Monday, November 30, 2009

The Catholic Church

I have read and watched with interest and disgust the contention escalating between the son of Senator Edward Kennedy, Congressman Patrick Kennedy and the Catholic Church.
Representative Kennedy has been both privately and publically reprimanded by his local bishop for supporting abortion rights legislation. The bishop claims young Kennedy started it by attacking church doctrine. The church then responded, not with forgiveness and turning the proverbial cheek, but by denying Kennedy the sacrament of communion, privately at first, then publically after Kennedy publicized the church's private letter to him.
There may also be a political agenda on the part of Congressman Kennedy.
In a public pronouncement Kennedy's bishop claimed the moral ground on this issue.
I was born a catholic, raised a catholic and abandoned its dogma when I was old enough to think things through with mind-full thought and common sense. I do believe though that many of the churches foundations have comforting value and sacred traditions.
I do dispute the church’s claim of moral ground. This is not a moral issue. It is a dogma issue.
A church that protects its clergy from discovery and prosecution in pedophilia allegations, a church that historically sold indulgences for the illusion of heaven’s entrance, a church that can annul the sacred contract of marriage, even when children are present, has no right to claim a moral ground, in any cause, anywhere.
Unless the Catholic Church as a whole, as a universal community, embraces these changing times and the enlightened spirituality of its parishioners it will continue to diminish in influence throughout the secular world. The church needs women priests. It needs married priests. It needs to be open and honest in its problems. It needs to be ‘Catholic” in its understanding of life, not dictatorial as the current Pope prefers.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Poetic Meditation

© 2008 Rolland G. Smith

Beware the black of fear and seizures night
When earthly reason cannot see light’s bright.
For now’s the time to bide your mind and soul
As reason swallows all illusions whole.

Now move your thoughts to where it’s empty space
To thus acknowledge true the wholesome grace
Of joy and wisdom coming from the Source
Where sadness and old pain hold no remorse.

Love holds us in the brace of lasting peace
That comes to all as if it’s a release
To see the life that you have chosen now
As right and just and what you did avow.

Avow, you did, before the counsel light
Before your spirit came into its might
For density is hard to comprehend
When essence is about to matter blend.

Let the poets of this time tell us truth
In teaching to the learned and the youth.
For death does not diminish what I say
It is the listening mind that does decay.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am thankful for many, many things. Clean water and air. Flowers. The scent of a pine forest. The love of my family and friends. I give thanks to the Turkey who gave his life so that we can celebrate this holiday with a feast of abundance and I thank you for tuning into the blog from time to time.

Rolland G. Smith

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Let Go Of Fear

I suppose everybody is frightened by something sometime. We have all sorts of phobias documented by science that give legitimacy to our fears. Acrophobia, thristadeckaphobia, hydrophobia and so on. Phobia is a Greek word meaning fear.

After 9/11 and rightfully so many of us developed terrorphobia. We are worried that some misfits who have no concept of the real world will again kill indiscriminately in order to disrupt, disorganize and punish.

In many ways these terrorists are a lot like the road rage guys. It’s their way or no way. The road "rager" will dart dangerously in and out of traffic creating fear and anger and counter rage.

This is where we have to be careful. If we let our counter rage, our anger, or the fear encouraged by government comment or actions to control our common sense then we give up our franchise of choice and many of the freedoms that come with that franchise.

President Roosevelt was right when he said: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. I think we’ve forgotten it lately.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climate Change

Here's the story from Reuters News Agency:

"The United States will propose an emissions reduction target at U.N. climate change talks in Copenhagen in December with an eye toward winning support from U.S. lawmakers who must agree to put it into law."

Despite the fact that some individual and organizations are trying to convince us otherwise, there is scientific evidence that shows human influence has contributed substantially to global warming and that the earth will get a lot hotter than previously predicted. Wine growers in Spain are worried. Islanders in the South Pacific are worried. We ought to be worried.

What global warming means is beyond devastating. Possibly the melting of the polar ice caps thereby raising the oceans levels, flooding low lying areas like Florida, Holland and much of the world's coast lines. Very troubling possibilities. Crop failures, dust bowls, and species extinction.

Nearly forty years ago satellite and space technologies gave us a view of our planet never before seen by humankind. We saw a shimmering globe from deep in space without borders, without boundaries, without fences and walls. We began to see a whole living system, with all life interrelated and interdependent. We saw the effect of choice becoming the affect of life.

What can we do?

No longer can the individual look only to the corporate polluter and say, there is the source of my pain. It's part of it, but until we, as individuals, no longer tolerate pollution and pollutants in ourselves and in our work environments, and let our voices be heard in a clarion call to stop, we will continue to befoul our nest for future generations.

We forget, we are the nature we abuse and if we don't protect our environment, the earth will.

Monday, November 23, 2009

President Kennedy's Assassination

Some thoughts on the memory of JFK. He was killed 46 years ago yesterday.

The tributes are always many on the anniversary, but the Kennedy family does not participate. They understand and accept the honors paid to the fallen president, but they prefer the memory of JFK be focused on the day of his birth, May 29th, rather than November 22nd, the day of his death.

That may take a long time, for there are so many of us alive today who remember that tragic time 46 years ago. Our children's children may learn more of his life and philosophy than will recall the day he died. History bears that out.

We honor Lincoln on his birthday and not the day he died, April 15th.

Very few even remember the assassinated 20th president James Garfield and the September 19th he died.

William KcKinley's assassination day is now forgotten. He died on a September 14th.

It takes time to bury pain, but it must be done so the healing process can begin and memory can stand without sorrow. The Kennedy family has learned through many tragic experiences, that once you acknowledge the death, you must let it go and honor the life, for only the body dies.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Hard days

I've was fortunate enough in the past week to visit an old friend of mine confined to a long-term medical facility. He's in his seventies and he has Multiple Sclerosis. It's not a good disease for long-term thinking. He knows it and he makes the best of it by roving in his battery wheelchair through halls and rooms and being helpful to others. People there suffer from a myriad of afflictions including stroke, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

His smiling positive attitude is the antithesis of the general demeanor of most patients.

Granted, it is not an uplifting place to visit, but it should be. When one is approaching the end days of their productive lives because of a debilitating illness their surroundings should be filled with bright colors, music and art; easels of canvas and posterboard with trays of washable paints should be everywhere so when inspiration strikes anyone of the patients can express it.

I walked several hallways in which the infirm, the halt, the lame and the chair bound patients were starring into the narrow space of blank walls; boredom is killing them more quickly than disease.

What I'm suggesting is a change of internal scenery and sound in all long term facilities. Let comforting music echo through the halls of hope. Have a sound-proof room with a karaoke machine.  Let the brightness of color festoon the rooms and passageways. Let the drab garb of the dedicated caregivers reflect the lightness of life, instead of the medical seriousness with which they must contend every day. Why can't we make their uniforms in fuchsia, celadon and cerulean blue, decorate them with colored lights and flashy trinkets? Distraction is often better than medicine.

My friend told me of one elderly woman who had not left her room for two years. She has no family and few friends. A condition that seems to be a curse of old age when you outlive most of your generation.

This is America. We can correct this. All it takes is "intention" and action will follow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Terrorists Trial

The Attorney General has determined that the 9/11 terrorists and the alleged mastermind of the attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed are to be tried in Federal Court in New York.

There are so many logical reasons to do so and so many emotional reasons not to that it is mind-boggling.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, who loves publicity, is worried about security. He requested and got at least a 75-million dollar stipend to cover enhanced security for the Big Apple during the trial.

The arguments are valid on all sides. Some family members of the victims of the 9/11 attacks want one thing and others want another; some choices are based on vengeance and some on fear.

Some legal experts and governmental leaders want the terrorists tried in a military court somewhere other than New York. The Attorney General thinks a civilian court would have a better chance of getting a clearer guilty verdict.

A clear guilty verdict is probably a spin for the rest of the world for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has already admitted planning the attack; that admission is good enough for an emotional conviction, but not for the law.

Law professors have said a trial without the presumption of innocence and a chance of freedom is a problem. We all know that some scoundrels have been released on technicalities even though they were not innocent; that is the nature of proof.

America's criminal justice system has a problem. These are all legitimate concerns and need to be addressed for AMERICAN JUSTICE is based on a system of laws and proof, not what we think should be the result.

We don’t have the option of changing the law to suit the crime or our collective desire. We have a responsibility to be fair even though, as Harry Truman would say, “the SOB is guilty”.

Based upon the evidence and admissions as publicly known, I think the terrorists will be found guilty. They will be sentenced to death and the other terrorists of the world will cry foul and unfair and continue their attacks on anything American and anything western because thought and reason are not part of their modern culture.

Why do we go through the difficulties of a public trial? Because that’s America and that’s what we do. Let the terrorist world try even one iota of our judicial system and see how many minutes it lasts.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There are a number of vote recounts going on around the country for local and county positions as well as a Congressional Race in New York State and, as usual in any close race, there are suggestions of improprieties.

There are specific words that are important as we go through the arduous process of finding out who will lead us locally or regionally.

“Patience” is the first. Let us let the electoral and legal process work without accusation, without innuendo, and without suggestions of impropriety coming from those whose political loyalties may cloud their judgment and form their words.

"Courage,” Let us have the courage of our democratic convictions and have faith in the people whose responsibility it is to sort out the various contentions. Let them do this without pressure from the media for quick and instant results and let them do this without pressure from the campaigns.

If we, as a collective people, fail to have courage we will fail the republic.

We must also have "integrity". If there are deliberate polling irregularities or political skullduggery that demeans and falsifies the electoral process of any part of this land then let those responsible be identified and prosecuted under the rule of law, not rule of rumor.

The inner dimension of all elections should be honor. Without honor, we as a people, we as Americans, demean every document we hold sacred. A great truth once written said: "It is better to fail with honor than to win by deceit."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Palin's Prophecy and Politics

I have not read her book (since it comes out today) and I may not, but I’ll think about it and eventually when somebody loans me a copy I will peruse it. But as yet, I’m not ready to fork over the dough to buy a copy of a "tell some, spin some and hold some back, as told to book".

Very few politicians of the past were able to write their memoirs without the help of a skilled writer. It is the way of the 20th and 21st century of casting a spin on what you want people to think and to believe and what you want to correct, in your opinion, as an inaccuracy.

Governor Palin has the right to engage a storyteller to tell her story.

Christie Whitman, former governor of New Jersey did it. President Jerry Ford did it. Many other leaders have done it before and will do it in the future and that’s fine.

But here's my “but”.

If this were truly her thoughts, her concession speech to America that she was not allowed to make; if these are her words, her feelings and emotions, her right of passage to a presidential candidacy, then I have to ask, why did she not write much of the book herself?  An as told "to" book is not the same as writing it yourself and having an accomplished editor clarify, punctuate and spell your words correctly.

If you are astute, aware, and intelligent enough to be the President of these United States, then you ought not need a ghostwriter to codify your hopes, your wishes, answer your critics and refute allegations of what was and then offer your expectations for a future America.

OK, I guess that pretty much puts me in the arena of not supporting Ms. Palin for President. That does not mean I don’t like her or her politics. It means I have a lot of questions to ask and she has a lot of answers to give me before I think she is qualified to by my leader.

Monday, November 16, 2009


It is that time of year.

The folks who can, leave the cold of the northeast and head to the warmer climes of Florida for the winter or an extended visit. The permanent residents of Florida call them "snowbirds."

Thousands of people head south in trains and rarely drive the distance from Virginia to Florida. The auto-train is the preferred method of transportation if you are taking your car with you. I went down twice on the auto-train. Once to give a speech and then visit friends and the other time to get out of the cold for two weeks. My experience led to the following poetic ditty.

© 2008 Rolland G. Smith

Quilted coats, shuffled steps and canes
Are what you find on South bound trains.
The halt, the lame, the elderly
The ill, the weak, and crotchety
Are Florida bound in cubby holes
With all their flaws and hairy moles.

Snowbirds they’re called without respect.
They flock to Florida’s warmth prospect.
If you are younger and can watch
Count the wrinkles, connect the blotch,
And you will see where you may be
Before they site your eulogy.

It is with respect that I acknowledge the elder in others and within myself and I understand just how close I am to the poetic expression of my words. The only counsel I would give all who call themselves or see themselves or know themselves to be elderly is to smile, laugh, tease the young and throw your healthful caution to the wind for it will carry you to places of wonder that cannot be seen or experienced in the morning light of youth.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Today is Friday the 13th.

Some thoughts on Tristadecaphobia.

The fear of the number thirteen.

The superstitution is ancient, it may have been enhanced during the time of Christ.  There were 13 people at  the last supper before Christ was betrayed.  Also, it is believed the crucifixion took place on a Friday, so the combination of the number and the day became a bad omen.

In American history, however, the number thirteen is esoterically prominent.

Take out a dollar bill.  Look at the back side.  In the two circles you will find both the front and reverse sides of the great seal of the United States.

Look at the eagle. In the left tallon he holds 13 arrows.  In the right tallon, an olive branch.  On it, 13 leaves and 13 berries.  The ribbon in the eagles beak contains the latin phrase " E Pluribus Enum".  Count the letters.  Thirteen.

The other side of the seal shows an unfinished pyramid.  Count the steps.  Thirteen.  The inscription "Annuit Coeptis" also contains thirteen letters.

Perhaps thirteen is not unlucky by it's nature.  Perhaps it responds to the energy we give it.  Like so many things, our response to something or someone, is directly related to the quality of our input.

Being positive or negative is a choice.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


This morning I am offering a small consideration of thought to a very large serious subject. I have no expertise in this condition nor do I want to diminish the legitimacy and trauma of those who are going through it.

I just watched a magnificent program on PBS on PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I won’t go into the technological or even medical symptoms of this disorder that affects so many of the young soldiers returning from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. I leave that to qualified medical personnel.

What I’d like to offer for thought is the legitimacy and efficacy of “spirit.” Not a single medical doctor or trained psychologist in the program mentioned, “spirit.” It is an understandable omission for science has yet to embrace the power of this unseen and unknowing force. Deep within each of us there is a gnosis of that power and its effect as a prime motivator within our being. We feel it even though we can't see it.

I believe our minds and bodies are motivated, controlled, influenced and even directed by our spirits, the divine essence of our being. That thought works for me. I think spirit is the only thing to survive our physical demise and therefore is the catylist of action, now and forever. The mind ends, as does the body; the spirit goes on forever.

What if...what if our spirits have evolved to a level where violence, killing, war, conflict, anything inimical to our natural spiritual condition of divine love is no longer a valid action or even a desired skill as a personal accoutrement of our “Being?”

What if?

Where does that leave us in the conflict between training for war, service to country or faith and the innate knowing within our hearts?

Having said that I do understand the difference between the necessity of stopping a bully and offering compassion and tough love. It is a very hard choice, both for individuals and for countries.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

It is right to honor those who serve this country. It is right to have this day of public appreciation. It is right to acknowledge in ceremony, and song, in words and prayer, the special gifts each veteran contributes to freedom, and liberty, democracy.
To each veteran today, America says thank you for your gift of time, thank you for your gifts of life, thank you for your gift of limb and thank you for your gift of talent, courage and bravery.
Veteran means people not gender. It means men and women. It means combatants and non-combatants alike, for a veteran's strength and a nation’s strength are one. It is both assertive and nurturing.
In the past, men and women have served separately, but equally for an ideal. Today they serve together and today they are honored together. It is right.

Having said that with humility and due honor to all vets, I would like to add a thought that not only honors our veterans, but exalts them as well.  If we never had to fight again and no one ever died in the anger and rage of war, they would have been the last to do so. What a world that would be.
November 11th, 1911, at the eleventh hours an armistice was signed to end the First World War and supposedly all wars. The First World War was the war to end all wars.
Yeah right!
Humanity did not learn it then and it did not learn it in previous or subsequent wars and conflicts.
I wonder why?
Is not the phenomenal number of dead, both civilian and combatants, on both sides enough to let us collectively see the insanity of war?
We fought the British and today they are our fast and loyal friends.
We fought the French and today they are our friends.
We fought among ourselves and today we are one united nation.
We fought the Kaiser Germans and today Germany is our friend.
We fought the Germans again and the Italians and today we are friends.
We fought the Japanese and today we are allies and fierce competitors.
We are still working on friendships with the North Korea and the Vietnamese and with the Iraqis and Afghans, but given the path of history, I suspect friendship will evolve in time.
Since we seem to eventually become allies and friends and trading partners with most of those we have killed or tried to kill and who killed us, isn’t there some way we can see beyond bombs and bloodshed to accomplish a camaraderie in global living?


Monday, November 9, 2009

Fort Hood

How do we begin to understand the deep desperation, the consuming hatred of Dr. Hasan who viewed life with such little value and with so much darkness, that he could not see a future beyond the deaths and injury of his fellow soldiers.

What lesson did he hope to teach? It certainly is not one from the Koran. The true Islamic faith does not teach or preach terrorism or murder. Extremists do teach terrorism and murder. Extremists in all venues encourage and practice violence and indiscriminate terror.

         There are no clean or clear answers to the question "why". There is only speculation with charges and accusations. Discernment is always difficult when tragedy is the precursor to reason. We must not forget that judgments grow from many seeds and if we plant the wrong seed, vengeance usurps justice and drags us to the level of the killer or the fanatic.

         Some will find comfort in God. Some will look elsewhere. Some will need to forgive, some will need to blame and some will need to hate. All need to heal and to rebuild from the empty holes in our hearts and at Fort Hood. And we still ask why and expect no answer we can understand.

Hurricane Ida and Gasoline

Here are some Sunday headlines out of the Gulf of Mexico regarding hurricane Ida and oil platforms in the Gulf.

“* BP, Marathon shut production in Gulf of Mexico
* Louisiana Offshore Oil Port stops tanker offloading
* Chevron, Anadarko evacuating workers, no output shut
* Exxon preparing for possible shutdowns (Adds BP, Marathon output shut, Exxon preparing for possible shutdowns, helicopter company comments, double byline)”

In the interest of full disclosure, I have nothing against the oil companies accept for their penchant for greed.

There is a hurricane heading to the oil patch in the Gulf of Mexico. It is described and predicted by the Weather Service to be a category two hurricane. UPDATE: As of this morning - Monday - Ida is a category ONE hurricane

One and Two's are elatively small compared to the maximum force of five. The winds will probably be around 100-miles per hour. Strong? Yes, but generally not destructive enough to harm or destroy oil platforms. Wave height is another factor in the design of these deep-sea rigs.

Most of the rigs have been through stronger hurricanes in the past and survived.

What I am suggesting is that by shutting down the oil production, even though Ida is not a strong hurricane, is a ploy to raise gasoline prices.

I’ll bet we see a four to six cents a gallon increase in gasoline in the next two to three weeks. The oil companies will blame hurricane Ida even though the shutting down those platforms for a few days may not really affect their cost per barrel of oil.

It happens over and over and we take it.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Are We More Polite Now?

I met a friend of mine at a mall the other day. I was supposed to counsel his purchase of a new computer and printer. It turned out I was not the expert he thought I was, but it was an enjoyable time with a good friend, and besides he bought lunch.
My friend commented after visits to several stores that he thought the courtesy level of sales people was nicer, kinder, and more polite since the economic downturn began. He said it made many people a little more appreciative of their jobs.
I can’t say I agree with my friend, but I’ve been thinking about what he said for the past couple of days.
There have been a number of changes in our social and cultural and even mercantile demeanor since money became tight in the households of America and even throughout the world.
Church collections are taking in a lot less at Sunday services.
Sales are far more prominent and the percentages off as bargains are bigger than they used to be. One-day sales are now longer.
Restaurant gratuities are down to 15% or less. It used to be 18% and even 20% for the better healed of out-eaters.
Gasoline prices are way down from the high two years ago, but they are heading back up. Mark my words, you will see four dollars a gallon gas again and sooner than you think.
The walk-in traffic on most department stores is down except for the discount chains like Wal-Mart and Target.
The evaluation of my house went down for the first time in ten years and so did my tax base.
As for people being kinder, more gentle and polite, maybe, but I think gentleness, courtesy and kindness is endemic of our being. I don’t think it was not there, it was just forgotten, like a lot of things of life and living. My experience is that most sales people, service folks and the like are basically polite. The first rule of sales and service is smile. The second is the customer is always right and so on. ( I have a little problem with that one. )
I am not Pollyannic, but I am positive and optimistic. I believe all people are inherently nice, but it is often a surly attitude or an unreasonable persona on the part of the customer that conditions an adverse reaction.
It is amazing what a “please” and a “thank you” and a smile will do for anybody’s attitude and disposition. :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Parental Counsel

There never was or ever will be a book or treatise on how to be a parent that fits all situations especially in an parent and adult child relationship.
How do you advise an adult child on the possible and even probable consequences of a choice when bravado or machismo or stubbornness or even desire is obscuring parental logic? It’s not easy and sometimes impossible to do so. The young need to experience the prideful glow of right choice and the disappointment via consequence of wrong choice. It’s the way they grow intellectually and the way they grow up and mature emotionally.
The difficulty for parents is when an adult child makes a decision that is inimical to the values of family, illegal, or the choice will put the adult child in harm's way that he or she cannot imagine because of their youthful enthusiasm and limited life experience.
A case in point and question comes from a Mother, a reader, of this blog.
Her son in his early twenties decides to join the army. He’s young and strong and with youthful strength there often comes the illusion of being invulnerable.
The parents believe that once committed and trained the young soldier will probably be sent to a war zone. A place no parent wants a child to go, no matter how old and mature or trained a young man or woman is. It’s a parent protection thing that often usurps the zeal of patriotism or even an altruistic desire for humanitarian service if the action puts the child in harms way.
There is no one answer to the Mother’s question on this issue. Do you encourage or discourage with reason the son’s choice?
Parents must answer that question as they see fit and handle it uniquely for their given situation. The only commonality between all parents of all cultures is the love of their children.
All parents can do is unconditionally love the child, offer good counsel and make sure their suggestions are not interpreted as demands and then let life take its course. It will anyway.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Did You Vote?

Good Morning All,

There are winners and loser this morning all across this grand land. Most are for local offices that garner very little publicity or even local attention. A special thank you must go to those who chose to run, but did not win. It's tough living in a Democracy.

Question: Did you vote yesterday?

If not, let me offer this post.

There are many reasons to vote and they have nothing to do with politics or propositions. They are memories for some and only names to others, but they are the truths of our democracy.

Andrew Allard and Amaziah Fassett killed in action -- Revolutionary war.

Mike Quinn, in a gray uniform. Philip Kearney, in blue -- killed in action, the civil war.

Emery Pike and John Pruett -- killed in action, world war one.

Robert Mccard and Joseph Merrell -- killed in action, world war two.

Darwin Kyle and Herbert Littleton -- killed in action, Korean War.

William Banfield and William Houston -- killed in action, Vietnam.

Marie Rossi and Damon Kanuha - killed in action, the gulf war.

And too many more names from Iraq and Afghanistan.

No more need be said.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Congressional Obfiscation Again

Here’s the Associated Press Story out of Washington. My take is in the color blue.

WASHINGTON — Republican senators on Monday demanded additional studies on the cost and job impact of a climate bill before it is voted on by a key committee, exposing the sharp partisan divide in Congress over legislation aimed at addressing global warming.

When is Congress going to look for the greater good and work together for life and a future long past their partisanships?

Ranking GOP members of six Senate committees that are playing a part in crafting an overall bill to cut greenhouse gases said that an Environmental Protection Agency analysis was unsatisfactory, although supporters of the bill called it an exhaustive examination.

It’s a stalling tactic that Congress has used for every delay that didn’t fit the specific needs of an individual constituency. Ridiculous earmarks attached to spending bills will be the downfall of our republic. Nobody in Congress is thinking beyond his or her own selfish needs.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., co-sponsor of the climate bill, which is before her Environment and Public Works Committee, said she plans to press ahead with consideration of the measure on Tuesday, even as GOP panel members threatened to boycott the proceedings.

It’s more of the same. This time it’s Republicans threatening, tomorrow it will be Democrats. I keep asking, where are the statesmen?

In a letter to Boxer, the Republicans warned that failure to accommodate GOP senators seeking further studies "would severely damage rather than help" the chances of getting the bipartisan support needed to get a bill through the Senate.

Global Climate Change is been studied and studied to death for the last 25 or more years.

The Democratic bill calls for imposing mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industrial facilities and cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Polluters would be given emission allowances that they could trade among themselves to ease the economic effect of the transition from fossil fuels.

By 2020 we are going to be up the proverbial residue waterway and these easements from fossil fuel regulations will be moot.

Every member of Congress should be made to read: “Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller…Oil and the End of Globalization," by Jeff Rubin.

But Republicans have argued the bill — patterned after legislation passed by the House earlier this year — amounts to a huge energy tax because energy, including electricity, from fossil fuels will become more expensive. Boxer argues such costs can be contained and cites the EPA study that says the cost to households would on average be $80 to $111 a year…

Sorry Senator Boxer, Congress has no track record of containing costs. Cost is not the issue. Clean air is and the warming of the planet is the issue. Get with the science.

…Boxer said on Tuesday she will make available officials from the EPA so Republicans can quiz them about their cost study.


"We think this is going the extra mile for our friends on the other side," Boxer told reporters Monday. "We want to move the process forward."

So my constituents in California will think that I am working for their environmental causes.

But Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the environment committee's ranking Republican, said he expects GOP senators to stay away, except possibly for one Republican to make the case for the boycott.

That will play well back in Oklahoma, a big OIL PRODUCING AND REFINERY STATE, along with Texas their neighboring state.

 "There has to be some sort of leverage" to get a more detailed study, said Inhofe, a sharp critic of not only the Democratic bill, but of the science of climate change.

Oil, Oklahoma! Daahh…fossil fuels, refining, contributing to global warming? Who would have thunk it?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Afghanistan and Family

Today is another one of those Monday thought days after a weekend of family conversations.

The parents of our nephew who is serving in Afghanistan came to dinner  last night and we talked about the day and the expectations for tomorrow and of family serving in harms way.

Expectations are of the normal things that life brings, but also the ones in life that are profound to family by sharing joys and concerns.

Our nephew is a career military professional, an officer by both experience and time in the military and now a tour of duty in Afghanistan. 

He leaves a family at home. A wife, a teenage daughter and a nine-year-old son, to say nothing of his Mother and Father and siblings. It is not a good time for a Father to be away, it never is, but our nephew’s deployment is indicative of our nation’s military families these days.

We ask much of our soldiers and their families. For the individuals in uniform, who have chosen the military as a career and probable service in foreign lands, it is always expected, but never desired. For the families of those who serve it is a different story.

As a country we ask these families for the sacrifice of self. We ask for willing separation from the human loves and likes of our soldiers and we as a country acknowledge little in appreciation for the innocents of choice; those who by circumstance of birth or marriage must endure the constant thought of a warrior in harms way.

What families do is worry in silence and often in private. Families smile and honor the choices of our soldiers. Families hug and pray and with pride and tears send our young and their leaders off to a battle that’s different from what war use to be.

The saying from the past is still valid today. "They also serve who only stand and wait."

My wish for my nephew is courage in his choices, wisdom in his leadership, peace in his heart, kindness in his confrontations and safety, not only for him, but for all the lives he cares for and leads in the service of his country. May the blessings of life be forever embedded in the beats of his heart until he and all return to the sacred ground of home.
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