Author Archives: fgeefay

Shouldn’t Other Lives Matter too?

Recently there have been Blacks Lives Matter demonstrations throughout our nation due to the disproportionate numbers shootings of Black people by police. There have also been retaliation shootings and killings of law enforcement offices. Black communities for decades have complained that far too often law enforcement have used excessive lethal force (guns) targeting Black people… Continue reading

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Our Fears Rob Us from Living

Fear is the feeling of being completely out of control in desperation when facing a perceived or real threat completely outside one’s comfort zones. Some look at fear as an eminent life threatening situation but there are far more subtle fears that we face every day. We sometimes fear failure or fear the loss of a job or fear things happening that appear to pose a threat to our familiar way of life. Some fear heights or the fear of robbery or murder in their homes… Continue reading

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City Growth – The Smart Way

There has been much discussion about growth in my community and its impacts upon the quality of life of residents. I live in Silicon Valley which is currently undergoing an upturn in high-tech job growth which is considered healthy for our economy. But we are paying a heavy price in traffic congestion which is impacting our quality of life with more street noise, greater difficulty in getting around town, less safe streets, and increased air pollution…. But what if the cities planned new high density housing along existing transit corridors leading to major job centers in our city? What if there was a development within walking or biking distance from a major work center like Apple or Google where there was a large affordable housing complex incorporating a shopping center, daycare, offices for doctors, lawyers, etc. and even a school and library… Continue reading

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Trust Keeps Me Sane

To me Trust is a belief in the reliability that something physical will work predictably all the time. Trust in another person means the dependability and belief that that person will live up to my expectations of them. Trust is at the center of my belief that gravity will continue to hold me onto the ground instead of me floating into the sky. Trust is at the heart of all of my relationships, the glue that binds me together with others especially during the most stressful of times. It is the faith that allows me to rely on others to do what I expect of them so I can better do my job, live my life, and function in society… Continue reading

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Texas Woman’s Right to Choose Upheld by Supreme Court

In a 5 to 3 decision on Monday the US Supreme Court ruled against the constitutionally of a Texas law that required abortion clinics to be located in the immediate vicinity of emergency medical facilities in an attempt to stop the majority of abortion clinics from continuing to operate… Texas legislators consider abortions the murder of fetuses but cannot ban it for that reason due to the separation of church and state and the fact that a fetus has previously been ruled not a person so was not protected by the Constitution. So they cleverly figured a way to work around the constitution… Continue reading

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Brexit – Does Democracy Work?

I haven’t a full grasp of the results of the Brexit (British Exit) Referendum to leave the European Union (EU). But it does seem that British voters voted to leave the European Union in part out of frustrations with their government… The lesson here is that the British did not really understand what they were voting for using a democratic process… Continue reading

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Another Mass Shooting at Orlando, Fl. on June 12, 2016

The mass shooting in Orlando Florida, where 50 innocent human beings lost their lives and 53 were injured was the worst mass shooting in America’s history. It is not relevant if these human beings were innocent children in school or innocent members of the LGBT community in a nightclub, none of them deserved to have their lives shortened this way. The mass killer used a semi-automatic weapon purchased legally because… Continue reading

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Living so Close yet Be so Apart

I moved here more than five decades ago first to go to college before it became famous for technology then to work in the birthplace of semiconductors and home to such greats as Robert Noyce, Andy Grove, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs who shaped our area to what it is famous today, Silicon Valley… Much of this region grew quickly starting around the early 1970’s with people moving here from all over the nation and world and from here to there within the Valley as job opportunities rapidly expanded. Continue reading

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Who Should the President Select as the Next Supreme Court Justice

Due to the unexpected death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the leading conservative voice on the high court, there is now a vacancy on the Supreme Court. I believe that our nation now consists of extremes of liberal and conservatives who constantly fight with one another. I must admit that I have strong leaning towards the liberal side because of my rather progressive ideas. But I feel that government works best when there are more moderate centrists who are more willing to compromise. We currently have 4 liberal justices and 4 conservative justices. We need a moderate political and social justice who can bring more balanced to decisions. Continue reading

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Are Science and Religion Really in Opposition?

I recently came across an excerpt from a quote by Sir William Bragg, 1915 Nobel Prize laureate for Physics, in a Facebook post which I am stating in its entirety: From religion comes a man’s purpose; from science, his power to achieve it. Sometimes people ask if religion and science are not opposed to one another. They are: in the sense that the thumb and fingers of my hands are opposed to one another. It is an opposition by means of which anything can be grasped. Continue reading

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Extreme Political Grandstanding – Free Media Press

There is a Republican presidential candidate who is a black belt master at political campaign grandstanding. During primaries it is what you say, not what you mean that often gets most press. Primaries are where candidates can make outrageous statements with little consequence just to get ones name in the press and digital media. That is exactly what one candidate who had a reality program and made his fortune largely based upon bluffing is doing with great regularity. Continue reading

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Why would Anyone Be Against More Bicycles

I have been a bicycle advocate for the last 3 years because I feel that there are far too many cars on the road and bicycles can play an important role in reducing those numbers. I am also for public transport but feel that it will not work for my city due to urban sprawl with its maze of meandering streets and cul-de-sacs intended to offer more privacy for residents… Bicycles do not have this problem and neither do cars. The problem with cars is that they cause traffic which as our city rapidly grows is becoming a major problem. Continue reading

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Holding Grudges

Americans have never been big on Forgiving. We simply hold on to grudges indefinitely even after the problem has been resolved with the offending party or by them changing their ways. I have been guilty of this myself and I know many people who never can let go of some grudges against someone or something like a company. I find this to get in the way of letting both offenders and offended get on with their lives and perhaps later form meaningful relationships. Continue reading

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2015 UN Paris Climate Summit – Are We Committed?

The first UN Climate Change Summit (COP21) in 20 years convened in Paris just days after the recent Terrorist attacks there. Its goal is to draft legally binding and universal agreements on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 3.6°C… Our nation has officially been a strong advocate for reducing greenhouse gases yet 57% of Republican Congress Members deny anthropomorphic (man caused) Climate Change arguing there is nothing we can do to stem it in spite of universal scientific consensus to the contrary. Continue reading

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Domestic Terrorism at Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic

All mass shootings and killing should go under the category of Domestic Terrorism because that is exactly what they are, largely the indiscriminate killing of many people. There have been 294 cases of Domestic Terrorism in the US this year and no Foreign Terrorist action in more than 10 years. So why are we so paranoid about Foreign Terrorism when we have many real and active terrorists in our back yards? There are still many in the media and public that simply call these acts of terrorism mass shootings. Does this distinction mean that it is a Terrorist act if people are killed en mass by a foreign person or group but a Mass Shooting if done by a domestic person or group? Continue reading

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Arab Terrorist’s Achilles Heel

The recent acts of terrorist in Paris and elsewhere serve as stark reminders that attacks are still possibility here. Since 9/11 America has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on homeland security that have changed the way we live and travel. We no longer feel as safe as before. With our privacy compromised and our freedom to traveled hampered we accept these invasions upon our constitutional freedoms in the name of the Patriot Act and national security. Although we have been by far the most aggressive country against Arab terrorism and actions in the Middle East little has happened here at home since 9/11 more than 14 years later. Continue reading

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Truth and The Universe We Think We Know

I’ll be the first to admit that my understanding of the universe is as to a single electron compared to a galaxy of countless stars and particles. What I think I know but really don’t is also nothing to brag about. What I know to be true is a myth. I recently saw a TV documentary about how we all live in the past. It takes some milliseconds for our senses to send signals to our brain and very complex things such as sight take a few hundred milliseconds to process and interpret. … So is life all an illusion? In a way it is. Most certainly it is not exactly as it seems. Continue reading

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We Are Products of our Environment

It is my experience that from a very young age we are all in some way products of our environment. As we grow up our values becomes imprinted into the neurons of our minds. They say that children fluently speaking a foreign language up the age of 10 continue to speak it fluently for life. That seems the age at which our neurons become more fixed and difficult to later change. As we mature it becomes very difficult to change the responses we have towards people, things, and events. Continue reading

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America’s Most Shameful Boasts

Freedom, Justice, and Equality for all. These are values we boast to ourselves and foreigners about what is so great about our democracy. They have the presumption of equal opportunities for all. However these value are far truer for some than other. Obviously opportunities are not equal for all economically, socially, religiously, and politically. Regardless of what we claim we are clearly a nation full of paradoxes. The pursuit of happiness are only words for many who have little hope for a better life. Continue reading

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Rearing Children in a Changing World

Raising children has never been easy but it was much simpler 300 years ago. Moral values and cultural norms did not noticeably change from one generation to the next. Children often grew up to inherit their parent’s social standing and professions. Families were far more nuclear and things more established when not threatened by war. Everyday life was generally far simpler and routine. That doesn’t mean it was better, just less encumbered with decisions and uncertainties. Parenting was very much along the same lines as how parents were raised as children. Continue reading

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What YOU Can Do to Make a Difference – Climate Change

The primary culprit of Climate Change is excessive CO2 being released into the atmosphere from the insatiable appetite of Our Affluent Lifestyle. There is almost no part of our lives that does not impact Climate Change from the goods we consume to the conveniences we treasure. So there are plenty of opportunities for each of us to mitigate Our Individual impact. It isn’t only about government regulating carbon emissions. It is also about each of us doing our part to reduce the use of energy that is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. We can no longer wait for someone else to reduce it for us. Continue reading

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Another Shooting at a University within One Week

Another shooting, this time at Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus, took place yesterday when a gunman intent on killing many more than the one student he killed and the three he injured was maced and tackled by other students while trying to reload his gun. This could have very well turned into another mass killing in less than one week after the mass killing at Umpqua Community College. Continue reading

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Another Mass Shooting this time at a college in Oregon

President Obama gave his 15th news conference on mass shootings since taking office on the recent mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. 10 lives including the shooter were taken and 7 were wounded. I don’t necessarily blame the shooter who was in all likelihood mentally deranged. I blame our legal and legislative systems as well as our often warped sense of civilized social values for allowing him and other killers such easily access to guns. The gunman reportedly owned 13 legally obtained guns plus plenty of ammunition. Had people not had such easy access to guns many of these tragic mass and daily shootings would not have occurred and more would still be alive today. Continue reading

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Compassion in such Short Supply

I learned about compassion as a young kid going to Sunday school a lifetime ago. I still remember such lessons as the The Good Samaritan and The Golden Rule. Though I am now an agnostic my Christian values have changed little. In fact I feel that liberating myself from all the religious dogma of organized religion has allowed me to develop a greater sense of consistent personal responsibility by focusing upon basic moral concepts without consideration to God’s judgement or confusing Christian doctrine. It is the sense of Compassion through empathy, understanding, and forgiveness that is the overriding theme of this blog. Even this blog’s name ‘Our Social Conscience’ reflects this sentiment. I have been highly critical of government, organized religion, and society for not practicing more Compassion in our lives and in our government’s actions. Continue reading

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What PEACE Means to Me

PEACE is an attitude, not a conviction. It is the will to avoid conflicts and war, not to totally eliminate it which is passivism. It is the equalizer of social and political behavior. Its fig leaf sends a signal that I am open to dialog and am interested in hearing and understanding what you have to say about yourself and about me. It is about the absence of ego, that threats real or perceived will not hinder my pursuit of a peaceful resolution and harmonious relationship. It is the fundamental basis of most mainstream religions. Continue reading

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