Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Thank you, Cindy

Heroes get tired. That's the lesson I'm getting from Cindy Sheehan's withdrawal from the spotlight this weekend. After the last few years, she deserves to step back and let someone else be the lightning rod. Any volunteers? I didn't think so. Things like this don't happen because people volunteer. They happen because people don't see a choice.

I've been in a few rounds myself, especially after my New York Times quote. I even went a round with Cindy herself about my statement.

I don't think anyone understands things from Cindy's perspective. I know I don't want to lose a child, or a parent, or anyone I know to gain that perspective. But I don't need it to be able to say thank you to a hero. Cindy put her name forward, sacrificed nearly everything in her life, and got a Congress that voted to continue the war that killed her son. So she's stepping back. G-d bless, Cindy. Healing takes time, and time is something that I hope we will give you.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Tears in the House

I had to show this. House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) gave this speech on May 24th, and he's speaking with distinction from his point of view. I respect him for that. And I would like to thank his office for posting the entire speech that he gave, instead of the clips that are being used against him in the blogosphere. I wish they were as good at posting the text of his speeches on his official website.

However, I don't respect his point of view.

Surrender. What a wonderful political term. It's a term designed to get the hair to stand up on the backs of our necks, and it's a term designed to stop us from thinking.

He asks a very important question during this speech. "When are we going to stand up and take them on? When are we going to defeat them?!"

The answer is simple. When George Bush leaves office, and a Democrat takes over. I don't have a timetable. I'm not a prophet. But I will say that I want to see Osama bin Laden on trial at the Hague, with the entire trial and ALL OF THE EVIDENCE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE TRAIL available to the public for inspection and consideration.

George Bush wouldn't do that. A Democratic President probably wouldn't do that. But it's the only thing that will solve the issue. Let OBL have his day in court. Then lock him away from the rest of the world forever, and dismantle his organization from the schools to the training camps once and for all. Bush wouldn't do that either. He didn't even try.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why I don't have Clearwire

My wife and I are still using as our Internet Service Provider, in spite of some ongoing customer service issues, which haven't really gone away, and it's upwards of $50 dollars a month for 99% service. Not the best deal in the world.

We keep getting offers from Clearwire, and for something like $35 per month we could have something I could take with me around the city, with no hassles. So the question is why haven't we switched yet?

Because they're amazingly dumb. I'll get it eventually, just for the convenience, but the only person they ever send their offers to is Debi's first husband, Jason, who has been dead since 1998. Like I said; dumb.

I'm posting this on the off chance that a top of the line Internet company has someone keeping an eye on the blogs for posts about their name, so maybe they can take Jason's name off their mailing list and prove that they are not, well, dumb.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Worse than War

By David Krieger

Worse than the war, the endless, senseless war

Worse than the lies leading to the war

Worse than the countless deaths and injuries

Worse than hiding the coffins and not attending funerals

Worse than the flouting of international law

Worse than the torture at Abu Ghraib prison

Worse than the corruption of young soldiers

Worse than undermining our collective sense of decency

Worse than the arrogance, smugness, and swagger

Worse than our loss of credibility in the world

Worse than the loss of our liberties

Worse than learning nothing from the past

Worse than destroying the future

Worse than the incredible stupidity of it all

Worse than all of these,

As if they were not enough for one war or country or lifetime,

Is the silence, the resounding silence, of good Americans.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Edwards Energy Plan

John Edwards is my top choice for President in 2008, at least at the moment. And no, I don't care how much he is willing to pay for a haircut.

DFA has been doing a great job engaging with the entire Democratic lineup on various issues, and their latest was about Energy, Climate Change, and what the plan is. John Edwards was the first to respond, as usual.

I was at first disappointed. It didn't sound like he was setting himself apart. So I went to his website to see more details.

I want to go over this in detail, because there are some great things in here. But they don't go far enough, and they don't capitalize on the most powerful force for change that exists. Federal investment into our economy is critical to make this work, but I'm not talking about Pork Barrel Projects where we would encourage states and local municipalities to brag about how much Federal money they have been able to get from their Congresscritters for local projects. I don't think that's the right approach. Anyway, before I get too high on this soapbox:

Create a new energy economy and 1 million new jobs by investing in clean, renewable energy, sparking innovation, a new era in American industry, and life in family farms. - "1 million jobs" harkens back to a speech that Bush gave in the 2000 campaign, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I don't want the Government to create jobs, except as a last resort. I want the demand for products to be high enough to create those jobs in Industry and Commerce. What the government needs to do is increase that demand.

Halt global warming by capping and reducing greenhouse gas pollution and leading the world to a new global climate change treaty. - We're not going to be able to "halt" climate change. It took hundreds of years after the last ice age to stabilize the climate when humans began the Age of Agriculture, and we're not going to be able to halt the coming changes within a single generation. We do need to get the carbon out of the atmosphere, and we need to stop putting more in. But the coming sea level changes and climate shifts are going to hit us no matter how much money we spend. We have to hope for the best AND prepare for the worst.

Meet the demand for new electricity through efficiency for the next decade, instead of producing more power. - Efficiency can reduce our demand, but we still have a growing national population and a growing global population that is pushing that demand up, not down. Maybe we can reduce the rate of demand growth by some of these measures, but we can't delude ourselves into believing that we can invest some money and have all the electrical power that 8.9 Billion people will need by 2050. Sure, I'd love to try, but we have to be honest about it from day one. Underpromise, overperform. Not the other way around.

Cap and Reduce Global Warming Pollution - The description mentions the "most aggressive plans under consideration in Washington" without saying who those plans are coming from. He's talking about the Safe Climate Act of 2007 (H.R. 1590), introduced in June of last year, and reintroduced this year. You can find more information about the bill at and

There he goes again, promoting his 1 million new jobs thing. Here's the reality. Every year, around 100,000 of our kids graduate from high school. Currently the number of unemployed persons in the US is 6.8 million or 4.5%. That sounds like a healthy percentage from my economics class, but do we really only want to help one seventh of the people who are currently unemployed? Either use real numbers, or drop real numbers. One of the two.

Lead the World toward a New Global Climate Change Treaty - The best example of such a treaty was the Montreal Protocol, which limited the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in order to try and stop the destruction of the Ozone layer. Getting something that big on an international level again will take a lot more work than the Kyoto Protocol, which is only scratching the surface of what we will need to do over the next few hundred years. It's a good start, and the cap and trade system described within Kyoto is something that Edwards already has in his plan elsewhere.

Creating the New Energy Economy and 1 Million Jobs

Invest in Renewable Sources of Electricity - Invest how? Here's the crux of the problem that I have, and the biggest thing that is missing from this plan. The first thing that Reagan did in 1981 was to remove the solar panels from the roof of the White House. They were reinstalled in 2003, with little fanfare. If Edwards wants to make an investment in renewable energy, it's really simple to get started. All he has to do is require that all of the Federal Administration Buildings, from the Pentagon to shacks in the middle of the Federal Forest lands, have solar panels installed, not just to help reduce the power consumption, but to BECOME the power generation core of 21st century America. Same with Wind, Geothermal, etc. If the Federal Government takes this on, demand will skyrocket, economies of scale will bring the prices for the equipment down, and more and more businesses and individuals will follow suit with their own investments. I don't think it will be enough, but it should be the biggest part of his "energy plan".

I'll post more later in part 2, because I need to get to work.