Thursday, March 27, 2008


The CEO of a large American corporation tells his Texan audience he can’t find employees educated enough to fill his ranks so he’s filling the void in India. That sounds very familiar, so … no really big deal. Didn’t you make a call yesterday on warrantee work for that new addition to your widget arsenal? You couldn’t recognize the accent but found out that you were talking to someone in the Philippines. Outsourcing has become commonplace as companies subcontract processes to reduce costs or divert the management of functions requiring competencies it did not hold internally. The current use of the term conjures up the procurement of services from another country, although the rarely used term offshoring provides a more authentic description. Either way, if you’re late on making any payments on that widget you won’t be talking to anyone from the Philippines or India, you’ll be explaining yourself to a individual skilled at making you squirm. Someone much more local.

Alright, so who cares? Everyone should.

North America’s larger corporations have been spreading the wealth. Recently hired employees in Jakarta are making a living, feeding themselves and their families. That’s a good thing. Of course, when you start aggregating manufacturing, design, servicing, telemarketing, market research, and engineering, the train heading out of town has a long tail. The complexities of the repercussions are deep and wide, however, the overwhelming signal the North American community should tune into is the statement this shift is making on education. Whether the corporate heads are rationalizing their decisions, and not really telling us that their plan is to use cheap labor, matters not. The objective is not to reverse the train, but to build new and better ones that remain closer to home. Only educated ingenuity will provide the energy.

The North American reality is that education has taken a back seat to almost every other significant sector requiring nourishment for the maintenance of a stable, free, successfully self sustaining and renewing sovereignty. Statistics in support of higher education abound, yet even the social trend leading State of California made peculiar decisions over the past twenty years to cut back educational funding. From Toronto to Texas, teachers purchase writing tools for their students. From Vancouver to Miami, the college and university doors of entry are shut tight to those who cannot, or will not, incur overwhelming debt to attend. So, no surprises on the current state of affairs. Offshoring we go.

We are each a member of the greater communities we inhabit. Commonalities provide us a belonging that unite us in purpose and in interest. While selfishness is a natural condition, awareness of our participation within the broader context reminds us to take heed. As a community succeeds and endures, so does the individual. Each generation wishes progress and greater success on the next. This can only be achieved if successive generations are more educated. Countries are living organisms whose life processes require amongst other viand, one of the most critical of all, education. Education imparts knowledge and stimulates exploration, leading to discoveries propelling greater achievements. Education can bring more to a country than self renewal, it can ignite a reach beyond the current moral, spiritual, scientific, artistic, cultural, or technological accomplishments and possibilities. Education provides a society with social and economic health, instilling mores and ethical values.

An educated population is a freer population in state of mind and more exigent in it’s social and political expectations. Through the industrial revolution, free public schooling was provided and a century ago high schools were built to meet the requirements of an evolving society.

A half century ago, secondary school education may have satisfactorily enabled a career and social cohesion. Today’s reality demands that all education should be provided to maximum capacity of individuals with conditions stimulating the pursuit with all roadblocks removed. With potentiality of perceptions raised a few degrees the current statistical trends on college and university attendance and graduation will be reversed. Once achieved, the example becomes the standard, flying in the breeze exporting this exhilaration of freedom through communication rather than armed insinuation. Universities and colleges are considerable engines fueling the economy. They should all be straining their capacities and enthusiastically expanding.

A wise American with a propensity for flying kites attached to keys, once wrote, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Observing the wisdom, and applying it will quiet the expressions of regret and the excuses for offshoring.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Dear Quibbling Scientists,

… and the rest of you arguing over global warming. I have good news, and I have some bad news. Like it or not, consider what I’m about to disclose. I am an ARGO Buoy, my name is ARGO 4900781, and I was deployed on August 16, 2006 at Lattitude:31 (N) & Longitude: -55.555 (W). I am currently at Lat: 31.3815 & Lon: -64.2416. I am part of an oceanic data analysis program. There are about 3,000 of us traveling through the world’s oceans usually at a depth of about a mile, although we regularly go down to twice that depth before heading for the surface. We occasionally have to come up for air, I do this every 10 days, as I’m doing now. Not to breathe, mind you, it’s time for me to transmit some data sets to my satellite buddies who track me. While I may not be conscious, I’m fairly smart and rather complex. I have a computer, sensors, a transmitter, battery pack, and hydraulic pumps so I can ascend or descend on cue. We’ve been working 24/7 out here in cold and warm for five years, free-drifting and continuously gathering information about the state of the oceans, enabling extremely accurate profiling. I focus on things like temperature fluctuations, salinity, velocity, and pressure. This is data that will help you make conscious and conscientious decisions. Can you hear me? … Conscientious decisions. Haven’t you had enough of this raucous over terminology and rattling of sabers over who’s right and wrong about the future? These facts should put an end to some of the bickering. What? You don’t think we can hear? Let me tell you … you’re noisy, and I know why I’m here.

I am located in the Sargasso Sea, you know the sea that has no land bordering its periphery and includes the Bermuda Triangle? I don’t travel around much, unlike some of my friends, I circulate in an area of only a few hundred miles. Some of my buddies in the Pacific travel thousands of miles.

The good news is that the world’s oceans are not warming. Repeat, NOT warming. Things are stable down here. If anything, there has been an almost imperceptible cooling. We should know. My associates and I cover the whole globe in depth and at depth. If the cacophony I pick up when I reach the surface is to be believed, the globe is warming up, the oceans will rise to alarming levels, and those who can, will move upland to a Rocky Mountain plateau. Forget about it. Sure there are fluctuations on the surface. Endless complexities impact the upper layers of water, from salinity to cloud cover, to … nevermind, it’s really endless, plus there is both resulting effect as well as causal impact on weather and climate. The recursive loop looks more akin to a recursive pretzel. By the way, you currently have no computer models that reliably predict the future of the earth’s climate, so stop pretending. Common sense, however, can tell you the extent of the impact humanity’s footprint is having. You know that the excessive carbon with which you clog your atmosphere is akin to smoking yourselves into a cough. It’s just not good for you. It is evident that there is no recognition of any immanent threat presented by pollution to induce urgency of action.

The emotional fervor pitting scientists against scientists against pundit against politician against journalist against blogger is creating a whole industry with an eye on opportunity. That’s misleading. Even if it’s intention is to reduce your carbon imprint, launching programs from a flawed premise with dogmatic fervor will only lead to defective corrective actions. Be exceedingly careful that you do not set into motion programs that could lead to unnecessary catastrophes.

Now the bad news. Some of you should float out here for a month or two. Your antropogenic footprint is overwhelming. For example, ten days ago as I surfaced, a large plastic sheet wrapped itself over my antenna port. Which reminds me, do you folks have any idea what your untreated sewage is doing? You know, that human waste water containing microorganisms the size of basketballs, the heavy metals like the actinoids that you wouldn’t want your frozen eggs or sperm exposed to, pathogens such as hepatitis B, the lethal chemicals, and most stimulating of all the pharmaceuticals and narcotics excreted by everyone with access to a pharmacy or a hoody on two legs nervously guarding the street corner. The concentrations being pumped or drained out here are affecting every ocean on earth and all living organisms … and not in a good way.

Sometime in the recent past, you replaced animal power principally with energy sources that produce carbon dioxide. It’s understandable since oil and gas are readily available, easy to transport and you have devised endless ways of exploiting them. Convenience and availability are difficult to repudiate. Now would you please apply some of your technological prowess to the less expedient and convenient, or at the very least make a determined effort to contain their effluent discharge?

I have to go now. Time to drop to that zone where sunlight is only a faint glimmer. Time to go process more data so that you can make some educated decisions on how you’re going to reduce the sludge out here and up there.

Be well and do the right thing right.
ARGO 4900781

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Media piling on the beat-up-Hillary heap should trigger a knee-jerk reaction to pause and re-consider from an evenhanded prospect. Throughout this campaign Hillary Clinton’s battle has not only been against her opponents, but has in part been against much of the media, even from its left-leaning sectors. The daily lobbing of not so subtle denigration and oft vacuous discharge is simply not a balanced or appropriate bestowal from the fourth estate. Hillary is still standing, still ardently striving to position herself in the history books as the first female President, although the current hard numbers from the democratic ranks are shrinking that possibility.

After a cantankerous campaign in 2000 Hillary Clinton first won a Senate seat representing the people of the State of New York. They re-elected her in 2006. She convinced the New York electorate that she could and would work indefatigably on its behalf. Regarless, polarization of opinion surges at the mention of the Clinton name with witless persistence, too often repeating worn acrimony. It has been an incumbrance shadowing Hillary Clinton well beyond the end of her husband’s Presidency. Some of that polarization is hers, not his. Whether a suspicion that her support of Bill through his indiscretions was pure political ambition, or simply weakness in “standing by her man,” there is incredulity for anything she says or does that translates into unfavorable pressure on ratings. Probably more than anyone, Hillary Clinton has been analyzed and researched in a quest to understand why she bugs people, or why she is tagged as an opportunist.

Are these concrete and well founded opinions of an individual’s capacity to manage the world’s most powerful economic and military power? Is there too much spin around the image that has imprinted itself permanently on our landscape? Why is “opportunist” a slightly more derogatory term when applied to her? Isn’t anyone running for public office, or any other office for that matter, an opportunist? She is accused of being cold and aloof so why does she get vilified when shedding a tear? She’s not genuine? She’s faking for sympathy? When she is characterized as a nasty woman, does that mean America’s enemies better heed their actions? Or does it imply that she’ll fire you if you’re incompetent or that she’s just simply not warm and cosy?

Hillary Clinton may understand the impact of deregulation and balance between the market and government imposition of rules better than her husband. She has some clear intensions for the establishment of guidelines regulating investments made in America by the vast pools of capital controlled by foreign powers. She has specific plans for promoting college and university education and improving the state of health care. Of all candidates she is the most specific on action plans, and one gets a sense that she actually understands the problems, has thought about them and has established her perspective. It is evident that she has a grasp of the details and has intently grappled with them. Hillary has been censured by powerful forces, and sustained more negative press than all other candidates combined, yet she is still fighting.

Ms. Clinton has demonstrated toughness and it would be difficult to point to anyone who would prove more rigorous on injecting oversight and judicious responsibility into government and corporate management. She witnessed firsthand the challenge of moving government to action. Hillary has appropriated intimate knowledge of the international markets, after having enjoyed table level view as the economy stimulating levers were activated by Greenspan in the mid to late nineteen nineties . While looking for some oratory material to stimulate her audiences, she should dust off her commencement speech to the 1969 Wellesley College.

A more even presentation and coverage of her candidacy would do America more justice. The peculiarly unhinged exposure, and sometimes outright pounding being delivered by most media needs temperance in what may prove to become one of the most critical political campaigns ever held.

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


John McCain has extensively written on and explored the concept of courage and its manifestations. His residence in our common consciousness is in part a praise of his endurance through five years of torture. There is widespread admiration, without necessarily full comprehension, for his fortitude and capacity to refuse freedom if it didn’t include his comrades. Beaten, broken, abused, and pushed to the edge of death, McCain has been put to the ultimate human litmus test. Remembering exploits of physical and moral confrontations, John McCain delivered IMHO his most profound observation, “We were meant to love. And we were meant to have the courage for it.” Love of his fellow captives sustained him forty years ago. Acknowledging and accepting the energy that vanquished the tests of his mental and physical capacities, his spirit persevered. It was an exclamation for the man who did not succumb to bartering his family’s power and influence.

How many of those who have since accused him of recklessness, or worse, would have undertaken as much. Has anyone in Congress worked harder than McCain against influence peddling? Through his long-standing presence in the Senate, he has become an icon, not for gung ho maneuvers or germinating ideology, but for thoughtful action. Yet, his postures and inclinations have brought the Senator from Arizona fluctuations of cold and warm shoulders from the White House, his own party, and the media. The term, courage, has even on occasion been exercised in derogatory measure, when characterizing some of McCain’s decisions.

Agree with him or not, his stance on Iraq is stereotypically independent political leadership. It is a high risk position given the electorate’s current state of mind on the astronomical and escalating costs. No one, however, not even hard left pundits, bloggers, or commentators, accuse McCain of having “something to gain” by its perpetuation. None of the “no-bid” contracts, or other dubious adventures, attributed to friends of the administration have spattered onto McCain. There are no surreptitious videos distributed on YouTube depicting the Senator sticking his finger in the air, testing the winds. His own perceptions stand untainted even if occasionally delivered in halting elocution. In the broad context of his life, the electorate should feel gratitude to have such probity of character presenting for its highest office during these economically confusing times. All democracies should be so fortunate.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008


Perceptions and percepts being what they are, political mindsets are rarely accommodating or flexible. The Democratic support system is finding itself split into entrenched camps severing their landscape with a moat as deep as the one that divides their party of choice from the Republican party bias. Both Democratic candidates present well, though one, Clinton, can claim the experience corner and is by appearance very pragmatic. The other, Obama, is a polished presenter, who, for the most part, refrains very astutely from clear definitive policy statements, allowing his listeners to append their own dreams and wishes onto his mantle. Each candidate demonstrates intelligence enough that presence at the helm would likely prove satisfying in long term. Whether or not either will really listen to the people once in office, as both of them claim, what is desired, . . . no, required, is a sound, well functioning and decisive mind that mirrors the broad aspirations of the majority in the preservation of continued social, political and economic stability.

Obama supporters suggesting that Clinton’s continuance in the race is destroying the prospect of a Democratic victory against McCain is unnecessary, arrogant and is divisive lashing out. Denunciations of Bill’s disgracing the Oval office straight into Republican hands, are also misdirected residue from a prior decade. Hillary is the one running and Bill would probably be consigned to a water closet, not even an oval office closet, . . . OK, maybe ambassadorship to Azerbaijan or Kazakhstan.

Clinton supporters pointing to fringe rhetoric from a confused pulpit and claiming that Obama should have known better than to attend such a church is reaching with a long frail twig. Obama sitting in a pew for some “feel good” on the occasional Sunday, even if it has been for decades, offers scant insight into his character or judgment.

Debating the specifics of future policy differences with two candidates who are for the most part very much aligned in their perceptions, is good ink. However, much being written is not based on fact or truth, but is clutter too readily contrived. Democrats should feel comforted and grateful in the confidence that neither candidate is an ideologue in camouflage.

Both camps should ease up. Bill Clinton’s devious finger wagging ushered in the Bush era. The current economic distress afflicting too many American tax payers, magnified by their inevitable sense of disconnect from the top of the economic and political food chain will likely return a Democrat to the White House. John McCain should be campaigning as if he has anticipated that the license plate on the moving van is not from his neighborhood.

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Monday, March 17, 2008


We’ll wait for George Bush to provide us some answers through an anonymous blog on why the invasion was, in his distinct vision, an overwhelmingly brilliant epiphany. Perhaps another manifestation will materialize, or perhaps veracity will prevail, and he’ll just come out and tell us. Meantime, since the momentous event, oil prices have soared a multiple of 3.5 times, billions have found their way into oil pumping and processing hands, and Iraq’s output is at only a third of what it could provide. Under the vast Iraqi sands, lay at rest what may be the globe’s largest reserves of the cheapest to extract and refine sweet crude. As Cheney calls the mission a “successful endeavor,” and the tax payers bail out another investment bank, an enormous undignified white elephant darkens American cerebration pondering that very viscous, yet beckoning, light sweet crude. Whether in the long haul trucker filling his tank, or in the graduate scrambling for her next student loan payment, minds entertain what might have been one pillar of George’s epiphany, “shouldn’t we get that oil, we’ve more than paid for it.”

On every single objective one can conjure up for the administration’s decision to invade Iraq, the outcome has had the exact diametrically opposite result. Whether it was a grand plan for hegemony, for democracy, for reducing oil prices in America, or breaking OPEC, the absolute worst desired effect took hold. Most of us aren’t predisposed to crystal ball access, nevertheless, we can all predict with some certainty that the “who knew?” methodology for answering any criticism or questions will become overused. Most Bush White House constituents and apologists attended Rumsfeld’s Course on Obfuscation and Bewilderment 101, and took notes. While the dissimulation persists, the Iraq oil question remains, unclaimed and unanswered. “Do we?” “Should we?”

“Can we?” is less significant because it only requires assessment of practicality, security and infrastructure capacity, and NOT what’s right.

Rationalizations are ample, yet not satisfying. “We liberated them from Sadam. They owe us.” Nope. They don’t, although you could argue for a moral debt and ask it be repaid in oil, but that’s not tasteful and the amount would be difficult to negotiate since it would drain Iraq of its only income for generations. How about, “we paid dearly for our democracy, you should pay for yours.” No, again. Back to how much, or arguing with, “we didn’t ask for it.” There is also the argument being floated about remaining forever until we just take enough and for long enough to be satisfied. The cost of that not so subtle approach would be more than the value of the oil extracted, . . . so no again.

So there the elephant sits. Getting bigger by the day.

Geopolitical realities being what they are, that Iraqi light sweet crude sits under Iraqi soil and no one else’s. It is Iraq’s to do with as it will, currently disorganized as it may be. Even if not another drop of oil comes out, that decision rests in the hands of a sovereign nation that is desperately seeking avenues to respect for its autonomy and peace for its neighborhoods. Plain and simple . . . the elephant shouldn’t exist.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008


A funny thing happens on the way through the internet. Amongst the noise of the blogosphere can be found cogent well written, insightful and thought provoking articles scutinizing our world. Some of most intriguing articles and postings are provided by writers intimately acquainted with the circumstances. Whether these are broadly staged adventures with widespread effect in which the writers participates, or more intimate stories, the percussion resonates. Blogs are becoming another cornerstone of our appreciation for the humanity around us, its triumphs, its strength, and its frailties as well as imperfections. At least, some blogs.

Although media is often accused of bias, this picaresque debate has little authenticity and rests on perspective. We all hold biases. No one is truly objective, we simply attempt to occasionally demonstrate some tolerance, and of course most would welcome being distinguished with a measure of objectivity. Most media’s challenge is to remain “relevant” while remaining profitable. Unfortunately consolidation in some media outlets has blanched our daily dose of relevance. The overwhelming challenge for the sometimes suspecting public is two-fold.

1. Quality. This is an ingredient that is difficult and expensive to deliver whether it be TV, radio, magazines or newspapers. “Prettying” up the delivery can mask a great deal of dubious content. The public is not really fooled by, … “we’ll do whatever it takes to attract their attention, but once we have it, we’ll deliver the goods.” If the magazine arrested your attention because it has a twenty three year old wearing some dental floss on its cover, it is unlikely you’ll find insightful “content” that will stimulate your brain. On television when the softballs are lobbed, we all recognize them. We just can’t reach through the television screen and grab the microphone. Not that we’d get a better answer. Experts interviewed aren’t objective either, particularly if they’re part of the story. Newspapers appear to have become a dominant source of relevance and insight, though the blogosphere is rapidly becoming a secondary fountain of treasures. Many of the major newspapers and even some small ones have come to recognize the significance of the internet and have capitalized on its power better than others of their media brethren.

There still remains a space which blogs are increasingly occupying through imparting insights other media cannot. While the anonymity of blogs has risks as to veracity of content, it also provides firsthand candor difficult to find elsewhere. Blogs can provide a very “current” and relevant perspective on events that affect us or touch us in some manner. The diffusion of human exploits through our communal consciousness has always benefited our comprehension and appreciation of ourselves.

2. Perception. Our perception of what is acceptable has been shifted. More accurately, it has been warped. For example, it appears too often assumed that as most of the population is doing battle to survive, it receives heaping rations of stress each day, and therefore doesn’t need to be provoked in the evening as it watches television. Just entertain the population. It’s mind is tired, don’t incite it. When did we begin accepting that inference of ourselves? If this was once true, why is there currently so much interest in the whole of the American population, on the outcome of the coming elections? The average American is not only paying all his or her taxes, he and she is now more than ever paying attention. There may occasionally exist a feeling of vulnerability, but there is sincere interest. He and she is awakening to the “dumb down” effect. This is a shift in perception.

This shift has inevitably been stirred by the ubiquitous nature of the internet and the blogosphere further stimulating individual common sense quite capable of deciphering the authentic and cogent, from the dubious and inadequate. Our collective consciousness is being stimulated by a new prevailing reality complementing the fourth estate.

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Friday, March 14, 2008


Dear Chief Executive Officers,

We, the shareholders of your companies, have held an extraordinary Internet meeting. We know that government oversight is burdensome, and is after all, an intrusion into affairs that you believe is none of its business. Apparently, it gives our free market the appearance of being somewhat un-capitalistic. At least, that is what your reports have suggested. But, never mind that, . . . it has been brought to our attention that you have been less than humble demonstrating questionable behavior while we were voting for the next American Idol and being mesmerized by CNN’s earnest coverage of something terribly important, . . . can’t remember quite what it was, but it was really important. OK, perhaps humble isn’t the right term, but you know what we mean? No? Come on now, you know what we’re talking about. It’s those absolutely astronomical, insane, through-the-roof-of-common-sense pay packages that you paid yourselves. The “perk” indiscretions are only slightly less annoying, but still, they emanate fumes we would rather not be exposed to. Having given the whole situation much thought we have elected to set some guidelines. Guilt can become very debilitating. Trust us on this. So, for your benefit, here are some rules. Please accept them as benediction favorable to your long-term good health and stress fee comportment.

• First a reminder: This company is not yours. It is ours. You are employees.

• The Directors didn’t do a very good job of keeping an eye on your activities, but then why would they? They’re all your friends and half of them are getting this letter anyway since they’re also CEOs.

• Effective immediately, you will no longer be Chairman. None of you. Nada. That’s it. Finished. We just feel that this business of “reporting to yourself” just isn’t right. We’re still trying to figure out when this objectionable conversion took place. It used to be that the Chairman was, THE CHAIRMAN, but slowly you sneaky guys changed the game and made all of yourselves, “Chairman, CEO.” No more. Do you remember Marshall McLuhan asking, “if the temperature of your bath rises one degree every ten minutes, how does the bather know when to scream?” That’s about what happened here. The change invaded all boardrooms and no one noticed. So we’re screaming now.

• You will not appoint anyone to the Board of Directors. We don’t care what you think. In fact, we hope you don’t particularly like them. We’ll decide who sits on what Board. Tell your friends to get lost. Your job is to manage the company.

• Your compensation package will be comprised of salary and bonus. That’s it. NO OPTIONS. The bonus will be directly related to corporate objectives. Long term objectives. Not what brokers demand. You don’t have any clue about the stock markets so take your eyes off the stock fluctuations and pay attention to doing your job. If the company does well over the long term, and pays attention to its customers, it will succeed and we’ll be satisfied. Please quit crowing every time your stock price goes up. You have nothing to do with its level. NOTHING. You don’t work for the company’s brokerage firm, you work for us. Stop answering its phone calls. They can get the news and announcements from the Board, . . . the NEW Board.

• Stop believing your own press and stick to your knitting. Do what you were hired for, ...managing the company and its employees.

• The new Board of Directors will be responsible for establishing your targets. Don’t meet the goals set, and you’re out of here. On your way out don’t expect any absurd ‘sweetheart deals’ from the Directors sending you off with golden parachutes, they'll no longer be your friends.

• Composition of the Boards and appointment of Board members will be based on the anticipated, expected, and demonstrated level of independence of the individual candidate as well as dimension of ethos. We will make sure all members are capable of reading a financial statement. Then of course, we will absolutely make sure they can understand them. Here we’ll also look for individuals with very discerning senses capable of detecting transgressions. If we can, we would really love to find the capacity of perceiving the fetid essence of arrogant illusions or chimera. OK, that’s a little over the top, but we’re trying to make a point. We have not been happy, so pay attention, we’re not done.

• No more “Poison Pills” strictly benefiting senior management. How this egregious strategy found its way into corporate America is another one of those aberrations implemented while we were languishing in our warming baths. If there is going to be any benefiting from a takeover, feigned or otherwise, ALL shareholders and employees will benefit, not just a few, and you’ve already read our note above on golden parachutes. That means no golden parachutes as part of any poison pill deal. In any case, if there’s a potential take over on the horizon, we want in on it.

• Please don’t let us catch you getting any more newly issued shares on the latest hot deals from the company’s Wall Street brokers. The company’s employees don’t get such bennies and we don't either, so from now on, neither will you. It’s the broker’s way of “hooking” you, you fools. How else could you have been so stupid as to purchase those companies that had no value . . . for billions? Particularly those new ones based offshore that the company's brokers had positioned themselves in. Two part-time engineers in their mothers’ basements could have achieved more for you. Just stop it. It’s unbecoming. And the rationalization, “well, everyone else is doing it,” sounds downright morally bankrupt. Plus, you’ll feel guilty one day. We want you to sleep well. Kick-backs are just indecent. OK, so they’re also illegal, but just because you’ve been getting away with taking them doesn’t make them right. Enough already. We’ll talk to the government flacks who let you get away with this later.

• Please stick to the facts and provide some truth in all your future management reports. We no longer need detailed accounts of your risk management exploits and the more flavorful ingredients of your regulatory compliance or your disciplined approach to effective management. Give us the facts and clearly stated strategies, with less smoke. Our lungs can’t take it anymore and we’d rather you leave the ambivalent dithering pronouncements to those with more waffling experience like the experts at the Federal Reserve.

• Now, about those undeclared offshore bank accounts under dummy companies some of you feel are absolutely essential. We know it’s been really convenient to access that extra cash when you’re on holidays, and it’s very handy when you need to provide a loan to a really dear friend, but no more. Do that when you retire. If you get caught, it doesn’t look good for us, plus it’s just illegal. We’ll talk to the brokers as well and make sure they don’t stack your private offshore company accounts with shares of companies of no relevance to us. Just pay your taxes and stop whining.

• Consider this notice that we will be looking for related-party transactions. Some of you think it clever to sell goods and services to our company, from your private company. Yes, we mean the one owned by your spouse. Those inflated prices you charge our company are grossly excessive, but that's not really the point here is it? The vague accounting practices on this need tightening up, and while we will not hod our breaths, until then we will be paying closer attention to all such transactions.

• We don’t want to hear any more tantrums about your needing a private jet. Particularly one you want personally as a gift because you work so hard. We hear the new Bombardier Jet travels at Mach 1. We don’t care. Learn to make more use of video conferencing. That gets you to Europe instantly. Much faster and so much more cost effective than Mach 1. Think of the gas you’re saving.

• You’re not moving the company headquarters offshore. Please don’t pretend that you want to be closer to your customers. Everyone understands how important it is to want be close to your own money. We realize the prying eyes of the IRS and other regulatory bodies is uncomfortable. But we are the shareholders and that is why we want headquarters to stay here, so NO moving vans.

• Consider this notice that we want you to demonstrate some ethics while managing the company. Treat all employees as human beings, as you would want to be treated. That includes those in foreign countries. If slave labor isn’t right here, it’s not right anywhere.

• While we’re dealing with ethics, could you pay attention to the pollution of water and air being unnaturally inflicted by corporate facilities and factories, here and abroad? Just a little. We’d feel so much better, and so would you.

• Show some decency and common sense, remembering where you live and the freedoms you enjoy, when treating with foreign governments, or foreign companies owned by foreign governments. Any of them. Placing your country at risk, or exposing trade secrets as some have done, particularly those technologies sensitive to your own country’s well being is, well, do we need to say it? Treacherous, and some have even called it, treasonous. By any other name this disloyalty stinks.

• Audit Committees will report to the newly independent Board of Directors. Not you. Sorry. This is just too personal. We have to take this one away from you, completely. It’s the price of no longer being Chairman AND CEO. And one more thing, NO Board Directors on the Audit Committee. Members will all be outsiders. Don’t ask why, that would be insulting to your intelligence. If good winds prevail and we’re extremely lucky, we’ll find a few Audit Committee members who will surprise us and actually be able to “smell” problems. Glory be that day. A member who can detect any delicate allusions of malfeasance and distinguish the subtle indiscretions, or discrepancies, insinuated ever so elegantly into the statements, well, that’s a real find. For that, we’ll pay even more than what you’re getting, . . . just kidding. Yes, we will make sure such capability also sits on the Board of Directors. Please ensure that any and all documentation provided to any outside accountants and auditors are also made available to the committee, . . . just because. All original Audit Committee reports will be provided to the Board of Directors first and management second. Why? Hmmm . . . let’s see, just because. Sounds strange? Excellent. Now listen up, one more thing.

• If something goes sideways on the path to candor we’ll accept the Audit Committee’s responsibility. Wrong again. No more passing the buck, tag you’re it.

• The recent demands made by the SEC requiring better disclosure on executive pay in proxy statements may have provided that distinguished and venerable body with a degree of self satisfaction and image polish. However, the requirement was and is, let’s be delicate here, moronic. It accomplishes NOTHING. This after-the-fact-reporting is intended to accomplish what exactly? Make you feel guilty for standing neck deep in green stuff?

• Please assume that any financial reports presented to the Board or issued to shareholders containing financial statements audited by one of the big four will be considered suspect. A few of us weren’t born yesterday and think that just maybe, an accounting firm that also does the audit, is well, let’s see, it’s exactly like a CEO reporting to let’s say, the CEO. What? Not funny? Exactly. We don’t trust them. We would rather have Uncle Bob do the books and have Auntie Irene run the audit. At least they’re not likely to risk the house on cooking something that leaves a trail of perplexing puzzles. Directors have been effectively bamboozled long enough. Size of these accounting auditors concentrated way too much power to the hands of too few. Pleadings to the contrary like, “we’re improving our methodology,” are just dumb. What also rubs us strange is that these guys also audit your brokers. An auditor should be just that. AN AUDITOR. Just suck it up. We expect some ethics and integrity, and we’ll do what we have to do to get it.

• Although it is too much to expect a cultural shift, though we’ll keep dreaming, we are prepared to give you some room for latitude on integrity. Oops. Not really, we’re just kidding.

• One more thing, did we already say that? . . . For those CEO’s of the companies you originally founded. We don’t care about that either. The bad news is, you’re now an employee, not an entrepreneur. The good news is, you’re employed. Once you go “public” and you have tapped into public money, you’ve leveraged your original asset a multiple higher than the number of years you’ve lived, so be grateful. Infinitely grateful. You got lucky. Good for you. Now pay attention to the above precepts. They apply to you just as much as they do to any other CEO. An employee is an employee. If you don’t like it, buy back the shares and go private.

We may not be the arbiters of good taste but we will attempt to be arbiters of good behavior. Perhaps on occasion we would enjoy finding ethical conduct demonstrating common sense and sensitivity to fellow human beings. We will trust that such sentiment finds widespread encouragement. Nevertheless, we’ll be watching. All the best in your new job.

Very Sincerely,

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Suddenly the barrage of images and articles analyzing in extreme detail the debacle between the two Democratic front runners is kicked almost out of sight by the Spitzer sex scandal. The story, however, is not even about sex although that is what attracted our attention. This is about our own bewilderment. It is almost as if Spitzer meticulously planned, scripted, then executed his own destruction. He originally set in place the mechanisms intended to uncover exactly the kind of deceit he perpetrated, and is now apologizing for. A man nicknamed variously, but most consistently as Mr. Clean, and considered a likely aspirant for the White House in 2012 imploded before our eyes. Having taken on the Gambino family and won, at least by all appearances, his sense of invincibility dazzled his own reflection from every mirror he gazed into.

The instantaneous combustion’s heat will radiate for a very long time as puzzlement will continue to be fuelled by new information further compounding the sense of astonishment. Now his family suffers, while most observers, at least those of us not applauding or gloating from Wall Street, feel a certain sense of loss at what might have been possible with the Sheriff’s Sheriff on watch. Or perhaps we feel a sadness that too vivid an image is being displayed of our sometimes frail human natures. Nevertheless, which is more important to us, the weakness of one man or the relative strength of the Presidential candidates, one of whose decisions will impact all of us?

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While wondering where the legal extremes of corporate abuse, or less legal malfeasance might next surface, there is one prevailing trend that has swept corporate America and led to Congress scratching its assembled intellect. A gradual shift of control of the boardroom. That is now complete.

For any system to succeed over the long-term it should be tended to and altered where improvements can be affected. Starting at the top the capitalist system is in very urgent need of adjustments and a few repairs. Let’s look at one such fissure in the realm of responsible governance affecting one cog of the system. The Board of Director structure and control.

A Board’s responsibilities, as representative of shareholder interests, are broad. They include oversight of business strategies, their implementations, as well as direction of corporate compliance with laws and regulations. The Board dispenses its fiduciary duties through a management it is supposed to control. Most Boards don’t. Whether they are active, interested or complacent does not really matter much. The shift that has swept through all boardrooms over the past thirty years has made directorships a primarily comfortable and financially rewarding posting.

Instead of Chief Executive Officers (CEO’s) reporting to a Board chaired by a Chairman, we have Boards reporting to CEO’s who are also Chairmen and therefore report to themselves. In a structure where the CEO reports to the Board with an independent Chairman who is only that, a Chairman and not a manager, you have a higher likelihood of Board independence and proper oversight. Directors are more likely to influence corporate direction and guide adherence to laws and codes of ethics. Impact of both subtle and overt pressures change when the Board is structurally the final arbiter of governance between the management of the enterprise and its owners. The Board can therefore more effectively and evidently demonstrate the trust and confidence with which it has been entrusted. Shareholders as well as society at large, employees, customers and suppliers expect it.

A Director should not be a CEO’s friend or associate first, and overseer second, as is currently the predominant situation. Although there is pretense to the contrary, North America’s corporations have become the purview and domain of CEO’s in an absolute and royal sense.

Congeniality as well as pandering to the requirements of a CEO is, for the vast majority of directors, the path of least resistance whether those solicitations are subtly delivered or outright demands. It is also the path to continued receipt of all commensurate benefits requiring little mental energy. Even less appetizing for most outside the boardroom is the fact that since there is widespread cross-pollination of Boards, the qui pro quo and indulgence on CEO remuneration results in the gross examples of unrestrained abuse to which America is being exposed. No need to provide examples here since publications, such as Forbes and Fortune, provide copious lists for stimulation of either aspiration or envy. We can also easily recall being treated to the impact that such ineptitude at the Board level can achieve.

Asking the difficult and right questions is never easy. Such exigence requires effort and knowledge. Demanding that such questions be answered is almost impossible in the current atmosphere of convivial boardrooms. This can only come from independence of appointment and independence of thought. Until that is achieved in the boardrooms, there will be little if any scrupulous and effective monitoring of management for signs of abuse, fraud, or the exercise of basic common sense on behalf of all stakeholders.

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Monday, March 10, 2008


The Eliot Spitzer announcement and apology, while not necessarily surprising, appears to have confounded most of us, "I have acted in a way that violates my … sense of right and wrong." What wonderful timing. The sense of bewilderment comes as the overburdened tax payers, while looking for a break, also look to political, or corporate leaders, for guidance on doing the right thing. What do they find? A vacuous depression.

Having stimulated belief in visions of an end to corruption, Spitzer enjoyed a historic victory, riding a wave of hope into the Governor’s office. Now we have America shouting, “say it ain’t so, Joe,” all over again.

Why is it so difficult to find the practice of generally accepted ethical standards by those inoculated with influence and power? Does morally just behavior evaporate upon being conveyed some level of recognition, or is it simply lacking in a high percentage of human beings driven to succeed at any cost?

This is not a debate on the ethics or morals of prostitution. It is a question on the ethics impelling and encompassing hypocritical behavior contradictory to emphatic utterances professed loudly for the single purpose of winning high office.

It’s down to the ego. Mr. Spitzer’s ego blinded him, in my opinion. It blinded him from being able to see possibilities that his behavior could arouse either detection or suspicion. It blinded him to the fact that those who would seek revenge, might be able to reach him. It blinded him to the devastating impact it would have on his family. Even in his announcement, his ego blinded him to the very evident and visible evidence that his wife, Silda, should not be at the podium with him. She looked even more overwhelmed than we felt observing the scene. She was very likely not there because “she supported her husband.” Spitzer is not an ignorant man, yet he was and still appears to be blind to the consequences. At his core his insecurity has wiped clean all remnants of ethics . Once caught, of course, there is no end of apologies and contrite rationalizations. The ethics , nevertheless, are missing.

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Sunday, March 9, 2008


Peculiar and disquieting sensations vibrate as you observe members of Congress affably probe Captains of Industry. Well rehearsed executives blow back the smoke of confounding justifications at the confused and flustered countenances of congressmen. You stare, disbelieving, as rationalizations of gross abuse are met with timid and ambiguous commentary. There is no valid explanation for the fact that some executives are taking, not 10, not 50, not even 100, but up to 22,000 times the incomes of bottom rung employees. Occasionally your head involuntarily shakes as the prattle of outright support from an interrogator recalls memories of a bad meal.

Why so much reticence to take a stand or state the obvious? Could we not be treated to just a little taste of some indignance? Not much, just a little. No judicial canons have been breached by these well dressed and pressed managers, but the laws of common sense and basic human reason have been thrashed by narcissistic misanthropy.

Some CEOs have paid themselves even higher “wages” reaching stratospheric billion dollar amounts. The average is over the 600 multiple. These are employees we’re talking about. Not kings or lucky entrepreneurs managing private companies, but simply employees of public entities.

What rational and independent mind condones average income increases of 50% from one year to the next for CEO’s of the top 500 U.S. companies? I’ve never met a CEO or other senior executive who didn’t think he deserved what he was paid. Not one.

Whether or not the executives’ companies were directly related to current burnouts in the financial sector is not relevant, although scapegoats are sought wherever they can be found. The point, I believe, is that there has been too broad abuse right across the board.

One theme we have been exposed to in the rationalization movement is, “I took risks.” We all admire risk takers. An entrepreneur putting everything he or she owns at risk to go for the gusto … that’s a risk. Corporate managers are generally a risk adverse lot. They play with other people’s money and that game is SAFE. The other explanation of “hard work” as defense for excessive incomes is rather disingenuous. The life shortening and oppressive labor of a coal miner in Apalachia, is hard work. A soldier in full battle gear sustaining 115 degree temperatures as he or she battles the relentless assault of enemy fire, is hard work. Being hired through a head hunting firm to slide into a multi-million dollar position … not so much. That doesn’t mean there aren’t stresses attached to running large corporations. Ample pay will reward sustaining such stress, and the beautiful part is that there is no downside. Ask the soldier about down-side. CEO failure seems to be rewarded just as well. Abusive compensation is simply that … abusive. The boards of directors are to blame but there is no law against incompetence, lack of foresight or basic indolence.

Defenders of this abuse claim that anyone who has a problem with the existing system is “anti business,” “un-American,” “left-wing,” “how else can we attract competent management” and the always effective, “this is the way of the free market capitalist system.” 
No it isn't.
 I’m a staunch capitalist and I find this exploitation distasteful. I also wish we could find more intellectually stimulating arguments supporting the excess. There are none. It is a simple cash grab. How hard is it to execute the take down when you've stacked the board of directors with intimates who have everything to gain by making sure you dip in the well. The accomplices know you will applaud from the warm seats on their boards when its their turn. This is more than just abusive.
 To ensure the back door is covered, boards of directors delegate executive compensation to personnel and compensation committees. These committees do the board’s bidding. Only occasionally do some get burned as scapegoats. Some head hunting firms also play their roles. They get hired to further confirm and support sky rocketing senior executive pay beyond reason. NO ONE is accountable. Why? Because EVERYBODY's doing it who is in a position to do so. So Congress sits, seemingly emasculated, either willingly or from sheer impotence.
Laws? Maybe not, but perhaps a few rules?

How about returning to compensation effectively tied to corporate objectives established with lavish doses of common sense? How about some discerning understanding and a little less selfishness?

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Thursday, March 6, 2008


Overshadowing world economic, energy and pollution challenges, there looms in my opinion, the biggest challenge mankind has ever confronted. It is also possibly the most complex. The world’s need for fresh, potable water has already exceeded its sustenance ability level. Not its want but its basic requirement. The usability of the little fresh water that exists on earth is being depleted as a result of environmental and climactic repercussions, many of which may be permanent, as well as through the industrial destruction of water ways and reservoirs. All this is a result of the perpetual intensification of the human imprint on nature. About twenty per cent of the earth’s population isn’t getting its daily ration and forty per cent is without essential sanitation. The status of water is being elevated to “basic human right,” well beyond other less fundamental commodities such as oil or even wheat. It has reached the realm of oxygen. Although easy to accept if you live in a rare country on the "we have plenty" side of the water debate, this classification can lead to potentially delimiting barriers to its movement and sharing.

All societies, both the have and have not in the water firmament should become familiar with this perspective. It is one of the highest hurdles to be overcome as water begins to flow in bulk quantities across borders, through other than natural means. As new realities permeate the domain of this very basic resource, such as becoming commoditized and traded through futures contracts, or as innovative methodologies surface for moving bulk water from one corner of the globe to another, events cascading on the flow of this life sustaining resource can only be described as a paradigm shift. There is little doubt that water will in time become more valuable than oil. Although water is already an economic commodity, with sound reason and in a spirit of broad magnanimity it could also become a social and cultural commodity to be managed and traded responsibly. The predicament here is weakness in government resolve.

Humanity will look to those who are geographically privileged and inadvertently placed in control of large quantities, to manage it responsibly and to share. While many suggest the problem is a financial one, or a question of waste, or just as likely the result of pollutive practices, mankind isn’t about to dramatically alter its behavior. There have have been endless debates and studies. Now it is time to establish policy.

First, and here's the anomaly, lay a deep line in the sands of water’s control - Public vs. Deregulated Privatization.

Historically, the exploitation of natural resources has not been executed in any manner that maximized the benefits to the federations from whose lands they were extracted. Unfortunately, corporations with the help of the legal profession were able to take advantage of situations as the public’s representatives engaged in negotiations with mandarins unfamiliar with the terrain. We have endless examples where the public’s interests were negotiated from positions of irresolute bearing mired in gullibility and ignorance, rather than from strength. Radically contrasting dispositions and strategies must be undertaken for the responsible stewardship of the fresh water systems.

The following is the synopsis of a plan specific to Canadian federal and provincial governments. It is also a proposed mindset.

Canada is the obvious place to start given that it holds roughly 20% of the world’s known fresh water supplies, and perhaps even more if one considers its percentage of strictly “clean and usable” fresh water. British Columbia in particular has the anomalous and glorious advantage of having 7% of the world’s fresh water supply flow through it’s tributaries. It has pristine fresh water in excess of 400 million-acre feet (AFY) each year (1 acre foot = 325,851 gallons or 1,300,000 liters). That means over 130,340,400,000,000 gallons flow into the Pacific Ocean each year. The numbers are staggering, and that’s just B.C.

Taking a leadership position and a prescient approach within this new paradigm will also provide exemplary guidance that other communities can mirror when such time comes that they too must take advantage of their own natural water resources to enter a market expected to become a multi trillion dollar industry. Canada can take the opportunity to take hold of the “fresh water enterprise” before corporations and international bodies dictate the conditions and substantively set the framework for all of its aspects.

• Form a federal trust, including the participation of all Provinces to control and conduct the commercialization of all fresh water bulk sales from Canadian watersheds. Although this federal trust will report to parliament, its net income should go strictly to the benefit of the country’s social underpinnings of medical care, pension systems and education whose financial futures appear grievously under-funded. Distribution of funds should be proportional to the base of tax paying citizens domiciling in each Province.
• Set levels of transparency on all elements of ecological impact on the removal of targeted percentages of the fresh water flow.
• Set a sustainable and environmentally sound policy on the stewardship of the country’s watersheds. Take leadership on the research front as has been demonstrated possible by such institutions as the University of British Columbia, whose auspices and participation should be encouraged and invited.
• Establish levels of permitted collection from each targeted watershed.
• Launch the initiative in the most readily accessed water sheds and the ones closest to the intended markets. Profits from the nominal initial expenditures will finance expansion of infrastructures as well as the creation of reservoirs for satisfaction of long term needs.
• Set parameters for negotiation of just and reasonable agreements on the sale of fresh water, protecting the long term interests of the country, proffering ethical dimensions to all relationships.
• Ignore all entreaties from foreign bodies such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, foreign capital funds or multinationals.
• Don't accede to the too often misguiding postulation that private management or private participation is required for any competent or efficient commercialization to ensue. This is water we are dealing with. No massive infrastructure decimating the landscape or damaging the ocean is required.
• Ignore all pressures to deregulate and privatize. Too many examples of abuse currently exist and the daily headlines are evidence that proceeding publicly with caution will be the only way to ensure achievement of social and ecological objectives encompassing this unique resource. How do you provide real oversight on a conglomerate based in Dubai that might be obscurely controlling your fresh water? Rattle a finger? ... not effective. Send in the troops? Not likely, but then would you wince when the CEO pays himself a $400 million bonus for a year?
• Establish rules of trade without getting bogged down by confining and paralyzing international bodies. Erect the precedents.
• Terminate the controversy over terminology in NAFTA dealing with what designates "bulk" water as a product. The squabble over whether a ship is really just a BIG bottle and therefore should be treated the same way under NAFTA is silly. Make it so.

To do otherwise would be foolish and create a widespread dissonant roar of discontent from a population claiming its “basic human right” which would bring to a grinding halt the common sense exploitation of a very renewable (for Canada) natural resource that could benefit many generations to come.

As the urgency of the world’s demand for water takes a dramatic shift, Canada would already be along the path, taking responsible, prudent, and compassionate bearing in the management of this too precious and fundamental resource.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Mr. Black,
Your March 4,’08, National Post editorial details the minutia in the fabric of your battle against “a travesty of justice” and your passage into incarceration, all skillfully presented… all, except the most determinative to the root cause of your present situation. Not a word on the non-compete payments, sizable by any measure, extracted from the treasury you controlled absolutely and not your acquisitor’s.

Such audacious moves on shareholder capital were astonishing when they occurred and no less so in the sobriety of hindsight all these years later. Track obscuring paper trails and memory impaired directors, not withstanding, it is extremely unlikely that a single senior corporate executive could possibly view such action as either ethical, lawful or in the best interest of minority shareholders, in my opinion. At least not in the glare of public view and scrutiny. If an acquiring competitor wishes to prevent the imposition of your talents on his market, such acquisitor will pay for the pleasure. Such is the legitimate and sanctioned practice of exercising rights in a free capitalist system.

Your crowning achievement, the National Post, is in my opinion, Canada’s foremost newspaper and stands out as one of the resplendent elements in North America’s too often tenebrous and indistinct media firmament.

Perhaps we can anticipate a day when you subscribe to a sincere and candid perspective on the life changing decisions you and your partner made. It is not likely that rationalizations, excuses or deflections will provide you such insight. Neither will listening to sycophants. 
 Evidently you have a versatile vocabulary and an ample dictionary. A breakthrough in sense of self might lead your writing to acquire an unaffected dimension of truth elevating future contributions to the Post I would look forward to reading.

James Raider

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Sunday, March 2, 2008


Our percepts regarding the boundless complexities of our globe’s climate are confusing and confused, and while there is little evidence of immanent consensus on cause and effect, there remains room for some broad based consensus with positive residual affect. Experts can’t agree, but we can.

Somewhere between 1600 and 1900 the world experienced lower temperatures that were evident and not imaginary. Many rivers and lakes in the Northern hemisphere that were frozen have not seen ice since then. Does anyone recall the concerns of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s when serious and disquieting reports were predicting potentially catastrophic impact on the world’s food supply because the Earth was entering the dawn of another ice age? Canada’s vast wheat fields were destined to fall to the decimating resurgence of an endless winter. The devastation had numerically specific valuations.

We have suddenly entered a reversal of climactic fortunes. Global warming fears are upon us, suddenly and without warning. In one generation we have an annulment of the foregoing two centuries worth of “climate cooling trends” and related fears. Our food producing “bread baskets” require temperature stability, and historically this has been administered by westerly winds flowing over temperate areas. Air movement fluctuations in the upper atmosphere are unquestionably affecting those westerlies. The new cooling trend might permanently alter the existence of our bread baskets.

We are mesmerized by doomsayers, and although it isn’t in this article that we’ll dissect why, our media enjoys leaping to the story of the moment and fomenting panic. It sells. Such excitement then beckons the economic opportunists. Once money’s attention is captured, the euphoria becomes fuelled by too often ridiculous and expensive boondoggles. I suppose it is only time before opportunists find mechanisms to exploit the ever so subtle Milankovitch cycles.

Facts indicate that over the long term our ocean and the air we breath have been warming since the beginning of the industrial age. As observers we look to the scientific community for analysis, facts, raw data, extrapolations of evidence, and perhaps an occasional opinion. We aren’t even seeking wisdom on this, however we would feel more comfortable with “consensus” from our experts. ANY consensus. Then we could set about finding solutions. Unfortunately we forget that everyone, even our scientific community, is driven by political motivation. It is the ego’s recursive journey. We also forget that the earth is an infinitely complex system before throwing in any accommodations the sun might convery on our current or future well being. Still we seek consensus.

Long term outcomes are always difficult to predict, and although the more extreme dangers lie in what we don’t know, there are elements that should nudge us to modify our habits and behavior which in turn will affect our enthropogenic footprints.

Since consensus on the causes of climate change seems an ephemeral and unachievable concept, let’s establish some harmony where we can:
1. We are collectively polluting our air at an unprecedented rate. Wipe your brow after a few minutes of walking on any street on earth then take a few really deep breaths and while you’re breathing count the particles suspended in air – do we have consensus?
2. We are collectively polluting our rivers at an unprecedented rate. From China to the Gulf of Mexico, dead water flows all around us and we have undeniable knowledge as to what it contains, what it doesn’t contain, and we even know why – do we have consensus?

Disagreements on the degree of humanity’s responsibility for the fluctuations in our climate is a digressing and obfuscating deflection. It remains that there is an abundance of data providing very vivid evidence that we are negatively affecting our environment in serious ways that must be reversed, cooling, warming or not. Such reversal will only be brought about, not through panic, but through collective behavior modification. In addition we will require enormous doses of creativity applied to the development of more efficient methodologies for the uses of energy, and conceiving new sources and forms of energy … if only for self preservation.

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