Friday, December 4, 2009

Beer Drinker's Guide to Global Warming

The other day I got into a conversation about global warming with a friend of mine. No matter what facts I would present, many of which he agreed were valid, he would dismiss their credibility with what he thought was his trump card. That trump card is that fact that the average global temperature has only changed a fraction of a degree. So, how could there be global warming if the world was not getting appreciably warmer?

After a little more discussion, I was able to give him a smaller example of global warming that explains why global warming can occur, but the global average temperature not spike. The example seemed to work, so I decided to modify my little example so more anti-global warming people could relate to it. Here goes.

Let’s say I am a Tea Party member on a warm summer day. I plan to go to a Tea Party rally being held the next day in a nearby town and I need to prepare for it. I head down to the local convenience store and buy a 20-pack of Coors and a couple of bags of ice. As I drive back home I wonder how all those northeast, Harvard educated, intellectuals could be so stupid. It might be a warm day, but it is the summer and it is no warmer then I could remember. When I arrive back at home, I go out onto the porch and throw the beer and ice into a cooler.

While the beer cools down, I head back into the house to get my hand gun. I want it to be clean and shinny for the rally. No self-respecting Tea Party member would show up at a rally with a dirty gun on their hip. I finish cleaning the gun, put it away safely and head to the cooler to see if the beer is cold. To my luck, the mountains on the can are blue.

As I start drinking that first beer, I start thinking about what I want on the poster I am going to bring to the rally. As I drain the last drops out of the can of beer, I decide that I will go for shock value and head to my computer. In a matter of minutes I have a picture of Hitler printing out. I grab an old poster board, which my daughter used for one of school projects, and head back to the porch picking up other supplies on the way.

I grab another beer from the cooler and I notice that although the ice level is going down, the mountains are still blue. As I put together my poster I marvel at the similarities between Hitler and the President. Hitler blamed a small percentage of his countries population for all the countries problems to gain control and then proceeded to try to exterminate 12 million people. Our elected President is calling for everyone to work together to solve his country’s problems including finding a way to give everyone affordable healthcare. While I finish the poster, I drain the beer. As I go for another beer, I re-think how eerie the resemblance is. I put the poster inside the house and as I start thinking about my next task the telephone rings.

I answer the phone and it is my cousin George with some great news. George tells me that he was called back to work at the automobile parts supplier. He was laid off 18 months ago due to the economic slowdown. The timing could not be better since the extended unemployment checks he was getting were about to run out. I am not sure how to feel about this since his company supplies parts to GM. As I think about George and his family my eye is caught by a copy of Glenn Beck’s latest book on the counter. I quickly tell George that I am glad for him, but have a lot to do. We end the call without having to get into a discussion about how this country is going socialist. George just does not understand that this country would be better off if the President just let GM, and Chrysler, fail. I don’t even want to tell him that I agree with Rush and support a boycott of GM even though it means some of my friends, neighbors, and relatives will lose their jobs. They will be martyrs in the fight against the socialist President.

I notice the time and realize that I only have a couple of minutes before Sarah will be on T.V. for an interview. Thanks twitter for the heads up. I grab another beer, with blue mountains, and turn on the television. The interviewer asks her a “Birther” question. Sarah holds her ground in that it is still a legitimate issue even though many in her party have publicly said it is nonsense. She is such a maverick. ;-)

The mail should have been delivered by now, so I grab another beer, notice that about half the ice has melted, and head out to check the mailbox. I check the label of the can and the mountains are still blue. As I walk to the mailbox I think about the great buy I got on the cooler. Half the ice is melted, but the beers are still as cold as that first one.

The mail only has two pieces of any importance. The first is a note from my credit card company telling me that my interest rate is going up. I wonder how much more money it will be before I payoff that HDTV I bought last year. The other piece of mail is a doctor’s bill. Seems I still have not reached my deductable, but I am still glad since I remember that the tests were for my son and that the tests showed my son did not have a rare disease. If he did it would have cost a fortune and when he was older he would not have been able to get his own health insurance.

I head back to the porch and grab a couple of beers and then head to the garage so I could wash my new Mazada Tribute. I lament that it is too bad that Americans can’t build the same kind of quality vehicles as the Japanese. The lack of quality must be because of those evil unions. I remain totally ignorant of the fact that the vehicle was produced in a Kansas City plant.

I finish the car wash and head back inside. I grab one more beer and notice the ice is mostly gone, but the can I grab still has those wonderful blue mountains. They are more of a light blue, but still cold enough to drink. I head back inside to finish up the last few tasks I need to get done to prepare for the rally.

After finishing everything up, I head back to the porch for a final beer and to just sit on porch looking out at my collection of vintage cars scattered in the backyard rusting. I go into the cooler for that last beer to find a little ice left, but not enough to keep the beer’s mountains blue. As I close the lid to the cooler, I thank G-d that global warming is only a myth or else I would have had to drink more then one warm beer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man

What would happen if all of a sudden everyone in the United States became rich? By rich, I mean never have to work again rich. In a nutshell, if everyone became rich a great many bad things would happen. I give the answer based on what I would do. I myself would not do anything bad, but on a national level bad things would happen.

After becoming rich, I would probably quit my job and become a fulltime blogger. It is not that I dislike my job, in fact I very much enjoy it, it is just that a job is still a job. Imagine how fast people would leave a job that they did not like. Who would do those jobs?

There would be the adrenaline junkies to take some of the more exciting jobs, but we would probably still not have enough policemen and firemen. Most of the people who still wanted have a job would probably become teachers. In the end, we would not have enough people to do some of the basic things we need done to keep the economy, and the country, going.

We would probably see inflation. For example, a housing bubble would occur since people would now have the money for that second home and/or waterfront property. Large screen TVs would fly off the shelves and luxury autos would sell out.

People from around the world would flock to the U.S. for the jobs that are now available. This would surely mean illegal immigrants and would put a strain on our society due to the influx of people. Not to mention the strain on the health-care system and the infrastructure. Thank God that everyone can’t all of a sudden become rich.

Unfortunately something almost as bad can happen. People can start thinking like they are rich. If you do not believe me, just think about our country’s current economic situation and how we got here.

Today’s economic woes can be traced to two things; the belief that everyone deserves to be able to buy a house and the belief that buying a house means that you are rich. Since more people started buying houses there was a housing bubble. For an extended period of time, the people who bought the houses thought that the extra equity in the house made them rich. They went out and bought a new car, a large screen TV, went on vacation, and sometime upgraded to an even larger house. I know families that remortgaged their houses, to the maximum allowed, so they could go on vacation.

At some point reality set in and the bills came due. People found out that they were not as rich as they though. Houses were lost and people started to cut back. The problem now is that our thinking has sung in the other direction. We now think we are poor. Even people with secure and good paying jobs are cutting back on spending. Is saving a bad thing? Not in and of itself, but the current delusion of poverty is only making the effects of the delusion of wealth worse.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Don't Bring Me Down

Now that the election is over the blame games starts. In fact, it started before the actual vote. So, why did the Republicans do so badly. A major part was the economy, but it was not all of the problem. The economy gave John McCain an uphill battle to fight, but I feel he could still have won. Why do I say that? Well, as a social Democrat and economic Republican, I might have voted for John McCain if he did a few things differently. The most important of which was for him to be himself.

So, what are the things that made me strongly go for Barack Obama. First off, John McCain changed from the person he was eight years ago. I was hoping he only changed to get the nomination, but events indicated otherwise. Then, he went and picked Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin might be a good candidate sometime in the future, but she obviously just was not ready. She energized the Republican base, but she turned off independants and conservative Democrats. When John McCain's VP choice was announced, I told my wife that he just gave the election to the Demacrats.

Why did I think that? For the most part, it meant to me that John McCain had really changed from what he was in 2000. That John McCain would have not picked Sarah Palin as his running mate. It meant I could not really trust him to be that common sense maverick that he had been for so many year.

There were other things that bothered me later on, but the Palin pick was a big one. I won't spend to much time on other things that just reinforced my belief that John McCain was different. John McCain did not handle the economic meltdown well. This includes his "the fundementals are sound" comments and his handling of the bailout. The final straw was when he stopped talking about real issues and just started talking about how bad a person his opponent was.

Overall, John McCain might have won if he only was himself. Sarah Palin was only a symptom of that problem.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

White Wedding

Does it really matter if there might, or might not, be a white wedding in the future of the Palin family. Actually, yes it does matter.

I don't care that Sarah Palin's daughter is pregnant out of wedlock and at the age of 17. Even if she conceived at the age of 16, the pregnancy is not the real issue. Nor is the issue that she is keeping the child, something I strongly support, or even that Sarah Palin does not advocate sex education and the use of birth control. The issue is everything going on in Sarah Palin's family and how Sarah Palin's family is not the priority in her life.

Sarah Palin was flying around the country until the day before her youngest child was born. I am not a doctor, but when my wife was pregnant, we were told not to do any air travel or long road trips in the last trimester. I am sure that she got similar advice. Did the travel cause her child to have down syndrome? Obviously not. Could it have cause additional complications, maybe. It was more important to personally go to a meeting then sending the lieutenant Governor and staying home. Something I am sure everyone would have understood.

Another problem I have with Sarah Palin's actions after the birth of her last child is that she actually took the VP nomination. Sarah Palin has a special needs child which, if she is elected, she will probably only see the baby occasionally at best.

It just shows that Sarah Palin puts politics over family. Is that a bad thing? I don't really have an answer except that I would have made a different decision. In my life, I left a higher paying job for a job at about half the pay to be available to my family more of the time, and I did not have the family issues that Sarah Palin does. Add to this the fact that Sarah Palin puts herself out there as a social conservative "family values" politician.

On keys issues Sarah Palin is as right as they come. Sarah Palin is for teaching "intelligent design (creationism)" in schools and for not giving adequate health care to 47 million people. I could go on, but it I don't want to dilute this post.

I will finish up by saying that Sarah Palin should have gracefully declined the McCain offer. Sarah Palin would have accomplished to important things by doing so. First, Sarah Palin would have proven that should was willing to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. Secondly, Sarah Palin could have continued doing the needed service of cleaning up politics in Alaska. Although, I guess Sarah Palin had shown her ambitious side when she left the simple job of Mayor to become Governor.

Maybe if Sarah Palin stayed the Mayor of a small town, with about 50 public servants under her control, her daughter would have been able to have a white wedding.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rough Sex

I just want to start out by saying that I am not promoting rough sex of any kind. I do not think that there is any justification for hitting, or hurting, someone else outside of self preservation. It is just that I see it as something that is in line with something Ann Coulter would say. If you look at some her quotes below, you will understand why I feel this way;

  • "If I'm going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I'll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot."
  • "I was going to have a few comments about John Edwards but you have to go into rehab if you use the word faggot." --at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference
  • "I'm more of a man than any liberal."
  • "We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee. That's just a joke, for you in the media."
  • "Liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole."
  • "We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals."
  • "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity."
With the excessive amount of stupid rhetoric that comes out of Ann Coulter's mouth it always surprises me that anyone buys her books, watches her on television, or cares what she says. When I did a brief informal poll I found out something surprising, both my liberal and conservative friends think she is crazy.

So I tired to figure out why she has an audience and I came up with this hypothesis. I call my theory the "Ann Coulter Rough Sex Syndrome" and it is very simple. I will start out by saying that Ann Coulter's prime audience is the white male. Ann makes so many blatantly antagonistic, confrontational, insulting comments that many liberals and conservatives just want to smack her. Add this to an attractive figure you get to the rough sex hypothesis. If you smacked her once for each stupid thing she said, you would still have years of smacks left after a years worth of newlywed, rough, sex. I am not saying she deserves to be smacked, but she might.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm In Love With My Car

I am in love with my car. In this case it is a Ford Escape Hybrid. I will point out that I was in love with my car long before gas prices, in my area, hit around $4.19 a gallon. When I got the Escape it was not to save money. With the amount of driving I do and the price of gas at the time, it would have taken 10+ years to make back the extra cost. The reason I bought it was due to not wanting to send any more money to other parts of the world if I don't have to. The less oil imported the better. Reduce carbon footprint was a distant second. On a side note, due to several reasons I could not get a smaller hybrid. The Escape was the best alternative that fit my needs.

Why are gas prices so high? It is really not a true supply and demand. Enough oil reaches the market to satisfy need. World capacity for producing oil is adequate. I do admit that if demand declined the price would most likely go down, but today's price has a huge "political" premium.

One example of why It is not a supply and demand issues is the refinery shut down of previous years. Oil needs to be refined to be used. When a hurricane hit and damaged US refineries the supply and demand model would have the price of oil go down while the price of refined products, like gasoline, would go up. That did not happen. Oil went up while refined product prices barely moved.

Now to contradict myself. Demand is affecting price in that oil is not a renewable resource. The countries, and companies, that produce oil see an end to their cash cow. These entities have figured out how to squeeze every last cent of profits from their ever reducing oil supply. So why is this happening now? Simply, the US is no longer the only thing that support the world economy. At one time, if the US economy slumped, the world economy slumped. As this current downturn has shown, the rest of the world can survive an economic slump in the US. So when will prices stop rising? Only when the market can not bare the cost.

There is good in all this. At a certain point the high cost of oil makes it more economically viable to invest in other sources of energy. As the largest economy and a capitalist society, we need this to drive the innovation that must occur. Doing it now, when we still have a decade before real supply issues occur, will help protect our economy and subsequently our way of life.

So am I saying that we should on conserve since it won't really help? No, we should for both economic and ecological reasons. The longer we can put off the real shortage of oil will give us more time to have converted over our oil needs to something else.

So what are my plans, besides driving a hybrid. Mostly the typical stuff; Drive less, buy local products, buy product that have less plastic (which is made from oil), reuse items when possible, etc. In the long run I plan to get solar power for my house and my next car will probably be an electric car. The car won't car if the power came from my solar power, a nuclear power plant, a "clean" coal power plant, or a current oil based plant.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Jesus is just Alright

The other night my wife and I had some long time friends over for dinner. The conversation hit religion and the talk of evolution came up. I will have to admit that my ignorance of the Catholic religion quickly came to light. Particularly concerning evolution I was way off base. I have always assumed that Catholics did not believe in evolution. I was quickly corrected and informed that not only do they believe in evolution, they are "pro" science.

Okay, so now I am confused. Catholics believe that when they take, if that is the right term, it is (or becomes) the actual body of Christ, but they are good with science for everything else. More or less I am told. So, the baptist don't believe that it is the body of Christ, but do believe that there is no such thing as evolution. Yes, I am told again. I bring this up only to point out that I assumed to many things about Catholicism, which I did not even realize

I want to point out that I have a four year degree in Bio-chemistry from a academically sound college and believe in evolution. I also believe that science has not killed god. With everything it proves, it does not disprove god.

Back to our conversation. We continue that Catholicism does not really require that you believe everything anyway and that the Catholic Church is not as rigid as I thought it was. Wow, I like that since it is similar to my reform Judism.

To the point of this post, just because you don't agree, understand, like, or whatever about a particular stance of one religion or another does not mean you can make sweeping generalizations. I guess I knew that about my religion, since I grew up with it, I just did not put in the effort with other religions. At least up until now.