Tag Archives: possibilities

The future is not ours to see—2011 predictions


Once again, we are on the precipice of a new year and the predictions are coming in fast and furious. In just a quick perusal I found that people are predicting everything from an intentional Republican strategy of maintaining terrible conditions to a live suicide by a politico on TV. Never-the-less I will share my predictions for the coming year, if for no other reason than to entertain and amuse.

Writer Chick predicts that in 2011….

1. Obama, at a loss for winning phrases and a decent speech writer will turn over the State of the Union address to Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. After Obama excuses himself to go to party, his stand-ins will tout the merits of higher estate taxes and zero population growth policies and detail the positive impact they will have on the still floundering economy.
2. Julian Assange will file a personal injury lawsuit against his ‘enemies’ for leaking personal and private information about him. Stating that when it comes to leaking information about him, such actions are immoral and unethical and he has been irreparably damaged by the leaks.
3. Despite record breaking rainfall in California the ‘water police’ will begin issuing tickets to Californians who water backyard gardens, house plants and tiny lawns. Although those growing medicinal marijuana will be exempted from such citations.
4. Six months into his new term as governor, Jerry Brown will surreptitiously start a recall campaign to have himself removed from office and replaced by a Republican. When the sh*t hits the fan Republicans will be blamed and the Democrats will appear to be the victims of the whole mess.
5. First Lady Michelle Obama will publish a new children’s book called,  A children’s guide to the new living, breathing constitution. Amendments Mrs. Obama will encourage children to lobby for include:
a. The right to be force-fed vegetables
b. The right not to be fed fast food
c. The right to sue and blame your parents for everything you do that is wrong and irresponsible.

6.  During an enhanced pat down, a TSA agent will cut her finger on a bobbie pin in a female passenger’s hair. The cut will require an extra large band aid and the TSA will subsequently declare that all hair pins & accessories to be potential weapons and prohibit passengers from bringing them on board. Individuals donning toupees, wigs and hair extensions will be forced to remove the hair pieces for special scanning before being allowed to wear them on board an airplane.
7. A new spate of Wikileaks documents will reveal:
a. Homeland Security Chief Napolitano is really a man
b. That Nancy Pelosi hasn’t had a heartbeat for years
c. That George Soros and Warren Buffet are twins separated at birth
8. Israel will finally get fed up with all the grief it gets and wipe Iran off the map.
9. American companies will make a mass exodus from China due to new global warming taxes extended only to American business concerns and will return their manufacturing to America, where at least people speak English.
10. In a total twist of irony, Oprah Winfrey will challenge Obama for the Democrat nomination for 2012.
11. The 112th Congress will evict the UN for years of non-payment of rent and sell the building to Donald Trump who will have his “Apprentice” contestants compete to re-purpose the building.
12. Science will discover that in fact there is life on other planets and living right here on Earth.  The extraterrestrials who are like us will be found to be working for Congress.
13. Facebook will obtain eBay, Skype, Twitter and all other major social media platforms. Shortly after the acquisitions the government will sue Facebook for monopolizing social media and force a break up of the conglomerate – after levying extensive fines.
14. Google will enter the political arena with a new and progressive political pay per click advertising platform, among the unique features offered with this program will be a gps locating system that can isolate heretofore unknown voting blocs.

How about you, what are your 2011 predictions?

WC
Copyright 2010

Does Anyone Want a Solution?


There is a lot of stuff happening in this country and the world today. I suppose that is always the case, although in the last several months it seems worst than it has been in the past. And honestly, much of what is happening I find personally scary and alarming. The deficit, the apparent disinterest on the part of our leaders in what the average citizen is concerned about, states going bankrupt, no legislative body showing any real concern about approving a budget much less making budget cuts, giving unelected officials the right to rule and regulate our personal lives, making the EPA part of a shadow government and in the future will tax us for exhaling, politician’s accosting private citizen’s and being defended for their actions, dissention being targeted as hate speech and terrorism, government taking over entire industries, the blame game left and right…..

In my opinion anyone who isn’t alarmed by such actions and much more is either delusional or has been living in a cave for quite a while.

But I for one, would really like to stop the blame game, the partisan rhetoric, and the gotcha games and pose a very simple question: Does anyone really want a solution? Seriously, let’s consider this shall we? In private life, most people when they encounter problems whether large or small tend to want to solve the problem. They may not always succeed but there is certainly an effort to find solutions to those things that work against us. Whether they are created by another person, a circumstance or a natural disaster. For example, last year we had horrible fires at the end of the summer in my community. In fact, I posted many pictures of the fires, some of which were literally down the block from me. I’m proud to say that my community, the firefighters, the police and so forth focused on the problem and did everything in their power to solve it. It did take a while and not everything tried work but I can truthfully say that a solution was everyone’s focus. And in the end, solutions were found, used and the problem was handled.

So, when it comes to larger problems, national problems, international problems, etc. why then is not a solution the focus? Why is the American public by and large satisfied to just let our leaders lay blame. It’s so and so’s fault because he did this and now this is why I can’t do that? A person elected to be a leader is supposed to be a leader and a leader is supposed to be the guy or gal who knows how to solve problems, right? Whether it is the president of the United States or the local city council member. But rather than solving problems PR damage control is the focus. Anecdotes about conversations with children are offered rather than finding solutions, nice speeches or not so nice speeches filled with excuses and finger pointing.

And all the while, while our leaders fail to solve existing problems they legislate more rules, regulations and attempts at taking over parts of our personal lives. Laws now exist that say American citizens must buy certain products or be fined or imprisoned. The government now must decide what we may eat, breathe, think, say and do. Those are not solutions those are impositions upon personal freedoms.

And then the causes….don’t get me started on those either. When was the last time you saw any cause that was for something rather than against something? In my mind being for something is much more likely to bring it about than being against something is likely to stop it.

I admit that I am a bit of a political junkie and I find the field interesting, fascinating and somewhat nauseating – and I love debate because I think it is debate that brings about different views, and can in reality if done sincerely can bring about real change. However, most political debate is about hating the side you are not on. About smearing and belittling people and degrading them in public forums. And I’m not talking about satire I’m talking about venom, hatred and vitriole.

I wonder if some of the most popular people to attack were on ‘the other side’ if they would be so hated. If Bill Clinton had been a Republican and gotten sex in the Oval Office while he was supposed to be doing the people’s business would he have remained in office? If Sarah Palin were a Democrat, would the ladies on the View be fawning over her left and right? If Al Gore had been a conservative would anyone have gone to see An Inconvenient Truth? If George Bush had been a liberal would his bailouts, prescription medicine initiative, and budget and deficit fall-out been hailed by the media? If Maureen Dowd spewed her venom about liberals would she even have a job? If Chris Matthews loved Chris Christie and got a tingle down his leg every time he spoke, would MSNBC issue his pinkslip?

The point I guess I am trying to make is maybe if we stepped back and viewed any leader whether public or private on the merits of what they were actually saying and doing from the standpoint of truly wanting to add to the solution to the given problem, rather than adding to turmoil would things change?

Personally, I think the time has come for Americans (at least) to stop and think. Forget what ‘side’ people are on and really evaluate if that person is trying to solve anything (particularly those things for which they are responsible for solving) just trying to get you worked up into a lather about something so you won’t notice that they are solving nothing.

No one would accept that kind of behavior in their private lives. Bosses who seek to bring the company down and fire good and effective workers are hated not revered. Co-workers who goldbrick and get paid for doing nothing and resented. Businesses that treat their customers with resentment and condescension don’t long remain in business, pastors and priests who exploit members of their congregations soon find their churches empty, criminals who steal, harm and injure other citizens are thrown in jail. Why do those who supposedly lead get a pass?

At the very least, it may be something to think about.

WC

Want to help cut spending in Washington? Here’s your chance


That’s right folks, you too can have your voice heard. Go to the YOUCUT website and have your say.

How it works:

YouCut – a first-of-its-kind project – is designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Vote on this page today for your priorities and together we can begin to change Washington’s culture of spending into a culture of savings.

All of us want to be able to do something and this is about as easy as it gets. Vote on the cuts you want and make your own suggestions while you’re at it. You aren’t even required to register as a ‘member’ before you can vote. So quit your bitching about the budget – speak up and vote.

If we have any hopes of ever changing how things are done in Washington by our leaders, then we have participate too. Try it, you may like it.

Writer Chick

McClintock Rawks


mcclintock

Tom McClintock is a well known California state legislator and a man after my own heart. Sadly, when the scandalous governor of California, Gray Davis, was recalled, rather than putting Tom in the driver’s seat, the people of California opted for the Governator. The fallout from whom we are still experiencing.

Tom gave a speech recently and I reprint it in full here. It’s worth the time to read, at least I think so.

The Eve of the American Reawakening

Rep. McClintock gave the following speech to the Council for National Policy in Washington DC on May 16, 2009.

Here, in the winter of our despair, I want to pause to take stock of the state of our nation on this date of May 16th.

Voters have swept our party from office after a failed Republican administration that abandoned conservative principles. The most left-wing President in our nation’s history has taken office with a 66 percent approval rating and strong majorities in both houses. His agenda includes radical intervention into energy markets, highly inflationary monetary policy, a determination to dramatically reduce our military spending while dramatically increasing overall domestic spending with deficits as far as the eye can see.

That was the state of our nation on May 16th…1977.

You remember those years. Jimmy Carter’s policies brought us double digit unemployment AND double digit inflation; interest rates at 21 percent, mile-long lines around gas stations, embassies seized with impunity and a military so weak it couldn’t even project a simple rescue mission.

But then, just a few years later, it was morning again in America. Four years of Jimmy Carter produced eight years of Ronald Reagan, and looking back on it, that wasn’t such a bad trade, was it?

Abraham Lincoln once said that if the voters get their backsides too close to the fire, they’ll just have to sit on the blisters for a while.

The American people have some very painful blisters to sit on for the next four years, but the good news is that they’re already starting to figure that out.

On inauguration day, the Rasmussen poll gave the President a net approval rating of 28 points. Yesterday, that figure was seven points. During the fall campaign, Rasmussen reported that the generic Democratic candidate for Congress had a 16-point advantage over the generic Republican candidate. As of May 10th, Rasmussen reports the generic Republican now has a one-point advantage over the Democrat.

Although the President’s personal popularity remains high, most polls are showing a decidedly increasing skepticism over his policies. For example, yesterday Rasmussen reported that by a margin of 57 to 19 percent, Americans say that tax increases will hurt the economy.

What we are seeing in the polls is the gradual awakening of the American people. When things are going reasonably well – or even reasonably poorly – most people don’t pay a lot of attention to politics because there are too many other pressing things going on in their lives. But when a crisis approaches, that’s when you see the strength of a Democracy emerge, and it is an awesome thing. One by one, individual citizens sense the approach of a common danger and rise to the occasion. They begin focusing a great deal of attention on politics and they start making very good decisions.

We saw that two summers ago, when the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill was set to glide through both houses of Congress on broad bi-partisan majorities. But the American people had finally had enough of being told there was nothing the government cared to do to defend the integrity of our borders and the sovereignty of our nation. And McCain Kennedy didn’t even make it to a final vote.

We saw that last summer, when gasoline prices hit $4 a gallon and the American people had finally had enough of being told there was nothing the government cared to do to get out of the way of domestic oil production. And in the span of just a few months, they turned 180 degrees on the issue of offshore oil drilling and nuclear power.

We saw that just a month ago, when Rick Santelli told a routine cable broadcast that he was sick and tired of being forced to pay his neighbor’s mortgage – and the whole trading floor erupted in applause. He suggested that Americans need to rekindle the spirit that produced the Boston Tea Party, and suddenly, from every corner of America over 800 taxpayer protests erupted across the country on April 15th. These protests weren’t sponsored by parties or politicians. They were a grassroots uprising by a silent majority that will not remain silent any longer.

And yet I read the other day of a new chorus of hand-wringing that said we had to get over our nostalgia for Reagan, that we had to be mindful and respectful of the fact the “other side has something,” and that we have nothing, and that “you can’t beat something with nothing.

It’s the same kind of hand-wringing that Ulysses S. Grant confronted at the Battle of the Wilderness among generals overawed by Robert E. Lee’s aggressiveness, audacity and success. Grant, turned to his distraught generals, and said “Bobby Lee this, and Bobby Lee that! You’d think he’s going to do double somersaults and outflank us on both sides and the rear. Stop thinking about what Bobby Lee’s going to do to us, and start thinking about what we’re going to do to Bobby Lee. Now get some guns up here.”

To those who say we should put the Reagan era behind us – I have a better idea. Let’s put the Bush era behind us.

To those who say we should redefine our principles, I have a better idea: we don’t need to redefine our principles; we need to return to them.

To those of the Republican establishment, who misled our party for years, who dismantled so much of what Ronald Reagan accomplished and now tell us “the other side has something” and we have nothing. To them I can’t improve upon Cromwell’s words: “You have sat here too long for any good you have been doing; it is not fit that you should sit here any longer. You shall now give way to better men. Now depart and let us have done with you, I say, in the name of God, GO!”

“The other side has something and we have nothing?”

What is the something the other side has – that some say we have to be respectful and mindful of?

Statism. Shortage. Paternalism. That’s their “something” that seems to so overawe and over-impress these scions of a failed party establishment.

Statism, Shortage and Paternalism is what we are told to be mindful and respectful of? I don’t think so.

Their statism is “something” so extreme that the entire national debt accumulated from the first day of the George Washington administration to the very last day of the George W. Bush administration will literally double in the next five years and triple in the next ten.

The tax increases already proposed to support it will rob every family of more than $2,500 from its purchasing power every year. We’re supposed to respect that? The American people don’t respect it. The American people know that you cannot spend your way rich; that you cannot borrow your way out of debt and you cannot tax your way to prosperity. And they know that if you live well beyond your means today, you must of necessity live well BELOW your means in the future. And that’s not a future we want for our children.

Their entire policy is predicated on maintaining shortages of everything from health care to energy and then using the force of government to ration that shortage according to their own whims. The “something” that they propose to solve their government-induced shortages is having bureaucrats tell us what medical treatments our kids may have and when they may have them; raising energy prices until we bicycle to work; telling us what kind of light bulbs to use, where to set our thermostats, when to use our appliances.

And then there’s Paternalism. That’s what Rick Santelli was talking about. When your neighbor buys the house he can’t afford – it’s now your job to pay his mortgage. When the fraternity brothers of Paulson and Geitner party their investments into the ground – now it’s your job to cover their losses. When the reckless country-clubbers of General Motors and Chrysler give away the farm to the UAW – now it’s your job to make up the difference, and by the way, now it’s Barney Frank’s job to tell you what kind of car you may buy.

That is the “something” that seems to send these self-described “New Republicans,” into paroxysms of awe and policy-envy.

That’s the “something” that some people are so deathly afraid of saying “NO” to. Churchill said, “Alexander the Great remarked that the people of Asia were slaves because they had not learned to pronounce the word “NO.” Let that not be the epitaph of the English-speaking peoples or of parliamentary democracy … There, in one single word, is the resolve which the forces of freedom and progress, of tolerance and goodwill, should take.”

What is the “nothing” that we have that so dismays and disgusts these same messiahs of mediocrity – this “nothing” that’s convinced them that we must wean ourselves from our unseemly nostalgia with such irrelevant has-beens as Reagan, and Lincoln and Jefferson – I add the others because they stood for exactly the same principles as Reagan.

We stand for freedom.

We stand for abundance.

We stand for individual responsibility.

Freedom. Abundance and Responsibility. That is our platform.

Those who call that “nothing” are the same failed leaders who disdained it during the Reagan years and dismantled it as soon as the Reagan years were over.
They stand for statism. We stand for freedom: The God-given right to enjoy the fruit of our own labor; the right to raise our children according to our own values; the right to express our opinions and our faith freely and without reserve; the right to defend ourselves and our families; the right to enter into voluntary associations with each other for our mutual betterment without an army of busy-bodies telling us what is best for us.

They stand for the rationing of shortage. We stand for abundance: what happens when free men and free women enjoy the liberty to go as far as their desire, talent and imagination can guide them and as far as their labor, industry and enterprise can take them. Societies prosper when freedom protects the rights of each of us to decide on our own what we will produce and what we will consume. Government exists to protect the conditions that produce abundance, not to ration shortages that government has caused.

They stand for paternalism. We stand for personal responsibility. That means you stand by your promises. That means you tell your customers the truth about your products and investments. It means if you bring a child into the world then by God you look after that child. And it means if you make a bad decision, you set it right and you learn from it – and you realize that the bad decisions we all make from time to time is the price we pay for the freedom to make all the good decisions in our lives.

Freedom. Abundance. Responsibility. Ladies and Gentlemen, that ain’t “nothing.” That’s everything.

That’s everything our country is, everything our country stands for. That’s everything ten generations of Americans have fought to defend. That is everything that the happiness and prosperity of society depends upon. That is everything that we have – everything that we are – everything that we hope as Americans.

Jefferson called it the “sum of good government” which he described as “a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.”

At the risk of politically incorrect nostalgia, nine years before he became Governor of California, Reagan put it this way during a commencement address to his alma mater. He said, “This is a simple struggle between those of us who believe that man has the dignity and sacred right and the ability to choose and shape his own destiny and those who do not so believe. This irreconcilable conflict is between those who believe in the sanctity of individual freedom and those who believe in the supremacy of the state.”

Lincoln said much the same. He said, “That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles – right and wrong – throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time; and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity, and the other is the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, ‘You work and toil and earn bread, and I’ll eat it.’ No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”

And today, our country faces this tyrannical principle in actual practice.

The Left would condemn our children to the failure of government schools run by teacher unions. We would liberate parents to select the school and the teacher that best meets their child’s needs and hold the school and the teacher accountable for the results.

The Left would condemn our families to sky-high energy prices; we would free America’s vast energy reserves and limitless supplies of clean, cheap electricity through nuclear power, hydro-electricity and clean coal.

The Left would condemn our health care to bureaucrats who’ll decide what treatments we may have and when we may have them. We would provide the tax credits to bring a basic health plan within the financial reach of every family – a health plan they could chose, they could own, and they could change if it failed to serve them.

The Left would deny union members the right to a secret ballot; we would free employers to pay bonuses to union members above and beyond their union contract.

The Left would plunder our children of their prosperity tomorrow to pay for the unprecedented expansion of government today. We insist on a government that does what families do every day: work hard, waste not and live within our means. And that promise needs to begin with renouncing the failed Bush administration that violated every one of these tenets.

The Left offers stifling central planning to manage every aspect of our lives; they offer higher and higher taxes and more and more costly regulations. We offer freedom.

It’s ironic that the same rocket scientists who say we have to listen more to the opposition’s message obviously haven’t been listening to our own.

We have the most powerful message in the history of mankind. It is freedom. And to those who say we have no messengers – look around at each other. Yes, Ronald Reagan was a great communicator, but as William Saracino has said, “He wasn’t communicating cookie recipes.” And if we learned anything at all from that great man, it was that every one of us needs to be a messenger.

In February of 1861, Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural train paused in Indianapolis and he spoke these words: “Of the people when they rise in mass on behalf of the Union and the liberties of their country, it may be said ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against them. I appeal to you constantly to bear in mind that not with the President, not with the office-seekers, but with you is the question, ‘Shall the liberties of this country be preserved to the latest generation.’”

That is our clarion call. Ladies and Gentlemen, what has happened to our nation has happened on our generation’s watch, and it is our generation’s responsibility to set things right.

Does anyone here have any doubt how this battle will end as long as we stand firm? I think the Left is starting to figure that out too, and behind the smarmy smirks of superiority, their real sentiments are showing through.

The Department of Homeland Security refuses to use the word “terrorist” to describe Al Qaeda. It has replaced the term “acts of terrorism” with the term “man-made disaster” so as not to offend Islamic extremists. But it doesn’t hesitate to declare every American who believes in Constitutional principles or who defended those principles on far off battlefields as “potential domestic terrorists.”

That offers real insight into the Left. Churchill put it this way: “They are afraid of words and thoughts. Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse – of thought enters the room and these mighty potentates are thrown into panic. They make frantic efforts to bar out thoughts and words; they are afraid of the workings of the human mind.”

Think about what terrifies the Left. Letters to the editor. Calls to talk shows. Blogs on the internet. Comments after newspaper editorials. Taxpayer tea parties.

Why did they react so viscously to the tea parties? You remember the tale of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” – once the townspeople realized that there were many others who believed as they believed, the façade collapsed.

So let’s not disappoint our friends on the left. Let us all here today resolve that we’re going to spend at least ten hours a week agitating and educating in every forum we can find.

When the American Founders adopted the Declaration of Independence, they pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. They were speaking quite literally. When they pledged their lives, they meant it. The King had already warned that a noose awaited every one of them. When they pledged their fortunes, they meant it. Lewis Morris had just received word that his estate in New York had been burned to the ground, that his family had become refugees and that his two sons had enlisted in the rag-tag army around General Washington.

How little history demands of our generation in defense of those same principles. We aren’t asked to pledge our entire fortunes – just a small portion of our earnings in support of the causes and candidates we believe in. We aren’t asked to pledge our lives – only a small portion of our lives until we have set things right.

But our sacred honor – that history demands of us in full. That we leave today highly resolved not to fail or falter until we have restored freedom as the cornerstone of our government. Because if we fail to do that, then what history will demand of our children and grandchildren is unthinkable.

So let us honor the memory of Reagan and Lincoln and Jefferson and all those placed freedom above security and principle above politics. To those among us who would do otherwise, as Shakespeare said, “He who hath no stomach for this fight, let him now depart.”

And then let us together write the next chapter of the American Republic: that just when it appeared that the principles of American freedom were faltering, this generation rediscovered them, rallied to them, revived them, restored them, polished them and passed them on shining and inviolate to the many succeeding generations that followed.

If you’d like to know more about Tom, click here.

The Future…


bleached-sun

Is a funny animal – at least to me. In examining it recently I see that I have always regarded it with a wary eye. A bit of distrust and dread. I can’t say why because I don’t know – but I suspect it has to do with failure.

I have gone along in life with a set of goals, some of which reach back to childhood. Some are simple, some are challenging, but most of them are unattained. At least not to the level I want. In my mind, I have looked upon this as failure, which in turn has made me feel that I’m a failure. Whether that is true or not is beside the point because it is my belief alone that it is failure that makes it so. If I were to follow this as logic then it would follow that if I changed my mind, that I wouldn’t be a failure. Does that make sense? It does to me.

I have come to realize that we are what we believe, what we think because by the very process of believing and thinking things we bring them about. If you read any biography of any successful or famous person you’ll notice that belief was paramount in the events of their life. That often, the singular action of believing in their goals and their ability to reach the goal was all that stood between them and failure.

I think now that many of the things that have happened in my life recently had to do with what I thought and I had more influence over the events than I knew. Simply because today I think differently and life is different. I realized the other night, while sitting on the back steps and looking up at the sky that I was thinking about the future and I wasn’t cringing or dreading it. I was looking forward to it. The change of attitude was a shock to me and it made me look back over the last few months with wonder.

I couldn’t tell you what brought about my change in view – just that a change has indeed occurred. I look now upon the future with anticipation and smiles. All of the trials and travails that have led me here were part of the journey I think. What I believed to be failures were only part of the process and will continue to be.

I’m sure I will still have dark days and frustration and wonder if the effort is worth it. However, I know it will pass and my optimism will win again. And that’s how I prefer it. I like to feel hopeful and cheerful about the possibilities. I like to think that things do indeed work themselves out and that I can attain the goals I’ve set for myself and new ones that may pop up. So I choose to be cheerful and hopeful and by so choosing the future looks bright.

Does Time Matter?


Through the ages mankind has always had an issue with time. I know I have and I’m part of mankind so there is at least some truth in the above statement. Much of our lives are built around time too, time clocks, alarms clocks, pocket watches, Times Square, lunch time, break time, quitting time. Aarrrgggh time, time, time controls us and we don’t ever have enough of it for the things we want.

It pervades our language – the clock is ticking, time waits for no man, the time has come, all in due time,
in the nick of time, marking time, time is running out, just in time
and many more examples exist. Face it kids, we’re stuck in time – oops there’s another one.

It makes me wonder if this universe is rigged with this time thing, you know? I mean maybe the great god of creation or whatever Supreme Being you happen to believe in set it up so we could just get things done. An arbitrary measure or adversary against which we could race, bet, think, do? It’s possible. Because really what is the point of time? What does it really mean in the longrun? That you can only have so many days to do something, to get something to create something. That once that arbitrary measure runs out so does your opportunities? It’s true that bodies age and with that so does our sense of time, possibly our inspiration to do things, achieve things or maybe we just get tired? On the other hand there are those out there who seem to defy time, look and act years younger than they are.

So maybe time has some aspect of agreement involved in it? You know like, you agree that time passes and things age as time passes and things change as time passes and stuff like that. But do they really? Is that really true or just a little game we’ve made up as part of the bigger game of life? I can think of dozens of examples of when I bent time so to speak.

Like I was running late and I had to, had to, had to be at a place at a certain time. Magically all the lights were green, the traffic disappeared, a parking spot appears right in front of the building. Or mom is coming over in fifteen minutes and somehow I’ve managed to clean the house before she gets there, or the man of your dreams finally calls and you’re showered, shaved and wriggled into that sexy little black dress in ten minutes flat. The fireman that manages to get the baby out of a burning building despite the impossiblity of it? And a million other examples that I’m sure you could think of in your own life.

More and more I’ve started to think that time is the enemy but not in the classical sense – not that it is going to beat me but my belief in its importance is going to beat me or us. It’s more a matter of the thinking, that it’s too late for a goal to be realized, for love, for happiness, for change, for a clean start, for anything really. I don’t believe that anymore and I’m glad. I think that time is starting to become my pet instead of the other way around. I will treat it nicely if it behaves and if it doesn’t then no desert for it.

How about you?

Let's Get Serious…


Actually, let’s not. You know I’ve been traveling around the blogosphere a bit more lately (now that I”ve gotten some sleep, thank gawd) and I’ve noticed a funny little trend. It seems we are all getting a bit on the serious side. I don’t mean that in a degrogatory way – sure there are things in life that make us all serious. Give us sobering moments and pause – and we find ourselves reassessing our priorities. Nothing wrong with that, sometimes you have to go there.

However, haven’t you just had a moment when you were looking at something very serious, very important and then just got a terrible case of the giggles? I mean, no matter what you do, you just can’t keep a straight face. And honestly you’re worried that someone is going to think it’s time you got your meds adjusted?

I have lately. And a lot of it has to do with myself. I’ve been looking back at some of the stuff I’ve written and thought and my reactions to various life situations and thought, “Jeez Annie, get the fuck over yourself.” Seriously, I have. And I have thought it might be time for some clowns and bears and that maybe I should just find some really tacky theme that is so ridiculously pastel that it will make my readers wonder what planet they’ve landed on. I’m still looking for that theme and if I find it, be prepared.

In my case, ironically enough, I’ve found that if I actually strive to be giggly instead of serious – if I actually try to just laugh no matter wtf is going on – that somehow life goes better for me. Somehow whatever is bugging me seems to lose the power to bug me. That somehow things just really don’t need to be that serious. Of course it doesn’t mean that I need to be irresponsible and so forth but a bit of lightening up can’t hoit. Right?

So, I’m going to screw the serious stuff right now. Or maybe it would be better put like this: life can be fun. I dunno – me gabbering to myself again – damn where is that troll when you need him?

Anyway, you with me? Wanna have some fun? Wanna have some laughs? I sure do. And btw…I’m considering outting myself on a certain issue (no, not my sexuality) still thinking about it though. Stay tuned.

Hope you’re having a giggly Monday…. maybe this will help… a real news item

Never try to take your own picture – especially in a crappy mirror. LOL

well, at least this one came out relatively clear – hehe

Twenty Vs. Twenty – Guest Post by Panther


Hi, I’m Panther from the Urban Panther’s Lair and I was so thrilled when Annie asked me to come on over to be a guest blogger, I foolishly gave her the opportunity to pick the topic. I even gave her carte blanche to make it challenging. Well, you know our Annie, she put on her thinking cap and came back with a doozie!

Do you feel that modern relationships (the 20-somethings) are fundamentally different when you and I were in that age group?

Well, I was 20-something, about, um, 20-something years ago. And I have three children who are 20-somethings. While this doesn’t make me an expert, it certainly means I can have a heck of a lot of fun extemporizing on this topic!

In my children, and their friends, I have observed three major differences on their approach to relationships from how my friends and I approached them at the same age.

1. Caution

I dated my boyfriend for six months, got engaged, and was married within a year. I was doing a scan of my friends from that time period, and stories I have heard from other people my age, and this rapid romance seems to have been quite common. We were certainly all married before our 23rd birthdays. My children, and their friends, are taking a much more cautious approach. D1 dated her boyfriend for four years before she moved in with him. She’s 23 and he’s 27. D2 has been dating her boyfriend for almost a year, most of that at a distance because they were in universities over three hours away from each other. In the Fall, she’ll be heading to another university over an hour away, and then heading off to Europe to do a placement in a museum. Their friends also seem to be taking time before moving in with their boyfriend or girlfriend. And marriage? Add another year, or two, or three, of living together before that is even a consideration.

2. Stick-to-it-tiveness

When my friends and I were dating, if we broke up, we broke up. Maybe one ‘second chance’ but that’s it; NEXT! What I have found fascinating is the willingness, mainly on the part of the young women, to wait it out. In what I think is pretty typical fashion, the young males panic when they start to ‘get too close’ to their girlfriends, and hit the highway at a run. Then they realize they actually miss their girlfriends and come back. This Panic, Run, Return pattern repeats itself several times. Sometimes, children are even created during the Return stage, triggering yet another Run. The young women aren’t sitting around pining for their man, and do carry on, but they open up their hearts and homes during the Return stage. Eventually, the young men deal with their fears and commit themselves to the relationship.

3. Screw the man

No, not that way! I mean screw The Man. For the most part, we were chasing the all mighty dollar. Long work hours, training courses at night, volunteer hours to build contacts, etc, etc. We were always seeking the next promotion. This meant time away from our loved ones. Not my kids and their friends. Yes, they are getting an education, and yes they want to live comfortably, but when they leave work, they leave work. They are willing to live on less materially, in order to enjoy each other, their friends, and eventually their kids.

So, why the above three differences? This is where I am totally taking a wild guess, but here’s my theory. Caution…heck, I’m on my third long term relationship. My kids lived through my first two, which weren’t all that pleasant. Especially the second one. No wonder they are taking time to really get to know their partners. Sticking it out? I was divorced by the time I was 28. Most of my friends and acquaintances were divorced by 30. These kids are working out their differences and growing into each other first. And if that means times apart from each other for personal growth, so be it. Screw The Man? I am sure a lot of the 20-somethings of today grew up watching one or both parents giving their all to work, only to have the plug yanked unexpectedly after 20 or 30 years of dedicated service. Missed dinners, missed school concerts, missed bedtime stories? Not what these young people want for themselves and their families.

Despite the difference in approach to building relationships, I know my kids want the same thing that I want. To live happy, fulfilled lives, with someone who loves and respects them. And I believe, while the initial stage seems slow, they actually stand a better chance of finding that person faster than I did.

(Woo-hoo, Panther, you really rose to the challenge here and wrote a great and insightful post. Bravo!)

The Air Car & Other Green Stuff???


Well, it’s been a busy week for new green solutions for the price of gas. Though I hate that term green solutions – how about non-tyranical, got you by the balls, solutions? Yeah, I like that better. Anyway, I give you the Air Car! Tada!

(here’s the scoop) The Compressed Air Car developed by Motor Development International (MDI) Founder Guy Negre might be the best thing to have happened to the motor engine in years.

The $12,700 CityCAT, one of the planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units. MDI says it should cost only around $2 to fill the car up with 340 liters of air!

The Air Car will be starting production relatively soon, thanks t o India’s TATA Motors. Forget corn! There’s fuel, there’s renewable fuel, and then there’s user-renewable fuel! What can be better than air?

For more info, check out the website here. (HT to Marli)

And Zelda sent me this:


From The Times
June 14, 2008
Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol
Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide ‘renewable petroleum’
Some diesel fuel produced by genetically modified bugs

Some diesel fuel produced by genetically modified bugs
Chris Ayres

“Ten years ago I could never have imagined I’d be doing this,” says Greg Pal, 33, a former software executive, as he squints into the late afternoon Californian sun. “I mean, this is essentially agriculture, right? But the people I talk to – especially the ones coming out of business school – this is the one hot area everyone wants to get into.”

He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.

Unbelievably, this is not science fiction. Mr Pal holds up a small beaker of bug excretion that could, theoretically, be poured into the tank of the giant Lexus SUV next to us. Not that Mr Pal is willing to risk it just yet. He gives it a month before the first vehicle is filled up on what he calls “renewable petroleum”. After that, he grins, “it’s a brave new world”.

Mr Pal is a senior director of LS9, one of several companies in or near Silicon Valley that have spurned traditional high-tech activities such as software and networking and embarked instead on an extraordinary race to make $140-a-barrel oil (£70) from Saudi Arabia obsolete. “All of us here – everyone in this company and in this industry, are aware of the urgency,” Mr Pal says.
Related Links

* Biofuel: a tankful of weed juice

* The arithmetic of crude oil

What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0″ will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.

LS9 has already convinced one oil industry veteran of its plan: Bob Walsh, 50, who now serves as the firm’s president after a 26-year career at Shell, most recently running European supply operations in London. “How many times in your life do you get the opportunity to grow a multi-billion-dollar company?” he asks. It is a bold statement from a man who works in a glorified cubicle in a San Francisco industrial estate for a company that describes itself as being “prerevenue”.

Inside LS9′s cluttered laboratory – funded by $20 million of start-up capital from investors including Vinod Khosla, the Indian-American entrepreneur who co-founded Sun Micro-systems – Mr Pal explains that LS9′s bugs are single-cell organisms, each a fraction of a billionth the size of an ant. They start out as industrial yeast or nonpathogenic strains of E. coli, but LS9 modifies them by custom-de-signing their DNA. “Five to seven years ago, that process would have taken months and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he says. “Now it can take weeks and cost maybe $20,000.”

Because crude oil (which can be refined into other products, such as petroleum or jet fuel) is only a few molecular stages removed from the fatty acids normally excreted by yeast or E. coli during fermentation, it does not take much fiddling to get the desired result.

For fermentation to take place you need raw material, or feedstock, as it is known in the biofuels industry. Anything will do as long as it can be broken down into sugars, with the byproduct ideally burnt to produce electricity to run the plant.

The company is not interested in using corn as feedstock, given the much-publicised problems created by using food crops for fuel, such as the tortilla inflation that recently caused food riots in Mexico City. Instead, different types of agricultural waste will be used according to whatever makes sense for the local climate and economy: wheat straw in California, for example, or woodchips in the South.

Using genetically modified bugs for fermentation is essentially the same as using natural bacteria to produce ethanol, although the energy-intensive final process of distillation is virtually eliminated because the bugs excrete a substance that is almost pump-ready.

The closest that LS9 has come to mass production is a 1,000-litre fermenting machine, which looks like a large stainless-steel jar, next to a wardrobe-sized computer connected by a tangle of cables and tubes. It has not yet been plugged in. The machine produces the equivalent of one barrel a week and takes up 40 sq ft of floor space.

However, to substitute America’s weekly oil consumption of 143 million barrels, you would need a facility that covered about 205 square miles, an area roughly the size of Chicago.

That is the main problem: although LS9 can produce its bug fuel in laboratory beakers, it has no idea whether it will be able produce the same results on a nationwide or even global scale.

“Our plan is to have a demonstration-scale plant operational by 2010 and, in parallel, we’ll be working on the design and construction of a commercial-scale facility to open in 2011,” says Mr Pal, adding that if LS9 used Brazilian sugar cane as its feedstock, its fuel would probably cost about $50 a barrel.

Are Americans ready to be putting genetically modified bug excretion in their cars? “It’s not the same as with food,” Mr Pal says. “We’re putting these bacteria in a very isolated container: their entire universe is in that tank. When we’re done with them, they’re destroyed.”

Besides, he says, there is greater good being served. “I have two children, and climate change is something that they are going to face. The energy crisis is something that they are going to face. We have a collective responsibility to do this.”

Power points

- Google has set up an initiative to develop electricity from cheap renewable energy sources

- Craig Venter, who mapped the human genome, has created a company to create hydrogen and ethanol from genetically engineered bugs

- The US Energy and Agriculture Departments said in 2005 that there was land available to produce enough biomass (nonedible plant parts) to replace 30 per cent of current liquid transport fuels

***

Now, I don’t know if any of this spells solutions but I do think it’s nice to know that there are those out there looking for solutions and trying to get us there.

UPDATE: Ger sent me a link to a vid for another company called Tessler Motors they offer this car:

Which is fully electric, power efficient and fast – plus there is a solar option which means it is energy positive – and according to their website they have already worked out the recylcling issues for both the tires and battery which is built into the purchase price. Though, I’d be curious to know if they have included the safe disposal of the battery acid as well, since that is my particular concern with electric vehicles. If they have managed to find a way to reuse the batteries, as is the case with current standard car batteries that would make me happy. There isn’t enough data on their website to answer this question, however.

Joe America Says It!


Although, I’ve posted quite a few videos in the past, of late, I’m not much for them. However, this particular video is something else. Joe America is well spoken, clear and has a pretty good plan. I highly recommend you take the few minutes to watch this video – I don’t think you’ll regret it.

(PS: Thanks to Moe for getting this to work – Annie)

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