Month: April 2012

Sustainability – The New Buzzword

picture of polar bears
Polar bear population is greater now than fifty years ago.

Welcome to the newest meaningless buzz word, sustainability.

We hear the word being bandied about all the time, but have you ever really sat down and thought about what it really means?  Our environmental kooks have given the word, sustainability, the following definition.

From Dictionary.com : Sustainability – Environmental Science . the quality of not being harmful to the environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term ecological balance: The committee is developing sustainability standards for products that use energy.

There you have it. Something that is sustainable supports ecological balance. The problem is that nobody knows what ecological balance is. They just make it up as they go.

The World Wrestling Federation  World Wildlife Fund demonstrates this ability to make stuff up with the following.

Ecological Balance:  Ecological balance has been defined by various online dictionaries as “a state of dynamic equilibrium within a community of organisms in which genetic, species and ecosystem diversity remain relatively stable, subject to gradual changes through natural succession.” and “A stable balance in the numbers of each species in an ecosystem.”

First of all, equilibrium as postulated does not exist. Relative numbers, and the stability of populations change all the time, especially if viewed from a historical standpoint. The problem, here, is that the WWF nutto’s have created something that does not exist, dynamic equilibrium. There is no guaranteed, or normal, state of equilibrium in  nature. All we see, now, are simply snapshots of nature at a given time, and we don’t even see or understand the whole picture.

The eco-whacko’s tell us that the use of oil as a primary energy source is unsustainable. OK. I will buy that. But, it is sustainable for at least the next century.

Where did I get the 100 years? Well, some sources say it will be only twenty or thirty years before oil gets so expensive we cannot afford it. However, we have recently discovered major reserves in the oil sands beneath Canada and the United States. Great Britain has discovered huge amounts of natural gas in shale rock formations.

Here is the problem with the sustainable idea, and it doesn’t take an Einstein to see it. Nothing in this world is sustainable forever. Even with the eco-whacko definition of sustainability, the environment changes so much naturally, that we cannot define the equilibrium points.

So, the word sustainable in the environmental sense is a contrived concept that conveniently fits into a Marxist agenda.

In the long-term, nothing is sustainable. In the long-term we are all dead.

Yogi Berra Was A Philosophical Genius

picture of yogi bera
Yogi Berra

Am I the only one who does not laugh at the witty and wise sayings of Yogi Berra? He is accused of being the master of malapropism, but I say  that he was a genius. Not only was he good at baseball, but unlike other baseball players, he was an intelligent person.

Some of his more famous sayings convey more meaning in one fractured sentence than Presidents of the United States can do in four years. Of course, Presidents don’t play in the world series, and Yogi was in several.

First, I want to start with one of my favorites, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” Laugh if you will, but there is wisdom and good advice in that little sentence.

When I first became a salesman, I was taught that if you find yourself in a loosing situation, don’t give up. Even after the order has been let to the competition, there is always a chance you can rescue the business. By observing this wisdom and not giving up,  I got business I otherwise would not have had because I knew, that, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over“. Just like the Delta’s  in Animal House, it ain’t over until I say it’s over.

My other favorite is, ” When you come to a fork in the road, take it “.

Only a real simpleton would look at that phrase and say, “How can you take a fork in the road without choosing left or right? What a dimmwit.”  If that’s the way you think, you haven’t been drinking the right adult beverages.

When Yogi made that statement, he knew that smart people would know that the fork in the road represented much more than just a simple choice. He wanted people to think. He wanted you to consider the REAL MEANING of forked roads.

When you approach a fork in a road, and do not know to what destination either of the choices will take you, smart becomes important. Consider the alternatives of which there are four in the physical world. We will leave alternate universes out of this discussion.

1, You can stay where you are.
2. You can go to the right.
3. You can go to the left.
4. You can turn around.

Yogi’s advice depends on the situation that you will not, or cannot, stay where you are, or turn around. You are faced with a decision on which road to take. This choice is not unlike decisions we make everyday, and here’s where we can learn from Yogi.

No matter which fork you take, your life will never be the same. A fork in the road can be viewed as a singularity, a point in time where everything changes. You cannot see beyond this point, and you have no knowledge of what to expect. You have to take one direction or another. Period.

It may not even matter which fork you take.  No matter what you do, your life will change, if even minutely.

You see, Yogi knew all this and that you had to go forward, no matter what direction you took. When you got to the fork in the road, you had to take it. Life is all about forking decisions.

So, whenever those ignorant souls laugh at Yogi’s sayings, you can smile, knowing that forking is much more involved.

What Are You Gonna’ Do?

That’s the first thing that popped into my head, this morning. What am I going to do, now? You see, my wife is retiring, and when she leaves her job, she leaves significant amounts of income left unearned. The peace and quiet I am used to having will fade away.

With my lovely and deserving wife retired, that means that she will be available all day, every day, for extended sessions of domestic consultation. Some people would call it nagging, but I am trying to keep on the high road, here. I will not draw any comparisons between marriage and less tasteful situations.

I am an idea man. Hot ideas pop into my head like microwave popcorn. Like, there is no such thing as space travel. We will have to travel between parallel dimensions to get from one side of the universe to the other. Have you done the arithmetic to see how long it takes to travel a million light years at the speed of light? It is a really big number!

So, what happens to all my brilliance if I have a wife hanging around all day informing me of the finer qualities of male servitude?

Retired wives need to be kept busy all the time. If you are rich, you can send her shopping. If not, you can be in big trouble.

Not being rich, I have to be more creative than most curmudgeons of my ilk.

OK. I still have that leaning mail box that needs to be straightened. A little quickcrete and a shovel, and my wife will be busy for a couple of days. I will help by holding the level to make sure the post is vertical.

How about all those bushes that need trimming? Or, how about all those unwanted trees that spring up in the shade of those God-Awful pine trees? I will just turn her loose on them, and she will be good to go.

You see, for every problem there can be a solution. I sure hope my solutions work, or I will be just like Cool Hand Luke being dragged back to the prison farm. We would have failed to communicate.

I am sure she will communicate, over, and over, and over.

Trayvon Was Not The Only Victim

picture of Trayvon Martin
Trayvon Martin

The shooting of Trayvon Martin was a sad thing. Trayvon was in a place where he was not expected, although he had a perfect right to be there. His shooter, George Zimmerman was within his legal and moral rights in protecting his property and that of his neighbors.

A recent, fairly extensive article by Reuters as published in the Chicago Tribune brings out the truth of George Zimmerman and his background.

George Zimmerman, a mix of white, Hispanic, and African heritage, had been named the leader of a new neighborhood watch group. The gated community where Zimmerman lived had gone from nice to un-nice because of the collapse of the housing market in Florida. More and more of the housing units were being rented, instead of owned. That is when the problems started.

The neighborhood changed complexion to 50% white, 20% black, and about 20% Hispanic. Even black people in the neighborhood reported that there had been an run of burglaries by young black men.

There turns out to be a legitimate reason to be suspicious of someone wearing a hoodie, especially in Florida where cold weather is not the norm. Call it racial profiling if you want, but you cannot get past the suspicious look of anyone wearing a hoodie at night in a warm climate.

Now that we know that George Zimmerman was a defender of rights for blacks and other minorities, we see that the racial profiling accusation is over the top. Indeed, the whole profiling thing is the product of race baiters, and professional racists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. Everything they do is about race, and not automatically innocent. Remember Tawana Brawley?

Trayvon may have been a victim because he was black. Zimmerman claims, with evidence, that Trayvon attacked him, and tried to take his gun. Trayvon was not a child, but a healthy, strong seventeen year old man. Zimmerman could have been killed by Martin’s attack.

Zimmerman is the victim of an idiot press corps who have nothing better to do than fabricate stories and call it news. How else do you explain NBC’s falsifying the 911 recordings to make it appear that Zimmerman was concerned about the suspicious persons race?

The press knows that a good race story gets readers, and they hate America and the freedom’s we have in this country, including our right to bear arms for our own protection.

Without Second Amendment rights, George Zimmerman could be in the graveyard, and Trayvon Martin would be just another young, black man behind bars.

So, who’s the victim, here?

Edit: My allusion to the idea that the warm Florida weather did not justify wearing a hoodie is incorrect. The weather in Sanford, Florida the night Trayvon was shot was cool, with the high on February 26, 2012 being 69 degrees F, and the low temperature being about 52 degrees F. My apologies to all who thought otherwise. Those temperatures can be considered cool for Florida residents.


Listen To The Music, Ladies

Picture of Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Note

This article is for my lady blogger friends who have yet to enter the twenty-first century, which is a great mystery to me. You see, these outstanding network nannies (Leticia, and Z) do not have smart phones, iPods, or even a cheap MP3 music player.

So, ladies, here’s my pitch for your technological redemption and explanation of what smart phones are all about.

Let’s take a look at what happens with my smart phone. It can do almost anything my computer can do.

1. Address Rolodex – All my email and phone contacts are in my Google mail (gmail) account, and I have my phone sync to gmail for phone contacts, email addresses, and Google calendar. Most smart phones will sync up with Microsoft Outlook, too. The smart phone is your portable address book, calendar, and birthday list if you wish. I have Google calendar send me a short text message to remind me of every appointment, prior to the appointment. This is the ultimate cool for forgetful old men, like me.

2. Music – My entire collection of music CD’s have been transferred to Apple iTunes, and from there to the iPhone. Since I got rid of my iPhone I have transferred all the music to my  new Android phone. All my music is with me, where ever I go, and I can listen to it anytime I want.

3. Books – My entire library of Kindle edition books (e-books) is available on my smart phone. I take my library with me, everywhere, and can read my current book anytime, anywhere. Not only do I have print books, but I also carry my Audible.com books, listening to them while I drive, and before I go to sleep.

4. Important Notes – With the note taking function in my smart phone, I have made list of my prescription medications. Also, I have my extensive list of pin numbers, passwords and usernames for my countless internet accounts. I have password protected my smart phone to keep busy fingers away from this information.

5. Google – Yes. I take Google with me. I can even talk to Google, and it will understand my search. Several times I have been lost, or could not find an address, and would speak that address into the Google search application. The result would be links and map references. Cool, huh? Now, us guys don’t need directions. They are always in our pockets.

6. Bank  – I use my Bank of America application to check my bank balance, move funds, and to find an ATM or bank branch. Everybody needs this one. There is probably an app for your bank, too.

7. Movies – I can stream movies over the internet to my smart phone. The small screen is not very satisfying, but if I really feel the need to see the Magnificent Seven, again, it can happen.

8. Text Messaging – You might think that texting is just for teenagers. Not true, girls. I used my smart phone last night to cast my American Idol votes for Skylar Lane a couple of dozen times. I voted for two others, also, many times. With a smart phone, you have a tiny little virtual keyboard that is touch sensitive, and you can actually get used to using it.

9. Camera – With my smart phone, I have a good camera with me all the time. My Samsung Galaxy Smartphone has two cameras built-in, one in front, and one in back. The eight megapixel camera in back is almost as good as my Nikon Koolpix camera for which I paid over $100. The pictures are about as good, and I can upload them to my computer via USB connection.

10. Picture Gallery – I have my grand children’s pictures on my smart phone. I do not carry pictures in my wallet. Pictures can be taken by the smart phone itself, or just downloaded from my computer.

11. Cell Phone – I take my telephone with me, everywhere. This feature was saved for the last because I wanted to enumerate many of other features, first.

There are two main types of smart phones, the Apple iPhone, and the Google Android phones. Several major manufacturers make the Android phones including Motorola, Samsung, LG, HTC, and many others. Android phones have been selling faster than iPhones, and they all do about the same things. Neither has an advantage over the other.

Microsoft Windows is late to the smart phone lineup. The first Windows Phones were recently introduced, and there are only a couple of manufacturers signed up to make them. Even at that, AT&T sells the Nokia Lumia series of Windows Phone, and has found it to be a great sales success. The Windows Phone does not offer any advantage over any other smart phone.

You can see that the primary benefit of a smart phone is that it is an all-in-one entertainment device. I always have something to do while waiting, driving, or walking, or even in bed before sleeping. Last night, I listened to one of my Audible books until I went to sleep.

If the features listed above don’t sell you on smart phones, I can’t help you. Maybe you are dead, and haven’t realized it, yet.

May The Blogosphere Forgive Me

Oh yea, oh yea, let it be known that the proprietor of this here blog has lied to the entire blogosphere. The much read and acclaimed blog about the new Windows Phone 7 should be struck down, and assigned to the circular file marked, Microsoft.

Yes, I did it. I took the new Nokia Lumia 900 Windows phone back to the AT&T store. After using the phone for almost a week, I decided it would not be adequate for my usage. The only problem I found was the battery charge did not last long, at all. A full charge was not lasting even 24 hours, and I am not a big user of talk time, either. After all the praise heaped on the device, I should have known that there was a problem, somewhere.

On the positive side, the phone is a very nice device, and the screen is dazzling. The AMOLED technology is very nice, but it does cause a heavy drain on the battery. The Windows phone is probably the simplest smart phone to use on the market, and Nokia has done a great job in the styling.But, even with all the usual battery saving moves, the battery appears to be a problem.

My replacement for the Nokia is the biggest, ugliest, most expensive and difficult to use smart phone currently on the market. I have bought the Samsung Galaxy Note.

The Note has a 5.3 inch diagonal screen, about an inch diagonal more than other phones. Plus, it comes with a stylus and the appropriate applications to use the stylus to write or draw. Since the screen is bigger, the virtual keyboard is bigger, making it more usable for a guy like me with big hands and fingers.

The downside, so far, is that the thing is big. I mean, BIG. How do you carry it? Can you put it in your pocket? It becomes a bit cumbersome to carry, but I was willing to try to work out those details.

Oh, the battery seems to last a bit longer. It was down to about 50% charge last night as I went to bed, and this morning the charge level had hardly changed, at all.

So, I hope this phone’s battery will last longer on a charge. I will get a charge out of figuring out how to  use it.

Defensive Positions

picture of human embryonic stem cells
Embryonic Stem Cells

Things are getting heated out there, folks. You cannot have a conversation about anything resembling politics, anymore. Everything you hold dear has been polluted in some way, down to the point that your viewpoint is bastardized into a single word or sound-bite.

Think about those inadequate terms, pro-choice and right-to-life. These terms have trivialized the debate, and that was done to limit the discussion to the liberal’s advantage. In my opinion you cannot be an absolutist on either side of the abortion debate.

Similarly, economics takes a hit from socialists describing capitalism as corporatism, or as some sort of greed machine that is totally insensitive to individuals. None of these are true, of course. All of man’s endeavors, I believe, are built on greed. But, wait!

Greed is defined as an excessive desire for wealth or possessions.

How do you define excessive? If you are a critical person, you will stay away from restrictive definitions. All of this stuff will be different from person to person. That’s where advocacy groups try to confuse you.

We are so involved in social and economic issues that we get hooked into the sound-bite world. Once you let yourself get into the sound-bite world, you are compromised, and have no freedom to debate. You will have let someone else define your position.

We have got to stop penalizing our debates with black and white, go/no-go positions. The real world is rarely that way.

With that in mind, I will step up to the plate and give you my conservative position on some of the critical issues of the day.

1. Abortion – Abortion by its definition is the ending of a life. Period. We all understand that sometimes abortions will be necessary, but I believe that a woman who depends on abortions to underpin a promiscuous sex life is just an unforgivable murderer. Nobody can choose freely what to do with themselves. If you do drugs, you will be jailed. If you unsuccessfully try to commit suicide, you will be institutionalized for your own protection. The term, pro-choice, is empty of meaning.

2. Gay marriage – This is one of those things where, as a conservative, I do not understand the prevalent conservative view. Who cares of a couple of men marry? Why would anybody care if lesbians marry? Gay people are no threat to the institution of marriage. They are not even in the gene pool, and constitute such a small proportion of the world’s population that any sociological effects will be trivial!

Married people are the biggest threat to marriage. If we can get married people to stay married, the institution of marriage would not be in trouble. Any challenge to the institution of marriage is not by gay people,but by liberal ideologies that minimize the social importance of the institution. These ideas are promulgated by the same people who believe the only difference between men and women is attributed to environmental conditions, i.e., how people are raised.

I think people who make a major issue of gay marriage have something else as their agenda, and that is anti-gay people in general. The gay marriage issue is just a smoke screen for a more sinister attitude about gays.

People are so sensitive about homosexuality, they will many times not discuss it, at all, if they disagree with you. I suppose this is one of those issues that genuinely scare people.

3. Prayer in school – As a Christian and political conservative, I am against organized prayer in public schools. I know this is not what mainstream conservatives advocate, but it took about five seconds (thirty years ago) for me to realize that if we allow this to happen, somebody we don’t know, and probably don’t respect, will be teaching our children how to pray. This is so obvious that I cannot believe thinking people would advocate organized prayer in a public setting.

Even having a quite period for prayer is not necessary. If you want to pray, do it on your own time and don’t make a spectacle out of it. That is what we as Christians are taught.

4. Stem cell research – There is no inherent moral problem with stem cell research. The problem comes from using stem cells from embryos whose purpose was to bring life into this world. When you destroy an embryo, you destroy a potential person. Notice my use of the word, potential. I don’t know when an embryo becomes a person, but we do know embryos were alive at some point. George W Bush was right.

However, he did not cut off government spending for embryonic stem cell research. He approved such spending, as it had not been done before. The liberals’ problem was that President Bush didn’t approve all embryonic research. Instead, he did the right thing.

Now, we get into weird. Are frozen embryos alive or dead? They must be alive, somehow, because they can become people. So, how do we take into account that a frozen embryo is alive, but not yet a person. If an embryo is not a person, is it a human? Until I can figure out all this stuff, I say, “Hands off the embryos!”.

There are undoubtedly other positions I can talk about. Remember, I really am a conservative, but I take my conservatism with a dose of critical thinking. How do you see these things?