Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

discernment... or not

I listened to a bit of Rush Limbaugh today. For a little while I agreed with him as he was discussing the Oscars and the hullabaloo that is being raised over there not being a nominee who is black. He didn't say it, but I thought it. So they are supposed to nominate someone for that position who is politically correct? Of course, they probably do, which is why the Oscars actually mean nothing to me.

Then Limbaugh went off the deep end with again exaggerating what he saw regarding Obama not attending the rally in Paris, which was supposed to mean something but meant nothing. I had read one of the leftie articles I guess he was referring to except a lot of the commenters there felt as I did, not as the left wing pundit did. So do pundits express how Democrats feel? Not likely. Do then right wing pundits express how Republicans feel? Well if they vote that way-- maybe so...

I saw today that Joni Ernst is going to give the rebuttal to Obama's State of the Union speech. She was chosen by I guess Mitch McConnell. This is a brand new senator who has expressed extremely right wing views going so far as birther level. And she is the one they want as their spokesman. I never listen to the rebuttal... may not even listen to Obama but if there was any chance I'd listen to the right express their view for America, it sure wouldn't be one of the extremists. Not that they care as they don't want votes from someone like me anyway.

Not like I am delighted as I see Hillary going closer to nabbing the Democratic nomination for President. Right now neither party is thrilling me, and I don't see a candidate out there that I'd really like to see be President in 2017.

It's hard for me to resist rage though against Republicans when they do something like the House just did in regards the Dreamers. Now the right wing commenters, various places, seem clueless as to who these people are. They talk about how nobody can break the law. Except Dreamers are those who came here as children. Some were sent from countries where their life experience wasn't likely to be good. Some came with parents. One example is a boy who was sent to live with his grandparents. He then went on to college and finally to become a journalist. He's a worthy citizen but what the right wants is to see those like him live in fear of being sent back to a country they never even lived in nor in many cases speak the language.

Separate out those who came here illegally from these kids (Obama went farther then that with also adding in those who had come in the last five years not being in the same group as Dreamers), but the right cannot do that. They also seem to think most here without citizenship or papers came from Mexico. In reality it's like 40% came on a Visa and did not leave when they were supposed to, which means they probably came to work or go to school.

Republicans want to use no discernment and deport them all. Wait, they won't put out the money for that. What they want is for these people to live in fear. That's the real goal. It's a power game, and frankly goes back to my last post with those who don't understand that power is really not what any of us should seek as a goal. When we get it, without an understanding of what we hope to win, what good will the power do us?

To complete my following righties-- for as long as I can take it, I heard some of Glenn Beck. Now he is the opposite of Limbaugh in that he's very emotional and more concerned that he express a Christian life in his goals. So he was praising the 25 Republicans who had the guts to stand up against Boehner in his ruthless drive for power. Imagine a right wing pundit saying that, but he did as he also spoke about the film American Sniper and his emotional reaction to its message regarding war and its cost-- especially wars with no clear goal for what we might win. I made it almost an hour with Beck until we were beyond the zone where we get good coverage and to where I began to wonder how much of it was real emotions and how much was the drama king he can be.

Still he praised those Republicans who had the guts to stand up for what clearly is humane and Christian-- don't threaten to deport those who were brought here as children, who have been good citizens. Is there no ability to discern levels on anything? Well a party who wants Joni Ernst to stand up for them, to express her view for what the country should want, it really does not have that kind of ability.

Now will the voters in that party recognize it or keep on keeping on with the Palin mentality which Ernst definitely expresses? Right now I see no hope for anything but an increasing path toward fascism with their hate and fear of the other. Europe is going that way with the right and a lot of the right in this country want to do likewise... Or do they?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What defines winning?

Read this, think about how it gets repeated around the world, and then suggest realistic solutions. It's not as though only France faces this issue.



My husband came across this article and sent me the link. It's a good one. It goes rather well with a dream I had last night, a movie type dream, where I woke up with a quote, repeated twice through the dream, where the hero tried to tell this to a young man. 

Wanting power is for children. 
Winning is what matters.

At first you might think those things are synonymous. I mean doesn't power lead to winning? But when I lay in bed thinking about it, as my husband and I talked about it, I thought it's not the same, and it's one of those things that is leading to a misunderstanding of life and goals.

So you have these boys in the burbs-- not just in Paris but around the world. They don't think it's worth working for anything as they can have power without working-- just by breaking the law or walking into a movie theater with an automatic rifle. For an instant, the ones who killed the cartoonists had power or so they thought. But what did they win? They might have believed they won if they believed the ones who use them, but what exactly did they win?

Some of these killers end up in prison for the rest of their lives. Some get a martyrdom that they believe will lead to a heavenly glory but they die not really knowing it will. Their cause doesn't get helped. They do scare some people. Steal some lives. But what did they win for that moment of supposed power?

I think it goes even further for the billionaires who keep acquiring more money than they can ever use. They think it gives them power over others. But what do they win? A world that has polluted air, using up resources for future generations, having hot women on their arms for a time, but what do they really win?

The real question in life is-- what makes for a win? If it is all about getting power, and that's their definition of the win, the person never did figure it out.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Contradictions

Have you ever noticed how contradictory the world is right now. Okay maybe not the world but what we can see of it, what we read, what we are told. This is from a personal to a global level. What will we choose to believe? Is what we believe in our DNA?

An example is a recent study that declared optimists live longer than pessimists... Okay, that kind of makes sense. Stress is not good for people's bodies. Earlier came another study that said worriers are more intelligent than those who don't worry. 

So... the smarter you are, the more you will know about what is going wrong. Be dumb and you can then live longer maybe? I mean an optimist is likely also someone who doesn't bother to stay too informed or limits the areas where they get informed. They also might be someone who has a very protected life and prefers to think everybody else does too-- or that those who don't deserve what they get.

Putting these two (maybe) facts together, the optimist will live longer than the pessimist which likely means the non-worrier lives longer than the worrier. Does that mean we are turning over the future of the world to those who are less intelligent? Likely not as there are always the rich to throw a ringer into any study. Is Rupert Murdock a worrier or a pessimist or does money just make you immune to such concerns?

The recent study that said the world was safer than ever clearly ignored some countries in their findings. One example would be that there are two nations deemed most likely to become failed states... Good news one is right on our border. Better news, the other has the nuclear bomb.


And then there is Venezuela. Because one of the writers, whose blog I sometimes read and whose life i know a bit about, lives there and talks about how life is for him, I knew things weren't good. Guess they are worse than not good with the good news to some of the world (low oil prices) being the bad news to Venezuela (who depended on oil for its income). The following story gives you an example of how that is working out right now


So, if you are an optimist, what do you make of that situation if you live there? Of course, the optimist would say I don't live there and I am on my way to a tropical vacation where such things don't happen because I live in a gated community, have hired security, and am part of the 1%. Being in the 1% might make it easier to be an optimist... Not knowing too much about what's going on in the world would also make it easier. That's where being less intelligent comes in. A half cup of selfishness would help too where you only see how something impacts you-- today.

Adding to the world's problem spots, there is this--


I don't need to put a link here about the terrorist attacks themselves. But realizing the attack was from one cell and that it was on both the satirists and Jews probably is an important fact to keep in mind regarding how optimistic to be right now.

The good news has been the Muslims who spoke out against these attacks... but there were also Muslims who justified them. Optimists maybe only read the one side? 

What I saw most recently is that the French knew about these men and the cell to which they belonged. They deemed it lower risk than others that they were also watching. Which makes you wonder who were the more dangerous groups and what are they up to? Optimists probably never have that concern.

Apparently the French have a law that will enable French President Hollande to move rapidly right now and go outside their Constitution. Except exactly how do you do that? Arrest people and put them in jail for how long when they have yet to murder anybody? Go after everybody in the Islamic community and make more enemies?

Yeah... being an optimist sounds good but I suspect the only way to do that right now is to stay ignorant. And not just of violence, of everything. The world is full of contradictory information and ignorance can seem tempting. I am not sure how it works out for the world long-term though.

I have one more thought. Has anyone done a study on where people with a sense of humor fit into these studies? Does seeing the funny side of life help to live longer or not so much? If I go by the comedians... Okay, not going there...

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

TransPacific Trade Agreement-- all bad or only partly bad?

Most of this rant comes from Ranch Boss because he has seen how this plays out in the world of small, start-up businesses. His ire was fueled by this article:


"THIS IS WAY BIGGER THAN THE GMO ISSUE. It is a way to force GMO or anything on everybody and only lawyers and large corporate leaders and investors win. The rest of the world loses. For those who have feared the UN taking over control of the American Heartland, they should fear instead large multinational corporations such as ADM, Dupont, DOW, Pfizer or some foreign branch of a software company or communication provider.

"Forget the name ..think NAFTA. It is the content and enforcement paragraphs that screw the people. It might sound good but what is inside is what changes its meaning. What is inside was placed there by those who know most will never bother to look, and they will make a fortune off the backs of not just the little people but everybody that isn't them.

"The investor fund managers that I listen to weekly, have been saying for awhile that something good is coming soon to foreign trade and patent rules that will make for stronger company portfolios. It will happen by adding evaluation justifications and enabling more startups to get control worldwide and not have a Chinese or Brazilian or India based company 'steal' everything. 


"That 'plague' of theft WAS important a few years ago, less now with wider information access and line item import-export tracking, but this promised remedy is worse than the disease. Too many lobbyists and too little open exposure with time to unravel the possible scenarios."                                                    Ranch Boss  

Here's the thing-- for all the talk that Obama has been a socialist, out for the poor people at the price of the rich, look at what he's actually done. He's far more a capitalist and has appointed at the head of all his economic teams those from the venture capital world. He made his health care issue profitable for insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. His progressive measures all come but not at the cost of Wall Street. Is there anyone out there to run on either side who would change that???

The Republicans are promising to immediately push through the XL Pipeline which they claim will give 42,000 temporary jobs to build it across American's heartland but later maybe a few thousand jobs or less. In the meantime this goes through areas that have had terrible earthquakes and over one of our major aquifers. It involves a technology that has, in the past and not that long ago, had leaks that are catastrophic to the immediate environment. All this risk and temporary jobs for oil that will go to Texas, be refined and shipped to South America. We are talking money to Canadian oil barons and oil to South America. The risk to the US, but the right is selling it as a jobs bill. 

This at a time when the world has a glut of oil and the price dropping is worrying those who consider oil the backbone of the economy. How many Americans know any of this or care? It really isn't the fault of the oligarchs. It's the fault of ignorant Americans who prefer to stay that way because their immediate life is just fine. They can't see into the future for where this is heading and they don't really care. All they care about is who won American Idol or some other reality show that isn't real. 

Okay, I got a rant in here too ;).


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Chaos theory

Our political system in the United States is not set up for majority rule. It is a mistake to call us a democracy because we are a republic which has leaned heavily toward letting the minority have a powerful voice. An example is the recent election where I have heard Republican pundits say-- the American people have spoken and it means the Republican/TeaParty agenda is the one they now want.

Hold on just a minute. The majority of Americans did not vote to change anything. Small states, who don't have to have as many votes, get two Senators just like New York and California. So...


That was not a small number of more voting for Dems. 20 million more but guess what-- the system doesn't care because this is not a democracy and I won't say that's altogether bad. Sometimes the majority can be wrong-- they call that a mob. Still, when they go pushing now for huge changes in policies based on their great victory, it pays to look at what that victory really was. 

In many states, there were only 40% or less of the registered voters even voting. So what exactly did this election tell us? That the poor, who might be savaged by the Republican majority (if they can overturn vetoes), should have been out there voting. But even if they had, just the way the Senate is set up would still lean toward benefiting the right wing. Their states have less population and are going more and more toward the right some for religious reasons and some out of fear the government is planning to take away their guns...

Many of these small states have also gone heavily to right wing legislatures which means there will be more abortion restrictions, lower taxes on the rich, more cuts to programs for the poor and the public schools, and environment??? oh, you mean that commie plot...Will we make progress on racial issues? Currently, it does not seem likely with the increased resentment on both sides.


And so we will head into the next two years while both parties choose a presidential nominee, who likely many Americans won't prefer but will be stuck with again because the parties dominate these elections with money.

Many Americans are more or less immune to the problems the poor face. I just saw a Forbes report on the most dangerous cities for crime in the US. Detroit, of course, topped the list but many other major cities were on it. The thing to keep in mind is most Americans living in those cities in upper middle class or even middle class neighborhoods won't face any of this. They are able to look around their own little world and see it as being secure. Do they then care about what it's like in inner city schools or the projects? They don't want to even know and with resentment against taxes as it is, they sure don't want to pay to change it.

We have 22 Veterans try to kill themselves every day but now retiring Senator Coburn blocked $20 million dollars to cover insurance programs to help them. Too much money. Well, if you don't have someone in your family suffering the problem, guess it does seem like too much.

I wonder though, with so many Americans insulated or trying to insulate themselves from what goes on outside their sphere, will it stay safe for them? Yes, their crime risk is low... for now. They aren't likely to run into a street robbery unless they visit some of those less safe neighborhoods.

Several newspapers have been writing about how much safer the world is today than it has been. I am not sure that means a lot. What if you live in Venezuela? How about the projects in Chicago? It's safer for whom? Outside of those known dangerous neighborhoods, it's more apt to be random crime. My son says he thinks the world is really governed by chaos. I've always argued that it's a benevolent universe. But chaos might better explain a lot of what we see today. The unexpected, unplanned, that sometimes blesses us and sometimes-----

"Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on. These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being."   from Fractal Foundation on Chaos Theory



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

bye bye 2014

I can't leave my last post for the year being a negative one. I don't really feel that negative about the world or what is coming. I am optimistic. I think we can work things out. We can talk and understand our differences... Of course, I am not sure what it'll take to get us to that point...

You can't come in unless we deem you worthy... cheese would go a long way toward making you worthy