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February 27, 2008

Renewable Energy Programs - HR 5351

I've been watching the discussion in the US House of Representatives on C-SPAN on renewable energy programs for several hours this morning.
The bill in question will end the subsidies to oil companies, paid for by our taxes. The companies in question made all time profits records over the past 10 years, with the past 2 years topping them all. You know, the same time period brought a $.75 per gallon increase in gas costs to you and I. Exxon reported $40.6 Billion in profits, the largest annual profit by a US company. After these several hours not one opponent has addressed the need for these companies to remain subsidised. Someone mentioned something about the oil companies providing jobs, but I believe it was in a question to the opponent about how they are making the claim when a growing number of their jobs are being filled outside the US.

What it comes down to is that oil is at an all time high, the rate of increase in cost to end users is itself increasing. During the oil friendly republican years in Washington, these companies were offered tax incentives and subsidies, judging by their current profits the program worked, the companies are solidly on their feet and it is not only time the subsidies end, but I think it is time for the companies to say thank you. I think more money should be invested by them for education in the united states to fill their employee needs. Taking it a step further, if their threat is the loss of jobs in the us, then imposing strict high taxes for out sourcing should be enacted. (this is my stance for all American companies, not just oil)
When a company impacts the entire country the way big oil does, and in fact accepts special status from the federal government in the form of subsidies based on the fact that the company has such an impact, they also bear the responsibility to act in the best interest of the country first and foremost. It must also be understood and accepted that in these situations the good of the country is in fact the good of the stockholders, resulting in no conflict.

The price of oil will do nothing but continue to rise, the longer we wait to invest in other energy sources the more it will ultimately cost us. These oil companies are in the unique position to catapult the US ahead of the world in advances in green renewable energy technology, to place America once again ahead of the pack and make us a leader in what is indisputably the direction the entire world is taking. They simply need to recall their lobbyists on this matter, stop the flow of money, rhetoric and threats and simply let the subsidies lapse. They will still be largest profit makers in the country, making more money than most other countries in the world. And in addition to that they can regain the trust of the American people.

One of the main arguments I have heard from opponents aside from the damage it would do to the companies (never named, inferred small American business, but what small oil company is being affected by this? Are there even any mom and pop oil companies?) is that there is a section that will allow Venezuela to exempt. Actually they (opponents) complain that "Hugo Chavez" will be exempt, transparent attempt to inflame the issue. The details of the section are clear, and our negotiations and agreements with that country fall under exemption, and the reasons make sense. I believe we went to great lengths to develop a relationship with that country in an attempt to shift our oil dollars outside the middle east. And don't be confused, much of the major oil company's money has been invested in that country also, they are the real steam behind this argument.

The other main arugument was that this would cause an increase in the cost of gas to consumers at a time when they can hardly afford it due to global economics and local slumps. I as well as the proponents in the house again reminded everyone we are talking about companies that are posting tens of BILLIONS of dollars in profits (the number resulting after excluding the cost of running the business such as salaries). They took no time in reminding them they are not suggesting taking privatly earned profits from the company, but recalling publicly provided subsidies. They fairly shouted at them that consumers paying record prices for gas during an economic "slump" while also paying out subsidies to the same company was perverse.

President Bush in 2005 said "I will tell you with $55 a barrel oil we don't need incentives to oil and gas companies to explore" We are almost 100% above that price today.

HR 5351 extends tax incentives for alternative energy and energy efficiency investments.

Please contact your Representative
and let them know your feelings on this.

February 25, 2008

Alaska Governor Defies Oil Giants and Own Party

This article was posted on AlertNet, a website that posts it's purpose as "Alerting humanitarians to emergencies". It is a Reuters foundation website, and here is their stated purpose "Created in 1982 to support journalists from developing countries, the Foundation today embraces a wide range of educational, humanitarian and environmental causes and projects. "
My hat is off to AlertNet and the foundation for not only reporting on existing emergencies, but keeping an eye out for potential emergencies, hopefully giving us time to do something about it before the need to report it as an actual emergency. Below is an excerpt, please click the title to be taken to the webpage containing the entire article.


A former small town mayor and mother of four, Palin was appointed chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC), the board that sets technical standards for oil and gas produced on state lands, by Republican governor Frank Murkowski in 2003.

Palin's stint with the normally staid AOGCC was tumultuous. Soon after joining she began complaining about the conduct of Randy Ruedrich, the chairman of the Alaska Republican Party, who Murkowski appointed as the AOGCC's top petroleum engineer.
Palin accused Ruedrich of ethical violations and resigned in disgust after less than a year in office. Before stepping down, she turned over incriminating evidence against Ruedrich to investigators.
Faced with this evidence, Ruedrich pleaded guilty to violating the state ethics act and was fined $12,000. But he remains chairman of the Alaska Republican Party.

A social conservative, Palin found herself a rising political star ahead of the 2006 elections as Alaskans grew disenchanted with Murkowski's scandal-plagued administration.
Palin's squeaky-clean image and outrage over Murkowski's attempt to negotiate a natural gas pipeline contract behind closed doors propelled her to the top of the polls.
She humiliated Murkowski in the Republican primary and cruised to victory in the general election just as news of another scandal, this one implicating Republican members of the legislature, began to break.

A federal investigation had turned up evidence that executives at VECO Corp, Alaska's biggest oil services company, had been bribing some Republican lawmakers to ensure support for legislation favorable to the oil companies.
Although no evidence has been brought to light linking the oil companies with VECO's activities, recordings of senior oil company executives discussing political lobbying efforts with VECO officials led many Alaskans to conclude the majors were behind the bribery.
Palin used the uproar over the VECO scandal to partner with Democrats in the legislature to push through an increase in taxes on oil production and to set up a new state-backed effort to design a natural gas pipeline project free of the influence of the majors.

The companies are not backing down without a fight. They have already announced investment cuts due to the tax hike and have warned the Palin's gas pipeline plan is doomed to failure without their support.

(Additional reporting by Yereth Rosen, editing by Alan Elsner)
(Click the title to read the full article)

February 24, 2008

Nader means Change - For Real

Nader will run for president

Feb 24: Ralph Nader announces his third bid for the White House while speaking with NBC’s Tim Russert of “Meet the Press”.

Why Not? Hillary grew up as a Corporate attorney for WalMart of all places, WALMART! Yeah yeah, working for the poor's favorite store but look at what Walmart has done from a legal, or attorney's view point! If any corporation is going to be able to take advantage of her Walmart will be the one. Walmart has one of the worst records for a company it's size as far as it's employees are concerned, you know, The People. She is a corporate attorney.

Why Not? Barack grew up in Hawaii. So what you say? Lovely people with values. Yes, except Barack didn't spend much time with The People. He lived in a large expensive house and went to private schools. There is a huge wasteland of toxic goo under the Great Lakes causing low birth weights and excessive still births in the Chicago area...gosh I wonder why we haven't heard more about this? Personal gain trumps The People I guess.

Why Not? John tells us he is disgusted by the status quo in campaigning, lobbyists are bad he says. But only if he doesn't need a private jet ride somewhere I suppose. That makes him an ok guy, doesn't it? It was only PAX tv I guess, they are religious how can that be bad? Well, when the owner of Pax (before it was Pax quite yet, it was Paxon Communications then) was buying up all of the local stations (hey, isn't there an FCC rule about that?) he could get his hands on, he ran into a little trouble. He asked his friend John (in person, turns out despite John's denial ) to write a letter to the FCC on his behalf. Not only did John do this for him, he did it twice, the second to the employees as opposed to the head when his initial letter to him got no response. The head of the agency wrote back to John letting him know he had crossed the line and his letter was "highly unusual". A subsequent review by the FCC General Counsel's Office determined that McCain had violated the commission's ex parte rules. But here is the kicker, the part we should all be paying attention to: Five days after McCain's second letter, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to approve the deal. The commission also imposed a condition prohibiting Cornerstone from "proselytizing." Cornerstone would not agree to those terms, and the deal collapsed.

proselytize \PROS-uh-luh-tyz\, intransitive verb:

1. To induce someone to convert to one's religious faith.2. To induce someone to join one's institution, cause, or political party.

transitive verb: 1. To convert to some religion, system, opinion, or the like.

Proselytize is formed from proselyte, "a new convert, especially a convert to some religion or religious sect, or to some particular opinion, system, or party,"

from Greek proselutos, "a proselyte, a newcomer," from pros, "toward" + elutos, from eluthon, "I came."

If the word of the day is "CHANGE" there is no better way to describe what Nader can do for us!
Oh, you didn't really mean change? You meant to just lean a little, no REAL change is needed... You are ok with the way things are going? You have accepted that hillary barack and john are really different enough? Click on the Photo caption to listen to what Nader has to say.

Looking for change? Really?

February 15, 2008

NPR: Genetically Engineering the Sweet Stuff

"The new sugar beet that farmers here in North Dakota want to plant has a gene inserted into it that lets the plant withstand Roundup, the popular chemical weedkiller. Farmers who plant these sugar beets can spray Roundup on their fields and kill the weeds, while the sugar beet plants survive. "


What part of this seems like the right thing to do? At what meeting did several human beings agree that making bigger profits on sugar is worth genetically altering a crop plant to this extent? Lets just set aside the price we have all already paid for these crops in the way of environment health, or in the way of our own health and look at it from a simple standpoint of business. There has been a strong backlash against genetic altering of the food supply, there has been a huge surge in the demand for organics in the food supply. How in the world does a group a human beings disregard the land and our health and then move on to implement a strategy that employs one of the most disputed technologies only in an effort to make it easier to continue with a technology to which consumers have already given a failing grade?

February 11, 2008

Democracy not = to Capitalism

Democracy is not the same as Capitalism

1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies.
3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges.
4. political or social equality; democratic spirit.
5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
* Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary

1.Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
2.A political or social unit that has such a government.
3.The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
4.Majority rule.
5.The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.
[French démocratie, from Late Latin dēmocratia, from Greek dēmokratiā : dēmos, people; see dā- in Indo-European roots + -kratiā, -cracy.]
*The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

cap·i·tal·ism /ˈkæpɪtlˌɪzəm/ Pronunciation[kap-i-tl-iz-uhm]
–noun an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

[Origin: 1850–55; capital1 + -ism]
* Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary

n. An economic system in which the means of production and distribution are privately or corporately owned and development is proportionate to the accumulation and reinvestment of profits gained in a free market.

*The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.

Yet we do seem to have merged the two into some abhorrent mutant. The point of democracy is to level the playing field, everyone has a voice. Today it seems, more than ever, only people with money have a voice. Many a public policy has been made based on the popularity of an issue or item and this information is based on dollars spent. Many people follow the the two major political party's lead simply because they believe that if they raise that kind of money, many people must agree with them, they can't all be wrong. In basis, this theory will hold a little water, but in fact it will sink in the end as just a few very wealthy people (relatively) contribute huge amounts of cash.

I have a bit of renewed hope with the onset of the internet, we have our voices back. But I am sure there were people just as revitalized by the printing press, the radio and the television. Those mediums did do a lot to bring information to the masses, from hometown to around the world and so did do a lot to raise our voices. The state of those mediums today, all in the hands of the wealthy few twisting, slanting and outright banning certain topics, well... lets just try to get as much from this new medium while it is in our hands.

Recently I went in search of online campaigns for the 2008 US presidential elections. What I found was dismal. The 2 major party's sites were of course flashy, and state of the art but were still really just giant commercials. Not very connected to the people they should have been addressing. The other parties, what I found of them online, were at the bottom of a very deep chasm if the D&R's were on the hill. The Green party's news feed hadn't been updated since dec7'07, spelling errors were noted by me and that's saying something! Ad promo's were dated 2006, including audio and video selections. Nothing from '07/'08 at all. It was hard to find the current candidates and the party seemed very unorganized. Their principals are something I find a lot of people are interested in but with the current mindset of "capimocracy", without the trappings the big money buys, people think there can't be many other people that agree with them, they must be wrong and so am I. In a discussion on the topic with a friend a few days ago, that was the answer he gave. "If people agreed they would put their money behind it".

My folks are on a fixed income, they did a little saving and are pretty well off in retirement however their idea of a donation to the party is about $25. My sister works in health care and has children/grandchildren, though she was recently able to become a homeowner in lieu of a renter she doesn't have it in her budget to make more than a $10-$20 donation. I have another sister who is recently divorced after 15 years and while she was able to head back to school and start a new career she is back in a renting situation and also couldn't afford to donate much more than $50-$100. My friend has 4 children, last year she was in a position to start a business and build for her family's future. She took a huge chance and did a great job, until flooding closed her down for 2 months. One week or maybe even two closed would have been hard but recoverable, 2 months were not. She lost her business and in course her home. She is now an hourly employee and a renter. She cannot afford to donate anything to a political party. Another friend attends a church for recovering addicts. Most have just come from stints in rehab, or are children of addicted parents. Most are unemployed all are renters, mostly of a room in someone else's home. My next door neighbor was injured on the job. He was unable to return to work. He applied for various programs to assist him in keeping a roof over his families head and food in their stomachs. Unemployment runs out, L&I disputes and meetings and hearings go on forever. He lives with his parents now. He cannot afford to donate to a political party this year.

These are the good stories. There are plenty of people who never were as lucky as these, and won't be in the future. There are plenty of good people in circumstances that don't allow them to donate hard earned money to make their valid, hard earned opinions known. Because they can't afford it, does that make them less worthy of a vote? Abraham Lincoln, while his family began relatively affluent, ultimately lived on public land after the death of his mother and issues with land ownership. I doubt he would have had money to spare for a donation to a political party in those days, do you think his opinions were invalid because he didn't have extra cash? Really?

I'm all for capitalism, don't get me wrong. It is not the same as democracy, it should not be mixed up in democracy. If you tend to think, as the mainstream (media) would have you think, that people who make money are smarter and so their votes are of higher quality then please read the above again. We have the opportunity, perhaps only for a time, to take control and have our voices heard regardless of our ability to pay! Set aside time each day to do a little research on your politicians, local and federal. Spend a little more time writing down your thoughts opinions and ideas. Take just a few more moments to make contact with other people to discuss the issues. Donate some time (perhaps taken from watching commercial laden television, trying to convince you your life is not complete unless you have a summer home, or a second car or? requiring you to work more and spend less time at home with family and on issues that effect your family) to spread the word, at meetings and on the internet. Your life is unique, your opinion counts, make sure you are heard!

February 9, 2008

Isaiah 1:15

One of the questions in a survey taken recently gave me a rare opportunity to try to summarize the major difference for me between the Democrat and Republican parties. The biggest difference for me has long been the R's reluctance and even refusal to develop and fund social programs. A quick look at history, even from an under-educated point of view, tells us that most countries/empires fall to civil unrest stemming from vast gaps in social status. A few haves controlling the mostly have-nots. Even when the have-nots did not openly rebel, low morale bred lack of support in times of national need leading to the downfall of many civilizations.In the few moments I took to ponder my answer for the survey, I considered how religion has been playing it's role in the last few presidential elections. How it seems the R's have claimed religion as theirs. How this seems strange to me, the R's have never been the 'go to guys' in my mind for 'turning the other cheek' or 'forgiving one's trespass'. Then I suddenly had my one word answer. The biggest difference between the parties, for me, is Charity.

I had long been perplexed at governments failure to learn from the past, especially since it has repeated so many times, but now found myself appalled with the realization that so many R's wave the Christian Banner without representing main Christian values. Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers for the injustice. He gave aid and comfort to those others would not approach. I was reminded of Isaiah recently and the following seems almost to have been written in explanation of my issue with the R's waving the Christian flag:

Isaiah 15
9 When you spread out your hands, I close my eyes to you; Though you pray the more, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood!
Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil;
learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan's plea, defend the widow.
Come now, let us set things right, says the LORD: Though your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow; Though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.
If you are willing, and obey, you shall eat the good things of the land;
But if you refuse and resist, the sword shall consume you: for the mouth of the LORD has spoken!
10 How has she turned adulteress, the faithful city, so upright! Justice used to lodge within her, but now, murderers.
Your silver is turned to dross, your wine is mixed with water.
Your princes are rebels and comrades of thieves; Each one of them loves a bribe and looks for gifts. The fatherless they defend not, and the widow's plea does not reach them.
Now, therefore, says the Lord, the LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel: Ah! I will take vengeance on my foes and fully repay my enemies!
I will turn my hand against you, and refine your dross in the furnace, removing all your alloy.
I will restore your judges as at first, and your counselors as in the beginning; After that you shall be called city of justice, faithful city.
11 Zion shall be redeemed by judgment, and her repentant ones by justice.

I'm not a religious person, I'm barely spiritual, and don't believe religion has a place in politics especially US politics. We have a near perfect list of rules to work with that make it so whatever your religion we can live together fairly and safely with the same opportunity. If you fly a religious banner at me I'm going to expect you to live up to your claim, and R's, you have a bit of work to do.

February 7, 2008

US Presidency (Minimum Investment $50k)

Did you ever wonder why more people don't run for president? I'm sure you are thinking "It's probably the money", and for the most part you would be right. But we are a rich country bred with loud voices, so there has to be more than a couple dozen, right?
Sure! But you wouldn't really know it by looking. Not even if you type "all candidates" or "presidential candidates" into a search bar. I've clicked through to dozens of sites, from 'candidate matchmakers' to video lists of debates so far and what I have found is that without 13 years of internet research behind me I would have quite a time finding candidates from any other party aside from the D's and R's.

To my ultimate disgust, even turning to the search site nets me only "This list includes active campaigns that have raised or spent $50,000 or more, from sources other than the candidate himself or herself. " and promptly goes on to list and link to R and D candidates ONLY! It does note that over 1000 people have filed a Statement of Candidacy and/or Statement of Organization and provides a link to a listing ( which simply leads to the general press page, where you must begin the search all over again, as there is no simple link to such a listing on the page. I never did find the list, and sent off an email to the noted address requesting help. ( I did finally find what appears to be a comprehensive listing however, it is a wikipedia listing. I have never found any problems with the site, however I am aware that many others have, so even this information may be slanted/tainted/incorrect.

So apparently, there is a cost or a "Minimum Investment" required to even be recognized by the government as an actual candidate. Did I mention disgusted?

There is definitely a problem here! I went in search of some of the other candidates web sites, and mostly what I find is that elections haven't kept up with technology outside of the R&D parties. Simple websites with spelling errors and few if any recent updates, and no real online campaigns to speak of. I did come across one, ONE, exciting professional video for the Green party. It turned out to be from and for another country. Hopefully things will pick up as the election looms, and future elections will take advantage of the internet. I also hope that the rules will be changed to address the situation, that at least the search site can contain an easily accessed list of ALL of the declared candidates.

I will list a few websites here for some of the other parties, but please send a request email to for the link to a full listing of all declared candidates. This way maybe they will make the information more accessible in the future.

Green Party Candidate listing, last updated 12/17/07
Nader 2008 Presidential Exploratory Committee
Libertarian Candidates
Constitution Party though I found no candidates there.
Independents A wiki list.

EDIT: I went in search of an email address or blog for Jon Stewart or the daily show in hopes of adding my thoughts on this matter there. Sadly, I found the only candidates and parties featured were the R&D's..... C'mon Jon!

EDIT: 3/12/08 With so many joking about throwing their hats in the ring lately, I decided to renew my search for a comprehensive listing of properly declared candidates. I returned to the FEC site and began looking for the list. The cited page, as noted previously, did not have the list nor a direct link to the list. I entered 'all candidates' into the site search bar and clicked on the only relevant result, 'presidential campaign finance'. A nifty looking interactive US map graphic appears whereby hovering over a circle on the map pulls up the $ spent by that state. A very handy listing of "All Candidates" is provided on the left. It is summarized at the top into Democrat and Republican totals, and goes on to list many of the R&D candidates with their respective dollar amounts. Only R&D parties are included and no independent candidate is listed. I went back to the search results and combed over them again, no luck. It was then that I noticed, near the bottom of the page just above the footer links and legal language, 3 links of which one looked promising! "All Candidates, Current Presidential Filings" Yippee! I'd found it! I placed my cursor over the link preparing to click when I noticed it...the status bar announcing my intended destination... it was not an FEC.GOV address. It was not a .GOV address at all, it was a .COM address. By default I tell myself this must have been an 'ad by google' block, but how could that be on the site? I looked again, no, no google logo at all. I hovered over the other 2 options I'd found lurking at the bottom of that search result page, "Receipts of 2008 Presidential Campaign" indeed an link. And "Presidential Campaign Finance Summaries: Current and Historical" also another link. So, can ANYONE explain to me why the Federal Election Committee cannot or will not post a full listing of Presidential Candidates thus far for the 2008 election? Further, will anyone be able to explain why this .COM site bears the FEC seal? Incidentally, the site is titled a bit differently than the link: "Selected" Presidential Reports for the 2008 February Monthly and contains only 18 names. By poking around on this site, I was able to find a larger if not updated listing of candidates by searching for 2008 financial information: Again, why is this information being made available through a .COM site!

More info about the site, but please note that a search for "what is" pulled no real very mysterious..

Then by accident I found more information... it's actually NIC Inc. aka aka, the people behind egovernment! Huh?!! On the face of it I'm not happy....Stay tuned...

Edit 03/23/08 Thankfully and finally, and have added an independent/3rd party to their listings! I hope I find more and more instances like this. Cheers guys!

February 4, 2008

A Better Idea for Microsoft's $45 Billion

So I'm browsing over my home page, a compilation of RSS feeds from various sources (I tend toward off-mainstream news sites in an attempt to 'de-slant' the corporate news sources) regarding world and local news, business and social/cultural over the past few days and I've come across a few articles that were interesting on their own, but viewed all together they gave me an idea. Let me start from the beginning:

The first article was Microsoft: $44.6B for Yahoo , not terribly interesting on it's own but the first thing I thought was, wow, that is way too much money. Until recently I used Yahoo services extensively for personal and social web pages, and a few of their other interactive type services, but did not use their search engine. I never have really. I put them to a side by side test once a few months ago with google when it occurred to me to be a bit more loyal, but yahoo search really doesn't compare for quality results. If the search engine is the main goal of the purchase, it doesn't make sense to me, but I'm not paid to know anything about any of that.

Next came Lawmaker Worried About Lack Of D-Block Bidding In FCC Sale which peaked my interest, but I couldn't tell you why. It was very much more interesting than you may think however, due to the mass exodus by television broadcasters from analog to digital signals next year. Interesting.

Then the final two, Chinese Begin to Protest Censorship of Internet informs us that while there is a horrible oppression taking place, there is also a huge potential customer base in need of an inventive internet provider. A quote from Pan Liang: "Many people don't know that 300 years after Emperor Kangxi ordered an end to construction of the Great Wall, our great republic has built an invisible great wall," he wrote. "Can blocking really work? Kangxi knew the Great Wall was a huge lie: Just think how many soldiers are needed to guard those thousands of miles."

And finally the kicker FCC Prods Cable companies in Tiff with Indie Programmers which outlines yet another huge market willing to pay for air time. Independent programming is more popular than ever!

If you haven't guessed yet, I think it would be MUCH more wise to spend that cash to secure the newly available, slow to sell Block D! Sure, there are issues with the whole idea as I found out while poking around for info on this blog:License White Space for Backhaul? Google says No but I think it would be a whole new ball game with that kind of cash behind the deal. It opens wide a shiny new frontier for developers while securing a huge multi-media customer base.

February 2, 2008

Climate Change - What if you held a conference, and no (real) scientists came?

And with this little tidbit falls one of the stanchions on the 'Non-Believers' tally sheet of evidence. Long have they stated that the 'Believers' have paid or otherwise compensated scientists to lend credence to their cause. You only have to have met a scientist or two to understand the chances of so many of them participating in such a scheme is none to zilch. "The Heartland Institute must have realized that this is not what drives the kind of people they are trying to attract as speakers: they are offering $1,000 to those willing to give a talk. This reminds us of the American Enterprise Institute last year offering a honorarium of $10,000 for articles by scientists disputing anthropogenic climate change.

So this appear to be the current market prices for calling global warming into question: $1000 for a lecture and $10,000 for a written paper." (click on the headline to view the full article)

February 1, 2008

Parkour Some More!

Daredevils Defying Gravity in Seattle

Several months ago I blogged about Parkour, I'm glad to see I wasn't the only one interested in this subject. I think this is a base human activity that needs to be relearned, taught in schools, police academies and military bootcamps. There is an unexplainable 'connection' made when this is done right that can only be beneficial. Add to that the obvious and possibly unknown health benefits and you can't go wrong.

"Some local daredevils live by the way of "parkour", which involves gliding through the world with no wasted movement. The movements, which involve running and launching, may look like some daring stunts to the outsider, but each one is carefully calculated."

Watch the KOMOTV Video Story Here

The Center for Public Integrity

The 380,000-plus-word database presented here allows, for the first time, the Iraq-related public pronouncements of top Bush administration officials to be tracked on a day-by-day basis against their private assessments and the actual “ground truth” as it is now known. Throughout the database, passages containing false statements by the top Bush administration officials are highlighted in yellow. The 935 false statements in the database may also be accessed by selecting the “False Statements” option from the “Subject” pull-down menu and may be displayed within selected date ranges using the selection tool below. Searches may also be limited by person or subject, or both, by using the appropriate selections from the pull-down menus.