Custom Search

Friday, January 29, 2010

SCOTUS Corporate Free Speech

Special thanks to our friend Mike Stanfill over at the Far Left Side for his cartoon on the recent Supreme Court descision to give corporations free speech and allowing them the right to buy elections. This cartoon hits the nail right on the head and shows Supreme Court Justice Alito exactly what his version of the truth will cost the American people.


Labels: , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, January 28, 2010

U.S. Wind Power Breaks Record in 2009

If you have been reading this site long enough then you probably already know that I’m a renewable energy geek. I am constantly on the look out for the latest news and information on anything new and improved that will move the Green Energy industry forward even just a smidge. One of my favorites in the renewable energy field of products is wind power generation and all the news that my neurons can possibly devour. It just fascinates me that as each year passes, America is that much closer to being less dependent on foreign fossil fuels to generate electricity for our nation.

Check out this latest report from American Wind Energy Association…

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. wind industry broke all previous records by installing nearly 10,000 megawatts (MW) of new generating capacity in 2009 (enough to serve over 2.4 million homes), but still lags in manufacturing, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) said today in its Q4 report.

These new projects place wind power neck and neck with natural gas ¹ as the leading source of new electricity generation for the country. Together, the two sources account for about 80% of the new capacity added in the country last year.

What blew me away by this report was that Texas was the leader in the nation with wind power by almost a three to one margin followed by its closest rival Iowa for MW installed wind turbines. Then there is the little factoid that wind power generation is growing by 39% per year in America. Mega Watt “Ut oh” for OPEC or anyone else that wants to try and dim the lights on America. Then I’m wondering if there are even 2.4 million homes in the entire state of Massachusetts? That leaves 49 states to go!

Hold on, it gets better…

GE gets $1.4-B contract for largest US wind farm
January 27, 2010, 3:25pm

NEW YORK – GE (NYSE:GE) said it has received a $1.4 billion contract from independent power producer Caithness Energy to supply wind turbines and provide services for an 845-megawatt (MW) wind farm project to be located in Oregon.

The wind farm, called Shepherds Flat, has received most of the necessary government permits to operate and is ready to be built. When completed, it will be larger than any wind farm currently in operation around the globe.

THE LARGEST in the WORLD! Now that is some great news!

Every single time I see one of those monster wind turbines spinning free power out of the air I can’t help but think of energy independence and that makes me think of the American flag which ultimately stands for freedom. And that makes me feel very comfortable knowing that my children’s future will not be held energy hostage by any foreign nation.


Related posts:
Holy Name High School Turbine
Wind Power in my Neighborhood
Energy Saving Cargo Ships

Labels: , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Electric and Hybrid Car Buzzzz

What noise does an electric car make anyway? Is it a buzzing noise or is it a humming noise? Anyway, the last maker of the stage coach probably made the best built carriage there ever was. They most likely had the best suspension, ultimate comfort, and ease of access for passengers and drivers. It would be fair to say that General Motors is not going to follow in the footsteps of the last Stage Coach manufacturer with the launching of its new Electric Motor plant in Maryland. But the competition already has a leg up in the market...

GM to build electric motors in Maryland
By Peter Whoriskey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Betting that hybrid and electric vehicles will play a growing role on American highways, General Motors is expected to announce Tuesday a $246 million investment to add production of electric motors at its White Marsh, Md., manufacturing plant.

The decision reflects confidence at GM and other automakers that the "electrification" of the U.S. fleet is not far away, with GM officials likening the importance of electric-motor technology to that of engines in gasoline cars.

The electric-motor project is expected to create about 200 jobs and will be funded in part by a $105 million grant from the Department of Energy, the automaker said.
- Washington Post

Electric car technology is taking off in the auto industry and rightfully so given the price of gas and oil over the last few years. Speculations on where the prices for oil and gas will go is anyone’s guess but one thing is certain, fleets of electric cars, hybrid cars and hybrid trucks will not be pulling up to any gas pump anytime in the future. Good news for consumers and the environment but bad news for OPEC.

Just doing a quick Google search I came across some interesting news on new Hybrid and EV cars. According to All Cars Electric, Mitsubishi is dropping prices and moving up its production of I-MiEV based on demand to 30,000 cars per year in 2013 which is 10,000 more than previous projections. Toyota is boosting production in 2011 of its new hybrid cars to one million units based on the growing demand that they are seeing from customers for their product line of cars. Acura is entering the hybrid market with its TSX model with great expectations for success.

Ford is gearing up to bring to market its Focus EV model with the conversion of one of its SUV plants in Michigan. Ford is also promising three additional EV’s by 2012. Last but not least is Volvo pulling up the rear with its C30 EV which has been delayed in part by Volvo as they look to beef up the car and make it one of the safest electric cars on the road.

Take that and blow it out your oil well OPEC!


Labels: , , , , , , , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Relief Donations

I’m sure that there are thousands of pages going up all over the internet that are scams when it comes to donating your hard earned dollars to help all the people effected by the earthquake in Haiti. Below are just a few well known agencies that can be trusted to make sure every dollar donated is used for the purpose you intended.

American Red Cross

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund

UNICEF - United States Fund for Haiti

Reports are coming in that as of today 1/24/10 they have buried 150,000 people in Haiti as a result of the earthquake and that the total number of dead may rise to 300,000. For such a small nation this is a disaster without comparison. My heart goes out to all of the children that will be orphaned when all is said and done. God bless them all.


Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Corporate Freedom of Speech

I was following the Supreme Court decisions this week and once again they put the time machine of American justice in reverse nine decades. In the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and ruling 5-4 stating that corporations do in fact have freedom of speech and can dump as much money as they want into any political campaign. Corporations have freedom of Speech???

And it turns out that I am in full disagreement with the nice folks over at the ACLU and the NRA on this Constitutional issue. Last time I checked, freedom of speech was an individuals right. Did I miss and addendum somewhere along the way? Do you wonder if the founding fathers of this nation were really thinking that corporations should have a stronger voice than any one individual when they came up with that silly freedom of speech thingy.

Obama continues to assail Supreme Court decision
By Michael A. Fletcher

President Obama continued to assail the Supreme Court decision striking down limits on corporate spending in political campaigns, saying Saturday that the ruling "strikes at our democracy itself."

Speaking in his weekly address, Obama said the ruling this week "handed a huge victory to the special interests and their lobbyists - and a powerful blow to our efforts to rein in corporate influence."
- Washington Post

If corporations can now donate as much as they want into campaigns then they should also take up the slack in the budget deficit to support our government and national monuments. Such as…

The Washington Monument: Brought to you by that magic little blue pill OR one of those pesky birth control condom corporations.

Library of Congress: Courtesy of Rush Limbaugh, The John Birch Society, and the GOP. “We will tell you what needs to be historic and what needs to be shredded.”

Fort Knox: Sponsored by Shearson Lehman, Citi Group, and AIW. “Your investments are truly safe.”

Grand Teton National Park…. Hooters - no jingle needed.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Sponsored by Exxon/Mobil and Steak’s R Us and the makers of Caribou Steak Sauce.

Central Intelligence Agency: Sponsored in part, in full, or just a little bit by KBR but you didn’t hear that here.

FDA: Courtesy of Pharmaceutical Association of America, China, and a small test group of patients somewhere in a third world country.

The FBI: Paid for in part by a modest contribution from The Corleone Family.

And now the FEC, courtesy of the Supreme Court is going to be sponsored, paid for, and run by what corporation? I’m pretty confidant that it will be a company with pretty deep pockets but we all know that the price of freedom isn’t cheap.

In contrast to my opinion on this touchy subject, my good friend over at the Gun Toting Liberal is all for the ruling and has his twisted yet logical thoughts on the subject posted.

Feel free to add your thoughts or suggestion in the comments on what Government obligations could be funded by corporations with their new found freedom of speech and check book.

Related Post: Alan Grayson Kicks Big Business Butt


Labels: , ,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Energy, Environment and Your Wallet

Just for giggles let us assume that the average person cares about their energy consumption, the environment but most of all their wallet. If that sounds like you then keep on reading… If not then I’m sure there is some sports chatter, Hollywood gossip, or near beer story on how to meet the next love of your life somewhere else on the internet for you to read.

Back to the rest of us humble EEW (Energy, Environment, Wallet) people. One of the biggest expenses in a families home budget is when you need to buy a new appliance for the house when the old one that has seen more repairmen than the Brooklyn Bridge decides to go to that big old recycling bin in the sky. The first thought that should run through your head is if it can be fixed one last time which is usually the cheapest route although over the long term the costliest. The second thought is if you even have enough cash saved up to replace the dearly departed and much loved appliance.

Take a step back and take a deep, deep, breath. There are several websites that can help you in this dire moment of need and for the do-it-yourselfer you can possibly fix your appliance yourself. Go to the sidebar or the top of this site and use Google to search for a mega list of such sites by entering “Do it yourself appliance repair”. Good luck!

For those of us who know the last repair was THE LAST repair and can afford to replace your appliance then we need to talk. That old appliance most likely was not as energy efficient as you think and replacing it can save you money on your monthly utilities. Depending on the appliance the EEW savings can be huge and can range from 10% to 50% per year!

If you care about the energy usage, environmental impact, and the cost to your wallet short and long term then I highly recommend going to the sidebar or top of this site and entering “Energy Star Appliances” in the Google box. Click on the appliance you need to replace and you can actually download a list of the top rated products based on energy consumption, environmental impact, and cost savings to your family. Depending on the model of appliance you purchase there may be a significant rebate program that comes from the government for your new appliance. Being an energy consumption Hawk, I like to see what the annual savings on the electric or gas bill is for any new appliance.

There are lists of the top rated products on the Energy Star site for every category of appliance except clothes dryers that you can download and print out for your trip to the store. As for Dryers it is recommended that you only purchase a dryer with a moisture detector that shuts the appliance off when your clothes are dry. My personal recommendation for the top rated clothes dryer is a piece of rope hung between two trees in your back yard but that’s just me.

Appliances covered by Energy Star: clothes washers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, freezers, refrigerators, room AC, room air cleaners, home heating/cooling, water heaters, home electronics, lighting, commercial food service, and office equipment.

Last but not least, when you do purchase your new appliance, make sure the store you do business with will remove and recycle your old appliance at no cost to you. If the store does not recycle then you can donate or recycle them yourself accordingly by following these helpful tips.

If you have any tips on EEW appliances then please feel free to add a comment.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Scott Brown isn’t going to win

Will Massachusetts replace the Liberal Lion with the chicken hawk Republican?

Can someone please slap the Mainstream Media upside the head and explain to them that the people of Mass-a-two-sticks will never elect Scott Brown. I find it ludicrous that all of the right wing leaning pollsters are coming out with polling numbers showing Brown up by at most fifteen points! It isn’t reality and come later today when the polls close the Bay State will still be a deep blue state in the US Senate and somebody will have pulled a “snooze you lose” on the overdosing hyperbole right wing talking heads.

I haven’t followed the election as closely as I should have but I can get up to speed pretty fast and it took me all of ten minutes to figure out that Scott Brown is not even a close fit for the state. Political pundits and pollsters are judging the entire election on the healthcare issue that Scott Brown has vowed to kill. Last time I checked there were about a thousand other issues that people from Massachusetts care “Liberally” about and on all of those other issues Martha Coakely is right in step with the states voters.

So you have to ask yourself this question when it comes to this Senate election. When did the mass media decide that the big blue of New England is a one issue state? People that actually vote in the state are not going to chop off their nose to spite their face and every other body part they have to go lock step with a Republican that will sell the state out to the likes of Bohner, Gingrich and those all to pious talking bubble heads Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

One last thought and remember this when you cast your vote, that big old banking disaster, the current recession and high unemployment, two wars, $4.00 plus gasoline and home heating oil was all happening under the very concerned and watchful eye of a Republican lead Congress and White House. And those were the good old days that guys like Scott Brown want you to long for.

My final guess will be Coakely wins by eight or more points.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, January 16, 2010

LED Lighting Technology Thoughts

The latest technology when it comes to saving money on your light bill for your home or office is supposedly the LED (Light Emitting Diode). Most folks when they think of LED are thinking of traffic lights but the industry is all a buzz with the new and improved lighting that is supposed to go viral in the homes of America in 2010. My personal thoughts are that LED lighting for the average home is going to sputter at first just like the funky shaped soft serve spiral ice cream cone CFL’s (Compact Fluorescent Lamp) did. The average consumer is not willing to dole out the high start up cost of the LED lamps. Just a quick Google search and I came across some pretty expensive desk lamps ranging from $150 to $170.

When you can go down to your local mega store and buy an incandescent lamp for well under twenty bucks then toss in a CFL bulb for another three bucks there isn’t the huge cost savings realized. Some of the reports that I’ve researched have also stated that some of the LED technology isn’t as good as it’s being advertised. Some reports stated that the LED bulbs can last upwards of twenty two years while others didn’t last two weeks. That is a huge discrepancy from the sales brochures you might come across.

I’m still researching LED technology and I’m not sold on the idea of any new lighting that still draws power when the light is off no matter how minimal the draw is. I’m not sold on the electric savings when LED is comparable to CFL.

My own past experience has been to replace all of the incandescent bulbs with CFL’s and the electric bill dropped significantly. Most of the CFL’s that I installed are still working and I’m happy with the product. Can the lighting industry make it better and more consumer friendly by eliminating the lead in the product completely? ABSOLUTELY! I just can’t see LED lighting taking off and making the progress as quickly as people selling the technology would like us to think. Not this year anyway.


***Chicago Sun Times has picked up this post... Thank you!
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Visa and Your Haiti Relief Donation

This is an email forwarded for your consideration...

As the tragedy in Haiti unfolds, Americans are generously donating millions of dollars to aid organizations.

But when Americans donate to charity with their credit cards, the credit card companies get rich. In some cases they keep 3% of the donation as a "transaction fee," even though that's far more than it costs them to process the donation.
It's outrageous and wrong—and it needs to stop.

Can you sign this petition to the CEOs of the major credit card companies demanding that they waive their processing fees for all charitable donations? Clicking here will add your name:

The petition says: "Credit card companies shouldn't be getting rich off of Americans' generosity. They should waive all fees on charitable contributions from today on."

The credit card companies are trying to get ahead of this story, announcing they will temporarily waive the fees they charge on some Haiti-related charitable contributions for the next 6 weeks. But that's nowhere near enough. Many emergency donations to Haiti will still get hit with hefty bank fees. (To give a sense of how limited the exemption is, Doctors Without Borders isn't on any of the publicly available lists of charities that won't be charged fees.)
AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, January 15, 2010

Alan Grayson Kicks Big Business Butt

(Really old picture)
Whoever it was that said that you can’t beat big business when it comes to politics didn’t know the freshman Congressman from Florida’s 8th district was in the House taking names and kicking butt.

Do you remember all the dirty big business money in the last Presidential election? Do you remember all the back door contributions to all the campaigns that tried to sway political opinion and possibly the elections. Does it piss you off that mega corporations can donate more money to a political campaign than most companies make in a year to win political favors after the election?

Alan Grayson remembers it all and he is the only politician in Washington DC with the guts to stand up against it!

Alan Grayson Introduces Bills To Fight Corporate Money In Politics
Arthur Delaney // The Huffington Post

15 Jan 2010 // Anticipating a Supreme Court decision that could free corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money on political campaigns, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced five bills on Wednesday to choke off the expected flood of corporate cash.

"We are facing a potential threat to our democracy," Grayson said in an interview with HuffPost. "Unlimited corporate spending on campaigns means the government is up for sale and that the law itself will be bought and sold. It would be political bribery on the largest scale imaginable."

Grayson introduced a handful of bills on Wednesday -- the Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act, the Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act, the End Political Kickbacks Act, and two other measures.

The Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act would impose a 500 percent excise tax on corporate contributions to political committees and on corporate expenditures on political advocacy campaigns. The Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act would require public companies to report what they spend to influence public opinion on any matter other than the promotion of their goods and services. The End Political Kickbacks Act would restrict political contributions by government contractors.

The other measures would apply antitrust regulations to political committees and bar corporations from securities exchanges unless the corporation is certified in compliance with election law.

Check it all out over at CREW and fire away in the comments. I know that I am happy as all get out to have somebody getting the corporations out of the peoples elections. Rock on Congressman Grayson, the little folks out here really appreciate it!

Thanks to Jet for the hat tip’.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tankless Hot Water

Repost from a while back but still solid info...

There is nothing worse than jumping into the shower and all the hot water is gone just as you finish soaping up. Needless to say the expletives coming from Mom and Dad as they finish their cold shower can be heard throughout the entire home. In my home the culprit for the expletives is usually me because Mom is up first, followed by two teenage daughters.

In our previous home we had a tankless gas hot water heater from Bosch Aquastar installed that I loved. No huge tank heating water 24 hours a day burning natural gas even if we were off on vacation. When you turned the hot water on the water was instantly heated from the time it left the unit till you were damn good and ready to get out of the shower. Even if your wife and five daughters had all previously showered just before you. The true benefit is that even with long showers by every person in the house we still saved a ton of cash on our gas bill every single month. We averaged about $40 bucks a month in savings.

There is only one downside to converting from the ancient technology of heating water in a forty or fifty-five gallon monster that sucks money out of your checking account every month, the start up cost. Depending on the size of your home and your hot water needs you can spend between $1000 to $1800 to convert your gas or electric water heater over to tankless hot water. With some of the higher priced units supplying six gallons per minute of hot water you get what you pay for so sizing your home to the usage is critical before you invest dollar one. The payback according to some sites is a 20% to 50% savings on your hot water utility bill every month.

If you want to explore this just a tad further then you can Google search it in the link on the sidebar by copying and pasting:

Tankless Gas Water Heater
Tankless Electric Water Heater
Tankless Liquid Propane Gas Water Heater

One of the other advantages to having a tankless hot water heater is the lifetime of the products is far greater than any form of tank water heater. On our Aquastar it was rated for a 25 year lifetime based on average use. On these newer units you would have to do a little research and see what they are up to now. Needless to say the payback on any of the tankless hot water heaters is probably around the three to five year range.

Just for the record, some of these units are pretty complex with the installation so you might want to contact the appropriate trade for the installation of the unit. This is not the average do it yourself project since the work involves gas pipes and electric wiring to service most of the units. Make sure you ask them if they have ever installed one before you hire them to do your install. My guesstimate to convert your home to tankless hot water included the cost of having it professionally installed.

Happy Hot Water Showering,

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Speaking of NUT-Tard’s

Just a few nut-tard headlines from around the big blue bubble…

Don’t get raped in Dubai…

A 23-year-old British woman on holiday in Dubai told police she had been raped, only to be arrested herself for having illegal sexual intercourse. - Telegraph, UK

Steele: 'I Wrote This Book Before I Became Chairman' (Um, Really?)

Appearing today on Laura Ingraham's radio show, RNC chairman Michael Steele said that he wrote his book Right Now before he became chairman. The problem is, the book itself doesn't read like it could have possibly been written before January 2009 -- it was clearly written in late 2009, either in November or December, and is based entirely on current events up to that point.

"I wrote this book before I became chairman. Because of the clock and the calendar, I wound up doing it now," said Steele.


The book is full of references to current events in 2009: The stimulus bill, the health care debate, foreign policy, ACORN, the party switch of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Tea Parties and the 9/12 March on Washington, etc. - TPMDC

Australian Commits Mass Media Suicide

Rupert Murdoch vs. the Internet
Can the tycoon stop the Web’s free ride and save the news business?

The News Corp. founder and CEO, and other publishers, have trained their guns on search engines and news aggregator sites like Google and, calling them “content kleptomaniacs” and accusing them of stealing content to line their own pockets. More importantly, large numbers of publishers and news wire services are on the verge of erecting pay walls around their online media properties, cutting off much of the torrent of free content that fuels the Web 24/7. “ -

Underwear Bomber Pre-flight Meeting

"Fifty bucks we can make American's fly naked!" - Stay a while

Nominate your Nut-Tard in the comments below...

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, January 08, 2010

The Center of American Politics

Current events in politics such as Senators retiring, Congressional members retiring or opting out of running for re-election has brought up an interesting point to consider. When you look at the makeup of what our government really is then you have to come to the conclusion that neither political party is truly ever in control of the government. The office of President can not be won by running a campaign as a die hard Democrat or Republican without winning over the majority of center or moderates that have no particular political affiliation. Which then brings up the point on what particular political party is truly in control of the American experiment and that would be NONE.

I find it ironic that Democrats are now supposedly running in fear of loosing control of the government to Republicans when the Republicans are running in fear because the Democrats might control the government after the next election. The key word in that entire point is fear. Fear is a very confusing word depending on the context of how it is used and when it comes to politics you can toss the dictionary and thesaurus down the toilet and wait for the septic tank to explode.

If you looked at our nation in a hypothetical situation where everyone was a moderate, and if you are honest with yourself, you actually are, and our government was run based on moderate legislation, then these are just a few of the things you might have seen happening.

The banking crisis would have been resolved and actually fixed rather than having hundreds of billions of dollars thrown at it by expressly telling banks that they are not in business to make more money per quarter than their equal in the business sector that is manufacturing a product.
Our health care system would have been fixed forty years ago and made much better over time without ever needing an HMO or insurance company to tell any American if they can or can not afford the payments to actually be sick. Doctors could actually practice medicine rather than shuffle sixteen copies of paperwork to give a patient an aspirin.

The housing bubble would never have become a bubble that could burst because lenders would never have been allowed to give out mortgages that have balloon payments or zero principal payment terms or loans given out to people that could never afford to make the payments in the first place. Common sense would have been the housing market basis of lending rather than Las Vegas odds makers and Wall Street hyper greed.

Factories closing in small town America and reopening in even smaller town Mexico or China would have been a justified reason to closely look at corporations practicing such cannibalism to our economy and penalize them rather than reward them with tax breaks. And stockholders would pay a penalty on their dividends for expecting more money for less effort by its companies board of directors that find this practice acceptable. Innovations and experimentation into new products is what American companies does best, Mexico and China can only copy that when given the blue prints to do so by Wall Street.

You get the idea. So next time somebody says they are a Democrat or Republican there should be a little bubble that pops up over their head that states, “Except for…”

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, January 02, 2010

What's Going On

Sometimes in life you have to face reality and just ask yourself "What's Up?". This song from 1993 from Linda Perry and 4 Non Blondes sums up many thoughts that I'm sure are going through many peoples minds these days. I know I keep asking myself what's going on....

You Tube Link

To be honest with you, I have never seen this artist in this video before and I always thought it was a guy doing the singing. I just found out it was Linda Perry, obviously a woman, and I only found that out by seeing a show on the life of the diva Pink. After seeing Linda Perry perform this song I'm wondering if she is Johnny Dep's twin sister? Tell me you don't see the Willy Wonka look alike mannerisms! Not that it matters, I've always loved this piece and the words blow you away when you really listen to it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button