Why Do We Not Insist On Getting What We Pay For?

February 16th, 2014

So in 2013 we were supposed to see about a 75% increase in hurricane activity. Turns out there was virtually no activity (link). If they can’t get any where near correctly predicting this (and 2013 was certainly not the only year they were off), why do so many believe it when they are told of man-made global warming (MMGW), which is much harder to prove than predicting a hurricane season’s activity? This is especially puzzling to me when it’s publicly stated that there is no proof, only at best only a “consensus” (which, my friends, has no place in science as science deals in theories and laws).

Yet, on the other hand, we have tangible things such as chemical leaks into bodies of water, like West Virginia. What happened is known, who did it is known. And yet, the story washed away quicker than contaminants in a source of drinking water. So why then, for something that is known to happen for known reasons (the exact opposite of MMGW) is this not addressed in the media or political circles any where near the level of MMGW?

Still Burning

July 23rd, 2013

Ah, people, I am still here.  Yet another self-imposed exile.  So much Burn.  Too much Burn?  I’m not torched yet.  Just thinking back on what we’ve been through the last six months… wow.  Hard to believe it’s only been about six months.  It really seems like everything is burning, not only nationally but right down to our own localities.  Man, do I sometimes get tired of paying attention to all of it.

There is so much absence of backbone at all levels of government anymore that nothing of any good consequence seems to get done.  Of course, I mean good consequence for the common man.  We all know that there are those that benefit from the few things that do actually get done, it’s just that they aren’t the stated recipients.  Five years ago I thought maybe I was being naive or jumping the gun on thoughts like that, but five years later the common man is still in the same boat (yeah, it’s still floating – just barely – we should be happy, right?).  And, for the majority, we just sit by and watch it all happen.  I really wonder what percentage of people has ever reached out to any of their representatives on any level.  So many people just running their mouths behind their keyboard or phone.  Ugh, seems to me such a conundrum.  You got a bunch of supposedly pissed off people on all sides, yet they put up no real fight.  Are we all such masochists in need of the Burn?

 

Beyond Newtown

December 18th, 2012

We all know we can’t prevent 100% of these types of events from happening again, but that is no excuse to not act or be disingenuous.  A best effort needs to be put forward.  We must act swiftly – with honesty, courage and strong will.

Before I get to the individual items, I want to put forth a theory.  I strongly believe that it will be decided that first person shooter (FPS) video games in addition to a psychological disorder were the ultimate cause of this massacre.  In addition, I think it may be possible that a deep-rooted memory of being made fun of etc. as a child in the school played a role.  It’s a possibility also that children were the main targets because they would be easier to attack than adults, resulting in a higher level of “kills.”  I in no way intend to be insensitive with the previous sentence, particularly the word “kills.”  I am only relating the event to how it would be referred to in a video game.  I really did not want to write that sentence because it seems so impersonal and insensitive, but in the end I deemed it necessary.

Here are the areas that I believe deserve our focus:

  • I know first hand that played often enough FPS games can actually skew reality for a person, if only for a brief moment.  We need to control the sale and distribution of these games in the same way we do pornography.  Additionally, parents need to take a bigger role in controlling access to this material.
  • If you add any mental condition that would affect a person’s conscience, ability to judge right from wrong or perception of reality you multiply the FPS games’ negative effects.

 

this is a post in progress and will be continued herein…

Remembering Newtown 2

December 18th, 2012

I could probably go on a lot longer with what the parents are going through.  But, I feel I need to move on to others.  On a related note, it’s been great to see all items that people from all across the country have sent to Newtown.

I don’t want to forget the other staff at the school and the first responders.  I have had to keep myself from envisioning what they saw as they ran and walked through the halls and classrooms.  I would imagine that the typical first responder in the past may have seen one or two dead bodies at a time.  Here you have over two dozen bodies, add to that twenty little children, add to that twenty little children gunned down with up to multiple shots.  How does a first responder handle that, let alone a teacher or staff member?

I have to stop now, the imagery is more than I care to handle at this time.

Remembering Newtown

December 16th, 2012

I really wasn’t sure what, if anything, I would write about it.  So much to feel, so much to think.  And if I did decide to write something, what would be the deciding factor?

It didn’t take long, one day.

I was just going through some news lines.  There was just a small quote, buried in some random article.  I don’t remember who it was, other than a citizen of Newton.  Nor do I remember the exact words, but I remember what she wanted to know – do the rest of you feel like us, or is this just another headline you’ll forget in a day?

We feel and will not forget.

Personally, I have not felt such sorrow, emptiness and longing since 9/11.

I feel the fear of the young victims and witnesses.  That hurts me the most.  So, so much taken away.  It’s a cliche to say their innocence was taken, but what better to say it?  Go watch a 6 year old for an hour.

I feel the fear, anger and despair of the parents who heard of the massacre and rushed over only to have to wait, wait, wait… I feel the utter sickness, torment and grief of a parent who to ID the child by a photograph, wanting so badly to see the child in person.  I feel the blunt force memory battering a mother or father’s mind… what did I last say to my child, when did I last touch my child, when did I last tell her that I loved her?  I feel the anger of knowing the killer is gone, and along with him quite possibly the true answer.  Why did you do this?  Why an innocent child?  Why twenty innocent children?  I feel the silence of a home where there was a single child.  I feel the fatigue of many sleepless nights, perhaps sleeping on the floor next to a child’s now empty bed.  I feel the stress begin to lead to anger and short tempers between a husband and wife… an argument… only for both to break down in tears again in each others arms.

To be  continued.

Self-imposed Exile

December 5th, 2012

Well, obviously it’s been few and far between for the Burn.  It was an intentional decision.  I figured that I’d step outside of it all for a while, especially during the election.  Sometimes it’s best to stop, look around and maybe re-evaluate your point of reference.

Given that it’s “the season” I just wanted chime back in with an uplifting story.  The Texans’ wide receiver Andre Johnson is a class act.  Check out what he’s done for these kids.  And in case you missed the details, I’ll tell you that it said that in the short time they had, each of the kids picked out stuff not just for themselves but for others as well.  Here’s to the good old spirit of giving…

Link

Good Luck With That (wow, it’s been a while)

July 20th, 2012

I don’t know who is going to take the trophy in November.  I know it probably won’t be the person I vote for.  All I know is that the game winner is going to have one hell of a lot of problems to deal with.

It looks like we’re heading into recession again.  Unemployment is up in 27 states this month.  The Fed has a dire outlook and insists Congress do something fast.  Housing cannot get any traction.  Wall Street is still completely out of control.  Gas is $3.50 per gallon.  We have a drought that has not been this bad in half a century.  Europe is in worse shape than we are.

We, and others, are in a shadow war with Iran.  The war drums are pounding louder all the time.  It seems only a matter of time before it escalates into full blown war.  We cannot afford this and I am not talking money.  Our service men and women are killing themselves in unprecedented numbers.  Our out of control government has forced this issue by letting the Iraq and Afghanistan wars go on far too long and not giving our people time to come home, rest, rejuvenate and relive what it’s like to be with family and friends (and get to take more than a two-minute cold shower every two weeks).  And beyond Iran, what about Syria?  Are we headed there also?

When 2014 rolls around, it is said that 30 million more people will have health care.  That’s 30 million more people who need to see primary physicians.  We have a shortage of primary physicians today.  What happens when you dump 30 million more people into the system without any planning for the obvious shortage?  This is going to rock our health care system.  If there is some sort of plan for how this is to be dealt with, it certainly has not been communicated to us at all.

Those are some major things that will have to be dealt with.  Those are things that we ourselves created and are aware of.  Now, of course, there is something else to throw into the mix.  What happens if we have another massive natural disaster like Katrina?  What if we have another terrorist attack like 9/11?  What if we have both?  We cannot plan for the unseen, folks.  That is why it is all the more important to deal with the issues we know we have at hand.  And yet, all we seem to have is the “do-nothing <fill in the blank>”.

We’re less than four months away from some team’s victory.  Less than six months from either four-more-years or four years of something else.  Regardless of which team wins, you can be sure they’ll be throwing high-fives and slapping butts.  The question is, will the spectators be wondering what all the partying is about or jumping up and down in unison?

Gaseous Expulsion

April 17th, 2012

Can we please get a break from the election time bullshit?  Mr. Obama, gee – thanks a lot for your asking Congress to look into gas price manipulation at this very convenient time .  For quite some time now gas prices have been at twice the price of what they were when you first took office.  Why all the concern now?  The fools will never know, right?  Sadly, many will not, so perhaps you’ll get away with this.

Seems funny to me, also, that virtually no one even brings your name or administration into the conversation when discussing gas prices.  Bush seemed to get the daily beating.  Granted, Americans have gotten used to much higher gas prices, but this polar shift in the blame game is quite blatant.  But of course there is no bias in the media as we all know.  In the rare instance when you are are asked about it, you crack some joke about people driving around in SUVs and give no real answer.  Your responses are as priceless as Gingrich saying he would have gas at $2.50/gal if he were in office.

I, for one, am all for higher gas prices, specifically by raising taxes on it – so I’ve got no dog in this fight.  It’s ridiculous that the federal gas tax has not risen at all since 1993.  We have crumbling roads and other infrastructure and yet we haven’t raised the federal gas tax in nearly two decades?  Can I get a big, solid “WTF?!” on that one, please?  Just remember, my fellow Americans, both sides would rather have shitty, crumbling roads and bridges than risk “their team losing the game” by raising valid, important taxes like the federal gas tax.

Obama’s War

March 11th, 2012

I said it a while back and I’ll say it again – it’s far past time to GTFO of Afghanistan.  OBL is dead and gone.  All we’ve had in the last six months (as far as the rest of the world knows) is activity which makes the US look like the enemy.  The US is burning Korans, urinating on deceased bodies and now gunning down innocent people (many of which were children).  We have to get out.  The bad apples are rotting the bushel.  Phone calls with apologies to leaders will not cut it with the general population.

Obama said he would fix our reputation.  It’s not gotten any better and in the last six months it’s probably the worst ever.  It’s been said by many that it’s Obama’s war.  It’s time to end it.

The Man(ning)

March 6th, 2012

Farewell for now, Peyton Manning.  I am no sports guru, but in my opinion you’re the greatest QB ever.  There’s so much more to you than stats, but those alone put you right up at the top.  The other stuff puts you far beyond the others.  For those who can’t see beyond the stats, there’s no use explaining.

You’re one of the few athletes that just blow the rest away.  There’s no reason you should not be NFL man-o-the-year 2011 even though you never played a game.  Look at the results without you.  There’s no denying it, it’s obvious what your absence resulted in.

We may never know if it was your choice to leave, you don’t seem the type to spill the beans to the public.  Yeah, it’s a complicated situation.  Loyalty, camaraderie, the bottom line, reputations, egos, goals, contracts… possibly much more.  My only thought is, I hope it was your choice and not theirs.  But I’ve seen fools and their ways.  We all know how corporations are nowadays.

We’ll all see you soon in whatever capacity it may be.  It’s just a guess but I think you’ll be as cool and down to earth as ever in whatever gig you choose.  Not a fan of the Vols.   Not a fan of the Colts.  But always a fan of the Man.