As we pass yet another arbitrary day in time, I don’t want to dwell on what’s done. Let’s focus on now and moving forward. We now a slightly more sane congress that will hopefully gut the military commissions act, prevent an attack on Iran and acknowledge that global heating is real and we need to do something about it now. We have a new mayor in Ypsi who will hopefully articulate some new ideas for moving the city forward. We also have some wonderfully active people in the community who will stay involved and continue to make this a better place to live regardless of what any politicians may do. The traditional corporate media continues to prove it’s irrelevance, as an independent replacement rises up to take over. I intend to stay involved in my community, and continue to provide people with information about what’s going on here and elsewhere. I’ll also continue writing at AutoBlogGreen about cars and alternative fuels. Hopefully all this stuff will make a little bit of a difference, and with any luck I can leave this world a slightly better place than I found it. Now let’s get to work.
We were watching the documetary Iraq for Sale the other day, and it just never ceases to amaze me how corrupt everything associated with this war and the Bush administration is. One thing that the new congress should do is pass a law on war profiteering. Better yet, a constitutional amendment. If someone is found to be a war profiteer, they should be forced to pay back all money received from the government, and all officers of the company should receive a lifetime ban from ever doing business with the government in any way, shape or form. Furthermore, any company doing business with the government should be prohibited from any association with any individuals or companies who have been found to have been war profiteers.
Also all the tasks that were formerly done by military personnel such as maintaining equipment, security, feeding troops, etc, should be brought back into the military. A proper accounting system also needs to be established for the military. Past accounts are so screwed up that they can never be fixed, but all future expenditures need to be accounted for properly. Cost plus contracts also need to be eliminated, since they are a breeding ground for corruption. Past administrations from both sides of the aisle are to blame for this mess, but clearly the republicans will not take responsibility for cleaning it up, so the democrats must.
It’s the 24th of December and the sun is shining. The last time we had any snow was a month ago and it didn’t stick around long. The temperature is about 41 degrees right now and at least it’s not raining for a change. At least we’re on the far side of the winter solstice and the days will be getting longer now.
During last Monday’s school board meeting to discuss the issue of the Braves nickname, several people who made public comments, really struck a chord with me. Unfortunately it wasn’t in a good way. Essentially, they kept referring back to Eastern dropping the Hurons name and how donations fell off after that. The implication was that by changing the nickname, people would stop supporting Ypsilanti High School, as if it suddenly ceased to exist. The fact that people are so attached to a nickname that it means more to them than the people behind it is disturbing. Do you support a football team because of the name of that team? or is it because your kids go there and it’s a part of your community.
The reason people who graduated from Ypsilanti High School have been successes in life has nothing whatsoever to do with the Braves name. It’s because of the teachers they had, the relationships they built and the lessons they learned. If someone is so attached to team nickname that they would stop supporting a school when the name changes, then I say good riddance to them, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. As my friend Eric put it best, the way we treat the least among us says much more about us than the way we treat the majority. Just because the native Americans are relatively few in number, that does not excuse our appropriating their identity for a cheer.
The junior student who spoke of coming into Ypsi High with no connection to the name, but then becoming attached to his identity as an Ypsi High student spoke the truth without even realizing it. Students who come in next year will have no connection to a new name. But over the time they spend there, they will build their own identity, based on their own experiences. Only those who refuse to let go of what is already gone will have a problem. We must learn the lessons of the past but live in the present as we move into the future. If I see one more person crying about what a nickname means to them or their parent, I think I’ll scream. Get a life people! Move on.
There are several new podcasts available since I last put a note up here. Max has recorded a couple of MewzikCasts including one that is mostly christmas music last week. However, it’s totally non-traditional Xmas stuff. Go check it out. Also the the Ypsi school board podcasts continue. This week there’s two parts featuring the discussion of the Braves nickname at Ypsi High. Steve Pierce also has a video of the meeting up over at his site.
I spent a few hours in Manhattan today. I had to fly in for a meeting this morning and then fly back this afternoon, and I spent more time in the two cabs than I did in the city itself. The cabbie from the airport to the meeting was into left foot braking, but I know for a fact that he never pressed the brake and accelerator at the same time. How you might ask do I know this fact? Because he had no right foot. When he hopped out of the cab at the airport to pick me up, he literally was hopping. His right leg ended at the knee. This was definitely a first for me.
The cabbie on the way back to the airport was telling me about his wife stealing his three kids and how he called a psychic today. Since I wanted to get to the airport in a timely fashion so that I could get home, I didn’t have the heart to tell him what a complete scam telephone psychics are. Poor guy might as well have taken out a match and lit up his $150.
Fortunately the flight from Detroit to La Guardia is only about 1 hour and 40 minutes otherwise the exit row seat I got might not have been such a good idea. I hate sitting in the middle seat of three on airplanes, even if I have legroom. Sitting here in the back of a New York taxi makes me realize that there is no way I would ever want to drive in this city. This may be a great city but it makes Toronto traffic look like a party.
Yesterday I was going to the archery range with Max when I spotted a vehicle with a bunch of bumper stickers on I-94 near State St. The cluster of stickers included ones supporting such causes as the John Birch Society, The UN is not your friend and the America First Party. Normally I would immediately disregard anyone ignorant enough to support John Birch, but in this case I felt I had to share something with you. The make of the vehicle bearing all these messages? A Toyota!
Jules was looking out the kitchen window yesterday when she spotted this fat little critter gorging himself at the bird feeder. Click on the image to go see the whole slide show.