Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If you will recall in my last post I had voiced concerns over this March 3rd Meeting on the future of Dolores Park and its effects on Dufty's mayoral bid.
First of all, the meeting was not the overflowing crowd of angry "hipsters" (a word that was thrown around a lot at the meeting itself) but a fairly calm and collected meeting consistent with the community meetings I had been to in the past.
I had forgotten that the internet is a place for individuals to vet their anger and what many people post that they will do, like show up to a public meeting in volume, isn't always what they actually do. All in all it was a very lovely evening with poignant questions, specific and informative answers and amazing presence by Supervisor Dufty. I was really impressed by how he handled the meeting and the input. He showed class and grace and poise. The city staff gave a great presentation and answered questions in a way that was both personal and impressive. Even the popular local Ritual Coffee Roasters donated some coffee for the event (apparently half pay and half donate still counts as donate). If you want to learn more there are some rather amazing and comprehensive notes here.
There are, however various protests around California that were supposed to be enormous and attention getting. In SF people were warned that traffic would be disrupted, but the actual protest is supposed to happen at five so no real details about the effectiveness until then, odds are I will try to put something a little more comprehensive up tomorrow. Apparently "organizers hoped to spur events in 30 other states..." These protests are regarding the huge cuts made to the UC, STATE and Community College systems including cutting massive amounts of students. Assemblymember Torrico has a tax proposal to hopefully help rectify it; "... [he] has proposed a new 12.5 percent tax on revenue from oil and gas production in California, a measure that he says could raise $2 billion for higher education" and hopefully these protests will give the legislature the push they need to get things done. More later.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Michael Mariotte, executive director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service, said the loan program is a subsidy for nuclear power.
"This would be a repudiation of Obama's own campaign statements against subsidies for nuclear power, and the implementation of the worst energy policy excesses of the Bush administration and failed presidential candidate Senator John McCain," Mariotte said.
We have to remember that the power needs of America are not going to be met by the current technologies of geothermal, wind, biomass, or solar combined. Even each of those technologies have their own environmental downsides. Nuclear appears to be aiding Obama's Climate change efforts and actually furthering the goals of the reinvestment act;
Carol Browner, Obama's top energy and climate adviser, said she was hopeful about progress on energy and climate legislation that is currently stalled in the U.S. Senate.
"I'm always optimistic, as is the president," Browner told Reuters Insider in an interview."We're working hard, and we're encouraged by the conversations that are going on. Obviously this is very important legislation and we're going to do everything we can to make it happen," she said.
And that is accurate. We either are going to have to "drill baby drill" or utilize one of the dirtiest yet most abundant and still dangerous of energy technologies; coal. For now, nuclear power appears to be a reasonable alternative to Oil and Coal to offset our "Dirty" energy technologies while still supplying America with the energy it craves. Hopefully new and innovative technologies that are truly green and renewable will come soon.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
"[America is] a country that simultaneously demands and rejects action on unemployment, deficits, health care, climate change, and a whole host of other major problems...We want Washington and the states to fix all of our problems now. At the same time, we want government to shrink, spend less, and reduce our taxes."
We want our cake and we not only want to eat it, but we want it for free too. We as a people need to remember, as I have said before, that real and lasting change takes time and hard work. We need to move away from this collective sense of entitlement. We need to run away from the idea that we should each be given an i-pod for us to be happy. The story of the American dream used to come after a hero's quest of sweat and hard work. In the past few generations, from the "greed is good" antics of the 80's and the "dot com successes" of the 90's the 2000's only re-enforced the get rich quick mentality of our nation. We need to remember that we as a people were reminded that we were going to make sacrifices and that this was going to be a long haul. Unfortunately in this world we have an America that only want our problems solved for free. They forget that we need to fix this broken system we have to one better suited for our people. They, we, forget that that takes capital, time and hard work. We as a people need to stop being swayed by the small, meaningless things an look at the larger picture. We need to move beyond the way the world is and evolve into what it could be. The driving force can no longer be wealth building, it must be something better, something greater. Until that change, it is still business as usual.
One incident that irked me as a rational individual, a supporter of free speech and as comic book fan was that this image was recently pulled from a Captain America comic and changed because of protest.
As explained in the blog "Palin's Q&A Fun;" "In issue No. 602 of Captain America, the hero and his ally the Falcon find themselves at a rally where protesters hold signs that read “Tea Bag the Libs Before They Tea Bag You!” and “Stop the Socialists!” Captain America remarks that the assembly appears to be an “anti-tax thing,” and the Falcon, who is black, says he probably would not fit in with “a bunch of angry white folks.” The tea party leadership voiced their concerns at the depiction and said that it was unfair to claim that their demographics are solely "angry white folk," however it is hard to actually see individuals that are outside this descriptions at their rallies. Listening to their recent convention has provided even more frightening depictions that have been suggested at their recent rally. For example; a suggestion of "Jim-Crow"-esque laws and more fears of Tancaedo's such as his fear of non-english speakers a six-figured speech filled with poison and no real solutions, just the same old republican rhetoric. This type of behavior should not be surprising to me or anyone else in the slightest looking at what Palin has been doing.
This is not about the whole issue over her palm notes and her hypocrisy regarding Obama's teleprompters. This is about her calling out Rahm Emanuel to resign. She feels he should resign for calling liberal democrats "F-ing retarded" for attacking moderate democrats. Yet when Rush Limbaugh Did it, it was considered all fine.
A recent poll has come out that says that over 70% of Americans think Palin is unqualified and she keeps getting hits from all areas, including the White House; "Poking fun at Palin's much-mocked method for remembering her lines at a Tea Party convention last weekend - notes scribbled on her palm - [White House Spokesman Robert] Gibbs flashed his own ink-stained mitt at reporters yesterday."
But back to Valentines Day. It seems like holidays are a great way to advance the green agenda. Just by slightly spinning the message of the season we are able to tweak it green. The movie Valentines Day is attempting to have a "green opening" though I doubt it will make it a better movie it is rather interesting how certain industries have begun to self enforce an unspoken "green law."
Major holidays and worldwide events are being utilized to advance environmental awareness. Even the Olympics are keeping to the sustainable track which is rather amazing. If you will recall, the most recent Olympics in China had the effect of forcing the Chinese government to take a serious look at the environment. At least the environment around Beijing. According to the Council on Foreign Relations;
What impact has the 2008 Olympics had on China's environmental policy?
The fact remains that China's environmental record is continuously slipping. A "pollution census" recently found that China's environment is worse than ever. So what can we, as the international community do to help with China's and our own problems? Should the "green police" as seen in the recent super bowl adds be established and spread world wide? (By the way the Huffington Post had a great article on that recently).