30 January 2011

More Hypocrisy...How's everything going down at Galt's Gulch?

An interview with Evva Pryror, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).

As Pryor said, "Doctors cost a lot more money than books earn and she could be totally wiped out" without the aid of these two government programs. Ayn took the bail out even though Ayn "despised government interference and felt that people should and could live independently... She didn't feel that an individual should take help."

But alas she did and said it was wrong for everyone else to do so.

With his father’s passing, young Paul collected Social Security benefits until age 18, which he put away for college. To make ends meet, Paul’s mother returned to school to study interior design. His siblings were off at college. Ryan remembers this difficult time bringing him and his mother closer.

That's Paul Ryan, Rand worshipper and scourge of social security. 

I have to wonder if his mother took out federally funded school loans "to make ends meet" as well. It doesn't make a lot of sense otherwise.

26 January 2011

We're all frogs in the water in this country to some extent...unable to see the world from other perspectives, believing we are the be all and end all of the world...and everything is about us.  Well...it's not.  We make it about us by instituting ourselves into some world wide manifest destiny, or monroe doctrine...even Carter had a doctrine to protect 'our oil' in the persian gulf...really.

I found it easier to forgive the people who were shooting at me, laying booby traps for me, trying to kill or maim me...once I left their country and stopped killing and/or trying to kill them.  I've forgiven them, but I find it difficult to forgive myself.  Even though I returned, our national interests send others in our name to foreign lands to kill in the name of our 'interests'.

I was a government whore when I was in VietNam...we all have become the government's whores, now.

22 January 2011


It's one of those days...triple dose of sauna interspersed with snow baths...Bloody Caesar with ample spicy garlic juice. A walk in the sun, dark glasses to keep from being blinded by the white, reflective landscape.

21 January 2011

What to do in Northern Minnesota in the depths of winter and below zero (F) temperatures?

"Yeah, that's right, we cook ourselves in the sauna at an even higher temperature than which the modern chef cooks a steak. We might as well be sitting next to our supper. "
~Amy Thielen


20 January 2011

Coming Soon!

Animal Branch                         New Year dates
鼠 Rat 子 Zǐ            February 19, 1996     February 7, 2008
牛 Ox 丑 Chǒu        February 7, 1997       January 26, 2009
虎 Tiger 寅 Yín       January 28, 1998       February 14, 2010
兔 Rabbit卯 Mǎo     February 16, 1999    February 3, 2011
龍 Dragon辰 Chén   February 5, 2000      January 23, 2012
蛇 Snake 巳 Sì         January 24, 2001      February 10, 2013
馬 Horse 午 Wǔ       February 12, 2002    January 31, 2014
羊 Sheep 未 Wèi      February 1, 2003      February 19, 2015
猴 Monkey申 Shēn  January 22, 2004      February 8, 2016
雞 Rooster酉 Yǒu    February 9, 2005      January 28, 2017
狗 Dog 戌 Xū           January 29, 2006      February 16, 2018
豬 Pig 亥 Hài            February 18, 2007    February 5, 2019

The lunisolar Chinese calendar determines Chinese New Year dates. The calendar is also used in countries that have adopted or have been influenced by Han culture (notably the Koreans, Japanese and Vietnamese) and may have a common ancestry with the similar New Years festivals outside East Asia (such as Iran, and historically, the Bulgars lands).
In the Gregorian calendar, Chinese New Year falls on different dates each year, a date between January 21 and February 20. In the Chinese calendar, winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, which means that Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (rarely the third if an intercalary month intervenes). In traditional Chinese Culture, lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring, which occurs about February 4. The dates for Chinese New Year from 1996 to 2019 (in the Gregorian calendar) are at the left, along with the year's presiding animal zodiac and its earthly branch. The names of the earthly branches have no English counterparts and are not the Chinese translations of the animals. Alongside the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac there is a 10-year cycle of heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology, namely: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. The elements are rotated every two years while a yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are thus distinguished: Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, etc. These produce a combined cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936 and in 1996, 60 years apart.

15 January 2011

For everyone who holds stock in the views of Ayn Rand...are any of you familiar with her biography? Have any of you invented a perpetual motion machine like John Galt? It's time to cast away adolescent and narcissistic beliefs. The world does not revolve around me.

Galt's Gulch is a spirit of cooperation, like it or not.

11 January 2011

The Conservative David Frum, April 2009...Prescient

A man bearing a sidearm appears outside President Obama’s Aug. 11 town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., under a sign proclaiming, “It is time to water the tree of liberty.”
That phrase of course references a famous statement of Thomas Jefferson’s, from a 1787 letter: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants.”
Earlier that same day, another man is arrested inside the school building in which the president will speak. Police found a loaded handgun in his parked car.
At an event held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona last week, police were called after one attendee dropped a gun.
Nobody has been hurt so far. We can all hope that nobody will be. But firearms and politics never mix well. They mix especially badly with a third ingredient: the increasingly angry tone of incitement being heard from right-of-center broadcasters.
The Nazi comparisons from Rush Limbaugh; broadcaster Mark Levin asserting that President Obama is “literally at war with the American people”; former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin claiming that the president was planning “death panels” to extirpate the aged and disabled; the charges that the president is a fascist, a socialist, a Marxist, an illegitimate Kenyan fraud, that he “harbors a deep resentment of America,” that he feels a “deep-seated hatred of white people,” that his government ispreparing concentration camps, that it is operating snitch lines, that it is planning to wipe away American liberties”: All this hysterical and provocative talk invites, incites, and prepares a prefabricated justification for violence.

10 January 2011

Posted by George Packer

Judging from his Internet postings, Jared Lee Loughner is a delusional young man whose inner political landscape is a swamp of dystopian novels, left- and right-wing tracts, conspiracy theories, and contempt for his fellow human beings. He refers to the gold and silver standard; that doesn't make Ron Paul responsible for the shootings. He is fond of “Animal Farm”; George Orwell didn't guide the hand that pulled the automatic pistol's trigger. Marx and Hitler produced a lot of corpses, but not the ones in Tucson.

But the plate-glass window of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s office was shattered last March after the final health-care vote. Judge John Roll, who was among the dead, had received death threats and spent a month with a protection detail. Roll was apparently a bystander to Loughner’s intended target—and maybe the gunman had no idea why he was aiming for Giffords either, maybe he didn't know how she voted on health care or what her position on Arizona’s draconian immigration law was. It would be a kind of relief if Loughner operated not out of any coherent political context but just his own fevered brain.

But even so, the tragedy wouldn't change this basic fact: for the past two years, many conservative leaders, activists, and media figures have made a habit of trying to delegitimize their political opponents. Not just arguing against their opponents, but doing everything possible to turn them into enemies of the country and cast them out beyond the pale. Instead of “soft on defense,” one routinely hears the words “treason” and “traitor.” The President isn't a big-government liberal—he's a socialist who wants to impose tyranny. He's also, according to a minority of Republicans, including elected officials, an impostor. Even the reading of the Constitution on the first day of the 112th Congress was conceived as an assault on the legitimacy of the Democratic Administration and Congress.

This relentlessly hostile rhetoric has become standard issue on the right. (On the left it appears in anonymous comment threads, not congressional speeches and national T.V. programs.) And it has gone almost entirely uncriticized by Republican leaders. Partisan media encourages it, while the mainstream media finds it titillating and airs it, often without comment, so that the gradual effect is to desensitize even people to whom the rhetoric is repellent. We’ve all grown so used to it over the past couple of years that it took the shock of an assassination attempt to show us the ugliness to which our politics has sunk.

The massacre in Tucson is, in a sense, irrelevant to the important point. Whatever drove Jared Lee Loughner, America's political frequencies are full of violent static.

09 January 2011

 I don't like our use of war wording for everything we do...the war on poverty, the war on drugs...she battled against cancer...blather blather.

Sure the shooter's wacko...so what?  Violent rhetoric is directed at the craziest of the crazies...then when they actually take action and murder a doctor or assassinate a representative the ones who yelled fire in the crowded theater are quick to offer their condolences and act as if it's just another crazy...as if they had no responsibility for the stampede that ensued after they screamed...meanwhile, they high five each other in their smoke filled back rooms.

You have me mistaken for someone else if you believe I'm a 'lefty' or 'democrat' or some other label, btw...I'm not right nor left.  But, I'm certainly not a yellow stripe in the middle of the road where the skunks die.  To me, the yellow line divides the two lanes...but our political parties are both using one of the lanes at the same time, careening and crashing against each other...sometimes head on.

Radio and television fueled the genocides in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda...Violent rhetoric and violence itself, should have no place in our society.  Period.  It should be shunned like the plague.  Not giggled at, or lauded.  Violent behaviours and rhetoric take many forms...it's in kitchens and backyards everywhere...

Leonard Cohen says it well:

It's coming from the sorrow in the street,
the holy places where the races meet;
from the homicidal bitchin'
that goes down in every kitchen
to determine who will serve and who will eat.
From the wells of disappointment
where the women kneel to pray
for the grace of God in the desert here
and the desert far away:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on
O mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squalls of Hate
Sail on, sail on, sail on, sail on.

It's coming to America first,
the cradle of the best and of the worst.
It's here they got the range
and the machinery for change
and it's here they got the spiritual thirst.
It's here the family's broken
and it's here the lonely say
that the heart has got to open
in a fundamental way:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

It's coming from the women and the men.
O baby, we'll be making love again.
We'll be going down so deep
the river's going to weep,
and the mountain's going to shout Amen!
It's coming like the tidal flood
beneath the lunar sway,
imperial, mysterious,
in amorous array:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Sail on, sail on ...

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

(let's all hope)

artist: Sebastian Errazuriz

So...you say you are a 'Constitutional Conservative'? Second Amendment Remedies?

Violent political rhetoric and calls to arms is not welcome.

Constitutional originalist? Were you in the room? You're a mind reader? The constitution was purposely written with some vague terminology in it...and for originalists to pick and choose which clause or phrase to omit from discussion is rather absurd. For example, the intent of the second amendment, which is clear in Article 1, Section 8 of the US constitution: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

That is what is meant by, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. ”

The fear was of a professional, standing Army...which is why the funding for such an entity is only allowed for a two year period.

One standard would suit me. Ask yourself. What would the response be to a muslim website that had a map of the USA with bullseyes over congressional districts? Or to a muslim calling for targeting a representative and inviting people to come and shoot an M16 with him?

Winter is passing

It has been since autumn that I’ve written anything.  I feel...no, I know that a coup has been stag d in this country. But, from my vantage...