Thursday, September 27, 2012

Home Energy Report

The Indianapolis Energy Report arrived yesterday in my mailbox. Did you get yours? The last one that came drove my curiosity about what it was they were trying to tell me because their numbers made no sense to me what-so-ever.

The report tells me that I use more energy than 100% of my neighbors, costing me 88% more or 161.16 more a month than my average neighbor pays. That would be pretty impressive dropping my total electric bill for my heat, air conditioning, water heater, lights for a family of 3 including a teenage girl, to less than 40.00/month on average! My neighbors must be amazing.

When I talked to a few neighbors they too were all the worst energy hogs as well. So I talked to others from work and friends and guess what? Everyone I know is an over achieving energy hog! This made me more curious and I checked into it further and learned that IPL was just one client of the company that does these energy reports in the utilities name. The company making the report is OPower a company that formed in 2007. So, utility companies all across America "hire" OPower to try to convince their customers to use less of the product the utility is selling.

Opower is one of the true success stories during this economy, they are skyrocketing in growth. It is pretty impressive that a small start up can line up dozens of huge utility companies in just a handful of years, it makes me wonder if the Government EPA requires these services, how about you?

The more I read on the company, their founders, the more questions I had about this report showing up in all our mailboxes. However when I learned about their Chief Scientist things started to clear up. What would you assume that Dr. Robert Cialdini would be an expert in? Since this is about energy savings and energy efficiency, wouldn't you guess that it would be involved somewhere in the energy, or heating or cooling specialities? You would guess wrong, Dr. Cialdini, is a leading expert on group manipulation and compliance psychology? Did you get that? I have to admit I missed it on my first guess. Why would their top scientist be someone to create mass compliance? Does this creep you out?

Would it be a stretch to believe that we are being manipulated? Does it seem a stretch to believe that you and I are paying extra in our utility bills to pay for this "service?" If it is all nonsense and everyone is being told we are the worst to guilt us into using less energy, what value is this service. One of my neighbors was rated the worst, but their house was sitting empty for three months with all utilities turned off and it was still an energy hog, hmmm?

Check yours.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Come Join The Second Revolution!

We are living at a time that is very similar to our nation's founding. The political animosity between different factions is nearly as ugly today as it was then, not quite as violent yet, not too many tar and feathings or house ram sackings going on today.

Our Founding Fathers, it could be said, were our first political bloggers. They were not people in position of political power, in fact for most the opposite. Yet they spoke out, but mostly they wrote out. They were pamphleteers, filled the letters to the editor's pages of the newspapers mostly writing under pseudonyms. Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, Benjamin Rush, and many more were prodigious writers, writing copious writings, helping us today understand their time and quest so much more clearly.

No one was more important in getting things started than Samuel Adams, who not only as a writer, but more so as a "community agitator" and Thomas Payne's booklet "Common Sense" as the driving force to start our quest for independence. It was also Thomas Payne's "Crisis" where he admonished the soldiers who were planning on leaving the fight during that cold hungry winter with "THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Even then, those who were the Patriots who were clamoring for freedom and independence were in the minority. Most Americans at the time were either Tories, who supported the King, or were independent and really didn't care that much, they were more interested in their own day by day existence. John Adams told us about this when he said that Americans in any conflict would be 1/3 passionately for it, 1/3 passionately against it, and 1/3 in the middle. It was that middle third what must be won. Today is no different than at his time.

Today's bloggers are fighting the very same fight, today the battle is not so much in the newspapers but on the computer screen, the Founders would have loved Social Media, it was exactly what they were doing without the power to reach so many so quickly.

I am proud to try to play a part today, we are at a crossroads today in this country. This election will determine what kind of country we will live in, one that is what our Founders gave us, or one that they tried to free us from. If you have a voice, be it in type, or speaking out, come join the 1/3 who are trying to save this nation!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dinesh D'Souza's "2016"

One of the top selling movies this summer is a surprise hit by Dinesh D'Souza, the president of King's College in New York. This movie "2016" is a detailed look at Barack Obama, where he came from, who influenced his life, and an analysis of where those beliefs likely will materialize.

What I found was a very well researched documentary, one with an outstanding group of interviews with those who can help shine a light on who Obama, and his family were, and those who can enlighten what consequences his policies and ideologies will create in America and the world. I truly cannot say that I learned anything that I didn't already know. But then again, I have been obsessively studying Obama and all those around him since mid-year 2008. What I did see was a very fair view, not sensationalized, but simply documented.

Last week a friend of mine who idolizes Obama, posted that he went to see "2016" and walked out since it was the biggest propaganda film ever. I can see why he may not like it, he cannot stand hearing anything but praise to his god. However, I have to question if he actually saw the film, and didn't just post a review of what he believed it would be. From what I saw, I can understand why the Obama Administration has been as quiet about it as they have, frankly, I think D'Souza owes Obama royalties. Most of the movie is straight from Obama's own books. It is Obama's own words that D'Souza shares with the world.

There is a reason that I and so many others have spent inordinate time researching, preaching, filling up every one's Social Media walls with information. Like Dinesh D'Souza, we believe Obama to be living out his Dreams From His Father at all of America's, and ultimately the world's expense.

As the movie ended, we sat quietly and listened to the others exit conversations. I am not sure that there were many votes changed, but nearly everyone there was taken aback by all they did not know about their current president, and were not happy with what they learned.

If you have not seen it, do. If you have any friends who might be on the fence, buy them a ticket and take them with you.