Sunday, May 18, 2008

More Automation for Automobiles?

When I was young it seemed I was always in a hurry. I had the art of negotiating with traffic down to a science, and of course when negotiations failed, I resorted to blowing my horn.

Now I'm older and often look in my rear-view mirror to see what I use to look like ; tense face , frequent watch glances, and contempt for the guy in front of me who doesn't have to be anywhere for five years. Nowadays, when I do get in a hurry I find that it just takes too much effort to reach up and blow my horn all the time. That's why I invented a modification to perhaps the only thing not modified on the automobile since Henry Ford started the assembly line.

It seems we now have auto volume control, auto speed control, auto wipers, auto lights, auto-temp. control just to name a few; but we do not yet have auto-horn. The concept is simple enough. You install into your instrument panel a switch that causes your horn to blow automatically. Then when you see traffic slowing or stopping in front of you during your evening commute, you simply reach down and slip your horn into AUTO-BLOW, causing it to blow randomly, without too much dwell time of course, thus saving yourself all the effort of constantly reaching up every few minutes just to blow your horn.

Just so the reader will know, I don't have a patent. If I'm too lazy to blow my horn just think of the effort it would take to dial up my patent attorney; so if you're ambitious, feel free to get one (or not) and call your favorite Chinese manufacturer and put er into production. I'll buy one if it's less than five bucks, Promise.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The National Anthem

I think this is one of the best renditions of the Star Spangle Banner I've ever heard. It was filmed by someone holding a handheld video camera in a basket ball arena, and yet it is still bone chilling. Please go here to the site of Incog @Confessions of a closet Republican to have a listen.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Race Politics and Ideology

I grew up in a small town in rural Georgia. I can still remember walking past the water fountains in the court house; two of them side by side. Removed were the signs over them directing the thirsty person from which one to drink, but the the two fountains were still there almost as if monuments to a not so distant history of segregation.

As a child in the 60's I was too young to know the significance of two fountains; that there actually was a time when people, just because of the pigment in their skin, were treated differently; and by differently I mean badly.

Fast forward forty years and my how things have changed. America has progressed quite a bit; there is a Secretary of State, and a Supreme Court Justice, and a presumptive nominee for president, to name a few, with dark pigmented skin. One might conclude that racism is itself in the process of becoming history. This would be true too if racism were defined today as it was forty years ago; that definition being the oppression of blacks by whites. Many have discovered however that there is power to be gained by convincing blacks that not much has changed in the last half century. Since it is obvious that things have changed, the very word racism necessarily morphed into something totally different so that today it has a different application than did the same word in the sixties. It is now almost indistinguishable from the word ideology. Granted these two words have different meanings, but in the political realm on the topic of race relations they overlap and merge. This is evidenced by Bill Clinton, a white man, being called the first black president, and by Clarence Tomas, a black man, facing stiff opposition from blacks to a life time appointment to, I would argue, one of the most powerful positions in this land.

In conclusion, even though I voted for a black man for president (Alan Keys, I liked his polices) before doing so was cool, I can't help but to feel that I, and many others like me, will be seen as a racist because we oppose Obama due to his policies. If and when this happens I will have to remember to not become defensive because in the current sense of the word it might be true. It just goes to show that when old words get new meanings it causes confusion and communication breaks down; this I fear is something we can expect an abundance of as we make our way though this election season.