Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Much is made these days about the threat of "Radical Islam," and the fact that the Jihadists often seem bent on killing as many Westerners---particularly Americans---as they can. This has led some to adopt a posture of "political protectionism," akin to the trade protectionists we see in some circles, warning of the dangers posed by "radical Muslims" throughout the world. But at the risk of being thought "politically correct" (an epithet I regard as among the worst things you can call anyone who postures as a "thinker"), I think we need to be cautious about confusing politics and religion.
Properly understood, all of the world's great religions speak to the best in us, not the worst. At the same time, all of them suffer from the handicap of human imperfection, and many of the "mystic" religions---those that assume the existence of an all-powerful God, as opposed to philosophy-based creeds, such as Confucianism---seem to have a thread of evangelicalism in them, seeking to "spread the word" and convert everyone to what they suppose is the "one true" path to salvation.
Unfortunately, this latter aspect also appeals to the worst in us---the facet of human nature that divides the world into "us" versus "them," and strives for ways to prove ourselves "superior" in some ways to the rest.It was that aspect of Christianity that took Europe on the Crusades...had otherwise sane people burning accused heretics and witches alive at the stake...and is still echoing around our own culture in some of the more extreme fundamentalist sects. And yet we, ourselves, seem perfectly able to separate out the "nuts" among us, who view religion as a way to feel superior to others, from those who view their religion as a source of peace and strength, and who view the philosophy of Christianity (and Judaism) as one of tolerance and brotherhood.
Before we begin lumping all Muslims together, we need to understand the vast differences between them---differences that are every bit as caverous as those between the Unitarians, the Fundamentalists, and the Polygamists in Utah.Properly understood, many of the differences spring not from the teachings of the Christian religion, but from the political views---and, on occasion, the personal lifestyle preferences---of different religious leaders...some of whom are intoxicated by notions of their own self-worth, and all of whom suffer from human imperfections of their own. Similarly, I suspect that much of the mistrust and hatred that spills across cultures stems not from the core values of the various religions, but from the obvious excesses of each religion's particular strains of crackpots---those who pervert or distort those core values for their own particular ends.
To look at a non-religious analogy from American history, we need only examine our dealings with the natives, which any student of history must admit are not shining examples of honesty or integrity. There were many American Indian tribes who were peaceful, wanted nothing except to be left alone, and who agreed to treaty after treaty, trusting that we would live up to our word. There were also many bands of renegade Indians, who were outraged by what all the white settlers were doing, and would attack along the frontier (though never in the numbers we see in the movies). Our reaction was to lump all of them together...and we had an appalling tendency to attack peaceful tribes in retaliation---the attack on Black Kettle's tribe in the Sand Creek Massacre being among among the most appalling examples. (We also had a tendency to violate any treaty we found inconvenient, another aspect of settling the west that history books often ignore).
If we are going to try to get along in this world, all people of good must be able to recognize and distinguish others of like mind in different cultures from the "crackpots" that inhabit other parts of the world---and, unfortunately, dominate many of the headlines. Whatever the culture, I think that most people (well...at least those who aren't raised in a climate of hate) are well-intentioned and honorable, and are more than willing to enjoy the blessings we share on this planet. Unfortunately, while we can all recognize and dismiss our own culture's lunatics, we aren't always successful at doing so across cultural borders. This seems to be the source of much of the mistrust in the world---and the breeding ground for much of the hatred that perpetuates so many of the continuing conflicts that we seem to see around us.
On the other hand...we do have reason for optimism: the advent of the internet does make it possible to communicate directly with people all over the world. If it does nothing but make us realize that there are thinking souls on the other side of the world who are just as eager to help make the world a better place...if not for ourselves, then for our children and grandchildren...then that may well prove to be the biggest step toward true peace the human race has ever taken.
Of course, this does not, mean that our current notions of moral relativism, so prevalent among the "politically correct thinkers" of our day, should be mistaken for actual thought, rather than its absence. In the recent novel, The Star Dancers, a non-human diplomat observes that "Whatever the language, the voice of reason sounds much the same." Most people of good will probably agree, personally...though I might add the caveat that "reason'" does seem to imply at least a modicum of "thought," as well.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
After recently reading a New York Times article, we started thinking about home panel solar politics. You see, although solar power is gaining popularity as a renewable energy solution for home, it will never become mainstream without the backing from the federal government.
A poll by the Nuclear Power Industry revealed that the number one choice for generating power was not from nuclear, coal or natural gas, but from solar energy. However, at the time the poll was taken solar only provided for about 0.01 percent of America's power supply. Solar power is popular, but there's not enough investment!
In Washington, where the energy policies are signed, solar power lobbyists generally work with small budgets in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now when you compare it to the tens of millions of dollars that nuclear, coal, gas and oil lobbyists have available, you can only guess which energy policies gain approval by our beloved politicians.
But when you look at countries like Germany and Japan, their government policies have increased solar power implementation beyond what was thought possible.With the support from government not only have the manufacturing costs decreased because of economies of scale, but solar technologies have also rapidly advanced.
We know government regulation is not very popular in America, where many of us believe our capitalists markets should be left alone. But according to Vinod Khosla, a partner at one of the world's biggest venture capitalist firms - VC Firm and major investor in green technologies:
"...Market-driven improvements are not happening fast enough to put solar technology beyond much more than a boutique investment".
We agree with Mr Khosla.Until the American solar industry gets backing from the federal government, our solar power costs and technology will always lag behind the rest of the world. And as long as that happens, solar power will never gain mass-market appeal in the US.
However, with the new change of government there are 3 distinct factors taking place that give us assurance that home panel solar power is about to take off in America.
1 - The new president-elect Obama and his administration is putting big coal and oil aside, and giving green technologies higher priority. Furthermore, their new laws will help limit the power and influence wealthy lobbyists have on new energy policies.
2 - Some states, such as California and Hawaii are not waiting for Washington to pass the new energy policies. Instead they are taking initiative. Governor Schwarzenegger's "Million Roof" campaign will not only create a new industry, but also lower global warming and create thousands of jobs.
3 - And lastly, we, the home panel solar power users have the biggest role to play. All the energy policies and campaigns would be useless if the population did not embrace solar power at home. But, from the poll and what was said by Mr Khosla, that is not a problem. The America people are not only very interested in solar power, but are also supporting it with investment.
And although it can take years to pay off the solar power cost, people still invest. And when cost is a concern some are so interested in getting involved that they learn to make and install their own home panel solar power. So, let us continue moving towards solar and supporting the politicians and corporations who promote green technologies.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
Saturday, November 5, 2011
There are different reasons as to why students buy academic writings from online writing companies. Among the few reasons, students are overwhelmed with academic writings, lack of time and lack of academic writing skills. In order to develop quality political essay writings, students should be qualified or get assistance from know essay writers. Our academic writing company is an international political essay writing site which for years has been in industry giving students writing help. Students who want to complete quality political essays or any other academic work should ensure that the subject assigned has been understood properly. We have the best political academic essay writing team which offers quality writings to students who have been stuck in their academic writings. Currently there are hundreds of academic writing sites which offer premium academic writing services which help students in completing their assignments on time.
Political essay writing
When writing your papers ensures that you have developed the best research system which will assist you in achieving quality results.Students avail our writing services when writing their political essays because we have for years enabled hundreds of students complete quality academic writings. Our expert writers assist students with original academic writing guides unlike writing companies which offer low quality online writing services. It is difficult to complete original writings without the help of an expert if you have no academic essay writing skills. Our writing team consists of qualified essay writers whose work is to provide the best political essays which are free from any writing error. We have trained writers of political essays well thus they guarantee premium services which will help you get better grades.
Quality political essays
Writers of academic essays from our writing company are professionals who assist in different essay writing services. Political writings require experts who have been trained and equipped with academic writing materials of which we have adhered to that. It’s with ease that our writers assist students with original political essays for we have the best academic political essays which are written from the scratch. Our papers are always original because writers ensures that they have formatted students essays in the right manner because all writing styles are familiar and that they follow international political essay writing standards. Visit our academic essay writing site and order quality writings for we have expert writers whose work are to offer the best writings for your academics. Students get each and every academic writings from us.
Our academic writing company offers the best writing services for all students. If you are in need of original political writings, avail our academic writing site where you will get original political essays. We use up-to-date system when writing academic writings so as to provide students with services that are custom and that are affordable. Writing is easy for we have established the best system which ensures that writings prepared for students are originals and that they meet international standard. We keep time when writing your assignments for we have available academic writers whose work is to service students thus they offer 24/7 essay writing help. We have the best academic writing system because we have catered for different students by way of providing them with writing assistance who are readily available