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Snapshot of Society in Decline?

Jan. 30th, 2010 | 11:53 pm

I'm having a lovely weekend, driving around the little towns up in the dales before I go back to London.  But today I watched as a girl that couldn't have been more than fifteen chased a young woman across the town marketplace, screaming obscenities at her as she ran for cover.  Apparently, or so the girl made -abundantly- clear to anyone in earshot, the young woman she was chasing was a lesbian.

Sad such as that sort of behaviour is, it wasn't that that prompted me to post.  It was the reactions of the local residents watching this scene.  Most of them turned their backs, and when I asked one for his thoughts on it, he expressed his deep sympathies...for the -girl-.  The one shouting the abuse.  "She's been expelled from school that many times," he told me, speaking as though this was some hardship visited upon her for no valid reason.  "That I think she's not all there in the head any more."

Wait.

So the fact that she's been expelled from school has -caused- her to act like this?  Not that she's been expelled from school as a punishment for this sort of behaviour.

I...wonder if the laws of cause and effect are the same in this universe as they are in my home.

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A question to you...

Jan. 26th, 2010 | 09:51 pm

On to less depressing topics, however, while I am free and online.

It seems the world is moving a bit more quickly than I can write a long and informative post about.  Or perhaps the internet is just that little bit faster?  Who knows.

At any rate, would there be any interest in shifting to Twitter?  Would it be more fulfilling to have shorter up to the minute observations from me, or to continue to wait on less regular but more substantial reads?

And as always...please refer your friends here.  I will not deny that I thrive on attention.  I post my thoughts for people to read, and if there is no demand, there is no sense in providing a supply.

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Have you ever started something...

Jan. 26th, 2010 | 09:49 pm

Have you ever started something only to have it rendered obsolete by the time you finish?

Fortunately that is not the case with my current project.  I can still post it up later, but I had to set it aside so I could type up some quick thoughts on the 'Torture Boys' case.  Once again I find myself incapable of simply summarising what exactly has happened, nor would it be what is needed from me anyway.  I highly recommend this dimension's version of the BBC for summaries.  Simply go there and type 'Torture Boys' into the search bar...and be prepared to be horrified.

I was preparing a piece for you on Global Warming, which I might yet post up.  But right now, as I look over the articles and reports that have all but been quite suddenly shoved at me, I feel a bit too ill even to finish my tea.  So I may as well give you just my short thoughts on the topic.

Admittedly, I was raised in America, rather than England.  I know that the legal system in one country differs from the legal system in another.  But that's why you good people read my ramblings, now isn't it?  For that 'outsider' perspective.  So let me bring it fully to bear on this tragic case.

Juvenile 'criminals' are protected by anonymity to shield them from having a prank gone wrong following them around for life.  Once upon a time it was considered a harmless prank for a young man to, say, cover a young lady's front yard and front porch with toilet paper.  And if in his haphazard throwing of rolls of toilet paper he happened to, say, break a window, he would have a bit of anonymity so that when he came of a job-seeking age he didn't have to say that he had a criminal record for destruction of property and vandalism over a prank that, while still not in the greatest of taste, was in the grand scheme of things harmless.

Serious offences, especially that of which nature can be brought to adult court...obviously defy the spirit in which this law was written.  Now, I do not believe that even the 'Torture Boys' should be abandoned to mob 'justice'.  There is a broad spectrum of opinions on this whole event, and as always I am here to point out the common sense of staying to the middle ground.  But obviously when OJ Simpson went to trial, he was not released to mob justice even though he is a common enough name in this dimension that even I, an outsider, can bring it to mind easily.

Why, then, do these boys need the shield of anonymity?  Obviously what they have done was NOT a juvenile prank, nor was it even intended as one.  Nor at all will it ever be something that in the grand scheme of things is harmless.  Two lives have been all but -destroyed-, and the ripple effect on the families and friends of the family will leave a shockwave's impression on South Yorkshire and indeed all of England.

Even, yes, if they can be 'rehabilitated', the fact that they were underneath a magic number when they committed these heinous acts does not excuse what they have done.  If they had managed to contain their violent outburst until they were older would it make it any more of a crime?

Mm, if anything, I think it's more of a crime against common sense that they can use their youth as a defence.

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The Return of Connos

Jan. 18th, 2010 | 12:47 pm
mood: awakeawake

Good morning, faithful readers!

Ah, who am I kidding, I haven't posted since 2007.  As you know, that year was my senior year of college.  I have since gotten my degree in Interdimensional Politics, and I've even gotten a job!  I am a political correspondent for one of the newspapers in my dimension, and have been assigned back to this dimension.  It was good to find my old journal still up and running, and I hope I still have interested readers?

So.  My job has brought me this time to London, and I am quickly learning to remember my u's in colour and flavour and other such words.  The 'culture shock' isn't as bad for me after having spent a year here before.  Truthfully told?  I missed it a bit.  My own world is too natural and normal to me after having spent a year laughing at every little thing and missing everyone terribly.

But...at any rate.

I am back, and I will have something typed up for you all presently!

In the meanwhile...are there any graphics artists on my Friends List who would be interested in donating a more British (or at least less American) Livejournal layout and icon to me?  You will be credited and linked to of course with much deep gratitude.

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Duke IGCC Gassification Plant

Jul. 28th, 2007 | 02:23 am
music: Kitaro - Tenzan

In my dimension, we have several laws regarding false advertising.  I did a bit of research in this dimension to find out if it is the same thing here.  It is.
According to Wikipedia, false advertising is defined as the use of deliberately false statements or deception in advertising, in order to gain a commercial advantage. As advertising has the potential to persuade people into commercial transactions that they might otherwise avoid, many governments around the world use regulations to control false, deceptive or misleading advertising.  [...]  There are no fines or prison time except for the infrequent instances when an advertiser refuses to stop despite being ordered to do so.
The kind I will touch on today is misrepresentation, or utilizing words such as descriptive terms or location terms to increase the perceived value of a product. An example would be advertising "Maine lobsters" when in fact the lobster are from the Pacific ocean, or Vidalia onions which are from Texas instead of near Vidalia, Georgia. These can also be considered infringement of trademarks in many cases. Another example is the United Egg Producers' "Animal Care Certified" logo on egg cartons which misled consumers by conveying a higher level of animal care than was actually the case. Both the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission found the logo to be deceptive and it can no longer be used.

The Integrated Gassification Combined-Cycle coal plant that Duke Energy is proposing to build in Edwardsport, IN, is a prime example of this. Duke is marketing the plant as 'clean coal'. Which is as accurate as a 'safe cigarette'. Supposedly, the plant will cut down on emissions because it will replace a grandfathered plant that doesn't have to comply with the clean air act.
This ancient plant produces 160Megawatts, and only runs 30% of the time.  So even if the IGCC plant produces less emissions per day, running it 85% of the time produces more emissions over the course of a year!
Table of EmissionsCollapse )
More insidious than the emissions, though, is the cost.  The proposed IGCC plant will cost $2.1 billion just to build, not to mention at least $104 million annually to run it.  However, there are cheaper alternatives.  To mention one, energy efficiency to cover Duke's expected rise in demand costs $42 million per year, and saves rate payers money.  And to handle further demand, Indiana has the capacity to easily implement wind power.  For the same construction cost as the IGCC plant, wind turbines can be placed in northern Indiana, but run on only $39 million a year, or a 60% savings.

But what I think is the worst part about all of it--to actually decrease emissions like Duke is saying the plant will, they will have to include equipment for carbon sequestration.  But Jim Rodgers, the CEO of Duke, says that sequestration technology is at least fifteen years off.  The plant will just be built with room for sequestration equipment.

So, let's take NASA as an example.  If NASA wanted to get $2.1 billion dollars to build a space station with a gravity generator, and then said that it will be 15 years before they could actually build one, but they'd leave room for it, maybe tack up a 'Gravity System Goes Here' sign when they built the station...no one would take NASA seriously anymore.

So why is Duke allowed to live in a science fiction novella at the expense of ratepayers?

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I'm not the only one...

Jun. 15th, 2007 | 10:45 am
music: Kitaro - Sunset

...who can write political commentary.

http://phillipalden.livejournal.com/432088.html

I encourage all of you to go take a look at his entry.  I thought it was strange, being in another dimension, but here we have someone from this one watching history repeat.  I urge you, go, look.

Thank you.
Tags: ,

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Where's Connos?

Jun. 14th, 2007 | 11:56 am
mood: tiredtired
music: Gundam Wing - White Reflection

A thousand apologies to my readers.  I've had some personal issues come up, but I am back, and ready to raise some hell.
I hope everyone else is.
With the start of summer, I've been busy busy busy with rallies and otherwise getting myself involved in the political process of this dimension.  So before I start on the harder issues, let me just bring everyone up to speed first.

I honestly forgot the date, but there was a rally for single-payer healthcare in Indiana.  It was held in downtown Indianapolis, right on Monument Circle.  Plenty of pictures under the cut.  Don't worry about load time, though, they're all thumbnails with links.  And before anyone asks:  No, Connos never claimed to be a good photographer.

Single-Payer Healthcare Rally PicturesCollapse )

What is single-payer healthcare?  Well, to spare everyone a long, long rant, it's how things are done in America in my dimension.  After hearing the stories of people whose lives were devastated by lack of healthcare in this dimension, I have to believe that my dimension does healthcare better.  Stay tuned, I may make an entry dedicated to it later.

I had planned on giving everyone a heads-up -before- the rally, so everyone could play 'Spot Connos'.  Or, y'know, have a good time at a rally for a good cause.  And then things came up, and one after another.  Shame on me.

Anyways, I'm not going to make that mistake again.  There is a BIG rally in Washington, DC, and I want to see as many people as possible there! Buses are already full, but I'm sure everyone can find a way to get there.  I know I am--see if you can spot me!  Habeas Corpus has gone missing!  We're going to look for him, and put him back in the Constitution where he belongs!

I have a BIG update planned for what's going on here locally, so stay tuned.  No more silence from Connos.  I promise everyone, I will not lag behind like this again.  You all know you can poke me with comments if I forget to update, yes?  Anyway, the update's written, I just have to get the energy to type it in.

Until then, so long!

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Something I Made

May. 1st, 2007 | 02:28 pm
music: Final Fantasy - V Dear Friends

Prompted by a very short conversation I had last night. Far from being good, constructive criticism welcome.
Tags: , ,

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My Weekend

May. 1st, 2007 | 03:16 am
music: Gravitation - Shining Collection

As an apology for my being gone for the weekend, I think it's only fair I tell you what happened this past weekend.

My professor at MIT warned me--the hardest dimension to go to is one that looks like home.  I found out why this past weekend.  I went to a Chinese buffet, and I had the shock of my life.  I found fried fish, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, and one tiny dish of lo mein.  I found eight different kinds of chicken in sugar sauce, and ten varieties of cake and jello.  For drinks, there was a choice between soda, and sickly sweet Lipton's Iced tea.  The decorations were European, and the staff spoke Spanish.
I had wondered, upon my arrival in this dimension, how America got the reputation of being bigoted and arrogant.  And though I am sure that there were much larger events to earn that reputation, this little encounter has proven that the stereotype is based on facts.  When did it become hardwired into the American psyche that the only way to be is like us?  In my dimension, America is called the great melting pot.  We got that name by being accepting of all walks of life, and bringing in everyone that came to our shores.  Not by assimilating everyone and demanding that they conform to our own cultural ideals.
In my dimension, the idea of a Chinese buffet having macaroni & cheese and meatloaf is as preposterous as a war to spread democracy.  And that opens up another can of worms right there.  I'm not a peacenik with the idea that having a military force is synonymous with being aggressive.  I don't believe that soldiers start wars.  Our brave troops fight the wars that the administration starts.  Unfortunately, in this dimension, the administration is not only incompetent, but as belligerent as a common schoolyard bully.
Consider, please, the similarities.  Just as on the playground, a bully will pick out those smaller and weaker, America of this dimension is using her advanced military strength to terrorize smaller, weaker countries.  And to protect her political image, this war is being marketed (yes, marketed) as spreading democracy.  Never before have I heard of a war being 'marketed'.  Yes, there's always been propaganda, but it's always been of the 'stay strong, we -can- win' type.  Not the brainwashing of our great nation into believing in a war based on manipulation and conquest.
If our leaders are so desperate for the thrill of a great war, I might suggest the White House play Risk on staff night.

In the mean time, I am going to attempt to find decent egg foo young.

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An email I got...

Apr. 30th, 2007 | 10:09 pm
mood: confusedconfused
music: Nightwish - Over the Hills And Far Away

Connos received the following email today:

"House Speaker Pelosi's office is taking calls voting for Impeachment of Bush/Cheney at 202-225-0100.
Folks, each of you who have been wanting Impeachment, need to commit right now to ask at least 10 others to call and ask each person to commit to asking 10 others to call and so on. It needs to happen fast and NOW. Let's BLITZKREIG the Speaker's office with demands for Impeachment of Bush AND Cheney.
Please make a call, and thanks so very much.
"

Now I'm confused.  In my dimension.....email forwards are something more along the line of "EVERY PERSON THAT OPENS THIS EMAIL AND SENDS IT TO AT LEAST 3 PEOPLE will give us 32 cents. PLEASE HELP US."  Not calls to political action.  Those are published in the newspaper.

That is all, my apologies for my recent absence.

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