Friday, April 30, 2010

The Small Catechism Online - cool, this is great since I don't have a copy any newer than the one I inherited from my dad, a 1946 edition with rather stilted language...

Luther's Small Catechism

The catechism is an essential part of any Christian’s library. Brief, clear summaries of God’s Word allow individuals and families alike to use the Small Catechism as a powerful tool and prayer book. Though the catechism was written by Martin Luther in 1529, its question and answer format provides Christians with a timeless guide book that is easy to use and applicable to all the various callings we have in life.

The Small Catechism explores the Six Chief Parts of Christian Doctrine: the Ten Commandments, the Apostles’ Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, Confession, and the Sacrament of the Altar. It also includes daily prayers, a table of duties for Christians, and a guide for Christians to use as they prepare to receive Holy Communion.

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National (Socialist) ID Card

While I'm sure this will not pass I will refuse to get one if it does. It that results in unemployment I'll spend my increased spare time making sure that the government goes away completely, whatever it takes at that point.

Dems spark alarm with call for national ID Card

By Alexander Bolton - 04/30/10 06:00 AM ET
A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday...The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties defender often aligned with the Democratic Party, wasted no time in blasting the plan.

“Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work. And all of this will come with a new federal bureaucracy — one that combines the worst elements of the DMV and the TSA,” said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU legislative counsel...But Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who has worked on the proposal and helped unveil it at a press conference Thursday, predicted the public has become more comfortable with the idea of a national identification card.

“The biometric identification card is a critical element here,” Durbin said. “For a long time it was resisted by many groups, but now we live in a world where we take off our shoes at the airport and pull out our identification.

“People understand that in this vulnerable world, we have to be able to present identification,” Durbin added. “We want it to be reliable, and I think that’s going to help us in this debate on immigration.” He then clicked his heels together sharply while shooting out his right arm above his head and shouting "Heil Obama!"

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Corporation

I watched about 2/3 of the movie "The Corporation" today.  I stopped because it was pretty repetitive in it's condemnation of capitalism and praising of "public" ownership and solutions, which is to say they were pretty much old fashioned socialists.  I happen to agree with them that corporations are vile and evil, but the movie only made occasional passing mention of the fact that virtually EVERYTHING corporations are able to do is due to the backing of the government (a corporate subsidiary these days).  Everything from the courts to the police to the legislature to the president of the USA are dedicated to the corporations, which means they are dedicated to the ultra-rich stockholders actually.  Which lets us know how this all came down.  Rich folk, tired of being held accountable for their actions bought laws allowing them to pretend that they are not responsible for their actions!  Of course, since every organ of the government is and always has been dedicated to serving those very ultra-rich folks, this was not only allowed but celebrated and protected with all of the power at the government's disposal.  It's not capitalism that is the problem, that's just free people making free decisions to trade.  No, the problem is government and it's control of the markets through violence, imposing monopolies, "regulating" trade to keep competition from entering markets and so on, that is the problem.  There is no governmental solution to corporate greed because government is the very foundation of the corporation.  Naturally I advocate disbanding, peacefully, all governments :-)   I do agree with the film makers that Corporations are not people and should not be treated as such, but I think the chance of changing that and still retaining the violent government we have is effectively ZERO.  Every government official, elected or appointed or hired is a CORPORATE WHORE, they will never give up the easy money and easy power they get by whoring for the corporations and their ultra-rich owners. 

What should we do then?  We should ignore government whenever possible, obey them only when their enforcers are watching, sabotage everything they do and withhold all support financially and morally, de-legitimize all government as much as you can, mock them and point out their evil nature, from cable monopolies to government indoctrination camps posing as "schools" to bombing civilians for the profit of oil companies, point it all out over and over again, that is all we can do if we are unwilling to resort to violent revolt, and I am unwilling to revolt because really, it's never worked in the past anyway and it's not likely to work now either, maybe education will work.  NOT government controlled education of course but education by free people speaking the truth.

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Arizona Boycotted by Soviet Fricsco!

How silly can the communist overlords of Frisco get? Pretty darned silly! :-D



Now the Frisco Soviet is demanding that Major League Baseball pull the All Star Game out of Phoenix!

Don't they realize that by Frisco boycotting anything they strengthen it? Frisco is so hated by so much of Flyoverland (the area between New York and the West Coast) that the simple fact that Frisco says "don't go there" will inspire tens of thousands of people to decide they should check out Arizona who otherwise would not have even considered going there.

And yes, I'm deliberately using "FRISCO" only because it annoys those who live in that city.

Boycott Frisco! I am going to, I am going to avoid spending any money inside the city limits, I'll make sure to pack my lunch every day and I won't even buy coffee there any more. I can't avoid going there because it's where I work, but I can make sure they don't get a nickle of sales tax money from me! Sorry to all the local restaurants I used to frequent, you better let your Soviet Rulers know you don't like what they are doing if you want my $7.95 a day lunch money back! Heh, I'll have about the same effect on Frisco as Frisco will have on Arizona I'll bet :-P

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Lala will be discontinued as of May 31, 2010

Go to HELL Steve Jobs!

I had intended for my next computer to be an Apple, I really did! But with the backstabbing ways that corporation has been displaying recently, dissing Flash over old grudges, then as I found out in this morning's email: buying and then destroying competition with a BETTER PRODUCT, like lala (see below) I would not willingly give Apple a dime! Of course now I'm going to be forced, against my will, to buy songs from iTunes just to get my money back. But once I've done that, no way they are getting more money from me. (Yes, I am really pissed off and feel ripped off, which is normal when dealing with amoral psychopathic corporations.)

This REALLY SUCKS!

I HATE CORPORATE AMERICA!

Lala

This is an automated message. Please do not reply.

Dear Larry D.,

The Lala service will be shut down on May 31st.

In appreciation of your support over the last five years, you will receive a credit in the amount of your Lala web song purchases for use on Apple's iTunes Store. If you purchased and downloaded mp3 songs from Lala, those songs will continue to play as part of your local music library.

Remaining wallet balances and unredeemed gift cards will be converted to iTunes Store credit (or can be refunded upon request). Gift cards can be redeemed on Lala until May 31st.

Click here or visit Lala.com/support for more information, or to view Lala's Terms of Service.

Thank you.

Lala

©2005-2010 la la media, inc. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Louisiana Gun?

OK Mr. Manning, tell us what you really think of Obama :-D

http://la-gun.com/manning/

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Creepy Giant Robotic Baby?

This is from "The Big Picture" layout on the Shanghai Worlds Fair, the Spanish Pavilion has a huge animated baby mannequin displayed, the question is, "Why?"

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wow...

From Cyberbrethern:

Eyjafjallajokull Eruption: Amazing Photos

My first thought when I saw these photos was, “Wow, it is Mordor!” Tolkien fans will know what I mean, non-Tolkien fans? Never mind. The photo was taken by Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/www.arctic-images.com in Iceland.

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Natural Food to be Illegal Soon

GOOD NEWS!

Under the American Soviet Regime of our Beloved Great Leader Barak Obama only safe, factory produced food will be legal.  No more of that nasty organic stuff produced by small local farmers!  You must know that only properly supervised government approved giant corporations can safely feed you, and now that will be the law... REJOICE!

Organic, small farmers fret over FDA regulation

Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Craig Lee / The Chronicle

(04-27) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Small farmers in California who have led a national movement away from industrial agriculture face a looming crackdown on food safety that they say is geared to big corporate farms and will make it harder for them to survive.

The small growers, many of whom grow dozens of different kinds of vegetables and fruits, say the inherent benefits of their size, and their sensitivity to extra costs, are being ignored.

They are fighting to carve out a sanctuary in legislation that would bring farmers under the strict purview of the Food and Drug Administration, an agency more familiar with pharmaceuticals than food and local farms.

A bill before the Senate is riding a bipartisan groundswell created by recent outbreaks of E. coli, salmonella and other contamination in everything from fresh spinach to cookie dough.

And the small farmers face opponents in consumer groups, victims of food contamination, large growers and the Obama administration, who say no farm and no food should get a pass on safety.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/27/MNKM1D3C5H.DTL&tsp=1#ixzz0mJkOICu9

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A bigger and better version!

Woo, in this one it all becomes clear to me...

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We Have Met the Enemy and He Is PowerPoint

From the NY Times, this is truly amazing stuff, nothing like having a clearly defined set of goals and a straightforward strategy to reach them :-)

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Monday, April 26, 2010

I lied...

...about waiting for the Lutheran Study Bible for my Blackberry Kindle Reader... I downloaded the sample section and checked it out and loved it so much that I went ahead and ordered and instantly downloaded it.  Nice :-)

If you have a Blackberry or iPhone you should get the Kindle Reader, especially if you are like me and don't want to lug around extra devices like a dedicated e-reader or computer and you want to read huge books like the Book of Concord on the train but don't want to use a dolly   to carry them around :-)

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"Kindle"

I now have yet another e-book reader installed on my Blackberry!  Kindle from Amazon has now put out a version for Blackberry so no books will ever escape me again!  So far I've only got two books on it but they are doozies, I've got Concordia, The Lutheran Confessions and Treasury of Daily Prayer on there.  Now I can have the TDP and the Book of Concord with me all of the time, without risking a hernia!  Woo Hoo!  :-)  There is one more I want but I'm waiting till next month so as to spread around the costs and that is The Lutheran Study Bible.

Yes, I have all three of these books in paper form but they are not exactly what you would call portable, so this makes me very happy ;-)

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Street Art

Lame gang tags vs. real street art...  I do like street art, it makes a city more interesting.  Stupid gang tags I can do without though...

Street Artist Banksy Marks the Mission

by Garrett McAuliffe

A new quasi-verified mural attributed to the notoriously anonymous Banksy materialized above Amnesia Bar on Valencia Street some time Wednesday, according to art snoopers, enthusiasts and nearby shop owners.


-- Larry Devich http://larry-devich.blogspot.com/ It is more blessed to ask forgiveness than permission

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

icevolcano_fulle.jpg (JPEG Image, 900x600 pixels)

In case you missed this awesome shot of the Icelandic Volcano last week.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More on Unschooling

The same family who were on GMA were also on The Joy Behar Show on CNN, she was much more reasonable, IMO :-)

Check it out:

http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/04/21/behar.unschooling.cnn

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kids Learn Math Easily When They Control Their Own Learning

Peter Gray has a well timed (see the GMA stories) and fascinating article about unschoolers and math. I have noticed that Serenity and other unschoolers she plays with are quite good at math, even though no one has taught it to them. I'm constantly amazed at the fact that she understands multiplication, division and fractions, without calling them that of course, but she uses them and talks about them and is totally relaxed about it too. Very cool. Maybe one day I'll stop being amazed, but I doubt it. :-D

Published on Psychology Today (http://www.psychologytoday.com)

By Peter Gray
Created Apr 15 2010 - 6:06am

We fear it and loathe it; we admire but are also suspicious of those who are good at it; we place it in such high esteem that we make children study (or pretend to study) it almost every day of every year that they are in school; and we use it as a major criterion for college entry. We put math on a pedestal and then we avert our eyes, or else we spit at it--as happens with most things that we put on pedestals.

Math is that school subject that we can't BS our way through. That's one thing that makes it so scary to so many. There are right and wrong answers to every question, no partial credit. It also seems to many people that math performance reflects basic intelligence. To do badly is to come across as logically inept, so fear of failure is even greater in math than in other school subjects, and fear of failure always inhibits learning. I suppose the reason math counts so much on the SAT and ACT college admissions tests is that people think it is an index of general reasoning ability. But they are wrong.

The first step in coming to grips with math is to knock it off its pedestal. The real-life problems that are important to us are problems like these: Whom should I marry? Should I marry? Should gays be allowed to marry? What career should I go into and how should I prepare for it? If I invent gizmo X, will people buy it? Should corporations have the same constitutional rights as individuals? What's the best way to unplug the toilet? Math plays little if any role in solving such problems, nor do such problems have clear-cut right or wrong answers, demonstrable by some formula. Human intelligence and reasoning reside in wisdom, not math. Wisdom is the ability to bring one's values, likes and dislikes, knowledge about other people and their likes and dislikes, and general knowledge of the world together in a manner that leads to workable solutions to the problems that confront us--solutions that promote our own and others' happiness and decrease our own and others' miseries. Math has its purposes, indeed it has some valuable purposes in our modern world, but it is far from the core of intelligence. Humans were intelligent long before math was invented. Some of the smartest people I know--even some of the best scientists I know--are not particularly good at math.

The second step in coming to grips with math is to realize that math is not particularly difficult. There is nothing magical about it. You do not need some natural gift beyond that of a normal human brain to do it. Nor does it require the thousands of hours of study that we try to force upon school children. In fact, those thousands of hours of forced work at math, done for a grade and not for fun or for any practical use, are what make math seem so difficult and intimidating.

Read the full article, with many anecdotal examples of math success, here.

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Miserere (Allegri)

Just sat here listening to this on my work computer, it is a version of Psalm 51, my favorite Psalm, chanted in Latin.  Sends chills up my spine... enjoy:

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GMA and Unschooling

Good Morning America did a rather pathetic hit piece on unschooling yesterday that drew huge amounts of comment on their website. 

To their credit they had the family back on today to defend themselves and they were much more evenhanded this time around.

The best response I've seen so far though is on Jeff Sabo's blog Just a Bald Man.

Here is a teaser here from Jeff's longer post:

Let me start by saying that I am not the parent who essentially turns my children over to local and state-run school programs for ten hours a day while I go to work to earn more money so I can buy more consumer goods that give me pleasure. I am not the parent who doesn't participate in my child's learning. I am not the parent who places blind faith in an education system that all Americans know is broken and has lead us to lose pace with the remainder of the world. And I am not the parent who sits back idly and recognizes that it is broken but uses it anyway.

No, I am the parent who cares enough about my children to learn about how children learn and adjust my own paradigms accordingly...


... They believe that these indulgences are short-sighted; that we are choosing the easy path of least resistance by being overly permissive now, but setting our children up for long-term difficulties as they try to adapt to the "real world." I understand that.

But I think it's bullshit.

I think that when you truly adopt unschooling, you're taking a long-term view of your child's life and setting them up for success beyond your wildest dreams. How? By setting up an environment in which we model the pursuit of our own passions without expectations or conditions; by allowing and encouraging our children's passions and exploration without judgment; by trusting that our children will do what's right for them even if it's not what we would choose for them or for ourselves.

Yeah, it's like that. :-)

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tree Lobsters!: #145 Incriminating Tastes

"Crabby" old pope. :-)

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April 15

What does April 15 mean to most people? It means paying taxes to the government for most I would imagine. Once upon a time that is what it meant to me as well. But these days it is a reminder of who I am in Christ, a baptized child of God. I remember that especially on this day because April 15 is the date in 1956 that I was baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For a long time I was unaware of this fact but a few years ago, as I was coming back into the church I made an effort to get a record of my baptism and found out the date. It is nice to have an easy to remember date and nice that I can celebrate on this day instead of just complaining about the government. Thanks be to God!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menu

Check out the menu, I want to try the Ravioli and the Meat(less)loaf too. I think we'll take an excursion next week to check them out. :-)

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San Francisco Stairways sorted by Location, Size and Rating

There are 300 stairways in San Francisco where the hills are too steep for roads. I've been up a few of them but I had no idea there were so many. I think I'll schedule a few trips to the city with Serenity to climb some of the more interesting ones. Good exercise and fun to boot.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Buy It!

No need to bother with facts, just buy it!

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Life

I saw a version of this tagged to the end of an email today:

The purpose of life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body... but rather to slide in broadside, thoroughly used up... totally worn out... and loudly proclaiming. .. WOW... WHAT A RIDE!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!

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Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA

Obviously this is only possible to homeschoolers. Enough said. (Story is behind the "via pressdemocrat.com" link beneath the photo.)

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Week at Messiah

Here is the schedule of services for Holy Week at Messiah Lutheran Church, I plan on going to all of them:

Thu, April 1st, 7:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday Have Mercy Upon Us

Friday, April 2nd,
12-3:00 p.m. Good Friday - Tre Ore Liturgy
7:30 p.m. Good Friday Vespers, Who Bore Our Shame

Saturday, April 3rd, 7:30 p.m. Easter Vigil
- Baptism of Isla Philpott

Sunday, April 4th, Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ
8:30 a.m. Easter Breakfast
10:00 a.m. Easter Divine Worship

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Scientists discover gene and part of brain that make people gullible | Not Exactly Rocket Science | Discover Magazine

Supra_credulusScientists have discovered the part of the brain that makes people gullible, it was claimed today. The findings could have massive implications for treating the growing number of people who fall wide-eyed for sensationalist media reports.

Professor Cristoph Morris, who led the research, said that a part of the brain called the inferior supra-credulus was unsually active in people with a tendency to believe horoscopes and papers invoking fancy brain scans. “This correlation is so strong that we can speculate about a causal link with a high degree of certainty,” he concluded.

Morris made his discovery using a brain-scanning technique called fluorescence magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which can read people’s thoughts with an incredible degree of accuracy, just slightly better than chance. His results are published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychoimagery.

When Morris studied individual neurons within the supra-credulus, he found that gullibility was associated with the activity of a single gene called WTF1. The less active it was, the more feckless people were. This fits with existing evidence, for faulty versions of WTF1 have already been linked to a higher risk of being Rickrolled and buying the Daily Mail. “You could say that gullibility is in your genes,” said Morris. “You’d be shatteringly wrong, but that wouldn’t matter to gullible people.”

The researchers described their discovery as “the holy grail of behavioural neurogenetics”. Morris explains, “It’s a real breakthrough. It means that we can fire a magic bullet right into the heart of sensationalist media stories. We can develop vaccines that stop people from buying things on the grounds that the packaging has a smiling farmer on it or that they’re endorsed by the cretin who may or may not have lost Big Brother.”

Morris has been collaborating with nutritionist Patricia Marber to develop just such as vaccine. Together, the duo found that they could completely stop the activity of neurons in the supra-credulus by smashing them with a giant hammer.

“We think that the iron in the hammers is somehow suppressing WTF1 in a way that stops nerve signalling in the supra-credulus,” explains Marber. “We might need some clinical trials to check that the hammers are effective and to work out any side effects, but you go right ahead and write your headline.  Say something about Thor. Everyone likes Thor.”

“It’s not like the people who need the treatment will question it,” she added.

The fMRI scans also revealed that the supra-credulus was more active in the brains of women than in men.  Evolutionary psychologist Stephan Koogin, who also worked on the study, thinks he knows why.

“Picture, if you will, a group of Pleistocene-Americans. The men are out hunting for mammoths and bears, and they can’t afford to be fooled by fake tracks. The women stayed at home picking berries or something, and they needed to tell each other far-fetched stories to keep each other entertained, because berries are really boring. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? Assuming all of this is true, and who’s to say it isn’t, I’m right.”
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April 1st, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , ,
by Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Satire | 17 comments | RSS feed | Trackback >

Happy April Fools Day!

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