Archive for December, 2007

Slice of Americana

During a visit to Nancy’s diner in Columbus, Ohio, I saw this arrangement above the cash register. In a cultural sense it’s interesting to see these little touches of our society. Twenty years from now it will be telling to look back and see signs that say things like “Support Our Troops” and photographs like this.

Sad Day for Our Country’s Progress

In case you weren’t aware, there was a hugely important Energy bill passed in the House and moved to the Senate for the approval. It failed to pass in the Senate and was chopped up for approval. What was lost in the process was a tax incentive for folks hoping to install renewable energy in their homes.

“On Thursday the U.S. Senate fell one vote short of extending the solar tax incentives in the 2007 Energy Bill. 60 votes were needed to move this legislation forward with a filibuster-proof majority. The vote just missed at 59 to 40, virtually along party lines. As a result, the tax incentives for renewable energy production and energy conservation were removed from the Energy Bill. Also the federal renewable energy standard was dropped.

The revised bill passed the Senate last night. While we’re pleased to see widespread support for increasing auto fuel efficiency standards and improved appliance efficiency (which is a good start), overall, the Senate missed a golden opportunity.”

An interesting aspect of why the incentives refused to pass can be understood by this:

“The $22 billion tax package would have extended tax credits for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, with support also earmarked for fuel cell development, clean coal. Much of the tax package would have been paid for by the repeal of several oil industry tax breaks, potentially costing the industry more than $13.5 billion.

Oil industry lobbyists had generated opposition to the tax package from Republican senators, who said it was unfair and unwise to raise taxes on oil companies.”

Sure, it may be “unfair” for the oil companies to start paying proper taxes, but isn’t it unfair for tax payers to be subsidizing oil companies with tax breaks when these companies, such as Exxon/Mobil (most profitable company in the US), made record profits that exceed the GDP of most small nations. With renewable energy tax incentives, those who are rewarded are individuals who are taking the initiative to create change on a personal level and who are paying the taxes that fund the incentives in the first place. If this frustrates and confuses you, it should! Please contact your representatives with your frustrations. We all use oil, and it’s hard to not, but we pay for it at the pump, we shouldn’t have to pay for it with our taxes as well.

Natural Selection

I had taken this Polaroid of a landscape scene about six months ago and tucked it in the visor above the passenger seat of my car. Time and weather took a toll on it and actually made it into something more than it was. The way the cracks spread across the film in the same fashion as the branches of trees is an almost perfect replication. I think I’ll start a dashboard series.

Staring at the Sun

Lau may get mad at me for posting a photo of him online, but I wanted to share some thoughts about friendship that we had talked about.
After a lengthy visit recently, Lau read something about friendship between males that I thought was reflective and sad in a way. Whatever he read said something like, “Male friendship can be compared to the sun. They enjoy it but are afraid to look into it.”
It’s a strange phenomenon that men, me included, are in so many ways ingrained with a stoic approach to companionship. So often our relations to other men dig only at the surface of what a friendship could and should be.
Having an Annah and Lau in my life has been a Yin & Yang in relational completeness.