Hallie’s activism brings out the haters

November 15th, 2015

Our 13-year-old daughter Hallie has always been concerned about the environment and wanted to do something to help. As parents, Kelly and I have been supportive her pursuit of what she believes in. Her suit against the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission is but one action of a long list of activism she has participated in. As a family we have always worked to make the world a better place and Hallie’s taking up that mantle makes Kelly and me very, very proud.

Predictably and sadly, many who choose to ignore the overwhelming evidence that humans are affecting our climate have also chosen to attack Hallie (and by extension, Kelly and me), rather than refute the evidence or argument. I know the climate-change deniers are out there – they are a small but vocal minority – but I am still shocked at the level of meanness and rage that our kind and loving daughter seems to have stirred in them. This is just over the top.

A sample of comments:

ProudlyUnaffiliated, Independent Weekly comment:
“Whoever is behind getting this bright, energetic girl to do this ought to burn in hell. The shame of co-opting children to push this fraudulent, collectivist ideology has never been greater. This is child abuse, which should be punished severely.”

Paul Louis Hinz, News and Observer comment:
“Libtard logic= no logic at all! Well on the way to being a terrific little commie! Just like your mom and dad!”
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Hallie sues NC to hear her climate change petition

November 14th, 2015
N&O photo by Harry Lynch

N&O photo by Harry Lynch

It’s been an interesting few days here. For the past two years, Hallie has been involved with an effort to bring about some state regulations on climate-change pollution. With the help of an Oregon-based nonprofit called Our Childrens’ Trust, Hallie filed a petition with the state Environmental Management Commission, urging it to regulate greenhouse gases. In spite of the petition meeting all the requirements to be heard by the full commission, Hallie’s petition was rejected outright by the chair without due consideration, thus the lawsuit.

Yesterday was her day in court, appearing before Superior Court judge Michael Morgan. Hallie has a great team of attorneys (Gayle Tuch, Ryke Longest, and Shannon Arata) working pro-bono to move this case forward and they vigorously pressed her case before Judge Morgan. Our whole family was in attendance as well as Hallie’s maternal grandparents, who drove down from Virginia to surprise her.
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Digital Connectors 2015

November 11th, 2015

Me with the Raleigh Digital Connectors, Nov 2015.

Me with the Raleigh Digital Connectors, Nov 2015.

I was invited to give another talk to the Raleigh Digital Connectors yesterday on the topic of blogging. Once again I was inspired by these young men and women who are making a difference in the community. I am always honored to speak to them on the topic of blogging as it’s so important that they know they have this amazing resource known as the Internet with which to express themselves.

Blogging certainly has been a worthwhile endeavor for me. I don’t always get time to write as much as I’d like to but I enjoy the time that I can find.

Take a look at these young people in this photograph. These folks are changing the world.

One big reason REI can decide to skip Black Friday – The Washington Post

October 29th, 2015

Am I the only one sad that a retailer chooses NOT to make it’s employees work over Thanksgiving is newsworthy? Is this how far we’ve fallen? Does America really worship the almighty dollar this zealously?

Outdoor retailer REI made an announcement Monday that may have sounded like sacrilege to retail industry veterans. It will be closed this year on Black Friday, shutting its doors on retail’s holiest of days and paying its employees for a day off. Some hailed it as an unprecedented move, especially at a time when many other retailers have turned even Thanksgiving itself into a day of holiday shopping.

Source: One big reason REI can decide to skip Black Friday – The Washington Post

Curiouser and curiouser

October 18th, 2015

You know the saying, “be careful what you wish for?” Well, it’s really true. I had been pondering lately some of the bigger questions in life and lo and behold I was presented with an opportunity to explore these questions. I won’t go into details but I can say that the world doesn’t look quite the same to me as it did just a few weeks ago. Mind blown.

Bouldered over

October 18th, 2015

As I mentioned earlier, I took a new job recently. Last week I visited the company headquarters in Boulder for the company’s new employee orientation. Though I dreaded the thought of days of mind-numbing meetings it turned out to be a lot of fun. I was particularly impressed that my new colleagues and I took an afternoon out to volunteer for a local charity. That, and everyone was incredibly enthusiastic and helpful during the event. Obviously the company hires the right people – these are people anyone would want to work with.

I stuck around a few extra days to get in some work with my department, too, which was spent in a few team-building exercises and overviews of the product I’ll be supporting. It was a big jump-start to my daily responsibilities.
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October 18th, 2015

Noticed today that someone I thought was my friend unfriended me on Facebook. What’s odd is that we still have dozens of friends in common. I’ll give it a few minutes of thought and then I’ll promptly move on, because I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t particularly care to sugarcoat my thoughts for anyone’s benefit.

I am who I am. I respect you for who you are (the Hindi concept of namaste resonates strongly with me). If you cannot accept me for who I am I am not going to change for you.

Peace out. Namaste. Good luck to you. Just don’t expect me to slow down for you.

Little kids in Japan are independent – Business Insider

October 4th, 2015

There are no helicopter parents in Japan.

It’s a common sight on Japanese mass transit: children troop through train cars, singly or in small groups, looking for seats.

They wear knee socks, polished patent leather shoes, and plaid jumpers, with wide-brimmed hats fastened under the chin and train passes pinned to their backpacks. The kids are as young as six or seven, on their way to and from school, and there is nary a guardian in sight.

Source: Little kids in Japan are independent – Business Insider

NC budget is a fiscally responsible Goldilocks document | News & Observer

September 24th, 2015

N&O contributor J. Peder Zane sometimes gets it right (see Confederate monument) but the rest of the time he lives in a libertarian paradise that, frankly, doesn’t exist.

Read how he pooh poohs the Renewable Energy Investment Tax Credit, calling its repeal a “free market prod.” Well, it’s news to me that Duke Energy’s state-chartered monopoly on electricity is a “free market.” I was never the best student but I do seem to recall learning in school how a monopoly is pretty much the opposite of a free market.

I can’t wait to get this electricity free market that Zane promises. I’m sure that killing off competition is the best way to get it, right J. Peder?

Allowing the renewable energy investment tax credit to expire may be the best thing to happen to the green sector. Replacing the crutch of state support with the free market’s prod is our best hope of developing cheap, efficient renewables. It also addresses the fact that these well-intentioned subsidies have become a form of crony capitalism, sopped up by big corporations.

Source: NC budget is a fiscally responsible Goldilocks document | News & Observer

Why Republicans are starting to panic, in 1 paragraph – The Washington Post

September 24th, 2015

Summer is over. And Donald Trump is — still — at the top of the 2016 Republican primary field.That makes lots and lots of Republicans with an eye on winning the White House in 2016 (or even 2020) very, very nervous.

That unease — and its origins — are explained brilliantly in this paragraph, taken from a broader piece entitled “The GOP is Killing Itself,” by former Bush administration official Pete Wehner:

The message being sent to voters is this: The Republican Party is led by people who are profoundly uncomfortable with the changing (and inevitable) demographic nature of our nation. The GOP is longing to return to the past and is fearful of the future. It is a party that is characterized by resentments and grievances, by distress and dismay, by the belief that America is irredeemably corrupt and past the point of no return. “The American dream is dead,” in the emphatic words of Mr. Trump.

Source: Why Republicans are starting to panic, in 1 paragraph – The Washington Post