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Looking Left and Right: Inspiring Different Ideas, Envisioning Better Tomorrows
I remain a firm believer in late U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's observation that "We all do better when we all do better." That objective might be worth pursuing more diligently."
If we don't look for ways to tamp down the vitriol and intense hatred which members of Left and Right teams freely direct at "the opposition," we will not only foreclose whatever options might still remain to find common ground that moves us all forward. Worse still, we will eliminate both the hopes for and attainment of a better and more peaceful future. We're too close to achieving that empty triumph as it is.
We might not want to acknowledge that we're all in this together, but we are. The sooner we pause for a moment and ask ourselves What Happens Then? if we continue to stoke the white-hot partisan fires, the sooner we realize that sustaining polarization is not in the best interests of anyone.
If we keep doing more of the same partisan same, the answer to What Happens Then? won't be to anyone's liking--not that current antipathy is offering us much. It's actually not contributing anything other than deepening the divide. There will be harsher consequences from doing more of the same.
Aren't we better than that? Shouldn't we want, expect, and deserve more?
There's plenty of blame to go around, of course. But we're no closer to one side winning--whatever that might mean--than we ever have. Partisans on each side might not (or might not want to) believe that, but if Left or Right is counting on Right or Left to concede, a long and painful wait is all that's guaranteed.
Sure as hell we won't experience "better" by doing more of what we're doing now".So I'm hoping to do my part by offering--from my staunchly progressive approach--a different and more meaningful perspective on our conflicted public dialogue. I invite you to join in. Who knows " we just might get to a better place after all!
Richard Turcotte is a retired attorney and former financial adviser (among other professional detours) and now a writer.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Energy & Climate Status Quo: Paying A Heavy Price
When even the densest or most doctrinaire ideologue is left with no choice but to acknowledge the reality and consequences of a warming planet and the built-in limitations of finite resources depended upon as extensively as are fossil fuels, What Happens Then? Series: System Justification Theory (3 Articles, 1962 views)
(1 comments) Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Religion & Politics: Better Rules?
We've been blessed with this magnificent planet in a truly great nation with almost limitless possibilities to do go and to enjoy and share in so much abundance, and a much-too large segment of the population continues to be apoplectic over the thought that Marie might marry Diane or that the local schools are actually teaching facts to the community's children about how our world works. Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
(1 comments) Friday, February 10, 2017 Energy & Climate Status Quo: Facts Refuse To Go Away
Denial isn't going to have any effect on the relentless and still unpredictable impacts of climate change. Denial and refusal to make a contribution to easing the energy challenges we're sure to face also won't alter the reality of a finite resource being drawn down daily by more consumers for more reasons in more ways and in more locations. Series: System Justification Theory (3 Articles, 1962 views)
(3 comments) Tuesday, February 7, 2017 Religion & Politics: Twisted Liberty
Given the alleged comfort offered and intended by religious devotion, the perverse use of it to condemn, judge, discriminate, and kill seems to be missing the point of the whole Supreme Loving " Whoever/Whatever. Isn't it worth even a moment's pause to wonder why some of these mandates have supposedly been issued, given the conflict and hatred that results? Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
Friday, February 3, 2017 Energy & Climate Status Quo: Different Issues; Same Approach
It's convenient to ignore the inconvenient to make self-serving points, but the facts won't go away just because some choose to ignore them. Statements as to the expected/presumed fossil fuel resource totals are fine as statements, but until the details as to the how, when, how much, if, etc., are factored in, they are of little use in terms of increasing awareness or laying the groundwork for preparation and transition. Series: System Justification Theory (3 Articles, 1962 views)
(2 comments) Tuesday, January 31, 2017 Religion & Politics: Misguided Zeal
Rushing headlong into the maelstrom of policy-making armed only with a mandate that your beliefs--groundless and unclear as they tend to be--means rushing headlong into the maelstrom of policy-making with competing others just as certain that THEIR Deity and their Rules are the Ones and Onlys.
Hello? How does anyone know when they can declare victory? Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
Saturday, January 28, 2017 Energy Supply & Climate Status Quo: Bad Info; Bad Decisions
The more complex the challenges we face, coupled with the greater potential impact of a diminished energy supply and the relentless march of impacts from our warming planet, the more critical it becomes to understand the issues--all of them.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 Religion & Politics: More Than One Belief Set
Wars have been fought for centuries over which One and Only Deity is THE One and Only--and thus THE ONE deserving of blind obedience. That nothing has been achieved other than to ensure that wars will be fought for centuries more merits at least some consideration, does it not? Of course, once that floodgate opens, all hell is sure to break loose. Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
Thursday, December 1, 2016 Religion & Politics: Why Their Way?
The urgency with which extremist Christians pursue their curious, fact-free directives to convert we heathens--burdened as we are by a need for evidence and truth, rather than the magic they seemingly rely upon--is puzzling, amusing, and disturbing. More often than not, it's all three at the same time Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
(1 comments) Wednesday, November 30, 2016 Peak Oil: : Can We Begin? Pt 5
To pretend that the realities of current and future oil production can be overcome with a magical blend of wishful thinking, hope, possibly, potentials, and ingenuity while somehow arranging for the suspension of ongoing finite resource depletion is certainly a neat trick! Avoiding the discomfort and anxiety which consideration and planning create is actually not all that beneficial. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
(1 comments) Thursday, November 17, 2016 Peak Oil: Can We Begin? Pt 4
That truth-telling and reliance on facts are no longer automatically assumed is a sad commentary on modern policy-making and problem-solving, but we'll never fashion meaningful solutions to the challenges and limitations we face [energy supply and climate change among the more urgent ones demanding attention] without facts. Shouldn't that be rather obvious to everyone? Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
Thursday, November 10, 2016 Religion & Politics: Hypocrisy Included
The Christian Right seems hell-bent on making their case with or without facts on their side, and much of what passes for rationales regarding their fears about religious persecution and denial of liberty indeed are fact-free.
None of these "but-we're-being persecuted and our-religious-freedoms-are-being-denied claims do anything to temper the partisan rhetoric Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
(1 comments) Wednesday, November 9, 2016 Peak Oil: Can We Begin? Pt 3
Considering how much of modern society exists and functions courtesy of the magnificent benefits fossil fuels supply us, it's not a reach to realize that these finite resources are not guaranteed us forever. Certainly they cannot be expected to maintain present levels of availability at current prices for much longer. Then what? Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
Thursday, November 3, 2016 Religion & Politics: Blending Identities
The conflicts between fundamentalist believers and those who do not share their convictions is that the latter are able to summon a wide variety of anecdotes, stories, media contributions, evidence, and related events--all fact-based--to guide our own beliefs and actions. Hell of a concept, those fact things".
Blind Faith is still and always a better rock band than the primary means by which we conduct our lives. Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
(1 comments) Tuesday, November 1, 2016 Peak Oil: Can We Begin? Pt 2
With investments on the decline, and more than enough news from the industry highlighting the financial difficulties many oil producers find themselves confronting--not the least of which are dozens of bankruptcies and sharp reductions in exploration--expectations of unlimited amounts of oil at the ready are fanciful at best. Fossil fuels don't extract themselves, and being finite, there are built-in limitations. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
(2 comments) Thursday, October 27, 2016 Religion & Politics: A Bad Mix
Keeping ardent followers sufficiently agitated about some loving Deity's wrath [an oxymoron on a grand scale!] allows those professing a direct phone line to the One and Only all the time and opportunity they need to preserve their political and economic advantages without so much as a peep from those loyal supplicants. Hell of a racket. Series: Religion & Politics (8 Articles, 5558 views)
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 Peak Oil: Can We Begin? Pt 1
Peak-oil deniers like to use that "running out of oil" meme for their own misleading purposes. Given the hundreds of billions of barrels of oil buried underground worldwide, making that simplistic point and no other is an easy win for them--today.
It also highlights a certain entrenched unwillingness to consider the broader view--the one with facts and implications. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
(1 comments) Thursday, October 20, 2016 The Polarization Option Pt 3
What we've been doing--and not--matters. It matters today and its unchecked continuance will matter much more in the days ahead as the divide widens and problems become more intractable and unsolvable. Is that the fallback position? We might want to consider how that approach plays out in the years to come. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 11744 views)
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 7
Statements continue to be offered by those beholden to the oil industry that their view of reality is that oil will continue to be the primary energy source for decades to come. That's the problem, not the rebuttal! It is not that difficult to understand that a finite resource depleting by the day is a resource that cannot maintain an affordable pace endlessly. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 29562 views)
Thursday, October 13, 2016 The Polarization Option Pt 2
Because we now find so many reasons to direct our intense dislike toward the opposition party, its platforms, its leadership, its media outlets, and its primary public voices, we now almost automatically reject anything and everything suggested or proposed from the political enemies whom we're convinced are acting out of pure malice toward us. If they aren't with us, they're against us. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 11744 views)