So my best wife’s best friend (also my daughters and one of mine) is visiting.
I often use my blog to whine pathetically. Well, I’ve nothing to complain about. The house is spotless and echoes with the laughter for friends. My usual good place to be is a very good place.
Ok heres the skinny on the carbon footprint. Carbon footprint is merely a measuring stick to judge the environmental impact of a action, nation, business etc. A measuring stick is useless unless you have a good reason to measure things. (Knowing how many kronz one thing is and how many kronz another is doesn’t help you even though both are measured in the same units. You have to have some sort of purpose or object in the measuring first.)
Carbon footprint would not exist but to serve as a coin for a tax scheme called Carbon Tax. The bigger the carbon footprint the higher the tax.
The theory behind the carbon tax is good, but a little involved. Market is a function of property laws. In fact, you can nearly say Market = property laws. A market is volutary exchange. If the property laws do not allow private property, the voluntary exchanges simply goes underground (The USSR estimated that toward the end over 90% of the GNP was coming from the black market.) Why are controlled substances expensive? The market. Demerol costs more than asprin because anyone can make or sell asprin. Heroin costs more than both because no one can make or sell it. Where property laws are weakly enforced (or as in the case of drug laws impossible to enforce in the first place) the free market cannot enter and drive down price while increasing quality.
Pollution is a problem of property law. Air and water public spaces. All public places have rules to make sure that no person exercising their rights interferes with the rights of others. Roads, for example, have speed limits. You have a right to pursue happiness anyway you want, including dramatic death in a fiery car crash. You do NOT have a right to take unwilling participants with you, so we have speed limits on the public roads.
The goal of a carbon tax is to make sure that the more one puts into the public space, the more one provides to the public funds. Companies can get out of paying the tax in cash by putting in an equal amount of carbon sinks. For instance, if coal power plant put many acres of alfalfa to seed, the alfalfa would catch as much carbon as the coal puts up, and the net pollution is zero. Since the tax is collected corporate wide, it keeps the company from running clean operations in the industrialized world at the expense of the developing world.
When the carbon footprint is applied to an individuals life instead of a massive corporation, its no longer about the tax, its become a sort of spiritual inventory.
Spiritual inventory is good and right, and there is a right time to fast, but there is also a time to feast. The balance of life is some fasting, some feasting and much simply being. Extremism is natural response to a mainstream philosophy gone awry. Mainstream turns freedom to license,and extremist crop up, some saying feast all the time, some saying fast. The key is neither. Life isn’t about feasting or fasting, those things add purpose and punctuation to existence, but meaningful existence is about being.
Everything we do has an impact on everything around us. The dirt, the air, the people we know and people we’ll never meet are all effected by not only our actions but even sometimes our thoughts. True happiness comes from neither ignoring the impact nor obsessing about it, but giving each impact the thought that it deserves. Some impacts deserve little thought and some much.
When the carbon footprint is used as spiritual inventory it helps put things in focus. Lets say you have a 99% efficient butt wiper. 99% efficient would mean that that appliance would be the most efficient product you own! But its not efficient, that single watt that it uses is a total waste because you don’t need it in the first place. The carbon footprint theory can help you see things like that.
The man who never uses the elevator to get to the 50th floor is no more and no less sick and unbalanced than the worker who never uses the stairs to go the 2nd floor. One wastes hours of his life because he doesn’t value it, the other wastes kilowatts of electricity because he doesn’t value anyone else’s life.
There is no “far enough away” everywhere is someone’s backyard. Yes, the man described was an extremist. Like all extremists he can only assess his value by looking at others and seeing how different he is. (The extremist is always doomed, by the way. If he effects society in the way he hopes, he suddenly have no value or he must become extreme to a new ideal.) But, what if all people sought balance with the same fervor. Should everyone have electricity? Absolutely, it adds greatly to quality of life. Does everyone really need 21kwh a day??? Of course not, and the earth won’t sustain energy production at those levels for more than a few years if they become global average rather than America/Euro average. Its all about balance.
I hope more people do you the carbon footprint to inventory their lives. Don’t forget that its about net effect anyway? Concerned about your carbon? You could live in misery, like a some sort of serf. Or you could plant a tree! Compost, ride a bike, drive less, etc. There are a 1000 things you can do to have a positive impact instead of a negative one. When you die, you’re carbon doesn’t add to the problem, it shows the path: a cycle. You live, you take, you receive, you give, you die, your carbon makes grass. The grass goes into the life cycle and it all keeps going.
Finally, the biblical command to “subdue the earth” isn’t about an adversarial relationship with the earth, its about a partnering with the earth so that both the earth and Man benefit. If man’t benefits at the earth’s expense, then in a 100 years or so, man won’t benefit either. (The Sahara is largely the result of gross over farming.) We can all have a pleasant way of life most of the time, but we are not entitled to constant growth or a great way of life all the time!
People go to war for many reasons, but the cause of war is always about scarcity. When the top 5% exploit rather than partner the other 95% the result has always been, is currently, and will continue to be war. If man had enough of everything, wars would still be fought, but freedom and partnership go a long way! If more people don’t start making spiritual inventories and deciding that maybe life really might be just as good without an SUV as with one, western society will collapse under the weight of the whoever the newest exploitation based society is, because they will be the ones with the fullest mines, deepest canyons (for hydropower), and richest forests. The continued growth model only benefits the most audacious resources user.
I really hate my coworkers. I mean, not like violently, or even be rudely. I just can’t stand what they do. They tease. They poke fun. They make little snips. I don’t do these things to others I ask they don’t do it to me. I don’t want to be their friend, I don’t want to be included in their pointless conversations. I don’t care whats on TV. I don’t care how “f***ed up” they got this weekend. I don’t care about their opinions on the war, on politics, on religion. I am not one of them. I don’t want to be one of them. I don’t think I’m better, just different. The only thing I want from all of them is to be left the heck alone? Why is that so hard for people?
There is no magic. But there are miracles. Example: Come fall, farmer John sells his crop and saves the money. He takes care of all of his animals all winter so they bear many young. Come spring he sells the young to by seed. He plants the seeds and fights the weeds and thieves etc. Then he brings in the harvest to be sold and repeat the process again.
Life is a miracle. That tiny seeds should burst with life and take minerals, water, and nutrients from the soil, that the pigs and cows a chickens should make more pigs and cows and chickens is a miracle. A tiny bit of male DNA, a tiny bit of female DNA. Two tiny proteins in soup simple acids and sugars lock together and create Life. Thats nothing less than a miracle.
Everything that Farmer John does is sustained by miracles. But if Farmer John slacks off, then the miracles will get him nowhere. All the miracles in the world won’t keep him and his family fed. If the miracle of life rots in the field, and then starves in the barn (because the food rotted) the miracle of Life grinds down, to death. The life of the plants are wasted, so the life of the animals are wasted, so Farmer John has no income. He can’t eat and has nowhere to live. Then his life is wasted.
On one end Life, on the other Hard Work. And the world spins around the axis. There is no room for Magic. Magic is when a person demands a miracle without hard work. Farmer John doesn’t plant his field, prays for a miracle of plants, and curses God when nothing happens. God, as I understand Him, can do whatever he wants. He is able to grow a green field out of nothing. But he doesn’t very often. There are miracles all around us, use the miracles you have and you will find that you don’t often need to pray for any others.
I think the single thing that bothers me most in the world is the belief in Magic, or among Christians, the belief that God is Magic, rather then miraculous. Everyone I know complains about the government. What does it take to change a government? Well, hard work. In our country all you need to do is vote, but to vote wisely is a lot of work. You have to think sometimes very deeply about complicated issues. For most, magic is a fare easier solution.
“Every year I vote for the same party that let me down last year and expect that because I really care, things will be different this time.” See, thats not going to work, its called magic thinking, believing that you can change reality with your thoughts. Reality is just that. And the universe is unmoved by your sincerity, or other peoples lack of it. We have corrupt politicians because people would rather complain than 1.Vote 2.Work 3. Fund change, or 4. Revolt. Pretty freakin’ simple.
The Church is terrible about this, perhaps the worst. The see how the world should be and demand that everyone get on board. Abortion is a good example. Personally, I think its unjustifiable homicide in 99.99% of all the cases. That said, I think the Church really, really doesn’t get what they should do about it. Over and over again, I hear people say “No one should have an abortion, they should put the kid up for adoption.”
Did you notice the little shift is responsibility there? Christians say “this person is not meeting the morals of scripture, THEY should fix that about themselves.” Um, no. If you have a problem with abortion then start adopting. If Medicare will give women money to get abortions start paying them MORE not too. In countries where abortion is still illegal (ie Catholic ones) guess what the leading reason for getting an abortion is? Social rejection. In a place like Italy for example, if a woman has a baby and no husband everyone knows she’s a whore. But if she quietly has an abortion she only has to deal with condemnation from the mirror, not everyone she knows. And who leads the charge that girl who has sex out of wedlock is a whore? Well the same people who demand that no one get an abortion. In fact in Italy the situation is SO bad, that hospitals now have drop boxes for babies to be given to adoption anonymously. This way the mother can give the child up for adoption with out having to put her name on record.
Homosexuality is another one. I hear the phrase all the time from the conservative right “homosexual agenda”. That one really cracks me up. Lets go over something really basic here
What product to TV networks sell to advertisers for millions of dollars a minute? An audience. When you watch a TV commercial the product is not the toothpaste. The product is YOU. The TV network sells its viewers to the advertisers. If Will & Grace offends you, DON’T WATCH. I know that pretty complicated, so let me make this really clear: IF YOU DON’T WATCH THE SHOWS THAT BOTHER YOU, THEN YOU WON’T BE WATCHING THE ADS IN THEM, AND YOU WON’T BUY THE CRAP. THE TV NETWORK WILL CHARGE LESS AND LESS FOR THE AUDIENCE OF THAT SHOW, AND EVENTUALLY THE PLUG WILL BE PULLED ON IT. The homosexual agenda is this Fags are people too. Is that really so shocking to the Church? Divorced people are people. Fat people are people (gluttony is the Christian sin of choice). Poor people are people. Why can’t fags be people?
But its magic thinking. People think “I don’t like homos” Which is fine, no one says you have to like them. Then they think “Homos are evil”, which is OK for Christians to think, because the Bible says that everybody is evil (All men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God). Then, this where they trip they think “Because fags creep me out and I don’t like them, they must be part of a vast conspiracy to take over the way we think and make our kids what to hump their same sex friends.”
Um, no. Its that same thing. I feel very strongly about this. Thus is must reflect reality. Its amazing what people will believe if they just find a group of people who feel as strongly about it as they do. Christians get it all wacky because they get magic and God confused. Here’s sort of a top 10.
The Christian “I feel really strongly about this so its the will of God” List:
10. We’re not going to have sex, we’re just going to make out. (This is nuts! But it happens all the time. Kids race up to the edge of a cliff and count on God helping them hit the brakes at the last minute.)
9. Its God’s will for me to be celibate right now. (ie, I want a spouse but everyone I know is a loser.)
8. That not my calling (ie, I really don’t want to do that.)
7. God hasn’t opened the door yet (I really want to do something I don’t have the money or education for. )
6. When you do X to support me you’re partnering with me and God in my ministry. (I really enjoy doing X, but can’t make a living at it. )
5. I am waiting on the Lord (I want a guarantee that if I bust my butt God will do it my way.)
4. We just don’t have the faith that they do! (I want something God isn’t giving me, and that must be someone’s fault.)
4. The Lord hasn’t given me peace about it. (That freaks me out. So, God doesn’t like it either.)
3. Homosexuals are an abomination. (Fags give me the willies, so God finds them particularly evil. )
2. The Lord has called us to poverty right now. (There has to be a good reason that I can’t pay the rent.)
1. I really felt a spirit of negativity… (You don’t like me. You’re from Satan.)
The stupidity is amazing. It washes over me in waves and suffocates me. Forgive me if I am to deeply in touch with the inner liberal today, rather than the inner conservative. Here is the news:
President Bush has appointed a general to oversee the Joint Chiefs of Staff, The CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and keep the president “informed”. No, fellow students of history, I am not kidding. He really appointed a general to oversee the military and civilian intelligence gathering groups. If anyone reading this is so stupid they don’t know what that means or why its a bad idea, I will not spell it out for you. Or perhaps just one word “Principate“.
GM, after of 30 years of selling heavy, gas guzzling, death traps that weren’t put together that well has mysteriously fallen to 2nd place in the world car market. Experts are debating possible causes and suggest the solution may have 3 steps: (1.) Produce the cars for less (2.) Make more money per car (3.) Sell more cars.
Oh, and Walmart is ruining America by selling things that people like for less than other companies. Even worse, their employees, who have no real skills and make more at Walmart than the companies Walmart competes with, don’t make as much as surgeons. Thus Walmart is evil.
Leading financial institutions report that giving loans to people who don’t really qualify for them means higher interest rates for longer terms. The bank making money on patsies depends on a good faith effort by the patsies to keep up payments. Recently, America’s cancerous expansion paused for a moment, causing the “sub-prime housing market” to go down the tubes. “Sub-prime housing market” is a really nice way to say “the brown people the bank has been bending over for years”.
And experts predict that the big issues in the next election will be the war in Iraq and abortion. Glad we have the experts.
Note: the subject tag is Latin. It means either “Only barbarians are killed by foolishness” or “Dream only of killing barbarians”, Frankly, I’m comfortable with both.
So, I’m fed up the cars that are available and I’m going to build my own. No, I am totally serious. I am really sick of the new improved cars that keep showing up. Mine is going to have 3 wheels Not because I like 3 wheels, I think they’re stupid. No, because then I can title it as a motorcycle and not have to jump threw a bunch of extra, stupid hoops. You’ve been warned.
I’ve so much to say, and I darest not. But this I must say, because it pushes me almost to breaking.
I was ordered to write a request for an award in the required style. I do not believe in self promotion, but I believe in following the orders that I took an oath to follow. I wrote the request and I followed the template perfectly. But, refusing to be part of the game, I took it completely over the top. I used words to describe myself and my actions that no sane person would use. I will give you only one, shameful example “paragon of virtue”. Yes, I really said that.
I knew that by using such preposterous verbiage my request would be seen as the pure pap that it was.
Unfortunately, my superiors definition of good writing is writing that contains words that you must look up in a dictionary.
I am now “a good writer”. I won an award for my dedication and hard work. My name is on a plaque by the door. If there is a hard worker somewhere out there, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
In all my life, I have never been so humiliated by any abuse as I have been by these compliments. I joined to be proud of who I am. Tonight I feel only shame.
Wow. Its been a while since I wrote. Often, when that is the case it is because I have something really deep on my heart, or something I’m finding frustrating with work and I can’t really say until I figure out a way to say it that cast no shadow on my job. But, not lately. Lately, I just don’t care to write. I don’t have any big problems to work out by writing or any new ideas I haven’t shared.
I’ve started riding my bike to work and lifting weights regularly, which seems to lower my general stress level quite a bit.
I have a lizard. I caught it in my pajamas this morning. Why a 2 1/2″ sand lizard was in my pajamas I have no idea, but right now he is in an upside jar on my kitchen counter. For having legs about 3/8″ long he was very quick, and I had a hard time catching him. My cat, the mighty domesticated predator, was no help at all, though he was fascinated.
It sort of brings me to my next point. I hate Mississippi. I hate the ignorant people, the filthy streets, the grubby stores, and the stink. The bayou smells, smells like rot and the whole coast reeks of it. All the fat stupid people with their bad teeth and horrible English are so freakin’ proud of their “history”. Their history is 200+ years of oppression and ignorance, but they don’t care. The bank was closed the other day. For Confederate Memorial Day. Thats progress right there. I took my daughter out for a ride in our bike trailer. No one here had ever seen a bike trailer before. They oohed and aahed about how unique and clever it is and how they had never seen one before (Burely started making bike trailers in ’77). Their are no ATMS. The gas stations take cash only. After much search I finally found a place that knows how to make a cup of coffee, it only took 6 weeks. The library wants 2 forms of proof of address, a social security card, and picture ID to give you a card. Then its a $500 fine if you lose a book. The 600 sections are very poor (the 600 section is the part of the library that teaches you things. Its were the how to stuff is.) and since thats 90% of what I go to the library for, it really sucks.