Monday, January 24, 2011

The Carrots, the Coffee, and the Egg

Carrots, Eggs, & Coffee!

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee..You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.'

'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?'

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

You might want to send this message to those people who mean something to you (I JUST DID); to those who have touched your life in one way or another; to those who make you smile when you really need it; to those who make you see the brighter side of things when you are really down; to those whose friendship you appreciate; to those who are so meaningful in your life.

If you don't send it, you will just miss out on the opportunity to brighten someone's day with this message!

May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!

Superbowl and Creative Marketing Jokes

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A guy has come up with a line of cola drinks, supposedly laced with THC:

http://www.theunion.com/article/20110124/BREAKINGNEWS/110129881/1066&ParentProfile=1053

THC is fat soluble, not water soluble, as far as I know. That's why it works in cookies, it gets into the butter. The names are good, nothing like a bit of creative advertising. I keep waiting for a Pacific Northwest firm to come out with the punchline to one of my better jokes, as a chip dip.

There you are, superbowl fans, gathered around the tv and a nice big bowl of Sasquachamole and chips.

The joke?

What happens when Bigfoot meets a rotary plow?

Copyright Keachie 2002

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Flat Tax Stock Market Sales

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The only fair Flat Tax, is one on the sales of stock. 40 billion dollars changes hands every trading day. Tax that at 25 cents per $100 traded, and you will generate $100,000,000 each day the markets are open. This is enough money to pay off 6 trillion of the National Debt in about 24 years.

Tax Stock Trades NOW!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Palin Chases her Own "Blood Libel" Tail

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In her video protest about "blood libel" Palin references the WSJ as "using the term" which indeed they did, as the title and in an op ed piece. But, guess who wrote it? None other than:

Mr. Reynolds is a professor of law at the University of Tennessee. He hosts "InstaVision" on PJTV.

Which is an obviously right wing program, and he may be the one who ghost wrote what Palin said!

"There's a climate of hate out there, all right, but it doesn't derive from the innocuous use of political clich├ęs. And former Gov. Palin and the tea party movement are more the targets than the source.

Jared Lee Loughner, the man suspected of a shooting spree that killed a Federal Judge and critically wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, had left a trail of online videos in which he railed against the government. WSJ's Neil Hickey reports.

American journalists know how to be exquisitely sensitive when they want to be. As the Washington Examiner's Byron York pointed out on Sunday, after Major Nidal Hasan shot up Fort Hood while shouting "Allahu Akhbar!" the press was full of cautions about not drawing premature conclusions about a connection to Islamist terrorism. "Where," asked Mr. York, "was that caution after the shootings in Arizona?"

Set aside as inconvenient, apparently. There was no waiting for the facts on Saturday. Likewise, last May New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and CBS anchor Katie Couric speculated, without any evidence, that the Times Square bomber might be a tea partier upset with the ObamaCare bill.

View Full Image
reynolds
Associated Press

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
reynolds
reynolds

So as the usual talking heads begin their "have you no decency?" routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?

To paraphrase Justice Cardozo ("proof of negligence in the air, so to speak, will not do"), there is no such thing as responsibility in the air. Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on "rhetoric" and a "climate of hate" to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.

To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

Blood Libel, the Apologists

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In every example used below, there is a Jewish connection. The articles directly reference the original meaning, or are written by Jews, and reference the state of Israel, and often all three. For the record, I am not saying that Palin uses the blood of children in religious rituals.

From a Dec. 5, 1989, Times book review: "During the yellow fever plague a form of blood libel is imposed on the blacks in Philadelphia; they are said to be both responsible for and immune to sickness because of the color of their skin."

On Sept. 14, 1990, the late Abe Rosenthal penned a column in response to Pat Buchanan's assertion, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that "there are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East - the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States." Rosenthal countered: "We are not dealing here with country-club anti-Semitism but with the blood libel that often grows out of it: Jews are not like us but are others, with alien loyalties for which they will sacrifice the lives of Americans."

Andrew Sullivan, whose Palin obsession is extreme even by the standards of Palin-haters, wrote yesterday:

We know this much right now: Palin does not possess the self-awareness, responsibility or composure to respond to crises like this with grace. This message--even at a time of national crisis--was a base-rousing rallying cry, perpetuating her own victimhood and alleged bloodthirstiness of her opponents.

One would have thought that Palin, like any responsible person in her shoes right now, could have mustered some sort of regret about the unfortunate coincidence of what she had done in the campaign and what happened afterwards. Wouldn't you?

Here is the same Andrew Sullivan, showing his typical level of self-awareness, responsibility and composure, in a post of Oct. 12, 2010:

[New York Republican nominee for governor Carl] Paladino speaks of "perverts who target our children and seek to destroy their lives." This is the gay equivalent of the medieval (and Islamist) blood-libel against Jews.

Our favorite example comes from Josh Marshall of TalkingPointsMemo.com, who wrote yesterday, albeit with more smirk than dudgeon:

The claim that Sarah Palin was the victim of a "blood libel" had been making the rounds in the right-wing media for a few days before Palin decided to make the accusation herself.

On Nov. 21, 2000, Marshall quoted then-Rep. Peter Deutsch, a Florida Democrat, as complaining on CNN's "Crossfire" of "almost a blood libel by the Republicans towards Al Gore, saying that he was trying to stop men and women in uniform that are serving this country from voting. Marshall's response:

". . . almost a blood libel." That's pretty strong stuff. Strong, but not too strong. Because it's true.

(Deutsch can get away with this statement, in part, because he's Jewish. But so is Talking Points; so he gets a pass too!)

You don't just toss around charges that the possible next president of the United States is conspiring to take the vote away from American soldiers overseas. Given the volatility of the moment and the divisions already existing in American society it really is almost like a blood libel. Almost.

Deutsch's analogy is far more of a stretch than Palin's. No one was accusing Gore of killing children, or anyone else. OK, Deutsch said "almost," but does anyone think Marshall or the other Palin-haters would have been satisfied had she used the same qualification?

The only element Marshall cites that arguably makes the accusation against Gore worse than the accusations against Palin is "the divisions already existing in American society." In 2000, the country really was split down the middle between Bush and Gore--hence the election dispute. Today, as that USA Today poll shows, the country is largely united against the libel (blood or otherwise).

On CNN Sunday--we taped the show earlier this afternoon--Levy, a French intellectual, will declare it "obscene" to use the term "blood libel" in a metaphorical sense. This may reflect the standards that prevail in France, which of course has a much worse history of anti-Semitism than America does. In American intellectual and journalistic circles, however, the term has been used with some frequency. As a foreigner, Levy may not know better. But American Palin-haters lack that excuse.

For the Record
Jonathan Chait of The New Republic has generally been a voice of reasoned liberalism this week. We certainly never thought we'd write that, but it's been a strange week. Whether carelessly or deliberately, however, Chait misstates our position in a blog entry from this morning:

A few days ago, Paul Krugman noted that famously unhinged member of Congress Michele Bachmann urged her constituents to be "armed and dangerous." Wall Street Journal right-wing blogger James Taranto calls this a "lie," and insists the the context of Bachmann's full quote is very different.

In fact, what we called a lie was Krugman's characterization of the Bachmann quote as "eliminationist rhetoric," which Chait does not acknowledge, much less defend. We conceded that Bachmann's words were ill-chosen and that one might reasonably regard them as irresponsible, as Chait appears to.

Chait owes us a correction. We emailed him just after noon ET to ask for one. So far, he has not replied.

One Man's Tiramisu Is Another Man's Fruitcake
Ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, the Pennsylvania Democrat who said in October of now-Gov. Rick Scott of Florida that "they ought to . . . put him against the wall and shoot him," is defending his eliminationist rhetoric, reports the Citizens Voice of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.:

Reached by phone Tuesday, Kanjorski said "only fruitcakes" would take his statement about Scott literally. The 73-year-old Democrat from Nanticoke, who this fall lost in his bid for a 14th term representing the 11th Congressional District, admitted he's well known for using "colorful language."

"I probably would never have made the statement if I anticipated anything like this happening," Kanjorski said. "It was obviously not in humor, but not literally."

Perhaps Kanjorski should heed this recommendation, from an editorial in the Seattle Times:

One cannot anticipate how high-caliber heinous vitriol will be translated by extreme and disturbed elements, but that is no excuse to dismiss such talk as colorful rhetoric.

Although come to think of it, only fruitcakes would take rhetorical advice from a writer who turns phrases like "high-caliber heinous vitriol."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jaguars for Jesus, in California's Orange County

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So long, Willard Intermediate Chess Club. Sayonara, Willard Gardening Club. Say good bye to the “Claws” Club at Willard, run by a security officer there, teaching the tougher kids respect for law and order and having them help with hall monitor-type duties.

What’s happened, at Wednesday’s staff meeting, is that Willard principal Dennis Cole, on learning that his “Jaguars For Jesus” teacher-led prayer/bible study club was unconstitutional and would likely result in a lawsuit, reacted by banning ALL of Willard’s student clubs.

As you can hear in the recording below of the staff meeting, Mr. Cole’s reasoning is that it’s “unconstitutional” for some kids to be able to have one kind of club and others not to be able to have another kind of club. What utter BS sophistry! It’s the Cole-initiated, teacher-led religious club “Jaguars for Jesus” that’s unconstitutional. There’s nothing unconstitutional about the chess club or the “Claws” club; banning those is theatrical and cruel on Cole’s part. (The first 8 minutes or so of this recording are relevant to this story.)

[Adding insult to injury, according to several witnesses, the teacher-led "Jaguars For Jesus" have met twice, even after the Wednesday announcement of all clubs being banned!]

It’s unclear what the “lies” are that Cole claims, in this recording, have been told about him. The facts are not in dispute – a while back he approached three or four similarly devout teachers and asked them to lead a prayer and Bible study group for students. The Supreme Court has ruled that public school students can lead their own religious clubs, and teachers can also have their own little prayer group, but for teachers to lead a student prayer group is a breach of the separation between church and state, giving the impressionable young people the idea that a particular religion enjoys the school’s (ergo the government’s) endorsement.

The horrible scary “atheist group” Cole refers to early on in the above recording is the “Freedom From Religion Foundation,” a national nonprofit representing 16,000 members and dedicated to preserving the separation of church and state. Here’s part of the letter they sent to Supervisor Russo and Principal Cole which prompted his passive-aggressive over-reaction; it’s got all the facts and legalese you could wish for :

…It is our information that Willard Intermediate School offers a religious club called “Jaguars for Jesus.” It is our understanding that this club meets during the lunch hour. We were informed that Principal Dennis Cole has approached teachers and other staff to lead this club. It is our further understanding that there may be some participation by persons from a local church.

First, it is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that a public school may not advance, prefer, or promote religion. See generally, Lee v. Weisman, Wallace v. Jaffree, Epperson v. Arkansas, School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, Engel v. Vitale… Therefore, a public school may not sponsor a Christian club. We are deeply concerned that “Jaguars For Jesus” is school-sponsored and not “student-initiated” or “student-run.” We are told that “Jaguars For Jesus” is teacher-led, and occurs on school property during the school day. A reasonable Willard Intermediate student would presume that this Christian club is sponsored by the school. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that the intermediate school, and therefore the SAUSD, endorses religion over nonreligion, and specifically Christianity over all other faiths.

Which Party has Worked Harder to Keep Guns Away from the Unstable?

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I will be kind:

Which party has done all it can to stop any form of gun control?

Which party has done all it can to stop universal health care, including, of course, mental health care?

What percentage of NRA members are Republicans, or farther right?

Why is there no system for professionals like doctors, nurses, teachers, social workers, psychologists, to add to the gun issuing database. Why are there no flags which tell a gun seller that while this person may no be an ex con, he may be the wrong person to sell to?

Could it be the Right, battling against any and all efforts to reduce these tragedies, and battling in favor of large capacity magazines?

Just asking........

Locking Up Loughner's Guns, It Can Be Done

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It is possible to set up a system where professionals like psychologists, teachers, doctors, social workers, law enforcement, and others, can enter reports into the database use to clear gun purchases. They would enter brief descriptions of questionable behavior, and also rate the incident, from 1 to 9, vague unease/oh my God! The gun seller would only see the flags, and the ratings. If he say, saw 3 "1's", he might go ahead a sell the gun. If he saw 30 reports, rated all over the map, then he would know to call in a professional to go through and evaluate the actual reports.

Why do we always have to find out afterwards from these folks, let's do pre-emptive work to avoid the pain and sorrow, and possible save the deranged. There would have to be an appeals process, but such a system would have stopped Loughner cold, and Christina Green would still be alive.

For those who advocate everybody carrying firearms, please consider the following:

Not one single gun was drawn in that crowd, but there probably were a couple of concealed carry folks in the vicinity. Looks like they couldn't stop what they were doing, get out their guns, assess the situation, and get an innocents' free line of sight going. If they had tried, how many bystanders would have tackled them?

Based on the speed of what he did, and his crazyness (including his willingness to die, a possibility for which he left notes), do you think you could have reacted fast enough to shoot him, and not hit anybody else?

Do you think you would risk drawing a gun where others likewise armed might think YOU were the bad shooter? You have to stop him as he tries to purchase, not at the OK Corral. And finally, if everyone, including the unstable, were armed to the teeth, how often would you go to the mall?

As a variation, you could have average Joe submissions, even friend's, ex wife's and relative's submissions, but these would have to be submitted by a licensed psychologist, who simultaneous and confidentially makes observations about the submittee. This would reduce false information, except from the truly determined or trust funded, as they would have to pay for the submission.

I've come up with a funny name for this system to keep the mentally unstable from getting guns.

"Peg All Locos Instantly Nationally"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sunlight Via Mirrors for Westboro Church, Give Them a Taste of the Hell They Deserve

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Westboro Church is sinking to a new low, as they plan to go to Christina Green's funeral with their usual signage, probably updated to blame Christina for the gay population.

Normally I would never recommend anything that might cause bodily harm, and in this case, as long as the Westboro folks LEAVE, they will probably not suffer any harm. They will get warm, and they will have to seek protection for their eyes.

If everyone will bring mirrors, and shine them at the greatly outnumbered Westboro folks, maybe, just maybe, the Westboro folks will get the message, that their message can go to Hell, where it and they belong. The mirrors will give them a taste of what lies ahead for them, in the afterlife.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Top News Story of the Year

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The top story of the year is the continued slide towards to New Feudalism, with the middle and working classes becoming once again serfs to the top 1 to 2% of the wealth holders in the nation, and the final blow to democracy, the legitimization of Unbridled Corporate Sponsorship of all elected offices.

And of course their T-Bill Party, the ongoing process where the ultrarich buy government debt and hold the rest of us hostage for the interest.

Plus, of course, the halfwit Tea Party in all its variations, which serves as a cheering section for the whole suicidal process.

Skiing/Boarding Survival Safety on Snowy Days

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The following site contains two pictures of interest, and you are free to send this link, or download and send the pictures, for non-commercial use anywhere it will do some good:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/keachie/sets/72157625711571822/with/4399114524/

I’ve never had more views of photos than the two I posted, 78, and 71 views in the first day up. After thinking and mourning the unknown to me skier, but ask not for whom the bell tolls, I realized the following:

Your cell is worthless, backside of Squaw, Alpine:

Nine simple lightweight small, cheap safety devices, especially for Squaw and Alpine:

Compass (can even be a toy)
Two way walkie talkie, (can be smallest least powerful kind)

Whistle, should be loudest kind.
partial roll toilet paper
$14 Space Blanket, red and silver, possibly two of these
matches and candle
knife, to whittle wood shavings, to add to TP, to start fire.
flashlite, same sized batteries as radio, and possible just a tiny clip on the visor LED light.
50 feet 1/4 parachute cord, any color but white, for tent or stretching out Space Blanket for signal visible from air using poles and skis.

I am now convinced that Shawnte Marie Willis had a bad fall while traversing the ridge in high winds and possibly foggy white out conditions. She got up, and began riding down hill, unaware that she was going to the left, instead of to the right.

As Squaw and Alpine share the crest of the Sierra Nevada in the same way, i.e., it runs north south, and the ski area bowls are to the east of the crest, a compass can tell you, regardless of visibility, if you are in or out of bounds.

If upslope is in the direction that is east, you have gone out of bounds off the backside. Your cell is worthless on the backside, but the walkie talkie is good for at least a couple of hundred yards, enough for nearby rescuers to find you. The bigger the radio and more batteries you’re willing to carry, the better. The more clothing and food, especially peanuts and raisins and chocolate.

Read: Sierra Club's, "Manual of Ski Mountaineering"

You shouldn't have to carry all this stuff on every day, just on the snowy days.

BTW, the biggest and baddest radio I've found in a quick search, 35 mile optimal range, includes flashlight, for $89 a pair, is:
MR355R rechargeable Two-Way Radio

It also takes AA batteries, and lithium would be best for all radios and flashlights.