Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Elitists who "protect" the environment

When I was in 6th grade we had mandatory Ecology education. It was part of a Federal program that began in the Carter administration. Back then the thought was that our western lifestyle of over-consumption was going to bring on the next ice age. The curriculum produced incredible evidence that persuaded me to go home and convince my parents to stop using spray-on deodorant. After all, it was to save the earth.

I did not throw away everything they taught me in that ecology awareness class because it did emphasize how wasteful we can be. It helped me notice things like over packaging, recyclable materials, and leaving a smaller footprint around me. To this day I clean up litter whenever I see it and look for ways to reduce my garbage output. It is a personal mission of mine that feels right with my conscience.

What really annoys me though is that Hollywood elitists and even Al Gore preach the Gospel of Environmental Correctness only to be complete hypocrites. I remember Barbra Streisand put out a message on her website indicating that people should hang their sheets and clothes out to dry on lines rather than use their electric clothes dryer. All this while it was reported that she has a penthouse condo in New York City that used a climate control thermostat that kept it at a cool 60 degrees even while no one was staying there.

Similarly Al Gore's mansion uses tons of electricity and has been reported to be using 20 times the national average. Al Gore said at the Academy Awards that saving the environment is something we all could do and "wasn't very hard." Well I can see for him it isn't very hard.

What is funny about these elitists is they use a 15th Century method of excusing themselves from actually having to do anything meaningful for the environment. They buy what are called "carbon credits" where they pay for excess emissions that they use so that someone else can save the environment where they can't. In the middle-ages the Roman Catholic Church called this practice "indulgences." What was a complete lie back then, is a complete lie now.

I'm not going to pay someone else to do what my conscience tells me is the right thing to do. I am not going to ask someone else to do something that I'm not willing to do myself.

I personally do a number of things that are considered 'green' even though I know their impact is negligible. I routinely recycle and purposely buy things that use packaging that isn't wasteful. I commute on a motorcycle when the weather allows specifically to get 60mpg saving me money and using less gasoline. I drive a car with an 'ultra-low emissions vehicle' rating. My household consumes on average the equivalent of 10 gallons of garbage in a week. My personal goal is simply to reduce my consumption in an effort to not be wasteful.

Do I think I'm making an impact? I don't care if I am personally making an impact, it feels right for me to do it because I don't like being wasteful. Could I do more? Sure, but I'll evaluate that over time and act according to my own volition.

I don't believe global hysteria. Also, I don't listen to anything that some elitist blowhard says about our environment or the planet. In fact I'd be glad to take some of their money to 'off-set' their wastefulness. Email me if you'd like to buy an indulgence and I'll tell you where to send the money.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ballot Access

While high-profile Republicans and Democrats are enjoying the media spotlight for a chance at an '08 nomination to their respective parties there are some things going on you don't know about.

I've often been asked why Libertarians have such a hard time getting elected to national office or don't have much financial support. One big reason is that Republicans and Democrats do not have to play by the same rules.

Currently Libertarians are working to collect a total of 787,945 signatures meeting different state conditions to get ballot access in every state of the nation. The LP is in court in two states whose laws have made it nearly impossible to get ballot access at all for anyone who is not a Republican or Democrat. In many states where the ballot access requirements are met it is against the law for a candidate to identify himself as anything but a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. I remember Harry Browne discussing how when he voted for himself in his home state of Tennessee he appeared next to the Socialist Workers party candidate and they were both listed as Independents.

Even with these sometimes impossible odds the Libertarian party has been the only third party to put a Presidential Candidate on the ballot in all 50 states (plus DC) in the last four general elections. (except for Oklahoma in '04 because changes in their laws made it impossible to get ballot access unless you had an R or a D by your name.)

So while the media is gawking at Obama and Hillary and following Romney and Guliani around, know that thousands of Libertarians are spending tens of thousands on court fees and signature gathering simply to get on the same ballot that Republicans and Democrats get on for free.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

More Gay Blogging

I'll give you a real life scenario. Trust me this is real life, not hypothetical.

A man and woman have been together for about 17 years and engaged for 10.

In the last year the woman has undergone several medical treatments and has now been diagnosed with a form of cancer. More treatments are coming this year. Her medical flex account is used up and now big dollars are going to be required for her care.

The man knew he needed to get her on his medical insurance and the easiest way to do it was to get married. He lamented briefly that it wasn't the way he ever wanted to do it but at this point there was no other choice. They will get married soon to remedy the insurance situation.

Who wouldn't do this if they had the choice?

If I took this same scenario and made it two men, would it make a difference to you? I'm not telling which scenario is true for the sake of discussion.

I've often proposed that government should not be in the business of granting the right to marry. Personally I'd turn ALL unions into civil unions. Once more I'd open the floodgates for all types of civil unions.

My Grandmother and her sister lived together for several decades until the end of their lives. I honestly believe my grandmother could have benefited from a civil union that would've allowed their unique relationship to have the status of a family household with all of its benefits. I'm also demonstrating in Libertarian terms how reducing the role of government in this case can ensure legal equality.

I honestly don't know what would protect the sanctity of marriage but I can't bring myself to believe that any of these scenarios would hurt it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Commenting on Gay Basketball Players

"You're a homophobe."

This comment is a tactic used by people against anyone who says something negative about a homosexual. The tactic has worked because it's one thing not to like gay people but to be portrayed as being afraid of them isn't tolerable.

The argument usually ends up with, "People who are homophobic are usually just trying to cover up for their own homosexual feelings." Hence this logic means that if you're afraid of something it's because you want to be that thing you're afraid of. Personally I'm afraid of Pirates, Leprechauns, Gypsies and snakes. Deep down inside I want to be all of these things but because I can't be I must bash them in my private thoughts because I'm a coward...unlike Mr. Hardaway.

Tim Hardaway sidestepped the whole matter in one sentence which I'll quote:

"You know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people," he said. "I'm homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States."

I personally think it's wrong to make fun of people because of their fears. Tim Hardaway is a strong and athletic man having been a former NBA star but he suffers from an acute fear of homosexuals. It may seem silly to many of us who feel very natural and comfortable around homos but this is the nature of fear. It isn't easily understood by people who do not have it.

As a Seattle SuperSonic fan since the 70's I'm accustomed to gay basketball players. Jack Sikma, Tom Chambers, Dale Ellis, and scores of other courageous gay athletes have donned the green and gold. I've recently overheard many Sonics fans nonchalantly proclaim, "This team is so gay." and "...another gay season down the drain." We simply take it for granted. No group of fans in any other part of the world understands gay basketball quite like Seattle Supersonic fans do. We cheer for them and celebrate their courage.

I once knew a guy who was a normal upstanding individual that was afraid of spiders. His fear was irrational and silly for a man of his size to be afraid of something so small but his fear was real. It would've been cruel to single him out because of something he wasn't able to cope with.

I'm glad that Tim Hardaway came out of the closet and admitted a fear that he has. Tim Hardaway is a Homophobic-American and deserves our respect for his courage to admit it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Barak Obama

I've received two dozen emails from people asking me about Obama over the last two months. People who have said, "He seems like a guy you'd support."

Barak Obama is not worthy of my support. I'm not sure I'd support him for local school board frankly. So here is my official opinion of Barak Obama:

I don't care.

Two people emailed me and asked what I thought of Mitt Romney. I have a slightly different opinion of Romney obviously. Here is my opinion of Mitt:

I really don't care.

So far I support Governor Richardson and Ron Paul until Harry Browne comes back from the grave and files for an '08 run. I'll keep you all posted if that happens.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lloyd Elton Green

Today would've been my father's 87th birthday. He died 10 years ago on my birthday.

My dad's life was filled with missed opportunities, sacrifice and bad timing. All his life he was burdened with a terrible allergy to money. I can say that every year I get older, my dad gets smarter.

My father was kicked out of public high school and was put in Catholic Prepatory school in Tacoma. I recall him telling me he was one of only a handful of non-catholics in the school. He began to accel academically and took interest in the ROTC program at the school. During high school he learned to weld and enjoyed it though he never saw himself cut out for blue-collar work. He was gifted in math and science and enrolled in the University of Washington taking pre-med. While in school he began taking flight lessons. This in a nutshell was my dad...a man with scattered interests.

World War II came and all flight hours for civillian use were cancelled so he was not able to finish getting his pilot's license. My dad was then drafted while in school. He hadn't taken enough credits yet to get out of being in the Army though he got out anyway because he had what was considered to be an important civillian skill...welding.

On an interesting side story my dad belonged to a community theater and was the leader of a popular big band jazz group that played with alot of great musicians. He later took me to see Count Basie, Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton and others eventually meeting musicians my dad played with. My dad was a particularly talented drummer.

So he missed out on studying to be a doctor and never got his pilot's license. Because of the war he began welding in the shipyards and then finally for Hanford where fuel for the first atomic bomb was being created.

After that he worked in radio as an on-air personality in several small stations until he was hired at AM1090 in Seattle. He was finally doing something he enjoyed for a relatively popular radio station in a large media market. A dispute with a manager eventually led to my dad telling him to 'stick it' and he quit. At this point in his life he went to Alaska and worked.

The next years are a mystery to me personally. My two half-sisters were born and he went through two marriages. I know nothing of this time except to know that he said he owned two houses and lived in neither. My dad worked hard but would always shun prosperity.

Eventually he took his driving experience from Alaska and began driving a transit bus in Seattle. This is where he eventually met my mom. They were married 47 years.

They eventually moved to a rural area and bought 10 acres that had a shack on it. This shack and electrical wiring from the 1920's and no indoor plumbing. This is the house in which I grew up. We lived on that property until I was 18.

My father never retired. He worked at his job in Seattle until he was 76. He had a new boss that he had a hard time working with. One day when he was tired of putting up with his manager's bullshit he told her so...then just quit. He was battling cancer as it was and was growing more and more tired. One day it just became clear what it was he was willing to put up with.

I don't want to overhype my dad. At times he was only a marginal father figure and my brother and sisters likely do not look at him the same way I do. My father and I were very similar in many ways so my understanding of him is something my siblings may probably never understand.

From my dad's life and wisdom I've learned some important lessons:

Living free is more important than having money.

You can tell your manager to stick it and walk away from any job if you're willing to live with what's next. (I've quit two jobs using that exact tactic)

Sometimes you can't do everything you want because other people depend on you.

Happy Birthday Dad.

Monday, February 05, 2007

V for Vendetta

February is pretty much the last winter month in Western Washington State. March pretends to act like spring but it just continues to rain though it's warmer and there is much more daylight. Because of these short days and the overcast skies I find myself drawn more to television as a pasttime. This is a particularly big deal to me as I tend to watch about one hour of television a month. I even find myself listening to local sports games on the radio.

I rented V for Vendetta starring Natalie Portman and liked the movie even more than I could've imagined. I was told by some local libertarians that it was a great libertarian film, and I have to agree. Think of the movie as a cross between Batman and Spider-Man except it makes you think. Go get it now and thank me later.

Disclaimer: It has violence and harsh language. It is not a movie for kids. Also, Natalie Portman's head gets shaved...that may freak some of you out...it did me.