Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Brought to You B(u)y:



One (Sad &) Silly Year!!!

Happy Blogoversary to me
Happy Blogoversary to me
Happy Blogoversary dear MBains
Happy Blogoversary to me

Well, it is my first blogoversary! lol!

My sincerest THANKS!!! to everyone who has read this sometimes somber, but nearly as often simply silly site over the last 365 days. It has truly been a ton o' fun for me to produce and commentarily interact with my fellow Homo Sapiens from around the globe.

As I believe I briefly mentioned once before, and although it's nowhere near to a done deal yet, I think that I may have
just found a more malleable host and software for the blog ahead. No promises (not even to myself! lol) but I do like the look (and cost) of it.

So, Salut! to my silly self, and to all y'all who've helped keep me pumped up on bloggin'!!! I'm looking forward to much, much more to come.

Hot! Sweet and Cool!

Near-Zero Emissions Power Plant Could Come To Northeast Ohio

Northeast Ohio is in the running to become the home of the world's first coal-burning power plant that produces almost no air pollution.

Many believe that a site in Tuscarawas County is the ideal spot for the $1 billion plant, and now several other counties are supporting the site as well


This would be an awesome investment. I just wish that BP still had their main administrative presence in Cleveland (they moved a lot of it to Chi-town when they merged with Amoco a few years back) because I think, with their working knowledge of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technologies, they'd be interested in supporting the lobbying effort to get this project located in nearby Tuscarawas.

This is a multi-win situation for Ohio if we get it.
[Link]"There's going to be a lot of good jobs in building the facility and a lot of good jobs for people to operate it," said Stark County Commissioner Richard Regula. "We have an abundance of coal in our region and that's a big component of it, and I think it could be a real positive."
He's not kidding about that abundance of coal, or our efforts to extract and utilize it. This is especially relevant and important as a Health issue since my own C-Town metro area is ranked as the Fifth worst in the nation for fine-particle pollution! You know, soot and such. The kind of pollution you can not only see, but taste and smell as well! Blechhh!

At least our RTA, small-time though it is relatively speaking, has been consistently expanding their fleet of Natural Gas busses over the last decade. THAT has helped the downtown experience become far less
dangerous, uninviting and just plain downright stinky.

Cleveland is a beautiful city on the shores of a Great Lake. She is also a seething cauldron of aglomerated humanity, struggling to find it's way in an ever-changing and always growing world of humans and technologies. All news like this is good news for her future.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Science and Religion: Unrelated and Hand in Hand

Science finalist could win $100,000

Just a brief post as evidence for the ubiquitous compatibility of Science and Religion working in one young person's life (regardless of the fact that it most assuredly was not the case my own youth. )

The young man is one of 40 finalists for Intel's annual Science Talent Search and, not only does he attend a christian academy, he's also a high-ranking member of a well-known Christian Para-military organization for youngsters!
Moore said he's scrambling to perfect his work on remotely piloted Micro Air Vehicles, hoping to be the first to make a micro ornithopter — which is a flapping-winged vehicle — with a live video camera in it.
And his project sounds great as well as being very professional and promising! I hope he makes it.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

... a little bit quiet.

My first effort in JJ's Flash Fiction Fridays.


There was something a little bit quiet about this morning. No one had been here and, for a Saturday, that was less than reassuring.

Only the wind was around to kick up dust undisturbed from any revels of the night before. Music, always lingering when the pits have emptied and the drone died down, was nowhere in my mysubconscious background humming. I wasn't humming. There wasn't anything to hum. I was listening and that pissed me off.

We have an arrangement, see? These kids and me. They use my space to rave on Friday nights and I make sure the cops are never called by any of the other semi-indigents living in this crapped out building near to the old train station. They know me too. It is not just in my head like seemingly everyone has always said everything I say or 've done is. They are real.

... or at least they have been. Haven't they?

{...shufflin'off...} {mumblin'} {shakin'head}



I'm happy with the idea, but the length needs some stretchin'...

Science and Faith



This is quite possibly the best article I have ever read on the pseudo debate over teaching alternatives to science in Science Classes.

I've spent alot of time trying to describe the story, particularly as it utilizes a real-life couple and their child's bout with pneumonia. I've gone ahead and deleted much of my attempt because the author, Seth Ashley, really has done such a wonderful job of showing how much room there is for both Science and Faith to exist in people's lives, and in what contexts each can be most beneficient to both individuals and our species as a whole.

I had the occasional quibble with some phrasing (
[Link] Science can tell us the consequences of our behavior — take global warming, for example — but it doesn't tell us what we should do about it.) but even this somewhat dubious assertion can't ruin the tone or the content of the rest of the article.

A brief snippet from a sidebar nicely frames the "debate":

[Link] What’s the difference?

Evolution: A foundation of science that explains how biological structures change over time. Viruses such as bird flu mutate and change constantly. On the other hand, it takes millions of years for species to evolve and change due to natural selection, the process that allows individual creatures to adapt to their environment.

Intelligent design: A nonscientific idea that the complex form and function observed in biological structures is the work of an intelligent being. It contends that the origin of biological life and the diversity of all original species on Earth are the result of intelligence.

Creationism: A religious belief based on a literal interpretation of the Old Testament that God created the universe and all life.


Near to the end of the article, Ashley continues to examine the National range of the Evo-ID controversy. He describes how the current legislative environment in Missouri is still evolving towards some kind of political resolution.
[Link] House Bill 911, introduced in 2004 by Rep. Robert Wayne Cooper, R-Camdenton, would have required equal class time for evolution and intelligent design, and a teacher's refusal to comply would have been grounds for termination. The bill vaguely defined "biological intelligent design" as a hypothesis that biological structures are the work of an intelligent being. The bill also said — without any evidence — that "naturalistic mechanisms do not provide a means for making life from simple molecules or making sufficient new genetic material to cause ascent from microscopic organisms to large life forms."
If MO is the "Show Me!" state, why are folks like Wayne Cooper so all fired up to ignore evidenciary processes in the education of our children? Well, most of the legislators did say Show Me! loudly and clearly. Not that it stopped the fearful (in their guise of being faithful) from trying other routes around sanity and reason.
Missouri's science community rallied against the bill, which died in committee. In May, Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, introduced a toned-down bill that would require a debate about the origin of life in all biology textbooks. Her bill ran out of time in the General Assembly, but she plans to reintroduce it in the next House session in January.
Ahhhh... The inevitable evolution of an empty argument! Here's to the tax-payer's money that will be once again wasted in an emotionally charged fight for institutionalized ignorance. I believe that the people and courts will, once again, come to rational and Constitutional terms in this venue, just as they have in Dover and other places. The highly charged nature of this pseudo-debate means that the money must be spent just as it is on so many other spurious claims brought before our nation's courts.

The whole time I was reading this article, I kept thinking of the Inscrutable One's conundrum on what approach he should take to writing a response to a response to his response to a Letter to the Editor in his local paper. I don't know as this will help him any, but articles like Seth Ashley's, lucid and beautiful in its balanced description of the cultural war between Science and Faith, are a boon to our humanity and, thusly, I am quite glad that I found it and have the right and ability to share it online. Maybe it'll at least offer some kind of inspiration for Letter to the Editor writers everywhere. {-;


Special thanks to my buddy Ed Bremson of the Tao of Politics. He posted on a "candid" letter to the editor in Saturday's edition of the CDT which spoke directly to one of my biggest concerns with the current US Presidency. It was the pic at the beginning of this post that linked to Ashley's excellent article. Thanks Ed!!! I am very happy I found this one.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

NBA - Isaiah Rider arrested on kidnapping charges

What the hekk happened in dude's life to make this normal for him?
[Link] Rider racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and suspensions in his NBA career, which ended in 2001. His offenses ranged from being tardy to practice to spitting at fans and airport personnel to crimes of assault and marijuana possession.

He spent two days in jail for failing to perform court-ordered community service for a 1994 assault charge -- kicking a woman in the back after a disagreement at an autograph signing.


And he's only 34 years old. I hope dude figures it out. It doesn't seem like he's got much chance of staying free
left to him and he's already used up his benefit of the doubt the cops & system. No matter what you've been through growin' up, that's one of the last things to have right in front of you.

I don't know. It just makes me think and hope the best for him and everyone around him.

What About the Red Ones?

The Cavs Lebron James gettin' red lasered on the foul line a couple of days ago, led me to check on it to see how much actual danger to the eye this could cause.

Mayo Clinic - Green Laser Pointer Can Cause Eye Damage

Hhhmmm... I'll likely search a little more, cuz I don't think the red one's can cause direct damage in an instant. The Mayo Clinic says the damage occurs after 60 seconds of exposure with the green laser.

Still, pilots and shooters alike have other things going on whilst gettin' lasered and the disturbance of that li'l red dot could certainly cause them to lose focus and face some otherwise more mundane and unlikely danger.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Uniformed Secret Service Police Force

No! N. O.

From Section 605 of the USA PATRIOT IMPROVEMENT AND REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005 This can not be allowed to happen.

The ONLY thing that has cemented me against Sam Alito is his view that One branch of the US Government (the Executive in his preference) may have power and control over the other 2 EQUAL BRANCHES when it decides such is necessary for the National Security.

That's all. You know... nothing much. {shakin'head&growling}

This document (on freakin' Thomas.net so don't tell me it's made-up Liberal paranoia!) is simple and horrifying evidence that these fascist neo-con ass-hats not only want the power behind the scenes, they want to put Brown Shirts on the streets with you and me.

    `(b)(1) Under the direction of the Director of the Secret Service, members of the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division are authorized to--
      `(A) carry firearms;
      `(B) make arrests without warrant for any offense against the United States committed in their presence, or for any felony cognizable under the laws of the United States if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the person to be arrested has committed or is committing such felony; and
      `(C) perform such other functions and duties as are authorized by law.


What?! Three days of free play listening to my phone calls without a warrant isn't enough? They want
SS Officers to have a uniformed street presence as well?

I suppose that's cuz I might not come on down to their office if they were to call or send a couple nicely dressed fellas to my door. If this provision made the cut, they could just scoop a person up on that one's way to the corner market and that person's roommate/spouse/family would never even know they were gone 'til they didn't come home from work the next day.

As rob @ realitique puts it

[Link] I know, I know, conservatives, a federal police force with nebulous powers of arrest isn't fascistic or totalitarian or even worrisome. It's just our Leader exercising the war powers of the unitary executive. Dear conservatives, please, get a dictionary, take a class, but do something.

Thanks rob, for the heads-up and, incidentally, a couple of good giggles. (Check the face on his SBHoJ background image! I don't think it's George Carlin, but... ) Heh heh... I needed both of 'em.

Especially after reading about our Fellow Americans' views on the Chimperor's pet project.

Happy Friday everyone...


(Tags forthcoming)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Tagged!


Since Bird has put the Tag upon me, I feel compelled to enjoy and comply. Here’s what “Tagged” means, as explained by Jay in Kansas (cat bloggers get your fix one way or another at Jay's.)

The tagged victim lists 8 different points of their perfect lover/partner*, mentioning the sex of said partner. Tag 8 victims to join this game & leave a comment on a post letting them know they've been tagged.


On that note, and in my own arrangement:

(1) Sexy
(2) Funny
(3) Smart and (4) Yummy
(5) She likes to do what I like to do
(6) And I do love what she loves to do
(7) Committed to her own grand life
(8) Loves me so much, I'm just along for the ride
(9!)
and she’s ever ready to change positions at the wheel!



{sigh..} LOL!


Bruhahahahaha!!! I’m’a goin’ taggin’ soon…** {;


* In this particular instance of the genre. Unless I'm wrong, you can get tagged for different lists. Is there a Decider? Can I tag for my victims' Top 8 Future Visions for Earth and all it's earthlings. Do I actually hafta Google it?


** See *

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

an .mp3 be Me?

These quiz results are more to my liking than the one I posted then deleted.

You are .mp3 The kids love you.  You get along with just about everybody except the music industry.  You really make yourself heard.
Which File Extension are You?



It's just kicks...

M'hat be tippin' towards the
Purgatorian.

On My Mind


Actually, there's been too much going on at work.
My boss is gone to the Lotus Developers' Conference for the week and my partner in PCSupport-crime is
on vacation 'til Friday. No big whoop. Uh huh...

lol

I've also been AIMing with my s-daughter alot lately {and talking with her Mom about some things needin' talkin' 'bout,} so "lol" is de rigour by now.

lol ;)

errr.. and finally, I'm halfway through a short collection of Kurt Vonnegut's called Welcome to the Monkey House*. "The Hyannis Port Story"(1963) concluded in an interesting fashion. This sucks 'cuz I feel as if the man is me;

Says the Lady to her husband, Commodore:

"Your an intelligent, charming, well-educated man, and you're still quite young," said Clarice.
"I've got to find some kind of work," he said.
"We'll both be so much happer," she said. "I would love you, no matter what. But I can tell you now, darling---it's awfully hard for a woman to admire a man who actually doesn't do anything."
Only without the wife and where work is some kind of fulfilling career... I'm way too hard on myself, even though it's true that I bust butt at a decent job, and do little but this blog for love.

Anyhow, the way the story ended drew a laugh
** (lol!) and made me think, as the 2%ers reminded me just yesterday,
We've all done lots of stupid things in our lives, ... that doesn't mean we're stupid, that means we're human.
Yah, yah... I know...

lol






* The cover of the book bothers me 'cuz it uses a pic of a chimp instead of drawing of an actual monkey... Could be the point, I guess. We're as much monkeys as are chimps.


** You'll have to read the story yourself. I hate givin' endings away. But the Kennedy's really were always good with self-deprecating humor. Especially when used to soften a victory. Heh.. .}

Monday, January 23, 2006

Hhhmmm...


Maybe
this would work....



ahhh forget it.

{-;

Oh My...


are the first words to come to mind upon hearing of this.

[Link] Kobe Scores 81 Points in Win Over Raptors

... Bryant, the NBA's leading scorer, left to a standing ovation with 4.2 seconds remaining, having shot 28-of-46 from the floor, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range, and 18-of-20 from the foul line*.

With the 18,997 fans at Staples Center chanting "MVP! MVP!" Bryant made two free throws with 43.4 seconds remaining for his final points. He scored 27 points in the third quarter, 28 in the fourth.
* See that stat my Cavs?!? Those throws were free! (kinda... .)

Even following such an explosive day of playoff football (Stillers v Seahawks! Uh huh!), "WOW" appears quite appropriate as well. 81 points!!!

{shakin'head}

Congrats brat!


To the US Senate: Alito is Wrong for US

It's taken awhile for me to come to this personal conclusion. I can't even link to all of the sites and media outlets which I've studied because A) there are so man and B) much has come from radio listening to the confirmation hearings on my local NPR station.

Another of those email lists I'm on includes the lovely virtue of providing it's subscribers with a form to send letters to our Congressfolk. Their website is plain and relevant to the topic on which they've sent a link. Their form provides a wonderful space for inclusion of my opinion on the issue at hand.

So I utilized it as follows.


I have joined with my fellow americans and given Judge Sam Alito both the benefit of the doubt, and a fair ear and mind over the course of these Senate confirmation hearings. What has become quite clear from his stories and disposition is that he intrinsically supports the Executive Branch of government over the other two.

His record shows that he does so both fairly AND in a biased manner. By consistently putting the burden of Legal Clarity on the legislature, he follows the Constitutional admonition that the making (drafting) of Laws belong to the people's duly elected representatives. He is completely right in suggesting the onus for clarity falls upon the body delineating and refining such laws.

Mr Alito fails in the objectivity of his opinions when such Laws are in confrontation with the desires the Executive branch. He is irrationally consistent in support the Exe over the Leg and, as he pointed out repeatedly, this body of opinion has evolved in synchronicity with his more than two decades of Advocacy for the supremacy of the Executive branch.

His assertions that all of his decisions, and most of his advisories on behalf of past Administrations, reveal a character of Top Down decision making which is contraindicated by the US Constitution. Each of his opinions can indeed be found supported by some portion of the USConst but, as a whole, they show an interpretation of that august document which belies the arguments of the framers' themselves when Jefferson and Hamilton first clarified the importance of 3 Distinct yet Interdependant institutions needed to assure both Checks and Balances each of and for the others.

I've withheld a strong opinion until only this week passed, because Judge Alito has shown himself an intelligent and thoughtful human who's integrity is as solid as his supporters have promoted. He has simply shown too much disrespect for the rights of individuals when those rights are abutted by those already in the seat of power.

That stance - or ideological perspective - is perhaps the one true prerequisite for the Fascism and State Control which Conservatives, Liberals and Libertarians of all degrees can NOT tolerate in a Free and Democratic Republic.

Our President MUST pick again. Please do your best to strengthen this democracy of individuals (both human and corporate!) without tilting the balance towards or away from any one of the 3 branches our American government. Deny this man his desire to cement the Executive as the ONE final arbiter of our nation's direction into the future of our species.

Sincerely

Michael Bains
Cleveland, OH 44118
sillyhumans.blogspot.com


The site does clarify what their Litmus Test for a Supreme Court nominee is.
Alito is on the record stating that he believes in a dictatorial model of the president and that a woman's private decisions are up for grabs. He lied about his position on the former and categorically refused to repudiate the later. Robert Bork himself stated the other day he believes conclusively that Alito still holds that view. THAT is the evidence to filibuster Alito, not what he might have evaded saying at his hearing.

This is our litmus test. If our senators will not protect us from this constitutional outrage, we call for each and every one to be defeated in their next election. We call for candidates to arise in their own primaries if necessary to punish them for their cowardice and their complicity. If putting their own job on the line is not a circumstance "extraordinary" enough for them we don't know what is.
(their emphasis)

As usual from such organizations (even the li'l ones!) they lean a little too emotionally into their stand. Still, I find that, in this instance especially, I am decidely leaning with them.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Board Members "went too far"

A letter to the Ohio Townships Association seemed in order indeed!

My hat is tipped to Mama and the following was sent the relevant party.

The people writing about this in this, the land of the free, are not all satisfied with "eh, whatever..." when it comes to our childrens' education. I don't think most of us would have had Mr's Cochran or Baker's gall to read the paper through such a meeting as took place on January 10, '06. If you'd reply to me that " such isn't that out of the ordinary for these meetings", you would be assuring me of someone's complete lacking in fitness for such a heavy responsibility as the education of our species' children.

As more people are pointing out, Intelligent Design is definitively not Science. It poses no testable hypotheses. It merely suggests life is too complex to understand on naturally occurring terms. It is pompous and cowardly as an ideology because it refuses to test it's own assertions. It only attacks holes in scientific immaturity which those doing that science already acknowledge exist, and have already made great strides towards filling.

I'm sorry if my tone got somewhat out of hand. I am merely angry and scared about my fellow's behaviors when the "debate" in which we're encumbered, has never been real.

Please consider objective reality more relevant than personal beliefs when supporting individuals with such responsibilities for our future society.

Sincerly

Michael Bains
University Heights, OH 44118

I believe I need ta tip the hat to DarkSyd on UTI as well, for the Boston Globe Opinion piece from 1999. Amazing how somethings don't become real even after prayin' for 'em for years and years...

Eggzactly!!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Tomb of Rome



More history of Rome. Quite cool, this:

[Link]State TV quoted experts as saying the tomb appeared to date to about 1,000 B.C., meaning the people who constructed the necropolis pre-dated the ancient Romans by hundreds of years.

Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the god of war, Mars.
I don't doubt that Rommie n Reme were real. I'm just serious when I say that the snakegod in Conan is axactly the same kind of story as these guys. Dude couldn't turn into a snake but holywood made it so.

Rome used self-mythologizing, with the help of
disappearing those who said what's real (not always quietly nor, ahem, tastefully either.) It's a great way to prove to the future that you existed. Romulus and Remus quite likely did bring a nation of humans into being that had survived alot of centuries as clans and families. At the time and with their knowledge, they likely believed they were gods themselves.

Not good that, and it still doesn't make them god-born.

Also found inside the tomb was a funerary urn, ANSA said.
Takes a pretty warm fire to cook a person to ash and still be able to recover their ashes fairly cleanly. I don't recall what age the oldest known funerary urn, but this one seems to my memory to be fairly close at 3,000 years.

I just like collecting background on civilization's progress.

Oh, and (dis)continuities. Some things really never seem to change.

Friday, January 20, 2006

DarkSyd's Science Friday

[Link] But, when we put all these things together what we find is that only explanations that include the greenhouse gas changes are able to explain the vast majority of the trends that we can see in the observations (warming oceans, land, melting glaciers, reducing Arctic sea ice, cooling stratosphere, etc.). This is a pretty robust result.



IF you don't believe the Earth is warming, then you better be prayin' mighty hard.

Not that it'll help.

I'm Sorry Master {bowin'obsequiously}

This site is certified 34% EVIL by the Gematriculator

I've failed in my service to evil. I'm am so bad I'm...

This site is certified 66% GOOD by the Gematriculator


(Though honestly, I think they've got those symbols mixed up. You know whadImean?)

{-;

Supreme Court Right to Uphold Assisted Suicide Law



I'm on quite a few email lists.
Quite a few of those, I merely note the headlines and hit "delete." Those I receive from the Ayn Rand Institute, on the other hand, I always read completely.

Now, don't mistake me, occasionally I laugh or sputter indignantly at some of the wordings or ideological dogmatisms proferred. What is different with the ARI newsletters though, is simply that I must always
think about them before deciding to save it or trash it. I rarely (if ever) see their take and say to myself "there they go again! {shakin'head}." Even though I may often disagree on some point or another, I still appreciate their approach because of the way it makes me confront my own ideas on the issues at hand.

I'll save any further (or real) commentary for another post (maybe.) For now, it is enough to say that I could not agree more fully with this letter to an editor vis-a-vie the recent SCOTUS ruling on Oregon's assisted suicide laws.

  • Dear Editor:

    In upholding Oregon's assisted suicide law, the Supreme Court reached the right result for the wrong reasons. The law should have been upheld on the grounds of an individual's right to his own life.

    The right to life includes and implies the right to commit suicide. To hold otherwise is to deny the right to life at its root. If we have a duty to go on living, despite our better judgment, then our life does not belong to us, and we exist by permission, not by right.

    Individuals have a moral right to seek assistance in committing suicide. And if a doctor is willing to assist, based on an objective assessment of his patient's mental and physical state, the law should not stand in his way.

    There is no rational basis upon which the government can properly prevent an individual from choosing to end his life. The choice is his because the life is his.

    Religious conservatives, supported by the Bush administration, want to ban assisted suicide because it defies God's will. Such conservatives crave to inject religion into the bloodstream of American law, thereby assisting in our own national suicide. People of reason must refuse their consent to the religious conservative agenda.

    Thomas A. Bowden

    Ayn Rand Institute

    Irvine, CA

    2121 Alton Parkway #250

    949-222-6550 ext 226


  • Copyright © 2006 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.


By the way, I requested, and received, permission to reprint this email here.

Thanks Larry.

Awesomely Outward Bound


And she's off!
It took a few tries, but NASA's New Horizons vehicle is under way on its long trip to Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

[Link] The mission aims to send an unmanned, compact car-sized spacecraft packed with scientific instruments to survey Pluto, the never-before-explored outermost of the nine official planets of the Earth's solar system.

"This mission is going somewhere no mission has gone before. This is the frontier of planetary science," said mission scientist Hal Weaver.

Despite the speed of this particular rocket, we have a long wait ahead before she even gets to, much less completes, her mission.

[Link]The New Horizons spacecraft blasted off aboard an Atlas V rocket Thursday afternoon in a spectacular start to the $700 million mission. Despite the speed — it can reach 36,000 mph — it will take 9 1/2 years to reach Pluto and the frozen, sunless reaches of the solar system.

That's cool with me. This is money that should turn out to be seriously well-spent for the knowledge of our little spiral of the universe it is expected to return.
[Link]"We're realizing just how much there is to the deep, outer solar system," said Alan Stern, the mission's principal investigator. "I think it's exciting that textbooks have to be rewritten, over and over."

Salut NASA! If this mission goes half as well as has that of the twin Martian Rovers, the enormity of its return on investment can not even begin to be calculated. Who knows what we'll find out that far into the undiscovered fringes of our solar system?

I sure hope we're still here to marvel at whatever amazing wonders of nature and fantastical seeming facts of life this mission illuminates for us. After all, our continued existence is not guarenteed.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

oh schools need to evolve

Ohio School Editorials update.

The comment by Chester E Finn is especially interesting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thinkus Interruptus



Or:
What happens when you love your kids so much, it impedes your ability to think.

"Caged Kids" Update


I'm sure alot of you have read or heard of this case by now.
A rural Ohio couple modified several of their children's bunk beds in order to, as they said, provide for the childrens' safety from themselves and their siblings.


The news first broke back in September and, wow!, my initial response, like that of most other people hearing about this, was of shock and incredulity. The court has been studying the family's situation for several months now and Judge Timothy Caldwell is apparently going to revisit the case in court some time today.

[Link]Cardwell found no clear evidence that the Gravelles neglected to provide the children with adequate food, clothing, shelter or specialized services. But he said that the children's psychological, behavioral and health problems became too much for the couple.

Whatever happens, I sure hope someone with experience is going to start lending these folks some assistance. They may have done nothing malevolent but, as Judge Caldwell points out, there are some serious issues going on here.

Peak Oil: It's Closer than you Think

And Chevron is the one who says so.

Hat tip to Kevin Vranes of No Se Nada on the awesome new Science Blogs.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"Freak and Freeze"

This will be brief (and OY so personal...)

What frequently happens inside my mind when I want to do anything fun for me, is that I feel ashamed. I get
emotionally distressed and my thinking goes fuzzy. I Freak and Freeze my activities.

This is because some (very specific) things I have wanted to do, since my earliest childhood, have either been actually shameful (hurtful to myself and/or others) or
culturally shameful.* This has almost always caused me to lose interest quite quickly in my own practical desires. ie, the things which are in front of me to do for my own benefit.

Frankly, this sucks.

The good news is, of course, that I've finally come to terms with it.

With that in mind, I'm returning to my most recent Psychotherapist; the one I was seeing when I committed my life to this last male-female relationship. My experience with this man was incredibly beneficient to both my understanding of my motivations and, yes, my self-esteem, but as I became more intertwined emotionally with my soon-to-be-X wife, I gradually became more tentative in sharing
all of my thoughts with him. I slowly slid down to the conclusion that I couldn't trust him with my intentions because he would only try to help me see my decisions more clearly and unemotionally, thus causing me to make the decision to end that relationship.**

Again with the
Oy!

If this particular PT is no longer available, or for any reason he declines to work with me, I'll find a new one of his quality and caliber. I've been down this kind of road enough to the characteristics of a Therapist which are most important and efficacious to my personal development. I am very determined to get me right; again.

And I'm still alive so I still desire a Life!



* Ie, no one is really hurt but some irrational moire is being transgressed so the effect from my emotional and behavioural authorities (Parents, RCC School teachers, etc.) is that something wrong has been done. And been done by me! Since this started, at the latest (and as far as I can recall,) when I was 5 years old, I've long been intellectually aware that I bear no responsibility for the earliest of these desires/occurrences.

That's the difference between "knowing" and "doing" though: emotionality. It doesn't matter that I know a thing was not my fault or responsibility. I feel as if it is.

** My best friend at the time was also left behind because of the quality of her being a her. {sigh} I've recently reconnected with her somewhat and, to my amazement, she is holding no grudge and would like to platonically pick up where we left off. I've really got to start appreciating my luck (of which I maintain we make our own) and my friends much more emphatically. I deserve it.


So much for brevity... LOL!

{sigh}

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Minimum Wage Must Rise

There is an interesting and culturally relevant Commentary in today's online Seattle Post-Intelligencer. It's author, a woman named Holly Sklar, seems to have a decent grasp of at least part of the problem regarding this issue:
[Link] (Dr Martin Luther) King did not dream that in the year 2006, he would be remembered with a national holiday, but the value of the minimum wage would be lower than it was in the 1950s and '60s. At $5.15 an hour, today's minimum wage is nearly $4 less than it was in 1968, when it reached its historic high of $9.09, adjusted for inflation.
At least one of the people who commented on this view pointed out that MLK's opinion on the matter is irrelevant. I respectfully disagree, though I must acknowledge that this is emphatically not a simple issue of race.

I also believe that our politicians, immoral, corrupt and ignorant as many of them are, should be paid at a much higher level than is the average. What job is more important than creating the Legal rules of a Society?* Educators may be more important, but even they are dependant upon the laws made by the Legislators. It does seem true that if our Legislators, governmental executives and judiciary were paid more handsomely, they would be less eager to put aside their morality in favor of a few (or a few thou$and) questionable perk$ from Lobbyists.

In the current system, they increase their salaries quietly (as Ms Sklar says in her commentary) so as to avoid the appearance of greed. I find this
disingenous and quite ineffective.

The comment which I left on the site is posted as follows.

[Link] The biggest argument against raising the minimum wage is that it would be too costly for employers and they would, thusly, close up shop, leaving their employees Unemployed.

Rationally speaking, this makes superficial sense. Superficial is the key word though.

Has the soaring cost of street drugs reduced demand for the product? Has the soaring cost of housing reduced demand for that product? In 1970, an "average" 4 door auto cost under $3,000. Today it is closer to $16,000. Has demand been reduced?

The answer to those questions shows the inherent abuse of power and reason within which the anti-minimum wage campers hunger for.

We have different rules for our children, Legal Minors, than we do for adults. We can most certainly have different minimum wages as well. Legal codifying such a difference would ensure that adults who need and want work but have not the resources or skills to procure high paying positions for themselves will still be able to provide food and shelter and, yes, some consumer luxuries for themselves and their families.

Capitalism has proven to be the best BY FAR economic approach to allocation of resources. So has under regulated Capitalism been proven a Deadly Corruption of the idea of Justice upon which this country is founded.

Life ain't Sports people (and I know I'm speakin' to the choir from the above comments.) If our laws promote Winner Take All then our Laws are unconstitutional because they deprive the least capable - whatever the reasons (which must be resolved otherwise) - of their equal opportunity for Life and Liberty. Trickle Down economics is logical and rational until it becomes the raison d'etre and sole arbiter of economic decision making.

Only a sane minimum wage, one that provides for adult independance and individual opportunity, can counter the immorality of economic ignorance.
I should have added that, as in the case of the cars, homes, etc, in my examples, prospective employers - people who wish to produce a product for our consumption and their own financial gain - are integral to our society. I completely understand where paying higher wages can make it much more difficult for them to exercise their freedom to produce and be remunerated profitably for their efforts. What I scoff at is the lunacy that suggests their right to produce outweighs another's right to survive.

If you can't afford to stay in your business, quit. If it is truly a worthy product, then someone else will find a way to supply it in a fashion which doesn't physically denigrate the individual employees who make it's production possible.



* I'm not counting Medical Doctors because, even with Medicare and Medicaid, ours (the US') is emphatically not a Socialist Health Care system.

Super Bowl Picks

Ain't nuthin Scientific here! LOL! Since the Browns are at least another year away from being a serious contender, I don't have any intensely visceral interest. I just love the level of play in the NFL game.

I list them separated into Preseason, Midseason, and pre-Postseason which was after the last reg-season game, but before the playoffs started. The fact that 4 games have already been played this year just adds to the lack of .. er .. uhh .. scientificacy. Umm right...

{shakin'head@self}


Alright. So here we go:

Pre-Season Picks: Atlanta Hawks over Kansas City Chiefs What the hekk was I thinking?!?! LOL! I suppose I just thought that Atlanta's Defense had finally matured, and that it was Mike Vick's year. Also, I really thought that KC's offense, not Indy's, would be the one to explode up against the rest of the league. Even if I did think that would happen, I simply didn't think that the Chief's D was good enough to stop the Vickster.

Mid-Season Picks: Indianapolis Colts over Who cares? The NFC sucks!* After 8 games in 9 weeks, I'd determined, like nearly everyone else, that the Manning Express was unstoppable. Damn I was hoping for an undefeated season!

Pre-Postseason Picks
(The one's I'm stickin' with): Indianapolis Colts Pittsburg Steelers over Seattle Seahawks Since the time they came into the League in the 1970's, the Seahawks have been my second favorite team. I don't know why, but Seattle has always been a City on my wish-list of places to visit. Gotta do that some day.

The bottom-line remains that Manning and Company are freakin' awesome!

If the Colt's get past both a red hot Stiller's team (sorry Big Ben, you ain't quite there yet) and the best Bronco's brigade since Elway's Exit, I just don't see any way for the 'Hawk's to be the one's to knock 'em out.

Who? What? I said what???

Talk about freakin' ambivalence! {shakin'head} I couldn't help it. I was rootin' for both teams from the opening freakin' kickoff. All I can really say is "Wow!" I shoulda known by the way the Stihler's played the last 3 games of the season.

I was thinkin' about startin' a new post entitled: "Y'all Wanna See My Sylvia Brown Imitation?"

Whatever. Even though I was wrong, this was far more fun.

Emotional Wish Pick: Seattle Seahawks slaughter Denver Broncos No matter that I've been a fan of Jake "the Snake" Plummer since his college days (he put on one hell of a performance 'gainst my Luckeye's in some meaningless bowl game back in '96), thanks to the afore-mentioned Elway, I hate the Broncos!!!

This one stays as is. No more editing.

Just More Football!!!



* At that point of this past season, it really did suck, even though Seattle was starting to look for real.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Darksyd Interview (on DKos)

This is just a quick "Hey, check it out" to an enjoyable Darksyd post on DKos. ~DS~ interviews Ed Brayton of Dispatches from the Culture Wars!

Sehr Cool!!!
[Teaser] DS: You don't really fit into either cookie cutter shape as far as democrat or republican. How would you described yourself politically?

EB: As a mutt, I suppose. The problem with labels is that others can easily find within them far more information than you mean to convey by them, particularly if they're looking for reasons to oppose you. The closest I've come to a label for my views is "left-wing libertarian", and that of course immediately causes those on the left who think that all libertarians think like Neal Boortz to tune me out, and it causes those on the right who react negatively to anything they regard as "liberal" to tune me out as well. One of the most annoying facets of modern political discourse - and I blame the rise of political talk radio largely for this - is the tendency on the part of so many people to think that by labeling a position they have refuted that position. They really do think that by saying "that's just liberal dogma" or "that's just right wing spin", they've defeated whatever argument their opponents are taking. It's quite irritating to me.

Ain't it the truth!

I'm a registered Dem who's favorite Ohio pol is jovial George Voinovich. Well, after my pops* that is. I'd say that FDR, Lincoln, Nixon and Slick Willie C are my favorite Presidents; though not necessarily in that order.


Gotta run. Work, she be a callin'.



* Michael Bains (nee Michael Nabakowski) I think that I've posted on how this came about before. I'll check the 'chives and, if not, I will.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Two Percenters Score Again

This "Rant" is why The 2% Company is one of my favorite blogs.

Pscyhics... {shakin'head} {sigh}

Creuduloids* can go ahead and keep on throwing their money in the psychic tip jar, but I'm only doin' so if she's cute and I think I got a chance. :p

It's not like she's gonna predict such intentions anyway.
{-;

L8



* Next to "nutters", this is my favorite generalized moniker of disgust. (and I think I just like "nutters" cuz I occasionally am one, of sorts... LOL!)

Runaway Train

Runaway train
Never goin' back
Wrong way on a One Way track
Seems like
I should be gettin' somewhere
Right now I'm neither here nor there



by Soul Asylum
(early 1990s ?)


Heard this on the radio this morning while switchin' around.*

Just had to get it out of my head. Ya know...

Have a beauty day eh...




* btw, that coolish, silly, flamin' mouse story? (Trust me. The story is linked to in the post.) not bloody likely. {sigh}

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ohio DoE Rejects Reason: Again

ARRRHHHG!!!

I can't even write much about it. I barely follow it because it sickens me so much. It's just the type of thing which so many freakin' folks in my beautiful Ohio are utterly and Contemptibly clueless about.

And the hypocrisy?!! Department of Education Board member, Martha Wise (one of da Good Guys) called for the vote on revisiting the current High School Biology standards because she said they were clearly written to open the door to Intelligent Design in Ohio's schools.

[Link] Deborah Owens Fink, a board member from Richfield, said she was livid that Wise would question her intent in such "unprofessional attacks."

"You don’t want to go there," Fink said.

Well sure! Her integrity is being questioned on what is sure to develope into a National case! Of course Ms Fink is upset and a bit defensive.

She's also a sickeningly immoral liar.

The exchange prompted Robin C. Hovis, of Millersburg, to remind members that Fink several years ago had introduced a proposal calling for students to be taught both intelligent design and evolution in science class.

(emphasis mine)

Many thanks to Cassandra of I'm the Mama for inadvertantly injecting a spike into my Blood Pressure range with her mention of this insanity. I need to hear it Lady, Thanks again.

I promise that I will revisit this not-yet-a-court-case issue. Certainly, I'll feel like I have no choice but to do so when it does go to court.

A Little Something to Feel Good About

Kind of anyhow.

[Link] A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday signals a perilous year for incumbents. Views of whether most members of Congress and the respondents' own representatives deserve re-election have sunk to levels not seen since 1994, when Democrats lost control of both houses. (Related: Congress poll results)

Now the Democrats have just gotta give us a better political product; one that really does provide intelligent Social protections for lives and opportunities.

And the Republicans need to get back to classical conservatism. The kind that rewards honesty, integrity, hard work and economic ingenuity.

Alas,
[Link] Typically, voters feel more favorably about their own representatives than they do most members of Congress. That's still true — 60% say their representative deserve re-election — but that figure is the lowest since 1994, and almost the same as in the first poll taken that tumultuous year.
(emphasis mine)

Oh well... I guess I'll never stop dreaming...


And on that note... Kevin, from Lean Left, provides some serious reasons why this shift in the electorate's "Ick level" towards our politicians couldn't come at a better time.

[Link] When you claim that the President is superior to the other branches of government in general and that, in particular, the President is above the law in matters of national security, there is nothing that the President cannot decide to do.
I'm leaving out the gruesome parts of his post. Check it out for yourself to learn what parts of whose anatomy our beloved Chimperor (actually any US president) has presumable Clearance to Crush if in defense of the National Security.
... history has clearly shown us that, sooner or later, any system that depends on the whim of one person will find itself controlled by a weak or evil person.
Sheesh!!! Go read his post. You'll see that some kind of sheesh definitely belongs there.

Look for a special guest appearance by "Will Roper and Tommy Moore" to sell the point that the Rule of Law is in Everyone's best interest.

Have a nice day folks.

{shakin'head}