Showing posts from April, 2010

(Another) Letter to the Editor


I said it before; I'll say it again. There is something special about seeing one's letter in a paper.

This one is in the April 21, 2010 The Independent one of our East Mountain weeklies. The publisher Wally Gordon interviewed three of the local "Tea Party" organizers after a small rally. He used "Passion" in his headline. It was a good piece, quite fair, and used many quotes from the three ladies. One of them, a Mrs. Cooper, said she "didn't believe in health insurance, didn't have it and wouldn't use it if she did." She also said "death panels" were in the health care reform law.
I was moved to write a letter. (You probably have to click it to read it.)
I even got a "fan" call from a guy happy to see another liberal in the East Mountains.

Does Government Aide Help Businesses? You Betcha!

Singapore Moving to Dominate the Water Biz

There's wind power (China & Germany in the lead), geothermal (Iceland in the lead), Ocean wave power (Britain, Australia & Scotland in the lead), solar power (China & Germany leading) ... WAIT! Where's the U.S.A. in this renewable energy list?

In what is clearly a big part of the future of the world energy budget, we are slow getting off the starting line. We invent and innovate and engineer really well, but when it comes to actually manufacturing in this field, we simply are not living up to our own (and the world's) expectations.

Then there's WATER. Some say it will soon be more valuable than oil. Potable water is already one of the great shortages in the world. Even in rich America, fresh water is in precipitous decline. So another big part of the future is processing water. "Treating" water: Cleaning it up, desalinizing it, recycling it. Again, the leading countries in this vital field are NOT t…

Investment Banks - Gamblers All

Therefore I’m the worst kind of gambler.

Now, before I get into excessive breast beating and teeth gnashing, let’s face it, EVERYONE WHO “INVESTS” IN STOCKS is gambling.That money you put in General Electric or General Motors or General Mills, etc. does NOT go to those companies.It goes to whoever sold that stock, plus a slice of it goes to the brokerages involved.Typically, not a penny goes to the company on the stock certificate.The companies don’t do more R&D, buy more equipment or hire more people because you “invested” in them.
So you are not investing in American industry, you are just gambling that some other sucker will pay you more for your stock than you paid.Or – more rarely – that the company represented by the stock will dole out some of its profits as dividends to you as a stockholder.
We all believe that buying stock is better than playing roulette because we make more informed bets than “black or red,” etc.And it’s just more respectable …

Good News Turns to Bad

Wrongo, Coast Guard

See below, "Some Good News" where I blithely accepted a Friday Coast Guard evaluation that there was no more leakage from the big BP rig that blew up, burned an sank in The Gulf.

That's what I get for being such an optimist. Here's the current state of things from the A.P.

By CAIN BURDEAU The Associated Press
Sunday, April 25, 2010; 9:43 PM NEW ORLEANS -- It could take hours or it could take months to stop a 42,000-gallon-a-day oil leak polluting the Gulf of Mexico at the site of a wrecked drilling platform. Whether the environmental threat grows many times bigger depends on whether the oil company can turn the well completely off. Crews are using robot submarines to activate valves at the well head in hopes of cutting off the leak, which threatens the Gulf Coast's fragile ecosystem of shrimp, fish, birds and coral. If the effort fails, they'll have to start drilling again. Dang.

Some Good News!

State Decision Blocks Drilling for Gas in Catskills

The danger to the NYC water supply from "fracking" is greatly reduced. Common sense wins! Story in the NYTimes.

"No Crude" Leaking from Sunken Oil Rig
Coast Guard Commander Tells CBS No Signs of New Leakage

Oh, that could have been the most terrifying and destructive spill yet.

(And, hey, maybe it will raise the alarm level for all offshore drill-baby-drilling. Maybe.)

The "British Obama" Sells Banking Regulation

Heard About Nick Clegg?

In a surprise bigger that Obama winning Iowa in the Democratic primary, this guy Clegg has shot onto the scene in Great Britain, suddenly taking his Liberal Democratic party from 16% to 34% in a week. Talk about a successful appearance on a debate! By the way, it was the first televised PM debate in British history.

So I checked out some of his speeches on YouTube. Here's one that I find astonishingly appropriate to United States politics. It's about reforming the financial system. He is as on-the-money as I can imagine.

See if you agree and at the same time, take a look at the "British Obama."

Picture Credit

Source of The Healthcare Lies

Fox News Made Me Think It

People who are "madder'n hell" over the health reform law are quick and copious with their inaccuracies. When honest Tea Partiers state an inaccuracy, you can bet they picked it up from a LIE. For instance, "Refuse the insurance mandate and GO TO JAIL."

No surprise, perhaps, that the main perpetrator of health reform lies is Fox News. (And right wing magazines like The Freeman.) It gets really slimey when Fox News lies about lying.

Bill O'Reilly did it a few nights ago, denying that Fox News ever said anything about going to jail for bucking the mandate - or even for not paying the fine. ( The reform law expressly prohibits the government from jailing anyone who fails to either obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. Check it out.)

But Bill said: “We researched on Fox News if anybody had ever said you're going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody's ever said it.” He researched it! If you're …

Monster in the PVC

The mind's eye runs rampant (again).

Three -Eyed Giant Blue Insectile

Found this beastie in a piece of broken PVC, stained by the glue and cleaner.

Looks like an alien bug to me. Hey.

See "Faces in the Rocks"

Hooray for Graphics!

The Guardian Gives GoodGraphics

"CA" is China; "JA" Japan, etc.

I was palavering with a pal on the huge U.S. Defense budget recently and came up with a pie chart. This is better.

If we just took the red part, not covered by other nations' expenditures, and spent it on, say, education, we'd be the best educated country in the world (again).

Graphic 1 credit