Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Al Gore Energy Whore?

Well maybe, maybe not. In a story conveniently released immediately following Gore's oscar win for An Inconvenient Truth the Tennessee Center For Policy Research
has come forth with the assertion that Gore's 10,000 sq/ft home in Nashville, TN consumes nearly 20x the national average and significantly more than the average Nashville home. Gore's consumption last year was something like 191,000 KW/Hrs to 15,600 KW/Hrs for the average Nashville home, that is at least according to the TCPR which claims to be an independant think tank though it has strong ties to the right wing. It's founder/President Drew Johnson cut his teeth at The American Enterprise Institute and notorious conservative think tank out of Washington, DC. He has also worked for right wing media outlets like The Wall Street Journal and The National Review in addition to being seen often on Fox News.

Here's the thing, even if we accept those numbers as fact (the Nashville utility claims no request for information was ever submitted)
, what do they really mean? Gore's 10,000 sq/ft. home used more energy than the avg. Nashville household...ok, here's a question; just how big is the average Nashville how? Well according to this story the average single family home sold in Middle Tennessee is about 2,000 sq/ft. about 1/5th the size of Gore's home. Of course that's only single family homes, this does not include the 33% of Nashville residents who rent apartments, condos, trailers, etc which we all no are generally smaller than single family homes. Now even taking this into account Gore's home uses considerably more energy than the average Nashville home per sq/ft so why not say this in their attack on Gore? Well maybe it has to do with the nature of what Gore's home is used for? Gore and his wife both run their home offices out of the home, that in and of itself could account for a sizeable increase in energy usage.

Regardless, Gore puchases Carbon Offsets and invests in renewable energy research so while he may not live the perfect green life, he is doing a lot to try to improve the world around him.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Oops, Deval

So just a few weeks in office and Deval Patrick has already had to apologize for a couple of missteps. First he upgraded the Governor's car from a Ford Crown Vic to a Cadillac. Now there were apparently some legit reasons for the change but the cost was several hundred dollars more per month than what was paid for his Republican predecessors car. Additionally Patrick had his office redecorated and this too was quite expensive. In both cases Patrick apologized and paid for each expenditure out of pocket. He needs to be aware that people will be keeping an eye on him.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Neo-Con Humor

The Half Hour News Hour is coming, how pathetic is this thing? A blatant attempt to rip off The Daily Show, but lacking any talent or humor. Perfect.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Callahan v. Patrick

Let it be known that Gerry Callahan hates Gov. Deval Patrick with a passion that knows no bounds. This morning he and Dennis were moaning about Patrick taking helicopters at taxpayer expense to events across the state. The claim seemed to be that he felt anointed and could do no wrong. At one point Callahan sarcastically accused Patrick of using a chopper to go rent Big Mama's House 2 at the video store. I don't know about you, but this smacks of thinly veiled racism. Here's the thing, if it gets him to events statewide and allows him to be more efficient in his job I say more power to him.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dixie Chicks

So congrats to the Dixie Chicks on 5 Grammys. I can't honestly say I've heard but one song off the album as I'm not a big country listener. I have a couple of Loretta Lynn albums and Elvis Costello has taken a couple of turns at recording country music but most of it's a bit too twangy for me and honestly the modern stuff seems to lack depth.

They have been, and continue to get a lot of flack for including political commentary in their work "shut up and sing" I think is the refrain. Since when has art and politics/religion been separate? Commentary has always been a part of art, that's part of what draws us to it. Peisistratus an early tyrant (not the same meaning we currently assign to it) of Ancient Greece commissioned the first Tragedy to sing his praises to the people and so it that continues whether it be in a hymn praising Christ or in a song by the Dixie Chicks or Pink or Bob Dylan or Neil Young. If you don't like the message, fine don't listen. I'm an Atheist but I still find great beauty in religious music, especially when it is sung by a true believer with a great deal of passion.

Music that doesn't come from a place of passion and belief can hardly be called art.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Go forth and multiply

So I was doing my morning news scan and came across this story, in a word? Hilarious. Seriously. I doubt the initiative will make the ballot but it is a nice little poke at the right on the whole "Gay Marriage" issue. I've never understood the arguments against gay marriage, I mean what is "traditional" marriage? It wasn't that long ago that it was legal/encouraged to marry multiple wives (and it still is in some cultures) or to marry young (13/14yo) girls or to have arranged marriages (again, they still exist). How do these things fit in the the social conservatives definition of "Traditional" marriage? I mean I know Rick Santorum believes it will lead to marrying dogs but let's face it, there's a reason why Rick is looking for a job right now.

The big problem with this whole thing is not that people are against gay marriage, but that they seem so hot to pass a constitutional amendment banning it. I mean do we want another 3/5th's compromise on our record? Do we want to be that embarrassed by our own actions 50 or 60 years from now? Let's face it, if we had put Black civil rights up for a vote 40 years ago, how do you think they would have fared? How about 20 years ago? Or even today in some places. You can not legislate civil rights at the ballot box, it is perfectly appropriate for the judicial system to put it's mark on this issue just as they did in Brown v. Board of Education. I will say this, I am proud to live in the only state in the union to have legal gay marriage.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Nothing Political

Sorry, I had a busy weekend and didn't have a whole lot of time for reading the paper/watching the new magazines etc. We'll get back to it soon.

BTW, that was a brutal performance by Rex Grossman last night, no? Ugh.

Last night was tough, I didn't have a dog in the fight after my Pats lost. I was kinda hoping the team busses would crash into each other.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Mooninite Hoax???

I have to throw my .02¢ in on this whole Aqua Teen Hunger Force hoax thing. First, it was clearly an error on someones part, but the question is who's? As more info comes out it seems miscommunication is the key here. The two poor shlubs that got arrested are enjoying their moment in the spotlight. Hopefully when all is said and done they'll be released and not charged. It seems as if the judge for the case has his doubts about the City of Boston being able to make it's case. There just doesn't seem to be intent. Turner Broadcasting had to be fully aware of what was going on by 1 or 2 o'clock, yet they didn't contact city officials until 5pm, that's a problem. The thing is as more info comes out it sounds like Turner may have had permission from the municipality so it may have been a lack of communication between certain city offices and law enforcement. It is somewhat shocking that an entire city can be shut down by a bunch of battery powered Lite Brite's. Of course it can't have helped that the news stations kept referring to them as "Mysterious Packages" and "Possible Bombs".