Generation-E

A while ago, I was engaged in a conversation with a colleague in a management position with a medium sized company.  Somehow, during a discussion of the frustrations related to his position, he related a story of his interaction with a new employee.  He had met with the twenty-something employee for the previously scheduled, six-month new employee review.  During the review, he outlined how well the employee had been performing during the previous six-months and a number of ways the employee could improve their performance, raise their productivity, and pursue a career with the company.  Overall, he felt the employee could benefit from, what he felt was, constructive criticism and become an asset to the corporation.

Everything seemed reasonable until the next morning, when he received a phone call from the employee’s mother demanding that he show a better appreciation for her child’s contribution to the company and refrain from demeaning and upsetting comments directed at her child.

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Human Activity?

The pursuit of science is an interesting endeavor and I’m convinced most folks don’t understand how it actually works.  It’s a simplification of the process, but science proceeds in three steps.  First, observe the natural world and notice some process or event that may possibly be explained by some other process or event.  Second, hypothesize the relationship between the causative event and the resultant action.  This is sometimes referred to as a theory.  Third, extensively test the theory of events until it is shown to be false.  Theories, which are not definitively false may, or may not, be true.  The longer they survive testing without being shown to be false, the more likely they are to be true.

Some theories can be proven to be true mathematically and become laws of nature.  Gravity is one example.  Others are not easily mathematically modeled and remain theories even though they have survived repeated testing and are accepted by most as generally true.  Evolution is in this category.

Over two decades ago, some environmental scientists noticed long term, worldwide temperatures appeared to be rising and seemed to correlate with increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).

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Women’s Rights — Really?

Recently we have been treated to an impassioned public debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act/mandated purchases/religious freedom/birth control/women’s rights.  Since Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ January 20th announcement mandating all employers to offer health insurance coverage, including birth control, to their employees, we have been treated to an Olympic level of political gymnastics.

The original announcement offended the Church; the Administration’s “fix” made it worse; conservatives tried to shift the focus to First Amendment rights; liberals called on a 30 year old, libidinal law student to focus the discussion on the hardships of birth control and women’s rights and, finally, the ultimate absurdity, a sex strike by women in Austin, Texas.

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Choice?

Yesterday, Super Tuesday, primary voters seemed to settle the issue of who will be the Republican nominee for President.  Barring unlikely cooperation between the also ran candidates, it appears the backroom managers of the Republican Party, those folks with the power to anoint a candidate but not the courage to run for office themselves, have overcome the conservative ground swell and will get what they wanted.  The Republican nominee will be another moderate progressive from the same mold that lost the last Presidential election and contrary to the lessons of the 2010 Congressional election.

This November 6th, conservative voters will have two choices – Barack Obama or Barack Obama lite.

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