Herman I. May

Herman I. May


27 April 2006

Beeville Belligerence

Media reports indicate that officials in Bee County, Texas, are coordinating a boycott of fuel pumps to begin on Monday, 01 May. (Hmmm, seems like a popular day of protest.) Initial coverage seemed to suggest this to be a general action, but recent revisions indicate the focus of the County's ire to be Exxon-Mobil.

On the face of it, this movement has my full backing and sympathy. My household has been operating under an ESSO boycott for seventeen years. We do not so much as stop at one of their establishments to take a piss, much less by food or fuel. Nevertheless, this Bee County iteration smacks of disingenuousness. Why? Their basis is not the callous indifference of the largest oil refiner in the world toward the biosphere. Rather, their chief complaint is that oil companies are complicit in the ever increasing rise in gasoline prices. Basically, they are mad as hell and are not going to take any more of it! ;-) So, they are singling out Exxon-Mobil as their target.

Of course, those capable of critical thought are well aware that the rise in fuel prices is a good thing and Beeville's hypocritical exploit — should thhere be widespread adoption — will only serve to enhance that goodness. Since few are capable of rational, critical thought, this cognition is lost.

The United States has long lived under the idyllic mirage of subsidized oil pricing. We have never paid what it actually costs to produce fuel from crude oil. The reasoning for this façade is left as an academic exercise for the cynic. Nevertheless, it has greatly contributed to the ravenous, unbridled American affection for the automobile and transportation thereby. Our neighbors around the Earth do not enjoy such a false sense of bliss and often look with envy at the low cost of gasoline in the United States. Nevertheless, some aspect of the Bee County action has merit.

Even with the price of a barrel of crude oil at over $70.00 per unit and the financial impact of inefficient gas-guzzling automobiles sapping the bank accounts of every American, the oil companies and their executives are realizing unprecedented profits and rewards. Exxon-Mobil today revealed that it will post an $8,400,000,000 profit for Q1 2006 — a $540,000,000 increase over the same period last year. More amaxing, the company and its board were recently criticized for presenting its retiring chairman, Lee R. Raymond, a compensation package worth $398,000,000. I include all of these zeros to make a point, of course: corporate capitalism in America stifles the realization of the eponymous "Dream" by all but a chosen few. One wonders how such institutions can stand before the world and claim the absence of price-fixing complicity while reaping such profits.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Beeville boycott is their threshold of termination. Media reports suggest that officials will resume their patronage of Exxon-Mobil when consumer fuel prices drop to $1.30/gallon. I predict the action to be short-lived. A drop of, on average, $1.50/gallon as a result of the impractical boycott of one refiner in a relatively inconsequential county in Central Texas is folly in the extreme.

While I certainly wish the residents of Bee County every success in their misplaced zeal to make a point, it remains to be seen how dedicated any participants are going to be. It seems unlikely to last more than a few days as tanks begin to run dry. Regardless of outcome, I will continue my ESSO boycott on legitimate, if perhaps idealistic, grounds.

26 April 2006

researchNews: John Adame, death certificate

A recent issue of the RootsWeb Review enlightened me to the existence of online databases containing the death records of late nineteenth and early twentieth century New York City. With this knowledge in hand, I embarked upon a profitable excursion to request copies of the death certificates for all four of Elizabeth's paternal great-grandparents. Possible records for three of the four of these individuals to die prior to 1948. The first of those fruits arrived today with the death record of John Adami/Adame. The narrative summary of the general facts are as follows:

John Adame died on the evening of 14 December 1931 while returning home from a day of work as a "Woolen Packer". The precise contributing causes will likely remain a mystery, but one can postulate that he was late for the train and running up toward the commuter platform at the Marcy Avenue rail station of the BMT Nassau St./Jamaica Line when he began to experience chest pains. In an undesignated moment during rush hour, having aged sixty-seven years, he literally dropped dead of "chronic myocarditis". The authorities were summoned and his body taken to the office of the Kings County coroner.

His wife, Emma (SteinbachSteinbock/Steinbeck) Adame, was summoned from their home at 68-30 65th Street, Ridgewood, Queens County, to identify the corpse. Having done so, she proceeded to provide demographic information to the assistant medical examiner.

John was described as having been born in Germany to John and Catherine (Slo__*) Adame. He immigrated to the United Stated forty-five years prior to his death, circa 1886. (This last bit of information is inconsistent with information gleaned from both the 1900 through 1930 Federal enumerations, which suggest emigration dates of 1891 to 1894.)

Though the precise location of his interment is unknown, it seems likely that his remains may be found at the columbrium of the Fresh Pond Crematory. This where his body was sent for final disposition on 17 December and comments made by his daughter during an informal interview in the summer of 2004 (that he had been cremated) lend further support for this disposition.

source:certificate number 25511 of the New York City municipal archives

09 April 2006

More Ovine Advocacy

The promised and much hyped anti-immigraation policy rally took place in downtown Dallas today. Media reports indicate this iteration among several taking place across the Nation to be among the largest. Initial estimates place the number of hypocritical sycophants to have approached 500,000. Marching under the banner of official representation seems not to have lent much legitimacy to the movement.

Preliminary reports indicate that the same tired and untenable arguments are being proffered by both organizers and hangers-on alike. Namely that legislation at the national level proposing to turn millions of undocumented aliens into felons is anti-American. They argue that all non-Native American residents of the United States are descendants of immigrants of one class or another. Others claim their friends and families should be allowed to stay based upon the specious claim that America would fail to function without the labor they provide.

All of these protesters miss the point — or perhaps they intentionally revise history and perspective for their own purposes — that the vast majority of these immigrants they cite as the basis of critical hypocrisy entered the borders of this nation by established, legal procedures. They did not steal across the border in the dark of night to exploit the capitalist greed and propensity for scofflaw activity practices by unscrupulous employers. All the while sucking at the teat of public assistance programs intended to aid the poor and legitimate immigrants. Few also make any attempt to assimilate; often claiming they are here only for the economic assistance of their family south of the border. All the while staying for years and decades in obscurity and, if they can at all continue the subterfuge, anonymity.

Despite the massive turnout, this rally is simply part two (or three) in an ongoing exhibition of ignorance and manipulation of the facts. The next scheduled chapter is to take place on 01 May. It is on that date that Latinos and their ilk across the Americas are being asked to forego the purchase of any goods or services in an attempt to show how much the United States and other nations (read: primarily Canada) rely upon illegals for their economic prosperity. Personally, I plan to put off any purchases normally made around that time for enhanced consumerism on the first day of May.

07 April 2006

Kilo Echo Five Hotel Yankee Whiskey

Though nothing appeared by the close of business Thursday, a quick check (with baited breath) at lunch today revealed that my licensing information has appeared within the ULS. I have been issued the callsign KE5HYW and can now begin transmitting on all amateur bands above six meters, inclusive (>50MHz).

With this discovery, I can also make official announcement of being the "winner" of the Fred Adame Amateur Radio prize. Shortly after attaining his own amateur radio license in 1993, my father-in-law declared that the first individual among his children their spouses and his grandchildren to also achieve amateur radio privileges would be granted the gift of his current HT at the time. In an effort to avoid shipping charges and having declared my dedicated intent to sit the Technician Exam in late March or early April, I was prospectively awarded a Yaesu VX-5R on 14 March. Now, I can really enjoy and make use of it! :-)

02 April 2006

Technician Exam

Following over a decade of unrealized intent, I traveled up to the Heard Museum and Sanctuary in Collin County this afternoon to sit the entry level FCC exam for operating privileges on the amateur radio bands. This particular exam was offered by the McKinney Amateur Radio Club and was modestly attended by around a half dozen testees.

Being unfamiliar with the practices of other clubs, I cannot comment upon the prevalence of the following. However, once we successfully completed and passed the exam we came to take, the VE offered all of us the opportunity to try our hand at the test for the next level. Most of us accepted the offer, if only to get a taste for the format and content. Surprisingly, for a cold start on a question pool for which I had no prior exposure, I was only three questions shy of passing the General exam. Twenty-four (of thirty-five) correct were needed and I successfully answered twenty-one.

Now, the anxiety of the wait begins. Time was when one would have to await snail mail notification by the FCC of callsign issuance. In the informatiion age, one need only witness the appearance of the information in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) to commence legal transmission on the airwaves. The VE indicated that the FCC gives itself up to ten to fourteen days for processing and callsign issuance, but that we should begin checking as soon as Thurday of this week! One can only hope. :-)


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last BBEdited: 2007.11.09