Filed under: GIS Technology, Political Public Service Announcement, Rants | Tags: "Gridlock Sam" Schwartz, American infrastructure, American Society of Civil Engineers, economic stimulus plan, Harry Reid, investing, New Deal
Interesting piece from Mr. Zeiss’ GIS and geospatial information blog:
In the past 8 years, the American Society of Civil Engineers has done a few report cards on the condition of the United States’ infrastructure:
As you can see, it passes, but only for community college.
In a presidential election year with talks of another economic stimulus plan and many making an allusion to FDR’s New Deal, a rebuilding of the infrastructure (at an estimated cost of almost $2 trillion) could create jobs, with projects that I predict will end up like the Blue Ridge Parkway and more national parks.
That is a great idea in my opinion. Former NYC transportation commissioner “Gridlock Sam” Schwartz and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agree with me. A project of this undertaking would could the American taxpayer a lot of money in the small scheme, but in the big picture, jobs are created, unemployment rates decline and more money is put back into our crumbling economy. A plan of such magnitude with kill two birds with one stone, or at least knock them out of the nest for easier taking.
Senator Obama believes that a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank should be started to aid in these actions. This is one of the only points I do not agree with. An institution like the one described seems way to close to a nationalized bank. It may work, but it seems like an ugly big-government socialist idea.
All in all, this is a good plan in the most normative way possible.
Filed under: Political Public Service Announcement, Rants | Tags: 116th District NC, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Buncombe County, gas tax cap, immigration, Jane Whilden, Mike Easley, NC House, North Carolina, Tim Moffitt, Western North Carolina Governer's Office
I would like to take some time in the weeks proceeding the elections to spotlight a few of the North Carolina state and local (WNC, Buncombe and Asheville) races. Today, I would like to take the time to look out the 116thDistrict House of Representatives delegates: Tim Moffit (R) and Jane Whilden (D).
I have provided both of the candidates websites for you, my faithful readers, to peruse and decide:
Economic stability and job growth-reducing gov’t bureaucracy, driving small business…
Health care reform-making it affordable for all
Education reform-more money, better schools, better parent-teacher-student relations, newer technology
Protecting the environment-especially natural resources
Standard issue republican. He seems like a nice guy, very down to earth and a born and bred WNC mountain boy.
Democrat Jane Whilden’s biography describes her as a very family and community oriented politician, having managerial and administrative experience prior to her running for office. She has been both president and vice president of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of WNC, involved in school functions and for the past seven years as the director of the Governor’s Western Office here in Asheville. The issues she will work on are:
(the following are concurrent with Moffitt)
Cheaper health care and prescriptions
Better paying jobs and supporting small business
Also, Whilden mentions:
Immigration laws-making sure that all hires are legal and E-verified
More and better law enforcement
Gas tax cap-is that possible?
I want to mention here that the reason that I describe more aspects of Whilden’s life is because that is what is provided by here website. I strive to look at both candidates in an unbiased manner and write about them equally in this case, going by the websites, Moffitt’s site is lacking.
The Revolutionary has decided that he will have to support Jane Whilden. My reasonings are as follows:
Whilden has more experience as a leader, even if it was working for Easley, who I am not fond of. She seems to be more involved in the community, working with schools in the Roberson district. Another big plus for me personally is that she did work with local legislators to help those who were effected by the floods of 2003.
Moffitt, an entrepreneurial small business owner, comes across as being more worried about his business than his resposibilty as my county’s house rep. Knowing that much of his business and it’s offices are based in New Jersey makes me believe that he will be back and forth between Raleigh and wherever he has to go. Two things concern me about that: one-I want my house rep to be all about politics; two-the rigors of travel may effects his work.
Regradless of what party you support, I urge you to research both representative delegates. Do your civic duty.
Filed under: Rants | Tags: AOL, electoral college, the only vote that really counts
When I went to check my old AOL email account, the AOL News comes up automatically. The first one I read is entitled “The Only Vote That Really Counts”.
Thank goodness that this race for the presidency is so heated, or I would blame AOL for bolstering feelings of voter apathy.
This one’s for you…..
Filed under: Rants | Tags: "melting pot", Arabic, colin powell, meet the press, msnbc, support obama, the washington post
Sunday morning on Meet the Press, Colin Powell gave his endorsement for Sen. Obama, which is very interesting considering how Powell is a staunch Republican. Irregardless, this is not why I am writing.
Today the Washington Post had an article that was what consider a slap on the back of the head of the American people saying, “Hey, pay attention!” Mr. Powell said for us nor be afraid of Islamic believers in America. Wow. No kidding? They’re not the same as those Afghan extremists? So, brown people that go to a oh, what do you call it?….Mosque! Those who go to a mosque are not packing plastic explosives in the soles of their shoes, brandishing box cutters, causing chaos in the streets, a harbinger of the Apocalypse?!?!
Hey, what the hell, I get confused some times.
Now, if anyone has a problem with Colin Powell, I would like to see a show of hands. (Silence and stillness). No one? That’s right. Because Colin Powell is awesome. He is an ex-military man who came into office and became one of the greatest powers and most brilliant minds that has ever graced the steps of the White House. The poor guy has been surrounded by fools and idiots for years and he still remains composed and eloquent. Look, if the words of Colin Powell cannot convince you, then I don’t know what to tell you.
I need to make this clear as possible: I am not thanking Mr. Powell for endorsing Obama. This is not about the campaign, the mud-slinging knife-fight for the presidency. This is about a brilliant ex-politician coming out and rebuking the ignorant masses about the animosity they hold towards Islamic believers or anyone of Middle Eastern decent. Unfortunately, Arabic people are the new people to hate, all because of lack of responsibility and civility of many Americans. Last time I checked, that is not what being and American is about. We are the “melting pot” nation. Come one, come all, but come legally.
In conclusion: Thank you Mr. Colin Powell for being just, valiant and righteous on live TV and clarifying that not all Muslims are terrorists. And also thank you to the Washington Post for taking the time to reiterate Powell’s message.
Filed under: Rants | Tags: Barack Obama, Cold War, crazy speech, FoxNews, Glenn Beck, Iran, Joe Biden, Pakistan
Good ol’ Joe Biden, who I do happen to like, made a pretty scary and “crazy” speech talking about how within the first 6 months of Obama being president, the whole country would be tried, put to the test by some “international crisis”. Speculations of said crisis range anywhere from invading Pakistan to an Iranian strike to a Cold War situation (trust me, in my opinion, Putin is not above it).
So, let me get this straight, Joe: you are telling me that by next summer some catastrophic event is going to happen that will test the will of America’s strongest patriots, that it will be devastating and life-altering, just like what happened to Kennedy in ’62?
Stop it. Just stop. Do not make Kennedy allusions. That is so last week.
I like Obama and Biden. I do. But, Mr. Biden, by saying what you said, by relaying that message to the American people, you just gave a lot of Americans, you know, the ones that clutch their Bibles and their guns, another reason to fear Arabs. You just fueled the fire. I respect you, Mr. Biden, but if you know so much about foreign policy and diplomacy, then shame on you for bolstering the fear factor that so many countries use to oppress us. As if the fact that our economy falling apart before our eyes isn’t bad enough. These are trying times. Do me a favor and be a real politician: lie. That’s what you guys usually do. Or even just stretch the truth. People like me will find out that you are lying, but I believe that the majority of the American populous will not. They get their news from their local newscast of from that God-awful monstrosity of a robotic brainwash factory called FoxNews.
Mr. Biden, I am putting my trust in you and the man you stand behind. Do not disappoint me. And I do hope you are wrong.
Filed under: Rants | Tags: black labrador, Death Star, GIS, GLONASS, GPS, James Bond, Russia, Soviet Union
Here is an interesting story that combines two of my favorite things to talk about: GIS and the Red Rusky, Mad Vlad Putin.
The Russian government has released that it seems that their new GPS system and satellite, dubbed the Global Satellite Navigation Sytem (GLONASS), may not be “fully operational”, but ol’ Vladdy Poo says that he is having no problems keeping up with the whereabouts of his faithful dog, a black lab named Koni.
This is a Soviet era project to compete with the US’s GPS systems.
Here is the point: the last thing that was put in space by totalitarian regime that was not “fully operational” destroyed Alderaan. The other one was easily thwarted by one MI:6 spy. So, GPS or Soviet cover-up? You decide. Thank God he can find his beloved pet.
Filed under: Rants, Uncategorized | Tags: Medvedev, rights, Russia, Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin
Since we are on the subject, I wanted to expound on an interesting and incredibly frightening situation that has taken place in the Russian Federation over the past 18 odd years:
In one of the recent issues of Vanity Fair, there is an extensive article recognizing the efforts of Vladimir Putin during his two-term presidency of the Russian Federation. After reading said article, which is fantastic, I came to realize something that I already suspected: the Russian Federation is so far off democracy that it is mind-boggling. I knew this would happen when I found out that Putin was ex-KGB. And from what I understand, Yelstin, the Bill Clinton of Russia, helped set this up. In fact to expound on that can of worms, relate this story of Yeltsin to the Clinton/FreddieMan/FannieMae ordeal that set us up to fall.
Putin’s policies have restructured Russia mush how Lenin originally intended it to be. More power is centralized, more rights are denied, more voices are silenced. I thought Russia was a democracy. I mean, they have free voting, right? That right is still intact….
But the people voted for him unanimously in both elections (53% in 200, 71% in 2004). Do the ideals and policies of Putin truly fit what the average Russian required? Or is this two terms of Florida voting for the Ruskys?
It is hard for me to believe that an country would prefer the restraints that are provided by a centralized government. What’s scary is that we as Americans are coming closer and closer in proximity to that end.
Anyways, now Putin is Prime Minister. That office is for life. No two-term limit. So he can still pull the strings that he tied while he was in office. Medvedev is just a figurehead, the Queen Mum of Russia. The true power still lies in the hands of Putin.
Filed under: Schadenfreude | Tags: Friendly Swiss, Roads, Russia, Soviet Union, Youtube
I wonder where this fit into the Five Year Plan?
This road is a genuine product of the skills of the Soviet Union. Notice the road markings.
Thanks to Curt for this one
Friendly Swiss YouTube Page
This is a truly sad story, but one that has played out over and over throughout our country’s history. The Midwest and Plains states are suffering from the horrible economy probably worse than any other part of the US. Sad fact is, they generaly always suffer the worst economically, regardless of how the stock market is going. It could be skyrocketing to the moon, and the pig farmers in Iowa would still be dirt poor. I have been through that part of the country a few times. I think that Nebraska and Kansas are two of the most beautiful states in the Union, but our government does not
take care of them worth a damn. They pay them off for the crops they grow, at a “fair price”, just like the man in Asheville whose property was taken on Long Shoals Road by the right of eminent domain. Point is, the US does not take care of it’s farmers. Sure, we can all go down to the farmers market and buy a few items of produce, but this is not coming from the millions of acres of fields in the Midwest. Oh no, the US gov’t pays them as little as they can get away with instead of letting the farmers utilize our so-called free market. This is such a travesty.
Filed under: Shameless Plugs | Tags: Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, GIS
Check this stuff outwhen you get a chance. I am taking a certification course in GIS technologies at AB-Tech right now. Really cool stuff and a good job market right now to, working with county planning, sewer districts, politicla campaigns, you name it. GIS (Geographical Information Systems) is becoming quite ubiquitous in our world today. How many of you have a GPS in your car or phone? Ever used Mapquest, GoogleMaps or GoogleEarth? Have you ever watched the weather and enjoyed seeing th rad radar images? What about aerial photos? Then you like it too.
There is a lot of technical jargon on this site, but loads of the most recent information on how the technologies are devoloping!
John McCain was asked if he would meet with PM Zapatero (Spain) at some point. He said that he had done much work with people in “this hemisphere”……
What? Did he think that just because the name was Zapatero that he was a Mexican? Randy Sheunemann, McCain’s foreign policy adviser says that he knew, that the interviewer mentioned it several times and the he understood. Bullshit. I don’t think he knew. What kills me about these dudes is that I know geography and world leaders better than them. You would think that McCain would know. This may seem a little frivolous to you , but seriously. I think McCain didn’t doesn’t pay attention to world leaders who’s names surnames are something other than Hussein, al-Sadr, Muhammed, Ackbar, ya know, something Middle Eastern. Obviously, someone with a name like Zapatero is Mexican and he also speaks the Mexican language. Watch this video and you will see why I thought this was both funny and disturbing.
Filed under: Shameless Plugs | Tags: Micah A. Hanks, paranormal, ufos, weird news
My Buddy Micah hosts this blog about unexplained phenomena and all kinds of weird news. Check out this article about a this strange creature sighted in Connecticut!
Filed under: Rants
Here’s what I was talking about. Gas stations gouging prices in Rosman. And they claim to be making only 6 cents per gallon. Are you kidding? I can see the numbers plainly, but there has to be more to it than that. I hope that they are penetrated by whatever government seat decides to take them. I understand that it will take some time to get the Gulf Coast refineries up and running to pre-Ike capacity, but this is simply taking advantage of the fear that the media has instilled in the hearts of Americans. Jackiemoma, who posted on the CitizenTimes website said that it was like “the US had never seen a hurricane before.” I lament with those who suffered from the hurricane (my great uncle about 15 miles north of Galveston, in Alvin), but I concur with her statement. My issue is that the fine is only at $5000. $5000 for outright piracy. I feel like I have been pillaged and plundered already. That is a smack on the wrist. Make them pay.I understand you have to make a profit, but with record totals up prior to this, you cannot convince me that these store owners were just making it by the skin of their teeth. I have a feeling that they were doing just fine. I love blogs. My opinions of gut instinct could get me in trouble one of these days.
Filed under: Rants | Tags: American Folklore, Gary Paulsen, Paul Bunyan, The Winter Room
I just finished reading a book called The Winter Room by a childhood memory named Gary Paulsen. Sadly enough, no, I have never read Hatchet. I tried to write my own review but it just didn’t work. So here is the review that Carol Hurst wrote and published in K-8 Teaching Magazine.
“This is a brief, intense novel with incredible descriptive scenes. As a young boy and his older brother Wayne grow up on a farm in northern Minnesota, we are witness to vivid scenes of farm life. In the bleak winters Uncle David tells stories in the winter room (a room only used in winter) of an almost mythological logging past. The boys doubt the truth of his stories and say so, thus hurting David so much he stops telling stories. It is only when the boys sneak into the barn to watch Uncle David and witness his incredible control of the axes that they begin to believe his stories are true and convince their uncle to resume the storytelling.”
This book really struck me. A book that was written for much younger readers than me really hit a nerve. There is a big problem in America. I think that we as a people have forgotten the stories of the old, the legends, tall tales, fables that have so much merit and are incredibly uplifting and unifying during these times of stress. These stories unite us; we are born with them in our blood. Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, the legendary life of Davy Crockett. Who do kids have as heroes now? Gone are the days of Neil Armstrong, Sally Ride, Evel Knievel, George Washington and Pocahontas. Children look up to the likes of Britney Spears, steroid-ingesting overpaid athletes. Did Washington cut down the cherry tree and receive admiration for his inability to lie? Probably not. But it makes a great story that instills a sense of morality in our children. Was Paul Bunyan real or did Johnny Appleseed plant all those trees? No. But what great ways to teach anyone about conservation and environmentalism. I encourage all of you, adults and children alike, to take the time this week to read a few of those Great American tall tales, absorb them and remember that these stories are the foundations of America and family values, more so than any old apple pie.
Filed under: Rants
Take this quiz. I dare you. I got 8 out of 20. What is my problem? Oh, I know. My brain is too preoccupied with figuring out where the less than $100 barrels of oil are and why there is still no gas and why the gas that we have is so astoundingly expensive. So, I guess my brain is too busy to wonder why the damn polar bear is green.
I should have done this long ago. I need somewhere to vent, not about my personal life. About our country. About what is happening in my state. It’s crazy. So stay tuned all for what I have to say, because by God it is important.