Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
On Thursday we went on a hike on the Moses Spring–Rim Trail Loop, as the web site says this is a 2.2 mile loop, 1 1⁄2 hours elevation gain: 500 feet Moderate This loop is a good choice for rock formations, talus caves, and the reservoir on a short hike and also a good choice for children. Flashlight required in cave.
Along the way we saw a tarantula:
We also saw numerous lizards, rare California Red Legged Frogs in the reservoir, a half dozen striped snakes hunting the frogs, and a bat that flew at me inside the cave. It was a fun hike!
Click here for some more pictures of the hike.
On Friday morning we were awakened by a raccoon raiding our camp. We were sleeping outside on the ground, I had placed my shoes by my head and put my wallet and watch and keys inside of them. I woke up when a raccoon was rummaging through my shoes in search of food. I was startled to see a pair of eyes about 10 inches from my face! Yikes!
After that we were off to the Renaissance Faire Institute at the Nor Cal Ren Faire at Casa de Fruta, very cool and fun!
Here was what we did:
9:00 Village meeting in Joust area (Maureen)
9:25 Meet the Noble Horse who Serves A Knight (Lisa)
9:45 Workshop 1
Bell Ringers Herbal Lore (Mary, FoF Stage area)
Bell Ringers Dressing in the Renaissance (Janine, Tickle Thy Fantasy booth)
12:15 Workshop 3
Bell Ringers Visit the Military (Sgt. George Hall/Peter, Scots'Encampment), learning about weaponry and the life of a soldier in the Renaissance.
Bell Ringers Climb the Castle Wall (Derek, Castle Wall)
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
The end result of this belief system is that Israel can do no wrong and the United States must fight all of Israel's enemies, with no questions allowed about whether or not those fights are actually in the best interest of the United States.
Today I read a speech she was going to give to an anti-Iran rally in New York. This bizarre pack of half truths and distortions is such a hate filled screed that it has finally cured me of any lingering effects of the brief Palinmania I suffered when I first heard her speak.
Which leaves me with no candidate for president or vice president that I'm willing to vote for, they are all traitors to America and the constitution as attested in their own words.
Guess I'm back to burning the ballot... or just skipping president... or ?
A weekly column
Posted by Ron Paul (09-22-2008, 02:12 PM)
Predictions vs. Reality in Iraq
On September 10, 2002 I asked 35 questions regarding war with
“Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion dollar war against
Many scoffed at my “radical” predictions at the time, regarding them as hyperbole. Six years later, I am forced to admit that I was wrong. My “radical” predictions were in fact, not “radical” enough.
I warned of a draining 30-year occupation. Now, politicians glibly talk about a 100-year occupation as if it is no big deal. On cost, according to estimates from the Congressional Research Service, we have already burned through around $550 billion in
Yes, I was wrong about
The American people deserve better. Being asked to endorse such a farce is beyond insulting. Clearly, the rosy predictions of the neo-Conservatives from before the war are not coming true. Far from it! With a straight face, one official estimated the TOTAL cost of reconstruction in
No one predicted the exact course of this war before it started. But to continue to listen to the foreign policy advice of those that were the MOST offbase will only lead to more foreign policy disasters. We need to keep this in mind as we think about
Passing HR 2605 to sunset authorization for the use of force in
Monday, September 22, 2008
Picture the world financial market as a hugely overbuilt skyscraper resting on a badly compromised foundation. The core pillars supporting the structure are rotten and about to collapse, and the failure of any one would rapidly induce failure in all of them.
The sensible approach would be to get as far as possible from the impending collapse. The Power Elite's approach is to force the commoners to work in the basement shoring up the mortally stricken building while the Important People evacuate.
That won't work, of course, and the inevitable collapse will wipe out those left in the basement -- but, hey, that's just the price that has to be paid to save the Important People, who are, after all, more Important than the rest of us.
Deranged financial commentator Jim Cramer didn't take refuge in metaphor to express -- and endorse -- the perspective presented in my illustration. "Frankly, I don't really care if my community bank is doing well," insisted Cramer . "I care about AIG and the fate of Western banks, all of which have relied on AIG at some point for a risk transfer."
Let banks fail across the length and breadth of the land; let millions be left destitute, and misery be poured without mixture on the heads of the common folk -- the FED must protect the interests of super-rich criminals at AIG and kindred institutions.
Full story here.
He's off to prison for 25 years. Well the owner of the company is anyway, though I think just the obnoxiousness of the ads ought to have earned Smilin' Bob himself at least 20 years! Now if they can just round up the rest of the snake oil salesmen preying on the gullible on TeeVee... pretty much everything they try and sell you on the idiot box is a rip off. (Side note: I've told Serenity that if she sees something on TV she can't have it, ever! :-) My take is if you need it they won't bother to advertise it.)
By: Mark Kernes
CINCINNATI - Don't expect to see much of Smilin' Bob anytime in the near future.
You know Bob: He's the guy at the suburban pool party who loses his trunks, and when he climbs out, all the women point and stare at his (unseen) ****, while other men look vaguely fearful - or who looks supremely confident watering his lawn with a large hose, and all the neighbors whisper about how much he's changed recently ... since he started taking Enzyte, "the once-daily tablet for natural male enhancement."
Of course, the stuff doesn't work - none of these non-prescription "supplements" actually increase the length or girth of a penis beyond its normal erect state - and Steve Warshak, owner of Berkeley Premium Nutraceuticals, which manufactures Enzyte, found out yesterday just how much his fraudulent advertising of the product is going to cost him. Based on Warshak's conviction last February on 93 counts of mail fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, U.S. District Judge S. Arthur Spiegel sentenced him to 25 years in prison, fined him $93 million, and forfeited $459 million - that's nearly half a billion dollars - of his and his company's assets to the government. By comparison, as the Wall Street Journal's Dan Slater notes, WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers got 25 years, while Enron's Jeff Skilling got 24 years and four months. Somehow, the guy who makes phony sex drugs just doesn't seem quite that culpable.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
On Thursday Mike, Lora, Serenity and I had lunch at Chevy's to celebrate Lora's 27th birthday, that was fun. Then in the evening Serenity and I were off to San Francisco for the Symphony. Dinner was at California Pizza Kitchen. The program was Leonard Bernstein in celebration of what would have been his 90th year. The music was awesome, a combination of symphonic pieces and bits of West Side Story and other musicals, including some terrific singers, even MTT and the audience sang!
On Friday Lora, Mike and his girlfriend Maryann and I went out to dinner at Strizzi's in Livermore followed by wine tasting at First Street Wine.
Today I cooked and froze a big batch of spaghetti for lunches, baked a loaf of bread with the bread maker Maxine gave me, did 2 loads of laundry and went with Lora to a new wine release party at Mitchel Katz winery. Whew.
Next week Serenity and I will be camping Wednesday and Thursday at Pinnacles National Monument, then on Friday we'll be at the Ren Faire Institute.
Filthy thieving Demopublican Obamaites and Republicrat Pailinoids are all scrambling to bail out the filthy rich after they made a huge steaming pile of stupid investments, and WE get to pay for it. Happy happy joy joy!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Someone who has "credentials" agrees with me. Cool. :-)
So, I'm linking to his Psychology Today blog Freedom to Learn about the subject here, if you are interested in the subject these are terrific resources. Two recent entries in particular address the age segregation idea.
From September 9:
Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part I--The Value of Play in the Zone of Proximal DevelopmentFrom September 17:
Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part II--The Unique Educative Qualities of Age-Mixed PlayThere are other interesting posts about education there as well, enjoy!
As a bonus here is an excerpt from his first post on Freedom to Learn:
"I have been teaching for a long time at a selective university. Students come to my classes with A averages in high school. But they don’t come knowing very much about the subjects they studied. They achieved high grades because they are bright and are motivated to get ahead through the standard procedures. They figured out what they needed to do to get high grades and then they did it. They figured how to do well on tests without learning much about the subject. They learned how to hold information, in the form that the teacher wanted, just long enough for the test.
I have no objection to students’ entering my classes not knowing much. Information is easy to find and easy to supply. If students discover that they need to know something as background to what I am saying or what they are reading, they can ask or look it up. I’m only sorry that they wasted so much time in school, when they would have been better off playing and following through on their own interests. If they had done that, then those who decided to go to college and to take my course would have good reasons for doing so; and others would have good reasons for choosing other routes. Students who have explored and are pursuing their own interests in their college studies are rare and delightful; they don’t treat their first year there as 13th grade." (Full Post here)
From Chris Floyd, read the rest here, him and Fred Reed, all the news you need to bother reading ;-)
From Out of a Rotting Log
by Fred Reed
by Fred Reed
In the airports, the same obedience training – take off your shoes, belt, watch, fillings, prostate, so we can to learn to respect the authority of low-IQ federalized renta-cops with the psyches of school-yard bullies. God save us from the congenitally unimportant. From PA systems came the same pointless security-babble having nothing to do with security, in the same over elocuted I-wanna-lick-the-microphone female voices. Well, it’s not quite pointless. We must condition the rubes, give them an inspiriting sense of danger so they will do as they are told. It’s awful. I’m going to apply for a change of phylum.
It got worse. I discovered that America is about to have an election. Why? Every time they do that, no good comes of it. You’d think they’d learn.
Ass usual, the election is a popularity contest run for dimwits. And to elect a dimwit, which is worse. We’ve got this woman Palin, an angry Betty Crocker, absolutely unqualified for the presidency in case McCain goes tits up. She’s ignorant of foreign affairs, at best moderately bright, a whackjob Christian, and a “pit bull.” This is said admiringly.
Oh good. An aggressive ignorant dull-witted-pit bull. How is that better than a passive ignorant torpid pit bull?
Oh god, McCain. A senescent replica of Bush who says he wants to stay in Iraq a hundred years. Actually, the idea has its appeal. Why doesn’t he go there and get a start? A perfect match for Palin, another pugnacious dunce, bottom of his class in boat school – the Naval Academy, I mean. He says he plans to “confront Russia.” Now there’s a plan. It seems that American policy is to make enemies of everyone who has oil or nuclear weapons. Or doesn’t.
Meanwhile the Pentagon prepares for war with China. Is it something in the water?
Next we have Obama, whose only qualification is that he’s maybe a tad less bellicose than the rest of these Oprah Neanderthals. His veep, Biden, is a grey nonentity, a cipher with no characteristics. Well, that’s better than the other three. I mean, he’s as close to no candidate as we can come.
What are we doing? The country has gone nuts. If a giant squirrel began collecting us and storing us for winter, I’d understand. Three hundred million people, and these factory rejects the best we can do?
Actually, I do understand it, barely. The undergirding of American politics is the seldom-stated but always audible cry of “You ain’t no gooder’n me!” We have government by inferiority complex. The last thing the great burger-chomping, reality-show-watching mental vacuum out there wants is anyone who might make reglar folks feel inferior. The cloth of the country is woven of resentment. The public wants a regular guy, comfortingly stupid, who watches NASCAR and in broken English as if recently concussed. Few would select a cardiac surgeon from a bus station, but it’s how we do presidents.
You probably can get elected holding a chain saw and a severed head, but not if you know words of three syllables.
It’s getting scary. The more angry and miserable things get at home, the more people want to smack hell out of someone. It doesn’t matter who. The American attitude toward the world is, “Not only can I lick anybody in this bar, but I can lick all of you at once.” Before I said that, I’d want to be real sure who was in the bar.
At least two of these gong-show dregs, Palin and Bush, blame their personality disorders on God. Yes. They think God wants them to blow hell out of more or less everybody. We’re talking wars of religion, boys and girls. Christian loons in the US, Jewish loons in Israel, and Moslem loons widely distributed, all wanting to blow people up because God told them. I want a signed affidavit from God. Or a drink. Whatever happened to grownups?
I babble, but it’s hard to think straight when contemplating nuclear-armed kindergarteners. In Washington, I saw about ten friends, many of them biochemists, lawyers, programmers, freelance screwballs, what have you. Sitting at the Zoo Bar one night (so called because it’s across Connecticut Avenue from the zoo, not because of its clientele) a dismal epiphany struck me, kersplat, like a sock full of hog kidneys:
I don’t know anybody who isn’t better qualified to be president than anyone who is or is about to be.
Of the ten friends I mentioned, the baseline IQ is close to 140 and goes up, often lots up. All of them are well read and many have spent a lot of time overseas. All speak and write good English and, some of them, foreign languages. They aren’t geniuses, just upper-middle-brow. But they are way better than the rabble running for the White House.
I don’t get it. For president, I want somebody lots brighter than I am, who knows history, who speaks a few languages, maybe spent time in the military without being an officer and therefore a warped buzz-cut Boy Scout. They exist. I have friends who knew where South Ossetia was twenty years ago, and why, who know the military and military history and what works and what doesn’t and why. I’m not like that. Not smart enough. But they are. Yet we get candidates who could probably run a small-town hardware store. Reglar folks, though.
Democracy is a bad idea, I tell you. Granted, we’ve never really tried it. From Jefferson to our current bumbling mutant, the trick has been to let people think they have power without really trusting them with it. For a long time we had rule by a high-WASP elite that actually had some sense of noblesse oblige, tempered by sufficient corruption to keep them in gravy. The Roosevelts for example. You can disagree with their policies, but they weren’t penny-ante pickpocket proles with learning disabilities.
Today we get grasping zeros who would embarrass a trailer park in Arkansas. Ah, but they are of the people, and don’t make anyone feel inadequate. In everything that counts, which means involving money, we have rule by corporations, through legalized corruption far more lucrative than Latin America could dream of.
I have a theory that countries deserve what they get, at least when it’s internally generated. Belgium didn’t deserve to be overrun by Germany, but Belgium didn’t elect Hitler. It’s going to be a funny eight years.
September 17, 2008
Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and the just-published A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. Visit his blog.
Copyright © 2008 Fred Reed
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
There is a good two part blog post on Corrigenda Denuo about the subject as well. Part 1 Part 2
I am of the opinion that following an old Jewish superstition about not using the name of God outloud is a mistake and that we Christians should certainly use it in our prayers and in our translations of the bible and in our liturgy. Though I did see one comment in the Veith conversation that suggested translating it into "I AM" or "HE IS" or whatever was appropriate in that spot since that is what the Tetragrammaton YHWH means in English anyway. Same with using "The Holy Universal Church" where we use "the Holy Christian Church" because we are afraid to say "the Holy Catholic Church" which all means universal! Why not just translate the words all the way into English?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
A Message from the Queen
To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas , which she does not fancy).
Your new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.
Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.
A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
(You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.)
1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.
2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as "colour", "favour", "labour" and "neighbour." Likewise, you will learn to spell "doughnut" without skipping half the letters, and the suffix '-ize' will b e replaced by the suffix '-ise'. Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up "vocabulary").
3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as US English. We will let M*crosoft know on your behalf. The M*crosoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter "u" and the elimination of -ize.
4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
7. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
8. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it.
9. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
10. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager. South African beer is also accept able as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer. They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them. American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
11. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialogue in "Four Weddings and a Funeral" was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
12. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.
13. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
14. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.
15. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
16. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.
God Save the Queen!
PS: Go ahead and share this with your friends in the USA (those with a good sense of humour and NOT humor.)
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Sunday, September 7, 2008
It would behoove some of the leaders in church to read The Death of the Grown-up. While some of the book becomes a little too nostalgic for specific generations and, oddly, jazz music, it nails it on the idea of how we segregate by age and, sadly, create a self-feeding monster that means teens look to each other for cues and kids look to each other for cues, and the adults "leading" them are pandering to them to get their attention. The end result? Idiocy. Never-growing up. Never asking for behavior beyond what we have let them tell us is normal for their age. They only learn to function in their age level and have no examples or incentive to reach beyond that and mature. We make no demands on their behavior, only bemoan its current state.
The church is especially notorious for doing this. We have kid's ministries and youth ministries and young adults and older adults -- all separated from each other because of age, thereby negating any positive and necessary influence the different ages might have on each other.
The children are removed from the boring main service for their benefit, and the parents get a break. The youth are in youth groups and, consequently, only learn to be youth and actually intensify the silliness of their age by reflecting off of each other. The adults trying to lead the youth fall for the idea that unless we have games and parties and other dumbed-down stuff, we can't keep their attention.
Why would we be able to keep their attention? We've let them take ours and tell us how to treat them. We've taught kids and youth to expect to be entertained and now we are in a vicious cycle on how to up the quotient and keep their attention. This is magnified and made even more ugly in a church setting when we try to find a way to insert the gospel into this machine of age segregation.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
This strategy has been a failure. Read the rest here, especially the portion at the end excerpted from Ron Paul's book.
Friday, September 5, 2008
6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling
August 15, 2008 | Issue 44•33
First-grader Connor Bolduc does not have the capacity to imagine the scope of the hell he is in for.
CARPENTERSVILLE, IL—Local first-grader Connor Bolduc, 6, experienced the first inkling of a coming lifetime of existential dread Monday upon recognizing his cruel destiny to participate in compulsory education for the better part of the next two decades, sources reported. More.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tonight we watched Sarah Palin's acceptance speech to the Republican Convention. We both stayed glued to the TV the whole time! We were most impressed with her speech, agreeing with most of what she said and impressed with her delivery as well. About 1/2 through this speech instead of turning it off I turned to mom and delcared "I wish Sarah Palin was running for President!"
So, at the moment, barring changes in what I know of the candidates, I'm leaning very heavily toward McCain and might vote for a Republican over the Libertarian for the first time since Ronald Regan.