Thursday, March 20, 2014

The mistake of government controlled morality

Belle Knox Duke student
I've written often about the word moral. I've talked about how it is too often used to support an argument. The definition of moral changes along with ideology and regional location. If you ask a leftist to to give an example, they will likely tell you that it is immoral for someone to be obese. If you ask a conservative about sex outside of marriage, they will tell you it is immoral. They might say sex during marriage is moral even if it was sanctified by a government representative versus a minister.

Morality has always been a social construct. In the USA, what is considered immoral in the south is often more accepted in the north – or the west. In America's past it wasn't immoral to marry a 12 year old girl, while in today’s society that is absolutely unacceptable. In those times life was about surviving. Male children were thought to be more capable at cutting firewood and plowing fields, while too often the female child was simply seen as  another mouth to feed. 

Female children were married off at or near puberty. Sometimes much older males would pay a diary for the right to marry that child. Arranged marriages are still happening around the world. Some of it might be for the same reasons as in our past, while in many cases it happens simply because it is now a tradition – just the way things are done.

Social standards evolve for a variety of reasons. In the modern American society arranged marriages are seen as barbaric. In today’s world, sex outside of marriage is much more common. In the not so distant past, sex for women outside of marriage was forbidden, while for men it was simply frowned upon. This is likely because it is the female that often bore the consequences for these liaisons. Out of wedlock births often stigmatized the woman and was too often a financial burden that was impossible to overcome. These pregnancies were also a barrier to future relationships. In short, the price for sex outside of marriage was too high. Because of science, out of wedlock births are less likely to occur. While the financial burden for out of wedlock births are still a problem, it doesn't carry the social stigma of the past.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The American Worker

The above photo is a common sight after any major storm. Although in this case Santee Cooper is state owned, something of which I am no fan, the distribution is a member owned Cooperative – the workers are with private contractors. In the rural south nonprofit cooperatives are a common phenomena.

Now that is out of the way let's talk about the photo itself. I might not know the men in that photo, but I personally know many like them. These men and women sometimes left school early, and with determination they managed to get that GED . Some went to a technical college while others simply started at the very bottom. No matter their start they work side by side in mountainous regions or low country swamps.

When there is a major outage these men and women find sleep wherever it can be found. They might be found taking an hour nap in one of the trucks while still wearing their soggy clothing. These are the men and women who make sure your house is cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

You won't find this labor force filled with illegal immigrants. When you see one of them in a mud filled ditch with a pick and shovel, you will find someone who grew up in the region. Their flesh might be a variety of shades, but they are all Americans and South Carolinians.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Following

There is a television show titled The Following. The story begins when a college literature professor becomes enraptured by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. He teaches these many writings with such passion that students become as enthralled as their professor. In time, they become so consumed by their passion that they explore the dark world of murder. For these people it is not cold and ruthless, but emotional and calculated.

In time, those students grow into adults and become a part of everyday society. They are doctors, lawyers, police, and FBI agents. No matter their current lives they have this attachment to their old professor, Joe Carroll. They do his bidding without hesitation. These former students will gladly die for their leader. This former professor, simply because he had a passion for an author, unwittingly created a cult.

Friday, March 14, 2014

A World of Followers

I think I finally understand the world around me – or at least why it is traveling in its current direction. It was a simple post on Facebook that made me become aware of the entire picture. The graphic to the left apparently circulated enough that Snopes saw fit to add it to its long list of internet myths. When it came to my attention, I was shocked that any single individual could believe that Facebook legal staff could pass laws.

Each day there is something new about which people become outraged. Some of it is fact, some a blend of fact and fiction, and some obvious mis-truths. We have Alex Jones who has a huge following. There are those who accept everything he says as gospel. There are the Art Bell followers who do the same. I'm not here to say what is and what isn't truth from either of those. All that interest me is why do others believe almost 100%.

People love a conspiracy. People love a good mystery novel. I'm sure science can point to an area of the brain that is stimulated by such things. But I think there is more to it than simple mind stimulation. There are the people who are skeptical of everything – to a fault. There are those who often look at events with cold logic.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Government Controlled Economics – A Failure

Coal exports from USA

With the US economy trying to dig its way out of what has been erroneously called the Great Recession – we sit and watch the happenings in Washington. We recently heard a speech by the president reaffirming his desire to defeat climate change. Carbon emissions seem to be the number one item on the Washington agenda. While Congress sleeps, the EPA and other agencies expand their regulatory power.

The American people elected a president who promised to destroy the coal industry. He has the desire to make the coal industry a thing of the past. While use of coal in the USA has dropped, exports to Europe were up 92% in 2010-11, according to Platts. Electrical rates are expected to increase dramatically because of mandates for closing coal powered generation plants. The president said, “Electrical rates will necessarily dramatically increase.” This is all in the name of saving the planet from climate warming that isn't currently happening and was never proven to be caused by humans.

How many of you have taken a cruise? If so, how many of them flew the American flag? There is only one cruise ship operating under American registration, the American Pride. The reasons are simple, that this profitable industry operates offshore – US regulations. These regulations are widespread – everything from labor laws, environmental regulations, to health inspections.