There sure seem to be a lot of people trying to get rich quick these days, with many of them employing methods that are unethical, immoral, or downright criminal. Injustices abound, but those that involve making and keeping people poor are everywhere, and have become so blatant that some of them have even been written into the laws. So why are so many people trying to take advantage of others, and of a legal system increasingly rigged to increase the profits of billionaires and billionaire corporations, with an expectation that they can become rich? Continue reading
Tag Archives: politics
(This is a reprint of a recent posting in my personal blog that I think is quite appropriate to share here. Please comment if you like . Thanks for reading. – Tim)
Why is overpopulation taboo? It is incredibly frustrating to see so many people and organizations thrashing around over climate change and related issues when none of those problems would exist if we weren’t overpopulating the planet. The problems of epidemic and famine that will emerge over the next two or three decades will compound our relatively new problems with weather and increasing sea levels, and it is likely that at least a few billion people will die untimely deaths before the end of this century, all attributable to the human population explosion. Isn’t a focus on reducing birthrates worldwide what we really need? Are we putting ourselves at risk by addressing the more superficial issues and ignoring the root cause? Continue reading
Awareness of humanity’s biggest problems is rising. While there appears to finally be a slow groundswell of popular understanding and alarm about what humans are doing to the planet (which is quite late but very good), there is still a lot of mishandling (and often misrepresentation) of the news. This results in persistent widespread misconceptions about our position and probable future on the planet. So what kinds of things are we “not getting”? Continue reading
For years I have watched the debate over genetically modified organisms (GMO), predominantly food items, with interest but not been sure where the problem was. Recent news articles have given me some new thoughts on the matter and a real cause for concern, however. Current genetic modifications, predominantly created and promoted by Monsanto, make food crops resistant to weed-killing chemicals so that more of those chemicals can be used without harming the crops. The higher yield of those crops is offered as reason enough to use these genetically modified seeds. The GM crops are generally tougher to kill and that, while it has benefits, presents the real problems. Continue reading
Important Question for your Legislators: Can Growth Continue Indefinitely and, If Not, What Follows It?
Hindsight is golden – no question about that. All through the recent election season I pondered what the right question was to ask legislators and, of course, it hit me days after the election: “Do you think population and economic growth can continue forever and, if not, what do you think will happen when the trend reverses?” This and similar questions should be at the top of everyone’s list, not just today but every day for decades to come. Continue reading
Will the global economy improve for the average person? Or are we sinking into an age in which workers are more and more powerless before their corporate employers and 99% of us live as serfs, forced into poverty and submission to our corporate overlords? Almost everyone agrees that corporations have far too much influence on government, laws, and our lives today. This situation has evolved slowly, but today corporations, aided by corporate-dominated government, are pushing harder than ever to take control of our lives and economies, purely for profit. As a result, the direction of most economies is towards businesses increasing control of government and a decline in the power of the individual. This suggests political and economic turmoil could increase as unscrupulous corporations skew economies for profit and people react and organize to oppose them, but that it is unlikely the situation will get better. The big issues we all face, like the population explosion and dependence on fossil fuels, will continue to be mostly ignored, though some portions of the population understand and will fight back to keep their rights and protect society, with limited effect. So where might we be in a few decades, and how likely is it that change could favor the people?
Everything you know is wrong. That’s what the Firesign Theater comedy group told us back in the 70’s. It’s a good joke, but there is a grain of truth there. Are you perfect? I’m not, and I am pretty sure nobody else is either. That means that some proportion of what I know is undoubtedly wrong, and the same is true for you and everybody else. Of course, people with particularly open minds may have less wrong knowledge, while those with particularly closed minds or who are concentrating their information acquisition from misleading sources are doubtlessly more wrong. On the average, though, everybody is wrong at least some part of the time about something, and by definition they aren’t aware of it when they speak about it.
Are you one of those with strong convictions? To those who feel strongly about things or who are afraid of being wrong about anything I have to say “Lighten Up!” You’re not right about everything, and neither is anyone else. Start thinking about where you learned things before you start pronouncing them to others. Learn to say “In my opinion” or “What I heard was …” or similar phrases that give you a way out if you’re wrong, and give others a way out if you’re right and they’re wrong. Don’t hold your convictions too strongly, and be ready to give others the benefit of the doubt. Everyone believes what they think is right, to the best of their knowledge, and each of us is often wrong, often in circumstances where we aren’t corrected or “wised up” because either nobody else knows any better, or because they don’t want to make you feel bad. Keep your mind open and your speech tolerant, and be charitable to people. You’ll be a lot happier and less stressed.
Watch out for propaganda. What is propaganda? It’s the dissemination of misinformation in order to manipulate people’s opinions and actions. Those who purposefully misinform others are, or should be, criminals, in my opinion. Humanity has enough challenges without selfish people and organizations misleading others for their own gain. (Actually it’s worse than that – there are large and powerful organizations, religious, political, and commercial, that have a direct incentive to misinform the rest of us in the interest of getting our money or an endorsement (vote) that adds up to power and influence for them – we need to be very wary of this.)
Good attitude and understanding leads to a better life. In the end, while everything we know is certainly not wrong, the realization that nobody is always right and that we are told some things to purposefully mislead us teaches us we need to be charitable, gentle, and forgiving to others, wary of what we are told by those groups and people who could gain by misleading us, and careful not to hold our views too closely or intensely. Being open-minded is a way to be a better person, and doing the things I describe leads to lower levels of stress and a life that is emotionally and physically better. In general, we can learn a lot about living a better life by emulating the Dalai Lama, who says “My religion is kindness.” and “Kindness is always possible.” So be charitable!