, and become more American savvy. This idea and policy is not defensive, but rather a pro-active way to go to the future. A change in attitude is called for. And it is all aspects: financial, agricultural, commerce, diplomacy, and military.

It is disturbing that so many Americans think our Country is so resilient that we can take any policy or political or financial strike and always rebound. There was a time that might have been correct. It is not correct these days. Hence, again, it is time for an attitude shift. We have something as a culture and country worth both defending, and promoting. The five or so decades old attitude of taking America down in order to change the world has come to a necessary end. Now is the time for defense, even nurturing, in order to protect and promote our American culture and way of life.

Many think a very small sub-group of Americans, called the State Department, have evolved to run our country’s foreign policy in spite of who ever we the people have elected, along with their staffs. While a house cleaning is in order, most will wait and see what happens. There is hope. The appointment of Mr. Negroponte to be the number two person in State is a step in returning control of our American foreign policy to the executive and our congress. In the meantime, this very small sub-group of Americans also rates an attitude shift. Things have changed, and America needs all the help it can get.

Another very small sub-group of Americans, called the most cynical, make the most outrageous claims about those whom we have elected, and appointed. While there is little prospect of debating with this group, there is always the appeal of an attitude shift as to the how to achieve an attitude shift that actually sells.

An attitude shift is called for. America is no longer omnipotent.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Call me an independent

Reading all the reports and articles about our 535 secretaries of defense and state are appalling enough. To read articles by pundits about our Country is even more perverse. To read articles about how to think and deal in the third world is most disappointing. Solutions as to strategies and tactics are just embarrassing when written by westerners living inside the Boston to DC line of politics, and the left coast. So far, I have never ever read an article about backing up the on-scene commander, and holding them accountable. So many of our American leaders and pundits are just “out of touch”.

This “out of touch” problem is serious. It supercedes both national parties, and is serious because westerners can be defeated in DC politically, vice the USA being defeated on the battlefield overseas. In the east vs. west arena, we are out of our league in politics and values. For example, sending messages of power, western style, are too often received as messages of weakness, eastern style. The results are conflicts which should have never occurred, learning curves for the present rulers in DC (executive and congressional), and American soldiers blood. No wonder so many Americans want us out of Iraq, not out of good intents, but out of exasperation with incompetence, exacerbated by lack of political experience in DC.

Much change is in the air. The established political parties that rule us today, and feed off of us today, may have exceeded their justification for existence when their party’s existence and power objectives exceeded our nation’s basic right to exist. Iraq is not the reason, but it is the trip wire. Call me an independent. And none of this is sudden. Both political parties have had decades to “show their stuff”.

Tomorrow the term may be a nationalist. The idea is the same. Independent will do just fine for now.
If we wanted to live in a commune, we would

It is just amazing there are so many egotistical Americans who want to dictate that we live in their vision. That they don’t live that way is worthy of note. That they try hide their agendas and try smooth talk us into voting for them also is worthy of note. Will the issue of commune living applied to America ever die?

Does the end ever justify the means? Why can so many Americans even think chicanery and other propaganda methods overcome some perceived and some obvious injustices. And why is their method better than the present methods which have done much to advance American civilization and culture? Do these Americans ever step back and think that if we wanted to live in a continental commune, we would have already done this?

Of course politics is a dirty business, and idealism too often takes second priority to practical politics. But even in practical politics, somewhere our American vital national interests must come to take a place at the table in order for any American to be a viable candidate, even at the local level, which is where most elections occur. After decades of politicians from both national parties mining the vast wealth we taxpayers have generated, it is time for national interest to trump local interest and earmarks and borrowing and career politicians and their staffs’ benefits to pay for all this.

Vital national interests is not an academic subject. When people quit loaning our country money to pay the bills which already exceed our tax collections, then the subject will rise towards the top as our politicians fight it out, like the old days. We just plain cannot have it all, and will have to decide priorities. All the present election cycle for 2008 seems to be in never never land, as in the status quo will continue forever, and politicians can pander as in the recent past decades. We all know the routine: run to the extremes in the primaries and then run to the center in the election. Raise enough money to pay for this (and promise political future power and access to the budget), and apply all the propaganda media methods, and it has always worked, so it should this time again. The catch is the world and even America is not going along and even being awed. There are other factors at play. Those who have denigrated our country and voted and schemed to reduce our relative power now get to live with their consequences. The obvious one is no one, American or foreign, will follow, or even believe in, the commune idea.

The alternatives will take future leaders. In this citizen’s rural part of the country, none of the politicians running for federal office from either party are thought worthy of consideration. With a year to go, the race for president looks wide open from this rural point of view. But also this applies to races for local and state elections. For sure, this is not an election dominated by the original 13 colonies.

Vast change is in the air. If it doesn’t happen in 2008, then it will in 2010 or 2012. And it won’t be a commune, but it will be American and new world. And it will be voted in by all 50 states.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

DC itus can bring us down

For those with the means or luck to work periodically inside the DC beltway, and travel home to the real American world within our 50 states, just the differences in the DC vs local newspaper headlines about what is important is just amazing. Or just do a tour about American people, sometimes called a national political campaign, and sense the blue collar issues so important to most Americans, and these are hard working loyal Americans worthy of the most respect by most Americans.

Of course the normal response of those in federal positions is to blame the atmosphere of DC itus. And the argument has merits. After all the vast distribution and redistribution of the vast federal budget is important to all the sponsors, and it is a dirty business. Even young staff people and other technocrats, to include bureaucrats, are caught up in their cause and hired sponsors. These people are worker bees, and do the best they can with their education and limited experience. They are not leaders, nor expected to be. That their pay on the tax dime does provide incentive to them, and so the local real estate market benefits. Where we doctors of citizenry need to focus is on the leaders who suffer from DC itus.

Lest this citizen gets too bitter, it is important to remember our present government does have checks and balances, so even during campaigns, one person is more limited than what they may run on, or have authority for. Thank goodness. Examples abound. Can a governor dictate national immigration policy? Can a state attorney general dictate Wall Street practices? Can a city Mayor dictate legal homosexual marriages? Can a local school board authorize birth control pills for 12 year old girls?

Back to DC itus. For those without experience, times inside of the DC beltway are high and mighty times. Those who are federally elected are high and mighty. Those who are appointed to jobs hired by these high and mighty are properly full of zeal and good intentions. The consequences of what may decided fall by the wayside of zeal and egotism and being full of oneself.

Unfortunately we have a real country to run, a most noble experiment in humanity and the human future. And it needs leadership and some nurturing. Presently, it does not appear it will come out of DC. So others will dictate our future. What a lost opportunity!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What’s right with living within our means?

A corollary is what is wrong with living above our means!

This is not some academic discussion or political sales pitch. Today our national income to pay all our bills comes from taxes, and borrowing. The federal government borrows about $3 billion a day on top of the tax income, which is in the trillions. A lot of Americans loan money to ourselves through bonds to reap the interest income. A lot of foreigners do the same (about a fourth these days, and growing). The catch is the principle, which usually declines in value over time, call it the declining dollar. What foreigner in their right mind would keep this up, or how much interest do we have to offer to have these foreigners hedge their loan bets. In English, why would a foreign person loan us a billion dollars today to expect the same billion dollars will only be worth ½ billion dollars in the future. And in either case of the loans, we are routinely passing our debt payments (principle and interest) off to our children and grandchildren. When they figure out during their voting years how many months of the year they will have to work to pay off all these dollars, then heads will roll. Maybe they can try borrow their way out of their situation, and maybe they will be able to do so. But eventually, living beyond our means and debt will catch up. Which future generation is left holding the bag?

Worse case is that nobody will loan us or our children money, or can. It has happened before, and will probably happen again. The unknowns are when and how will all this come to pass? In modern overstatement terms, the outcomes will be “awesome”.

Then we will have to live within our means, which are considerable. People will still go to work, pay taxes, and politicians will rule and fight over the budget priorities. Borrowing may continue, though it will take the old idea of bond drives, or war bond drives to enhance the sales pitch to the domestic loaners. But in the end, we will live within our means, as we have done before.

It is to our American advantage to think about vital National interests, that which is near and dear and important, and without which our Nation will go upon the scrap heap of history (as well as our lifestyles). When we have to live within our means, this prescription of a thinking process will help.

The whole value of political debate is about our culture and future. This citizen sees it simply, as a debate about what may happen vice what will happen, depending on the political choices and vote. Those who go the route of tear it down in order to rebuild it in their way scare me (especially the unelected environmentalists). Even the strategy of spend ourselves into debt in order to finally live within our means scares me. Perhaps we can elect citizens politician leaders who will actually lead us into some other way that benefits us today, tomorrow, and in the near future.

Certainly national defense is up there as a vital National interest. But in the same vein, how much of our spending today is a jobs program or an engineer welfare program vice a defense program. This is cruel talk, but will be necessitated when we have to live within our means. This idea can be extrapolated throughout the federal budget to include the scientific industrial complex (think global warming types), homeland defense and immigration control, old fashioned public policy agencies like transportation, electricity, clean water and sewage, heat, public health (think of vaccinations and the CDC and food and toy safety), and agriculture (think healthy food and sustaining farmers, and not big agribusiness). Even our young people’s free education benefits will decline as they should, compared to other vital National interests.

Of course the biggest issue is benefits and even earmarks for all the presently designated beneficiaries. Again, expect “awesome” outcomes from future voters, who after all will have to live in their real world, which includes living within one’s means, and willingness to pay for the past debts passsed on to them.

One does wonder how we got to this point? Call it “incremental creep”, kind of like the military idea of “mission creep”. The recent decades have been good financially, the Cold War has ended, the world is becoming (albeit very slowly) better off in quality of life issues, and the status quo has seemed like the constant that will go on forever. We Americans have gone this route too, and if a little is OK, some more is better, and so on until we and our politicians are some combination of overextending ourselves domestically and even in the rest of the world. Hopefully it will continue, but again why would any foreigner loan us money expecting to lose money in the end. Of course, another corollary could be “why would any rich American hang around to pay even more taxes” when he or she has global loyalties and opportunities. And these opportunities extend beyond the financial, as in where to live, recreate, and educate their children.

“Incremental creep” may bring citizens to using their God given options of revolt, or civil war. One hopes the glue of American civilization and culture, the vote, will prevail, and it probably will. This question is so foreboding it is scary. Yet we have present leaders, albeit with poor leadership skills for the future, that are leading us this way into the unknown.

Rather than going “awesome”, we should elect leaders that will incrementally lead us towards more realistic American and New World ideas that we can afford, and do the basics, like enhance the next generation of children. Now that is a priority when push comes to shove.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Our Country is being poorly led

The solution is to “elect” and “appoint” real leaders, locally, state-wide, and federally. How we got to the present situation is a worthy book subject. In the meantime, the evidence is as clear as an unpolluted mountain stream.

We presently have a Department of State and a Foreign Service Office that has employees resisting orders to Iraq and in spite of the oath they took. They are even using their union to tell we other Americans how things should be. And many other Americans are presently serving in Iraq to fill quotas they refused to fill just a short half year ago.

We presently have bureaucrats, fellow Americans, issuing the most absurd rulings and practices. Often they just reflect poor judgment. And all too often they are good intentioned ways to implement the most absurd layers upon layers upon layers of laws passed by politicians that too often are reactions, vice actions. And our dependence on lawyers and CPA’s has a basis given the present situation.

We so often forget we have Senators standing in front of a press area pushing an immigration Bill that is still being written by the technocrats, their “hired” staffs. That “they know not of what they speak” is so obvious to most that these Senators should be embarrassed and shamed, but they are not these days. This is a classical sign of a poor leader.

The House of Representatives are supposed to be more sensitive to the prevailing times, and the electorate. Yet today’s group is more sensitive to media power, party power and national elites’ personal political goals. The concept of “career politician” is relatively new in our Nation’s history, as the concept of “citizen politician” has faded. National interests have been trumped not just by local interests, but by the politician’s personal career interests, and of course the national elites’ personal political goals. This is another classical sign of a poor National leader.

The politics of personal destruction and the criminalization of politics as a way to achieve political agendas and egos has corrupted the natural well spring of human leaders taking the time off from their busy lives to run our Country, again locally, state-wide, and federally. The only way for we Americans to correct this problem is to vote-out those who choose these techniques, and vote in those leaders who think otherwise. Since the technique works for the benefit of those who practice it, at least so far, the vote is the only way to change things for our common benefit.

Most parents appreciate the idea of “saying no”, we can’t afford it, or we don’t want to pay for it. These same parents will lead their family to higher priorities. Yet, in the same vein, we have pandering politicians offering more benefits to those of the middle class and business class (I am thinking agriculture businesses) without thought to paying for it. Even the recently new gimmick of “earmarks” reflects poor leadership for our Country as a whole. Yet now we are borrowing $3 billion dollars a day to pay for what is already promised, and this is on top of the multi-trillion dollar tax collections. All this is another sign of poor leadership.

Not too many generations ago, war here was defined as an attack on America. The attacks on NYC and DC on 9/11/2001 are as obvious as the noses on our faces. That we withstood it and recovered from it is a matter of National pride. After all the attacks did terrible sufferings to we Americans. Yet now we have people running to be President of the United States who think otherwise. They deliberately confuse the issues of terror, national defense, civil rights, and the present leaders’ conduct (executive and congressional). These people are another sign of poor leadership, in this case the pool of candidates to be possible future Presidents.

All is not gloom and doom. America, and the New World, is better than the past; and the Old World. We do not have to go down the path of the Soviet Union, or even Nazi Germany, or even today’s socialist France*, or any of the many idealistic communes in American history. Rather we can be American. And it will take the vote to elect “leaders” to change things.

* The “old” French have a good deal. The “new” French young people and taxpayers may disagree. The astute American might want to pay attention as to how it sorts out, there. How their present new President tries to sort it out is worth watching.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Many ought to claim credit

When we in the USA shake, many in the world don’t quiver any more.

Many Americans ought to claim credit. Our relative world power, political, economic, military, and energy has been deliberately reduced. This is not by accident, it is on purpose. Now we shall see the results.

Most think the voters won’t be too happy.
Moral authority is earned and is in the end a relative value

In the end, it is up to our American culture to decide our moral authority. And it is our moral authority meant for us, we Americans. Others may look up or down at us, depending on their values and their moral authority.

A popular pundit theme on the subject of moral authority is the issue of torture as part of the war on terror. The group that suggests torture lowers our moral authority in the minds of those they want to impress around the world, east and west, may have a point. I just wish they would also mention as in discuss the other moral authority themes like the treatment of women (one half of humanity), respect for the law, cutting off the heads of living humans, abortion, control of sexual promiscuity, both heterosexual and homosexual, and living beyond our means, both in borrowing and passing today’s borrowing on to our children. If the moral authority idea has value, which most think it does, then all values should be addressed, not just the cherry picked issues of the pundit or politician. Now most slick or slimy pundits and politicians will dance around all this, but the minds of those they want to impress around the world will probably not buy it. Neither will many Americans.

Most people think all humans are some combination of inherited biology and their environment. In America this often makes us the best of both worlds, old and new. Our ancestors immigrated here to avoid the old world, and in so doing created our own unique new world. Even slaves, either indentured or outright, brought an old world that we Americans have product improved. Part of this process was evolving our moral authority, and it is ours, not that of any subgroup like pundits or politicians. As an example, many are against torture now just because it may help reduce torture against us in the future. And when some Americans bring this subject up, is it as a realistic policy value, or a moral value? And is it a cherry picked value, ignoring all the other issues and values that are so important to so many people of the USA and the world?

Most of us are too busy or don’t care to take the time to take an ethics class at the local community college. Church adult Sunday schools and family experience are both good enough, pretty good, and probably more common sense based in making us think about our American moral authority.

There are old world alternatives that do work, so far. Take the China example today where one interior historical tribe (the northern Chinese now communist tribe) dominates the seacoast historical tribe (the more southern entrepreneur tribe, think of Shanghai).

Now many do agree that American moral authority will drive much of the way the present world evolves. And it will be a new world way, vice the old world way. And we common Americans will inherently drive the train. And the tracks and their direction are our moral authority.

Good, bad, or indifferent, that is how things will probably sort out. Times of great turmoil and doubt may come and go, east and west, but our American (new world) moral authority will be the common bond that brings order out of chaos and another period of stability for the good of us all. We hope. In the interim, going to work in America will work just fine.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

When the lights and heat go out

Many Americans think environmentalism is about humans, and efforts to attenuate our effect on our environment. A very small subset has a more decided agenda which is anti-human and anti-development. Their method uses all legal means to stop “any”, and again, I suggest the word “any” effort, to keep our lights on and our heat on during the winter period. And some of them even have political power in some parts of our Country.

The retribution will be terrible when lights and heat fail at homes or businesses. When most Americans find out it is on purpose and not by accident or mismanagement, heads will roll. When Americans find out it will take years to build more infrastructure to ensure light and heat to catch up, even more heads will roll, to include politicians. That is the course we are on. Even the league of lawyers mining our energy bills and tax dollars may back off, some. After all, they will go dark and cold, also. Or some of them may?

That the world has too many humans is probably correct. And as we improve the quality of life of these humans, so will increase the demands on energy, and the environment. What is of a good debate is how to address the problem. Those who advocate going without lights and heat are on a losing political theme and course of action. Those who deny cooling as a method are dancing around the theme. Those who sell wind and solar power are too shifty when they don’t tell us what happens when nature denies us, or the environmental impacts of same. Without backup “traditional” sources of electricity, for example, the lights and heat will go off. Even so called “hybrid” cars can be a net loss to our world environment. There is no free lunch with a world of so many humans.

So this doom and gloom forecast has come down to:
Fighting the environmental activists
Promoting discussion, education, and votes
Keeping the lights and heat on