Nouns and verbs

June 27, 2009 at 8:23 am | Posted in News, Politics | Leave a comment
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Yesterday saw the passing of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act,” a bill that the Wall Street Journal calls out as historic for its sweeping changes in environmental regulation.

I don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, and I’m not familiar enough with the content of the bill to fairly judge its merits. What I will judge, however, are the political reactions.

Democrats:

Mr. Obama and other top Democrats insisted the measure will spur job-creating investments in “green” technologies, while lessening U.S. reliance on foreign oil.

Ok. That sounds optimistic, promising. I can get on board with that.

How about the Republican response:

[Republicans] contended the measure amounted to a job-killing tax on consumers and businesses. “The Waxman-Markey bill promises to destroy our standard of living,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.).

Um. Ok. That’s a bit…extreme.

I gather that you don’t like the bill, and that’s fine, but, really? A job killing tax on consumers and businesses that will destroy our standard of living?

Can we have no gradients in the language of our disagreement? Are our politicians really at a point where the choices are that they can either love something, or accuse it of destroying America?

Tell me, Congressman Lucas, will the bill also kill puppies and unicorns?

Green Hot

May 12, 2009 at 7:59 am | Posted in Life, News | Leave a comment
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I am not, I profess, green. I’m not that into recycling, or biking to work, or properly disposing of old televisions and computer monitors. My carbon footprint was once estimated by some eco-website to be equal to roughly eight people. I should say, in my defense, that the site factored air travel into the results, as if my decision to travel to Ft. Myers meant that they had to charter a 747 specifically for me, so I remain skeptical of my purported environmental shoe size.

Even so, I can recognize the effort that some people are putting forth, and for the most part their decision to be green doesn’t really impact my life so I’m ok with it.

For the most part.

Here, though, is a proposal I read this morning on an industry website on how to immediately and effectively cut US energy usage by 12%.

Do Away with Air Conditioning

Facts about air conditioning:

It perhaps accounts for 12% of U.S. electricity use. You hear about “building energy use” being a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Here’s a way to strike directly at a big contributor and lop it off!

People can live without it. The human race has gotten by without A/C for 99.9% of its presence on Planet Earth. Heck, 5,000 years ago, only the Pharaoh had fans.

People DO live without A/C, right now, on this planet. Large masses of people, billions. Many live in some very hot places.

I swear to god, if you so much as move my central A/C a single degree, just one single degree, above 68 in the summertime, I will foment a revolution.

I will take you down.

Well, the windshield was broken but I love the fresh air y’know

Frightening

April 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment
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We are running out of money and natural resources, China is running out of names.

“The number of Chinese family names in use has tended to shrink as China’s population has grown, a winnowing of surnames that has occurred in many cultures over time. At last count, China’s Wangs were leading with more than 92 million, followed by 91 million Lis and 86 million Zhangs.”

Use the Force

April 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Posted in News | 1 Comment
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For some reason this really, really amuses me:

A bunch of Scottish policeman took it upon themselves to list their religion as “Jedi” on the departments “voluntary diversity forms.”

Rather than react with some silly politically correct apology to all the wronged religions in the world, or some other such claptrap as one would expect from an American Police Chief in this situation, the Scots took a different approach.

From the Strathclyde Police Spokesman:

“The Force appears to be strong in Strathclyde Police with their Jedi police officers and staff. Far from living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some members of the noble Jedi order have now chosen Glasgow and its surrounding streets as their home.”

Bravo sir.

Out (then back in) on Front Street

April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Posted in News | 2 Comments
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I’ll be honest, when I read this article, I’m just not sure what to think. Not of the situation, or the circumstances, which I think are completely absurd, but of the article itself.

The story chronicles a group of organizations across the country that are actively moving homeless people into foreclosed homes, and then counting on the local Sheriff’s departments to be too overwhelmed or constrained by paperwork to do anything about it. These groups, they have websites. They advertise. They are now the subject of an article in the New York Times.

And still they taunt. They mock. And, maybe I’m just reading this wrong, but it seems as if the article is on their side.

Thing is, and I know, I know, it’s not nice to pick on homeless people, but these people? They are stealing. Yes, they are stealing out of need, and they are stealing from great big (formerly) wealthy organizations (the banks), but still…stealing. And these organizations? These well-organized, funded, public organizations? They are assisting in the stealing. They are stealing professionally, and openly.

And they are taking interviews about it.

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