Gary G's Personal Home Page
Some Friends On-line:
- A friend is constructing a Christian Book on-line, does extensive programming, and has interesting thoughts.
Something about Gary:
I work at
Video Image Presentation Systems in Southern California.
I am a Hot Air balloon pilot.
Sadly, my balloon has been sitting on its trailer in the garage for a long time now.
It is a Barnes AX-7 with the mid-size triangular wicker and suede basket.
Perhaps it needs to find another home where someone will take it out more often?
I enjoy the Mountains, Trees, Clean air (but where can one find it?),
Peace, Quiet, and Serenity.
I like the imagination and alternate reality of good Science Fiction and Star Trek.
I attended the University of California, Berkeley, during the early 60's -
when many students were discovering that all that is in the news media is
not a perfect view of "The Truth". It was the time of Free (and filthy) speech,
Hippies, Hip-huggers, and Bikinis.
Thoughts to Consider:
The Split-Grade Classroom
1 Oct 96: As a parent, have you ever been told by your school district that
a split-grade classroom is a "wonderful opportunity" for your child
(as if they believe it)? In many schools, that is the district-mandated
"official response" to a parent's concerned inquiry. However, I believe that
it is difficult enough for a teacher to find the time in a normal teaching day
to teach even the mandated curriculum to one grade level (and still make
learning interesting and "fun").
Can you reasonably expect a teacher do the same "quality job" for your child
(in half the hours) when they also have to teach another grade level
at the same time? Certainly the other grade level takes some substantial
teacher-time away from your child.
The teacher just does not have the time to give the same amount
of attention and help to your child,
even though they often make tremendous efforts and put in many extra hours.
Your child just cannot get the teacher-time that they deserve.
If all the parents just said "No" to split classes, I suspect those rooms
would be empty. There would be no split classes. Would your kids benefit?
I think so - say "No"!
The Freedom of Speech
13 Feb 96: Some years ago, lives were spent to purchase independence from
a government that did not allow sufficient freedom of expression and did
not listen to those it taxed. Is our own government listening less and less to us,
and doing whatever they want with more and more taxes?
Does the Decency Amendment to the Telecommunications Bill strike
at the heart of Freedom of Speech? Would you tolerate the government
regulating what you can say to anyone on the phone? I think not! Protest Loudly.
The greatest benefit of the Freedom of Speech is that some people
(yes, even those in power) may hear things that they do not agree with.
This country was born on the Right to have different opinions, values,
The Right to Bear Arms
13 Feb 96: Why did the writers of the Constitution give us the
Right to Bear Firearms? Was it to hunt (for sport or even for food)?
No, it was to avoid the situation that they had just been through -
facing an overly "protective" government without the force to do anything about it.
Sadly, peaceful resolution to all conflicts seems not yet possible.
How much taxes, corruption, and waste do we have to tolerate before we
will have to say "No" even louder. The government forces you to give
them the money that you would be saving for old age.
Then, they spend it, and more, running up a HUGE debt.
We say "Stop", but they keep right on going. Carefully,
they might be trying to remove any mechanism for us to "speak" louder.
13 Feb 96: It is your right to approve of or disapprove of abortion -
of that I have no doubt. Since there is so much difference of opinion,
it is obvious to me that the issue is not clearly resolved with a blanket
"Yes" or "No", "Right" or "Wrong". Yet there are those who would legislate
a "No" for everyone. Think, when did making something illegal stop its use?
Drugs, liquor, sex for sale, robbery, government corruption, ...
the list goes on and on! What does happen when something is illegal?
It simply goes underground, often in dirty, filthy circumstances.
How many girls, punctured with an old wire coat hanger,
do you have to see before you allow them clean care for their
life-threatening physical problems? Termination of an unborn may not
be always desirable, but I believe forcing a pregnant girl to 20 years
at hard labor is equally repugnant.
One hand clapping
6 Dec 95: What is the sound of one hand clapping?
The Ancients apparently considered this a significant thing to sit
around and think about. Years ago, I thought about it for a little while,
and discovered the answer. Do you know the answer?
Can I ...
6 Dec 95: Most people seem to have lost the distinction between "can I"
(am I capable of) and "may I" (do I have permission to).
Even Hollywood's movie scripts, instead of setting a proper example
(professional writers DO know the difference), use what someone apparently
considers to be a "realistic" picture of people.
Thus, they further mislead all the young watchers.
Why is it so difficult to find good examples and role models in the media?
6 Dec 95: Would we feel mistreated if we were captured and put into
display cages on other worlds? If so, why do we do it so easily to other species -
even ones that clearly demonstrate intelligence and feelings?
Wouldn't it be a "proper" justice, one day, if it was our turn in the
cages of a telepathic race who considered us somewhat dumb, quite noisy,
slightly amusing animals - maybe even good food!
Since my schooldays, computers have progressed from buildings full of
vacuum tubes through rooms full of transistors, to high-density integrated
circuits with millions of circuit elements on a tiny chip.
It seems hard to keep up with the technology changes.
Is it the same in your field?
The invention of the atomic bomb was probably a mistake,
since mankind seems unable to restrain itself very well.
Indeed, there is some question about the invention of the wheel.
Without that, terror and power might have been a little more localized.
Can mankind ever use the good aspects of something without "powerful people"
exploiting the bad side? Do we all survive by force alone?
Does one have a right to do "anything" to survive?
Is that kind of "Right to Survive" in the Bill of Rights?
Why do we use the word "mankind" to refer to our humanoid species?
If the "kind" means something like "similar to" man, who are the others?
Not the apes, but perhaps an alien race that visited this planet in the long past?
Certainly some humanoids seem to be less than kind, and many are not "man" at all -
they are woman (a remarkable species indeed).
But, like a partially-trained monkey, how much can one expect of a "man"?
After all, is the creature not just a humanoid?
But, when something looks like an animal, acts and interacts like an animal,
and often sounds like an animal ... should one try to call it anything other
than an animal? I think not.
Why should a Legislature, with a simple majority vote,
be able to pass laws that are imposed on all the rest of us
(and make exceptions so that the laws they pass do not apply to themselves)?
If a law is so much needed, shouldn't the need and benefit be obvious to at
least 80% of these "enlightened" legislators?
Shouldn't we require an 80% vote to pass any law?
Anything that can be created needs a mechanism to be cleaned up
(people, garbage, regulations, laws, goods, etc.).
Perhaps the charter of a second Legislative body should be only to repeal laws
(or portions of laws) - for example, unrelated amendments
(which should be illegal in the first place).
When 25% of that Body is substantially offended by a law,
then the law probably needs some revision or attention.
Perhaps a 30% vote in that house would be sufficient to take a law off the books?
Would that be a system with better balance?
Why is almost any powerful group (the police, the DA, the school board,
the government, the military, etc.) seemingly unable to regulate itself?
Notice that most people hold a fundamental belief that predictably encourages
this lack of self-control! They pass it on to their children almost from birth.
One should examine the implications of this single most pervasive "American"
credo (expressed here in several forms):
If a truly thinking creature had any real sense of right and wrong,
they would probably be required to report or control significant violations.
Instead, we are all too frequently encouraged (and even coerced) not
to participate in the regulation of those close to us.
Indeed, the police seem to want to keep all that power for themselves -
AND complain that they cannot do a good job of regulating the masses.
The result: groups of otherwise "good" people (turning a "blind" eye) often get
"out of control" through the acts of a "bad" minority in their midst.
Wouldn't it feel good to be able to safely stand up for yourself and what is right -
to help weed out the bad elements around you?
"Don't rat on your friends."
"Be loyal to your group."
"Cover for me."
even the "harmless" request: "Mom, tell him I am not home."
1 Oct 96: The second most pervasive (and equally dysfunctional) credo -
the one you think of first when asked to state "a major American belief" -
is: "Innocent until proven Guilty."
Actually, I believe, one is guilty when one commits the crime,
even if nobody else ever finds out. Is one really "not guilty"
of littering if they empty their ashtray on the roadway or parking lot -
as long as there was no cop around? How about leaving the baby diaper
(full!) in the grocery store parking lot?
And, how about "Not guilty by reason of insanity."?
I think not! "Guilty" AND insane I say -
either one of which can be a sufficient reason to remove the person from society.
Perhaps the type of removal is different, but either way,
they have demonstrated that they do not interact acceptably well with others,
AND that they cannot even control it.
I think on Mars they understand this, but perhaps on Venus they do not.
What do you think?
Is there some reason to be concerned about the number of people on the planet?
I think so. How many is too many? One billion, or 2, 5, 10, 20, or 50 billion?
Should one consider (and make a priority) the quality of life
rather than just the quantity of life? Oh, Pope, where is your plan for quality -
or, is that a totally foreign concept?
Is pollution and the stewardship of resources (almost) always the other person's
problem? For example, imagine 500 of us on a 100 year trip in a small spaceship.
We find that one person insists upon peeing into the fresh water tanks,
polluting them one-by-one, to the point where the water purifier can no longer
keep up. What do we do when we catch the person?
Shouldn't we shove him onto the recycler to protect the quality of life
for the others? Similarly, this Earth is the (slightly larger) spaceship of ours.
It has systems to somewhat refresh the water "tanks" as cities and industries
"pee" into them, but there is a limit, and the water does not taste as good.
The air does not smell so good. Both are often unhealthy.
Should we make them stop? Through sufficient acts against a society,
can one forfeit one's rights? I think so.
I realize that there are no easy solutions to these questions. However, many times the answers themselves are there - in fact, they often scream in our faces, but most are not "easy" to implement. So, let's get on with the difficult work ahead. Clean up our behavior, and our environment!
If you have comments, want to converse with me (via Email), or suggest some expansion of a thought (or another thought), you are invited to write. Thoughtful and constructive plans for progress in these areas will be much appreciated, and often added to this page.
Thanks for your attention.
E-Mail comments to: GaryG
Last revised 14 Jul 2000, © Copyright (C) VIPS, 1996.