Saturday, July 22, 2006

Pam Furr II

Dave of the11thhour writes about his impressions of an exchange between radio talk show host Pam Furr, and one of her callers earlier this week. Whether by coincidence or by "intelligent design" we both ended up listening to the same program. I listen to Pam Furr Monday, through Friday, and find her program to be the most interesting program on the local radio scene during the time slot her program occupies. Yet Dave relates almost exactly the same impression which I came away with from an earlier exchange Pam Furr had with another caller several months ago.

One thing I will not do is approach any critique of Pam Furr through Ad Hominem attacks. Such an attack is unwarranted. Also in all fairness to Pam Furr she is paid to "bring in the listeners" by generating interesting and controversial on air exchanges. That isn't a easy task to accomplish without stepping on someone's feelings. She's bound to offend some of her listeners including me.

The fact is listeners to talk radio programs can not assume that conservative radio host are actually as conservative as they sound, nor should we assume that some of the few liberal voices on talk radio are as liberal as they sound.

Middle of the road may be practical, but it's not as interesting as getting a good on air controversy started by advocating an extreme view. The polarizing exchanges we hear so often on radio talk shows are designed to keep the listeners interested.

Despite this understanding I still have problems with Pam Furr's program. On many occassions she seems to agree with callers simply because they sound as if they support her views. This despite the fact that the callers may be weaving in ideas that even Pam Furr herself would never endorse. I mentioned that in my prior post on Pam Furr (click on the link above). Dave of the11thhour mentions this same readiness on the part of Pam Furr to take and run with something a caller says simply because the caller sounds like they agree with her - whether what that caller says is based in fact or not.

It may be that Pam Furr isn't as well read in history, or science, or all the topics which come up on her show as we'd wish. Who can blame her for not being an expert on WWII, or Stem Cell research? Yet I am beginning to suspect that Pam Furr is all too willing to agree with what "sounds" conservative just to "sound" like she is in agreement with her Right Wing fanbase.

This can only act to damage Pam Furr's credibility.

Something Dave of the11thhour once shared with me many years ago was his iteration of the "Seven P Method". Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Dave picked that up in a Radio & Television class down Carbondale will attending SIU-C.

My suggestion to Pam Furr is that she spend more time studying up on the subjects she intends to discuss on her talk show. And that she not be so willing to agree with callers simply because they sound as if they agree with her. If she doesn't know something she needs to admit it. No one expects you to be an expert in every subject Pam.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Will Islam Rule The World?

I had a comment on my prior post which I wanted to share, and address:

Ahmedinajad said...







Visit the following websites for further information on ISLAM.
(Quran and Science)

11:04 AM

My Response Below:

In the economically developed nations of the West women have recently gained the right to control their own bodies (e.g., birth control).

Although the conservative Christian movement in the U.S. may eliminate this right it is likely that women in the West - including those of the Islamic faith will choose to limit the number of children they bear based upon what they feel their families can afford.

This is a matter of personal choice for each family, yet it is easy to see how the recent empowerment of women has led to lower birthrates. Some may see this as a problem for the West, but in a world of limited natural resources fewer mouths to feed means more for everyone else.

The ever growing numbers of impoverished peoples in the developing nations are a risk to the West, but not through immigration. European nations, and the United States will curtail immigration if it becomes a serious threat.

The real threat which overpopulation in the developing nations presents is the potential for political, and economic instability in nations which provide vital natural resources (e.g., petroleum).

The United States has hundreds of millions of impoverished Christians living closeby (i.e. Mexico, Central, and South America). The vast majority of immigrants entering the United States are Catholic. Latin American Catholics tend to have many more children than Prostestant North Americans, and therefore it is highly doubtful that the Western Hemisphere will ever be overwhelmed by large numbers of Islamic peoples simply due to poverty based fertility rates (e.g., the average number of children per mexican family is five).

I don't fear Islam, as I don't know enough about it to fear it simply based upon the teachings of the Koran, but I do not support theocracy as a method of government. Theocracy is a corrupting, and inefficient method of government.

Historically theocracies are closely associated with political, religious, and economic oppression of a ruled class at the hands of an annointed ruling elite. Theocratic states offer little in the way of personal, and institutional incentives for self progress, and economic excellence. There's a reason why in the highly competitive West there exist no theocratic states (except Vatican City), and that is because they are doomed to fail in a modern technological society.

Western democracy has recently sustained a period of relative peace, and prosperity (albeit with the threat of total nuclear destruction), and secularism is at the heart of democracy. A secular state institutes social tolerance of a diversity of religious beliefs which eliminates the threat of sectarian violence.

Theocracies lead to social implosion through civil wars, and wars upon neighboring states. In the modern age a self contained theocratic state is an impossibility - Saudia Arabia, and Iran have only partially succeeded due to their oil reserves. Once the oil is gone both Saudia Arabia, and Iran will prosper only if they establish a more diverse trade of goods, and services with the West. This will demand a more developed economic interdependency with the West - not isolation.

One factor which you might want to consider in your projection of Islam as an overwhelming tide which will one day sweep all other faiths away is the fact that Islam's huge oil reserves, which are the very basis of the Middle East's influence, are rapidly being depleted.

Within less than one hundred years the world's oil reserves will be entirely depleted, and the age of fossil fuels will be over. This isn't wishful thinking, nor doomday prediction, it's a simple fact.

Long before those oil reserves are depleted however the price of oil will rise so high as to force the major oil consuming nations to shift from fossil fuels to other alternative sources of energy. They will have no other choice.

The United States will within a matter of decades begin its shift to a hydrogen based economy. This change is inevitable, and in historic terms will take place very rapidly.

The United States can not obtain hydrogen from the Middle East, and thus will rely upon solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and nuclear energy to produce its energy right in North America.

As the curtain falls on the age of fossil fuels the oil exporting islamic nations main form of income (today) will no longer exist. Leverage which those nations have over the West will rapidly decline.

The West will be forced to adapt economically, and progress technologically, as it transitions to a new cleaner, and self sufficient hydrogen economy. Despite the challenges which such a transition presents the West has no choice but to do what must be done, and to do it rapidly.

Despite the political corruption which big oil has injected into U.S. politics it is inevitable that as oil prices skyrocket politicians will be forced to listen to businesses which represent other sectors of the U.S. economy. The transistion beyond dependence upon fossil fuels will be a difficult one for the U.S., but eventually the death grip which big oil, and Middle Eastern influences have upon the U.S. will be broken.

Supporting an ever growing number of impoverished people will become the chief consideration for those living in Middle Eastern nations as their oil reserves are depleted. Through endorsement, or by simply ignoring overpopulation those nations which depend upon oil revenues to support their fragile economies will inevitably face a period of crisis, and mass starvation on the scale which was evident in China during its cultural revolution.

The world needs to plan for a future without oil, and we need to make the transition as quickly, and gently as possible. Moving to hydrogen sooner, rather than later will allow the remaining oil reserves to be depleted more slowly, and thus allow the Middle Eastern nations more time to diversify their economies, and develop socially.

These nation's governments need to bring about changes in attitudes about the role of women in their societies so that women are free to limit the number of children they bring into the world. Overpopulation can not be solved by flooding the developed nations with masses of impoverished peoples. The developed nations will eventually act to restrict the tide of immigrants when it reaches a crisis point - which it soon will.

All nations must all work together to shift away from a carbon based world economy to a hydrogen based economy. We must not simply wait until events force us to do so, or millions of people will face starvation.

While it may seem counterintuitive the oil producing nations must recommend strongly that the oil consuming nations seek ways to conserve oil, and to develop alternative sources of energy. This course, if taken will help both the West, and oil producing states.

Israel &The Right Of Self Defense

I have written many post condemning the Bush Administration for taking the U.S. into Iraq.

I also condemn war as a means of solving problems. War is horrible, and it does not solve problems it only creates larger problems.

Yet I believe that everyone, and every nation has the right to defend themselves.

Whatever one may believe about Israel, and Zionism, one must recognize that millions of Jewish people live in that nation, and they are not going to just disappear. Israel is a fact.

Millions of people want to kill Jews because they blame their poverty, and oppressed situation in life upon Israel. These oppressed people should instead focus upon changing their corrupt dictatorial governments into peaceful, and prosperous democracies which recognize, and protect the rights of everyone despite their differences.

It's an age old story - if there's a problem why not simply blame it on the Jews?

Political movements in Islamic nations which use scapegoating, and hatred for the Jews as a means of creating a sense of unity are inherently disconnected from the true issues which face the people the claim to care most about. These organizations fear the consequences of challenging those who control the nations in which they operate, and so instead they choose to attack a sanctioned scapegoat.

While issues relating to the history of the creation of the modern state of Israel, and Israel's treatment of of the Palestinian people are legitimate topics of debate, the villification, and dehumanization of the Jewish people is nothing more than a method of creating a sense of Muslim unity through the creation of an outgroup - one of humankind's sadder modus operandi.

There appears to be a strong inverse relationship between the level of concern which a group's leadership truly possesses for its members, and the amount of outgrouping it participates in.

Those who feel they need to blame all manner of social ills on a particular minority, race, nationality, or religion are less likely to actually address the real causes of poverty, and social problems. Instead they use the "made you look" method of redirecting attention to the scapegoat as a means of control.

The hundreds of millions of dollars which the Syrian, and Iranian governments, have taken from their own people to support terrorist groups could have been used to help their impoverished people. This fact alone is an indication of the lack of concern which the "leaders" of those nations have for addressing the very problems which they blame upon the United States, and Israel.

The United States has pressured Israel for years to work towards peace, by giving up land. Land for peace was the promise made to the Israeli people, yet now we see where that has led. In areas in which Israel has voluntarily exited we now see well financed terrorist groups planning, and preparing the military overthrow of the state of Israel.

Israel has the right to defend itself from an army of terrorist in Lebanon, but it should refrain from destroying any infrastructure which could later assist the Lebanese people in recovering economically.

Opposing war in general does not mean one must quietly refrain from supporting nations legitimately involved in self defense. The difference between the Bush Administration's actions in Iraq, and what Israel is now embroiled in is obvious. Israel is defending itself from destruction, while the U.S. war in Iraq was a war of choice - the Iraqi war was avoidable.

Note: Support for Israel in this current conflict does not imply I support all actions, or policies of Israeli governments past and present.

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