About the 36:00 mark of the Ziglar podcast, the host starting talking about how inadequate he felt leading personal development classes on subjects that he felt he need a lot more work on before he felt comfortable teaching others about. This transitioned into talking about hypocrisy, which is defined today as a person declaring a personal standard (usually moral) and then failing to meet it.
This “hypocrisy” is used by Liberals all the time against those they oppose. If someone Liberals don’t like (usually Conservatives) declare a standard, then when someone of that disliked group does not meet that standard, Liberals use that to try and declare that standard invalid. An example that comes to mind is when Republicans speak against debauchery and degradation of women. So when a couple Republican lawmakers are found enjoying themselves in a strip club, Liberals start screaming, "SEE, THEY DON’T LIVE UP TO THEIR OWN STANDARDS!!!"
To continue with the podcast, the guest brought up Thomas Jefferson. The man who wrote in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”, yet he owned slaves. Which, using the current definition of hypocrisy, Thomas Jefferson certainly was a hypocrite. Declaring that all men are equal, while at the same time owning human beings.
Here’s what the guest quoted Thomas Jefferson saying about this:
"This thing I believe, do I water it down to the level that I can live up to, or do I say the truth, even though I am falling horribly short of it myself?"
This is that epiphanial thunderbolt I spoke of earlier. Do I set my standards to where I can reach them, or do I set them high enough that my maximum effort may or may not attain that standard? A deep quandary indeed to all those of deep thought want desire to improve themselves.
I have certain beliefs as standards that I hold myself to, even though I fall horribly short of them on a consistent basis. Every day I fall short in my obligations to my family, friends and all those whom I interact with. However, because I will fail does not mean I should never try. With that being said, I work every day to try and attain those unreachable goals, even knowing I may never reach them.
I have multiple other ways of saying this, such as, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough,” “One should not pursue goals that are easily achieved. One must develop an instinct for one can just barely achieve through one's greatest efforts” and many others. I heard in another podcast this intent (since I don’t remember it exactly enough to quote it):
Never fear failure. If you fail, this means you picked a target outside of your comfort zone and your abilities. If you tried your best and failed, be proud of yourself because you got out on a limb and tried, which puts you way ahead of those who never try.
This is the message I want to leave you with. Strive for what is out of your reach. You just might get it.
I am being deliberately vague here to protect who everyone is while keeping them straight and paraphrasing what was said...
The story below highlights how I treat and speak of others when they are not with me. This is how I act about all of my friends and acquaintances.
I was visiting a friend (Friend) during my lunch break yesterday, and while we were standing near my work truck (I was preparing some parts to be shipped back) a neighbor and acquaintance of Friend (Neighbor) came over to us and said to me, "I know you from somewhere." As we talked, we discovered that Neighbor had been in a class I had taught some years ago while I was a Mental Health Counselor.
Neighbor and I continued to talk, and the conversation turned to people we mutually knew, two in particular (Mutual A and Mutual B). Neighbor called Mutual A an "asshole" and Mutual B an "idiot." I replied, stating "Mutual A is strong-willed and is set in his ways about doing things. Mutual B has knowledge, however they lack the understanding to apply it properly." I did provide an example of Mutual B's "expertise." Neighbor pressed me, trying to get me to call Mutual A and B the same names he used.
It was at this point that Friend said, "Give it up Neighbor, he doesn't say things like that about anybody."
I am not providing details as to why so don't ask. I respect Mutual A and Mutual B, make no mistake about that. I continue to be friendly with them to this day, when our paths cross. To say that I like them, not so much. I have had occasional less-than-satisfying encounters with both. I can suspect, but I will never fully know their motivations and reasoning about why they treated me as they did.
I cannot change them, nor can I change their perception of me. All I can do is to try and be the best person I can be. How that appears to others and how it influences their opinion of me I cannot affect, nor will I lose sleep over it. That is their burden, not mine.
I defend everybody I know when I hear their character maligned. On Facebook, I have defended both Trump and Hillary when I see memes or whatever that state things I know are not true about them. If I have two friends/acquaintances who were in a relationship and broke up, I don't take sides with one over the other, and I ask one not to malign the other with me.
Over the years I have developed a practice of not commenting immediately on things, but this is blowing up FB.
I don't watch TV, so I have only heard to references that Trump during the debate last night that he (if President) would order his Attorney General to investigate Hillary.
My question is, why is ordering the AG to fully investigate a person and to bring charges and prosecute when evidence of violations of the law are discovered bad, versus ordering the AG to not bring charges when clear evidence exists is acceptable?
The law that Hillary falls under concerning storing classified emails on an unsecured email server does not require intent. If you do it without knowing that the information is classified, guess what? You're still guilty because laws like this does not require mens rea (the evil mind, legalese for intent). There have been multiple instances of military members convicted and serving prison time for inadvertently releasing even small amounts of low-level classified information.
I guess the rules are different when you're running to run things.
In the next couple of days, I will be traveling to an undisclosed location for an unspecified period of time. Actually I am going to training for my job for a couple of weeks.
The point is, I will have a fair amount of time sitting in a hotel room with nothing better to do. I have no interest in being a tourist (I've been there before), so after dinner and my studies I will be spending my remaining time writing. I currently have over 8,600 words invested in five "big" posts and one "small" post. The big ones will likely end up in one of the top sections just below the banner because they wouldn't fit into the standard front page blog posts. I probably have almost an equal number of words to go to complete all of them.
I also have three more "big" posts that will take at least a dozen hours just of research before I can move forward off the premise and actually start writing content.
I believe you will like what I am working on, all of them.
This is literally a first time in thirteen years that I have been running this blog that I am substantially changing the point of one of my posts.
One of the greatest powers a human being has is the ability to change their position on an issue. This usually occurs when new evidence is brought to ones attention that causes a reconsideration. I always try to arrive at the correct conclusion the first time and thus prevent this from occurring. I will admit that I am a flawed person who makes many mistakes daily. I failed to consider the full ramifications of what I wrote below.
If you read the original post, I speak of holding both the company and the people who have done bad severely accountable to the tune of crushing financial fines. After a similar story about Deutsche Bank being "fined" for $14 Billion because another country fined Apple for the same amount, I listened to Dan Bongino talk about the ripple effects if Deutsche Bank being crippled or driven out of business entirely due to this crippling fine.
I still believe that those directly responsible for committing "bad acts" be civilly and criminally punished in the most harshest manner possible. Criminal prosecutions attached with large fines and prison time, plus crippling civil lawsuits from those injured by the bad acts.
The change I have arrived at is that the company should not be fined. For large companies/corporations like Wells Fargo which employ hundreds or thousands of people who did and are doing what they should be doing, if the company is fined out of existence, the ripples will turn into tsunamis. The good employees will be suddenly unemployed, customers are left in the lurch, plus all of the other ripple effects that will hurt others unnecessarily who have no connection to the bad acts.
As you may have heard, Wells Fargo has been caught with its proverbial hand deep in the cookie jar.
Over at least the past seven years, there has existed a corporate culture of setting ill-advised metrics for employees. Many employees were given "sales quotas," meaning they had to have customers start so many of their various "financial products" such as credit cards, bank accounts with them and so on. The bad news is when the customers didn't do it on their own, the employees "helped" the customers open those accounts. This resulted in millions of dollars of bank fees, overdraft fees, interest charges and on and on.
This unethical behavior was approved and encouraged by management. Employees who actually had personal ethics and didn't engage in this behavior were penalized and fired.
Now that this scheme has been discovered, 5,300 employees who engaged in this have been fired and a fine of $185 million has been levied against Wells Fargo. That may seem like a lot of cash, however when compared against the 2015 total profits of almost $22.9 billion from total revenue of $86 billion, that fine equates out to be 0.8% of their profits. I would call that pocket change.
Ideally, people and businesses should always act to do positive things and not injure those they interact with. Of course, this ideal will never be reached, however if we apply appropriate external incentives, we can at least hold these grevious incidents to a minimum.
When you consider how hard it is to "pierce the corporate veil" to hold executives, managers and employees personally liable, both criminally and civilly, this needs to change.
First and foremost, the laws need to be simplified and consolidated. To have a thousand ways to be assessed a fine and civil liabilities like I propose below is unreasonable and subject to abuse by governmental agents and agencies. The laws must be simple and clear as much as possible.Instead of working off exact numbers, let's try percentages. Penalties from the government the corporation, let's assign a penalty of 50% of their gross revenues for each year this violation happened. For those executives and other board members who can be shown they were knowledgeable and/or culpable in bad behaviors, confiscate 95% of their net worth. That would still leave the CEO of Wells Fargo John Stumpf with about $2.5 million out of his current $50 million personal fortune. Junior executives, management and employees could be fined lesser but still heavy percentages. That's just the fines from government.
As far as individuals suing those responsible, whatever damages they can show, multiply it by 100. If a customer was bilked out of $10,000 by the company and specific individuals, let's award them $1,000,000.
I can hear some people screaming, "You'll destroy the company and those people!!!" That's my point. Do you really want a company to continue to provide goods and services to you or those you love after a grievous breach of trust? To allow them to continue to do business with many, if not all of the leadership team intact? Really, what is preventing Wells Fargo or any other company guilty of a breach of trust from going right back to doing business just like before?
If there were laws like this in place where you know if you step over that line you would personally be financially crushed and the company along with you, how likely would you engage in this kind of activity? Hopefully, not very likely.
This doesn't rate a FB post. I have fixed, updated and added some links to the left. I discovered that there is a Zig Ziglar podcast and I have had great pleasure in the last week listening to their archives as I drive around my territory delivering my services to my customers.
There is a mental disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. It is best characterized by the phrase "I hate you don't leave me!" There is no comma in that phrase as common English grammatical rules would call for because there is no pause when someone with BPD says it.
Other characterizations include very black/white thinking. You either intensely love and or adore someone/thing, or you just as intently hate or despise the same person/thing. There is no in-between and vacillating from one side to the other can be rapid and random.
No person is 100% angelic or demonic. The most famous people in history, either beloved or reviled had done both wonderful and horrendous things in their life.
I bring this up because I see this in many people concerning the current Presidential horse race. They revere without reservation one candidate and revile with equal emotion the other candidate.
As Dave Ramsey says, "Pull your head out of your politics." Both of the major candidates have serious issues. Don't vote for a person because of what party they ascribe to, nor their personal plumbing. I suggest your take Mrs. Corsale's advice.
Mrs. Corsale was my Geometry and Trigonometry teacher in High School. When she was in college, she had three suitors after her hand in marriage. Being the extremely analytical math nerd she was, she used math to decide which suitor to pick. She wrote a list of every quality she wanted in a husband. She then wrote a list of every quality she didn't want in a husband. She gave each suitor a point for every quality they had on the first list, then deducted a point for every quality they had on the second list. She married the guy with the highest total.
We are going to be stuck with either Trump or Kane for the next few years. If what I have been reading about Hillary's condition is true or pretty close, if she gets elected she won't survive her first year in office. While what she has in and of itself is not fatal, it will probably kill her through complications, one of her "falls" or she will deteriorate to the point she won't be able to perform her duties.
All I ask is you look at their accomplishments. If you don't like either, consider the Libertarian or Green Party. Think for yourself and don't let soundbites from either side make up your mind for you.
I don’t have anger issues, really. I am very laid-back, happy and deferential when it comes to 99% of my interactions with people. That last 1% however can screw up and put a negative spin on the rest of my day.
I have been on “that side” of the phone, as a CSR (Customer Service Representative) and help desk. I always tried to be helpful and giving of information and resources. It seemed to me that giving the information would improve the customers’ experience. Some help desk/CSR banks though have intentionally gone the other way. This department of this company seems to ascribe to the “Piss them off so they won’t bother us” school of thought.
My work history has been unsteady lately. Out of the past 31 months, I have been unemployed 14 months and underemployed (30% base pay cut compared to the 5 year job plus no benefits) 17 months. When I got the underemployed job, I worked with the bank that holds my car note to fold the three payments I was behind into the end of my loan. The lady I worked with was sweet, kind, attentive and caring. Six months ago, I had to file for bankruptcy because my expenses were more than my income. Being severely underemployed will do that to you. Due to various delays I have not fully discharged the bankruptcy yet.
I covered all of that so you have the context of my call transcript below. I am now (again) three car payments behind. So I called the bank again and was routed without choice to the bankruptcy department because I am still in Bankruptcy.
Me: Hello, I am calling because I am three payments behind on my car and I need to speak with someone about what I can do to roll those payments onto the end of my loan.
CSR: We don’t do that here.
Me: I did this exact thing back in December 2014. What do you mean ‘we don’t do that here’?
CSR: We don’t do that here.
Me: Okay, what you're saying is the Bankruptcy department can’t do that, I understand. Who would I have to talk with to make this happen?
CSR: We don’t do that here.
Me: [Looking for my ball-peen hammer] Me: […pauses to keep from shouting…]
Me: Could you please volunteer some information so I don’t have to be extremely pedantic and exacting in my questions in order to try and gain some information you have that could solve my issue???
CSR: You have to reaffirm your debt to get it out of this department.
Me: [Found the ball-peen hammer, debating to use it on the phone or my head] Me: […pauses some more to keep from shouting…]
Me: IF YOU INSIST THAT I MUST BEG AND GROVEL FOR EVERY LITTLE PIECE OF INFORMATION FROM YOU, how in the hell do I reaffirm the debt?
CSR: Your lawyer must fill out and return the appropriate paperwork to us.
Me: [Sarcastically] THANK YOU. I just want to tell you that you could have prevented the last five minutes of my life from being excruciatingly painful merely by being slightly forthcoming in the information. If you had said the first time you opened your mouth, ‘We can’t do payment rollovers in this department. The loan has to be transferred out after you reaffirm the debt.’ I would have been understanding instead of aggravated.
Me: Now that we got that out of the way, is there a way you could inform me if you are about to take my car for non-payment?
Me: [Puts hammer down. Looks for a power drill with a paddle bit to drill on myself] Me: “Bye.” [Hangs up]
At that point in time I was aggravated to the point I was going to call into question in a very detailed and graphic manner the genetic relations of her prior three generations and use very impolite language. Normally I would do this and use language suitable at a ladies afternoon cotillion but I was rushed and not in the right frame of mind.
I didn't, because at the last second before I opened my mouth I realized she could have been under orders to not be helpful (yes, there are help desks that do that). Maybe she had a bad day herself and my yelling at her and belittling her more than I did wasn't going to improve the attitude of either one of us.
I learned a while back that in any interaction I have with another person I should always ASSUME GOOD INTENTIONS. This means that I should never think the other person is intentionally trying to ruin my day. That does not preclude that they might be a mean person, however you should always assume that the other person is fighting a battle you will never learn about. This bad news will affect how they interact with others, but you should never let their attitude spread to you then you take that and hurt others.
I illustrate this point using a story from Stephen Covey:
Stephen was coming home on the subway, trying to unwind after a stressful day. At one stop a man gets on with several children. The man seemed unconcerned that his children were running up and down the car, screaming, fighting with each other and being very unruly. Stephen walked over to to the man to tell him to control his children, but at the last second something in the mans demeanor gave him pause. Instead, Stephen sat down next to the man and asked, "What happened?"
The man replied that he and his children were heading home from the hospital, where his wife and the children's mother had just died a few minutes ago. Stephen's attitude changed 180 degrees from "yell at him for not controlling his children" to "How can I help?"
I apologize to the lady I spoke with. It was my failure of control that caused me to be upset and yell at her. I try to leave every person I encounter better than how I found them. I failed with you.
After any 9/11 anniversary, I get edgy around people who think the Towers falling was an "inside job." They post meme's like this one to try and convince the unknowlegeable that there is a hidden and more complex reason why they fell. They never try to take into account Occam's Razor to explain why.
I am going to straighten the record out in clear, plain and unmistakable language that a 3rd grader can understand.
First rest off, the Towers were basically giant Jenga towers. Perfectly stable as they were built and designed to withstand "off-axis forces," such as an aircraft impacting the building, a massive hurricane or even an earthquake. The Towers were also meant to withstand an out-of-control fire for up to three hours as well so everyone could get out safely. The Towers DID survive the impact of the aircraft.
Second, the base steel used (there were 12 types) in the construction was A36 steel. That grade of steel does indeed melt at 2,750 degrees, and jet fuel does indeed burn at 1,500 degrees.
But that's not the whole truth.
A36 steel (which has a structural strength of 36,000 pounds per square inch) does indeed turn into a liquid at 2,750 degrees. However at the lower temperature of 1,500 degrees, it loses half of its structural strength, well below the temperature that it becomes liquid. There were also other materials burning in the fire as well. Such a conflagration would have caused an updraft, which would have somewhat raised the temperature and increased the intensity of the fire.
Again, the designers of the tower anticipated an event with the same effect in their design, so that the Towers would stand long enough to get everyone out safely. What they didn't anticipate was that the aircraft would dislodge the layers of fire protection covering the structural members. This allowed the heat to get to and soften the structural members.
The result is like when you pop a balloon full of air or water. As soon as that one section of the balloon is punctured, the structure of that part of the balloon fails and transfers it's load to what's left. This is what happened in the Towers. A couple of structural members were destroyed by the initial impact. The surrounding uncompromised members became soft and weak from the heat of the fire because the insulation was knocked off and the heat could get to the steel. Once the weakened structure members became soft enough that they could no longer hold the weight on them, the members failed and dumped that stress and weight to the unaffected structural members. They now had more stress and weight they could handle and snapped. Because that's what A36 steel does when it's stressed with over 36,000 PSI.
When the overloaded floors snapped, they dumped the entire load of the upper building onto the next lower floor. This caused the lower floor to "pancake," suddenly squishing out all of the air, windows and loose items from that floor, making it look like there had been an explosion. This cycle repeated for each floor until all of the now-rubble came to rest.
Now, if you think the Towers were "a demolition job," watch this video:
Watch the time, work and planning it took to successfully drop that building. If you think that kind and scale of work can go on for a couple of weeks or months without anyone noticing, you're an idiot.
Another thing to consider, was how it was possible for two barely-trained pilots to hit a very specific spot perfectly to cause this whole chain of events? If the aircraft had hit too high or too low, the Towers might not have fallen. This is why Occam's Razor beats any massive conspiracy.
When you want to decide and go public on something, please have all of the facts in proper context before you blindly offer someone else's opinion.
I want to say this on Colin Kaepernick's sudden decision to not stand for the National Anthem.
I fully support him for his decision. I served so that he has the freedom to have the choice to stand or not on those occasions. His reasons are his reasons which are good enough for him. I don't know his motivations and quite frankly I don't care what they are.
I also fully support those people who have decided to destroy their team merchandise with his name or likeness, to stop buying merchandise with his name or likeness and in general loudly voice their displeasure over this action.
I do NOT support those people comparing Kaepernick to other NFL players who left the NFL and joined the military, implying that he is "less of a man" or "a coward" for not joining the military. The military life is not for everybody.
It does not matter one way or the other to me if Kaepernick keeps his job or is let go because of this PR scofflaw. I don't do sports any more, despite being raised in the Dawg Pound long before it was called that.
Consequences are the inevitable result of our choices. There are good and bad consequences. Learn, realize and accept that.
I lost an acquaintance the other day, his name was William Duty. He died unexpectedly at 51 years old. He had just walked out of a gym, sat down in his car and died, just like that. My relationship with him is unusual, because we first met in Guam in 1989, then we managed to cross paths again in Memphis 7,500 miles away and 25 years later.
Will was not only in my division when we were stationed in Guam, we also saw each other on Saturdays at the nearby Andersen AFB in the Project Warrior wargaming club. Our tours overlapped by about six months (I arrived in June 1989, he left about Christmas 1989). Here in Memphis, we usually saw each other at board gaming meetups. When I first bumped into him several years ago, we didn't realize who the other was. I lost hair, he grew out his hair and a beard and we both gained weight. It took me talking about my time in Guam that he overheard and we started talking and realized we knew each other. In fact, a very close friend of mine Bill Weldon who followed me from Hawaii to Guam a few months later, ended up in Will's shop and Will trained Bill.
The last time we saw each other, I was talking about when Project Warrior as a group crossed a Modern D10 land wargame (I forget the name) and Battletech. I was playing Commander of the Battlemech lance (4 'Mechs) and Will was coordinating fire with a platoon of APC's armed with FOG-M's (Fiber Optic Guided Missiles). Those damn FOG-M's were killing a 'Mech a turn and were out of sight and way out of range for me.
I titled this "Unfinished business" because I still have a newsletter from Project Warrior and I promised to scan it and send him a copy. I don't think my email can reach into the next world. Will, you will be missed by many people.
Babylon 5 is my favorite TV show. It had characters with real flaws, who dealt with real-life issues and the episodes were not interchangeable, like "Brand X" (Star Trek). This series taught me that "You must do the right thing for the right reasons. If you do the right thing for the wrong reasons, you will corrupt and destroy the good you have created."
I learned yesterday that Jerry Doyle, the actor who played Chief Warrant Officer Michael Garibaldi, died suddenly at age 60. He joins Andreas Katsulas (G'kar), Richard Biggs (Dr. Stephen Franklin) and Jeff Conaway (Sgt. Zack Allan) in the Great Unknown.
While probably many people who watched B5 identified with the characters Sinclair or Sheridan (for the ladies Ivanova or Delenn), I always identified with Garibaldi. He didn't take any guff, he was very passionate and didn't compromise his principles. Garibaldi had a clear sense of right and wrong and a strong loyalty to his friends. He took care of his friends and was very indirect on how he exacted revenge against those who hurt him. Out of all of the scenes with Mr. Garibaldi, this one is the one I like the best:
The only loose end not tied up by the series end was how Garibaldi took care of Bester. After some research, I found out that Garibaldi (after the no-harm block was removed) pursued Bester. In the end, Garibaldi left Bester alive, in prison and stripped of his telepathic abilities.
After an afternoon and evening running errands in and around Memphis today, I come back home and on my way into the house, I picked up the mail, which included a letter from the Grand Lodge F & A M of Tennessee. I have been waiting for and dreading this letter for some time.
The important part reads,
The defendant was found guilty of the charges and will receive the sentence of 'Expelled from Masonry' as of July 19, 2016.
I love this country and what it stands for so much that I spent 13 years serving it, ready to lay down my life if called upon. I love Masonry more. I felt it was necessary for me to make this stand because Masonry taught me to never compromise my character.
If I seem angry, short-tempered or more sarcastic than usual, this is why. I ask for your forgiveness.
This particular article has been running around in my head for a while. It wasn’t until recently that I found the video clip below that I felt I needed to drive home the point I want to make.
Just to be clear, when I talk about “Global Climate Change” (as in Capitalized) I mean the “Man-made climate disaster” kind of thing.
To start off, I would be a fool if I did not believe in the fact that the Earth’s climate is changing. The climate as a whole is changing every day, like a shoreline. The climate ebbs and flows, just like the ocean tide coming in and going out twice each day. It does, trust me. I’m a sailor and have navigated boats and ships upon the ocean.
I would also be a fool if I believed that mankind alone is the sole or major player in that climate change. A change of a few degrees of temperature on the Sun, or the eruption of a volcano has at least the same and probably more impact on the global climate as all of us put together.
I admit that Mankind burning all of these fossil fuels does have some impact. How much, I don’t know. All of these climate scientists can’t agree themselves and they have a lot better access to the data than I do.
I have been watching this debate since I was a teenager in the 70’s, I have discovered that published data supporting Global Climate Change to be very suspect. Over the years, I have seen reports about a single weather station and its data “proving” climate change. The bad news is that several years of the data in question was “reported” by that station before it was even built. I have seen other reports that satellite data has been “massaged” to support the “climate change” theory.
You see, I remember when these Global Climate Change scientists were yelling about Global Cooling in the 70’s. Their “solution” was to spread carbon dust over the poles to absorb more heat from the Sun. In the 90’s, Al Gore started to raise the alarm about Global Warming. Imagine how much worse that Global Warming would have been if we actually had covered the poles with carbon dust in the 70’s. Because these crackpot scientists really can’t make up their minds on if the Earth is warming or cooling (it’s actually doing both, at the same time), they did agree on finally calling it Global Climate Change because then it means whatever they want it to mean.
The weatherman on our local daily newscast uses the best climatological models and software money can buy, yet they have great difficulty predicting with any accuracy what the weather will be for a specific city more than three days in the future. I really have to ask, if these professionals can’t have more than a 30% accuracy for a specific location more than 72 hours into the future, how can other professionals be able to predict with any certainty what the climate will be like in fifty to one hundred years? I can assure you if the sunspot activity on the Sun drops or jumps dramatically, or there’s an unanticipated volcano eruption that these Global Climate Change scientists didn’t predict, all their models go right out the window.
I personally believe we are like fleas jumping up and down on the back of an elephant. We think we are affecting things but really we are not.
To those people who believe that we should either drastically cut back or stop entirely our use of fossil fuels, I want to give you a Magic Button that will instantly stop all production and use of all fossil fuels. I am not going to use half-way measures like the Kyoto Protocol because that will not stop the damage, only prolong it.
The following clip is from the 1952 movie Above and Beyond. The man in question is Lieutenant Colonel Paul Tibbets, the man who piloted the B-29 Enola Gay that dropped the atomic bomb Little Boy on Hiroshima Japan. I have edited this clip, which is why it jumps.
Lt. Col Tibbets pressed that button on the incomplete knowledge that he could stop WWII the next day by pressing that button, killing over 100,000 people in the process. He didn’t know how it would be done, only that it became a very real possibility if he pressed that button.
I now offer you that button, giving you the knowledge that if you press it, the current ecosystem will most likely survive as is and could recover. There will also be large-scale human deaths involved. If you don’t press it, things will go on the way it’s going right now.
Now if you don’t press the button, I would have nothing further to describe, so for the sake of argument, let’s say you do press the button and stop all production and use of fossil fuels. To start off with, cities of any size are for lack of a better term black holes. Every city has to pull in everything it needs every day from the surrounding area at a minimum and the world as a whole because it cannot provide basic necessities for human life without outside resources.
So when we press that Magic Button, the first thing we notice is the lights will go out. That means no light at night beyond candles, no heat when it’s cold beyond burning wood in your fireplace and certainly no air conditioning when it’s hot. Yes there is nuclear, solar and hydroelectric power generation methods, but in the United States they are a small fraction of the total power output and thus not worthy to mention.
No power also means no computers, no Internet, no Television. Oh, sure, some things that are battery powered will go on for a day or so, unless you have a solar recharger to keep it charged. And really what good will that laptop, cell phone or tablet do for you for you if there is no cellular network and no Internet?
The second thing you will notice is deliveries have stopped. That means no more Amazon packages delivered daily by UPS, FedEx or DHL. No more mailman. No more trucks delivering food and the thousand other sundry items you use every day without noticing into your city or town. Once your pantry is empty, what are you going to do? All your money is in the bank, tied to your debit card. Since the cash registers and ATM’s don’t have power, you can’t buy food.
By the way, the government is not coming to help you. Instead of being exempted from burning fossil fuels, your Magic Button affected them as well. There is no cavalry coming over the hill in the nick of time to save you.
You, and millions of others who are used to the city life now face two choices. You can either starve to death in place, become bandits killing others for their supplies, or you can migrate on foot out to the rural areas where you will likely die on the way by the hands of bandits or others fleeing as well. If you’re lucky you might make it to a farm to become serfs of the farmer. You work and tend his crops for a share of the food. You better hope if you’re female the landowner does not know what droit de seigneur means.
If you live in an area without farms nearby, you might survive off the land long-term, but the odds are against you because there are thousands trying to do the same thing.
By pressing that button, you have realistically killed over 200 million people in the United States alone. World-wide, most of the people in cities and developed countries will die.
Out of the 7.2 billion people living on Earth right now, you would kill at least 3-5 billion people, condemning them to death from food riots or starvation, all because you want to “stop Global Warming.” You would knock us back to a pre-Industrial Revolution way of life.
Congratulations! You have outdone many times over the total efforts of Stalin, Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot put together. You should be proud of yourself. You name will be remembered for the rest of Mankind. I do not know if your name will be remembered with praise or as a curse.
I started writing this post at the beginning of the month. Due to blog issues it was lost twice. One last try, because this is important.
The start of July 2016 saw the deaths of two Black men which were partially caught on video. One was a career criminal, who was killed by police while resisting arrest. One was a positive influence in his church and community, who died due to a tragic miscommunication between himself and the officer. I grieve for these dead men, the officers involved and all of their families and communities.
While I do not fault the Black community for being outraged over these two deaths, I have to ask this: every week, forty-eight Black people are killed across this country in Black-on-Black violence with nary a peep from social media, nor the national-level media. Even the local media covers it like "Yeah, another 3 Black people were killed and 12 wounded in weekend violence. Stay tuned, we'll report this again next week." I then see the local Black leaders hold prayer vigils and call for the end of violence.
And not a damn thing happens, except more young Black people are killed. If you want to solve a problem (i.e., the scores of Black deaths), I suggest you break down the problem and then with all of your effort go after the biggest issue.
The federal government cannot solve this issue. Nor can the state government, nor county/city government. They can be part of the solution, however the People must take action if this is truly to be solved.
This is what I see:
A Black culture that glorifies violence in its many forms.
A Black culture that punishes advancing in life.
A broken prison and parole system.
A community who fails its citizens.
A surplus of idle hands.
I refuse to paint this issue with a broad brush. This is not "all Blacks" or any other nonsense. This is a very specific segment of the Black population. To change how society handles them is a task that falls on all of us. To changes themselves, that must come from within them.
I want to start out saying the majority of Black families (single-parent and nuclear) want and push their children to learn, gain knowledge and succeed in life. These parents are to be commended for their actions.
When I hear Blacks roll by me in their cars, blaring Rap music I get sad. Most of the Rap music I hear uses all kinds of derogatory and dehumanizing terms towards women, as well as advocating violence and illegal activity. I understand this music is a reflection of their daily lives. That does not preclude those same Rap artists from focusing on the positive aspects of the lives of those people. When it comes to advancing in life, there is a portion of the Black population that punishes other Blacks for wanting to succeed. If a Black schoolchild is studying to be a professional (either white-collar or skilled), they are punished by their peer group for "wanting to be White." The result, an untrained young Black person lacking the foundation of knowledge to operate effectively in this society and is unhireable for anything more than grunt work at minimum wage. The males are forced into illicit activities to provide income, thus dying early in gang violence or spending most of their lives in prison. The women survive by popping out babies to get on Welfare.
Make no mistake about it, what I have just described is a small percentage of the Black community. That being said, it is this sliver of the population where most of the violence and lawlessness comes from.
The ideas I am about to describe to you will not be easy. Nothing worth having ever comes easy. It will not be a fast solution. This is a "crock pot" solution versus a "microwave" solution. If the proper effort is consistently applied, it will take at least 20 years before meaningful change happens.
The prison system has to change. The current prison system is not designed to rehabilitate. It is designed to crush the mind, spirit and body of the prisoner. Yes, there are isolated programs to teach felons trades, but they are just that, isolated. A trade school program to certify these men and women in lucrative, marketable skills is essential, both in High School (so they don't get into the justice system in the first place) and prison (so they have skills to keep them out of prison).
The parole system has to change. Right now a felony conviction ruins a person for the rest of their lives. It cuts off most of their opportunities and relegates them to the low-paying, unskilled labor which almost guarantees their re-entry into the justice system. There needs to be a universal incentive for businesses to hire first-time felons who acquired those marketable skills and put them to work.
Society has to "disavow" its criminals. Up until the Civil War, miscreants (defined as depraved or villainous) who caused too much trouble in a town or village were "ridden out of town on a rail." Let me show you want that meant.
This is a fence rail. notice how the top rail is actually pretty much square in its cross-section.
Because our colonial ancestors didn't have the time or equipment to make their fence rails fancy, the old-fashioned and simplest way was to quarter a log, like this:
So when someone was "ridden out of town on a rail," the townspeople stripped the miscreant naked, then carried him to the edge of town on said fence rail, lifted upon the shoulders of two men. The rail was positioned with the point upwards (as shown) and the miscreant straddled the rail. I think the terms "extremely painful" and "wood splinters in the genitals and crotch" would be accurate regarding said ride. Tarring and feathering (coating the miscreant with liquid tar then covering him with feathers) usually accompanied the "traveling by rail," either before or after. Below is an image from the book Huckleberry Finn describing such an incident. Notice the miscreant has already been tarred and feathered.
The whole purpose of this exercise was to "encourage" the miscreant to either conform to the socially acceptable behavior of the town or move on down the road to the next town.
Today, we lack the necessary plethora of strong men and fence rails. That being said, the mother of a criminal who performed a drive-by should not be on TV saying, "He's a good boy!" Your "good boy" shot 20+ bullets into a house full of people because he didn't like one of them, killing three including a toddler. This criminal, violent sub-section of our society needs to be forcefully ejected from town and be told in no certain terms, "Don't come back." Everyone in the neighborhood knows where the drug houses are and who the gang-bangers are. I also know the gang-bangers are well-armed and have zero compunction against shooting you in the head, then sitting on your still-warm body and eating lunch. The gang-bangers will be run out of town when the people in those neighborhoods throw them out despite their fears.
I am not advocating violence except as a last resort. If you can run the gang-bangers out of town without anyone getting hurt, I'm all for it. Absent that outcome, the most extreme option might be for our neighborhoods to gather together at 2 am to throw Molotov cocktails into the windows of every drug house and shoot everybody who escapes the flames. Gang-bangers are a cancer in our cities and towns. Surgery to remove the cancer must be performed, amputation if necessary. I understand the actions and consequences of these actions and I do not say this lightly.
Once the criminals are flushed, then businesses can come into the depressed neighborhoods and start offering jobs. The jobs can be right there or shuttle service could be offered. I don't know how exactly it would play out. When the Black population from these poorer neighborhoods divest themselves from the criminal element, acquire a positive and drug-free attitude, the jobs are there. I know of one factory in my city that is short-handed, simply because many of the job applicants can't pass a drug screening.
Learning must be equated with prosperity. Once these prior changes are well into effect, then the Black culture needs to start associating learning, knowledge and skills with success and affluence rather than just sports ability or how well they can write and perform Rap music.
I for one want everybody to succeed without regard to their skin color, sex, ethnic heritage, socioeconomic background or anything else. Everybody has a different vision of success. While some want to strike it rich, become a CEO and make a Billion dollars a year, others may want to meet their monthly expenses, save for retirement and spend every evening at home with their family. I'm all for you deciding what you want.