Archive for the ‘Politics’ category

The Day The Gas Ran Out….

May 15, 2009

Former president Jimmy Carter sat before Congress recently complaining that things haven’t changed much since he was president with regard to dependence on oil.

And he warned the problems we faced back then when the gas ran out are bound to happen again.

The gas stopped flowing late in 1973, when the oil producing countries of the Middle East decided to teach the world a lesson..

On October 17, 1973 OPEC, the oil cartel voted to stop shipping petroleum to countries that were supporting Israel in a war with two of its Arab neighbors.

That conflict began when Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kipper.

The effect of the embargo was swift and dramatic.

Gas prices jumped from about 25 cents a gallon to nearly a dollar—if you could get gas.

Service stations ran out of fuel.

People waited in lines for two or three hours to buy gas—which service station operators voluntarily rationed to stretch their supply as much as possible.

A nationwide speed limit of 55mph was imposed to save fuel—and the Department of Energy was formed to create a cohesive energy policy…

On March 17, 1974 OPEC voted to end the embargo—but the United States was wary–and was looking at conservation….

In 1977, in a speech that was rife with conservation symbolism, newly inaugurated President Jimmy Carter sat next to a lit fireplace, in a sweater—talking about creating a long range energy policy for our country.

But in 1979—the gas ran out AGAIN.

This time the precipitating cause was the Ayatollah Khomenini’s Iranian revolution that forced the dictatorial Shah of Iran from the country.

Once again— shortages created gas lines…

Service stations shut down several days a week—and gas was available either on odd or even days—depending on the whether the last number of your license plate was odd or even..

The situation got so bad—the government printed gas rationing coupons—but they were never issued…

People lowered heating thermostats to 65 degrees—and tried other ways to conserve petroleum…

Eventually the shortages abated..

Now, more than 30 years later, many of the initiatives proposed in the 70’s under Jimmy Carter have gone unheeded.

Had we worked toward energy independence THEN— we might not be in the situation we’re in now.

After a brief respite—gas prices are on the march upward again. And as they burn more and more of our disposable income, are we going to let another 30 years slide by before we do anything— or are we going to demand our leaders begin crash programs now to help mitigate our energy problems today?

The choice is yours.

Don’t let them fuel us again.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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Bits & Pieces, Odds & Ends Version5.0

May 13, 2009

There’s always something happening that frosts my cupcakes—and when EYE get enough cupcakes sitting on my mental counter-top it’s time to serve them to you in :

IT GIVES ME FEVER….

After several weeks of Swine Flu coverage—we may be on the verge of learning the real truth about the way this strange genetic makeup of the H1N1 virus came about.

As you might recall scientists said it contained a here-to-for unseen combination Swine, Bird and Human flu…

A couple of weeks back, we speculated in this post the virus might have been artificially created.

Now as you can read here the researcher who helped create the anti-viral medicine TAMIFLU believes the H1N1 virus was a HUMAN creation that accidentally escaped a research lab.

Adrian Gibbs bases his conclusion on H1N1’s genetic blueprint, and says so in a report.

The World health Organization is investigating his claims while some are trying to pooh-pooh Gibb’s allegation.

But with four decades of studying the evolution of germs, my money’s on Gibbs.

GENERATING A CONTROVERSY…

First they told us we were running out of oil—but not to worry because we had plenty of coal that we could use to generate power..

Now, these two studies by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington claim we’ve overestimated the amount of coal we have available—and that we’ll hit peak production of it by 2025..

So, that pretty much gives us about 15 years to come up with workable, available alternative energy sources.

Can we beat the clock—or will we wait till 2024 before we do something?

IF x2=y>4 YOU MUST BE A THIEF….

The latest piece of Big Brother technology comes in the form of mathematical algorithms that check out surveillance video to figure out if you’re a shoplifter.

The BIG Y supermarket chain in Massachusetts has installed a system in its 57 stores that takes video camera feeds and runs them through a mathematical formula

As you can read here, the algorithms then decide if the store’s cashiers are engaging in an activity known as “sweethearting” where-by cashiers don’t ring up items as they work the check-out line.

If the system detects a problem, it alerts store security and then shows them the suspected video clip.

Stoplift, the company that invented the system claims on its website that it’s an accurate detector of employee theft.

But, knowing that math errors do occur in computer code, EYE would be a little worried about getting accused by a line of code that might corrupted.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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A Tale Of Two Brains…..

April 19, 2009

There’s been a lot of shouting in recent days over the tea-bag protests that have been occurring all across the country.

The left and the right have been clashing with each other in vitriolic terms claiming the opposing side is just too stupid and hard-headed to understand their position.

But it may not be all politics.

It may be that each side CAN’T help but believe in what they believe.

All of it could just be preordained.

A study linked here that was done not that long ago by New York University and UCLA indicates there’s a real difference between a liberal’s brain––and a conservative’s brain..

In other words—-politics isn’t a choice–-it’s genetic..

You’re either born a blue brain…

Or a red brain…

Now.. EYE may not be the smartest guy in the room—and EYE don’t have a string of letters following my name to indicate my degree of brilliance—but you have to wonder about this piece of research.

Let’s look at this… You would think that one’s political views are formed by a confluence of experience…

And, you would think different events and experiences in your life would mold your views—and thus your political viewpoint.

Yeah.. you might think that….

But the folks who know better than us say HOLD ON—you were born with your politics already decided.

Nope, your views can’t change. You can’t become more conservative—or more liberal as you go about life.

You’re stuck. A Blue Brainer, or a Red Brainer. Case closed.


Does this mean EVERYTHING we do is predetermined at birth?

Hey GREAT!

So long personal responsibility!

Sorry EYE robbed the bank officer, but it can’t be helped. EYE was born with a bank robbers brain! Genetic, you know!

Nope… Honey, EYE really wasn’t cheating on you.. It’s just that ole’ brain of mine. It’s hard-wired that way. Now let’s forgive, forget and move on!

Yeah, this opens a world of possibilities!

Nothing will ever be our fault again. We’re just born that way!

Now—perhaps EYE am reading a little too much into this study. But, did you notice WHERE it was conducted? At schools in NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES.

And aren’t those parts of the country considered centers for liberal thinking—

—or am EYE just being a no-brainer?

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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How Times Have Changed…

March 16, 2009

What passes for political news these days is vastly different than when EYE was first starting as a broadcast reporter back in the 70’s….

Much of today’s “news”  is gossip-related and driven by the insatiable news cycle that includes blogs, cable news channels, and talk radio—-both liberal and conservative…

A moment in time that once would have been largely ignored, is now the fodder for days upon days of pundification from all those who make their living trivializing the easy catch—while largely ignoring the more important, serious issues…

Here’s what I mean….

The other day, ABC NEWS had a “GOTCHA” moment with Joe Biden.

In greeting an old colleague an open microphone picked up his comment telling his friend to “give me a fu**ing break” in referring to him as Mr. Vice President.

Senior White house corespondent Jake Tapper blogged it here.

From there it was off  to the races….Real Clear Politics, among others—ran the audio here, and Drudge picked it up.

Compare that to a similar event more than 30 years ago—-memorialized in a little newspaper clip that EYE kept nestled in one of the plastic pockets of my wallet because it tickled me back in 1972…

It was a simple 16 lines—used a “filler” at the end of another unrelated story back in the day when newspapers didn’t have the ability to lay out their pages with computers.

When a story ran short—typesetters like these fellows tucked in a few lines of something to avoid having a white hole in their layout.

This “filler” story refers to the 1972 presidential campaign when Richard Nixon was running for re-election…

“Four more years” was one of the slogans of his campaign against George McGovern.

The reporter covering the story treated McGovern’s remark as a light anecdote…

THAT was then… THIS is now.

Today— a moment like that is  Media Madness!

Front page headlines around the world blare out the tale of the candidate with the foul mouth !

Political blogs would postulate on the candidate’s fitness for public office!

The radio talk shows and the 24-Hour-a-day cable networks would endlessly explore—in depth—the implications of such an outburst by an obviously unstable and anger prone hothead !

A grizzled old editor once told me there were only two kinds of news.

  • News that people NEED to know…
  • News that people WANT to know…

We all WANT to know the latest gossip or pop culture tid-bit—but we NEED to know things like what the Congress is doing with our money.

Maybe it’s time in our 24-hour-a-day, blogesphered society that we pay a LITTLE more attention to the NEED to KNOW news, instead of the WANT to know news.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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A Small, Exclusive Club….

February 16, 2009

As we celebrate president’s day this year—we’ve got the nation’s first black president leading the country.

And when you stop and think about it—it’s unique in more ways than one.

The line of succession preceding Barack Obama is brief—and rather exclusive..

Just how brief?

The video belows brings it into perspective as it morphs from Washington to Obama in just 3 minutes and 58 seconds.

It’s rather incredible to think that only  44  men have lead this country—some good and some not so good..

And who might you think was the nation’s greatest chief executive ?

The results might surprise you.

A recent USA TODAY-Gallop Poll found here asked people to rank our greatest president.

Among the top five were Washington, Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy and Reagan.

And Ronald Reagan topped the list.

Kennedy and Lincoln were tied for second, FDR placed 3rd and  our first president was the last choice.

What does it say about us as a country?

You can put a lot of different spins on it—looking at everything from demographics of the respondents to the way the questions were phrased.

But, if you ask historians they’ll tell you it takes a good 70-to-100  years or so to really evaluate a president’s contributions— because you have to look at it through the filter of other events that occurred in the decades that followed their administrations.

By then, perspectives can change.

And who knows—in another 100 years—our greatest president could be Millard B. Filmore who was associated with the Know Nothing Party..

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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Politics In The Blink Of An EYE….

January 26, 2009

The new administration’s been in office about a week now—and there’s already a lot of things to look at…

So, EYE will focus on on a couple of the more interesting tid-bits that have surfaced.

STRINGING US ALONG….

The festive sounds of Barack Obama’s inaugural had hardly died out in Washington, when word began to surface that all was not as it appeared that day.

Seems the string quartet  that included such world-famous talents such  as violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma wasn’t really playing for  the crowd at all..

In a move worthy of the fake singing 1980’s pop group Milli Vanilli, Ashlee Simpson on SNL, and The Chinese Government  decision to use Lin Miaokel  lip-syncing that country’s national anthem during the Olympics— the musicians playing at the Inauguration were just faking it.

Claiming it was too cold for their instruments to sound right— the group pre-recorded their music two days beforehand.

Carole Florman, a spokeswoman for the committee putting on the event defended the fakery saying, “It’s not something we would announce, but it’s not something we would try to hide.”

C’mon Carol— if you weren’t trying to HIDE IT— why wasn’t it made public knowledge?

Remember— the new president promised a lot more transparency, so you oughta try and FOLLOW that example…

The TV networks were alerted to the use of the pre-recorded music—but no one said anything about it at the time.

EYE think people would have understood if an announcement was made at the time explaining what was going on.

And politicians wonder why no one trusts ANYTHING that comes out of Washington !

THAT’S HOW THE COOKIE-MAKER CRUMBLES….

A New York City baker may have bitten off  more than he can chew after creating a so-called “tribute” cookie to the new president.

Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry shop in trendy Greenwich Village created  the NOT so trendy “Drunken Negro-Face Cookie”

As you can see in this video, the guy doesn’t seem to “get it” that  there might be a problem with this racially insensitive pastry.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Since that piece aired on TV, the baker has cooked up an apology—as you can read here.

But—somehow—unlike his cookies—his apology just seems half-baked.

HE’S THEIR RISING SON….

While New Yorkers may be shying away from those commemorative Obama Cookies—the Japanese are eating up all of  Barack Obama’s speeches.

Seems his words are not only inspirational to the Japanese—but are proving an easy way to learning English.

As you can read here, one book— “The Speeches of Barack Obama,” has sold more than 400,000 copies in two months.

When you consider that sales of a million  units in a year are considered best-sellers in Japan, nearly half a million on two months is phenomenal.

According Japan’s Asahi Press, speeches by presidential candidates make excellent tools to teach English—and apparently President Obama’s are “so moving” that they outsell everything else.

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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Throwing Good Money After Bad…

January 19, 2009

Just as soon as the new president’s been inaugurated—and Washington returns to its normal way of doing things—we can watch for Congress to throw even more money into the bailout bucket.

That way—every moron who can’t run a business can grab a drink from the financial watering hole…

Eye—for one–am boiling mad about it.

THAT’S  A LOT OF BULL….

It appears that Merrill Lynch’s bull is eating Bank Of America’s lunch..

All last week, we watched BofA’s stock fall to record lows as billions of new losses at Merrill Lynch continued to destroy its new parent company…

Back in September— when Merrill Lynch SHOULD have evaporated in bankruptcy, BofA CEO Ken Lewis purchased the foundering brokerage house.

Now, as the broker breaks the bank—the taxpayer is being asked to bail out Bank Of America too.

What part of “foundering brokerage house” did Mr. Lewis not understand.

He expects US to pay for his mistake !

Perhaps Mr Lewis ought  to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation.

EXECUTIVE  PRIVILEGE….

Guys like Ken Lewis are used to living a different life than the rest of us.

As executives—they are “special”…

And with the current economic turmoil out  there—those “special” people are in danger of disappearering—-and even a bailout won’t be enough as they explain in this little video:


THAT’S WHY THE CALL IT A “STICK” SHIFT…

Let’s not forget our friends in Detroit— who are still waiting for their cash from the government cow…

Recently this satirical ad appeared in my electronic in-box.

It pretty much sums up what Detroit’s Automakers are doing to us…

InstantEYE

My Zimbio

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