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Showing posts from November, 2012

Standing Firm for Our Beliefs

I have always admired those amongst us who have had the courage to stand up for their beliefs.  Especially those who stand up for a belief that may at first be unpopular.  I admire those who stand up when they personally have nothing to gain from so doing.  A former neighbour once suggested that I avoid writing about political topics.  I obviously did not heed this advice as I believe part of the responsibility of any citizen in a vibrant democracy is to engage with the issues at hand.  Failure to engage with the issues is tantamount to a slap in the face of our forefathers who dreamed of the day when we would have the ‘voice’ we have today.
So most of the people I spend time with are passionate about some social / political / environmental / economic / spiritual issue.  They know that there is more to life than the regular self-gratifying distractions and pursuits.  I am lucky to encounter almost daily, people who are unafraid to face big questions and embrace big issues.  To me, th…

White Collar Criminals

Conrad Black has been touting his most recent book here in the UK.  It is a book in which he is understandably critical of the US Justice System.  To those that do not know, Conrad Moffat Black, Baron Black of Crossharbour, PC, OC, KCSG is a Canadian-born member of the House of Lords, an historian, a columnist and publisher, who was for a time the third-largest newspaper magnate in the world.  Black was also released from US prison in May this year after serving time for mail fraud and obstruction of justice. 
BP has also recently been levied a US$4.5 billion criminal fine for the Deep Water Horizon disaster.  This is the largest criminal fine in US corporate history as BP pled guilty to 11 criminal counts.  Furthermore, certain employees can still be charged.  So surreal to see the mighty BP humbled like this and there were even rumours that BP HQ was considering selling off its assets in Trinidad and Tobago to help pay for these fines.  But that is one thing about the very US Justi…

Politics and Race

The US Presidential campaign was vicious as both candidates embraced negative campaigning but this is not new.  In an online forum that I frequent, a friend referenced a September 24, 1864 issue of Harper's magazine in which the derogatory terms apparently applied to Abraham Lincoln in previous months were listed.   These include: Filthy Story-Teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Fiend, and Butcher.  Like Obama, Lincoln went on to win a second term despite being so vilified and his Presidency is remembered for doing much to advance the cause of equality.  
A recent LA Times article by Sandy Banks was one that reminded me of the sensitivity that continues to surround issues of race.  "I've never been able to completely shed the sense of 'them' and 'us,' " wrote a white Obama supporter who grew up in a rural area "where there were no black people at all." The voter went on to say that "I'm embarrassed to admit tha…

Sandy’s Impact

The super storm called Sandy is yet another reminder that weather is not always predictable and that climate change is not fully understood.  Mainstream academics appear to be struggling to understand what is happening with our weather.  As I mentioned back in August, data issued by the UK Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit earlier this year, clearly shows that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.  In other words, for the past 15 years, the global temperature has actually been cooling, NOT warming and climatological models are having difficulty reconciling actual weather patterns with predictions.    
Dr Nicola Scafetta, of Duke University in North Carolina, argued that “If temperatures continue to stay flat or start to cool again, the divergence between the models and recorded data will eventually become so great that the whole scientific community will question the current theories.”  Furthermore, he is among those that question the…