Archive for the ‘Green Lifestyle’ Category

More Bermuda Shorts

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This is a nice classic style which has never gone out of fashion in Bermuda and was once popular outside Bermuda. The look is:

The best quality Bermuda Shorts have a three inch hem, hand sewn, to hang correctly. Bermuda Shorts are garments for all seasons, representing a standard of turnout difficult to surpass in their originality. They are as well constructed as a good pair of trousers, complete with a proper fitted waistband or with belt loops or a self-supporting waistband and a seam in the center back. They are usually pleated for business use but a more informal variety can be unpleated. They usually have one pocket on each side and one on each side of the bottom. They are form-fitting, designed essentially for and can look very good on the slim or medium-built person. (Any with huge waists and bottoms will look far better in lightweight long trousers). Accompanying them are Bermuda hose (imported long – knee-length – socks), plus a white or blue button down imported Oxford or other appropriate short sleeved shirt and conservative Windsor knotted striped or corporate insignia or club or regimental tie, with a single or double breasted navy blue blazer or a sport coat or madras or linen jacket that contrasts with the Bermuda Shorts. The most appropriate shoes are imported loafers with tassels – from the USA – in black or brown, depending on the colour of the shorts – to compliment and complement the Bermuda Dress Shorts.

OK, one thing about real Bermuda shorts: they are expensive compared to most other shorts. Toss in that the best place to get them is in Bermuda (or do a search for Bermuda shorts on eBay or Etsy). But there is a problem with buying them online: the actual size is not what you think it would be if you are buying authentic Bermuda shorts. You will most likely get a size smaller than you expect if you buy authentic Island shorts (e.g.: English Sport Shop, Smiths, Triminghams, or Davidsons).

So, it’s best to go to Bermuda and buy them in person. The best place these days is the English Sport Shop (49 Front Street, Hamilton)DSCF1127. There are other branches, around the Island, but the Hamilton store has the best stock. This is the place to get the original Bermuda shorts since they have been making them since 1918.  I could do a post on just this store.

The other alternative in Bermuda is TABS (The Authentic Bermuda Shorts), which is the new kid in the business having only been in business since 2014, and opened their store in 2016. They do sell online and have a good selection. Drawback, their shorts are fairly pricey (about 30 bucks more than the English Sport Shop’s).IMG_7424 Also, their store is not on Front Street (12 Reid Street, which is up Walker Arcade from the English Sport Shop–they are close to each other).

There are plusses and minuses to English Sport Shop and TABS. I would suggest checking both store out before buying. The best rule of thumb is that English Sport Shop is the more traditional of the two, TABS is the more contemporary by Bermuda standards. They both make great products. A biggie for TABS is that they are closer to being true in size (ESS’s tend to run a size or two small: e.g, you would want a 38 if you wear a 36 and maybe 34). I like them both and have shorts from both companies (although partial to ESS for its being the “heritage” brand).

There are options if you don’t want to go to Bermuda to buy them. Brooks Brothers, Jos A. Banks, and similar mens stores are a good bet. Brooks does sell authentic Bermuda shorts, but their price is similar to TABS without the selection of colours. Lands End and LL Bean are also an option, but not as close to the real shorts as Brooks Brothers Bermuda shorts for shorts not sold on Bermuda.

The advantage of buying shorts locally is that you know they will fit.IMG_7245

One other point for buying Bermuda shorts in Bermuda: it’s a whole lot easier to get the socks to go with the outfit. There are some of online retailers that carry them (TABS, The Sock Company UK, and The Great Canadian Sox Company). Vagden, Glendale, and HJ Hall make ribbed, knee high (golf) cuffed socks. [1] Navy blue is a default, but there is a rainbow of colours out there if you want to add some dash to the look.

This is standard dress in Bermuda: OK, the national dress. This look will certainly get you attention if you are not in Bermuda or at a Bermuda function. The bottom line is that this is the look for you if you want to stand out from the crowd and bring some Bermudian charm to your life.

Here is a video of the owner of the English Sport Shop explaining Bermuda Shorts

Note:
[1] Vagden, which are sold by the The Great Canadian Sox Company, makes the socks sold by the English Sport Shop.  Glendale make very substantial socks.

See also:

Solyndra

Solyndra has become known as a boondoggle in the US. If you haven’t heard, it’s the solar power company that got $500 million in Recovery Act loans from the Department of Energy and then went belly up a couple of weeks ago.

Conservatives have been trying to paint this as a big scandal of some kind, despite the fact that: the company had plenty of private investors too, it’s the only DOE loan that has failed so far, and there’s no real evidence that anyone in the White House did anything worse than push OMB to speed up their decision-making process a bit in 2009.

It’s often claimed that the Solyndra loan guarantee was “rushed through” by the Obama Administration for political reasons. In fact, the Solyndra loan guarantee was a multi-year process that the Bush Administration launched in 2007.

You’d never know from the media coverage that:

  • The Bush team tried to conditionally approve the Solyndra loan just before President Obama took office.
  • The company’s backers included private investors who had diverse political interests.
  • The loan comprises just 1.3% of DOE’s overall loan portfolio. To date, Solyndra is the only loan that’s known to be troubled.

The loan guarantee has been attacked as being political in nature because one of the Solyndra investors, Argonaut Venture Capital, is funded by George Kaiser, a man who donated money to the Obama campaign. What critics don’t mention is that one of the earliest and largest investors, Madrone Capital Partners, is funded by the family that started Wal-Mart, the Waltons and the Waltons have donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates over the years.

Climate Progress is publishing this timeline, verified by Department of Energy officials, that shows how the loan guarantee came together under both administrations to set the record straight. In fact, rather than rushing the loan for Solyndra through, the Obama Administration restructured the original Bush-era deal to further protect the taxpayers’ investment:

 

May 2005: Just as a global silicon shortage begins driving up prices of solar photovoltaics [PV], Solyndra is founded to provide a cost-competitive alternative to silicon-based panels.

July 2005: The Bush Administration signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law, creating the 1703 loan guarantee program.

February 2006 – October 2006: In February, Solyndra raises its first round of venture financing worth $10.6 million from CMEA Capital, Redpoint Ventures, and U.S. Venture Partners. In October, Argonaut Venture Capital, an investment arm of George Kaiser, invests $17 million into Solyndra. Madrone Capital Partners, an investment arm of the Walton family, invests $7 million. Those investments are part of a $78.2 million fund.

December 2006: Solyndra Applies for a Loan Guarantee under the 1703 program.

Late 2007: Loan guarantee program is funded. Solyndra was one of 16 clean-tech companies deemed ready to move forward in the due diligence process. The Bush Administration DOE moves forward to develop a conditional commitment.

October 2008: Then Solyndra CEO Chris Gronet touted reasons for building in Silicon Valley and noted that the “company’s second factory also will be built in Fremont, since a Department of Energy loan guarantee mandates a U.S. location.”

November 2008: Silicon prices remain very high on the spot market, making non-silicon based thin film technologies like Solyndra’s very attractive to investors. Solyndra also benefits from having very low installation costs. The company raises $144 million from ten different venture investors, including the Walton-family run Madrone Capital Partners. This brings total private investment to more than $450 million to date.

January 2009: In an effort to show it has done something to support renewable energy, the Bush Administration tries to take Solyndra before a DOE credit review committee before President Obama is inaugurated. The committee, consisting of career civil servants with financial expertise, remands the loan back to DOE “without prejudice” because it wasn’t ready for conditional commitment.

March 2009: The same credit committee approves the strengthened loan application. The deal passes on to DOE’s credit review board. Career staff (not political appointees) within the DOE issue a conditional commitment setting out terms for a guarantee.

June 2009: As more silicon production facilities come online while demand for PV wavers due to the economic slowdown, silicon prices start to drop. Meanwhile, the Chinese begin rapidly scaling domestic manufacturing and set a path toward dramatic, unforeseen cost reductions in PV. Between June of 2009 and August of 2011, PV prices drop more than 50%.

September 2009: Solyndra raises an additional $219 million. Shortly after, the DOE closes a $535 million loan guarantee after six months of due diligence. This is the first loan guarantee issued under the 1703 program. From application to closing, the process took three years – not the 41 days that is sometimes reported. OMB did raise some concerns in August not about the loan itself but how the loan should be “scored.” OMB testified Wednesday that they were comfortable with the final scoring.

January – June 2010: As the price of conventional silicon-based PV continues to fall due to low silicon prices and a glut of solar modules, investors and analysts start questioning Solyndra’s ability to compete in the marketplace. Despite pulling its IPO (as dozens of companies did in 2010), Solyndra raises an additional $175 million from investors.

November 2010: Solyndra closes an older manufacturing facility and concentrates operations at Fab 2, the plant funded by the $535 million loan guarantee. The Fab 2 plant is completed that same month — on time and on budget — employing around 3,000 construction workers during the build-out, just as the DOE projected.

February 2011: Due to a liquidity crisis, investors provide $75 million to help restructure the loan guarantee. The DOE rightly assumed it was better to give Solyndra a fighting chance rather than liquidate the company – which was a going concern – for market value, which would have guaranteed significant losses.

March 2011: Republican Representatives complain that DOE funds are not being spent quickly enough.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI): “despite the Administration’s urgency and haste to pass the bill [the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] … billions of dollars have yet to be spent.”

And House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-FL): “The whole point of the Democrat’s stimulus bill was to spend billions of dollars … most of the money still hasn’t been spent.”

June 2011: Average selling prices for solar modules drop to $1.50 a watt and continue on a pathway to $1 a watt. Solyndra says it has cut costs by 50%, but analysts worry how the company will compete with the dramatic changes in conventional PV.

August 2011: DOE refuses to restructure the loan a second time.

September 2011: Solyndra closes its manufacturing facility, lays off 1,100 workers and files for bankruptcy. The news is touted as a failure of the Obama Administration and the loan guarantee office. However, as of September 12, the DOE loan programs office closed or issued conditional commitments of $37.8 billion to projects around the country. The $535 million loan is only 1.3% of DOE’s loan portfolio. To date, Solyndra is the only loan that’s known to be troubled.

Meanwhile, after complaining about stimulus funds moving too slowly, Congressmen Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns are now claiming that the Administration was pushing funds out the door too quickly: “In the rush to get stimulus cash out the door, despite repeated claims by the Administration to the contrary, some bets were bad from the beginning.”

What critics fail to mention is that the Solyndra deal is more than three years old, started under the Bush Administration, which tried to conditionally approve the loan right before Obama took office. Rather than “pushing funds out the door too quickly,” the Obama Administration restructured the original loan when it came into office to further protect the taxpayers’ investment.

What actually happened, how it could have been prevented and who’s responsible, are these things are orthogonal to the battle taking place in political circles. That battle has nothing to do with the facts.

For a mix of financial and ideological reasons, U.S. conservative movement activists, operators, and politicos hate clean energy. They don’t believe in climate change, they love fossil fuels and fossil-fuel campaign donations, and they think, or want the U.S. public to think, that clean energy is weak, unreliable, marginal, and dependent on government subsidies. They have been trying to make that case for a long while.

What Solyndra gives them is a symbol, something to use as a stand-in to discredit not just the DOE loan program, but all government support for clean energy and indeed clean energy itself.

Cons understand post-truth politics. They understand that truth is utterly inert in an era when mainstream institutions are viewed with hostility and skepticism, the media is fractured, and there are no shared norms or referees to enforce them. The side that wins is the side that plays to its audience’s existing preconceptions with a simple message repeated over and over and over again in multiple venues.

That’s what is happening now around Solyndra. The right is going after this whole hog, trying to make the name synonymous with clean energy boondoggle. And the left is flailing around, throwing out this fact and that fact with no coherent message. Additionally, the right pretty much has a lock on the US media so that the message that this was yet another Obama and environmentalist failure is repeated over and over.

That works with the Low Information Voters who believe that global warming is a hoax, or in some way a disputed theory. Unfortunately, they are the people who need to be reached with better information rather than fed more of the corporatocratic propaganda.

See also:

The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized


Tired of the astroturf, corporatocracy apologists? Do you believe in peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment?  Then clear your calendar for the 6th, the 7th, the 8th…however long it takes for the Obama Administration to yield to key progressive demands, including immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the other wars. Participants are being asked to sign a pledge to attend at http://october2011.org.

Join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011.

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.

See also:
SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized

Beware of the Enviro-Nazis!

We’re coming to get you!

From The Armstrong & Miller Show:

I really want to find their origins of Charity sketch and post it: annoying buggers.

The Green Dragon, Ain’t that a pub?

That goofy Conwell Alliance vid with all the talk of “the Green Dragon” is making me thirsty–especially since my fav pub when I was young was called “the Green Dragon”. The place had super music!

Anyway, I decided to google up the old haunt, but it has changed owners and names.

Anyway, there’s the Green Dragon in Upper Wensleydale which looks like a nice place for a pint.

The Green Dragon Inn in Cowley, Gloucestershire, whch offers far more than a drink.

The Green Dragon, Sambourne offers AA three star accommodation together with real ales, fine wines and extensive menus.

Anyway, as the landlord at the one I went to used to say:

Oh well, Nobody Inn!

If you think environmentalism is bad, then drink some toxic waste!

Since I realised I am a “green” prior to Christmas, I can say the views presented by the “Christian” conservative groups is total rubbish. Environmentalism is in no way a religion. For that matter, they aren’t Christians either, but that’s a lot of other posts.

The above video was put out by the Cornwall Alliance. The real fear is that true Christians are beginning to wake up to the facts of the Green Movement. The Conwall Alliance has deep ties to the oil industry and the climate science denial machine. The ultimate source of money for many of these groups comes from a few main sources: the Scaife foundations (Carthage, Sarah Scaife, Scaife Family), the Bradley foundation, and the Koch foundations (Charles Koch, David Koch, and Claude R.Lambe). These often fund in apparent coordination with ExxonMobil. Such foundations specialize in providing seed money for what later go on to become self-supporting propaganda operations, that raise money to support themselves as “non-profits” often, or sometimes as outright for profit astroturf businesses.

Anyway, the Conwall Alliance uses the work of “lord” Monckton (Kinda like Lord Sutch) to refute climate science–gimme a break!

And I have to agree with Mojo that “Of course, if the environmental movement was actually as strong as the Christian right seems to think it is, we would have quite different politics on this issue.”

And they’d be building their homes on toxic waste sites if we were wrong.

Anyway, I’m glad these people are scared of the truth.

See also Resisting Cornwall Alliance Evil Anti-Green Propaganda

And further laughs at: Richard Dawkins Interviews Creationist Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America

The Centre for Alternative Technology is in financial straits

I just received a message from The Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Wales asking for money. The Centre has been around since 1974 and I’d like to say its the oldest centre for information about green technology. If it’s not the oldest, it is one of the oldest centres, which makes me want to help pass around the hat. Thousands of people visit the Centre from around the world since it was founded. There is quite a difference between the Centre and Doncaster’s Earth Centre was founded in 1999, but went bankrupt in 2004 due to a poor business plan (The Earth Centre was used in the remake of the Survivors and now houses an airsoft centre).

The problem is that environmental issues are slipping down in their importance for the international agenda. The issues of climate change, environmental justice and biodiversity loss are loosing momentum. In Britain we watch with dismay as one environmental public body after another closes. The international climate change negotiations in Mexico in December are shakey. And all the while, across the world, people are suffering the effects of climate change, their homes destroyed and their voices drowned out. The Centre can can adjust and diversify for the long term, but in the short term it faces the looming threat of job losses and shrinking departments, just when the message of sustainability is needed more than ever.

It would be a shame to see the Centre go the way of the Doncaster Earth Centre. So, please consider giving:

http://www.cat.org.uk/donate