Act of Karma

Sharon Stone was criticized recently for some remarks she made about the earthquakes in China being Karma for their treatment of the people of Tibet.

You know, for so long, an event like this would have been called an “Act of God”, What’s wrong with calling it an “Act Of Karma” if that is what she believes in? To assign it specifically to their relationship with Tibet is a bit judgmental, I agree. But if she (or you) don’t believe in God then you have to call it something .)

The city of Bam in SE Iran was hit by a major earthquake on Boxing Day in 2003, then, Exactly one year later The Indian Ocean region was hit by a major Tsunami. Even though I did not hear of any Christian leaders saying it, I’m sure Many Christians at least wondered if these “Acts of God” Really Were Acts of God. And if that weren’t enough, On the Same Day in 2006, an earthquake of about 6.7 on the Richter scale hit a place called Hengchun in Taiwan. I did not hear about this at the time but apparently the only effects it had on America was a temporary decrease in Spam.

So if someone does not believe in God But does Believe in Karma then what is wrong with calling it so? In fact wouldn’t it be discrimination not to?

Of course, calling something an “Act of Karma” would turn the insurance industry on it’s head. “Ohh I’m terribly sorry to hear about your house fire Mrs Jones but we’ve taken a look at your life and decided that It was an “Act of Karma”, you see, You deserved it and I’m Afraid you’re not covered.” So sad.


Happy Mother’s Day

…To the Best Mom I ever had.

Composting Redux.

Well I just found out that the second week of May is International Compost Awareness Week. Since I am a person who believes that composting will do much more to benefit this planet than parking your SUV, I thought I should bring this up and provide a few links to help the slackers get started. I said in my previous post that  the basics of Composting could be learned in an article not much longer than an average blog post. So here is such an article. Also, here is a website for composting.  If you would like to build your own bin, try this article.  It’s not just for farmers anymore.

Taxing the rich.

What if we eliminated corporate tax in America? Calm down… breathe normally…4 3 2 1. Ok now read carefully….
I heard someone talk about this on the radio tonite, and When I realized the implications I almost had a heart attack. I hear people all the time saying (parroting) that we should increase taxes on the rich. I think that is the stupidest idea in the world. Who do you think pays those taxes? Who do you work for? Now if your answer has anything to do with the gov’t then you aren’t going to like what I am saying. I won’t spend a lot of time going into how much “the rich” already pay but let’s just say that it’s the 20/80 rule on steroids. Something like 5/95.
But really, Who is REALLY paying those taxes? WE are. Big companies call this CODB or Cost of Doing Business and Taxes are part of the price you pay for an item. That is BEFORE Sales Tax! So you, Johnny and Jane Taxpayer, You pay tax when you earn money. You pay tax when you spend it. You even pay tax when you save it and earn interest. On top of THAT, You are also paying the tax of the company THAT MADE THE PRODUCT! (it’s in the price.)
So again… What if we ended Corporate Tax? First, Outsourcing would end. Do you ever wonder WHY companies ship jobs overseas. Cheaper labor is part of it. But Cheaper taxes and Fewer regulations are another part. A much bigger part. Without corporate taxes, Foreign companies would be begging to operate here. Prices would be much lower. the Economy would flow like Drano. Innovation would soar. Research and Development would be a larger part of society and people would have better jobs to choose from. If Corporations did not pay taxes they, like Churches today, would have less say over what happens in Government and Taxpayers would have more power. Any objections???

Storefront Schools

Here’s a novel Idea. Make schools (I’m talking about K-12 here) smaller. They would be easier to control. Better student to teacher ratio. Better security. And closer to home. They would also better reflect the community that surrounds them. We need more schools. The ones we have are usually overcrowded by the time they are built, and they cost millions before they even open their doors. Meanwhile there are lots of empty storefronts in most every large metropolitan city. Excellent space going to waste.  Now, most people will think I am either very naive or quite mad to even suggest this but to those people I say, “what do you suggest?”  More of the status quo? And how is that working? A lot of schoolwork is done online anyway. Or at least it could be. What would it matter if the next classroom is down the hall or down the street? (Of couse I am not suggesting that kids travel from one storefront to another during a schoolday.) I could go into all the advantages of smaller schools but I don’t think I really need to. It would take much less space to list the advantages of Large Overcrowded Schools, wouldn’t it? Now I am not suggesting that we bulldoze the schools that already exist but as cities expand, it is an option. The school that I went to had six “portables” behind the school where practically everyone took at least one class. They each had their own A/C and heat system, plumbing and electricity and porches (and yet they were ‘portable’?)  They were practically freestanding storefronts anyway, And this was in a rather small suburb of Detroit. More than twenty years ago. OK a lot more. And to be honest, having part of your Jr. High that was “portable” really did not gender a lot of confidence in a teenagers mushy mind.

It’s sort of a modern day “Little Red Schoolhouse”. The average storefront could hold 2-3 classes of about 15 kids each or fewer kids in more classes. You could put a couple of different grades in each one and have a few teachers and an administrator in each. Have an overseer that covers a dozen or so schools and a regional “Principal” that oversees a district. As you can probably tell by now I have no experience in the school system except as a pupil, but I think even the most cynical of you can see what I am talking about. I am sure that you cynics can see many problems with a system like this. After all isn’t that what cynics do? But problems can be overcome and most solutions to problems usually bring their own set of problems anyway. It’s just an Idea.

You want to save the world? Compost.

Could I have chosen a more boring subject for my first ever blogpost? Maybe, But this is important enough to, well, be important. I know that you have heard about Cfls and French fry grease for fuel. But the truth is that Gasoline, For all its faults is pretty much the best thing going right now. Will that change in the future? Man, I hope so. But for about the last 40 or so years, We have been hearing about solar and wind being the future of energy. And while most technologies have gotten better and less expensive, Solar is still not the panacea it was promised to be. And since solar cells were originally made from slag (waste) from the silicon chip industry,and chips are now being made more efficiently, the solar folks have to actually manufacture their own raw materials, Thus solar is now MORE expensive than ever. And if you live in a neighborhood with trees as I do, you may find that you have to cut some down in order to get full capacity from them. (I would have to cut down two. A huge live oak and a ficus tree.) According to one website that sells solar power systems, “Solar Power accounts for 0.001% of the electricity generated in this country.” and as I have looked at various sites I have yet to find one that says that their manufacturing plant is powered by Solar electricity.

Wind power is somewhat better. The problem with Wind is that in order for it to provide power for even a small community a Wind machine has to be Huge, And properly sited. There is saying in Germany that “wind machines don’t run on wind, they run on subsidies.” Or you can have the small backyard machine. You don’t need an Electrical Engineering degree to install one, But it helps. So if your city building code allows it and your neighbors don’t complain about the noise and you get enough, but not Too Much Wind and the whole thing doesn’t come crashing down in a thunderstorm, Then you may be able to supplement your grid power.

Which brings me to the subject at hand. (you knew I would get there eventually, right.) As I keep hearing, The main problem is an excess of Co2. Carbon Dioxide. There is just too much of it. Now I am not going to go into the sources of it, Be it SUVs’, electrical power plants or moose farts. The fact remains it’s there and we need to get rid of it. Sure we should find ways to reduce emissions in the future but Hey, I want to get the dirt out of my house now, then I’ll worry about tracking more in, OK. So what can we do, what can anyone do right now without a great out lay of cash, To help get rid of some of this gas? Well, plants and trees breathe it, right? But the real problem is that we are stripping away the fertile topsoil and replacing it with chemical fertilizers. So you Vegans are not off the hook yet either. We throw away garbage everyday that can be turned into the best plant food on the earth. We seal it in plastic bags and truck It to centralized locations to be buried and, when the hill is big enough, turned into a golf course or a nice sled run. Then we Truck in more plastic bags filled with COMPOST. So why not stop wasting all that fuel and just make it yourself. It’s not hard, there are plenty of books on the subject, Although you can learn pretty much all you need to know in an article not much longer than this one. And those chemically fed plants? A plant that is not getting the proper Nutrients is not an efficient Co2 Processing machine. And compost is a much better and more balanced source of those nutes than any chemist. Chemical pesticides often kill natural adversaries of the bugs you are trying to get rid of. How many pounds of coffee grounds does the average coffee shop throw away each day? I’m sure you could get all you want just for the asking. Florists have dumpsters full of scrap plant material that they would much rather not have to pay to have hauled away. Recycled Plastic would make very good Compost bins. It just takes a little thought.

Hello world!

Welcome to A time stamp for the beginning of this blog.

Also I would like to acknowledge the photo “make a mountain out of a molehill” by xerones (Michael Wilson) on flickr, used under creative commons license.