Monday, December 13, 2010
Did he think these things up in pajamas?
He pushed a tax bill on the hill,
Ran up debt for short-term thrills,
Now the world is saying, "Yo Mama!"
Borrow billions more for social security,
Borrow billions for money for the rich,
Borrow biullions for school lunch nutrition,
Borrow billions for, gosh, darn near everything -
What happens when the world cuts off our credit card?
Don't cry for me, distant Beijing -
You knew we would feel debt's harsh sting,
We have no common sense left over here,
Only greed, partisanship, misery and fear
A whole nation sold out for capitol hill Bling-Bling.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
The Democrats are rebelling against Obama big time. They say hell no, we won't go along with the latest giveaway to the super-rish. Looks like more late nights in DC.
The college agers are rioting in London. Even poor Prince Charles and Camilla felt their wrath. Buck up, brits: We endure regular tuition increases here in the states. Hell, we may have a spiraling inflation rate, but at least our minimum wage is going up. When they manage to breed a human that can work three shifts without food or rest, we'll have it made, be the envy of the world. Where are watson and crick when you need them? Corporate profits rule!
Anger drifts in the iar like a noxious cloud, and it is floating all around the world. Populations are increasing, resources dwindling, greed multiplying in developing countries who want a piece of the pie, too. Since the pie is shrinking, they have to take ours. There is already a fair amount of shooting going on around the world, and it could get much worse. This time, we are already sapped over here. It would be nice if we could just sit this one out.
Hang on, we could be in for a real rough ride folks.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Some well-deserved approval for the US congress. A bipartisan committee has been giving recommendations for cutting the budget deficit, and while they are tough, they seem practical and well-intended. It is a starting point, and already the haggling is intense. But credit should go where credit is due, so in my ever so humble opinion, I applaud some members of Congress for at least trying to get a handle on things. - all 4 now.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Thanks for taking a look.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
They are seemingly equally capable of coming to an agreement as our Congress is. Our national debt is in the trillions, and running up more and more. And all they can do is argue about earmarks, and wage partisan battles. It is easy to take potshots from the outside, and I don't understand all the mechanics. But I do understand that we seem to be headed for hyperinflation and collapse if the idiots don't put aside the BS and DO somenting about it, and Now. If you have to cut five percent from every funded program out there, irregardless of any circumstance, DO IT! You can't buy groceries on a credit card, endlessly, and not get cut off. Well, it is time to get cut off and get responsible. Please don't destroy the USA with your financial recklessness and foolishness. Cut Spending and raise taxes, and balance this budget!
Get out of the schoolyard, and into the classroom - sharpen those pencils, and cut everything across the board. Raise a few taxes. Get our House in order, Please - just a plea from one of the people you supposedly represent.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
People always seem to default to the same behaviors.
They cannot stand it when someone goes about their own business,
doing well in school, mastering a musical instrument, generally
exhibiting contentedness with an orientation and lifestyle different than their own.
Greater society cringes, and seems to conspire to crush the life out of
successful differences in people.
Thinking about the Rutgers student driven to suicide, along with the other teen suicides,
I also think about my own experiences. People seem like they cannot stand the thought of one living a happy life who also prefer the company of the same sex in all ways.
It makes me glad to see the publicity about the suicides, especially on this, national coming out day. Our society can be educated again about the differences among us, and the fact that differences are not threatening - indeed, they can be enhancing to us all. American society is showing a leadership role in grappling with these issues, even if we slip backwards at times. The value of equality for all human beings cannot be overstated - everyone has something to contribute, some story to tell, or song to sing.
So let us celebrate our diversity, and not castigate someone because he or she is not our idea of an adult or a sexually mature person. We could all learn something from each other.
We should not judge each other cruelly, but rather embrace our differences and work together to solve the challenges that face every one of us. Thanks for reading.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
I was meditating on the budgetary mess that the US is in these days. While I realize it is an enormously complex problem to solve, I have an idea or two. These are not new ideas, but I still have to get them off my chest. With our budget deficits spiralling out of control, we need to get a grip in it somehow.
So - we need to declare an immediate moratoriam on all earmarks. Period - no exceptions, no matter how seemingly critical. Like a person with maxed out credit cards, the first thing is to stop spending. Then, go to plan B.
Plan B is a national sales tax. Oh now, everyone is howling regressive tax and its hard on the poor. But I feel that a crashed economy, a second-rate country, a dsimal outlook will be harder on the poor than a 1 or 2 percent sales tax ever would. The national sales tax will do several things. It will show the rest of the world we are getting serious about our budget problems. It will make those poor think a bit harder before spending any unneccesary cash on things like tobacco or alchohol. And it will provide extra funds, which should be designated as deficit redution money, and Nothing else - not social security, medicare, defense or anything. The national sales tax money would be to pay down the national debt - period. It is Americans finally owning up to our collective debt.
Lets face it - we have all benefitted from the constant earmarks applied by our congresspersons. Our government is a huge bloat-ocracy, trying to feed too many greedy fish at once. This has got to end. It can end, if we show some spine and do what needs to be done. Perhaps the end of earmarks and the sales tax could be in one single bill - a two-headed axe chopping away at our humongous debts. C'mon Congress, time to get serious about paying the bills. Thanks for reading.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Congratulations on your marriage. I hope that in your time of happiness, you give thought to just how priveleged you are. Like royalty, you have a whole town turning out signs and putting out the welcome mat for you. In the meantime we are mired in an endless war, with some soldiers doing multiple duty stretches in Iraq or Afghanistan. Our economy is in the doldrums. We are graduating less engineers and IT professionals, while India and China are overtaking us. There are multiple crises besetting us. So celebrate your entrance into the ruling class of America. They will soon be your headaches too, and you will get to eat the same fare the rest of us have been choking on all these years.
Celebrate a lot, enjoy the champagne - the tough times are right around the corner. For the rest of us, they are already here.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
Another possibility would be that these oil-laden screens could be collected in a large vessel and brought to a shore processing facility, to harvest the oil that way. Two benefits: you clean up the gulf, and you harvest oil that could be used. Something to consider anyways.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
They have been trying this and that and the other. So here are some suggestions, take them or leave them, FWIW.
1. Dump some concrete chunks, boulders and dust over the pipe, as many as possible. This would mute the oil flow, so the seepage pressure would be reduced - oil leaking from underneath many concrete boulders. With the direct pressure reduced to a seepage, then more rock and concrete could be dumped over this. Eventually it might take a small mountain to contain most of the leak. Then, a plastic polymer or concrete cap could be placed over the whole, stopping the flow. The oil flow would be held in by a rubble mountain sealed over.
2. Construct a conical concrete cap with a hole at the center. Lower same down carefully until it rests over the pipe. The hole would be fitted with flexible pipe or hose, and would capture the flow of oil, enabling BP to collect the oil. The concrete cap would need to be around 30-50 ft in diameter - very spacious and heavy, to rest atop the gusher and channel it to the center pipe. Problem solved.
The act of lowering such a massive object seems daunting, but considering the other macro construction done by the oil companies, it seems entirely possible.
3. Outfit a small bathyscaph type submarine that can withstand high pressures to journey to the gusher. Attach a heavy metal cap to one side of this vessel, and remotely pilot it to be positioned over the gusher. The sub could be driven to the correct spot, and lowered over the gusher. At the same time, a large fitted hose at the top of the cap could be subjected to negative air pressure, to draw the flow up into attached piping. The cap could be muscled over the flow, the flow pulled upward. The Robot vehicles could then seal any leakage underneath, once the cap is on securely and channelling oil to waiting ships/piping/etc.
Anyway, there they are - hope they help :-) Thanks for reading.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Once upon a time in the 1930's
Thousands of unemployed hopped trains;
Desperate, disheveled, and in a hurry
To get a ticket, a meal, or in out of the rain.
Somehow they persevered in those dire times,
Found food, odd jobs, or hobo jungles to live in;
America's residual strength eventually shined,
Government jobs ensured new help was given.
Today it may not be so simple to fix our problems,
The government is already putting out trillions;
The trains go too fast for the homeless to ride them,
Many wars keep sapping our taxpayer billions.
Something has got to give somewhere, and soon;
Or we are headed towards certain economic doom.
Monday, May 17, 2010
A contrariwise view of cellphones
I finally made up my mind. With the dizzying array of cellular plans and phones, it took me some time. Oh, all of the high-resolution cameras, touchscreens, MP3 players, powerful processors and OS's, it was difficult. But I came to a resolution on the matter.
Why should I pay a provider for a plan? Why should I pay for the privilege of fumbling with a complicated gadget loaded with options and capabilities? Why should I pay for the chance to be forced to multitask every time the thing rings, warbles or plays a tune? I have to pick out a ring tone, set numbers in the thing, figure out how to download stuff on them. I can't download photos to my computer, but must email them to myself in order to get them onto my home computer. If it rings in the car, I can ignore it. But if I am some harried mother, worried about where their kid is,and my phone rings, what do you think I will do?
You are right - I'm gonna answer that phone to see if it is my kid, in trouble or something. If I'm driving, well, so what, things are tough all over. (Right or wrong, people are going to be people.)
And so you want me to pay for all this aggravation?
Not to mention the tracking capabilities built in to phones nowadays. The authorities can trace these things. Great for emergencies, but a bit invasive for privacy concerns. Now there is news that these things can be hacked and made to listen in on the users.
Pay for all of this Orwellian nightmare? No way - not me. I think they should pay me! I can be magnanimous about things, though. I'll only charge them $29.95 a month, and giving me a stripped-down model that is easy to operate. I want a phone - not a gol-danged computer center in my hand. Something with large keys, easy to see and press.
Oh, and throw in about ten extra bucks - I'll probably use it for long-distance, and you know all those taxes and fees they tack on. So, make it 40 bucks even that you pay me - that ought to cover it.
Oh - and I'll take checks, for the exact amount only please. Thanks, I'll be waiting for my phone.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
This seems to be a lesson to us: Humans are still like children playing with dangerous objects when it comes to the titanic forces that the Earth is capable of unleashing. We are still helpless in the face of Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes and the like. And when we try and poke a hole a mile down and many miles out, we get poked in the eye by Mother Earth.
I suppose we can get the thing capped (hopefully soon for all the people on the coasts down there). But it is another grim reminder that, as long as we rely on non-renewable petroleum for our energy needs, there will only be more of these accidents - to believe otherwise is simply ridiculous. This stands as an urgent reminder of the need to find more non-fossil-fuel transportation methods, and quick. A very unfortunate tragedy as well as a grim reminder.
As big as human accomplishments have been to date, we still have a long way to go to match the might of the Earth, or to equal planetary forces of nature.
Monday, May 03, 2010
Beautiful day in May
A beautiful day early this May,
Right out of a Chamber of Commerce ad;
Profuse flowers illuminated by sun's rays,
Balmy scented scenes make a heart glad.
Everything green is straining to grow,
Sprouts surge into brilliant emerald fronds;
The flower buds unfurling seem to glow
Like mysterious lamps, rising from ponds...
The whole was preceded by a harsh, bitter winter,
As they all are, and must return to in any event --
But for now we have earned the right to savor
The scents, colors and balmy winds evident.
Though the price we paid for spring is steep,
Rewards are sweet indeed, not gotten cheap!
Monday, April 26, 2010
We jab, prick, dig into and spoil her,
But we never know how she may retaliate;
Just keep on doing what we prefer
In order to survive and prosper inviolate.
But up out of nowhere the blows come,
Earthquakes in Haiti, Chile and other lands,
Hurricanes blot out the warm tropical sun
Recently a massive eruption in Iceland...
Humans are puny compared to Earth's might,
We scurry around and struggle to recover;
Eternal natural forces ignore our plight,
Destructive environmental actions discovered.
All of our minor plans can go seriously awry
When Mother Earth lets rock and ashes fly!
Saturday, April 03, 2010
We have a new situation,
Ipad trending integration;
Cellphone signal propagation,
Bathing in a deluge of information.
Your grandfathers Mainframe is a distant memory,
Your fathers PC is so last-generation passe;
You need to get an all-in-one handheld device,
Put all the day-before-yesterday toys on ice...
They all take big chunks of your take-home credits!
Small devices come with big price tags.
Perhaps someday you will have an Ihand
Embedded in your palm, and a bill for several thousand.
Embedded body-driven device = $579.99
Hand Surgery = $4,299.99
Feeling of way-cool mojo keeping up = priceless (for a short while anyway).
(written for April poetry contest on Allpoetry - and shared here)
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Sunlight splashes across newly-exposed ground,
Beckoning buds and shoots to sprout;
Birds sing, rabbits and squirrels run around,
Winter is ending, of that there is no doubt.
No matter what my state of mind,
Nor how badly I want to just sit;
The balmy inviting outdoors seems fine,
Draws me outside, to garden as I see fit.
Nature appears to be giving a great gift,
With warmth, flowers, scent and birdsong;
This time of year gives everyone a lift,
But (of course) there is one thing wrong...
A dripping nose, droopy eyes, sneezing abound,
Those allergies flare up, and drag oneself down!
Monday, March 15, 2010
There are lots of things yet to discover
In our vast, heavily populated Solar System...
Planetoids of all sizes and shapes,
Minerals, elements, natural resources
Megatons of materials to mine and measure.
Humankind could spend a thousand years
Exploring this vast, rich trove of stuff;
But only if we take the bold first steps;
Learning to assemble space-faring liners
In Earth's orbit, using materials at hand.
Tiny capsules will not do for this upcoming
Effort at exploration; Bigger craft are needed.
Construction will need to take place in Space,
Utilizing the vast materials offered by the inner
Solar System: Asteroid Belt or Moon material.
Someday when a human steps onto the surface
Of Pluto, they will pay homage to the discoverer,
And all who laid the path out ever after. But
We will walk on the surface there, sooner
Or later. It should prove to be an exciting journey!
Monday, March 08, 2010
To sit in a recliner, watching any reasonably good
TV show, is enough, especially after a good meal.
Thoughts of going out to party, or secure some
Illicit drugs, or to chase after some hottie are
Either not there, or not very urgent any more.
One's body is content to be at rest, fed, and secure.
No more jangling adrenaline urgency to prove
Ones self to the world or a best friend, or anyone.
At work, either in a busy office, or at a physical job,
Every sudden motion is paid for with twinges of mortality.
Walking swiftly down a hall is now impeded by a sore
Cramping muscle somewhere, or a gimpy knee. Old
Injuries have accumulated; now they wait their turn
To manifest anew, and let you know you ain't getting
Off so easy anymore, bub. Movement has cost now.
Exercise can be a real boon, make you perk up good.
You can move easier, and sleep better at night. But,
Lest you think you have acquired some super-rejuvenating
Powers, a youngster will breeze by you on the jogging
Track or sidewalk - flitting by effortlessly without a seeming
Care in the world. You think, "Did I used to be that agile?"
One gets less tolerant of difficult, bossy people. It is time to
Eliminate oppressive, irritating personalities from your group
of friends and acquaintances. Live free or die, and that is
Coming all too soon anyway. Might as well keep the chosen,
Precious few close at hand, and get rid of the noxious weeds.
Your span of years dwindles, and you begin to think in terms
Of what can I accomplish, not so much how can I have fun.
You think in terms of legacy and avoiding heart attacks and
How one can duck the dreaded Cancer. If you have kids,
You might obsess over them and their futures, or even
Be supporting them at home, long after they should have left.
Middle age spreads out before one, like a banquet full of
Bizarre dishes, some tasty, some awful. But you have to
Try them all, indeed cannot help yourself. This path surely has
Been trod before, but one tramples down the dust and keeps
Going - it definitely beats the alternative - to be six feet under!
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
The Vancouver Olympics 2010
What a glorious day, a beauty way,
Canada won the big hockey game;
Overtime contest yielded the winning play,
Sidney Crosby was launched to new fame.
Downhill skiing victories,
Figure skating superiority;
Bobsled sped to a certainty,
USA staked the medal territory!
Another Winter Olympics has crossed the finish line.
Surprising and sometimes saddening turns of fate,
As one athlete lost his life, and others had theirs changed,
The spellbinding spectacle kept people tuned to the games.
The best of the best competed against each other,
In the end they were all human, showing we are all
Not so much different, Earths' sisters and brothers.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Poetry dot com
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Peace dot com
(c) 2010 Michael S Wilson dot com org biz tv etc
Monday, February 08, 2010
Tripping down memory lane,
Hop into the wires and travel
Down network time to the past,
Primitive Internet connections -
Companies started in a flash,
Dazzling ads enticed us all -
One more login and password.
Leafing through an old notebook,
Storied names came and went.
Compuserve with numbers, numbers;
Pipeline, GNN, Sprynet, Freenet.
The names roll on by. INS, my first
On-ramp to the Information Superhighway...
Remember that moniker? Back,
Further in time, to the days of BBS's.
Common Link, Citywide Internet, Omni,
Buffalo Creek, Ru's Hotel, The Talk Board,
Apple Hideaway, Fantasy Inn, Full Moon.
Local gathering places on PC's and Macs.
On to earlier days of 300 baud acoustic couplers,
Teletype machines with loud bells and clatter;
The early way software and hardware was shared.
Nowadays the web is everywhere, one-touch
Access to financial and social needs being met.
Crackers and hackers, impersonation and slander
Have not gone away, only gotten more sophisticated.
More sleek, streamlined, colorful and animated, the
Internet has become our partner and confidant,
Ever present, and increasingly, watching what we do.
This embracing friend can become a smothering enemy.
The old days were fun - but the present is never dull, either!
Monday, February 01, 2010
The news that NASA is facing the cancellation of their (and our) Constellation program drew mixed emotions. On the one hand, it is a shame to see the U.S. space exploration program crippled. I was hoping to see our astronauts travel beyond Earth orbit again, to go back to the Moon or even further. And NASA is one government agency that seems to inspire something other than frustration or contempt, at least on my part. They had actually built an Ares booster rocket and flew it, testing the components. So it is a shame to see this canceled, after billions have been spent on it.
The brighter side is that Obama and co. have said they want to increase funding for NASA, to facilitate commercial launch companies to get going. So this seems to mean that, instead of using the same bunch of subcontractors to build Ares/Orion, they will use a different bunch of contractors to build a transportation system to get to and from the Space Station. One presumably involving some kind of capsule design. Well, at least we won't have to buy Soyuz services from Russia forever, only until 2015 or so. And, at least NASA will be staying in the human-crewed space business, at least by proxy.
Gong back to the Moon would have been very expensive, on top of everything else NASA is trying to do (Earth sensing, unmanned space probes, aeronautics, etc). Inevitably the Moon missions would be cheapened down to a bare minimum, almost a repeat of Apollo, and that would make no sense, really - just us trying to show we still have the mojo to get to the Moon. A wasteful exercise. A mission further out, to an Asteroid, would be "cool", but again, not much more than a publicity stunt costing many billions to execute.
I for one cannot understand why they cannot take the Shuttle technology, already developed and proven, and use it to make a derivative Shuttle-like vehicle, only smaller. If one could scale down the SSME's, the SRB's, etc to half-size. And then use more cargo area for crew seating, but keeping the same airlock configuration. Sure this would cost money to do. But we would keep a reusable vehicle, with wheels and wings, flying, and slowly but surely advance reusable spacecraft technology and methodology while we are at it.
Instead we are abandoning a system that has eaten at least a hundred billion dollars, abandoning all of the lessons learned, techniques improved, etc to go back to a pre-shuttle design. Talk about government waste! Rather than abandon Shuttle technology, why not improve on it? That is one opinion anyway.
We shall see what transpires in the days and weeks ahead regarding Congressional budget talks. The secret deals, the backroom chats, the trades of one favor for another. Who knows? Maybe someone will vote to fund the Gemini program again, just to keep our industrial base going ya'know. Thanks for reading.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Millions of sufffering people,
Thousands dying each day;
disease and destruction unparalleled,
Starving and desperate humanity,
Multitudes struggling just to survive.
It all gives a new meaning to well-being:
A dry, warm house full of possessions,
Pantry and fridge stocked with food,
Techology to entertain and inform,
Connect with friends and research topics...
Even a well-fed pet to provide companionship.
Today, success is not measured by
Achieveing some lofty goal, or climbing
A corporate ladder, or gettting an award.
On this day, I am successful - well-fed, warm,
Dry, healthy, surrounded by possessions - that
Is a greater measure of achievement than anything,
Given the rampant destruction and suffering in Haiti!
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Just saw a piece on CBS news about innovation in the US, or rather, the lack thereof. It is really a shame to observe our country being overtaken by the Asian powers, and slowly sinking in our own lethargy as well.
Maybe it is inevitable, given the advancements made in formerly poor, backward countries. They are rightfully pulling themselves upward, trying to improve their lot, and succeeding. And as we trade back and forth with them, the innovative ideas flow both ways, perhaps benefiting everyone.
But there are some things going on that could be changed to improve things, in my opinion.
Ever since the Baby Boomers have moved into leadership positions in companies, there seems to have been a degradation of ethics and patriotism on a grand scale. While our parents seemed to want to
create jobs and prosperity for their entire community, every generation since has seemed focused on only what is in it for them. That old philosophy of helping oneself by helping the other fellow has gone by the wayside, to be replaced by helping oneself by denigrating the other fellow. This is generalizing, but there is ample evidence out there.
We need to create and propagate a new patriotism, a capital-patriotism, or patriot-capitalism. “What is good for my customers, employees and community will be good for me, and my progeny. “
A large number of small family-run enterprises could benefit our communities and society, also leading to innovation and advancements. Rather than gobbling up or selling out, the ethos of patriot-capitalism says “stick it out – think of your larger impact upon American society. You have a duty to your country to make your company the best it can be, for all your sakes.”
There are still a few companies run like this, but not very many. It is hard to create a patriot-capital company in an atmosphere of constant back-stabbing, me-first, 15-minute celebrity fluff. But if we value the American economy and our well-being, we had better try. Not only to invest in new technologies, and better education. But to help employees on a community level, to build that patriotic-capitalist ethos that would hold leadership responsible to help on many levels, and prosper by gaining loyalty, hard work and assembly-line innovation as a result. A first step might be to require every CEO to take an oath of loyalty to his employees, to his community, and to his country. We already require most of our schoolchildren to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. How about requiring those in positions of power and leadership to do the same, and also pledge to help their communities and employees to the best of their abilities? Couldn't hurt, and it may help things along.
As I see giant skyscrapers go up in Arabian states, and ponder the fact that our petrodollars built most of them, I wish that the US could invest in and push hard on alternative energies to give us a new independence and wealth. But this fact has been known for decades, and look at where we are at. No, it will also take something else: a new patriot-capitalist ethos that demands that our business enterprise helps us, here in the US, our communities, our people, all of us. A win-win situation. Thanks for reading.