Opposition to the Navy’s biofuel program just got a little more hypocritical

Hmm. I wonder how the good Senator likes his fish? Because in a few years, it’ll all be well basted in his precious fossil fuels. Maybe the Human species will have adapted to digest crude oil-flavored food by then.

Grist

Earlier this week, a Senate subcommittee voted to continue funding for the Navy’s experimental biofuel program, cleverly dubbed the “Great Green Fleet.” As a primer, see David Roberts’ look at why the military is prioritizing a transition from fossil fuels.

As we’ve mentioned before, Republicans hate the effort, because 1) it’s got anything at all to do with the environment and 2) the Navy might spend slightly less on oil some day and that makes their friends cry. Today, the full Senate Appropriations Committee tackles the defense appropriations bill that includes the biofuels funding. The topic of biofuels will certainly come up.

Here’s what the opposition looked like earlier this year:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in May added an amendment to the defense authorization bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee that prevents the Navy from buying biofuels if they cost more than conventional fuel…

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Mitt Romney stops by Colorado to laugh about how he hates their jobs

Here’s a fun little satire for all of us out there who appreciate a good laugh, and some very educated remarks on Higher Ups who really need a little “leveling” of their own.

Grist

Mitt Romney is in Colorado today, doing that thing presidential candidates do where they talk at people for a while and the people clap and the candidate shakes some hands and makes some jokes and then gets in a car and goes somewhere else to do the same thing. It really sounds like a lot of fun.

But some of the people in Colorado don’t want to clap for Romney. They don’t want to shake his hand. Why are they being so rude? Because Mitt Romney doesn’t care if they lose their jobs. From the Denver Post:

The visit comes just days after his campaign took a firm stand against extending the wind-energy production tax credit — a position that puts him at odds with three of the state’s four Republican congressmen and could cause trouble with some of the independent voters who decide elections in Colorado.

Conservative U.S…

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Moonchild

The Dark Side of the Moon

“We are survivors. We began many generations ago as the human refuse our fellow Humans longed to be rid of. No criminals, though. Those the Earth-dwellers kept in cages and pits on the home planet. Nope. We were the desitiute. The single-parents, orphans, elderly, widows and widowers, or simply those families whose credit was deemed ‘irretrievable’ or who spent more than ten years below the povertyline. No more homeless choking the streets of Earth. Instead we were shipped to the Moon.
The Earth-dwellers had a work-settlement there called The Warren or The Moon-Warren. That’s where all the ‘misfits’ ended up. Whole families of misfits, sometimes. We helped with the study, analysis, and excavation of lunar resources for NASAA and the like. Mostly, though the Retainers did the study and analysis. We did the excavation.
Once you left for the Warren, you weren’t ever going back. They ‘sold’ your identity. That is, you didn’t belong to Earth anymore. When you landed at the Warren gates, the Retainers gave you a number and asked how old you were. That was the only thing you kept: your birthday. That much Humankind couldn’t yet change. Your number and birthdate became your whole identity. As for money, you’d never have any agian. You received food, clothing, and housing. There was no leaving the Warren. If you traveled, a Retainer escorted you.

The only ‘luxuries’ allowed were tablets for each family memeber capable of reading, and raw fiber or wood with the appropriate tools to craft your chosen material. However, fiber and wood were the luxuries of luxuries as they had to be gotten from Earth. Pets were not allowed in the Warren.”PoPo stopped her story, a little short of breath.

Her grandchildren waited expectantly for her to go on. Alice-Ming Cho smiled weakly at her grandchildren. Soon, she knew she would rejoin her departed husband. She leaned forward and rested a hand on each grandchild’s cheeck. It would be strange not to be able to touch them anymore. How she would miss that!
Her granddaughter’s face clouded with concern as if divining her thoughts.

“PoPo,” the girl said, “Are you well? Shall I bring you more cider or is it time for tea now?”
Alice-Ming smiled more broadly at the girl, “No, granddaughter. No cider. No tea. Your PoPo needs to have your here now. It is not long until PoPo will leave for the Kingdom of Heaven. She must be with you as much as possible so her soul will not forget her grandbabies.”
The squeal of the bus’s brakes fractured the memory Ana’d retreated into. Slowly, she and the other passengers disembarked. With not a cent to her name (her last $50.00 had gone to busfare) and everything she owned in the world in the daypack she carried, she stepped out of the bus terminal and into downtown Nuevos Santos.
As she began to wander down the sidewalk, Eastward, her mind returned to her grandmother’s last conversation with them.

“We struggled through each day’s toil by holding the promise of Worksend in our hearts. Each day, after the tenth hour had chimed, we were released to attend to our personal Worksend rituals.” Alice-Ming’s voice floated out of her granddaughter’s past and into the ears of the young woman’s memory, “Worksend were the three hours of community time we were alotted each day. Normally, Worksend was spent with family and we shared a communal meal. Worksend meal was the only time an entire family sat down to table together. It was by necessity our smallest meal of the day, as we would soon be sleeping; but it was also the one meal during the day that always consisted of sweet-things: cookies, cakes, tarts, cup cakes, doughnuts, homemade candies, ice-creams, and all manner of other frozen desserts.”

“What was your favorite Worksend food, PoPo?” her little brother, Gavey queried and cut short PoPo’s most beloved story.

PoPo beamed at her grandson. “Your PoPo liked many desserts that we ate at Worksend. Most of all, I loved the red bean cakes my own PoPo made by hand for us.”

Gavey grinned, “Were they like the ones you make for us? If they were, then they were delicious.” He jumped to his feet and began pulling PoPo to hers, “Will you make me some now? It’s well past the start of Worksend now.”

PoPo chuckled, and struggled to her feet, “Grandson, your PoPo is very weary; but she will make you chocolate milk instead. She hasn’t the strength to roll rice flour and make bean paste tonight.”
Gavey halted his charge towards the kitchen, turned and studied his PoPo with genuine alarm. “PoPo, we can go back to the living room and you can sit by the fire again. I want you to be well. I don’t want you to get sicker.”

PoPo bent down and hugged Gavey close. “You are a good boy, Gavin. I will always be proud of you.”

Gavey. Her memory strayed to her little brother. His breathtaking, impishly charming smile. That defining sparkle that lit up a room when he entered. And the god-like balance begining to be hinted at between power and grace in his body that so enthralled the girls at his school.

How he had adored PoPo. They had not had many more days with their PoPo after the Winter Holidays. Ironically, when the Earth stirred with the first tremblings of Spring the following year, PoPo was on the last downward spiral into the World Beyond. But, throughout her final months, Gavey had done his best to keep up her spirits; to ensure she laughed…and piled her with all the sweet red bean cakes she could swallow. In the end, though, it was she, Ana, who sat with PoPo in her final moments on Earth.

“Annchi-an.” Alice-Ming’s voice whispered as though she still stood at her grandmother’s bedside. “Listen, Chi-an. I want to tell you what I see.”

“Ana” as Shelby (whose middle name was Annchi) was called by friends and family leaned forward, and taking her PoPo’s frail hand, gave it a gentle, reassuring squeeze. “I’m listening PoPo. I’m here. I won’t leave until you’re sleeping.”

Alice-Ming breathed more easily then, and spoke in a voice that felt to her granddaughter like a breeze on the cusp of autumn and winter: with the faintest hint of frost, yet somehow warm for the affection it inspires. “A star smiles down from a sullen sky. I am alone. Trees stretch forward along two banks, and I am alone. Night blooms black over my beached boat, and but for you there on the shore I’ve just forsaken, I am alone.”

She still didn’t know why she’d said it. It seemed appropriate at the time, and more than that true. “You are only alone there at the shore, PoPo. You must leave your boat and the shore and your isolation. Death, like Life, is an adventure. And like all journeys, it begins with a single step, one you must decide to take. It’s okay, PoPo. Step into your next adventure. When the time comes, I will follow your trail. And then we can venture together through the Kingdom of Heaven wreaking mayham and causing chaos and having the best time ever.”

Alice-Ming never opened her eyes again, but as she stepped out of her boat a smile brightened her face.

Almost Me

Brilliance walks before me.

I have grown into walking

a pace behind.

My own shadow swallows me,

But I grow weary of cold and dark.

I have forgotten warmth.

I have forgotten sun.

I have forgotten me.

My heart wants Freedom.

In answer, my body and mind

detatch.

But that is not the answer my heart seeks.

Freedom needs compassion,

strength and wisdom.

I will only be free if I am whole.

I will become me only in

remembering.

I must remember.

But these are difficult things.

Memory is painful.

Becoming is complicated.

The problem is I am unsatisfied

being almost me.

Home

No fragrance is there sweeter

than the dinner awaiting

the travler’s return.

 

No feeling is there more pleasant

than the warmth of your own hearth

glowing with your family’s love.

 

No sight is there more blessed

than the faces of your loved ones

shining with welcome when their eyes

greet your face again.

 

And when you stand in possession of these treasures,

where-so-ever you find them,

 

It is then you have come home.

Said the Nightengale

“And the little kitchen maid pointed to a small, grey bird, high in the branches….” Even while I sat watching a cartoon adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor and the Nightengale,” illustrated in watercolors, narrated by Glen Close in what likely were her “salad days;” the lesson was not lost on me: “Beauty and talent do not always go together…” as Salieri points out in the immortal “cult classic” Amadeus. It is a lesson that writers and storytellers across time have framed, but the longer I exist on this planet the more I see the students who learned that lesson are sparse–if not on the verge of extinction entirely.

And, especially in more recent history “special snowflakes” are spurned utterly. These days, you don’t even have to be all that “special” a snowflake to merit extermination. Case-and-point, myself. Because I am so comfortable in my own skin, I must be in denial of the “chip on my shoulder.” And how is it the chip on my shoulder is present? By the need I feel to “prove that I am intelligent and capable.”

I learned the day I graduated college, I will never be able to prove as much because my magnificent, magical, all-powerful Bachelor’s Degree is in truth nothing more than a glorified sales receipt, and even less useful! Since I have been shut out of the communities that others find themselves fortunate enough to stroll into or be born a member of, and my “Visa” into the community gates is forever judged either a forgery or expired, I have resigned myself to accepting that my intelligence, capability, and (yes), even my inherent worth cannot be proven. Because I will never have an opportunity to reveal any more of myself than the most infinitesimal sliver, I will forever be misread, and misjudged, and both underappreciated and undervalued.

But, wait, surely there are those who “know me best.” Surely, they will speak for me. No. There were only two people who knew me that well. One is long-since deceased. The other has forgotten everything he once knew about me and I must now teach him not only who I am, but who he himself is in Truth. He has forgotten himself, and so forgotten me. (To paraphrase Mufasa of Lion King fame).

Though, supposedly “hope springs eternal,” the hopes that have been sustaining me for the past eleven months are fast dying. I had hoped, when I found my anam cara that he would “sweep me off my feet, and carry me off to his castle in the clouds.” Instead, he left me standing behind him, and then set out to ensure that I had “a roof over my head and food in my belly and gas in the car.” Sure, that sounds even better than the rosy fairy tale I painted formerly. But, when that determined focus on material needs results in emotional starvation is it really better?

Which then begs the question, “maybe my ‘anam cara’ is not my ‘anam cara?'” Ill-fatedly, it is not so. I have the right Man, but he is too grievously wounded by the ordeals he’s suffered while unprotected from Life’s “slings and arrows.” And so, I now must heal not only myself, but my beloved as well, and continue the war that the right to Live seems to require largely single-handedly.