Thursday, January 27, 2011

And the Revolution will be led by...Retired State Employees and Burned Municipal Bond Holders?

Quietly and behind the scenes (until now), Republicans have been floating bills to allow states to go bankrupt so they can renege on public employee pensions and municipal bond obligations. Please read the New York Times article  (and others) below. Make sure to read the comments from angry retired public employees!:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Martin Luther King Day 2011

MLK day passed sleepily for us yesterday. We enjoyed a wonderful day at the Seattle Woodland Zoo where many, many parents and children found peace and quiet from their busy, hard-working yet humble lives. I may have seen two children yesterday with skin color indicative of "mixed" marriage.  However, no African-Americans do I remember seeing. But then I don't remember seeing many native-Americans, or Hispanics  (besides my wife), some Asians, some Indo-Europeans perhaps. But largely our day inside the great liberal metropolis of Seattle, like most days in the large and small cities of the Pacific Northwest  was spent browsing amidst a sea of white faces. It does cost $90 for a three person family membership to Seattle Woodland Zoo. After $5.75 for all day parking, the wonderful cafeteria, some trinkets at the two gift stores, $2.00 per carousel ride, gas from Bellingham...You get the picture - even without the  membership purchase, it is still a $50 day for a family of three.  Not exactly working-class priced entertainment.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

"Inside Job"

"Inside Job"  now playing at the Pickford Cinema is a draining film to watch: the real life nightmare of the economic collapse plays out before your eyes.  The film recited, to full house this Saturday night, the detail, players and outlines of the  economic collapse. The film mercilessly impugns the financial logic and intentions of the United States Government and the financial regulatory and capitalist institutions that comprise Wall Street. There have been a number of significant authors that have described the causes and consequences of  the recent economic collapse [1].  However this film, narrated by Matt Damon, succeeds in indicting the intentions of government and capitalism with a certainty and bombast that makes Michael Moore's documentaries look downright friendly.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The President's Speech in Tucson

This excerpt is from President Barack Obama's speech in Tucson:

"So sudden loss causes us to look backward - but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we've shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame - but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others." 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords and Solar Power

Congressperson Gabrielle Giffords is one of the nation's strongest supporters of solar energy. You can see this on her "Solar Energy Pageand on every part of social media that she participates in. On her website, you can read her very wonky "Solar Power" blog complete with an informative January 7th post on updated Solar News and Links. Congressperson Giffords has also given extensive testimony on the value of Solar Energy and sponsored initiatives designed to jump start solar power in the United States and the American Southwest. You can see this  enthusiasm on her Youtube Channel in this videoIn that speech, she describes the amount of solar energy available in the state of Alaska as "having the same solar [potential resources] as Germany". Gabrielle Giffords, who miraculously survived brain surgery after being shot in the head by a "lone assassin" yesterday,  has fashioned her political identity with bravery; she has been willing to support and sponsor legislation which would have reduced oil company tax breaks and national dependency on imported oil. In this video,  Ms. Giffords speaks bravely about vandalism attacks on her office and having oil and gas champion Sarah Palin put Giffords in "gunsight crosshairs". Ms. Giffords, who is fully integrated in the world of social networking, has facebook, twitter, and flickr sites that can be followed.  I suggest everyone who cares about solar energy subscribe to her feeds.  Be well, damsel of the Sun and Earth; your citizens need you.