Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Deer Hunting Poser

I pride myself on being Texan. At certain times, I often shake my head in disbelief by such association. There are times I remain convinced there are certain types of evolutionary misfits, not limited to what I’ll refer to as x-inlaws which make raising young men difficult. As a Texan, I am compelled to speak. I am speaking of the nonsense directed to young boys which must be undone time to time by explaining the meaning of words, the occasional ramifications of actions, and the often necessary reinforcement of how a man should be measured. I am speaking of what is was described to me as a sad ritual being given the name deer hunting. I think about the etymology of the word and how it has been morphed and perverted to mean to do nothing and wait for a chance to shoot something. I think this is scary concept. These people actually think it is OK to set up feed bait and to set up cameras. These people let their prey get accustomed to feeding at specific times. These people learn their prey's behavior. Then, out of their own appeal for machismo gratification, these people then go into hiding and wait for their opportunity to ambush their prey. To take advantage of the baited. To sneak attack the unsuspecting. These people call this hunting. These people are posers merely pretending they are acting as men. Most reasonable people would demand some aspect of ‘hunt’ involved. Perhaps some skill, or some effort against nature, if that is your thing - at least one should be honest about it. These activities have more in common with watching football or farming than hunting. At its worst, this activity is is little better than drug dealing as it is an opportunistic hobby that takes advantage of the weak and mislead. At its best, it is a passive activity wholly unrelated to the nature of hunting or even ranching. Ever get close to a bull and tend to his needs? That is danger. For myself, I understood early in life if you want to hunt, go hunting. If you cannot, then do not. It would be like barbecuing in a microwave. It simply is not technically possible. Go out for some sashimi or Mediterranean instead. Do not confuse yourself or others by calling it something it clearly is not. Maybe take up fishing, but try not to cheat others and yourself. After all, what is the lesson being taught here? Just sit back and wait and thing to come to you and shoot it?

No thank you. I often wonder - could such a person really hunt? I doubt it.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Star Trek and George Takei

Why I like Star Trek and not Star Wars.

In an interview with George Takei, He was asked about how JJ Abrams sought him out for a bit of advice regarding the upcoming movie.

"You know, what's interesting, JJ Abrams was very concerned about how he was going to cast," said Takei. "He asked me if I'd have breakfast with him. He told me he'd been interviewing many actors for the part. He tried as hard as he could to find an actor of Japanese ancestry, which is what I am, but he found another actor who he thought would be wonderful.

So he wanted to get my reaction to that. "I assured him. I told him about Gene Roddenberry's philosophy. Another interesting story is when I was being interviewed, I asked Gene how he came up with the name of Sulu. He said he wanted the Starship Enterprise to be a metaphor for Earth. So he wanted the people to represent regions of this planet. So Uhura was African and her name was based on a Swahili word. "So he was looking for an Asian name for what would be my character. Now Asian names are very nationality specific; Tanaka is Japanese, Wong is Chinese, Kim is Korean. Now Asia also has a reputation for warfare and colonization. Roddenberry didn't want to bring that into that character. So he was looking at a map of Asia and trying to solve that dilemma. He saw there was a sea called the Sulu. It's in the South China Sea area. He thought, 'the waters of the sea touch all shores.' So that's how he came up with the name Sulu.

"We were very conscious of racial issues," he said. "Gene Roddenberry's philosophy was the Starship Enterprise was a metaphor for Earth. The strength of the starship was in its diversity coming together, working concert as a team. So we were conscious of differences, but those differences that made the Enterprise that much stronger."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The GoP is Gone.

I hear a lot of whining about the Republican Party. What happened? Well the Christian Right happened. Those that prefer economics and other sensibilities sent it bye bye. To recover, the GoP must abandon the Fundamentalists which should join their brethren in the countries in the Mid East where stoning is still in fashion. The GoP had succumbed to a hostile take over by these people and any base of so-called Reagan Democrats soon became history. Yes, we the people, in order to form a more perfect union need a thinking person's leader. We got one. If you we believe we have too much government now, it is because of the last 8 years lacked any meaningful governing. In any sector the government is responsible for, we are worse off. That is not opinion, that is a metric and measurable. Science, space, defense, medical, roads, - need I go on? The required response we need is not less or handing more governing over to Monday morning pray groups in the Oval Office as W had, presumably hoping for some divine intervention, but maybe leadership? You see, conservatism requires less government. A non intrusive government. But what is left must function. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, so whomever we give it too, they need a little oversight. The often touted belief that because there has not been a terrorist attack is evidence of good governance is bogus logical fallacy and invalid because the lack a attack is not an affirmation of good governance. It simply means we have not have been attacked before 2001 as after. The reason is just because.

Having church and state blended into government the way W. afforded access was just terrible. Remember JFK? The fear with JFK was the Pope would have a direct telephone line to the White House giving the Catholic church a little too much access. JFK understood the constitution and his role. He talked about this point and reassured us. Today, we look at this and collectively shrug like it is normal to allow Evangelicals to advise our leaders. So today, any morality speak from the Christian Right and its influence on our government has to be considered suspect. Even if their hearts were pure, the mere ideology of itself is offensive. Consider that someone who believes we should have limits placed on our behavior because they will affect our future in an after life is poor reasoning and a cop out. The reasoning should be because it is the right thing to do. Threats of eternal damnation? That is why I should behave? That seems possibly empty as the threat of Don't make me turn this car around! What if I do not bite off on this gem offered by a minority religion when compared to the rest of the planet? What about the rest of the galaxy? What you think that is a silly thing to speculate on? What did the Pope think about the poor savages in what we now refer to as Florida? Did all those people go straight to hell before being saved? Post mortem baptisms? The Mormon's do this today and one of these clowns ran for Office of the President of the United States.

Does anyone have a right to push this agenda on me? What if I do not want to squander my life as you would your own because I would believe you get only one chance to not screw up? That is, we should do good things because we should. Not because of fear of punishment. But you see, that is the point of most religions. Control of resources and just plain control. Can you have a soul? A spirit? Maybe - but I'll cross that bridge myself because one is about resource management the other one is not. Man made religion. Perhaps a spirit cannot be made nor unmade. Best to leave it alone. Best to quiz our elected leaders on the finer points of law. Those man made laws.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Miss...I'll have that drink after all, make it a double!

Flying on a major carrier yesterday I saw something quite interesting on our bumpy ride. A small jet. Something like a Gulfstream approaching us from the front on our starboard side and quite close. This seemed well within 3000-5000 feet zone below us as it zipped by. We were on cruise and did not divert. We just kept on cruising. The other plane diverted a little, or at least was in the process of the attempt. I saw a lot of black smoke coming from her engines. Oddly, I had just had my camera out taking pictures of a minor fuel leak and just missed this. As for the leak, I am told by a credible source this is OK as long they fix it within few days for this type of problem. I can take fuel seeping, but I like my airspace spacey. Turbulence is a funny thing, you can drop a bit and into an oncoming lane. I think we did that.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Children believe in Santa because they want something. The elderly, desperate, and the infirm pray to God...

For some this realization takes a while. For others, failure is simply an opportunity to do something different. Consider that someone could spend their entire productive life believing they were expending considerable resources towards the goals of making the company they work for successful, sacrificing much only to have these beliefs shattered when they became aware these goals are not necessarily shared by the management they work for. Everyone fails in the event the company fails because of ethical reasons of senior management, or worse - in case of criminal conduct resulting in catastrophic losses for the company. Often it is very personal for those were led to believe in the better angels within us. Whereas, often from the business perspective, there is detachment, cold and hard, day to day realities. A different and insensitive reality not easily understood. Perhaps not by anyone. Perhaps done by desperation of the honorable. Perhaps the last action of the incompetant. Even in the best of times, the often heard response has been a round of ethical training without a visible target like some clumsy hammer of policy to solve a social problem which is not unlike some kind of panacea or piƱata where the idea is to hit it (and everyone) hard enough until enough ethical candy will spill out. Instead, would not some actual focus on the actual problems would yield better results and be perceived as more genuine by all? For this reason, there is the realization in the last two decades of the disposable worker. There always has been this concept, but this has moved into the so-called white collar area. This idea allows the employee the freedom to know that management will never have their interest at heart. This employee must know when it is time to go. Faith is something they must reserve for themselves in the quarter by quarter climate. But this attitude may well be a relic of history. There may be drift toward more small businesses ownership. This is the reason small business is so important to the United States. Today more than ever people want to take solace in being part of a company that believes they are part of the solution, where effort will be rewarded and leadership is honorable. Perhaps we will see a greater trend of compensation of executive leadership tied not just short term stock gains and contract life of the previous decade, but long term success of the company combined with the resurgence of shared ownership of equity ownership by all stakeholders in longer term sense. In the end, the person who has varied life experiences and those who provide good examples of leadership are going to find them self happier and more able to see what matters, what is and not worth their time. They will not be so myopic to believe that everyone has their best interest to heart. Nor will they be so jaded to believe that everyone in a leadership every role is not worthy of their support and their respect. This will allow some balance. Just do not let that work thing become your identity. Save your own soul.

Consider: Children believe in Santa because they want something. The elderly, desperate, and the infirm pray to God because they lost something.