Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Plea for Sanity

Internally, this nation is in a state of severe and apparently unrelenting crisis.  Many multi-faceted and exceedingly complex problems confront us as a nation and as a people.  Apparently, the national leadership has effectively commandeered the functions of government in order to further its goal to more fully corporatize the public sector that ideally belongs to all the people.  A significant aspect of this approach is to undermine the social safety net and disregard the absolute necessity of sustaining the Commons – those basic services and commodities that are essential for living such as a health care system accessible to everyone, a sustainable natural environment including clean air and water, adequate nutrition and shelter and an excellent and vibrant public education system.  In place of those policies that ensure the maintenance of the Commons – a vital role for government to play – we are witnessing the development of an anarchic system in which profitability is the guiding principle and the acquisition of wealth the fundamental goal.

This nation has embraced an economic system effectively devoid of human compassion and has fully engaged public policies that extol the absolute primacy of profit.    By necessity, this worldview disregards the input of the scientific community especially in the arena of the natural environment and the daunting impact of climate change. 

In order to garner support for this approach, the current government relies upon reactions from supporters that touch upon deep and profound frustrations.  In my mind, a common perception seems to be that many individuals feel that the country that they believe belongs to them has been taken away.  The issues of race and racism that has plagued this nation since its inception are not far from the surface.  Ironically, the supporters that feel that at last they are being heard, are the ones who will most profoundly experience the onus of the policies that are being enacted supposedly on their behalf.

As a people, we seem to be entering an irrational and self-destructive era; if we continue in this direction it will prove disastrous.  This nation is not alone on this path – the entire human community faces a daunting future.  

In my judgment, we need to collectively re-examine what is truly important for the continued sustenance of our species and act accordingly.  We need to ultimately move beyond the bounds of tribe and country and discover a new global paradigm that embraces the recognition of the essential importance of the natural environment on this our only home – planet earth.  We need to recognize that the human family consists of all of us regardless of our place of origin and that our future survival depends upon this realization.

It is more than likely that the next generation will be more receptive to this message than the current one.  In essence, my plea is one for sanity – for the acceptance of the primacy of reason over emotion and for the acknowledgment of the essential role of science in the making of sound public policy.  

Friday, June 02, 2017

A Day that May Mark a Turning Point

On June 1, 2017, the now defunct “leader of the free world” President Donald Trump of the United States made a momentous and unilateral decision.  It is a remarkably short-sighted, ill-informed and terribly ignorant decision to redraw US support in regards to the the Paris Climate Agreement regarding humanity’s effort to at least forestall the more drastic impact of climate change.  In my mind, it may very well prove to be a significant turning point in the direction that American politics will ultimately take.

He has single-handedly inspired the condemnation and wrath of many of world’s leaders as well as leadership of many of the world’s major cities including large major urban centers in the US.  He has also lost significant support from major corporations that obviously understand the full significance of such a horrendously stupid decision.  As a result, many of nation’s most populace states have chosen to vigorously pursue their own agendas in attempting to diminish the production of greenhouse gases.

The issue of climate change impacts all of the humanity in terms of its effect on the future viability of the human species on planet earth.  The issue of climate change is far larger and encompassing than any individual no matter how powerful he may consider himself to be.  It is stunningly ludicrous for a man such as Donald Trump so completely uneducated in the matter of science and so out of touch with the essential reality of human existence to take such an irresponsible course of action.  It is a decision representative of a deeply arrogant and shallow-minded person that should not have been placed in such a powerful position in the first place.  To me, it is an object lesson for the electorate on the basis for making important decisions at the polls – we need to elect intelligent leaders fully cognizant of the complexities of the essential issues that need reasoned and well-considered solutions.

I believe that this singular decision may represent the beginnings of the unraveling of an old and worn and inherently erroneous ideology that has as its core the protection of wealth and power at any cost.  Such a mindset is so monumentally irresponsible that it readily endorses a position that would even sacrifice the future for the immediate gratification of the few.

I am convinced that the opposition to this myopic way of thinking will greatly accelerate and eventually lead to a much-needed change in regards to the real value of appreciating and preserving our natural environment on this our only planet. 

Monday, April 03, 2017

An Incomplete Creation

Thousands of years of civilization
yet still mired in stupidity.

Lofty conceptions
taken to such philosophical heights,
yet we consort like crazed hyenas
over the corpse of our collective indifference.

Remarkable discoveries inspired by the
insatiable curiosity and heightened intellect of
our higher brain,
yet we gleefully slaughter each other over the
most inane differences.

Enviable desire for spiritual development,
yet so much unnecessary suffering
wrought from religious belief and
inflicted upon those deemed unworthy.

Thousands of years of civilization
yet still confounded by our own ignorance.

Responsible for expanding our collective understanding
of this remarkable universe and the
fantastic planet on which we reside,
yet we plunder the very resources
that grant us life and behave as if
we are unconscionable idiots.

Science and technology its primary offspring have
taken wondrous strides over the millennia
yet the practitioners of these arts imbedded in reality
are dutifully ignored and even discarded
when their conclusions are not what we choose to hear.

Capable of such nobility of spirit
selfishness of purpose
and infinite generosity,
yet we pay homage to
thoughts and ideas of little substance
demeaning to real possibilities
enabling unimaginable grief and despair.

Thousands of years of civilization,
yet still behaving as if we have learned
almost nothing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

We are at Risk

We – humans – have a formidable task ahead of us. I believe the species is now at a crossroads in its development. In my estimation, at no other time in its relatively brief history on planet earth is it absolutely imperative to be “smart.” We have momentous decisions to make that revolve around the rather simple yet daunting question – “What kind of world do we want for future generations of members of our own and other species?” – we are at risk

We are all fragile creatures with a brief lifespan. Collectively, we need to think and act beyond the often-stifling bounds of “place” and embrace all of humanity; for, we exist in the same lifeboat on this wondrous planet that has no particular concern for whatever destiny awaits us as a consequence of the continuum of choices we have made in the past and continue to make in the present.

At its best, science seeks to uncover the true nature of things and is global in form and texture. For that reason, it is humanity’s beacon. We need to come together in support of seeking knowledge and using whatever we discover to benefit those who are destined to follow us.

Collectively, if we choose to ignore, discard or close our minds to the truth about ourselves and the natural world, we do so at our own peril.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Heath Care in America - A Prognosis

I have provided a link to a Kaiser Family Foundation Report on

the Key Facts about the Uninsured Population in the US. This report details the advances made by so-called "Obamacare" (legislation he should be proud of) during its lifetime. We are about to see all this go away and be replaced by a "health reform bill" that will most likely have a devastating impact on the poorest of us. Once again profit is placed above all other considerations. No matter that many men, women and their children will be terribly impacted by the fact that they will no longer be able to afford adequate health care. Is this kind of country we want where longevity is determined by one's economic status?

This change is being brought about by government leaders with a bankrupt social and political philosophy who are apparently devoid of human compassion and have no real connection with ordinary reality. The enactment of this bill will have disastrous consequences for no good reason. It will bring with it untold and unnecessary human suffering.

Unfortunately it will be but the first of an entire series of changes that will bring us collective grief foremost among them the unrelenting impact of unfettered use and development of fossil fuels on the natural environment.

In order to sustain this "idiocy" these leaders are mounting an assault upon truth itself; for, they understand that real data is their worst enemy.

I am disheartened and sickened by the stark reality that reveals so much about the national character. I wish us all the best of luck in these coming years. Stay engaged and stay focused.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Future Revisited

There are many possible futures we can envision for ourselves and, more importantly, for our children.   As sentient beings in this remarkable country on this beleaguered planet, we seem to have chosen a President, his name Donald Trump, whose vision, if it becomes reality, would effectively lead us to a society bleak in character, conformist in attitude, devoid of compassion and imagination, full of hate, bigotry and intolerance and prone to indiscriminate and senseless violence.

This view of the future does not come from my own imagining but directly from the ideas expressed by the man himself and espoused by those who follow him.  This deeply disturbed, lonely and essentially unhappy human being – apparently devoid of even the most elemental compassion and humility - has on various occasions and in the starkest of terms –
  • Belittled the appearance and character of those women who had the temerity to oppose him
  • Attempted to berate and mimic the physical behavior of the disabled over which they have no control
  • Stretched the truth to the point that it has become a poor representation of its former self
  • Maligned the entire religion of Islam whose numbers exceed one and one-half billion people
  • Effectively fashioned undocumented migrants into the primary domestic enemy of the American people to be feared and persecuted as essentially less than human.  He has vowed to get “rid of them all.”
  • Has suggested using violence against those who oppose him
  • Alluded to his own self-congratulatory sexual prowess and inherent manliness
  • Represented himself on numerous occasions as the one person capable of fixing what is, in reality, not even broken.  He has never suggested that he is even capable of error and responds to any suggestion that he may have been mistaken with childish hostility
  • Attempted to humiliate those whose intellect far overshadows his own
  • Made a mockery of science especially in regards to climate change and envisions no place for science within the purview and authority of his position as President.
  • Expressed a vision of fortress America surrounded by “impenetrable” walls and buoyed up by an over-inflated military that will effectively diminish if not obliterate the ever-disappearing social safety net.
As sentient beings in this remarkable country on this beleaguered planet in the midst of the 21st century, do we really want such a future for ourselves and our children where the natural environment will eventually expose our collective neglect and put all of humanity at risk?

Do we really want a future for ourselves and our children where a two-tiered society will be very much in evidence in which a very small percentage of the entire population holds almost all the wealth and wields all the effective power?  This reality is not far from fruition – all one has to do is to examine the actual statistics and the current economic trends.

Do we really want a future for ourselves and our children where conformity and intolerance represent the ideal and there is no compassion for the many who suffer needlessly – the homeless, the sick, the deeply impoverished, the hungry, the mentally ill and all who do not fall within the favored whiteness of the “chosen?”

Do we really want a future for ourselves and our children within the boundaries of a Police State where our borders are secured from all incursions?  Such a society will become, by necessity, absent of imagination, bereft of the truth and beholding to the darkest aspects of the human character.

Do we really want to live in such a place?

I am profoundly convinced that love, compassion, intelligence, reason and generosity of the spirit are the best politics and represent the route to our true salvation.  Without these qualities in the forefront of our intentions and our collective imagination, we are all truly lost.