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Friday, 25 January 2013

WEALTH

If you're among the super rich it's okay to drink a toast to yourself and have moments of self-congratulation.  Everyone deserves a little guilt-free pride time now and again.  But before you revel in your own awesomeness too long, just know that you're not in that position because you're "better".  We like to think we're all in the same race, on the same track, with the same obstacles.  Sorry.  That is a fantasy world of the simple minded.  Life is more complex than that, with an infinite number of variables and "butterfly effects".

On the one hand we're not completely at the mercy of Fortune's Wheel; but on the other hand, we cannot will ourselves into wealth - the idea of the  Übermensch died with Hitler and Nietzsche.  In other words, rich people need to get over themselves and stop referring to themselves as "creators" and us as "takers".   It's a dangerous mindset.




SCIENCE AND POLITICS

How can belief in Global Warming be predicated upon your political party?  No one says, "I'm a Republican, so I don't believe in Archimedes' buoyancy principle."  Or "I'm a Democrat, so I believe in only the first two of Kepler's 3 Laws of Planetary Motion."

If it were a simple matter of shaky evidence, one could understand some Global Warming doubts.  But the skeptics are always "conservatives" and the true believers are always "liberals".  How can this be possible unless what separates these two parties is a deep impassable philosophical divide?

Could it be that the evidence itself is less than compelling, and so we default to the "hive mind" of our parties? Republicans view Nature as man's dominion to be subjugated if need be; while Democrats are more apt to consider man a part of nature and not above it. I can't help but wonder, as this divide gets wider and wider, where this polarity will ultimately lead.


GUNS

After every mass shooting, there's endless talk about banning assault weapons, or fully automatic firearms.  But, in fact the number of gun deaths NOT from a handgun is basically negligible.  In other words, if we outlaw fully automatic guns, your chance of not getting shot went up a whopping .000000001 percent.  It's handguns that are the issue.

Here's a fact: Rifles and handguns will never be outlawed in the United States.  It quite simply will never happen.  Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a reality of their own making.  Personally, I'd like to see all guns go bye-bye.  But what I'd like has no bearing on reality - guns are here to stay in America.

So, that leaves us with the problem of American ultra-violence still being an omnipresent threat.  Banning fully automatic weapons will simply be a symbolic gesture, nothing even approaching consequential in the grand scheme of things.  So, where does that leave us? Shall we bicker back and forth forever, or perhaps accept the fact that guns are here to stay and peel back the layers of the onion and treat the underlying problem, which is ________________ (you fill in the blank).

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