Showing posts from July, 2008

Grumpy About (Some) Nostaligia

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 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…

Humble Yet, George?

Whadda Republican!

[Click to enlarge]

'Nuff said.

Graph credit:

Beliefs That Would Make a Better World

Well Said

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.

[for more on 'this too shall pass," check this.]

3-D Without Glasses

Cross-eyed Version

3-D without glasses is for "eye-wallers" and "eye-crossers."

Eye-wallers are people who can easily relax their eyes into 'the distance' and see the 3-D Magic Eye stereograms in the comics pages.

Eye-crossers are people with good control over crossing their eyes (a skill typically learned in grade school).

Either works fine, just so the L & R pictures are on the correct sides.

Here's an "eye-crosser."

"Eye-Crossers" Version. [Slowly cross your eyes until images merge. Didn't see the hole* in the woodpile before you 3-D'd, did you?]

I'll have an "Eye-waller" up soon.

* Made by our Airedales, seeking varmits hiding in the woodpile.

Japan Beats Us - Again

First Cars, Now THIS!

"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…

Telecom Immunity with Impunity


[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.

I am intended to remain in good spirits ab…

"Best Health Care in the World" ... NOT Ours?

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…