Saturday, November 4, 2017

How dis America go so Wrong

As a nation when did we stop thinking in terms of right and wrong? Democrats or Republicans, Liberals or Conservatives, they have just become labels devoid of meaning. Principles that every American held sacred are no longer universally accepted. We once chose the selfless to be our leaders instead of the selfish. Philosophical truths are subject to change based on the polls instead of intellectual rigor. Is this any way to govern a city, a state or a nation?
Our elected leaders and officials are not our best but our most driven. It is more important for our politicians to remain in an elected body than achieve any other goal. The greater good is sacrificed so that our individual leaders can remain tied to their offices. This is the country that we now live where we share no critical thought or moral principle.
How often do we hear from our representatives that “I have done nothing wrong legally” instead of “I have done nothing morally or ethically wrong” when trying to justify an action? The entire premise of public service is to put the good of the community over one’s self-interest. Which means as Montesquieu wrote that the motivating force or “spring” for democracies is the good of the community over those of an individual.
Sadly, we have lost the true nature of that concept. We now apply the words public servant to anyone who works for the government and hero to anyone that wears a uniform. This cheapens the person who actually does serve the public or sacrifices their life for the country. The meaning of words does matter. The reporting of facts untinged by personal bias is the role of the press.
Our political leaders need to have a moral compass and a governing philosophy. We need to hold them to a higher standard. We once voted for people who actually believed in what they said. Leaders that stood with the people. They believed in the common good and not just their next re-election campaign. Their governing philosophy was not the other guy is worse and I will promise anything for your vote.
Politics is derived from the Greek meaning people. A political party needs to be for something not just against something. It needs to represent with clarity of thought a governing philosophy. A political party should inspire for the better not sprout conspiracy theory or pander to our fears. A city on a hill is a far cry from lock her up.
Is this how our country finally ends dissolved into petty squabbles. The purpose being to address wrongs that really don’t exist and to preserve a way of life that never did. By locking out the world does anyone really believe it will go away. The bad will be kept out by walls and jobs that long ago ceased will return. This is just as much a fairy tale than anything in the Brothers Grimm.
Change is inevitable, incontrovertible and un-yielding on our country. No amount of myopic thought or wishful thinking prevent change. It is how you manage that change that is important and consequential. Our political parties and leaders need to help us accept and adapt. Persevere and move forward are the goals. Lying to us about what is possible is the basest of crimes because it robs us of our future.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dumbing us Down

"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantitive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites(now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance."
-Carl Sagan

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Extinction?

When you think “ocean life,” you may picture the iconic blue whale, frolicking dolphins, or even majestic sea turtles gliding through the water. North Atlantic right whales don’t get a lot of notice — probably because there are so few of them. They’re one of the most endangered large whales in the world.

These critically endangered whales live right off our shores in the Atlantic Ocean, with habitats stretching from Florida, along the Southeast U.S. coast, up through the Gulf of Maine — exactly where fossil fuel corporations are intent on drilling for oil.

What's worse, before drilling comes the seismic airgun blasting used to find oil deposits beneath the ocean floor. These ear-splitting blasts are so loud they can be heard from 2,500 miles away, and by government estimates, could deafen or kill up to 138,000 dolphins, whales, and other marine life — including nine critically endangered right whales.

For the North Atlantic right whale, this could mean extinction.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Wildlife

Anti-wildlife interests in the House and Senate moved one step closer to passing legislation that contains some of the most serious threats ever posed to imperiled wildlife—and to the bedrock law that protects them.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Purpose of Art

We should always have art around us! It’s good for us, it lifts our spirits and inspires us to be a better person! Furthermore, ugly, square brick houses are built on purpose to suppress us. Modern architecture teaches and funds only those projects that are square. These buildings push us inwards into the space, in order to keep our energy down. Instead circular, curvy, rounded buildings made of wood, with high ceilings, domes and spirals would be much better, since they are powerful energy enhancers that raise our consciousness.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Dirty Banks

As fossil fuel cronies and an anti-science agenda erode our federal government, it's clear we need to flex our consumer power in the fight for climate justice.
Big banks like Wells Fargo fund the companies behind dangerous pipelines -- like Keystone XL, Line 3, and Dakota Access -- that threaten Indigenous rights, our climate, and our communities.
Keystone XL poses a grave and immediate threat to our climate and to every community it cuts through. It would carry 830,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil -- tar sands -- every day from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast. It would be responsible for annual greenhouse gas emissions each year equal to 37.7 million cars -- a disaster for our climate.
The pipeline would cut directly through Sioux treaty lands and near several other tribal reservations and the Ponca Trail of Tears, yet Tribal Nations in Nebraska and South Dakota have not been properly consulted.
But the movement of citizens and stakeholders calling on big banks like Wells Fargo to divest from pipelines is growing and working.
Earlier this year the city of Seattle became the first major city to divest from Wells Fargo because of the company's involvement with pipelines. After public pressure, U.S. Bank formally excluded gas and oil pipelines from their project financing. And it's becoming clear that Keystone XL is a risky investment, as companies like Shell and Exxon sell off their tar sands instead of making plans to ship them through the pipeline.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Being taken to the cleaners

We see many examples of the negative effects of monopoly power with little effective oversight, the Equifax debacle just to cite one. Even worse, however, is monopoly power that has captured the regulatory oversight that monitors it. That appears to be the case in Florida with Florida Power and Light (FPL).
A Miami New Times article points out the billions in dollars that FPL gained through rate increases in order to be more prepared for hurricanes was apparently totally ineffective, as 90% of FPL’s customers lost power when Irma hit. That includes areas on the east coast of the state where winds only reached the strength of a Category 1 hurricane. Despite supposedly spending $2 billion to reinforce more than 500 critical power lines and trimming trees near power lines, a major cause of power loss, the damage to the power grid was substantially more extensive than the Category 2 hurricane, Wilma, that struck the state in 2005. Now, obviously, there were differences between the two hurricanes, especially as Irma’s more destructive side hit Florida. But the billions of dollars spent by FPL preparing for a storm just like this does not seem to have had much effect.