Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day, Yup I said it ....

To EXPLORE … A willingness to set off into the vast unknown in search of adventure, reaping the subsequent benefits of knowledge and yes, sometimes material reward in the form of “treasure”, but I would argue that the general motivations behind the quest to explore are by and large noble in both their origins as well as their subsequent acquisitions.  Witness advances in modern medicine, physics, engineering and technology.  In medicine alone, we have modern-day vaccinations which have nearly eliminated the vast majority of devastating diseases suffered by generations past, and today we have large scale organ transplants, not to mention cancer treatment advances which have prolonged and saved hundreds of thousands of lives.  And could you really live without your smartphone or the internet?  These types of advances were pioneered by the brave explorers who willingly embraced the risk of venturing into the unknown, seeking new insights into the world in which we live.  Moreover, the achievements of these explorers have, more often than not, gone on to benefit the world at large.


I truly believe that a large, not to mention important, part of the human condition is our need to explore in an effort to better understand the world around us.  We are born into this savage world with a natural proclivity for exploration and how brilliantly this desire to embrace exploration burns within us as children.  Yet sadly our modern-day progressive society seems too eagerly geared towards the diminishing of this childhood inclination towards exploration under the guise of “protecting the innocent” and facilitating “the greater good.”  We paint our children into corners, surrounding them with boxes and lines, giving them the blinders of “politically correct answers” instead of giving them the age-appropriate facts and then equipping them with the tools they need in order to sort out the answers for themselves.  We seem to have replaced a need to explore and question with a need to belong, to conform and to not make waves.  So gone are the dodge balls and swing sets on playgrounds, gone are the scoreboards at youth sporting events, gone is the healthy expression of emotion --now we “use our words”-- gone are multiple opportunities for kids to make basic (not long-term detrimentally harmful) bad choices and then learn from them, gone is “Columbus Day”, gone is the pledge of allegiance at the start of each school day and soon gender identity will be gone as well as children will now be addressed as “purple penguins” in many of our nation's public classrooms --are you kidding me?!  It’s no wonder we’re raising a generation of mixed-up followers who can no longer think and reason independently.  

Sadly, I think, our well-intentioned coddling and social manipulating winds up back-firing on us as a nation, in the long run, by producing future generations --if we haven’t done so already-- of apathetic, self-obsessed, instant gratification adults who are ill-equipped to function in an adult world where not everyone gets a trophy, where sometimes the words people use aren't so nice and where life will all too often knock you flat on your ass, not to mention the fact that our method of teaching has become less exploration-oriented and more indoctrination-orientated, thereby stamping out children’s innate ability to question and explore the world around them.  Maybe its just me, but I’d rather have my children face not-so-pleasant facts about the reality of the world in which we presently live --as well as our past history in its entirety-- and then have them sort their way through the facts with my/and or other immediate “in-home” caregivers loving assistance in the here and now.  I want my children to run, jump, sing, scream at the top of their lungs, laugh and play, make lots of messes --which believe me: they do!-- work out social conflicts with their peers for themselves and to learn to strive for victory while humbly learning from the agony of defeat.  I want my children to first and foremost develop a strong sense of self-identity, which they can then merge to into the world at large, hopefully as leaders and not per-ordained followers.  The way I see it, the fall is not so far to ground when you’re a child, so you scrape a knee and you learn --with the loving assistance of family and mentors—that you can get up, face the world again and carry on.   

Information is truly power, but information can all too easily be used to in order to manipulate and misguide.  Two sides there are to every truth and it’s about time, when it comes to our nation’s history, that we begin to teach our children both sides of our history so that our children will be equipped to find their way through to the other side of a more thorough, non-manipulated understanding of who we are as a collective people in this amazing nation, perhaps gaining new and invaluable insights which may equip them to avoid repeating the same mistakes we have made all over again, while realizing that the best way to move forward is to focus on the good we can do for the world in the present day.  And hopefully, a truthful viewing from both sides of our nation’s history will enable our children to reconnect with a now seemingly absent sense of pride in our nation for some of the good things that we have done in the world at large and can yet continue to endeavor to do in service to others (e.g., most recently rendering assistance to Yazidi Christian captives on Mount Sinjar, helping to secure the release of Miriam Ibraham and her family to the United States, sending U.S. ground troops into West Africa to help secure vital infrastructure necessary to contain and treat the Ebola virus outbreak in that country).




So today, let us celebrate by remembering the man, Christopher Columbus, and his crew who embodied the very essence of pioneering human exploration in their willingness to embrace the untetherable desire to set off into the vast unknown in search of adventure, reaping the subsequent benefits of knowledge and acquisition --the merits and detriments of which can, and will likely, be deliberated for generations yet to come.  “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue” and with his discovery he nearly doubled the European view of the world, for better or worse unleashing the inevitable torrents of change.

Tomorrow, or any of the other 364 days of the year, we can celebrate Indigenous People's Day (And I happen to have Native American blood in my family heritage).

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If You Build It: They Will Come?

State of the Union ... Why speak to truth and address real problems facing our nation --like creation of long-term jobs not requiring government subsidies to sustain them, coupled with immediately realizable energy independence via the Keystone XL Pipeline-- when you can perpetuate "a global fantasy worthy of the Middle Ages?"













Once again "climate change" and "green energy" were put forth by the President and his administration as a cornerstone to their approach for 'addressing' --or dodging, as the case may be-- the real problems facing our nation, using a perceived truth to dictate a policy where 'environment' will always trump sound business decisions, even at the expense of the creation of (much needed) real jobs for American citizens.  It seems readily apparent, by both the content as well as the tone of this speech, that it will be business as usual moving forward: Smoke & Mirrors will continue its prevalence throughout the remaining years of this administration's tenure.  Perception has now definitively been established as the 'new truth'?  I hardly think "the debate [w.r.t. "climate change"] is settled", Mr. President.

The bottom line is that the current science IS insufficient to translate our current "alternative" forms of energy into a reliable primary source for immediately realizable --and ready for widespread distribution-- energy for our nation. Yes, we should continue to invest in the science to support the potential for large-scale development of alternative (""green"") energies, but the latter should not, in the interim, preclude our pursuing other forms of immediately realizable energy sources toward the end of achieving "true energy independence" for our nation.

And on another point w.r.t. to jobs creation: If you truly want to make 'doing business in the United States attractive to companies':  then why not make the proposition of doing business in the U.S. attractive to potential companies with the tangible ACTION of approval for the U.S. portion of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The latter would undoubtedly result in a substantial lowering of the costs associated with doing business in our country by making energy/transportation costs lower in our nation. Then again, on the flip-side, if Canada gets tired of being strung along by the United States w.r.t. Keystone Pipeline and grants the contract to China, then China will reap the advantages of doing business with Canada and also the subsequent creation of jobs that will undoubtedly follow.





The movie "Field of Dreams", with Kevin Costner, is running through my mind as I type here ... "If you build it: they will come" ... w.r.t. "manufacturing centers of excellence" mentioned in the State of Union speech. Unfortunately, unlike the movies, in the real-world companies who are successful in business actually connect the dots --manufacturing centers of excellence being only one single dot-- and energy/transportation costs are a BIG part of the dot-connecting calculus when it comes to deciding where these companies will actually decide to do business.

But no worries, right? At the end of the day, who needs jobs, when we can all hold hands and sing "Kumbaya", secure in the delusion that we've actually had a significant or meaningful impact upon the chaotic and dynamic (highly complex and unpredictable! ... long before man's input) entity of our planet's climate system. Granted we are entrusted to be good stewards of this earth, but we also have to live and survive here ourselves within the means technologically available to us in the moment currently unfolding. It's all about balance, working with the scientific data we have regarding climate swings in previous eras --unmassaged-- and then using the technology and resources we have available for large-scale energy today while striving to do better --by means of continued alternative energy research in an effort to make our alternative energies large-scale feasible in our future.

On a philosophical tangent, doesn't real and lasting job creation translate into true independence of the individual and the subsequent potential for upward mobility? And the latter runs counter to the environment conducive for an ideology of underlying control "for the greater good" by means of fostering dependence via imposition and excessive regulation, once again all for the perceived "greater good". I mean education only takes you half of the way: just look at all of the college students graduating these past few years who are unable to secure meaningful jobs in their chosen professions. We can continue the accepted narrative of talking points, fueled by the ever-elusive hope of change, but isn't it funny how we've had five years of this "talk" now with no significantly realizable change (improvement!) in terms of lasting, non-government subsidized jobs? Just because unemployment numbers are magically down, doesn't mean the number of jobs is conversely up ... millions of people have just given up looking for work and are no longer being (truthfully) counted in the unemployment numbers.

I say, enough hope of change! Enough recycled rhetoric: show me the $$MONEY$$ in terms of real and lasting (non shovel-ready, non-government subsidized) jobs. Let's start this "year of action" off by taking the ACTION of giving the Keystone Pipeline a green-light, Mr. President.  Give 'We the People' something we can take to the BANK:  It's time to unleash free-enterprise, starting with the approval of Keystone XL Pipeline which will get this stagnant ball of our economy rolling once again for the middle and low income earners who have yet to benefit from our supposed "economic recovery."


Here are some additional noteworthy points of interest regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline:

"With the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline stuck in limbo on the U.S. side, Canada’s Energy Board recently gave a thumbs up to a $6.5 billion pipeline designed to carry 525,000 barrels of oil per day from the oil sands of Alberta to ships on the British Columbia coast. The final destination is most likely Asia. 


The development has the U.S. oil industry attacking the Obama administration over its drawn-out process. 

“It’s taken longer to approve the Keystone XL pipeline than it did to win World War II, longer than it took us to put a man in space, and almost as long as it took to build the Trans-Continental railroad 155 years ago,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.
The U.S. State Department received the Keystone application in September of 2008. The 1,700-mile project is projected to create thousands of jobs and lessen the need for OPEC oil. Even with domestic production booming, the U.S. still imports about half the crude it uses. "  ~Fox News Article By Dan Springer, Published January 15, 2014 on FoxNews.com

5/15/2014 Interesting info regarding "Anarctic Ice Melt", beyond the hype and spin:  http://www.livescience.com/45571-antarctic-melting-myths.html?cmpid=514627_20140514_23897214 ... though I don't find the "97% percent of scientist to be on board with climate change [--due to man's impact]" to be truthful.  Think "scientist" here is being used in the loosest terms for the purposes of supporting a wholly unscientific (not supported by the unmassaged data) propaganda driven agenda of control and profit by a few key (and well-connected) individuals.   Just follow the money to find the real truth.  The almighty dollar ultimately reigns supreme, doesn't it?  The truth will set you FREE ....
5/14/2015 Newsflash ...Growing Anarctic ice posing challenges for countries sending ships into the area