Monday, January 19, 2015

Martin Luther King Day!

Every year we have this reminder of slavery and our National shame- and every year Doctor King seems more relevant. . Despite our denials white Americans have never honestly faced our history of racism and prejudice. Even today many white Americans tend to think of dark skinned people as an inferior sub human species For all of our progress in many fields of endeavor we've made far too little progress in "racial" attitudes. Scientifically, we now know that skin color is related to the amount of sunlight people are exposed to. People near the Equator have dark skin to protect themselves from Solar radiation. People nearer to the  North and South Poles have light skin which allows their bodies to benefit from exposure to Solar radiation. "Black" or "White" skin is determined by the Latitude of our ancestors - nothing more. Yet we cling to the concept of "racism" as if we are of different species instead of all of the same species. There is no point in fooling ourselves and pretending otherwise. Racism still exists. Whites still feel that they are different than Blacks and vice-versa. Whites and Blacks still feel suspicious of one another. We've made progress but we've a long ways to go.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

                                                               Je suis -je suis

Millions turn out in Paris to protest religious barbarism. Finally, one Nation said in one voice enough is enough. It's a good beginning. The only thing that will ever bring an end to this senseless form of religious extremism is when the world's populations join voices in condemning the violence. Military retaliation only adds fuel to the flames of hatred. Public opinion is the only effective weapon. After every attack we must get back up and dust ourselves off and let the terrorists know that nothing they can do will cause us to give up our ideals or change the ways that we live. When the twin towers at the Trade Center in New York came down we missed an opportunity to lead world opinion against terrorism but we counter-attacked instead. It's important to understand that this Continental Islamic terrorism is bred in poverty, ignorance, and anger. Osama Bin Laden attacked the twin towers hoping to provoke a reaction that would eventually drain our economy. We played right into his hands when we went to war and we're still paying the deadly price. Once the terrorists realize that world opinion is turning against them, and that the violence is not productive they will have to change their tactics if they want a place at the table of civilization. It's time for the true leaders of one of the worlds major religion to speak with one voice- condemning the actions of the terrorists. Failing to do so the Islamic religion will lose the respect of world opinion.

Monday, January 12, 2015

                                              Too fracking much oil

The sudden abundance of cheap oil seems too good to be true and in fact it may be the worse thing that could happen if it causes us to move away from alternative sources of energy and makes conservation of fossil fuels seem unnecessary. Already we're hearing reports that there is enough oil locked up in shales to keep the world supplied for several more decades. The sooner we move away from fossil fuels and hydroelectric power and move toward solar and wind power the sooner we'll be able to get a handle of global warming and preserve our fossil fuels. As plentiful as these newly tapped fossil fuel  resources may suddenly seem they still represent a very limited resource which we're capable of depleting within the next century. Cheap gas may seem like a good thing but in the long run we can't allow it to make us become wasteful again. Fossil fuels arenot a realistic source of energy over the long term. Now is the time to move in another direction instead of sticking our heads in the (tar) sand and pretending that we have unlimited sources of fossil fuels.