Saturday, November 28, 2009

Environmental Toll from Warfare---An Environmental Mandate Against War

The American military involvement in the Middle East over a multi-year period calls into question whether President Obama's emphatic pledge to help stop the Global Warming Effect is truly sincere on his part.

It seems obvious that the gargantuan depletion of fossil fuels caused by that U.S. Government-ordered warfare, along with the likely deforestation of much of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, are directly and indirectly aggravating the Global Warming Effect crisis.

It seems to me that if President Obama were truly conscientious about protecting our global environment, he would insist on a monthly and annual press conference at which the U.S. Government provides official estimates about the total number of gallons of oil and total quantity of natural gas, for instance, that have been consumed by the U.S. Armed Forces so far in that warfare.

If our President were truly sincere and truly conscientious as our nation's chief of state, Obama would also insist on offering monthly and annual public statements to the American people and people of other nations as well, about the total deforestation that has occurred as a result of that warfare.

It's also noteworthy that each gallon of oil consumed by the U.S. Armed Forces in that warfare in the Middle East is a gallon of oil less that might have otherwise been available to our entire nation's energy reserve supply. If the United States as a result of that military involvement runs out of fossil fuels inside our own nation 10 years faster than if we had not been involved in that warfare----this during a time period in which development of renewable energy sources for the U.S. will take many years to fully accomplish---that could have the ironic effect of compromising our national security at home.

Urgent Need for annual Platonic Relationships Promotion Award

The pervasive contempt for platonic (non-sexual) human relationships in 21st Century American society suggests an urgent need for an annual awards tradition.

I'm very hopeful that some non-profit philanthropic foundation will offer a generous annual award and financial prize to an individual, group of individuals, or non-profit organization in the United States that in the most recent calendar year or multi-year period contributed toward greater appreciation for the beneficial and benevolent role in each person's life from strictly-mutual-consent, non-sexual (platonic) personal relationships as well as mutually-constructive and platonic career-related relationships.

I was reminded of this need when I recently watched an MTV channel on television which suggested that each human being is eternally at the mercy of wildly libidinal impulses within himself. MTV conveys the message that if all of life is a stage, then every human being chooses to identify himself on that stage primarily through a series of near-naked poses on behalf of passion. The MTV songs and accompanying imagery fail to indicate that any human being is actually capable of a deep sense of platonic purpose or moral or religious purpose in his life; nor, according to MTV, are human beings capable of a deeper sense of true and convincing romantic love toward another human being.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Need for an American Association of Idea Persons

As someone who takes great pride in my ability to generate an abundance of brainstorming ideas in a career-related context, I strongly support the establishment of an American Association of Idea Persons.

Many employers in the United States do hire creative individuals as designated full-time or part-time "idea persons."

Unfortunately, though, I myself am not aware of any current nationwide professional organization that currently serves and addresses the needs of professionally employed "idea persons" from a variety of industries.

That nationwide professional organization could, among other things, offer its dues-paying individual members the opportunity to each submit free job-wanted ads or free employment-position-wanted ads in that professional organization's newsletter or at its website. This, in turn, could help each "idea person" in the United States and Canada to land a high-paying and very creative permanent job that he greatly enjoys.

In Search of a Reputable Media Company That Pays for Story Ideas

As a freelance writer and current dues-paying individual member of the National Writers Union (an AFL-CIO-affiliated labor union owned by the United Auto Workers), I am finding it very difficult to identify ANY reputable and wholesome media company that pays freelancers for submission of story idea possibilities.

Since the time I have available each week for pursuit of journalism projects is very limited, I have a great need to identify one wholesome and idealistic media company that is willing to pay me a freelance fee each month in exchange for submission of 50 or more story ideas from myself that that media company likes.

It would be clearly understood that I would not be writing the actual story or article relating to any particular story idea I submit to that employer. Instead, I would provide dozens of story ideas per se as background material for possible use by that media company as it assigns stories or topics to its reporting staff or editorial-writing staff.

The advantages I offer to media companies receptive to that type of freelance relationship with me include:

(1) I have a great flair for identifying creative and inspirational and helpful story idea possibilities about a wide range of topics---including numerous story ideas with a nationwide or statewide scope to them.

(2) I am myself guided by wholesome moral values and strong idealism, which lend substance to story ideas that I could generate for a media company.

(3) I have a Master's Degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, a public university with a worldwide reputation for excellence in journalism instruction.

(4) I was previously employed full-time as a newspaper reporter for a variety of newspapers or magazines in Texas, Florida, Minnesota, and Massachusetts. Those newspapers included "Worcester Magazine" in Worcester, Mass.; "The Journal" daily newspaper in New Ulm, Minnesota; "Baytown Sun" in Baytown, Texas; "Pampa Daily News" in Pampa, Texas; "Sweetwater Reporter" in Sweetwater, Texas; "Palestine Herald-Press" in Palestine, Texas; "Big Spring Herald" in Big Spring, Texas; "Denver City Press" in Denver City, Texas; "El Campo Leader-News" in El Campo, Texas; "Fort Myers News-Press" of Fort Myers, Florida, a widely-admired member of the Gannet newspaper chain; "Broward Times" in Tamarac, Florida, a newspaper owned by "The Miami Herald" daily newspaper of Miami, Florida. In addition, I was employed full-time for a year as a copy editor at "The Patriot Ledger" daily newspaper in Quincy, Mass. "The Patriot Ledger" is a daily newspaper employer of mine in the mid-1980s that also gave me the opportunity to write feature stories and oped columns from time to time.

(5) I would not expect to receive any additional employee benefits from the media company employing me as a freelancer, other than the freelance fee that would be paid to myself on a monthly basis by that media company. Payment of that monthly freelance fee to myself would be strictly contingent on that media company liking enough of the story ideas I'd submitted to it in the most recent month-long period. This "outsourcing" aspect of my proposed relationship to some media company in my future will save lots of money for that employer, since that media-company employer will have no need to provide me with any health insurance benefits, any workers' comp coverage, any life insurance benefits, or any 401-K retirement plan, for instance.

(6) I currently do not have any ongoing relationship or contractual involvement with any media company or media entity of any type. This protects my integrity as a year-round freelancer for some media company that might contact me by telephone or write me a letter and directly invite me to freelance for that media company. There would be no risk of conflict-of-interest of any type relating to my freelance work for the media company I agree to sell story ideas to on a year-round basis.

(7) All of my freelance work for the media company that I agree to sell story ideas to on a year-round basis, could be pursued away from that media company's offices. I excel at pursuing research on my own, including at first-rate libraries in Austin, Texas, and I would E-mail my weekly or bi-weekly or monthly story ideas to that media company from my personal computer. Otherwise, if that employer prefers, I could simply FAX each of my story-ideas letters to that media company.

I welcome any and all E-mail letters or letters or phone calls from any and all wholesome media companies that are interested in purchasing story ideas from me on a year-round basis.

Advice to President Obama: Appoint White House Ombudsman and a federal Youth Liaison

If President Obama were to call me and ask for advice, I would offer him two specific suggestions on how he could significantly enhance his own reputation as our nation's Chief of State:

(1) President Obama could appoint a White House Ombudsman, who would accept and actively solicit complaints about alleged impropriety by any White House official or any federal employee or federal official. Those complaints could be made by any member of the general public, any member of Congress, and by any and all employees of federal, state, and local government agencies.
That White House Ombudsman, who would hold independent status in regard to the President, would investigate and respond publicly to each and every major complaint that he receives.
The appointment of an independent White House Ombudsman at the federal level might help to prevent major scandals from developing within the White House. The Ombudsman, by identifying and investigating allegations of corruption or other impropriety at an early point, could speed up the process through which any and all incipient scandals involving the White House or any other federal agency, for that matter, are addressed adequately and in a fully conscientious and open manner.

(2) President Obama could appoint a White House Youth Liaison or U.S. Government Youth Liaison. That federal Youth Liaison would serve as an invaluable contact person between the federal government and our entire nation's community of young persons under age 19.
That Youth Liaison might also be asked to attend Cabinet meetings and offer his evaluation of the expected impact on the millions of youths in this nation from any particular proposed federal legislation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Christmas Season "Wish List" for American Society and U.S. Government

Among the many items in my own Christmas "Wish List" for American society and the U.S. Government are:

----that a prestigious annual nationwide awards tradition and generous financial prize would be established to reward and publicly honor one or more of the drug-treatment, alcohol-treatment, or tobacco-treatment programs open to the general public that in the most recent 12-month period or multi-year period had a proven record of outstanding success and excellence at curing people of each of those injurious addictions.

---that each of the 10 U.S. cities and towns with the highest density of development and the lowest per-capita crime rates, when those two criteria are both taken into account for an overall score rating each and every U.S. city and town, would receive special recognition for land conservation, energy efficiency, and crime deterrence. Those cities deserve awards and financial prizes for helping to foster a healthy sense of community inside their municipalities.

---that each and every city and town in the United States will be made as pedestrian-friendly and jogger-friendly and bicyclist-friendly as possible through the construction of podiatrist-approved medically-healthful sidewalks throughout the entirety of each and every city, town, and metro area.

---that each and every child or American citizen under age 30 who wishes to improve his public-speaking skills and locution, could receive that type of assistance during that period of his life.

---that Americans addicted to obscene or profane speech could, upon request, obtain immediate enrollment in a profane-speech-addiction treatment program that helps them to develop a lifelong habit for the remainder of their life of consistently using clean (not foul) language in their career and everyday life.

---that President Obama would give doznens of public speeches, including videotaped speeches aimed at our nation's youths, that help promote the cause of either quitting smoking or not smoking. It is obvious that if President Obama were to give speeches on that subject that could be televised on behalf of the American Cancer Society, millions of youths and Americans under age 30 could find the courage, with his help, to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes. And that, in turn, would significantly enhance the medical and emotional and moral health of American society.

---that American society would develop an effective nationwide program, including through educational programs, to prevent congenital birth defects. That program could emphasize, among other things, that any female American who becomes pregnant is morally obligated to never consume any alcohol at any time during her pregnancy.
This, in turn, would help to significantly reduce the number of Americans who are handicapped or disabled or have major medical problems in their youth.

---that there will be a massive increase in the number of American cities and metro areas served by a first-rate and comprehensive and energy-efficient subterranean subway system of intra-city and inter-city public rail-transportation.

----that the U.S. Congress will impose a permanent ban on any and all one-story building construction anywhere in the United States. That ban will promote land conservation and energy conservation by helping to reduce urban sprawl and unconscionable wastage of land throughout this entire nation.

----that American society will help to promote and honor many of our nation's alcohol-free and tobacco-free and illicit-drug-free Americans who have made outstanding contributions to American society. That publicity campaign could be directed to our nation's youths and other young persons under age 30, who would particularly benefit from learning about drug-free, alcohol-free, tobacco-free Americans' success stories.

---that American society will develop a zero-tolerance policy toward attempted homicide as well as toward homicide. Our nation could achieve this goal through a proposed Constitutional Amendment to our nation's Constitution that authorizes a court of law in any U.S. state or territory to impose the death sentence or death penalty upon any person who had been convicted of either attempted homicide or homicide in that court of law. Any and all persons convicted of either attempted homicide or homicide would, after all of their legal appeals granted to them had failed, be executed or capitally punished, by court order. By effectively deterring both attempted homicide and homicide, the United States of America will achieve a massive reduction in the per-capita incidence of violence in American society.

-----that professional race-car driving and professional boxing would be eliminated from American society because they are both too violent and injurious.

---that the rules of varsity high school football, collegiate varsity football, and professional football would be revised to significantly reduce the number of injuries sustained by varsity football players at the high school or college level, and by professional football players.

----that the United States would insist on fully and comprehensively embracing the energy-saving and efficient metric system, and would participate in international conferences or conventions aimed at achieving agreement among all nations about the standards for measurement being used, including the standards for citing on roadway signs how much farther a motorist has to drive in order to read a cited destination.

-----that the United States would establish a very firm "zero-tolerance for corruption in government" policy that would bar anyone convicted of corruption in government from ever again holding any appointive office or elective office at any government-owned institution or agency or governing body.

----the the U.S. Government would establish a special year-round "Eliminate Corruption in Government" 24-hour-a-day hotline phone service that invites phone calls and E-mail letters from persons in such places as Austin, Texas; Cedar Park, Texas; Anchorage, Alaska; Quincy, Massachusetts; Houston, Texas; or Minneapolis, Minnesota, for instance, who themselves wish to report to the government any evidence they have observed that one or more local-government officials, state government officials, or federal government officials, or any person employed by a government-owned or government-sponsored institution, regardless of whether they are a tenured university professor or associate professor, may be guilty of one or more acts of corruption or may have violated the law in some context.

---that total nationwide participation in recycling of each and every manufactured good that can be recycled---including glass products, plastic products, aluminum products, etc.----will increase dramatically.

---that American society would offer our nation's youths and their parents a nationwide network of outstanding and teacher-certified educationally enriching amusement parks. In this way, our nation's amusement parks could be wedded to our national societal goal of promoting very strong intellectual and creative achievement by all of our nation's youths. There is every hope that each and every amusement park owner could be encouraged to offer a greater variety of intellectually stimulating offerings for youths at his amusement park or amusement parks.

---that American society will be ranked number one among all nations in per-capita energy efficiency; level of reliance on renewable-energy sources; and level of reliance upon safe and energy-efficient mass-transportation services for personal transportation and transportation to work.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is U.S. Government Ignoring Major Issues in U.S. of today?

One of the implications from news-media coverage of the U.S. Government is that we have a federal government devoting 60 percent of its attention toward the Middle East.
As for the remaining 40 percent of the federal government's cited range of interests, according to news media accounts, they almost never or only rarely include, for instance:

(1) containment of urban sprawl throughout the United States, urban sprawl being inextricably linked to wastage of fossil fuels; unsightly urban development; nnihilation of a sense of rational community that derives from a city being pedestrian-friendly; global deforestation; and the Global Warming Effect environmental crisis.
I myself have never once heard about a White House Conference on Urban Sprawl Containment or U.S. Senate Hearings on Urban Sprawl Deterrence.

(2) development of plans for a nationwide and comprehensive recycling program emphasizing curbside pick-up service on all applicable recyclable items for each and every household and business and employer anywhere in the United States.

(3) plans for strengthening a nationwide network of successful drug-treatment, alcohol-treatment, and tobacco-treatment programs, the goal being to help each and every American citizen with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco products, who wishes to be cured of any of those vile addictions.

(4) nationwide plans for significantly reducing the nationwide recividivism rate among all individuals who have been convicted of a felony crime anywhere in the United States.

(5) development of nationwide strategies for prevention or deterrence of pederastic crimes, or sex crimes that victimize persons legally classified as minors.

(5) development of a nationwide strategy for promoting the use of consistently civil conduct and clean speech on a daily basis by as many Americans as possible.

Need for U.S. Government Monthly Report on New Construction tied to Renewable Energy

If President Obama and the United States Congress were to contact me and ask me for advice, I would ask them to please estatablish a new monthly tradition of publicizing to all of the American people, and to the entire world, the percentage and number of new construction projects in the U.S. begun in the most recent previous month that feature construction of a commercial or residential real-estate property relying significantly upon renewable energy sources.

I would also urge President Obama and the U.S. Congress to please insist on the establishment of minimal nationwide, federally-imposed, standards relating to any and all new construction projects. Each and every new building being erected in this nation should be required by the federal government to meet certain minimal standards for energy conservation, public safety, fire-prevention, and a cited minimal number of years that that building as constructed is expected to endure.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Urgent Need for an Institute for the Study of Internet Commercial Fraud

One of the unnerving and decidedly alienating implications from fraud on the Internet these days is that a shockingly large number of Americans---and persons operating in other nations as well---are willing to engage in flagrantly dishonest business communications on the Internet that are aimed at defrauding law-abiding Americans of their hard-earned money.

Not only does the United States of today have an apparent need for an Institute for the Study of Internet Commercial Fraud.

We also have an urgent need for a nationwide network of well-staffed treatment programs aimed at helping to cure habitual liars and thieves of their penchant for pathological mendacity. It is painfully apparent that a significant share of all Americans of today are willing to tell flagrant lies on the Internet in the hopes of stealing money from those who believe them.

Internet fraud is so pervasive that I am surprised by the days of my life when I do not receive a fraudulent commercial E-mail solicitation on the Internet. Many of the fraudulent solicitations I've received refer to a recently deceased person in Africa or Asia or Great Britain who desperately wanted to leave money behind to myself, even though he had never met me before in his entire life. This type of obviously fraudulent message to myself, in turn, significantly undermines my own outlook toward each of the foreign nations, if any, where fraudulent E-mail solicitations directed at myself do, in fact, originate.

In Response to Questions about my Progressive Prohibitionist Religion

In response to the many questions I've received from Austin-area residents about my one-member (myself, only) and non-proselytizing Progressive Prohibitionist Religion, I would like to offer the following information:


ANSWER: No, it it not a Christian religion. Nor is it Judaistic, Muslim, Shinto-Buddhist, Quaker, MCC-affiliated, Christian Scientist, Mormon, or Unitarian, for that matter.


ANSWER: My religion is limited to permanently alcohol-free, permanently tobacco-free, permanently illicit-drug-free, facially-cleanshaven (no facial hair), civil and law-abiding, conscientiously vigilant, law-enforcement-minded, consistently clean-talking, honest and honorable persons with no felony-conviction record. My noble new religion, a religion for true gentlemen and true ladies, is also limited to persons who have no previous addiction to illicit drugs or alcohol. These are just a few of the membership-eligiblity requirements. This, of course, eliminates a lot of individuals from consideration as prospective members. My religion is an honor society, and this helps explain why my religion is so very, very selective in its membership-eligibility requirements.


ANSWER: No one has. This is a further reminder that my own religion definitely does NOT hold anyone hostage or kidnap anyone or seek to "deprogram" anyone or pressure anyone into applying for membership, for that matter. My religion is freedom-loving, and reveres the legal and Constitutional right of any non-member to choose to apply to join a denomination other than my Progressive Prohibitionist Religion.


ANSWER: One religious issue is the current dearth of mini-essays that might offer a tangibly helpful and pragmatically enlightening "thought for the day" to idealistic and honorable Americans with a healthy moral vision. My religion will strive to sponsor each day the daily publication, including on the Internet, of a "quick read" mini-essay of 10 paragraphs or less, say, that offers substantive insights into the world of today and into values that can help to guide a person in his life. For instance, one pragmatically helpful mini-essay might note which of the current mutual funds available to investors are currently the most beneficial to the environment, by investing in eco-friendly companies, while also at the same time excluding investment in the alcohol or tobacco industries.


ANSWER: The informal reports you've heard on that are correct. My Progressive Prohibitionist Religion is implicitly deistic as well as rationally deistic. My non-Christian and modern religion emphasizes that deism itself is best manifested through empirically verifiable or factual observations and statements and tangible contributions during one's own lifetime by human beings. Religion should explore what we do know, along with what modern science is helping human civilization to add to our entire world's body of knowledge.


ANSWER: No, I do not. I don't presume to have a personal relationship with any cited "deity." To make any such "religious" claim of my having a one-to-one "hotline" access to a deity would, to me, be both delusional and narcissistic. But I do feel confident that I can, in fact, use reasoning skills and engage in mutual-consent dialogues and research and mutual-consent projects with other human beings that provide me with solutions to life's challenges.


ANSWER: My religion is definitely NOT atheism. Atheism is negativism: atheism is dreary nihilism. My own religion, to the contrary, offers solid and constructive and specific values for living. Also, my own religion heartily embraces the idea of deism in very pragmatic and empirically observable terms.


ANSWER: Not at all. Non-marital, marital, and premarital sex, provided it is legal and involves mutual consent, does not alarm me in the least. In fact, I have publicly praised vasectomy surgeons for the noble contributions to human civilization they offer. Those vasectomy operations, as you know, greatly enhance a gentleman's ability to enjoy a mutual-consent sexual romantic life without any risk of his impregnating his female sex partner. So what the vasectomy surgeons offer to human civilization is quite a noble service, freeing women from unwanted pregnancies and the accompanying possible need for an abortion.


ANSWER: You are correct in noting that my Progressive Prohibitionist Religion places primary emphasis on platonic relationships and platonic relationship skills. The fact is that for virtually every American citizen of today, 99 to 100 percent of all of his or her relationships in life are, in fact, platonic or defacto platonic. They're platonic because they do not involve any sexual penetration per se. My new religion maintains that platonic relationships between persons not related to each other have traditionally been neglected. This is truly tragic, when you consider that platonic relationships have a huge bearing on your own level of happiness and medical as well as emotional health.


ANSWER: One recent Swedish study even found that personal friendships generally have more impact on a persons' cardiovascular health than does his relationship with his sexual romantic partner or spouse.


ANSWER: Yes, I do. I definitely believe that we should assign highest possible priority in our modern new religion to helping befriend children and other persons under age 30. It seems to me that mutually-beneficial, mutually-respectful, and healthy inter-generational platonic relationships with younger persons can comprise humanity at its most sublimely beautiful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Need for Alcohol-Free, Tobacco-Free 401K Retirement Plan Options

I was recently informed by a very knowledgeable banker in Austin, Texas, that it is very difficult to obtain a 401K Plan retirement investment program through an employer in Texas that specifically EXCLUDES any and all financial investment in the alcohol industry or the tobacco industry.

It seems that the vast majority of all of the 401K plans being offered to Texans by their employers are plans that invest heavily in the alcohol and tobacco industry.

That tragic perversion in the American and Texan economic system at present creates a very sad dilemma for those of us who fervently support the long-term goal of a drinking-alcohol-free and tobacco-free America.

The ironic twist from it all is that a longtime anti-alcohol Prohibitionist and lifelong non-smoker such as myself, is currently put in the contradictory position, through my respective 401K retirement plans, of myself financially investing in the two industries that I would most like to see eliminated.

The only exception to that wish of mine for the American alcohol and tobacco industries is this: I can personally agree to the need for production of alcohol for use in cooking, with the prior understanding that the alcohol will fully evaporate in the cooking process. Alcohol used in cooking can enhance the flavor of the dishes being prepared that way; and if there is no risk of actually ingesting alcohol from the use of alcohol in cooking, I can see where this one usage of alcohol can be justified.

There is every hope, in any event, that many of the anti-alcohol and anti-tobacco non-profit groups in this nation will pressure companies and the government into offering 401K retirement plan options in which there is no risk of investing in either the alcohol industry or the tobacco industry.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In Response to the American Economic Crisis

I continue to feel very strongly that the American economic crisis involving widespread unemployment and poverty, cannot be fully solved until such time as the federal government:

(1) Takes steps to ensure that the entire United States has a truly effective and truly successful nationwide network of drug-treatment, tobacco-treatment, and alcohol-treatment programs, for which the cost of participation by any particular person addicted to an illicit drug, licit drugs, tobacco, or alcohol, is reasonable.

(2) Takes steps to ensure that as many of the health insurance programs as possible offer payment of services for enrollment in a drug-treatment, tobacco-treatment, or alcohol-treatment program.

(3) Takes steps to ensure that a truly comprehensive and well-publicized inventory of each and every natural resource found in the United States is conducted, along with semiannual or annual updates of that annual inventory.

(4) Takes steps to ensure that the entire United States is served by a comprehensive and customer-friendly recycling program that makes it very easy for any apartment tenant, home owner, condo unit owner, or business owner to participate in that recycling program on a year-round basis, with help from on-site pick-up services for each of the recyclable items --- plastics, aluminum, glass, paper, etc.

Those steps will help to comprehensively revitalize the American economy by significantly enhancing the medical health and productivity of the American workforce. Those steps will also create thousands of new jobs relating to massive expansion of recycling services throughout this nation----recycling services that also protect the military security and environment and moral credibility of this North American nation that consumes more natural resources per capita than any other nation in the entire world.