Showing posts from April, 2007

Inauguration Day 2009 Predictions

It’s over a year and half away but here is the podium on Inauguration Day 2009

President - Hillary Clinton
Vice President – Bill Richardson
Secretary of State – Joe Biden
And reaching across the political divide
Secretary of Defense – Colin Powell

What arrogance is this to go out on such a limb so early?

Well I can tout my bona fides that out of grad school I spent four years in a small corporate planning group reporting to the executive committee of the then world’s largest chemical company, as a futurist and technological forecaster. I could mention my lifelong interest in futurism and strategic planning. Or my heightened political junkiesm in my semi retirement.

But truth is this is not based on some formal extrapolative or normative crystal balling – it is entirely an intuitive conclusion and I would be interested in anyone else who is willing to stick their neck out and make an early prediction.

Are You In A R.U.T?

What is R.U.T.? RUT is Ritualized Undertaking of Tasks and it seems to be as characteristic of humans as it is to most of our brother and sister species in the natural evolution – an adaptive behavior that can arguably be assigned as one of the strong indicators of survivability. From the honeybee to the gray squirrel, from the nuthatch to the pacific salmon – all seem to have the predictability of repetitive behavior somehow hardwired in their small or large brains. And undoubtedly we as human animals share in this natural addiction.

However, the unique characteristic of our species – consciousness and technological achievement – have catapulted us far from this need for natural discipline and we tend to applaud and revere those who do escape this prehistoric tendency and rise above the strong urge for ritualized behaviors.

However, there remains some comfort in this normalcy – some security in the way we make or don’t make our beds, the compulsion to order and arrangement, the ri…

Unnecessary Hysteria Against NBC

There is an unwise movement in our midst to retaliate against NBC for their making public the mailing they received from the Virginia Tech killer.

This movement’s argument is that this release will somehow both give notoriety to the killer and prompt others to follow his example. They propose a nationwide boycott to punish NBC and to prevent further examples of this in the future. I strongly object to their methods.

My objection is that this approach of boycott is completely unbalanced in that it narrowly focuses in on one specific network event. They seem not to take the entirety of NBC news in balance. Their approach, if logically followed could say that a newspaper that printed a Cho photo is just as liable for boycott. Or the 7-Eleven that sold that newspaper issue could reasonably expect picketing.

This type of boycott can ultimately chill our free press. It can be worse than the tyranny of the majority. It becomes the tyranny of the minority. The news, as they have agreed, is com…

Response to River City Rapids – “The Media’s Woody”

Let me begin by saying I do applaud the energy and altruism that I sense your blogging represents. But I find it troubling that you don’t allow replies on your own site, so I reply here on mine.

I take exception to your hyperbole over the NBC airing of the murderer’s tapes. You violate your own premise by suggesting the next atrocity could be committed “by some sicko attaching a camera to themselves as they walk down a hallway perpetrating such heinousness”. Humm, I wonder if someone reading that will get an idea?

It’s a bit presumptuous to assume that those with such murderous intent are not creative enough to have thought up what we sane and balanced individuals could not imagine. Just as many don’t want the weaknesses in our open society to be broadcast to terrorists as it might give them ideas. It’s naive to think that either terrorist or the mentally deranged aren’t as bright and creative as we are in imagining evil actions – as evidenced by much of the creative violence on TV…

An Invitation To Ideas

A few months ago while in a local convenience store I noticed the clerk was reading a book and on asking him about it I learned it was “The Singularity is Near” by Ray Kurzweil. It intrigued me such that I checked it out from my local library and found it fascinating and on pursuing the author on Google I came across TED. Now TED is a California conference of elite thinkers open only by invitation and a $6000 conference fee. But wonderfully I found that many of their presentations were available both on their website and as downloadable podcasts.

I have finally finished viewing the available downloadable presentations – about 26 hours worth in total – and they have been a most amazing experience. One I wish to share with all who value ideas and who are open to the broader call of a humanity I hope is in most of us.

The subjects vary from art to architecture, science and technology, economics and world crisis, and they are all uniformly impactful and resonate with a sense of the futu…

Blogging Across The Great Divide

As regards our local and national political situation, may I suggest that we stop for a moment in our blogging and reflect. I find that continued preaching to the choir in this echo chamber of blogs, while perhaps some sort of reparative therapy, does little to move any us towards a better future.

Some might suggest that blogging would open up a whole new avenue for constructive conversation, adding a new and immediate network to bind us as a people. Instead it seems to coalesce into the polarity of two camps – likes cats hissing at each other.

The world outside, however, keeps going on, while we are hurling epithets across the divide, unable to find common ground, and distracted from looming crises that will impact all regardless of their position on the political spectrum.

The current mess is not so much the doing of one man, George Bush, as ineffective, inarticulate, and incurious as he is – it is the fault of “we the people”. We elected him – twice. Our democracy is an experim…

Senator Creigh Deeds, Here’s My Point

Even at an old age of 63 I’ve retained a lot of my childhood idealism and sense of American government that was taught by equally idealistic history and social studies public school teachers. The words – actual words of heroic and enlightened Virginians still ring in my ears – patriots such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. So Senator Deeds I make no apology for holding you up in comparison.

You are a lawyer, even hoped to be the state’s top cop – so let me take you through this piece of my logic.

• Citizens should be law abiding.

• Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

• Citizens can’t pick and choose which laws they will obey.

• To selectively enforce laws rather than consistently enforce laws would deride respect for the law.

• It is reasonable that Virginians equally respect all laws in the Virginia Code.

• It is unreasonable for Virginians to presuppose what Virginia law may be in conflict with federal law or federal court ruling.

Further, as we are all adults here:

• Virginia law cur…

If Virginia Were A Blue State Senator Creigh Deeds Would Be A Republican

The featured speaker at tonight’s Chesterfield County Democratic Committee (CCDC) was Virginia State Senator Creigh Deeds and a packed house awaited his remarks. (As I’ve yet to be booted from the committee – if the CCDC is representative of progressive democratic ideals then the Republican equivalent must meet in white hoods.) So I did a bit of Googling before the meeting and found little to excite me about this politician – his 2007 legislative résumé’s top two tags were “hunting” and “police”. To his credit he did propose a more balanced and fair redistricting policy but it is now dead and maybe that tells a little about his political prowess.

So for 20 or 30 minutes he tirelessly covered just about every state senate possibility for a Democratic overturn – in monotonous but animated exposition. If you turned off the volume you could imagine he was selling chop-o-matics or used cars. If I heard “and that’s not all” once I heard it ninety nine times. Finally the political tour …