Tag Archives: Activism

We’re here to help you… by killing your chances of success!

4 Nov

Ready… aim… fire!

Are DOE loan standard requirements actually shooting down good projects?

We’re a country in search of affordable, sustainable, and “environmentally friendly” fuel. Right?

Well, good luck getting it!

You see… once again, Big Government is there to jump in and lend a hand.

How? Well… apparently by making it nearly impossible to get it.

I’ve told you about “government analysts” that are basically “hired guns,” whose job it is… to shoot down viable energy projects. Seriously.

“We have money and you can’t get it… Na-na-na-na-na-nahhhhhh!”

But wait! There’s more…

In Washington, the US Department of Energy is requiring that renewable energy projects meet a debt rating standard higher than 63 percent of all US corporate first-time debt issuers since 2007, in order to qualify for DOE loan guarantees. The loan guarantees were originally designed “to encourage early commercial use in the United States of new or significantly improved technologies in energy projects.”

A ‘BB or higher’ rating requirement chokes bioenergy development, say bankers, attorneys, and project developers.

Okay… here’s the meat of the issue;

Congressional legislation for DOE loan guarantees typically require “a reasonable prospect of repayment of the principal and interest on the obligation by the borrower.”

The Department of Energy is generally left with the responsibility of interpreting “reasonable”.

In this case, the DOE, as advised by investment banks, has developed minimum threshold for loan guarantees of a “BB” or higher rating (prior to the guarantee).

According to Standard & Poor’s, 333 of all US corporate first-time debt issues since 2007 – out of a total of 528, failed to meet that standard.

In many cases, these issuers would not have been attempting to bring transformative technologies to market in support of  national policy – based on what EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said was designed to produce “green jobs, innovation and technology, and action on global climate change.”

Once again, it’s apparent that money has been placed into a non-existent pipe by Congress, so that they can make claims that they’re actually doing their jobs.

Is it any wonder that all the jobs are going to Malaysia?

According to David Jacob, Executive Managing Director and Head of Structures Finance Ratings for Standard & Poor, ratings for renewable energy projects range from BBB- to CCC, with a preponderance of ratings weighted towards CCC, or two ratings below the threshold set by the DOE. Jacob was speaking at a recent meeting on energy finance in New Jersey.

My personal thanks to the fine folks at  BioFuels Digest for bringing this to my attention, and for ruining my day…

Stay tuned.

The Renaissance Ronin

Assume The Position!

14 May

Look, when I started this blog, I told you that  I would take a position, and then…

The shouting matches would probably begin. Take a look around you.  America is in real trouble, and even with all the talk and banter about how screwed up things are, nothing is really getting done to fix things.

So, I’m just going to say it;

“What we need are better leaders and more capable and enabled discussions.”

And that’s what this blog is about.

You’ve seen some of the “slings and arrows” debates in the comment areas. A good example is when I commented on “M’s” container build in Missouri. I wasn’t attacking “M.” Anybody who thinks that is an idiot. I actually defended “M,” even though I was opposed to some of her actions…

I’m going to start writing some of these posts in Crayon, I swear I am…

Man, what a  brushfire that started… Good thing Corten containers are fire resistant! 🙂

Another is the proposed use of new “high-tech” Ceramic Insulative Coatings, to insulate that container project of yours…  that turn out to be anything but “high-tech”…  Talk about running headfirst into a big wall! 🙂

But the point of posting sometimes, is to stimulate “debate.” You can duel in the comment sections. You can voice opposing views. You can offer up thoughtful, insightful and even conflicting takes on situations. You can even stoop to name-calling and chair tossing if you want to.

In the end, it’s entertaining (sometimes) and informative (sometimes.) And, it’s worth the risk, I think. Sometimes education comes with a few lumps thrown in, to help you remember. Sometimes. Hey, every post can’t be a “winner.”

Personal blogs are about “private people making public opinions.” Duh! After all, the Internet is the “biggest” public you could possibly hope for. Never has mankind has the ability to say so much, to so many, so easily.

Every once in a while, I take a position that offends. Let’s face it, sometimes somebody has to step up and say: “That’s enough.” There are many reasons for it. Perhaps it’s because most people are too timid to point out the difference between right and wrong. And, I’m not afraid to do it. I learned a long time ago that in order to be seen, first you have to stand up.

Imagine if journalism or education consisted of more than a collage of conflicting talking heads, playing to cameras or crowded lyceums. Imagine the difference it would make if more of the media broke from the bizarre straitjacket of “liberal balance,” which equates fairness with putting all disputants on equal footing, regardless of  how deceitful, immoral, or moronic they may be.

I guess I’m just getting older and less tolerant of “idiots.” There’s a market for news that weighs counterclaims and assesses truth value, based on (gasp!) “truth value.”  But for some reason, it just hasn’t kept up with demand. I find it depressing that tuning into Cable TV News broadcasts only leaves me feeling empty and violated, and even lied to. I find it ironic that I have to tune into Cable Comedy Networks, to get a good read on what’s happening in America. It’s no wonder that guys like Jon Stewart and Lewis Black have such loyal audiences: their point of view is rooted in the reality-based — not the ideology-based — world. They deal in “facts.”  And they say things that everybody is usually already thinking, unless they’re “brain-dead.”

In the end, communication is about leadership and discrimination of the facts, and not the race, creed, color, age, or even gender of the viewpoint holder.

Feel free to send me hate-mail. Hell, if nothing else, it’s entertaining. And, it means I hit a nerve, and that’s the point. I WANT to make you think.

And BTW: Don’t bother sending me email or posting comments “telling me WHAT to post.” This is MY boat.  On your blog, you do whatever you want. On my blog, I’m doing what I need to do, by design and even a concept plan (which apparently, I sometimes stray from). You know who you are.

You’re all most welcome here, even though I’ll warn you once again that although “the sights and sounds” can be breathtaking and awe-inspiring, sometimes the menu still sucks.

If you don’t like it, I welcome you to jump ship. Watching the sharks is entertaining, too…

The Renaissance Ronin

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

5 May

I’m reminded today of the “Battle of Puebla” where 4,500 untrained Mexican commoners courageously defeated 6,500 Mercenaries, Indians and French soldiers, to voice their opposition of oppression.

That history lesson seems particularly fitting, as America tosses and turns in it’s bed, waiting to see what each new day brings. The economy is in shambles, mortgages are falling into foreclosure faster than a fat kid on a happy meal, and the national debt is climbing faster than an F-18 Fighter Jet at an air show.

f18_burners

I can relate to those Mexican commoners! Being the builder of an ISBU home puts you in situations where you face about the same odds!

There’s an awful lot of people lined up to tell you that you’re gonna fail. But you know what? The “Big Guy” upstairs gave us middle fingers for a reason.  So, I say;

“Trim your fingernails (because I’m sure that your momma taught you that “neatness counts!”), and then… apply that finger liberally! Make sure that they know you mean business! 🙂

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Building that home is your war, a campaign that is going to be full of battles with forces seemingly stacked against you. But, if you plan carefully, act responsibly, and exercise due diligence, you’ll have them running like a “Frenchman” all the way back to  the edge of your property lines!

¡Páseme otra cerveza fría, y apresúrese para arriba sobre ella!

And to all those valiant Mexican warriors who gave their all in the name of freedom… This one’s for you! Salute!

dos-xx-beer-baby1

Joshua! Gimme that back! You Rotten kid! 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance RoninNo children were intoxicated during the recording of this message! (Unless you count “Benadryl.”) A “Stunt child” was  used instead of “actual” rotten kid. Drink your milk! Don’t run with scissors! Be Hip! Don’t double-dip! 🙂


The 2 liter lightbulb!

23 Apr

Every once in a while, you hear about something and wonder why nobody had thought of it before! This… is one of those times!

Think simplistic, powerful, cheap, easy to “manufacture,” and capable of affecting lives all over the entire planet.

Step right up folks, See the future! And if you slap down those $20s right now, we’ll double your order, absolutely free!  You’ll never pay for light again! It’s the “Ronco 2 liter lightbulb!”

Actually, Ron Popiel had absolutely nothing to do with this. But I bet he wished he did!

Alfredo Moser is an Brazilian inventor. And like all inventors (that we all hope to be) hes invented somethingthat will aid mankind. Not just “rich” mankind, but ALL mankind! Alfredo’s newest invention is spreading like wildfire through his neighborhood in Brazil.

“Like all really great ideas, it was born out of necessity. During a 2002 energy blackout in Brazil,  Alfredo’s workshop was plunged into darkness. And so, using a simple 2-liter bottle of water,  a cap full of bleach or two of household bleach and an old 35 mm film canister, he created this lightbulb.”

He figured out that all he had to do was cut some holes in his workshop roof, so the new water-bottle lightbulbs could shine the sun’s rays directly into his dark workplace, bathing it in light! Voila, instant illumination, and he could go back to work!  And he shared this invention with others, too! Now they have been using his invention to light their homes without having to pay for electricity.

Now, unless you’re a moron, you’re not gonna go hack holes in your house roof, so that you can use these lil beauties to light up your life. That would border on “idiotic.”:)

But…  it could easily work in that shipping container shed or workshop in your backyard! I’d be willing to bet you money that there are a gaggle of geeks looking at this environmentally friendly light source, as we speak!

Of course it has flaws. It works using the sun. No sun, no light. However, It’ s not a solution to all our lighting needs. It’s a solution to light up a dark place during the day, without spending one single penny on electricity.

Have you ever watched National Geographic specials on Brazil? I didn’t see a lot of cash floating around those barrios and shanty towns.  And this works wherever there is sun, you know, even in the poorer third-world countries… places like Laos, India, and the African nations…

This invention is going to change lives.

Now all I have to do is go down to my favorite deli restaurant, and see if I can get a sandwich named after him…

“Excuse me, I’d like a Moser on Rye, extra oil and vinegar! NO BLEACH!”  🙂

A word about Donations, Charity, and “Hand-outs!”

11 Apr

The world is rapidly changing around us.

This blog’s followers know that I’m building a home out of shipping containers, for my family. I’m doing this very slowly, and out of necessity, because Hurricane Katrina showed us a side of our insurance company that we never wanted to see. The insurance company we dealt with decided that it was easier to string thousands of us along, than settle our claims.  And we’re still in court, to this day.

Fast forward to today. In light of the housing crisis, the mortgage crisis, the Stimulus Bill (and the imposed crisis it presents), rampant unemployment,  and the decaying state of the economy in general, Americans are facing times that may rival the Great Depression, if we aren’t very lucky, and real careful.

People are nervous, and more and more people end up without jobs, homes, and hope…

How can we make a difference, when things are so hard for us too?

Many of my readers know that I’ve frequently emphasized the theme of charity in my blog posts.

Quite recently, ole’ Ronin hit a logjam, and we didn’t have what we needed to satisfy our bills. The utility people don’t care if you have a tax check headed your way, they only care that you pay them on demand, or else. Period.There aren’t polite words to describe our frustration at them.

My wife is hooked up to several machines here at home, to help her get thru the days, and to let her doctors monitor her status “over the internet.” But, if we have no power, we’re dead. And, so is she. But, the power company doesn’t care. They just want their money. Sure, they could enlist us in “some program,” but they aren’t taking “new client” interviews for a few more months, because demand is so high.

Sure, they could list us on a “Medical Alert” program, but that only tells them that in case of a black-out” we  need power fast. It has nothing to do with falling behind on your power bill.

I’ve had to hustle, interview, and almost cry in anguish, to no avail. Except, for the help of friends that look over my shoulder, and help where they can. To them (I’m not going to embarrass them by naming names) I am truly and profoundly grateful.

I have a deadline coming up for the power bill, and I’m praying we make it. If not, well… everything will go as black as this text. We’ll see, in a few days.

So, it’s obvious that my family isn’t rolling in anything but our own stress. But be that as it may, I want to share with you a method that we’ve found, so that we’re still able to help the neighbors. We’ve found a painless way to do it, and it’s a way that makes a big difference.

What we’ve been doing is including several dollars worth of canned goods each time we go to the store. We also frequent the “day old” section of the bakery, and then freeze the loaves of bread. That food, carefully packed away, has fed a lot of families, and we didn’t even feel it leave.

We live in the Hurricane Belt. It’s a wild land, full of monsoon rains, catastrophic flooding, and utter chaos. So, for these times, it’s important to stock up on stuff like extra flour, cornmeal, rice, beans, sugar, powdered milk, and even (gasp!) peanut butter!

Let’s face it… The way that things are going, it’s become vitally important to keep far more food on hand than you expect your family can actually consume. Your first priority is to your immediate family. That’s pretty obvious. But if you’re one of “the faithful,” or you just have a good heart, it’s important to me sure that you’re well stocked, as things start getting tighter. If all that you have on hand is barely enough to supply your own family or “community,” you won’t be in any position to help anybody else.

Like many others, I was raised to believe that charity isn’t an option, it’s a  responsibility. I feel very strongly about this.  Whether you’re a Jew or a Christian, whether you read the Torah or the Bible, G_d made it clear that we are supposed to help others in need. If nothing else, it’s one of the ways that societies stay connected.

I was raised to believe that you should hold 10% of your wealth in reserve, to help others. It’s called “the the tradition of tithing, which has its roots in the Old Testament law. I’m referring to a law called  “Tzedaka.” This “law” says that you should provide for your immediate family first. After that, look to your extended family…  and then if you still have it… reach out to your local community.

Now I’m not going to preach except to say this;

G_d’s gifts to me are “unearned.”

I didn’t do anything exceptional. He cares for me, even though I’m a “screw-up,” who sometimes can’t take care of his own family. I can’t tell you how hard it is to speak that. But sadly, it’s true.

So, I’m going to do anything that I can, to help anybody that I can, because it’s the right thing to do.  We know what it’s like to be homeless, hungry, and without clean clothes. We’ve been there. We know what it’s like to be able to pay the rent, or the pharmacy, but not both.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve hit my knees, in tears, only to have Him help me get past whatever obstacle my family faced, over and over again.

There are people all around us that need help. There are those that are less fortunate and those that currently lack the foresight (or the means) to stock up for bad times.

The best charity is help that comes without strings. It’s one thing to get a “help check” from your “In-Laws.” But the strings are as strong as braided steel cables. The act of charity is supposed to be transparent, anonymous.  You don’t have to draw attention to yourself, or make a big deal out of it.

“It’s the right thing to do. Think nothing of it… Bye-bye!” goes a long way.

If you want to (and you have them), including uplifting spiritual material is  a good idea too. When you’re struggling, the words on those pages can yield great comfort. Take it from me. My Rabbi would be quite pleases with the amount of time I spend in my “soul-searching and studies.”

Think of how many lives you could influence in a positive way,  just by pulling food out of your storage pantry to help a struggling family!

God’s bounty is a gift to be shared. Consider yourself an ambassador of goodwill, and then… help out where you can. You’re not doing it for yourself, you’re doing it because “it’s the right thing to do.”

I’ve heard lots of “food storage” formula’s… but there’s the one that works best for us;

“Look at your food supply as a hearty one year supply for your family. Then reconsider it as a carefully measured out six month supply for three families, or even a ‘cautiously doled out’ three month supply for six families.”

And what if you find yourself in a disaster, with no hope in sight? I can only suggest that you do what I do and pray about it. And then… give until it hurts.

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance RoninIf you like what you’re reading, and you can spare it, we need help keeping this blog afloat. I hate to ask, but between health care and medications, we’re scraping beyond the  bottom of the budget barrel and something has to give soon.  Hitting that Paypal button up there with a fews bucks would go a long way! Thanks!

Is there a defense of Defense?

29 Jan

No, I’m not writing a blog post about the upcoming Superbowl.

WARNING! I’m gonna warn you in advance that I’m really pissed off. Cover your eyes, if you have to! This isn’t gonna be a “kid-friendly” post…

I know that you’re shocked, and that this is out of the blue, but…

I’m on a mission. I’m so pissed off that I wish I still had a truck with a tank  full of gas, so I could drive to certain “author’s” house and kick his sorry ass all the way to Canada. I haven’t been this pissed off in a while… I’m talking “breaking bones with each blow” pissed off…

Some of you don’t know me, but I’m just a guy trying to help my family get back into a home, after Katrina. There’s no news in that, there are thousands of us facing the same dilemma. I don’t wave any flags in anybody’s face, and I don’t wear anything on my sleeve that resembles my heart. I’m no different than anyone else, I’m just trying to get my family to a better place.

My blog finds it’s roots in my travels around the rock, bouncing from “Banana Republic to Banana Republic.”

And I’m not talking about the ones you find in Strip Malls…

I’ve admittedly seen way more of the “human experience” than I wanted to… For instance, I know that a “sit rep” isn’t a machine you find a Bally’s Fitness gym.

My blog gets a lot of reads by people who have decided to “drop off-grid” and become “self-supportive” to the point of Isolation.  I can really get behind that. My lifelong goal was to find a hundred or so acres somewhere, and build a “Net Zero” abode, complete with “hot and cold running kids” and filled with laughter and happiness. Hell, I might even grade the dirt road, so you could come visit, in the summer. But, life being what it is, I’m just trying to deal with the realities of the day.

On another list I read (because some of my readers frequent and refer to it) they’ve started a discussion on how we deal with youth today, kids looking to the Military to help them on their way to adulthood.

I’ll remind you that a “list owner” isn’t responsible for the commentary of his readers. Let me say for the record that the owner of the list I’m talking about is kinda cranky sometimes, but I don’t hold him accountable for the ravings of some of his “readership.” However, after my last visit to his list, it makes me sick to even be vaguely associated with some of the assholes that post there.

To that end, for reasons I’ve already explained to the list owner, I’ve written a response to something I read there. However I’m going to post it here on RR, to avoid it harming his list, and to prevent the matter from being being “round-filed” or buried for being “inflammatory.”

Here’s the meat of the post today:

**************************************************
I’m the author of a fairly popular blog about “alternative construction.” I usually don’t get involved in conversations about politics, religion, or (gasp!) government. RennaissanceRonin is a blog that documents the attempt of one family to build a home out of recycled materials, because frankly, we can’t afford to just go out and purchase whatever we need, to complete the task at hand.

Many people have been following along (we’ve gotten about 15,000 “reads” in the last several months), while my family attempts to recover from the loss of our home, due to a natural disaster. The reason that this has dragged out so long has more to do with appeasing Insurance Company stockholders and politics, and less to do with effort on our parts, but the result is the same. Each day, my family strives to take one step closer to the goal we have set for ourselves… reclaiming home-ownership.

Because of both where we’re from and where we live, our family’s solution to this dilemma isn’t the same as the one others might make, but we truly feel that our path provides opportunity, and even reward, if we work hard enough to finally find it within our grasp.

Many of you know that my family is having a terrible time. My wife is gravely ill, my son is just a baby, and I’m not going to lie to you… we live “day to day,” trying to find a way out in circumstances that are slowly crushing us…

But, we have a roof over our heads, enough blankets to stay warm, and we have enough to make sure that anyone around us who gets cold or hungry gets fed and clothed. My blog is an attempt at helping people find roads out, so that their families can heal from disaster and find new opportunities, as we try to find them, ourselves. We’re thinking “out of the box,” but in our circumstances, the box burst a long time ago…

Although we live in a minefield (something I have intimate personal experience with) we see any step forward that helps us achieve our goals as a good, well-placed step.

Teamwork helps you achieve goals. Working together to solve problems helps insure success. My life experience,  much of it purchased on foreign soil, taught me that.

Recovery is always complicated. And, recovery is often measured by the tools you bring to the wreckage. We accumulate those tools, during the course of our lives, via our life-experience and training. And then… we use whatever gray matter Mommy and Daddy gave us as we toil away, until we succeed (usually in spite of those who would take pleasure in watching us fail).

Recently, I started getting email from readers about  a thread on a list that I lurk, one where the question came up about whether a youth should trust the “speech” (or the contract) given him by Military Recruiters about “guaranteed training,” and a job in his choice of fields, when he “graduated.”

Many of the responses urged the solicitor of this advise to be extremely wary, and spoke harshly about the integrity of the recruiters, and the Armed Forces in general.

Okay, I understand this. In this day and age, there are a lot of things “wrong” with the system. Like everywhere else, it’s “Buyer Beware.” But then, the tone on the list seemed to have shifted, and it was implied that most of the people who enter Military Service are incapable, slave-minded zombies, murdering miscreants incapable of succeeding at  anything resembling a normal “day to day life,” in society. I’m summarizing here…

Few of them spoke of the opportunities presented to kids who might not have opportunities for education and job skills otherwise, especially in this horror of a failing economy.

Few of them spoke of the desperate circumstances one might leave, or the ability to leave impoverished conditions, to obtain this opportunity for growth, in the most honorable of ways.

Few of them spoke of the skills one can acquire while serving honorably in Military Service.

Few of them spoke to the foundation that Military Service can provide, as one grows into adulthood.

Anyone talking to military recruiters today knows that signing the contract may mean finding yourself in conflict. (We fight wars on television, for crying out loud.) The United State’s position in the World Arena isn’t a mystery.  Joining the Military means taking a stand, and becoming part of something greater, in spite of the rants from “idealistically challenged” liberals who think that the world is just “Roses and Honey” without American Intervention into tyranny.

But here’s my “favorite” response;

Beginning of quoted post:

“This is my message to any young person with ears to hear it:

There are few jobs in the world where losing your life is a daily — and highly likely — possibility. There are even fewer jobs where you are paid — and fully expected — to kill men, women, and children withOUT questioning your superiors (or their motives) at any time. Unless you’re a psychopath and murder, mutilation, and mayhem is your idea of a gay ol’ time, find something else to do — find ANYTHING else to do.

Yes, you read right. The author is claiming that those serving in our Military are nothing more than brainless, morally deprived, psychopathic “woman and baby-killing murderers,” who actually take pleasure in participating in the death of others…

If you want to fight for “freedom”, try fighting for your own personal freedom from our oppressive corporate culture FIRST and then find your own unique path from there. Don’t pretend to defend *my* personal freedom and liberty when you don’t have it yourself and most likely have NEVER had it and then spend the rest of your life acting like *I* or anyone else OWES you some vague debt of gratitude.

Need I remind the author that the lives (and deaths) of all those “brainless, morally deprived, psychopathic “woman and baby-killing murderers” paid for his right to not only attack and libel their character, but to voice his views in public?

And, trust me, the second you sign on with the military, you just LOST whatever tidbit of personal freedom you thought you once had. Don’t let the military machine destroy your spirit while you’re figuring out who you are and what you’re meant to do in this life.

Yeah, you get shanghai’d, and smuggled onto a ship, where you do forced labor until you die, or get a debilitating disease. And then… you die. You can’t possibly grow stronger, find your place in this world, and then return home to make the world and your local neighborhood a better place. After all, that would be uncivilized…

There are a THOUSAND better options: wander in the wilderness, become a monk, work in a soup kitchen, work in a homeless shelter, build a mountain retreat on FREE government land, fix bicycles for kids and give ’em away, serve the poor . . . you’re much more likely to remain ALIVE and actually do some good in this sorry-ass world — instead of promulgating death and destruction as a hired killer for the rich white guys. And the bonus? You’ll sleep better every night for the rest of your life . . . I guarantee it.”

Sure, there are other options, but for many of us, the unemployment rates are climbing faster than a Space Shuttle lift-off, and a life lived as a monk wandering the wilderness isn’t going to feed our families.  Oh… and that FREE government land you’re going on about was paid for with blood, too… Soldier’s blood.

End of quoted post.

Look, I know that “Big Government” and even the Armed Forces are things to be leary of. I know that, as “the little guys,” we sometimes get lost in the shuffle, and in fact, it seems like it happens pretty often. Those in “Authority” aren’t always  “fair.” But, I can assure you that after traveling  all over the world, life here in the United States is indeed better than a life lived in other places on the rock.

Me? I’m old enough to remember guys and girls who left America as kids, and returned as grown men and women, whose lives were forever changed not only by what they endured and witnessed, but by the way they were treated when they returned to us.

I remember watching them spat upon in airports, and I remember watching their terror at the mobs that threatened them, as they simply tried to return to their families. I remember their tears, as they tried to readjust to “life” after living with death.

I remember those we left behind, those we couldn’t find, those we couldn’t rescue, those we couldn’t save.

I remember watching as my friends were slowly lowered into the ground, and covered with sod.

I’m old enough now to remember that I became one of those guys…

And although I’m scarred too… I’m the better for it.

I remember, and I cannot, I will not ever forget.

I’m not going to name the author of the above quoted post, although I’ll add that he says that he’s a Vietnam Vet.  Suffice it to say, the author makes me genuinely sick to my stomach. However the fact that brave American Men and Women put their lives on the line every day gives the author the right to say it.

Contrary to the “quoted author” of that post, I don’t think of people looking to serve our country as “murderers, baby-killers, or psychopathic criminals.” I think of them as brave and heroic souls who are willing to put their bodies where their mouths (and hearts are), and stand the line so that we (and evidently this author I quoted) can say whatever we want, while they risk flying bullets, bombs, and death…

And I owe them a debt that I can never repay, for their sacrifice, their heroism and their patriotism.

What would YOU tell someone thinking of joining the Armed Services?

I know what I’d tell them…

It starts with telling the author of that “advise” I quoted above, this:
middle-finger

Okay, gentle readers, if you’ve gotten this far… have you got any suggestions?
I’m listening, if you have any advice. Right now, I’m going to go take an antacid…

Stay tuned…

The Renaissance Ronin

Taking out the garbage…

9 Aug

I don’t usually do this, but today I’m going to just rant in “another direction…”

Don’t worry, it’s still a “Green Rant” that is perfectly in keeping with the spirit of this blog, it’s about living locally, working locally, and prospering locally… Hell, at least we’ll save money on gas…

As you know, I’m building a house for my family, out of recycled buildings, and shipping containers. It’s heady stuff, at least if you listen to all the locals telling me that “I’m out of my mind…”

It’s either that, or teach my family “the fine art of living under bridges.” And  frankly, too many people are already doing that, around here…

I was reading the Atlanta Business Chronicle the other day, looking for news of the Russians facing off with the Falcons or the Braves… After all, it’s been a day or so since they invaded Georgia, right?

(I know… I know… that’s not nice… I’m sorry… Actually, I’m apalled at the invasion of Georgia by the Russians, and I’m hoping the UN and the entire free-world come down on Putin and his cronies like a fat kid on a happy meal… Commie Bastards…)

And I read that a popular supermarket chain is actually paying someone to haul off their organic garbage…

Here’s the article;

(I didn’t get permission to reprint it, so if it disappears from the post soon, don’t blame me. It’s the lawyers fault! LOL!)

[Begin Article]

“Publix Super Markets partners with Organic Recovery”

Ever wonder what supermarkets do with those brown bananas or apples that have one too many bruises?

In the case of Publix, it will be recycled and turned into a high-power fertilizer.

The supermarket chain has partnered with Organic Recovery LLC, which debuted its first facility on Thursday in Pompano Beach, Fla.

The partnership works like this: Publix pays Organic Recovery to pick up the fruits, veggies, meats and bakery products that otherwise might end up in the dumpster. Organic Recovery turns it into liquid fertilizer, which is purchased by golf courses, homeowner associations and, eventually, individual homeowners.

The partnership is expected to increase Publix’s recycling rate by 25 to 30 percent in 33 stores. Organic Recovery’s goal is to serve all 84 Publix stores in Broward County by summer’s end.

Organic Recovery is planning two additional facilities in Lakeland, Fla., and Atlanta.

Lakeland-based Publix has 932 stores in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee, including 140 stores in metro Atlanta.

[End of Article]

Here’s my beef;

Does this really make any sense?

They could have accomplished the same exact results (for free), by allowing local gardeners to come get the old produce and organics, for use as composting material, in each and every neighborhood that Publix co-exists in.

Almost every community has one cranky old retired geriatric with a pick-up truck, willing to haul rotten produce to a community composting site…

Almost every community has a “community garden.”

Almost every community has a swarm of people trying desperately to cut down their food bills, by growing their own produce in their backyards…

(Oh… I get it…)

I guess the stockholders in Publix would get P.O.’d if the chain did anything to enrich the communities they actually do business in. After all, they might lose the ability to sell tomatoes at $4.00 a pound…

I gotta go now, my wife says I need to… say it with me… take out the garbage… LOL!

Stay tuned!

George Carlin talks about America

24 Jun

WARNING: Mature topics and mature language. If speaking frankly and eloquently, with an occasional [expletive deleted] offends you… don’t watch!

You’ve been warned!