Why the Military Industrial Complex Exists, and What it Looks Like

Note: This is the other debate that should be happening.

We have just fought two wars, one of which is currently forgotten (sadly) in any real coverage.   I’m all for focusing on the Healthcare thing, but something I ran across the other day chapped my hide as well.

Here we are fightin an enemy that thinks in generations and plans strategy along those lines.   Ones that have found ways to counteract, ultimately, even the hardiest of weapons…simply by putting up no resistance.  What we’ve learned, IMHO, is that buying for jets we didn’t even use for those wars, when we didn’t lose any of the last ones, and we already have the next ones on the way, is idiotic.  And some silly super President-Copter in six shades of gold, or something.   It’s retared, especially when the Pentagon doesn’t want them and the CinC doesn’t need them (or want them).

Welcome to Defense Spending 101 or as it is more appropriately, Our Annual Stimulus Package.

Here’s where it went. (and didn’t go

Despite objections and veto threats from the White House, a $636 billion Pentagon spending bill passed by a 400-30 vote Thursday contains money for a much-criticized new presidential helicopter fleet, cargo jets that Gates says aren’t needed, and an alternative engine for the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that the Pentagon says is a waste of money.

Even though the House is packed with Obama loyalists, the draw of defense industry jobs for weapons systems is strong even among the most liberal members. Typically, contractors and subcontractors are spread across the country to maximize support.

The items Gates seeks to kill mean jobs in such states as Georgia, Texas, California, Connecticut, New York, Indiana, and Ohio.

The measure also contains money for nine unrequested F-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, assembled in St. Louis.

Gates appears to feel most strongly about the F-22, an ultramodern fighter aimed at maintaining U.S. dominance in air-to-air combat. But it is poorly suited for 21st century warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates wants to cut off production after 187 planes.

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the chief author of the defense spending measure, had originally sought $369 million for a start on 12 additional F-22s.

But after a veto threat from Obama — and a decisive vote against the airplane in the Senate last week — Murtha beat a tactical retreat and instead directed $139 million toward spare engines for the F-22 and the C-17 cargo plane.

Murtha and Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., however, are not backing away from their support for the troubled VH-71 presidential helicopter, which is six years behind schedule and $6 billion over budget. The White House threatened to veto the bill over $400 million in the bill to continue production of five of the aircraft, which would be built in Hinchey’s upstate New York district.

The bill contains $560 million for the alternative engine. The White House issued a squishy veto threat, saying Obama would kill the bill if it would “seriously disrupt the F-35 program.”

There’s even more support for $674 million for three unrequested C-17 cargo jets, which would be assembled in Long Beach, Calif. Though Gates says the Air Force has plenty of the planes, the administration did not issue a veto threat over the additional aircraft.

And, by a 124-307 vote, lawmakers rejected a bid by Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., to kill $80 million for the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, a ballistic missile defense system that’s way over budget and has yet to experience a flight test. The Bush administration had soured on the program; the project is being undertaken in Huntsville, Ala., by the Northrop Grumman Corp.

And so the bacon gets passed around, the the planes and engine get built, cared for, flown, and scrapped, never needed and never used (since WE ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH, not because space unicorns come and bring peace to the planet forever.  You can, actually, have enough guns.  And not enough butter, err, healthcare.)

So yea, that’s the Military Industrial Complex at work.  And that’s how it works.  The Congressmen bring home the bacon, the folks at home get nice, high-tech or factory jobs making weapons of war.

And every twenty years or so we get a big backlog and have to use the stuff or trash it.  Plus, there’s always some asshole out there, somewhere.

Then more money comes in, more jobs get saved, and someone gets re-elected to their home district.   Rince, repeat, recycle, every couple years.

But, yeah…that’s how it works.  The going to war to use stuff is just speculation based on the size of the military industry, the power of lobbyists, and uh, the entire lifetime of the concept of the U.S. having a permanent arms industry.

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Karl Rove shows how it’s done because he is a Genius

This is a wonderful object lesson we have for us today. This is how you fling shit, and fling it well.

The Genius that is Bush’s Brain has spoken.

By KARL ROVE

On the campaign trail last year, Barack Obama promised to end the “politics of fear and cynicism.” Yet he is now trying to sell his health-care proposals on fear.

Boom!  Right off the bat, Karl Rove is at it.

Obama is trying to scare you, Rove posits.  Immediately and to the point, get the big lie out first and quickly…Obama is a hypocrite for trying to reform health care.  Hypocrisy = Healthcare = Secrit Muslin = Obama.

Now, let’s back up a bit to quick little rant I tossed up the other day.  You can watch it, well, right here…yea, I move my arms around that much when I get a bit fired up.

So in that rant I talked about how you should ignore folks who try and make this about a man, rather than about a plan.  It’s a logical fallacy, a lie.  A big one.  Right out the gate, I tell ya, that Rove is a genius.

Healthcare is an important part of our lives, I don’t think I need to stress that point.  We have an aging population (*will be mentioned lated), the most expensive per capita by far system in the world.  We have 47,000,000 to 50,000,000 folks without health insurance, and those that do have it have seen prices skyrocket. 

It’s a huge, expensive, beauracratic, corporate, and already some government, system.  The idea is to make it better.

O.k. so….that’s why we’re having this debate.  Which has been going on for 17 or 18 years, recently, and even longer than that historically as the United States has expanded and matured as a culture.   Yes, it was rather inconceivable to the Founding Fathers that every black child, born in every shack, had the Right, as an American, to get essentially free health care for their entire lives.

It’s not such a far fetch idea nowadys, IMHO.  So it’s quite possible they overlooked that right when talking about the pursuit of happiness and how, say, polio can put a damper on it.

All I’m saying there is that we as a country have evolved a bit since the Constitution was penned.  A Constitution that gave us the ability to shape our government and our country as we see fit.

That’s how big a debate this is, and how important an issue we have here.

Let’s head back to Karl and see what he is adding to the conversation after starting out with a logical faux paus.

[Obama] said “Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, or lose their job. . . . If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction.”

See, Obama used the word “fear” and said he wouldn’t.  Eeew, that Obamanation…

Note how Karl then doesn’t deal with the fact that costs are skyrocketing and 14,000 Americans lose coverage each day.   He goes straight to the stats.  Genius, I tells ya.

A Fox News Poll from last week shows that 84% of Americans who have health insurance are happy with their coverage. And because 91% of all Americans have insurance, that means that 76% of all Americans will be concerned about anything that threatens their current coverage. By a 2-1 margin, according to the Fox Poll, Americans want coverage from a private provider rather than the government.

84, 91, 76, Americans, 2-1,

Note how quickly we gloss over the fact that his first statistic comes from a Fox Online News Poll, compiled regarding the humble opinions of the folks that visit Fox New a lot.  Again, first the big lie.  Quickly and then on to the next.

91% of Americans have insurance Rove assures us.   With 300,000,000 Americans, and 50,000,000 (+14,000/day) without insurance, I’m seeing something more like 1 out of 6.  16.66 percent. The ratio of the devil.

Which makes 83.33% the real number, but hey, what’s 8% wiggle room after the first whopper.

Then ya just multiple the first two numbers to make up a third (.84 * .91 = 76%) which is totally unrelated to the fourth, which is another Fox Poll (which has no margin of error, it would seem) that says essentially, out of 300,000,000 Americans, 100,000,000 want government insurance and 200,000,000 want private. 

Right now, 250,000,000 Americans have private insurance.  So the poll is really saying 50,000,000 Americans want a public option for health insurance and to say screw you to the insurance companies and their heartless profit-obsessed culture and beauracracy.

So we have 50,000,000 who want a public option and 50,000,000 who have squat, and about half of ’em voted for Obama to try and fix this system.

So he told Congress to get to work, and now we are all calmly discussin various solutions, right?

Right?  Cool.

Discussin’ solutions, right…Karl?

Facing numbers like these, Mr. Obama is dropping his high-minded rhetoric and instead trying to scare voters.

Facing what numbers?   People want to fix the system, they voted for the guy.  Now we can all calmly discuss real world solutions, like legislators do.   Policy, right?

During last week’s news conference, for example, he said that doctors routinely perform unnecessary tonsillectomies on children simply to fatten their wallets. All that was missing was the suggestion that the operations were conducted without anesthesia.

Well, that suggestion is there now, isn’t it Karl?  I mean, I’ll bet that’s exactly what Obama is planning, along with the government kill squads that go after old people, convincing them to die “for the good of society”.  Just like in that Hollywood fantasy

What, you haven’t you heard about those grandma killing beuracrats?  Obama has been asked about them at least 5 different times (that’s I’ve seen).  Someone out there is spreading some FUD, that’s for sure.  [btw, here’s the factcheck on that, so you can know where it came from]

Anyway, back to policy, right Karl?

This is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate. It also risks making the president look desperate at a time when his proposals are looking increasingly too expensive for Americans to accept.

No, this is not a healthy way to wage a policy debate, Karl.  Why are you doing it like this?   Aaah, yes, to try and make the President (caps, Karl…) look “desperate” (desperate enough to choke Grandma with Lil’ Timmy’s Tonsils).

But now we are to the good part, let’s talk money.

Last weekend, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) demolished Mr. Obama’s claims that his plan cuts the growth of future health spending and won’t add to the deficit.

This is a fun one, actually.   Watch Karl work this…

Responding to a White House proposal to create an independent panel to recommend Medicare cuts, the CBO said on Saturday that “The probability is high that no savings would be realized” in the next decade, while entitlement spending would rise $1.042 trillion. The CBO did say there might be $2 billion in savings in the second decade of the program—a pittance.

Note how Karl uses the gross figure there, “entitlement spending woud rise $1.042 trillion in the next decade”, and then we start to see savings on the changes.

What Karl neglects to mention is that the health care reform legislation includes covering the vast majority of those 50,000,000 uncovered human Americans and another 100,000,000 old as hell Americans (Baby Boomers, who are only going to get more expensive).

So even with that…we end up spending what current projections look like.

That’s what is happening.  Here read the testimony itself. 

Elmendorf told members of the committee that his answer to Conrad shows only that the bill “adds to federal health spending, and that amount is difficult to offset.” 

In other words, it’s not that the health reform bills do not lead to savings for the federal government — just that those savings may not offset the added expense of subsidizing insurance for many more Americans.

And Karl spins it like a maniac.  Genius, I tell ya.

White House Budget Director Peter Orszag shot back at the CBO with a blog posting on the White House’s Web site arguing, “the point of the proposal . . . was never to generate savings over the next decade.” Really? The White House rolled out the proposal hoping to give cover to Blue Dog Democrats in Congress barking about the cost of overhauling health care.

Yea, really.  The point is to contain healthcare costs, insure Americans, and keep people living happy, healthy lives.  That’s the point.  And that’s what the CBO said it did.   And it did get the BDD’s some leverage and they cut into the bill pretty good.  Weakening it, but it continues on, as did Rove…

Here comes a good one.

The House version of ObamaCare adds to the deficit even though the new taxes to pay for part of it begin two years before the program itself kicks in. That head start puts ObamaCare in the black through 2013. But net new spending after that overwhelms future revenue to add to the deficit each year.

Keith Hennessey, who was a National Economic Council director for George W. Bush, estimates the annual deficits in Mr. Obama’s plan will grow to $64 billion a year by 2019.

It’s important to keep these two points together.  Pointed out in the bold.  See..when you run in the black for four years, then run small deficits increasing to a palty $64 B (out of $1 T, or 0.064%) for six years, YOU END UP EVEN.

Oh,and since when did “National Economic Council director for George W. Bush” carry weight?   Bush projection’s had us swimming in oil and money by 2009, if you’ll recall. 

Anyway, sorry…just had to Bush Bash for a moment.   Recall, everyone, that this article I’m spending so much time playing with was penned by one Karl Rove.   Karl was Bush’s brain.  And y’all know what Bush did.   Genius.

To continue…

And this assumes that Mr. Obama gets all the tax increases and Medicare cuts he wants.

Yup, Obama is increasin’ your taxes and cutting your Medicare!  Scared yet?

Karl?

Let’s a put the last few of these together, I’m sure you’re getting as bored with tearing apart Karl as I am, but here’s a few more nice zingers…genius.

Damaging reports from the CBO had earlier provoked some Chicago-style intimidation, with the president summoning CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf to the Oval Office. It’s safe to assume that they didn’t talk about the Chicago White Sox.

Ooooh, that’s old schoold Chicago policitcs, talking directly to someone who releases a report at your request.  I think it’s also safe to assume they probably, oh, I don’t know…TALKED ABOUT THE PROJECTED COST OF THE HEALTH CARE PLAN?

From what I’ve seen of Obama and heard of him, he likes to know stuff, and he’s pretty sharp.  So what came out of that conversation?  Here come the air-quotes…

Imagine if Mr. Bush had done that after the CBO released numbers that undercut the centerpiece of his domestic agenda. “White House thuggery” and “intimidation” would have been the theme of nearly every editorial writer in the country.

Interesting that now they are only coming from one editorial writer in the country.  Sucks not to be in control anymore, doesn’t it Karl?   Note how he used the quotes as if to say that he’s actually quoting an editor.  Nope, just making shit up, Karl-style.

Team Obama’s pressure, however, might have caused the CBO to release its latest missives on a weekend, when fewer people are paying attention to the news.

Ohh, yea…you loved doin’ that one, didn’t ya?   Why do you think folks like myself tend to wait until Friday night to talk about the week that was?  We learned it from watching you, Karl. 

Note how the alleged “quoted” intimidation has now been succressful in Karl’s narrative.

Mr. Obama’s problem is that nine out of 10 Americans would likely get worse health care if ObamaCare goes through.

Wait, what?  ObamaCare?!  9 out of 10…where from was this statistic pulled and why does it smell like processed burritos?

Of those who do not have insurance—and who therefore might be better off—approximately one-fifth are illegal aliens, nearly three-fifths make $50,000 or more a year and can afford insurance, and just under a third are probably eligible for Medicaid or other government programs already.

You gorram asshole.  This whole discussion, this whole times we’ve been talking about Americans, and now you’re talking about those damned illegals that came to your house to protest you being an asshole.

So everyone else is illegal, solidly middle class or already covered.  Wait, what?  It’s stat-mash-up time, folks, and where does it end?

For the slice of the uninsured that is left—perhaps about 2% of all American citizens—Team Obama would dismantle the world’s greatest health-care system.

Down to 2%.   We’ve gone from 50,000,000 people to only 6,000,000…all with the power of Karl Rove’s statistics.

So now you know a little bit more why Bush made such horrible decisions.   This is the guy that was feeding him data.

And the coup-de-grace, the final big lie.  Book-end them, for his pleasure.

That’s a losing proposition, which is why Mr. Obama is increasingly resorting to fear and misleading claims. It’s all the candidate of hope has left.

Hope or Fear.

Obama or Rove.

Gosh, that’s a tough call.  After all, Karl Rove is genius.  He just made 44,000,000 people disappear with statistics.

There’s no problem here.  Nothing to fear.  Move along, citizen. 

And get that cough checked out at the emergency room.

Mr. Rove is the former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

Enough said.

Denzel Does Some Coaching (can you smell it?)

Denzel Washington’s stern talk with Chad Ochocinco has inspired the receiver to clean up his act. – National Football League news
Source: sports.yahoo.com
As life once again imitates art, it reminds us of one important thing…

Football season is almost here.

Paging Palin, Petroleum Pundit (Cap’n Trade Dissection)

To catch you up *real* quick, I’ve been away and Sarah Palin quit as Governor of Alaska.

A number of other big things have happened since I last wrote, and we’ll be addressing a number of those in short order, but as I like to talk a bit about policy and big things from time to time, let’s focus on Cap’n Trade and the newly minted petroleum pundit, Sarah Palin.

There was, to be sure, a good bit of discussion on the future of the former Miss Alaska, and it seems she has put those questions to action in the form of this op-ed piece in the Washington Post.   As I’ll be using that for the dissection and discussion, a quick read would be useful.

Her op-ed piece is about this piece of legislation (H.R. 2494) which would be the first legislation to seriously address the issue of global climate change, and set the U.S. on a road to a 21st century energy infrastructure.  As the bill itself bills itself…

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.

The bill has passed the House, in a major victory for Obama, and is now on the way to a filibuster-proof Senate (Hahaha!, Al Franken is a Senator).   I, for one, am happy about this, as I see global warming and energy issues in the 21st century (including things like peak oil) as one of the central issues facing our nation and the world.

Global industrialization also poses its own risks, particularly in the environmental arena, as 2,000,000,000 plus people are brought into the present within a couple generations of real time.

Now, just to be clear, this legislation is mainly addressing the issue of climate change.  It is addressing the idea that we can’t continue to pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as if it has no effect.  We know it has an effect, we have been measuring it, and it is something that simply must be addressed.  That’s what this legislation represents, a solution to that problem.

Since talking directly about legislation and the specifics therein is boring and mostly left to legislators, I’m going to go along with Palin’s lead and go for the more emotional aspects of the argument.

Which brings us directly to Palin’s petroleum punditry.   She kicks it off with a bang, which is a great way to start…. (and BTW, I use Palin because she makes a great foil to illustrate the idiocy of certain ideas, and she’s cute, which helps)

There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing.

Indeed, and we have some particularly bad leadership to thank for that.

Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.

Indeed, the Patriot Act, borrowing money to go to war, and the warrant-less wiretaps championed by the previous administration were assaults on our liberty and future that should not be tolerated.  I, too, am calling on the Obama Administration to begin full investigations and prosecutions, if necessary.

But first things first, let’s settle some personal scores….

Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges.

Indeed.

So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy.

And this is where we lose her.   See, you’ll note in the rest of the essay, she spends nary a sentence on the reason the legislation exists in the first place, (“reduce global warming pol.   This is fairly similar to writing an essay on why you support the death penalty, when you’ve been given evidence that a particular inmate is innocent and scheduled to be executed at midnight…and you’re the governor.

Ummm, governor?  You have the evidence in front of you, yea, I know you love the death penalty, but this guy is innocent.

Which is to say, we have ample evidence that a real and abundant threat to our economy already exists in the form of global climate change, and this legislation is meant to begin to deal with it.

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

This is where, for those not knowing the context of discussion, one might be inclined to agree with the former Mayor of Wasilla (meth capital of Alaska).  After all, who doesn’t like prosperity.   What does this have to do with global warming?  Nothing.  Well, outside the fact that abundant, cheap energy has contributed greatly to the problem.

The entire concept of a cap AND TRADE system is to allow the market to apportion costs more efficiently.  The fact is that by spewing huge amounts of pollutants into the air, the energy-rich are dumping a standard waste product into the air we all breathe (and the one that moderates and regulates our planet).  This cost is the one being addressed through the cap and trade system.

Palin’s argument is that there is no cost here, and the solution is to burn more, faster.

We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

Of course, Alaska is not the sole source of American energy. Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source. Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.

This is what really gets me about this part of the essay.  She mentions “more desire and ability to protect the environment” but doesn’t mention THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE LEGISLATION.

She then does it again a moment later.

We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact?

YES, DANGIT!  That’s the whole point of leading the world on this issue.   That’s the whole point of coming up with a compromise, where we set both limits and allow market forces to provide incentives to create innovative solutions.  That’s the “Trade” part of the cap and trade system.

And with what can only be called a rhetorical flourish, Palin finishes with some plagiarism and a bit of find and replace argumentation.

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

Ha!  See, that’s why she doesn’t get it.  She doesn’t understand what “trade” means.  Nor, does she offer any particular insight into the actual problem the legislation is addressing.

Can someone please put that on her tutoring schedule?

Original and real name here

Let’s Clear the Desktop First.

I’ve been a bit lax (ha!) in keeping up the blog lately.  My apologies for withholding from you.

As mentioned previously, the saving the world bit is on the tiring side, and the writing stuff is on the high energy side, and seldom did the ‘twain meet.

When one is pouring all of one’s emotional energy into the real world at large, it leaves scarce little for casting such things into the semi-real state of internet literature.   Fortunate however for you, dear reader, the saving the world (at least in the manner recently mastered) shall be put on hold for a bit as more pressing matters are attended to.

Matters like revolution.

Matters like the health of a nation. (to be explored further, the debate on this one seems to have veered in a strange direction, and I’d like to try and do my nudge thing back another way)

Matter like that crazy former Mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, Wasilla, Sarah Palin. As you can tell from the tags over there on the right, Palin has been a favorite of mine.  Not only in she smokin’ hot, she represents all that is wrong with the country and neo-conservatism.  O.k. not really, but she is a wonderful foil to play against.   The rampant anti-intellectualism is the biggest draw.   It’s like have one’s very own “fool” to play with.

Matters like the new phase of evolution of mankind, which is something of a personal interest of mine, being a RPN.  Lots more on that one, and soon.

I also want to spend a bit of time closing this gap for future generations.

And, of course, there’s plenty of war stuff going on.   So it’s good to find a bit of time to write, and have the loving energy to do so.

Finally, and this is for the internet folks in the audience, Hulu is very solid.  Now there is no real excuse for not having seen most, if not all, of Arrested Development (currently finishing up the first season).   The media convergence of Internet as a direct competitor to cable and satellite is upon us.  Given the rise of pseudo-pirate sites, I’ve also caught up on my True Blood fetish.  If you want to save a few bucks and stop paying Rupert Murdoch for a channel you never watch (yea…everyone who has cable in pitching into the cable coffers), cancel that cable and watch the good stuff online (hooked to your big screen, of course).  Spend the rest of the time reading books, or watching good movies, or outside, etc.

For those that like to complain about the “MSM” and “those crappy cable news channels” there’s really only one way to get rid of them.  Cancel that shit.

Hmmm…that pretty much clears off the desktop.  Time to get to work.

Regarding Celebrity Culture and the Human Brain

We are evolved mammals.  I don’t know if you’ve heard this yet, but it’s true.

We are social animals.  We have evolved the capacity to “model” another’s behaviour, in our brians, of other’s social behavior.  We have *extremely* adapted conceptual models for facial recognition.  We *know* who certain people are.  We have a limit for this ability.

It’s at about 150.

There are 7,000,000,000 or so of us.

Most of us, and this is the weird part, used one of those 150 conceptual being slots for a thing called Michael Jackson.  That man is now dead.

Watching us cast that conception into stone and history, has been very interesting to watch.

It would seem, in the case of Mr. Jackson, that his vast talent to entertain the planet has faaar overshadowed the demons he battled within himself while doing so.   If there were an XBox Achievement for his efforts, it would be something along the lines of  “Iconic Status Achieved.”

And so he went, and stays with us now forever, not as a person, but as a symbol for a person.  An icon of song and dance and popularity.

Peace be with you finally, man I saw sing and dance on stage once live, and thousands of times in digital form.

Holy Shit, I Still Have a Website.

My lord, I’ve been spending too much time on Facebook.

I’ve neglected my role here, as RPN. My deepest apologies.

To catch you up to the story quickly (this would be Chapter 12 for those reading at home), our hero in the story has taken to walking the Earth in order to save it.

Which sounds all grandiose and shit, but is actually much more mundane and all work-like in this our Real World.

There are so many problems to fix you see, and only so much time in which to do so. What to do first? Where should I focus my talents *now*.

And so I picked one, as so many do in these days, off the List of Craig. A truly wondrous resource, which once again reaffirms the fact that we are wondering into a new Age of human civilization (the Information One).

So in order to continue the trend of outputting so much information at once onto the Interwebs at once, and blasting it off into the ether of other’s minds, I shall continue my story about my current job.

I’m walking the world to save the world (mainly because I like vague self-referential loops, as illustrated in Chapter something or other).

Now I’m doing so literally. With an organization that focused on a problem near and dear to my heart, electronics.

I’ll let the New York Times update you on the solution that many states have adopted.

This month, Edward Reilly, 35, finally let go of the television he had owned since his college days.

Although the Mitsubishi set was technologically outdated, it had sat for years in Mr. Reilly’s home in Portland, Me., because he did not know what else to do with it, given the environmental hazards involved in discarding it.

But the day after the nationwide conversion to digital television signals took effect on June 12, Mr. Reilly decided to take advantage of a new wave of laws in Maine and elsewhere that require television and computer manufacturers to recycle their products free of charge. He dropped off his television at an electronic waste collection site near his home and, he said, immediately gained “peace of mind.”

Over the course of that day, 700 other Portland residents did the same.

I have been working, for the last three months of so, on legislation in Texas, of all places, for similar services.  This being Texas, and not Maine, our effort ultimately failed thanks the diabolical pen of one James Richard “Rick” (a.k.a “Jimmy Dick”) Perry.   And his fabulous hair.

More info on that here.

So I spent three months walking the earth, talking to folks, telling them to write their Representative, and their Senator.  And after the bill passed the House and the Senate, I asked folks to write to Rick Perry, and tell that [redacted] they supported the bill.  And they did.  Hundreds of them. Personally, for me, I picked up and delivered over 200 letters.   I know Perry got many, many thousands more.

And then one man with one pen erased that effort.  Or so it would seem, and so it did seem for the week or so after it happened.

Then one day, around last week, as we began to focus our attention on another aspect of the electronics recycling problem (and it is one, don’t kid yourself.  Each American consumes and shits out about five pounds of it a year, and someone has to eat that shit, if we don’t deal with it ourselves) I got my first real achievement in my walking the earth thing.  Rick Perry’sPen had nothing to do with it, and affected it not in the least.

I didn’t say how much would help, or really much more than how much it meant to me that he do something.   The organization with which I am working has an Ultimate Membership Level.   The way the walking the Earth thing works, in the Real World, has a lot to do with talking to people out on the street.  Or, more directly, in their homes.  Hence, there’s a good bit of walking the street, and a good bit of knocking on doors, and some sweet, sweet (and sometimes bitter) bits of talking to folks.  Good, Texas, Folks.  About the Environment and Electronic Waste (which is oh-so-sexy as cause, I know…).

A challenge, to say the least.   As our group is a political lobbying organization, we ask people who agree with what we are doing to help out with the campaign financially.  We have an Ultimate Membership Level.   So to finally continue the real story, I didn’t say how much to help.

I just left a thought, and a pen.   And he used it to erase Rick Perry’s slight, and I realized one pen can’t stop the world from turning.  Not with with so many people walking on it in the same direction.

The direction I walk is toward one of our many possible futures.  The one I aim for is a sustainable future, where we get to have our electronic toys and don’t have to eat them too.

Walk with me, if you would…

….

Anyway, in case anyone is wondering (Hi Mom!) I’ll be walking the Earth tomorrow.  We should hit 100 degrees or so, which is like, boiling, in metric.

peace,

Wah