Saturday, September 30, 2006

U.S. to go GREEN in Iraq

United States frontline Iraq commander Marine Major General Richard Zilmer has made a 'Priority 1' plea to the Pentagon for "solar panels and wind turbines." This may be the first time such a high ranking military commander has done so.

The per gallon cost for delivered fuel in Iraq is $13 to $300. By example fuel delivered to Fallujah runs about $100 per gallon. These are old figures, more than two years old, that predate the spike in oil prices. Up to 70% of the U.S. troop traffic on Iraqi roads is fuel deliveries.

Roadside Bombs

My general reading of the news of the last few weeks is that roadside bombings are up to record levels. Hmmmm? 70% of the traffic is fuel?


The 'people of Iraq' must see those 18-wheeler tanker trucks going down the road toward the U.S. base where the generators give our troops lights, etc. 24/7 while they have to settle for electricity 2-3hrs per day. Would 'insurgent' be the definition of an ordinary citizen of Iraq who has decided they are mad as hell and won't take it anymore?

Every day we hear reports of pipelines sabotaged and electric grids shut down due to tampering. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the anger of an Iraqi citizen. No wonder that a high ranking General, Richard Zilmer, has made the request for Green Power!

Today's column could go in a lot of directions. I will limit it to a few...

  • We are at war atop the 2nd largest source of oil in the world. The Iraqi's can't get any, we pay up to $300 per gallon, and we have a top commander asking for solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Advances in society sometimes come in the strangest 'head up the butt' way. Light weight canoes and bicycles are a result of incredible amounts of money spent in research by NASA for space programs over the decades. The internet (as we know it) was about to be tossed in the dumpster by the Pentagon until Al Gore spearheaded the drive to allow the general public to put it to use. Seventeen tons of solar panel hardware was recently delivered to the International Space Station. Could it be that Mr. Zilmer's request for green power will spark that industry stateside?
  • My rant starts here: Major General Richard Zilmer made the high priority request for Green Power on July 25, 2006. It was reported August 23, 2006 by Defense Industry Daily, which was one of my sources for writing this and your source for buying tanks, guns, rocket launchers, etc. in large quantities. The Christian Science Monitor, in which I have complete trust in all areas except medicine, wrote about it on September 7, 2006. CBS had a short blurb on September 9. We have 24/7 news sources, CNN, MSNBC, and the 'knews' source FAUX KNEWS and they didn't have room for this story. I guess we need more than 24hrs in a day so they could squeeze it in. Congrats goes to the Christian Science Monitor for it's timely reporting. Are we truly getting timely reports in the media?

One more for the rocky road. One of the items being considered comes from Skybuilt. It is a container system. You have seen those standard size containers on railroad cars, the same ones used by the Merchant Marine. The container is delivered, the contents (solar panels) unloaded and set up, and the inside of the now vacant container can be used as an office, barracks, or communication center. These would've been ideal when the sun came out in New Orleans a year ago. Displaced folks were asked to register for aid online, but how and where?

Whoops! There I opened another can of worms! In case of an emergency in Oshkosh does the community have the necessary computer access? The local FEMA meeting is coming up and the Oshkosh Public Library and UWO Polk Library should come up with a plan and ask FEMA for the promise of $$$ to implement same.


Monday, September 18, 2006

RUDOLPH,WI Population 423

Can you say Sesquicentennial? Many Wisconsin (est.1848) localities are celebrating their 150th year. I visited one last Saturday. Rudolph reached that milestone and threw an all day party. West of Stevens Point, don't blink and you'll see it.

Rudolph was my parent's childhood home. They were brought up Moravian in your basic two church town. That church was my first stop and I returned several times. Food was served in the basement from 11-5. A large display of photos, church history, and even old church cookbooks made it worthwhile.

My grandfather Nels, born 1869, bought a farm north of Rudolph about 1900 where my father was born on the kitchen table November 1913 with a neighbor acting as midwife. My dad was the youngest of nine and electric lights appeared about 1926, the same year he began to smoke.

It was at school and church where he met my mother. My mother's family arrived in the early 1920's. My dad graduated from the high school in the early 1930's, a rarity for farm men at the time, and attended Stevens Point Normal School (UW-SP) until the depression forced him into the work force.

A 1935 photograph at the Moravian Church caught my eye. My mother as a teenager. I had never seen this particular photo. Other family members were also in it.

My grandmother had multiple entries in a 1920's church cookbook. The corn chowder recipe was just as my dad taught me and now I know the origin. My dad would tell me about hoisting the salt pork out of the brine to cut a slab. He would slap the pork with the side of the knife so he knew where the flies ended and the pork began and then slice off a slab.

I walked down the street to the Rudolph Municipal Building and found a beautiful 8x10 of the 1930-31 Basketball team with my dad front and center holding the basketball. Numerous news items and old plat maps interested me.

The parade started at 2pm with nineteen Fire Dept. vehicles! It sounds like a lot but they are housed in four locations and have a lot of rural area to cover. There were bands and floats and an overkill of candy tossed to the streets. The parade was extremely large and lasted well over an hour. The Parade Queen was Ninety-Eight year old Nellie Hamm, a lifelong resident. She waved and grinned to the crowd (false teeth?) through thick lensed glasses. This was a Lake Wobegon moment, no question! I wanted to meet Nellie but instead...

Ran into my Aunt Mable (Where's the Black Label?) who is 87. She was brought from the nursing home by a friend. She enjoyed the parade but is still in mourning over the death of her oldest daughter (66). The granddaughter who is suffering the loss is Wisconsin State Representative Amy Sue Vruwink. Mable is proud of her political grand kid and I am too.

Two of the rural Moravian Churches are co-ministered by Reverend's Olaf and Rita Anderson. I enjoyed conversing with them. The Roman Catholic Church is the other large denomination and the Rudolph Grotto is a popular destination for not only Catholics. I've never been there, maybe my parents thought that Catholicism might rub off on me. I'm not sure but I think the term idol worship was mentioned. Maybe I'll go next time.

The local park was a beehive of activity all day. It was a pleasant small town affair.

The Rudolph Post Office runs a Christmas special whereby you can send your cards there to be mailed from Rudolph with guess-who on the hand stamp. About 20,000 Holiday Cards are hand-stamped each year.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Words To Live By

Eons ago I read something called the Paradoxical Commandments. Saw the list on a fridge the other day and sure 'nuff they're on the web. Do your best to live by them. I do.

That's all you need to know...'cept maybe this.