Saturday, January 18, 2014

Chutney, taken November 29, 2013
Good Bye Dear Friend  

He loved to sing.

Now he is catching up on news with his old greyhound friend Daphne.

He was very fond of
 his pool on a hot day.

He vigilantly and fiercely looked out for his humans.

Sweet puppy.
This is a full page photograph of Chutney's Daddy, Junior World Champion Heythrop Trailblazer Of Snow Wind. Photo by T.M. Strom from the The Ultimate Jack Russell Terrier by Mary Strom. Chutney would get very upset and bark at this picture whenever I held it up to him and asked, "Who's your Daddy?" 



 He left this plane on January 10, 2014. 

Here is the transcript of our final New Years message and song.


Good Morning and Happy New Year 2014.



We are sitting here on the threshold of a brand new year and of course we hope for the best. We know that this year will hold some sadness and disappointment even in our victories. But we find comfort in the fact that our defeats and tragedies will contain the seeds of rebirth and joy as well.

Some of you may know Chutney, my good friend and companion. He is a Jack Russell terrier who was born in September of 1999. He is fourteen and he will not see his fifteenth birthday. Chutney has ALS which is also know as Lou Gehrig disease. He can hardly stand up now. He must drag himself around but it is getting more and more difficult. The first signs of ALS showed up about a year and a half ago when we noticed that he was having a little trouble jumping up on the bench by the back door. We had trained him to jump up there when it was time for a walk so it would be easier for his aging humans to leash him. Now he needs to be carried outside and upstairs. He eats lying down. He has lost control of his bowel movements and when I take him out I squeeze his abdomen to help him.



Chutney will be leaving us on Friday, January the tenth at about 9:30 AM.



He whimpers, cries and shakes and he has let us know in his own way that he is ready to move on.

I have prepared his grave in the back yard near a witch hazel bush. He will be buried in my old Navy blanket, which he loved, and with a new stuffed bear (scores of Goodwill stuffed animals met their ends at his paws) which will be with him forever.



Long ago we made a deal that we would always be friends and that in whatever guises the future may hold for each of us that we would recognize each other and be friends again.



A few years ago we sang together on the new year and that video is posted on my Youtube channel. Chutney loves to sing and he sounds as sweet as an angel to me. His voice is a bit shaky now but we shall sing for you again this year in Chutney's last public performance.

Chutney was interred January 16 with myself, Beth, and his friend Cushing in attendance. 
Chutney with Cushing, taken October 28, 2014

Chutney's Prayer

Our dearest Chutney has passed to the West with a renewed body of light.
May Anubis lead him to the Happyland where he may lay down his burdens and rest for a time.
He has been ever vigilant in the way of all Jack Russell Terriers, but now he may rest for a time.
He no longer must bear the responsibility for his humans and now he may rest for a time.
May he be rewarded greatly for his efforts in this life.
His body remains here to lie in the ground. 
Wrapped in my Navy blanket he holds a  stuffed bear on a bed of straw.
We shall erect a cairn on this spot.
We pledge to honor his memory and plant lovely flowers on his grave.
I know we shall meet again and we shall remember one another. 

Amen. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goddammit! That's why I drink whiskey.  I just don't know if those damn Commie brewers are poisoning my precious bodily fluids with fluoride!

BEERS WITHOUT FLUORIDE!


General Ripper is right. Fluoride is removed from water by the distillation process. But it remains in beer after the brewing process. One reason I moved to rural Maine was to avoid fluoridated drinking water. I've been drinking from a deep pure well for 28 years. I try to buy my beer from brewers who use non-fluoridated water when I'm not consuming my own.

Most brewers don't say much about their water sources. I have emailed a few brewers to determine the source of their water and if it is fluoridated. Many will answer. You can also look up the locations of breweries and then look up the city and there are easy to find lists of fluoridated towns and cities on line. I suspect some brewers in fluoridated towns may have private wells but that is conjecture. I am very fond of local Maine beers but some of the best are brewed in Portland which has been fluoridating the Sebago Lake water that goes to the city water supply since 1997. I limit my consumption of those beers. The fact is, three quarters of the population of the United States is being subjected to fluoridation in the water sent to their homes. The percentage of fluoridated beer is probably at least that high.

 A list of towns and cities in the United States and their fluoride status can be found at the Anti-Fluoridation Data Base.  Look at your bottle of beer and check where it was brewed.  It that city fluoridated? It is likely your beer is too. Perhaps your brewer has a private water supply. Some do. To be fair I would  send the brewer an email or contact them on their web site and simply ask about their water source. If they do not answer your question it is likely they use public water, and therefore their beer contains fluoride if they are located in a fluoridated town or city.  

Beers brewed with fluoridated water henceforth will be graded F on the Beers Without Fluoride Facebook page which has just been created by myself. 

 It is understood that most water supplies have a small amount of naturally occurring fluoride. Some have more. Adding extra fluoride to public water supplies is a concern to many. This dangerous poison in turn enters food and beer offered to the public. The purpose of my humble Facebook  page is not so much to discuss the dangers or benefits of fluoride. This page is for the people who have made up their minds about it and have elected to avoid it and therefore want this information in order to make an informed decision about their beer consumption. 

If you are careful to drink only bottled water yet you chug down a couple (or more) Bud Lights each and every night brewed in St. Louis  at .6 PPM fluoride what have you achieved? Not only are you drinking a beer brewed with GMO corn (Ugh and Ugh), you are also consuming beer made with fluoridated water.

Some water supplies are high in natural fluoride and most have some. Some people think that natural fluoride in water may not be as harmful as the chemicals added to public water. This may be so and their arguments make some sense but that is a question for another time. 

Vermont has a relatively low fluoride rate of about 57% of the population and there are good brewers there 'though most aren't available out of the region. Magic Hat produces excellent beers and it is usually available in Maine but they brew in one of Vermont's few fluoridated towns, South Burlington. Their Magic Hat Winter Seasonal has logged in at an atrocious .9 PPM fluoride.

This site seems to be tracking Fluoride Content of Various Beers. You will find an extensive (yet incomplete) list of beers and the status of the water they use to brew. 

How can they call beer made with fluoridated water "organic" in good conscience?

Peak Organic Brown Ale (a tasty beer indeed) is brewed by Shipyard in Portland, Maine under contract and it comes in at a rather high level of fluoride (.6 ppm). I have toured the brewery and they are a great beer making firm, yet they use fluoridated water in this supposedly organic brew. Some of the brewers in Portland, Maine  were already in operation in 1997 when the city began fluoridation. I never heard any of them opposing fluoridation at the time.


Similarly, Wolaver's in Vermont produces a  delicious array of so-called organic brews in fluoridated Middlebury.  Their Oatmeal Stout has been measured at a whopping .9 PPM fluoride at ffbeers.com. I contacted Wolaver's on their Facebook page and they admitted they were somewhat at the mercy of  the public water supply. I suggested that they might want to drill their own wells and they replied that they had looked into doing that and would study it again. I hope they do and then they could truly call their beer "organic." With both Wolaver's and Magic Hat with .9 PPM fluoride, it seems that when a Vermont town fluoridates, they really mean business at the water department. Is someone getting a kickback from the fluoride salesman?


You can bet that back in 1776 Sam's tankard did not contain beer made with fluoridated water.


The excellent Sam Adams products are also high in fluoride (.6 ppm) and are brewed in Boston which has a great protected water source in the Quabbin reservoir which is  then ruined with fluoride and excess chlorine (to my nose at least). Sam's gets an "F" as a result.  If I owned a brewery I would only use privately sourced well or spring water.  

Portland, Oregon did vote NO!


This article from the May 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine indicates that people responded in the negative when a local brewer supported fluoridation, claiming it wouldn't affect the taste of the beer. The referendum to fluoridate the excellent water supply of the city was defeated by the people last May. 


Friday, October 11, 2013

The USPS Wanted Your Kids To Die!

The headline above points to a story at postalnews.com which tells us:

Linn’s Stamp News reports that the US Postal Service will destroy the entire press run of a stamp series aimed at getting children to be more active. According to Linn’s reporter Bill McAllister, three of the stamps in the fifteen stamp series raised safety concerns among sports figures on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition. The stamps in question depicted children performing a cannonball dive, skateboarding without kneepads, and doing a headstand without a helmet. The unsafe depictions came to light after USPS Marketing chief Nagisa Manabe asked Michelle Obama to take part in a first day ceremony for the stamps. That was apparently the first time the stamps had been reviewed by the Sports Council. 



This is very very concerning. The USPS must promote health and safety above all! Look at the danger. These kids have NO EYES! They are screwed before they pick up a skateboard.   Even so, I hardly think these stamps can pose a threat to children. Kids do not even know what stamps are these days.

This year the USPS issued many commemorative stamps, almost all of which could be interpreted as promoting dangerous activities.  Let's look at some of them:


"Emancipation Proclamation"  
Many of our southren brethren think that emancipation was a wicked idea. Just imagine freedom for African Americans! Look at all the trouble it has caused.


"Kaleidoscope Flowers" 
These stamps obviously are promoting drug use since kaleidoscopes are a favorite toy of cannabis addicts.


"Year of the Snake"
We don't need no evil Chinese superstition on our stamps. And frigging fireworks are dangerous. You'll blow your hand off. But that's what the Chinese want you to do.


"Apples"
Are a favorite tool of Satan. 'Nuf said.


"Wedding Cake"
Look at that precious thing. This is obviously a gay wedding.


"Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly"
How much more overtly sexual can you get? And it's a subliminal Rorschach of a very vile thing.


"Tufted Puffins"
Here, finally, is a good one. Puffins are harmless. They live on distant islands and there aren't many of them. Wait a minute. Those tufts look too much like the horns of the Prince of Darkness.


"Global Forever" 
Why is our Postal Service which was established in our Holy Constitution promoting globalism?


"West Virginia"
What kind of a nondescript picture of West Virginia is this? It could be anywhere. Give us something distinctly West Virginia! Give us feuding hillbllies! Give us the Whites! Give us a Rockefeller! Give us the NSA! Give us Mothman!





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

For a while (maybe since the beginning of the summer) podcasts downloaded via my iTunes feed have often been corrupted.

They may skip to the end unexpectedly. 

Skip Skip


They make weird squeaky noises. 
Get out of my feed, Squeaky.

Sometimes you hear an anomalous few seconds of another podcast.
You....don't...belong....here!


 I sent a query to Apple about it but, of course, I got no response.
He's dead, Jim.

 I just updated to iTunes 11.1.0.126 today and it didn't help.

So I got an idea while looking at the podcast download window.

Several podcasts were downloading at the same time. I wondered if Apple was using some kind of  glitchy accelerator to speed up and maybe screw up the downloads. 
Then I noticed the "allow simultaneous downloads" box and I unchecked it figuring that iTunes was crossing the streams. And anyone who has seen Ghostbusters knows that one should never ever cross the streams. 
Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Peter Venkman: What?
Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Venkman: Why?
Spengler: It would be bad.
Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

Voila! 

After listening to a couple of newly downloaded podcasts I have experienced no problems. 

So if iTunes is giving you agita when you listen to podcasts, uncheck that box and let them download one at a time.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

 


We will not have true representative democracy as long as it take lots of free time and lots of money to run for office.  

You end up with what we have:  rich guys or guys who represent rich guys with very few exceptions.  


We should pick congressmen by lot and make about 10,000 new ones. Then we would have a body that truly represents the people. We would be much better off without the bleating myrmidons of the rich we endure today. 


We might get lucky and hear the dulcet tones of James Earl Jones in Congress.

Jorma Kaukonen could lighten the mood and speak for musicians everywhere.

Maybe even one of the Duck Dynasty guys might find himself sitting on a committee to protect water and wildlife.

Violent J and Shaggy would do better than the dopes making decisions now.

A lovely model or two like K.D. Aubert would make CSpan much more watchable.

Maybe Matt Damon would enter the lottery for a seat in Congress.
In case you were wondering, my plan would not allow convicted felons or persons diagnosed as insane to enter the Congressional lottery. There would also be a literacy requirement.


As amusing at it might be, Charlie will not be allowed to serve.


The Constitution called for one representative per thirty thousand people. If we had kept to that formula we would have a Congress of about 10,000 people. It would be much harder to buy or influence. Now there are only 435 representatives for sale who are so easy to buy if you have money.

But, in truth, there would be few famous people. We mostly would have a very representative group of average people making average money without axes to grind and without the agendas of the rich to promote.  

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Libertarian Fantasy: A Half Assed Manifesto

Unfettered free enterprise and human freedom are neither compatible nor congruent. 

 

The first inevitably suppresses the second.



Far more than a typical government, the corporation is the greatest threat to human freedom.
Corporations are masks donned by the powerful which allow them to be free of the responsibility for crime committed in the pursuit of wealth. 
The corporation actively subverts representative government through corruption of elected officials.
This ensures that the regulators and the regulations emanate from the corporation itself and regulate little or nothing of significance. 
The corporation exists with the total cooperation of venal men in government.  It has been granted all the rights and few, if any, of the responsibilities of a human being.
Corporations allow men who own and control them to ignore whatever shreds of moral philosophy linger in their beings. 
Free enterprise must be vigorously regulated by the people to protect themselves and the planet from the depredations of those capitalists who are motivated by greed alone.  
The libertarian movement is an adolescent fantasy which benefits selfish people who put their greed ahead of all other considerations. They have convinced the libertarian that the government, which has been corrupted by the corporations and their masters, themselves, is the problem.The whole concept of human freedom has been hijacked by those who proclaim free enterprise as the highest good. Human freedom and free enterprise are, in fact, antagonistic interests.
These wicked people make myrmidons of those myopic children who resent being told what to do or what not to do and have idealized the so-called freedom espoused by the libertarian movement as the highest good. These wealthy, powerful and oftentimes royal people have their wealth mostly because they have inherited it, not because they have provided great value to society. They are privileged from birth.  They are literally entitled.
The vast majority of human beings are not interested in amassing inordinate wealth and power. Those who live for wealth and power can be described as sociopaths. The quest for gold and power is empty at last.The frustration of this quest experienced by those materialists who can imagine nothing better generates havoc in the world for the rest of us.
Activate the Death Star.
These creatures have become adept at characterizing their greed for wealth and power as good. 
"Greed is good."
 They have their shills who perform sleight of hand to deceive.  Some appeal to fools.
Your problems come from Queers, Women, Blacks, Mexicans, Chinks, Commies, Liberals, and Socialists! Corporations? What the Hell are you talking about?
Some appeal to the more intelligent.
"The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations."
Adam Smith
Some appeal to the petty bourgeoisie.
“I think it's going to be one of the biggest middle-class jobs -- collaborators. Collaborators are people who are good at working as part of global knowledge, manufacturing or supply chains.” - Thomas Friedman lets the cat out of the bag but no one notices.


In the absence of government, these wicked greedy people and their corporate entities will not go away nor disappear nor become virtuous.  They will simply no longer have to honor the pretense of abiding by the law.  
Weak government will facilitate the new feudalism. 
The powerful will reign and the majority will serve as in days of old, only this time the technology to keep the people down and hold power and extend the lives of the enemies of humanity will be at their disposal. That technology has emboldened them. They are increasingly proclaiming their intentions to eliminate any considerations for the people. The are no longer afraid of the guillotine.  They should be. 


Monday, August 12, 2013

A Boy Named Messiah


Newly minted 'Martin'  - Heidi Wigdahl / WBIR-TV via AP




Reuters reported today that

Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew has ruled on the name of a child. 

 The parents of Messiah DeShawn Martin had gone to court because they could not agree on the last name of the baby. Lu Ann decided the proposed first name, "Messiah" was inappropriate although it was the name the mother and father actually agreed upon. Lu Ann justified her ruling thusly: "The word 'messiah' is a title, and it's a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ." 

Lu Ann seems to not have noticed names like 'King' and 'Prince' and 'Duke' and 'Baron.'  These are also "titles." 

Lu Ann also seems unaware that the name 'Martin' is derived from the Roman god Mars, the god of war.  How much more appropriate is this name for an American child! He shall bring War, not Deliverence.

Mars, 1st century, found in the Forum of Nerva (Capitoline Museums, Rome)

So Lu Ann decided to pull a new first name out of her ass and changed 'Messiah' to 'Martin." The baby's new name is: Martin DeShawn McCullough, using components of the feuding parents' names. She based her ruling on religious (and perhaps racial) prejudice and profound ignorance.  It has not been revealed if little Messiah/Martin has been circumcised. It is an object lesson for people to avoid going to court lest such unanticipated consequences arise.

Circumcision of Christ, detail from Twelve Apostles Altar (Zwölf-Boten-Altar). Painting by Friedrich Herlin of Nördlingen, 1466.

Just what does the word 'messiah' really mean?
It just means anointed. Babies get anointed with Johnson & Johnson's© baby oil every day. 
Big deal. And people wonder why I believe Christians are crazy. 

From the Online Etymological Dictionary we learn the etymology of the word messiah: c.1300, Messias, from Late Latin Messias, from Greek Messias, from Aramaic meshiha and Hebrew mashiah "the anointed" (of the Lord), from mashah "anoint." This is the word rendered in Septuagint as Greek Khristos (see Christ). In Old Testament prophetic writing, it was used of an expected deliverer of the Jewish nation. The modern English form represents an attempt to make the word look more Hebrew, and dates from the Geneva Bible (1560). Transferred sense of "an expected liberator or savior of a captive people" is attested from 1660s.

The term is not exclusively religious. It is not exclusively Christian. 
There is no registered trademark "Messiah." (I don't think.) 
Even the Jewish mashiach is not supposed to be God or a spiritual savior. 
His role will be mostly political. 

OK. I just looked up "Messiah" as a trademark and the word is used in many trademarks. 
Lookie Here! found at http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/


Right Click to Expand

 I don't know the legal status of naming your kid after a trademarked word. It must be OK. 
Isn't it?
Doing a little research at the social security administration's website I found that the top year for naming babies Messiah was in 2006 when 800 incarnated spirits arriving in America were so named. Many of them were females.