Monday, December 07, 2009

Copenhagen, confronting climate change and jobs

As world leaders meet in Denmark, I'm driven to make a comment or two.

Living in Michigan, I'm reminded daily of the lack of jobs, especially in this state. In nearby Flint there are near daily shootings. In our town, Mt Pleasant, there has been a series of burglaries and the police are reminding people to lock up. We need jobs and a lot of them, right away.

I know one of the arguments of the ignorant right is that putting the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions will hamper job creation. But as I watch the news, the few bright spots in this depressed economy, before any climate change legislation, involve steps toward a green economy. Cities are competing for solar plants, a biodigester complex is happening at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Its true, controlling carbon dioxide will result in fewer jobs, the jobs of the past. Controlling carbon might close the doors on the jobs of yesteryear but it will simultaneously open many doors for the jobs of the future. The few bright spots we see today will only multiply with a robust climate policy.

As we decide to voice our concerns to legislators and such, lets refocus on the future we want to create, not cling to the obsolete and damaging past. I heard the US is committing to reducing emissions 20% from 2005 levels (probably the highest they've ever been). WTF? We can and must do better. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the world needs bold leadership from the US on climate change. But I guess we have to settle for Obama's empty promises of hope and half measures. Well, at least Obama accepts the science of climate change and greenhouse gases, unlike various baboons we've seen in the past.

If you hear someone argue that controlling emissions will mean fewer jobs, set them straight by explaining that controlling emissions will create more jobs, jobs we can count on for at least the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

spam attack

my blog is getting slammed with spam in the comments. this is sad. spammers are like the tweakers of the web. how low can you go? i'm sure you'll show us.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

economic question

i've yet to hear any actual, coherent explanation of what would happen if we let the banks fail. its all hyperbole about economic armageddon. i think thats all it is, hyperbole, hot air. we're still here. we have resources and we can craft a better way, not the way that got us into this mess, and sadly, we even have historical precedent to learn how to keep everyone fed. let the banks fail and stop mortgaging our collective future to the decisions of a small handful of elites

Friday, February 20, 2009

KEZI 9's digital signal

Okay, I'm wondering how many other people out there don't get KEZI anymore since they've gone digital. We live in Corvallis and we have the digital converter box with our old rabbit ears and though the OPB signal is pretty good (not perfect by anymeans) the KEZI one is unacceptable and unwatchable, whereas previously the KEZI analog signal was second only to OPB and quite watchable. I'm not sure how to feel about it. I mean part of me feels like, good riddance, but the other part is mad because, well, I'm cut off from ABC, I guess. Yeah, I know, big loss, big whoopee. But ultimately I'm a citizen cut off from one of the few remaining media conglomerates. My options have narrowed. Its not that I'll miss KEZI all that much, its that I'm getting screwed by dtv, something I never asked for and feel it was shoved down my throat. I'm sure come June 12 we will lose KVAL (CBS) and whatever the NBC affiliate out of Eugene is, as well as Fox. Oh well...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Economic meltdown

If you watched Frontline the other night you might have reached the conclusion i just reached that as the economic collapse ensued, it was primarily two people who made billions of dollars of decisions with taxpayer money (ie bailouts).

The other day I think I glanced onto Chris Mathew's show and some dude said something to the effect that for the vast majority of us, the poor, nothing's really improved in the last 40 years. Our condition has basically stayed the same. The middle class is getting rocked like Bart Simpson getting choked by Homer, and of course, the Uppermost class is doing just fine.

Rich people don't want to make loans. Well, that's good. It gives us an opportunity to localize our economies and create a manufacturing boom where communities all over adopt the diy mentality. The time of cheap transportation and centralized industry are ending, We need to invest in our local capacities to provide what we need. We should all be recycling and producing in more localized scales. Of course, while we reconsider what is really necessary. Perhaps its time to invest in creating jobs to clean up the environment. Maybe we could think about how to clean up the oceans of all the garbage and plastic thats floating around polluting the earth? Maybe its time to plant more trees instead of cutting them all down. Also, I think its time many of us just stop participating in the global economy. I know its hard and I haven't completely made that step yet, but lets face it, there's nothing really to worry about. If the next generation doesn't get to guzzle gas like we did, its okay, they can still have a better life if we focus on that question, what is a better life? Maybe its a life with less stress about work work work. less stress about paying the bills and having health insurance and whether my plastic bag will end up in the ocean. I'm convinced that there is a balancing point where resource consumption is sustainable, but right now we're consuming too much and we need to reduce. That means a new economy. We can't keep living the way we have. Here's my suggestion. We need to congregate more. The more we get together the less resources we will need. We need to share more.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

An open letter to everyone who seeks the truth of what happened on September 11, 2001

I've been obsessing over 9-11 and the truth of what really happened for a good week. I've been a "truther" for some time now and I think we must seize the opportunity of Obama's presidency to push for a new, legitimate investigation.

In a search for information about the molten metal at ground zero, which flowed "like lava, like a steel foundry" according to a group of NY's finest (firefighters) (I think they are credible witnesses, I'm gonna take their word for it) I clicked on a youtube video which showed scenes of ground zero and the clean up, and the raw horror struck me, because crews were using picks and hoes to recover body parts out of the muck, which were given the utmost respect and care and then I was struck with what its really all about.

Why it is so important, what really happened.

Well, clearly its for the people who died, in the collapse, in the planes, the ground zero rescue workers foolishly exposed to toxic air, who have died and are rapidly dying(hang in there and fight for truth!), and for the thousands who have died subsequently in a terrible war on terror, the Troops, how many people in Iraq and Afghanistan?, and the families of those stupidly killed and maimed. How can I, given a simple amount of information about what happened that day and has happened since, using that day as justification, sit still and not demand the truth. These dead demand the truth and of course, justice. And those of us with a brain and a conscience will fight the good fight.

After viewing a History Channel production, which largely recycled the Popular Mechanics version of what happened to refute the truthers, David Ray Griffin/Stephen Jones/Scholars/ArchitectsandEngineers/Patriots/common folk/etc, etc "version" (more on this later) which did not address the issue of the molten metal nor the issue of why the debris was so tightly controlled and rapidly disposed of, and certainly not preserved for study and inquiry, why the 9-11 commission was reluctantly allowed and tightly controlled by Bush insiders, culminating with the (p)resident testifying before the 9-11 Commission on the conditions he specified (no oath, no recording and with Cheney, give me a fucking break) and in light of the NIST report on building 7 which fudged the numbers to make their model work...these are just points that I can think of right now, there's a vast amount of credible information which suggests Bush had something to do with it. yeah, I said it. What more evidence do you need than someone who is reluctant to the idea of open, honest investigation, does not provide/withholds information from the investigating body, controls the areas of investigation (Philip Zelikow), does not adequately fund...I mean, am I seeing things or is this not how Bush dealt with the 9-11 Commission? What was he trying to hide? probably the truth.

I'm trying to be objective but the rebuttals in the form of the History Channel and Popular Mechanics and Michael Lehrer of Skeptic, only hurt their argument. They argue that "conspiracy theorists" pick facts to fit a predetermined conclusion when that is what they do. The truth movement is really about the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth so that justice can be served. The truth movement is as large as it is already not because millions of people need to attach a grandiose scheme to a unimaginable event, but because the preponderance of evidence suggests we're being lied to. I don't know all the answers, I just know Bush covered a lot of them up, and you know it too, the 9-11 Commission knows it, the Families of 9-11 victims know it, and the truth movement knows it.

I saw the NOVA program called the Spy Factory or something. It was about the NSA and the fact that they monitor all our electronic communications for possible terrorist activity. (Hi NSA! I'm not a terrorist. I love America and I want the truth!) The NSA knew about Al Qaeda and specific people who were granted visas (under Clinton Administration State Dept.) who ended up being 9-11 hijackers because of some rule or law that prevented the NSA from sharing the information on those individuals with the FBI. At the end one guy said something to the effect that we are safe now, and we would have been safe on 9-11 were it not for some stupid mistakes and the NSA probably doesn't need to be listening in on all of our communications after all. I'll take them at their word. They didn't say anything about what that law was that prevented information sharing from the NSA to the FBI. How did that come about? Who made that law?

I'm just sayin'...

We shall overcome!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Thoughts for a damp wednesday

I'm inspired by Barack Obama. Last night on Frontline World, they told the story of a Brazilian politician who is just one of several honest politicians, fighting for their people, which includes the poorest and meanest, who has spontaneously adopted/been dubbed the name, Barack Obama. He is a symbol for hope and change, simply put, and a powerful one at that.

I watched the inauguration and was moved to tears. I was so proud when he revived the tradition of walking (to the White House). Of course he wouldn't be Obama if he didn't ride in the car for some of the way also. I think that was tremendous, perhaps especially because he's black. (I still don't know a lick about who killed Dr King Jr, or Bobby Kennedy) but I digress. I'm encouraged by the direction he seems to be heading and the openness. This is soooo not Bush.

I'm concerned about the economic stimulus plan as is everyone, but one thing I'm fairly convinced of is that the economic policies of the Republicans and corrupt Democrats are what led to the situation we are in. The wealthy benefitted the most from those policies and it is only fair and just that those who benefitted the most in the past eight years be taxed increasingly and proportional to the misery now endured. I think accountability and responsibility is not too much to ask for.

Which brings me back to President Obama. I'm inspired. I'm so inspired by his honesty and forthrightness, transparency and integrity and I can't ignore that constant nagging you wish it would go away but it persists knowledge that there's so much more to the story of what happened on 9-11 than was shown in the 9-11 Commission Report and We the People have been denied an appropriate explanation of exactly WTF happened that day. I want answers and I'm entitled to them as a citizen of this great nation.

Why did Building 7 WTC fall? Why did the Twin Towers fall? Why did Bush exert the effort he did to not let the truth be known? I mean with regard to the 9-11 Commission, first off he didn't want it to happen, then he tried to get Kissinger to do it lol, he didn't fund it properly, he blocked acccess to information, and his testifying in private, WITH CHENEY, without recording, no swearing in, is that really meant to be credible? Not to mention Philip Zelikow as the manager or whatever. Why go to those lenghts? What is he trying to hide? What are THEY trying to hide.

Whats wrong with me? I'm sorry but I can't help it. My conscience compells me. I don't have a doubt in my mind that Jesus would demand a new investigation.
Bush must be held accountable. It goes to the root of the problem right now. If we ignore this now, it will fester and boil and create psychosis. Better to realize how badly things went awry and do our best to safe guard against the ever opportunistic forces of evil and ponder once again what is meant by the phrases, the banality of evil and the buck stops here.

I had a little exchange with some high school kids on a facebook group page called adios mother*%$! They called Obama a terrorist so I told em Bush and Cheney are the real terrorists and we need to reinvestigate 9-11 and we had a nice back and forth (I said he was a good representative of the forces of darkness) ending with one of them calling me a cock sucking faggot or some such nonsense, you get the idea. I can't say I wasn't disturbed by this exchange. I was and am. I mean these guys are pissed off, mean and ignorant. What can you possibly say to them? What could you say to them? But I have to say I think its better to engage them than not. I tried to keep things civil but it was hard. I wonder where Obama draws the line...

Am I off my rockers? All I did was look at some of the information claiming to be a search for 9-11 truth. And now I'm convinced that we have less than the full truth of what happened and its not enough and we have the ability and responsibility to do better. I love this country. It is my home and as long as I still have the illusion that I have a say and that I can use it how I want and that it actually matters, I will. The miracle of the USA and its redeeming character is that the founding ideas were so much more than even the founders realized, the idea transcended the people who created it and continually (in theory) improves the lives of The People (slowly but surely).

I know its easy to be cynical, that is the default setting in this day and age. To be involved and active, which is what our president is asking of us, is the higher state, the more necessary ingredient to creating a positive change. Lets take advantage and sieze this opportunity to take back our government from corporate/military/industrial/congressional hijackers. Now is the time for everyone to lift their voice and express their opinion. Especially if you don't have one. Too many of us are complacent and feel too dumb to form an opinion. That needs to change. Educate yourself, ask questions! Those of us who have opinions need to express them and get over the name calling and hatred and just follow our conscience. It matters a great deal. We need to get together and air out the honest disagreements and the flat out bullshit. We need to separate the chaff from the wheat. The time for conscious evolution is now!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Skateistan rulz!

If you don't know already, Skateistan is a skateboarding school in Afghanistan. As a recently revived skateboarder, I think its a great way to help the cause of peace in that war torn place. As a proponent for peace, I think if we the people launched a massive campaign of goodwill by supporting organizations like Skateistan, the need for military intervention would be lessened. I'm not saying we can defeat the Taliban with an outpouring of love, but it can't hurt and the kids of Afghanistan need our help. Check out skateistan.org and join me in supporting them.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

unemployed? lets enjoy it and create something useful

I'd like to give a shout out to all my fellow unemployed or underemployed peeps out there in the whole wide world.

I'm sayin instead of stressin out about who we're gonna work for next, lets take a moment to ponder the possibility of creating a new possibility for ourselves.

This economic downturn is a great opportunity for us to sober up, yes, from excessive indulgence, and reassess the drivers of our drive.

The captains of industry and capitalism have been all too happy to slander and demean all people's movements, effectively brainwashing a society into a mass consumerist, environmentally devastating, militarily devastating juggernaut. But it isn't permanent and we are waking up, slowly but surely, and we know its never gonna be like it was up til now. Things are changing and its gonna be okay. It might even be great.

So here's my idea. I've said it before more or less.
We should establish an organization to provide morale support for unemployed folks like ourselves. I'm not talking about the CSC/employment center where you apply for jobs and things, certainly keep doing that but in the meantime, theres still a lot of downtime, time that feels like its wasted. Time that might be better spent at a "labor pool" center where you can just hang out and be...with people in the same boat, without having to spend a cent. The economy is being reorganized and we should at least attempt to organize for ourselves. There are many questions to be wrangled over and we need a place to wrangle with them.

Here's a simple question to start with. Do you want to go back to the system where everyone's lives depend on a cycle of bubbles bursting? Or Shall we continue this system where the workers work harder and harder for less and less and the owners get more and more? Well if the answer is no, then we need to provide an alternative. And I'm saying, we don't need to sit around and wait for someone else to create that alternative for us, we need to actively create it ourselves.

I still think I'm on to something with the Corvallis Open Forum. I haven't received much of any feedback but I still think its worth pursuing. We need more opportunities to just go somewhere, be with other people, have an intellectually stimulating atmosphere and be able to express ourselves without spending a dime.