Looking for a Ground to Stand On

  • Posted: October 22, 2021
  • Category: Blog
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Among our Founding Fathers was one James Otis, a Boston lawyer, one among the many fellow travelers lighting matches in the gasoline soaked atmosphere of 18th Century Boston. Almost unknown today, he served as mentor to that arch arsonist, Samuel Adams. Our second President, John Adams, another protégé of James Otis, credited him with giving birth to the “child of independence”.

While we may not remember James Otis signal contribution to America’s birth, we do remember one of his quotes – “A man’s home is his castle”. In uncertain times such as today, it is indeed good to have a castle. The signs of a coming Zombie Apocalypse grow clearer with every Twitter hashtag. But while we nestle in our walled security, a home – or castle – has irritations. One among the many such afflicting me is a certain GFI (Ground Fault Interuption) circuit breaker. It “protects” the electrical outlets in our garage.

This particular GFI allows the use of a trouble light, but running a compressor to fill a tire . . . The circuit breakers simple electro-mechanical brain detects a “ground fault” and trips. As the outlet/breaker is ensconced in a dark nook well disguised as a cranny, I wasted an hour troubleshooting the problem when first I attempted something useful in the garage.

A GFI breaker is an electrical circuit breaker designed to detect an electrical short in appliances. Modern building codes require GFI circuit breakers in all household circuits where water might be present, i.e. kitchens, bathrooms, garages, etc. As the Time of Covid has made crystal clear, in the “land of the free and home of the brave” perceived safety trumps all other considerations. If you are naked and standing in the bathtub using a severely defective hair dryer with a metal grip, the GFI breaker will trip and prevent a shock, maybe a nasty shock, or if the stars are sufficiently misaligned, one ending in an unexpected trip to the morgue.

The common residential electrical outlet requires those appliances making possible our comfortable lives to have a power cord with three (3) prongs. Those DIY individuals among us who delve into the mysteries of residential wiring know that our home wiring is a rat’s nest of Nomex cable, three (3) wire cables consisting of a black wire (hot), a white wire (neutral) and a green wire (ground).

Mysteriously, the electrical utility, despite the three wire configuration in the house, only provides one wire to bring the miracle of electricity into our lives. When all is said and done, this utility provided wire will connect to the black wire in all those cables. In the trades, this black wire goes by the name of “hot”.

Even more surprisingly, the green wire and the white wire are actually the same wire even though of obviously different ethnicities. Following the tortuous path of the green & white wires through outlets, cables and panels, one will find them meeting in the circuit breaker panel. They will then travel, united in marriage, to a connection on the water pipe emerging from the ground into the house. It is here that the green/white wire becomes one with Planet Earth and is thereby grounded.

In the world of real people doing real things, there are few subjects taken more seriously than grounding. Witness the elaborate precautions taken by building codes to protect people from what are practically speaking – remote hazards. There aren’t that many naked people using selectively defective hair dryers of a bygone vintage while standing in bathtubs, though it does bring to mind a prurient image.

Returning to that naked centerfold standing in the bathtub using the badly defective antique hairdryer. She is only in danger because she is naked and standing in water. If she was standing on a dry floor or wearing shoes, she could continue to dry her hair unfazed. But when that Rubenesque apparition stands in water, she is grounded, i.e. connected to that water pipe coming out of the ground into the house. When she touches a metal dryer handle shorted to the black wire (hot) inside the dryer, electricity flows from the defective and damaged black wire (hot) through her body and to Planet Earth and – ZZZap!!!

Grounding is a serious business. It is the electrical recognition of the need to acknowledge and accommodate the reality of Reality. Every material object in the Universe has an electrical charge. The Planet Earth is infinitely more massive than anything else in its vicinity and carries its own electrical charge. When any material object becomes disconnected from Planet Earth, it can and will accumulate a charge that grows more and more different than the reality of Planet Earth.

One might think of the electrical charge on the isolated object as a version of “My Truth”. When they finally touch, as they inevitably will, the electrical charge becomes the same, with unfortunate results. The larger the object and the greater its isolation from Planet Earth, the more powerful the shock when connection occurs. The unfortunate demise of the buxom beauty in the bathtub and a violent thunderstorm are of a kind, differing only in scale.

The phenomena of the physical world are only the visible indications of an all pervasive reality of existence. The institutions and cultures of men are no different than the cloud formation scudding across the prairie, or foxy femme fatales in bathtubs. There is a reality to the Universe that is unyielding fact. When nations or cultures become disconnected from this reality, ZZZap!!!.

The larger and more powerful the culture or nation, the longer that inevitable reconciliation to reality and the more violent the inevitable “ground fault”. With only a single known exception, that exception being so eloquently described in Genesis Chapter 1, the reality of the physical Universe is defined and described by the 1st Law of Thermodynamics:

“Neither matter nor energy can be created or destroyed”

The 1st Law of Thermodynamics is the foundation stone of all Science and Mathematics. All science depends upon it being true in all instances. The simple arithmetic of 1 +1 = 2 derives from the 1st Law. The sense of the 1st Law’s meaning for human beings in everyday life is captured in the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. In the prosaic prose of everyday economics, the reality of the 2nd Law is expressed thus:

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”

Thus one watches the gathering storm clouds sweeping across the plain as the most powerful leader in the world explains that spending multiple trillions of dollars will not cost anything, will not result in an additional burden on anyone. It’s “free” money.

It has become the common wisdom of the age that we are free to choose our biology. The reality of our body and all that comes with it need not encumber “Our Truth”. Little children may be trusted to make their own choices.

We celebrate the promotion of a “transexual” to four star general while a fire in San Diego harbor destroys an aircraft carrier due to “negligence” and “incompetence”. We focus on the implementation of “Critical Race Theory” in our military while our rivals test hypersonic ICBMs.

The wholesale murder of human beings is both sanctioned and paid for by civil society. The victim’s life and death are arbitrarily decided, subject only to the whim and caprice of the individual.

The statues of those who built our country are torn down, replaced by those of violent drug addicted felons. Our individuals and institutions dedicated to the maintenance of public order are chastised and chained, as the hearts of our cities are claimed by riot and homelessness. Serious people of substance defend human feces on city streets as the triumph of “human rights”.

The existential foundation of our entire civilization, energy, is made precarious by an enervated leadership playing a game of Jenga as they seek the plaudits of a champagne and brie elite mesmerized by the rantings and fevered dreams of an autistic 13 year old Swedish girl.

Perhaps most foreboding is the replacement of the God, architect of that great reality grounding Universe. At the same time as we sneer at the very idea of a God created reality, we have sworn fealty and make obeisance to the fertility goddesses of once forgotten pagan faiths.

In a land and time now distant, the United States was represented in art and statuary as a woman named Columbia, a common sight from the opening frame of movies to the dome of our Capital Building to the Statue of Liberty. As Columbia herself is the member of a protected class, her statues are currently safe from our current emotional junking jag, though future recoloring may be required to retain her protected status.

In a classic pose, she was always seen dressed in a robe of white holding aloft a torch. But I fear Columbia would be better represented in the iconography of the present day by a transexual of color in rainbow deshabille while standing in a bathtub raising high a hair dryer.

One Response to “Looking for a Ground to Stand On”

  1. Jim Emery says:

    I learned a lot about electricity today! And yes, our US country has gotten far off track over the decades, as marxist socialism has progressed, with an intermittent slowdown/rebound for 4 years, followed by a headlong collapse. I call it the Biden Tribulation and the effects may not be reversible.

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