Monday, June 11, 2007

How to go green

I just did this so I can say that it's really easy to do. Go to this website and pick your energy provider and have them switch your electricity to green energy. It costs about a penny extra per kw/hour (usually from 15 to 16 cents) and it tells your energy company that you want to have the electricity coming into your home from renewable sources. The more people sign up the more your power company has to seek out green energy for growing demand rather than coal, gas, or oil burning plants. It's that easy.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Two Party System

The political showdown to '08 is here and since the debates have already begun the rant side of my brain has decided to reemerge and share a thing or two.
There are a lot of good things about having a two party system, keeping the other side in check being the biggest positive and it also keeps fringe parties that don't represent more than a small minority of the population from ruling. Of course both of those positives have shown their exceptions during these past 6 years. But a new negative side has just come to mind. The conservative party is for smaller government and smaller taxes. The liberal party is for bigger government and bigger taxes. But because of how the system operates, most of the time only the easy part gets done when a specific party is in power, i.e. when conservatives rule, taxes are cut but the government tends not to shrink that much and when liberals are in power more services are added but not as many taxes are to cover the cost. Therefore having this kind of two party system guarantees we will have an ever growing government with a debt that will never be paid off. Sure there will be great leaders every once and a while who can do the hard stuff that needs to be done but never enough to counter a trend that's built into the system. Any ideas how to fix this?

Monday, November 20, 2006

An army of minus 1

There was a memorial service yesterday for a man I hardly new. He was from my old town of Chappaqua, his father ran the town cleaners and he helped his father after school as he grew up. He graduated, did well for himself, had two kids, enlisted and went to law school. A credit short of his law degree he was on his second tour. His first was in Iraq. This time around he was in Afghanistan. Killed in Action just two weeks ago, he was the first person I could say I knew to have been killed in "The War on Terror."
I won't get into a political tirade about it since, first of all, I believe in us ousting the Taliban and fixing that country regardless of how bad it has gotten over there, but secondly because the back of his memorial service pamphlet said "Freedom isn't Free" and I also believe that. If this is going to be a statement in his memory I will not degrade it with my own personal beliefs that run counter to his own.
I guess this is my own eulogy for him, not the one opened by Senator Clinton, County Supervisor Spano, and all the local officials, there are no taps to be played by the local high school trumpeter, and there are not thousands of people standing around as this blog is being typed. And in my eulogy I want to look back at John Kerry's speech when he asked congress in 1971: "
How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" No matter the similarities, this is not Vietnam, and no matter your views it is still an opinion rather than a fact that "The war on terror" is a mistake. But the longer a war goes on the more people there are like me, those that actually know a person who dies in a land we chose to invade. And we must ask whether that death was a legitimate cost to the greater good, the means justifying the end that is meant to come out of a war's resolution. Because that death, that death that is the one personal death, is the last person to die. He is the only person in that war that makes it personal, no longer a statistic but a soul.
So now I find myself asking this deceased man to be the last man. Those before him are names on a TV screen, those after, sadly, will be the same. He is who I must ask to bear the burden or representing in my little life all those he served with. A man who left behind two children and a widow, a brother and a mother and a father, and a lot of people like me who will know the world is a lesser place because he is not in it.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Decision time

I waited till we had a week left for this blog, (on All Saints Day of all days) but here we are, just days away from the 2006 midterm elections. Are you as pumped as I am? Of course I'm dorky enough to have voted absentee already in case work keeps me late (see previous blog). But this blog is for all the playa's out there ready to put their hats in the ring and vote. I pretty much know for a fact everybody who could possibly be reading this thing wants a Democratic House and Senate but I can't name a single one of you who would be reading this that I know will be voting. Every vote counts, 2000 and 2004 should have taught us all enough about that. This year there are youtubers out at polls to videotape any disenfranchisement and the political winds are on our backs. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you all post a reply on this blog after election day telling me you voted. It'll be your little "I voted today" sticker that never goes away. Because this blog will be up forever and ever and ever (thanks google). So when the monkey men are checking over our servers 3000 years from now, they'll know you voted. Keep that in mind when it's time to go the polls.

Friday, September 29, 2006

What am I doing here?

It's 5 AM and I'm at my agency on a Friday morning, not getting here early but rather I have been here for 19 hours straight without being outside once. Because today there is a presentation that's going to once again lead nowhere. The client will, once again, buy nothing, and we will be back to square one. What am I doing here?

My partner asked if I could imagine doing this with kids, never getting to see them. I brushed her off as a wuss cause we're simply too far away from that. But I know family life is coming and I know this work doesn't get done unless someone's here at 5AM every morning before a big presentation. What am I doing here?

I'm listening to Pearl Jam trying to keep my surprisingly heavy eyelids from closing shut on me tighter than fort knox and I'm not sure if it's working. What am I doing here?

Oh yeah, my dream, to be in advertising, I forgot.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


This is a question of Loyalty. Is it to a group that carries out what you believe in or to what you believe in that that group is supposed to carry out.

I was just sent this letter by the Wesley Clark political action committe or WesPAC:
Dear Jaime,

Support Ned Lamont! Urge Joe Lieberman to end his campaign for U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, the message sent by Connecticut voters was loud and clear. They want change, and they want Ned Lamont to represent them in the U.S. Senate, voting for Ned by a 52% - 48% margin over Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary.
You see, despite what Joe Lieberman believes, invading Iraq and diverting our attention away from Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden is not being strong on national security. Blind allegiance to George W. Bush and his failed "stay the course" strategy is not being strong on national security. And no, Senator Lieberman, no matter how you demonize your opponents, there is no "antisecurity wing" of the Democratic Party.
Indeed, Connecticut Democrats recognized all of this, and yesterday they chose Ned Lamont as their nominee for the U.S. Senate. Now, I hope you'll join me in supporting Ned as he heads into the general election this November.
Stand with Connecticut Democrats. Send a message to Joe Lieberman to end his Independent campaign for CT Senate.
As a Democrat, I respect the will of the Connecticut Democratic voters and their decision to make Ned Lamont their nominee. Even before the election results came in on Tuesday, Ned Lamont showed his respect for the voters by committing to abide by the Democratic primary result and support whoever won.
Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, began collecting petition signatures to run as an Independent several weeks ago while concurrently running in the Democratic primary. In short, he wanted to have his cake and eat it too.
Despite his efforts to appear on the November ballot as an Independent, I held out hope that Joe would withdraw from the Connecticut Senate race after the primary votes were counted. Unfortunately, Joe has announced his candidacy as an Independent candidate, running against Ned, the Democratic nominee.
Today, I ask you to email Joe Lieberman. Urge him to respect the will of Connecticut Democrats and end his Independent candidacy for CT Senate.
In 2000, the presence of a third party candidate, Ralph Nader, no doubt played a role in the defeat of Vice President Gore and Joe Lieberman. Now Joe Lieberman is risking our party's claim on his Senate seat by running as a third party candidate himself. Recent news reports detail the GOP's interest in supporting such an effort. It's time to draw a line.
I committed myself to supporting the Democratic nominee for the US Senate in Connecticut, and I ask you to do likewise. Because too much is at stake with our troubles abroad and at home, we cannot play games this Election Day. That's why I call on all loyal Democrats to join me in urging Senator Lieberman to drop his bid for the Senate as an Independent and endorse the duly nominated Democrat.
We should thank him for his service and invite him to stay active, or even run again someday, but as a party we cannot let Joe Lieberman be this year's Ralph Nader.
Email Joe Lieberman. Encourage him to do the right thing, withdraw from the Connecticut Senate race, and focus his efforts on electing Democrats across America.
The 2006 elections represent a real crossroads for America. We must unify our efforts to stop George Bush's radical agenda and end this one-party government. I hope Senator Lieberman will join us in this critical fight for our nation's future.

Wes Clark
PS: After you send your message to Joe Lieberman, please take a moment and forward this message to every Democrat you know.

Send a message to Joe Lieberman today!

This is the letter I sent to Joe Lieberman in the supplied email template from WesPAC:

I was sent a mass email by the WesPAC urging me to tell you to drop out of the race. I disagree with a lot of things you've done in the Senate but I vote for the greater good, not for singular votes. I am not a registered voter in CT, just a registered democrat in NY so my voice means less right now than many others in CT telling you to get out of the race. But WesPAC called you a Ralph Nader, a spoiler of a Democratic victory in the fall for our party, a party I know you are still a part of except in name only. I am sure, if it looked like the Republican challenger would win if you stayed in the race, you would withdraw in time (and, if not, I would be forced to withdraw these statements I am making now). Stay in the race, win as an independent, urge things to get done in Washington, never stand down in what you believe in, but never be afraid to change your mind publicly when you have done so privately. And maybe the middle road will see what can be done and not give in to the extremes of either party. Good luck.

It was automatically signed and dated.

Thanks for the idea Wesley.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

For once, I agree with Shepard Smith

At the end of a rerun of The Daily Show last night Jon showed a seen of Shepard Smith of Fox News complaining before a commercial break about how there's too much going on in the world to be worrying about Mel Gibson. And you know what, he's of course right. Not that Fox spends enough time on real issues as any clip from "Slow News Day" on The Daily Show can attest to. But since it's Fox News, I do feel in some way obliged to object to whatever comes out of Shepard Smith's mouth. So here's yet another rant on Mel Gibson:
This is what he said: "Fucking Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."
Then he asked if the cop arresting him was a Jew.
Now, I've been drunk in my life, more drunk that Mel was that night a few times actually. But the funny thing about alcohol is, all it does is make my ID come out, that little guy in my head that is my uncensored self. I've told girls I was too shy when I was sober to tell them they were hot, I even took a drag on a cigarette, ooooooh..... But I've never had an anti-semitic reaction to beer before. Not even to that He-Brew stuff. But apparently the media is helping Mel's PR firm play this off as an alcoholism problem. Alcohol made Mel Gibson say that he hated the Jews! If only he didn't drink there wouldn't be Passion of the Christ, he would have denounced his father's statements about the Holocaust never happening, and maybe he wouldn't have even built that secluded Catholic Church on his estate so he and others could practice pre-Vatican II Catholicism.
There's plenty of movies Mel's made over the years that I've enjoyed at least on some level and I do feel a little weird having to turn then channel when Payback comes on TNT now, but there's a reason I've decided to boycott anything Mel Gibson has to do with, and this incident only further proves what I'm doing is right so I ask anyone who reads this to join me in this boycott. No loss of money can stop him of course, but the point is greater than money, the point is greater than getting him to stop what he's doing, it's to recognize is ourselves that this is not allowed. This is not a world I sanction to allow into my life. I am and will always be grateful for living in a country that allows Mel Gibson to do and say as he pleases without harming anyone, but that just makes it our responsibility to stand up and not allow it to grow beyond his self.
I kinda feel like putting on some blue face paint and attacking his Mansion. Aaaaaaaarrrrgggg!