Tuesday, September 6, 2016

White Like Me

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Over the past ten years I've heard quite a bit about the concept of 'White Privilege' from folks on the Left.  I've had e-mails sent to me by well-meaning friends who believed that I would benefit reading about why I am a 'bad person' by the sole virtue of birth to parents who are:  Irish, German, and depending upon which relative you listened...  Perhaps a bit of 'Scot' thrown in for good measure?   
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Am I White?  Aye, yes I am.  Shoot, I'm so White it's hard to look at me on a sunny day without protecting your eyes with thick, polarized lenses.  I'm downright REFLECTIVE in the daylight. 
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So here I sit - White as charged.    
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Given my personal level of 'Whiteness' I've got to figure that there are folks out there who see me as being incredibly privileged.  This will come as a HUGE surprise to my wife (she's White too, just so there's no misunderstanding) who feels that we struggle monthly to get ahead in this 'robust economic recovery' we've been in since President Obama took the helm of the Nation's economic policies.  
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DIGRESSION ALERT IN 3, 2, 1:  
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Just the other day I heard that the economy is growing at pretty darn close to 1.2% in Q2!  This growth is more than TWICE the growth of GDP in Q1 2016 ( 0.5%)For anyone keeping score, Hillary Clinton says she wants to continue President Obama's Economic policies if she's elected...  WooHoo!!!!  How about that!?!?!  
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DIGRESSION ALERT ENDS IN 3, 2,
We now continue the prior post already in progress... 
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However, I've got to wonder, how can people see me as being privileged solely by virtue of my particular 'hue'?  Why do some people feel the need to judge me NOT by the content of my character, but rather, by the color of my skin?  Yes, you've heard that one before, said by a man whose life has had much more import than my own.
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I know it will may some folks on the Left reading these lines upset, angry, and possibly even a bit 'wacky' to learn that I don't feel any guilt over being born the color of an incredibly pale peach 
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But hey folks - here's the news flash...  I have no self-loathing.  You'll have to take that pity party on your own (book early, seats are filling up fast!)
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Puddles the Clown - Bad Puddles, Bad!  You are VERY White!
 
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If you're one of the folks subscribing to the notion of White Privilege (a.k.a.: 'WP') and are looking for self-loathing from the kid here - go find ANY shiny surface around your home and peer deeply into it.  Hate yourself if you like (if it makes you feel 'better'?).  While I may disappoint myself (and others) at times, I believe that my life's condition is pretty much a reflection of my own efforts and good / bad decision-making ability.  While not perfect, I'm pretty happy with me - sorry to disappoint those looking for yours truly to get weepy and bemoan the fact that I'm not something other than I am.  
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I've also heard that if you're White (you, know, like me), that you can't possibly understand what it means to be 'non-white'.  Yeah, maybe so.  Perhaps this is the pale-skinned Americans' 'Get out of Jail Free' card against those unhappy preachers of the 'WP' philosophy?  I mean, how can I know what's it like to be something...  Which I am not?   
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But here's the thing, can a 'non-pale-peach-colored' person know what it's like to be someone 'incredibly White' like me?  Everyone on this planet has his/her own experiences which conspire to make them the person they are today.  While I have done impressions of other people / characters - I don't truly know what it is to BE them.     
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Conversely then, might it also be true that purveyors of 'WP' don't know what it's like to be, you know, White like me?  

Friday, April 22, 2016

So Who Says Juggling In Bed is Weird?

Hi,

It's me.  I'm still (virtually) here, but I've been busy (very, very, busy) since 2015 ended (so abruptly, and unexpectedly, I must add).  There are many things which I've wanted to say, in actuality, there have been WAY TOO many things I've wanted to say - so, I've kept myself to myself and I've kept my 'yap' shut like a good little minion.




Like they say, if you've got nothing nice to say, well, you shouldn't say anything at all.  

So I'm not saying anything today either, but rather, I'm going to let Bernie and Hillary say it all...  

Well, sort of...


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

No Gas Car for You!


Yes, I know that today is New Year's Eve day.  And yup, I also know that your mind (well, my mind, at least) is running a bit slowly following the acres of candy, cookies, and mass quantities of food eaten over the Christmas Holiday with family and friends.  

Although, in reality, this post, and the one it discusses is pretty much about - well, nothing.



Remember when George and Jerry pitched their TV show that was about 'Nothing'?  
The following is a story from HyrbridCars.com; also about 'Nothing'
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Eight States Pledge To Reduce New Gas Car Sales To Zero By 2050 
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Early this month eight U.S. states and five countries pledged to eliminate the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2050. 

In a statement made Dec. 3, 2015 at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, California along with Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont pledged to ban the sale of new cars powered primarily by gasoline and diesel fuels by 2050. 

"Thirteen North American and European governments announced today that they will strive to make all new passenger vehicles in their jurisdictions zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) by no later than 2050,” said a statement issued after the decision. “Achieving this will accelerate the global transition to ZEVs and could reduce transportation sector climate impacts by more than 1 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2050, lowering global vehicle emissions by about 40 percent.”

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The countries of Germany, Norway, Quebec, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom also joined in on the pledge made by the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance, established in 2014.

According to Alex Barnum, deputy secretary, Communications and External Affairs for the California Environmental Protection Agency, this decision however is not meant to be interpreted as a “ban.” 

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These efforts would assist in achieving a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than one billion tons per year by 2050, said the ZEV Alliance.

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It remains to be seen whether the ZEV alliance has the legal authority to impose such a sales restriction, however. 
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The states of California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont have each pledged to ban the sale of new cars powered primarily by gasoline and diesel fuels by 2050 to an organization which (most likely) does not have the authority to impose such a sales restriction.  Interestingly enough, their full proposal ALLOWS you to purchase Hybrid vehicles for the next 34 years, and then, yup, those Hybrid vehicles are 'Out of Here' also, simply because they have gas-powered engines in them.

It's probably just me, but I've got a couple of questions for the pocket-protected-clip-board-toting-tree-hugging geeks who flew to Paris on HUGE HONKING fossil-fuel burning planes about their ZEV Alliance:
 
  • Who elected THEM to vote away my rights for me?  I live in New York State - if these whack jobs get their way, I either need to either buy a non-gas-powered vehicle or drive my current 2013 vehicle for the next 50+ years (I plan on being very, very old when I die).  Like, since when did I move to Castro's Cuba?
  • The ZEV Alliance also wants to provide state monies (incentives to consumers), infrastructure (charging stations paid for by the consumer?), and implement policies that force state agencies to buy ZEV vehicles.  Why?  If these ZEV vehicles are so throw-down excellent, I would think that Americans, Germans, Brits, and others would be flocking to buy these electrified shopping carts with roofs.  What's with taking money away from the poor, the homeless, and the hungry to provide 'Cash Back!' to rich people so they can buy a vehicle which won't survive a head-on collision with a squirrel?
  • Which technologies will individual States DICTATE that we need to use?  Midwest states could, I guess, use corn (which used to be cheap food for feeding the poor, chickens, and cows - but, no more) and convert it into fuel, the southern states might choose Solar Power, but up here in the northeast, what, are supposed our vehicles supposed to run on distilled arrogance or something?  And if you move from a state with a vehicle 'running on sunshine' to one which requires that you 'run on arrogance', what then?  Perhaps the state will issue you a vehicle that you can return prior to leaving and pick up the new official state vehicle when you get where you're going?  Sure, that'd be swell - thanks for that ZEV Alliance!
  • AND if they decide we all ought to be driving Electric Vehicles, any ideas where the electricity will be coming from?  We don't build nuclear power plants any longer, Obama wants to do away with coal, so this leaves, hmm...  Fossil-fuel powered plants!
  • Who's going to replace state and federal infrastructure spending provided by Highway Taxes which come from buying a gallon of gasoline?  Huh?  Who's going for fix that concrete stretch of twisted, broken, pavement I take to work every day?  Huh?  Huh?  Huh?  Whaaaat, whaaaaatttt about meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!?!?!?!
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Oh, sorry, I let my inner Liberal / Progressive get out for a second - it won't happen again. 
 
In the end, this Hybridcars article is a story about nothing other than a bunch of people flying on fossil-fuel burning mega-planes, meeting, drinking (an assumption on my part - or perhaps Marijuana is legal in France?) waxing philosophic about the perfect world they believe your kids should have, and then holding a press conference to discuss their ban; which a member of the committee described after, as 'not actually being a ban'.
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Unfortunately, this is how most Bad Ideas are born - bureaucrats release whatever group-thought random synaptic firings and they see what happens once they are released into the ether.  If we are complacent about them, they'll take the next steps until we're driving ZEV cars powered by Hummus while wondering, "How did this happen?"
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It happened because you were busy living your life (it's what we do).  Someone else, of course, is busily trying to control your life because they know what you need better than you do.  As for me, I plan on being 'room temperature' by 2050 so if any of the above lunacy happens I'll leave this weirdness behind and take joyful memories of driving large fossil-fuel-powered vehicles with me.
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Drive on America.  Drive on...  Before the Grave Digger gets you.



Sunday, December 6, 2015

Climate Change - Pre-hysterical Climate Change

Image:  Investors Business Daily
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Yup, you've heard it before, and you'll hear it again today.  YOU (personally) are destroying the Earth!  Bad human!   Bad!!!
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As a by-product of your existence - you harm the planet which nurtures, feeds, and loves you (and loves you without measure).  Without YOU the Earth will be a beautiful, natural, vibrant place full of wonderful animals which will live harmoniously together, hug each other, run playfully, and frolic endlessly across fields full of wild flowers, orchids, and the occasional bit of broken concrete and brick-front where the Wendy's fast food joint stood just several thousand years earlier (a remnant left from the bad old days of...  Humans). 
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Ah, what a wonderful world it will be when we quit stinking up the joint with our constant carbon-heavy presence!  
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Too bad we'll never be there to enjoy it, you know, because we're all be gone...
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Okay, now that you've had your moment of Zen, it's time to get to the actual topic of the post, which I'll get to with great haste.  The introduction above was for the benefit of those deluded humans who HATE themselves (and you) for being born, and, just to keep the record straight (and also so they won't feel so completely alone)...   
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I HATE them too.  
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I don't know about them, but I sure do feel better for saying / typing that out loud.  
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Today's oft-deferred post IS actually about Climate Change.  No, no, no, not Man-Made Climate Change (for more detail on 'MMCC' reference any speech made by President Obama in the past two months since Terrorism has become 'popular' again), but I am speaking specifically about your basic "Earth-Made Climate Change" (feel free to use this new terminology just to tick the glassy-eyed 'Earth Firsters' off). 
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I came across an article which warmed me to my very core.  It was based upon 'Science' (and as you know, 97% of Scientists agree that 'Science' is 'Cool' and chicks LOVE the pocket-protector and white lab coat!) unfortunately, this particular bit of Science presents a conundrum for the planet-hugging folks on the Left because, well, while it IS science, it's not science that they will approve of...  
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It won't allow them to pull money out of your pockets.

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Earth, the Final Frontier
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Ancient Tropical Forest Found in Norway
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An ancient tropical forest found in Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, may explain one of the most dramatic climatic shifts in Earth's history. Some 400 million years ago, Earth's atmosphere witnessed a 15-fold reduction in carbon dioxide. Climate scientists have long tried to account for the drop.
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Some scientists believe it was the rise of forests just like the one found in Norway that precipitated the change. As the planet came to host large plants for the first time, the mighty tropical trees sucked millions of tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.   
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The newly unearthed forest -- dated at 380 million years old and with its tree stumps preserved still in their upright positions -- may mark the beginning of the transition from small plants and grasses to large tree forests.
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"These fossil forests shows us what the vegetation and landscape were like on the equator 380 million years ago, as the first trees were beginning to appear on the Earth," researcher Chris Berry, a professor of earth sciences at Cardiff University, said in a press release.
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Over the course of the ancient forest's long existence, the now-frozen trees have enjoyed a lengthy journey. During the Devonian period, 420 to 360 million years ago, the Norwegian archipelago was part of Laurasia, one of two supercontinents along with Gondwana. The ancient trees grew up near the equator, several hundred miles south of their current home.
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The forest's discovery supports the theory that the emergence of forests led to a drop in CO2 levels. In addition to sucking up more carbon dioxide, the tall trees also helped block out more of the sun's radiation. Slowly, the planet cooled to temperatures closer to today's. .
Sunny (and Tropical) Oslo, Norway
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So, Chris Berry, Earth Sciences Professor at Cardiff University, reports that the Earth's Climate HAS changed, continents have shifted, and temperatures / CO2 levels rise and fell over the past 420 MILLION years without the intervention of...  Man???  
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What manner of dark sorcery is this?  Who does this dude think he is?  White lab coat or not, somebody needs to have a talk with this guy because he is using the scientific method in describing Earth Made Climate Change.  If our President has anything to do with it, they're going to pull this guy's Pocket Protector, and repo the Lab Coat. 
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It's a shame, really, Professor Berry seems like a guy I'd like to have a beer with.  Unlike this guy...
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Barack Obama releases CO2 in France
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"I've come here personally, as the leader of the world's largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it."
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"Here in Paris, let's also make sure that these resources flow to the countries that need help preparing for the impacts of climate change that we can no longer avoid. We know the truth that many nations have contributed little to climate change but will be the first to feel its most destructive effects. For some, particularly island nations — whose leaders I'll meet with tomorrow — climate change is a threat to their very existence. And that's why today, in concert with other nations, America confirms our strong and ongoing commitment to the Least Developed Countries Fund. And tomorrow, we'll pledge new contributions to risk insurance initiatives that help vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate-related disasters."  - President Barack Obama, November, 2015
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Does it seem strange to anyone besides me that the President ALWAYS seems to make it 'about him' while managing to yet again blame America (you name it POTUS, we're guilty as sin) in his opening remarks?  And then to show his gratitude for being invited by the U.N. he spoke for 14 minutes, roughly 11 minutes longer than the U.N. requested.  I wonder how much CO2 he added to the environment from this single speech?  
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And what will our 'commitment' to the Least Developed Countries Fund cost us ($248 MILLION - sorry, I had to look), knowing that we don't have enough health providers (or funding) to support our Veterans and protect our borders?  
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If I were writing the check, which in reality, all of US are - I would prefer to support the people who protect and defend our Nation, rather than those who are looking to shake US down for cash for perceived injustices over the past four hundred years.  WHY do we need organizations like Paralyzed American Veterans and Wounded Warrior Project?  Shouldn't the Federal Government be providing the necessary care for our wounded Veterans? 
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And if the organizations are necessary, then might each of these organizations benefit from a $125 MILLION cash injection to care for our Veterans?  
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Yeah, that's what I thought...