As a journalist, that was how we were taught to end our copy with -30- centered at the bottom, which was shorthand for "the end." I wondered how many journalists working for the Times or the Post Tribune have had classic journalism school training in which they were taught to put the news on the front page and the opinions on the editorial page? Not many, apparently, from the content of the stories I have read recently.
The second thing was a sudden power outage. It was windy outside on Thursday evening but not enough to expect the power to die! Suddenly the only light was the glow of my laptop. I foraged for my small flashlight, with which I found a large flashlight, with which we could search for battery-operated lights and candles. We quickly gathered up seven or eight candles and four or five battery lights plus at least three flashlights. Primitive? Nope. In my father's youth there were no battery-powered lights, so they would have lit candles and oil lamps. At least they had matches. When my great-grandfather was a boy he had not seen matches.
Suppose the power grid went out and stayed out? Our gas stove uses electrostatic starting mechanisms to light. We have no fireplace nor brick chimney. We have no oil or kerosene or propane lamps. All of our automobiles have computerized ignition systems. Then I thought about one of the greatest plagues of the last 100 years or so - Barack Hussein Obama.
You see, we have innovation because of free enterprise. Back in the middle ages few men could read, all books were hand-written, fires were hard to kindle so people allowed them to burn down to embers and then restarted them with kindling. Most people walked but the more well-off had horses. Most people lived a relatively primitive life. Only the rich could afford very simple plumbing we would consider hilariously incomplete.
But the printing press was invented and the common man could have a Bible and because of the Bible men learned to read. The more who could read, the more that could also be innovative by learning from others. Science advanced rapidly and so did technology. We went from candles to whale oil lamps to gas lamps to big old electric bulbs to modern incandescent lighting. We went from walking to riding in carriages to riding on horseless carriages to sophisticated and computerized automobiles. We went from kites to hot air balloons and flimsy airships to jet airplanes and rockets that could propel vehicles to the Moon and back.
The government did not invent these things (other than some aspects of the space program) but rather people did. People like Henry Ford would get an idea, build a horseless carriage, figure out how to do it better and faster and soon giant factories were cranking out hundreds of thousands of Fords. Imagine if Abraham Lincoln had demanded that a fraction of the Federal budget would be spent helping inventors build bird-suits that would allow men to fly, or work on a cannon that would shoot a man to the Moon?
Preposterous? So what are all these so-called stimulus packages? What is the push for "green energy" other than yet another way for Obama to funnel your tax dollars to his cronies? It is an attempt for government to shut down private enterprise (note that the Obama Administration fights to stop oil and gas drilling and coal harvesting and etc.) while putting massive amounts of taxpayer dollars into things free enterprise will accomplish on its own. See, whatever new energy source that can actually work and make people money will succeed. Any old "green" idea Obama likes is not necessarily going to be worthwhile and so far it is pretty sure that if he likes it, it doesn't work!!!
The government didn't invent airplanes or automobiles or bicycles or gas lamps or the electric light bulb or jet planes or toasters or microwave ovens or typewriters or personal computers. The government didn't learn that the black stuff underground could be used to fuel all sorts of things and the government didn't discover nuclear fission or general relativity or bacterial languages such as "quorum sensing."
I am a Christian now, converted as an adult. I went outside and looked up and saw a few stars appear now and again while the clouds whirled past overhead. I asked God if He remembered the days when I didn't know Him and used to look up at the stars and pick out a couple and pretend they were His eyes and I would talk to Him not being entirely sure He was there? I laughed and I think He did, too. I sang some old songs from my youth. I prayed and I listened to the trees singing in the wind. It was a good night. Then suddenly the power came on and fish tank bubblers and a television came on and lights suddenly popped into brilliance and my dark quiet night was gone. I hoped that an EMP blast would not take away our technology and leave us scrambling to shoot rabbits and gather firewood. I hoped that the Obama Administration would quit spending hundreds of millions on garbage ideas and quit blocking energy harvesting and only give us one more number. It looks like this: