Archive for June, 2008

The Supreme Court has been busy with their decisions. They struck down the death penalty for child rapes in Louisiana and cut the 2.5 billion dollar Exon Valdez punitive damages down to 500 million. People who live around and make their living from Prince William Sound have born the brunt of the problems that were left behind when the Valdez ran aground dumping 260,000 barrels of crude oil into the sea. At least 400,000 sea birds were killed along with countless other marine life forms by the oil. I don’t know how they will split the money up amongst Prince William Sound citizens and fishermen but bet it won’t repair broken lives and lost money in the years past. But I expected that the court would side with big oil instead of the people. I also figured they would strike down the death penalty for child rape but I feel if they actually raped a child they do not deserve to breath the same air we do and need to be killed and as soon as possible.

With the high price of gas and diesel people are emphasizing efficiently with their vehicles and cutting the amount of miles they drive. Both candidates are also coming out with their own energy plans. McCain is declaring for off shore drilling to begin and Obama against it. I doubt we can drill our way to self sufficiency but it might help a little bit to allow drilling. I do not think it is advisable for our state – South Carolina – to take the chance. Our largest industry is tourism with the beaches being the primary draw. A spill off the coast would devastate the beaches and maybe even offshore sport fishing which creates a lot of jobs also. Perhaps lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling may be a good idea for some states but they need to weigh the benefits against possible repercussions that may arise. I think that deep water drilling can be done safely but it must be done carefully. It won’t affect prices right away and might take years to bring any on line if we even did any drilling. I still have very serious ?worries about offshore drilling but perhaps it is something we need to discuss further. I still disagree with opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling at this time. So I agree on one point with McCain and one point with Obama. Actually a lot more with Obama than McCain but I do agree with at least one point on McCains energy plan.

Well the house has passed a new surveillance bill that will most likely pass the senate despite objections from privacy groups and lovers of freedom everywhere in the United States. The new bill grants immunity to the telecoms without even knowing what they may have done. The law will require that a federal district court to review certifications from the attorney general saying the telecommunications companies received presidential orders telling them wiretaps were needed to detect or prevent a terrorist attack. I doubt that by time the year is that we will know any more than we know now. I think this is another one of the breaches of our civil liberties that is being swept aside. Nothing new or unusual from a congress that routinely caves in to the White House. Key senators like, Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the immunity deal. He said that nothing in the new bill would prevent the government from once again wiretapping domestic phone and computer lines without court permission. I doubt that he will get the votes to defeat or filibuster the bill. So it looks like illegal wiretapping will swept under the rug and even if it does finally show that Bush illegally wiretapped Americas communications he will be out of office by then. Why does this not surprise me?

Question: What’s your advice to the average American who is hurting now, facing the prospect of $4 a gallon gasoline?

President Bush: “Wait, what did you just say? You’re predicting $4 a gallon gasoline?? I hadn’t heard that.”

? News conference, Feb. 28, 2008

A little over 3 months away there it was. As many places in the country are paying $4.00 or more per gallon of gas. We are lucky in that it has not gotten that high here yet except for the premium grades. It is just another indication of Bush being out of touch with America. Bush and all his cronies are bad for individual Americans. Maybe good for the wealthiest of America but surely not for anyone anywhere near the poverty levels that the high price of food and fuel has put the average American. Maybe I exaggerate a little with the use of poverty but not that much. I am afraid that McCain would be 4 more years of the same failed policies. He already says he is “not too concerned” with the length of time our troops will be in Iraq. What else does he plan on taking the lead from Bush on?

Today is a milestone in my life. It has been six months since I smoked a cigarette. Everyday that goes by is a record for not smoking also as I am not doing like I have in the past and smoked cigars or a pipe instead. And no, no left hand rolled cigarettes either. I still have urges and I have to fight them when they rear their head up and try to temp me. I get the urge most often while sitting outdoors watching the birds, especially the hummingbirds. No the hummingbirds aren’t the culprit but I enjoy watching them the most. My sister in law still smokes so her cigarettes and lighter are layed on the tables on our porches for me to look at and get the cravings from. But I am fighting off the urges when they come and am dedicated to not smoking in my life ever again. It took quite a lot of will power to make it this far and I am not wanting to fall back into the ranks of the smokers. Not that I have anything against them or ostracize anyone who smokes from my presence. The smoke doesn’t tempt me it only stinks. That is unless it is a sweet blended tobacco like from a pipe or cigar. My niece recently switched to number 9 Camels I think it is and they smell extra good like that but I still fought back the urge to pull one from the pack and break off the filter and lite it up. I didn’t like filters on my cigarettes and always smoked a non filter brand such as Pall Mall. I want to thank all the well wishers who have urged me on in my not smoking as their words of encouragement has helped more than they know. My thoughts to you who maybe trying to fight the monkey on your back that is nicotine and cigarettes is try not to think about them and when you do think of the nasty aspects to them as their is very little good about smoking. It just leaves your mouth smelling like an old dirty ashtray and can lead to serious health problems down the road. So here is wishing you the very best in your personal efforts in quitting smoking and if you have quit already that is great and I applaud you and your willpower.

You can view a screencast by Mozilla developer Mike Beltzner, demonstrating some of the new features in Mozilla Firefox 3, which is due out very soon. Weighing in at under four minutes, the screencast gives a concise overview of why you should be excited about Firefox 3. Due to its visual nature, the screencast shows Firefox’s features far more clearly than the many written previews that have been published. A picture really is worth a thousand words.”

Saturdays visit to Furman University by President Bush created some furor amongst the professors and locals. There was plenty of supporters out wishing to view him and welcome him to our community. I myself wouldn’t cross the street to see him but managed to get trapped in the parking lot to a local Lowes store therefore I was hemmed in like a hog in a ditch and could not get out to go home. So I had a front row seat to the presidential motorcade. Supposedly it was a once in a life time event, getting to see the motorcade. It wasn’t for me because I can still remember my mother raising me up above her shoulders where I could see President Kennedy when he came through Florida while I was a child. I remember seeing him in an open convertible waving to the enthusiastic crowd of supporters. Nothing like viewing this motorcade. They went by like a bat out of hell with lights flashing and the gas pedals floored. I didn’t really want to see him as I feel he has ruined our country and our image abroad, but I was still disappointed with the speed and lack of even the slightest chance to see him in the car. Even if I had of been planning on seeing him it would have been as a protester but felt that it was not the proper time to take my feelings like that onto campus as the emphasis should have been on the Furman seniors who had earned their degrees. I did see at least one senior used her cap to give a message. On top of her cap was the single word “love” pasted on it. A universal message we all should adhere to.