Tuesday, September 30, 2008
This is my cousins truck following it hitting a pole at 60 MPH. She was driving home from work late the other night, got too close to a curb, over corrected and hit a pole. (She had not been drinking.) The officers on scene said had she been just inches more to the right it probably would have killed her.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
So I keep hearing about this debate over off-shore drilling. One guy says its the solution to all our problems, another says it will be the demise of our ecosystems or something (did I mention I think I have ADD? yeah - can't make it though most articles or anything else for that matter. Good times.) So I did a search on it which sent me to a bazillion different places and articles but this is the one I had not heard much on and found the most interesting and believable (and it was pretty short - relatively. Yea for me!)
To be transparent I want to add that I am an Obama supporter but willing to be open-minded to all the issues out there. I went into this search of mine looking for the truth behind this issue/debate, not to find material to support one candidate over another. I think that is why I like this article - it does not let either candidate or their position appear flawless or perfect.
The Truth About Off-Shore Drilling by Michael Schwartz
Dean Baker of Truthout recently published a wonderful article about McCain's plan for oil drilling off the Florida coast.
Baker makes three very important points about this plan.
First, there is simply not enough oil there to make any kind of difference in terms of the energy crisis: "The Energy Information Agency (EIA) projects that if we go the drilling route, we could hit peak production of 200,000 barrels a day by 2030." This is a trivial quantity, amounting to about 0.2% of the world's production at that time, and about 1% of the U.S. consumption right now. It would increase domestic production by less than 3%. So offshore drilling would do nothing at all to reduce the price of oil or to "reduce dependency on foreign oil," to invoke everyone's favorite slogan.
Second, Baker makes the point that the media has severely distorted the debate between McCain and Obama:
"The media have portrayed the disagreement between Senators Obama and McCain as to whether to allow drilling in the currently protected offshore areas as a question of values. Senator Obama values the environment, while Senator McCain wants to bring down energy prices and promote economic growth."
This portrayal of the debate is a complete misrepresentation, since "McCain's plan will have no measurable impact on the price of oil or on economic growth. In other words, Senator McCain is willing to jeopardize the environment in these protected areas for nothing."
Finally, Baker makes this telling point, that there are easy-to-execute conservation measures that would do far more to reduce the oil crunch:
"There are alternatives to drilling for oil in environmentally sensitive areas that can produce real results. Conservation is the most obvious.... Suppose we raised average fuel efficiency to 40 MPG by 2030; this would save us more than 5 million barrels of oil per day, 25 times as much as we would get from Senator McCain's offshore drilling. Since many cars sold today already get more than 40 MPG, this is hardly an unrealistic target. Wherever we set our targets, the simple arithmetic shows that it is far easier to have an impact on oil markets through conservation than drilling in environmentally sensitive areas."
Baker did not, however, ask this question: Why would McCain advocate such a plan, instead of the straightforward conservation measures that are much better?
There are two answers to this question.
First, though McCain's plan for off shore drilling will not ease the energy crisis, it is a dandy piece of patronage for the oil industry. Halliburton and other oil service companies will get huge contracts to drill there, while the big distributors (Exxon and the gang) will be able to make very nice profits from extracting and selling the 200,000 barrels per day. (Profits from this amount of oil could easily exceed three billion dollars per year). The fact that taxpayers will foot the bill for government support of the project (including guarding the platforms, protecting them from weather, etc) and then pay the environmental price of its impact is of no never mind to McCain, since he can depend on the media to portray these expenses as the price we pay for alleviating the oil crisis.
Second, McCain does not want to impose 40 mpg on auto manufacturers because this would cut into their profitability by forcing them to develop hybrid and alternate fuel automobiles. These are expensive and problematic projects that the manufacturers know would cut into their already fragile profits. McCain, for his part, does not want to make the already struggling auto manufactuers "take one for the team." The same goes for all the other conservation measures (like cogeneration, which would reduce manufacturing profits, or insulation, which would reduce housing contractor profits).
The big point is this. During the energy crisis, Washington is conducting "politics as usual": exploiting public alarm to enact destructive policies that are profitable to a key corporate clients, and avoiding constructive policies that would probably reduce the profits of key corporate clients.
And let's keep this in mind. Though Obama has demurred on the off shore drilling scam, he has signed on to many others, including subsidizing shale oil extraction that could take down the Rocky Mountains, while remaining totally silent on key conservation measures.
What can we learn from all this? One lesson is that policies relating to the big problems facing our country turn out to be deeply entangled with the loyalty of government officials to the short term profits of the biggest corporations. Another lesson is that government officials can depend on the media to help them "justify" their service to industries by concealing the real impact of their policies.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
So the two of us went to spend a day with Thomas the Tank Engine, one of her favorites. She is my only child who has gotten into Thomas and His Friends and I have to admit I have really enjoyed this with her. So last Sunday the two of us headed off to the Colorado Railroad Museum to ride Thomas and meet Sir Topham Hat. Sadly Sir Topham Hat had left for the day by the time we got there. What's up with that? She did however get to ride a big bus from the parking lot to the rail yard which was very exciting. Here are some of the other highlights for us.
Seeing Thomas for the first time
The train conductor
A picture with Thomas!!!
OK so this one needs some explaining. As we waited to get the above picture taken E asked if she could take a picture of Thomas. I handed her my camera thinking she meant the big engine we were about 4 feet from. Nope.
How she does her "worker"
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Not only is this disgusting, offensive, bigoted and sets our society back about 50 years, but it further perpetuates the belief that Christians are all of these things because these horrible things were sold at Focus on the Family's Values Voters Summit in Washington, DC this past weekend. Values? Really? These are not my values! I am so infuriated I cannot hardly put my thoughts together.
I am not a political person. I learn what I need to know to vote for the candidates and issues I care about but I do not have the mind or patience get too in-depth. Shallow maybe. Please don't lynch me!
I am however a human and a Christian. There is nothing more important in my mind than being kind and caring for the other humans who share this earth with us. If I remember right the Bible tells us God created each of us equally. He loves each of us? Judge not least you be judged? Any of this ringin' and bells?
Regardless of your beliefs or whatever no one has the right to be so cruel. I expect more, much much much more than this from the religious leaders in our world. They are to be examples right? The ones we look to? The ones who represent us to the world? Or is that too old fashioned? Does that only apply to non-election years? Or just for the ones who look and talk like us? Give me a break.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Tonight I had 46 entries to read according to my Reader. That is a personal record for me. I read most of them, and skimmed a few. And in case you are wondering of course I read and savored every word of yours. Honest.
Tonight as I caught up on emails, blogs, facebook, etc I was also half-watching My Big Redneck Wedding on the Country Music channel CMT. This show is hilarious. It made me reminisce about my own wedding which was 9 years ago this month. I began typing it out but it was very rambling so it will have to wait for another day. I need to go to bed!
Friday, September 5, 2008
We now return you to your previously scheduled blog.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Steve has a Neutrogena bar, I have a grapefruit gel with moisturizing beads and the kids'
Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? Yep!
What would you change about your living room? My couch. This poor thing has been well used and is about to fall apart. Well, fall apart more...
Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Dirty
What is in your fridge? Enough food to feed a family for weeks - leftovers galore
White or wheat bread? Whole wheat only, much to my family's dismay
What is on top of your refrigerator? A partial carton of peaches, 3 cookies, a bowl of fruit (bananas that will now be used for bread and an apple to be exact) and a lazy Susan that has gum, sharpies, odds and ends and dust. Ew.
What color or design is on your shower curtain? No curtains, just old, ugly doors. :(
How many plants are in your home? 7 very sturdy and resilient, neglected plants
Is your bed made right now? Amazingly yes! Even more so - I did it! No joke!
Comet or Soft Scrub? Ummm... not sure.
Your closet organized? Mostly
Can you describe your flashlight? Um... what?
Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? plastic for cold drinks, glass for wine (I am so high class)
Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No. :(
If you have a garage, is it cluttered? No. And if you have met my sweetly over-compulsive hubby you would know that.
Curtains or blinds? curtains
How many pillows do you sleep with? 2-4 but always my favorite memory foam one. It is my prized possession.
Do you sleep with any lights on at night? a few nightlights throughout the house
How often do you vacuum? Every day or two but Steve does daily.
Standard toothbrush or electric? Electric and I LOVE it!
What color is your toothbrush? purple and white
Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? Yes but it does not say "Welcome"
What is in your oven right now? crusty tin-foil
Is there anything under your bed? I hope not. The frame broke so anything that was there is in sad shape now.
Chore you hate doing the most? putting away laundry
What retro items are in your home? me
Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Sort-of.
How many mirrors are in your home? Geesh. I had to walk around and count but we have 6
Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? I have been known to use my son's old coin box if that counts. (And yes I always replace what I borrow!)
What color are your walls? Mostly white. Front room and K's room are tan, bathroom a fabulous light blue, other bathroom not so fabulous light blue, kitchen is a beautiful royal blue which I love love love. Horrid paneling going up the stairs and in the upper hallway. Sooooo ugly - don't get me started. One wall in our room too - heaven help me. E's room is a pale yellow.
Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? Just me in the morning...
What does your home smell like right now? Hopefully not like our pets...
What kind of pickles (if any) in your fridge? A Costco sized jar of dill.
What color is your favorite Bible? I do not have a favorite but the one I usually use is purple.
Ever been on your roof? No. It is very steep and I almost fell off the one time I tried.
Do you own a stereo? Yes. A couple I think depending on how you define stereo.
How many TVs do you have? 3
How many house phones? 3
Do you have a housekeeper? Yes, his name is Steve and while it is a benefit to be married to an over-compulsive man in some aspects, it is not as great as you may think.
What style do you decorate in? Second-hand chic.
Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Usually solids.
Is there a smoke detector in your home? 3 or 4
What are the items in your house which you’d grab if you only could make one quick trip? Pictures and my pillow. Truly. I love it so much. Mmmm.... I am going to bed now to enjoy my fabulous pillow.