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Nearly Relevant
Nonsense, Fiction, and Miscellaneous Things

It Only Takes A Sentence
     Sometimes, I think the purpose of a sentence is to lay the groundwork for a chapter or article;  That the sentence itself - without other sentences - is nearly useless.  If I think about it, I realize that is wrong, but I rarely run into examples in which one sentence can say as much about something as entire chapters or articles.

     For the past 10 or so years my preferred charities have been organizations which help to feed and clothe and, in general, oversee the poorest of American Indians.  There are lots of these charities; American Indian Relief Council, Sioux Nation Relief Fund,  Council of Indian Nations, and plenty more.  A few weeks ago I gave to St Francis Mission.  They are a Catholic related organization providing assistance to the Lakota Indians of South Dakota.

    A project of theirs is to help with suicide prevention among the Lakota and it was this purpose to which I donated $15.00.  The thank you note I received - which they invariably send - included this sentence;

                         "The needs of a person at risk of suicide are very great, . . ."

     I'd really never thought about the 'needs', emphasis on the plural. I guess I only considered the stopping of the event of suicide rather than what leads up to it or what happens once it's stopped.   There must be hundreds of problems associated with this kind of tragedy not just the suicide.  It was only through that one sentence that I realized the extent of - not the numbers of suicides - but rather the number of problems associated with just the one  person who suffers the possibility of suicide. 

     Anyway, I'm glad I gave and I'm glad for the work of St. Francis Mission, a work for which they expect no accolades and a work which requires such a great devotion of effort. 
 
St. Francis Mission, http://www.sfmission.org/

Authoritative or Authoritarian?
     
     Here is a snippet of some headlines.

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 www.mycopper.net  Dynamic content of morning of May 10, 2013
    
     While eyeing them I had the feeling that one of the stories was different from the rest.  One had an ominous sense of authoritarianism
     The story of the British govt. and it's energy policies, seemed benevolent and authoritative. It concerns energy resources and is situated in the present with an eye toward the future. 
     The story of the Apache Corp. is also situated in the present, even more so than the first but it's not quite so benevolent.  It has the factuality of commercialism and the related free-market competitions.  I don't despise the free market but it necessarily has it's share of losers as well as winners.  Thus, the Apache story isn't as much a story of benevolence as in the British story but, instead, is a story of efficiencies of cost being achieved
     The third story seems not much different than the other 2;  It's energy related with a present sense. However my initial reaction to the story is quite a bit different.  For some reason, be it tone, bias, or whatever, I'm sure this story is inevitably going to lead to some kind of totalitarian dehumanization.  Workers amid large mechanical structures.  Workers beholden to gigantic energy and resource concerns;  Possibly a government and business together in some kind of plutocratic, socio-economic conspiracy primarily benefiting a handful of people.  So, this visage seems a far fetched likelihood but it does describe my initial reaction to the title and the partial story related to it.
     Why, would I interpret things this way?  I say to myself, 'Maybe I should read the articles.'  So that's what I do.  
     Without being too analytical, I note the key words, as I see it in each article.  By key words I mean those words which lead me to the somewhat biased impressions I had of 2 articles being authoritative and one article being authoritarian.
     The article about the British policies1 has these key words which influenced my impressions; 'a key part', 'contributor', 'energy mix', 'encourage investments'.  All words of well-meaning and authoritative.
     The article about Apache Corp.2 has these key words;  'efficiency', 'improved', 'decreased costs', 'savings'.  Words of corporate obligations met and, again, well-meaning.
     The article about Scottish . . . whatever3, has these key words; 'right policies', 'federal coffers', 'significant opportunities'.  Not much different than the key words of the other stories although slightly more magniloquent.  So it seems I was wrong about some kind of authoritarian dehumanization.  Fine, although I know it's hard to believe, I am occasionally wrong.  However, reading the ancillary information we realize there is something else going on here.   We're told Scotland will be voting on an issue of independence from Britain.  Without independence the enrichment of Scotland's 'federal coffers' won't be as grand. So, if you're in favor of enriching Scottish coffers - and possibly yourself - you might want to portray the Brits as poorly as possible in order to swing votes away from British rule and towards Scottish independence.
     The last sentence of the article states, in part, " . . .  that's ironic because we were told by London that the oil would run out in the '90s,".  This tone - "ironic", "we were told" - suggests the British estimate was either mistaken through incompetence or artfully reported as fact when the British knew it wasn't fact.  In other words there's the hint of malfeasance by the British govt.  Just the type of statement which would portray Britain badly and swing votes toward Sottish independence.  But, I thought this story was about offshore oil reserves generating revenue and opportunities?  Well, the opportunities and revenue are manifest only if Scotland is independent.   Thus the story really becomes a story of manipulating the vote for Scottish independence. 
     What kind of independence is gained via imputation, scare tactics, and promises of enrichment?  It sounds like an independence founded on greed and manipulation rather than one founded on self-rule and equality.  It sounds authoritarian rather than authoritative.  Maybe my initial reading was correct after all.  Intimations of malfeasance amid the appeal of oil wealth, is not a glorious beginning of Scottish independence.

1http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/05/10/British-government-committed-to-oil-and-gas/UPI-22971368182474/?spt=hs&or=er

2  http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/05/10/Apache-Corp-saves-big-on-drilling-efficiency/UPI-44041368181719/?spt=hs&or=er

3  http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2013/05/10/Scotland-sees-major-potential-offshore/UPI-29921368180685/

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