Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Wyoming Seeks Ban on Wind and Solar Energy

The fact that discussion on climate change is oriented more toward politics and less toward science disturbs me a great deal. While I agree with Pope Francis that destroying the planet is a sin, the political climate today makes an understanding of the planet's climate difficult, if not impossible. On one side of the argument, we have people who proclaim that every weather event - extreme heat, extreme cold, heavy rain, drought conditions - is proof that man is destroying the Earth, while on the other side, we have folks who are willing to deny any problem what so ever.

It doesn't help us understand the true situation, when we hear stories of one state legislature attempting to ban the use of solar or wind energy to produce electricity in their state. According to more than one source, lawmakers in Wyoming have introduced a bill that would forbid utilities from providing any electricity to the state that comes from large-scale wind or solar energy projects by 2019.

Of course, with the prevalence of 'fake news' today, I had to track down the story to see if there was any truth behind it. I've read SENATE FILE NO. SF0071 and the reports I've read appear to be true.

I understand the need for law makers to be skeptical; look honestly into the science behind the issue, and make the most educated accessment. However, I cannot for the life of me understand why any law maker would want to ban wind or solar energy projects. What sort of head up your butt logic is behind this?

Even if the claims of certain enviornmentalists are exaggerated - or even outright lies - why would anyone consider banning alternate energy sources. If you want to provide evidence to the climate change folks that you're in the pocket of Big Oil (or Big Coal) you've certainly done that.

Mark Shea Cracks Me Up

Mark Shea cracks me up.

No, really - he does.

Anyone who has read anything written by Shea lately knows that Shea despises Donald Trump. That's fine; I'm hardly a big Trump fan myself, but Shea's attacks on Trump verge on Trump Derangement Syndrome. He should, at least wait until after the inauguration and Trump has actually done something as POTUS.

What really has me laughing at Mr Shea, is his recent post, The Dear Leader revokes WaPo’s press credentials, where he posts an eight month old link, from the Washington Post telling how candidate Trump pulled The Washington Post’s credentials to cover his campaign events. Shea writes;

"Any time any media says anything the Vandal Chieftain and his horde don’t like, they will scream 'fake news' and their gullible base of willing suckers will chant it in unison. This is not a demographic that thinks. It’s a demographic that takes marching orders. And when they have command of the guns, I think it’s quite possible their Dear Leader will see if he can get away with jailing people who criticize him as well as shutting down critical media. And his base–in the name of Freedom and America and Patriotism and Unity–will *love* that if it happens. They long to crush free speech now just as much as Safe Spacers on the academic Left do, for they have become the enemy they hate. He is an authoritarian and his followers are enemies of liberty and hungry for power and punishment of what the Dear Leader calls his 'enemies': namely half of the American people".

Shea calls Trump "authoritarian" for shutting down critical media, yet Shea himself will ban folks from commenting on his blog at the slightest provocation. I've been banned from commenting at Shea's blog on more than one occasion for disagreeing with Shea. The thought of Mark Shea calling anyone "authoritarian" has me rolling on the floor, laughing uncontrollably.

It does my heart good to see Shea switch to writing comedy.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Second Monkey

A couple of Tuesday's ago, while out on our morning walk, my neighbor and I took a detour down a road we don't travel frequently. It was during that Tuesday's excursion that we had come upon a monkey being kept as a pet by a Filipino. As I mentioned at the time, I wanted a photo of the monkey, but I was reluctant to walk onto a stranger's property in order to photograph the monkey up close. Sadly, because of that reluctance, the resulting photos were not of the highest quality.

As usual, we went walking this morning - this time toward the market in the Poblacion area of the town. My neighbor has been a bit under the weather and wasn't up to as long a walk as I'd like, so when we arrived back at the apartment complex, I decided to continue on.

I found myself walking in the direction of the house where I had previously seen the monkey. I was determined, this time, to walk onto the property and get close up photos. After all, as they say, it's better to ask forgiveness than permission. I'd simply walk up to the monkey's cage and if the property owner objected, I'd apologize and move on.

As it turned out, no one objected. I was taking up close photos when I saw a second, smaller monkey in a tree some distance from the older, caged monkey. This, obviously younger monkey jumped from the tree and ran to the area where the adult monkey is caged.  This time, I was able to snap photos of both monkeys.

The Dumbing Down of the American Electorate.

As someone with a strong desire to improve my writing, I will, on occasion, visit a website which utilizes a tool for measuring the readability of written text. The website, Readability Score.com, uses several readability algorithms to provide an average score, which should tell what level of education someone will need to be able to read a particular piece of text easily. The website provides scores based on the Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning-Fog, Coleman-Liau Index, and SMOG Index readability tests.

According to another website, the average American adult reads at the 9th-grade level and experts recommend writing documents, intended for the general public, at that level.

On January 10, 2017, maintaining a tradition followed (off and on) by departing Presidents since George Washington, President Barack Obama delivered his Farewell Address to the American people. George Washington's Farewell Address from 1796 is considered by most, to be the Gold Standard for Presidential Farewell Addresses and naturally, writers have compared Obama's address to Washington's.

To compare the two Presidential Farewell Addresses, I copied both and pasted each one onto the Readability Score.com testing algorithm to find out the grade level of each. After testing each, I took a screen shot of the results, which I've posted below. Following today's standard, Obama's text was written at a 9th Grade reading level - par for the average American today. The reading level of Washington's Farewell Address is at a grade level of 18. To understand Washington's address, the reader should have, not only 4 years of college, but an additional 2 years of post graduate study.

As an aside - the reading level of this blog post is 14.7. Maybe that's why I have so few readers.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Grits For Breakfast

In spite of the fact that I was born and raised in the Southern United States, and that I have one branch of ancestors who were Georgia when it was still a British colony, I am not particularly fond of grits. Sure, they're ok - I'll eat grits, but I'd prefer oatmeal or farina. Many Southerners frown upon my preference to put sugar on grits when I do eat them.

Oddly enough, besides fried chicken and okra, grits are one of the few Southern foods readily available in the markets here in Philippines. My wife tells me the name for grits here is lugaw mais; lugaw being porridge and mais, of course is corn.

My wife purchased a bit yesterday and we ate grits for breakfast this morning. It was a nice change.