Monday, January 31, 2011


     Yesterday we talked about how the food distribution can be considered mankinds greatest achievement, today we will talk about now technology has our civilization and our world on a tightrope.This highwire act is in some respects awe inspiring and yet terrifying.Technology has made our lives so much more satisifying than any other period in human history,but at the same time has the capacity to send us back to the stone age.
     Technology can be a very faithful servant. Consider the computer.Twenty five years ago most computers filled entire rooms, and the rage of the days was a handheld calculator who's retail cost was well over a hundred dollars.Then the home computer started making an appearance with the Apple. By the mid 1990's computers and the computer processor were showing up in every facet of our lives. From price scanners in grocery stores, to electronic ignition in automobiles, to mini-computers in just about every facet of our lives.From home personel computers to laptop computers in just about every household. Social networking sites like facebook, twitter,to the way news is distributed and the way it is received,to the new phenomenon of personal blogging.Blogging how millions of people worldwide are able to express their thoughts to other worldwide,about personal matters and news as it happens.In schools computers and hand held calculators have invaded every aspect of teaching.In engineering classes in college the handheld calculator have replace the old fashion sliderule, for figureing out trigonometic functions. College stundents have become so dependent of computers that they have lost the ability to figure out mathematics the old fashion way.It fact in every area of science computers have become indispensable.
     However as the world becomes more dependent on technology it walks a tightrope from spiralling down to the level of the early middle ages or even down to the level of the stoneage.Now ask yourself this question, just what could cause this to happen. Well anecular war of course. When an atomic bomb explodes it releases what is called an electromagnetic pulse which will fry the electronics in the computer. However I see a worldwide war using atomic bombs to be slim at best,but there is something that has happened before and has the capacity to shut down the entire world.What I am talking about is sunspot acitivity which can shut down the electrical transmission lines and in the worst case fry all the electronics in the world. The possibility of that happening is slim at best but not beyond the realm of posibility.
    Now here's the assumption, that the sunspot activity or nuclear war won't happen therefore there is no need to come up with a shield for the electronics.Shortsighted don't you think?Isn't this something that our government and electronic manufactures should worry about and ensure that it can not possibilibly happen.Can we keep walking the tightrope without any sort of accident.What will happen if by some chance we slip? I have an idea but the really question is what do you think?

Sunday, January 30, 2011


      With the uprisings in Tunisa and Egypt,one gets to wonder just how fragile is civilization. With just a quick snapshot one can see it does not take much to throw off the cloak of civil society and to revert to a more primitive state.As much as the behavior of mob rule is abhorrent it pales in comparison to just how vulnerable we are as a society.Stop for a moment and ask yourselfs what is the greatest achievement of the human race.Right off the top of your head a number of possibilities come to mind. The computer,internet,cell phones,television,electric light,automobles, airplanes all are good candidate for the greatest achievement of mankind.However, though I hate to say this you would be wrong. The greatest achievement of mankind is the food and goods distribution.
     Wait you say how can that be the greatest achievement of mankind.Lets take food for an example. According to the latest estimate there are about 7 billion people on the planet at this time.Now if we assume that everyone only eats once a day, that is 7 billion meals daily. In a week that's 28 billion,in a month 192 billion,in a year 2.3 trillion meals.That means that food no matter were it is grown must tbe harvested,packaged and shipped around the world.If you assume more than one meal the numbers are staggering.Add to that all the manufactured goods that make up our daily lives,well you can see what I mean.
      Lets take the United States as an example.The United States is divided by the Mississippi River into two parts.Those east of the river and those that are west.Now there are only a finite number of bridges that cross the Mississippi River joining the two parts. Now most of the food we eat is grown on the plains of Iowa,Nebraska,and Kansas,its beef on the plains of Texas,Arizona,etc.Now what would happen if those bridges were destroyed. Cars and truckes would be stopped.Trains that bring goods back and forth across the Mississippi River would grind to a halt. Now how long would it be before food would become scarce in the major cities in the country. How soon would there be roits occuring in every city. Remembering that all the food and goods come into the cities by truck and train.Take Las Vegas as an example. Las Vegas is completely landlocked. It is a city of 1.5 million people,with 36million vistors a year.Every night a fleet of about 10 thousand or so trucks pour into the city each night disgorging there loads,only to return the next night.Some trains come in but the goods in them then must be unloaded into trucks for delivery to stores.On the east coast some goods and food could arrive by ship but how much and how soon.Remember you are probably talking about some were close to 100 million people.How soon before law and order breaks down, and its every man for himself.
      So this is why I hold that the distribution system that delivers food and goods around the world is bu far and away the single greatest achievement of modern man. Do you agree or disagree? What is the greatest achievement?

Saturday, January 29, 2011


          Today the subject is space and whether or not we should invest more into the exploration of space.Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger,which exploded 96 seconds after takeoff. On board besides the six astronauts was the first civilian astronaut,a school teacher.In four days it will be the 8th anniversary of the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia in the skies over Texas as it reentered earths atmosphere to land in Florida.And sometime this year the space shuttle program will be ended .The final flight will be the space shuttle Atlantis,after that flight if the United States will have to rely on the Soviet Union to put men in space.The reason being that we do not have a replacement vehicle for the shuttle.
        The funding for the space program has been cut by the past two administrations,and severely cut by the  the present one. Now there has been a lively debate about the mission of the space program. There are those that say we can no longer afford to explore space that it is a waste of money. There are others who say we do not need to put men in space,thatunmanned probes can do everything that is needed.And finally there are those who want the manned mission to continue,arguing that to do otherwise will be denying our very nature. Mankind they say must continue moving forward,to do otherwise well mean our death as a spieces. It is what drives men to cross oceans,climb mountains,to explore the depths of the ocean.They futher argue that if man is to ensure his survial he must colonize other world,.After all in the history of this planet there have been six extinction events, and as sure as the sun rises in the east it will happen again.So man must leave this world  and spread first of all across this solar system, and maybe across the universe.
     Now there is another school of thought that holds that we can explore the solar system sufficently using unmanned probes. They futher argue that the money we would spend on space exploration would be better spent here on earth. Unfortunately, that seems to be the school of thought that is gaining traction. The budget for NASA is being slashed drastically ,forcing the nation that put man on the moon in ten short years to rely on other to put their astronauts into space.However there is one thing they are overlooking, that is for every dollar spent on space exploration, we get $27 dollars in return, not to mention the advancement of technology.Computers,composite materials,medical advances,cell phones even the internet. After all the internet was create so scientists coulde share research with one another. Yes also with the pentagon,I know. In fact just about every modern device that we relie on to make our lives easier, can trace its roots to the space program.So the question before us, do we spend the money on space exploration and our future or do we spend it on more immediate concerns.An arguement can be made for either side. I know were my vote would go, but the question is what do you believe?Space the final frontier,or here an now?

Friday, January 28, 2011


     I had the idea to make this post on guns and gun laws and the assumptions concerning gun ownership and the laws that regulate them.However the unrest in North Africa, in places like Tunsia, and Egypt have made a discussion on dictatorships,the way they hold on to power and why they are doomed to fall especially in the information age that exist today.This topic takes me back to my college days in the late 60's and early 70's.In the school that I attended we were required to do a undergraduate thesis.Well my thesis was why dicatorships were destined to fail,and predicted that the former Soviet Union would fall by 1998. Well events proved me wrong the soviet union fell in 1989,ten years earlier than I perdicted.The one factor that I did not take into account was the financial one,which was the main reason it fell before my predicted date in 1998.
      The reason that all dictatorships are destined to fall eventually is because they dependent on force and fear,along with the surpression of news and ideas.There is one other factor that I held to be of paramount importance,that of education. I held that any dictatorship that wanted to complete in the twentieth century  had to educate their population. An as the level of education increased then it became harder and harder to control the flow of information.With information came the awareness of how others lived around the world,especially those countries that elected their leaders.Also the greater the percentage of the population that had a college education, the more these individuals wanted the good things in life. Now under dictatorships the access to what was seen as the good life was limited to those in power and selected individuals.The rest of the population were poor,uneducated,and the only news about the outside world was controlled by those in power.
     Now the assumptions that dictatorships work under is that those who have the military power,control the flow of information,and the access to wealth can control the population.The best way to control the flow of information and access to wealth was to keep the population uneducated.A uneducated population that can barely read or write will believe what those in power tell them.An if you control the weapons and the power that they represent, then the population can be controlled. These are the assumptions that all dictatorships,be they secular or religious, they all rely on.Now they might hold on to power for a half century of more, but eventually they will succumb to the pressures of a civilization that continues to advance.
     Now in this age of instantaneous communition with facebook, twitter;e-mail,texting,google,even the poorest individual is connected to the world around them.Now add to the mix,that if a country wants to compete in the worlds economy, they must educate their population.Now as the population becomes more educated,they want more of what they see the outside world has.Now the only way for the dictators can retain any sort of power is to give some of the power to govern to the people.Usually at first this sharing of power is only a illusion,but the more education the people have, the more the country enters the technological age the illusion of power gives way to actual power which signals the beginning of the end to the dictatorship. This can be seen in the way China has evoled in the last sixty years. It went from a very repressive regime and a economy controlled by the government to a more and more capitalistic society.Capitalism demand freedom to purse one's fortune,and this freedom also demands a actual say in the way they are govern.
    Could the countries in the middle east and north africa slide into some sort of a religious society the same as in Iran. Who knows, but the cracks to the Iranian religious dictatorship have already started to appear and widen.And once that happens sooner or later that dictatorship, be it religious or political will fall.Freedom is a universal  longing of mankind. To pursue one's future as one see's fit,can there be any greater dream than this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


     I was going to make this post about some of the silly assumptions that some of our federal departments use when the create the thousands of rules and regulations that govern almost every aspect of our lives.As I write this I have the televison on, tuned to a 24hr news channel. 99.9% of the time I really don't hear what they are saying,that's because I can really focus on what I am writing or reading.However,today a news story went hand in hand with one of the points I was going to discuss.
     When the healthcare debate was going full force last year, the one point made time and time again was that it would lower healthcare costs. But will it? I am of the age were I am receivig social security and Medicare benefits. Well for Medicare part B, which covers doctors visits, I am required to pay $110 a month which was deduced right from my social security check.Well last December I decided to join a Medicare Adventage program.Well lo and behold my monthly payment went from $110 a month to $70 a month, Plus it includes a prescription drug plan with a $i5 co-pay with no limits on how many prescriptions I get,and wait for it, if I have to go to the emergency room my copay is only $50 as compare to $150 under the goverment program.I ask you if the government with their massive healthcare bill will lower costs why do I pay less with a private provider?
   Now other oddies. We have been told we need to go green. I agree that we need to do more to save the environment.But I ask you what is wrong with the assumptions they are operating on. Lets look at the push for greener cars. Now the assumption is that the exhaust from autos not only foul the air we breath, but also contribute to gobal warming.Now since 1960 we have been working on the exhaust of autos,and our air is definitly cleaner. So that assumption seems to be valid. Ok what about the second assumption, that the exhaust contributes to gobal warming.Maybe,but there is something fishy to the assumption about how to solve the problem. The solution is to go to electric cars. Such a simple solution.Well on the face of it,yes,but if we really look at it, a few oblivious problems arise. First of all you need to plug it in to recharge.Well whats wrong with that.The problem is that well over 80% of our electricity is produced by burning coal.Though they have cleaned up the particle emissions from the coal plants, they still emit a large amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. So until we develope and build a tremendous amount of new clean power plants,electric cars are just a feel good solution. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but we need to acknowledge  that is what it is.
     Now speaking of cars lets look at the assumptions concerning the fuel to run them. One of the solutions they came up with in the late seventies and is being really pushed now if ethnol. For those who don't now what ethnol is, it is gasoline mixed with fuel made from corn.Ok great so far. But once again there is a problem with the assumption.To use corn for fuel more corn is being planted. What is wrong with that. just one small problem.That even though more corn is being planted ,there is less corn for consumption by humans and for our feed anaimals. Therefore the price of corn rises,as does the price of everythin that uses corn. Which is just about everything.There is also one other unintended consquence to this solution.Consider this,if you plant more corn then other crops do not get planted. There is less wheat for consumption, and wheat is one of the stables that we send to areas were people are starving. See what I mean, when your assumptions are false not only do you not solve problems you actually can and all to often make them worst.So ask your leaders what are the assumptions you are making when trying to solve our problems, and if you don't know then find out before you pass one more law or regulation.How about that for a simple yet effective solution,what do you think?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


     Well the speech last night went just as expected, the same rhetoric,promises and great sounding pharses.Applause after applause from politicians sitting in congress.The speech is more like a pep rally than anything informative.That said let us look at some of the assumptions that the speech was based on and the responses that were given by the republicians and the tea party.
      The president assumes that we can cut back on small spending over ten years and at the same time increase spending of what he believes is critical, the budget can be brought under control. He also assumes that by using smoke and mirrors he can show the voting public that he is serious about cutting spending and has like president Bill Cliton moved to the political center.Why smoke and mirrors, well the assumption that by saying he will veto any bill that includes earmarks,he is serious about cutting spending.What is unsaid is that the money for earmarks is already included in the various departmental budgets, All earmarks do is to specifiy how a portion of a departmental budget is to be spent.So no real cuts there.Smoke and mirrors.
     Now what about the assumptions that the republican and tea party were making when they gave their response to the presidents speech.The assumption is a big one to say the least.That we can get to a balance budget through spending cuts alone, and once we have a balance budget all will be right with the world.They also assume that one way to get to a pernment balance buget is to admend the US Constitutionits to require the federal government to have a balance budget every year.Sounds good doesn't it, after all what is wrong with a balanced budget.On the face of it,it sounds good.Ok lets say that congress is going to draft an amendment requiring a balance budget.If the is some natural disaster that really impact the country,say something like a hurricane that hit the gulf cost states,or major flooding. or worst yet, we have to go to war? Were would the money come from if it is required we have a balanced budget.If they try to write these exceptions into the law it will look like swiss cheese, and would be worthless.It ingores the fact that since 1849 we have only have had 13 yers with a budget surplus.They also ignore the fact that if we cut all spending to get to a balance budget, we are doing nothing about the debt that is already on the books. The only thing that is build into the budget is the interest payment on the debt we already accrued.
     So we have seen that the assumptions of getting rid of earmarks,spending cuts,and a balanced budget are fallacious,along with the idea of no new taxes.To pay down the debt will by definition require new taxes. The only questions is how much,whether all or only a certain segment of the population will be affected.The hue and cry is to make the rich pay more,and to leave the middle class and working poor and retirees alone.But the fact is if we tax the rich at 100%,it still would not really make a dent inpaying down the national debt.
   We need to consider what the purpose of government is, and how we will insure that the government meets those obligation.There is a way that both sides can be satisfied.Can you guess what it is. I will give you a hint, it involves the entire nation and a targeted tax. I am not going to say what it is,thats not the purpose of this blog.It is to raise questions about our beliefs and our actions.So how do you think is the way out of the mess we find ourselfs in.Whatever your answer is, let you elected representives know.Who knows they may even listen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


     Since the state of the union speech is tonight,and spending,debt,and jobs will be the main topic of discussion tonight,maybe a look at spending and the national debt would be a good use of our time.I should tell my readers that for the second time in my life I will be listening to the state of the union speech.Why you ask,haven't you listen to the annual presidental speech before?The answer is that they all basically say the same thing that one can predict with a great degree of accuracy just what will be said.The speech has evolved into a glowing report on the present administration.Tonights speech will saqy that we must move foreward, invest in new technologies,basic infrastructure like roads,bridges,electrical tramission lines etc.then it will go into the need to cut spending, waste,abuse, and fraud.Sound familiar.I am going to listen so maybe get some new ideas on future blogs.
    Now to the discussion at hand, the debt.Last night I spent a few hours researching the national debt from 1789 to2008.And I discovered some intresting facts.From 1789 to 1849 the federal government had a surplus of $70 million, A pretty good start for a new nation.Then from 1849 to the present we had only 13 years were the federal government took in more than it spent.In 1920 we had a surplus of $290 million and it gradually increased to $738 million in 1930. Thats a period of eleven years were we spent less than we took in.The next time we had a surplus was 1960 with a surplus of $510 million,then jump forward to the year 2000 were we had a syrplus of $86,422 million, or as we would say $86 billion 422 million dollars.That means that for 209 of the 222 years we have been in existence  we have spent more than we took in.You could say that we do not know how to live within a budget.But is living within a budget such an important thing for our government to aspire to, or does it really matter.
    First of all lets look at just who we owe the money to: Japan owns around $800 billion. China about $900billion to $1 trillion.Maybe around 1 to 1 1/2 trillon to investors in Europe and Russia, and the Middle East. The rest of the other $10 trillion is owed to our own citizens.So why you ask, is there such a fuss about the money that is owed to China, or even to the debt in general.The amount that we owe to China,Japan and others is really not the most important thing. Ask yourself this question,just how much money do you owe on your credit card. Do you keep using it,and slowly but surely add to the total amount you owe the credit card companies. The only thing you are usually concern with is how much in intrest payments you must make each month.Once you get accustomed to the payment,you don't think about it,until the payment is increased,then it takes on greater importance in your budget. Well the same thing is true with the federal government.

as long as the intrest payment was around $500 billion or less, it was no big thing.But being forward thinking our politicians have noticed a curious thing. That the intrest payment on the debt will jump from about $500 billion in 2014 to $1 trillion  by 2020,and the rate of increase will jump dramatically almost every year thereafter if the rate if deficit spending is not significantly reduced.Thus the hue an cry about the money owed and the need to live within a budget. Now ask yourself this question,Are the crys that the Sky is Falling by our politicans truthful or just something to placate the voters and insure that they and there party get reelected in the next election.Are they refusing to go with the most logicial way to pay down the debt,because they are afraid of the voters reaction?If we have spent more than what we have taken in for 209 of the 222 years we have been in existence,is the problem critical or could slow proven methods be the ones we should be look at. Can we afford to spend more on the things that need to fixed through out  the country? And if we can't would we ? these are we be willing to pay more in taxes to do so.These are the assumptions and questions that need to be answered by each and every one of us. So now one final question, Will you watch the state of the union address tonight?

Monday, January 24, 2011


        Since the annual state of the union address by the president is this week,I thought it might be useful if we look at the various parts of the government.After all, it is  the federal and local governments which impact our lives the most.And since they do so by,laws,regualtions,rules that govern just about every aspect of our lives,it brings to mind the question,just what is the purpose of government? Now we can approach this question from several different ways.We could use the generic answer,the purpose of government is to govern.
      Now that answer can mean many things. That individuals join together for safety, for mutual survival,to insure that the strong do not take advantage of the weaker,that there are common rules that govern the way in which individuals live with one another.The earliest examples of this is Athens in ancient Greece,the early days of the roman empire.This was the earliest example of people joining together and choosing those that would lead them.Everywere else the strong imposed their will and said that their rule was the will of the god they worshiped.This would be the last time for over 1200 years that the people would choose or limit the power of those who ruled them.Those were examples of the main purpose of government,to govern for the common good.Which is why after 2000 plus years we still look upon them with reverence and the model for governance.
      After 1200 years we come to the Magna Carta,which was a charter of rights and liberty which the nobles wrestled from King John of England in 1213A.D.It would be another 560 years before another experiment in democracy would be tried. And 222 years later that experiment is still going strong, and an example for the structure of modern political countries.O.K. now that the history lesson is finished, we can concentrate on what the modern ideas of government are.
     To those on the liberal side of the political spectrum it has come to mean the preeminence of social issues, environmental concerns,and fininacial equality.On social issues it means laws that level the playing field between races and the sexes. To right old wrongs, to protect the environment from the harm that captialism does in the purist of what they say is the almighty dollar.This they would argue is what the purpose of government is.All else is secondary to the role of government.
     To those on the conservative side of the political spectrum it has come to mean, living within ones means,to protect the country from enemies around the world. To allow captialism to flourish with the minimum of interference from the government.To give business a level playing field with the rest of the world in respect to taxes.It is taxes and regulations which have brought our country to this economic crisis we face today they would argue.
    Now the two sides seem miles apart in the way they view the purpose of government, but are they? What do you believe is the true purpose of government.Just how has this experiment in democracy survived for the last 222 years? Has the world finally chosen the correct form of governance, that of ancient Athens.Did the founding fathers take the lessons of Athens to heart when they envision the new country that was to be born. And just what were the lessons that they thought we should hold dear.So when we listen to the state of the union address by the president tomorrow,will his words match what you believe, or will they change the way you view the role of government?Thats a question only you can answer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


      In the last two posts were have examined cause and effect, and the possibilities of what if? So I thought it might be worthwhile to examine the unexpected roads we have taken.Usually we began traveling down these roads because of what we would have describe as a minor decision.No way could that decision change the course of our life.If you stop for a minute and examine the roads you have travelled in your own life,I am willing to bet, you will find such a turning point.Sometimes these turning points are realitively minor,life takes a different road but the changes are not all that important.But sometimes,a small decision,made in the spur of the moment will have life changing consequences.Life and in turn you are change in ways you would never thought possibile.Go ahead and take a minute to look at your own life.
      Ask yourself this question. If you knew what the outcome of that seemly inconsequential decision would be, would you still make the same decision. With me there are two decisions that changed the course of my life. If I change the first one, then the second one would not have occured and you would not be reading this blog.The first might have allowed me to journey into space,which is something I wanted,but a decision made in the heat of the moment,sent me down a path were a journey into space was no longer a possibility.Yet it led me to a friendship that I would not change,for anything.For over twenty years I have been blessed with a friendship so close it defies description.At times driven me crazy,challanged me and at the same time insipred me to heights I did not know I could acheive.All because I decided to take a two week vacation to visit a friend in a place called Harbison Canyon.
       So what about your lifes journey,were the decisions that sent you down new roads the ones you made after careful deliberations, or were they made on the spur of the moment.And the question of the day. would you make them again excatly the same way? That's the question before you and I am sure that the answers will be illuminating.So my friends safe journey down the unpredictable and unexpected turns in life.


         In the last two posts we have looked at cause and effect,and the possibilities of what if? So I thought it might be interesting if we turn our attention to the unexpected roads we have travelled because of a decision made. Usually these decisions,that send us off in directions never contemplated, are small seemingly unimportant ones.Take a moment and review the path you have travelled in life. Has it conformed to what you thought it would?Or did it at some point veer off in a unexpected direction.
        In my life, one of these points came when I decided to take a two week vaction and visit a friend in california.Nothing earth shaking there, or so I thought. But with in that two week period I took a job with the Office of Fire Services Coordinator for the county of San Diego,became a volunteer firefighter,was responsible for saving a number of lives in the following years. But most important thing that happened was I met for the first time the person who would become my closest

Saturday, January 22, 2011


     Yesterday we discussed the "Butterfly Effect " which deals with cause and effect. So for today I thought that it might be fun and maybe informative if we give free reign to our imagination. I am a avid reader and lately every other book has been an action,adventure novel that deals with the idea of what if?What if Atlantis exists,and their culture was the start of ours,What if, the mystical tomb of Hercules,actually existed. After all everyone thought that Troy ,which Homer wrote about was just a figment of his imagination.That was until it was found  right were Homer said it was.Maybe the tomb of Hercules does also, what riches would it hold.What if the sword of King Authur",Excalibur", could be found. Could it be in the actual tomb of King Authur.What if, a depository of ancient knowledge was buried under the pyramid ,or the scrolls from the library at Alexandra still existed? Possibilities, wonderous possibilities.
     Science,archaeology are able to explain and unearth the beginnings of our existence lost in the mists of time.However there are still anomalies scattered around the world that defy explanations to this day.An obelisk in India that is at least a thousand years old made of metal that seems to defy the weathering of the ages.Stone work in Chile, high in the andes which was cut with such percision we would have a hard time duplicating the feat today. This from a culture that had no written language, did not know of the wheel.Yet somehow carried stones that weighed tons over 14000ft up mountains, and then using primitive stone tools carved absolutely straight lines and channels  in rock that was harder than granite.How about passages deep inside  ancient pyramids that have brightly colored paintings but yet show no signs of smoke from torches or lamps. I could go on citing example after example, but you get the idea. Now What If?
    Let your imagination soar.What grand and wonderous adventures could you weave around those thing that are known only through legend,or objects that can't be explain. How about a map that dates from the 4th century which was itself a copy of a much older map that not only shows the outline of eastern South America with its rivers yet to be discovered,but wait for it, the accurate coast line of Antarctica which lies under hundreds of feet of snow. A place we know has not been snow free for at least 15000 years.Mysteries unexplained to this day.What story would you weave my friends?Enjoy your imagination?


          I just finished watching a episode of "Fringe", and it got me to ponder the possibilites of the universe and reality.Just as the writers of the series wanted. This episode dealth with cause and effect. For those who are not familiar with the concept of the butterfly effect, it deals with how small actions that happen thousands of miles away can cause major changes to local areas. It says that a butterfly flapping its wings in the rain forest in south america can cause a hurrican to happen off the coast of new england.Cause and effect,its there even if you are unaware of the change of events between the two actions.Science rests on the belief that there is always a cause and effect to everything that happens anywere in the universe.Every thing from  the microscopic to the macroscopic, follow the same laws. We might not know or understand at the present time the laws that govern a particular chain of events, but its there.Which is why science denies the existence of miracles.To science just because you do not know how something came to be or happen , it does not mean it was cause by a supreme being.Which is why the belief came about that science and god cannot exist together.
      Now I do not know if god exists or doesn't. To me it does not really matter, I will live my life in a fashion that will enrich my life and those around me and the ones I love. I'll  find out one way or another when I die.  Till then I will try to understand the reality and universe that exist around me.On the wall behind my laptop I have pictures of galaxies,nebula's, gas clouds,and planets in color. I look at them and wonder? Will man ever travel among the stars,will we ever understand all it's laws. Personally I believe we have the potential.What do you think?Can a butterfly flapping its wing affect something on the otherside of the world.If yes,then ask yourself this question, just how do we affect the world not only around us but the course of existence as a whole.? Can something we do or don't do really cause a major change in reality.Cause and Effect, Ying and Yang, Karma? Are they the things which rule our reality,What do you think?Do I turn left or right,what if I continue going straight ahead.What possibilites might or might not happen  by the decision you make?
Is there any doubt that thoughts like these could drive one insane. God, I love it, don't you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


     I was viewing optical illusions on line last night and thought that it would be a great topic for a post.It is but not tonight.Thats because all day I have been listening to politicans spouting off about the national debt,usually with only a half and ear.After a while you can almost repeat word for word what the positions will be for both liberal and conservates.So I decided that it would be a good use of our time to examine the assumptions of both sides of the debate.
     Let us start with the assumptions that the liberal side of the political spectrum  uses when talking about the national debt.The first oblivious assumption that they make is that the national debt is not as important as the programs which they espouse.These are the social programs that usually are aimed at the the lower segment of the population.It is believed that spending programs that add to the national debt will in the long run be paid for because of increased revenue to the federal government.Therefore they argue that the increased in deficit spending is the only moral choice to help the poor.Now since they see this spending as necessary,if taxes need to be raised,it should be placed on those that are the wealthest.Now are these assumptions valid,Maybe?However before making a decision, compare it to the assumptions the conservates view point.
     Now the assumptions that the conservates use is quite the opposite of the liberal view point.Some what oblivious don't you think.But just what are these assumptions.They are pretty straight forward.First of all it is believed that excessive spending will bring about two things.The first is that future generations will be saddled with the debt that is being accrued right now.Secondly it will bring about the collapse of the dollars and and increase in how much in intrest that will have to be paid to those that will buy our debt.This in turn will kill the economic growth of the nation,and thus kill jobs.To avoid this they argue we must not only balance our annual budget,but also cut spending especially in social programs,were the spending is the largest.Is this view point correct. Maybe.
    Now that we have seen the basic assumptions of each side,we can compare and decide for ourselves. There is only one thing that I would like to point out;that in all likelyhood the correct way to deal with the growing national debt will will be a composite of the two viewpoints.However, as I pointed out in an earlier post, before you can have a valid discussion of a problem, you have to admit that your view point might not be completely correct. Will our politicans do that? What do you think?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


      I was wondering what this blog would cover today.Then it hit me,all the news all the talk, opinion shows on cable were discussing speech. What they had to say about it pretty much divided along party lines. So it got me to thinking just what is the assumption concerning speech, especially in this day and age.First of all I believe we should state the priniciple that was enshrined in our founding docunment,the Constitution of the United States.Our founding fathers were so concerned about speech they made sure that future generations would have no question as to how much speech the citizens of this new country would enjoy.
     In the Bill of Rights, in Amendent 1 it states,Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
     Speech must have been very important to the founding fathers, after all four of the six rights mentioned in the Admendent dealt with some form of speech.We know that speech was important to them after all they started the American Revolution with speech. Politics it was once said is just another form of war being fought in a peaceful manner.Except for a few rare instances no one dies during a spirited debate.So what is the assumption that is being made. Its relatively simple, that the more speech the better and that the solution for bad speech is more speech.
      Now how does that relate to what is happening in the news today.Well in the wake of the Tucson shooting by by someone who it seems was mentally unstable, there have been calls to ban certain speech metaphor. Figures of speech such as, being targeted, in the crosshairs,metaphors that deal with descriptions of fighting or war.It is being alleged that this type of descriptive speech can make individuals who are close to the edge, to act out in the manner that the figure of speech is describing.Is it possible, of course it is, but is that sufficient reason to ban certain types of speech.If it is, then were do we draw the line.How about someone saying in a fit of anger,"I hate that person and wish they were dead." Is that a call to action? Will some unbalanced individual use those words to act.Any sort of discussion,rating,emotion will usually use some sort of violent imaginary.Do we ban any speech that uses imaginary? What do we think that the founding fathers would say about this.On which side of the line would they support, more or less speech.I know what I believe,But the question is what do you believe. Do you want to limit someone elses speech,what if it is what you want to say.? Think carefully about any type of restrictions that you want to impose. More speech or less speech?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

To Care or not to Care, that is the Health Question!

     Ok, I admit that it is a poor play on words,but I think you can guess what the topic is,health care.We won't decide whether or not if Health care is the right thing or not. The question is whether or not the assumptions that health care is based on is valid and logical. However before we begin or examination of health care, I want to apologize for yesterdays post. Rather than a examination of education it was more of a rant,and that is not what this blog is about.Its just that when it comes to education in this country,my logic goes out the window and becomes irrational and yes, I will admit somewhat on the angry side.I assure you that it will not happen in the future, the reason is that education is the only subject I am that passionate about.
     Now whether or not the health care law will operate and cost as advertise depends entirely on the question of assumptions it is based on is valid or not.Now whether or not the law in question is moral or proper, I leave that to the reader to decide for themselves.I have my opinion which I believe is correct but I also admit I could be completely wrong.However what I believe or don't believe is not and should not be focus of this post.Now that has been said, lets begin our examination of the subject at hand.
     The basic assumption that the health care law is based on is as follows; That health care should be extended as far as coverage is concern to the estimated 30 to 40 million individuals who do not have health care insurance.The second part of the operating assumption is that this coverage can be extended to these individuals and save money not only in the short run but also over ten and twenty years.So is this assumption correct or not?
     I believe that everyone in the country would agree that all citizens should have access to quality health care. After all life is the first thing that is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Remember Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.Life depends on health and health truely depends on access to quality health care. So the first part of the assumpation seems to be true without a shadow of a doubt.Agreed. Now to the second part of the assumption. That one can insure 30 to 40 million more individuals, and save money over the next 10 to twenty years.
     On the face of it,it seems ridiculous, after all one can point to ones own life and see that if you have to care for another it's going to cost you more.Even if you cut back on everything else, another mouth to feed, clothed,and shelther is going to cost more.So it seems,that it would be impossible to do in health care.Is it?Lets look at just how they accomplished it. They did it with a combination of cuts to medicare, taxes on medical services, devices and one little advertised selight of hand. Just what is it, good question.Here's the answer, For the first few years, the federal government will pay 100% of the cost of all new individuals that are added to the state's medicaid rolls. After the first few years the federal government will only cover about 30 to 40% percent of the costs, the state will have to cover the rest.Saving 60to 70% of the total cost to insuring the additional 30 to 40 million is quite a bit of money.Add to this the 250 billion over ten years for the cost of covering the reductions to doctors that the law requires, is another chunck of change.Now are the assumptions that use these gimmicks valid. You decide. Can you cover 30 to 40 million more people and still save money, I have my opinion, but the real question is what is yours.


         One would think that the country that put men on the moon,who has sent probes, to explore the wind blown plains of mars,and the far flung planets of the solar system,would have an educational system second to none.Well you would be wrong.Up until the mid-seventies we were number one in almost every area of education. Then slowly ,almost undetected, our schools and educational system began a decline that has only accelerated. To understand why this has occured we need to travel about fifty years in the past.
        This subject is very personal to me since I have been a teacher,math and history, a tutor I know what the problems are, how they came to be,and this one time only, just how to solve the problems in education, and in our schools.So bear with me for this will be,dare I say it, educational.
        From the 1940's to the mid-70's, this country produced some of the finest minds in,science,engineering, math, that the world has ever seen. In the late 1940's and into the 1950's this country not only rebuilt a world torn apart by war, but produced every type of comsumer goods that the mind of man could conceive.Then when the russians sent the first satellite circling the world in 1958 we turned our attention to space.In the short span of time,we landed a man on the moon in July of 1969.This was concrete proof that our schools and our educational system was the finest in the world.So what happened to send our educational system into such a tail spin.The answer is my generation.The generation of drug using,feel good,all about what makes us feel good generation.
       The generation that came of age in the 60's,was the receipient of the finest education in the world,thought that because we explored our innerselves,through drugs,meditation,had college degrees,that we discovered how to insure that our children would be free of perjudice,be infused with self esteem,and therefore be happy.The ways of our fathers,the work ethic,the belief that anything that was worthwhile was a goal to aspire to and through hard work attainable, were not what we believed.A new age was dawning, and we would be the ones to teach a new generation the way.Success,and failure, winning and losing no longer mattered.We took over the leadership of the educational system.The only thing that mattered was that the pupil felt good about thereselves.Grades meant that someone would be classified as a failure if they received a D or F. Unacceptable. In team sports or activities,the idea of winning or losing was replaced with just participating.Everyone received an award,no one was told they needed to try harder.It didn't matter if they couln't read or do the subject matter, for if they were held back to repeat a grade,they would have a bad self image,and that was not allowed.At least that is what we told ourselfs.It was not our teaching or the methods we use to teach,after all we knew that given time,our methods would be proven correct and superior.And so sure of what we were doing, we were blind to the utter failure of what we were trying to do.Educators,New Age baby doctors,and psychologists all preached and taught methods and systems that they were positive were superior in every respect.And thus,our schools and educational system began its slow slide to the bottom.
      Now if you think I am placing all the blame on my generation for the sorry state of affairs we find ourselves in, your right I am.First of all be true to ones self,and when you are you can see reality.Now the assumptions my generation relied on,has proven to be fallacious.The only good think is ,that the way to correct the problem is oblivious. Go back to the teaching methods that are proven to work. The way students were taught in the 1940's and 50's. Demand and settle for no less than the best each student is capable of.That sometimes you will win and some times you will lose.should be taught. That there is no true failure,is the lesson to be taught 'That if you fail in something its just a step closer to success. The wisdom of Thomas Edision should be drummed into the mind of every child. When asked how many times he failed  in his attempt to find a workable filament for the light blub, he replied, none, I have found out 2000 different ways that will not work. The road to success is paved not only with hard work, but also with failure.
     I apologize to the reader if this post is different then the others I have written, but this subject is close to my heart.And I wanted to make sure that the blame for our educational system was put on the true culprit., If we start teaching like we did  in the 40's and 50's we can turn thing around in less than a decade.Lets hope our educators wake up. Otherwise our country will soon be illiterate.Harsh, but true.Tell you local board, of education, show up to meetings,write them and let them know just how our children need to be taught.

Monday, January 17, 2011


      I can hear you saying now what is ,Schrodinger's Cat.Good question. those of you that are conversant with quantum mechanics then nothing futher needs to be said.Now for the rest of you,Schrodinger's Cat is a paradox that is used to describe elements of quantum mechanics. This post is only going to deal with one aspect of quantum mechanics that of the ,nature of time,I will breifly describe the paradox that is Schrodinger's cat. Once I have done that, we will get to the topic at hand,time.By the end of the discussion the way you view the world and the universe could be turned upside down.
      The paradox describes an experiment about the prinicples of quantum mechanics. In this expertiment, a cat is placed inside of a box.Now according to the general princepals of quantum mechanics the cat can either be alive or dead.Which condition the cat is in can't be known until the observer opens the box and looks. Pretty straight forward but according to quantum mechanics the mere act of observing changes what the observer will see.That's Schrodinger's cat in a nut shell.
     Now back to the topic at hand, that of time.The way in which we view time has been the same since man first appeared on this planet,a few million years ago.Time is a straight line,were we proceed from one point to the next.All the points that came before the point we are at is considered the past.The past cannot be changed, after all it has already happened.Any point that is in front of us is considered to be the future.The future has yet to happen. It can be changed by the actions that we take now, but it cannot be known.That is time,ridged and measurable.That is the assumption we have always considered to be reality.But that just might be in reality wrong.
      If one looks at the mathmatics that describe quantum mechanics one finds a very curious fact. That the math describing the behavior of particles at the quatum level show that particles can move both backwards and forwards in time.The math is solid, and in fact it has been verified by experiments that seem to show that the behavior of particles in the past can be changed by events that happen in the future. Its a hard concept to wrap ones head around. That what is happening now can be influenced by events that have yet to happen.
      Well, my friends, there is only one possible explantion that fits these facts.That time that we consider to be a reality is in fact a mirage.It does not exist as we believe.Einstein once said that time existed to keep everything from happening at the same time.He said this before quantum mechanics was really developed, and we began to view the universe in a completely different way.Time does not exist. There is no past nor future just an enternal now, in which everything that has happened ,is happening, or will happen coexist all at the same time.Add to this the concept of paralel universes,membrane and string theory,and we have a very strange yet wonderous universe.Just think, if quantum mechanics is right your sixth birthday party and your nineth birthday party are happening right now.Just one more thing for you to consider,Buddhists have always believed in this concept of time. The eternal now. So I ask you this,how do you view time now.Interesting possibilites stretch before us, depending on how we view time.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


          Yours,mine and ours I guess you can figure out what this post is about.How things are split ,acquired,  the reallocation of the material goods and,finances between the two individuals can be tricky, It doesn't matter whether the relationship is temporary or permanent.Its always the same.
          The first thing we need to examine is the assumption that the two parties operate under.For the purpose of this discussion,we will not consider a prenuptial agreement which the rich usually enter into.The basic assumption is that the two individuals are joining the threads of their lives into a single strand,and that the joining will result in a strong pairing.Under this assumption everything that they have would be joined and owned equally by both parties. Material goods,such as vehicles that each of them owned individually,along with all,furniture,kitchen plates,silverware etc,plus all monetary funds would be included.Pretty straight foreward isn't it.But looks can be deceiving.
         Lets see.The first thing they would do, is to decide what would be kept and what would be discarded.What was saved would then belong equally to  both of them.The same would apply to the finances that each of them brought into the relationship,be it marriage or just living together.If its the latter then sometimes, a set amount of money would be added to a general fund by each one. If this is what is decided on, then any money left over would belong to each individually.In a marriage it would belong to both of them equally.
         Now during the course of the relationship each person would develope different hobbies and areas of responsibilities.What was acquired to allow each person to explore their intrests or hobbies would belong to that individual,regardless of how it was paid for or acquired.
         Now there is an old saying that goes, "Whats mine is mine, but whats yours is mine to."To be truthful it usually applied to the female of the relationship.An in reality,that is somewhat true.The main reason is the the male will usually just acquiesce just to avoid a arguement,which he knows that he can't win.Even if he is right,he's still wrong. For there is an old adage, If momma is unhappy, everyone is unhappy.What can you say, the female of the species usually has the upper hand. A good example of this are clothes. Now you would think, hey, the female has hers and the males has his.True,but not in fact, for the male cannot, wear the womans clothing. Usually because it wouldn't fit him and is not made for his build. However the female can and all to frequently does wear his. Thus, whats hers is hers, and what his is also hers,(when she wants to wear it ).
       Guys, what can I say, in a relationship we usually get screwed figuratively. But what makes it bearable and even enjoyable and fun is that we also get screwed literally. Hey, what can I say, the male of the species is easy.Did we solve anything or clear up what belongs to who. Probably not. Books have been written about this subject, and haven't scratched the surface.But there is one thing oblivious, In a relationships, couples will muddled through, and find common ground.
      Come to think out it, maybe thats why I never did to well in any of my relationship,. Being alone suits me,and I don't have to share.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What is the Nature of Hell

         While going through some papers last night I came across an old test from forty years ago,and I Thought you might like it.By the way it received an A.
                Question: Is Hell exothermic ( Gives off heat ) or endothermic ( absorbs heat )

       First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into hell; and the rate at which they are leaving.I think we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave.Therefore no souls are leaving.
       As for how many souls are entering Hell, we need to look at the religions that exist in the world today.Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions,and since people do not usually belong to more than one religion at a time.We can safely project that all souls go to Hell.
      With the birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially.Now we look at the rate of change in the volume of Hell.This is because Boyle's Law states, that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of hell has to expand  proportionately as souls are added.
      This gives us two possibilities: 1) If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell,then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase untill all Hell breaks loose.
                                                   2) If Hell is expanding at a faster rate than the increase of souls entering Hell,then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
       So which is it.If we accept the word of Sandy who I asked out three weeks ago, and who said she would go out with me when Hell freezes over. And note, that I slept with her last weekend,then Hell must have frozen over.The fact that I slept with her, also gives proof to the existence of a Supreme Being.For she kept reapting over and over as we were having sex; O'My God!!! O'My God!!!
      Therefore we can state that Hell is endothermic and that a Supreme Being does in fact exist. Thus we have an answer to the question: What is the Nature of Hell?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are we Alone?

       One of the very first questions we asked ourselves when we discovered that we were not the center of the universe was, Are we alone? Today most educated people would say that somewere in the vastness of the universe there must be other intelligent life.They would even agree that in all likelihood this intelligent won't look like us.However 99.9% of these individuals all make the same assumptions concerning what would be considered intelligent life.
       The criteria would fall into three areas; 1) Are they self aware
                                                                 2) Do they manipulate their environment
                                                                 3) Can they understand abstract thought
Very basic requirements for the most part wouldn't you agree.However, these three areas don't really cover what should be considered intelligent life.The reason is that they are to rigid, and do not take into account some oblivious exceptions. I will cover these exceptions shortly.
       Are they self aware.I think all would agree that this is a very basic assumption. However,this requirement does not only cover what is considered intelligent but what is life.I would argue that all life starting from and including insect life has some basic self awareness.Sounds a lot like what the Buddhist believe, doesn't it.Well that is one area that I agree with them on, Of course I don't include viruses, microbes,or bacteria.Now I might be wrong about them,and they might have a very rudimentary awareness much like I believe insect life has.
      Now, I think everyone can agree that intellegent life must have the capacity for abstract thought. No disagreement there.Now for the second requirement, do they or can they manipulate their enviroment.On the face of it, it seems like such a basic requirement. After all the manipulation of ones enviroment is a good indiciation of the possibility of intelligence,but cannot be the only one. After all insects manipulates their enviroment, but no one would argue that they are intellegent.Which may be a huge mistake on our part?But can their be intelligence without the ability to alter or shape ones enviroment.The answer to that question is a resounding yes.
     There is a very good example of this right here on our planet.Take example the humpback whale.The humpback's song is so complex and long, that as far as we can tell they do not repeat the song in excatly the same way twice. Now this is excatly what one would expect when the only way to pass on information is orally.After all, thats excatly what early humans did before writing was invented,they passed on their history,how to track and killing game, and how to use the carcass.Then after they became agrarian,when and how to plant crops and how to harvest and use the crop.All was verbal, and no one who argue that early man was not intelligent.So intelligence can be presence in beings who communiate all their knowledge verbally,and are unable to change they enviroment do to lack of limbs.
     Even if we acknowledge that this is possible, the vast majority of individuals will not agree.The reason they would not accept this possibility is because then they would have to acknowledge that at the bare minimun there is another intelligent species that shares this planet with us.An what would that make us? After all we hunted this other intelligent species for food and their body parts . Can anyone say cannibal. Let us hope that soon mankind will acknowledge that it is a very real possibility that whales and maybe even porpoises are intelligent,and will quit killing them.Once that happens maybe we can learn to communiate with the other intelligent species that we share this planet with. That way when we finally do venture out into the stars we will search for intelligence in every species that we recognize as alive.What say you.
     Hope that this post gives you pause, and makes you think.One final thought. If we acknowledge that all life from insect upwards have some basic self awareness then why aren't we vegetarian?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Maybe Tomorrow

         For those who read this blog, I must apologize for not writing for the last two days. I hope that by tomorrow I will once again examine the assumptions we all make.Right now, I believe we will examine the question,"Are we alone?" Instresting don't you think.See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What is friendship ?

           Friendship, that's a concept which probably has as many meanings as there are people in the world.The basic assumpation when one considers the meaning and concept of friendship is this,There is no one meaning to friendship that will cover all the different types of friendship. After all,everyone would say, you have the friendship between people who work together, between those that go to school together, those who served together in the military and combat, between neighbors even between sibilings, etc.Each of the preceding examples seem to point to different definitions of the concept of friendship
          The reason for this, is that there are different degrees if intimacy, I would argue. The degree of friendshipis based on how much of  one's personal life that one is willing to share with someone else.The more intimate the relationship is,the deeper the friendship is. What one is willing to do for another, is in the most part based on the level of friendship.Of course there are exceptions. The person who risks,or even gives up their life for a complete strangers.Those that work to better the live of others.These some would argue are also types of general friendships.
          They may be right,but being an old hippy from the 60's, I would argue that there is only one type of friendship. All the others are mere acquaintances.I am very choosy as to who I call a friend.Now why is that?,you ask. The answer is because of the definition I apply to friendship.To me there is only one type of friendship.FRIENDSHIP is were the happiness and well being of the one you call friend is more important to you than youself. Sounds a lot like love, doesn't it. Well your right. To me friendship and love are excatly one in the same. If I call someone a friend, I love them, and if I love someone I call them a friend. There is nothing I won't do for someone I love or call a friend.Which is why I call very few people in this world friend..
         Now you may disagree with the definition that I have for friendship.That's fine, But I would ask this of you.Think of those who you call friend, and what you would do for each one.I think you will find a very bright dividing line among your friends. Those that you would do anything for and those that you would help so long as if did not really impact you life.Friends or acquaintances, that is the question.The answer is within each of us.Funny isn't it,what happens when you begin to question the assumptions of commonly held beliefs.
       I am a little under the weather, so I might miss a daily posting.I hope not, but I thought I should at least let my readers know.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who is a citizen?

     There has been a growing chorus of voices,especially since the election to modify the 14th amendment to the US Constitution,to do away with the automatic birth right citizenship.These voices point out that the 14th amendment was a response to the southern states, who after the civil war tried to restrict citizenship to the children of newly freed slaves.They point to the words of Senator Jacob M Howard, who wrote the citizenship clause,who stated that this clause did not confer citizenship to native american indians.Ignoring the statement of Senator John Conners who stated he believed that it automaticlly gave citizenship to all who were born in this country.Thet infered that since Sen.Howard did not want to give citzenship to the indians, it also meant the newly freed slaves and their children The assumpation that is being made by those who would deny automatic birthright citizenship to the children of illegal immigrant,is that the 14th amendent is limited to the views of the individual who wrote a particular clause.By doing so they ignore what the main purpose of what the 14th amendent was.
    Up to this point in 1869 There was no immigrantion policy by the federal government concerning who could either legally immigrante here or claim citizenship.The definition as to who was a citizen was left to the states.And in fact most states had no laws stating who was a citizen. The only common thread joining all the 37 states was that they agreed in prinicpal was that native american indians were not citizens of the United States.Our borders were wide open,and if you wanted to come to this country and live here, you were free to do so, and once here you were a citizen. The only exception to this besides the indians were the slaves that were in the southern states.
     What they fail to take into consideration is that 10 states did not ratifiy the Amendent till after 1901. Actually only one did so in 1901. the rest did not do so till 1969 and in fact two states waited till 2003 to do so.These states must have agreed to the definitation that a citizen is one who was born here regardless of the fact of ones legal status.Ask yourself this question, if they did not why did they ratifity it in the first place.
     I would therefore submit, that all those who believe that the automatic citizenship does not apply to the children of illegal immigrants are not looking at the evolution of our country simce its founding in 1789.Thats when the constitution and bill of rights was ratified by the orginial 13 states. Hope this will help put this question to rest for the last time.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

sorry for the mistake

             Somehow I published the post "Memories from my childhood " before I finished it, or mistakes in spelling or grammer. So I fished it in the comment section. So after reading what was posted, click on the comment section to read how it ended. Sooner or later I will figure out this computer, all its in and outs. Anyway I hope you will enjoy, Memories from my Childhood " as much as I did writing it.

Memories of childhood

       Yesterday I was talking to my dad ( who is 85 years young ) and he was telling me that there was about a half inch of snow on the ground.I told him not to shovel it that , my sister Judy, would either find someone in the neighborhood to do it for him,or that she or my younger sister Dawn would do it. As we talked a memory of my childhood bubbled up from the dim past.
      Back in the late 40's and the 50's during the fall, the leaves on the trees would turn brilliant colors ,and then in a span of a few weeks fall off.Thats when the neighood kids would spring into action, and with rakes in hand gladly attack the fallen leaves.We racked with a building sense of excitement.For at the end of our chore lay a prize that only came once a year.The leaves from each lawn would be gathered into a giant pile in the street and set afire. It was not the fire that we waited for, but the prize under the pile. Just before it was set afire,our fathers would place raw russet potatos under the pile. No they weren't wrapped. Then the pile was set to a match.As we watched the fire consume the leaves and the air filled with the smell of burning leaves, the anticaption of the feast to come was overwhelming.
     Its to bad that the burning of leaves is no long allowed for it is a memory every child should have stored away for ones old age.But I guess thats the price we pay for being more aware of whats in the air we breath.  Enough of that,back to the subject at hand.When the fire had reduced the leaves to ashes,all that would remain would be the potatos that were placed under the pile.The outside skin of the potato was black and burnt.We were so exicted we would not wait for them to cool off. So around the pike of burnt leaves stood children tossing a black and burnt potato from hand to hand.As we did so our laughter would fill the air, and smiles would form on the faces of our parents.When these blacken and burnt potatoes were cool enought to handle, we would break them open

Saturday, January 8, 2011


          Its early in the morning on this the first day of the NFL wildcard playoff, and I am feeling whimsy.So the posts this weekend will be somewhat lighthearted.On monday we will revisit the question of assumptions.Though I hate to do this, I am going to date myself.
         When I was growing up in the late 40's and the 1950's, the future according to science fiction novels and pictures were visions of George Jetson. For those of you who are under forty years of age, I will tell you who George Jetson was. He was a cartoon character who lived in a future that had floating cities,household robots, and flying cars.It also had video telephones,just like skype on your computers, and dick tracy handheld video phones,( can you say" I phones" anyone ).What a spectacular future that was.Then came the first orbiting satellite called "sputnik " and the idea of man flying through space was no longer in the realm of science fiction. Move over Flash Gordon,and Klaatu,the alien from the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still." man was moving off his home planet to worlds beyond this lonely blue-green planet. As Captin Kirk would say, "Out there, that away"
      My childhood was filled with flying saucers,robots,jet packs and best of all flying cars.Even in the movie that came out in 1985,"Back to the Future,", the future of 2015 had flying cars, after all Doc Brown had one. Well its 2011,and 2015 is only four years away, so I ask once again,"Were's my flying car?"

Friday, January 7, 2011


         I have given a lot of thought to were this post should start and what topic we should put under the microscope.After listening to the news and the cable talk shows, the starting point became obvious; politicans and the newly sworn in 112th Congress.What a fertile field unfolds before us to examine:beliefs,laws,rules regulations.You name any area of interest:,business,science,behavior,law,environment, congress can and will inject their personal and political views on the nation.There are so many assumptions one could easily write a book or a series of them.We will visit each area in the following posts,but for now let us focus on the simiple concept of discussion and compromise.
        The first thing that jumps out is that our politicans have not clue as how to hold a discussion. For to trutly hold a discussion on anything there is one critical element.That element is"YOU HAVE TO ADMIT THAT YOU MIGHT BE WRONG." Otherwise you are just spouting your individual or party beliefs.Think about it,every single time you see a politician on the news or two opposing ones,all they due is spout the parties talking points.They follow the belief that if you talk the loudest and repeat the same thing over and over that constitutes a discussion.So what do you think happens when they are in a committee meeting to create a law or regulation,to solve what they perceive as a problem.
       First of all, neither side will even entertain the idea that their view could be wrong.So the side that has the majority will write into the law their parties belief on how to solve the problem.They will allow the other side to place some small change to the language. That way they can say that the final product was the result of a frank and lively discussion between both parties.Theater, for the voting public.Is there any question as to why the problems in this country don't get solved.
        For individuals who are intelligent and highly educated one can only wonder if it is the acquisition of power that blind them to the simiple concept that one might be wrong.This is trutly amazing considering the number of bar certified lawyers that inhabit the halls of congress.For the first thing that they teach in law school is to question the assumptions one is making when representing ones client.
       The idea that " I MIGHT BE WRONG " should be written in six foot letters in the halls of Congress, and on top of each bill,regulation that is issued by that august body. fact I would like to make it a law that says, that the private secretary to the president of the United States, must say to the president at the beginning of each day,"Mr. President,you could be wrong.". It might not change things in congress or in the White House,but as they say, it can't hurt.
      Tomorrow we will begin to examine the problems facing us in this life. If there is one thing in particular that you wish to be put under the microscope of logic and reason, let me know and I will address those areas first. Remember,"I might be Wrong "

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Who killed Ted and Alice

           Who killed Ted and Alice, thats the question.Now what does that have to do with assumption?. When I was teaching world history I would start off each and every class at the beginning of each an every semester exactly the same way. Once seated I would ask the class to close their eyes and picture their home.Upon entering the house they find Ted and Alice lying in the center of the living room,stone cold dead in the middle of the room. Around them were bits of broken glass and the carpet was wet around their bodies.Have the picture in your mind? Now I would tell them they could ask me any question that takes a yes or no answer,their problem was to discover exactly  how Ted and Alice died.
           Needless to say,every class proceed in exactly the same way.The questions would follow a similar pattern. Were they shot?,hit with a blunt object,poisioned,strangled? As the time ticked by the possible ways in which Ted and Alice died became more and more outragerous.The mystery writers in hollywood would have been envious with the number and ways Ted and Alice were killed off. Just before the end of the period, I would point to one student an pose the following question,"How did you get your name." The immediate reply would be," My parents gave it to me." Ok, I would reply," How did Ted and Alice Die."
          Ask yourself this, just what are you assumming not only about Ted and Alice, but about the problem as a whole.I'll give you a hint, the assumpation you are making is so basic, you aren't even aware that you are in fact making it.The reason you, like my students are having a hard time solving the problem,deals with the fact that you unconsciouly make a very basic assumpation about Ted and Alice.The assumpation that you and my students are making, is that Ted and Alice are human.Ted and Alice, those are the names we associate with males and females.The unspoken thought is that it refers to human male and females. And because we assume that they are human, all the questions deal with how human beings can be killed or how they can die.Logical and normal, but absolutely wrong. The answer to the problem is that Ted and Alice are goldfish.It seems that their bowl was knocked over and broke when it hit the rug. Thus the presence of broken glass and the rug being wet.If one gave equal emphasis to the broken glass and wet rug as one did to the names Ted and Alice, the problem is easily solved. Easy isn't it,once it is explained.
           It is this tendency to make assumptions about something as basic as names,which is the primary reason why problems seems so complex and unsolvable.If you cannot solve a problem no matter what you do, its not because the problem can't be solve, its because you are making the wrong assumptions. If you change the assumption then solutions can be found.The posts from here on will deal with differnt problems and the assumptions we are making concerning them.Then we will explore possible solutions if we change the working assumptions.Will we solve the problems facing us individuality, as a society, or as human beings,who knows? But the attempt is in and of it's self worthwhile. So remember this my friends,"Question everything you believe to be true,you might be surprised at the answer.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fleas on a cat

      We all make assumptions every minute we are awake.Some of these are very deliberate when making decisions, but most are completely unconscious.It is these unconscious assumptions that allow us to navigate through our harried existence on this spinning blue-green globe.It is usually these unconscious assumption and the way we try to solve the problems we see because of them that the solutions we try are not effective.A great exmaple of this is what I call, "Fleas on a Cat". I have a cat named Bragg, who a friend gave me about a decade ago.He's a great companion, even though he drives me crazy occasionally.Lately, I noticed that he has fleas. Not Good. Well, I know one sure way to kill fleas, that is to throw Bragg into a blast furance.High heat is 100% effective in killing fleas.There is a drawback to this solution; it will kill Bragg. I can hear the outcry."Are you insane,why would you even think about throwing your cat into a blast furance.Of course, I would never consider that as a viable option;after all I love my cat.Now ask yourself,why no one living on the face of the planet would consider throwing my cat into a blast furance just to kill fleas.The reason is, that when asked how to kill fleas on a cat,everyone would assume that you want the cat to live, and the fleas dead.Everyone makes that unconscious assumpation and approaches the problem with that goal in mind.So the way we can kill fleas becomes very limited,as long as we want Bragg to live.(please excuse the way this blog is one long paragraph.I am new to this and have not figured out how to start new paragraphs...I will figure it out, trust me.)Now back to the topic under discussion. When we try to solve problems, before we decide on a particular solution,we need to examine the assumpations we are making concerning the problem.Both conscious and unconscious ones. And see if they are valid.Because if the assumpations we are making are false, then no matter what we try to solve the problem, it will fail in part or in whole.Take a brief moment and think of all the problems that our society has faced over the years.Have we ever solved one, or do they continue to grow so much that we despair of them ever being solved.The reason for this is easy. The assumpations we are making, both conscious and especially the unconscious ones are false.As they say when programming computers,"Garbage IN,Garbage Out."

Fleas on a cat

We all make assumpations every miniute we are awake. .Some of these are  very deliberate when making decisions,but most are completely unconscious.It is these unconscious assumpations that allow us to navagate through our harried existence on this spinning blue-green globe.It is usually these unconscious assumpations and the way we try to solve the problems we see because of them that the solutions we try are not effective.A great exmaple of this is what I call "Fleas on a cat". I have a cat named Bragg, who a friend gave me about a decade ago.He's a great companion, even though he drives me crazy occasionally.Lately I noticed he has fleas.Not good.Well I know one sure way to kill the fleas, that is to throw Bragg into a blast furance. High heat is 100% effective in killing fleas.There is a drawback to this solution; it will also kill Bragg.I can hear the outcry,Are you insane,why would you even think about throwing you cat into a blast furance.Of course I would not ever consider that as a vabile option,after all I love my cat.Now ask yourself why no one living on the face of the planet would consider throwing my cat into a blast furance.The reason is, that everyone when asked how to kill the fleas on the cat, will assume that you want the cat to live and the fleas dead.Everyone makes that unconscious assumpation,and approachs the problem with that goal in mind.So the way we can kill the fleas becomes very limited, as long as we want Bragg to live.(please excuse this blog, as I am new to this and have yet to figure out how to start new paragraphs..I will figure it out,trust me).Now back to the topic under discussion.When we try to solve problems,before we decide on a particular solution to solve the problem,we need to examine the assumations we are making concerning the problem and if in fact that the are in actually valid.Because if the assumpations we are make are false then no matter what we try to solve the problem,will fail in part or in whole.Take a brief moment and think of all the problems that our society has faced over the years,and how they never seem to be solved,but continue to grow .The reason for this is easy, the unconscious assumpations that we were making concerning the problem were false.As they say concerning computers;"Garbage in, Garbage out."

Assumpations we all make

          ,In this blog,which hopefully will be posted everyday, assumpations will be examined,how they dictate the way problem is approached, and what solutions are considered.Politics,religion,relationships,everyday life and the problems associated with them. Science,history,philosophy, all will examined.Hopefully new ways of thinking will arise from this examination of our beliefs. So hang on to your hats for we will be soaring above our everyday beliefs.