Tag Archives: truth-telling

to my friend’s friend on Facebook, who thinks Donald Trump is morally superior to Hillary Clinton

I don’t know you, and it’s probably not worth engaging, but I would say you clearly need more information.

I recommend today’s Washington Post editorial, but it’s very long with words of more than two syllables, and would take a lot of concentration.  It’s boldly called, “Donald Trump is a Unique Threat to American Democracy.” But the currently available piece on the New Yorker Radio Hour by the fellow who ghost-wrote The Art of the Deal is also available, and you can just listen. (When you hear the two different voices, that is the female interviewer and the male writer, so don’t be confused about that.)

While you’re thinking about this, when you aim to disqualify Hillary Clinton because she is allegedly married to an adulterer, does the known adultery of candidate Trump trouble you? If not, how do you hold both of those ideas in your head at one time?

back to simple

SC camping how-to

Like my simple recipe for fitness:
Look down.
Two legs?
Use them.

We sometimes make excuses complicated when the solution is not.  (I will not say what soul-sapping task  I was doing just before I encountered this.)

The picture is from the Sierra Club, with credit to Go Camping Australia, on Facebook.

Exelon ok if you like teeing up; for the environment, not so much

 

I’m a greenie (to candidates, “an environmental voter”).  I wondered who would be in favor of the pending sale of Pepco, the power distribution company that sends bills to homes and businesses in the mid-Atlantic, including my house in Washington, DC, to Exelon, a bigger Chicago-based power producer, and significantly, owner of a bunch of shop-worn nuclear reactors.  Pepco no longer owns power generators, but instead purchases power from suppliers — coal-, wind-, and solar-generated — and resells it.  (How power gets into those little wires on the poles I leave to others to explain.)  This is about the only good thing about Pepco — because it no longer operates those messy power plants, it has come around, gradually, to liking the cute solar panels on the roofs of local customers, and is OK with just charging for the wires.  We have solar panels on our roof, much diminishing our electrical draw, so I refer to the Pepco bills as just their little charge for staying friends.

So I attended two of the local Public Service Commission hearings about the looming sale to see who would find the behemoth remote company with 20th century holdings superior to one that is smaller, local, and has at least a kite in the renewal-energy wind.

Here’s who likes Exelon:  a suspiciously large number of testifiers for the merger essentially admitted to some level of being bought off.  They were contractors of one kind or another, beneficiaries of some charitable contribution, or organizations who thought they put on good conferences.  Here’s where I squirmed in my chair (and perhaps, maybe, let out an audible noise):  golf tournaments.  That’s right.  At least three proponents — and I did not by a long shot hear all of the testimony — really, really think Exelon is an awesome corporate citizen because of the golf tournaments it has sponsored.

That’s like choosing a dentist who doesn’t fix your teeth but who gives out nice calendars. You can pick another dentist, but it’s still hard for most households to go off-grid, so it’s important to worry more about the product you are actually paying for, and stop ignoring the significant damage done to the environment.

As one testifier said, “We need better than Pepco, but Exelon’s not it.” I recommend the full story about aging nuclear plants seeking bailouts, from which this came, in Daily Kos today.

“To improve its overall balance sheet, Exelon is also trying to take over the mid-Atlantic electricity distribution utility Pepco, a proposal that has engendered substantial opposition in Washington, DC, Maryland and Delaware. DC, for example, has a stated policy of becoming the greenest city in the country with the goal of being 50% renewable powered by 2030–a goal Pepco’s pro-renewable policies support. For its part, Exelon owns the dubious distinction of being the only utility ever thrown out of the American Wind Energy Association for its vociferous anti-renewable policies. A new analysis of the proposed deal by the independent Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis recommended that the Washington PSC reject the merger.”

The Washington, DC, Public Service Commission has bean-counters, I hope, who are logging the relatively bogus examples of corporate citizenship against matters of true value.

catching up

7 January 2015 — Catching up on daily poems.

The sun is shining,
I found the studio keys.
I’ll probably live.

Yesterday I stuck the keys in a book and couldn’t go to the studio. I almost cried. Now I feel better.

6 January 2015

I shop for yogurt
Avoiding pectin, corn starch.
It’s not so easy.

Yogurt is supposed to me just milk and the little germs that transform it.

5 January 2015

Tim’s resolutions:
no numbers, no cigarettes.
He’ll save a bundle.

He thinks quitting smoking and small-stakes gambling will keep a hundred dollars a week warm in his pocket.

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the trouble with labels

the trouble with labels

Her name is Christian, but she may not be what the sorter had in mind.

Photo by me (blurry, sorry) at the Rag Shop thrift store in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, 12 April 2014.

It’s voting time again in the District — in Gray and green(back)

Although Tony Benn, the British politician who died earlier today, said a lot of things worth remembering, my personal favorite is his list of questions we should ask anyone in authority: “What power do you have?; Where did you get it?; In whose interests do you exercise it?; To whom are you accountable; and, How can we get rid of you?”

— D.D. Guttenplan in The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/178863/tony-benn-best-prime-minister-britain-never-had

If the quote above betrays me as a little down on this little civitas we’re operating here, it’s because where I live, here in Washington, DC, it’s time to vote, and it’s just not pretty.

Up for selection are the mayor, several council member seats and a couple of others that have no real value at all — “shadow” positions.*  The mayor we have is expected to be indicted any day now, following on that of the fellow who now says, why yes, he did in fact contribute illegal funds to his campaign in 2010, and to lots of others too. The mayor, named “Gray” (though we District residents would rather have this resolved in black and white, thanks) denies wrongdoing, and therefore, all knowledge of the daily machinations of his campaign.

We’re in a tough position here, where the crimes committed are the white-collar greenback money type.  You could argue that no one was materially hurt — no bridges were blocked (see Christie); no drugs ingested (see Barry); no citizens executed (see every elected official in Texas).

But our feelings and our sense of civic integrity have been hurt — again.

And despite the high dysfunctionality, a whole dais of contenders want the job for themselves.

Here’s another issue.  Because almost all the voters here are registered as Democrats, the primary is where all the action is, and this year — who decided this? — it falls on April 1. Between April and November, the Democratic victor would normally stand around waiting for the routine general election to become official-hyphen-elect, then primp for a January inauguration. This year, though, expect some busier times for the political writers.  There may be more accusations and indictments, candidates who get the silver or bronze (or don’t medal at all) in April may find spiffy new personalities to run as Independents in November, joined by a few fresh new/recycled faces for the general.

* If you live in DC, and are an established political philosopher who can explain to me a theoretical and rational reason for being bothered with this, bring it on.

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thanks for calling

thanks for calling

I thought the phone call was to review a wrong and give comfort, to share another moment in a long friendship with ups and downs, but mostly love and commitment.

But it was just to pass a few minutes until the car repair was ready.

photo: Andy Goldsworthy wall at Storm King Art Center, 2012.