Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I went to go see "Teza" with my good friend Miss Anne on Sunday.

Anne was raised in a one-room home not too far from here about the
same time that my mother was teething on her silver spoon. She is
doubtless the most gracious and gentle person that I have had the
priviledge to know. I love to share new, special pieces of music or art
with her and here her perceptions.

"Teza" is a low-budget, award-winning movie written and directed by
Haile Gerima. The movie has won awards from Vancouver to Venice.
an arduous project, it took the team 14 years to complete.

"Teza" means "dew" in amarinnia, the official Ethiopian language.
The movie depicts a young man who leaves his village for schooling in Cologne.
He returns to Addis Ababa to work as a medical researcher at the University,
during the regime of Mengistu and the Derg. His best friend is violently
murdered. He is exiled to East Germany. There, a band of white "skin-heads"
beat, lame, and almost kill him. Finally he returns to his village, there to ponder
the meaning of life and to teach reading and arithmetic to young children.

As a young adult Anberber is full of hope, vitality and energy. He
wants to find cures and bring hope against the dreadful diseases which
scourge his people. But he finds frequent dangerous conflicts with
the communist regime in Addis Abeba and its supporters.

The whole story depicts many different incidents of people inflicting
harm and suffering to other people. Anberber's dad had been among
an army wiped out by an invading army's gas attack. A couple of boys from
the village are forcefully captured and conscripted to war; one is returned later,
mortally wounded. A young mother, overwhelmed with the craziness
of her world, suddenly kills her own young baby. Anberber's friend
fathers and then deserts a boy in Germany, who grows up to become
enraged at his treatment as a half-breed. And deeds beget other deeds.
This is a long, long movie and it is not easy to watch. While we are all
busy with the challenges and trials we face as adults, somehow, the morning
dew has all vanished.

As a young man, I was often praised for the intelligence I showed
and exhorted to do what I can for the world and for mankind. I
was trained in aspects of world history and culture and personally
exposed to many, many diverse views. My peers all shared the same
hopes and enthusiasms. Now, as I enter old age, I perceive a culture
that is rotten and mistaken almost to its very heart. I and many of my
companions heartily doubt its ability to survive the onslaught of several
inevitable cataclysms, among them the reduction of cheap, readily-available
energy, the overpopulation on the planet, the reduction of food supplies, and the failure of people to foresee and address the problems.

I married a young Ethiopian girl, awed with her charm, intelligence,
perseverance and wit, thinking that I could perhaps do a little good.
She stubbornly clings to her philosophy that blind hope is far better
than the pessimism of wisdom and experience. And more and more,
she is teaching me to abandon plans and preparation. Perhaps
this very moment is the only one that I have ....

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Concerning Al Gore and Me

I am one of Al Gore's important supporters. Please allow me to explain.

Al Gore, of course, is the man who invented the Internet.
Wonderful invention. The most democratic technology to come along since
the invention of the printing press. The whole idea behind it, from the git-go,
was to be able to survive and prosper without the aid of central authority.
My kind of world. But I digress ...
So, we suspect that the Internet requires some power. Its a little difficult
to determine how much, the subject seems to be a sore point among liberals.
But here are a couple of quotes, estimates:

"U.S. business servers and data centers suck up the energy equivalent of all the electricity consumed by color televisions. The industry uses about the same amount of electricity as 5.8 million average American households."

"according to Dr. Jon Koomey, scientist at Lawrence-Berkeley labs. The actual number is closer to 1.5 percent [of all Us-generated electricity]"

"Worldwide data center power demand in 2005 was equivalent (in capacity terms) to about seventeen 1000 MW power plants."

Well, after Al Gore finished inventing the Internet, it seems that he had nothing to do. I heard he had some disappointments hanging around Chad. Then he got over it, and helped to make an inconvenient movie. I hear it was a big hit, though I've never seen it myself. I did hear that one of the authors misplaced a decimal point in one of the calculations, accidentally stating that 23 inches might be 23 feet.

Movies, of course, also require electricity to display, but maybe not so very much. In 2007, a careful sleuth determined that Al Gore's electric bill for his personal residence in Nashville, Tennessee averaged over $1300 per month
(and he forgot to turn off his lights for "Earth Day" ) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/YeasandNays/Earth-lover-Gore-doesnt-love-Earth-Hour-42081362.html

So now, you ask, since evidently Al Gore has never even heard of me, how is it that I can claim to be one of his important supporters? Its quite simple. As you surmise from my blog, I am a private investor, independent, feisty, extremely successful. I do not know how far my reputation goes but there are signs that at least a few people know about me and a few of my ideas. I've been successful ever since George Bush announced that he wanted to invade Iraq, and I made the simple observation that since Osama Bin Laden had never lived there and all Bush's friend were oil men, probably he wanted the oil. So I bought oil stocks.
However, being an equal opportunist, I also bought coal. I've learned while I've earned. I've learned about US coal reserves, uses, extraction, and shipment. Not the least important is that about half of all electricity generated in the US comes from coal, while the electricity that comes from wind and solar panels is, well, not even enough to power the Internet. I've also received immense returns on my investments. I've also freely posted a whole lot about what I know, in different places on the Internet, so that others can share in the profit.
So you see, all this electricity that Al Gore is inciting other people to use (like, to tell everybody about "global warming"), and all this electricity that he is using himself, has to come from somewhere. Mainly, from coal. I'm doing whatever I can to help out. I hope he appreciates what I do, because I sure appreciate what he does.