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BETE NOIRE 2016

democrat-republican

The social engineering of the US Presidential Election

Thursday, 28 July 2016

All roads lead to Rome – or in this case, globalization. This election boils down to the question of means, not ends.

The setbacks of each of the presidential candidates are well-known by anyone with even a cursory interest or understanding of American politics. As such, these topics will not be discussed here. Instead, what will be offered is an examination of how the narrative of this election is being shaped, and what outcomes flow from the interpretations of these narratives.

The first, and perhaps most obvious, narrative is that an outlandish character named Donald Trump has been created in order to drive Hillary Clinton into the White House, (more…)

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ON MASTERY – PART I

mobius

The relationship between pain and pleasure in the development of mastery

Friday, 5 February 2016

Gaining pleasure and avoiding pain are perhaps the most fundamental motivators of human behavior. It has been rightly observed that too often we are in a state of pain avoidance rather than pleasure seeking. This phenomenon of the human psyche is one of the most significant obstacles in the cultivation and development of mastery. (more…)

BEING UN-AMERICAN IN AMERICA

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Un-Americans: A Philosophical Inquiry into the Colonial Perspective

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Let me begin by stating emphatically that it is un-American to call or accuse anyone of being un-American. Nowhere is being un-American as rampant as it is in America. Being un-American isn’t to be confused with being anti-American – the former being a state of not being American, the latter being a person who is against America. In order to fully understand this phenomenon, we must ask some fundamental questions that (more…)

ARE YOU AWAKE?

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Evaluating political language in the age of information overload

Wednesday, 11 March 2014

Seeing the amount of spending on political advertising rise to historic levels is certainly cause for serious concern, but perhaps even more threatening to the future of our democracy is the effect these messages have on our psyche. How are we to navigate the morass of messaging we are bombarded with from all sides of the political spectrum, the sole aim of which is to change or strengthen our opinions and biases about x, y, and z, when our minds have been attrited into a catatonic stupor?

I would like to propose that media literacy has actually gotten easier, not more difficult in the current political climate. It isn’t cynicism that brings me to this conclusion. It’s the realization that at the end of the day, there are only a few variables that reliably affect the opinions of the “average citizen”. You might be thinking, “It’s all about the money.” And it is, but there are two important concepts you need to keep in mind when evaluating political language.

Have you ever asked yourself how you form opinions about a particular issue or candidate, or what it would take for you to change your mind about the candidate or issue? The two most significant variables that are likely to affect your opinions about “Candidate X” or “Referendum A” are (more…)

WE’RE ALL NIMBYs NOW

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Keystone XL Pipeline and the Ogallala Aquifer:

Is It Worth The Risk?

Saturday, 8 March 2014

With no less than 231 pipeline accidents in the United States over the last decade resulting in environmental devastation that as of yet has not been fully grasped, the question is not if but when the Keystone XL Pipeline will leak into the Ogallala Aquifer. This body of water is one of the largest clean underground water sources in the world, and accounts for 30% of the ground water in the United States used for irrigation.

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The proposed addition to the Keystone I pipeline will run the length of the country straight through the mid-west states, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Montana, moving it even further west and directly over the Ogallala Aquifer. And keep in mind that wherever there are pipelines, there are leaks, as the diagram above illustrates.

The oil and gas industry will be quick to point out that fossil fuel production is about mitigating risk, not eliminating it, and that there is no such thing as a completely safe source of energy that will meet the demand. The industry standard for levels of safety is clear. One need only look at the number of environmental catastrophes that have occurred over the years to understand that what they are actually saying is that this level of biological destruction is to be expected and is the cost of doing business.

This begs the question: What good are the jobs and energy created by the oil and gas industry if we don’t have clean water to drink?

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