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!

April 17, 2007

Your Ideal Candidate

Found this site which allows you to measure your candidates positions by some positions which are important to you.  No surprise here, although I did not like all the options which were either or options, so on a few questions I clicked neither, as I would be “in between” polar positions on some issues.

A big shocker, Rudy wins, followed by McCain and then Hunter, who still has “no chance” to win.  Interestingly Fred Thompson and of all people John Edwards come in fairly close to each other, which helps me understand why I can tolerate Edwards more than most of the Dem field.  Pretty much this is a fairly accurate reflection of me, and Lord I hope most Americans.

Hope you guys see this and POST your results here!!!!!

1.  Theoretical Ideal Candidate   (100%)
2.  Rudolph Giuliani   (65%)  Click here for info
3.  John McCain   (64%)  Click here for info
4.  Duncan Hunter   (62%)  Click here for info
5.  Fred Thompson   (56%)  Click here for info
6.  John Edwards   (55%)  Click here for info
7.  Sam Brownback   (54%)  Click here for info
8.  Joseph Biden   (51%)  Click here for info
9.  Al Gore   (50%)  Click here for info
10.  Hillary Clinton   (49%)  Click here for info
11.  Newt Gingrich   (48%)  Click here for info
12.  Chuck Hagel   (46%)  Click here for info
13.  Tom Tancredo   (45%)  Click here for info
14.  Mitt Romney   (43%)  Click here for info
15.  Jim Gilmore   (40%)  Click here for info
16.  Wesley Clark   (39%)  Click here for info
17.  Barack Obama   (38%)  Click here for info
18.  Mike Huckabee   (35%)  Click here for info
19.  Christopher Dodd   (35%)  Click here for info
20.  Dennis Kucinich   (29%)  Click here for info
21.  Bill Richardson   (23%)  Click here for info
22.  Ron Paul   (22%)  Click here for info
23.  Tommy Thompson   (21%)  Click here for info
24.  Elaine Brown   (20%)  Click here for info
25.  Mike Gravel   (8%)  Click here for info
26.  Kent McManigal

April 7, 2007

For GOP Centrists, Life in the Minority Isn’t too Bad

The New York Times had a report on life in Congress for GOP Centrists, mostly from the Northeast. Thus far, some of the new GOP minority, find life isn’t so bad with the Dems in charge.

Typically, the GOP congressional delegations from the Northeast are signficantly more progressive than their counterparts, and have been thought of in the GOP caucas as the black sheep of the Party. However, moderate GOP Representatives like NJ Mike Ferguson, CT Chris Shayes, and NY Peter King have all seen positive trends in some areas, mostly linked towards labor initiatives since the Democrats took control almost 100 days ago.

Mike Ferguson had this to say about life in the minority,

“Under the Republican majority, those bills would have never gotten to the floor,” he explained before heading back to his district. “Now they have been brought to the floor, and I’ve voted for them.”

This of course represents the need for minimum wage in the expensive Northeast, and the important role that Unions have played in providing middle and working class families with some manner of economic stability, which again, due to the exceptionally high cost of livng, and example is the minimal price of a small starter home in suburban NY coming in typically at about $325,000.

Another factor that the GOP centrists are relalizing is that the Administration’s policies are very unpopular not just with the nation as a whole, but with the states in the Northeast and the Rust Belt. Simply put, the GOP can’t afford to throw away as many as 125 Electoral College votes every four years, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to find a candidate that could have some traction in this vote heavy region. Particularly, moderate Democrats fared well in battleground states of PA, OH, and MI. Chris Shays, never the most popular Republican in the caucas puts it this way, “Democrats basically grabbed the center and ran with it politically,” adding that he would continue working with the Democrats provided they did not veer from the political center.

However, Democrats see the blood in the water, having unseated ten Representatives from the region, and they want more. The best hope according to the “Tuesday Group”, moderate Republicans – sometimes belittled as RINO’s, who meet to discuss issue which effect their constituency, typically health care and jobs, is for the GOP to send a national candidate with more moderate views, but still within the scope of the more Conservative base; Rudy Giuliani comes to mind. Having the pressure off of this group to go along with more conservative stands on issues like abortion, global warming concerns, gay rights, gun rights and immigration may help this part of the GOP caucas to stay alive. Peter King, R-NY stated it this way, “They’re (the leadership) not pushing members to take suicidal votes or take bullets for the team.

April 3, 2007

Quote of the Day

“Many argue that global warming is manmade, and it looks like they found the man.”

VP Dick Cheney (Speaking about former VP Gore’s energy use)

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.

The Buzz about Bees

Filed under: Congress,Culture,Environment,Global Warming,Health,Politics — avoiceofreason @ 4:31 am

Quite a buzz has been occurring about bees, or the lack of them reported by domestic beekeepers.  This past year approximately 25% of all the colonies which should have bees, are vacant of buzzing, and this has alarmed not only beekeepers but other scientists as well.

While there is no real consensus about what is the cause of the problem, some have stated that the disappearing may be caused by an insecticide, Gaucho.  Others have stated that warmer than normal winters may have had an effect on the bee population.  Others say that as the number of keepers has grown, the basic level of care and competency has decreased.  One thing researchers have agreed upon, is that more resources – tax dollars – are needed to research this problem.  This may be a case where they may actually be correct.

Bees are tremendously important to the growth of food, as they are often shipped into farming areas to pollinate large amounts of crops.  Paul Wenger of the California Farm Bureau testified that “bees are the unsung heroes of our state’s important almond industry that has an annual farm value of more than $2.5 billion.”  Wenger added that more than honey and almonds are at stake.  In California, bees pollinate “melons, cherries, avocados, Bartlett pears, bushberries, kiwi, many apple varieties, cucumbers, plums, prunes, pumpkin, squash, ornamental plants, and dozens of vegetable and flower seeds,” said Wegner.

Albert Einstein, quoted in Germany’s Der Spiegel, once said, “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

This buzz – or lack of it – may be a rather serious issue, and is at the least worthy of Federal funding to investigate.

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.
 

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