Hillary for VP

While I think Joe BIden has done a fine job as Vice-President, he needs to realize, for the good of the Democratic Party, that he is not the best person for the ticket.  First of all, the VP should be someone who can get voters fired up to re-elect Obama this year.  Second, the VP should be electable as President, to run once the current President’s terms have expired.  Biden, though popular and likable, has a very slim chance of becoming President in 2016.  Nor is he.  Instead, he should step aside and recommend Hillary Clinton become VP for Obama in this election.  Not only would it boost enthusiasm for Obama’s campaign, it would put Hillary in place for a near-certain Presidential win in 2016.  Many Democrats I know are disillusioned and disappointed with Obama’s performance so far.  Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has approval ratings above 60%.  I could list for pages all her accomplishments as Secretary of State.  Adding her to the ticket would generate enthusiasm and confidence in the Obama administration.  After the election, perhaps Obama would even solicit and listen to her advice on matters.  She has proven herself a master diplomat on all levels, while Obama still struggles to be effective.

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Collective consumption a growing movement

Most of us have closets full of things we rarely use, but can’t get rid of, in case we might need them sometime, such as tools, baby items, and craft supplies.  Why not have centers in each community where you can borrow, rent, or otherwise share these things?

Someone on the radio today was talking about “collective consumption” as a movement.  Or she may have called it “cooperative consumerism.”  something like that.  …While the name seems hard to pin down, the concept is fantastic.  I’ve recently become aware of new websites such as Neighborgoods, which attempts to connect people who have things with people who wish to borrow them.   I am happy to hear that this theory is evolving into an entire consciousness.  It seems that we have been so wasteful for so long….it is wonderful that people are starting to think of solutions and alternatives.

via Collective consumption a growing movement – Lund University.

Transfer your money

The benefits of keeping our money in a credit union are many: We have low fees and no “sneaky” rules about minimum balances or revolving accounts. As voting members, we have a say in policies and fees. We get great service at the bank or over the phone. We feel good knowing that the members have control over our money, and most of all, that some CEO isn’t raising fees and cutting staff while making an outrageous salary.

Tens of thousands of people this week are moving their money from banks to credit unions as part of Transfer Your Money Day this Saturday, November 5th. The movement is also encouraging people to invest in local banks, however, I have seen at least one local bank charging high monthly fees while refusing to loan to small businesses, so I can’t recommend them on the whole.

Hopefully, this will be the start of a new awareness and appreciation for cooperative-type businesses. It is gratifying to see a revolt against the big banks who took money from the U.S. taxpayers to bail out their mistakes. Next, hopefully, we will see a revolt against big companies who don’t pay their share of taxes.

Speaking of revolt, hooray for the general strikers in Oakland, who joined in solidarity yesterday to oppose the brutal treatment by police of peaceful protesters, especially an Iraq War veteran, and some disabled citizens. Power to the people!

wanting the worst

Very saddened by some of the bloodlust demonstrated lately:  people wanting Casey Anthony to get the death penalty, people cheering about a guy dying without health insurance, and the recent execution of a man in Georgia even though the evidence was sketchy and some witnesses recanted.

Never mind that each of these examples of “justice” costs society dearly.  Millions of dollars were spent to prosecute Casey Anthony, and what if the other two men left wives and children on public assistance?

More than being short-sighted, these are examples of people choosing to live based on fear over love.   Very sad.

Review of Salon Lofts

I bought a groupon for a haircut at Salon Lofts, and went to the website to make an appointment at the location on 4th street in St. Pete.  I was disappointed that only one stylist was listed as accepting groupon, but he had some enthusiastic comments, so I booked an appointment online for the following day.

The next morning, I drove to the location to find that no one greeted me.  There was a lobby and a list of stylists, but no photographs.  Although I would have recognized his picture from the internet, I had forgotten my stylist’s name, so I wandered down the hall for a minute, then went on my iphone to the salon lofts website and found the stylist.  He was in “loft #6” so I walked down the hall past 4,5…7,8….no number 6.   I stopped and asked a woman where number 6 was, and she pointed me to where I had just come from.  I backtracked, and asked another woman, who told me 6 was all the way in the back, but that they guy I was looking for wasn’t in on Fridays.  I found number 6 and sure enough, it was locked.  I called the cell phone number listed, but got voice mail.  I left a message and never did hear back from him.  I searched online and found the manager of the SalonLofts and complained to her about my frustration.  She offered to set me up with an appointment with a stylist at Tyrone square, but I decided just to ask groupon for my money back.  They complied.

Sooo…if you make an online appointment, especially within 24 hours of the appointment, I highly recommend you call to confirm.  I had received an email confirmation, so don’t count on that.  Also make sure you have the name and loft number of your stylist if you’ve never been there before, and don’t expect a receptionist to greet you and explain where you need to go.

Whale rescue

The first part is hard to watch, with the whale caught in a net. But once they cut her loose, you have to see her incredible dance…

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBYPlcSD490 The end is the best part

Awaken the dreamer symposium

I really wanted to enjoy the Awaken the Dreamer symposium and make new contacts of like-minded people looking for Earth-friendly solutions.  The workshop was advertised to start at 8:30AM, so I arrived early to register.  We were instructed to go visit the vendor booths, which included permaculture, something on food, mass transit, a sea bird sanctuary, and a time bank and world cafe salon discussion group.  I got some information, and sat at a table.  Sometime after 9:00, we were instructed to visit the tables if we hadn’t already and then discuss in pairs which we thought appealed to us.  Then at 9:30 we would start an activity.

At this point, I was annoyed by two things:  1) if you’re not going to start until 9:30, don’t tell us to be there at 8:30, and 2) I don’t like being coerced into discussing things in pairs.  I’ll talk if I want to talk.  At 9:30, the group activity was an improvisation about people with different communication styles being trapped in an elevator.  This took half an hour, and then we discussed it at our tables.  I said I didn’t understand the point of the whole thing, and someone said it was so we will have to learn to be able to communicate with people who have different “beautiful needs” and agendas.  True…but we knew that already, or we wouldn’t have paid $10 to spend our Saturday here.  I felt like my time was being wasted.  Then we watched a slideshow of beautiful scenery.  There was supposed to be a narrative track, but apparently it didn’t work.  We were then instructed to go find someone we don’t know and share why we were here and what our biggest concerns were. At this point, it was 10:30 and we had been there for two hours and I hadn’t learned anything or felt intellectually stimulated.  I wanted to brainstorm and problem solve.  Perhaps that was going to come later, but I gave up and left.

The Freedom Box to protect internet privacy

The Freedom Box Alternative to Facebook – IEEE Spectrum.

This sounds like a good idea since Facebook and other internet activities seem to be jeopardizing our privacy…

Altly–Building A Facebook Alternative —

against abortion? expect more crime in the future…

In the best-selling book Freakonomics, the authors assert that crime went down in the late 80’s and 90’s because fewer criminals were born, thanks to abortion being legalized in the 70’s.  Once abortion was legalized, fewer low-income, unwanted children were born into situations that would likely make them criminals.  This is intuitive.  It is also a good thing for society.

As abortion rights are currently under attack and being restricted state by state, be prepared for more unwanted births to single mothers in poverty.  This has consequences for all of us:

1) more children in poverty.  This means a strain on schools and public services.

2) more children and families on welfare.  This means more taxes for everyone.

3)  more unwanted children in stressed-out families, which means more child abuse

4) more children not supported in school, which means more dropouts.  This means more gangs, crime, drugs.  This means more people in prison, which means more taxes.

5) more people overall means more competition for jobs, and higher unemployment.  Again, this means higher taxes.  It also creates more racism, as people blame people of other ethnicities for “taking all the jobs.”

There are many who say abortion is unethical.  This depends on your criteria for ethical behavior.  If you believe that  criteria for ethics should be based on the greatest good for the greatest number of people, then obviously society is burdened by large numbers of children living in poverty and would be better off if every child is a wanted and well-cared for child.

To blindly say that every unborn life is precious and should be brought in to the world, even if there are not adequate resources for billions more people, and while the planet is straining from overpopulation, is not upholding the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

 

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