Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thoughts From Close Enough to Paradise

Today was one of those beautiful days. Besides the weather and geography, it was filled with enjoyment. Honest enjoyment is a thing of beauty in my book.

Often, when I forget the troubles I can dream up, or the impending doom I can foresee, I almost fall into that trap of wanting to keep my good fortune or optimistic outlook a secret so no one will hate me for it. That and the jinx factor.

Have you ever felt like maybe you should experience more disaster and pain than you already endure just to prove to less cheerful friends that you, too, are a victim of a cruel world? Seriously, there is probably a name for that disorder. I've felt that way many times, even though I have had hard times and dark times which I'd not wish on anyone. Some of those included the external trappings but all were primarily functions of something internal.

Today was good. I spent a little time last night and today with exceptional friends. Remarkable. Everything may not be as I'd wish, but I do think I'm more fortunate than not. Considering how things could have turned out, given certain paths of my distant and not so distant past, I'd say I lucked out. Probably a chemical thing but when I drive by the ocean or walk the pier on a day like this, I have to laugh that I'm here. I don't know how it ever happened. It's as if I've known the place and the people forever. And been fond of both.

I heard mention on the radio, probably one of California's extremely misguided public service ads, something about giving back and making a difference. The inference was that living a normal life makes no difference. You have to go find a public way to be seen doing something for free, presumably for strangers. I don't get it.

Why is it better to offer free whatever to people I don't know than to do something for people I know? If someone I know can use whatever it is I offer, I know that I am contributing to someone good. I don't care what others do, but I don't think there are really such separations in life.

One's spiritual life is not separate from regular life and if you are a positive force of some kind, whether by doing great work, including paid work, or by lifting spirits of those with whom you cross paths, it is all good. What is it that people have stolen which requires giving back? Giving back what and to whom?

I'd be lying if I said anything I do for the community at large, on a non paid, volunteer basis, constitutes giving back. Any paid work I do is imbued with special mojo not to be had elsewhere, and I don't ignore trash at my feet if it needs picking up. I don't abuse the world around me nor do I take what is not mine. Nothing to give back.

Now, in the case of friends, I definitely hope to give back as much enrichment as they provide for my life. Even so, I do not demand or take in a way that would indicate I better give something back and make a show of it. Who wants that kind of needy demanding relationship?

No, they can take their "give back" lectures to the halls of the state and national legislatures. Those people definitely have reason to feel guilty enough to think about giving back. To do it right would take them a very long time.

The "make a difference" part is silly to address. Especially because some of the ads tell you that you can influence the climate. Get over it. The best thing a person can do to really make a difference is to create something useful and better; like the electric lightbulb, or air conditioning. Or maybe a very cheap way to power a home without ugly by-products. That would make a difference. All things which promote the quality of life and independence of the individual make a positive difference.

Perhaps it is telling that I almost never say "we", as in we need to get better energy sources, or we need to sacrifice or we need to all get together. That's because I like people. You may not see it but the "we" talk is generally done by those who want to change and control you; the haters.

ps: I heart tennis. Really, I could become addicted to just hitting against the ball machine. It's icy like Borg. That can psych you out if you aren't careful. It shows no emotion and never gets tired.

Hummer Heroes

Despite the bad press, and the disdainful looks from the dutifully outraged, those who drive gigantic Hummers for real or compensatory reasons, are progressive technology heroes. That's how things work.

First off, if it is true that they use a lot of fuel, they are paying lots of extra tax per mile because each gallon of gasoline includes tax. And those things are made to go off road, so the real deal won't even be using highway infrastructure.

The way things really change, like the switch from whale oil to petroleum products, is for one source to become less abundant as another becomes more easily obtainable. Such things often involve discovery, development, vision, profit, and improved ways of doing things. They almost never involve technology dictated by thugs in lawyer and politician suits. Good things come because nature demands and offers them. Synthetic markets only retard the process. Like the solar goods available in CA.

They even advertise that they are as cheap as regular energy, once you account for state, federal, local, and power company rebates and incentives. That's like saying a horse and buggy is as fast as a Bugatti, provided you truck it to the finish line prior to the start of the race. Such a market increases the motivation to produce a bunch of what exists, but no incentive to make a product which is really does the job better than the existing technology.

Better things can and should be built. Especially designs which free people from centralized control of power, fuel for transportation, water, and all else. Those who benefit from power and control over those necessities resist and fight any change which places the individual in control over his own utilities and mobility.

Incentive and need to create really effective alternatives, which can stand on their own merit, are not there if tax dollars are used to cover the shortcomings in design and function. If fuel is used up, and costs increased due to scarcity resulting from Hummer use, I guarantee those who love to play will find ways to make it happen by other means. Maybe using fat from liposuction clinics. That's how things have always worked.

People find ways to tame or make use of nature in a manner which fits a set of parameters. It's called engineering. So, you ask how can I make this monster all terrain vehicle go a long way at 100 mph without making lots of smoke and trouble. Then creative smart people set out to make it happen.

Of course, it does skew the game when that which is not very harmful, if at all, is treated as if it is. Politicians, newspeople, and science often mix to give a picture as clear as viewing a horse race through a kaleidoscope. Based on truth, but nothing close to the real picture.

Instead of the crazy attitude that Hummers are somehow hurting the world, reality and truth should be embraced. They give something to shoot for. How can I equal what a Hummer can do, not sacrificing space, speed, or utility, but using another power or fuel source? That's how humans think in a FREE world; not in terms of "How can I lower my standard of living and that of my comrades, while patting myself on the back for doing good?".

Contrary to everything the class war beneficiaries and killjoy thugs may tell us, I am all for corporations throwing big lavish parties, buying and using private jets. refurbishing their offices, generally spending money that pays people to do and make things. But then, I am not for government investing a dime in any private company, telling them who to do business with, or interfering in any way other than to prevent them from using force or fraud.

I would forbid the sale of arms outside the US, regardless of the customer. But I'd also forbid the government from engaging in foreign aid of any kind. Let the citizens do what they want independently as far as charitable acts go.

Controlled and artificially manipulated markets are the plaything of the arrogant egomaniacs who assume they know better than the people what is good for them. The truth is, there are no limits to the possibilities in the realm of energy and all else that makes life a bowl of cherries. Don't be fooled by people who claim to know all the options, therefore they use your money to fund what they say are the best of the allegedly limited choices.

I hope the enthusiasm for the unknown, and the belief in what is possible comes through as much as my dislike of the people who try to manage the lives of others. Safe to say I find the trend toward a Brave New World over the last thirty or one hundred years, completely unacceptable, and I would embrace any revolution to restrict this government to its originally stated functions.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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