Tea Party VS Coffee Party

There’s is the Tea Party, a movement started in early 2009 as a backlash against the 2008 Bailouts and the President Obama’s stimulus package. They don’t like paying taxes, and really, who does?

The Coffee Party came later as an answer to the Tea Party (see what they did there?). Realizing the importance of social services and taxation, the Coffee Party is the direct opposition to the Tea Party.

Fiscal Conservative.

Named after the Boston Tea Party in 1773, where American colonist protested extra taxation of tea by the British Government.  Tea-baggers (real moniker, really) want less taxes so they are widely seen as fiscal conservatives.

Now, conversely, the Coffee Party push the positive side of taxes, their benefits and importance.

“A key difference is in our emphasis on the democratic process, on respectful and civil engagement with one another and with our elected officials. In the current climate, too many Americans are afraid to participate, and find the process itself too alienating, because it is dominated by people with extreme opinions and extreme tactics. It’s hard to speak up when others in the room are screaming. So in the end, we may want some of the same things, but we our hoping our journey getting there will be very different.” Says Annabel Park, originator of the movement,  when comparing the two movement.

The two party are nothing to gloss over either, there are factions for both parties all over the United States. And the number of supporters is growing.

I think the idea of the Tea Party is a good one, but like all movements there are going to be more than one bad egg that takes it a little too far. I’m afraid that the Tea Party will be littered with those people who see “No Taxes” picket signs and think, “Yeah, I hate paying taxes, let go with them.” Sure, not paying taxes is really what everybody wants, but taxes are as inevitable as death. They are a necessary evil, and make no mistake they are necessary.

Our Party Leader.

I say we make a L.E.T.S. Party. The Local Exchange Trading System Party emphasizes the needs vs. wants scale of consumerism. If people trade for goods, no money is exchanged and therefore no taxes can be implemented. Also, the money people make working can be used for things that really important like bills, food and taxes. This way you get what you need, while still paying taxes. I see this as a reasonable and fair option. Sure, there may be a problem with people not having big screen tvs, and Leon’s may go bankrupt, but what do you expect from an interest group called Lets Party?

How to Build your own Bike-generator

Sometime ago, I had come up with the idea of making a green gym. A place where all of the exercise equipment could be used to generate power for the gym itself. In order to do that, I’m going to start with a simple bike generator that can be made for fairly cheap if you shop around.

These are all the things you will need:
Bicycle
Training Stand
12V Generator or a Permanent Magnet DC Generator
a Deep Cycle Battery (PowerPack)
a Voltmeter (optional)
a DC-to-AC inverter
Some plywood
saw, screws

First you need a bike. Now, a bike with multiple gears is more preferable, but any rear-wheel powered bicycle will work. Stationary exercise bikes (front-wheel) would also work with some minor modifications. All that is important is that the pedals power a chain that powers a wheel. Brakes are irrelevant.

You can pick up an old clunker of a bike at any yard sale, or if you are more morally flexible, go to the police station and tell them your red bike was stolen. They have rooms full of bikes, odds are one of them is red.

Next, you’ll have to pick up a Training Stand. I found one on ebay for $70, but that seems a little steep. If you go to any of those used sporting goods stores, I’m sure you can find one.

Now there are two ways of mounting the 12V Generator (this is the thing that spins and creates energy, they usually sell for about $30). The first and less efficient way is to attached the generator to a drum, or small wheel and position it in such a way that the when you pedal the bike’s wheel make contact with the small drum/wheel, creating power. The problem with this set-up is that the two wheels can sometimes loose contact and this won’t create the optimum power-generating situation. The Second way is to take the rear tire off, but leave of the metal rim (the rubber tire is just extra weight now). The shaft of the generator should be able to fit into the void between the spokes and the bike’s frame. This will eliminate the risk slipping. Once you find where the best place the mount the generator, construct a plywood stand for it and attach the stand securely to the training stand.

Now, all you have to do is connect the dc-to-ac inverter and the voltmeter (this is actually optional). Some basic wiring and splicing to give this bad boy a plug and you got your self a human-power generator.

Now, you can plug this in directly to appliances (blender, toaster) but for real efficient use, plug into a battery pack to store the electricity created. Then this battery pack (usually called PowerPacks at Home Depot) can be used when you are tired or lazy.

All things considered, this generator can be made for well under $200. It helps the environment and you might even get in shape.

Free Speech, Even for Douchebags

Ann Coulter, republican foghorn, was denied access to Ottawa University after thousands of Liberal protesters blocked all the exits. Coulter, fearing for her life, canceled her appearance. “I would like to know if any Muslim has been treated this badly, at least since the Reformation, because I am drawing a blank,” she said when the Glode and Mail asked for comment. Here’s the link.

Now, to say I lean to left politically is a gross understatement (I could fly in clockwise circles), but even I have to agree with Coulter’s spokesman, Ezra Levant.

Levant is a conservative activist who has come to the aid of Coulter. He points out the obvious infringment of human rights that has taken place. Coulter is preparing a civil-rights compliant.

Now, Coulter is an idiot, she says things that make me want to puke up my spleen in frustration.

Exhibit A: “We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity.”

And as much as I hate the things she says, I will always defend her right to say it. I just think that if she isn’t given the chance to say anything stupid, then she may be mistaken as someone who knows what the hell they are talking about.

Exhibit B: “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women. It also makes the point, it is kind of embarrassing, the Democratic Party ought to be hanging its head in shame, that it has so much difficulty getting men to vote for it. I mean, you do see it’s the party of women and ‘We’ll pay for health care and tuition and day care — and here, what else can we give you, soccer moms?'”

Stupid right? But if she hadn’t of said it, then what would be fodder for the army of liberal bloggers like myself? I just think any Ottawa University first year could take on Coulter in a debate, so why bar her from speaking?

Nestle’s Palm Oil Problem

Make sure your next impulse chocolate craving is the right one.

Today I got an email from Greenpeace urging me not to buy KitKat bars, and more over to not buy Nestle’s chocolate products. The problem is, is in the pursuit of palm oil (that is a key component in chocolate making) is creating a massive deforestation problem. And since there is no such thing as singularity among environmental dilemmas, the population of oran-gutans in Indonesia have suffered massive loses.

“We all deserve to have a break – but having one shouldn’t involve taking a bite out of Indonesia’s precious rain forests. We’re asking Nestlé to give rain forests and orang-utans a break and stop buying palm oil from destroyed forests.”

At the dedicated Greenpeace site is a video explaining the problem. WARNING: the video is one produced for shock value.

UPDATE: While writing about this, Youtube has cut the video from the site citing, “due to a copyright claim by Societe des Produits Nestle S.A..” The campaign against them appears to be working.

The orag-utans’ homes are clear-cut in order to produce Palm Oil Plantations after the bogs under the forests are drained. If you Wikipedia Nestle, you’ll find that this isn’t the first time the company has come under controversy, nor is it the first time Greenpeace has called them on it.

If you would like to email Nestle and tell them what you think of them killing orag-utans, you can do that here

IDEA: Mean Green Gym

I had an idea.

So there are a lot of people working out, getting buff, being sexy right? Everybody is spinning, climbing  and lifting their way to a better body. These people need to be applauded, I for one haven’t lifted anything heavier than a bottle of beer lately. They are doing all this work do make themselves look better, why not do a little extra?

Why not build a gym where all the equipment is hooked up to personal generators and batteries. Theoretically, you could have a self-sustaining building with little-to-no carbon footprint. All the bikes, ellipticals and rowing machines could generate a great deal of usable power couldn’t it? These people are going to be doing the labour anyway, why not make a battery out of them?

Free weights and junk like that wouldn’t really work, and the gym would certainly offer these things, like every other gym.

Imagine what a spinning class could generate. If this caught on, it could possibly go passed the gym into the community, powering surrounding buildings.

The patrons themselves wouldn’t even now they were helping the environment. The main trick would be converting already existing gym equipment into the new green equipment.

It’s an idea.

It’s not easy being green – mark two

SO, maybe 6 months ago I had a sort of holy experience and I wanted to get into shape, do better and be green. I had lots of idea and lots of thing to do but hardly any of them got done., I still want to be green and be better and get into shape, but I am severely lacking motivation.

The lack of motivation comes from the scale at which I wanted to attack these obstacles at the head, go right to the top and blow it up. I wanted to hit the gym and be buff in a week, just decide to be awesome and go to Copenhagen and do it all myself. What i’ve learned is, is that’s not possible.

Aristotle said to be a good person you have to perform good acts, however small. I think I need to start small. So i’m going to continue making better choices with me food and be better the people around me. Also, get educated. I need to research how to be green and the best ways to be green. It’s not good enough to be a vegetarian when you aren’t buying organic foods.

This is obviusly hard. It’s hard to change at all, especially to something as insidious as environmentalism. I only say that because of the reaction you get from wanting to do better when it isn’t in your habit to do so. Don’t believe me? Go tell one of your friends that you are going to start meditation. Most people, through no fault of their own, will throw a cock-eyed squint your way. Only because it’s not something people usually do. It’s not really going with the flow, so to speak.

I’ve been too focused on predisposition that I’ve lost sight of the post-disposition, if I may use that term. On a long enough time line my actions, the actions that make me comfortable, have no merit. If I volunteer and help a little that can have a much larger affect on the whole than just keeping my head down, waiting to die.

So, for anyone who reads this and knows me personally, this is me trying to be better. Please, if you can help me, please do, i’d love the chance to do some real good. And to anyone who doesn’t know me personally the same invitation goes out to you. Consider me a freelance helper. Any opportunity that can be thrown my way, i’ll gladly receive.

Thank you.

Something I just may not get…

That’s anger. I think that I don’t necesarily feel the same range of emotions as the common person. Nearly 23 years of life and I’ve never felt the urge to fight someone. Ever.

I understand that sometimes it’s unavoidable, there are douches everywhere, I get it. But when I get angry, my sense of embarrassment is so much stronger than my angry emotion. It seems to me that people who get angry, or have short tempers seek out the stimuli that makes them that way.

I used to have this roomate who used to smoke a metric ton of pot and tell me things like, “Sometimes I go out looking to fight, I prey on the weak.” PREY ON WEAK! That’s what he said, I moved out a month later.

Do people seek out violence like this? I don’t mean the kind of violence like video game violence, because there is something awesome about yelling, “BOOM! HEADSHOT!” at the tv screen when you just decapitated your advisory. I’m talking about person-to-person violence.

At first I thought maybe I just don’t feel the same spectrum of emotions as the average person. So, I tested it. I figured that if I was inept at feeling angry, I’d have the same dilemma at the other end of the see-saw and not be able to feel deep sadness, I wouldn’t be able to cry. But, i’m none-to-proud to admit that I did cry at the end of King Kong. So that can’t be it.

I’ve taken personal friction out the equation now, it’s not me. Why do people get so angry? Is it stress? Is it society? But, above all else, is it normal?

More on this later…