TIGEROWNER MINERALS

 

 

                        RANDOM THOUGHTS:

 

09/28/2017:  If you've managed to find this page, congratulations (or maybe, apologies....)!  It's my feeble attempt at a manual blog.  I am sick of being inundated by opinions on politics, religion, the state of the world, etc. from every quarter, but nonetheless wanted to put down on (virtual) paper a few of my own thoughts on the world in general (not rocks!).  So I've decided that rather than adding my voice to the cacophony of social media, I would throw an opinion or two (or more) of mine out to the vastness of the internet, and hope it sticks (warning - I tend to be long-winded, and I use long sentences at times)....

I may let a few friends and family in on this, but other than that, I'll let the internet do its thing, and whatever happens, happens.....  I'll add my opinions on whatever, whenever, so if you're interested, read on, and if not, sorry for wasting this much of your time!

Just one man's opinions (click on the subjects below to access).....

ON GLOBAL WARMING (10/05/17):

ON GUN CONTROL (10/03/17):

ON OUR ELECTION PROCESS (09/28/17):

 

10/05/2017 - GLOBAL WARMING:  We (the U.S.A.) need to figure out this energy thing!  Currently most of the energy we use as a country is obtained by taking oil, natural gas, or coal out of the ground, and turning the carbon in it into heat and carbon dioxide, in power plants, cars, home furnaces, etc.  We ought to be thinking more long-term:  thinking solar, thinking wind, thinking tidal, thinking geothermal - thinking anything but continuing to burn fossil fuels which are slowly but surely turning our planet into a place we won't even recognize a hundred years from now.  The Earth is getting warmer, faster and faster, which is causing our climate to change in unpredictable and sometimes violent ways, and the cause is clearly - us!!  In addition, the techniques we use to get these fossil fuels, and then use to obtain the energy stored within them, pollute our air and water, scar our landscape, and even cause earthquakes (!). 

Why is that so many people in this country refuse to admit that burning fossil fuels is a bad thing for the Earth?  I understand coal miners, oil riggers, gas drillers, etc., being a bit hard to convince, but what about the rest of us?  OK, I forgot the billionaires who made their fortunes from fossil fuels....  Oh, and I forgot the politicians the billionaires pay for.....  But what about the other 95%+ of our population?  Why do a lot of them continue to deny the "inconvenient truth"?   Well, I think I have the answers:

1)  Our human life spans are too short.  Too short to worry about anything other than being comfortable, well-fed, entertained, and - alive!

2)  Science and mathematics are not highly regarded any more - they're just too damn hard....  It's easier to believe in a magical all-powerful being watching out for his "chosen ones" on our planet, no matter what they do, than what you see happening with your own eyes.

3) Many people like to take the opposite side of a question from that which is taken by people they don't like or with whom they don't identify (like Barack Obama, Al Gore, or Hillary Clinton) - this has nothing to do with racism, politics, or gender bias (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)....

4) Some people still watch Fox News, and believe that what NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, the BBC, and the NY Times are airing or publishing is nothing but "fake" news - after all, that's what our president thinks (at least that's what he says)....

5) Some people believe that global warming is happening, but it is just a natural perturbation in our planet's climate which has nothing to do with our burning fossil fuels.  These people probably also believe that it's just a coincidence that earthquakes are spiking in areas in the Eastern and Central U.S.A. in the same places that fracking and wastewater injection are currently being used heavily by oil and gas companies - WAKE UP PEOPLE!

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10/03/2017 - GUN CONTROL:   The horror we just witnessed in Las Vegas is only the latest in a string of incidents which were made possible only because people had access to guns.  I understand the attraction that firearms have for many people - I have several guns myself, for no good reason, other than that they are interesting pieces of hardware.   I grew up on a farm, and learned how to shoot there.  My Dad had an 8mm German Mauser bolt action rifle with open sights which was amazingly accurate - we used to shoot groundhogs at over 150 yds. away with it, and used it to occasionally take a deer for meat.  We grew up with a healthy respect for firearms - there were 2 cardinal rules: A) assume every gun is always loaded, and B) never let the business end of any gun ever point at any part of any person, even momentarily.  I'm amazed at how many gun owners I've known who totally ignore those simple rules.... 

As for gun control, we already have it: we have decided as a country that guns should be controlled by anyone who wants one, and who can beg, borrow, or steal the money to get one.  That goes for soldiers, policemen, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, accountants, priests, burglars, murderers, terrorists, crazy people, basically anyone....  We have done this by allowing gun manufacturers, salesmen, criminals, and gun fanatics to hide behind the second amendment, which was created at a time when guns could only fire one shot at a time, with a minimum of approximately 30 seconds between shots, and was accurate out to maybe 100 feet.  Gee, how times have changed: just yesterday a single nut job managed in 10 minutes to kill 59 people and wound several hundred more, from a range of 500 yards!  You think maybe it's time to change the laws concerning who has access to that kind of firepower?

Here's an idea - all automatic weapons not in the hands of the police or the military should be ILLEGAL, and possessing one should be a FELONY.  Same for all parts and accessories for them (like receivers and high-capacity magazines).  Same for all items like silencers , "bump" stocks, and other items designed to circumvent detection or laws about automatic weapons.  If anyone is caught modifying a semi-automatic weapon to full-auto, same felony penalty....  Now I know there are a lot of these weapons out there, and the people who bought them just because they thought they ought to have a couple, should not be penalized financially - so the government should buy them back!  Give them to the cops, beat them into plowshares, whatever.  Firing ranges should be allowed to rent (on-site only) fully automatic weapons to those folks who simply can't do without firing off a few hundred rounds a minute once in a while.... 

As for gun manufacturers, they are really good at manufacturing intricate mechanisms, so put them to work manufacturing prosthetic limbs for those folks who've lost their originals to war or crime - there is some kind of justice to be had there....

Finally, a word for the NRA - WANKERS!!

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09/28/2017 -  THE STATE OF THE UNION (ELECTIONS):  I, like many of you (on both sides of the aisle), was stunned when Donald Trump was elected.  I don't know him personally, but from what I've heard him say on TV, he appears to be a moneyed, self-serving, unintelligent bullshit artist.  And he's the president of the United States!  But this is only one disturbing facet of the current mess that is our present government:

1) The U.S. presidential election has devolved into a TV reality show.  There are a number of reasons for this, but first and foremost is that the majority of the American electorate are more interested in being entertained than in the future of the country.  And Trump is entertaining, simply because he's willing, on camera, to spout bald-faced lies, insults, and vaguely racist or misogynist crap, and to make grand promises which any 5-year-old knows make no sense at all.

2) Getting elected to office in this country has become a full-time job; this means that our senators, representatives, governors, etc. spend the majority of their time worrying about the next election, rather than the position to which they were elected!  Our current president started running for a second term the minute he knew he'd been elected for the first....

3) Our founding fathers had no way to envision TV and the internet, and the effect that they could have on our nation's elections, when fueled by vast amounts of money from a relatively few rich people and foreign governments.  This means that many (not all) of the elections in this country are now simply a report on who had the most money to spend on advertising.  However, this was not the case in our most recent presidential election (Hillary spent more money than Donald); that was simply a referendum on who the American public disliked least....  The voters in that election could be put into three main categories: those who wanted Hillary to be president, those who wanted Donald to be president, and those who disliked Hillary so much that they were willing to vote for anyone (i.e., Donald or a minor party candidate) who simply wasn't her....

4) Speaking of the founding fathers, they did a really good job of designing checks and balances into the three branches of our government - and that worked well, at the time they designed it.  Unfortunately, over the past 250 odd years, exploitable flaws in this design have surfaced as the result of the passage of time, the march of technology, and the perversion of our electoral process through gerrymandering and voter suppression.   Many of our elected officials and large corporations have been using those flaws for many years, for their own benefit.

5) Our current political environment discourages good people from getting into government - IMHO, there are exceptions, like Barack Obama, John Kasich, and Bernie Sanders, but for the most past, the only people I've seen making a good difference for our country right now are comedians (John Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, etc., ), billionaires like Bill & Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffet, and celebs like Ophrah Winfree and Matt Damon.  And there is little incentive for any of them to run for office when our system is so screwed up....

I think there are a number of steps which might be taken to alleviate these problems:

A) There should be an amendment to the constitution which limits terms for U.S. Senators, Representatives, and Supreme Court Justices.  Yeah, yeah, I know the founding fathers decided to have the justices serve for life, but that was to keep them apolitical - like that's really worked....

B)  And speaking of the Supreme Court, the "Citizens United" supreme court decision was the most destructive blow to our democracy in history, and congress needs to figure out how to fix it!  To cut back on the staggering amounts of money currently spent on electioneering, and to insure "one man, one vote", congress should set strict limits on the amount of money spent on election TV, internet, or social media advertising - elections should not be "for sale" to the highest bidder, whether it's a corporation, a billionaire, a lobbying group, or a foreign government that's providing the cash.  If we need an amendment to our constitution which "modernizes" it to deal with that issue, so be it!  As for the large amount of false information appearing on social media and the internet, and in TV advertising, we need to create laws which provide penalties in line with the damage done.  Free speech doesn't extend to yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is none, and it shouldn't extend to deliberately misleading the American public into voting for or against a particular candidate by telling lies about them either.  Both can be exceedingly dangerous to the public welfare....

C) A clear, standard set of questions on current governmental issues, appropriate to each national elected office or cabinet position, should be prepared for congress by a bipartisan committee on a regular basis; these questions should be designed to enable the public, and congress, to determine the fitness of each candidate for the office or position they seek.   Each serious candidate (qualification criteria could also be set by congress) should be required to formally answer these questions, in person, on camera, and these Q&A sessions should be locally televised on all major networks.  Answering these questions should be a requirement for being placed on the ballot, or for being submitted as a candidate for all presidential appointed cabinet or supreme court positions.   The release of all candidates' recent tax returns should also be a requirement (we wouldn't want to inadvertently elect someone who was being controlled by - oh say, RUSSIA)...

D) Voting in our elections is both a privilege and a right for U.S. citizens, but it should also be a responsibility - many Americans seem to be becoming more cynical and apathetic toward the electoral process every year, with good reason....  Voting should be easier, available through any of a number of electronic means with a common, secure interface, and should be a requirement for things like getting and retaining passports and driver's licenses, obtaining unemployment or other forms of welfare, receiving Social Security, etc.  Technology is being used by nefarious agents to attack our election processes, but technology can also be used to protect them!

And finally, a little advice for our current President:  stay away from social  media, and try to say as little as possible whenever you're in public - you're embarrassing yourself and the country....  ("Avatar" reference: "Try to use big words...".)

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