It's the Age Avalanche! (apologies to Ken Dychtwald).
Big changes are thundering down the time track. We will be the political gorilla. How do we use our muscle to the best effect? We have to be very careful and very smart.
We are the readers of Science Fiction, and now our world is sci-fi realized.
Think what might happen with just a few fewer tanks...
Over 8,800 M1 and M1A1 tanks have been produced for the US Army and Marine Corps, (and a relative few for the armies of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) at a cost of US $2.35–$4.30 million per unit, depending on the variant. (“top-of-the-line” = $4.3 million) The M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank is made by General Dynamics Land Systems.
Supporting the Abrams is a Tank Recovery Vehicle. The United States Army requirement is for 595 M88A2 HERCULES recovery vehicles, the Marine Corps requirement was originally for 60 vehicles (now 66).The US Army has fielded 157 HERCULES and the US Marine Corps all its planned HERCULES. Unitary Cost: USD
$2.0 million. The Hercules is made by BAE Systems (AirBus, etc.).
Both vehicles are totally paid for with taxpayer dollars. The top-of-the-line combine John Deere offers is the 9870 STS.Manufacturer's suggested list price:$0.337 million. About one third of one million. These are typically pai…
1. Doctors (mostly primary care docs) hate ins. paperwork, want to quit
That's a very disheartening story from United Press International - UPI - about a huge survey of primary care physicians. Almost half say they are going to quit their profession or at least reduce their patient rosters. Of course, this is the very category of docs we need the most and have the biggest shortage of. Why this catastrophe?
"The reported reasons for the widespread frustration among doctors include: increased time spent dealing with non-clinical paperwork, difficulty receiving reimbursement from insurance companies and burdensome government regulations."
And... 2. New International Survey: More Than Half of U.S. Chronically Ill Adults Skip Needed Care Due to CostsBottom line in this study: The U.S. is last of eight advanced nations in the quality of care for the chronically ill. And we spend the most out of pocket on the probl…
Because Rush, Sean, Laura, Michael et al TOLD YOU TO BE?
First hand report from Reality Radio
Long story short: 1965 - 1967 I was the Program Director at the country's first 24/7 telephone call-in radio station, KLAC in Los Angeles. It was a double barreled hoot.
The dreaded Fairness Doctrine was in full force. Results? Right wing talk was crushed? Noooo. We had Bob Grant spewing the precursor mud of Michael Savage and Sean Hannity. We had Joe Pyne, doing confrontational blitzing that makes Rush Limbaugh look like a wimp. We had Ray Briem, a calm, hard-right, all-night talker. These guys were tough, uncompromising Righties, and nothing in the Fairness Doctrine shut them up or even inhibited them.
AND we had left-wing talkers, including the hilarious Arbogast (Bob) and Margolis (Jack) and the stunning Jill (daughter of Dore) ScharyRobinson doing passionate left wing and feminist talk on the weekends. We even had genius comic Mort Sahl whamming away at the Kennedy assassination…
When some of your smart buddies respond to a blog post with substance and smarts, it's a joyful experience. Joyful experiences being not all that common these days, I pass these along so that you might share mine:
Outdone I am (By a successful entrepreneur acquaintance who called my "Obama Speech" and raised it with an Obama ad)
I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message because the stakes are too high.·For 6 of the last 7 years, Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives.·They've controlled the Senate.·They've controlled the WhitehouseRepublicans have had complete control over our Government.And look what Republicans have done.We've gone from record budget surpluses, to the largest deficits in our country's 332 year history.Real wages for a majority of our people are down, and people on main-street are scared.Unemployment is rising and everyday almost 10,000 American families are losin…
My name is Barack Obama. Some of you are hearing it these days as Barack Hussein Obama, which is a whole 'nother issue. So let's talk about something important. For the record, I approve of this message, because it is what I whole-heartedly believe.
[THIS IS THE 'CENTRAL THEME.' NEITHER CANDIDATE SEEMS TO HAVE ONE.]
What you've been hearing on the news for the past several years is that Americans are growing ever more unhappy with the course our country is on. It's one of the oldest questions in the survey business about public attitudes: "Do you believe America is on the right course?" It's a yes or no question and there are years of tracking the results. It's never been this bad. As I'm sure you've heard, the "no" votes are building very rapidly. Lately 80%... eight out of every ten Americans... are saying "no."
My central goal, the very reason I am committed to becoming President of this …
You may have (not) noted that I have been quiet. Not a rant in weeks. Well, busy-bee me has been ranting to friends and relatives instead of to the blog-o-swear.
So here are a few excerpts from said rants.
A friend said: "Obama's socialist" I said: There you go again. Socialism is when the government owns the companies. "...Economic theories of social organization advocating state or collective ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods."Or, worse,"...state control of capital within the framework of a market economy..."kind of like helping Bear Sterns, Fannie/Freddie and now Lehman Brothers. Who's the socialist here, anyway?]
A friend sent me an editorial from Independent Business Daily, blasting Obama's positions. I said: America is in serious trouble. If we are to remain the beacon of freedom, the leader of the free world, the font of innovation, the hope o…
With the Prez campaign going the way it is... at least from The Right... the "celebrity" angle with Britney and Paris, the "Tire Pressure Gauge," gambit, etc., it seems a moment for something completely different.
A personal admission, confession, whatever... One of my hobbies is writing science fiction. As we said in the good old days (see below), "far out." In this case way far out, as in the other side of our galaxy.
In this instance I am trying to describe something really big. I mean BIG. It's a writing challenge to do that and not use "vast, gigantic, immense, humongous" et al over and over.
So my questions to you, occasional reader, are (1.) Do you get the sense of "really big" from this, and (2.) Is this little sketch even comprehensible (a.) ... if you are a sci-fi fan, or (b.) if you are not.
DepotCircling a quiet white dwarf in a leisurely orbit of 30 parsecs radius a collecti…
If You Haven’t Received One of These Lists, You WillSince I’m a certified Olde Guy, I get a lot of these.You know, the lists of how rotten things are now compared to how wonderful things were then (the 1970s, the 80s or even the 90s if you are really young). This one is for the older crowd and I found myself grumbling as I read it.My grumbles are in RED CAPS.
“Progress” ain’t all good, but what is?Here’s one list:
TO THOSE BORN 1930-1970
TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!!WHICH IS FAR FROM ALL OF US.
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.WE DON’T REALLY KNOW HOW MANY KIDS WERE CURSED BY FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME OR STUNTED BRAIN DEVELOPMENT OR PREDISPOSITION TO TOBACCO USAGE.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.WHEN A WOMAN “LOST HER BABY” WE JUST WERE SORROWFUL.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in bab…
A friend recently dropped me a note in response to one of my "things are going to heck in a handbasket" blog posts. I found myself nodding in agreement, and I thought his short statement was on the money. If everyone held such a balanced and kind position, the world would be a better place all around. Here's how he put it:
"With age I have learned that 1) nothing is ever as good as it seems and its corollary nothing is ever as bad as it seems. 2) This too shall pass 3) that for we who believe in being responsible for our own actions, practicing common civility and being honest and ethical to all, there is a God, and that kindness should be extended to all... (All this) makes me a dinosaur of giant proportions."
A giant, yes, but not an extinct one, thank Heavens.
"The only existing superpower" certainly applies to a lot about America - particularly in the size (and expense) of our military. Alas, in more and more of the other important "super" subjects, specifically leadership in national ethics, human rights, the environment, public health and other "soft" issues, the U.S.A. has ceded leadership to other countries. Of all things, this:
"Japan is by many measures the world’s most energy-frugal developed nation. After the energy crises of the 1970s, the country forced itself to conserve with government-mandated energy-efficiency targets and steep taxes on petroleum. Energy experts also credit a national consensus on the need to consume less."
And they are going to make a fortune because of it.
Japan Sees a Chance to Promote Its Energy-Frugal Ways
A view through a window looking onto a commercial complex in Chiba, Japan, that uses transparent solar panels on window glass to generate po…
[I have been too aghast and what Congress (even Obama!) did with the FISA bill "compromise" to write anything. Low and behold, a Guy very close to me just sent me a couple of paragraphs that catch my outrage perfectly. It even has an upbeat note in it.]
"I am continually appalled at how even the Democrats are caving on Telecom immunity and allowing agencies to submit large lists of people by group or affiliation for wire tapping, email tapping and so on, without individual merits for each case. It seems like daily even the Democrats are pushing for a Nazi SS-like levels of monitoring into all of our lives. It is so far from the idea of defending the United States Constitution, Bill of Rights and the idea that we live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Instead they are using propaganda and scare tactics and hyperbole to make us the land of the terrified and the home of the government enslaved.
We Hear a Lot About the British, Canadian, French and Danish Systems, but not... The German health care system "The German health care system has the reputation of being the best in the world. There is an extensive network of hospitals and doctors covering even the remotest areas of Germany. Waiting lists for treatments are rare. Medical facilities are equipped with the latest technology and the statutory health insurance scheme provides nearly full cover for most medical treatments and medicines. Almost everybody in Germany has access to this system, irrespective of income or social status."It ain't perfect, but it's one helluva lot better than ours. The key is a mix of non-profit (by far the largest segment) and for-profit (for the rich, mostly) insurance companies, both rigorously regulated by the German government.
Want a (rigorous, German) perspective? Check this out.
Then, check out the Duffer's plan for the U.S. transitioning to something as good here in T…
Make Our Infrastructure Into A Super-Infrastructure
In a fool's paradise, who is the fool?
The big Midwestern floods just put an explanation point on the truth most of us know but seem powerless to do anything about:Our infrastructure is crumbling.“We” are powerless because we let the people who can do something, our elected federal officials, do nothing.Are we stoopid or unconscious or what? And we all just witnessed dikes breaking and homes, businesses and farms being ruined.Again.
"We need profound changes," said engineer KumaresSinha of Purdue University. "We can't live in a fool's paradise."(From the same Reuters article)
Elected officials are afraid of the word “tax.”If something worthwhile needs doing and takes money to do it, our Congress and our Administration act like we are teenagers with credit cards.Actually pay for what we need?Horrors! Politicians who have the guts ask our citizens to sacrifice a bit to pay the freight on stuff that benefi…
"ANWRIsSuch an Ugly Piece of Wasteland There's No Reason NotTo Let The Oil Companies Completely Screw It Up"
So since the "Eco Nazis" misrepresent how ANWR really looks (ugly!) we should dismiss what they say about the environmental disaster drilling would cause and GET THOSE RIGS UP THERE PRONTO!! (And get our gasoline prices down, equally pronto.)
That was the essence of the misleading, misquided piece o' drek that was forwarded to me.
I looked at the pictures and read the idiotic text. My response:
The coastal plains of ANWR: I never saw a more fragile, important ecosystem in my life. "Barren Wasteland" indeed. The author of that stupidity is obviously massively ignorant of anything about how nature works. Portraying the coastal plains of northern Alaska as "ugly" and not worth saving is exactly like saying the "Everglades are evil," and look what that got us.
... More on that in a minute, but who else? Can you name even one legitimate, professional, scientifically credible group in favor of pot for people with painful prognoses?
Here are just a few of the wacko ones: The AIDS Action Council, the Alaska Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the American Preventive Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, the California Academy of Family Physicians, the California Medical Association, the California Pharmacists Association, the Connecticut Nurses Association, Cure AIDS Now, the Florida Medical Association, the Los Angeles County AIDS Commission, the Lymphoma Foundation of America, the Medical Society of the State of New York, the National Association for Public Health Policy, the National Association of People with AIDS, the National Nurses Society on Addictions, the New England Journal of Medicine…
Remember I'm a four-cistern guy? Read all about it here.
Anyway, here is sort of an update on that "cistern" story written about this time in '06. It's in the form of a "Discussion" entry on a new, trial-balloon neighborhood community website.
Big lesson on water usage: We have four sisterns draining our metal roofs on house, garage and dog kennel; two 1600 galloners, one 1200 gals and one 600 gals (the kennel). We drip irrigate two vegetable plots, one 30' X 5' and one 15' X 3'. We water an hour a day during these early-growth days. We use about 150 gallons per watering. We also water our "courtyard" of flowers and trees, fenced off from our herd of big Airedales. About 100 gals a day\
Figger it out. That's about twenty day's worth. We are almost out of water and the Monsoons aren't here yet. I hate to use well w…