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The (Al) Gore-y Reality of Global Warming, er, Climate Change December 8, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Environment, Politics, reform, research, science.
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EnvironMENTAList or EnvironmentaLOST

The truth is that we are all being (pressure-)treated like we have sap for brains.  Many who care about the environment do have good intentions, but fail to see there are things bigger than the forest … smaller too, but more on that later.

First, in case you missed the memo, “global warming” is an overused term that has failed to deliver when people are freezing their butts off.  (Maybe if we had lost the Cold War, there wouldn’t have been any Global Warming – never mind).  So, now they refer to it as “Climate Change”.

This article is about reminding us to find a balance in all things.  There are specific and obvious problems that I support fighting, but we need to be aware of the tactics that are spoiling any good work being done.  Some people are old enough to remember smog, leaded gasoline, and the commercials with the Indian shedding a tear at all the litter and waste.  We need to remember the areas we have and can make progress in, and we need to admit other areas that have “lost their way” and why.  So let’s go over some tactics and loss of focus that led us to here.

1.     Aim farther than your target – There are those that push WAY past the real target that we should shoot for.  The reasoning is that compromise and ground lost from the cost of interim battles that are lost will bring us to where we really should be.  The problem is that the tug of war goes both ways.  The more extreme one side pulls, the other side goes farther the other way.  Both sides think the other will lose credibility by looking stupid, but they both end up looking like children.  It slows the real progress we need.

2.     The ends justify the means – Again, both sides do this, thinking that some damage is inevitable to either make progress or make the other side look bad.  We do not solve problems by blocking technology from happening, but we absolutely need to reasonably protect what we have while trying to find that next ‘breakthrough’.  John D. Rockefeller was a pioneer of industry that many would focus jealousy-based bias against for making so much profit, but he created 300 products out of the waste produced from refining oil.  He didn’t just care about profit.  He went the extra step to find more and more products even from the ‘waste’ of his primary business.

3.     Lack of ‘Emergency’ desperation – It is really hard to get people motivated without a dire emergency to prove why we need to do something.  Many people are too lazy to turn off automatic sprinkler systems when it is raining.  We throw away so much food because we have it in abundance.  And litter will eventually blow into someone else’s yard.  No one would have really done a massive overhaul of our national security organizations before 9/11/2001.  Without those emergencies, some individuals/groups are guilty of “creating” emergencies in one fashion or another.  Another fact is that the more money we spend and the faster we spend it on fighting to clean up the “damage”, the less accountability we place on companies to be responsible in the first place.

4.     Corruption hijacks the cause – There is certainly proof that people will jump on the money train.  Research and development laboratories would rather keep funding for what they are doing and that can push them to expand the scope of things to justify their existence.  Their jobs are on the line if we make TOO much progress on fighting pollution and holes in the ozone layer.

5.     New “markets” for the “evil corporations” – Has everyone forgotten the industries and corporations we initially blamed for all the pollution and waste?  Suddenly we respond to “green” products and give them more of our money?  To illustrate, let’s pick on the newer light bulbs (and snopes.com – if someone asks, I will do a fuller article on my beef against snopes.com-type sites).  The light bulbs contain mercury, which is a hazardous material.  DO NOT just pick up the broken pieces by hand and vacuum up the small stuff.  DO read the special steps on snopes.com to clean up a broken bulb.  Note:  IF there is not serious amount of a poisonous material, why the need to evacuate the room, avoid breathing while opening a window and shutting off the air conditioner, etc, etc?  How many people are aware of this difference from the old bulbs?  In their rush for gaining a new buck, proper thought and education was avoided on pushing these new bulbs on us.

6.     Keep the “scare factor” going but don’t show TOO much, well, ANY progress – In the past few days alone I have see headlines implying that 1) the slower rising temperatures of the last few years is temporary and 2) the extreme temperatures of the last few years proves … blah blah blah.  The environmental extremists are in an interesting ‘pickle’.  If they show too much progress, there will not be a need to spend so much research money during hard economic times.  If they show no progress, then why are we spending so much money getting nowhere.

7.    “Magic Happens Here” or “God of the Gaps” – With such a large topic, both sides rely a lot on slight of hand on things they have no explanation or no simple explanation for.  Mr. Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth is an example.  The movie made some bold declarations and presentations of “facts” that have been disproved, but to my knowledge Mr. Gore and his followers move forward on their high horse as if there are completely in the right.  They are rushed to say more than they should, to motivate the masses to move faster on “saving the environment”, when they should stick to REAL facts and fight to educate on how important those facts are.

8.    “Aim small, miss small” – Yes, I ripped a quote from Mel Gibson’s “The Patriot”.  At the beginning, I alluded to the “see the forest through the trees” analogy.  There are things larger than the forest, and smaller.  MAYBE one forest is less important to save than other things that help ten other forests grow stronger or faster.  For example, you can continue fighting corporations cutting down one set of trees and maybe that is important, but how many resources have been lost to forest fires throughout the west?  How much pressure is there to fight that problem.  Now, for the “small” part…

We waste our resources.  That’s fact.  There may be less glory in expanding education on recycling, but it is an important step.  Does it help much to blame local problems on “global warming” and throw arms up in despair and leave it at that?  Or are there many things individuals can do preserve our resources?  I used to take more nature hikes.  I would often regret not bringing an extra garbage bag to pick up simple trash.  If beaches are eroding, take a bag of sand with you each time you GO to the beach.  If you throw out food that has passed its “freshness” date, find out if homeless shelters can use it (or the container it is in).  Don’t just blindly buy new “green” products just because some “corporation” SAYS it is green.  Those who do not care about simple, provable examples or of damage we are doing to the environment, they will be no more convinced by Global Warming data.

Be creative and personally do things to save the environment.  Do it, because it is right to do so.

Stem cell research vs. “Laboratory bailout” September 23, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Politics, research, science.
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Everyone has probably heard enough about embryonic stem cell research to wonder if it will provide a cure to the symptoms we get on any subject that has been pushed and pushed and pushed.  After listening to a podcast of David Barton’s program from sometime in February 2009, I wanted to focus on two interesting points brought up.

First is the rhetoric of “cure all” promises sold to us on any stem cell research.  Now, G. W. Bush did not ban embryonic stem cell research.  He banned federal funding of ‘harvesting’ new embryos for their stem cells.  Laboratories already had plenty of material to do research on.  But out of that material and research on adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells has not produced any benefits that adult stem cells have not provided.  Also, the dangers of stem cell research are not publicized.  According to the show, Fox was the only station that publicized the results of a particular case that cause tumors in a human subject from a stem cell experiment.  This is not a new area of “safe science” that has no side effects or failed experiments.

The second point was implied that the motivation for the research funding is a form of another “bailout”.  Many laboratory jobs, or research jobs, are affected by the economy as well.  Now I disagreed with the magnitude of motives behind wanting this particular funding or the lack of guarantee on results.  Research IS very important and cannot be eliminated, even during a recession, but one does have to accept that there are limited resources.  Just because funding could go up during economic high points, it does not mean we are obligated to “socialize” research and guarantee those jobs.

In the end, I believe the fight for/against the use of embryos needs to be dropped completely.  With all “value of life” arguments aside, I suspect the motivator is seen as acquiring of embryos can be a “hidden” or minimal cost compared to the equivalent of organ donation or volunteer test subjects.  I have no problem with ethical science.  If ethical lines are blurred to cut costs or for convenience, then I would fight for the side of caution and improvement of methods and not allow the easy way out since embryos can’t speak for themselves yet.

Political Asylum August 31, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Politics, reform, wisdom.
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HELLO Hello hello ello lo o…

Well, I had an idea this morning and the realization that I haven’t blogged enough or posted on my own site in way too long.  Maybe I’m here by myself.  Sanity is in low supply nowadays and there are not as many brains in government either.

Well, I plan on changing a few things.  Too many remnants of insecurity when I was initially defining my site, but I’ll probably procrastinate again.

No, the subject of today’s post pertains to sad state of politics in this country.  The Democrats are not actually any more productive than a year ago when their approval rating was lower than Bush’s. They appear to be more productive because they spend money really fast, but they can’t really improve things overnight like all the campaign rhetoric would have had you believe.  I measure productivity in the ‘effect’ not the number of bills written and passed.  They can completely ignore the Republicans and the Republicans are only busy posturing and attacking and scrambling for scraps of influence.

It doesn’t really matter though because it is no longer about what either party accomplishes.  This country (including the Party’s, the media, the talking heads, and citizens… and non-citizens) are completely focused on bad mouthing the other side.  Liberals vs. Conservatives.  Far-left loons vs. Right-wing extremists.  Neo-this, neo-that. Blame Bush, Blame Clinton.  If the “Left” proposed the idea/solution, then the “Right” must oppose it, vice versa, etc, etc.

I am tired of it.  I’m not the only one, but I’m going to re-introduce the concept of a new direction, and to continue the working analogy of direction, I declare myself to be an Upist.  Everyone talks about progress, moving forward, hope and change.  That’s why I chose “Up”.  I want to raise the expectation of government to work for EVERYONE, not just be an avenue for abuse, corruption and finding someone else to blame, punish or pay for things.

The mascot for this new Party/direction is the Eagle (or maybe the Falcon – someone who understands and agrees with my point and is more of an expect on birds can refine which features/characteristics fit better).

Now since there are always two sides and I don’t mean to be UP-ity, the “Down-ers” can still be a positive part of the solution and be “Down to Earth” or whatever completes the picture.  No single outlook will fit every facet of society nor make everyone happy.  It is about working together.  It is about growing and working together.  Different methods work and different concerns exist at different levels of society.  There has to be communication in BOTH directions (Up and Down) of the levels of society.  The safest example I can give without starting a political fight, hopefully, would be in agriculture.  Individual farmers need to know what crops are in demand but need to have a way to balance profit so everyone doesn’t plant one crop and prevent anyone from profitting.

One of the things I wish to communicate over time is specific examples of how we argue about things that “miss the mark”.  There are problems and there are causes of those problems and then there are problems with the same way we try to solve all problems.  If I have time, national healthcare is a great example since it provides so many problems with it.  Hopefully I will start that thread soon.

Comment, argue, compliment, ramble.  Just help me get the idea going that we don’t have to keep being led by the broken two-party system.

Source of Swine Flu discovered May 1, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Humor, Politics.
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Initially, cases of the swine flu were credited to Mexico and early rumors said that is was tracked there from California.  My deep rooted, crack investigation team has tracked if farther back than that.  Yes, the first cases of swine flu can be traced to our very own Congress.  Early symptoms were increased spending and decreased debate.  Initially it was called the Pork Barrel Flu but it was renamed to deflect the origin of the problem.  Influenza is just a patsy.

Hearing Empowered 2.0 April 23, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Uncategorized.
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I’ve been receiving emails from Grassfire for some time, and have been blogging on other sites, plus my own I created this year. I am curious how much of Grassfire is… “non-liberal”. But my comments are not strictly for conservatives.

The thing I see when I group my Grassfire emails over time is that things tend to be reactive rather than proactive. I WANT to be corrected if I am wrong, but don’t misunderstand my view. Conservatives are most definitely being attacked from multiple directions so I am not invalidating the need to fight ridiculous stuff such as being labeled as a terrorist for disagreeing with the administration. But what has worked or prevented these attacks in the past?

From my perspective, too many people are talking and attacking and not enough people are listening. The Republicans are scrambling and there are too many names being tossed around for me to keep track of who is worth keeping track of for the future of the party. As valuable as many of the Grassfire actions are, I would like to suggest a focus on proactive, constructive ‘guidance’ either for the Republicans or for a third party to replace them. Defending our rights is great, but it is also important to define our goals, contribute plans and establishing credibility that has been lost in empty campaign promises and squabbling. Yes, we need our voices heard, but we also have to listen to the criticism and attacks to analyze how we can become stronger.

Now, I have weaknesses. I will never vote 3rd party unless I know there is a chance to win, not just split the vote for the other guy/gal to win. I am also a skeptic on “writing your congressmen” things (but I’m working on it). What I have tried to do is mobilize methods that would show more of America that a 3rd party COULD get enough votes, by having a 3rd party-only primary before the other primaries. Just like Ron Paul ran AS a Republican, this new primary would select a conservative AND a liberal candidate to run as a Republican and Democrat, respectively. This would give “We the People” the power to define the Party’s rather than be presented with a limited pool of people the Party wants to support. (I would also fight for a new voting system, like IRV, that removes the damage of more than two people running and splitting the vote.)

But I have not the influence or voice to have gotten anywhere… yet. I admire some of the third parties but they seem to be so uncompromising that is better to lose to someone they totally disagree with than support someone they mostly agree with.

Things I Promise To Waste My Time On April 1, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Constitution, Politics.
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First, in response to a certain challenge to lay out how I would change things, I will do what Obama promised to do and hasn’t. I will try to find a detailed report on the most recent and complete national budget I can find, and also the detailed list of national debt, and *I* will go line by line. Might be boring, probably will never finish, but if no one else is going to add up all the wastes and try to fix them…

Second, I plan to rewrite the Constitution.  I already started and I am already having trouble. Every time I read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc, there are things that distract my understanding, or focus from finishing to read it. There are terms and formal language that I don’t think younger generations really understand. I don’t want slang, or “You know, like, we want freedom” stuff. But I wanted to rewrite the Constitution as if the Bill of Rights was included in it, as if it was written in current times, merge in the Amendments as if they were originally there, and then add new amendments, in place, to address the problems and abuses we have and are currently having. If someone does not care or understand what would motivate me to do so, skip this, but I’ve already learned interesting things like what is a “direct tax” and that the 14th Amendment was never legally ratified.

And it has brought up other questions.

  • If a new Constitution was REALLY created now, who would have to sign it? The President, VP, and all of Congress? Or just the governor of each state?
  • How do I properly merge the Amendments? What exactly should be inserted or replaced?
  • The number of Senators is fixed, but how was the present number of Representatives maintained?
  • Why are U.S. territories allowed Representation but not a vote? How “U.S.” are those territories?
  • I don’t want to suggest a new flag, but why not combine Rhode Island and smaller states, then split the large states like California? Would Southern Californians then be called scalions(sic)? Would Northern Illinois be Nil?

Color Blind, Hearing Empowered March 25, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Politics, Religion, wisdom.
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I have to admit a lack of optimism since the election. Not long before the primaries of 2008 started, I started blogging for the first time.  Hey, I had moved all my music from cassette tapes to an MP3 player, so I finally started exploring the social aspects of the Internet.  The new forum (new to me) allowed me to grow in way an introvert would never grow via live debates.  Of the many areas my curiosity grew wild was to finally try to understand politics.  At most I had ever cared about voting for the President once the choices had been narrowed down.  One dilemma arose: the more I learned, the more there was to learn, more people to track, and more half-truths to filter.  Both sides, in theory, had positions that I could agree with.  Both sides shared an aptitude for broken promises, deceit, not admitted mistakes, childish games, etc.  And the level of scrutiny, also riddled with half-truths, deceit, etc., was raised to a level that not one historic ‘leader’ would measure up.

Among the things that blogging showed me, most people are guilty of being too forgiving of “their side”, overly critical of the “other side”, and the art of constructive criticism is in very short supply.  Being aware of these inconvenient truths, I try even harder to remain open-minded without being easily swayed from my foundation.  The only time I may be wrong on my website is when someone does not challenge my perspective.  I may have been wrong, but if a healthy argument has happened, my position can be changed, but henceforth, I am again right.  Lately, healthy arguments have been less frequent.  Automatic defenses of the current party in power illicit responses such as “so-and-so did that too”, “that can’t be true”, “he has only been in office…”, and my least favorite “You only feel that way because you don’t like the guy.”  None of these tactics has convinced me to reverse my position.  One does not ‘win’ an argument, by excluding opinions purely due to not being aligned with the same political party.  Some of the more energetic exchanges tend to label people as racist for daring to question our new leader.  Regardless of family lineage, I equate certain derogatory racial terms with attitude, not skin color, so, my prejudices have no conventional tie with racial history.

So, with my effort and interest, I thought I would experience joy of “having an effect” and how “everyone’s vote counts”, but the Democrats have control of the White House, and both sides of Congress, and I have had no effect on interacting with third parties.  Where does that leave those that disagree with the paths they choose? Note: The stated question includes Independents, Libertarians and other third parties, AND Democrats who are not acting like kids in an unsupervised candy store.

Luke 16:10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”

The Republicans had power and lost it. Everything has cycles, so it isn’t as if Democrats would never have majority again, but obviously ‘the People’ lost confidence in the RNC.  From my perspective, there are signs that those in power are ignoring Republicans, excluding them, and may be gloating about it.  Should the Republicans admit defeat and be content with commentary and criticism from the back seat? I say no.

George W. Bush suffered a huge volume of destructive criticism during his presidency.  Attempting to be “slow to speak, quick to listen”, I always asked the following: Why was a certain action bad?  How do you measure/monitor the effect of a decision? What should have been done instead with the knowledge at the time of the decision? What should be done from the current circumstances? (Rarely, if ever, do I get those answers)

Given the diminished position of power, where do we go?

  1. Servant leadership – Establish who knows ‘what’ to do, by seeing them doing it themselves.
  2. Reasonable accountability – No one is righteous. Know what to forgive and what to ignore.  A “plank in the eye” is usually warped and blocks ones hearing.  An opponent may criticize our leaders, but their leaders are usually guilty of the same criticism, so listen, set the bar higher and show progress by acknowledging and learning from mistakes.
  3. Micro-manage – National fixes rarely find their targets without a lot of waste.  Help the macro-changes find the little guys/gals that need the help.  If money is falling from the sky, the 10th floor exec has a better chance of benefiting than the single story mom-and-pop shop.
  4. Minimize the damage – We may not agree with the plan but we use it to our advantage by minimizing the waste and demonstrating who is actually fixing things with the piles of money.
  5. Regain trust – Things do need to change. Politics is riddle with stereotypes, a majority of which are not flattering.  Sing about accomplishments, share what works with other communities, and give people more of a choice than the “lesser of two evils”.
  6. Compromise on policy, not principle – There can be many ways to accomplish the same goal, as long as the goal is consistent. Don’t move the target to appease the last complaint received.

Eligible Reality March 20, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Politics.
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Hmm, moment of insanity.  It has come to my sense of reality that the recently posted certificate may not be all that is claims.  In fact, some may claim that TwoBrain’s parents are actually John MueckBrain and Sarah PaLange. (My real mom will choke on that joke)

Some maybe draw analogy of Sanity as the love child of Conservatism and Liberalism (shudder).  Or may overextend my support/resistance to specific politicians.

In my next post, I’ll be trying to define my political dream, my desire to reach past labels, and my yearning to….  well, we’ll see.  In this post, I wanted to openly disgust, er, discuss a subject that both sides of politics are missing perspective on.

The birth certificate is a joke about a subject I find sickening in multiple ways.  A spoiler for those that have been unaware or blinded by the biased media, Obama’s citizenship has been called into question for some time now.  Some details include “grandma” saying he was born in Kenya, dual-citizenship with Britain, and having to renounce U.S. citizenship where he went to school as a kid, and no record of reapplying or establishing naturalization.

Perspective #1 (Most Democrats)

First, be aware that the first or one of the first to raise this question is a life-long Democrat that seemed to care that “all the bases were covered” on the paperwork for running for President.  This was before the primaries were finished.  Don’t dismiss him as “wanting his 15 minutes of infamous fame”.  And don’t write off the importance of details.  There are very important reasons the founders of this country put things into the Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.

Second, apparently we can’t even always trust Snopes-type sites.  No matter the claim, a site name ReallyUnbiasedIndependentFactsOnly.com will not be held to legal punishments, required to correct itself or have any accountability.  Even then, people can still send pre-corrected or fake Snopes pages around in email.  There is much at stake and even independent sites can be biased.

Obama apparently was quite the Constitution expert in law school.  If there is ANY doubt to his eligibility, he should bend over backwards to make sure every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed.  I double check my tax forms and that pales in comparison to the importance of the office of the President of the United States.  It shouldn’t be all that hard for him to clear up, but he hasn’t.

It isn’t about hatred of liberal agendas, of Democrats or Obama himself, or being sore losers.  Laws are laws, rules are rules.  Just like the ballot counting in Florida in 2000 and the Electoral College, it is a sore loser/winner that complains about a rule only after it works against him, or her.

No matter what “ceiling” was broken (THAT can never be taken from him).  If we don’t care to uphold the integrity of the Constitution, then nothing means anything.  No matter how relative you think things are, or should be, there has to be a foundation that is never compromised and that Constitution is what helped this country survive this long.

Perspective #2 (Over-hopeful Conservatives)

What is the goal?  Be honest.  I’m not happy with certain realities of how Obama got elected, but we have to live with imperfect systems.  I was afraid to hope this thing was true before the election was over.  At least then it would have impacted the actual votes cast.  No one, no matter their claim of proof, can say what would happen if Obama is proved not to be President.  Your hope and assumption is that the election would be overturned and given to McCain.  By farthest stretch, they would have to hold a new election, but likely it would fall to Biden.  Now without knowing anything about his positions or history at the time, Biden’s convention speech impressed me, but the joke about Palin getting more votes for Mayor than Biden got in the primaries sticks in my head.  Would Democrats really choose to WANT him as President-by-default? Would very low approval ratings in Congress on top of chaos in the White House be more than this country could handle?

Perspective #3 (Sanity’s fear of the implications)

Well… I always hesitate on fear mongering, conspiracy theories, etc, but this country is on an edge right now.  There are many tensions that rose to higher levels during the election including war related, economy, racial, gay rights, and even states (or many groups in states) talking of seceding.  For the first black man to be elected President in the U.S., even if he willingly was removed from office, I see a lot of trouble breaking out and quickly escalating to something this country has never dealt with.  Obama supporters would feel cheated and robbed if Obama is removed.  Others would feel cheated if he weren’t.  Even if Obama was guilty, his supporters would resist and attack on the grounds of the “dream” being attacked.

If there is any truth in these allegations, the DNC would suffer irreputable damage by not having caught it themselves, and the whole system would lack integrity if it was brushed off as unimportant.  It is important to many that there be some integrity in the process, even if “our guy” doesn’t win.

Heck!  I would even support locking Republicans out of a re-election.  If most Americans were demanding “change”, then hold a new election based on current Party alignments and leave the Republicans out.  Allow Third Parties a better chance, but if the Majority truly wants “Democrat” and not just “not another Republican”, they it should be an easy win with fuller support.  It won’t happen, of course, because neither major Party would truly risk the monopoly they trade back and forth.

Anyway, that’s my conscience on Obama’s eligibility.  If the country does start disbanding, I know what side of the Great Wall of Texas I’ll be on.

Proof of Sanity’s Citizenship March 4, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Humor, Politics.
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As this site was created on January 23, 2009, and Sanity’s first recorded existence has been lost in the ether of the net, I have decided to establish proof of my existence.  (If you are not aware of the events this ‘humor’ is aimed at, you are on your own.

It is on the internet, so you must believe it

It is on the internet, so you must believe it

Republican Weight Loss Program March 4, 2009

Posted by Sanity in Humor, Politics, wisdom.
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Are you tired of that bloated legislative feeling? Feeling over taxed?
Worried about that growing waste line? Uncontrollable spending urges?

Then try my new 42-step program: San-eat-y.  Guaranteed to add juicy vote-ables to your diet for a leaner party platform to stand on.  No point system to compromise on.  Just a good foundation of principles you can be proud of.  And each meal is PORK free!

Sound too good to be true.  It might take 2 years to see results? Or 4? But let’s not take 8 years to solve this problem.

Over time I will lay out a plan of sites and material to guide us all, from beginner to experienced, to become more aware of what needs fixin’, how to do it, who to support, and where, why and what ever other questions need to be included.  I’ll share discoveries of efforts that encourage me when the political forecast is scary, and I invite others to help create a guide to prepare for future elections.  Please don’t just drop names and sites and leave it at that.  Or point to a politician’s own website (but do include it with supportive material).  We need to focus on what works and why, and what doesn’t work.  We need more than the maintenance programs that government current supplies (using the same “patch it and ignore it” solutions expecting different results).