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  • A Parting on the Right

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    For some people, it can never be TOO far right...

    Sean Patrick on GOP pull to the hard right

  • If You Can't Be Right, Be Loud

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    Although it seems that all "liberal guys" think and act exactly the same, I will not attempt to paint all conservatives with the same wide brush.  But it does seem to happen more and more often that people who can't offer a coherent argument to back up their position instead try to simply shout down the other person, as if this could somehow be a substitute for evidence.

    I will give a piece of evidence however - A very excited caller refuses to let me respond to his argument, until finally he agrees to listen - you can hear what happens.

    If you cain't be right - be LOUD!

  • Sit down, take a load off

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    Words of wisdom I picked up on a summer job back in the college days...

    What I learned on my summer job

  • Oh the places you'll go!

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    Went for a bike ride to South Haven and back (05/01/11), encountered a sled dog huskie team in training, a most unusual - and cool! - bike and caught up with some morel hunters...

  • The Emperor Has no Clothes!

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    I am frankly astonished there isn’t more outrage about the extraordinary corporate welfare we've been hearing much more about lately, profoundly profitable companies such as GE and Exxon complaining about taxes on US buisnesses being too high - while in fact not paying a dime in US taxes!
    And as if it were not enough simply to avoid paying one's share to support the greatest nation on Earth they love so much, we must in fact bribe oil companies with troughs of taxpayer-financed incentives. These incentives help to keep the price of oil deceptively low -you actually pay for that tank of gas twice: once when you swipe at the pump, and again on April 15. If you saw the true cost of the oil up front, it could shock you into action - you could see the writing on the wall and the future of burning carbon fuel. Instead, gas is only $4.00 a gallon at the station, but we never see the true, full cost.
    In Europe, they're seeing, well, much closer to the true cost than we do. IMHO, they have a much more realistic idea of how to address dwindling supplies - You see more bicycles, and bike lanes, and more respect for bicyclists btw. You see conservation, more respect for the environment, more recognition this land on Earth is all we have and we need to treat it in such a way as to last forever. You see a lot more alternative energy, a lot more solar. Germany and Japan are the two leading nations in the world in their use of solar. They'll be ready for the impending oil shrink.
    It brings to mind that story of the two squirrels, one which just wanted to play all the time, and the other saw what lay ahead, saw bleak winter around the corner, and set about storing nuts for the impending dry spell. Which squirrel do you think the United States is?
    I hear people say the oil isn't running out, that the Earth has more than enough to meet all our demands for a looong time so long as we start drilling under the Gulf of Mexico, or the Great Lakes, or a pristine part of wilderness that was promised to remain undisturbed for future generations. As for domestic drilling, to me that's like a heroin addict believing they have cured their problem by finding a less expensive dealer. It sticks the nation's head in the sand to dangerously deny there isn't a big squeeze coming up. The world's second-largest bank - which has a financial interest in accurately knowing such things - just released a report that says 50 years. Does it help America to wait until the last minute? Just because there may well be risky-to-reach oil in parts of America, or coal in our nation's mountaintops, that doesn't mean we have to burn it. Wouldn't it be better if we didn't?
    The oil companies themselves have tried to make the case that such generous tax bailouts are justified, in part, in the name of national security, that the US needs energy security. Rubbish - that makes my argument for me. Does it make America more or less safe to prolong our dependence on a dying technology? Does it make us more or less safe to depend on other nations - some friendly, some not - to meet our world-leading energy consumption? Does it make us more or less safe to have to inject ourselves into religious wars in the Middle East to protect "our" oil reserves? Would it make us more or less safe to invest instead in the clean, pollution-free, drill-free, meltdown-free technologies that WILL be invented out of necessity. I don't know 'bout you, but I rather see this be a "man on the moon" moment for America, an opportunity to wake up, smell the coffee, see the lst drop of oil IS coming, and make the US a leader in this technology, not a follower of other nations that heeded oil's warning.
    According to Wikipedia, "The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year. In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year. Photosynthesis captures approximately 3,000 EJ per year in biomass. The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined." When I hear people say "Solar doesn't work, it's too hard, we need oil," I wonder what happened to that Can-Do American Spirit, the one that undertakes challenges not because they are easy but because they are hahd. This isn't America, this defeated-before-we-start attitude. With that outlook, of course we won't succeed.

  • See the Light

    Posted by Sean Patrick


    From Wikipedia, under “Solar Energy.”

    The total solar energy absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, oceans and land masses is approximately 3,850,000 exajoules (EJ) per year.   In 2002, this was more energy in one hour than the world used in one year.The amount of solar energy reaching the surface of the planet is so vast that in one year it is about twice as much as will ever be obtained from all of the Earth's non-renewable resources of coal, oil, natural gas, and mined uranium combined.


    When you put a solar panel on the roof of your house, it receives energy from the sun all day, but it only receives its peak energy for the time the sun is directly overhead.

    Now imagine if everyone in town put up a solar panel, and connected their panels together.  The panels on the east side of town would first reach their peak production, then the midtown panels, followed by the panels on the west side.  People on the east side of town would still be receiving peak production while the sun is over the west side with their houses all connected.

    Now imagine if everyone across the state did this.  Panels in lower usage rural areas would still produce the same energy as a panel in the city, and this array of panels across the state would follow the sun and share the power.

    Now imagine if we had panels all around the world.  All these panels interconnected, such that the one sliver of the Earth’s surface that is directly under the sun at any time, would be providing power to the rest of the world.  All of humanity, working in concert so that every single human being has access to as much abundant, clean, pollutionless energy as they want.  And it won’t require digging under the Gulf of Mexico, or the Great Lakes.  It won’t mean shearing off the top of nature’s majestic mountains.  It won't mean risking nuclear meltdowns. It won’t mean the primitive burning of carbon to foul our air.  It would be a moment of true elevation for all of humanity.

    To me, that is a beautiful thought - the Earth spinning silently in space, as the mirrored surfaces underneath gather the bountiful, life-giving sunlight to power all of mankind’s needs.  But I suppose it would also make me a socialist, or communist or Marxist or whatever other monikers are carelessly thrown around with little understanding of what they really mean.  I imagine some would deem me un-American to envision a future in which private companies are not making a profit off of energy, but rather it’s just given away.  You may say I’m a dreamer.

    The light of the sun, a gift to us all that belongs to no one.


  • Will the REAL Jim Tressel please stand up?

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel is VERY sorry he covered up NCAA violations in the program, but don't take my word for it - let's hear from the Sweater Vest himself...

    Jim Tressel "apology"

  • Yearning to be Free

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    My in-laws are some of the most remarkable people I've met.  My wife's parents, Andrei and Liliya Vansovich, emigrated to the United States 7 years ago, leaving behind the lives they knew growing up in the former Soviet Union.  They left their native home in Belarus, their friends, their family, their language and culture, to make a new life in America.  With old-world sensibilities and undiluted hard work they have done very well for themselves and I am honored to call them family.

    This past Wednesday, Liliya completed her journey from the USSR to the USA when she became a naturalized United States citizen - Congratulations Liliya!


  • A Tea Party Game: Before and After

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    When the Tea Party folks are trying to dupe you into voting for them - against your own best interests - they call you "real Americans."  The Joe Six-Packs of this country who get your hands dirty and make things, making this country great.

    Then when these sincere types get elected, suddenly you're a "worker" (spits on the ground) - petulantly whining about having rights to peacably assemble and petition for a redress of grieveances.  Oh, won't you people just get a life!?  You voted for me - now SHUT UP!!  Socialist!  Marxist!  Communist!  Some-Other-Word-I-Heard-On-The-Radio-But-Don't-Really-Know-What-It-Means!  

    And keep your government hands off my Medicare!


  • Seeing Red

    Posted by Sean Patrick

    I was sitting at a red light.

    On southbound Drake, just south of West Main.  I was stuck at a red light – to my right was an empty parking lot, empty because it was 2:30 on a Monday morning.  I was stuck at a traffic light for a parking lot at 2:30 in the morning on Monday wondering to myself, “Why isn’t this a blinking yellow for Drake at this hour?”

    Then I thought to myself, “Ahh, relax, it’s no big deal.  Just a moment and you’ll be on your way.”

    But then that other voice chimed in, “Oh really?  Just a moment, huh?  Let’s crunch the numbers!”

    This light happens to be one I hit quite often in the evening hours.  Let’s say for sake of argument, I catch that red light 3 times a week.  Then let’s say I get held up there for 1 minute each time.  Now these are estimations without scientific measuring because I feel strongly we don’t need no pesky Ivy League liberal scientist telling US what to think.  So with my utterly made-up facts, we come to the grand total of 3 minutes of my week wasted on this red light for phantom late-night shoppers.  A mere pittance.

    But then as I drove on (it was green by now) I compounded further.  In 52 weeks that’s 156 minutes  - 2 ½ solid hours whittled off my life at this aggravating red light.  Talk about Big Government bleeding me to death!

    But wait – what’s this that lies ahead?  I see ten years down the road - provided I still have a job and it carries me past this light frequently - that I have spent 26 hours, over an ENTIRE DAY of my precious little time on this Earth, not with my loved ones, but with BIG BROTHER – sitting at HIS traffic light!!!  We must Rise Up and stop this madness before we….



    Got a little carried away there.  In any case, that’s a really long light for an empty parking lot in the middle of the night and I wish they’d fix that.  Maybe someday I’ll remember to make a phone call about it.