... stuff from the past!
We are scheduled to have Kevin Ford shear the flock on Saturday, February 14th. If our frigid weather continues, we will be a good surrogate for Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep, whereby we'll be frantically knitting sweaters for the whole flock! Anyone interesting in blade shearing should drop by for a visit. Just give us a heads up if you are planning to come by.
Last vestige of winter hovers over the valley... be gone!
To check out some neat happenings down this way a while back, click on the thumbnail image below to get a close-up look!
Purple Mountains Majesty... a morning view from our Great Room!
See you at the Thirtieth Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival next year! May, 2004 - Howard County Fairgrounds, Maryland. Click the logo above for current festival information.
Year 2000 Corriedale Stud Ram Gallery
Each year, we shear our flock in mid-February, gathering the wool despite the fact that winter frequently continues to linger on... we like to have the ewes shorn early to get a good look at their condition before the lambs start to come in the following month or so. We can then adjust the feeding regimen accordingly. For a different perspective on Gathering Wool, read Tondalaya VanLears reflective essay, reprinted here with the kind permission of the author and roanoke.com Weekly Magazine.
It seems to me... (Archived Rants!)
Spring 2008An interesting assessment of Barack Obama, from Capitalism Magazine...
An Old Newness
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of
Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow
What a crock... when you live in a toilet bowl, you shouldn't be too surprised that occasionally the bowl gets flushed!
... that the whole truth about the furor surrounding the Zacarias Moussaoui sentencing trial is missing a critical element.
What Judge Brinkema fails to admit is the fact that the missing element in this case has to do with the incompetence of the Federal jurist sitting on this case and not the Government's prosecutors. The judge in this case has done everything in favor of Moussaoui short of parading the promised 62 virgins before him in her court!
... that the President seems to have been extraordinarily lucky, or perhaps even cunning, with his nomination of Harriet Mier to replace retiring Sandra O'Conner. Quite interesting! It certainly seems that the nomination has disarmed many on the Democratic side of the Senate! Of course there will be many on both sides who will retain their positions notwithstanding any facts, e.g., Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, but it will be fun to see if Mr. Bush has really pulled off a supreme hat trick, or simply muddied the waters. We will be watching closely the coming Senate Hearings on Miss Mier... very interesting indeed!
P.S. Muddied waters indeed... R.I.P., Harriet!
... The latest push from our pseudo legislators, i.e. the courts, includes the incredibly outrageous recent decision of the Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London. If you missed this one, catch this... local governments can seize citizens homes and businesses against their will for private development. That's right, "for private development."
It will be up to the various state legislatures to dam and plug this eminent domain loop hole, since the U.S. Congress and the Federal Courts have denied the respect for private property rights as a fundamental building block of our nation. Even when the issue is in the public interest, government should be obliged to error on the side of the property owner. In such cases, might is not right! The following article of interest, which predates Kelo v. City of New London, is reprinted from the Farm Bureau News, August 2005:
We need to pressure our legislators to restore those rights under the Constitution whereby, once again, private property rights are assured as a fundamental building block of our nation.
... our Virginia state legislature is on the right track. They are part-time legislators who, after several weeks at the capitol, have to return home and get about doing a full time job, unlike our "professional" federal legislators. Our "won't do anything" Senate is a prime example of where the founding fathers really missed the mark! Wouldn't it be great if we only had them making mischief for a few weeks instead full time? Sad to say, the only thing they seem to be capable of is filibustering, threatened or imagined. Too bad we can't really concoct a true filibuster and run them out of town as the buffoons they truly are!
... that I must be confused. We are about to run the tab on our country's cost for the liberation of Iraq to somewhere around $130 Billion, more or less, to carry things through the next twelve months. At the same time we are pouring billions into Iraq, OPEC manipulators (primarily the Saudis) are driving up the price of oil by reducing their production to offset the fact that we are bringing the Iraqi oil production on line! We not only pay to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq, but we get the benefit of paying escalated oil costs back home for our trouble! What is wrong with this picture?
... that the buffoons, collectively known as the United States Senate, manage to find ways to exceed their own perfidy. The shenanigans regarding Judge Charles Pickering wasn't bad enough. There apparently wasn't enough precedence in the fact that Pickering was confirmed to his current position on the 5th Circuit by a unanimous vote of the same "like him today, hate him tomorrow" Senate or the fact that the American Bar Association ruled him completely qualified for his appointment to the Court of Appeals. They simply would not let the nomination move out of committee, knowing the nomination would carry the majority if reaching the floor of the Senate.
The estimable democratic Senate leaders, chagrined at finding they lost control of the Senate in the last election, never spent a second trying to understand the loss. Instead, they launch a new tactic of filibustering judicial nominees. Knowing full well that the most recent nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals, just as in the case of Charles Pickering, would carry the required majority votes if reaching the floor of the Senate. Unfortunately the only way that the nomination can proceed is if an around-the-clock filibuster is forced. The advocates of the supermajority believe that a real filibuster is not contemplated at this time. Regrettably there is no spine to be found in the current Senate leadership, because only with a real filibuster will there be a chance to win. With no cloture vote, the Estrada nomination is set aside while the Senate conducts other business. Clearly a circumvent of the Constitution, which is trumped by the arcane Senate rules... but let us not let a little thing like the Constitution get in the way!
...that the hypocrisy of the "War on Terror" continues unabated. The latest fiasco regards Yemen's admission that the recently discovered shipment of Scud missiles was, indeed, headed for that country. Meanwhile, their Scud (and, apparently, cement) supplier, the totalitarian Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is busily cranking up its capacity to produce more nuclear bomb grade material. We should reflect on the fact the Yemen is a country that has, in the past, slugged it out using similar Scud missiles during civil strife between its Northern and Southern forces. And let's not forget that other little incident, the bombing of the USS Cole! With "friends" like these, we should be less concerned about scrutinizing Iraq and ponder a policy that conveniently looks the other way when more blatant violations go unchallenged with nothing more than a wink and a nod!
... that as the national security cloak envelopes the White House and the "Select" Congressional Intelligence committee, it brings to mind the TV show, "Get Smart" with the 'Cone of Silence,' descending around agent Maxwell Smart, the Chief and Agent 99 as they plotted the undoing of their arch enemy organization, Chaos? We still have just one question to ask those hiding under the cone, "Whatever happened to Eric Rudolph?"
... that the quote of the year goes to National Public Radio and ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, discussing the newly announced Department of Homeland Security and where they are likely to house their 170,000 employees:
Right on, Cokie!!! It would bring new meaning to the slogan, "Mountain State," that is, "Mountains of Bureaucrats State," compliments of the state's senile, senior senator and undisputed king of pork, Robert Byrd!
... that the hypocrisy of the war on terror continues. The Administration's recent junket to Europe and Russia has been highlighted by "U.S. expressions of concern" over Russian support to Iran in developing a nuclear reactor facility. The same type of reactor that the same concerned U.S. is obliged to provide to North Korea. A strange dichotomy at opposite ends of the Axis of Evil! Meanwhile Iraq, third in the Axis of Evil troika, hides comfortably behind the impenetrable oil shield, supported by most major European governments. Big oil turns out to be a far more effective shield than the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative could ever come up with!
... meanwhile, that the finger pointing about who knew what, when and where, regarding the September 11th terrorist attack, is classic American Monday-morning-quarter-backing at its best. I keep asking the same simple question with regard to the competency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Where is Eric Rudolph? End of message!
... that now that the Administration has succumbed to pressure from the Arab oil sheiks and has validated the terrorist Arafat, we can abandon the hypocrisy of the war on terror and get back to solving the countries economic woes and rebalancing the budget! The obscene farm bill, which calls for a seventy five percent increase in spending, is a pure and simple play to garner votes during the upcoming 2002 elections. It won't make a nickel's worth of difference to the success or failure of farming in this country, although it will enrich the profits of the big agri-business conglomerate operations... who needs it?
... that as the economy continues to founder, guess what the local and state politicians are up to in the face of declining "bubble economy" revenues. If you say, "Making hard decisions about doing without and cutting expenses" (as do most families facing economic hardship), you loose! Have you looked at your property tax bill lately? No, you say? Too, bad... you loose again!
... that the suspected hypocrisy of the Bush “War on Terror” burst to the surface recently with the decision to have Secretary of State Colin Powell meet with Arafat during his wasted sojourn to the Middle East. The famous “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists,” pronouncement was suddenly as vacuous as some of Bill Clinton’s famous utterances: “I didn’t inhale… I didn’t have sex with that woman!”
Why would Bush do something so inexplicable as to agree to a meeting with the head of a terrorist regime second in evil only to Bin Laden’s Al Qeda?
In a word, oil! As soon as the Arab oil card was played, the Bush administration folded its hand and pushed away from the table. The irony is that the oil card was played by the premier ‘tin horn’ of the Arab league, Saddam Hussein! But make no mistake about it, the war on terror is over. The sacrifices made by the American people over the months following September 11, were summarily cast aside by simple, incontrovertible greed. Oh sure, there will be plenty of rhetoric about how this action was necessary to stabilize the situation in the Middle East, but let’s not kid ourselves, folks. We’ve been totally hoodwinked. There is big money in this pot and we were not up to the ante!
Arafat is a terrorist, pure and simple. That is all he has ever been or understands. My hat is off to the Israelis. They have a tough row to hoe in a part of the world where there is little sympathy for democracy. They now find themselves in an even more untenable position, with the U.S. back peddling on Arafat and his terrorist colleagues, leaving the Israelis to hang out and dry. We seldom hesitate to pull the democracy pistol out of our holster and fire off a few shots, but friends, when it gets time to really put up or shut up, as in the case of big oil, don’t look over your shoulder and expect to find us standing tall behind you. It isn’t going to happen!
... that the quote of the week, if not the century, is from former President Clinton. In response to a question from Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:
... that those pompous buffoons, a.k.a. the U.S. Senate, have managed to somehow sink to new lows with the recent action by the Judiciary Committee to kill the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Judiciary Committee, a select committee of the aforementioned collection of buffoons, is comprised of such luminaries as "Plagiarizing" Joe Biden, "Chappaquiddick" Ted Kennedy, Diane "You have to love those Guantanamo Bay detainees" Feinstein and is chaired by Vermont's Patrick Leahy, who rose to that estimable position through the perfidy of his colleague, Vermont's other Senator, "Turncoat" Joseph Jeffords, who didn't have the gumption to resign and run for reelection as an "independent" candidate! He failed to show his constituents the same courtesy that Senator Phil Gramm provided his fellow Texans when he switched from the Democrat party to join the ranks of the Republicans.
There apparently wasn't enough precedence in the fact that Pickering was confirmed to his current position on the 5th Circuit by a unanimous vote of the same "like him today, hate him tomorrow" Senate or the fact that the American Bar Association ruled him completely qualified for his appointment to the Court of Appeals. Oh no, they had to attack his character... why should we not be surprised. It seems that Pickering is a racist, and everyone knows that you can't loose with that line of attack. Of course, they conveniently ignored the facts that Pickering stood against the Klu Klux Klan in Mississippi at a great personal risk to himself and his family and is well thought of by the minority community in his home state. Why even the seemingly senile Senator Robert Byrd, himself a former card carrying member of the Klan, voted for his confirmation to the 5th Circuit. Byrd's Senate colleague must have thought this earlier endorsement of Pickering was somehow a substantiation of their racist claims against him! Why else would they have snubbed the "Dean of the Senate?" It seems that you can't have an honest disagreement on affirmative action without being painted with the racism brush!
But even that wasn't thought to be enough, oh no... they further decried him as "violating the canons of judicial conduct" when he was troubled enough by a hate crimes (cross burning) case to inquire about the prosecutor's motivation in cutting a deal with the key perpetrator at the expense of two lesser participants in the affair! Clearly, the behavior of a racist. This Judiciary Committee coup de grace was administered in the face of the most incredible fact of all... that given the opportunity, Pickering would almost surely have been confirmed by a vote of the full Senate! Perhaps buffoons is a word too kind...
... that our far western friends in Washington state are rapidly overtaking their southern neighbors in California as the most bizarre thinkers in the country. To wit, the latest revelation coming out of the University of Washington, a study revealing how terrible and ruinous it is for children to be subject to incompetent care by family and friends, most particularly, their grand parents. One of the study's anchoring claims espoused is that the more educated the individual, the more likely they are to choose "professional" day care over family based day care... I didn't see any attempt at correlation between education and mobility. Many professionals go to where the jobs are, frequently far from home and caring family members. Thus they have limited choices. As one grandmother so aptly points out, given the choice, who do you think would provide more nurturing to the child, a paid provider or someone with a true interest in the child's upbringing? In their quest for the perfectly formed, politically correct and sterile society we find, gathered together, far too many people with sterile minds... welcome to "Pleasantville!"
...that the Federal Court in California scheduled to hear the farcical pleading regarding imagined Constitutional protection for those illegal combatant detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay, should hear first from the family of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl about just how his Constitutional rights were afforded to him. Incidentally, why am I not surprised that this suit has been filed in California?
... that a truly bizarre situation has emerged, where our old friend the Governor of California is frantically trying to renege on the energy contracts he was so anxious to sign just a few months back. Was he ever an NFL coach? No matter... suck it up Governor, you made the deal, now you live with it!
... that once again the tyranny of the minority has struck another blow or two for political correctness. This time, according to some members of the Boston City Council, they are offended by the use of the pejorative term "minority!" Meaning "less then" rather than "more than!" The good news for these beleaguered folks is that at the present pace of illegal immigration (from a total of about 3.5 million in 1990 up to somewhere around 8.7 million in 2001, they won't have that much longer to be offended. Meanwhile some other local politicians are busily removing a portrait of George Washington from their city hall... too many folks getting the mistaken idea that this country was founded by a bunch of old white men. I must have read about the wrong Philadelphia Convention. I should be more careful in the future!
Then, closer to home, the Virginia House of Delegates was brimming with post-Sept. 11 patriotism on the first day of the 2002 session, when it approved a proposal to start each daily session by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and a salute to the state flag. Two days later, on Jan. 11, the delegates learned through a newspaper article that the state flag salute was written in 1946 by a member of a Confederate heritage group. Now, despite having voted for the rule, black (albeit minority) lawmakers say the salute evokes painful memories of a segregationist past and they want it discontinued. They must have gone through a regression therapy session during the intervening two days! Fortunately, a modicum of sanity prevailed and the legislature voted to continue the pledge and salute.
And finally, no more of this heretical business of saying a non secular prayer before the evening meal at Virginia Military Institute. Any fool knows (and if you don't then the American Civil Liberties Union will point out to you) that this is tantamount to the Government enacting a law establishing a religion! And it is well known that the Constitution of the United States (Amendment I) forbids that.
While I was off reading about the wrong Philadelphia Convention, I did note that those particular poor old misguided white men had placed the following preamble in front of their Constitution:
Another misconception on my part... apparently the correct version (and I've really got to get busy and find out where and when the real ethnically balanced and politically correct group of founding fathers actually met) goes like this:
The Entire World! Of course, this is obviously why some people are so concerned about the fact that those illegal combatant detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are being denied their Constitutional rights. I'm a little slow, but I finally get around to figuring out what's really going on... just give me a little time. And we used to complain about the Soviets rewriting history!
... that in our country's zeal to bring Osama bin Laden before the bar of justice, we should ask ourselves a couple of questions. Whatever happened to Eric Rudolph? What if Theodore Kaczynski had been an only child? Answer those two questions and then you have a better perspective on our chances of getting the "evil one!"
Okay, for those who aren't remotely current with the news...
... that in these
anguishing times, we really do need to keep things in perspective. I’ve had this
uneasy feeling over the past several years that, basically, our country was
going to hell in a hand basket. Too much attention to political correctness,
too much reading into our Constitution things that are not and were not ever
intended to be there. New freedoms for a few that hamstring the rest
of us… freedom from being offended… freedom from religion… special rights
for specific groups instead of equal rights for all groups, that sort of
thing. We are an imperfect country in an imperfect world, yet there
are those that expect perfection in everything we do. On September
11th, I fretted even more. Instinctively, I wanted our leaders to strike
back at this insane terrorism… to crush those who would dare attack us here
on our shores, but the reality is that you can’t fight the insanity that
struck out at us that horrible day. You have to disarm it.
... that I must have it all wrong, but I believe that I heard that the good Governor of California had entered into long term energy contracts to buy power at about $1.38 per unit, but that they have such a surplus now that they are forced to resell it at about $0.34 per unit. Nice job Governor! And shame on those money grubbing producers...
... that the country is busily eliminating ineffectual welfare programs from every nook and cranny and I applaud that effort. However, it seems that the Senate's Kennedy, McCain et al, proposed "Patient's Bill of Rights" is a giant step backward. It should be entitled the "Lawyer's Welfare Bill." Let's see how much support they could muster for a bill that limits all legal fees to say six percent of any patient's award. That would be consistent with the level of fees typically charged for a real estate transaction to sell your house, for example. And let's go it one better... the loser gets to pay for the winner's legal costs, say actual expenses up to a limit of six percent of the damages sought. That should cool some of the ardor for frivolous actions.
What seems to escape everyone pandering to this issue is the fact that health care insurance programs are a service provided at some cost, mostly borne by employers. Such service is not a Constitutionally guaranteed right! Drive the cost through the roof with unfettered legal assaults and punitive damages and soon we will find that lots of folks are no longer interested in providing that service. Then what?
... that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has capitulated to our friends out west like a frustrated parent in the face of a two year old child's tantrum in a toy store... give 'em anything they want, just to shut them up! Of course, they want us to believe that their problems have nothing to do with inept attempts at government control of a scarce energy commodity. "It is all the fault of the producers," they say. Well my friends, you can count on one thing. If there was no one out there willing to pay "exorbitant" prices for energy, the producers would lower their prices. When you can't produce enough of your own energy, you have to buy from someone who does and when there are more buyers than sellers, guess what? For a group who constantly touts itself as being on the leading edge of the country's thinking, wouldn't it be nice if Californians were on the leading edge of accepting responsibility for their own actions and stop trying to blame everyone else?
... that it would be a good idea to ask if those who object so vociferously to genetically modified plants and related scientific breakthroughs would also be among the first to warmly embrace the return of cholera, smallpox and scarlet fever. Why do I think not?
... that if there was ever a case for congressional term limits, Vermont is the poster child. Here is a state with a population less than some counties in this country, yet its two Senators control two of the most powerful committees in the United States Senate, Judiciary and Energy! Not only are these 608,827 citizens of Vermont holding the rest of the 283.3 million of us hostage, their socialist positions are so far from the main stream of the country's thinking that they could almost be declared a province of Communist China. Only Cambridge, Massachusetts is more left-leaning and they have Harvard University to blame! Arcane Senate rules compound this seniority problem by providing cover for the rest of the pompous gaggle, perpetuating this control freak's paradise. Every time I hear about the "sense of the Senate," I automatically substitute, nonsense. What a collection of buffoons... but sadly, they are the cream from America's political landscape!
... that the N.A.S.A. should pull its head out and congratulate Dennis Tito for his perseverance in fulfilling his dream to go into space. First of all, Dr. Tito is no fool. He is a very bright fellow and a former engineer with N.A.S.A.'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. N.A.S.A. seems to hold a grudge against Dr. Tito who chose to forsake his scientific career to seek his fortune as an investment expert: a decision that certainly paid dividends (no pun intended). After throwing innumerable obstacles in the path of Dr. Tito's quest to go into space, N.A.S.A. Administrator Dr. Dan Goldin is now threatening the Russian Space Agency with cost claims for alleged interruptions to work on the International Space Station resulting from Dr. Tito's visit. Perhaps we should implore former President Clinton to parse the word "international" for Dr. Goldin. The International Space Station is a joint venture among several nations... it is not N.A.S.A.'s private sand box. Get a life Dan. Dr. Tito's recent adventure has done more to promote the space program than anyone I can recall, including that boondoggle by an over-the-hill Senator/Astronaut!
N.A.S.A. is well known for its arrogance, a trait which has tarnished many of its extraordinary accomplishments. If you want to go around making cost claims, Dr. Goldin, perhaps the rest of us taxpayers should send you a few... there was of course the Challenger disaster, followed by the myopic Hubbell Space Telescope and more recently the Mars mission wherein the spacecraft didn't know whether to calculate in english or metric units and, in the resulting confusion, crashed itself into the surface of the Red planet! Nice work Dan. As the old saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Get with it, Dan, embrace Dr. Tito's adventure and thank the Russians for their practical common sense and congratulate Dr. Tito for having the "right stuff" to make his dream come true!
... that the following book is an interesting read:
War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men, by Christina Hoff Sommers, available from amazon.com books.
... that the following little statistic is interesting:
... that on one hand, the republicans are saying that the tax cut proposed by the President is too small, but on the other hand the democrats are saying that it is too large and favors the wealthy. Reminds me of Harry Truman's comment that what he really needed was a one armed economist! Yet still, the President is saying that the tax cut proposed is just right! Interesting... the democrat leadership seems to feel that their class attack against the wealthy isn't setting too well with the American public, so they have changed tactics a bit and are now claiming that we can't count on the out year surpluses being as great as currently projected... even some republicans have climbed onto this bandwagon. Well, can anyone ever remember when either a democrat or republican controlled congress hesitated to raise taxes when they felt it was in their interest? So what's the big deal? Pass the tax cut and six or seven years from now if the surplus has dwindled to nothing, the congress can do what they do best... next to spending our money, that is!
... incredible that our friends out west are still at it. The notion that the power utilities were forced to sell-off their generating capability to suit the state legislature's idea of de-regulation, then be forced to buy power at the market spot price, and then be forced to sell it to consumers at a losing fixed rate notwithstanding the mandated spot market price, isn't crazy enough! Now these economic wizards want the power utilities to sell-off their last remaining asset, the transmission grid, to the state. Why, you might ask? Simple, so that the utilities can pay off the debt they incurred because the state mandated a below market consumer price for power! Now, if you think things can't get any worse, just wait.
... that a recent commentary by Kevin Phillips on National Public Radio regarding President George W. Bush's lack of a legislative mandate is the epitome of the pompous ass syndrome. Mr. Phillips very conveniently ignores the simple fact that in the recent election, both Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush received more of a mandate that did Mr. Clinton in either of the prior two elections... I must have missed Mr. Phillips commentary regarding Mr. Clinton's lack of a legislative mandate. In their album Hell Freezes Over, the Eagles best summed up Mr. Phillips position... Get Over It!
... that the good citizens of California have been bashing the power generation and utility companies out that way for at least the last twenty-five years or so. Regulations are so onerous that no new power generation plants have been licensed or built during the better part of that period while, for example, the population in the LA basin has doubled! Now that their chickens are coming home to roost, the good citizens are clamoring for the government to step in and force the utility companies to continue selling them electrical power at a prices below cost! Now, you don't have to be Alan Greenspan to figure out that this arrangement isn't going to last too long before the utility companies go bust. What then? I think the operative biblical phrase is, Sow not, reap not! Stop whining, its time to suck it up and pay the piper, folks!
... that most folks would object to playing a game where the rules change as the game goes along. You might say its un-American! But that appears to be whats happening with the present hoopla regarding the recent presidential election. Anyone who has moved about this country knows that the election process is radically different from community to community. Ive used a number two pencil to fill in my ballot in some polling places and in others, Ive used fully automated lever type machines. Its a local choice and if the choice is a method with inherent errors that will inevitably disenfranchise some voters, then its up to the voters in that locality to insist that better voting methods be implemented, but dont try to do it in the middle of the election! Get it done ahead of time. Two million or so voters had ballots that were not counted in the past presidential election... many because they were careless or could not follow the simple directions... too bad, but learn to read or ask for help. Others were not counted because the voting methods chosen by their election officials were inadequate; unfortunate, but a consequence of poor management of the process. Get rid of those people and maybe the next time it will get managed properly. But dont try to divine the intent of the voter after the fact... what a joke! Just because we have a close election doesnt mean that you can pick a few thousand ballots to hand count in one community without ignoring the hundreds of thousands in all the other communities that have just the same right to be counted. Use a system that accurately measures and records every vote. Throw out the systems that dont work and get rid of the people that let this kind of thing go on in your local communities. Hummm, I wonder how many of the whiners and complainers have ever volunteered to work in a polling place on election day?
You can not hand count one hundred million ballots and get a perfect result... good grief folks, its the twenty first century, lets get a universal system in place that can get the job done and knock off this whining and pontificating. Dont say it cant be done... are there communities in this country without access to an Automatic Teller Machine? Not too many is my guess... so why not have a similar type of voting machine, complete with ATM type voting cards?
... that if I hear one more talking head on the news programs talking about the rule of law in this country I may throw something. Dont kid yourselves, we have no rule of law, we have a rule of lawyers!
Jeff Greenfield, CNN
... incredible that so many folks continue wanting the Government to take care of us. We need to accept responsibility for ourselves and our own actions. There is a place for government in our lives, but not in every nook and cranny! The President recently made a big announcement that the budget surplus for the next ten years is now projected to exceed two trillion dollars. Thats a lot of money, folks, and it belongs to us. Uncle just slips his hand into our pocket and takes it without so much as a by your leave, then becomes indignant when we ask for some of it back! The debate now is how to spend the surplus! Don't know about you, but we sure could use a little of that surplus in our pockets hereabouts... Big Government just doesn't believe we can care for ourselves and that is the rationale for trying to take so much away from us: in the end, they just don't take our money, but our self esteem, our self respect and many of our freedoms. Beware of the upcoming election season of promises!
... that the founding fathers must be rolling in their graves, knowing that their insightful constitutional protection for minority rights has been twisted and contorted into a tyrannical club wielded by many of those same minorities. Witness the recent riots and violence at the World Trade Federation meetings in Seattle and the endless clamor for special interest legislation, e.g. hate crimes. The Constitution is there to protect everyone's rights. Violence is violence no matter what the cause or rationale. There is no excusing it, and no need for special treatment on either side of the issue!
... that late at night, along the Presidential campaign trail, this pleading must heard echoing hauntingly:
If it has come to this, then may the Almighty help us... for we surely don't seem to be able to help ourselves!
... that despite some pundit's ascertains to the contrary, we do have a choice in the coming election... it is rather simple:
On one hand we can vote for big government, which means big taxes. In exchange for the big tax burden, the government will take care of us, even think for us, telling us how to live our lives, providing for all of our needs. In some circles, this is called socialism. There are lots of examples of exactly how successful this approach is. Look at the Soviet Union (it was around here someplace the last time I looked) or communist China. Closer to home there is our good neighbor, Dr. Castro's, Cuba. Personally, I prefer to think of the big government approach as an economic form of slavery. We just have to stand around with our hands out and massa Uncle will provide.
On the other hand we can vote for smaller government, which implies smaller taxes. But don't go pulling the lever for this approach willy nilly. Understand that this choice means thinking for yourself and accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions. You make your own choices and accept the consequences... no blaming someone else. If things are bad, it will be because you let them be bad. It won't be the government's fault, or big business's fault, or the labor unions or O.P.E.C.'s or anyone else's. It will be your fault. Terrifying, isn't it?
Our founding fathers made the idea of smaller government work, so why can't we? Accepting this responsibility means that we are free to choose what we think is best for ourselves and our families and our local communities. A vote is a powerful thing, but it has powerful consequences. I choose smaller government. I am ready to accept that responsibility.
... strange that neither the Members of Congress nor the vast bureaucracy of federal employees belong to the Social Security program. Isn't it curious that they all try to assure the rest of us that the Social Security safety net will be there for us when they don't even believe in it enough to participate? There is an old saying: If you don't play the game, you can't make the rules! Now there's a thought!
... odd that apparently most new television receivers must be manufactured without on/off switches. My sets are all pretty old, so maybe it is so. Thank goodness I have the old ones and can turn the damn things off when there is something that I don't like being broadcast!
... that the following essay, The Americans, is worth reading! A friend forwarded a less accurate version that is presently circulating around the Internet... that stimulated my interest. What follows is a transcript of the original broadcast editorial made back during 1973 by the late Gordon Sinclair, and although the context relates to the Vietnam era, it is still worth reading today:
where you can also hear a recording of this editorial by Gordon Sinclair himself!
Please feel free to copy and e-mail this editorial to all
of your friends, or just link them to this page, everyone should read it.
that the Florida state government continues to be unfairly pilloried over the election fiasco when the real problem lies not with voter disenfranchisement, but with inept local election officials and a small group of voters who are simply incapable of casting a proper ballot: if you cant read or ask for help then shame on you, youve just disenfranchised yourself! For some to mischaracterize voter incompetence as racism is the height of hypocrisy! With motor voter and other forms of painless registration, most of the inconvenient barriers to voting have been removed most, that is, except for stupidity!
By the way... the last I heard, a million or so absentee ballots were not counted in California since they wouldn't impact the outcome of the statewide presidential election... anyone hear howls about that? So much for the popular vote myth!
that meanwhile, our friends in California are still at it. Wanting to have their cake and eat it too, they are still desperately looking for a way to force the utility producers to sell power at or below cost so that they can live without rate increases. How does artificially low pricing promote conservation? Generally, in a market economy, when something gets too costly, folks figure out how get by with less of it! That rule must not apply in California. Compounding the problem, a recent Pacific storm blocked the cooling intakes to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power generating facility with kelp, thereby reducing operating levels to about twenty percent of normal. Perhaps kelp burgers, in lieu of good old-fashioned western beef, are the solution! On the other hand, maybe crashing into walls while stumbling around in the dark might knock some sense into their heads! We can hope...
It seems to me...
opinions are Ron's exclusively... Elizabeth, Dora, Gailen and the boys, the
sheep and the rest of the critters hereabouts claim no responsibility for these ramblings!
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