Archive for June, 2008

As Suspected “Settled Law” is Unsettled: US Supreme Court 2nd Amendment Ruling and Is Abortion Next?

Friday, June 27th, 2008

The US Supreme Court’s reversal of 1930’s “settled law” that the community instead of the individual has the right to own guns makes it obvious that Justices Roberts and Alito were duplicitous during their Senate confirmation hearings. It is sad that they have let their values agenda lead them to lie in order to be confirmed for the US Supreme Court. These two Juctices along with Justices Scalia and Thomas provide the core group that will change other settled law, i.e., they will outlaw abortion. They are mistaken and this is how.

If an individual has a right to bear arms then they have a right to life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness which means they have the right to abortion and marry any person they want regardless of gender. But, this is not how the Law & Order Tribe sees it. This Tribe (see Moral Values, Politics & You) is an extremely strong one that sees laws in black and white and unchangeable. Unchangeable except when it is to their benefit. And, that is the crux. The Law and Order Tribe is intolerant of other tribal values and therefore discriminate against anyone not of their tribe. Ironically, the Law & Order Tribe violate the Constitution and many laws and only respects the laws they believe in.

Paradoxically, it is obvious that settled law regarding abortion and marriage personal rights are at risk from a US Supreme Court that rules on gun ownership personal right. There paradox is understandable when one understand the tribal value systems that the individual Justices adhere to.

Shame on you, Justices Roberts and Alito. You have lied to the country and you should resign for your duplicity. Then again you don’t have the individual courage to do so. Your tribe is your identify and you are just their pawns. Shame on you for being so naive.

Being Prepared: The Key to Successful Death

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Paradoxically, death is the only prerequisite for life. Therefore, in order to be alive death must occur. Otherwise it is not life but instead immortality. If this is true, then why is death so poorly managed in our American society?

Death is treated as unwanted and unexpected by most Americans. It is as if it isn’t suppose to occur because it is not discussed and the subject is avoided. Out-of-mind means that death will not occur. This childish and naive thinking is part of American’s immaturity. It is time we grow up and acknowledge ‘the elephant in the room.’

Baby boomers have seen their parents pain, suffering and poor quality of end-of-life and many have vowed not to let that happen to them. Yet, they remain legally, psychologically and socially unprepared. This preparation is key to experiencing a successful death.

Legal preparation for death includes Advance Directors which can be codified as Living Wills, Directives to Physicians, Durable Power of Attorney and outpatient withholding or withdrawing life support interventions. Regular Wills and estate planning are also necessary. Even many of those who have these legal preparations are still not prepared for death because they have ignored the psychological and social aspects of preparation.

Psychological preparation for death requires that one live in the moment instead of dreading the future. One must accept ones lot in life and do their best in each moment. No one can ask for anything else. This also means that all primary feelings (emotions) are legitimate and that meta-feelings (i.e., feeling about feeling such as shame, remorse, embarrassment) need to worked out. As noted, ‘rule with your hear and live with your conscience’ means being true to one primary feeling. Yet, while legit to feel one feeling, what one does about them is what makes us human and prepares us for death. While feelings are legit, all actions are not. We are responsible for our own happiness but not at the expense of others happiness.

Social preparation for death means recognizing the others who are also suffering in the death of a loved one. All attention is paid to the dying person to the exclusion of those who will remain after the death. Their suffering and needs go unaddressed. These needs include ‘the talk’. The talk is the intimate soul to soul communication of the love, pleasures and sorrows of their interrelationship and a formal letting go or good-bye. It includes accepting that the relationship will die with the death and that those remaining will have to grieve and continue on. What ‘needs to be said’ should be said in this conversation; so that there are no regrets or remorse about something left unsaid. Funerals are too late to express ones feelings to a dead person.

If I can say to myself, “If I die today, I would have no regrets”, then we are as prepared as possible for death. But if we cannot say that, then we should ask ourselves, “What will I regret?” and then do whatever necessary to remediate these issues. Tragically, some will remain unremediable. Being at peace means not having remorse or regrets about ones death.

A successful death, as much as that is possible, requires legal, psychological and social preparation. Since regardless of preparation, death will come it makes sense to prepare.

Do American’s Always Need Pain to Change? Debt & Energy

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Americans are changing to Democratic candidates because of the pain of the Bush regime’s foreign policies and economic debacles. Now Americans are starting to conserve fuel and change their driving and riding habits due to the pain of fuel prices. Pain is an valid impetus for change and frequently used in animal behavior control. Yet, it would be nice to think as the higher cognitive functioning animal that humans are that change would be thought out before the ‘pain for change’ is present.

Our national debt at $10 trillion is unserviceable. Will we have to have a massive economic crises with massive inflation of over 1000% per year in order to make the debt worthless and thus serviceable. That will certainly be very painful. Yet, the tax and spend Democrats nor the tax cut and spend Republicans have the political will to cut governmental spending. God help us when we reach our third world economic crises and our lenders impose economic austerity measures on us in order for the country to stay solvent. Pay back will be very painful in more ways than one.

In 1973 we suffered the pains of fuel shortages. This pain lead to some national measures that improved the circumstances. Yet, when the pain went away we went back to our old wasteful habits and stopped conserving and being wasteful. Today, the pain of fuel costs are again causing change but change will take time. In the meantime, the pain will not relent. There are NO short term answers. Only long term planning will work.

As already noted, the panacea of fuel cells powered by hydrogen is not real since fuels are needed to create hydrogen. We will be transferring the energy of hydrocarbons (coal, gas, oil) to make hydrogen and paradoxically transforming energy from on type to another is never efficient so we will be using more energy than made. Hydrogen will only perpetuate and worsen the current shortages and make global warming worsen UNLESS we use nuclear power. Nuclear power is the GREEN energy source but we are doing nothing massive in this direction. A national program like the race to the moon is needed in energy to solve our issues in the next decade.

Ironically, avoidance of pain is almost a universal value. Nevertheless, pain is fast becoming a universal requirement for change. God help the American people as it goes through the tremendous pain of giving up it wasteful life-styles and becomes a citizen of the world. Joining others in saving our world and our selves is going to be painful.

Intent is Key: Jihad, Wars on…, Suicide, Is the Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

For most things in this world intent is key to deciphering meaning. A killing is either murder, accidental or something in between based on intent. Yet, intent can only been known to the doer and then only relatively. Others can only guess at someone else’s intent. How intent colors understandings and changes it is an never-ending struggle. Here are some examples and considerations.

First, the word ‘jihad’ has taken a political meaning although it is seen as a moral issue by most Muslims. Jihad translates as “struggle” and is typically used to denote the struggle each individual has with his or her own internal demons to do the will of God. Christians also have this struggle but don’t have a specific word like Islam. The intent of terrorist is to make the personal “struggle”, i.e., jihad, into a political rather than religious issue. The vast majority (>90%) of Muslims do NOT buy in to this politicization of their personal religious struggle. Thus, the word ‘jihad’ has whole different ramifications if one’s intent is religious versus political. Unfortunately, Western misunderstandings only see ‘jihad’ as a political movement ignoring and usually alienating the vast majority of pious Muslims.

Second, ‘War on….(fill in the blank)’ such as terrorism, drugs, cancer are frequently heard but what are their intents. The War on Terrorism is considered by many as a euphemism for Imperialism and imposition of outside values and this is wrong. Instead, the ‘Wars on …’ are just capitalists’ intents to make boatloads of money. It needs to be understood that more people live off wars than from wars, e.g., more people live off cancer than from cancer. Wars are capitalist enterprises in which some (usually the corrupt) become wealthy or usually, wealthier at the expense of the many. Therefore, it needs to understood that the intents of ‘Wars on …’ are capitalist in nature. Follow-the-money and you will find the ardent supporters of the ‘War on ….’ efforts.

Next is the intent behind suicide. The action in suicide is to take one’s life. In Asian societies, suicide is seen the ultimate protest against a government and that why it is prevented by these governments. Political protests were intended by the Buddhist Monks in Asia who burned themselves publicly in the 70’s.

In the West, suicide is a personal protest against or surrender to ones current perceived intolerable conditions. People commit suicide when accused of wrong-doing even before a trial and all the facts are known. Death is preferred to the ordeal of the forthcoming proceedings. Thus the intent is to spare oneselves suffering.

Those who surrender to their perceived intolerable circumstances by committing suicide also intent to spare themselves continued suffering. It may be seen as selfish but one really rarely knows the full extent of some else’s suffering; therefore, it would be righteous to determine their actions as wrong.

Finally, a simple answer to the frequently stated conundrum “Is the glass half full or half empty?”. The answer is “It depends. Are you trying (intending) to fill it or empty it?” Intent determines meaning.

Nuclear Power: The Green Energy Alternative, bur First…..

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

With gasoline prices over $4 a gallon and no relief in sight, many are wondering what can be done to alleviate the long-term energy problem. Regardless of long-term solutions, many temporizing actions must be taken first until the final solutions can be implemented. Paradoxically, the ultimate green energy source is nuclear fission (and eventually, fusion) power.

First, the temporizing measures required are to significantly improve energy use efficiencies. Houses should have high SEER (>14) air conditioners and high efficiency (>90%) furnaces. Every new building must prevent energy loss with weather stripping, high R-value walls and windows, etc.. Retrofitting existing homes and buildings without these efficiencies should have a high priority and should have tax advantages. New constructions should have built-in efficiencies regulatory required .

All vehicles must have a minimum efficiency throughout their use (i.e., take new and old gas guzzlers off the roads) and CAFE standards should be advanced and increased to require much more efficient standards faster. Big trucks must not be allowed idle when stopped at rest stops. Alternative more efficient air conditioning and heating options should be developed to allow their engines to be turned off.

Electricity must be conserved. Trickle charges must be stopped through the use of software that turns them off when not needed. “Push” or “Pull” technology should be use to maximally manage electricity use for greatest efficiency. Air conditioning or heating only bedrooms at night through improved systems would save significant amounts of energy.

Regardless of efficiencies, power from fossil fuels will need to stop being generated because of its scarcity and/or it green house/global warming effects. There are just no reasonable ways to handle the carbon dioxide produced.

Hydrogen and it use in fuel cells that only produce water as a byproduct is being hailed as the next massive energy source. Paradoxically, it will take energy to product hydrogen. Fossil fuels cannot be used to make hydrogen since it will still have the unwanted inefficiencies and carbon dioxide waste. Ironically, the obvious and green solutions for future energy sources are nuclear fission and subsequently fusion when developed.

Nuclear fission has come a long way since the Three-Mile Island incident. At that time only 5% of the energy in the uranium fuel could be extracted and the rest was toxic for many tens of thousands of years so waste disposal was and still is an issue.

New nuclear fission technology uses 95% of the energy in uranium and the remaining small amount is toxic for less than a thousands years. Electricity produced by nuclear fission can power homes and business and be used to produced hydrogen for mobile use.

Energy from nuclear fission produces no green house gases and the waste problem has been solved. It is is the ultimate green energy. Eventually, when science is able to developed sustainable and energy positive nuclear fusion reactions this source can be used.

It is time to realize that Nuclear Power is Green and more practical and reliable than alternative energy sources.

Daily Good: Lead with Your Heart, Live with Your Conscience–Queen’s All God’s People

Monday, June 9th, 2008

It is difficult to know what the Good thing to do is in this complex and complicated world. Too many outside considerations intrude into our daily lives to really know what is Good. Our private lives are no longer really private. Is their a rule by which we could for the most part do Good and not do Evil. There is and it’s ” Lead with your heart, Live with your conscience” and here’s why it works.

If we value of our individual Good and believe others should have the opportunities to have their own Good, then we should be able lead with our heart and live with our conscience. This means that we really know intuitively what is the Good thing to do but frequently we modify this for various reasons and do something less than Good or maybe even Evil. These modifications are what sometimes makes it difficult to leave with our conscience. There are several reasons for this.

First, there are frequently several Good to pick from. They are frequently equal in their Good in balance; yet, they have different aspects. Therefore, choice comes into play.

Second, our conscience is what we feel about ourself about something we did. If we feel primary feelings such as happiness, anger, sadness then we probably did something we can live with. But, if we feel meta-feelings, i.e., feelings about feelings like shame, guilts, remorse, etc. then we are having problems living with our consciences and need to rectify the situations.

Third, Charity love involves self disinterest, tranquility and humility. Frequently, we feel meta-feelings because we were not self disinterested or tranquil or humble. This causes us problems with our conscience.

You may ask, “How about all those evil doers? They live with their consciences. What’s up with that?” As noted in a previous blog entry, God made all his people Good. There are just some that are ignorant of Good or too lazy or weak to do Good therefore they do Evil. Then they lie to themselves and their co-evil doers to attempt to live with their consciences. In the end, they will either repent and make Good, suffer the consequences or some combination of both.

So, lead with your heart and live with your conscience. If this doesn’t work and you have problems with your conscience then you need to examine the Good you heart is leading you to and get your heart and your conscience in synchrony.

We Are One with Nature No Matter What You Think.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Due to their religious beliefs many humans believe they have a special place in the grand schema of Nature They also believe that this special place gives them a privilege that exempts them from the laws of Nature and their participation in Nature. Nothing is further from the truth.

Since matter and energy cannot be created nor destroyed everything that exists was present from the beginning whether it be the Big Bang or Creation. Our atoms has been recycled endlessly in inorganic and organic forms. Even though the way our atoms are arranged leads to our individual uniqueness, they nevertheless follow all the laws of Nature.

The consequences of considering oneself apart from Nature is that one ignores Nature. Nature becomes a ways to a means and these ways usually harm or destroy the elements of Nature involved. Yet, Nature doesn’t care because its laws keep it on an even keel. Too much carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning just increase the global temperature which will lead to more and longer growth of plants that will uptake the carbon dioxide. The Canadian northern forests and tundra that are frozen most of the year will be thawed out and consume huge quantities of carbon dioxide. That fact that the polar ice melting will submerge most low lying coastlines and their cities is no concern to Nature.

It is ironic how humans whose total beings follow all the laws are Nature is so dismissive of it. Space-Time is at this moment that will live in eternity and not “tomorrow at the office.” The laws of physics and biology are for the most part understood. Yet, humans still believe that they will survive their death (i.e., Nature) defying behaviors and addictions.

Thus, it is key to realize that when we are speaking of Nature we are speaking about ourselves. And, anything we do to Nature we are doing to ourselves. Thus company profits that line our pockets and destroying some part of Nature may actually be hurting us.

Isn’t it time to realize we are one with Nature?