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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.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 16, 2014 Peak Oil: Another Challenge
Peak Oil is most often explained as the point when the maximum rate of oil extraction is reached--whether due to geological, economic, or technical limitations. A ceaseless global-production decline ensues. A lot of talk about the shale boom, energy independence, "We're Number One" oil-production chatter, and the usual assortment of Happy Talk Playbook chatter tends to dominate and thus confuse. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(4 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 17, 2014 Peak Oil: A Few Basics
Consistent with efforts to keep the public sufficiently uninformed, the fossil fuel industry downplays (or usually, denies) adverse consequences from fracking. Water pollution, health and environmental threats, damage to local infrastructure, and assorted other pesky, annoying facts are artfully ignored or spun to leave most citizens with the impression that fracking is about as destructive or harmful as picking daisies. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 27, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 9
The consequences of legislative pursuits benefiting the few at the continuing expense of the many will be unpleasant at best if too many of us continue to rely on convenient rationalizations rather than working together. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 14, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 4
There's much to be said for adherence to tradition and social order. A society changing its rules and principles on a regular basis is a society going nowhere fast. Chaos deliberately chosen is almost never a wise course of action for any undertaking!
But that is hardly the beginning and the end of those conversations and considerations. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE Tuesday, April 1, 2014 Indifference
When actions and behaviors and beliefs are twisted to accommodate the self-serving interests of the few at the expense of the many—in direct contradiction to the very reasons for and purposes of those otherwise honorable standards—something has to give.
(20 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 12, 2014 Moral Foundations
It's easy to ridicule much of what is ... ridiculous. But if genuine cooperation to reach mutually beneficial solutions to increasingly-vexing problems on often more than just a national stage is still considered a useful practice, getting beyond the cheap shots must happen sooner rather than later.
(3 comments) SHARE 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, 6103 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 22, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 2
When will there be a pause in denial and the flow of misleading half-truths so that all of us can begin the complex, years-in-the-making processes of adaptation to a world where fossil fuels are not the immediately available source of energy? The inevitable challenges of dealing with a depleting, finite resource are not limited in impact to those on the left side of the great political divide. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, September 12, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 3
For all the billions of barrels of fossil fuel resources still to be found and/or produced, the truth is that successfully doing so will require more investment [time, money, effort]; more energy to be used; longer lead times; adaptation to expanding geopolitical concerns; new technological hurdles, and sufficiently high market prices [for starters]. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 8, 2014 Decision-Making Shortcuts
On matters of great national significance--whether the impact and evidence exist in full bloom today or will more likely unfold over time--we may be doing ourselves, our families, our communities, and our society more harm than we realize by failing to pause now and then and consider the facts at hand.
SHARE Tuesday, July 26, 2016 Peak Oil: Where To Go From Here? Pt 4
We remain free as always to choose to fear the consequences of a permanent decline in the availability of affordable and accessible fossil-fuel supplies. The enduring impact on our society and our ways of life as a result of a diminished supply of our primary energy supply is no small matter. So fear is certainly an option. But it's not our only one. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 2171 views)
SHARE Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 6
A finite resource drawn daily for more purposes by more people has some inherent limitations. Coupled with the daunting realization as to how much we depend on finite resources to conduct daily living, the process of transitioning away from that dependency to some still-undefined Plan B is going to be an undertaking to exceed all undertakings. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Wednesday, September 21, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 5
It would be much easier and certainly more comforting if the complexities of modern society and the needs, perspectives, and values of so many different others weren't factored into the mix. But simplistic decision-making carries a host of risks. Making things worse later for more of us isn't exactly an ideal worth pursuing. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE Wednesday, August 10, 2016 Peak Oil: Cherry-Picking The Facts
Optimism is a wonderful attribute. But when it is deployed to mislead and misinform, the luster of "wonderfulness" wears off quickly. That this tactic has become too much the norm in both energy and political discussions is self-evident. What may not be quite so obvious is the long-term harm to all of us. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, June 30, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 5
Personal responsibility as a defining feature of our nation's character also encompasses the need to demonstrate integrity, honesty, and courage. We do so by accepting unpleasant truths, and then dealing with them to the best of our collective abilities, regardless of the ideologies we cling to in an abstract environment where outcomes never matter. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 4, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 10
Adhering to ideological traditions and/or avoiding any consideration of issues which suggest a greater public role in providing basic sustenance and support for the many not blessed with social and educational opportunities is convenient.
But is it right by any measure of basic decency and concern for the common good? Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 6, 2016 The Polarization Option Pt 1
There are no easy answers or options for resolving the great differences that currently divide us. If anything, the combination of extremist rhetoric, media complicity, political indifference, the hypocrisy from too many corners, and the unsettling impacts of wealth and inequality on our democracy does nothing but deepen the divide. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE Wednesday, August 3, 2016 Peak Oil: Where To Go From Here? Pt 5
Conventional crude oil has been in many ways the most astonishing discovery in our history--all the more significant given how its many benefits have extended in so many directions.
While production totals are substantial enough for now, and most likely for quite some time to come, that's not the answer to any questions about the adequacy of our long term energy supply. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, July 7, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 6
If our collective future--the one we intend to pass on to our children and for their benefit--still matters, then we have a duty to do what we can to make it a better and brighter one than the future one in which inequality, conflict, knee-jerk dismissal of inconvenient facts, and the many damaging components of intense polarization will create instead. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE 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.
SHARE 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, 6103 views)
SHARE Wednesday, June 29, 2016 Peak Oil: Where To Go From Here? Pt 1
Before deciding whether or not to accept the realities of a depleting finite resource and the impact this will have on our society--or ignoring it for whatever comforting alternative explanations suit one's needs--understanding the implications and those realities is a more beneficial approach. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, October 9, 2014 Peak Oil Option Number 2?
Do we stand our ideological grounds until there's no question at all what reality has in store, or do we start doing what good businesspeople and well-intentioned families and communities do: plan ahead? We want good solutions and plans for how best to transition away from a fossil-fuel-dependent way of life because that is what facts tell us is necessary. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 6103 views)
(2 comments) SHARE 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, 6103 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 8
We're now presented with new choices that have at least the potential to tone down the divisive rhetoric. That choice will also lead to a sounder appreciation for, and understanding of, the perspectives of those with whom we've been previously inclined to simply dismiss. Better outcomes for us all--while not assured--are much more likely than what present tactics offer. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE 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, 6103 views)
SHARE 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, 12606 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, July 15, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 7
There's no denying the great divide separating the Left from the Right. The conflict does little but make problems more intractable, enduring, and ... well, worse! But what we overlook too often is the divide itself. That great big "middle" has room enough for everyone willing to take a few steps away from the beliefs--genuine or the result of a lack of accurate information--to which each side is firmly anchored today. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE 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, 6103 views)
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 12606 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 26, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 5
While the pseudo-truthful distractions--the Yes It Has-No It Hasn't debates and ink barrels full of qualifiers ["if"; "potential"; "could possibly" and assorted other literary ploys]--about energy/fossil-fuel supplies both present and future continue unabated, the underlying issue remains unchanged. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, August 15, 2016 Peak Oil: Start With Reality Pt 1
Optimism is almost always a better choice than doubt, but in most instances, it must be tempered by acknowledging realities. Facts can be both inconvenient and annoying when they conflict with a purposeful narrative, but ignoring them will not make them disappear Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Friday, August 19, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 2
Compounding the challenges of just getting the two political sides to the same table are the many underlying values, principles, beliefs, and ideological underpinnings that serve as the foundation for motivations and policy. They, too, are quite different and distinct. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE 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, 2171 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, May 2, 2014 The Influence of Moral Beliefs
The near-complete failure to understand, respect, or appreciate the moral beliefs underlying the behaviors and actions of the other side that fuels the hyper-partisan and seemingly irreconcilable policy and governing philosophies we're exposed to every day.
SHARE Monday, July 18, 2016 Peak Oil: Where To Go From Here? Pt 3
A moment's pause to consider the practical realities of billions of others looking to improve their lifestyles on any scale by which we measure our own progress and achievements should realize immediately that a finite set of ever-more-challenging-to-acquire energy supplies needed to power those advances can only be spread so thin. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 11, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 1
Progressives have long sought compromise to at least move us all forward, whereas now in particular, the right's death-grip on their ideology and the banishment of compromise as a strategy leave us all wanting. Not a good place to be if the future matters. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 4, 2014 Has Outrage Arrived?
How many examples do we need before we are all persuaded that the official Republican Party platform is devoted not even a little bit to helping most Americans--at least the ones whose bank accounts don't show lots of zeros and commas in the "Total Wealth" columns?
(2 comments) SHARE 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, 6103 views)
SHARE Saturday, March 29, 2014 Does Wealth Mean No Compassion?
In view of legislative efforts on the part of the Republicans to do anything and everything but be a party of work—at least anything approaching concern for the challenges and hardships by those of us who do not measure bank balances in the millions of dollars—some proposals smack of nothing other than a healthy blend of arrogance and hypocrisy on a scale most of us, thankfully, cannot relate to.
SHARE Wednesday, March 26, 2014 The Fear of Change
It’s difficult to ignore the steady stream of right-wing opposition to most of the cultural, economic, and political policy proposals offered in the past few years. The strident opposition all bears more than a tenuous connection between accepting change and resisting it.
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Friday, November 7, 2014 Optimism Helps, But....
Peak Oil (and climate change) are--to those of us who do accept the evidence and expert assessments--serious, fact-based realities which will soon enough impose some rather unpleasant, widespread, and irrevocable changes on how we live and work " all of us, even those on the Right who presently find almost nothing about either topic to be worth contemplating at all. That poses a dilemma.... Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 5, 2016 Solving Energy Supply Problems In One Sentence
As is still the case--unfortunately, for all of us--a large contingent of individuals, organizations, and other associations remain determined at all costs [literally] to preserve the primacy of fossil fuels to power us into the future.
(5 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 11, 2016 Peak Oil: Now Is A Good Time To Get Serious Pt 1
The truths, unpleasant though they may be, are the truths: inexpensive, readily available oil is slowly but surely becoming less readily available, more expensive, and harder to come by. The problems of maintaining an adequate, affordable, accessible supply of fossil fuel needed to power modern society aren't going away. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Wednesday, May 4, 2016 Peak Oil: We're Not That Different Pt 2
It's human nature to seek out information, evidence, opinions, etc, which support positions we've taken on a wide variety of topics. Contentious political and social issues provide glaring examples of this from both the left and right sides of the various debates. Climate change is certainly one of the more noteworthy subjects.
The future availability and adequate supply of fossil fuels-oil in particular--is another. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(6 comments) SHARE Thursday, May 15, 2014 Psychological Shortcuts & Politics
The internal shortcuts we adopt to support our beliefs and views serve important purposes in establishing and maintaining our self-esteem. But when they become obstacles preventing us from speaking with one another--rather than at or past each other--their value to our long-term well-being diminishes.
SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Part 3
For those of us on the Left, the failure of conservatives to address the economic imbalances and the obvious harm amounts to callous disregard. It may be convenient to seek closure quickly and avoid troubling oneself with nuance and a range of considerations affecting policy, but that strategy has its drawbacks...
SHARE 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, 6103 views)
SHARE Saturday, June 25, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 4
Elevating the content and quality our public discourse while displaying more honorable public behaviors in the process--instead of what we witness on a daily basis--might prove more gratifying and meaningful in the long run, and for more of us.
That's about as low a bar to overcome as one can set, yet even that low threshold is too challenging for some.
(1 comments) SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 25, 2014 Painting With A Broad Brush
If we don’t recognize and accept that bitter partisanship is not always the wisest or most beneficial strategy, the goal of a better future will forever be as far away tomorrow as it is today.
(2 comments) SHARE Saturday, May 21, 2016 Peak Oil: Now Is A Good Time To Get Serious (Part 2)
If nothing else, we'll need to recognize that, like climate change, Peak Oil is not some event looming on a distant horizon. Peak Oil is happening now.
We must guard against the notion that Peak Oil's impact (like climate change) is just a one-time, cataclysmic episode "scheduled" to happen but only at some random time at an indefinite point sometime long into the future.
(14 comments) SHARE Saturday, January 18, 2014 How Did We Get Here? (And How Do We Get Out?)
How did society move from a point where certain principles stood as longstanding anchors in the foundation of conservative political philosophy to a place of so much bitterness, often-times hysterical nonsense, combined with knee-jerk opposition and willful obstruction today?
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, February 24, 2014 Immoral? Some Elected Officials Need A Dictionary & A Mirror
Denying the most basic of necessities to those most in need—in no small part because policies and ideologies one supports either help set the dominoes in motion, or keeps them toppling farther away from places where solutions can be found—seems a curious demonstration of morality
SHARE 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, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, April 10, 2014 What Did Happen To The Common Good?
The Republican Party operates on the assumption that only small government—if that—is necessary or proper. Ideological differences aside, when one group takes it upon itself to proactively gum up the works at every turn, we’ve moved beyond philosophical differences into a very dark chapter of present history.
(2 comments) SHARE Monday, June 6, 2016 Peak Oil: Now Is A Good Time To Get Serious Pt 4
A fossil fuel-driven-and-made-possible life is all any of us have ever known. There are virtually no aspects of daily living that do not depend in some part on inexpensive, readily-available and easily-produced fossil fuels. That's not going to change dramatically overnight, but we shouldn't count on energy supply status quo for years and years to come. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, January 29, 2014 Group Think & Political Identity
Acceptance by others, specifically those most important to us personally, is as basic a human trait as there is. Who doesn’t want to feel welcome by those closest to us—the individuals and groups who matter most, however we define that?
SHARE Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Left v. Right: Different Worlds Pt 6
If the only advantage in preserving a status quo is to delay doing anything, the primary achievement will be to ensure the difficulties have been compounded....Cause-and-effect merits more consideration than it gets. All the more so in light of the steady stream of nonsense issuing from Donald Trump and his apologists. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(5 comments) SHARE Sunday, October 5, 2014 More Info Isn't Necessarily Enough
What seems like an obvious solution--more information and facts--in the apparent failure to understand the challenges which declining peak oil production rates (and/or climate change) will bring about is not quite so obvious. It makes perfectly good sense, but that doesn't matter, either. Nothing like human nature to muck up simple solutions! Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Thursday, May 26, 2016 Peak Oil: Now Is A Good Time To Get Serious Pt 3
Amid all the chaos and challenges and burdens which already suck up most of our attention, the problems associated with the challenges of future oil production call upon us to harness a vision for the future that is not just incrementally better than this one. Reliance upon the same resources, methods, beliefs, and strategies which have carried us into the 21st Century will not be the same ones carrying us forward. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Ideology No Matter What The Price
When facts get in the way of witless ideology to protect the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of everyone else, facts are a convenient casualty.
(1 comments) SHARE Sunday, August 10, 2014 Price Drops Sound Great, But....
Wishing economic realities were different is a nice balm, but wishing is just wishing. None of us want to be in a position not too far down the road where we're collectively kicking ourselves for once again postponing the hard work needed today to afford ourselves better opportunities tomorrow. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, June 8, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 2
A narcissistic demagogue as clueless as is humanly possible about both national and international policies, practices, standards, and relationships has somehow managed to incite millions of Americans by an almost nonstop stream of misstatements, adolescent--dangerous--button-pushing, fabrications, and pseudo-facts. This is now the standard for national political office? Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Saturday, March 8, 2014 What Is "Small" Government?
"No" should not be our governing philosophy.
In a nation, a society--a planet--facing challenges, problems, and changes on a scale unimaginable to most of us a few short decades ago, narrow-minded and fact-free strategies to advance an equally narrow-minded philosophy about the role of government should not be in anyone's Top Ten list of go-to approaches.
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, May 12, 2014 The Art Of Shooting Oneself In The Foot
There is a great deal at stake for all us, and we might all be better served understanding not just what we do in asserting and defending our beliefs, policies, and opinions, but why. Appreciating that might make a world of difference " literally!
(1 comments) SHARE Monday, September 22, 2014 So Much For Energy Security
Energy Independence and Energy Security are such comforting notions. Might be worthwhile for those otherwise pre-disposed to swallow the stories whole to pause for a moment or two and consider the effect and impact of actual facts. And while they're at it, pondering what the motivations have been for cherry-picking and misleading--and who is and is not being served by those tactics--might also be enlightening. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Thursday, June 2, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 1
As each side bordering the political chasm digs in ever deeper to engage in skirmishes whose intensities and potential consequences seem to have no end point in sight, we should be wondering with greater urgency what sort of "community" will emerge from the wreckage Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 20, 2014 Challenging Assumptions
The unwillingness of both the Right and the Left to consider unpleasant facts and truths only hardens the battle lines drawn in our increasingly partisan culture.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Peak Oil Distraction Pt 2
Without recognizing and accepting the simple truth that we're drawing down a finite and depleting resource that necessitates almost unimaginable adaptations and transitions to Plan B, the limits of human ingenuity and technological prowess will be severely tested if we insist on exclusive and continued reliance upon the one finite resource mankind has relied upon more than any other.
(6 comments) SHARE Friday, April 25, 2014 Is There Common Ground?
It's going to be that much harder to find ways to resolve ongoing challenges if we don't share a willingness to engage. Is that really a worthwhile objective? While each political camp arms itself with whatever provisions it needs to wage wars of words and ideologies, life is happening outside our windows.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 21, 2014 Better A Day Early....
For all the talk about this wonderful (and legitimate) increase in oil production from the fossil fuel industry's stable of cheerleaders, the annoying fact they all unfailingly neglect to acknowledge is that the tight oil formations being relied upon for the uptick deplete much more rapidly than do the conventional crude oil fields we've been relying upon for decades. And that's just one issue conveniently overlooked. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Friday, June 17, 2016 Left v. Right Pt 3
What matters more: preserving ideology and one's identity via affiliations with like-minded peers, or a better future? Sometimes giving up one is the only way to gain the other.
If we aren't all thinking right now about what kind of a nation we choose to be and what kind of a nation we choose to leave for our children, we damn well ought to start soon. Series: The Left v Right Conflicts (17 Articles, 12606 views)
SHARE Tuesday, March 18, 2014 Hoping No One Notices
If legislative initiatives to make voting more difficult, enrich and protect the interests of the wealthiest few, perpetuate hostility toward minorities, make life in general more difficult for women re: health and choice issues, and deprive all the slackers and takers in America of the most basic assistance, then the Republican agenda has been a home run.
(3 comments) SHARE Thursday, September 25, 2014 Inconveniences
Pleasing narratives skirting the truth don't mesh well with unpleasant truths. But given what's at stake, to scoff at concerns about a peak in the rate of oil production based on those facts because they don't fit nicely into ideological narratives is beyond foolish! Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Peak Oil Distractions Pt 1
The reality--difficult as acceptance of it appears to be for some--is that by whatever phraseology one prefers, readily available and affordable conventional crude oil is no longer readily available and affordable--from the production standpoint. The energy source of choice for decades is no longer as abundant and accessible as it once was [temporary "glut" duly acknowledged], and the fossil fuel industry has had no choice in
SHARE Thursday, May 22, 2014 The Good Old Days
Wouldn't it be nice if we started revering integrity and democracy once again, and stopped celebrating vile hypocrisy, sabotage, political blackmail, and anarchy masquerading as leadership?
(2 comments) SHARE Thursday, March 31, 2016 Peak Oil Distractions Pt 3
We're not going to suddenly discover magical amounts of fossil fuel reserves though magical technologies because the Republican Party controls the House and/or because too many of its members are beholden to the industry. Energy resources don't concern themselves so much with political ideology.
What's left [and there are still substantial amounts left] is going to be harder to find, extract, and pay for.
SHARE Wednesday, January 22, 2014 Sometimes Obvious Is Not Always So
We’re different….In a time when political animosity directed toward those on the “other side” of public policy and cultural debates seems to know few if any limits, stating the obvious is not exactly an earth-shattering revelation.
(5 comments) SHARE Tuesday, February 4, 2014 Solutions Require Cooperation (Really!)
Different viewpoints don’t automatically categorize that other side as Satan intent on destroying America. Many would be surprised to realize that some meaningful communication and listening and understanding establishes awareness that almost all of us simply want life, our nation, our citizens, and our government to be better.
SHARE Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Total Disconnect
The wealthy are different from the rest of us. They think differently (often viciously and ignorantly so), their needs are different, their world views are different, and the sense of entitlement too many on the Right ascribe as a failing of the less-fortunate is instead the guiding light for the 1%-ers.
SHARE Monday, February 10, 2014 Bad News For “Exceptionalism;” Great News For Progress
The foundation upon which today’s right-wing depends to justify American exceptionalism is weakening. Demographics—among other considerations—strongly suggest that hopes for shoring up those supporting principles are fading, with little chance that the process can be reversed.
SHARE Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Peak Oil: Now Is A Good Time To Get Serious Pt 5
Not soon as in imminent, but as measured in the course of progress and a future not that far away, changes loom in the availability, affordability, cost, and efficiency of our current, primary energy supply: oil. Failure to prepare or understand what's involved [hint: a lot!] will compound the challenges, and decrease the number and viability of options. That will not be a good place to be. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(1 comments) SHARE Tuesday, March 4, 2014 Fear & Paranoia Are Good Because - Why?
Wouldn’t it be interesting if conservatives realized that progressives actually love this country just as much as they do, and strive to just make it better for more citizens?
(2 comments) SHARE Sunday, June 1, 2014 The New Rules?
Have we become that selfish? Do we no longer possess the wisdom of generations before us who understood that governing and policy to benefit the most among us for the longest periods of time requires something much less than adherence to rigid, unthinking ideology?
SHARE Wednesday, April 13, 2016 Peak Oil: Simplicity Isn't Always So Simple
While there's surely some benefit derived in keeping things simple for readers and followers, I'm still unclear as to what the long-term benefits are for them [and the rest of us] when the full range of facts and considerations about our future energy supply are kept off of the discussion table.
(1 comments) SHARE Wednesday, September 10, 2014 Production Details Matter
The Happy Talkers like to assure the public that we have just zillions and zillions of barrels of oil just waiting out "there" for an intrepid company to yank it out of the ground (or beneath the sea) and supply it to us right quick. No fuss, no muss. No truth. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
SHARE Monday, April 21, 2014 What To Do When The Group Expands?
Those on the Right, consistent with their inherent make-up and ideology, focus their efforts on protecting those in their “group” because doing so helps preserve the beliefs and values upon which they base their moral determinations about policy-making. Inviting “outsiders” into the established affiliations exposes them to the possibilities of changing dynamics and beliefs contrary to their core principles
SHARE Wednesday, April 6, 2016 Peak Oil: The Reality
There are certain realities about the recent spike in U.S. fossil fuel production which can be masked or misrepresented in only so many ways. Tight oil production generated from hydraulic fracturing [fracking] has shown itself to be more expensive and not as energy "dense" or efficient, for starters.
(2 comments) SHARE Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Glorifying Fact-Free Leadership
When the "leaders" the public relies upon for guidance and information offer less than the truth, our collective understanding of the challenges we face--and thus our ability to fashion meaningful and beneficial solutions--is likewise severely damaged.
SHARE Wednesday, April 27, 2016 Peak Oil: We're Not That Different Pt 1
We can all insist that we're always objective and always looking at all sides of important issues, but " not really. Human nature is what it is. This is true for conservatives and progressives--denials and finger-pointing duly noted.
SHARE Thursday, May 29, 2014 The Right's Gamble
While more information won't necessarily change beliefs and ideologies overnight, the re-telling of the same expectations by those of us on the left will be borne out by the eventual realities not beholden to right-wing orthodoxy.
SHARE Monday, May 19, 2014 A Faction, Not A Party
The numbing demonstration of callous disregard for anyone not among the elite 1%-ers to which GOP pols bow down to at every turn should offend anyone with a conscience.
(1 comments) SHARE Thursday, August 14, 2014 Transportation Considerations
Fuel efficiency is all fine and well, and there's no question that continuing improvements should be a staple of ongoing energy policy. But given our almost-complete dependency on fossil fuels to power our transportation needs, it's not anywhere near enough. Series: Peak Oil - A Challenge Not To Be Overlooked (41 Articles, 31192 views)
(3 comments) SHARE Sunday, April 13, 2014 Common Threads
An overburdened public ill-disposed to adding other major concerns to their full plates naturally turn to their chosen/respected go-to officials with the expectation that their interests are being addressed. They’re Right, except that in these circumstances, “their interests” are those of the chosen, not the choosers. That’s a problem.
(3 comments) SHARE Monday, April 28, 2014 Definitions Matter
In today's world, equality of opportunity has been perverted, and it seems quite clear that the few are doing whatever they need to do to preserve what they can for themselves, consequences to the many others be damne. We bleeding-heart liberals have a problem with inhumanity.
(3 comments) SHARE Friday, April 4, 2014 The Message Is Important
A well-orchestrated messaging machine has filled the void left by those on the Left who ignore the simplest of strategies in trying to communicate their own messages.
(4 comments) SHARE Friday, April 18, 2014 Remember The Future?
Connecting the dots of right-wing orthodoxy to the reality of what happens is actually a fairly easy undertaking. Introspection in advance is rarely a bad thing, and usually a better option than reflecting on what has already gone wrong.
(1 comments) SHARE Friday, February 7, 2014 Who Is Going To Listen?
That far-right extremists and Tea Party members have developed a noticeable strain of paranoia and conspiracy-laden fears about the President’s agenda is not exactly news. This response to changes over which the base feels powerless to stem or control has been a defining feature of right-wing behavior for decades.
SHARE Monday, December 17, 2012 Newtown
Newtown, ideology, and gun control. Time to make some changes.