A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

May 3, 2007

Where You Stand Politically

So, you want to  know where you stand and how you can get that cool little icon like I have on my blog?

Well, just go to this site and take the quiz.  I would put no opinion if you are not sure about something.

Please post your results, and you get BIG TIME BONUS POINTS for reasonableness if you score Moderate, Conservative or Liberal!  I “hope” I have constructed a place where divergent views are allowed and where we gain from seeing each other’s perspective.  I also hope that sometimes someone will say, I see your point, or something like that.

So often politics are too personal, so maybe this would at least bring back agreeable discussion and dissent to the forefront.

I’m posting this on all topics to hopefully get maximum participation.

IF you wish to take the quiz it is here.

Thanks!

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April 2, 2007

SCOTUS Tells EPA to Consider Global Warming Steps

Full story.

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Bush administration environmental officials to reconsider their refusal to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions, giving a boost to advocates of stronger action against global warming.

The justices, voting 5-4, today said the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t follow the requirements of the Clean Air Act in 2003 when it opted not to order cuts in carbon emissions from new cars and trucks.

While this doesn’t force the Administration to do anything, this will put a great deal of pressure upon the Bush Administration to step up on regulations concerning emissions.  The big loser in this will be the automobile industry, who had resisted mandatory emission limits.  However, in the long run, this may not be the end of all for the car industry.  Simply put, American industry will have to adapt and change to meet the new reality, that politically, this nation is turning “greener”.

The vote was 5-4 with Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter and Stephen Breyer joiningStevens in the majority, while Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.  In writing his dissent, Chief Justice Roberts stated, the court lacked constitutional power to second-guess the agency at the behest of states and environmental groups. The majority’s reasoning “has caused us to transgress the proper — and properly limited — role of the courts in a democratic society.”

Robert’s dissent is a view many conservatives may happen to agree with, and feel the Court may have overstepped its bounds, but the issue may not be as cut and dry as it does look at the ability of the federal legislature to address the global warming issue, rather than the EPA exercising broad control over the policies of the nation concerning emissions.

March 11, 2007

Global Warming Video – An Inconvenient Opposing View?

A video is circulating the internet after having been run in Great Britain.  It offers a counter view to the points promoted by proponents of Global Warming based on CO2 emissions. 

While the reasonable position must be, in general pollution is bad, and alternate fuels are not a bad idea, this video offers valuable information which contradicts the theories being proposed, and ideas are not a bad thing.  The video addresses the issues concerning growth of countries entering industrialism, questions concerning the scholarship and credentials of some involved in the Global Warming Theories, and at the very least, this side of the equation should be heard about.

March 9, 2007

U.S., Brazil Sign Deal to Expand Ethanol Production

PBS reports, “an agreement between the United States and Brazil, signed Friday, would promote alternative fuel technology in an effort to expand international production of ethanol and reduce reliance on oil imports.

This would seem to be good news, but as soon as it was announced radicals from both the Left and the Right start to decry this move.  Some organizations are concerned that the reliance on sugar cane, which is what Brazil uses to produce ethanol, will result in larger deforestation of the Amazon rain forest.  In the US concerns have been rising over the cost of corn for food and its unintended impact upon the cost in raising cattle.  Currently, the US and Brazil supply 70% of the world’s ethanol.

In my mind I just can’t help but seeing a sheik and the prototypical oil tycoon thrashing away at a keyboard to FAX these disturbing “unintended consequences” to a public who are ruled by fear and have a knee jerk reaction of “Oh, my God” to any news other than things are A-Okay.  On the other side of the divider is a leftover relic from the 1960’s with a tie dyed tee shirt and a bong under his desk with his wild eyed fanatic lover (not gay lover, just 60’s freak, permanently mind deranged by LSD type “lover”) chanting the mantra of the extreme green left, while they say a prayer to the spirits of dolphins, pandas and all the animals without the fortitude to change breeding habits so they can survive through the millenia.

Now, ethanol, which is a relatively new technology is not a panacea, and has its drawbacks, one of which being a relatively low bang for the amount of fuel which needs to be burned.  However, this technology is in its infancy, and improvements can be expected in the performance of this alternate form.  Others castigate the low performance of alternate forms of energy such as solar, geo-thermal, oceanic-current, and of course many are understandably frightened by the alternate form with the most bang, no pun intended, nuclear energy.

However, all of these forms of energy, despite concentrated offensives levelled by current energy providers, what a surprise, and often being blocked by legislatures who get nice big kickbacks, errr, lobbying efforts from these same conglomerates.  They are also condemned, sadly by the ideologues of the Hard Right.  If you want to view a thread, that shows the ignorance of ideologues, where I even had to use my worst epithet of “Stay in your ignorance”, check out this thread.

However, if you are of a reasonable mind, let’s look at some of the possibilities of alternate forms of energy:

Wind farming increased by 27% in 2006, and is expected to grow another 26% in 2007.  That is an amazing statistic.  A recent study in Minnesota found that 25% of this energy can readily be incorporated into an Electric Power System.

Geo-Thermal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rated GHP’s as among the most efficient of heating and cooling technologies.

Thousands more megawatts of power than are currently being produced could be developed from already-identified hydrothermal resources.  This is being investigated by many industrialized nations through scientific studies that add water to create more steam and increase output.  The US is not among these nations.

Ocean Current:

The ocean currents are driven by wind and solar heating of the waters near the equator, though some ocean currents result from density and salinity variations of water. These currents are relatively constant and flow in one direction only.

Water is more than 800 times denser than air, so for the same surface area, water moving 12 miles per hour exerts about the same amount of force as a constant 110 mph wind. Ocean currents thus contain an enormous amount of energy that can be captured and converted to a usable form. It has been estimated that taking just 1/1000th the available energy from the Gulf Stream would supply Florida with 35% of its electrical needs.

The United States and other countries are pursuing ocean current energy, including Japan, China, and some European Union countries; however, marine current energy is at an early stage of development. There are no commercial grid-connected turbines currently operating; to date, only a small number of prototypes and demonstration units have been tested.

Unreasonable comment: WHY!!!!!

Here is a link done by the nefarious liberal organization, the US Department of the Interior which gives much more information than I do here.

I’m avoiding the elephant in the room, and am not going to address nuclear energy, or the horrific practices by us.  Yes, we American citizens and the everyday DUMB things we do which result not only in bad stewardship of the resources we posses, but also make energy issues worse.

While this has of course become a political football for both the extreme left and right, I think most Americans are reasonable.  At least I pray they are.  Now, what we need to remember that the cure for America is more democracy.  Let your state house and Congress know what the people think.
 

March 8, 2007

States go after smoking in vehicles with kids

Filed under: ACLU,Automobiles,children,Crime,Education,General,Health — avoiceofreason @ 2:33 am

This was already signed into law in Arkansas by Gov. Huckabee, and is on the books in Louisianna.  Several counties in Maine have this law, and Connecticutt, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Vermont are considering similar legislation.    Further news about this development can be read at Stateline.org.

I was using this today in a Social Studies lesson with a political cartoon.  Sadly, I can’t find it.  A man is wondering about ways to help his family while puffing away.  His kids are reacting in the back.

Part of me can see the sense in this bill.  Smoking is bad for you, and kids are important.  They also don’t typically have a choice when you take them to the ball game or to school on how they get there.  However, this may be a slippery slope.  A car is private property, and smoking is a legal activity.  At what point can government intrusion be acceptable, even if it does reap a real benefit to another.  Could this law be used to forbid smoking in private residences?  Could it lead to censorship of music, television – of course the ACLU will want to make sure that child-porn is exempt – I kid.

Not a black and white issue.  Kind of grey and smoky.

March 6, 2007

A Momentary Lapse of Reason – It Must be Easy to be an Ideologue

I apologize in advance for this momentary lapse of reason.

Okay, I admit it, I’m a Centrist.   Well, probably a bit Centrist on social issues, mixed with truly uncomfortable feelings about abortion, and pretty Hawkish.  Sometimes I just wish I could be an Ideologue.  You see the problem with being a Centrist is that you think you know where you are going then you get sideswiped by the loony Left or the rabid Right.  It gets pretty zany in this expressway of thought and ideas and sometimes you just have to be what you are.  The other problem with being a Centrist is that it can often be mistaken, or cause indifference.  Dante wrote, “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”

So, I confess, in some areas I’m an out and out Lib.  Shocks you eh?  My wife finds that part of me…well she digs it.  She likes that I can get all mushy when I read a report or a case study about some issues in the inner city.  She likes that part of me much more than the John Wayne side.  However, she’s from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, so what do you expect.  However, this is not totally honest of me, because one of the politicians I admire the most is Robert Kennedy.  I find his last speech truly an inspiration, and many times draw strength from his words.

“I think we can end the divisions within the United States. What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis. And that what has been going on with the United States over the period of that last three years, the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society, the divisions- whether it’s between blacks and whites, between the poor and the more affluent, or between age groups, or in the war in Vietnam – that we can work together. We are a great country, and unselfish country and a compassionate country. “

If you get a wee bit emotional about these words, trust me, you’re a lib.

The heck with that, I’m a Conservative Darn Nabbit.  I love Alexander Hamilton, and feel that his view of America is superior to that girly man Thomas Jefferson.  I want to go to sleep reading “The Conscience of a Conservative” and sleep in that idyllic world where people can pull themselves up by their bootstraps without help from the government.  Where one person makes his mark and changes things, and goes from rags to riches on the merits of his own efforts and ideas.  Then I want to watch Armageddon.  Because, I’m going to get misty now, as I do when I watch that movie, sniff, and Bruce Willis, sniff, sniff, decides to go back to that asteroid, near hysteria here, and won’t let his future son in law, running for more Kleenex, stay behind and blow up the asteroid with the nuclear device.  Then, wailing and pulling out my hair by this time, he says goodbye to his daughter.  And boom….bright lights….oh no…such a sacrifice.  Chicks and Libs, especially lib chicks, like my wife, “just don’t get that movie”.  And if you like that movie, you’re a red blooded American Conservative.

So, where does this pulling forces, the Kennedyesque side (talk about delusions of grandeur) and the John Wayne/Bruce Willis/Alexander Hamilton – hmm more Conservative sides to me, I guess I am a bit more Conservative than I thought, but I digress, make me lie on the political issue spectrum.  Usually flat in the middle, getting sideswiped by Conservative nimrods in their gas guzzling SUV’s, and I really DON’T like SUV’s or their drivers, but that will wait until another momentary lapse of reason, or Barbara Streisand shreiking banshees in their oversized minivan’s, and ladies you drive like your lunatics, and when I see you talking on your cell phone, or that obsequious,  “My Child is an Honor’s Student at Liberal Middle School” I want to see your minivan flip over and blow up in a ball of flame.  All of this while I drive my girlie man Hyundai Accent, and trust me if you’ve ever seen a 6′ and…husky guy in a little Hyundai Accent, it is a funny sight indeed, but at least I care about getting good gas mileage (liberal sniff included) and besides, if the fan belt breaks I can use a rubber band.  Where was I?

Now, you may wonder where the heck is this myopic diatribe – that hopefully some of you will read and comment upon – going, and it will get there in my good time – a big smile, a pause, a few lithium pills – when I’m ready to sum up.

Centrism comes about by dealing with divergent views and filtering out the garbage from both sides of the heated rhetoric.  It is something that is as simple and profound as the Hegellian Dialect that thesis and anti-thesis need to go through that prism called the mind and become synthesis.  In many ways, this is the process that Democracy goes through.  Americans don’t like ideologues too much, and democracy is the politics of the half loaf.  It is inefficient, takes too long to bring about meaningful change, and is the most wonderful blessing that the Almighty has bestowed upon man, the concept of self-government, and an understanding that the State rests upon the authority of the people.  Ideologues just don’t get that, much like my wife and Armageddon.  However, the extreme voices are needed.  They add to the dialogue and push the envelop either way toward the left or towards the right.  After adjustment a new Centrist position is formed, and just when I get comfortable in drving in that center lane another inconsiderate pig in an SUV or a mindless twit on her cellphone in a mini van is going to make my little Hyundai nearly change lanes without me even touching the steering wheel.

Thus ends this momentary lapse of reason.   We will return to our regularly schedule blogposts of rational ideas.  Normally, I edit my posts.  I’m not changing one word of this one.

March 1, 2007

When NOT to Multitask

Filed under: Automobiles,Computers,Darwin Awards,General,Politics,Uncategorized — avoiceofreason @ 3:19 am

Heard about this story today while drivng the car and listening to the news radio show. 

It seems that a man was multi tasking when his obvious download of tunes for his IPOD was interrupted by running into a Hummer.  Guess what, he lost.  Now cell phones while driving, I don’t know about.  Drinking coffee or smoking a cigarette in the car, give me a break.  Even having a Whopper, and trying to do it with one hand….. You’re pushing it buster.  Using your laptop? WTF???? Sometimes you just have to appreciate Natural Selection.   In that Spirit I would nominate this man, for selflessly improving our species by removing himself from our midst for a Darwin Award.

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