Friday, September 08, 2006

Downshift

In many years of schooling, I was never taught how to shift gears to find fulfillment. Analytic side-stepping and lateral thinking were part of my training, but each is built on a problem's centrality. I was taught rather grimly to persevere with analysis, generating alternative scenario, secondary or tertiary relationships, and policy options. Tenacious cybernetic non-stochastic immersion.

In personal life we all learn to downshift and change the subject of attention. I might go from school to home, meeting loved ones oblivious to the wrangling of my environment elsewhere. Refuge can be found by walking in nature, by turning to entertainment, or by listening to others. I learned conscious shut down of problem-solving and more simply to enjoy life.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Energy industries

One unfortunate dimension of energy development in the USA is that the oil and associated industries have hijacked debate via the political process. George W. Bush & Dick Cheney are shortsighted unapologetic supporters of oil. This has helped enshroud the USA in Middle Eastern affairs to the detriment of our future.

Alternative energy is not merely a rallying element for disaffected environmentalists. Alternative energy businesses have huge potential, and promise in the future to grow into efficient and important large-scale industries. This is recognized in Germany, Japan and elsewhere, but has been denigrated in the USA.

It's an oily morass. Valuable options being developed elsewhere leave the USA with old, polluting smokestack industries and prospects of paying royalties offshore for generations. At the same time, the environment is degraded, while the USA foolishly blunders in Iraq and the Middle East.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Sunshine

Thus far, this blog has been grim. I've been motivated to write mostly on dark & dreary political problems, attacking the narrow drives of belligerent self-interest among those who refuse to display uncertainty.

Oops! ...started again to get wound-up...

Anyhow, it is perhaps more important to try to display a better way. I pledge to write about goodness for awhile.

With the sovereignty of the empty page confronting this decision, I'll now do meditative breathing, then go outside and play.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Lamont vs. Lieberman

There is a distant drumbeat for change in the USA. Americans read the USA spends $10 million every hour in Iraq (for who knows what?) while local services (in the 'homeland') decline. The government has waged war for years, telling people they know what's best.

Business-as-usual is being buffeted. Just now the Connecticut Democratic primary challenge of Ned Lamont has energized a segment of America. Sitting Senator Joe Lieberman is under attack as being a Republican in disguise. We're told that ousting Lieberman for Lamont is a first step to building new hope for America.

I'm sceptical, and believe it's a semi-permitted sideshow. Joe Lieberman should not top anyone's enemies list. He's a clever and hard-working insider, whose recent work on the Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006 (FRPAA; S.2695), for example, has been a great public service.

Yes, Joe takes up a chair that someone else might better use. I can't say if one such someone is Ned Lamont - too many people after election suddenly go quiet. One broadcast of Ned's candidacy, however, puts the contrast of energetic challenger and complacent toad very clearly; the editors of this Fox61 report clearly favor the challenger. Viewers are eagerly led to the sideshow; the truly major rollbacks of American integrity are ignored...

==2006-03-13 Fox61 news clip: Lamont candidacy==
(6MB media file)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Terror: terrible, not novel

Too many Americans seem to feel, or perhaps have been led to believe, that the terrorist tragedy of 9-11 was an unprecedented horror, worthy of unique retribution at any cost. But organized man-made horrors have existed since time immemorial; the Bible lists dozens. Proper perspective is an important part of problem-solving. Simply lashing-out in rage is no solution. Nearly five years after 9-11, our situation is worse.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Lay down dead

Convicted fraudster Dr. 'Kenny-Boy' Lay of Enron has passed away -- perhaps.

I'm sceptical.

But I believe that the U.S. government 'spiked' Muhammad Ali; and that one day I might see 'Whitey' Bolger at a harbourside marina (what could be done?...)

It is reported that Kenneth Lay died unexpectedly & tragically while holidaying in Aspen. Or maybe now he is cleverly protected in some far-off paradise...

The man no doubt did many good things; but he never accepted responsibility for Enron's swindles. He took credit for his management skills (and accrued a sizable fortune) when the firm seemed to be doing well; when things fell apart, he claimed to know nothing.

I ain't no lawyer, but Habeas corpus for multi-millionaire mega-weasels. He may be in Costa Rica, Calgary, Cardiff, or anywhere. He's left ample reasons for distrust. Many thousands of people were deeply damaged by Enron's frauds. Is it fair that death might lead to erasure of Lay's criminal conviction?

----
Update: Lay's convictions were vacated following his death as appeals were not exhausted -- though no appeal was filed. The cheat continues...

Friday, March 31, 2006

Government responsibility?

The aftermath of the 2004 Asian tsunami was a scandal in Sweden because of the government's slow and insufficient response. Tragedy could have been somewhat mitigated with timely intervention by the Swedish government. But was it clear (or is it clear) where responsibility starts and ends?

If a Swede runs out of money abroad, should the government help? How about if a storm causes a family to lose their money; what is the government's responsibility? Even if we say - "It is only money, not life" what if during processing time, without money, the unfortunate Swedes or their children suffer another accident, or violence?

I'm not sure that consensus exists on how much the State is responsible for people's welfare outside the country. Are consular people and ministers on call constantly? Should all taxpayers be charged with getting travelers out of trouble?

What of responsibility by innkeepers, travel agents, and the traveler's themselves?

Having said that, governments should be somewhat prepared, and have planned for various accidents and changing circumstances; then implementing policies, plans and limits: risk management procedures, emergency mitigation and relief.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Take a Haiku in Sweden

Disappearing snow
Autumn trash & lots of sand
Stockholm in April

More light and more light
Stockholm faces shining bright
More glow from within

Kristi Himmelsfärd
But Annandag Pingst no more
Just thanks for days off

Airline spring puppets
ESCC people plan
Our summer travel

Too eagerly baked?
From autumn to Shrove Tuesday
When to eat semlor?

Feathered birch twigs and
Funny-looking witches: Spring!
Songs by the bonfire

Do April showers
Bring May flowers when we're at
Sixty degrees North?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Provocative Cartoons

Cartoons published in Denmark ridiculing the Prophet Muhammed have been republished widely in Europe. Is this a case of freedom of the press?

I believe that this problem shows poor sensitivity, and was deliberately provocative. To demean what others hold dear is stupid.

Someone can legally write that your mother is ugly. But they'd best prepare for your strenuous and perhaps angry disagreement...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Haiku 2006-01-11

Mussolini Bush
Dragged Colin Powell to hell
Uncertain? Never.

No unwelcome News
Plays for long in Disregard
Sweet Karl Rove gets blamed

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Haiku

Sabra Shatila
Butchered thousands refuge lost
Sharon's legacy