Horizons

I have never seen this nation as ideologically divided as it is today. Sometimes it seems that the left and right are from different planets. How have we come to this place in time? More importantly, can we get past it?

The United States has always been a place of horizons. As soon as we kicked the Brits out of the thirteen colonies, we started looking west. We acquired Florida, moved into Tennessee and Kentucky, bought Louisiana, kicked the Mexicans out of the Southwest all the way to the Golden Gate, all in the name of expanding our horizons. In those days it was called Manifest Destiny.

It was the nature of the American to move and find a place where he could be left alone to do his thing. For many, it was a religious movement, from the Puritans to the Mormons. For others it was just about finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Territories were settled and organized into states.

When we ran out of room at the end of the nineteenth century, we entered our imperialistic stage, concocting a war with Spain to expand our horizons into the Caribbean and the Pacific. Plantation owners decided to upend any thoughts of Hawaiian independence. At the end of World War II we grabbed a few more islands and atolls.

But by the nineteen sixties, the efforts of territories to become states ground to a halt, and those colonies that were still under the US umbrella demanded their freedom. The only thing left to do was fill in the empty spaces in our existing borders.

And that’s where we are today. The only place to expand is upward, into outer space, not exactly an easy move for the hungry immigrant or entreprenuer. Some, like Richard Branson and Newt Gingrich, are aiming for the stars, but until we find an inexpensive way to get there it is beyond our grasp.

So we are left to fight over the remaining resources here on Planet Earth. Exploit or preserve, that is the question.

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21 Responses to Horizons

  1. Douglas Keachie says:

    For a great exploration of what would happen if interstellar travel was so cheap you could make a spaceship in a garage, read “The Great Explosion” by Eric Frank Russell. For a taste of how complex freedom issues have become, try:

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57394877-71/12-year-old-sues-school-district-over-facebook-profile-search/?tag=postrtcol;dis

    • rl Crabb says:

      Even though half of the civilized world has been nagging me to get a Facepod page, I remain faceless. It reminds me to much of the Matrix. I’m not taking the red pill, thank you.

      • Greg Goodknight says:

        Regular Facebook users tend to ignore one essential fact… Facebook isn’t the product being sold, the users are.

        • Douglas Keachie says:

          So what am I worth?

        • Douglas Keachie says:

          Do you have cable or sat tv connected to your phone line? Your viewing habits are very carefully watched. We never connect that wire, and I’m seriously considering going Anonnymouse on FB. A lot of hassle, as you have to re-establish friendship. 99% of my images I store elsewhere, as FB insists that if you post to “public” you have them given them a full set of rights, identical to yours. Only they call it, “you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.” Which means that if you’ve made it public when posting it, they can resell it as a stock photo, or part of a graphics library.

          • rl Crabb says:

            That’s why I’ve gone the blog route. My content is my content. I’ll just have to learn to get by without 80 million “friends”. (sniffle)

          • Douglas Keachie says:

            I wouldn’t worry about what you are missing too much, as the US Gov could shut the entire thing (the Internet) down anytime. Bars and coffee shops will be unable to cope with the chatting deprived addicts, myself included. The Union has already banned me from even being able to see their site, and apparently has “deep” cookies, not erasable via normal history and cookie cleanings.

            http://rt.com/news/seizure-domain-juristiction-internet-265/

          • Douglas Keachie says:

            The Union has banned me from being able to see their page on Facebook. I can still see the non subscribed part of the paper’s own site.

      • TD Pittsford says:

        The key element to any and all of these so-called “social networks” is of a singular purpose: to collect information, most of it without your knowledge. Google is becoming more invasive by the day, hell, by the hour. Every time you are deluged with the latest and greatest hype, you can bet it’s not to the subscribers’ benefit. Information is the most valuable commodity in the world and in the cyber world no one is safe, not even the our government whose computers are hacked with astonishing regularity. You can call me irrational, paranoid, or delusional, but unlike the younger generations, I have studied history (sometimes begrudgingly) and am convinced that we are living in very disturbing times when certain entities will stop at nothing in their continuing efforts to control just about everything we see, hear and do. As our politicians systematically disassemble our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to suit their own questionable and sometimes downright evil purposes, the general population has allowed itself to be distracted by bright shiny objects by what passes for entertainment but in reality are merely diversions, sleight-of- hand, smoke and mirrors, or however you want to describe it. Our society is being irrevocably undermined by greed, avarice, a complete lack of accountability for one’s own actions and what has become the new American Paradigm: Less for more. As witnessed by the current political campaigns. Outrageous allegations, true or not, character assassinations, massive almost obscene amounts of money, and all the other characteristics of a bad TV reality show (let’s call this “Campaign Wars”) but nothing of any substance whatsoever. Whenever anyone makes a valid point, he/she is shouted down and subjected to derision of the most vicious and despicable kind. And that seems to be the nature of our society today, vicious, violent, disingenuous and the very worst examples of human nature. I believe that the beginning of our downfall in America came with the industrial revolution, continued with the robber barons whose legacy of greed is still apparent today, and now with the modern day robber barons, the oil companies, global corporations, and a government more interested in self- propagation than for the benefit of it’s citizens. So who is ultimately to blame? Look in the mirror; remain distracted by events of no real importance and ignore the signs of decaying morality. Our only hope for any kind of salvation lies in the realization that We the People are still a force to be reckoned with and by putting aside our own personal agendas, agreeing that we deserve a better world in which to live and raise our children, and then banding together to fight the truly evil forces we have allowed to dominate our lives. It’s been done before; it can happen again.

    • TD Pittsford says:

      How unfortunate. Many of us had hoped that he would declare as an Independent and kicked the bejesus out of both the major parties.

  2. TD Pittsford says:

    I just found this link on NC Voices. Regardless of your politics, take time to watch it to the end, then click on one of the links to find out more about how we can recover from corporate domination. This is important.

    http://sierravoices.com/2012/03/how-corporations-erode-our-democracy-and-how-to-fix-it/

    • Greg Goodknight says:

      NC and Sierra Voices… two compasses pointing South.

    • Douglas Keachie says:

      NC and and Sierra Voices. Ahead of their time, already adjusted to the next polar swap.

      Sierra Memorial Hospital ER is covered for ER according to our United Health Services rep. Go there, and you are nicely processed, and if you asked about cost they say it will all be explained in the end. Now comes the big corporate switch. you go off to xray for what ever. Then they move you to a waiting room marked Urgent Care. On the wall just before you go off to see the doctor is a cute sign that blends in well with the decor that basically states that all the doctor here are “independent contractors. Guess what? You been transitionsed from the ER to a zone in which everybody is out on network for independent health care, and you are about to get screwed with full boat rates for everything. That xray tech? Also out of network. She gives a preliminary reading which the doctor seeing you uses to go forward. She will send you a separate bill. Guess what ? Next they will send that xray out to be read by a full attending doctor, also out of network. And then recommend that you have followup xrays to see if any cracks develop later on. NO THANKS, CORPORATE AMERICA, Sierra Memorial Hospital version. This slight of hand needs to be posted in the first waiting room. Guess what, I’ll blog this until the cows come home or my extra fees are all totally recinded. BAIT and SWITCH, big time. Calling California Consumers hotline.

      • Douglas Keachie says:

        Actually it is the Federal government that is causing this problem, due to EMTALA q.v., at wikipedia. The hospitals are not allowed to tell you up front about costs, as you might change your mind about receiving care. farstars.blogspot.com has much much updated version of my above post. RL Crabb, please delete the antiquated version above, thanks, Doug

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