Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VFP Action Alert - VFP is Appalled at the Recent Actions of the FBI

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Dear Phillip,


Click "Take Action" to send an email to the Department of Justice!  Let them know as military veterans, we will continue to struggle to protect democracy.

Like other peace advocates, Veterans For Peace is appalled by the heavy-handed actions of the FBI in raiding the homes of anti-war activists.  We would also be astonished by those actions were it not for the FBI's long history of harassing peaceful dissent.  From the disgraced leadership of J. Edgar Hoover down to these 2010 raids in Minneapolis and Chicago, the Bureau has allowed itself to become the dark agent of stifling democratic opposition to America's embarrassing military adventures abroad and its resistance to equality at home.

The idea that the victims of these home invasions are providing "material support of terrorism" by opposing brutal U.S. foreign occupations is ludicrous.  It strikes at the very heart of the freedoms that VFP members thought they were donning the uniform to defend.  For those of us who sought to protect democracy from alien f orces it is particularly disheartening to watch that democracy now being eroded from within by our own government.  Are we truly to believe that the FBI is all that stands between us and the terrorism of the Quakers, the Catholic Worker, Greenpeace, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?

It is further more than a little ironic that these raids of harassment should occur only a week after the Justice Department Inspector General himself concluded that the FBI does indeed have a long sorry history of baseless intimidation of dissenters to American policy.  Veterans For Peace members themselves were victims of these actions surrounding the infamous police violation of dissenter rights at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Republican Convention in 2008.

As veterans and as seekers of peace we stand in solidarity with our comrades in sister organizations who are victims of this sinister FBI action.  Who knows who its next targets will be?  Pressing our government to withdraw from aggressive and mindless wars should be viewed as heroic activity, not a hostile act subject to persecution.

  Organized locally.
Recognized nationally.
Exposing the true costs of war.


Veterans For Peace, 216 S. Meramec, St. Louis, MO 63105, 314-725-6005

Veterans For Peace appreciates your generous donations.

We also encourage you to join our ranks. 

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Republic

A friend, who I usually disagree with politically, sent this link to me. It's a video called "The American Form of Government" and is well worth the ten minutes to watch.


Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Friday, September 24, 2010

How can you tell a politician is lying? If his lips are moving, it's a lie.

U.S. troops fight on despite "end to combat" in Iraq

Reuters – A U.S. soldier performs a radio check during a patrol in Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad September …

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, U.S. troops have waged a gun battle with a suicide squad in Baghdad, dropped bombs on armed militants in Baquba and assisted Iraqi soldiers in a raid in Falluja.

Obama's announcement on August 31 has not meant the end of fighting for some of the 50,000 U.S. military personnel remaining in Iraq 7-1/2 years after the invasion that removed Saddam Hussein.

"Our rules of engagement have not changed. Iraq does remain from time to time a dangerous place, so when our soldiers are attacked they will return fire," said Brigadier General Jeffrey Buchanan, a U.S. military spokesman.

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Lutheranism 101

Here is a nice site where those who are "evangelical" or "pentecostal" or "Roman Catholic" or nothing at all, can go to find out what Lutherans are all about, it's easy for me to say "We are BOTH Catholic and Evangelical" but this site helps to explain just how that is possible :-)

Lutheranism 101

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So, I printed this out and tacked it to my wall where I can see it.

  Before you speak:


     Is it True?

     Is it Hurtful?

Does it Improve on the silence?

     Is it Necessary?

     Is it Kind?

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ren Faire

On Saturday we went to the Ren Faire at Casa De Fruita... it was a blast!

Attending were Lora, Larry, Serenity, Mike, Maryann, Sophia, Topanga, friends Tom and Lucy and friend Nicky with her two kids Kaylee and Ryan.

Posted via email from Our Family Blog

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)

Don't know if I've linked to this before but I want to do it again if I didn't.  Serenity and Isabel walked to a park about 8/10ths of a mile from home by themselves yesterday. They then spent a couple of hours playing, then on the way home they stopped off at McDonald's, by themselves as well.  They survived both experiences :-)  Kids still do this sort of thing all the time, but sadly in today's culture of ultra-safety and of "what is the worst that could happen? Lets plan for that!" it is becoming more and more rare. 

So, here are two great links to resources that explain why we need to allow our kids take some risks in life:

Fifty Dangerous Things (you should let your children do)  Here are links to Gever Tulley's blogs, books, and photos, fun stuff!

Free Range Kids is a daily blog of stories of Free Range Kids, and of the insane (literally) efforts of our society to eliminate all risk from life (that's impossible in case you don't already realize that)

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Parallels Between a Free-Range Farmer’s Book & Free-Range Kids, by Linda Wightman

A great analysis of where we seem to be these days,

From Free Range Kids:

As I was reading Joel Salatin’s book, Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front, I was repeatedly struck by the similarities between his struggles on a “family owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, beyond organic, local-market farm” and many of the stories I’ve read here at Free-Range Kids.

You have to wonder why our society is so opposed to such an elegant, inexpensive, healthy and environmentally responsible food source — an old-fashioned one — just as you have to wonder why we have become afraid to allow children to ride their bikes around the block without adult supervision, an old-fashioned childhood. The logic is startlingly similar behind a system that deems a steak wholesome if it’s sold at the supermarket, but far too dangerous to eat if you buy it from your neighbor, and a system that tells parents their children are safer inside watching TV all day than playing in their own backyards.

At root, I believe the problems are these:

*The tendency to value safety above all other considerations

*An inability or unwillingness to make cost/benefit calculations

*The sincere, but mistaken, desire to replace individual, family, and community responsibility with regulations and legal requirements

*An irrational belief in the achievability of 100% safety if only we follow a certain set of rules

*Acting as if worst-case scenarios were commonplace

*And all of the above leading to a situation in which we, our families, and our nation are actually in more danger, not less.

As Salatin himself put it, “On every side, our paternalistic culture is tightening the noose…. When faith in our freedom gives way to fear of our freedom, silencing the minority view becomes the operative protocol.”

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Monday, September 13, 2010


As everyone who knows me is well aware, I tend to blurt out whatever comes to mind with very little in the way of filtering. This can be embarrassing and hurtful and is pretty lame in general. Granted, I can be pretty entertaining as well, often I keep people laughing and nodding at my wit and wisdom. OK, actually it's my biting sarcasm and flaming insults and deep cynicism and skepticism of, pretty much everything.

So I'm trying, again, to improve on this speech thing. There is a quote I've heard by Sri Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian guru type, “Before you speak, think -Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?” I was playing around with this trying to make it stick in my head and I decided to change the order because I didn't think he had things prioritized correctly for me.

Before you speak, Think:
1. Is it True?
2. Is it Kind?
3. Will it hurt anyone?
4. Is it necessary?
5. Will it improve on the silence?

Then I thought, maybe assign one letter to each of the five items...

T(rue) K(ind) H(urt) N(ecessary) I(mprove) wait a minute, those are the five letters in the word THINK!


Hey, an Acronym… T H I N K ! Hah hah! OK, I made it easy to remember, now all I need to do is make it a habit. Lord help me.

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Little Boxes Made of Ticky Takcy

I remember this song being about ticky tacky identical subdivisions but never noticed that the verses about school putting us into "little boxes just the same" was in there too, enjoy this little "unschooling anthem" 8-)

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to Unschooled

Sam is someone we've seen at many SFBUN activities, here is nice short bit he had on KQED, our local PBS station:

Thu, Sep 9, 2010 -- 7:35 AM

Back to Unschooled
Youth Radio's Sam Fuller isn't in school or home schooled. He's unschooled -- and he likes it.

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

I know some people who would buy this...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

News Alert: Court Sides With C.I.A. on Seizure of Terror Suspects

Ah, living in a totalitarian and Orwellian Police State just gives me such a nice warm fuzzy feeling:

Breaking News Alert

The New York Times
Wed, September 08, 2010 -- 5:51 PM ET

Court Sides With C.I.A. on Seizure of Terror Suspects

A sharply divided federal appeals court on Wednesday
dismissed a lawsuit involving the Central Intelligence
Agency's practice of seizing terrorism suspects and
transferring them to other countries for imprisonment and
interrogation. The ruling handed a major victory to the Obama
administration in its effort to advance a sweeping view of
executive secrecy power.

By a six-to-five vote, the United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit, reversing an earlier decision, dismissed a
lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary
accused of arranging flights for the C.I.A.'s "extraordinary
rendition" program, as it is known. The American Civil
Liberties Union filed the case on behalf of five former
prisoners who say they were tortured because of the program -
and that Jeppesen was complicit in their treatment.

Read More:

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Sign up by texting NEWSALERTS to 698698 (NYTNYT).

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Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Child Driven Education

Here is a Ted Talk with Sugata Mitra on Child Driven Education... very unschooling-like I think.  :-)  I've seen videos of him before, this is an update on his research on letting groups of kids learn on the internet, mostly without any supervision at all. 

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Missed one... :-)

Livermore Valley 29th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration

Today, after church, Mike, Lora and I took Pastor Ledic with us as we toured several wineries in the Livermore Valley for the 29th Annual Harvest Wine Celebration. We had a blast :-) We took a shuttle bus to a couple of wineries and then used a horse drawn wagon to get between a couple of others, Bent Creek transported us on a golf cart. :-)

Posted via email from Our Family Blog

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Two more takes on Glenn Beck's Mormon Revival Meeting in Washington DC

First, a clear and concise explanation of why Mormonism is anti-christian, and Glenn Beck is an anti-christ.

Then from Issues Etc. an interview on the subject with Dr. Russell Moore of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:

Posted via email from The Angry Gnome