Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Email your Senator or Representative! Why Not?

I think we all just need to make a bit more noise in general about the many things that need our attention in this country. Remember of course that all politics is local so here is the emails and phone numbers of the Florida congresspeople.

If you are not in Florida, this link will give you the same info for your state!


Florida Congresspeople emails and phone numbers! Just call or write as often as you can about whatever!!! There are a lot of us out there who are not vocal and this is the way to change that to some significant degree!

Good luck on your missions!


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Latest Update to Contact Information: July 27, 2007

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Business of Oncology

I read an article in the New York Times a week ago about Cancer doctors and the way their pay is structured to be based on number of treatments (chemotherapy and anemia) and not the amount of time they spend with the patient. So basically Cancer doctors only get paid if they administer chemotherapy. The article says this has created a culture where many people are given chemotherapy regardless of whether it is the best treatment choice for them. People have been going to the Oncologist and expecting an expert and unadulterated opinion on how to save their life and instead they are steered into a chemotherapy treatment without any conversation. They are forced to assume that the doctor had their best interest in mind. Unfortunately what the article is saying is that these doctors only have their own financial interest in mind. Even though you would expect more from your doctors the articles says that when seen in the light of oncology as a business, everything makes sense.

Hemp is an answer

Hemp can be used for a myriad uses. In the time of our fore-fathers of this country, Hemp was the most important crop due to its use for cordage and fibers. Hemp is a resource that we can not afford to ignore. Pressure must somehow be placed on the right people to differential hemp from marijuana and let the industries use hemp to solve all of our problems. Nothing can match hemps potential to be our panacea. The outdated association of Hemp to Marijuana must end so that we can stop deforestation and stop polluting the planet with products for all kinds inferior to what hemp could make.

Not all Ethanol is created equal

Our government is trying to sell us on Ethanol as the answer to the future's energy needs. But not Ethanol is the same! Ethanol can be made from many things including a recent report that says they will make some from orange peels in Florida. Ethanol from a citrus peel or some post consumer recycled plant product is good. Ethanol from Sugar cane the way they do it in Brazil is not that bad. Sugar cane can yield a decent amount of energy for the effort.

The catastrophic error in sense and judgment comes from those who propose using corn as the base for Ethanol. Using corn for ethanol is a vast waste of agricultural potential... and the effects have been to put a squeeze on the corn markets so that poor people in countries like Mexico feel the negative effect. We can never grow enough corn to sustain our energy demands in vehicles and even trying would make corn the only crop grown ever again. And corn is an environmentally poor crop due to its needs of water and fertilizer. Using corn for ethanol is a big mistake. We should be putting our recourses into finding the best source for ethanol which might be sugar cane... might be hemp... anything but corn.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Critical in thought, not of yourself.

Be critical in thought, but not over critical of yourself.

Critical thinking is the ability to think about something for yourself and determine whether you agree or not based upon your own calculus. Critical thinking is what we need a lot more of these days. Too often, we take other people's words for the truth without doing critical thinking. Following the herd is easier than making a path for yourself that is true, but the herd does not always move in the right direction. To think critically you must abandon positionality and be open to the idea being true or not true and then making sure in your own analysis that it is true.

So think critically about things. But don't be overly critical of yourself. True that we must be critical of ourselves if we act unconsciously or stupidly or negatively, but only for a moment and then we must learn our lesson and move forward. Being overly critical of yourself is a form of self-attack. It is important not to attack yourself, rather to save your energy for the learning of the lesson and the promise to not make same mistakes twice. Be watchful for criticizing, negative thoughts aimed at yourself and let them go mid-sentence. We must be our own best friend, not our own enemy. We must use our mind for positive potential rather than negative abuse. Give yourself a break as you do your best in this world! Have compassion for yourself first.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Surrender vs. Path of Least Resistance

There is great confusion regarding the concept of surrender. Many people think it is the same as the path of least resistance.

Surrender is sometimes likened to going with the flow. And the path of least resistance is an observation of water's behavior. What it comes down to is that water can be used as an analogy both ways. Water flowing around big objects shows how water flows forward over obstacles. But water also flows in the path of least resistance which is an analogy that can be learned from in a different way.

Surrender does not mean acquiescence or defeat. Rather surrender is a way of relating to God, of more precisely of emptying yourself so that you are filled with the feeling and power of oneness. The real surrender is a victory. Surrender means acceptance of the present moment. The opposite of surrender is resistance. Resistance is when you are not happy unless something changes. The surrender is the relinquishing of the illusion of control to its rightful owner- God. Only God is in control. And we are all just a bunch of pretenders who think that it is not the Grace of God that keeps us on the planet for the brief time given. Surrender is always accompanied by Gratitude.

Acceptance of the present moment does not mean that you accept the continuation of the situation. It does not mean that you do nothing to make changes that are useful. If something has to change, do it. Be at peace before you change it, be at peace while your changing it, and be at peace after it has been changed. We can make the world a much better place one action at a time. My favorite saying is 'Be the change you want to see in the world.'

Falling in the path of least resistance is different than surrender which is a spiritual float. Water travels in the path of least resistance, always. Many of our lifestyle habits like eating crap and thinking negative thoughts are simply our continuation of our life being lived in the path of least resistance. The easy way. The way we know. The path of least resistance is different than surrendering to the Flow. The path of least resistance needs to always be examined so that 30 years don't fly by and you wonder what the hell happened. Do something different for fun. Eat differently. Exercise more. Give money to a homeless guy. But give a twenty and not a one and listen to him express his gratitude directly to God. Just change your patterns to make sure you like them.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Renewable Energy Just Got More Feasible !!!

I saw an article a few days ago in the New York Times about a development of a new kind of battery, a Sodium-Sulfur (NaS) battery that has great capacity and lifespan. This is very big news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The key to energy is how to store it. The question about electricity is how to store it. Electricity is flowing and must be drawn from directly as it is being generated. In order to not require the electricity to be generated in the same instant as the demand, batteries (storage) is required.

Batteries have never been as good as we needed them to be. Until now! The new battery that has just emerged is vastly different to its predecessors and can function like an electrical substation with its potential in storage and lifespan. This is INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE NOW WE CAN HAVE SOLAR PANELS OR WIND TURBINES ATTACHED TO THE BATTERY WHICH CAN SAVE ALL THE POWER UNTIL NEEDED.

People and industry and governments need to change the way electricity is generated and used. These batteries make renewable energy a very viable option. Spread the word, research it yourself. If you can afford one, buy one for yourself and 'get off the grid' since it would enable you to. I think these batteries are about the size of a car. There are some very effective solar panels out there.

About 10 years ago i worked for a solar energy company for a bit and learned some interesting things. Again what it came down to was that solar power could easily be harnessed and turned into electricity, the problem was that you could not store it and so if there were clouds for too long you lost power. I still own a portable solar panel that could run my ipod from that job. It was all about the batteries.

To give you the background on the renewable energy situation understand that renewable energy like solar or wind sources are the entire answer to our situation but the energy they create could not be efficiently stored so as i said, if the sun was not out or the wind was not blowing, there could be no power. Up till now the batteries have been the wink link. All power that is not from an engine must be from a battery. Electric cars simply have a good battery that gets charged from another source, like coal or nuclear. Hybrids use the energy generated from the movement of the car to charge the battery and they switch between battery and engine power.

We need to radically shift our power plants into renewable neighborhood based local substations.
We can do it now. If you are inclined contact your government representatives and pressure them to fund this type of solution.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4th

As much as i am to some degree saddened by the state of this country and its actions, there can be no confusion about the gratitude i have for having been born here. I have been in a state of almost disbelief of what this country is doing with respect to many issues, domestic and international. I am quick to criticize because the criticism is warranted. But being born in this country is the greatest of all blessings. The freedoms and possibilities here don't exist in very many other places. We need to change this country's direction, as we give thanks for being from here.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pigeons, Squirrels, and God

As humans we have drastically altered our surroundings and in doing so have created an environment which is not hospitable to wildlife. Much of the wildlife that was present wherever human city and civilizations are now, are no longer there. We as city dwellers do not get a chance very often to sit meditatively and observe wildlife. And yet at the same time we are surrounded by wildlife that we take for such granted that we literally don't notice them. While we hold animals that are rare in high regard we ignore animals that are common. And yet it is precisely these common animals that deserve the most respect. These are animals that have been able to adapt to the human presence and still thrive. They bless us with the presence of God. These are wild animals in our midst. This point was made clear to me when i was in Kenya 10 years ago and was walking and looking for wildlife, and looked in a tree and saw a ring-necked dove... the same kind that are everywhere in the cities... and there it was in the middle of the African Savannah surviving just as well. I realized how much i took for granted the presence of such powerful beings in my midst. Nature is an expression of God, as are You.