VMG Blog Pages

Saturday, January 31, 2009

It's Okay To Drink From The Toilet...

We reported this invention back in September 2007. I was doing some house cleaning on the blog and I came across this post and I found it as interesting now as it was then. This device could have a huge impact on developing nations where infrastructure is poor or non-existent.

I went to the company website to get an update and found that you can purchase one of these devices for $230. While that may sound expensive, consider the uses. It would certainly be a great addition to any emergency preparedness kit and if you're a camper or hiker, this is a no-brainer...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Marijuana Ballot Item Goes Up In Smoke

For the second year in a row the Burlington City Council debated whether to ask voters if they are interested in decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana by way of a ballot question. For the second year in a row the City Council shot down the idea of letting voters weigh in.

Councilors voted 8 to 6, Monday night, against putting an advisory referendum on the March 3 Town Meeting Day ballot. Ed Adrian proposed the initiative, which would have asked voters if they want the city to urge lawmakers to examine the issue of decriminalizing marijuana.

"I think it's clear that after 70 or 80 years of active law enforcement against marijuana and the fact that we have not been able to solve the problem over that time period speaks volumes and I think it speaks volumes in that it's at least time to start looking at something else," said Adrian.

He garnered community support from several people who spoke at Monday's meeting.

"In this time of economic downturn I think that we might be able to spend our time and our resources and our money fighting real crime against persons and property," said Nancy Lynch, of the Vermont Alliance for Intelligent Drug Laws.

Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling testified against the measure. He said even small amounts of marijuana pose a problem because they are just the tip of a much larger network of drug dealing. He was also concerned about confusing children.

"The dangerous educational message it sends to youth that it starts to blur the line about where safety really needs to be considered," said Schirling.

Councilors debated for over an hour before making their final decision.

Bianca Slota - WCAX News

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-Marijuana Ballot Item Goes Up In Smoke

“I hate these stupid fucking arguments. Doesn't the Police Chief mean "further blur the line"? We already send conflicting messages by our stance on alcohol and tobacco. What are the Council members afraid of here? Are they saying their constituents are too stupid to decide this issue for themselves?”

We spend an incredible amount of money enforcing marijuana laws. Considering the amount of people who smoke it would make sense to generate revenue from its use. The state could also greatly benefit from the many indusrial uses for hemp products. While there is a process to become a hemp farmer, I have yet to hear whether anyone has applied for a permit. It would seem that while decreasing the stigma of hemp production would help, it would also help to streamline the process fo apply for a permit.

I think it's time once again for Vermont to take the lead on a national issue. The Legislature should decriminalize marijuana in small, personal use quantities. At the same time they should provide tax breaks for hemp related products that add new jobs to the economy. If we get ahead of the curve a bit, we could add "Vermont Made Hemp" to our growing list of fine agricultural products that receive the Vermot Quality seal.

Monday, January 26, 2009

WTF?: Toy Manufacturer To Sell Caylee Anthony Doll

"Now you too can be a part of the Caylee Anthony saga unfolding on cable news networks! What's that? This is a grotesque commercialization of what should be a private tragedy? Don't be such a downer! 'We want it to be a tribute,' Showbiz Promotions prez Jaime Salcedo told the Orlando Sentinel. Heck, he's even thinking of donating $3 per purchase to some good cause or another.

The doll plays 'You Are My Sunshine' when you push her belly, so luckily you don't have to be sad when you look at your new Caylee doll. You do have to be one sick, creepy fool, however." Read More Here

This has to rank right up there with one of the more vile things I have ever heard. Some people have no sense of shame or consideration for others. The only thing they care about is the almighty dollar. The thing that makes this an even more despicable act is the attitude of this this guy. He tries to justify it by saying he had to invest the money to have the dolls made (or at least the doll t-shirts). The tastelessness of this is beyond reproach and I feel genuinely bad for the families involved. People should leave them alone unless they're offering to help.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Middle East - A One-State Solution

I started reading this Op Ed piece from the NYT and I'm thinking, "Wow this is someone who seems to have put a lot of thought into this subject and they've really developed a neutral position". What a well written piece it is...imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the article and I realized that it was penned by Muammar Qaddafi the President of Libya!

The last time we really heard from him, we were bombing him into the stone age for supporting terrorism around the world. I wouldn't have pictured him as a person who would take a rational and neutral stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I'm sure he has an angle here or a dog in this fight, but what he is saying appears to be one of the more sensible solutions I've heard...ever!

No longer how long you live, something will always happen that will leave you scratching your head, asking WTF?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

IRS Has No Love for Plug-In Conversions... It Should

For all the hype about hybrids and electric cars, the best way to reduce our carbon footprint is to make the cars we're already driving more efficient. But switching a vehicle to alternative fuels or getting a plug-in hybrid conversion is expensive, and the IRS, foolishly, doesn't cut you any slack for it.

Although the government provides tax breaks for hybrids and alt-fuel vehicles produced by major automakers, it doesn't provide any relief to those who make their existing cars greener. "There are no incentives for the 248 million vehicle owners in the United States to convert their vehicles into cleaner, greener plug-in hybrids," says Frank Kuchinski of Poulsen Hybrid, one of a growing number of companies doing such conversions.

IRS Has No Love for Plug-In Conversions. It Should | Autopia from Wired.com

It's these kinds of incentives that will make green auto technology more available to the masses. The first one to make a conversion really cheap will become extremely wealthy. In the meantime, we need a faster track to making substantial gains against global warming. There is a huge segment of the population that would love to be doing more to protect the environment, but they simply can't afford it. The cost of entry is too high. They aren't in the position to buy a brand new green vehicle. The already own, or are paying on, their existing vehicle. These folks are also not likely to plunk down, what would amount to a years college tuition for their kids, just to convert their existing vehicle. I'm betting a lot of these people would stomach a moderate rise in the gas tax if would go directly to covering conversion subsidies. I realize the capitalist in us all thinks we should get greener by everyone purchasing new vehicles, but it's not likely to happen any time soon. Applied for a loan lately?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Redneck's Wet Dream - An 'Earnhardt and Elvis' Car

NASCAR.COM - 'Earnhardt and Elvis' car will be unveiled at Vegas - Jan 12, 2009: "LAS VEGAS -- Motorsports Authentics, along with Elvis Presley Enterprises and Dale Earnhardt Inc., will unveil its new 'Earnhardt & Elvis' car in the Neon Garage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Feb. 27.

The 'Earnhardt and Elvis' car, which features the King of Rock 'n' Roll on the hood of the Intimidator's famous No. 3 Chevrolet, is the third car in the Enduring Legends Series from Motorsports Authentics and Dale Earnhardt Inc. This is the third collection in the series that began last year when Earnhardt was paired with American legends Johnny Cash and John Wayne."

I'm not sure that any witty comments are really necessary here. But, the thought did cross my mind that there is some marketing wiz in Las Vegas that figured that the lure of Elvis is on the decline while more recently deceased American icon Dale Earnhardt's fortunes seem to be well entrenched across the nation.

The next vision I had involved young people eloping to Vegas to get married at the Earnhardt Chapel. There were also Flying Earnhardts parachuting from the skies and it seemed like the Earnhardt impersonators were at every casino on the strip.....Now that's scary!

And yes, I know the picture is an actual hood from one of Jr's cars.....further proving my conspiracy theory! Someone should let the folks at Graceland know about this!