Saturday, 17 July 2010

Confessions of a degenerate liberal

It’s hotter than hades in Sarasota right now (6:45 p.m. 17th July 2010). My outdoor thermometer registers 95 f (35 c). It should have cooled off by now.

I understand that most places in the northern hemisphere are also overheated.

So I am not complaining, nor should I, blessed as I am with central air-conditioning, [which I set at 84 f (28 c]. That’s higher than the local norm.

Nonetheless it is bearable if I slow down, drink a lot of water, and allow my electric fans to move the air.

The outdoors temperature does not seem to bother Penne. She is “at the ready” for a walk at all times and in all weathers. I am happy to oblige her. I say to myself “what’s a bit of sweat?” and then we sally forth.

We sally forth. Twenty minutes later we are back at hom
 e where a long drink of cold water helps; and the ever present electric fans greet us.

Then I pause for thought and a bit of prayer. My prayer is of gratitude for my good fortune. My prayer is also of compassion for the billion or more people who do not have fresh water or even a tree under which to shelter.

It is also a prayer of regret (not genuine repentance) about the use of those  carbon based fuels.... which create the electricity ... which in turn runs my a/c and fans.

My prayerful regret is that the use of those carbon based fuels to create energy is problematic in at least two areas.

First – because the extraction of the raw materials [old growth timber, coal, oil], and their subsequent conversion into electricity offers marginal financial benefit to loggers and miners; (and most especially) to the “on the ground” oil field workers in the near-East and Africa. The greatest financial benefit of this extraction accrues to multi-national companies such as ExxonMobile and B.P.;  companies which cannot be trusted to 
work for the good of all

Second – because the burning of those fossil fuels contributes to the very global warming, which in turn leads to the higher than average northern hemisphere temperatures.

Good Lord above – I am beginning to sound like the most hated caste in the United States. (We are called liberals!).

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Confederacy and Jefferson Davis,

In these days of retirement I have a great deal of discretionary time: i.e. time in which there is nothing that I must do, and time in which there are many things which I can do.

So it is that I spend many afternoons reading books (which I have taken out from the splendid Sarasota County (Florida) library system) .  (At aged 66, I no longer need or wish to purchase books!)

My preference is for history and biography.  I especially need to read books about the history, and the notable persons of my adopted United States.

One of the most notable American figures was Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.  He is an intriguing and important figure.  So it is that I have been engaged in reading a splendid biography of Jeff Davis.  It is “Jefferson Davis, American” by William J Cooper, Jr. (published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2000).

I recommend this book to those who are interested in American history. 

I remind you that that the Confederacy is part of the shared history of both the south and the north.  Those of us who are “Yankee” (the north), by birth or adoption, need to understand the history of “Dixie”, (the south), and vice-versa.   

Do read this compelling history of the heroic/tragic American, Jefferson Davis

That history is very illuminative of the present currents in American political life.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

A word that is new to me.

I read a word the other day which I had never before seen.

It's a terrific word when used to describe the statement of  politicians, preachers, and errant spouses.

The word is "tergiversation" . (Look it up).

If I could remember how to to spell and pronounce it,  I'd use it more often. Nonetheless, I know how to practice it.

Monday, 12 July 2010

When the well runs dry

Hi Goodfolks:

My mind is a bit like a dry well.  

I have temporarily run out of steam.

I am uninspired.

You have the picture n'est pas?

Of your goodness, check in a few days when I'll once again be able to add something wise, or funny, or ridiculous, or provocative  to "Povey Prattle".

In the meantime my blog is on holiday/vacation.