Monday, August 31, 2009

Under Watchful Eyes


Clear

I was a good kid growing up in the 1950s. Most of the kids in the neighborhood were good. We pranked and got mad and broke a rule or two; but, for the most part, we were a Wally-Beaver-Jem-Scout-Little Rascals-breed of kid. Why were we so well behaved? One reason was that we had been taught what was acceptable, and were soundly punished for breaking those rules of conduct. But, a huge factor in our decision-making and proper deportment was the knowledge that we were being watched! We grew up in a time when someone’s mother was always outside hanging the laundry. Someone’s grandmother was always on the front porch shelling peas. Some neighbor was always in the yard tending a garden. We knew their names and they knew ours. Or, at least, they knew our last names and where we lived. Even though we lived in a big city, the neighborhood was like a small town. Everyone shopped and worshiped and rode the buses together. Word of any improprieties on our part would get home faster than Superman, and another slender, stinging switch would come off of the bush!

Then, the preponderance of air-conditioning, laundry and kitchen appliances, televisions, TV dinners and automobiles changed the neighborhood. Once every family had these, the front porches and lawns were deserted. Families moved frequently to neighborhoods of closed doors, drawn blinds, and multiple schools, stores, and churches, all reached by private car instead of bus. The only time kids would see adults outside was Saturday morning when fathers mowed the lawn. Fathers didn’t pay much attention to kids. And fathers were disappearing from more and more homes.

So, hordes of unsupervised, undisciplined kids brought about changes in society. From dubious trends in fashion to radical fads for social acceptance, girls gone wild and horrendous acts for gang admission, the American youth were no longer innocent, but a source to be feared by some adults. Why were these adults surprised? Why didn’t they do more? They had changed, too. They had their own distractions and entertainments that took them from the home and took time away from the job of “parenting” the neighborhood.

Now, parents can “watch” kids again. GPS systems on automobiles, pagers, cell phones, spy cams, corner traffic cams, ATM cams, phone cams, YouTube, MySpace, Face Book, Twitter; the list gets longer every day. Kids are staying out of trouble because they are too busy using their electronics and living in cyberspace. Bad behavior ends up on the Internet, usually posted by a friend from a cell phone. Being “watched” reduces bad behavior.

Cloudy

Why hasn’t the same thing happened with government?

We watch them. We have our cameras and phones handy. We instantly text, tweet and record poor behavior or asinine statements directly to the Internet. One would assume that this would make our elected officials behave. So, why doesn’t it?

One reason is that they are either convinced that their rules are the only rules or that they are above the rules. Another is that they can afford to buy coverage that will put their spin on the incidences. The most glaring example I’ve ever seen was MSNBC’s video to show a racist attitude towards President Obama. Their aired video clip showed an automatic weapon overtly carried at a rally. The entire footage showed the legal barer of arms was a black man. When the media will not meet their ethical and/or moral obligation to report truth, the government is shrouded and allowed to continue in secret subterfuge. When the media does report truth, the government tries to exert power to silence it.

That means we need to be the mothers and the grandmothers and the neighbors watching these “children”. We know their names. We know how to record what they do. We know where to report it. We must be ever vigilant to seek and share truth. We must be watchdogs. We must hold their feet to the fire. They are watching us. We must watch back!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Party Etiquette



Cloudy

I personally don’t like conflict. I would much rather use diplomacy to solve the problems that arise in my life. So, I’ve been a bit disturbed by the disorder and anger shown at town hall meetings. I don’t understand why the representatives couldn’t answer the simplest of questions, or why Nancy Pelosi and others were labeling citizens who were exercising a constitutional right with negative names. I don’t understand why SEIU members were outside these meetings intimidating and shoving people acting within their rights. I wonder if, now that the Obama’s vacation is over and the Tea Party Express is on the way to the 9-12 celebration in Washington, the confrontations are going to become riots or rhetoric.

I’ve been thinking about guidelines for such confrontations, and have looked at the non-violent protest policies of Gandhi that were later adopted by Martin Luther King, the advice of Glenn Beck to “question with boldness,” and even my grandmother’s admonition of poor behavior. “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” I’ve reflected on our nation’s beginnings, filled with protests and action: the Boston Tea Party, protests and disagreements with King George and Britain’s taxation of the colonies, and, finally, armed conflict.

Clear

I read a statement from The Freedom Works today, and had an “ah-hah” moment.

Policy goes to those who show up. It is a law of political decision-making as dependable as gravity, and as old as the American experiment in republican democracy.


Policy goes to those who show up. The vocal group wins. Samuel Adams said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.” Women marched and won the right to vote. Americans who were horrified with Sinclair’s, “The Jungle,” brought about safer foods and drugs. Protests from followers of Rachael Carson banned DDT. A simple bus boycott brought about Civil Rights laws. College students marched and brought about the end of war in Viet Nam. And, the united voices of laborers brought forth safer working conditions. Adams was right when he said that the very last “interest group” that most politicians want to hear from is “The People.”

As Freedom Works pointed out, violent confrontations can escalate to the point where the parties' only concerns are victory, vengeance, and/or self-defense. Winning becomes the principal, and the original reason for protest is forgotten. Non-violent resistance avoids this trap.
Far from being cowardly, this is a strategy that requires tremendous courage, self-control, as well as a willingness to endure pain.
Glenn Beck has been asking for “boldness” and standing for our beliefs in the face of fear. It’s a page right out of our country’s birth story.

Now, we must act. It is time. “Teddy Care” is going to be thrown at us with a renewed vigor. But act with intelligence and purpose. Whether you are at a Tea Party, a 9-12 event in D.C., or in a discussion around the water cooler at work, consider a few points of common sense and etiquette.

THE LOCATION: Know the local rules and ordinances of any place that you gather.
Are signs permitted? Do you need an ID? Where can you park? Are you allowed on grassy areas? Can you have bullhorns? Are pets allowed? Is there a dress code? Can you distribute flyers or brochures? Can you sell items?

THE MESSAGE: Do your homework and know details of the issue.
Know what is in the Constitution. Study it. Study the issue that you are protesting. We seen example after example of citizens being better informed than their representatives who had not read a bill. However, we have also seen tirades by the ignorant and uninformed. Do not give the opposition ammunition! Neal Boortz warns everyone to look for other sources to confirm what you hear. Fox News tells us every day to decide for ourselves. Then, like Limbaugh, be unapologetic for what you believe.

THE DELIVERY: Be correct.
Do not take the microphone without a planned, intelligent statement. Do not carry a sign with poor grammar or misspelled words. Do not misquote others. Do not misrepresent the legislation. If you are saying something for a dramatic effect, preface it and explain it. Regardless of what you do, you will be called a “red neck,” but don’t be one. Begin each question with, “I believe in……” Then ask if they agree.

THE DEMEANOR: Look and act the part of an informed, intelligent person.
It shouldn’t have to be said, but look clean. Wear nice clothes. Make a logical point instead of an emotional rant. Take a permanent marker and write in your hand, “Stay calm.” Avoid name-calling. Remain positive and polite. If someone affronts you, calmly say, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” Do as Beck says, speak without fear. However, if shoving starts, consider just sitting down. If violence breaks out, leave. Let THEM start the violence, though.

THE REACTION: Listen to what the opposition has to say.
In the town hall meetings covered on the news, there has been very little listening. We cannot have a conversation without it. Listen politely. Listen intently. Take notes. Record it so that you can digest and analyze it later. If you disagree, stay quiet and let them finish. Then say, “I disagree with you because…” or write a blog, email, or editorial about how wrong they were later. Others will watch and hear and decide.

THE QUESTIONS: Be specific and clear, whether asking in person or in writing.
Glenn Beck has offered a week’s worth of questions (http://tinyurl.com/n5goey), and I offer other examples below. Pick and choose what suits you, or, better yet, ask yourself the hard question of what you believe, then decide what answers YOU want.

I believe that fiscal responsibility is necessary for a sustainable future.
• Did you vote for raises for yourself?
• Did you vote to spend our children’s future and increase taxes on us?
• Are you capable of creating a balanced budget?
• Have you accepted money for your special interests in return for a vote?
• Do you know why the president did not purge the budget ‘line by line’ of pork?
• Will you agree to vote against anymore stimulus spending and put unspent money towards the deficit?
• How much do all of the president’s trips cost?
• Why does the first lady have such a huge, expensive staff?
• Would you give your pay until we have a balanced budget?

I believe that industry, business and manufacturing made this country great. • Would you pass environmental regulation when you have no proof of global warming theories?
• Would you place the protection of any plant or animal above the needs and security of people?
• What business experience have you had?

I believe in a representative government and the senate’s power to approve presidential cabinet appointees.
• Do you favor the number of Czars, or advisors, that have filled Washington?
• Are you aware that many of these are enemies of the Constitution?
• Can you tell us who pays for the salaries, office space and staffs for these non-elected, non-approved advisors?
• Have you read any of their published works? Will you tell us what they believe?
• Why are they, and other non-elected officials, drafting legislation?
• Why does the president out-source his job?

I believe in American citizenship. • Do you think illegal aliens and foreign terrorists should have the rights of an American citizen?
• Do you have proof that our president is a citizen?

I believe that every American has the right to pursue happiness, but does not have the right to THINGS that they do not work for, including government medical care. I do not believe that our nation is entitled to handouts.
• Do you? Why?
• Why don’t you favor capitalism and free enterprise that would naturally create jobs so that people could provide their families with the THINGS that they need?
• Do you agree that small businesses should be taxed excessively?
• Can you tell me what you have done for the American farmer?

I do not believe that the federal government is a good steward of our funds or a competent business entity. • Do you favor a single-payer, government run public option for health care?
• Will you allow the American people to see the final bill that the Congress will consider?
• Will you vote for any healthcare plan that will increase the deficit or increase costs for your constituents?
• Can you just fix Medicare first, to prove to us that you can run something efficiently?

I believe in the first amendment guarantees for our freedom of speech.
• Do you believe in free speech?
• Do you believe in freedom of the press?
• Will you support legislation that seeks to control the internet, talk radio or conservative TV?
• Did you hide from your constituents who were trying to practice free speech at town hall meetings?
• Did you support the White House efforts to collect “fishy” emails and blogs?

I believe in the 2nd amendment guarantee for our right to bear arms. • Will you support legislation that attempts to limit gun laws?
• Do you own a gun?

I believe that the constitution has given the federal government explicit and limited powers.
• Will you vote for any bill that increases the size or powers of the federal government?
• Can you explain to me how the takeover of GM or the bailout of banks is constitutional?
• Why don’t you think that the states have jurisdiction over health care?

I believe that the government has the right to know how many people live in the USA, and where they live.
• Do you favor the intrusive questions that are in the current census survey?
• Do you think that an organization proven to be involved in voter fraud should be involved in the census program?
• Are you in favor of the federal government targeting school children to gather census information?
• Can you tell me what parts of our lives you do not have the right to control?

I believe in the power of the vote.
Do you agree that you MUST be replaced if you do not do what your constituents ask of you?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Open Letter to Washington



Clear
I am not the least bit CLOUDY on any of the concerns in the following letter.

To ALL elected officials in Washington:

WE THE PEOPLE are very upset. We are voicing very strong opinions every day, and need to be heard instead of being called "un-American" or "mobs" or "astroturfers!" So, please, listen!

REDUCE THE DEFICIT! REDUCE THE DEFICIT! REDUCE THE DEFICIT! REDUCE THE DEFICIT! This should be the number one job of the federal government! It should be the ONLY job until we are debt free. DO NOT ACCEPT A SALARY UNTIL IT IS DONE!

NO BENEFITS FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS! NONE!! They can apply to work here, pay taxes, learn English, take the test and the oath, and become CITIZENS! This applies to ALL nationalities of people who are here illegally and benefiting from my tax dollar.

NO MORE STIMULUS SPENDING! Do not spend ONE MORE PENNY until something is done about the deficit or a balanced budget is passed. Do not spend money you don't have. All TARP money not spent up to this point should be put towards lowering this immoral deficit.

NO CZARS! The President is, unfortunately, free to associate with any and all of his radical, socialist and communist friends who DO believe in euthenasia, sex with animals, governmental ownership of businesses and redistribution of the wealth "for the common good." BUT NOT ON MY DIME! NO federal money should be spent on their salaries, their office space, their staffs, their power bills, their office supplies, or their existance. Outlaw the use of public funds for any position that is not ELECTED or APPROVED by the Senate.

REDUCE THE FIRST LADY'S STAFF! What arrogance and waste! How many people does it take for her to do so little? IMPOSE LIMITS on who can slop at the public trough!

NO CAP AND TRADE. Every plant, every animal, every microbe affects the climate, but NO ONE is absolutely sure that disaster is impending. Most extinctions and severe climate changes happened long before man every arrived!

NO UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. Just fix what is wrong, don't hijack it! Pass torte reform to keep doctors in the profession. Lift mandates for unnecessary tests and procedures. Allow insurance companies to engage in interstate commerce. FIX MEDICARE and MEDICAIDE first, then come back and ask us to trust that you can run more of it!

NO VALUE ADDED TAX! How about no more tax increases, period! If government handouts and entitlements can't be funded, so be it. Most of them are pork and have generated a population of people dependent on others, capable of working for themselves, but with no incentive to do so.

REDUCE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! How many new agencies, with office space and staff are going to be created by the new healthcare bill alone? It's been estimated that EIGHT new buildings would have to be erected! The STATE should be regulating more and more of what the federal government is arrogantly assuming.

STOP ACORN! I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated, and stopped. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. And, while you're at it, look into illegal activities of SEIU and other unions that get their way by force and intimidation.

CHANGE THE CENSUS FORM! You are allowed to know HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN MY HOUSE. It is not the business of the federal government to know the number of hours that I work, when I leave my house, or my phone number. We've already seen too much illegal, unethical and immoral information gathering by this White House! I proudly flagged myself because of my "fishy" blog. It is my right to think as I do and to speak as I will.

BALANCE THE BUDGET! It is simple. Millions of Americans do it. Spend no more than you take in. Print no more worthless money! DO NOT ACCEPT A SALARY UNTIL IT IS DONE!

LIVE LIKE US! Elected officials should have to live by the same standards, under the same programs, that they impose on us. If a public option for socialized medicine does pass for this country, every elected official should be forced to have it and no other supplements!

NO REDISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH! I work for my money. Others can work for theirs. I've worked three jobs simultaneously most of my life because I wanted to provide well for my children.

LEAVE US TO BE CHARITABLE. Churches, civic groups, and individuals have always taken care of those who cannot take care of themselves. If we aren't taxed to death, we'll continue to do so without help or interference from the federal government.

NO CORPORATE BAILOUTS! You have no business being so overtly communistic!! If a business can't make it, another will step up! Let it happen because of free enterprise, supply and demand...not COMMAND.

DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY! The President has harped and harped about "transparency," yet he will NOT disclose documents about his past; birth certificate, passport, school records, early employment records, etc. Mr. Obama, put up and we will shut up! We still don't know how all this TARP money has been spent, because there is NO accountability, NO transparency, NO truth from our president and democratic leaders.

SLOW DOWN! Do not EVER AGAIN try to ram legislation through Congress. If people need time to read bills and debate, so be it. Post bills on the Internet and give the public time to weigh in with their elected officials. The last time I looked, WE THE PEOPLE were the true governing voice!

UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION! What we fear the most is what is happening. When candidate Obama said he would fundamentally transform this nation, he meant it! Congress is helping him lead us away from democracy. Don't participate! Fight it! Question the constitutionalily of all that you do, or we will be questioning your ability to be our representatives in government. Save the Republic from this Socialistic takeover by radical community organizers.

I'm proud to be an American. I want future generations to be able to say that, too. Never in my 60 years have I been so ashamed of my government. Never have I seen so much spin doctoring of rhetoric to justify such unethical behavior. Never have I heard so many lies and contridictions. This is the worse administration I've ever witnessed, and the public by far agrees with me.

Thank you.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Has Big Brother Arrived?


Clear

I know that Rep. Michele Bachmann has created a few waves by stating that she would not return her census information and by questioning what was in the data to be collected. In light of the “flag@whitehouse.gov” website that was set up for us to rat out our “fishy” friends, the ACORN and SEIU bullying we’ve seen at town hall meetings, and the millions of unsolicited emails sent out from David Axelrod, I think this issue deserves a little bit of investigation. Others, like Rep. Ron Paul and Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, agree.

I also know that Article I of the Constitution allows the government to conduct a count of the American people once every ten years to determine voting districts. The census is simply supposed to count heads.

Cloudy

What I don’t understand, however, is why this administration is assuming the power to continuously spy on us or probe into the intimate details of our lives. The Obama machine has slipped in a new, invasive form called "The American Community Survey." Up to 1 million households a year will receive this 24-page-long meddling, intrusive and insidious document (http://tinyurl.com/krzzxx) that REQUIRES you to tell “Big Brother” private details of your life such as: phone number, what time you leave your house for work, your health status, income and sources, etc. It asks for almost everything except your BMI and your citizenship.

How this information could be used, once the fodder of science fiction writers, is now a very real threat to our liberties.

You can be fined for not returning census information, although that has rarely if ever happened. But, I doubt that you can get away with a refusal like Representative Bachmann since ACORN will be knocking (kicking?) on your door. Yes, you heard me, ACORN!

With both a history of voter fraud and association with Obama’s “community organizing”, ACORN is participating in next year's count. The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now claims to be a non-partisan grassroots community organization of low and moderate income people, but it came under fire in 2007 when Washington State filed felony charges against employees and supervisors for more than 1,700 fraudulent voter registrations. In March 2008, an ACORN worker in Pennsylvania was sentenced for making 29 phony voter registration forms. The group's activities were frequently questioned in the 2008 presidential election. Obama has been called, “ACORN’s Senator.”

If you refuse to send in your survey for your house, ACORN will come knocking. If you refuse to answer your door, they will ask neighbors. In the same way that this administration tried to get people to “turn in neighbors” who were questioning ObamaCare, they will try to extort any information that they want in any way that they wish.

We stopped the flagging. We caught on to the fishy. We need to stop this.

Take your head count, and then go away.

Social Engineering: An Obamination



Cloudy

It looks like the “social engineers” are at it again. (Or should we just come out and say, the “socialist engineers”?)

Westchester County, an up-scale suburb of New York City, has been pressured to settle a lawsuit brought by liberal activists over "affordable" housing, a plan that the Obama administration feels should be a "template" for the rest of the nation.

The lawsuit alleged that Westchester had accepted federal housing funds but failed to reduce segregation in some of its wealthier communities, such as Scarsdale and Chappaqua, home to Bill and Hillary Clinton. In February a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Westchester's integration efforts were insufficient, and, after striking a deal with HUD, the county will construct or acquire 750 homes or apartments, 630 of which must be located in areas that are less than 3% black and 7% Hispanic.

This isn’t new. “Block-busting” has been tried in some form or another since the 1940s. It peaked in the 1960s and 1970s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The blocks in a neighborhood were “busted” by convincing one white owner to sell to an African American family. Property values would fall, “white flight” would follow, and more minorities would move in.

Integrated neighborhoods were supposedly the intended goal. These neighborhoods should have included integrated schools and churches and should have spelled the end of bias, bigotry and discrimination. The actual results were usually the opposite; divided communities, racial tension, the deterioration of property, and a loss in the economic viability of the area. The “reality” of the Bunkers and the Jeffersons rarely occurred, as “block-busting” was seen primarily as a means to increase Democratic votes in an area.

Clear

The problems were never in the idea. The problems were always in the methods. Community organizers, social engineers, courts, and other governmental entities forced integration. It didn’t come about because of choice. (Even Wallace's famed stand in the "school house door" at the University of Alabama was carefully orchestrated by Bobby Kennedy.)

Most people believe in integrated neighborhoods provided they're a consequence of genuine choice. History shows that racial and ethnic minorities have incurred far less resistance when they move into neighborhoods where they can all afford to live. Natural integration by people with similar incomes, mores, ethics and values is the best way to build community solidarity and forge friendships. When forced, integration takes from some to give to others, just like every policy the Obama administration favors. It is called socialism.

My neighborhood is upper middle class and integrated. Everyone here shares the same values. We all worked hard, saved money, made wise decisions about our money, and did our best to put our families in a safe neighborhood with good schools. When our children were young and “running” the neighborhood, we often visited in each other’s homes, served on committees at church or school together, and worked on projects at school or in scouts together. Every yard is cut and clutter free. Every garage has a nice car. Every house has great “curb” appeal, as everyone has pride in their homes, their families and their neighborhood.

Socialists with hidden agendas to “engineer our choices” need to recognize that most people will do the right thing IF ALLOWED TO CHOOSE IT.

People are good. Leave us alone to find each other.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

When Push Comes to Shove




Cloudy

I spent 30 years at the same job. When I took that job, right out of college, it was at the fastest growing and largest 3 year high school in the state, a school that had just opened the year before. To staff this new school, about half of the faculty was veteran teachers from within the system, and the other half was young, idealistic, fresh-out-of-college fledglings. Needless to say, we were also a bit rebellious, being children of the 60s! But we weren't bad. We were just 21 year olds! We just wanted to wear blue jeans. (Many of us didn't own much else!)

After two wonderful years of finding my wings, enjoying my students, knowing that I had found the perfect job for me, I was called into the principal's office and told to resign.

I was flabbergasted! I was speechless! And, of course I was too young and naive to know what my rights were. He rattled off a list as long as my arm of things I had done wrong; a list that included having a man over for dinner, not going to Sunday School, and taking a trip to San Antonio with a man. I only spoke once during this whole time. It was in response to the San Antonio trip when I meekly whined, "But, my mother said that I could!" When he was finished, he told me to turn in a letter of resignation the next day. I very quietly said, "I don't know if I will because I don't think I have done anything wrong."

If that had been it, I would have gone home and written that tear-stained letter. But his reaction shocked me! After my response, he shoved his chair back, stood and leaned over his desk, and pounded on it with each syllable of putrid, fiery anger that spewed from his mouth, "If you don't, young lady, I will ride you until you wish you had! I will ride you until I put you in the hospital with a nervous breakdown! And don't think I can't! I've done it before!!"

Clear

It clicked. It hit. I got it.

He was wrong. What he was doing was wrong and I would never have questioned it if I hadn't been pushed by that outburst.

To make a long story short, I worked there for 28 more years, and he was gone at the end of that one.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, socialists came to believe years and years ago that Americans could be "nudged" into becoming governmental "sheep."

The ‘nudge’ idea came from the Socialist Party during the years of FDR. The party once ran candidates against FDR until they realized that he and his desired ‘Second Bill of Rights’ were already socialistic! Norman Thomas, the socialist leader and presidential candidate said: The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.


And it could easily have happened this year. The main stream media and young people had canonized Obama. We needed some action, and he was willing to make some bold decisions to get us out of this economic debaucle. I thought he was going in the wrong direction, but we were at a point where no one else had ever been in our history! I would have sat quietly and let him take more and more and more if...IF... he and Pelosi hadn't begun to push.

They wanted to push this health care down our throats so hard before the August break, that it made us all sit up and take notice. Then we found out the ACORN criminal thugs and the SEIU goons had turned push into shove.

I'm glad.

Without the push and the shove, the nudge would have worked.

We were right on the brink of socialism. Those in power and these socialist "community organizers" had been setting the stage for years and years.

We've got a long way to go to keep it from happening, but at least we know that the threat is real and we must stay the course and fight it with our voices, our signatures, our emails, our letters, our faxes and our phone calls.

Spread the word, America! Democracy is our only option!

(Image from www.healthcare4me)

Will "Green" Cars Be Clean?


Cloudy

I understand the need to become independent of fossil fuels, as we do not have an unlimited supply. However, if there is a rush to drastically move to electrical cars and electrical alternatives before we are ready, aren't we going to pay some consequences?

Clear

I see three potentially serious problems:

1. Batteries have to be recharged often, and will pull a lot of power to do so. More often than not, that power will be generated by a coal burning plant. Coal is a much more polluting fuel than petroleum. As more and more petroleum cars are replaced by battery cars, or EVs, or hybrids, the worse the air quality will be, especially the sulfur pollutants and acid rain.

2. If Cap and Trade passes and our power bills double or triple as expected, will we be able to afford to charge these cars up 2 times a week, or 2-4 times a day on a long trip? Will we still need petroleum cars for those long trips?

3. The power grid in the USA is one of the most vulnerable parts of our national infrastructure; subject to destruction and attack. Even if outside forces leave it alone, it can't take overload. There's going to have to be some SERIOUS work done on the grid before we can physically support the onslaught of EVs. It will be like the overload on Twitter. Result? No service. But when Twitter goes down, I can find a lot of things to do. When I'm stranded somewhere trying to charge up my car, I won't be a happy camper!

Seems to me that we are so anxious to CHANGE, that no one thinks about the consequences of CHANGE anymore. I think we're all learning a HUGE lesson in CHANGE right now. Hope that lesson sticks!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Boom Lowered on Boomers!


Cloudy

What turned a professed “Generation-Xer” into a “Baby Boomer” expert? Laura Lorson’s blog, “Welcome to the Summer of Hate,” is supposed to be a humorous look at the older American’s that make up part of the “sleeping giant” that’s been flocking to town hall meetings; but, instead, it’s insulting and demeaning.

Forty years ago, long-haired, incense-burning baby boomers were subjecting us to "The Summer of Love," and they got all worked up and piled into VW micro-buses and drove out to upstate New York, rolling around in the mud and taking drugs, and generally alarming their parents with the threat of — I don't know — communes. Now, it's 40 years later, and gray-haired, incensed boomers are subjecting us to what I guess you might want to call "The Summer of Hate," to judge from the pictures of people's faces contorted with rage, calling each other names that they used to reserve for "The Man." Now, instead of the peace and harmony, make-love-not-war thing, they're getting all worked up and piling into tricked-out minivans and driving out to their congressional representatives' offices, rolling around in their Medicare-provided scooters, yelling about the cost of drugs and generally alarming their parents with the threat of — I don't know — health care.….From Woodstock to apoplectic rage, in 40 short years… I keep expecting some fella to go up to a podium and announce, "Hey, everyone, the brown Maalox that is circulating around is not too good."


Someday this arrogant, ignorant little cuss may be in a walker with someone calling her life worthless, and, if I’m still around, I’d like to hear from her then.

We, the Baby Boomers, have spent most of our lives working, paying taxes, raising families, going to church, paying into Social Security, saving towards our retirements, voting and being productive members of a free society. We’ve been frugal and wise. We paid for our houses and burned the mortgages. We paid, or helped pay for your college educations. Now we are helping our elderly parents who can’t feed or dress themselves, because we know that is the right thing to do, even though we know your generation will change very few Depends.

We are at the town hall meetings, writing blogs, corresponding with members of Congress and the White House, because we want you to have the same chance to the pursuit of happiness that we have had. We want you to live in a democracy. We want the Constitution to protect you, as it has us.

We don’t want the government to coddle us like your generation does. We want to work and earn respect. We don’t want handouts and entitlements. We value liberty over government mandated “security.”

And, for you Boomers out there, “Stay the course, old timers!” We’re seeing a victory over single-payer, socialized medicine for the USA, but we still have to defeat Cap and Trade, rid the capital of ridiculous Czars and get a balanced budget! Keep your voices strong!



Summer of Hate

Transparency? Where?


Cloudy

There are many articles and much Internet discussion about the distain for Fox News and conservative talk radio by the governing liberals. Why do the liberals cry, “foul,” and try to shut up the conservatives, when there are far more liberal television stations and news organization that will not give conservatives or Republicans the time of day?

Clear

ABC aired one entire hour of ‘ObamaCare’ propaganda. Lauer of THE TODAY SHOW was kind and jovial with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and rude to Michelle Malkin, as he cut the noted conservative author off and didn’t even thank her for appearing! Couric was beyond rude to Governor Palin during the campaign. Yes, Palin could have answered better, but she was brand spanking new and no more qualified at that point than was some community organizer who had helped his wife make money by raping the poor with the Chicago Health Initiative and associating with lunatic, radical, socialists and communists!

These kinds of attacks and shunning only come when you have no defense for what your side is doing. And, if meant to garner points, they lost mine!

Al can make puns, Ann can get mushy, Meredith can get over-competitive, and Kathy Lee and Hoda can review all the fart-filters they want while sipping alcohol in the early hours of the morning without me.

Oh, what's that?

Conservative media has fewer outlets but higher ratings? Mainstream media is falling behind? You mean, we trust the conservative media more?

Do tell.

When the President lies, and the media lie about the lies; well, there you go!

And, do the liberals think that conservatives can't hear, can't read, and/or can't think? We've read the bills!! We KNOW what they say! We've read what the Czars have written. We've read Michelle Obama's thesis! We would love to read the presidents IF there was anything besides his two books available for us to read! He will not let us learn about his college years, his early work, his qualifications (which are truly looking as those they don’t exist now), his birth, his passports, and other documents, which, if produced, would shut up 51% of America and put him back in favor with the majority of Americans!

So much for transparency!

For me, it means I can see right through him and his administration.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Astroturf, Swastika-Wearing Mobsters

Cloudy

I don’t necessarily agree with the shouting that has been going on at town hall meetings lately. It seems it didn’t get physical until the unions moved in on behalf of the democrats, but I’m not sure. I’m also unsure about the name calling. Oh, I understand slang and slurs in the middle of a heated argument. I just don’t understand why, in the quiet of an office with nothing louder than fingers on a keyboard, leaders would purposefully call dissidents “un-American!” Have Pelosi or Hoyer read the 1st Amendment? Are they students of American History?

Clear

It is very clear that they do not want these dissenting voices, which would never have been raised had their questions been answered! The Democrats and liberals were wise to encourage the “mob” atmospheres, since that took the attention away from the ignorant politicians. I don’t mean “stupid.” Stupidity can’t be helped. Ignorance can be. These folks don’t know how to answer the “mob” because they hadn’t educated themselves by READING the bills! Today the crowds were ready. They had read the bill. They did their homework.

Tonight, I know that I am proud to be one of these “un-Americans.” I’m in great company. Radio talk show hosts, right-wing newspersons, average citizens at the microphone and the thousands of bloggers and tweeters are doing the most American thing that we can do!

It was dissenting voices that rang out as tea was dumped into the Boston Harbor. It was dissenting voices that articulated distrust, dislike and disloyalty to King George. Land-owners, farmers, scholars, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, merchants, shippers, naturalists, scientists and laborers joined forces and voices to give birth to the greatest nation on earth.

These were not ignorant people. They studied the classics and read the work of others on liberty and democracy. They made hard but wise decisions based on the wisdom of others and their desires for freedom. They took their time to get it right. They didn’t hurry to force this republic on America. They didn’t hide what they were doing. They communicated their ideas and desires, and supported public discourse. They not only supported it, they demanded it for us forever by protecting it as a guaranteed right in the 1st Amendment.

Throughout our history, this right to dissent has brought about social justice and preserved our government. Women banded together to shout, wave signs and parade in the streets until they finally won the right to vote. Black and white patriots ran the Underground Railroad and suffered through segregation and lynchings to insure equal rights for all and end the reign of Jim Crow. A war that our government would not or could not win was ended as young people banned together with peace signs and shouts of outrage. Agent Orange and DDT were banned and the nation has increasingly become greener and greener without a Green Czar or an Energy Czar, but because of the voices crying out in unison in the absence of song birds.

We not only have the right, but we have the obligation to resist unjust and unwise legislation. We must speak out against unbridled spending and disastrous fiscal policies. We should be brave and bold and united against anything that smacks of socialism. Unlike health care, the freedom to speak our minds IS a Constitutional Right.


Hear Nancy Pelosi for yourself!


video

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Network News or Views?



Cloudy

One thing I had a hard time getting my head around during the election was why the Today Show canonized Obama. There was never a hint of objection or a question about his plans or policies. I used to love Katie Couric on that show, but after her wicked and inexcusable attack on Sarah Palin, I’ve never watched her again. Pure evil! Why? And who paid for Obama’s hour-long infomercial on healthcare on ABC? Bill O’Reilly and others on Fox News seemed to be impartial. I truly felt like most of them reported facts to let us decide what they meant.

Clear

Well, after doing a little digging on my own (which I hope you are all doing, too), I learned some very interesting facts.

NBC and the Today Show are owned and operated by General Electric. GE made massive contributions to Obama’s campaign, and, in turn, stands to multiply their money if Cap and Trade passes. They are not neutral. They are so in bed with the current administration that it is impossible to tell where GE ends and Obama begins.

This administration keeps telling us that they have our personal interest in mind. Don’t buy it. They have deep pockets and long-range control in mind.

Don’t give up network TV, just make sure all of your information comes from a variety of sources. They report. You decide.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Clunker of an Idea


Cloudy

I taught environmental biology for over 20 years, and I’m just not sure how this program stacks up to be good for the environment. I’m also not sure why anyone is surprised that it was highly successful in getting people to participate. “Hey, you guys! Come line up and get a free $4,500!” Okay. Where’s the mystery?

Clear

What I do know is, while those who participated got a booster shot in the pocketbook, and some dealers saw in increase in sales, the long term effect will prove to be a mere drop in the bucket, if not an overall failure.

1. Just for your information, hybrids and battery technology is NOT a break from fossil fuels. These cars must be plugged in and recharged with existing power supplies, which means burning coal in most instances! They are great for tooling around, but not for highway usage. Yes, new models may reach desirable highway speeds, but they don’t have a range that would last me a week in town, much less a trip to visit any of my relatives! I can’t stop every 100 miles and hope to find a plug!

2. Scrap metal dealers in America are getting the short end of the stick! The scrap is being shipped to China, where they will burn fossil fuels to convert our wastes into products that they will sell back to us.

3. Charities will already hurt under Obama’s proposals, but this will be a blow to many who have depended on the donation of old cars for either income or a way to transport the poor or infirmed that they serve.

4. Used car dealers have a legitimate business serving those Americans who, especially now, can’t afford new cars. There is a market! There should be free enterprise to pursue products and to carry out business, without a government (with vested interest in the automotive industry) strapping them down.

5. Most of the cars that have been purchased have been foreign cars. So Japan and China are the big winners!

6. It is being reported that many of these clunkers are being sold 'through a legal loophole,' and the opportunity for corruption, black market deals, etc. is rampant. (Raise your hand if you are surprised.)

In the 1970s, Volvo introduced a car that would get almost 100 mpg. A few prototypes were produced, but they never reached the public. Oil companies bought the patents and shelved them. For our cars to be getting 30 mpg forty years later is disgraceful.

My thanks to my Senators, Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby, for voting against extending the program!

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lessons on Race from my Father


Cloudy

I’m not sure why the race card got pulled at Obama’s press conference on health care. My guess is that it was planned, as it seems that every move our president makes is extremely orchestrated. It also appears that, if you don’t like his liberal policies, you are considered to be a racist.

Clear

I know that is not true. I know what racism is. I was in a restaurant in Memphis as a little girl when a lovely black family came in and there was a huge gasp from all the patrons at other tables. My parents smiled at them, as they also had a large “brood” of children. I saw the caravans of teens that left school the first day of integration in Birmingham as a protest. (Or, perhaps, just so they could go to Burger in a Hurry instead of school!) I had long time family “friends” leave my wedding in a tiff because my black friends came to my church to celebrate an important event in my life.

My father taught us all a lesson long ago without a single lecture. We, a family of nine, came home from church one Sunday evening to find a black man rummaging through our kitchen. DoDad chased him out the back door, down the rickety wooden steps, through the yard full of bamboo, to the back ally. We watched from the back windows as they disappeared from sight. Then my “hero,” my daddy, came back with the man in tow. But, instead of wrestling with him, they were talking and smiling. Instead of calling the police, he called to mother to fix some dinner for the man. He was hungry. He was looking for food. We were poor, too, but we always had food. This poor guy’s punishment that day was to have 7 curious little kids crawling all over him and asking him a thousand questions!

My son is currently teaching in Korea, and he said his little ones stroke his hairy arms out of curiosity in much the way that we stroked that man’s hair. It’s not racist. You have to feel comfortable about yourself and someone else to touch them in that way. I remember an evening of laughter and fun.

Later, DoDad explained a bit about relationships to me. We were in his office building on a weekend, watching some protestors down on the sidewalk. Birmingham had a bad reputation for the way that the police and fire department and dogs treated protestors, and we were witnessing some of that. He told me that basically everyone wants to feel good about themselves and wants to feel more important than someone else. It is part of human nature to want to be special, and that there are two ways to achieve that goal. One way is difficult. We must work hard, get a good education, improve ourselves, and constantly try to achieve the high goals that we set for ourselves. The other way is easy. You merely sit back, call other people names and slap them down so that you can believe that you tower above them. “Which way are you going to choose?” he asked me.

I think I made the right choice.

Which choice will you make?