28 April 2009

Non-human Causes

Global Climate Changes

Preparations for both climate extremes should be made immediately. Climate changes will occur. Many life altering climate changes have occurred in human history. Ice ages and warm periods are recorded in written human histories and recent scientific discoveries.

Fighting against inevitable climate changes by attempting to manipulate weather is an enormous mistake, very risky to human survival, and a huge waste of precious resources.

Minimizing waste, reducing air pollution, developing alternative energy sources should be undertaking as a normal course of business, not in some exaggerated flailing of a life or death emergency. The actions and policies that will be useful will be revealed by the light of time and testing, and thought, not by the heat of hyper activity.

A global warming hoax is being deliberately perpetrated on world’s people and their governments by people and organizations interested primarily in seizing unearned power and wealth. Much more stress to human existence accompanies ice ages than warming periods.

I have reviewed about 400 scientific papers by atmospheric scientists and paleo-climatologists and find neither conclusive evidence of human caused global warming nor any scientific conformation that anything other that solar cycle forcing is occurring. Recent climate readings by NASA, NOAA, and many academic studies indicate very little if any global temperature change in natural environments in the last 100 years. Very recently, detectable declines in air and ocean temperatures have been reported at many places with valid temperature histories worldwide.

When adjustments are made for cyclic variations in earth’s orbit (Milankovitch Cycles) around the sun , sun energy output, earth’s heat and greenhouse gas cause or effect confusion, and from volcanic heat and greenhouse gas activity, it appears that cooling has been underway for several years. It appears that all human activities contribute little (<3%) greenhouse gases and heat relative to natural geophysical or astrophysical causes.

How can this be given the overwhelming affirmations seen on television, in print news and badly made and poorly scripted movies and their publicity?

Most exaggeration and over reaction on this subject is due to human nature and tendencies for political opportunism, clever charlatans, ignorant and easily manipulated press, abundant government and academic research funds, and a poorly educated and easily frightened world population.

If people and their governments want to do something useful, they should plan and act in ways that conserve, produce and sequester products, facilities, services, training and goods that will be needed as climate extremes develop. Where governments, non-government organizations and individuals could be useful would be actually constructing, conserving and provisioning in preparation for true climate emergencies, not wringing their hands or vowing to fight the weather.

Is This Justice?


The social system that most needs reform in this country today is Justice. The standards that need to be applied are constitutional and sensible. Some argue that warehousing criminals should be avoided. That is nonsense. That is exactly what is required for those who have not earned back privileges. The standard in the case of whether too many are being imprisoned is, "are there any unconvicted criminals, or are any going free without having served their entire sentence?" If any of the convicted have not served their pronounced sentence, then they have not kept them long enough. If the excuse is there isn't enough prison space, then build more.

Two most common excuses for not building the needed number of prisons are, "no one wants to pay for them or have them in their back yard". The reason the voters are unwilling to pay is because, they are unhappy with how the system works, ineffective police, weak judges, short sentences, early parole, corruption, and soft prisons. If they worked like law-abiding citizen expected they would gladly pay for them.

The prison location problem is easily solved when you get special property interests out of the location equation. A way that could work would be locate all prisons on Federal or state property away from communities and commercial property interests. In the west alone there are billions of acres in this category. The land could be made available cheaply helping to offset the remote construction costs. Other costs would be greater, but this isn't a cost cutting proposal. It's an effort to get and keep convicted criminals behind bars. Plenty of cost cutting opportunities exist elsewhere in the criminal injustice system.

26 April 2009

True Affirmative Action

It is necessary to provide assistance to those who actually have been disadvantaged by act or fate. Anyone denied access to the opportunities of a lawful citizen in good standing has been wronged and calls out for action. I doubt that anyone disagrees with taking the necessary actions to offset such an injustice. Those who are handicapped, discriminated against, excluded by injustice, or prevented by persecution, surely deserve the restoration of lost opportunity.

Let us assume for the moment that we have universal agreement as to which persons will receive assistance. Let’s also assume that it is inclusive, regardless of sex, gender, ethnicity, national origin, handicap, religion, politics, appearance, or anything else ever used, or that might be used, to discriminate or persecute individuals or groups.

Even if we know who should receive affirmative actions. What kinds of acts should we provide? Which of the qualified individuals should receive what kind?

First, what should affirmative actions be?

Affirmation actions are acts by individuals, groups, or authorities where assistance is routinely prescribed, provided and assessed. They must at least replace the opportunity denied in direct opposition to the pressure of historic wrongs.

Affirmative action must never be direct discrimination against other individuals or groups that might have received historic advantages, regardless how or why they occurred.

A second wrong does not make anything right. New disadvantages do not erase or repair earlier denials; it just builds mistrust, disappointment, disillusionment, and despair. Punishing a new group of individuals cannot be the purpose of reparations. The object must be to give restored opportunities, not outcomes, to denied individuals.

The purpose must be to provide aid to those in need, not disadvantages to all others.

What forms might these actions take? Training, education, personal assistance, financial assistance, physical assistance, health care, tools, equipment, and all things necessary in preparation to compete, or the capacity to perform.

It cannot be setting aside jobs for any disadvantaged individuals or groups. It cannot be selecting the unqualified for training. It cannot be conferring degrees upon the uneducated. Never can it be extra points, reserved percentages, seniority not served, or any other special treatment during equitable competition.

It is preparing individuals to perform. It is making them capable by achievement, design, or device, to perform at the capable level, to compete effectively, to have an even chance. It is not a gift or imposition by authority conferring something unearned upon someone when they are incapable, been excluded, or are disadvantaged. Those are reasons to provide the assistance necessary to become a very qualified individual, but not to be the recipient of a gift signifying an accomplishment never earned.

Next, what might be the nature of some of these actions?

One could be job training of the amount and quality that will make a willing performer and a very highly qualified applicant into a viable employee.

Another could be scholastic tutors of the highest quality, energy, and enthusiasm to stimulate, and prepare a disadvantaged individual to the level of a superior student.

One should be Medical assistance in the form of treatment, therapy, and devices to provide the vision, mobility, energy, attentiveness, or the appearance to be a formidable competitor, a valuable contributor, and a reliable performer.

Other aid and devices could include high quality tools of the trade, modern performance devices, reliable transportation, safe clean housing, adequate money, or whatever other resources will get them there ready to compete and earn them credit against the odds and against previous wrongs, but by merit not by gift.

Not a job without qualification, and not a scholarship without academic achievement. That behavior must stop.

A second wrong, does not a right make. It steals integrity from the system and turns the oppressed into an oppressor. It reinforces the view that the system is unjust, even those aided by it are aware that it is wrong. Individuals know when they have received something unearned. It is as demeaning as being denied something you have earned.

Stop the current aberration that has become Affirmative Action.

Immediately start true affirmative action so that the disadvantaged can experience recognition they earn.

25 April 2009

Fact or Belief

Fact or belief, that’s all there is.

Fact is not belief. Belief can be fact, but it need not. You can believe fact or choose not to. Your belief doesn’t change a fact. Fact can change belief, but it doesn’t have to. Belief, proven to be fact, should no longer be considered belief. Belief can be supported by some facts, but support isn’t proof and therefore it’s still a belief. Once proven, fact need not be believed. It should be, but sometimes fact is just unbelievable. Once proven, fact is fact, believed or not. Fact is fact, belief is belief, and that’s just the way it is.

Why spend so much time on what seems so obvious, well, because it is not. If this seems painfully obvious to you, you may not be one of those people constantly exhibiting problems with these simple concepts. You’re not one of the ones who say, “I don’t believe it.” when a fact is presented. As though your affirmation will change fact.

Fact is fact, belief is belief, don’t confuse them.

It is also true that your affirmation cannot enforce a fact. If it’s a fact, it doesn’t require any affirmation.

Belief, no matter how often or how loudly repeated does not make it into fact. Politicians, religious leaders, cheating spouses, cannot change belief into fact by saying so. No affirmation, no volume of writings, or counting of believers can change belief to fact.

Proof and only demonstrable proof is what makes a fact.

There aren’t very many facts. Basic fundamental facts, like simple laws of physics, are very few. A person could perhaps learn all of the fundamental facts that are known, if they studied hard. Beliefs on the other hand are plentiful, nearly limitless. People will believe nearly anything fervently, to the point of death, either yours or theirs.

Over the span of recorded human history millions of individuals have been slaughtered over beliefs; religious, ethnic, nationalistic, politics, love, bigotry, fear, and hatred.

A few have been killed for espousing facts, at the time widely disbelieved, later proven to be true. Sadly, the proponent was dead right, but dead, none the less.

What should these simple truths mean to you and me? First, know the difference between fact and belief; and act, think and speak accordingly and correctly regarding each.

Next, remember some people can’t handle the truth. Don’t assault people’s beliefs carelessly, they may object violently.

Why do they hold beliefs more fervently than facts? It’s one of those great human mysteries. Facts should be held the most strongly. Beliefs should be a personal matter subject to frequent revision, especially in the light of new facts.

24 April 2009

Personal Responsibility

Today, like never before in the history of my life, individuals and organization are blaming everything other than themselves for the results of their own actions. That's right, things not people or groups of people, although historically there has been plenty of the blaming others. The excuse, "He or she made me do It." is understandable if you’re listening to a child.

But blaming inanimate objects for individual personal behavior or the results from it are unexplainable in any accepted form of logic. Take the examples of cigarettes or guns.

First, cigarettes. Many individuals and their attorneys, and some states and their attorneys general have sued tobacco companies and settled or won substantial awards. Although, I don't personally know if any of them have been paid. I believe most, if not all are currently under appeal.

One of the premises is that the terrible tobacco companies deceived them. They were not told that nicotine, tar, and many other dangerous ingredients in tobacco and tobacco smoke would damage their health. Somehow, they and some juries have concluded these individuals had no personal responsibility for their fate.

They were told. The Surgeon General told them as early as the civil war. They are told constantly by the tobacco companies and have been since the sixties on packs and cartons of the products. The government, the media, and the courts have told them for years, cigarettes and tobacco products are dangerous to your health.

Surprisingly now, their illnesses, diseases, and deaths are attributed to these cigarettes or their faceless makers and marketers. These inanimate objects somehow forced money out of the pockets of potential buyers. Forced themselves into the hands, pockets and purses of innocent victims. Then forced them to use their considerable remaining resources to purchase dangerous fire producing tools. Then using unusual physical skill and an ignited flame device to start a controlled burn at the end of a cigarette making the proper human produced oral vacuum to maintain just the right smoldering smoke producing combustion. They nurture and sustain the smolder until the lethal device is nearly completely consumed, and then hopefully put it out without starting any unintended combustibles on fire.

These are unbelievable achievements for an inanimate object, and it’s ridiculous that they would be blamed.

These are willful acts by the eventual victim. They are deliberate. These acts require purpose, intent, organization, and considerable resources by people who know their fate and choose these acts anyway.

So how is it they, or more specifically their surrogates, successfully argue that these inanimate objects are to blame? Or even more specifically, that the inhuman enterprises that offer them for sale are to blame, and the so-called victims are blameless.

There is a cultural climate for this idea that those powerless objects, or the enterprises that offer them, are responsible for their use and misuse.

When did this ridiculous idea start? It began years ago. Who did it? We did. It began when we allowed individuals to assert that someone or something else, like their mother, disease, poverty, genetic disorder, social circumstance or whatever, was responsible for how they turned out. Abuse, maltreatment, embarrassment, poverty, bigotry, other people, other organizations, caused their situation. We allowed them to use that justification to foster programs, projects and advantages for the apparently aggrieved and disadvantaged.

The initial foray gained credence by exposure and by support from scholars like Sigmund Freud and others, who correctly identified these factors as the cause for dysfunctional individuals and families, but not as an excuse. Just as explanation. I doubt they expected at the time that these facts would ever be used in formal proceedings to forgive people for their violations. They were and are an explanation, not an excuse.

Once this idea ran its course, fell on disfavor, and stopped easily attracting resources, it was necessary to find something else to blame. Something with resources that could be easily demonized in the realm of often manipulated public opinion. All the active deliberate offenders had been tapped out. If they could convince juries that lifeless, inanimate, impersonal things could be blamed, especially those things that have income streams, resources, or accumulated capital, much more could be available. Many more apparent victims could escape personal responsibility. Many more attorneys, politicians, and dwindling state budgets could benefit.

Next lets’ examine guns. A different but similar situation exists. Recently the makers of guns have been sued for their misuse. It is just one more skirmish in the battle to accumulate public will, by the well meaning but uninformed, to stem the supposed tide of gun violence. Reports indicate gun violence is at an all time low per capita. You would not know it by the presentations of some media organizations, or the actions of politicians and congress.

The ownership and use of guns are specifically enumerated in the constitution. They have a long history of safe personal use in the United States. Some say more than 400 million guns are in private hands in the US. There are very few accidental injuries or killings with guns. There are actually fewer than 29,000 homicides (including accidents, criminal violence and Police homicides) in 2002 from these 400 million guns. That’s considerably less than 1%, it’s way less than a 10th of 1%(400,000), it's less 100th of 1% (40,000), its .0000725.

So what’s all the noise about? Manufacturers of guns and guns themselves are easily demonized. The events associated with their deliberate or accidental misuse are hideous, horrible and frightening, especially when displayed in “living color.” Again the ignorant or deliberate mal-users of guns are held blameless. Apparently anti-gun media, senators, and congressmen would have us believe these “evil” tools force these people to misbehave. Just because they were there, these innocent saints were corrupted to commit hideous crimes against people and property. Somehow locking up guns, licensing sellers and users, registering this evil hardware, persecuting all competent people who have one, will prevent criminals and idiots from hurting themselves or others.

No gun can transport itself, load itself, aim itself, fire itself, commit any crime by itself. To my knowledge, no gun manufacturer has ever committed or been found guilty of any kind of assault on any individual or group.

Why this prolonged unreasonable attack? The main reason is, these successful manufacturing companies have money. Ignorant people wishing desperately to do something about events over which they are powerless are trying hard to limit the horrible suffering brought on by firearm misuse. Blaming people would mean we ourselves share the guilt. It would mean years of social engineering at enormous expense have failed. It would mean we have learned nothing about the dangers of poverty, hopelessness, and discrimination against any group of impressionable people. Thirty years ago we thought that was especially true of young blacks and other minorities. Recently slaughters by poor white youths are duplicating these events by their minority predecessors. Why? Because they are persecuted for acts they did not participate in, or because bigots of all colors discriminate against them. No, because their chances for an education or a job have been destroyed by social and institutional prejudice. No wonder they feel the hopelessness and anger that others have, throughout history that have suffered similar plights. It's easy in feeble despair and hopelessness to strike one defiant blow, one loud scream for recognition.

The gun is blameless. People are to blame.

Individuals, parents, legislators, ethnic leaders, schools, governments, police and the “well meaning,” Oh! Yes the well meaning and uninformed, have to share the responsibility. They fostered this idea, believing with incomplete thinking and incomplete knowledge, that they were doing something good.

Shame on them for being so smug and elite to believe they had enough knowledge and experience to make such a decision for themselves, let alone for everyone. How self-assuming, ignorant and arrogant could they have been?

23 April 2009


Accepting the Unearned

When one accepts anything they have not earned, or are owned, or rightfully owed; one gives up some of their honor, validity, and integrity as part of the exchange. No matter what, they at least will always know they were not entitled and their self worth cannot, because of that knowledge, be restored.

It doesn’t matter how official, or how apparently right society regards the unearned benefit. Whether stolen, obtained by fraud, granted negligently, or conferred by authority, if unearned or not owned, the painful truth will be known to the recipient as not deserved. No matter what follows later, the benefactor will know the place, the job, the pay, or the benefits were a gift, a grant. Everything good that follows is based upon that initial false credit, a handicap granted or seized and weakened by the underlying truth that the starting point was a fraud and self worth is forever diminished.

Accept only things you earn, or are repaid having been previously earned. If you don’t own it or previously earned it, it’s not yours to invest, or loan, or use; you haven’t earned it.

Government benefits, entrance to educational institutions, entry-level jobs, benefits beyond the amount contributed plus interest and other amounts promised, fraudulent applications, gifts without expected payback, award without merit; all are not earned.

Help in the form of entitlements based on current life circumstances begin as unearned. If the recipient corrects their reason to receive entitlement and becomes a participating citizen, then they begin repaying the help they have received. If a recipient does not become a taxpayer, but continues to receive unearned benefits without behavior or circumstance improvement, then they have taken under false pretense benefits unearned and have sacrificed self respect that feeds a dismal spiral of decline and a mounding burden of deceit and damaged self-esteem they cannot ever repay. This is a terrible price that many have paid for endless entitlements.

If you didn’t earn it or it isn’t owed to you because you once rightfully owned it, don’t take it. It's not yours and even though it looks free, it will cost you more than you can ever repay.

If you’re looking for a helping hand, look first at the end of your own arm.

21 April 2009

Current Ideas

I have chosen this blog to keep track of unique ideas triggered by current events and thoughtfulness about the value and appropriateness of social, cultural, and political ideas widely accepted today as useful, good, valuable, or right with apparently little forethought about their future impacts and unintended consequences, or the history of previous policies and beliefs, or attempts that failed to produce useful measurable outcomes or were never revisited to check for results.

The ideas expressed here will be explored to the extent of my capability without regard for any of the popularly held taboos, like race, religion, sex, origin, geography, or political correctness.

If it's an idea of any merit about a problem of current or future importance, it will evaluated and analyzed attempting to not leave any aspect unconsidered, but focused on earned benefits that might be as simple as learning that lack of forethought and irresponsible behavior are painful, but useful as object lessons.

Some will be completely new to many. Some will be old ideas that worked, but that many find too harsh or difficult. Some will be combinations of or evolving ideas well suited to anticipated needs. Others will propose very unique solutions to very old problems widely thought foolish and dismissed long ago without serious evaluation of the elements that could become the germ of or a gateway clue to a helpful new idea.

Responsible, thoughtful, polite comments and criticism will be discussed.