May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Why are we forced to pay twice to make politics happen?

I just decided that I'm pretty upset about something. I watched this ad from and agree with its sentiment. I strongly agree with it.

What upsets me is that even in this video, our elected president, President Obama, says "I do not accept a future where the jobs and industry for tomorrow take root beyond our borders..."

The key phrase, from the original email I received, is:
key Democrats are wavering in the face of a flurry of Big Oil ads claiming America can't afford clean energy

We have elected Mr. Obama, and other representatives to do the right thing. And many of us even contributed quite a bit from our not-really-all-that-deep pockets to get them into these positions. Now, we have to PAY AGAIN to put ads on the air to sway popular opinion, as if the votes we cast were only preliminary, and our representatives' votes depend on their own polls? That is a load of corruption. Doubly so, actually.

First, there is the problem with campaign financing. Those who donate large sums to candidates' fundraising feel entitled to ask the candidates to vote their way. And candidates feel compelled to oblige them.

Second, there is the problem with candidates listening for popular opinion before voting. People make calls to their representatives based on the advertising they see on TV, the radio, and the Internet. And then the candidate responds to it, even if it is stirred up by massive sums of advertising money. The people who call to express what appears to be popular opinion have been spurred into action by monetary donations to advertising campaigns.

We pay, and then pay again.

My real question is, "Why are the candidates we elected like so many leaves blowing in the wind?" They ought to KNOW that the right thing is to invest in American jobs, and to invest in renewable domestic energy sources such as wind and solar. Why are they not more robust from advertising campaigns in the mass media? They should vote according to true moral principles. We live in a republic for a reason: namely, that the populous doesn't completely get it, so we elect people who are better than the average person (who is swayable by TV ads, etc), so they will do the right thing. In the end, the proof will be in the pudding. In four years, or at the end of their term when they're up for reelection, if they vote along with popular opinion swayed by Big Oil, the people will be worse off, and ironically, won't be as compelled to vote for them. If they vote against popular opinion (and with a stronger moral code), the people will be better off, and in their satisfaction, will be more likely to vote for them. To those elected representatives permanently on the flip-flop fence of straw-polls, grow a spine!

Because when dollars buy political advertising, then votes and popular opinion are much more easily purchased by the wealthy. When politicians can't be bought, the corruption goes away.

lyrics: "My advice for those who die... Declare the pennies on your eyes, 'cause I'm the taxman."
From Taxman, by the Beatles.

colors: Still red white and blue.

mood: Poor.

chant/prayer/mantra: May democracy one day break out in America.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

*Here is the text of the email that linked to the ad:

If the jobs of the future are in wind and solar, where will those jobs be located? Unless we act quickly, this picture shows the answer:

Massive wind farm in China

By the end of the year, China will be the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines.1 The U.S. government's investment in wind is tiny compared to China's, and that means American workers are missing out on millions of new jobs.

All that could change: In two weeks, there's a vote on President Obama's plan for a new energy economy. But key Democrats are wavering in the face of a flurry of Big Oil ads claiming America can't afford clean energy.

We're ready to counter with a new TV ad about all the great manufacturing jobs we could create by building clean energy tech. That's the message that'll convince Congress, but we need to raise $100,000 to put it on the air this week—can you chip in $50 to help out?

If we don't pass this bill, we'll lose our chance to create millions of good, green jobs for laid-off workers. We'll lose our chance to give our kids a vibrant economy. And we'll lose our chance to pay down our national debt.

U.S. investment in wind power lags far behind, but when it comes to solar power, the story is even more infuriating: In the 1990s, the U.S. actually led the world in solar cell manufacturing. But in the Bush-Cheney years, China, Japan, and Europe all zoomed ahead of us in solar production.

We can catch up, but only if we start quickly.

Obama's plan would aggressively scale up American wind and solar production—creating millions of new jobs and tackling climate change in one fell swoop.

But the latest ads from dirty-energy companies are scaring away key Democrats in Congress. We've got to ramp up our grassroots campaign, starting with a new national TV ad to frame clean energy as one of the best ways to create good, new jobs.

Can you pitch in $50 to help win the upcoming vote on Obama's clean energy jobs plan?

Friday, April 10, 2009


Regarding those who have written sacred texts

This is just a little link to a YouTube vid I hope to view myself sometime soon.  If you watch it and want to chat, leave a comment.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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Thursday, April 9, 2009


Invisible Children: Rescue Effort

A friend recently sent an email to me about how his 19 year old daughter is going to abduct herself, and ask Barack Obama to come save her, in order to call attention to an ongoing atrocity in Northern Uganda, in which a man named Joseph Kony has been kidnapping kids and forcing them to become brutal soldiers.

Several hundred youths have put up videos on to get the attention of celebrities, and include this text in the Information box to the right of the videos:
We want YOU to come to The Rescue! April 25th, 2009! Watch the movie about the situation in Uganda and The Congo at And contact us (publicists, assistants, offices, moms) if you are willing to come or have questions at

I wish them well in their effort, and it will be interesting to see how this form of information activism changes the world. Would it necessarily be a bad thing if more and more causes started to saturate the new airwaves, to direct us toward the things that really need attention?

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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Saturday, April 4, 2009


Kites on Ice: Several Years Ago in Madison

I finally decided to devote a few minutes into stitching these pictures together. If you've never been to kites on ice, here's a little look at it from the end of Lake Street, where it meets Lake Mendota. Click for the very large version.

chant/prayer/mantra: Remember the beauty in life.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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From Recent News

New Batteries created by bacteriophage:

I really do think it won't be too long before we have battery technology that is clean to make and clean to use, and requires no disposal. Two decades, though we've got to keep the R & D coming. Plenty of jobs to invest there -- get the kids in higher education for free, and make sure we've got housing, food and clothes for everybody.

Offshore wind farms which more than meet US energy needs:

While I think its high time we turn to renewable resources for energy production, I wonder why the big push for putting wind farms offshore? It seems they'd be a lot of work to set up, and then get the energy back to the mainland, even if only in relatively shallow water. Looking at this wind map (the multi-colored one on the left) and this one of South Dakota (with a legend explaining the colors), it appears there's a LOT of wind energy to be had in the middle of the country, though from the first map, it really does look like there's even more just offshore. All I know is that if there's wind there and we know it, it's a lot better than drilling for oil and not knowing how much is going to be there.

And astrophysics geeks talking about the science behind FTL warp drives:

The comment by Geckipede is a helpful explanation of what I was talking about in an earlier post.
"The problem is that in order to have a region of spacetime moving in relation to the outside universe, space has to expand behind it and contract in front, which demands negative and positive gravity in those regions. You need a large negative mass held in place in front of you, and a large positive mass behind." [Joel adds: All you have to do is carry around your own quasar and black hole, and you're set. But put the black hole at the front, and try and scale it back a bit so it doesn't actually tear a hole.]

lyrics: "Space, I believe in space... Jefrey, with one f, Jefrey."
From Space (I Believe in), by Pixies.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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Thursday, April 2, 2009


125 Words Per Minute

That is the answer to my current guess about preaching speed.

I always forget how long a written sermon needs to be to fit into a given length of time, partially because I write the sermon in 12-point single-space with 0.5" margins, and then when it comes time to preach, I switch over to 1.5-space or double-space, at 18-point font, with a 3" margin at the bottom. That's a lot to keep track of.

The easiest way for me to remember is to just know my words per minute, and use the Tools/Wordcount tool in OpenOffice or Word.

I'm sure I'll eventually get into the groove, but for now, I'm leaving this post as a bookmark.


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Rolling Stone Article on the Truth Behind the Bank Bailouts

OMG, this article by Matt Taibbi just pushes me over the edge. I've been following all this stuff since I first heard of credit default swaps a couple years ago, but this article presents all the grisly details.

Here's two quotes that kind of sum up the situation (though they are not a summary of the article itself by any means) :
"...on the linear spectrum of capitalism to socialism, where exactly are we now? Is there a dictionary word that even describes what we are now? It would be funny, if it weren't such a nightmare."

"'Actually, come to think of it, why are we even giving taxpayer money to you people? Why are we not throwing your ass in jail instead?' But before you even finish saying that, they're rolling their eyes, because You Don't Get It. These people were never about anything except turning money into money, in order to get more money; valueswise they're on par with crack addicts...."

Either we can kiss the US capitalist system goodbye, or all the common people will be wage slaves working (if they are lucky) for those who are now in the process of outright stealing trillions from the US treasury and the Federal Reserve through a non-transparent process.

It makes me think of Henry Potter, when I hear about the big banks getting access to the TARP loans and other loans, and all the regional and small banks that were much more judicious about their lending practices have not gotten any money yet? Shame on the federal reserve and the US treasury, and everyone who let it get this bad.

lyrics: "We feed the cats to the rats, and the rats to the cats, and get the cat skins for nothing!"
From How to Skin a Cat, by Husker Du

colors: Black and Red. Mostly red. Not sure whether blood red, or red ink. Or blood used as red ink.

mood: Nervous.

chant/prayer/mantra: For a return to humanity's wholeness, and not this separateness.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009


An Example of Demonetization

If you check out this 100 dollar bill issued in 1862 by the Confederate States of America, you will note that it is no longer usable as currency.  It might be worth something as an artifact, or as art, but there is no bank from which to draw it on, and nobody will accept it as payment, except for its worth as an artifact.  It used to be money, but now it's not.

lyrics: "Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie."
From Money, by Pink Floyd

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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