Saturday, March 11, 2006

Congratuations, Chile!

Chile inaugurated its new president: a woman, a socialist, a pediatrician, a single mom.. Some countries have all the luck.

In a country where the Roman Catholic Church wields great power, Ms. Bachelet is also openly agnostic, and when she took her oath of office she promised rather than swore to uphold the Chilean Constitution.

She also has promised a government that focuses on social equality and respect for human rights. Her immediate priorities, she indicated as a candidate, are a more just distribution of income and reform of the country's pension system, which is increasingly unpopular here.

Words I Seldom Utter

Cudos to the Washington Post for doing a respectful obituary for prominent local Wiccan Priestess Rosemary Koolman. Other than calling her a "self-proclaimed" witch, they did a decent job. I don't see them calling rabbis "self-proclaimed Jews" or priests "self-proclaimed Catholics." But, as I said, in general, a decent job. May the Goddess guard her. May she find her way to the Summerlands. May her friends and family know peace.

Electricity Deregulation -- An Idea Whose Time Has Gone

You know, when you try something and it gets exactly the opposite results of those you'd hoped for, chances are, it was a bad idea.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


From 'Good Heavens'

~ Pattiann Rogers

The common garden snail can't watch
the heavens and enumerate -- 600 young
stars in Perseus, one more hour
until full moon. It can't make lists --
pinwheel of Andromeda, comet fireball
of Tempel-Tuttle. It has never called
its slither the soft finger of night
nor its wound shell a frozen
galactic spin. Yet its boneless,
thumb-sized head is filled and totally
deaf with exactly the same tone
and timbre as the sky.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006


Today's Wall Street Journal reports that:

Venture capital funding for energy technology jumped to 4.2 percent of all venture-capital investments, according to a survey to be released today by Nth Power and Clean Edge, the Wall Street Journal reported. The funding level was up from 3.3 percent in 2004, with the bulk of that money - $917 million - going to clean energy companies.

Wrote the Journal: "Driven by growing demand for more-reliable and more-affordable alternatives to fossil fuels, which have been soaring in cost amid political volatility abroad, energy-technology as a percentage of total venture-capital investments has more than quadrupled from 1999 when it stood at just less than 1 percent, according to the survey."

Ron Pernick, co-founder and principal of Clean Edge, was quoted by the newspaper as saying: "Right now, there is sort of a perfect storm lining up behind clean energy."

Solar power firms brought in $156 million in venture-capital investments in 2005, but some contend that solar and wind power cannot be viable without government support, the newspaper reported. Industry officials have rejected that claim. By 2015, annual sales for biofuels, solar, wind, and fuel cells will more than quadruple to $167 billion, Clean Edge estimated.

Broken record time: Cleaning up the environment would be GOOD for our economy.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

There Is Much Upon Which Wordsworth (Thank You, Prior!) and I Disagree. But He's Sooooooo Right That We Come Trailing Clouds of Glory.

The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream. 5
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

The rainbow comes and goes, 10
And lovely is the rose;
The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair; 15
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the earth.

Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound 20
As to the tabor's sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; 25
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea 30
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy 35

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival, 40
My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
O evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning, 45
And the children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:— 50
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there's a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet 55
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, 60
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
BBut trailing clouds of glory do we come 65
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows, 70
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended; 75
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.