June 2005

Media&Politics28 Jun 2005 06:27 am

Bush Mush breakfast cereal

On a new anti-bullshit diet and trying to understand what is going on. During my long commute drives I’ve been going through a reading list of Bush – 9/11 – Iraq books (audio books rented from Simply Audiobooks): House of Bush, House of Saud by Craig Unger, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror by Richard A. Clarke (served seven presidents and worked inside the White House for George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush until he resigned in March 2003), Chain of Command by Seymour Hersh, Sleeping With The Devil and See No Evil by Robert Baer (a top CIA Middle East field officer), The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It, and Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind.

Voting Americans owe it to themselves and their country to become more educated on recent history and current events. Bush delivers an Iraq status report and pep ralley today from Fort Bragg, as the American public has grown weary and skeptical while the war slogs on. Over two years later, one might wonder why we invaded Iraq and entered an expensive war. Usama bin Laden still moving freely, Weapons of Mass Destruction not found, gasoline prices hitting record highs, suicide bombings an everyday occurrence, Saddam and other prisoners muzzled at detainment camps.

For years the U.S. Middle East policy has been guided by two factors: Oil and Israel. Having failed to exploit Iraq’s oil supply the conclusion is that we invaded Iraq because Israel wanted us to, they feared Saddam’s regime. Writers and reporters of these events will no doubt sort this out for us, while President Bush and his cronies will continue to pitch their same old diet of pablum. Wake up babies!

Little Rascals, Mush and Milk

Money&Politics&Technology17 Jun 2005 08:32 pm

WTC Design Proposal

The Donald’s Ground Zero rehash? “Hey Trump, Fugetaboudit, you’re fired!”
Freedom Towers… blah, blah, blah… what’s in a name, more of the same?

My recent excursion to Yosemite National Park was inspiring. Surrounded by strong granite formations and cascading waterfalls, I breathed in a site that is bigger than any band of terrorists.

Here is something lasting and good that Americans can feel proud of. Why should the Prudential Financial company employ the Rock of Gibralter as its corporate symbol, a foreign rock, when we have these beauties here at home? Aircraft hijacking terrorists: go ahead, fly into one of these babies. Bring it on!

Efforts to rebuild at “Ground Zero” are mired in controversy. Glass and metal towers are so 20th Century. We are advanced technologically, let us design a challenging building as strong and great as a Yosemite granite formation. It’s time for a change! Imagine the greatness of a mountain-like structure in lower Manhattan! A truly visionary project would enable creative landscaping and even rock climbing on the structure. Inside it would be a modern office building and commercial park, with all the glory of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

This is my challenge to the great architects and real estate developers of New York City. Innovate a strong, enduring and inspiring structure, something undeniably grand and awesome such as Yosemite’s Half Dome.

Freedom Tower vs. Hank Grebe WTC Redesign

Politics&Technology12 Jun 2005 12:14 pm

Wall Street Journal, January 1, 2000

The American Indians, yes I mean the Native American indigenous human beings, have respect for an almighty creator, a God, or Great Spirit they do not profess to know entirely… they call “The Great Mystery.”

As we live our lives, we see that yes – it is all a big freakin’ mystery. And yet hope springs eternally within the human soul. Our role on this Mother Earth seems to be some kind of dominant, controlling stewardship. We instinctively take care of ourselves, each other, and the planet. That’s right politically correct lock steppers: Instinct. Nature, DNA and heredity has its part to play, despite the academic appeal of behavioral scientific nurture logistics.

1999 saw a Western world fretting over the office manager’s nightmare of a big bad Y2K bug. Poof! January 1st, 2nd and 3rd arrived without major bugs, as though an expected terrorist did not show up. Then the tech boom of the late 90’s took a dive. Wasn’t The Future wonderful?

None of the political mouthpieces or candidates running for President in 2000 made a peep about the real worry on everyone’s minds, “What’s happening to my 401K? My stock investments? It just got cut in half… or more!” Did they not want us to wake up to the frightening new realities too quickly?

And the smoke screens more or less continue. George W is no longer in the baseball business, so keeping your eye on the ball appears to be a bad thing. Diverting attention: good! Trivializing science: good!

A White House official who previously worked for the oil industry’s lobby group has repeatedly edited government climate reports in a way that downplays links between global warming and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, The New York Times reported on June 8, 2005. See story.

Much government and private money is spent on scientifically studying and logically estimating the future. Predicting the future is not only for our own defense, it is our pathway to success beyond just simple survival. Here is what is on the horizon for us and future generations:

1. Human Population: A recent United Nations population study (link here) predicts a 40% population increase by 2050. Richer countries’ populations are estimated to stabilize at 1.2 billion, and less developed countries grow from 5.3 billion to 7.8 billion people. This will place an obvious strain on the entire world. In 2000-2005, fertility levels remained above 5 children per woman in 35 of the 148 developing countries, including 30 of the poorest nations. For more information, see The Population Connection.

2. Animal Population: From a January 2005 UNESCO Biodiversity Conference: ” Species are currently being lost globally at a rate that is about 100 times faster than the average natural rate, and tens of thousands of other species are already committed to future extinction because of the recent worldwide loss of their habitats.” See also: UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, United Nations Environment Programme, Defenders of Wildlife, and the World Wildlife Fund.

3. Plants, Ocean, and Environment: “The present rate of global deforestation is more than 14 million hectares (about 54,000 square miles) per year, roughly equal to the size of Greece. Most of the losses occur in the tropics.” – from May 2005, WWF news release. Glaciers in Alaska, Greenland and Iceland are disappearing at an alarming rate, and documented in the excellent “The Climate of ManThe New Yorker articles by Elizabeth Kolbert. For more information about Global Warming visit these links: The League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense, Grist Magazine, and Greenpeace.

4. U.S. Economy: No one knows, but large trade deficits, growing national debt and slow job growth do not help. Visit this on line study and survey. The future strength of Social Security benefits has been under question. Most of those now under 55 realize that an easy retirement plan means working hard and saving for a long time, or hitting the jackpot. Investment predictions seem to work out 50% of the time, so you break even. In late 2004 everyone was betting on the strong Euro vs. the weak dollar. In a big surprise, with European disagreements over charters, the dollar has come back. Globalization is a tug of war between rich corporations and poor nations supplying cheap labor and resources. A big question for the future is how this will play out. See the excellent documentary “The Corporation” now on DVD.

5. Fashion: Dance and prance your way to Doomsday at your local shopping mall ecosystem. According to the Diesel ad campaign, The Future is a worn out pop song.