(Opinion) Afghanistan…Why are we still there?

The fact that Obama, a lawyer, has a war plan for Afghanistan is in itself outrageous to say the very least. Our Generals and the pentagon no longer plan war strategies and have actually become as useless as the United Nations and as laughable as the Nobel Peace Prize since Obama, a lawyer, was awarded it…go figure.

Congress and the Senate, all lawyers, also have no more business involved in war decisions of strategy and the release of information that endanger our troops. If we are going to be a warring nation, a country that tries to impose our capitalist ways and Christianity on everyone else in the world shouldn’t our generals, the pentagon, and Pat Robertson be running the country?

Scary and makes no more sense than Lawyers running a war and lawyers running our country…after all no one trust a lawyer!

Wouldn’t we be better served if top notch and trusted academics ran the country and the pentagon charged with building the best defensive military and stop the lawyers from taking us to war to satisfy their egos, greed, and bullying ways and to impose our ways on the world.

Back to my question (Afghanistan…Why are we still there?) It is a losing battle, a war we can’t win, there is no saving face. Afghanistan has a drug based economy and nothing to replace it with, i.e. it can’t be fixed. We should leave asap and stop the loss of American lives and the flood of money that would be better placed in the rebuilding and improvement of our countries infrastructure thus creating much needed jobs; what the money should have been being used for all along as well as the money spent on the presidents special interest entities—financial institutions and the auto industry…

D L Ennis © July 24, 2010

Paranoia in the Underground

Paranoia in the Underground

Paranoia is a prevalent occurance deep underground in a tube on an extremely long esculater ride. I witnessed this in a friend I was with and the eyes of people we encountered espically in this tube on the D.C. metro subway line. To me this image portrays this feeling…

© 2009 D L Ennis, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs but is to include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me, D L Ennis. Link to be used…(Visual Thoughts https://dlennis.wordpress.com/)

NOTE: Commercial use, and the creation of prints, must be purchased! For more information you can contact me here.

The Right to Choose

The Right to Choose

In Virginia, you cannot go into a bar and have a cigarette with your drink but, still, no safeguards have been put in place to keep you from having one to many drinks, getting into your car, and killing a whole family on your way home. Go figure.

Saw this in the window of a pub in Lynchburg, Virginia.

© 2009 D L Ennis, All rights reserved.

NOTE: Permission for the use of my images is granted for personal websites and blogs but is to include a link back to this site and proper credit given to me, D L Ennis. Link to be used…(Visual Thoughts https://dlennis.wordpress.com/)

NOTE: Commercial use, and the creation of prints, must be purchased! For more information you can contact me here.

A Cost of $1.1 Billion to Screw the People and Create More Profitable Insurance Companies

The $787 billion economic stimulus bill approved by Congress will, for the first time, provide substantial amounts of money for the federal government to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for the same illness.

Under the legislation, researchers will receive $1.1 billion to compare drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions. The bill creates a council of up to 15 federal employees to coordinate the research and to advise President Obama and Congress on how to spend the money.

To begin with, with the multitude of medical scenarios and differences in people there is no effective way to set guidelines for any one of the following things, “…drugs, medical devices, surgery and other ways of treating specific conditions.” There are most always extenuating circumstances attached each diagnosis and each individual.

We will more than likely never see anything come from this $1.1 billion but if we do it can’t do anything but harm the uninsured, underinsured, poor, disabled, and elderly. On the other side of the coin if the research is ever completed and implemented it will boost the profitability of insurance companies, slow advances in innovative techniques, drugs, and tools as well create the need to greatly expand the FDA or create another government agency to oversee the new regulations and approval or disapproval of new discoveries in medical technology.

This program will also put in the governments hands more power over the decisions that we make concerning our own lives. It’s wrong and just another way of bolstering big business at our expense.

Speaking as someone who has lived with endless health issues since birth where I see the problem in excessive medical spending is in the laziness and lack of keeping up to speed by doctors. I know it is an exhausting experience getting through medical school and an internship but doctors seem to think they can take a break from learning and thinking once they are settled into a practice. This is especially true where GP’s (your family doctor) is concerned. These are the ones how send you for countless, some perhaps necessary and some that are totally irrelevant to your symptoms. A lot of times it would be in everyone’s best interest to send you to a specialist rather than blindly testing for a half dozen different things or misdiagnosing, simply because they don’t want to admit that they have no clue what’s wrong with you.

If the government wants to cut out some of the needless spending in the world of medicine they should put in place a program that would require further educating and yearly testing of doctors. This is the underlying problem and tying doctor’s hands who are capable and competent can only serve to lessen the quality of health care.

Andrew Witty, the chief executive of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, said European officials often considered the costs as well as the clinical benefits of new drugs — with mixed results.

“Comparative effectiveness is a useful tool in the tool kit, but it’s not the answer to anything,” Mr. Witty said in an interview. “Other countries have fallen in love with the concept, then spent years figuring out how on earth to make it work.”

Quotes from this article, U.S. to Compare Medical Treatments, in the New York Times.

Dumping Crops at Sea—Good Idea? Bad Idea?

I say…BAD IDEA!

Stuart Strand of the University of Washington and co-author Gregory Benford of the University of California, Irvine say they have a simple way of appropriating carbon.

“Sucked from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and sequestered in leftover husks and stalks are 150 million tons of carbon. Scientists now claim that all we need to do is toss them to the bottom of the sea, and a huge quantity of greenhouse gases be banished at a stroke.”

To begin with, harvesting and transporting this waste to the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, where they propose dumping it, could become much more costly than the $340 a ton that they propose it would cost…especially if fuel cost soar to prices we saw early this year, and there is no reason to believe that they won’t if not higher. Also, wouldn’t it be a better idea to develop a more efficient way of turning this waste under to rebuild the soil where the crops grow and then planting a cover crop?

(Soapbox)

I believe that leaving any farm land lay fallow at any time is a sin with so many hungry people in the world. If we could remove politics and greed from the task of feeding people it could easily be done…think about it, our government pays farmers not to grow crops…what a waste!

(End of Soapbox)

Next, they have no idea what the long term effects would be on the Gulfs ecosystem. I really can’t imagine that could be anything but detrimental to the Gulfs health. I mean, don’t we already dump too much crap into our oceans and seas on this planet? Haven’t we already done too much damage to our waters? Shouldn’t we be looking for ways to restore our waters of the world which provides food and livelihood for a great number of the world’s population?

At the end of the article on Discovery News, And John Harte of the University of California, Berkeley questions the wisdom of this idea and says, “The real message of this paper is that to solve the problem of global warming, we need to keep thinking of new things,”

I agree with Mr. Harte in that we need to solve the problem of global warming, and continue seeking new ideas but I really don’t think that Stuart Strand and Gregory Benford have done anything here but waste time and resources.

Read the article “Dumping Crops at Sea Proposed as Way to Bury Carbon” by Michael Reilly, Discovery News…here.

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2009/01/30/carbon-sequestration.html

So, who will it be in 2012?

Now that we have elected America’s first black president…what’s there to look forward to in 2012? We know that if all goes as planned Democrats will be behind Obama again but the big question is…will the MSM?

Let’s face it, the MSM by rallying the great American two legged cattle around their call for everyone to be a part of history is what won the election for Obama. Even with the record amount of money that the Obama campaign raised that money didn’t do near as much for him as the billions of dollars of free coverage he got from the MSM.

I believe that future historians will see Americans of 2008 as the MSM cattle with the reality show mentality and the MSM with the true electoral power. In this election the majority of Americans behaved like a heard of preteen and teenaged girls at a Jonas Brothers show.

So, who will be the 2012 rock star? If he don’t totally screw up Obama will have a good chance of repeating his performance. So who could still the spotlight from him? Some think Palin will be there and then there are still the diehard Hillary fans who will want to see her run but no. Hillary had the only chance she will ever have this year and it was stolen by the DNC who jumped on the MSM for Obama bandwagon…they knew that Obama would be a sure thing with the American MSM behind him.

No, I don’t think that 2012 will se a white woman who will be able to contend. I believe that the MSM will still be a little perturbed by the Hillary fans that challenged them this year

I believe that if Obama is to be beat in 2012 and especially if the Republicans want back in then they are going to have to pull a rabbit out of their hat. What do I mean by that? A strong and intelligent black woman…A Condoleezza Rice perhaps.

That’s what I see for 2012…if the repubs can talk Ms. Rice into it.

So, for 2012 I see Obama vs. Rice with Rice winning. I really think that the MSM electoral board would go for a black female over a second term black male!

Writers block? Inspire and Motivate Your Imagination!

If you are experiencing writers block or just need to refresh your imagination a simple, interesting, and enjoyable way to do that is to get out in nature and or read scientific articles like this…I guess it’s really more like science news.

Monday night, or rather Tuesday morning at 3 am Molly, our puppy, got me up to take her out, so I did and when ever I am out like that at night I watch the stars, wish I could fly among them, any way I had a brief encounter with primordial man and how superstitions got started came to mind. I was standing there watching the stars and sky and in the distance a lone coyote was howling, I supposed, at the setting moon when suddenly a meteor shot across the sky and like I said for a fleeting moment I could have been a primeval man in total wonder of what I was hearing and seeing. I felt a slight moment of fear, superstition, and loneliness as man may have felt it in those times and I could just imagine this prehistoric soul going back to his cave, or what ever, and drawing his story on the wall. It thrilled me to death and I felt like I had never given enough thought to these things before and for that brief moment that I had time traveled back and experienced it. It was amazing and for me a spiritual experience!!!

I have had similarly experienced such feelings while visiting museums where they had exhibits of prehistoric man on display but for the most part I experienced the loneliness of it only.

Never have I ever experienced any of these feelings while watching a film on the same subject I think because of the sheer mechanics of making a film…I can’t help it, when ever I watch a movie I think as much about the writing and everything that went into making that film.

So, I guess the point of this is to say read scientific articles to inspire and motivate your imagination. Also, get out and experience nature, not just in parks and not just in the daylight Night can be a major motivator and inspirer of the imagination…it can take your mind to places and experiences that you will not find anywhere else. Graveyards at night are also good places to find inspiration. I would also suggest that you embrace any fear that may be derived form doing this instead of running from it. Sometimes, especially at night I will take a small handheld recorder with me to record my feelings (emotions), thoughts, and even catch some of the night sounds to use as I begin writing…

Copyright © 2008 D L Ennis

The Heart of Art in America

If you were to go by what you find on the “Arts” page of any website of the American Main Stream Media (MSM) you might think that the only form of art in America was acting. About all you find on the “Arts” page of these sites is TV, movies, and sometimes plays and it’s always about the actors…never about the writers, set designers, choreographers or any other of the many artist it takes to create these works that the actors depend on.

 

Rarely will you find anything about painters, writers, photographers, sculptors or any other of the true artist that such wonderful work that goes for the most part unnoticed every day in America. It’s truly a shame!

 

While every now and then you will find a piece about a popular contemporary American artist. However, if you want to find the true heart of American art look no farther than the internet.

 

There are so many amazing artists of every medium on the internet who go relativity unnoticed by the main stream art world. I think we all know that to make a name for your self in the art world, in any medium, you have to be in the right place, rub elbows with the right people, and work hard at making the right connections as well as presenting your self with just the right persona to appeal to the right people. They must see you as provocative, exotic, intelligent and somewhat unapproachable…and it doesn’t hurt in their world if you brown nose some…if you can stomach that!

 

While amazing everyday people producing amazing works of art can be found in many places on the internet I think there is no better place to find it than the blogosphere. I have met so many very talented artist of every medium through their blogs that it blows my mind. If you look in my sidebar under the heading “Blogroll” you will find links to some of these artist…I encourage you to check them out and comment on their work and let them know how much you appreciate their work! These good folks are the heart of art in America!

 

 

Copyright © 2008 D L Ennis      

 

The Smile and Wave Initiative

A Sociological Experiment:

The Smile and Wave Initiative

The first time I smiled and waved at this gentleman he looked at me like I was insane…now look at that big smile…he waves and smiles like that every time he sees me now.

This is in an attempt to start at the most basic level to get people to start being kinder to one another…to ease some of our social woes and smooth relations between racial and class tensions.

This kind of thing will work but it takes time for people in our society to take to good habits and deeds. A large part of our society easily gravitates to bad habits and misdeeds which is counterproductive and builds walls between us. It’s been said before but I don’t think it’s been said enough or loud enough…

”We have to become a kinder and gentler people and nation!”

The best place to start and get everyone involved is to start in the most basic place with the most basic deeds.

My Story:

For the last few months I have been doing a lot of shooting in the nearest city to me, Lynchburg, Virginia. There are two reasons for this…one is due to circumstance; the price of gas has stopped a lot of my riding the back roads of the Blue Ridge Mountains doing the kind of photography I have always loved. The second reason is a desire to grow and shoot things I have never done much of, people, city streets and buildings etc.

While shooting in the city I noticed that so many people I see are walking around looking sad, complacent, and some look very angry…no one acknowledging one another as they pass on the sidewalks. I thought how cool it would be if we were different…if we offered each other a “good day,” “how are you?,” or “hello” or if nothing else a nod of the head and maybe a smile.

So, I thought maybe I should give it a try! I began as I was driving through the city streets that every time some one looked at me I would smile and through up my hand. Some folks waved back, some smiled and waved back, and some looked at me like I had lost my mind.

I have continued this practice and it is amazing how many people now smile and wave at me as I go by and usually before I have time to greet them first…some even run out to my truck at stoplights and ask me how I am. There are places in Lynchburg that before I started this I would have been leery about getting out of my truck and now I feel perfectly safe. In fact, when I am walking on a sidewalk in town I speak to everyone I meet whether they look at me or not and more and more often a lot of these same people, even ones who turned their heads the other way when I spoke are now speaking and saying hello to me. People in stores, shops, restaurants, offices, and banks through up a hand as I walk by…it’s a good feeling!

Doing this won’t cost you a thing and will not only make you a better person for doing it but you may be surprised how good it will make you feel, and others! Please try it and get your friends and families doing it!

It’s an easy start to making this a better world!

Hey, and if any of you try this, and I hope you will, let me know how it goes for you!

God Bless A

While the beaks and butts of DC squeal and squabble
and the fat-cats whose thirst of more—relax in their leaky bubble
of toxic swill that runs from Wall Street to Main Street
We the people yell in unison, “What about us?”
and we who are innocent watch as the flowing swill surrounds us
and we see our reality in the streets as life stands still
and see our hopes and dreams melt around us
and we realize that the same ole world keeps spinning the same ole way as our pleas fall on deaf ears and we know beyond doubt that we the people are without representation in the great A system that we’ve paid for with blood, and dreams so the few can live high while we learn to live street…

God Bless A