Friday, February 20, 2009

The Glorification of the Stupidity of America

When will it end this fashion of being stupid, vapid,and empty headed? When will it end the overfishing, mountaintop removal, nuclear waste, 12 mpg.

When did being stupid, buying clothes that don't fit, binge drinking and the lack of personal responsibility become okay? Why is stooopid cool? There must be this underlying urge to just chuck personal responsibility as if being a good citizen, a responsible person to yourself and your community is wrong. How is it hip or funny to chuck your fast food trash out the window? These things are stupid, they have consequences and they affect everyone. This whole notion that being a stupid, drunk, loudmouth, liar or lets take it up a notch unethical, cheat is our role model for personal validation and victory, something to achieve, a macho supremacy. This being stupid of course forgets one thing - the only thing you are supreme at is being a supreme idiot.

Let's refresh being a supreme idiot means you don't understand how your government works, how your taxes get distributed, or why the rain fall is necessary. Being stupid means you don't understand that being a bad neighbor with trash on your front lawn lowers the value of your own home and your neighbors home. Being stupid means you do not understand the tax code and are probably over taxed, probably over spend, and probably are poor. Being stupid means you can not get a good job and that you are gullible and believe that only the truth comes out of the television. Being stupid means you do not read and thus learn nothing which is the whole mechanism for being stupid - failure to learn. Guess what none of it is cool.

Being stupid isn't just the realm of the poor. Rich people in abundance are being fleeced by being greedy which is a form of stupidity, because everyone knows being greedy is bad. Rich people are bankrupting their own companies on get rich quick schemes and doing away with the very laws that protect THEIR OWN investments and market places they so rely on.

Are we done being stupid yet? Are we done thinking about the doughnut but not about the hole? Are we done thinking our personal actions only affect ourselves? Are we done thinking there is anything to gain in a two party system that fights with each other over ideology and political footballs instead of actually managing our government in a solvent, fair, equitable and sustainable way?

Guess what people smart is sexy, smart is intelligent, smart is comprehending, smart is capable, smart is coherent, smart is successful, and smart is more fun.

The choice is yours buy into the dumbing down and glorification of stupidity and be ripped off by those not wanting you to know what is going on, or get a clue and live a smart, great life.

Stupid is not cool, is not earthy, and is devoid of common sense. Stupid is as stupid does and a lot of supposedly right thinking people have just been plain stupid and we are all suffering the consequences - except those of us smart enough to well you know - live within our means, not buy into whatever it is they are selling, think for ourselves and be smart. It's okay it's cool.

Here's a great article

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Big Coal Liers - The Top 5 Myths About Coal

The whole notion of clean coal is a lie. It's marketing and branding. I guess in some dream the black rock doesn't cause mercury pollution or that somehow it gets buried in the ground. Sorry coal like nuclear has got to be the stupidest way to boil water we have thought of yet. It's an ancient method from the 1800's that isn't going to solve our problems no matter how much of it we have. That so many of the status quo have a vested interest in keeping this outdated energy source alive is our problem.

Big coal, nuclear, oil these guys aren't going away without a massive fight. Every day they chip away at our resolve to use clean energy sources. For the few of them to succeed means the whole world fails. Solar Thermal is the way out of our collective mess. The sooner we flip the switch to clean energy sources the sooner we'll get our economy back. Relying on the dinosaurs of the industrial revolution and their minions is a death sentence to our economy, environment, health, standard of living and national security.

Here's a few snippets from the article linked in the title above and below. Read it and tell your friends.

...the U.S. Department of Energy said: "Burning coal is the dirtiest way we produce electricity." associated with unsafe mines, mountaintop removal, acid rain, black lung, lung cancer, asthma, mercury contamination, and, of course, global warming.

...a coalition of 48 coal and utility companies, which form the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, shelled out $45 million on advertising last year. And its money paid off.

The PR firm they hired, the Hawthorne Group, boasted in December, "President-elect Obama and Sen. McCain, their running mates and their surrogates adopted our language and included it as part of their stump speeches. ... We nearly turned candidate events into clean coal rallies."

"Currently there's no economical way to capture and sequester carbon emissions from coal, and many experts doubt there ever will be," Bryan Walsh wrote in Time magazine.

1 billion gallons of contaminated coal-waste sludge spilled from a holding pond at the Tennessee Valley Authority coal plant in Harriman, Tenn., on Dec. 22.

The chemical-laced flood wiped out neighborhoods, covering cars and knocking homes off their foundations, while spilling into a tributary of the Clinch River -- a major source of drinking water.

In all, over 400 acres were covered with the toxic coal-ash mess, leaving enormous questions about the risk to human and environmental health.

Javier Sierra wrote, "According to independent tests, the coal sludge contained amounts up to 300 times the legal limits of arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, nickel and thallium. These are the ingredients of a stew with an enormous toxic potential that can cause cancer, birth defects and impede both the mental and physical development of children."

Disposal of coal combustion waste in coal mines is poisoning streams and drinking water supplies across the country. The solid waste generated by burning coal in power plants is the second-largest industrial waste stream in the United States. ... the waste's toxic contaminants, including arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium and thallium, can readily pollute streams and drinking water. These chemicals can result in a number of health effects in humans, including neurological damage, cancer and reproductive failure, as well as widespread ecosystem damage.

The biggest coal-producing state in Appalachia, West Virginia, tourism already contributes more to the economy, and creates far more jobs, than the coal industry and has for more than a decade. It doesn't take an economist to tell you that mountaintop removal is permanently destroying the best economic assets that mountain counties have: the beautiful and ancient Appalachian Mountains themselves.

That's enough cutting and pasting - read the article in the link and pass it on to your friends - we live in an old soviet union type era - where mis-information is spread through allegedly benign media outlets. Don't be fooled think for yourself and get the facts.


or This

You decide - speak up here and vote the coal representatives out of office

Here're the Top 5 Myths About Coal By Tara Lohan

Thank you Tara keep up the great work!

Solar Thermal Additional Information

Coal is Dirty Website

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Everything is Fashion, books, movies, music and politics

I think it's a telling result that book reviews end up in the style section. Everything has become fashion.

Politics is fashion (nascar dads were hip for a while)and Stephen King has always been fashionable (boogie man books,fear, and slasher movie cults). Romance novels are part of the Oprah-fication of America. It just seems to me that what is on the NY Times best seller list (by and large and not always the case) is driven by fashion - much like the music industry.

Which brings me to my second point - the good stuff is still out there - the great books and music that don't get any press... drum roll because they are not fashionable. Unknown authors and musicians churning out quality work exist in abundance but it's up to each one of us to use our instincts and dig below the surface, and take chances on the unknowns.

Jimmy Buffet has books in Barnes and Noble because he has name recognition and therefore sells. Jimmy while being a buoyant personality has written some good yarns and some over inflated pretentious blech. If his name was John Q. Public he would have to use a vanity press and his work would never see the light of day.

So yes book reviews in the style section because after all "dhharling" you have to be up on the current trends to have self validation. Which of course is a huge load of bull and sarcasm from me but you get the idea.

This includes readers and listeners and all this applies to movies as well. Spurn the big marketed aimed at the lowest common denominator efforts and become more investigative about all your book, movie and cd purchases. The richness, diversity and joy of discovery is fulfilled there. Finding a new arist, musician, author who rocks your world and then sharing that with your friends and family is a form of adventure. Buying what the big boys are selling is just manipulation. The major marketing campaigns are ingenious in how they reach people.

They attack (the perfect word for it) by land, air and sea. They sneak the tune onto a hit television show, plug the band on the radio until it seems like that's the only song the stations play, get the song out on a movie soundtrack, get it reviewed by People magazine and our print friends in the Style section of course, do a layout on the artist in Vogue or GQ - heck even plugging away in the free magazines on an airline.

When big business is pushing something the tentacles reach you from a hundred different outlets in a hundred different ways.

I'm a contrarian when I see that coming I run the other way. Heck the same applies in the art world. If it speaks to you it's awesome. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

Paul Burke
Author-Journey Home

Monday, February 09, 2009

Lionizing The Regan Legacy

Celebrate Arbor day - the trees are more important than any President or ideological dogma will ever be.

Lionizing Regan for governing for the richest 1% only makes sense if you are a billionaire. Otherwise you are just a thoughtless wannabe.

This is a Republic with democratic principles of representation. If only the rich are represented the politicians aren't doing the job. Trickle down was/is the biggest fraud ever foisted on the American public - all trickle down means is that the rich hoard everything and reinvest like a leaky faucet trying to fill up a lake. A trickle is just that - and it ain't much.

Rugged individualism, dog eat dog, free market economy will cure all is childish rhetoric that abandons principled responsibility of oversight and ethics.

Deregulation is just a fancy word for lawlessness.

Without an equitable and sustainable footing the markets will self destruct through greed and selfishness, and that is exactly what is happening.

Don't worship politicians or economic and political theory use your common sense.

Overfishing, polluting your drinking water, nuclear waste piling up with no way of getting rid of it...what are we doing?

When we rig the system to enhance special interest all the special interest are doing is advancing their individual business models - without an eye towards the big picture, the global realities of sustainability and equity necessary for our very survival as a species.

All the wars are fought over the haves and have nots. They dress them up in ideology to win converts and make soldiers. Steer clear of ideology and govern from practical reality.

That's the only way to ensure we do not screw the whole thing up. If anyone starts speaking ideological mumbo jumbo to you whether its economics, politics or religion tell them to shut the hell up and mind their own business.

Common sense is the only way people.