Monday, November 17, 2008

Have An Abortion For The Environments Sake!

Many of you who know me know that I watched “An Inconvenient Truth,” read the summary to the U.N. report on human factors on Climate Change and it pretty well freaked me out more than any movie I had seen come out of Hollywood for the last, well, for my entire life. I am sure this is because “An Inconvenient Truth” was meant to freak us out into action. Because of that reason alone, assuming a good cause at the back end, I was willing to endure a little alarmism created to call us to action. As long as the majority of facts are right, then I will give the claims the benefit of the doubt. Right? Who wants to damage the planet for lazy selfish reasons, right? How in the world does anyone benefit from saving the planet, except for the obvious benefit of, well, saving our planet, right!?

Since that time I watched a few documentaries on climate change from the antagonists perspective, challenging not the concept of global climate change, but the science about human factors versus other factors. There were a few videos out of the U.K. on the origins of human “CO2” contributions arguments. I watched a few national geographic videos and read NASA studies.

Why would I do this!? (You might ask) If all of our best scientists are declaring the threat (are they all? Who's on that list? Are they the best? Who isn't on that list?), why waste time reading up on it especially from an antagonist’s perspective rather than just doing stuff to help? In a word, marketing! A short while back I wrote about the concept of “greenwashing,” which in quick summary is the act of a company (or politician or government) “marketing” various ideas about how environmentally responsible their goals / products / taxes are and will positively affect this need to save our planet. The problem, it seems to me, is that “going green” is expensive, but more importantly all efforts to “go green” aren’t close to equal. Some efforts are completely effective and helpful and responsible while some are nothing short of snake oil being sold to an attentive public!

What I find is that non-alarmist global warming science reading has helped me to see and understand global warming better (not completely, only better), but at the same time helps me differentiate between the science of global climate change and the mythical fog that has descended on the topic of human causes of global warming. This is important if we as individuals are going to do the responsible thing and be good stewards of our planet.

Back to marketing. I mention marketing because of the first paragraph above. If I am going to be fair then I want to know if and where the benefits of fighting human causes of global warming rest. If a car company claims that they are environmentally more responsible than their competition because they make their seat cushions out of soy-based foams, I have to examine the enviro-benefit of driving a car that was manufactured in an eco-responsible manner versus are car with a smaller carbon footprint over the life of the car. It is less about “costing me more right now” and rather “costing all of us and the planet more in the long run.” But this isn’t easy to determine by reading a short three page article in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (are they still around?) It takes a real investment. “Going green” isn’t about ideologically joining the “green club” but rather doing our part where it matters: less what we say (greenwash) and more about what we do (go green). Some might argue that being a proponent is at least an investment in the right direction. I completely disagree. It is literally no investment, to do nothing but just talk about it.

Recently I noticed a book at a local Border’s Bookstore and so I picked it up. The title was “Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmist Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.” Again, this is an antagonistic book that helps to divide that line between real climate science and the foggy myth that creates unscientific momentum around human causes of global warming (for whatever reason.) I bought the book and am patiently reading through it. Responsibly enough, it contains analysis and appropriate references scattered throughout that validate its various points. It is a short history of the handling of the topic and anyone who wants to be educated on this topic would find this book to be a great reference for drawing a line between what is worth paying attention to and what is just alarmist.

This is the part where many bloggers would write stuff about propaganda of leftist media, but I don’t think the author (or I) believes that the media is so well organized or ideologically in tuned to a single well managed conspiracy. No. Rather I think that journalists and politicians are generally not well educated on environmental science and skim one report on a topic, highlighted by someone else for them, and then they perpetuate some new under-analyzed misunderstood perspective that gets even more distorted down the foodchain. This, coupled with watchdog groups (outlined in the book) that keep the climate change momentum spinning at full velocity by regularly contesting reports and statements that don’t seem alarmist enough (great examples in the book) keeps the public generally misinformed about not only the facts, but misinformed as to what we can truly do to help.

I think we generally want to help. My guess would be that if we were to ask a perfect stranger on the street, “If you could be given 5 proven things to do that would make a good contribution to doing your part to be a responsible steward of the planet, would you do it?” my guess is that most individuals would say “Sure.” Here lies the problem. The government seems to be the new clearinghouse on this information and what they are promoting is incredibly close to a greenwash. Let’s take an example that is very close to my heart. The global greenwashing of abortion.

First read this transcript from a TV news talkshow:

This is the author of the book I am reading. He shares that the world via the United Nations is already deciding how to hand out carbon credits. (The basic idea here has to do with “cap and trade”, meaning that countries will agree to put a cap on country-based carbon emissions and then if they exceed that cap as a country, then they can buy the right to “pollute” by purchasing carbon credits from a country that is doing so well that they have a surplus of positive carbon credits.) In this discussion the book author explains that China is likely being offered additional carbon credits because they are willing to “cap” their population (via abortion) and as a result would then have a smaller carbon footprint as a country because they are killing all of these future-people who would likely increase the carbon footprint. China argued for this, and European members of the Kyoto agreement along with the U.N. all agreed that China should get carbon credits because they are killing future polluters. So, in summary, population control is now a significant activity in reducing human factors for climate change enough that the U.N. is ready to cut virtual checks if countries endorse this sort of population control. What? So abortion is eco-responsible? Please! This is getting ridiculous and absurd. Did I mention that the U.N. is already implementing carbon taxes on a global scale and that America is already in debt to the U.N. in the billions of dollars at this point (remember that we get no say in how that money is spent… will it benefit the environment really?)

It seems clear to me that the government is little to no help in solving eco-responsibility issues outside of very local governments (i.e. your personal community government protecting the planet through local legislation that specifically targets unquestionably harmful behavior.) It seems that we will have to educate ourselves and “bailout” the government from their crazy solutions by getting involved locally and federally AND if we are going to save the planet, then we have to do it. Creating a new global-abortion-market-for-eco-credits is just a crazy notion and we have to save ourselves both from our politicians as well as save the planet as a result of this offensive line of thinking.

For those of you who advocate for pro-choice ideals or at least are not completely in agreement with me about the genocide that is abortion, consider the idea that when the U.N. creates this kind of eco-incentive that it isn’t happening in a vacuum. The U.N. Millenium agenda also outlines on-demand abortion as a part of their defense of woman (something Mexico is being harassed about by U.N. because their predominantly Catholic population doesn’t favor promoting on-demand abortion.) Put the two of these ideas together and (here comes a prediction) abortion could become less about “choice” in America and more about eco-responsible population control via abortion (once the U.S. demands the U.N. gives us our carbon credits for the 50,000,000 babies we have killed via abortion since 1973.) Abortion could become the next eco-fundraiser. If we can’t stop polluting, then maybe we can offset our carbon deficit by up-ing our abortion head count? The thought makes me sick!

Back on point. The book is not about abortion. That was just my personal rant. In any case, go buy the book and educate yourself. If you have ideas about how to “go green” in legitimate ways, I recommend writing those ideas here by making some comments or sending me emails. I will take a moment to blog out some of our ideas!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keeping Promises: Reversing Executive Orders

Obama advisors gave us a look into the administrative of the president-elect today when nearly all of them got on TV to announce a number of executive orders that they intend to reverse, all of which were major campaign points for Obama advocates:
  • Iraq
  • Healthcare
  • Taxes
  • Social Justice
Oh wait! I read that wrong. None of those issue were in this new prioritized administrative agenda. What are the priorities then, you might ask? Let me go down a list (liberals and conservatives, drum rolls please...)

  • Reverse the ban on family planning counceling such that we will provide financial foreign aid to international groups that will explain / provide abortions. This means we as Americans will be subsidizing the abortions in the third world.

  • Reverse the ban on federal aid to stemcell research. This is directly tied to abortion legislation in America. The idea here is that doctor, hospitals and clinics that abort babies will now be able to part out those babies, post-abortion, selling "stem cell" lines for research. Will this become the next hot commodity on the U.S. Futures market?

  • Ban some oil drilling in the U.S. This is based on some environmental groups who claim that some exploratory drilling, like in Utah, might have adverse environmental affects. I don't know anything about this, but I think it goes in line with Obamas stated policy to keep oil demand high, so he can tax oil company windfall profits, and give out "tax credit" checks so subsidize our addiction to oil.
I know that last one will get some environmentalists cranked, and I said it because I think it is partly true (maybe not entirely.) I have examined Obamas plan to deal with our American addiction to oil and I think it is a federal fundraiser and not a plan to deal with fuel alternatives. Go read more for yourself if you disagree. Most of the detail of his plan deals with raising money at the Federal level through windfall profits, as opposed to specific plans to bolster alternatives research. I am happy to point your insightful comments if you have any or want to disagree.

As for the first two, if you thought Obamas contradictions about supporting planned parenthood and wanting to lower the abortion count were not contradictory, well, these first moves will prove you wrong. Between financial abortion here in American and abroad, coupled with financing new stem cell lines (to further monitize the new elements of abortion industry) we are likely increasing our American cultural propensity toward devaluing life. How? By, in two swift moves, financing abortions at home and abroad and monetizing those aborted babies via federally financed stem cell research.

I am waiting for would-be mothers to now demand a kickback for the stemcell parting-out of their aborted children. Can you imagine it? Congress debating over legislation that gives a tax deduction to would-be mothers if their dead baby is used to create new stemcell lines? (I just made that up, but wait for it... it will happen) The only thing worse would be women lining up to sell off their fertilized eggs to stemcell line research for cash as if at a bloodbank.

And this is what we voted for? How did these points become the priority. Welcome to the new world.

(To hear more, check out the following link and start listening around 7 minutes into the long video: )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Right now I am battling a horrible cold and so far it is winning. There is nothing worse than feeling like you might be over the hump, only to find out that maybe you are not.

I am somewhat equally concerned about something I've bumped into on the web today. Just when I thought we were past the election shennanigans, I am kinda thinking they are just starting. The example would be the "" site.

So far in the history of the web websites that end in ".gov" typically instill confidence in us. If we hand over our personal information, we expect that info to be respected and protected with the same standards as any other well protected government website. Now, I can't definitively confirm this, but with a few whois tricks, some static IP addressing pinging, I get the feeling that is not really a traditional government website. You might not care, until you realize that they are harvesting American individuals contact information via this site (i.e. in at least five different situations on this small site they ask you to hand over some personal information, like you name, address and phone number.) It seems that the sites are hosted on a combination of hardware that sits in Georgia and Colorado.

Here is another part that I find a bit questionable. In a recent political talk show hosted by Charlie Rose, they discussed the very savvy use of technology by the Obama campaign. The example they gave had to do with the use of text messaging. There was this moment when the Obama campaign said that they would announce his running mate via text message. All you had to do was submit your cell phone number to them to receive the announcement before the rest of press got the message. The goal here was to simply harvest cell phone numbers for the purpose of campaign marketing. It is reasonable for the campaign to gather those cell phone numbers and use them for the purpose of the campaign, including text messaging the running mate announcement, but I wonder if people truly understood how the campaign was (or still is) intending on using those cell phone numbers. Maybe some people don't care, but I would!? More importantly, is asking people to submit their information because the Obama / Biden administration transition team is hiring! i have no doubt that they are, but when you look at the information they are collecting, that is one sham of a form! I can only imagine the number of people who would want to submit their information, imagining that they will be selected to personally work with this new administration. Understand that the fineprint says that both the transition team and the administration will use your submitted contact information... yeah, I am sure they will. Who knows what for?

This is an incredibly blurry line between legitimate politics and campaign marketing that doesn't seem to know when to quit. I am in favor of the government wanting to team up with regular folks. I am not in favor of to 2012 Obama campaign reelection committee pretending to pimp jobs to America in an effort to primarily harvest contact information unwittingly.

(To read a few more articles on scrubbing on the site see and

Tax Cuts Are Good News

Now that presidential election shennanigans are done and Obama doesn't have to keep calling John McCain "out of touch," he might want to refer to similar "McCain-ian" wisedom coming from Liberal Democrats "across the pond" in the U.K. that have decided it makes more economic sense to go ahead and cut taxes where possible to fuel economies and fend off more downturns.

A BBC report breaks it down.

On a similar note. While the fog clears from the American electoral political minefield, the only thing left in the fog is any tangible understanding of Barack Obama.

It ends up that these guys are discussing how well executed the Obama campaign was when it comes to presenting the concept of Barack Obama to a nation that still doesn't have a clue what his economic policies or likelihood of action might be on coming issue. Watch these gentlemen talk about how Obama admits he isn't what his "image" claims he is, how they call his presentations "controlling" and "scary" amongst other claims that outline the show for the whitehouse that we just witnessed.

In summary, it seems they are outing the press for having made McCain look like a presidential player while not "outing" Obama for the same thing. In the case of Obama, they celebrate how well he played his politics (an ironic turn from their previoius praise about how politically accessible and honest and unique they thought he was.) This is classic! The press is preparing to cover their butts on a new president that might go rogue (or not... they don't know, and that's the point.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Obama Bubble (aka president-elect bubble)

So I have a new president. Well, technically, I have 70+ additional days of the current president, George W. Bush, and then arrives president-elect Barack H. Obama. I call him my president because that is what I said I would do if he got elected. I am proud to be an American and I believe in supporting one’s president to the best of one’s ability. As a matter of fact, while I was continually upset at the shenanigans (political, personal, financial, legal and otherwise) of Bill Clinton, I still prayed for the guy and tried my best to get behind him on stuff that mattered to the country. To be fair, I was outraged a number of times too, but I wasn't about to move to Canada. I think in this election there is plenty of “stuff” that matters to the country and I want to support our governance in seeing positive things happen in this country.

I am a little worried about the “Obama Bubble” as I will call it. Nearly every president-elect has somewhat of a bubble to deal with as the result of election promises and no matter who becomes president they will likely have to deal with that bubble. The issue is never IF the bubble will burst but WHEN it does, how the country will handle it. In the case of Obama, it is no different.

But more specifically, I think the Obama president-elect bubble is larger than normal. Here is just one video that explains what I am talking about.

In my short life I don’t really recall people getting caught up into such extreme expectations. From Iraq, to the economy, to gas prices, to healthcare, there was a lot on the table and on that table as well were promises of delivering on some of the bigger issues in a time sensitive manner coupled with chastising remarks to McCain about his plans taking too long (in the case of fuel prices, Obama regularly gave him a hard time in that drilling would take 10 years to develop. Iraq is another example.) Now that Obama is president-elect, his first speech worked to lower the expectation a little by insisting, "We may not get there in one year or even one term."

The worst thing Congress could do now (along with president-elect Obama) would be to artificially pump up that bubble by simply writing more "stimulus checks" but mark my words, it will happen. The problem is that such activity almost never makes a big difference, but instead increases the national debt, pumps up the buble, only making for a longer fall when the real economy attempts to reset itself.

Riding on top of Obama's “inspiring” speeches over the last two years, for some, has felt like a huge breath of fresh air in the middle of a world of turmoil. I have no doubt that this voice of “hope” was just the voice some were looking for. I fall into the camp of people who listen to those speeches and then look for a record of parallel behavior to match those plans and words, which typically lowers the effect of "inspiration" for me (because all politicians are typically a bit of a bubble in themselves.) I however worried that the when the Obama Bubble bursts for people like Peggy Joseph, along with many others, they will have a long fall to endure back down to the reality of politics and the speed by which economies, industries and government moves. To those of you with more realistic expectations, you realize that leaving Iraq was more or less an argument over semantics: McCain said we would leave when we could and he wasn't going to set an arbitrary date, while Obama said we would leave in around 16 months but he reserved the right to change that if on the ground leadership gave him better advice (rendering the 16 months number rhetoric.) Honestly, I wouldn't be in favor of leaving before it is in the best interest of our nation, first in a security sense and then in a financial sense.

For me, I continue to think that Obama’s economics and life-oriented ethics are completely questionable and my hope is that any worse-case speculations that seem to me to be reasonable will be proven wrong. As with any president, Democrat or Republican, I will continue to observe and be happy for our successes as a nation and upset at our failures. Some of those will be directly correlated to the president, some to the various environments that surround us, some to Congress and others to the American people.

Years ago I sat in a run down little hotel room in Moscow having endured one of the most exciting and scary weeks of my life. Having completed most of what I was there to do, I found myself exhaling, letting go of my breath, and uncurling my toes inside my shoes. The thought came over me, “Steve, you have traveled, brought help, faced down border guards, stood across from government officials yelling at you will solders holding their guns near bye. You can relax now. You are almost home.” Oh, but how not true that was. I had about a week left of ground travel to get from Moscow to Helsinki, Finland and we had to get a Russian girl to Sweden but she had no papers to get across the Finland border. I wasn’t almost home, I was barely half way home! The same is true for all of us. The inevitability of a new president is upon us and he as a representative like the rest of Congress, representing one third of the checks and balances of our Federal branches are still just public servants in a government by and for the people. We don’t work for their goals, they work for ours and should be taking their marching orders from us.

If you care about your country, stay engaged, do not hand the responsibility of this government over to these public servants to do what they think is best, but rather stay in their ears telling them to serve this country and it's government. Remember, it is representation, not subjugation.