Monday, May 30, 2011

Eliminating Boom Car Noise Paul Kersey Style?

Noise, excessive or totally unnecessary, loud or not loud is still unwanted sound, by definition--and a major attack on quality of life in neighborhoods across the country and around the world.

To date, and what we will talk about today is "boom car noise" from those loud car audio systems. It is a kind of noise that is especially irritating, as low frequency, high decibel and vibration are combined to make you feel there is NO escaping it. This is but one form of noise that has become a virulent plague in neighborhoods everywhere, robbing people's right to reasonable peace, quiet, and safety in their own homes. Some seem to think their "right" to behave anti-socially like this supersedes a constitutional right to domestic peace and tranquility!

This form of noise, I heard it described "as something that reaches through the walls of your home, grabs you by the neck and will not let go." It is obnoxious and all courtesy of some selfish attention starved individual who has some perverted idea of the definition of "freedom"--who thinks he/she can do whatever they wish, no matter who it harms!

Contained in the link included below, I would like to share a story I found at random about a noisy neighbor's incessant audio assault on the whole neighborhood---AND, how one neighbor who could not tolerate it any longer after a year, decided to protect himself by taking maters in his own hands. While I do not condone correcting wrong with a wrong, I do understand what could drive someone to feeling the way this person did in the story.

At the end of the story, it is dismissed as "junk" but I know such a device IS possible and perhaps the author was protecting his tail by making that disclaimer---and leaves it up to us to read between the lines. It is a shame that because of irresponsible and/or de-regulated corporations making these products--despite KNOWING the problems it will cost communities--that we have to see people become vigilant to protect themselves. (Just get off the corporation's back and they'll do right by us, eh Rush, Sarah? Oh well, just remember... there would be no need for regulation had the river not caught fire in Cleveland!)

Furthermore, the cost it levies on councils everywhere to have to make new laws and ordinances to deal with this form of audio assault is a sobering thought. Some places law enforcement is not an option, such as Warren, Ohio. In places like Warren, neither the city council or law enforcement body wants anything to do with dealing with this issue correctly--that is, until it results in a worse case scenario--when someone gets shot, beaten or stabbed because the noisemaker felt he was entitled to do whatever he wishes, and attacks someone for asking him to please turn it down......

OR the other way around: The person being assaulted by the audio terrorist, pulls a Popeye on him and proclaims.... "That's all I can stand and I can't stands NO MORE!" and perhaps resorts to a violent way of dealing with it.It is either a flight or fight response, in other words.

Typically, according to what anti-noise activists know who are associated with organizations like Lower the Boom Dot Org or Noise Off Dhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifot Org, it is the noise maker that is not only assaulting someone's senses to the point of insanity with audio terrorism--but resorts to further assaulting someone with physical violence who may have respectfully pleaded with them to simply turn it down!

But isn't our hearing part of our physical being? Yes it is... So, wouldn't torturing that sense be a form of physical assault? You would think so, but due to a very under-informed legal and judicial system as to this subject, we may just have to deal with it for now, unless you are this guy... read the story in the link below!

http://hubpages.com/hub/To-Kill-An-Atomic-Subwoofer-or-How-I-Blew-Up-My-Noisy-Neighbors-Car-Stereo

Also take some time to listen to the Pod Cast included on the right hand side of this blog page, titled "BOOM CAR NOISE POLLUTION DISCUSSION!" There are so many aspects as to why this noise is dangerous and why it should stop, and many are covered in this very educational podcast.Let's find out who will pay to take care of the plague of ensuing deafness in this country's future? Hmmmm... Listen and share your ideas!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Demolition of Columbia Building Not Justified

Given the current auto-oriented, anti-pedestrian design of a "Welcome Center" for the casino in downtown Cleveland---and considering the already many gaping holes of empty space and parking lots there---these, among other reasons do not justify the demolition of a part of the city's historical fabric for the sake of parking.


FOLLOW MY RANT.....


While an important part of the project, parking should not solely determine the design of downtown---Especially, if this is a temporary casino location and if we're trying to encourage more foot traffic at street level. And, if a temporary location, why permanently alter the already pedestrian oriented infrastructure downtown? The current street-scape not only encourages more walking and less dependency on oil, it also has the potential to bring much needed foot traffic at street level, and create the pedestrian connectivity of which casino supporters hope.

Seriously folks, the worst part of this design is a sky-pedestrian bridge that herds people like cattle going to slaughter, from their cars, to the bridge, to the casino? Are we TRYING to remove foot traffic from street level in an already desolate spot? Was this Gilbert and friends idea of "urban connectivity?" Is this designed for people who are too lazy to walk, or too afraid to walk outside and deal with a panhandler? (I just hope that when they lose money at the gambling tables, they're not joining the panhandlers!)
If the latter is the case, then we assure panhandling will be one of the few scenes in this area of downtown when no one else is placed on the street level!

Tearing down perfectly good buildings is also NOT a show of environmental sustainability that Cleveland is trying to demonstrate in contrast to its opposite polluting past. Adaptive re-use of a building, however, IS a shoe of sustainability and opportunity for local designers to cleverly alter the block while at the same time preserving the history there. Cities who demonstrate such ideas bask in the glow of international praise and have people wanting to visit them from all over. Portland, Seattle, San Francisco to name a few cities. Maybe we have something to lean about that....as those places are no slack places!

RANTING ON....

The current design of the welcome center does everything to discourage connectivity at street level, promotion of more walking and foot traffic downtown!
Seeing the current welcome center design, the city is allowing developers to dictate the planning; with developers making the city adapt around their plans. This is OPPOSITE of how it is supposed to be, and a failure on the city/planning commission to realize that.

What planners are paid to do: PLAN with critical thinking...and set the table of quality planning for our city---and NOT allow the developer to do it. He will do whatever is quickest and cheapest with residents bearing externality costs in the future in one way or another. Such is a recipe that does not guarantee goodness or benefits to the majority in the city, and only for a few.

Again, another example of what I have said before: That allowing developers to dictate city planning is like letting loggers dictate forest management! Some politicians here are obviously in the pockets of a few developers, parking czars, and gaming promoting salesmen.

This lack of vision, that does not demand a welcome center design that would be sensitive to the city's historical and pedestrian oriented fabric---And, to instead whore ourselves out to something inferior in the name of parking is utterly unreal! Such just demonstrates a low self esteem and that Cleveland will be anyone's whore as long as you mention jobs and tax revenue.

WAIT ONE MINUTE!!!....

Speaking of revenue... Hmmm.. Let's see: There is also revenue in making the city appealing to live in for stakeholders that will move here and pay property tax and raise a family. Those who desire a walking friendly and safe city with vibrant downtown streets lined with pedestrians walking, doing business, shopping, and entertaining.

Maybe we should focuses more on that component of revitalization instead of building an economy around that which ultimately seeds dysfunction and could very well cost us in other ways in the long run via social dysfunction and all that may be attached to compulsive gambling! Afterall, was this not the mayor's tag line in the election campaign to make Cleveland "A city of CHOICE?"

By "choice" I assumed he was talking about attracting new residents. Its time we pay attention to creating a place people want to live and raise a family, instead of just catering to fly by night visitors in the hope we'll gain at the expense of their vices or habits. Demolishing the Columbia Building, instead of exploring creative ways in adaptive re-use of the building and integrating it in with the project is an act in utter haste and waste.

NO OTHER ALTERNATIVES?... Really?...ARE YOU SURE???...

City officials promoting the project insist that there are no alternatives to demolishing the building. Really? I would like to see in detail all the alternatives they actually did review. I have noticed many urban enthusiasts on local city forum websites that have come up with plenty of possible alternative design ideas that could satisfy all.

Still I ask...Do city planners have answers when questioned about all the alternatives they sought to prevent demolition of the Columbia? I think there are none, as there was probably little expectation that people would actually stand up to the demolition and demand some answers. The design and request for demolition was probably assumed that this would be rammed through with ease and no one would take notice---therefore, they're not prepared to answer!


AND IN THE "NEWS"....


The local news appears to jump aboard the "rush it through" bandwagon in their brief coverage of the issue placing on it a spin as though this is about "preservationists opposing progress", probably hoping that those who oppose will be made to look like they're against something good for Cleveland. But, if they had done their job instead of fluffing and dramatizing, they would learn that for the opponents the demolition it is not about blindly opposing "progress" it is all about opposing BLIND progress and a piss poor design, or should I say lack there-of?


LET'S SEE SOME IDEAS...HOLD ON... STILL RANTING!


It is only fair to the public that all possibilities are unveiled to creating this welcome center. Personally, I feel the existing infrastructure can be integrated into a design that would offer parking too, while preserving and renovating a block of Cleveland history. Do you think visitors and residents alike will be more proud of just another parking deck that will likely look crappy in only 10 years time, or possibly be obsolete, given the current building maintenance ethics of many downtown Cleveland property owners?---OR more proud of an iconic restored block of classic history integrated well with the new?....

More proud of an intimidating auto dead zone that obstructs pedestrian traffic, or one filled with street life such as shops, galleries, restaurants, etc? I feel the project can be done in such a way that will have long lasting appeal. Let's not repeat the same logic and past mistakes that almost saw all the theaters on Playhouse Square demolished and have us looking down Ontario Street and wondering some day.. "What in the hell were they thinking?"

SPARE IT DON'T TEAR IT!....


The Columbia needs to be spared. It has great potential to be integrated into a quality design, perhaps for residential with street level business space (which the current welcome center design lacks!)These are just some of the reasons I can offer for saving this structure. I am sure many of you can chime in and add more reasons. I heard it said that in the future, we will be judged not only by what we create but also by what we refuse to destroy! This makes sense to me! How about you?


RANTING OVER!

Friday, May 20, 2011

“THE FISHES OF CLEVELAND”—A TOUR OF SOME OF THE METRO AREA'S LESSER KNOWN FISH SPECIES

Many of us are familiar with the bountiful life that inhabits the planet's lungs in the rain forest....BUT, did you know that Ohio, in general, is situated near the northern edges of what is the most diverse temperate fish fauna in the world? A habitat that in its own way is as important as any other more glamorous and exotic environment we have come to know.

WHAT'S IN AND AROUND CLEVELAND BESIDES WALLEYE?

As most of us know about the infamous '69 Cuyahoga River oil slick catching fire and it being one of several testaments to the decline of the nation's rivers---and eventually "sparking" a national movement to clean-up our waterways---little is known about the many "lesser known" fishes and bio-diversity of the river and other waters of our metro region and beyond. The Cuyahoga alone boasts over 80 species in the mainstem of the river.

You may have heard about the typical basses, walleyes, and perch, but what of the “other fish?” Many are simply referred to as “minnows” Many are little fish....with little known about them! What about their importance to our own existence as clean water indicator species which support the life systems that keep us alive? Did you know, for example, that Cleveland and N.E. Ohio is home to what is one of the world's most brightly colored fishes?

Let's take a look beneath local waters and examine just some of those “other” fish! These waters may include The Cuyahoga River and tributaries, The Grand River and tributaries and of course, Lake Erie!

It is interesting to note that while very popular and familiar, what we know as game fish (Crappie, Bass, Walleye, Perch, etc.) make up less than 10 percent of the fishes on the North American Continent, and nearly the same amount in Cleveland and Ohio in general. We will observe these fish not from an angling perspective, but rather a “fish watching” perspective in just the same way bird and butterfly enthusiasts explore their creatures of affection! So, grab your waders, mask and snorkel, binoculars, viewing containers and pack a lunch...off we go into area waters! Yes, there are many places where water is still crystal clear!

Let’s begin with the DARTERS


Darters are a family of fish that include the familiar perches and walleyes. They could be described as “underwater hummingbirds” because of their size, quickness and colors. They are small, colorful or intricately patterned fish, seldom exceeding 5 inches in length. They require clean, clear running streams for their optimum survival. They are elongate fish, with a physique designed perfectly for remaining stable in swift moving water on stream bottoms. They feed on small insect larvae, worms, crustaceans and other small organisms. Darters swim along the bottom of streams in a quick “darting” fashion, hence the name “darters.”Greater Cleveland and beyond...of course, is a haven for many kinds of darters, including the rainbow darter, fantail darter, Johnny darter, banded darter, and greenside darter.


NO TROUT ABOUT it, they still exist!


It was recently believed by state wildlife officials that the Brook Trout was extirpated from Ohio, meaning that while not extinct, it was no longer found in Ohio. This was the belief up until about 15 years ago, when a small holdout population was discovered in Geauga County near park district lands. This land was under threat of the usual urban sprawl housing development which would surely see to the fishes demise by destroying its habitat and water quality. Thanks to the effort of several preservation minded individuals and through the park district, the land and the fish were protected! What makes this such a special find is that one would never think that within just a 40 minute drive of the epicenter of highly populated and industrialized N.E. Ohio, in downtown Cleveland, that a fish that represents the essence of virgin and wild Ohio” would still exist!

This fish prefers still crystal clear and coldwater pools in small headwater streams. These are limited habitats which are threatened due largely in part to encroaching development laying over small streams and adjacent water cleansing wetlands. The Ohio Brook Trout is a fish that when donning its breeding colors, looks like nature intended to make it the clown of the inland stream waters! Polka dots of white, set over a background of cobalt blue, red and orange...with fins trimmed in white! It's presence is truly a sign that the water in which it lives is amongst the highest quality. The Cleveland Metropaks Zoo features a Brook Trout exhibit in its aquatics building. There you can learn more about this amazing trout!


Next up, the MINNOW family.

There are approximately 231 species of minnows in North America, so the next time you gaze down into a stream in one of Cleveland's Metro-parks while crossing a trail bridge, try to identify which kinds of minnows you’re spotting. Even the most camouflaged or mundane colored minnow seems to come alive with the color and shine of sparkling jewels during spawning season when stream waters warm up a bit (approximately late March to late May). Watching a group of spawning minnows can be a sight to behold! You know something unique and complex is happening. Such a scene is similar in appearance to a flock of birds all darting about in tight formation in every direction.

Some minnow species, such as redside dace are indicators of higher water quality, while others, like the creek chub are more tolerant to the erosion and sedimentation that can occur in the parklands of the Cuyahoga River Valley where trails are heavily hiked--- OR after heavy rains. By the way, just a small tip for leaving a light footprint on aquatic environments: It is best to not hike too close to stream banks, because trampling plants along erosion sensitive banks eventually kills the plants, and ultimately the root structures stretching into sandbanks.

Southern red belly dace are another type of small minnow which are found in area tributaries of the Cuyahoga and Grand River. They are typically found in headwater streams---and in clean, clear, quiet pools. During spawning season, southern reds are surely to capture your attention easily, as they are brilliantly colored with a bright “stop sign red” underbody, yellowish- green fins and dark black stripes running the length of the body from near the head to tail.

The central stoneroller is colorful and easily recognized in the Spring. It sweeps clean the bottom of streams by eating excess algae off of rocks, as well as a host of other small organisms. This is a fish that keeps streams clean without anyone paying any extra taxes or fees for the service!


Among many other types of minnows likely to inhabit Cleveland area streams, are blacknose dace, sand shiners, bluntnose minnows, common shiners, silver jaw minnows, creek chub, mud minnows, and northern hog suckers. Some of the fishes names are as interesting as their physical features!

NATURE’S SIDESHOW!

Now let’s have some fun visiting nature’s fun house side-show in exploring the many ODDITIES of the Cleveland area streams……. Hurry hurry, step right up…right here you see the scary looking …mottled sculpin….The sculpin is a small but voracious eater, which like darters, are bottom dwelling fish, never turning away at the chance to lunge up and swallow an unsuspecting baby minnow! They have larger mouths than most small fishes so this is quite easy for this little guy. Against the stream bottom, the sculpin’s camouflage can fool even the sharpest eye. The easiest way to describe the sculpin is that it has the body of a darter, with the head of a toad, or even resembling a bull dog. This description may sound silly, but when you actually see the fish, it will make sense!

Brook Lamprey is another strange fish. Lamprey are one of the native fishes that have been swimming around since before the dinosaurs, and have changed little in millions of years. Resembling eels, an interesting role lamprey play in the underwater environment here is preying off of sick and dying fishes. By doing this, the lamprey help to keep the overall fish population strong and healthy, by "removing" those sick fish which may spread disease to others! They literally attach themselves to the weaker fish with their jawless and sucker-like mouth and suck fluids from their prey, eventually killing them! I guess you can call them the "Draculas" of the creek!

The lamprey is different from all fish because it is actually jawless and slithers along the bottom of the stream like a snake searching for food. Certain native lamprey species are endangered in Ohio and are another excellent indicator of cleaner water quality. Like most fishes which are either threatened or endangered, loss of habitat and poor water quality contribute to their declining numbers.

Continuing with nature’s sideshow, The Cuyahoga Watershed and other Cleveland area streams are home to Madtom catfish. Madtoms are small catfish usually inhabiting grassy and weedy river and stream banks, in shallow, moderately calm waters. They are very small fishes usually found under 5 inches and can deliver a nasty sting if handled improperly. The Stonecat Madtom is one example of a madtom indigenous to our region.

Yet another oddity lurking in the Cleveland region are the stickleback minnows. Sticklebacks are small, elongate fishes, olive green and yellowish in color with small spines jutting up from their backs. They are a distant relative of the salt water seahorses and pipe fishes, and resemble a little wind up bath tub toy, as they propel through the water with great precision, stopping instantly in mid-water like a helicopter hovering in midair! During spawning season, sticklebacks become little carpenters with fins. Carrying in their mouths, they will actually move small detritus (sticks, leaves, stones, and other small debris) to a safe spot, where a family nest can be constructed and guarded! The Brook Stickleback is a commonly known stickleback in Greater Cleveland/N.E. Ohio.


Lake Erie Monster....LAKE STURGEON????

The Sturgeon is another ancient element of the local aquatic fish heritage dating back to the last Ice Age. It is long, and shark-like with an armor-like covering instead of scales and is listed as a state endangered species. But, while it has long been believed by many wildlife professionals to be virtually absent from Lake Erie due to habitat loss and over-fishing in the late1800's, recent reports on sightings and catchings--some official, some unofficial--suggest the fish is either making a comeback, or finding its way into Lake Erie via locations in the Great Lakes region where populations are more stable.

When overfishing occurred, millions of pounds were taken out of Erie because they were considered to be a nuisance that damaged fishing nets. Lime firewood, the fishes were thrown into piles and burned. Later, a market was discovered for them, particularly for their roe, so millions more were taken from the waters. This practice continued until the early 1900s--And in less than twenty years, they were almost extinct! It is sad enough that protection of this fish for shear environmental reasons was not in the language of any laws at the time. Moreover, from even a sport perception, to not foresee any conservation needs for this fish is laughable. Why? Can you imagine what would be more challenging for fishing fun? An 8” bass or an 8' sturgeon???!!!

The Eastern Burbot is another odd looking fish that calls Lake Erie native waters. It is an elongate fish with adults ranging from 16" to 32" in length. If you could cross the shape of a carving knife, catfish and eel into one fish, you would best describe the burbot! The burbot has a coloration that is brown to olive mottled brown. Adults can range from 16" to 32" in length It prefers deeper and cooler waters It is the only freshwater member of the codfish family and is a relic of Lake Erie's glacial past!

Lastly, let us not forget the gars. Short-nosed and long-nosed. Gar fish are another group of fishes which have changed little since the days of dinosaurs! If an alligator could do it’s best impression of a fish, it would look like a gar fish! In fact, one gar fish, although not found in Cleveland area waters, is appropriately named the alligator gar---a gar fish that has historically been known to reach a length of 12 feet! Short-nosed and long-nosed gar, however, are found in the larger deeper rivers in the Cleveland area such as the Grand River region in backwater pools and along quiet banks where there is heavy weedy vegetation. They also native to certain areas and habitats in Lake Erie. They are passive predators feeding on other small fishes. Gars often swim just under the surface of calmer waters basking in sunlight. Most gars reach a maximum length of 3 feet.


Finally, let us finish up our tour of Fishes Of Cleveland waters taking a brief look at the popular SUNFISH FAMILY.


Not all sunfish are “bluegill!”......

The following covers the most familiar fishes of the sunfish family, which are also found in certain waters of the Cuyahoga River Watershed, Greater Cleveland/N.E. Ohio, and in Lake Erie. In North America, this group of fishes comprises roughly 30 species. Many anglers mistakenly refer to various species of sunfish as bluegill, when in fact, bluegill are just one particular species of sunfish. For example, one who is fishing may refer to what is actually the brightly colored central long ear sunfish or the pumpkinseed sunfish as a bluegill. Looking closer, however, there are distinct differences.

The sunfish have all the earth-toned colors that seem to emulate and mimic the very same colors of the Autumn time woodlands to which they are indigenous. If you happen to enjoy fishing, examine the differences between these fishes in your catch. If you are catching and releasing, be sure to not handle a fish with dry hands, as this irritates their slime layer. The “slime layer” is a protective thin smooth coating over the body of fishes which helps to protect them from infection and disease.

Some common types of sunfish similar in appearance, but which are not all bluegill, are rock bass, warmouth sunfish, red ear/shell cracker sunfish (named because of this fishes’ appetite for small snails), orange spotted sunfish, (westernm Lake Erie/Maumee Watershed), northern longear sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie and green sunfish. Sunfish prefer habitats ranging from weedy shallows to open pools in a particular river system or lake. Sunfish, from an aquarist's perspective, are like the North American version of the ever popular chiclids raised in home aquaria.

LET'S GO HOME NOW....

Well, there you have it, an introductory tour to some of the “Fishes Of Cleveland!” If your interest in exploring fish in the metro area and beyond has been “baited,” learn more about what you can do to keep our local lakes and streams healthy and clean! Contact your state wildlife division to learn more, or consider joining their “Adopt-A-Stream“ or “ “Adopt-A-Beach” program. You can find much of this information at Gardens Under Glass in The Galleria complex in downtown Cleveland. You may also want to contact The North American Native Fishes Association, www.nanfa.org for a perspective in “fish watching” and other conservation initiatives regarding North American fishes. There are other components of this region’s unique wildlife assembly that deserve just as much attention to conservation as the more familiar ones. To lose these local species of fishes through habitat/water quality neglect, is to begin to lose the clean water and life support systems that ultimately support our own lives. We also stand to lose an integral and delicate part of our region’s unique diverse natural heritage. I hope that this article has helped to promote a better respect for our local waters and aquatic wildlife habitats in general. For in them, there is so much to learn, inspire and stimulate the imagination..while having fun doing so!




Note: You can search Google Images to find many photos of all the fishes mentioned in this article. You can identify all of these native fishes in the PETERSON’S FIELD GUIDE TO FRESHWATER FISHES. Also see The North American Native Fishes Association at www.nanfa.org to learn more about native fishes in our region and North America.

Sources: The North American Native Fishes Association, ODNR Division of Wildlife, Peterson's Field Guide To Freshwater Fishes-Page/Burr, The Fishes Of Ohio-Milton B. Trautman

Photos: coming soon!

Carillio is a former Ohio Regional Contact for The North American Native Fishes Association, avid self-taught naturalist, native fish enthusiast/advocate of 23 years, and volunteer for Gardens Under Glass in downtown Cleveland. For information on field trips to local streams, please contact Robert at riverlover33@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can a Global Market Contribute To Depression in People AND The Economy?

I would like to share an article today that someone shared with me. Somehow, it reaffirms an idea I always felt that when society becomes overly-dependent on the mega multi-national corporate and global economy scene, it contributes to crippling communities and their ability to be self-sustaining.

As I see it, the reliance also contributes to alienating us from local community connections that we, as communal and tribal beings we are by nature, need to stimulate our sense of purpose and function in our lives. In western influenced cultures, technologically we have advanced far more rapidly than our spirits, which still are in need of community and connection to each other. Without such, we are left unhappy searching for that sense of belonging in life; the sense of purpose. We mindlessly consume thinking that we can fill the void with "stuff" that can never replace what nature intended. As a result, the disconnection from nature, our roots and sustenance, in a world otherwise disguised in concrete and plastic leave us lost.

It is sad to notice in largely western influenced cultures, that its citizens can hardly fathom any other way to live, any other economic system, other than the model of reality they know--which is someone else's idea so many of us have bought into. By relying on this economic scene that has "big corporation" housing, clothing, feeding, and employing us all...we cripple ourselves in the long run when we lack the knowledge and skills that create a true community where everyone has something to contribute for the betterment of the people, rather than the bottom line profit of the corporation.

When we build all life and economy around a few golden goose eggs that are a few corporate entities, we destroy the economic diversity (in what I refer to as an "economic ecosystem") that breeds economic stability. As in nature, the more diverse the ecology is, the more stable. So it is evident in the economy as well. When these few entities that we have grown to rely on fall, all that is connected and reliant upon them fall as well. On the other hand, when the economy is diverse and dependent upon many...when one or two fall, we have several others to pick up the slack. Ultimately, I feel that reliance on a few for all we need or want, when they fall or fail, breeds the need for a social welfare system that corporate captains, supporters, and far right leaning politicians customarily loathe!

Take some time to read the article below. After reading it, you may question the global economic world in which you live, and how you see it, if you thought it was the panacea example of how to live.


The happiness fix
By Caitlin Howlett
G Magazine


A wider network = greater opportunity = a happier life, right? In fact, the more globalised our lives become, the sadder we are as a society. It’s time to embrace the notion of localised community living again to get that smile back on our dials.

Read more at: http://www.gmagazine.com.au/features/2535/happiness-fix?page=0%2C0

Sunday, May 1, 2011

CUT OIL SUBSIDIES/INVEST IN A NEW ENERGY ECONOMY

In the video posted in the link at the end of this banter, it is commendable that President Obama has addressed the issue of oil company subsidy and record profits while so many people struggle to make ends meet--and as vital programs get scrapped in the name of "saving tax payers money"--but sad that he still has to coddle the oil industry by making the comment about being rewarded for their success....

Sad, only because somehow, someway, pro-oil, pro-polluter, and tea party-like ideologies will twist what he is saying in the video, into some rhetorical bull crap that hints at the tones of "He is ANTI-BUSINESS/AMERICA" And, in turn, such rhetoric is fixated in many minds only because we have been so dependent upon oil for so long, that it has become their GOD, with the company their benefactor, and so many cannot fathom ANY OTHER lifestyle that somehow can depend upon it much less. It is a typical smear tactic these days by hijackers of the Republican and Democratic Parties in The Corporate States Of America.

YOU TUBE COMMENTS: As usual, You Tube is a run way train wreck of short sighted and/or ignorant comments posted below the video by those who actually think they are being wise. They are missing the point that we need to trim the corporate welfare to huge oil companies and re-invest this money into renewable, cleaner energies. Someone will gain the fruits and bask in the glow of the benefits this economy will create. Will it be us? Or are we too stupid as a nation to see this? China will not be, so I guess they're smarter than us.

The oil industry had its time to get all the subsidy it needed. Maybe its time they get off the stage. Now we need to invest in cleaner and renewable sources for a more sustainable future--and, so we are not at the mercy of oil companies. I want to add--that in light of many thinking we can solve this issue with domestic drilling--that drilling domestically will not drill our way out of a crisis.

We simply use and waste too much fuel too fast to risk putting our dirty footprint on the planet's last great frontiers that are essential in supporting a healthy globe--to support healthy life. The Gulf spill is virtually a non-issue in the mainstream news right now, yet the damages it has done to the eco-system and economies that depend upon its health are suffering.

We have depended upon basically once source of fuel for so long, and as we phase out this burgeoning industry with newer, smaller, more progressive and diverse ones, promoting renewable energies, we will see affordable prices again.Oil should not have a monopoly on the worlds energy.

Lastly, I feel it is important to mention that for those in the US, despite oil companies making record profits, that for years we actually have been paying far too low for fuel prices---especially when you consider what the planet sacrifices to bring us that gallon of gasoline that we waste on frivolous things anyway. Many people are actually conditioned to think they "NEED" the amounts of fuel they are using.

I have witnessed time and again how wasteful people can be with existing energy. They mindlessly consume as if it were endless. And, having said this, I feel that in some way, and say with sarcasm, that Mother Earth will conduct an internal energy audit on the USA. She will yield no more finite fuels UNTIL, it has been re-evaluated how we are currently using existing resources.


Just some questions to ponder in the audit: Are you leaving lights on all over the house? Are you mowing your lawn 3 times a week? Are you having it sprayed with petro-based chemicals by trucks that use oil?... Are you using gas powered tools to do the work of what can often and easily be done by hand...such as blowing dust all over the neighborhood with a gas powered blower as you walk along the curb? (I mean REALLY? Since when has this become necessary? ONLY when a machine was invented to do it.) Are you supporting the flooding of domestic markets with cheap plastic crap by shopping at the big box store scene only? Are you driving when walking can easily be an alternative?

If anyone answered yes to the above, Mother Nature says she will yield no more energy. So, perhaps we need to focus on living more sustainably--and understand that such does not mean you will be compromising your lifestyle. In fact, many may discover the joy in less being more.

Now, with that said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIc83PWSBF4