Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

The time has come around once again to cast your ballot. You are either a die-hard democrat or a die-hard republican and you think what you are doing is changing the way that the country is going to ran. Then thoughts of one of my favorite worker right activist, Emma Goldman, comes to mind. "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."

Nothing is truer of American. Democrats will always fight Republicans and the Republicans will always fight Democrats. It does not matter how each bill are similar in some ways, if it is Republican supported and Democrats will fight it, or vise-versa.

What do we do about it? Currently, we vote. What does this gets us? Elected life-long politicians that care nothing of their constituents but only care of what is going to get them elected the next term. That is all that they care for. What brings them the most money and what will get them elected the next term.

The majority of Americans are apathetic to this situation. We support, the lesser of the two evils. We should stop! If we are sick of it, then we need to do something, because voting does us nothing. The Europeans know how to do it. They don't like something, they strike! We don't like something, we say "there is nothing we can do about it."

So, this year, I choose not to vote. The idea is not to throw my support to the other side, the tea-partiers, because it takes my vote out, but to not give support to a system that is broken and say it is okay to be governed. Henry David Thoreau said it best "Participation [voting] is an instrument of [government] conquest...encourages people to give their consent to being governed."

It is okay to not vote! Strike the Root is a great web-site and I support his ideas. What we really need to do is to get educated (something that the government is totally against) and rise up and take power!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Communication...or the there of.

With technology today, communication is easy. The the invention of cellular or mobile phones, a person can be reach practically ever where (within reach of a tower). When the internet was formed and e-mail soon there after, people can be reached immediately when they are at a computer. This has been a great advancement over sending mail out through the postal service, but has almost bankrupted the postal service itself. Now with the innovation of the smart phone, and the combination of e-mail, internet, and phone service, it is very easy.

So why has people became so reluctant to communicating with each other, now more than ever? Even in public, people have became cold. Passing by others on the street, people look down at there feet, don't look at each other, have ear buds in, and keep to themselves. I like the general nod or the smile from a passerby. But this is not what I want to write about...

What I want to know is why people, even friends, do not return phone calls and/or e-mails. It is common courtesy to reply. With e-mail, a general, "Hey, I'm have a lot to do right now, I'll get back to you soon" would be great, but I get nothing. On the phone, people would generally let their voicemail pick up. I, when people call, if I am with someone, will generally excuse myself, walk away and pick-up. If I am really busy, or if it is interupting something important, I'll send the caller to voicemail, but I'll call back as soon as I can possible do it. If I am really too busy, then I make time to reply and I make sure of it.

It is very cold and disrespectful of people, especially ones that people that you consider friends, to not return communication. Should you keep them as friends and contacts? I say "NO!" Even with facebook, why have 500 friends, when there is no communication. People just post something for other people to see, and that is good enough for them. I can be found guilty of not communicating with people sometimes, but in general, I go through my list and send a message ever now and again. Most times with no reply. Then there are those people that send out friend request, without even sending out communications. For those people, I wait a month and let them sit there, and if they don't have the common courtesy to send a message to try to set up a line of communication, I press ignore. Then after three or four times of a person doing that, I send a message to them explaining my reasonings.

Communication is what is lacking in our society today. On so many level. Communication with our government, colleagues, friends, academics, etc. Maybe something will get accomplished, especially with our government, but that is another story.

So, I say take the time in your day, to say hello to a friend, or a passerby. Maybe it will make a difference.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

As we approach the tripping point...or has it already been past?

With the oil spill in the gulf from the Deep Horizon oil platform 52 days ago, and not being able to stop it from gushing out of the well, we need to rethink what we have and are continually doing to the earth. On reading last months issue of adbusters, "The Ecopsychology Issue" (#89), recent review of Mary-Jane Rust's books entitles "Ecotherepy: Healing with Nature in Mind" and "Climate on the Couch," brought on frightening realizations on where we are heading and how people cope with it. In "Ecotherepy: Healing with Nature in Mind," they explored people behavior and coping methods. In it, it is described, while having in a therapy session that her client admits to:

"spending there entire leisure time drinking heavily and taking drugs. She [the client] denies that this is a problem and tells me [the psychiatrist] that is the norm among her peer group of thirtysomethings...We explore the issue up and down, round and round, for some weeks. In a moment of wild thinking I ask 'What do you feel about the future?' 'We're completely fucked' the client admits...The clients esplains that we humans do not stand a chance. We consume and pollute the earth, causing climate change and widespread distruction, out future looks bleak. After we explore this further, I tentatively ask if she thinks there is a connection between this and her drinking. 'Oh definitely,' she [the client] replies. 'Why not drink and do drugs? There's no future. We might as well go out partying'"

This is curious and I will be looking for this book in the future. It is also scary, in that, I can see this happening. I see in happening in my own life and in the eyes of my colleagues. I learned in a population and community ecology class about populations being in equilibrium and how they crash when they fall out of equilibrium. In fact, as we become smarter, we can see that we are causing our own extinct, but not until we kill off every other living thing in the world first.

It is time to stop passing blame off into other people (both democrats and republicans parties) and start making a ecosystem revolution. Small things that each individual can do, does not and has not worked. But we still do them. Our landfill keep getting larger and larger, we destroy hundreds of thousands acres of natural habitat yearly, and we just see it as something that we must do to survive. Things need to change. Things need to stop. Ways to do it is changing our government and removing special interest. We constantly look for a change, but it has not happened. We elect new people, but still there is no change.

We need to stop being so selfish and realize that there is not much left of this finite earth. I think that you need to ask yourself, "What am I going to do?" Are you going to be apathetic and say that nothing can be done, or will you organize a movement? Will you wait for technology to save us, because most likely it will not? It hasn't so far.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cap and Trade....come on?

Cap and trade is not a climate solution. It is a way for mega-corporations and the government to pollute legally. It is a scam and will create our next market bubble. T. Boone Picking is supporting this, but he is also supporting making money by extracting natural gas and using it for transportation (another greenhouse gas emitter) instead of importing oil.

Cap and trade will only create our next bubble and keep us on tract to destroy this earth that we inhabit. This is just disaster for the U.S. and the rest of the world will hurt because of our doing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The end as we know it.

I happened across this interview through facebook on how we have harmed the earth and have passed the tipping point of survivals of our species. "Eaarth": Earth is over is a powerful interview of Bill McKibben, the author of "The End of Nature," on how we have far surpassed what is sustainable. What I cannot believe is that, "Forty-four percent of Americans still don’t believe global warming is man-made." This is very scary. We have hard evidence, but American are ignorant. Little changes by individuals, might make you feel good, but WILL NOT make a difference. We need governments and major corporation make changes on what they do.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It was not an attack on a person, but rather an attach on an idea!

On March 17, 2010, Christopher Hitchens gave a honorarium at Miami University to a crowd that filled the Farmer Business School's Auditorium (both the main floor and balcony). Practically I was amazed by his eloquent speech on the No.1 New York Times Bestseller "God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." There was a question and answer period and it allowed Hitchens to discuss further why religion poisons everything, and people actually thought that it was an personal attach. He was attacking the idea that there is a God. People are so attached to there idea of a God, that they see it as an attack against people.

Afterward, he gave a book signing, where he sat a table and greeted people and let them speak there mind. You even had a chance to have a photo taken with him. He went out to have a smoke and a crowd followed. He talked with people throughout this time and people brought up there views. It was quite astounding. I felt that he smoked them along with his cigarette.

Later, there were many views in The Student, Miami University news paper. The Secular Student's of Miami had a response (bottom starting with "We, the Secular...") to the misguided person.

Later, a graduate student in the French Department wrote the Department Chairs telling them to stop funding hate (attached the letter here):

To the departments and programs that sponsored Christopher Hitchens' speech of 17 March:

I write to express my deep and sincere disappointment in your decision to sponsor Mr. Hitchens to speak on campus. I wish to make it perfectly clear I have no problem with Mr. Hitchens expressing his views. Freedom of speech is what makes this country great. My problem rests with the fact that your departments sponsored Mr. Hitchens, thereby sponsoring his hate speech.

Billed as an event to promote understanding, Mr. Hitchens' speech was nothing more than a tirade against all religion and its followers. Rather than embracing diversity, Mr. Hitchens preaches and practices intolerance of all faith. He elaborates on this point in his book, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.

Keeping with this track record, Mr. Hitchens came to Miami under your sponsorship and spread his message of hate and intolerance on our campus. I am profoundly shocked your departments provided funding for this. Perhaps what is most troubling is the apparent double standard your departments have established in regards to religion.

Had Mr Hitchens written a book about homosexuality, African-Americans or any other minority in the same manner as he wrote How God is Not Great, he never would have been invited to campus and your departments certainly never would have sponsored him. Furthermore, if we replace the word "religion" with "homosexuality" in any of his attacks from his speech, I sincerely doubt any of your departments would have a problem classifying them as hate speech.

According to Miami's No Hate Initiative http://www.miami.muohio.edu/documents_and_policies/nohate/#hc4

"Many individuals become targets of hateful acts because others are unable to accept differences based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, ethnicity or disability. Miami University condemns such acts. At Miami, a hateful incident directed at an individual or group, owing to their difference, is viewed as an attack on the entire community."

A entire speech dedicated to explaining how religion "robs us of autonomy, independence and responsibility" and how it is "taught to kids who can't defend themselves" would seem to me a clear cut case of "a hateful incident directed at an individual or group owing to their difference." What I cannot understand is your department's failure to abide by the university's own No Hate Initiative.

According to Miami's mission statement http://www.miami.muohio.edu/about_miami/mission/

"As an inclusive community, Miami strives to cultivate an environment where diversity and difference are appreciated and respected."

How can the university make such a claim while sponsoring those who wish to destroy diversity? I fully realize that atheists and secularists are part of our community here at Miami. I think that's wonderful that they contribute to our diversity. I in no way wish to deny them a voice on campus; however, there are plenty of atheist or secularist authors who are not bigots and whose views still allow them to appreciate and respect others.

This entire incident has seriously shaken my confidence and my pride in my university. I believe nothing less than an official apology is due on the part of the university for sponsoring hate. If the university refuses to take this step it thereby affirms a double standard in regards to faith and suggests that bigotry - as long as it is directed towards the spiritual or religious - is acceptable at Miami University

Please feel free to contact me at any time by email or phone.


Alan Burke

Alan J. Burke '09 MA '11
French Graduate Assistant
Miami University
(216) 409-3022

First off, and I state this again - it was an attach on an idea, it was not a personal attack! If he were to say that all Christians need to be punished, then it would be hate a speech. Homosexuality and being an African-American is something a person is, religion is not something that you are born with. So I am posting this, just in case you want to write or call Alan Burke to express your views to him.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Random Thoughts (part 1)

These are things that are on my mind, that I just want to get out, not to anyone in particular, but just need to put in writing. This is a divergence from what I would normally blog on. This is part one, and there may or may not be a part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...

I have been pondering this for quite some time now. I have, in the past 6 months, or so, seen this movie, that kind of hinted at the same idea that has been in my mind. This idea first came to mind around the turn of the millennium (ca. 2000), way before the movie was produced. If anyone has seen Idiocracy kind of knows where I am going with this. The evolution of humans becoming more stupid...or the de-evolution of man. But this goes deeper than that.

Evolutionarily speaking, humans, and other organisms, has the natural tendency to pro-create. Looking at my colleagues, and other people that surrounds me, this tendency has been put on the back burner. They have things that are, in there mind, "more important" to accomplish. They have there career and other points of accomplishments top obtain. On top of that, there are others colleagues of mine that do not want to pro-create.

I am not rejecting this idea, to each there own. The only thing is that I don't know of what to take of this. I, personally, want to have a child...and I have been thinking of this more often lately. What, I'm 32 now. So, I'll be 50 or older than that by the time my offspring will get out the house. I don't want to be retirement age when they leave. I not saying that choosing a career first is selfish, but I not sating wanting say having kids is selfish either.

Once people already have there career established, they are closer to my age. There are many things that comes with older age (infertility, genetic problems of the child, etc.), but I am not saying that I want to have a child with any random femail. The time has to be right for me and my significant other to have a child. Looking at the population that are having offspring, for the most part, they are poorer an uneducated. This is where I see a parallel with Idiocracy. "The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections."

Right now, I am currently working on my Masters degree and will start my PhD in the fall. I can see myself being a stay at home dad...I can see that easily happening. It is a natural tendency of ALL organism to pro-create, and I get jealous when I hear of my friends and about that they have a family, that is all that I am saying....

Sunday, March 7, 2010

America in Default

Why is it that when the government want to help out it's citizen, all of the sudden it is seen as a bad idea? The citizen of the U.S.A. should be able to have affordable health care, and not have to go in dept. All the government is looking at the the cost of reforming health care, they are not looking at the benefits to the population. Who lobbies to try to stop health care reform? The insurance companies. How is health a profit making institution!!!!!!!! We worry about what it would cost us if we actually pass this bill. I hear everyday, that more dept would be cause and send us further down the spiral. What is the major cost to America today? Both of our wars! Afghanistan and Iraq and I do not see us leaving there anytime soon.

What I am really, really sick of...is our government...that does NOTHING but bicker with each other. Choose a side, go ahead, I don't care. All you have is two choices. Republican or democrat (I refuse to choose a side now, I am, in fact, ashamed to even consider myself an American now)...and when you choose a side, you'll hate the other. It always happens. All they care about is getting re-elected and making money. They don't give a shit about there citizens. They just want the power...the power to get NOTHING done.