Monday, October 5, 2009

Monday Morning Rant 112

I was stunned this morning when Lee Parsons furnished a bit of information which really straightened out some faulty thinking. From the pulpit he asked those who question God to consider why their confusion with His decisions is sometimes a mystery. Typically they range from the deprivation caused by the loss of a loved one to a starving people in some far away land or a natural disaster which takes the lives of many with random savagery. This is normally followed by the observational question, “How could God allow this to happen?” He wisely pointed out that if we had a thorough understanding of the mind of God that would then make us— God!

We are limited to the boundaries imposed by our own frame of reference and its implied selfish concerns. He, on the other hand, sees all things within the scope of the unbound realm of the universe. We do not come equipped with the points of reference to even vaguely understand the immensity of that with which God deals. As you gaze into the night sky and the uncountable specks of light it would be well to remember that some of those specks represent galaxies and solar systems which dwarf ours by comparison. Through all of this grandiosity we are assured that he counts the hairs on our heads and notes each sparrow as it falls.

We sometimes refer to ourselves as a “child of God.” Our self-interest manifests itself with impatience with the Almighty when he does not deliver precisely, and on time, our every personal wish. We take that opportunity to lash out at Him and assign blame just because we didn’t get our way.. In other words, we become a childish brat among spoiled multitudes ignoring our gifts and the fact of our very lives in ignorance of their source. While we observe many role models who assume this posture, we need remember that our true relationship with Him is one on one. Ultimately, it is we ourselves who are responsible for our actions regardless of how easily we may blame others.

As we deal with other issues on the rant, please keep these opening remarks in mind.

“Ring down 211 central”

If you have ever uttered those words, you are at least 75, or older. You directed the request to a black microphone on the front of an oak box hanging on an outside wall with two exposed bells, a receiver and a crank on the side. A thin wire reached from your home/business to a pole outside where it joined others and went to a “central” office. Here an operator connected actual wires together on a switch board and completed your call. This is where the expression, “the ‘lion’ is busy” originated.

Today, in some municipalities we risk arrest while driving down a highway, by flipping the cover, thumbing in some numbers or pushing a speed dial, to talk to others halfway around the world. The receiver’s cell phone announces your call with “The Ride of the Valkyries” or whatever you choose to be disturbed by. Busy “lions” are furnished a recorded message of the necessity of the call.

This incredible service, which connected people as never before, was made possible by the Bell Telephone Company and hundreds of smaller outfits which functioned on a local basis with individual phone service companies. They largely operated at a profit and performed a minor miracle in communications. It was an example of capitalism serving the needs of all the people as they provided the infrastructure to service millions of accounts.

Fast forward now to the darling of the internet age, your internet service provider (ISP). Now instead of confirming that “supper’s ready” or “the doctor will see you at 4pm.” we have encyclopedic knowledge at our finger tips. We also have news, opinions, personal websites, games, and sources which touch every aspect of daily life. If you lose the user’s manual for that fancy gadget you couldn’t live without, you can bring it up on line, print it, and no harm done. If you need a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, foreign language translation, or the complete works of Shakespeare; they are at your fingertips at no loss of shelf space in your library..

Currently, the only remaining problems are sufficient speed, coverage and costs. So far, the costs have been largely borne by individual companies who benefit from providing the services. They have ponied up $850,000,000,000.00 so far with an additional $300,000,000,000.00 on tap by 2012. That is a grand total of 1.150 trillion dollars so far for infrastructure and services to keep the data flowing. Believe it or not, they have shown a profit on that incredible investment.

Enter the villain, newly appointed FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, has regulatory plans for the internet which will cripple the providers from ever making a profit and thus curtail progress to provide improvement of services for every one in the country. The ISP’s goal was to provide universal 4G coverage for all subscribers. Barring that possibility, those of us in the sticks are doomed to dial-up or satellite, neither of which are sufficient to download operable videos or maintain anything close to “normal” operation in other functions. Writing this piece requires I have 7 resources available for fact checking and reference and the system barely sustains it. A more complicated enterprise would require many more and be impossible.

In an earlier submission to the FCC, the Americans for Tax Reform stated: ““In order for free-market models to provide for the further development of broadband access, it is absolutely critical that government intrusion not prevent private capitalfrom recouping its investment. If private capital becomes convinced that its ability to recoup its investments is less likely, it will be less likely to make the significant investments in broadband that is the very goal of this FCC inquiry.”

Unbelievable as it may seem, currently I must drag my lap top to Mc Donald’s twelve miles to a nearby town to get broadband WiFi. I share this problem with millions of Americans. Obama promised change we could believe in. With this recent appointment, the only change I see is the continued downward spiral for the people in this nation.

Stewart Brand Rethinks the Environment

They say that with age comes wisdom. Sometimes it does. Stewart Brand could easily be called one of the fathers of the environmental movement. Over fifty years later he has adjusted some of his views and now seems nearly sane. It is a long video (16 min.) but well worth your viewing. Being basically simplistic I found about thirty seconds of it at min. 6 the most interesting of all as a train goes through the middle of a slum. You may have to play with the site a little but the effort is well worth it. There is no doubt, the guy is bright, and his views are well worth the trouble.

The actual title of the piece is “Stewart Brand proclaims 4 environmental heresies.”

And finally

After a 23 day hiatus on lawn mowing caused by a trip to Washington, D.C., torrential rains and mechanical problems, I tackled the 15” grass with a reworked carburetor and a lot of determination. The four acres took three days and mowed grass had to be picked up with the lawn rake. I lost weight in the process because I was $81 lighter in my wallet for the repairs. Oh well, it looks great and I doubt it will have to be mowed more than once again this season. (Ed.: My thinking is $81.00 is a heck of a lot better that losing $4000.00 for a new mower.)

Under cover of tall grass, the armadillos did a number on the landscape, turning over rocks and digging deep holes. God bless ‘em, I wish they’d take their talents elsewhere. The birds at the feeder continue to thin out and I regret their absence. As usual, in an oak forest, we are not experiencing much in color change on the trees but we do have a surplus of acorns (Boo Hiss) and walnuts. All in all, the place looks good and we’re getting ready for the season which enriches Ozark Electric. We are very comfortable with the idea that God is in charge and the seasons will change.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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