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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

Dear friends, acquaintances and citizens.

I’m going to break FB protocol and add a lengthy status update. The double-edged sword about Social Media today is that it allows us to keep in touch with many people, but it’s format leaves so much to be desired that in topics such as politics we are left to the posting of a link and bound by brevity. It has become the equivalent of running into a crowded conference room, shouting a string of one-sided epithets as if it were a ticking IED (Improvised Explosive Device), then slamming the door and running away.

As we enter this year’s election I make a plea for everyone to remain civil in our attitudes. What good is our democracy if we have to spend the next several years repairing hurt feelings and harsh attitudes at each election? Our lack of trust in each other erodes our ability to stay civil, work together and truly progress.

Politics requires a medium where all sides of issues can be explored or it will only serve to divide. Healthy debate and the challenge of ideas must exist for us to make policy. The first amendment can only serve its purpose when we show restraint and kindness and truly open our minds.

We can disagree without ridicule. We can share a counterpoint without disgust. Humor can be used to relieve tension rather than create it. The mark of true tolerance is being able to share space with a person, with whom you disagree, without feeling fear, offense or that they are the enemy.

Tolerance: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

However we as a people have not showed restraint enough to achieve true tolerance to make progress.

  • Tolerance is not the same as acceptance.
    • Our culture has confused tolerance for acceptance.
      • Acceptance: The action or process of being received as adequate or suitable, typically to be admitted into a group. Agreement with or belief in an idea, opinion, or explanation.
      • Tolerance sits on the opposite end of acceptance. If we are to have any exchange of new ideas, we must embrace tolerance and be clear about the distinction between the two concepts and value them differently.
  • Tolerance must lead to co-existence.
    • In order for us to have productive, happy, healthy communities, we must coexist. We cannot merely live next door to each other with a brewing sense of hostility.
      • Coexistence: a policy of living peacefully with other nations, religions, etc., despite fundamental disagreements.

We call upon all people everywhere to recommit themselves to the time-honored ideals of tolerance and mutual respect.

I sincerely believe that as we acknowledge one another with consideration and compassion we will discover that we can all live peacefully despite different ideologies or interests and despite our deepest differences.

I used to love election years, because it was a time when people stopped worrying more about Beyonce Knowles and focused on issues that really make a difference in our lives. We have lost what it means to have healthy debate. We surround ourselves with people, books and ideas that only support our preconceived notions. Places where we have found acceptance.  We insist on/attempt to categorize others and their viewpoints in terms of “good” and “bad,” “black” and “white.” and pit the opposite into an all-good or all bad judgment.

American politics have always been full of character attacks and salacious headlines. It is time to evolve. If we purport to have kindness and tolerance, we must ensure our attitudes and our hearts reflect it first, before our laws can truly reflect it. Before we can make policy, we must truly understand it, believe it and be able to exemplify it.

The question is “How can we be better than we believe we are, when nothing less will do?”

No matter which leader you have been inspired by all of them promote the ideal that we can rise above our current condition and have hope for the future.

“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

-John F. Kennedy

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

Barack Obama

“We can meet in service, in shared moral convictions about our nation stemming from a common worldview.”

Mitt Romney

This election year we can stand for civility.

The only difference in our candidates is HOW they propose to effect change. One statement or stance does not make them a socialist, a woman-hater, a bigot, or a tyrant.

I would like to restore the definition of hate back to its former glory. Hate: (v) Feel intense or passionate dislike for (someone). (n) Intense or passionate dislike.

Not supporting a certain cause does not imply hate or a judgment about the opposite. It implies support for a preferred resolution over another. Hate is an emotion, which is completely controllable. Can you disagree with someone and not hate him or her? Of course. However the propaganda today would have you believe this is not so. How do you disagree with someone and still love and respect him or her? Mislabeling someone’s proposition for change in a different way than you would suggest as hate only exposes weakness of heart & emotional immaturity. It will render us powerless in the long run.

Taking offense at the prosperity of another only shows a weakness of heart and mind, which will render you powerless.

I make a call to all journalists to raise the bar of integrity of reporting. Retractions & miscued reporting should be treated with the same import as the original article. If there is a headline that is found to be misleading, inaccurate or untrue, you should reprint the retraction as a headline. The small note from the editor in small print on the inside cover does not repair or redeem your credibility. Glenn Beck, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Sean Hannity, I don’t care about your opinions just give me the facts. And BTW folks as much as I love John Stewart and Stephen Colbert they are comedians. They exploit situations for the profit of laughing. It’s not real news.

The mark of the greatness of our country is the peaceful transfer of power. I’ve had the privilege to attend the inauguration of two of our presidents. This one sacred event is a powerful example of how civility marks our nation’s attitude.

For most part of my life I have lived in places where ideologically I am a minority. Even as a white, heterosexual, male I have felt the pangs of discrimination. Ridiculed for beliefs, without proper foresight and feared for my well being if I were to publicly express my own opinion. We must all have the courage to be able to express our opinions without fear. A community that ensures that safety is the true mark what tolerance can do for us. It is true freedom, rather than following the rhetoric of groupthink as we have today.

News flash: we do not live in democracy. We do not vote for the president the same way we “Like” a Facebook post, vote for American Idol or Reddit threads.We live in a Democratic Federalist Republic. By design we have checks and balances for the wisdom of restraint. (Here some reference links. Democracy, Federalism, Republic)

We cannot afford to make assumptions:
Let’s all read the Constitution, Bill of Rights, All the amendments. Let’s study political & social history. Let’s study how read the results of a scientific study. Let’s listen more than we talk so that we can discover truth together.

I learned long ago that when you accuse someone/thing incorrectly without all the information you’re exposing to people much more about your own heart than theirs, even if they are making mistakes. And for those who think the reversal is too late? Well if we have no room in our society for forgiveness than we have no real hope for progress.

“If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to their goal. Two of these roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.”

-Nelson Mandela

Before you make an accusation, verify the facts, dig deeper, truly put yourself in the others shoes and try to understand why they might feel that is a good solution. Do not vilify others.

This is our greatest hour, and the world is watching. Our greatest testament of the power of who we are is the peaceful transfer of power.

From my liberal friends in Wisconsin to my conservative friends in Utah to all my friends on the coasts, we can be united in purpose and service. Recognize each other’s efforts as efforts. Accept the good in people and see their flaws as just that. Flaws. No one is perfect, but we would be remiss to throw the baby out with the bathwater just because we don’t agree with someone’s point of view.

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“We haven’t had a car in our garage for 20 years. It’s half boat and bicycle storage and half blacksmith shop. My wife says people who put cars in their garage have no imagination.

I make all sorts of stuff. Candlesticks, wall hooks, fireplace screens.”

Darren Bush – Flatwater Paddling Evangelist

See the full article here:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/article_a442abff-445d-5573-b409-fecbe700b114.html

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Today I grabbed something to go from the Marriott cafeteria, which is very “green” to the point of having real plates and silverware. In fact I hear that you’re charged more for anything in a plastic container.

I noticed that the containers I had selected stated they were made from plants. Curious as to how they were made I went to the website on the cup and this banner was the first thing I saw.

I highlighted the part that made me chuckle.

Greenwash

This is exactly what I hate about the Green movement.

JUST DO THE RIGHT THING BECAUSE IT”S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

I actually think that telling everybody about actually negates some of your efforts to actually do the right thing.  Plus it makes you look like a schmuck.

Once all the dust settles and the processes are established by law or whatever, nobody will care. You’ll have to find something else to promote yourself with, that you don’t really care about until everyone says you have to.

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This is my ode to mothers of the world who forced their kids to use wonder bread bags to help slide their galoshes on, who wore macaroni necklaces and proudly displayed artwork made from junk for YEARS.

While mothers have always taken a bit of flak for being “frugal” tight with money, today they’d be rewarded by numerous amounts of people for reusing and recycling. For that matter Sanford and Son ought to be the kings of reuse for running a Salvage yard.

I’m amazed at the amount of goodwill, marketing value and sex appeal, being frugal has become. They all say it’s about saving the environment, but believe it the principals of frugality that they’re rewarding.

This is the perfect example

1. Carboard Laptop holder. Even 5 years ago, the mainstream media, and the hoigthy toighty fashionistas not only would have ridiculed you for using cardboard to hold ANYTHING up, they whould have tried to sell you a $25 piece of plastic made in china but with Italian style and make you believe it was the only way to hold your laptop off the table.

http://greenupgrader.com/7603/diy-cardboard-laptop-stand/

Get over yourselves and LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!

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I recognize that if you’re reading this you’re probably my friend, so please don’t take this personally.

I have a bone to pick with everyone on the “I’m going green” campaign. I love the color green. It’s my favorite. But I’m a little sad everyone’s turning the purity of the symbolism of the color into marketing and psycho-babble hype.

Does anyone ever think about the other environmental effects of creating new things that are supposedly “green“? I hear far more about how I should buy new things to go green than I do about I can adapt my current lifestyle.

Think about all the ore and metals we have to mine to create new “green” cars, engines, solar panels, etc. The plastics that need to be refined come from all types of fossil fuels. Do you all realize that in order to use those resources we need to refine them, which creates a lot of harmful waste? We need to look at modifying what we currently have before we go off half -cocked about building new stuff.

Do you how many millions of years it takes to create the ore we mine for metals? And the big freaking holes we tear away on the surface of the earth to get at them? Do you know the environmental impact of those holes in the areas? And the emissions from refining those ores? It’s not about disposing of old things for new stuff. That’s just as bad as complete complacency.

How many of y’all out there know that the bio-diesel engine was created in the first half of the 19th century? It’s been available since before cars were even a part of people’s daily lives.

In 1990 according to my Advanced Physics teacher, it cost more energy in terms of carbon footprint, in order to make a car, than it actually did to drive the car over it’s lifetime. Some things have improved since then, but the principle still stands. It creates almost as much pollution and takes up as many resources to make the vehicle as it would take to run the vehicle say 10-15 years. And at this point even if you make an electric/hybrid vehicle are very few clean power plants out there. Most of the power plants in the U.S. use coal.

Meanwhile, you could convert an existing diesel engine to a bio-diesel engine for less than $2000. Now the devil is in the details. (there are drawbacks for bio-diesel too). There’s no one holy grail that will end it all. But the point is that before, we go around telling people to buy new “green” items. Let’s work with what we’ve already got to dovetail out our bad habits. In many cases the solution and answer has been staring us in the face for 30 years. Maybe since the early 19th century. We might even discover how powerful our greatest resources are. The human body and the souls that inspires us to be greater than we were yesterday.

Now I can only guess that I feel this way because I’ve always been one to want to figure things out. I’ve always had a dream of have my own little farmette where I could tinker all day long and live off the grid. Not because I’m some weirdo guy who’s all about the end of the world, or because I’m really into “saving the earth.” I just love the idea of being self-sufficient, and find ways to make our natural lives, completely sustainable. I really feel it’s a part of our responsibility to be as efficient as we can be. Even with those ideals, I’ve strayed a bit. We all want things in our lives. I get carried away with fantasies or lifestyles of the rich and famous too. But all I’m asking for is a little common sense and serious thought rather than massaging our own egos by jumping on the emotional bandwagon of “going green” Is that too much to ask?

This article and the comments are what tipped me off onto this rant: Green Driving

Check out some of these examples of people who are thinking our resources in different ways:

www.lotek.com

Container Homes

www.inhabitat.com

My favorite things that are Green.

GB Packes The Green Bay Packers – Only God’s team wears green

Rolling Hills Rolling Hills – SW Wiscy, Shenandoah, Les Vosges, I love ya!

Springtime Grasses Springtime Grasses – Green symbolizes rebirth which is what spring is!
Kermit the Frog Kermit THE Frog – “It’s not easy being green.”

Minty Chocolate Mint Chocolate Ice Cream

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