"Give me liberty or give me death" Patrick Henry
"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." George Washington
"...he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, & murdering the people upon whom he also obtruded them." Thomas Jefferson
"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Nathan Hale
"Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would." John Adams
"Little strokes fell great oaks." Benjamin Franklin
"Americans have the right and advantage of being armed - unlike the citizens of other countries whose governments are afraid to trust the people with arms." James MadisonShareThis
What follows came in my e-mail this morning. While I'm not in the habit of copying entire articles, this one needs as much circulation as possible.
If Thomas Jefferson could somehow return today, what would he think of the country we have made? Given the quotes below, it seems likely he wouldn't even recognize it as his United States. Jefferson's idea of government was that it should be a small as possible. I doubt it ever occurred to him that we would reach a point where public sector employment approached fifty percent of the population.
The wisdom of Thomas Jefferson:ShareThis
In posts to blogs and comment boards I have taken pains in the past to refrain from using disrespectful terms to refer to Barack Obama. Respect for the office, if not the man, demanded that.
This is public notice that I will no longer exercise that restraint. After yesterday's disgusting display of contempt toward the elected representatives with whom he was meeting, slumping head in hand and calling them by their first names while they addressed him as "Mr. President", neither he nor his office is worthy of any level of respect.
Henceforth I shall exhibit the same deference toward him as he did toward John McCain, a man whose years of service to our country far exceed anything Barack Obama could ever hope to aspire to. From now on, in my posts, he will be "Barry". That's the level of respect he has earned and that's what he will get from me.ShareThis
I figured it was time for an open thread. Since I have evidently totally lost it, we'll start Friday early.
Went out a few moments ago to shovel snow (for the fourth time today), stopping by the butcher block in the middle of the kitchen to pick up my gloves and donning them as I went out the door.
It wasn't until I reached for the snow shovel that I realized I was wearing oven mitts.
Welcome to Friday.
Hamp, how are you doing down there?ShareThis
There's only one thing on my mind this morning...Jaycee Lee Dugard.
How could THIS
have happened? HOW????
What's going on in your world? Here's what's on my mind today.
I told you yesterday it was cool here. For an idea of just how cool, look at these predicted highs in our corner of the Midwest for the last week in August:
Friday - 71
Saturday - 66
Sunday - 65
Monday - 69
Tuesday - 73 Heat wave!!!
This is a horrible thing for the corn crop. Corn needs two things to grow well...lots of water and lots of heat. We've had the water in spades but the heat just isn't there. Without it, the plant goes almost dormant and the ears will not fill out. You don't think of "cool" as a weather disaster but in this case it is. Our fields look like this but the ears just aren't there.
In the "dog days of summer" we're sleeping under a down quilt and setting record low temps. I hope your weather is better.
Oh, boy. I just opened the Fox News page to see pictures of wildfires around Los Angeles. Evidently they have all our heat. Temps there have hit 99° before noon for the last three days and humidity has plunged. That's a recipe for an inferno in the chapparal.ShareThis
We're under a flash flood warning. It's been raining since Tuesday night. The small river south of us has gone up almost four feet in one day. And there's more on the way today and tomorrow.
Worse, the temp hasn't climbed out of the seventies in days. Not that I mind the coolth all that much but it's August, for crying out loud. It's SUPPOSED to be hot.ShareThis
If you haven't seen Kim's question in her front-page post "About Last Year...", you'll want to check it out. Kim asks the best questions.
The Taliban made good on its pre-election threats. They cut off the ink-stained fingers of two voters. Are we still at war in Afghanistan? The prez has been pretty silent about that lately.
Runaway Rifqa Bary, a 17-year-old convert from Islam to Christianity, will remain in a Florida foster home, at least until September 3. Maybe she can stall a forced return to her parents long enough for her to turn eighteen.
Hugely wonderful news: Lutherans will allow gays into the clergy.
The Obamas are headed for Martha's Vineyard, summer home of the super rich and famous. The digs they're renting will set someone back $25,000. I wonder who.
Hurricane Bill is also headed for the Vineyard. Somehow, I find that singularly appropriate...both the track and the name.
The Dow was up 155 yesterday. Ben Bernanke immediately cited that as proof the recession is over. There's an appropriate comment here but I can't recall exactly what it is. Something about swallows and summer.ShareThis
Rules for credit card companies are "tightening" (if you want to stretch the definition a little) today. Instead of fifteen days notice of a fee increase, they must give us forty-five. Of course, they're raising the rates like skyrockets in advance of this. Can you imagine what a horrible blow this must be to the bankers? "Forty-five days' notice!?! That's outrageous!" banker Shylock Morgenthau said yesterday.
Families of the Pan Am 103 victims are unhappy with Obama's "soft" stance on release of Libyan Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from prison in Scotland. They claim it has less to do with compassion than it does with appeasing Ghadafi so he'll fill our tankers with oil.
Mexico decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana....AND cocaine...AND heroin. I'd say they got carried away. You can't OD on pot but cocaine and heroin have killed thousands.
Cicero, Illinois, former home of that cutup Al Capone, is determined to keep weapons under control. To that end they've passed an ordinance which makes it illegal to possess a slingshot(sorry, kids) or laser sighting device (scratch target shooting). Sales of Bowie knives must be licensed and it's illegal to carry a concealed knife.ShareThis
Need coffee. Lots of coffee.
So the British will release Lockerbie bomber
meter sprint at the track and field World Championships in Berlin, will be tested to see if she is really a he. Evidently (s)he posted some times that didn't seem feminine enough.
The WaPo says we're outsourcing the hunt for al Qaeda to Blackwater. Can you say "contract killers"? I knew you could.
Teddy is asking the Mass legislature to change the law to allow for his replacement to be appointed without waiting the required 145 days. Maybe he figures sympathy for Kennedys will be so high at his death that the one they appoint to replace him will sail through if it's voted on immediately.
There was a tornado yesterday in Minneapolis. That's the second in that area in less than two weeks...almost unheard-of for them.
Now where's that coffee? And what's your morning beverage?ShareThis
Another one bites the dust. This plant is about twenty miles from here.
At one time it employed 2,500 workers. Most of those jobs were shipped to Mexico and Malaysia years ago.
Several of our local plants are hanging on by a thread, including our largest customer. There don't seem to be any solid indicators that the worst is over yet, despite all the assurances coming out of Washington.
I wonder what will be left when...and if...we finally do turn the corner. How is manufacturing doing in your neck of the woods?ShareThis
Slow news day. Saturdays usually are.
Our small town, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to cut down three ancient cottonwood trees that stand in front of my sister's house...the one Dad built when I was a baby. These are old trees...probably close to two hundred years. They stand side-by-side in the strip of land between her sidewalk and the street. That strip of land is actually city property, streets here having been platted at a hundred feet wide. So it's the city's call on the trees. Sis has no legal recourse.ShareThis
What are your plans for the weekend? Sasha wants to go fishing again.
Cheney says he's going to write a memoir that will contain a frank look at Bush. He says Bush "went soft" on him. By Cheney's standards, concrete is soft.
And now the link:ShareThis
Musings, funnies, profound revelations, off-the-wall thoughts, personal triumphs (or failures)...whatever doesn't fit anywhere else goes here.
Yesterday I heard a story on NPR about a proposed law in Seattle to add a 20-cent surcharge for every plastic bag a customer's purchases require. Interestingly, though Washingtonians are known for their environmental sensitivities, polls show a majority are opposed to the bill. What about you? If your state wanted to do this, would you support it?
I'm off to take my son to catch a flight for a job interview. Barge lines are still hiring!ShareThis
Well, it finally happened. I've been banned from a blog. That it comes now, at a point when I'm much less vocal than last year, is a bit of a surprise. That it happened on a blog to which I've contributed financially is even more baffling. What leaves me scratching my head, though, is that I seem to have been banned for objecting to a commenter who had trashed what I thought was a perfectly civil post. My post did include a few nasty words. They were direct quotes from the comment I was objecting to and yet I am the one who was banned.
I have to admit, this hurts. Being told your opinions not only don't matter but are unwelcome is painful. It would probably be less hurtful if the banning had come at any of a dozen turns when I wrote something that WAS outrageous and deserved action. It would be even less painful if, as I suspect, the blog owner is unaware of something her admins are doing. It wouldn't be the first time that had happened. But that remains to be seen.
So I have a question. It's a two-parter.
1. Have you ever been banned from a blog?
2. How did you feel and/or what did you do when it happened?
(This started out as a reply to BJ and twandx, on the "They don't fool around in Iowa" blog entry. It got so big I figured it would be better to make a diary out of it.)
BJ and twandx, You Nailed It.
We don't have a presidential primary in Iowa. We have caucuses. In order to cast a vote in the presidential primary you must present your body at the caucus. No exceptions.
If you're working, can't get a sitter or are physically unable to leave the house, that's too bad. Your vote won't be counted. No excuses.
If you don't have transportation we're sorry. Most busses don't run at night in Iowa and there are none at all in this little town, nor do we have taxis. Find someone you can ride with or hoof it. If you're not there, you don't count.
Scheduled a non-refundable vacation trip without checking to see when the caucuses were? Too bad. Choose between the beach in January or driving to the caucus in a blizzard.
Your daughter selected January 5 to get married in Phoenix? Sorry. The wedding or the caucus. Take your pick.
You must be there in the flesh, standing on the side of the room designated as your candidate's. If you're not, your voice will not be heard.ShareThis
For the fourth straight day I am staring at non-stop front-page coverage of Michael Jackson's death. The reaction to Jackson's death is on a par with that when JFK was assassinated and even greater than that when Bobby was killed. This is ludicrous! I'm desperate for news from Iran and it's buried under a mountain of stories about Jackson. This morning's CBS mainpage lists eleven stories at the top. Six of them are on Michael Jackson.ShareThis
The adventure is over. I hauled the boat two hundred miles to the lake and back. Got it home safely, which may be the only good thing I can say about the trip.
Learning a new skill at the age of sixty-three seems to be fraught with hazards that don't exist when you're twelve. Most of those hazards come in the form of knowledge previously gained that you're trying to apply to the new lesson. Sometimes it's better to start blank. Here's what happens when you don't:
The trip to the lake was uneventful. Hubby had tied the boat down securely and bolted it to the trailer hitch. It would've been hard to get into trouble the way he had it rigged. Arriving at the lake I bypassed the launching ramp in favor of stopping at the cabin to off-load the wood I'd brought. This endeavor was also uneventful, even including the back-up which can be tricky with a trailer. We unloaded everything and then headed for the ramp to launch the boat.
Flush with success from backing the trailer and boat into the yard, I repeated the performance at the ramp. Slid 'er right down the ramp and into the water perfectly, ignoring the red flags and sirens in my brain that were warning me I was forgetting stuff...important stuff.ShareThis
Having little appetite lately for posting political diaries, it occured to me that a food diary might be acceptable in celebration of Earth Month. Much is made of living green but I think we're missing a lot when it comes to food. Eating organic food is good for the earth though it's really only the beginning of "green eating". What you do with your organic food after you buy it is as important as what the grower did to produce it. Don't waste it!
Now, back to that bird in the title above. A good market chicken weighs somewhere around five pounds. For two people you can get at least three meals for a family of two out of that chicken without much effort at all, with a little extra left over. Here's how:ShareThis
Citizens Against Government Waste has released its annual "pig report", detailing earmarks which they characterize as "pork barrel projects." That report, as well as previous editions, is avaliable online here:
One of the scandalous earmarks cited in that report, according to Fox News, is $1.8 million "for swine odor and manure management in Ames, Iowa." I won't bother to point out Fox's error failing to note that these funds are for research that will benefit the whole country, not just Ames, Iowa. Their bent toward tabloid journalism sometimes produces shaky coverage like this. But neither Fox nor CAGW has even the faintest clue what they're talking about.
Suddenly we come face-to-face with the fact that one man's "pork" is another man's bread. Let me explain:ShareThis
Tonight's news carries word that the flood crest prediction for the Red River of the North at Fargo, ND has been raised another two feet to forty-three...more than twenty feet over flood stage. The river now threatens Moorehead, MN, on the other side. Portions of Moorehead's dike cannot easily be raised and it looks like they'll lose a part of the town for sure. Fargo can raise its dike but they've never faced water levels like this.
Grand Forks is no better off. They're already eighteen feet over flood stage and the river won't crest there until Tuesday.
On the Missouri River, the news isn't much better. The city of Bismarck, North Dakota flew a demolition team in to blow up an ice jam south of the city. Water there is slowly falling but ice continues to enter the Missouri from the Heart River and the possibility of further jams remains.
Worst of all is the National Weather Service forecast for the area...one to two inches of rain on Sunday.ShareThis
In a word...beautiful.
I used to think the river in spring, before the trees leafed out, was boring. It's not. It's just different from what we see all summer.
Just upstream from here is the largest island in the Mississippi River. It's so big there are lakes within it with delightful names like Grassy, Buffalo Hall, Pond Lily and Wadleigh. It's called Beaver Island and for good reason. Beavers have shaped it, damming its sloughs and cutting channels for their travels. Here's an example of a work in progress...ShareThis
July in Iowa. It's ninety degrees outside, the river is calm as glass and Sis and I are out fishing in her flatboat. I'm on the bow deck and Sis, the captain, is in the stern seat by the outboard motor. Nothing much is biting but who cares? We both subscribe to Dad's theory that time spent fishing does not come off your allotted lifespan.
We're anchored about two miles downstream from the boat ramp, with two coolers of beer. (Sis and I have never been able to agree on anything, even beer, so we each pack our own.) Beer is the universal beverage on the river. My brother used to use beer consumption as an indicator of the length of a boat project or journey..."It's only a three-beer job." "It's a six-pack boat ride." Weeks may elapse without one beer being drunk at home but get out on the river and the fruit of the grain starts flowing.
Four beers into the afternoon I notice that the sky is getting ominous off to the southwest. Almost all our weather comes out of the southwest, so we river rats have learned to keep an eye out in that direction.ShareThis