A Facebook friend of mine recently posted a picture of the price he paid at the pump this week in Rocky Point, CA.. (Picture taken, 2/16/2010)
You would think having a Texas oil man at the helm of the presidency for 8 of the last 9 years would have given rise to some level of OPEC accountability; if in fact U.S. citizen's interest, security and future economic wellbeing were indeed the priority.
Such insane energy prices; during a down economy; in a country such as ours, with so SO many natural resources and abilities to innovate, is a ridiculous situation which definitely helps maintain the many compelling arguments for energy independence established in the early 1970's.
As if the worst trade deficits of any country in the world; empowering worthless desert countries; and fighting expensive, random wars in the middle east wasn't enough inspiration. Not to mention those whom are very interested in the resulting free-enterprise opportunities which any emerging technological market provides; and then the added bonus of all those regularly debated environmental benefits.
As this speeches concluding point expresses, we can no longer afford to be lobbied by, manipulated financially, restricted or guided by the "alternative" methods of energy OPEC deems appropriate. It is time for us American's to reclaim the nature of truly innovative free-enterprise. Time for us to stop being lazy (or acting like any political agenda is relevant!) in relation to this important topic and get busy!
(If this speaker rubs you the wrong way, jump down to one of my favorite speeches given on the viability of Energy independence, -which I have previously posted,- by Amory Lovins at the end of this blog entry.)
Regardless of any differing opinions on the environmental impact; moving wholeheartedly towards energy independence seems a VERY obvious, necessary and responsible move for the most powerful (and energy hungry) country in the world any way you slice it; if we are to indeed "keep our shirts" in this growing Global Marketplace. Sending out money and our troops to the Middle East, generation after generation, has got to stop for so many reasons.
A friend of mine recently left the following quote and information about a recent Hannity broadcast on my home page. (Unfortunately, I couldn't find any transcripts or online broadcast of this particular recent show via any of the typical Hannity's resources, if you know where I can read more about my friends context please let me know?)
"What blew my mind yesterday was Hannity going off on Michelle Obama about her new healthier lifestyle agenda for kids. It seems they are going to start enforcing healthier meals at schools and making set times for kids to engage in physical activity. Hannity was blowing a gasket that this was just one more inch that the government was gaining on a full take over and we can't let it happen.
Then he said parents know how to be healthy, kids know they shouldnt drink ten sodas. It's not the governments place. And all I could think was, "But they do it anyways! And we have some of the fattest (if not the fattest) kids in the world here! I'm all for the government stepping in and making people eat healthier food and step away from their sedentary lifestyles!" Ugh.."
Sounds like the Hannity's critique also fails to sensibly examine any of the facts involving the school menus' largest nutritional blows, due to the ridiculous, outdated government subsidies (for corn, etc.) established decades ago. While necessary at the time to support the dying and now dead breed of mom and pop farming, it's time has come when our children are now paying the price.
Hopefully with the First Lady's attention focused on the matter, effective changes and updates can finally be made which truly improve the school program's nutrition and consequential priorities effecting our children's health and future.
View the First Lady's duscussion with Larry King on the Topic here: http://youtu.be/ZMU-6HU1tvs
Can you imagine being a person responsible for a show or programing that flies in the face of any consideration for the actual wellbeing and productive future of this country. All in the name of your bloated salary. Truly shameful!
Baffles the mind how there are actual markets for repeat viewership, feeding this destructive frenzy of reckless moronic criticisms! A trend I wish our society had the wisdom to avoid, but it isn't looking good...
I guess we are all either part of the solution or part of the problem. (Pot "S" or Pot "P" - I call it) We each vote with the shows and positions we chose to support... Hannity and other, ignorant, vanity based, profiteering, blow-heart commentary like his are definitely Part of the Problem in my book! Our country doesn't have the luxury of the time necessary to feed the egos and pockets of men or networks like that. Rupert Murdoch has enough cash, time for all of us to lesson his impact in our lives, for the sake of all of our futures...
For information on school lunches and nutrition from a person who actually knows what they are talking about; specifically in the area of School Lunches and our children's health, view this presentation from Ann Cooper originally shown at TED.ORG.
Nice testimony of a private school managing to adopt an effective and healthy change in the daily diet of their students for only $3 per day per student.
I certainly hope the First Lady's inspiration and influence is an initiative which might actually inspire the reformation of this catastrophic area of American life; one which is so evidently influenced and corrupted by greed and corporate influences; as she is also a mother of two, grade school age children.
We must all do our part to encourage the dismantling of a corrupted system which now predicates this deadly school lunch program. (Updated 2/17/10)
...who needs commercialized commentary when we each possess American testimony!!
I recently had a friend ask me, "if not the news networks, where do you get your information?" I think the scariest issues is when people seem to not take news (or facts) away from these freaky, commercialized, resources, but rather form their actual opinions and perhaps, shamefully, reestablish their own values though such "sounds bite" / "get em hooked" rhetoric.
The fact is, and the simple answer I would have offered, had I not already touched several evident, defensive nerves, is this, "you already have an opinion because you are a part of the American experience." ...it is as simple as that, but I did feel my answer would require some explanation, which at the time I didn't have. ...but I do now! :-)
Where related to the insane editorialized prime time "news" programs, which are burdened with the previously implied goal of "hooking you" and establishing your repeat viewership; again, the simple fact is, who needs commentary when we each have testimony! We are Americans, we have the right to vote; and therefor, we typically have a life that has already provided all we need to know in relations to how our vote should be cast. One's vote is not meant after all to be formed through a concessional.
The only challenges folks should find themselves burdened with is that of examining the sides of the issues, currently at stake, each candidate tends to historically and through their own profession, fall under (i.e., new laws, expenditures, taxes, human rights, etc... It is certainly easy enough to do a few minute of reading on any candidate's own published websites, or look up voting histories on database sites like: http://www.votesmart.org/ ) prior to heading to the polls or contacting their own local representatives to voice an opinion on a current topic. And perhaps later holding those, whom they helped elect, accountable for the issues they claimed to be against or in support of. All of the rest of the crazy conjecture is just that.
There is truly a reason for the statement information is power! Put few people see any benefit in seeking the information which would empower them to make their own decision. If this is how lazy they are, then they will probably find themselves and their opinions and finally their values on a very controversial side of exploitation which they are not even willing to admit or aware of.
I personally would rather be entertained by the comedy channel, rather than try to act as if I was informed by "fact" disseminated through a so called cable "news" network. To even pretend any of these networks have any parties or persuasions back is just a fallacy; therefore, any movements that may have been endorsed, supported or encouraged by their rhetoric, are certainly activities one should be extremely cautious to join or support.
If you are wealthy you may feel one way about new tax proposals; if you have had a relatively healthy life and don't typically depend on insurance you may weigh in differently than many on health care; if your whole family is republican and you hate the idea of not going along with their respected views, then this too will likely be your persuasion and thereby loyalty; you may be a Dr. and quite nervous as to the outcome of your status if government sponsorship of your filed were to occur; you might be yet another patient loosing their home today because last years battle with cancer or diabetes amounted to bills, despite insurance coverage, that you and your family just couldn't bare; if you're just now learning that the federal spending habits and deficits where trending the direction they are currently going (and were unaware two wars had been "of the books"), then you may blame the current administration; if you have family in the military or are a veteran, then you may feel a certain reverence towards your Commander and Chief whom ever they may be and perhaps the Presidency itself; etc, etc...
Your own American experience will indeed cast your vote quite confidently. Folks just forget they have a testimony, and tune in as if life or opinions need color commentary to hold inspiration or direction. Folks most likely just need to "vote their own life", (versus the latest emotion some show worked them in to,) democracy will then have a better chance of thriving and providing to each of us what is intended and best for our survival.
I have even seen signs of these latest politically charged moments in our history (or as I like to think of it, pride swallowing, fear based, mob mentalities) causing some folks to seemingly abandon the very personal values they have indeed preached and grown up with their entire lives. Talk about a war on Terror! Roosevelt really was on to something! ...fear itself truly is the biggest issue we should fear! Since it can completely unravel a persons identity or at the very least their own ability to discern the usefulness of outside information or opinions.
When the financial and social burden of fighting a war we can not win, and the fear we have now come use to harboring, both for domestic and foreign reasons, in this country is weakening some of our most redeeming qualities as humans, we really do have a great deal to worry about.
(This can hit on a much deeper personal note were related to one's faith; given the fact I have recently come to realize even some family members and several long standing Christian friends of mine, no longer seeming to reflect positions or values remotely resembling that of love or grace, much less are seemingly influenced by the indescribable life they profess to believe Christ lived and gave for each of us.
It makes me wonder what they feel their future votes and desired leaders will be culpably influenced by? Which values did they previously look for, which of their new choices are perhaps even more likely to avoid accountability, humility and/or respect towards life and liberties. Not at all to say non-Christians don't possess such desires and values, just noticing a great deal of irony in the fact that some of the issues which seem to be polarizing them or causing them to defends some of the various positions and parties they are now finding identities through are not as passionate about some of the core principals I once thought were so crucial to their own professed faiths. Definitely a heated day and age when one's own political positions can potentially supercede their spirituality or faith.
Perhaps even more odd is how fervently many of these individuals try to act as if they are inspired by some contorted view they now have or our "founding father's" and their perceptions that their lock step, conservative thinking gave rise and created the most unique and innovative country in the modern world.
It is so odd what can become a person's new god, position or identity when they get so inspired or they are guided by fear and extreme prejudice! And by this last statement I am not talking about any race card, but rather certain party loyalties which enthrall an individual towards the establishment of a whole new identity and opinion set!)
There are winners and loosers in any political race when you live in a country with Democratic opportunities and elections. We can't let fear, frustration and pride whelp into such a destructive force in this country simply because one finds him or herself on the loosing side of an election.
We should instead be reminded of our own rich history in such times of need... Rather than making odd comparisons of the shameful (whether articulate or not) speeches of ruthless leaders of Nazi regimes, hell bent on world domination, as in those folks whom have flippantly mentioned Hitler and Obama in the same sentences. Or those whom would try to debate whether a Birth certificate from Hawaii was forged or legitimate. Or those who like to think the leader of the free world is in the hip pocket of a single organization such as ACORN. ...those historically productive moments in our country have been the times we chose solidarity over division and hope over despair.
Audiences witnessing the now prevalent mudslinging and random comparisons, titillating all those willing to be captivated by such networks and editorial programs are falling prey to a primitive, sad, method of trying to win some advantage by simply referring to negative aspects of an opponent or of a policy; rather than emphasizing one's own positive attributes or preferred policies.
In the broadest sense, "mudslinging" covers any rhetoric which refers to an opponent, if only by way of contrast, but can also include attacks meant to destroy an opponent's character. And while this may be very appealing to one's own personal prejudices, emotions, or special interests it offers no answer to any real argument.
If a person or group is just truly bent on criticizing our President and his administration and they truly care about conservatism then their energy should be effectively spent on developing alternative solutions; rather than constantly regurgitating the same ol' hysterics about Obama that we hear all day long from every other reactionary, crazy, resource out there.
We shouldn't want to find ourselves in the midst of a war on fear, as we are already quite depleted both financially and spiritually from our multi-fronted war's on terror. And we shouldn't contribute to the commercialization of such fear through such petty and misguided feuds.
It is getting way over the top when people find it acceptable to compare the obvious and intentional exaggeration of editorialized journalism to sentiments they are now seemingly adopting and regurgitating as worthwhile or factual comparisons in history.
I would not consider the irresponsibility on the part of those spreading such nonsense as a patriotic or even productive way to participate in this or any other democracy. I guess at the very least it is just naive behavior or again misdirected energies due to the frustration we have all felt when swallowing pride.
One conservative blogger I recently read put it best when he pointed out the fact that such mudslinging will actually never serve even those slinging it in any productive manner:
"Right now all you are hoping for is that the constant drum roll of mudslinging will cause the masses to forget about the stupidity of the right-wing before the next election. This will not be an improvement over the current administration but rather just a different day and the same ol' crap.
Besides, if your audience is nothing more than true believers then you haven't broadened the appeal of conservatism but rather only reinforced the beliefs of the already true believers.
That is not a political movement but rather just a cult."