Timothy Lawton

Archive for August, 2009

Seeding Clouds Is Wrong

by on Aug.28, 2009, under General

Cloud seeding disrupts the natural flow of the eco-system. It may benefit a particular area, but its detriments are a plethora. Artificially causing moisture to fall in one region inevitably causes less precipitation to fall in a locality in which it should have fallen. This causes changes that ripple through the global climate in which we have no ability to predict the outcomes of our actions. How can we justify altering the weather patterns when we have no potential to assess what the long term effects of our actions will be? Therefore it is imperative that we allow the weather to take its course and we simply respond to its results. Doing anything else is playing with nature in a manner in which we cannot anticipate the outcomes of our artificial manipulations.

Leave a Comment more...

Powerlines And Trees Can Coexist

by on Aug.18, 2009, under Gardening, General, Uncategorized

During this sweltering heatwave I have had the misfortune of running into the local electric company butchering trees. As usual they were doing an “over zealous” job. Exactly the type of job that has been done on trees that I have planted. This is not only upsetting on a personal basis, but it is especially irritating when we are in the midst of trying to “reduce our carbon footprint”. Many of these same companies support the cap and trade bill which will do NOTHING to reduce our emissions of CO2, yet they continue to hack any branch that comes within 6 feet of there precious powerlines. How many square miles of vegetation in our country, and around the world, are sacrificed to their inability to realize that they don’t have to clear so much away from the trees in order to preserve power to their customers. In fact they are actually damaging the trees to the point that they are making them MORE likely to fall.

I have had around 20 years working with trees and almost four decades of observing them. My Great Grandfather, whom I knew for the first five years of my life, was not only an avid lover of trees but planted many of the trees in the town in which I grew up. Many of his trees towered well above the wires that they grew around. Some even came within inches of the powerlines, but they never caused problems. This was largely due to the fact that he had his trees manicured instead of  hacked. The power companies of today usually contract their work out to people who have no knowledge of how to cut a tree. So, the end result is short, stubby, unhealthy trees which actually have a greater chance of causing damage to the very infrastructure that they are trying to protect.

I hate power outages and understand that we need to shape our trees to meet the needs of the whole community, but they can also be healthier and more stable. All it will take is a little education to those who are cutting our trees. We can have beautiful and safe trees that are not mowed down below the wire line. The trees that I planted that were hacked have had to be cut again about three times in seven years, This is not a good use of our resources. It is also not a good manner in which to maintain our land. Not only do they overcut trees they make more work for themselves during the process. They also cut at the worst times of year. Trees should be cut from late fall through early spring (unless circumstances dictate). Taking away branches in the summer only serves to take precious nutrients and energy from our trees making them sickly and weak.

We need to do a better job maintaining trees around powerlines. This can improve the quality of our air and the beauty of our neighborhoods. Accomplishing this goal can be cost saving as well. Less work and better timing can yield amazing results. I have seen it with my own eyes. So, whatever your reason join me in the fight to better manage the trees that surround us. I simply like trees, what about you?

Leave a Comment more...

Conservative Protester Is No Longer An Oxymoron

by on Aug.12, 2009, under Political

The last six months have seen the explosion of a new phenomenon, the conservative protester. It began with the Tea Parties early in 2009 and has made for the incredible scenes we have seen recently at Townhall meetings where ordinary citizens are venting their frustration at national political figures. This is the result of the explosion of debt and proposed government takeovers of nearly every aspect of our lives. It is the awakening of Americans to the threat that the ultra-left poses to the values that have made this country great. It is the voice of common sense standing up to an out of control ivory tower federal government. This is the cultural civil war that has been a long time in coming.

For decades the liberals have marched in the streets overtly protesting  and covertly used the courts and social institutions to bypass the American electorate. We have seen their effete socialism crawl into every corner of our society. Their relativism has been used to reorder our culture and traditions. They finally have gone too far. Feeling comfortable with their control of the White House, a fillibuster proof majority in the Senate, and a considerable margin in the House of Representatives they have proceeded to take the federal government to a level of power never envisioned by our Founders. The 787 BILLION dollar “stimulus” bill was their first strike in this war on the America we know. They have tossed bilions at their cronies, virtually taken over the auto industry, and have proposed the largest tax increase in history with their cap and trade bill. Their latest attack, the attempt to takeover our health care system, seems to have been the last straw. Citizens who never dreamed of taking to the streets have now become protesters with all of the accoutrements that go along with it. Signs, chants, and yes the occasional heated confrontation. Many people have realized what the left is up to and understand that if unchecked America as we know it will cease to exist.

I have sat smiling watching old men, young mothers, and countless others challenging the arrogance of our elected officials. Politicians who find it too tedious to actually read the bills that they are signing into law. Politicians who try to explain how we, the ordinary citizen, don’t know the good that they are trying to do for our benefit. The satisfaction that I take in seeing conservatives finally taking to the streets is more than I can express. For a generation, or more, the left has had a near stranglehold on demonstrations. It was the liberal who told us that it was their right to protest. That it was they who were acting on their American liberties. Well, now the tables have turned and they can’t stand it. The San Francisco socialist has likened the conservatives speaking out to Nazis. The President has a handpicked audience for his Townhall and tried to present it as a random crowd. Countless others on the left have tried to characterize the anger and frustration we have seen as unnatural and manufactured. That is fine by me. They do it to their own detriment. If they think that what has been happening over the last several months is not the organic reflection of a true opposition to the “change” they envision they are sadly mistaken. “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it any more!!”

This is the beginning of an open battle in our society. No longer will the leftists control the debate. No longer will they be able to inculcate their mantras into the minds of the people unopposed. College campuses and the media are no longer the sole bastions of the left. The social experiment is over. It is the common sense citizens of this country that must stand up now and loudly. We must take back the government at the ballot box and illuminate the millions who have yet to recognize the threat of the liberal agenda to our American way of life. The socialist state that they propose is the antithesis of everything that this nation is supposed to be about. The federal control of our lives, that they seek, is exactly what our ancestors rebelled against when we demanded our rights as citizens from the British Crown.

Leave a Comment more...

A Good Year Gone Very Bad

by on Aug.05, 2009, under Gardening

When this year’s gardening season started I had such high hopes. The preparations that I had made to deter weeds were the best I had ever laid out. All of my plantings were spaced well and the rain was plentiful. Oh how things have gone down hill from there. What started out so well has possibly become the worst year I have ever had.

First the ample rain turned into deluges that beat my plants into the ground. Then persistent cloudiness and low temperatures proceeded to retard the growth of my gardens. Then came the ravenous deer. It rained so often it was impossible to weed. In fact rather than weed by late June I took to cutting the weeds with scissors and shears because if I pulled them out the plants I wanted to keep were coming out along with them. Yet the greatest problem I have had to contend with has been the deer. They usually come and I lose a few plants here or there, but this season they have come almost every day. Sometimes even in broad daylight. I would not doubt if 75% of all my plants, that are not fenced in or inaccessible, have been eaten one or more times. Not one sunflower has made it to bloom yet in my largest garden. I have tried Irish Sring soap,  pepper, Deer Scram, coyote urine, milorganite, and ultrasonic deterrents. NOTHING has worked!

Aside from these problems the coolness of the summer has delayed all the life cycles in the area. Cicadas didn’t make a sound in northern New Jersey until late July, three weeks later than normal. I have not had a single tomato ripen and my zuchinnis first batch rotted off the stalk. My broccoli and cauliflower are about a month behind in growth and generally nothing is doing well. What has been ok is now starting to succumb to disease. In short 2009’s growing season will be one for the record books. The bad records!! At this point I will salvage what I can and get ready for next year. Thank God I don’t depend on my gardens to sustain me, then this year would have been a tragedy instead of an annoyance.

1 Comment more...

Conseratives Have The Real Solutions

by on Aug.04, 2009, under Political, Uncategorized

I am tired of liberals and the mainstream press saying that conservatives have no solutions to the problems that face us. We have plenty of ideas, they just happen to be ideas that the left doesn’t like. They also falsely try to portray that the Bush administration has tried these solutions during his eight years in office. Contrary to what is believed by many George W. Bush was NOT a conservative. His policies only adopted a small portion of the ideas that the right would have wanted to put forth to solve the crises that face America. The profligate spending of the Republicans during the six years that they controlled the White House and Capitol Hill could not have been more antithetical to the fundamental beliefs of conservatism.

The economy tanked in late 2008 due to the banking crisis. The banks had saddled themselves with toxic assets and all lending was on the verge of freezing up at the time. Rather than debate the specifics of what lead to this problem, because both sides have played a role in concocting this mess, I ‘d rather look at what should have been done at the time. Only one major issue stands in the way of doing this thoroughly and that is the fact that much of the specifics about how the books of the banks looked at the time is still shrouded in mystery. Let us suppose that some action of the Federal government may have been necessary. Yet, we can conclude that it was certainly not the role of the government to buy stakes in the banks and get involved in their day to day business. This is why we now have a pay Czar appointed by Obama. We also can relate this to the debacles of bailing out AIG and most of the American motor industry and the White House control over the executive compensations of those companies. We, the taxpayers, spent 80 billion of our money under Obama to hold off the bankruptcies of those motor corporations for six months and a 180 billion on AIG which is still teetering on the brink of collapse.  With Chrysler and GM we also saw the federal involvement lead to the violation of our laws when it came to bankruptcy restructuring. Primary debtors were given less money than the UAW union. If the laws of the U.S. can be so readily violated who would want to invest in companies based in this country? We should have let these corporations fail and allowed the banks to restucture the bad loans that they made that were still salvageable and set up a system similar to the one that bought up the bad debt from the Savings and Loan scandal two decades ago. Mortgages could have been increased in their terms and this could have made many delinquent loans more manageable and kept the banks liquid and able to continue making loans.

On top of these solutions a reduction of the capital gains tax could have spurred investment. We also should have lowered the tax rates on ALL citizens. This could have been done by reducing income taxes for those who pay, a reduction in the social security tax, reducing the payroll tax, and finally a reduction in state sales taxes. Many think that the Bush tax cuts were too deep. Contrary to that opinion I feel that they did not go far enough. We still have a 35% corporate tax rate in this country. It is one of the highest in the world. If we were to drop it to 20% or lower could you imagine how that would spur economic development in this country? Ronald Reagan inherited an economy that was in many ways worse than the one we have now and many of my proposals were part of the package that he put forth which brought us out of that severe recession.

On a number of other issues the conservative ideology also has the plans to help solve our problems. Health care is one of the most complex issues that we face domestically. Yet, all ideas proposed from the right are simply ignored by Congressional Democrats and the President. One idea that has the most potential to reduce costs is Tort reform, but the Democrats won’t touch this because they are the party of the trial lawyers. One of the greatest, if not the single most, contributors to high health care costs in this country is malpractice insurance. Reducing outrageous and unnecessary lawsuits would do wonders in reducing the amount of money that we spend in the medical system. Allowing personal health insurance to be bought accross state lines and piecemeal rather than being covered for every possibility would also help. As it stands now people are being covered for all cases from the very first moment that they buy insurance. We also have to consider how the reduced rates for medicine and machinery paid for in already socialized nations affects our prices here. Essentially we are subsidizing the costs in foreign countries because the health care corporations have to raise their prices here to make up the difference. Once these issues are addressed we can then look at the potential to deal with those who are still not covered, Yet, this number is not the 47 million we so often hear bandied about. That number includes approximately 12 million illegal aliens, those who are uninsured due to job transition, and those who have chosen not to be insured despite the fact that they can afford it. Even in the worse case scenario we do not have to nationalize health care in order to get those who are citizens of this country insured. I have heard some sort of a federally funded voucher program similar to food stamps proposed as a remedy for this situation. Nationalized health care is bankrupting every nation in which it has been implemented.

Not that I believe climate change is necessarily a problem that we can control, but I do believe that we can control what we do that may be exacerbating it. As one who studies climate and weather I do believe that there is some change occurring in our climate. The weather has grown more extreme over the last several decades and it is definetly affecting our environment. That said, the insanity over human induced climate change has taken on almost cultic tones.  Programs like the cash for clunkers, legislation like Cap and Trade, and the mandated change to using light bulbs that contain mercury (one of the most poisonous substances on earth) to avoid ordinary light bulbs which emit a bit more carbon dioxide are all ideas based on the faith that mankind is causing climate change. Since this concept ignores that there appears to be warming on other planets we may need to find another source. I think it could be the Sun. That big yellow ball of light that heats and lights our planet. I’m sure most of you have seen it. So, instead of conciously approaching the ways in which we can get and save energy better than we do now we have plans that toss perfectly good cars into landfills, a tax on energy which could be the largest single tax increase in mankind’s history, and light bulbs that will eventually poison our homes and pollute our ground water with a substance that is widely known to cause birth defects.

If we are going to be wasting trillions of dollars what we should be spending it on is improving our national infrastructure and finding alternative fuels that make sense. Some of this can be spent on research, which I would support the government investing money, and other efforts can be induced by tax incentives for already proven methods such as wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy production. Individuals and businesses that invest in these renewable resources can be rewarded for their reduction of fossil fuel use with tax rebates. We need to be cautious when implementing such programs, because we can see what the ethanol subsidy did when it was tried. Not only did ethanol made by corn not reduce our energy consumption, but it actually raised the price of all grain and rice commodities around the world increasing the price of food for those already at the margins of starvation. Such a replication would be a crime. How many went hungry or died around the world so American politicians could pander to farmers in the corn belt?

We need real solutions for real problems. Trying government control of the economy, healthcare, and energy production has repeatedly failed in the past. Why would we expect it to work now? Nothing is black and white. Are there areas in which the government can assist in solving these problems? Yes, but we do it to our detriment when we take out of the equation good old common sense and self-determination. Conservatives propose solutions that involve the people and allow them to make their own decisions based on what is best for them as an individual. Whenever this philosophy has been tried in the past it has yielded good results. Our nation was founded on the concept of individual liberty and the freedom to live as one chooses. Conservative solutions allow for the ingenuity and talent of every citizen to be applied to the challenges that face us as a society.

Leave a Comment more...


Use the form below to search the site: