Monthly Archives: October 2014

Negative Political Campaigns are unDemocratic

Somehow negative campaigns turn me off as I am getting older but unfortunately I see how effective they can be. But they are very distracting and confusing as political campaigns tend to be. With PACs and Super-PACs and now the ability of rich individuals and corporations to contribute almost endless amounts of money to their favorite candidates, parties and voting issues as part of free expression political campaigns are very big business. And as such candidate hires very pricy spin-doctors whose job it is to make their candidate look godlike and their opponents look like pure evil campaigns get uglier and uglier. This is truly a tragedy that Democracy is no longer about the truth about candidates but about winning. That is why we have a Congress that is so inept. Continue reading

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Anger, An All Too Common Response

In the last few days we heard news of a mass student shooting in a school in Washington and two policemen killed in a senseless shootout in California due to anger expressed through the barrel of a guns. Every day in the U.S. an average of 289 people are shot. But gun violence is only one of the many acts of anger. Expressing anger is far too common a response when confronted with situations we have difficulty dealing with. When we can’t resolve a situation to our satisfaction we act out. It seems we need to humble ourselves and stop getting so angry both as a society with so much gun violence and as a nation of so much war. Continue reading

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Ebola: Fight-or-Flight

Survival by flight when confronting an unknown threat or overwhelming foe is one of man’s strongest survival instincts. In the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa there are many who demand that the only course of action is to contain this deadly disease by isolate the nations where it is ravaging by closing boarders and ban flights from these areas or even the entire continent of Africa. On the surface this seems reasonable. Closing the boarders to Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will simply cause people in fear of contracting Ebola to cross the borders to other African nations illegally and spread it unchecked not knowing where it is coming from or going. As it rapidly spreads throughout there were be not enough world resources to contain and treat it from spreading throughout the world. Continue reading

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Taking So Much for Granted

We all do many things throughout the day without giving much thought as to how convenient they are.  Often we do them automatically without recollection of having done them.  Take a very simple act of filling a cup of drinking … Continue reading

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Time to Embrace Diversity

Though social and ethnic diversity has always been part of the American landscape it hasn’t always been generally embraced. Much of this nation is still struggling to recognize the richness and contributions that diversity inherent brings. Majority groups often feel threatened by the intrusion of other social influences such as members of the LGBT community or the physically or mentally handicapped or the Black community. This nation was created with a vision mirrored in the Constitution reflecting the openness, freedom, equality, and diversity so lacking under British rule. The Bill of Rights further embraces and protects the diversity of man to believe as they wished, speak their mines freely, and peruse their dreams and aspirations. The founders of this nation were extraordinarily perceptive in their vision for a perfect nation. They realized that the diversity of citizens would make this nation great. The diversity of each ethnicity, culture, lifestyle, and beliefs in a free environment in totality makes for a far more enriching society. Continue reading

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Really Clean Nuclear Energy for the Near Future

After all the bad press nuclear power received after the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011 the world community has become paranoid about the use of nuclear power in spite of the rarity of nuclear accidents. But there are several old but newer technologies for generating nuclear power that are even safer. I have already written about breeder reactor technology. Another developing nuclear technology called Fusion emits a modest amount of radiation only while in operation and produces no radioactive byproducts. Two deuterium atoms, a heavier isotope of hydrogen having two neutrons instead of one, fuse together (Fusion) to produce ordinary helium gas releasing millions of times more energy than the most powerful conventional explosive. Lockheed Martin believes it can have an ultra-compact 100 megawatt Fusion reactor and generator that could be transported on a semi-trailer flatbed operating in ten years. This would generate enough electricity to run a very large aircraft carrier or thousands of homes. Continue reading

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Obama’s Weakness and Failures

My favorite presidents are Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson. What these presidents had in common were a very turbulent presidency, the skills to work behind the scenes with an often hostile congress to barter for legislation important to them, and figuring how best to get very difficult things done. When President Obama was first elected he had a much less hostile congress to work with. He was able to pass the Affordable Care Act, something other presidents had failed to do. But he was not an especially skilled politician familiar with the art of negotiating. His skills were far more adept at going out to the public to ask for their support. This won him the Presidency in two elections. But this alienated him from Congress. Legislation is at the heart of making government work which Congress owned. Continue reading

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Mixing Religious Moral Values with Government

The 1st Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the Constitution of the United States clearly states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” This is referred to as the Separation of Church from State and Freedom of Religion. Interestingly the separation of church from state is the very first Right of all rights listed in the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately some fundamentalist Christian groups still do not believe in the separation of church from state as defined in the 1st Amendment. They believe that the laws of God takes precedence over man’s laws. Continue reading

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Legislators Not Doing their Jobs

This election we have five state initiatives on our ballot. There are elections in which we have many more. Some of these initiatives are submitted by our legislature to voters to vote on and are often quite technically complex and beyond the ability of an average literate voter to understand. With all the deceptive political ads by special interest groups constantly bombarding voters they are often thoroughly confused about what they are voting on. There are simply too many problems letting the public vote on legislation. This is largely a problem with legislators who are too lazy to take responsibility of doing their jobs of legislating. Democracy is all about being informed voters. When voters are uninformed or make decisions based upon false or deceptive information then Democracy fails because government no longer represent the will of voters. Continue reading

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The Big Bang: Dark Matter and Dark Energy

This Post is a departure from my normal posts as it is about Theoretical Physics. One of my fascinations about science is the origin of the universe and the theorized existence of Dark Matter and Dark Energy. These concepts have gained more attention and popularity among scientists and science buffs in recent years. What I am about to describe is for those who know nothing about these concepts. Some of the discussions are not entirely scientifically accurate because very complex concepts involving very high level math are being greatly simplified to make them easier to understand as well as my own limited understanding. Continue reading

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