Archive for July 2011

The Darn Debt Ceiling Fight

July 27, 2011

Both sides claim they are fighting for a compromise.  What they really remind me of is two brats fighting over the best way to build a sand castle while ignoring the fact that the rising tide will soon wipe everything out.

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Deja Vu and Marcellus Shale “fracking”

July 24, 2011

I chanced upon a program this morning that actually seemed balanced and fair-sided on the issue of fracking. They concentrated on the Marcellus Shale area in Pennsylvania but I stopped to listen since we are facing the same conundrum in West Virginia. There’s no doubt on the benefits of obtaining such a store of natural gas to add to our energy supply. The cons of the process of fracking are more problematic. I listened to the complaints from the affected well owners about methane and other forms of contamination. They aren’t imagining these problems. Yet, on the same program, the official company line is stated as there being no proof that their drilling methods are responsible for the problems of the well owners.  Now here comes the “deja vu”.  Flashback, to another party of various company officials, this time a full-blown congressional hearing.  And, one by one, they state without hesitation that there is no proof that their “product” is the cause of the problem being investigated.  The tobacco company officials are ready to swear that there is no proof that smoking causes cancer. And now I really begin to worry.

The “Feel” of Quiet

July 24, 2011

Sunday morning. A clear sky. Not humid yet and an ever so slight breeze. It “feels” like a quiet morning here in the mountains.  “Feels” like quiet? Yes, feels. True, the usual cacophony of birds is absent. They’ve finished their territorial calling and are mostly busy with raising their brood. Still, I can hear a distant Blue Jay imitating a red-shouldered hawk, the coo of a mourning dove, and the buzzing wings of a hummingbird. The occasional green frog twangs at the pond. The cicadas have started, their incessant buzz contributing to the calm. So, it really isn’t all that quiet. It just feels that way. The weight of the air cloaks my shoulders like a soft blanket. It dampens all the twitters, buzzes, and twangs into a distant and barely perceptible din, like when you’re in the library and you can hear the voices of the world passing by through the closed window. The resulting calming effect enwraps a body. It’s quiet. You can literally “feel” it.