Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

As I sit here and contemplate the "New Year" and just exactly how deceitful the world is and can be I'm still hopeful. As Dick Cheney's files burn in the Eisenhower building where his records are stored and his secret meetings with the Energy Cartel were held (on his first day in office) I'm still hopeful. Where the music industry has devolved and just markets the most awful instrument free and hideous noise appealing to our lowest common denominator I am still hopeful. Where the Environmental Protection Agency is actively preventing, thwarting, and stopping the curbing of pollution and State's Rights I am still hopeful. There are a lot of things wrong in this world from waging wars for resources (see Cheney's first day in office) and the pillaging of God's wondrous planet for profits, poppies, and oil, but somehow I am still stubbornly, persistently hopeful.

Why? Because I choose to be and will not let their sacrilege and their petulant behavior do anything but make me stronger. Too often we are obscured by the anguish and confusion in trying to understand why the toxic people among us are the way they are, elected and armed, greedy and heartless, lazy and stupid, cunning and wanting. But because of these men who kill, lie and spend their lives on destruction and hate there are forever more opportunities crying out in our lives to make this a better world. The need is great, it is beyond huge, and the whistle is screaming, the time is now. The time has always been now. So what can we do so fragmented and divided? We are not powerless and so simply in your corner of the world the time too is now, and the opportunity is present to find something you love to do and share it with others. Do something, anything but do not buy into the story that one person can not make a difference. Every moment, every second with every action the choice is there to either create or destroy in all of our lives constantly, persistently and decisively we make either one way or another headway.

In this moment of reflection as the New Year approaches and the calendar starts a new, as we reach out to old friends and remember those who have gone before us, as the Winter Solstice has passed and the days are getting longer so to must we inevitably, persistently, lovingly change. Change is the only constant I can see and so too must change come to those who spend a lifetime destroying our lands, our rights, our health, our economy, our education, our liberties, our loves by their stealing, lying and killing for themselves and their selves only and alone.

In 1963 they blew John Kennedy's head to bits and claimed it was one deranged man who traveled the world freely, got the secret service to stand down, lived in the USA, and the Soviet Union, and all this with only one bullet, so are we surprised that the stupidity, and ignorance of arrogance continues today. Has it gotten better? Always there will be the unenlightened to operate on a level below comprehension to all but the selfish. Somehow we must take the sword of ignorance and destruction from their hands and raise our voices, our vibration brighter, stronger, louder and higher than theirs.

In this day and age it is long past due where apathy and a shrug of the shoulders can be our passive answer. I know beyond certainty that if each and everyone of us took up the vote, took up the cause, took up the pen, took up the protest, took up the song, and took up the action that we would prevail simply and easily.

So as it drizzles rain (much needed rain) on this gloomy morning I can still see the bright, beautiful, future as it has weaved it's way through time filled with infinite possibilities. I can hear on the wind the hopeful song of life everywhere and the efforts (far greater than mine) of people all over this beautiful, sacred planet, and their persistent vision as they tend their gardens and loosen the shackles of the Status Quo. It is a beautiful world, magnificent in it's intricacies fragile in its relationships and holy in it's being. We can build and live and create better societies more worthy of existence and live in harmony with creation.

And so change ever present reveals the deceivers and their small-minded tricks their propaganda and their contempt of the righteous. We clearly see the deceit and how beholden they are to it to achieve self worth. We see the smug sneer of those who think they are fooling us, but merely themselves and we know the bile that fills their bellies because they know they are wrong as they age horribly before our very eyes.

It is with change that I am hopeful guaranteed of it's coming and the natural beauty that unfolds every morning. Be at peace with yourself and so it shall be for the rest of all that is, Happy New Year indeed.

Paul

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

EPA KILLS CALIFORNIA TAILPIPE CONTROLS

This is a repost from the good people at 40MPG.org

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WEEKLY UPDATE

CONGRESS ENABLES EPA TO KILL CALIFORNIA TAILPIPE CONTROLS

December 21, 2007: You have to give Detroit credit where credit is due. They may not know how to build high-MPG cars the way every other automaker in the world has figured out how to do ... but they sure know how to run rings around a Democratic Congress. First, Congress passes a pathetically weak and elongated MPG improvement target and then the Bush Environmental Protection Agency responds by using the new law as the primary justification for striking down California's attempt to tighten up on tailpipe emissions. Talk about adding insult to injury! Of course, it's nice to know that Congress is up in arms and that Washington state and The Terminator want to sue The Decider to overturn the EPA decision. But this was a totally predictable and entirely self-inflicted wound for Democrats who controlled the energy legislation. By caving into Detroit by pushing the 35 MPG standard out much farther into the future than is technologically necessary, Congress made it possible for the Bush Administration to kill a much more serious-minded state-level initiative to control wasteful energy consumption by autos. The EPA may have pulled the trigger, but Congress handed them the bullet ...


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Freedom of Choice = The Right to Choose

Why is there a war on freedom of choice? This country was founded on religious freedom and an "individual liberty concept" that should be guaranteed, and taken into consideration with every act this government takes. The right to manage one's own life within the tenants and arc of one's own experience should never be impinged. It is not a one size fits all world but a tapestry of experiences and awareness that runs from the enlightened to the obsessive and power hungry. Sacrificing the bedrock foundations of this Country to the whims of fanaticism in order to gain power jeopardizes the very freedoms and virtues that make this country the land of freedom, opportunity, and great in every sense of the word.

A womans right to choose and to govern her very existence should not be dictated by anyone save her own mind, heart and soul. If we do a good job with education, including sex ed, and have easy access to birth control then we are fulfilling the "planned parenthood" mission. If we impart the wisdom that there is a difference between having a child and raising a child, and the life long commitment that entails then we will achieve responsible parenting.

If you believe every sperm is sacred and your 14 year old daughter gets pregnant what does she do? Is it up to the 14 year old? Should the parent give guidance? It could be argued that your 14 year old didn't receive good guidance in the first place, or she wouldn't have become pregnant. So you can see this is a very tricky issue based on the specifics of the situation and blanket rules, assumptions and attitudes do not apply.

That the government provides for safe medical procedures is its duty not only for staph infections in hospitals but abortions as well. That the government tell each and everyone of us what to believe or not believe is most definitely the largest affront on individual liberty that man can come up with short of the holocaust.

Take Action

Paul Burke

Author - Journey Home

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Senate SUCKS!

W. sucks too - he said he "couldn't" sign the energy bill - why not is his hand broken? What he is really saying is he "wouldn't" sign the energy bill because Big Oil owns him - owns his soul, his every thought, his career his house, his kids education - owns him - his daddy, his mommy and all his friends.

What right does the Senate have caving into special interest when it's OUR TAX PAYER MONEY! We gave them the right by OUR vote to act in OUR interest. Big money comes in and says we aren't going to fund your campaigns anymore, and they fold like a house of cards. Where are the real men and women the leaders who have a vision for the future? Read this NY Times article below and in the Mercury News link in the title above and weep people. In an era that cries out for bold action we limp along and now we are going to be subsidizing the unprofitable nuclear industry. I am so disgusted with the Status Quo. What a bunch of vision less wimps. We are on a tiny rock with a wisp of air and a spit of water and we continue to champion dirty energy solutions. I wanna puke all over the keyboard. My resolve is more hardened we need to toss the Senate out on it's ear and get a REAL representative government of independents and realists.

Industry Flexes Muscle, Weaker Energy Bill Passes


Published: December 14, 2007

WASHINGTON — Pared-down energy legislation cleared the Senate on Thursday by a wide margin after the oil industry and utilities succeeded in stripping out provisions that would have cost them billions of dollars.

The legislation still contains a landmark increase in fuel-economy standards for vehicles and a huge boost for alternative fuels. But a $13 billion tax increase on oil companies and a requirement that utilities nationwide produce 15 percent of their electricity from renewable sources were left on the floor to secure Republican votes for the package.

The tax measure and the renewable electricity mandate were included in an energy bill that easily passed the House last week. But industry lobbyists focused their attention on Republican members of the Senate and on the White House, which repeatedly threatened to veto the bill if the offending sections were not removed.

Earlier in the week, Senate leaders agreed to drop the renewable electricity section. And on Thursday, after a failed effort to cut off debate on the bill, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, said he would reluctantly remove the tax provisions as well, clearing the way for passage in the early evening.

The slimmed-down bill passed 86-8.

The Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned electric utilities, led the opposition to the renewable electricity mandate. Along with its member companies in the Midwest and Southeast, the group carried out an extensive lobbying campaign warning that the bill would cause sharp increases in electric rates.

The institute was joined by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce and groups representing the paper, mining, petrochemical and refining industries.

Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the institute, said that a federal mandate would conflict with mandates for renewable power in place in more than half the states and that this could possibly complicate efforts to pass a nationwide program to combat climate change.

“The federal government jumping in now and second-guessing the states and enacting a fuel mandate in advance of economy-wide greenhouse gas regulation just wasn’t going to make it out of Congress,” Mr. Riedinger said.

The bill now returns to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted that it would pass overwhelmingly early next week. A White House spokesman said President Bush was pleased that the bill was “moving in the right direction” and that he would sign it when it reached his desk.

The oil industry conducted its own campaign of opposition to the tax provisions, arguing that it would impose burdens on the industry when it needed all the resources it had to find and develop new sources of energy.

“We made sure that everybody knew our point of view — the White House, the House, the Senate,” said James Ford, director of government affairs at the American Petroleum Institute. “We told our story and told it thoroughly.” (READ that as the THREAT it was intended to be people)

Mr. Ford said that even with the tax provisions removed, the oil industry had concerns about meeting the bill’s requirement that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into gasoline by 2022. He said the bill was far too specific about how much of certain kinds of fuels must be produced, whether from corn, various other plant fibers or animal fats.

“With all these boutique biofuels, we need an ability to adjust the mandate if technological advances aren’t made,” Mr. Ford said.

Environmental advocates were generally pleased with passage of the new vehicle fuel-economy standards and the biofuel provision. Dan Becker, an environmental consultant who has been working on auto efficiency issues for nearly 20 years, called passage of the bill the biggest environmental victory since enactment of the Clean Air Act of 1990.

But some environmentalists said they were unhappy that the bill would not provide large incentives for expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, solar and biothermal.

Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth Action, accused Senate Democrats of “capitulating” to Senate Republicans and the White House.

“When the Republican leadership and the polluter lobby have blocked important legislation, Senate Democrats have been all too willing to move in their direction,” Mr. Blackwelder said in a statement. “The result is that the two most positive provisions of the energy bill — a clean energy mandate and a tax package reining in handouts for fossil fuels and promoting clean energy — are being removed, while detrimental provisions, such as a radical five-fold increase in unsustainable biofuel use, remain.”

Separately, Congress reached a tentative agreement on a major energy package that it plans to enact outside the energy bill, according to a Senate Democratic staff member. The agreement, to be included in a broad government spending bill, would authorize the Energy Department to guarantee loans for various energy projects, making financing far easier.

The agreement would guarantee loans of up to $25 billion for new nuclear plants and $2 billion for a uranium enrichment plant, something those industries had been avidly seeking. It would also provide guarantees of up to $10 billion for renewable energy projects, $10 billion for plants to turn coal into liquid vehicle fuel and $2 billion to turn coal into natural gas.

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Paul Burke

Author - Journey Home

Friday, December 07, 2007

PROTECT ALL ENDANGERED RED LIST SPECIES

We did not make this world or even ourselves, we did not make the universe or the stars in the sky, we did not make the plains or the mountains, or animals that dwell in them. We did not make the oceans or the sky. We did not make the weather, the rain or the apples that grow from the trees. We did not make anything accept destruction and war, and consumption. How arrogant are we to hold this magnificent creation in disdain as we slash and pollute, burn and kill, destroy and extinguish all that has been given to us. It should be revered, used sparingly and manged with care. We have been given the free will and intelligence to accomplish great things. We have been given the consciousness to know the difference between right and wrong. Mankind needs to evolve and quickly to a forward thinking less self absorbed being and realize his/her true place in the universe on a tiny rock in a distant solar system with a wisp of air and sea to sustain us.

Boycott Exxon

Paul Burke
Author Journey Home