OIL – Fossil Fuel Stupidity!! Florida, Kansas, Arizona, GOP & ALEC

I simply cannot comprehend why anyone in their right mind would WILLINGLY want to move backwards in order to continue using fossil fuel rather than moving forward, full steam ahead in using renewable energy AND finding more innovative, creative ways of doing so.

Yet, we have Kansas, Arizona and Florida seemingly and explicitly moving in that direction. Why are these states so hell bent on moving people BACK to fossil fuels, which is what many, many of us want to move away from??? These states now seem focused on penalizing people for using renewal energy!!!

Last week, from a segment of the Monday night, Dec 1st Rachel Maddow Show that I recorded, I saw her segment where she was highlighting these, ahhh, seemingly mindless and stupid moves backwards.

I had to do my own research, as I suggest everyone should be doing, to see if these were true stories. They are!!!!

Why are they going backwards, such as Arizona imposing fees on those home owners getting their energy needs from their solar panels rather than from the power companies…???

 

Who is behind this, ALEC and their powerful political/rich backers? For those unaware of ALEC, that group is the stealth-lobbying outfit called the “American Legislative Exchange Council.”

Please do your own research on ALEC; there are MANY stories on how they are reaching into many areas of the country to implement their ideas of how laws and regulations should be construed.

 

Actually, I can comprehend it and it has to do with some dominant industries wanting to retain their hold on old technology that is can be expensive to pull up from the ground AND is definitely harmful on our air quality as well as the health of all living creatures. Along with all the many lobbyists in Washington, DC willing to go to bat for these firms, at a premium salary of course. AND, I am willing to bet that there are many, many back door deals (if not outright bribes and kickbacks taking place behind closed doors) going on in our nations’ capital and across the country and globe….

 

Yes, the notion of pulling up, processing and distributing fossil fuels may be less expensive than going full tilt into renewables.

BUT! That fossil fuel effort does not include the horrific and debilitating medical/health problems/costs that many people have to deal with, now does it???

Fracking is not quite as harmless as so many lobbyists, industry leaders and other pundits make it out to be. The rise of earthquakes in areas where fracking takes place has been exponential, going from handfuls of earthquakes/tremors over 20 – 30 years to hundreds in under four years (this is in Texas of all places).

The release of methane gas into the air is not being watched as meticulously as is purported.

The release of toxic waste into the groundwater table or surrounding rivers and tributaries is also not being monitored as well as it should be either…

 

Sooo…. we will need to come together at some point as a people and vociferously yearn for moving into renewable energy in order to protect the health of the following generations, as well as our own.

And yes, the initial costs of moving full bore into renewables “is” going to be expensive but that cost will come down over time, making all of our lives much better. It might take 10 years to get there and yep, I am somewhat optimistic about a move into renewables – WE HAVE TO BE OPTIMISTIC about it.

And most of all, we-have-to-stop-ALEC from continually poking into areas and making laws and regulations, I am sorry, I meant making “suggestions” about how various industries and political actions should be condoned.

 

In a Sane World – Religion, Race & Gender

 

Okay, this past week of incidents has gotten my dander up, too many crazy things going on in the world. In watching Rachel Maddow one night, I saw her talking about John McCain and what he said about Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno during the 2008 Presidential campaign. After seeing that piece, I have lost complete respect for him, decorated POW or not, he of all highly educated people should know better. The segment was the one on Reno and Eric Holder being the only two non-white or non-white males out of 82 Attorneys-General in our history. What McCain did was, he made a very disparaging joke about Chelsea C and Janet Reno – I won’t repeat it here. Very, very sexist!

Then there was the ISIS beheading of the French individual who was kidnapped.

And then there was the shooting of a black guy in Ohio who was following a policeman’s request to show his drivers’ license and the poor guy wound up being shot (by a poor shooter).

 

So, let’s talk about freedoms that everyone on the planet should be observing, freedoms that allow each and every one of us to be happy.

Sure, everyone has an inalienable right to partake in any religion they desire. And yes, people can also be a bigot, or rather, an individual that believes they are more superior to others of a different color. And yep, you can also dislike the opposite sex as well.

But, here’s the kicker – you cannot take your religion, gender discriminations and racist leanings and do harm to others. That harm could take the form of mental, physical and/or emotional abuse. You just can’t.

 

Let’s take on religion first. Religious battle has been going on since time immemorial. Those battles have gone on for millennia, not just centuries where people of one religion fought with those of a different or no religion. Those battles have gone on far longer than the old saying of – ”earth was created 6,000 years ago.” And yes, there is a lot of fossilized proof to prove humans have been around for quite some time, you just need to do your own research. The reason why I say do your own research is because that is the only way you will learn anything. Just because someone else tells you a fact that in and of itself may not convince you, you need to dig into the info on your own.

We will never get anywhere if people continually throw religion into the mix of politics or society instead of using commonsense and respect for the other. Muslims are not going to follow Catholics. Those of Jewish descent are not going to follow Muslims. Baptists are not going to follow Catholics. That list goes on and on and on. Who is going to bend and simply recognize that people follow other religions because that is what they choose to do. No one can make another believe in their own religion or god. There are only a tiny proportion of religious individuals who do respect and follow those of another religion, as far as I know….?

We have seen time and time again, so many high level religious leaders with their hands in the cookie jar. The cookie jar could any of the following or more:

== Embezzlement

== With prostitutes

== Partaking of drugs and alcohol [WHILE railing those who do, during church sessions]

== Engaging in homosexual acts [WHILE railing against the act as being sinful] and/or

== Just not acting as a religious leader when they “think” no one is looking

So, many of the pious out there do not have a moral leg to stand or lean on…

And as for the extremist crazies around the world today, who in their right mind would willingly follow those folks?

In this piece, you may notice the use of lower case g’s throughout… It is not meant to be disrespectful; it is only personal disbelief towards any god.

What matters is that you, the individual, are respected as a person – pure and simple. It is not the religion which only makes up some of you (even though many will say that religion is all of their makeup – let’s just agree to disagree). YOU are what matters. That which makes up your character, your integrity – that is what matters for many of us. It is the person inside.

 

Now, let’s take a peek at racism next. Racism has gone on unchecked for, again, millennia and not centuries, around the globe. Too many people in the world are “STILL” worried and scared of others only because they look different, because the other has a different hue of skin color. Or that they have different facial features.

At this time, many people just do not follow the path of history and use “their own mind,” “their own brain” to do any research or logical thinking beyond their favorite radical radio show or favorite reality television show.

There seems to be no consideration, at least the way it appears, to what kind of conditions people have to live in, in their part of the world. And then of course there is not much consideration to how the ancestors of those people had to endure even harsher elements to survive. Have many people, in the 21st century, simply stopped thinking for their own sake and are relying on those with loud voices but few truths?

No one can subjugate a race of people and make them subservient or to stay in the status of less than second class people or some kind of lower caste system. That is, unless you wish to bring back an older and uglier time to the present…

What matters, again – is you and your character, your integrity! That is what matters for many of us, not the simple, ridiculously thin layer of upper epidermal skin color. It is the person inside.

 

And now, on gender, just because the other is a woman; what gives anyone else the right to harass her? What gives anyone the right to be a dictator over that woman, even if they are boyfriend/girlfriend or married? Who gives the right to say that a woman cannot be a CEO or President of a company or any country? A woman can also become a submarine captain if she is qualified and not be denied that position just because she is a woman.

Just because a woman has a uterus and a pair of breasts, why do so many continue to act as if she does not have a brain (sometimes a BETTER brain) than you do???

 

Does anyone, today in the 21st century, realistically believe that anyone can control another human being because of race, gender or religion? Why?

Why does anyone believe that they are far more superior, just because of race, gender or religion and for some reason has some inherent right to control others?

Could it be a case of “well, I’m bigger and stronger and I can beat your head in if you don’t listen and do as I say” – is that it?

Is it a case of “well, I’m of a different and better race (or caste), so of course I am far more superior to you” – really?

Or, is it a case where “well, MY god is the one true god and since we follow that god, we are more arrogant, sorry, superior to you because our god is the only god” – c’mon? Not everyone believes in superstition and mythical beings that have evolved since humans learned to walk and became clans with their shamans, or their witch doctors and then later on, priests and bishops. Just because some people believe in a god, it does not mean that everyone else has to believe – just because someone else says you should or must.

 

We now have a situation in Colorado where a school district (Jefferson County west of Denver) wants to “only teach positive and patriotic aspects about the U.S. and nothing negative” to students in the AP history classes [1, 2].

This truly is incredible that a schools’ educational system wants to: “only teach positive aspects” and maybe not talk about the Suffragist Movement, or how the Chinese were treated in building the U.S. railroad system or even slavery in this country…

Say it ain’t so – that we have another state that wants to foster censorship, in the schools no less. Has McCarthy arisen from the grave? Because censorship is what it boils down to, the students in that school district full well know and understand that it would be censorship.

If we censor history, then our descendants will most definitely repeat the sins of the fathers – as it was nearly all men who fostered most of the atrocities in our near and distant past. The originator(s) of the school district proposal may have had their hearts in the right place but were completely misguided in even thinking about ‘removing the negative aspects of our history’ because that is what it is if you start deliberately whitewashing, sorry, if one starts leaving out chunks of history.

This is akin to what Japan of old attempted to do with the Nanking, China situation. The Japanese leaders wanted to alter the history books in Japan so no one would learn about the atrocities that took place in Nanking decades ago. As if the rest of the world would forget about it…

Or, it could be similar to Kansas in how they want to, ahhh, remove evolution from their history books… On this one, there is no reference added, please, do yourself a favor and research this and come to your own conclusion. There is plenty of lucid and accurate content out there on Kansas and their ongoing struggle between evolution and creationism and what to teach their children (I would not suggest to any family to move to Kansas).

 

Have people lost their minds? No one can sugar coat the past. No one can control others in what they believe in. If a group of people want to believe in a god that is up to those people. But those people cannot force it on others.

Listen, if no one wants to talk about the problems that exist, they just won’t magically go away – now will they? We have to communicate with other in reaching compromises. That is how we coexist.

But with religious extremists, now that is a whole ‘nuther cup of noodles. It seems that communication does not work with that group. The only thing that works is if you convert to their religion and their way of life, simple as that. Oh wait, if you do not, well, they kill you.

People around the globe have got to become better educated, learn to communicate and try to see through the eyes of the other. In doing so – that is the only way we are all going to survive as a race of people. It will not matter if you are male or female, black or white or green, religious or non-religious – communication and compromise will be the only solutions to the survival of the human race.

To prove how much better you are than others, you only have to show it in the good things you do – that’s it.

 

Folks, we all share the same basic DNA and that will never change, not in the next couple of decades anyway. The genetic difference between individuals is something like 0.1% and of that, skin color differentiation is even more miniscule than that… Many people will simply refuse to believe the differences between the different races are so tiny. Yet, we do. As well, many people would be shocked to learn that they are not as pure as they believe themselves to be. Some will be shocked into learning that they might have the same racial traits as others of a different race, thanks to their long ago ancestors.

So, people, come together and enjoy life instead of trying to destroy the lives of others. Please.

 

References

1 – Hundreds of Colorado students stage protest over history curriculum, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/denver-students-walkout-protest-history-school-board, 24 Sept. 2014, retrieved 25 Sept 2014

2 – Colorado students walk out to protest proposed curriculum changes, http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-colorado-student-protests-story.html, 24 Sept. 2014, retrieved 25 Sept 2014

 

Sense & Sensibilities…? Shame!

Originally posted Oct 4, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

Sense and Sensibilities Today was the day I had lined up to write about malware but with this current shutdown situation going on, I had to write about that instead – especially in light of the fact that it also affects me too.

I will not be calling out names, it is not my nature. I will not be calling out specific parties. Anyone who objectively watches, listens and reads more than one narrowly focused news outlet (TV, radio, websites & newsprint) will know what is going on. I say ‘objectively’ because too many people are not being objective about this shutdown and using emotion and religion instead. In light of this shutdown, what I really want to do is rant and use profanity so profuse that it will make the hand on the back of your hands burn off but that is not me.

Look, if you are not using your head and thinking through the daily and weekly political machinations for yourself but instead relying on one talk show personality, or radio personality or one politician who ‘may’ be distorting the truth – Shame on you. Go out and work your brain cells and verify some of that content for yourself – use that brain that nature gave you.

Gerrymandering / Re-districting We have to put a stop to gerrymandering; it just goes on getting worse and worse over time. Both political parties have got to stop that madness. I happened to be listening to the Rachel Maddow show one night this week and they were discussing the possibilities of having a professional non-partisan group work on the re-districting process, removing the bias that grows more and more over time. I like that idea, would it work? Could people in this country get behind this idea so we can have representation of all the people in that district rather than some of them?

To those people in certain congressional districts around the country, you need to think about more than yourself. You are likely in a district full of citizens that are overwhelmingly just like you but lacking any real diversity. There are many, many other people out there around the country from many different walks of life. These other people may not be like you in: == Race (we had an Indian-American woman win Miss America, so what, be happy for her), == Education (not everyone can go to college due to other issues in their lives, like caring for a seriously sick family member), == Affluence (not everyone is born into a family that had a head start in life decades ago (I’m not talking about rich)), == Political persuasion, == Religious or no religious beliefs (religion should not be playing any part in government) or even == Health (people who do not grow up in well to do families, have health problems that are not taken care of years ago) Because some people may hold a very narrow view on life, those people cannot and should not inflict that narrow view on others and try to force others to be like them. You simply cannot do that, life is not supposed to work that way – you cannot suppress and deny others as it was done centuries ago (think ‘Christian Crusades’) or even as recent as the 20th century (think ‘women’s rights,’ slavery (Chinese and Blacks). You have to consider others as well as yourself in how we live in today’s society and move forward in the 21st century. Other people may not have had the chance to obtain better education in order to get that better job and earn a better living. And when monies are taken away from some school district to finance another ‘better’ school district, you are in effect suppressing those others.

Politics So, when people in the various pockets of America think and act narrowly on things in life and transplant that to politics, those people vote for someone who also thinks narrowly. This starts moving to extremes over time, we see that today. People should be thinking long term in how we can make the country better for all American citizens, not just in those close-minded pockets of the United States. We can do better than that.

We should be looking at mechanisms that can help all of us in the long run, even if it does mean spending more money first. For example, take this Affordable Care Act (Obamacare or Kynect or Covered California or whatever it is called in your state) – this will start reducing costs immediately for reduced emergency room visits that many without insurance use for their standard health care. That is, due to not having insurance, they let medical problems become worse until they can no longer stand it and need some kind of treatment. In the meantime, in some form or fashion, the rest of us pay for those emergency room visits…

Politicians & Talking heads We seem to have quite a few politicians and talking heads who are saying that this shutdown is a good thing. Do not take my word for it; watch the repeated videos and news clippings yourself. These individuals, in talking about the shutdown are saying some of the following: == It is only a minor inconvenience == This is only a pin prick == People will see how much government we can get along without == Etc. Now, if you are paying attention to what is going on around the country, you, yourself, will know this is not a pin prick or minor inconvenience. Our embassies and consulates overseas will have to function sub-optimally if their current funds run out. Medical research is now drastically reduced. I know someone who is supposed to get married on the National Capital Mall this weekend but will now not be able to because of the shutdown. Etc., Etc., Etc. And if those people who are affected by the shutdown cannot receive pay checks due to their furlough, then the ripple effect starts and it will affect many more people around the country. These people caught up in that ripple effect will likely be someone you know – “IF” not you specifically.

To those politicians who are obstinate, close-minded and chose to force situations on people – SHAME on you.

Conclusion We can absolutely do better than what is going on with this shutdown. We are supposed to be world leaders but it seems like we are harking back to Newt Gingrich when he was supposedly snubbed by the President at the time and as a result, Gingrich (as Speaker of the House) shutdown the government in 1995. Take a look at the Daily News front page from back then of the image portraying Gingrich in a caricature of him wearing a diaper throwing a tantrum. (Jan 2012 article link with that caricature: http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/01/newt-gingrich-crybaby-the-famous-daily-news-cover-explained) We need people in politics who will listen to their constituents, the well-meaning, level-headed constituents in their districts and bring those thoughts and ideas to congress. We need people in politics who are above board and honest in the message they bring back to their districts and informing their constituents of what is reality. These politicians must convey the message that their constituents cannot have everything only the way they want it.

There has to be compromise. We cannot force things on people, things like forcing: == A woman to undergo a trans-vaginal probe or == People who have voted for 50-60 years or more to get voter i.d.s to prove their identity == People to only marry the opposite sex (or become a freak show for marrying a same-sex partner)

We can do better than that. We have to. Didn’t we get women the right to vote (the hard way)? Didn’t we get blacks the right to vote (painfully)? Didn’t mixed race marriage come to pass? Didn’t we end segregation (well, this is still a work in progress due to the large number of bigots in the country)?Come on folks; let’s not allow the extreme people of the country hijack the rest of us. We should have compromise, level-headedness and better reasoning in politics. For that matter, we should have it around the globe. No one can have whatever they want, whenever they want it (that goes for the rich or the politically powerful as well).

Fairness… Equality… Respect…

Originally posted Aug 1, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

This piece is long, it was meant to be long due to this grouping of topics being so deeply and greatly fundamental to me.

Will we ever get to a point of more equitable fairness, in our lifetimes, for anything? Will we ever see respect accorded to each other, on a massive basis, as we go through our daily lives? What about equality, do you believe we will see that truly happen in our lifetimes?

Oh and when I say lifetime, I don’t mean in the next four or five years, I mean in the next 10 – 20 or even 30 years. Because at the rate we’re moving along, it appears these things will not be easily gained in a more equitable timeframe, will it…? Women and their right to vote (Suffragette movement) – how long ago was this? Blacks got the right to vote (emancipation / civil rights act / voting rights act) – how long ago did all these take place? After decades of fighting for and winning the right to do anything, it should mean things become easier, not more difficult. And it for sure does not mean we go backwards as we witness what is occurring in N. Carolina (the new massively restrictive voting rights issues taking place – check out The Rachel Maddow Show site (http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/) for more info, or better yet, check out the NAACP site (http://www.naacp.org) as they are squarely in the middle of it).

I was raised in the north and the south so I have a pretty good perspective of how things are for both sides of the track. I went to black grade schools (in the south & the north); then in junior high, I went to a black school but also attended a Jewish junior high (over two years) as part of an exchange program (that is before Nixon cancelled the program, for whatever reason, maybe budgetary) and then to a predominantly white high school, in the south.

All my life, and I do mean from the very earliest years (don’t ask me how I knew what I did but I did) I had high expectations of things becoming better, much better for everyone to live together – not just in America but around the world. We would all become better citizens of the planet. Effusive? Schmaltzy? Maudlin? To you maybe it is. But, it is my effusiveness and I believe it is worthy. I could never understand the hatred, on both sides, until later in life. I could not fathom why people cannot just learn to be better around each other, until later in life. Maybe I was naïve for years but it was my dream and still is, to see more harmony amongst more people – especially as the world becomes ever smaller and resources (jobs, water, etc.) start to become more difficult to obtain. Are we going to revert to an even more selfish society as jobs dry up? As clean water dries up? Are we going to see more squabbling, in our own country, as the air becomes more polluted and deadlier from all the pollutants clogging the atmosphere (name it – methane, CO2, and on and on…).

Yep, call me maudlin for wanting a better society for all to live in. One where you actually can walk down the street without hearing car doors lock. One where you see people talking to each other as they pass each other on the streets, instead of having their heads buried in their cell phones or smartphones.

Yep, call me schmaltzy for wanting to see the day when one does not patronize or cast aspersions or judge others by the color of the others’ skin or by the: a) Way others talk, b) Partner one is with, c) Gender of the partner they are with, d) Religion others believe in – or do not believe in, e) Job they hold, even if they are a sanitation worker, a mail clerk or a mom.

Yep, call me effusive for my dream, for my promised land – not in any biblical scene but one rooted in the physical, tangible world. My promised land is one where all people, men, women, boys and girls, of all races, of all religions or no religion, of all shapes and sizes, of any sexual preference can freely live their lives. One where they can: — Go to school without fear of having acid thrown in their faces or being shot. — Drive a car without having a male relative present. — Walk in public and have a good time without fear of discrimination or be shot for it. — Work and earn a good living and work their way up the company ladder and earn the same pay as all others in the company, regardless of gender.

If we continue to have persecution, suppression and discrimination – now, in the 21st century, did, we as a people, not learn anything over the past 148 years (slavery)? Or for that matter, over the last several thousand years (Christian crusade and religious tyranny / regional & global war – domination by suppression and genocide). Why does it take disasters and calamities to bring us closer together? Why can’t we be closer every day, everywhere? Are people afraid of others doing better than they are? If so, people have to work on being/doing better themselves, to move ahead. Because ultimately, it will mean some sacrifice to become better – many of us have done so.

We should not be looking at and judging others by the color of their skin (and cast that unfair aspersion on an entire race) or what gender they are! 2013 and we still have discrimination against others, for no real reason, other than to suppress and dominate the other.

We SHOULD be looking at the integrity and character of others and judging them on who they are.

But most of all, I continue to wonder who the next Martin Luther King, or Rosa Parks, or Mahatma Ghandi or even an Abraham Lincoln will be. Who will be the one to step into those kinds of shoes…?