Friday, October 31, 2008


Polio victims in Africa still crawl on paddded knees.

Robin said: …“but I do remember everyone in Laytonville lining up at the elementary school cafeteria to get a "pink dot" of polio vaccine on a sugar cube back in the '60s.”
Robin, the sugar cube that I ate was not pink it looked like a plain old sugar cube. The vaccine that they use now is as clear as water, and they drip it right on the tongue.

Robin must have a fertile mind, she keeps bringing up subjects that I’ve already made notes that I want to do a post on. Last week I made a note that I wanted to do a post on Polio eradication.

When I was a school kid, polio was the dreaded disease. We couldn’t go swimming in the summer because the “old wives” decided that Polio came from the water. We had an outbreak of Polio in Laytonville, and several kids disappeared from school. One came back wearing braces for life! That brings polio home, even for a kid.

The March Of Dimes was instituted to develop a vaccine against polio. Every store that a person went into had a card on the counter with dime slots in it, and if you got any dimes in your change you were expected to place them in the dime slots to fund polio research. Some people asked for dimes to place in the cards. I can still see the card in my mind. On the top of the card was a photo of a little kid in an “Iron Lung” that was used to help victims of paralysis breathe. I remember wondering if that was where my friends from school went. It didn’t look like that much fun to me. I remember that sometimes my Mom or Dad would give me a dime to put in one of the slots.

From Biography, Dr. Jonas salk:
"In 1955 Salk's years of research paid off. Human trials of the polio vaccine effectively protected the subject from the polio virus. When news of the discovery was made public on April 12, 1955, Salk was hailed as a miracle worker. He further endeared himself to the public by refusing to patent the vaccine. He had no desire to profit personally from the discovery, but merely wished to see the vaccine disseminated as widely as possible."

Many may know, but some don’t, that Rotary International has taken on the job of eradicating Polio throughout the whole world. Rotary was asked to accept the job of eradicating polio by the World Health Organization. In 1979 Rotary accepted that task, and the goal was to eradicate Polio by 1984.

The Rotary Club was asked to front the effort to eradicate polio because they take no position on religion or politics. Their stance of neutrality and impartiality made them the ideal vehicle for getting rid of the dreaded disease because they are welcome in most countries of the world. It seemed like it would be easy. Because Rotarians are in all most businesses, and have members all over the world, the vaccine can be moved cost free anywhere in the world, and can be delivered to a child’s tongue for under two dollars a dose. The only cost is the drug itself. Once polio is wiped out, it could be gone forever, like Smallpox.

What the Rotarians did not anticipate, and they should have, is the colossal stupidity of the human condition, and the struggle continues today. They gain a little and lose a little, and children in some countries are still getting polio.

From Time Magazine:
“In the summer of 2003, leaders of the region [Nigeria] stopped polio inoculations after rumors spread that the vaccine could transmit AIDS and render girls infertile. It was a bad time--and a very bad place--to halt vaccines. There are now 35 million Nigerian kids under age 5, and 20% have no polio vaccinations. Says Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesman for WHO's Global Polio Eradication Initiative: "That's a lot of breathing space for the poliovirus to survive."

Dr. Hamid Jafari:
"in certain places, fatwas have been issued against the vaccine." In those places, Muslims have stopped state health workers from entering their houses and administering the polio vaccine, which is administered orally, to their children.
Dr. Jafari adds that paranoia is not the only reason for the hostility to the polio drops. Uttar Pradesh is notorious for being one of the worst-administered regions of India, and most of the state has appallingly bad hospitals and health services. Muslims, who are among the poorest of Indians, bear the brunt of this collapse in the state's health infrastructure. Dr Jafari says: "There's a sense of frustration among many Muslims: they tell the health workers, we've never seen anyone coming to take care of us, why are you coming just to give us polio drops?"

Amid the heartache and frustration of eliminating Polio, there are good stories of epic proportions, wars have stopped the safe delivery of the vaccine in many countries, but there are exceptions:

From The World health Organization:
“Over 75,000 volunteer vaccinators delivered poliovaccine to children over a three-day period (13 - 15 August) in the first of three rounds of National Immunization Days in Democratic Republic of Congo. Fighting stopped in nine-tenths of the country to allow the campaign to go ahead, following the intervention of the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan, urging all sides to comply with truces for polio immunization.
In Kisangani, 70 percent of children were vaccinated despite the outbreak of fighting on the third day. A ceasefire was agreed by the Presidents of Uganda and Rwanda, following a request by Mr Annan. An extra "catch-up" campaign to vaccinate unreached children in that area is scheduled.
"This is a significant step that brings us closer to a polio-free world," said Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, Director-General of WHO. "War is one of the greatest hurdles that we now face in our effort to eradicate this disease. Through the joint efforts of the UN agencies, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rotary International and local authorities, we overcame this in the interests of the world's children."

The Presidents of Uganda and Rwanda agreed that their war was not against their children, and they declared a cease-fire for the vaccinations to take place.

And of course, as time goes on, more children are born that are not immune, and the Rotarians start over, two steps forward and one step back. It looked like the goal would finally be reached in 2005, but the recent conflicts around the world have built new walls of danger and mistrust.

I am not against any Religion, but I have seen the suffering of too many children to accept a closed mind. Some feel the fight against the disease will be won, it is only a matter of time and opportunity. On the other hand, there is some indication, even here in the United States, of reluctance to have children vacinated for any of a variety of diseases. So, who really has the right to decide.

Polio may be with us a long time.

More on Polio

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is "Pure Sugar" a contradiction in terms?

I was in the store the other day, and I was trying to find some "Pure Cane Sugar" like they had in the good old days. I like to make my own "Maple Syrup" with cane sugar and a little pure maple flavoring. I know, sugar in any form is not good, but I still like a little of something sweet on my French toast or pancakes. The syrup that I have been making lately turn to sugar crystals as soon as it cools. I suspected that something has changed but I didn’t know what, so I checked the bag and all it said was “Contents, Sugar”.

I went to the store and that is all that I can find; “contents sugar.” If been told that high-fructuous corn sugar is bad and it plugs up your blood cells to the point that a Halloween Vampire doesn’t even want your blood. It makes you hungry and fat, and bad luck befalls you.

So, is bag sugar high fructuous corn sugar or is it the good stuff?

You Tubing

I'M sorry, but the following film just violates everything that I believe in!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Kristabel just did a post wondering how to cook a good egg. Numerous people said DO NOT use a Teflon pan because of the chemicals that it releases. Then my good buddy Kim Sallaway sends me this:

“The revelation in Hong Kong that melamine was also in eggs has led to questions over whether the chemical, which is normally used to make plastics, had been mixed into livestock feed and contaminated China's wider food chain.

Zhang Zhongjun, programme officer with the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation in China, said the melamine in the eggs could mean the chemical was present in a wide range of foods such as farm-raised meats and fish.

Zhang told AFP that China's agriculture ministry was investigating the possibility that melamine had been mixed into farming feed.”

The UN-credible Un-edible egg.

This is just one more thing that you can thank Wall Street for. Sending egg production to China! ("We live in a world ecconomy now", you have to die to eat)

Does anybody know where I can buy farm fresh eggs, grown here, with real food.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What makes this photo "Art"?

Before I explain anything about this photo, give me your thoughts. What I’m looking for is how you would explain your composition if you had created this dramatic photo.
What do you think that it might be all about? What do you notice?

I was scanning through a group of photos listed as art, when I came across this one. Once you get past the double-take that most men will make. Okay! I made a triple take, so scold me! I stared to wonder about it’s composition and what the photo was all about.

Left brained people are more logical people. If they see that if gear “A” turns to the right, gear “B” has to turn to the left, and it either works or it doesn’t, what you see is what you get, period. Right brained people see things much differently. They can clearly see that gear “A” doesn’t necessarily have to turn to the right, it could turn to the left, so either gear could really turn either way. They might say something like; “Which way do you feel about how gear “B” should really turn”.

Most people use both sides of their brains “A” and “B”, but some people seem to be at negative equilibrium, like a marble on a pipe, the marble will either roll to the right and stay there, or to the left and stay there. Myself? I like to “think like a marble in a bowl”. No matter which flight of fancy that my brain takes off on, it will always find that comfortable spot in the middle, where all thoughts are equal.

I started off thinking with my left brain, so I clicked on the enlarge feature to look at the photo much closer. My first thought was; “Why is she hiding her head? Then I noticed that there was no loose dirt around the hole, so it must have been a preexisting hole, or someone hauled off all of the dirt. Hmmm… Is she looking for something? If she is, it isn’t obvious what she‘s looking for, so I deducted that this girl (Yes, I noticed that it was a girl) must be implying that she is hiding from something.

I noticed that there is an extension cord running to the back of the round frame-like thing it the middle of the photo, and I noticed that the grass in the frame is different than the grass that the frame is setting on. I deducted that it is probably a backlit photo setting on a lawn. So, it was a photo of a photo and there is at least two artists with a camera involved here!

I right clicked on the picture, the caption said: “Earth Day”. I fiddled around with Google for a bit, and found the photo connected to an Earth Day celebration, and the title read; “Don’t stick your head in the sand about the environment, pay attention.” Then my right brain kicked in and I thought, “what a great use of art, it caught my eye, it made me think, It tickled my fancy,” (The guys know what I mean, and maybe a few girls) Then I thought, “that must be what art is all about, to get your attention and make you think. Wow, mission accomplished!’

Then my marble started to roll back to it’s point of equilibrium, in the center of my bowl, but I have to admit it was a wild ride. My bowl not only has a left and a right side, it also has an “A” for alcohol, an “S” sex, an “A” for adventure, an “E” for excitement. On so on, but you get my drift. The only time that my marble really rests is when I’m asleep, but sometimes I wake up and find it rolling around in it’s bowl all by itself without my permission, and it does some pretty interesting things.

After I looked at the photo I went to bed and went to sleep, a few hours later I woke up and caught my marble playing by itself again. The logical part of my brain slapped my face and said, pay attention! What happened here is some dude got his girlfriend drunk, told her that she could have a part in saving the world by getting herself half naked and sticking her head in a hole in the dirt while he pranced around and took pictures. My marble rolled passed the part of my brain that said that I could be an artist too. I fantasized about it a while, then I told my marble to get back to the middle where it belonged, and went back to sleep. Sometimes my marble gets so wild that I almost loose it, but so far so good!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What's your favorite line.

Satellite view of Robin Shelly's home. Robin’s home was just recently revealed by Suzy Blah Blah.

Robin suggested that she was up for a little Sweetness and Light, and thought that it would be really neat to post some favorite movie quotes. I haven’t been to a lot of movies lately, so I thought that it might be fun to do more than just movie quotes.

I like people, and find them to be interesting, and I am often curious about what makes them tick. What I am interested in more than anything is what quotes might resonate with who you are. Give your favorite quote or your favorite poem, being hokey counts as a real plus. Deep drama is an “A”. Sadness is a “C”. Humor is an “A+”. There is no failing grade. Just be honest and talk about what you like, or what moves you.

Okay, I’ll start. This isn’t necessarily deep, or moving, but I particularly liked the lines from True Grit. Where John Wayne stared as Rooster Cogburn.

[Rooster confronts the four outlaws across the field]

Ned Pepper: (One of the outlaws) "What's your intention? Do you think one on four is a dogfall?"

Rooster Cogburn: (Good guy)"I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?"

Ned Pepper: I call that mighty bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.

Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands, you son of a bitch. (As he sticks the reins in his mouth, slaps his horse, and gallops across the field toward the outlaws with guns blazing.

One of my favorite lines from a song is from Bobby Magee by Chris Christopherson.
“Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”

And of course my favorite author is Shakespeare, and my favorite lines are from King Henry the Fifth, and the Battle of St. Crispens day speech. Either you know it already, or you don’t, but with some study as to what he said in those lines, you will find it to be greatly inspiring! Fair warning, It’s not easy to understand, so take it one line at a time until you know what Shakespeare said. Most dedicated Shakespeare fans can quote the whole speech. I'm not that good at remembering lines, so I just read and enjoy them.
In the play, the speech was made as the british King Henry the Fifth was going into battle in France. The kings men were greatly out-numbered, and they were weary from crossing the English Channel in a ship. They yearned for more men to help them, but Henry gave this most inspiring speech before leading his men into battle.

Enter the KING
WESTMORELAND. O that we now had here But one ten thousand of those men in England That do no work to-day!
KING. What's he that wishes so? My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day.
Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot,
Salisbury and Gloucester-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Okay, What’s your favorite lines? Robin?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Talking Heads.

I'll admit it, I'm a news junkie. If I turn on the television, I’ll switch to a news channel first. I have always been a very trusting person, and I’m very likely to believe whatever I hear someone say, because why would they lie to me?

I’m very likely to believe someone that looks me right in the eye, person to person, and tells me something. That feeling of trust goes away to a certain extent when I’m watching the news on TV. After all, they are getting paid big money to put the news on the air, and they are more likely to slant the news toward the most favorable sponsor.

This political season I’ve become very confused by what I’ve been hearing on TV, and I wonder why is there this huge disparity between what one station says and another, and one newscaster and another? When was the last time that you ever really trusted what a newsperson was telling you?

Do you trust the news coming out of Iraq? Real news out of Iraq is life or death decision making information. How could anyone with a conscience lie to us about what is happening in Iraq? But, the news you hear from some reporters directly conflicts what others say.

Without going into which channels “sponsor” which candidates, I will tell you that it is apparent to any but the most naïve person that there is an obvious bias toward “their candidate”. Bias to the point that I keep expecting the candidate to end the news broadcast with; “This is So and So, and I approve this message”.

I think that what offends me the most, is the self righteous defense of the first amendment by the talking heads. They blather on endlessly about their right to present the news without interference from anyone. They pontificate that, never, never, whatsoever, should anyone even hint that they should change their stories for any reason. I’ve have always honored that right. I think that to receive the truth, our reporters should not be interfered with, no matter how much we don’t like what we are hearing. One would think that it would occur to these people that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Seldom do you hear them say that they try hard to bring us the truth, and say it in a context that we can believe.

What distresses me most, is that what we hear in the media today is so diametrically opposed to what ever else we are hearing, that it just can’t be truth, and we lose faith in all of what we are hearing.

These are some of the most trying, and troubling times that we as Americans have ever been in. Sadly, we can’t get our news from trustworthy sources. How will we decide how to vote, how to honorably end the war? How to provide healthcare to the people that need it, bring jobs back to America? Make working for a living honorable and good paying again?

Sometimes I think that the people on TV should have their mouths washed out with soap. Maybe they could do it on Saturday Night Live, sadly, probably one of the more honest TV programs on television today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not a very fair fight!

So, guess who wins.

With all of the camera angles it makes a person wonder how this was filmed. They can't hardly say that "No animals were harmed in the making if this film".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hello, Lil Barney! Call me back!

This was placed in a post that I made last year. What people don't know is that I have no way of knowing the e-mail adress of the people that post here. So, I am hoping that lil Barney will contact me at my e-mail address that I am posting on the left hand side over there. <-------

I have had a lot of comments that I would like to reply to in a personal fashion, but if people don't leave their e-mail adresses, which I don't recomend because of spam, I can't contact them.

This is from:

Lil Barney said...
Ernie: I've tried to get on for a comment about your article of the Round Valley and the book of Genocide & Vendetta. My husband's great grandfather was Wylacki John.Wylacki John David Wathen, had a son named John David Wathen II, he inturn had twins by an Indian women, Frances (my husband's mother) and John David Wathen III, John David Wathen II married a white women and had a son, John David Wathen IV. John the III lived in Potter Valley and was a state trapper, John the IV had a ranch on Hwy 20, we purchased that ranch, but have since sold it. It is now being made in to a vingard. Known as the Wathen Vingard. I'm hoping you receive this note and you will email me. Lil
October 10, 2008 9:45 PM

Home Sweet Home!

Janis and Twizzle.
(Twizzie was glad to see me too!)

Be it ever so... Whatever. There is no place like home!

Only a few of us know what it feels like to come back into the South Fork of the Eel canyon after being gone for an extended period of time. (Three Days or more) So those few of you know how good I feel right now!

We headed up North, really down the river, and dove into the South Fork Canyon mid-Long Valley. There was about two hundred Tule Elk lying in the rich blond grass at the divide of the drainage, where the South Fork and the Main Eel diverge. The temperature was 81, the sky was blue. The last image of a waning moon hung just barely visible over the green, and slightly blue mountains in the distance. The valley where my ancestors are buried.

As we started down the hill north of Piercy, we were pressed with the beauty of the fall season. The various and obvious different colors of green that the Tan Oak, Madrone, Fir and Redwoods give to the viewer. They are pleasing, and familiar, to our local eyes. The same Tan Oak that my ancestors used to tan the hides of the deer they made their clothes out of. The same Madrone and Manzanita that they used to forge the iron that they needed to shoe their horses and build their wagon wheels. The same Fir and Redwood that they hand split to make their houses and homesteads.

The Buckeye trees are striped of their leaves, and they stand in bare, stark beauty, with their light grey bark, and their starchy balls hanging at the tips of every limb. They are like little children proclaiming that they are first to be dressed for winter. (neener neener)

The Poison Oak teases the unfamiliar with the temptation to pick their raucously loud red leaves, only to turn bright red themselves. The kids in Laytonville, who didn't get poison oak, would take their unaware teachers bouquets of them. The kids soon found out that the teacher was not as dumb as they thought, and they got to write on the blackboard for their efforts. Not me!... I think that it was my Great Grandfather. It's one of those old family tales now, that has become as familiar to me as my genetic love of this canyon.

The Maple trees spot the green hills with their bright, golden yellow leaves, like flakes of gold in a miners pan, proclaiming their rich and rare beauty. As children we would pick the twin-winged seeds of the Maple tree, break them apart, and throw them high into to air to watch them spin to the ground like a slow moving helicopter. We considered it great and good-luck if we found three seeds in one winged cluster, kind of a South Fork canyon version of a four leaved clover.

The Oak trees are lost in their fickle confusion of what color they want to be. They keep trying on colors to see how they look. They throw out the beautiful green color that they have had on all summer, then they try on yellows and reds and oranges then browns, like an aging woman trying on make-up, to make herself appear young and frivolous again. Then she throws them all away in resignation of the inevitable, and gives up her beautiful leaves for another season, where she will once again become young and new.

The oak won’t be giving you acorns this year, she gave you her all last year, and they just laid there ground and went to waste. People have lost their taste for the nutritious Oaks acorns. The Black-Tail deer enjoyed them thought, and they got fat, and there was more than one sighting of triplet fawns this year, so Mrs. Oaks abundance didn’t go completely unappreciated.

The grassy openings are tinged with green edges of grass eager to grow from our, right-on-time, fall rains. Grass, bravely bursting forth in the threat of being killed by a hard winter frost, only to try again, and always succeed.

The tweety birds are gone for the season, and the winter birds are showing up. The Ospreys are gone, and soon the Bald Eagle will come to dine on Northern Pike fish that have almost squeezed out our once generous supply of salmonids.

I just came home from one of the most beautiful places on Earth, Hawaii, and mingled with some of the most friendly people that I ever met, and ate some of the best food I ever ate. But, to come home, is a sweet feeling like nothing else, it is like coming home to the warm arms of a long trusted and faithful lover.

Some of you know what I mean!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Going, going, gone...

I may be gone for a week or so… Okay I will be gone. But I might check in from afar.

My wife has dragged me away to spend money frivolously in the middle of an economic crises. If the economy suddenly returns to healthy levels it will be due to my wife’s spending. So we are doing our part to save the world.

Please feel free to carry on your conversations, talk about the economy, the acorn crop, the mountain lion running down the golf course that scared my dog, etc. The dog’s a sissy.

See you on the flip-flop.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Diogenese put down your lantern, we have found an honest man!

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- An outraged sheriff in Illinois who refuses to evict "innocent" renters from foreclosed homes criticized mortgage companies Thursday and said the law should protect victims of the mortgage meltdown.

Cook County, Illinois, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart says too many renters are being evicted for landlords' problems.

1 of 2 Sheriff Thomas J. Dart said earlier he is suspending foreclosure evictions in Cook County, which includes the city of Chicago.

The county had been on track to reach a record number of evictions, many because of mortgage foreclosures.

Many good tenants are suffering because building owners have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, he said Thursday on CNN's "American Morning."

"These poor people are seeing everything they own put out on the street. ... They've paid their bills, paid them on time. Here we are with a battering ram at the front door going to throw them out. It's gotten insane," he said. Watch Dart slam mortgage companies »

Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, Dart said.

"This is an example where the banking industry has not done any of the work they should do. It's a piece of paper to them," Dart said.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."

Dart said he wants the courts or the state Legislature to establish protections for those most harmed by the mortgage crisis.

In 1999, Cook County had 12,935 mortgage foreclosure cases; in 2006, 18,916 cases were filed, and last year, 32,269 were filed. This year's total is expected to exceed 43,000.

"The people we're interacting with are, many times, oblivious to the financial straits their landlord might be in," Dart said. "They are the innocent victims here, and they are the ones all of us must step up and find some way to protect."

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices."

The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

"The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out 'vigilantism' at the highest level of an elected official," it said. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'martial law' should not be tolerated."

Dart was undeterred Thursday.

"I think the outrage on my part with them [is] that they could so cavalierly issue documents and have me throw people out of homes who have done absolutely nothing wrong," Dart said. "They played by all the rules.
"I told them, 'You send an agent out, you send somebody out that gives me any type of assurance that the appropriate person is in the house, I will fulfill the order.'
"When you're blindly sending me out to houses where I'm coming across innocent tenant after innocent tenant, I can't keep doing this and have a good conscience about it."

From Ernie:
One of the reasons that I could never become a public official, is because I could never do some of the things that they are expected to do. An official is supposed to play by the book, and I’m afraid that I would always be using my judgment.

It reminds me of the helicopter pilot that landed his machine between the people that were being shot by America troops, and the troops, to stop the killing in Mai Lai. The story of Hugh C. Thompson Jr. should be standard reading material for all Americans.

America needs more people like these people to stand up and say; “Enough” The story of Hugh C. Thompson Jr.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Old-Timer Lye Soap.

If all of the politics and stock market worries are making you feel unclean, here is a recipe for soap the way Gramma used to make it.

Lye Lard Soap:
2 gallons of soft water
1 can lye
5 pounds lard
Plus add some essential oil, if you prefer, the old timers didn’t use it.

Heat the fat until just barely melted.
In a separate container, add lye to water.
Add the lye water to the fat and cook for 2 hours.
Add essential oil and stir.
Pour into molds. You can use an old muffin-tin lined with plastic wrap. Or make your own fancy wooden soap mold, like I would.

Gramma used to set it behind the wood stove until it set up. ( I don’t think that she always got the right amount of water, or the temp on the old wood stove wasn’t quite right, and it needed more time to set up.)

You can give the bars of soap as Christmas presents, or you can use them on Halloween to scare hippies.

Lye is caustic, and can be dangerous if handled inproperly. Always add the lye to COLD water. The lye will heat the water to about 180 degrees. If the lye gets on you, it will turn you to soap, which can be painful and permanent. Always use rubber gloves and goggles. (No Kidding)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Would you have bailed out Wall Street?

It was my opinion that by bailing out wall street we would only be giving the No-Conscience-Thieves more money to steal, and next year we would be just as bad off. Well from the looks of Darkly Shaded Monday, we may not have to wait for a year. The rest of the world has been doing what they can to shore up the American dollar, but if we can’t even solve our own crises, what chance do they have.

In psychology there is a theory that revenge is one of the sweetest of human emotions. That we would risk serious injury to ourselves just to get even. Stangely that is the way I feel right now. We all know that the little guy is going to be the one to get stuck in this crisis, and there is no avoiding it, so why not take down the people that caused it. I wouldn't have bailed them out!

They say this Presidential Election is the most important election in decades. So who among the lot of them do you feel is most supportive of the common person? Why do I feel that they have all “sold-out”?

Read and weep:

BBC News

Financial crisis pummels stocks
World stock markets have plunged after government bank bail-outs in the US and Europe failed to stem fears of slower global economic growth.
London's key UK share index lost 7.85% - its biggest percentage fall since 1987 and in Paris the Cac-40 suffered its largest fall on record.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones fell below 10,000 points for the first time since 2004.
Investors fear that official action might not be enough to stem the crisis.
This was despite a $700bn (£398bn) US bank bail-out being passed late last week, and efforts by several European countries including Germany and Denmark to boost confidence in their banks.
"The fact is people are scared and the only thing they're doing is selling," said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer's Investment Research.
"Investors are cleaning out portfolios and getting rid of everything because nothing seems to be working."
Restoring confidence
Stock markets are falling... and it's the troubles of Europe's banks, and the messy response of the authorities, that's to blame
Robert Peston
BBC business editor

President George W Bush said on Monday that it would take some time for the rescue plan to restore confidence to the financial system.
He said it was important that the programme was implemented properly and to make sure it did not waste taxpayers' money.
"We don't want to rush into this situation and not have the programme be effective," he said.
"It's going to take a while to restore confidence in the financial system."
'Substantial force'
In an attempt to reassure investors, the President's Working Group on Financial Markets, said on Monday that it was moving quickly to exercise the new powers it had been given as part of the Wall Street rescue package.
The group, which was formed after the 1987 stock market crash, said it would move "with substantial force on a number of fronts".
As one of the first effects of the rescue plan, the Federal Reserve announced that it would start paying interest on the reserves that banks are forced to deposit at the central bank.
Analysts said that Germany's increased 50bn-euro ($68bn; £38.7bn) bail-out of Hypo Real Estate, the country's second-biggest commercial property lender, had alarmed investors.
Earlier, Germany had appeared to announce an unlimited guarantee for private savings - though it later said this was not the case and it had instead given only a "political commitment" that savers would not lose deposits.
However, Denmark had already moved to offer full protection, while Sweden massively increased the level of protection it offered.
'Collective action'
The Hypo RE rescue came amid other developments including:
Denmark, Sweden and Iceland increased the amount of protection depositors in their banks receive. Iceland also agreed measures for the country's banks to sell off some foreign assets in an attempt to shore up its entire financial system
EU leaders issued a joint statement saying they would take the necessary measures to protect both the system and individual depositors
Trading in shares of Benelux bank Fortis was suspended, on the day BNP Paribas took a controlling interest in the troubled finance group under an emergency deal with the Belgian and Luxembourg governments
Central banks across Europe - including the ECB and Bank of England - offered more than $74bn to banks in short-term loans in separate efforts aimed at trying to making cash available for the banking sector
International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Europe needed a collective response to the financial crisis and warned countries not to act alone
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arranged meetings with the heads of their respective country's main banks to discuss the global financial crisis - and said the two leaders would meet later this week.
Markets suspended
In London, the FTSE 100 index ended down 391.1 points, or 7.85%, at 4,589.2 - having lost 8.5% at one point.
Germany's Dax index lost 7.39%, while France's Cac-40 index dropped 9.04% - its biggest one-day fall since the index was created in 1988.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones index pulled back some losses but was still 4.05% lower, down 418.39 points, at 9,906.99 points, while the Nasdaq lost 4.93%.
Earlier, Japan's Nikkei index had closed down 4.3%, or 465 points, at 10,473.1 - its lowest close since February 2004. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slid 5%, while key Russian markets slumped by 15%.
Markets in India, China, Australia and Singapore also lost ground, while the main Indonesian market lost 10% - the biggest one-day fall on record.
Trading on key stock markets in Brazil and Russia was temporarily suspended after share prices plummeted by 10% and 15% respectively. Russia's RTS index ended 19.1% down.
The prospect of a slowdown denting energy demand saw oil prices fall further, dipping under $90 a barrel.
In London Brent crude dropped $3.38 to $86.87 a barrel, while US light, sweet crude fell $3.85 to $90.05 a barrel.
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2008/10/06 17:01:19 GMT


Friday, October 3, 2008

New Idea???

They were up in arms and aghast!

I was just reading about a cave that they found in France that has ancient primitive writing on the wall. The writing was probably done by Neanderthals. After years of study they have found that this group of cave dwellers made many references to pointy sticks. They had discovered that the hunters in the valley had made many, and numerous, various and sundry, pointy-sticks.

They had big fat long sticks that they used to kill Mastodons. They had real long ones that they used to kill Saber Toothed Tigers. They had nice light weight ones that they used to kill deer. Then they had short ones that they used to kill bear if attacked. They even had sticks that they used to shoot into the air with a stick and string bowed to it to kill birds.

According to the writing on the wall. This group of people that lived there were trying to get pointy sticks banned. They had discovered that many of the primitive men had violent upbringing, and when engaged in animated repartee they had a tendency to grab their pointy sticks and stick their disagreeable opponent through the heart. The group reasoned that if there were no pointy sticks that the people could not poke each other through the hearts.

The group started by making it harder to get sticks. That way, if a person wanted to kill somebody, that person would have to get permission from the chief of the cave group to carve a pointy stick. That is, if the Chief decided it was okay, the applicant would have to wait one Moon before he could carve himself a pointy stick.

Soon the group became so angry with all of the rules regulations that they started hoarding and hiding pointy sticks. The smarter ones started hiding a short pointy stick under their fur lined shorts in such a fashion that no one knew it was there. That outraged the cave dwellers and they immediately had a ban placed on concealed pointy sticks. The only way that you could pack a pointy stick in your shorts was to apply for a “Concealed Pointy Stick” permit. (CPS permit) You had to pack a piece of skin with the Chiefs mark on it to show that you had passed all of the skill tests in how to kill somebody safely. And you had give the “Cave Scribble” the right to scribble your name on the wall, telling everybody that you had a weapon concealed in your shorts.

Strangely, the Neanderthals disappeared, and their caves were taken over by Homo Sapiens. It was easy to tell when the Homo Sapiens moved in, because the cave writing started making reference to “flint” pointy stick warheads. The Sapiens claimed the flint points were weapons of mass destruction, and there was no logical need to tip a pointy stick with a flint warhead! They reasoned that it would be far to easy, with a sharpened point, to poke multiple antagonists through the heart before they could make their salient points. So they went to the Chief to see if they could get a ban on assault weapons. They reasoned that would solve the problem, because nobody has the right to kill that many people at once.

This story continues on and on, but you will just get bored. The story is much the same throughout history, so I’ll just leave it here.

According to my good friend Jim Baker, I have to tell you that, although true, this story was made up in it’s entirety in my imagination, and has no provable content, and it can be considered as complete “Bullshistory”. Time will tell, won’t it?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What do you think about gun laws?

As you already know, because I have told you many times, I was raised around many very wise people. Some were my family, and some were my friends, and some were just acquaintances. Most of the wisest people that I have ever known never had a very good formal education.

Maybe something about me that you didn’t know is that I was raised in a time when most people, including myself, was not far from a gun. My whole family, all the men, and most of the women, are very good with a gun. When I was a young man, I always had a 22 pistol and a 222 rifle in my Jeep. The truck that I rode to work in had a gun rack with two rifles in it and a pistol in a holster hanging on the same rack. Most of us were from ranching families and it was an obligation to shoot a coyote if you saw one, no matter whose property it was on. And, when you told the property owner, he would thank you. There were sheep on all the ranches and they were very susceptible to predators.

My Uncle was on the U.S. Army Rifle Team, and did exhibition shooting. My dad and other uncle were almost as good with a gun as he was. When ever they went to a turkey shoot, the people that would run the turkey shoot would only let them compete against each other, or a lot of times they would just give them each a turkey, then just let them exhibition shoot for the rest of the match.

I’ve killed everything that squirmed, ran, or fluttered, until I couldn’t stand the thought of doing it any more. My dad always said “don’t kill anything that you don’t intend to kill“, and “don’t kill anything that you don’t intent to eat”. I’ve eaten some pretty interesting stuff. My whole family still hunts game animals and it doesn’t bother me, I know that there is great fitness in killing your own food.

What I’m saying is that I was raised around guns, and I don’t have that visceral fear that I see in people nowadays. When they see a gun they react like they just about stepped on a snake. So, I feel differently than most of the people that I know now.

I have had a gun accidentally discharge on me on three different occasions. All of then discharged safely into a dirt bank, thanks to the training that my family gave me on handling guns safely. Most of the people that handle guns a lot will tell you a similar story. My family taught me to “Never chamber a bullet until you intend to use it, and always have your gun pointed in a safe direction while chambering or un-chambering a round”.

Some of the other training that I remember was “Gunpowder and alcohol don’t mix”. That means when you’re drinking don’t use a gun. Some of my family violated that rule a little bit, but nobody got hurt. Another saying was: “It’s the unloaded gun that is the one that kills somebody”. What that meant is to always check to make sure that your gun is unloaded every time you hand it to somebody, or put it away, or any time that it is supposed to be unloaded. You always check.

“When crossing a fence, always un-chamber your bullet, lean the gun against the post and go to the next post to cross, go back and get your gun.” There were so many rules for double checking gun safety when I was growing up, that guns were fairly safe.

Now, as you might have guessed, I’m heading in a direction that I’ve always wondered about. Who has the right to own a gun? The U.S. constitution gives an American in good standing as a Citizen of the United States the right to bear arms.

As in the second amendment: “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.”

Now for some more stuff that you didn’t know about me. I was born right after World War Two, where the sting of Nazi Germany and what they did to the Jews was still fresh in people’s minds. One of the things that was pounded into my head along with my other gun training is that my gun was mine, and it was nobody else’s business, and that if I have guns, it is nobody else’s business. I was told to “Never, ever, under any circumstance register my guns with any one especially not the Government“. And the reason that I was given as an example, was what happened in Nazi Germany. Because they were unable to fight back, millions of Jews were lined up and marched into ovens where they were killed in great masses. You can imagine the impression that makes on a young mind.

I was told that “Ben Franklin said, that we should always be wary of an unreasonable and out of control government, and we should always be ready to take it back if they stray too far”.

Now to deepen what you don’t know about me. When I used to target shoot with my favorite target shooting 22 rifle, that my cousin “Oregon” wore out for me, I used to practice shooting without flinching or blinking. I would watch the bullet arch into the target. I soon found that I always shot a rifle with out flinching or blinking and I always made head shots, because I didn’t like killing. But, I killed for food, because that was what I was taught to do. It was only after I married my wife that she told me that I didn’t have to kill things if I didn’t want to. I have to say that it had honestly never occurred to me that I didn’t have to kill things. If I knew that my family or my life was threatened by an intruder I’m sure that I would shoot them with out flinching or blinking. I like most animals better than I like most people.

So now I get around to the bottom line of this post. What kind of gun control should we have? Should people have to register their weapons? And if weapons were registered wouldn’t that just make a “Hit List”. We were recently reminded of the kind of irresponsible people that there are out there when the North Coast Journal published all of the names of people that have gun permits in Humboldt County. It pains me to be criticizing this poor woman who is probably just trying to make a living, but she seems to think that all names should be published so hers is Heidi Walters, and she writes for the north Coast Journal.

Please read her well written article. Then come back here and tell me what you think about gun registration. You can’t comment on their site without leaving your return address. You can say anything you like here. I have absolutely no way of tracing any comment back to you, so you can speak freely here, but of course I’ll delete the ridiculous comments after a while, but I will leave the well thought out ones.

Please comment if you are a journalist, a gun owner, or a gun hater, but try to give a reason for the way you feel… I did! This is the link to the gun article.

Open Thread

I'm working on a new post that may take awhile, so now would be a good time to have an "Open Thread". Say anything that you want, or suggest a topic for us to talk about.

And my fave... etc.