Planet News Views

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Anyone Want Some Snow?

I'd rather be in a tropical paradise!

March is almost here. But early this morning it snowed. It hadn't snowed in several weeks.

I'm ready for spring, baseball and eating ice cream outside. Yes, I need more patience, and some coffee...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Blaming the Cold Night For My 'Frozen' Mind

There are days when nothing seems to go right. Writers have tough moments that can turn to hours, often blamed on writer's block. Variations of my own very personal 'mind freeze' exist.

It could be that ideas dance around in my mind, but the words don't want to join them. And other times ideas are nowhere to be found, but an endless stream of words appear that make little sense as a whole.

In the old days, back when people were using typewriters, balls of paper were scattered on my floor, all around the wastebasket.

Just think how many trees that paper equaled when multiplied by all the typerwriters. Of course, since the shift to computers the modern world has found countless other ways to plunder the forests, which, though this may seem a strange idea, should have rights to survive forever.

Yeah, you're right: It's the espresso talking. Or at least it's helping a bit to jumpstart my mind.

Just kicking back with an espresso drink is a lot of fun, whether that's on my home turf or on a trip, such as when I visited Makati, Philippines.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Editorial Note: Responsibility and Mobile Phones

This is a note to clarify what was posted last time.

Each day we go faster to the future, at least in terms of technology. Mobile phones have changed our lives.

When I visited the Philippines a few years ago, at the beginning it felt like I was in a futuristic sci-fi movie, with phones everywhere and people quite attached to them.

While cell phones (as they are commonly referred to in the U.S.) are popular in America, I don't recall a fascination with reading and sending text messages. I'm sure many other countries besides the Philippines, especially Asian countries, are way out ahead of the U.S. in this regard. Cool!

By comparison, when I was in Thailand, I didn't see as many people sending text messages, although the popularity of mobile phones there is obvious.

After riding buses, taxis and getting stuck in traffic, I can see how important it is to have a mobile phone to let people know what's going on. I'm not against mobile phones, I just think overuse is not wise when with others.

I think it's up to each person to set sensible limits on when they will use a mobile phone. I'm also opposed to rules or laws (except no mobile phone while driving) because people need to become more responsible.

Nobody should have to say to a person not to use their phone in the church, although I saw this one time during my trip.

Many times people ignore or even neglect the people with them because they are sending text messages or talking on the phone. That's wrong.

It's not for any of us to force them to behave. After all, most of the people I'm referring to are adults. It's difficult to believe people need someone to tell them when they can and cannot use their phones. And there's no need for it if they are responsible phone users.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Hi! Thanks for stopping by

Hope you have a great week! I'll be back soon. Take care!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Popularity of Mobile Phones and Time with People

By Scott McLean

I don't own a mobile phone. If it were my choice, I'd never own one. While it makes sense to carry a phone in case of an emergency, I like to focus entirely on the people I'm with and when I'm alone don't want to talk on a phone.

A few years ago, the day I arrived in Makati (a very cool city, by the way), I couldn't believe how many people were using their phones in public, as they were walking down the street, dining in restaurants or hanging out in a coffee shops. Who were they calling without actually speaking to anyone?? Maybe they were accessing their voice mail, I reasoned.

No, it turned out many of them were reading or sending text messages (it hadn't caught on yet in the U.S.), which I was told is cheaper than talking on the phone. Well, that's cool! I'm not against saving money.

But then the same feeling I had years ago when I was in an airport and everyone was talking on phones (they didn't pay attention to the people with them), that nervous tension took a hold of me.

At the time, I was a victim of people close to me paying more attention to "their damn phones" than to me. It felt lousy! I didn't want to form deep relationships and friendships with mobile phones.

I like people, not phones. But some people value things (phones, cars, computers, etc.) more than time with their family and friends.

I'll write more on this topic later.

Monday, February 12, 2007

U.S. House Ready to Debate Troops Resolution

On Tuesday, the House will begin debating a concurrent resolution showing opposition to President Bush's decision to send more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken strong opposition to the increase in troops. Statements by Pelosi and fellow House Democrats were part of a news release, which can be read at the online Office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

The following statement from Speaker Nancy Pelosi summarizes what's going to happen: "This week, at long last, the House of Representatives will have an honest and open debate on Iraq where all voices will be heard. Every Member of the House will have an opportunity to vote on a bipartisan resolution that will commend our brave men and women in uniform for their courageous work in Iraq and Afghanistan and will express our strong disapproval of the President's proposal for an escalation of our military involvement in Iraq."

For more information or the exact wording of the resolution, please click on the link: Office of the Majority Leader.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Senate Democrats Want Debate on Iraq War Escalation

By Scott McLean

Senate Republicans on Monday blocked debate on President Bush's plan for additional troops in Iraq, but a group of Senate Democrats are demanding a Senate debate.

According to a news release from the Senate Democratic Communications Center on PR Newswire, in a press conference on Wednesday, "Democratic Senators Patty Murray, John Kerry, Jack Reed, and Sheldon Whitehouse will join veterans of the Iraq war to call on Senate Republicans to stop blocking a debate on the president's plan to escalate the war."

The release went on to give the following statement: "Before sending another 48,000 young Americans into battle, the Congress owes it to our troops, their families, and their communities to have an honest and open discussion about their mission."

An increase of 21,500 troops, called for by President Bush, is the number we have heard over and over. However, to determine budget costs, the Congressional Budget Office looked at a scenario requiring 20,000 combat troops and 28,000 support troops, which would bring the total to 48,000, according to documents in the Congressional Budget Office website.

The Senate Democrats leading the opposition to the Iraq War surge are using this figure, and one has to wonder just how much the Bush administration plans to escalate the war.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Not Getting Younger

Getting Greener

Recently, and with few people noticing (thank goodness!), I got--to put my spin on it--not younger. That means I blew out candles on a cake? No, actually I didn't have that kind of cake. Instead, I ate a thick, delicious slice of cheesecake, which has been my favorite since I was, well, much younger.

Sorry I was unable to get online last week due to some problem with the Internet connection. It gave me time to look through my photos and find an interesting one.

In the above photo, taken in Thailand in 2005, it looks like a tree is growing on the top of my head. I don't think I'd be smiling, though, if that were the case. However, I do like the color green, as is obvious from my green T-shirt, and I also love nature, especially trees. Just not growing on my head! haha